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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec;16(Suppl 3):S577-87. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.105575.

Leptin in pediatrics: A hormone from adipocyte that wheels several functions in children.

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Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Clinical Chemistry, Hamad Medical Center (HMC), Doha-Qatar, HMC, Qatar ; College of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.


The protein leptin, a pleiotropic hormone regulates appetite and energy balance of the body and plays important roles in controlling linear growth, pubertal development, cardiovascular function, and immunity. Recent findings in the understanding of the structure, functional roles, and clinical significance of conditions with increased and decreased leptin secretion are summarized. Balance between leptin and other hormones is significantly regulated by nutritional status. This balance influences many organ systems, including the brain, liver, and skeletal muscle, to mediate the essential adaptation process. The aim of this review is to summarize the possible physiological functions of leptin and its signaling pathways during childhood and adolescence including control of food intake, energy regulation, growth and puberty, and immunity. Moreover, its secretion and possible roles in the adaptation process during different disease states (obesity, malnutrition, eating disorders, delayed puberty, congenital heart diseases and hepatic disorders) are discussed. The clinical manifestations and the successful management of patients with genetic leptin deficiency and the application of leptin therapy in other diseases including lipodystrophy, states with severe insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus are discussed.


Energy metabolism; growth; immunity; leptin; malnutrition; obesity; overfeeding

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