Objective: To examine whether changes of serum soluble leptin receptor levels (S-LEPR) can modify leptin half-life and its tissue effects. The aim of our study was to measure S-LEPR levels in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) before and 6 weeks after partial refeeding.
Methods: Anthropometric variables, serum leptin, S-LEPR, insulin, cortisol and TNF-alpha were measured in 15 AN patients before and after partial refeeding and 15 healthy control women.
Results: S-LEPR levels in AN patients were significantly higher than in healthy subjects (26.8 +/- 8.1 vs. 16.36+/-2.6U/mL, p < 0.01) and were not affected by partial refeeding (26.8 +/- 8.1 vs. 24.2 +/- 6.1 U/mL). In contrast, body mass index (BMI), body fat content, and serum leptin levels in AN patients increased significantly after partial refeeding. Except for the inverse relationship of S-LEPR levels to BMI and body fat content no clear relationship of this parameter to serum leptin, cortisol, insulin or TNF-alpha was found.
Conclusion: S-LEPR levels are significantly increased in AN patients and this increase is unaffected by partial refeeding. The possibility of etiological role of increased S-LEPR levels in AN patients by affecting leptin central and/or peripherial effects should be further elucidated.