Leptin is a major adipocyte-derived hormone that is involved in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. Plasma leptin concentrations are elevated in obese subjects, suggesting its pathophysiological role in obesity-related lifestyle-related diseases. We have recently succeeded in the generation of transgenic skinny mice overexpressing leptin. They exhibit increased glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity accompanied by a significant increase in insulin signaling for glucose utilization in the skeletal muscle and liver. They also show blood pressure elevation through the sympathetic activation. Introduction of the lethal yellow agouti (Ay) allele into transgenic skinny mice results in late-onset obesity and diabetes with blood pressure elevation similar to those found in nontransgenic agouti mice (Ay/+ mice). After caloric restriction, blood pressure elevation is reversed but insulin resistance still remains in Ay/+ mice in parallel with a reduction of plasma leptin concentrations. By contrast, blood pressure elevation is sustained but insulin resistance is reversed in transgenic mice overexpressing leptin with the Ay allele (Tg/+:Ay/+ mice), which remain hyperleptinemic. Collectively, our data suggest the pathophysiologic and therapeutic implication of leptin in obesity-related insulin resistance and hypertension.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism