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FEBS Lett. 1998 Feb 27;423(3):302-6.

Presence of leptin receptors in rat small intestine and leptin effect on sugar absorption.

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Department of Physiology and Nutrition, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


Leptin is involved in food intake and thermogenesis regulation. Since leptin receptor expression has been found in several tissues including small intestine, a possible role of leptin in sugar absorption by the intestine was investigated. Leptin inhibited D-galactose uptake by rat small intestinal rings 33% after 5 min of incubation. The inhibition increased to 56% after 30 min. However, neither at 5 min nor at 30 min did leptin prevent intracellular galactose accumulation. This leptin effect was accompanied by a decrease of the active sugar transport apparent Vmax (20 vs. 4.8 micromol/g wet weight 5 min) and apparent Km (15.8 vs. 5.3 mM) without any change in the phlorizin-resistant component. On the other hand, immunohistochemical experiments using anti-leptin monoclonal antibodies recognized leptin receptors in the plasma membrane of immune cells located in the lamina propria. These results indicate for the first time that leptin has a rapid inhibitory effect on sugar absorption and demonstrate the presence of leptin receptors in the intestinal mucosa.

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