PTU - Polskie Towarzystwo Urologiczne
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From Venus of Willendorf to leptin – history of discovery of that cytokine and its relation with human male reproductive system
Article published in Urologia Polska 2008/61/4.


Witold Malendowicz, Zbigniew Kwias
Katedra i Klinika Urologii i Onkologii Urologicznej Uniwersytetu Medycznego im. Karola Marcinkowskiego w Poznaniu


prostate obesity leptin


From the beginning of the human species, obesity was accompanied by us. Obesity fascinated all people generations, obese persons
were illustrated in the art, and frequently reported as a medical cases. At the end of XX century progress in biomedicine allowed to
recognize numerous factors involved in control of energy homeostasis. Earlier two recessive mutations ob/ob and db/db associated
with massive obesity, were discovered in years 1950-1960. Subsequent experiments with parabiotic mice demonstrated the presence
of blood – borne factor(s) involved in control of obesity. In 1994 that factor was identified and named leptin (from Greek leptos).
Secreted primarily by the white adipose tissue, this peptide hormone appeared to be a molecule linking body fat mass with the hypothalamus.
The primary function of leptin is to decrease caloric intake and increase energy expenditure. Moreover, leptin is involved in
regulating numerous biological systems and organs. This review presents the most important facts on leptin action within the human
male reproductive system.


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Witold Malendowicz
Klinika Urologii i Onkologii Urologicznej
ul. Szwajcarska 3
61-285 Poznań
tel. (061) 873 94 28