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Horm Metab Res. 1999 Apr;31(4):247-51.

Detection of Ob-receptor in human adrenal neoplasms and effect of leptin on adrenal cell proliferation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Leptin, a hormone mainly secreted from adipose tissue, communicates a metabolic signal to the adrenal gland. Ob-Receptor (Ob-R) expression was reported in rat, mice and human adrenal glands. This study intended to investigate possible differences in the Ob-R expression and distribution of Ob-R protein in human adrenal tumors as compared to normal adrenal tissue. Proliferative effects of leptin were analyzed in the human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line (NCI-H295). The full length Ob-R mRNA and the isoforms B219.1 and B219.3 could be demonstrated by RT-PCR in all adrenal tumors (n=8), the tumor cell line (NCI-H295) and normal tissue. In contrast the Ob-R isoform B219.2 was absent in the carcinoma cell line and in most of the adrenal tumors (n=5), whereas it was present in normal adrenals. The Ob-R protein could be demonstrated in benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors. Pheochromocytomas showed only a weak immunostaining with the human Ob-R antibody. Human leptin did not affect the proliferation or variability of adrenal tumor cells as demonstrated by [3H]-thymidine assay and WST-1 test. In conclusion, although functional leptin receptors are expressed in human adrenal tumors, leptin does not regulate tumor cell proliferation.

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