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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 16;107(11):4813-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909422107. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Leptin therapy in insulin-deficient type I diabetes.

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Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


In nonobese diabetic mice with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, leptin therapy alone or combined with low-dose insulin reverses the catabolic state through suppression of hyperglucagonemia. Additionally, it mimics the anabolic actions of insulin monotherapy and normalizes hemoglobin A1c with far less glucose variability. We show that leptin therapy, like insulin, normalizes the levels of a wide array of hepatic intermediary metabolites in multiple chemical classes, including acylcarnitines, organic acids (tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates), amino acids, and acyl CoAs. In contrast to insulin monotherapy, however, leptin lowers both lipogenic and cholesterologenic transcription factors and enzymes and reduces plasma and tissue lipids. The results imply that leptin administration may have multiple short- and long-term advantages over insulin monotherapy for type 1 diabetes.

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