Exogenous leptin restores in vitro T cell proliferation and cytokine synthesis in patients with common variable immunodeficiency syndrome

Clin Immunol. 2005 Feb;114(2):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2004.09.002.


Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by hypogammaglobulinemia. Leptin has been implicated as an antiapoptotic compound as well as a stimulant of the immune response. Leptin administration is capable of reversing the immune deficiency that occurs upon starvation. We investigated a possible role for leptin in CVID; a condition associated with lowered plasma leptin levels. Thirty-eight patients were studied. Addition of leptin to the tissue culture media of PBMC from CVID patients increased the proliferative response of lymphocytes to mitogens and decreased activation-induced apoptosis of these cells. IL-2 and specially IL-4 production also increased significantly upon addition of leptin to the PBMC cultures. Our results suggest that leptin may be involved in some of the cellular defects observed in CVID and indicate a novel therapeutic strategy to improve immune function in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / drug therapy*
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Leptin / therapeutic use*
  • Linear Models
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Interleukin-2
  • Leptin
  • Interleukin-4