Leptin is an adipokine directly correlated with the proinflammatory obese-associated phenotype. Leptin has been demonstrated to inhibit adipogenesis, promote fat demarcation, promote a chronic inflammatory state, increase insulin sensitivity, and promote angiogenesis. Leptin, a regulator of the immune response, is implicated in the pathology of asthma. Studies involved in the key cell reaction and animal models of asthma have provided vital insights into the proinflammatory role of leptin in asthma. Many studies described the immune cell and related cellular pathways activated by leptin, which are beneficial in asthma development and increasing exacerbations. Subsequent studies relating to animal models support the role of leptin in increasing inflammatory cell infiltration, airway hyperresponsiveness, and inflammatory responses. However, the conclusive effects of leptin in asthma are not well elaborated. In the present study, we explored the general functions and the clinical cohort study supporting the association between leptin and asthma. The main objective of our review is to address the knowns and unknowns of leptin on asthma. In this perspective, the arguments about the different faces of leptin in asthma are provided to picture the potential directions, thus yielding a better understanding of asthma development.
Keywords: asthma; inflammation; leptin; obesity.