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Leptin IRMA Test

ProductsLeptin IRMA Test
Company Diagnostic Systems Laboratories, Inc.
Item Leptin IRMA Test
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Description Leptin is a proteohormone with a molecular weight of 16 kDa. Leptin is a protein encoded by the ob gene and produced by adipocytes [1,2]. Leptin is thought to play a key role in the regulation of body weight [1-3]. In the human, leptin levels are elevated with increasing adiposity in both men and women [4]. A relationship between serum leptin levels and several measures of adiposity (e.g. body mass index (BMI) or percent body fat) demonstrates that leptin levels are elevated even in obese patients. The failure of these elevated leptin levels to alter the obese state of these individuals may be related to a leptin resistance and an inability of leptin to enter the cerebral spinal fluid to reach sites in the hypothalamus to regulate appetite. Involvement of a leptin receptor or carrier protein in this kind of regulation has been suggested. Serum leptin levels follow a circadian rhythm, which seems to be regulated predominantly by postprandial increases in insulin and the normal circadian rhythm of cortisol. Although these hormones do not work in the short term, the long-term administration both in vivo and in vitro indicates that these two hormones may be some of the major regulators of leptin production by adipose tissue. Without an understanding of leptin regulation and how to circumvent leptin resistance, the use of leptin to treat the obese individual remains a question for future research. Leptin levels have been shown to change under certain endocrine conditions. For example when leptin levels are expressed per body adiposity, females have higher leptin levels than do males. This may be related to the distribution of adipose tissue where omental fat vs. subcutaneous fat, which differs between gender, may have different leptin production rates. The nature of circulating leptin has not been fully explored but the suggestion that it is bound to a circulating protein has been presented. Whether this is a separate protein or represents a circulating form of the leptin receptor remains to be investigated but this may be an important form of regulation to explain rapid changes in serum leptin levels that may occur. Some examples of rapid changes in leptin levels would be starvation and forced feeding where changes within 24 to 48 hours are readily observed in serum leptin concentrations. Similarly, there are rapid declines postpartum suggesting that something other than the amount of adipose tissue may regulate circulating levels of leptin. Many areas of leptin physiology remain to be investigated. Leptins role in metabolism, insulin sensitivity, as a potential therapeutic modality for weight loss as well as its involvement in endocrine function are active areas of research. While the future for leptin as a therapeutic agent is not clear, its involvement in many areas of physiology undoubtedly makes this a new hormone which will require extensive study in the next few years to understand its physiology.

  1. Blum WF., Englaro P., Hanitsch s., et. al.: Plasma Leptin Levels in Healthy Children and Adolescents: Dependence on Body Mass Index, Body Fat Mass, Gender, Pubertal Stage, and Testosterone. J Clin Endoc and Metab. 82: 2904, 1997.
  2. Harigaya A., Nagashima K., Nako Y., and Morikawa A.: Relationship Between Concentration of Serum Leptin and Fetal Growth. J Clin. Endoc. and Metab. 82. 3281, 1997
  3. Pelleymounter, MA, et al.: Effects of the obese gene product on body weight regulation in ob/ob mice. Science 269:540-543, 1995.
  4. Considine RV, et al.: Serum immunoreactive-leptin concentrations in normal-weight and obese humans. N Engl J Med. 334:292-295, 1996.
Info Diagnostic Systems Laboratories, Inc.
Customer Service: (800) 231-7970
Web site: http://www.dslabs.com

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