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Tunis Med. 2010 Aug;88(8):569-72.

Relationship between subcutaneous adipose tissue expression of leptin and obesity in Tunisian patients.

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Laboratoire de Génétique, Immunologie et Pathologies Humaines, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Turnis, Université Tunis-el Manar, Tunisie.



The incidence of obesity has dramatically increased in overall the world. It is a consequence of imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Leptin is a fat derived adipokine that has emerged over the past decade as a key hormone in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. Elevated leptin levels are found in obese humans, suggesting a role of leptin in regulating body weight and adiposity.


The aim of this study was to investigate the change of leptin mRNA expression level and its correlation with obesity and several metabolic variables in Tunisian patients.


Real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) analysis was carried out among two groups who underwent an abdominal surgery: controls (n = 9) and obese patients (n = 7).


Leptin mRNA expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue was markedly increased in obese patients (p < 0.01). It was positively correlated with measures of obesity waist circumference (WC) (r = 0, 71, p < 0.01) and body mass index (BMI) (r = 0, 68, p < 0.01). Interestingly, leptin gene expression was also correlated to insulin resistance index (r = 0, 72, p < 0.01).


The present study is the first investigation of leptin regulation in subcutaneous adipose tissue of Tunisian population. Our data showed that leptin levels are higher in obese subjects than in control subjects. This indicates that the subcutaneous adipose plays an important role in impaired adipokine regulation, and consequently in developing metabolic disorder.

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