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Amrutha Bagivalu Lakshminarasimha, Madhuri Puvvada, Matthias Hammerschmidt, and Maximilian Michel

Loss of LEPR function (LOF) in mammals leads to diverse phenotypes including morbid obesity and infertility while zebrafish show relatively minor phenotypes. This however allows the study of LEPR LOF in the absence of the detrimental effects of hyperglycemia or obesity. Here, we show evidence that leptin plays a role in the central as well as peripheral regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis in zebrafish. Animals with a Lepr LOF show dysregulated pituitary HPG genes as well as evidence that oocytes mature slower and/or exhibit an increased rate of atresia. In culture, Lepr LOF attenuates the effect of 17α-20β-dihydroxy-4 pregnen-3-one in promoting germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and increases the rate of GVBD as well as attenuates the rate of oocyte atresia.

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Amrutha Bagivalu Lakshminarasimha, Patrick Page-McCaw, Diana Möckel, Felix Gremse, and Maximilian Michel

The leptin system plays a crucial role in the regulation of appetite and energy homeostasis in vertebrates. While the phenotype of morbid obesity due to leptin (Lep) or leptin receptor (LEPR) loss of function is well established in mammals, evidence in fish is controversial, questioning the role of leptin as the vertebrate adipostat. Here we report on three (Lepr) loss of function (LOF) and one leptin loss of function alleles in zebrafish. In order to demonstrate that the Lepr LOF alleles cannot transduce a leptin signal, we measured socs3a transcription after i.p. leptin which is abolished by Lepr LOF. None of the Lepr/Lepa LOF alleles leads to obesity/a body growth phenotype. We explore possible reasons leading to the difference in published results and find that even slight changes in background genetics such as inbreeding siblings and cousins can lead to significant variance in growth.