Leptin signaling and obesity: cardiovascular consequences

Circ Res. 2007 Sep 14;101(6):545-59. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.107.156596.


Leptin, among the best known hormone markers for obesity, exerts pleiotropic actions on multiple organ systems. In this review, we summarize major leptin signaling pathways, namely Janus-activated kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription and mitogen-activated protein kinase, including possible mechanisms of leptin resistance in obesity. The effects of leptin on the cardiovascular system are discussed in detail, including its contributions to hypertension, atherosclerosis, depressed myocardial contractile function, fatty acid metabolism, hypertrophic remodeling, and reduction of ischemic/reperfusion injury. The overall goal is to summarize current understanding of how altered leptin signaling in obesity contributes to obesity-related cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Leptin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects


  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Leptin