Vol 62, No 3 (2011)
Review paper
Published online: 2011-06-29

open access

Page views 844
Article views/downloads 2365
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

The role of leptin in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism

Krzysztof Tucholski, Ewa Otto-Buczkowska
Endokrynol Pol 2011;62(3):258-262.


The hormone leptin is secreted from white adipocytes, and serum levels of leptin correlate with adipose tissue mass. Leptin was first described as acting on the satiety centre in the hypothalamus through specific receptors (ob-R) to restrict food intake and enhance energy expenditure.
Leptin plays a crucial role in the maintenance of body weight and glucose homeostasis hrough central and peripheral pathways, including regulation of insulin secretion by pancreatic b cells. Leptin may also directly affect the metabolism and function of peripheral tissues. Leptin has been implicated in causing peripheral insulin resistance by attenuating insulin action, and perhaps insulin signalling, in various insulin-responsive cell types.
Research has demonstrated a significant relationship between leptin and insulin, but the mechanisms underlying the changes of leptin induced by insulin, and vice versa, remain to be studied in more detail.
Recent data provides convincing evidence that leptin has beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis in mouse models of insulin-deficient type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Our study suggests that leptin could be used as an adjunct of insulin therapy in insulin-deficient diabetes, thereby providing an insight into the therapeutic properties of leptin as an anti-diabetic agent. Safety evaluation should include a careful assessment of the effects of this combination therapy on the counterregulatory response to hypoglycaemia. The role of leptin in alpha-cell function has not been studied in detail. Extensive studies will be needed to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of this therapy. (Pol J Endocrinol 2011; 62 (3): 252–261)

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file