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Am J Physiol. 1999 Apr;276(4):E658-62. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1999.276.4.E658.

Serum leptin concentrations and their relation to metabolic abnormalities in human sepsis.

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North Western Injury Research Centre, University of Manchester, Hope Hospital, Salford M6 8HD, United Kingdom.


Circulating leptin concentrations are raised in animal models of inflammation and sepsis. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of sepsis on serum leptin concentration in humans and to examine the relationship between leptin and the metabolic consequences of sepsis. Resting energy expenditure, insulin sensitivity, and fasting serum leptin, plasma insulin, and cortisol concentrations were measured in 20 subjects with intra-abdominal sepsis and 20 healthy control subjects, before and during a 2-h period of euglycemic hyperinsulinemia. Fasting serum leptin concentrations were similar in septic and control subjects. In simple regression analysis, serum leptin concentrations correlated significantly with percent body fat in both septic patients (r = 0. 64, P < 0.005) and healthy subjects (r = 0.75, P < 0.0001). Multiple regression analyses additionally indicated that percent body fat, fasting plasma insulin, and plasma cortisol, but not sepsis, were significant and independent determinants of serum leptin concentration. No relationship between leptin and resting energy expenditure or insulin sensitivity was identifiable. A major metabolic role for leptin in human sepsis therefore appears unlikely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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