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Thyroid. 2000 Aug;10(8):641-6.

Thyroid hormones influence serum leptin levels in patients with Graves' disease during suppression of beta-adrenergic receptors.

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  • 1The First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


Leptin is a protein product of the ob gene, mainly produced by adipocytes. Leptin is thought to play an important role in the homeostasis of body weight by suppressing appetite and increasing energy consumption. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible effect of thyroid hormone on the regulation of the leptin system during suppression of beta-adrenergic receptors in Graves' patients. We studied 15 adult female patients with Graves' disease. Thyroid function, serum levels of leptin, and percent body fat (%BF) were examined at four different clinical conditions during therapy (A, untreated; B, beta-adrenergic antagonist only [A, B; hyperthyroid], C, beta-adrenergic antagonist and antithyroid drug; D, antithyroid drug only [C, D; euthyroid]). The use of beta-adrenergic antagonist significantly reduced heart rate in spite of hyperthyroid state, indicating sufficient suppression of beta-adrenergic receptors. During treatment with beta-adrenergic antagonist, leptin percentage of body fat (%BF) ratio significantly decreased in euthyroid state compared to that in hyperthyroid state (from 38.7 +/- 21.3 to 18.1 +/- 19.3, p = 0.003). Moreover, there was a significantly positive correlation between delta leptin/%BF and delta free thyroxine (FT4) (r = 0.51, p = 0.008). Under a euthyroid state induced by antithyroid drug treatment, leptin/%BF did not change in spite of withdrawal of beta-adrenergic antagonist. Our data indicate that thyroid hormones could increase serum leptin level during suppression of beta-adrenergic receptors in Graves' patients. Our data also suggest that the beta-adrenergic action of thyroid hormones might be partly mediated by regulation of leptin.

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