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Diabetes. 2006 Mar;55(3):716-24.

Metformin restores leptin sensitivity in high-fat-fed obese rats with leptin resistance.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, #317-1, Daemyungdong, Namgu, Daegu 705-717, Republic of Korea.


To evaluate whether metformin enhances leptin sensitivity, we measured leptin sensitivity after 4 weeks of metformin treatment (300 mg/kg daily) in both standard chow and high-fat-fed obese rats. Anorexic and fat-losing responses after intracerebroventricular leptin infusion for 7 days (15 microg daily per rat) in standard chow rats were enhanced by metformin treatment, and these responses to leptin were attenuated in high-fat-fed obese rats compared with age-matched standard chow rats. However, these responses to leptin were corrected by metformin treatment in high-fat-fed obese rats. Moreover, serum concentrations of leptin and insulin were decreased dramatically by leptin in metformin-treated standard chow and high-fat-fed obese rats. The hypothalamic phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase level was decreased by lower leptin dose in metformin-treated rats than in untreated rats. In an acute study, metformin treatment also increased the anorexic effect of leptin (5 microg), and this was accompanied by an increased level of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in the hypothalamus. These results suggest that metformin enhances leptin sensitivity and corrects leptin resistance in high-fat-fed obese rats and that a combination therapy including metformin and leptin would be helpful in the treatment of obesity.

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