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Front Physiol. 2018 Jun 1;9:640. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00640. eCollection 2018.

Obesity, Fat Mass and Immune System: Role for Leptin.

Author information

1
The NEIRID Group (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Servizo Galego de Saude and Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2
Servizo Galego de Saude, Division of Rheumatology, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
3
Epidemiology, Genetics and Atherosclerosis Research Group on Systemic Inflammatory Diseases, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Universidad de Cantabria and IDIVAL, Santander, Spain.
4
Musculoskeletal Pathology Group, Servizo Galego de Saude and Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Abstract

Obesity is an epidemic disease characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation associated with a dysfunctional fat mass. Adipose tissue is now considered an extremely active endocrine organ that secretes cytokine-like hormones, called adipokines, either pro- or anti-inflammatory factors bridging metabolism to the immune system. Leptin is historically one of most relevant adipokines, with important physiological roles in the central control of energy metabolism and in the regulation of metabolism-immune system interplay, being a cornerstone of the emerging field of immunometabolism. Indeed, leptin receptor is expressed throughout the immune system and leptin has been shown to regulate both innate and adaptive immune responses. This review discusses the latest data regarding the role of leptin as a mediator of immune system and metabolism, with particular emphasis on its effects on obesity-associated metabolic disorders and autoimmune and/or inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); adipokines; adipose tissue; immunometabolism; leptin; metabolism; rheumatic diseases; rheumatoid arthritis

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