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Tups Laboratory

Research interests

The focus of our research at the Centre for Neuroendocrinology is on the neuroendocrine regulation of metabolism. In particular we are interested in the central interaction of the adiposity hormones leptin and insulin, which appears crucial for the maintenance of energy and glucose homeostasis. We established that a loss of central leptin action during obesity leads to impaired insulin action, which might explain the striking correlation of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

We investigate neuroendocrine mechanisms that link obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

We focus on manipulating these crucial pathways via nutritive, genetherapeutic and pharmacological approaches to potentially avoid the manifestation of nutrition related diseases.

Clinical conditions

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cancer

List of publications for Alexander Tups (Google Scholar)

Kaj Kamstra_webKaj Kamstra, PhD student
WNT signalling and diabetes

Mo Rizwan_webMohammed Rizwan, Postdoctoral Fellow
Neuroendocrine control of metabolism

Nathan Skinner_webNathan Skinner, PhD student
Circadian desynchrony and its impact on obesity and diabetes

Richard Marks, Honours student

Visit Our people for an alphabetical list of all Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff.


Boucsein, A., Kamstra, K., & Tups, A. (2021). Central signalling cross-talk between insulin and leptin in glucose and energy homeostasis [Invited]. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, e12944. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12944

Loehfelm, A., Rizwan, M. Z., & Tups, A. (2021). A New Zealand green-lipped mussel oil-enriched high-fat diet exhibits beneficial effects on body weight and metabolism in mice. British Journal of Nutrition, 125(9), 972-982. doi: 10.1017/s0007114520002342

Kamstra, K., Horsfield, J. A., & Tups, A. (2020). The effects of leptin mutations and diet-induced obesity on glucose homeostasis in the zebrafish. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1527), (pp. 129). Retrieved from

Pretz, D., Le Foll, C., Rizwan, M. Z., Lutz, T. A., & Tups, A. (2020). Hyperleptinemia as a contributing factor for the impairment of glucose intolerance in obesity. FASEB Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1096/fj.202001147R

Loehfelm, A., Elder, M. K., Boucsein, A., Jones, P. P., Williams, J. M., & Tups, A. (2020). Docosahexaenoic acid prevents palmitate-induced insulin-dependent impairments of neuronal health. FASEB Journal, 34, 4635-4652. doi: 10.1096/fj.201902517R