Increased leptin and A-FABP levels in relapsing and progressive forms of MS

BMC Neurol. 2013 Nov 11;13:172. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-13-172.


Background: Leptin and adipocyte-fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) are produced by white adipose tissue and may play a role in chronic inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). To assess leptin and A-FABP in relapsing and progressive forms of MS.

Methods: Adipokine levels were measured in untreated adult relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS) and Healthy control (HC). Pediatric-onset MS (POMS) and pediatric healthy controls (PHC) were also assessed. Leptin and A-FABP levels were measured in serum by ELISA. Groups were compared using linear mixed-effects model.

Results: Excluding two patients with Body Mass Index (BMI) > 50, a significant difference in leptin level was found between RRMS and HC controlling for age (p = 0.007), SPMS and HC controlling for age alone (p = 0.002), or age and BMI (p = 0.007). A-FABP levels were higher in SPMS than HC (p = 0.007), controlling for age and BMI. Differences in A-FABP levels between POMS and PHC was observed after controlling for age (p = 0.019), but not when BMI was added to the model (p = 0.081).

Conclusion: Leptin and A-FABP levels are highest in SPMS compared to HC, suggesting a role in pathogenesis of this disease subtype. A-FABP levels are increased in POMS patients and may play a role in the early stages of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / blood*


  • Leptin