Sparse system identification of leptin dynamics in obese women

Researchers who studied the relationship between leptin and obesity found statistically significant associations between leptin secretion characteristics and both body mass index (BMI) and lean body mass (LBM). Credit: NYU Tandon School of Engineering

According to the CDC, obesity prevalence in the United States was 42.4 percent in 2017-2018. Obesity prevalence in the United States increased from 30.5 percent to 42.4 percent between 1999 and 2018. Obesity has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and a variety of malignancies. These are some of the most common causes of death that can be avoided. In 2008, the annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was estimated to reach $ 147 billion.

It is important to understand the cause of obesity in the form of hormonal imbalance. To regulate food intake, the brain responds to signals from adipose tissue, the pancreas and the digestive tract. These instructions are transmitted via hormones such as leptin, insulin and ghrelin, as well as other small molecules. Among them, leptin is a signaling hormone that is essential for signaling the brain to suppress appetite. It regulates food intake, metabolism, energy consumption and body weight. Thus, leptin regulation is known to be closely associated with disease states such as obesity.

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In a new study by researchers at NYU Tandon and other schools, the group analyzed the behavior of two neuroendocrine hormones, leptin and cortisol (a stress hormone), in a cohort of obese patients. They used a systems theory approach that can accurately estimate the internal secretion patterns, timings, amplitudes, number of underlying hormone secretory pulses, infusion and clearance rates of hormones in obese patients by measuring only 24-hour blood analysis of their hormones.

The results suggest a method for mathematical modeling of both leptin and cortisol hormones to characterize how they interact as part of a larger system. Because the relationship between leptin and cortisol hormones is complex, the new results and projections will help us understand how these hormones work together to keep the body in a state of homeostasis.

The researchers demonstrated a negative association between leptin and cortisol secretion, based on a statistical test called the Granger causality test among patients with obesity. These results indicate that increases in cortisol are prospectively associated with reductions in leptin, suggesting a negative inhibitory ratio in 14 out of 18 obese women studied. Reduced leptin can result in a decrease in satiety and thereby lead to obesity.

The model could be a crucial contribution to the potential development of the next generation of agile closed-loop circulatory systems related to obesity. Such next-generation closed-loop circulatory systems will identify deviations from homeostasis and suggest necessary interventions that benefit from regular tracking of hormonal secretory events and underlying endocrinological system parameters. In this way, complex conditions such as obesity can be prevented at the root level, resulting in an overall increase in quality of life and a reduction in overall national medical expenses.

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Obesity in mice lowered by increasing the effects of key weight regulating hormone More information: Md. Rafiul Amin et al., Sparse System Identification of Leptin Dynamics in Women With Obesity, Frontiers in Endocrinology (2022). DOI: 10.3389 / fendo.2022.769951

Provided by NYU Tandon School of Engineering

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