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J Biol Chem. 1997 May 16;272(20):12897-900.

Leptin induces mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent proliferation of C3H10T1/2 cells.

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  • 1Third Division, Department of Medicine, Kobe University School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650 Japan.


Leptin, secreted by adipocytes, regulates satiety and energy expenditure. Several forms of leptin receptors produced by alternative mRNA splicing are found in many tissues, including the hypothalamus, liver, lung, kidney, hematopoietic cells, and gonads, suggesting that leptin exerts effects in these tissues. In accordance with the distribution of leptin receptors, there is accumulating evidence that leptin plays various roles in reproduction, hematopoiesis, and the immune systems in addition to the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. In the present study, we examined the in vitro effects of leptin on proliferation of a mouse embryonic cell line, C3H10T1/2, and its mechanism of action. Leptin caused a dose- and time-dependent increase in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity that was accompanied by an increase in C3H10T1/2 cell number. The MAPK kinase-1-specific inhibitor PD98059 completely blocked the increases in both MAPK activity and cell proliferation caused by leptin. These findings indicate that leptin stimulates the proliferation of C3H10T1/2 cells via the MAPK cascade.

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