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J Clin Invest. 2000 Aug;106(4):501-9.

Leptin enhances wound re-epithelialization and constitutes a direct function of leptin in skin repair.

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  • 1Zentrum der Pharmakologie, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Germany.


Wound-healing disorders are a therapeutic problem of extensive clinical importance. Leptin-deficient ob/ob mice are characterized by a severely delayed wound healing that has been explained by the mild diabetic phenotype of these animals. Here we demonstrate that systemically and topically supplemented leptin improved re-epithelialization of wounds in ob/ob mice. Leptin completely reversed the atrophied morphology of the migrating epithelial tongue observed at the wound margins of leptin-deficient animals into a well-organized hyperproliferative epithelium. Moreover, topically supplemented leptin accelerated normal wound-healing conditions in wild-type mice. As assessed by immunohistochemistry, proliferating keratinocytes located at the wound margins specifically expressed the leptin-receptor subtype ObRb during repair. Additionally, leptin mediated a mitogenic stimulus to the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT and human primary keratinocytes in vitro. Therefore, leptin might represent an effective novel therapeutic factor to improve impaired wound-healing conditions.

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