Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetes. 2009 Jul;58(7):1616-24. doi: 10.2337/db08-1787. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

Inhibitory effects of leptin on pancreatic alpha-cell function.

Author information

  • 1Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Elche, Spain.



Leptin released from adipocytes plays a key role in the control of food intake, energy balance, and glucose homeostasis. In addition to its central action, leptin directly affects pancreatic beta-cells, inhibiting insulin secretion, and, thus, modulating glucose homeostasis. However, despite the importance of glucagon secretion in glucose homeostasis, the role of leptin in alpha-cell function has not been studied in detail. In the present study, we have investigated this functional interaction.


The presence of leptin receptors (ObR) was demonstrated by RT-PCR analysis, Western blot, and immunocytochemistry. Electrical activity was analyzed by patch-clamp and Ca(2+) signals by confocal microscopy. Exocytosis and glucagon secretion were assessed using fluorescence methods and radioimmunoassay, respectively.


The expression of several ObR isoforms (a-e) was detected in glucagon-secreting alphaTC1-9 cells. ObRb, the main isoform involved in leptin signaling, was identified at the protein level in alphaTC1-9 cells as well as in mouse and human alpha-cells. The application of leptin (6.25 nmol/l) hyperpolarized the alpha-cell membrane potential, suppressing the electrical activity induced by 0.5 mmol/l glucose. Additionally, leptin inhibited Ca(2+) signaling in alphaTC1-9 cells and in mouse and human alpha-cells within intact islets. A similar result occurred with 0.625 nmol/l leptin. These effects were accompanied by a decrease in glucagon secretion from mouse islets and were counteracted by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, suggesting the involvement of this pathway in leptin action.


These results demonstrate that leptin inhibits alpha-cell function, and, thus, these cells are involved in the adipoinsular communication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk