Leptin increases prostate cancer aggressiveness

J Physiol Biochem. 2011 Dec;67(4):531-8. doi: 10.1007/s13105-011-0098-y. Epub 2011 May 11.


Recent studies indicate that adipose tissue and adipocytokines might affect the development of prostate cancer (PCa). Leptin would have a stimulating effect on prostate cancer cells by inducing promotion and progression, whereas adiponectin would have a protective effect. The aim of this study was to determine the relation between body composition, leptin, and adiponectin levels with the prevalence and aggressiveness of PCa in men of Mendoza, Argentina. Seventy volunteers between 50 and 80 years (35 healthy men as control group and 35 with PCa) were selected. The PCa group was subclassified according to the Gleason Score (GS). Digital rectal examination, transrectal ultrasound, and prostatic biopsy were performed; PSA, testosterone, leptin, and adiponectin levels were determined; and a nutritional interview including anthropometric measurements and a food frequency questionnaire was carried out. Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test, ANOVA I, and Bonferroni (p < 0.05). Body mass index and percentage of body fat mass were not statistically different between PCa and control groups. However, body fat mass was higher in subjects with more aggressive tumors (p = 0.032). No differences were observed regarding leptin levels between the groups. Nevertheless, leptin levels were higher in subjects with high GS (p < 0.001). Adiponectin levels showed no statistical differences regarding the presence and aggressiveness of the tumor (p = 0.131). Finally, consumption and nutrient intake did not differ in the studied groups. In conclusion, body composition and leptin are related to the PCa aggressiveness but not with its prevalence.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Leptin / biosynthesis
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • prostate-specific antigen (146-154)
  • Testosterone
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen