The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin has been reported to inhibit, have no effect, or potentiate insulin secretion in-vitro; these effects mainly depend on the species considered, the concentrations used, and the length of exposure. We investigated the direct effects of recombinant human leptin (HL) on human pancreatic beta cell function by studying insulin secretion (IS), hexokinase and glucokinase activity and Km, and potassium channel permeability in purified human islets (HI). In acute experiments, no effect of 1, 5, 20, or 50 ng/ml HL on glucose or arginine stimulated insulin release was found, whereas 500 ng/ml HL caused a significant decrease of glucose induced IS. After 24h pre-culture with either 20 or 500 ng/ml HL, a significant reduction of glucose (but not arginine) stimulated IS was observed. Exposure to leptin caused a significant increase of potassium channel permeability, whereas hexokinase and glucokinase activity and Km remained unchanged. These results suggest that physiological human leptin concentration is able to importantly affect glucose (but not arginine) stimulated insulin release from human islets only after prolonged exposure. This effect is probably mediated by changes of potassium channel permeability, and is not accompanied by modifications of glucose phosphorylating enzymes properties.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.