Modulation of Insulin Activities by Leptin

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Science  15 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5290, pp. 1185-1188
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5290.1185


Leptin mediates its effects on food intake through the hypothalamic form of its receptor OB-R. Variants of OB-R are found in other tissues, but their function is unknown. Here, an OB-R variant was found in human hepatic cells. Exposure of these cells to leptin, at concentrations comparable with those present in obese individuals, caused attenuation of several insulin-induced activities, including tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), association of the adapter molecule growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 with IRS-1, and down-regulation of gluconeogenesis. In contrast, leptin increased the activity of IRS-1-associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. These in vitro studies raise the possibility that leptin modulates insulin activities in obese individuals.

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