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Are hyperostosis frontalis interna and leptin linked? a hypothetical approach about hormonal influence on human microevolution


Rühli, Frank J; Henneberg, M (2002). Are hyperostosis frontalis interna and leptin linked? a hypothetical approach about hormonal influence on human microevolution. Medical Hypotheses, 58(5):378-381.

Abstract

It is striking that evidence for hyperostosis frontalis interna - a phenomenon of exclusive bilateral thickening of frontal endocranial surface - in archaeological samples is very rare in contrast to its modern prevalence. Because microevolutionary changes have been shown for various human characteristics any alteration of hormonal levels is very likely. Selection pressure was definitively higher in earlier times. This favoured prolonged alertness in order to access sufficient food, shorter feeling of satiety, lower level of fat metabolism, lower metabolic rates and, therefore, lower level of leptin - a 167 amino acid peptide mainly involved in human total body fat regulation. Its effects on bone metabolism are still debated. Nevertheless, we postulate the following hypothesis: In humans a decrease of selective pressure favoured an increased metabolic rate. This, being related to the higher level of leptin caused an increase of localized bony overgrowth like hyperostosis frontalis interna.

It is striking that evidence for hyperostosis frontalis interna - a phenomenon of exclusive bilateral thickening of frontal endocranial surface - in archaeological samples is very rare in contrast to its modern prevalence. Because microevolutionary changes have been shown for various human characteristics any alteration of hormonal levels is very likely. Selection pressure was definitively higher in earlier times. This favoured prolonged alertness in order to access sufficient food, shorter feeling of satiety, lower level of fat metabolism, lower metabolic rates and, therefore, lower level of leptin - a 167 amino acid peptide mainly involved in human total body fat regulation. Its effects on bone metabolism are still debated. Nevertheless, we postulate the following hypothesis: In humans a decrease of selective pressure favoured an increased metabolic rate. This, being related to the higher level of leptin caused an increase of localized bony overgrowth like hyperostosis frontalis interna.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 2002
Deposited On:26 Mar 2010 07:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:53
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0306-9877
Publisher DOI:10.1054/mehy.2001.1481
PubMed ID:12056872
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-30074

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