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The sex differences in the association between stress and the reduced serotonergic system regarding to leptin insensitivity.

Werkhoven, Davide (2018) The sex differences in the association between stress and the reduced serotonergic system regarding to leptin insensitivity. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.

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Abstract

Obesity is a growing problem and in 2017 more women than men struggled with this in The Netherlands. There is an important link between todays obesity and stress; a hormone involved in this is leptin. The research question of this article reads as follows: ‘’What is the association between stress and the serotonergic pathways regarding to leptin and how does it differ between males and females’’. The female hormone oestradiol underlies the increased leptin sensitivity in females and the presence of the male hormone testosterone decreases the leptin sensitivity directly. Besides the effects of the gonadal steroids on leptin, they also have an impact on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Oestrogen has a stimulatory effect on the stress-induced HPA response and testosterone an inhibitory effect. People cope with stress using high fat food to reduce stress-induced decreased serotonin; and leptin reduces the serotonin pathway, as a mechanism to regulate the food intake. However, a greater fat food intake during stress is often associated with an increased leptin level, this could be caused by a lower sensitivity of leptin in the hypothalamus due to alteration of melanocortin pathway. From this paper, it can be concluded that besides the potential neuroprotective effect of oestrogen on the reduction of the serotonergic system due to stress, the female hormone also stimulates the stress induced HPA axis response. When the latter effect is greater, it can cause a leptin insensitivity and eventually obesity in females. This effect could be less in males while the testosterone tends to decrease the HPA axis response.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Dijk, G. vanGertjan.van.Dijk@rug.nl
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 13:57
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/17774

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