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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Leptin receptors are expressed in coronary arteries, and hyperleptinemia causes significant coronary endothelial dysfunction.

Obesity is associated with marked increases in plasma leptin concentration, and hyperleptinemia is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. As a result, the purpose of this investigation was to test the following hypotheses: 1) leptin receptors are expressed in coronary endothelial cells; and 2) hyperleptinemia induces coronary endothelial dysfunction. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the leptin receptor gene is expressed in canine coronary arteries and human coronary endothelium. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry demonstrated that the long-form leptin receptor protein (ObRb) is present in human coronary endothelium. The functional effects of leptin were determined using pressurized coronary arterioles (<130 microm) isolated from Wistar rats, Zucker rats, and mongrel dogs. Leptin induced pharmacological vasodilation that was abolished by denudation and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and was absent in obese Zucker rats. Intracoronary leptin dose-response experiments were conducted in anesthetized dogs. Normal and obese concentrations of leptin (0.1-3.0 microg/min ic) did not significantly change coronary blood flow or myocardial oxygen consumption; however, obese concentrations of leptin significantly attenuated the dilation to graded intracoronary doses of acetylcholine (0.3-30.0 microg/min). Additional experiments were performed in canine coronary rings, and relaxation to acetylcholine (6.25 nmol/l-6.25 micromol/l) was significantly attenuated by obese concentrations of leptin (625 pmol/l) but not by physiological concentrations of leptin (250 pmol/l). The major findings of this investigation were as follows: 1) the ObRb is present in coronary arteries and coupled to pharmacological, nitric oxide-dependent vasodilation; and 2) hyperleptinemia produces significant coronary endothelial dysfunction.[1]


  1. Leptin receptors are expressed in coronary arteries, and hyperleptinemia causes significant coronary endothelial dysfunction. Knudson, J.D., Dincer, U.D., Zhang, C., Swafford, A.N., Koshida, R., Picchi, A., Focardi, M., Dick, G.M., Tune, J.D. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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