Leptin Versus Ghrelin
by Greg Crowther
Hunger is a complex phenomenon involving both physiological and psychological factors. This jingle -- originally written for Biology 242 and 352 at UW-Bothell, and ideally performed in the style of Elvis Presley -- is a brief overview of some of the physiology.
You send out leptin from the fat that you've kept in;
You send out ghrelin when your stomach is growlin'.
When you have exercised or eaten or slept in,
These peptide hormones notify the hypothalamus....
Where certain neurons put out NPY,
And other neurons put out POM-C.
Certain neurons put out NPY-Y-Y,
So you know just how hungry to be!
• sheet music (with melody play-back)
Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.
An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.
(1) Where is ghrelin released?
(2) What are NPY and POMC?
(3) Does the release of NPY and POMC enhance or suppress hunger?
(4) What effects do ghrelin and leptin have on the release of NPY and POMC?
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)