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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Apr 26;293(1):622-8.

Leptin mediates a proliferative response in human MCF7 breast cancer cells.

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Service de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Ouest, Centre Hospitalier de Poissy, Université Descartes Paris V, 78303 Poissy Cedex, France.


Obesity is a risk factor of breast cancers. As leptin, a hormone mainly secreted by white adipocytes, elicits proliferative effects in some cell types, we tested the hypothesis that leptin could influence human breast cancer MCF-7 cell growth. Here we show that MCF-7 cells express leptin receptors and respond to human recombinant leptin by STAT3 and p42/p44 MAPkinase activations and by increased proliferation. These findings suggest that leptin could act in vivo as a paracrine/endocrine growth factor towards mammary epithelial cells thus contributing to explain why obesity is a risk factor of developing breast cancers.

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