What fans the fire: insights into mechanisms of leptin in metabolic syndrome-associated heart diseases

Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(4):652-8. doi: 10.2174/138161282004140213160930.

Abstract

Obesity and metabolic syndrome are one of the most devastating risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The obesity gene product leptin plays a central role in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. The physiological and pathophysiological roles of leptin in cardiovascular system have been investigated extensively since its discovery in 1994. In addition to its well-established metabolic effects, more recent evidence have depicted a rather pivotal role of leptin in inflammation, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis and tissue remodeling en route to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance. Under physiological condition, leptin is known to reduce appetite, promote energy expenditure, increase sympathetic activity, facilitate glucose utilization and improve insulin sensitivity. In addition, leptin may regulate cardiac and vascular function through a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism. However, hyperleptinemia usually occurs with progressively increased body weight and metabolic syndrome development, leading to a state of global or selective leptin resistance. Both central and peripheral leptin resistance may be present under pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and a cadre of other cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity, ischemic heart disease and heart failure. In this review, we will discuss cardiovascular actions of leptin related to various components of metabolic syndrome. Particular emphasis will be given to insights derived from therapeutic interventions with lifestyle modification, cardiovascular drugs, anti-diabetic and anti-obesity drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Heart Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Leptin / blood
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Receptors, Leptin / agonists*
  • Receptors, Leptin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*

Substances

  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • leptin receptor, human