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Leuk Lymphoma. 2000 Feb;36(5-6):457-61.

Leptin receptor and leukemia.

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Department of Clinical Hematology, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan.


The receptor for leptin, the gene product of the obese gene, is expressed in hematopoietic stem cells. Leptin stimulates normal myeloid and erythroid development, and is secreted from bone marrow adipocytes, which occupy most of the marrow cavity in humans. Leptin might thus play an important role in the control of the expansion and differentiation of primitive hematopoietic cells through paracrine interaction in the bone marrow microenvironment. Leukemic cells of some patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) also express the leptin receptor. In cases of CML, higher expression of leptin receptor is observed during blast crisis than in chronic phase. Leptin alone and in combination with other cytokines has stimulative effects on proliferation of leukemia cells as well as anti-apoptotic effects. These findings suggest the possibility that leptin plays roles in the pathophysiology of leukemia.

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