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Ci Ji Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2017 Oct-Dec;29(4):192-196. doi: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_123_17.

The association of serum leptin levels with metabolic diseases.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan.
School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan.


Leptin is a 167-amino-acid protein released by white adipose tissue and encoded by the obese gene. It has a role as a negative regulator of appetite control through sending a satiety signal to act on receptors within the hypothalamus. At normal levels, leptin can exert its effects on weight regulation according to white fat mass, induce sodium excretion, maintain vascular tone, and repair the myocardium. Beyond these effects, elevated serum leptin levels have been implicated in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and multiple cardiovascular diseases. In addition, hyperleptinemia had been reported to contribute to renal diseases through multiple mechanisms resulting in glomerulopathy presenting with a decreased glomerular filtration rate, increased albuminuria, and related clinical symptoms, which are pathophysiological features of chronic kidney disease. Because these cardiovascular and metabolic disorders are great challenges for physicians, understanding the related pathophysiological association with leptin might become a valuable aid in handling patients in daily clinical practice. This review will discuss the roles of leptin in the regulation of biological functions of multiple organs beyond the maintenance of feeding and metabolism.


Cardiovascular diseases; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes mellitus; Hypertension; Leptin

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