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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Sep;82(9):3084-6.

Interleukin 1 alpha increases serum leptin concentrations in humans.

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Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1906, USA.


Leptin, the protein product of the ob gene, regulates appetite and body weight in animals. Endotoxin and cytokines, induced by endotoxin, interleukin (IL) 1 and tumor necrosis factor, increase expression of leptin in mice and hamsters. We measured serum leptin concentrations in patients with cancer before and after administration of recombinant human IL-1 alpha. Fourteen patients received IL-1 alpha at one of three dose levels (0.03, 0.1, or 0.3 microgram/ for 5 days. Serum leptin concentrations increased in all but two patients within 24 h after the first dose. The increase in leptin was correlated directly with IL-1 alpha dose (P = 0.0030). Despite continued administration of IL-1 alpha, serum leptin concentrations returned to pretreatment levels by day 5 of therapy. An increase in serum leptin concentrations may be one mechanism by which anorexia is induced by IL-1 alpha. However, tachyphylaxis of the leptin response suggests that other mechanisms also are involved.

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