In this review we discuss the mechanisms for the pleotropic effects of leptin replacement therapy to reverse liver and muscle insulin resistance in lipodystrophic individuals, as well as insulin-independent effects of leptin replacement therapy to suppress white adipose tissue lipolysis, hepatic gluconeogenesis and fasting hyperglycaemia in rodent models of poorly controlled diabetes. On the basis of these studies we conclude with a view of the potential therapeutic applications of leptin replacement therapy in humans. This review summarises a presentation given at the 'Is leptin coming back?' symposium at the 2015 annual meeting of the EASD. It is accompanied by two other reviews on topics from this symposium (by Thomas Meek and Gregory Morton, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3898-3 , and by Christoffer Clemmensen and colleagues, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3906-7 ) and an overview by the Session Chair, Ulf Smith (DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3894-7 ).
Keywords: Diabetic ketoacidosis; Leptin; Lipodystrophy; Review; Type 1 diabetes.