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Science. 1998 Sep 11;281(5383):1683-6.

Biological action of leptin as an angiogenic factor.

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  • 1Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


Leptin is a hormone that regulates food intake, and its receptor (OB-Rb) is expressed primarily in the hypothalamus. Here, it is shown that OB-Rb is also expressed in human vasculature and in primary cultures of human endothelial cells. In vitro and in vivo assays revealed that leptin has angiogenic activity. In vivo, leptin induced neovascularization in corneas from normal rats but not in corneas from fa/fa Zucker rats, which lack functional leptin receptors. These observations indicate that the vascular endothelium is a target for leptin and suggest a physiological mechanism whereby leptin-induced angiogenesis may facilitate increased energy expenditure.

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