White adipose tissue is currently considered to be an active endocrine organ that secretes a plethora of factors named adipokines, most of them proinflammatory in nature, which probably contribute to low-level systemic inflammation; a state that is often present in metabolic syndrome-associated chronic pathologies such as obesity and atherosclerosis. Leptin is historically and indisputably one of the most important adipokines secreted by fat cells, with a variety of physiological roles related to the control of metabolism, energy homeostasis and inflammatory response. One of these functions is the connection between nutritional status and immune competence. Indeed, leptin has been shown to modulate both the innate and adaptive immune responses in both normal and pathological conditions. It has been shown that conditions characterized by low leptin levels are associated with increased susceptibility to infection. Conversely, immune-mediated disorders, such as autoimmune diseases, are associated with increased secretion of leptin and the production of proinflammatory pathogenic cytokines. Thus, leptin can easily be considered a frank mediator of the inflammatory/immune response.
At the crossroad between immunity and metabolism: focus on leptin. At the crossroad between immunity and metabolism: focus on leptin. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010 October Research laboratory 9 (NEIRID LAB: Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammation Disease), Building C, Level -2, Institute of Medical Research (IDIS), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Calle Choupana s/n, Santiago de Compostela, 15706,