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Changes in serum leptin, insulin, androstenedione and luteinizing hormone during ovarian cycle in the bat, Taphozous longimanus

Singh U.P., A. Krishna, and Kunwar P. Bhatnagar (2008) Changes in serum leptin, insulin, androstenedione, and luteinizing hormone during ovarian cycle in the bat, Taphozous longimanus. Acta Biologica Hungarica. 59(1): 1-16.* Indicate equal contribution


Detailed reproductive pattern and associated endocrine characteristics have been documented in only a few species of order Chiroptera. The aim of the present study was to examine the changes in body weight, serum insulin, leptin, androstenedione and luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations during annual ovarian cycle in the sheath-tailed bat, Taphozous longimanus. Bats were sampled over three years. Leptin, a satiety hormone produced primarily by adipose tissue, provides information to feeding center of the brain about nutritional status, fat mass, appetite and energy expenditure. The circulating concentration of leptin begins to increase from October and attains a peak in December. The peak serum leptin concentration coincides with body weight in November before winter dormancy in December. The serum leptin levels dissociate from body weight during December.
The other peaks of serum leptin levels coincide with late stages of the two successive pregnancies. The serum insulin concentration begins to increase from September and attains a peak during December. The insulin concentration remains low from January to August. The circulating androstenedione concentration begins to increase in October, reaching a peak in December. This increase in androstenedione concentration correlated with the period of heavy accumulation of abdominal fat and increase in body weight. There was a sharp decline in androstenedione concentration and body weight in January. The serum LH shows peaks, in November, coinciding with the peaked body weight, the other peaks in January and May, coinciding with ovulation for the two successive pregnancies. The high leptin and insulin levels might be responsible for the maintenance of reproductive response and gonadal function during adverse environmental condition in the winter, while high androstenedione, and associated body weight along with LH might be responsible for maintaining basal gonadal function. We conclude that high leptin, androstenedione and insulin serve, as signal for the reproductive functions in that sufficient body fat are available to meet the caloric demands and maintain normal function during adverse winter conditions.

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