Maciel Porto, Biology
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Megan Doczi)
This research investigated the potential role of leptin receptors (LEPR), gene-encoded proteins located within the hypothalamus, that control metabolism and energy expenditure by means of hunger inhibition. This study found higher levels of LEPR gene expression at later time points compared to younger embryonic time points. Embryonic (E) day 8 LEPR gene expression was significantly lower than all other time points tested. These results suggest that LEPR expression varies during gestation according to nutritional needs, and developmental time periods. Further research aims to identify other metabolic hormones to compare hormone/receptor relationship.