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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 562-568

Regulatory role of leptin in glucose and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Aichi - 444-8787, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Yasuhiko Minokoshi
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Aichi - 444-8787
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Leptin is a hormone secreted by adipocytes that plays a pivotal role in regulation of food intake, energy expenditure, and neuroendocrine function. Several lines of evidences indicate that independent of the anorexic effect, leptin regulates glucose and lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues in rodents and humans. It has been shown that leptin improves the diabetes phenotype in lipodystrophic patients and rodents. Moreover, leptin suppresses the development of severe, progressive impairment of glucose metabolism in insulin-deficient diabetes in rodents. We found that leptin increases glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle in rats and mice in vivo. Leptin increases glucose uptake in skeletal muscle via the hypothalamic-sympathetic nervous system axis and β-adrenergic mechanism, while leptin stimulates fatty acid oxidation in muscle via AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Leptin-induced fatty acid oxidation results in the decrease of lipid accumulation in muscle, which can lead to functional impairments called as "lipotoxicity." Activation of AMPK occurs by direct action of leptin on muscle and through the medial hypothalamus-sympathetic nervous system and α-adrenergic mechanism. Thus, leptin plays an important role in the regulation of glucose and fatty acid metabolism in skeletal muscle.

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