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A role for leptin in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and in immune response.

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  • 1Dept of Medical Protein Research, VIB, Baertsoenkaai 3, 9000 Gent, Belgium.


Leptin was originally identified as an adipocyte-derived cytokine with a key role in the regulation of the energy balance. Subsequent research has, however, revealed that leptin's biological action is not restricted to its effects on appetite and food intake, but rather has a much more pleiotropic character. Evidence is now accumulating that it has important functions in reproduction, hematopoiesis, HPA-axis endocrinology and angiogenesis. In this review, we have focused on the effects of leptin in the immune system, which can be found in both the antigen-specific immunity and in the inflammatory effector system.

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