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Cytokine. 2009 Dec;48(3):203-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

Expression patterns of leptin receptor (OB-R) isoforms and direct in vitro effects of recombinant leptin on OB-R, leptin expression and cytokine secretion by human hematopoietic malignant cells.

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Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Patras, Patras, Greece.


Several studies have implicated leptin in the pathophysiology of neoplasias. We investigated the direct effect of leptin on malignant hematopoietic tissue that included: primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, leukemic cell lines and bone marrow biopsies from multiple myeloma (MM) patients. PBMC, T-cells, B-cells and monocytes from healthy subjects served as controls. We defined the patterns of OB-R isoform expression in AML cells and leukemic cell lines in comparison to control cells by RT-PCR. rLeptin upregulated the expression of OB-R and endogenous leptin in AML blasts and certain cell lines but not in control cells. Cytometric Bead Array analysis of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines showed that rleptin upregulates IL-6 secretion by AML cells, various cytokines by the leukemic cell lines tested and IL-10 secretion by control PBMC, contributed by monocytes. Western immunoblotting revealed that the effect of rleptin was independent of JAK-2/phospho-JAK-2 protein levels. Finally, MM biopsies stained positive for leptin and, to a lesser extend, OB-R. Immunoreactivity was confined mostly to the nucleus of the myeloma cells. Normal myelocytes, promyelocytes and megakaryocytes stained weakly positive, and erythroid cells were constantly negative. We propose that the leptin/OB-R system is strongly and directly involved in supporting the growth of hematopoietic malignancies.

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