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Histochem Cell Biol. 2009 Jun;131(6):703-11. doi: 10.1007/s00418-009-0575-3. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Human mast cells express leptin and leptin receptors.

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Department of Pathology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent University, Block A, 5th Floor, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Mast cells are immune cells that produce and secrete a variety of mediators and cytokines that influence various inflammatory and immune processes. Leptin is a cytokine regulating metabolic, endocrine as well as immune functions via the leptin receptor which is expressed by many immune cells. However, there are no data about leptin receptor expression in mast cells. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent double stainings showed the expression of leptin and leptin receptors in mast cells in human skin and several parts of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital tract. Leptin was expressed in mast cells expressing the classification marker chymase, whereas a variable expression was observed in tryptase positive mast cells. For leptin receptors, the expression pattern was tissue dependent and not related to tryptase or chymase expression. Our results demonstrate the expression of leptin and leptin receptors on mast cells, suggesting paracrine and/or autocrine immunomodulatory effects of leptin on mast cells.

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