LEPTIN, A RAILROAD SWITCH ENABLING CROSSOVER SIGNALS AMONG INFLAMMATION, IMMUNITY AND METABOLISM
Javier Conde, Morena Scotece, Rodolfo Gómez, Juan J. Gómez-Reino, Francisca Lago, and Oreste Gualillo (Spain)
White adipose tissue is currently considered as an active endocrine organ that secretes a plethora of factors named adipokines, some of them being of pro-inflammatory nature that likely contribute to the low-level systemic inflammation, a status that is often present in metabolic syndrome-associated chronic pathologies such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Leptin is historically indisputably one of the most important adipokine secreted by fat cells, with a variety of physiological roles ranging from to the control of metabolism, energy homeostasis and inflammatory response to cognition. Leptin is also implicated in the connection between nutritional status and immune competence, modulating both the innate and adaptive immune responses in normal as well as pathological conditions. It has been shown that conditions characterized by low leptin levels are associated with increased infection susceptibility. Conversely, immune-mediated disorders such as autoimmune diseases are associated with increased secretion of leptin and production of proinflammatory cytokines. Thus, leptin can be easily considered as a frank mediator of metabolic and inflammatory/immune responses.
Adipobiology 2010; 2:33-40
Key words: leptin, inflammation, immune system, Th1 cells, Th2, autoimmune diseases
Received 17 December 2010, accepted 28 December 2010.
Correspondence: Dr Oreste Gualillo, Research Laboratory 9 (NEIRID LAB, Laboratory of Neuroendocrine Interactions in
Rheumatology and Inflammation Disease), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Building C, Level 2, Calle Choupana s/n, 15706,
Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Tel./ Fax: +34 981 950 905,
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