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J Leukoc Biol. 2000 Oct;68(4):437-46.

Leptin in the regulation of immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262, USA.


Leptin, the product of the ob gene, is a pleiotropic molecule that regulates food intake as well as metabolic and endocrine functions. Leptin also plays a regulatory role in immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis. Alterations in immune and inflammatory responses are present in leptin- or leptin-receptor-deficient animals, as well as during starvation and malnutrition, two conditions characterized by low levels of circulating leptin. Both leptin and its receptor share structural and functional similarities with the interleukin-6 family of cytokines. Leptin exerts proliferative and antiapoptotic activities in a variety of cell types, including T lymphocytes, leukemia cells, and hematopoietic progenitors. Leptin also affects cytokine production, the activation of monocytes/macrophages, wound healing, angiogenesis, and hematopoiesis. Moreover, leptin production is acutely increased during infection and inflammation. This review focuses on the role of leptin in the modulation of the innate immune response, inflammation, and hematopoiesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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