Role of leptin as a link between metabolism and the immune system.
Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone not only with an important role in the central control of energy metabolism, but also with many pleiotropic effects in different physiological systems. One of these peripheral functions of leptin is a regulatory role in the interplay between energy metabolism and the immune system, being a cornerstone of the new field of immunometabolism. Leptin receptor is expressed throughout the immune system and the regulatory effects of leptin include cells from both the innate and adaptive immune system. Leptin is one of the adipokines responsible for the inflammatory state found in obesity that predisposes not only to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, but also to autoimmune and allergic diseases. Leptin is an important mediator of the immunosuppressive state in undernutrition status. Placenta is the second source of leptin and it may play a role in the immunomodulation during pregnancy. Finally, recent work has pointed to the participation of leptin and leptin receptor in the pathophysiology of inflammation in oral biology. Therefore, leptin and leptin receptor should be considered for investigation as a marker of inflammation and immune activation in the frontier of innate-adaptive system, and as possible targets for intervention in the immunometabolic mediated pathophysiology. KEYWORDS: Adaptive immunity; Inflammation; Innate immunity; Leptin; Leptin receptor