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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jan;276(1):R136-42. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.276.1.R136.

Leptin deficiency enhances sensitivity to endotoxin-induced lethality.

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Metabolism Section, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.


Leptin is induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and cytokines. We investigated the role of leptin in LPS-induced toxicity using leptin-deficient (ob/ob) and leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice. Sensitivity to LPS-induced mortality is significantly greater in ob/ob mice compared with their own lean littermates but not in db/db mice. LPS reduced serum glucose in both ob/ob and db/db mice but induced corticosterone only in db/db mice. Despite the very high basal levels of serum leptin in db/db mice, a twofold increase in serum leptin levels was observed after LPS in both db/db mice and their lean littermates. No differences were detected in LPS-induced serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, tumor necrosis factor, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, and interferon-gamma in ob/ob mice compared with their own littermates. In contrast, a blunted induction of IL-10 and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) was observed in ob/ob mice compared with their littermates. In vitro, leptin induced IL-1Ra production and upregulated the IL-1Ra induction by LPS in macrophages. Moreover, treatment with leptin reversed the increased sensitivity to LPS-induced lethality found in ob/ob mice. These results suggest that leptin participates in the host response to inflammation by modulating the host immune and cytokine responses after LPS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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