Leptin is a 16 kDa protein hormone involved in food intake, energy expenditure regulation and numerous other physiological processes. Recently, leptin has been demonstrated to stimulate hematopoietic stem cells in vitro. The aim of our study was to measure serum leptin and erythropoietin levels in patients with sideropenic (n = 18) and pernicious anemia (n=7) before and during anemia treatment. Blood samples for the blood count, leptin and erythropoietin determinations were obtained by venepunction at the time of the diagnosis of anemia and after partial and complete anemia recovery. The relationships of serum leptin levels to erythropoietin levels and blood count parameters were also studied. No significant differences in serum leptin levels between the groups studied were found. The serum leptin levels in none of groups were modified by treatment of anemia (basal levels, the levels during treatment and after anemia recovery were 13.1+/-14.5 vs 12.8+/-15.6 vs 12.0+/-14.8 ng/ml in patients with sideropenic anemia and 7.8+/-8.5 vs 9.5+/-10.0 vs 8.9+/-6.6 ng/ml in patients with pernicious anemia). The erythropoietin levels were higher at the time of anemia in both groups and decreased significantly after partial or complete recovery. Serum leptin levels in both groups correlated positively with the body mass index. No significant relationships were found between serum leptin levels and erythropoietin values or various parameters of the peripheral blood count. We conclude that serum leptin levels in patients with sideropenic and pernicious anemia positively correlate with the body mass index but are not influenced by the treatment of anemia.