Obesity is a common multifactorial disorder and is a major disease risk in man. The problem of excess fat in livestock and poultry is ubiquitous (Eisen, 1989) and causes high financial losses. Although remarkable progress has been made in identifying and characterising the genes mutated in monogenic mouse strains, efforts to identify genes in humans and farm animals with major effects on body fatness have been only partially successful. The cloning of the Lepob gene in mice (Zhang et al., 1994) opened a new area of research into the function of leptin as a ’starvation’ factor. Recently, the lipostatic interpretation of its role as a ‘starvation signal’ has been questioned, suggesting that other independent regulatory systems may be important in controlling body fatness (Fruhbeck and Gomez-Ambrosi, 2001).

L. Bunger, S. Horvat, J. R Speakman, William G Hill

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 15, , 15.02, 2002
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