Context: Congenital leptin deficiency is a very rare cause of severe early-onset obesity. We recently characterized a mutation in the leptin gene (p.D100Y), which was associated with detectable leptin levels and bioinactivity of the hormone.
Case description: We now describe two siblings, a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy with severe early-onset obesity and hyperphagia, both homozygous for a c.309C>A substitution in the leptin gene leading to a p.N103K amino acid exchange in the protein and detectable circulating levels of leptin. In vitro experiments in a heterologous cell system demonstrated that the mutated protein was biologically inactive. Treatment with sc recombinant human leptin led to rapid improvement of eating behavior and weight loss.
Conclusions: Sequencing of the leptin gene may need to be considered in hyperphagic, severely obese children with detectable levels of circulating leptin.