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J Leukoc Biol. 2009 Mar;85(3):491-6. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0808508. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Role of leptin receptor-induced STAT3 signaling in modulation of intestinal and hepatic inflammation in mice.

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Kinesiology and Nutrition Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Leptin-deficient ob/ob mice are resistant to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and Concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis. However, the signal transduction pathways involved have not been identified. The present study investigated the effect of leptin-induced STAT3 signaling in the DSS and Con A models. Mice carrying a leptin receptor (LEPR) gene mutant for Y1138 (s/s mice), with abrogated leptin-induced STAT3 signaling, were compared with wild-type (WT) and LEPR-deficient db/db mice. Administration of DSS to s/s mice resulted in a clinical score and colon shortening of intermediate severity compared with disease induced in WT and db/db mice-the latter group having the lowest disease severity. A comparable degree of inflammatory infiltrate and epithelial damage was observed in the colon of WT and s/s mice, and these parameters were reduced in db/db mice. Levels of IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-alpha were comparable in the colon of s/s and db/db mice, and a similar trend was observed for CXCL2. s/s and WT mice developed severe liver disease in response to Con A, whereas db/db mice were protected. However, Con A-induced serum IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels in s/s mice mimicked levels observed in db/db rather than WT mice. In conclusion, lack of leptin-induced STAT3 signaling is associated with reduced cytokine production following DSS and Con A administration, but it appears to sensitize mice to the effects of proinflammatory mediators.

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