ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 12 P49

Relation of free and bound leptin and the soluble leptin receptor to metabolic and inflammatory responses in patients with liver cirrhosis

J Ockenga1, UJF Tietge2, MJ Bahr3 & G Brabant4

1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Endocrinology, Charite, Berlin, Germany; 2Center for Liver, Digesti, University of Groningenve and Metabolic Diseases, Groningen, Netherlands; 3Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany; 4Dept. of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Leptin circulates as a free (FL) and a protein-bound (BL) form, with the soluble leptin receptor (LR) as an important binding compound. This study was set out to address the distinct role of the leptin components in the metabolic and inflammatory tissue-repair response in patients with liver cirrhosis.


We investigated hepatic substrate and leptin metabolism in 40 cirrhotics employing a combination of arterial and hepatic vein catheterisation technique and hepatic blood flow measurements. Next to metabolic, inflammatory, and neuroendocrine parameters, FL, BL, and sLR were determined by specific radioimmunassays.


Whereas Fl was not increased, BL and sLR were significantly elevated in cirrhotics compared to matched controls. BL was correlated to sLR only in cirrhotics (r=0.70,P<0.001). FL was linked to metabolic parameters like energy storage (body fat mass; r=0.36, P<0.05), insulin and insulin resistance (r=0.48; r=0.46, P<0.01) as well as hepatic glucose and energy release (r=0.35 and r=0.40, P<0.05). In contrast, BL and sLR were linked to proinflammatory cytokines and sympathetic activity (r=0.61 and r=0.56, P<0.01). In addition, we found evidence, that the liver may be involved in generation of sLR and BL.


Our data suggest that the components of the leptin system FL, BL, and sLR have distinct roles in metabolic and inflammatory processes in patients with liver cirrhosis and that the liver is capable to modulate the leptin system and its biological capacity. The better understanding of this metabolic and inflammatory tissue-repair response may lead to innovative new therapy strategies in liver disease.

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