Leptin, which is secreted by adipocytes, the placenta and the stomach, not only controls appetite through leptin receptors in the hypothalamus but also regulates cell-mediated immunity. In this study we have demonstrated that continuous injection of leptin prevents the reduction in lymphocyte numbers normally observed in fasted and steroid-injected mice. Consistent with leptin-induced protection, we observed up-regulation of the bcl-xL gene as a result of signal transduction via leptin receptors on lymphocytes. We suggest that leptin might contribute to the recovery of immune suppression in malnourished mice by inhibiting lymphocyte apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy