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# Hormonal control of weight loss

## Problem

Obesity today is the most common cause of poor quality of life in the United States. For the first time since the 1930s, scientists predict that life expectancy in the United States will decline as a result of this epidemic. In 1994, biochemists identified a hormone called leptin that is involved in a positive feedback mechanism with the brain to promote weight loss. Leptin is a 167 amino acid molecule that is secreted by adipose tissue that binds receptors in the brain to stimulate satiety and promote weight loss. A scientist studying the biochemical mechanisms driving obesity is interested in the effect leptin has on weight management and how it communicates with other hormones in the body. She is interested in the effect leptin has on certain parts of the brain. In Table 1, the scientist has knocked out certain parts of the brain believed to be related to the regulation of satiety and appetite.
Part of the brainResult of knockout
Ventromedial hypothalamusWeight gain
Lateral hypothalamusWeight loss
Anterior pituitaryWeight loss
Gustatory cortexLoss of taste
The scientist is trying to isolate the part of the brain that communicates most directly with leptin. Based on the passage, what part of the brain is most likely to have receptors that bind leptin?