Presence of leptin receptors in rat small intestine and leptin effect on sugar absorption

FEBS Lett. 1998 Feb 27;423(3):302-6. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(98)00110-0.


Leptin is involved in food intake and thermogenesis regulation. Since leptin receptor expression has been found in several tissues including small intestine, a possible role of leptin in sugar absorption by the intestine was investigated. Leptin inhibited D-galactose uptake by rat small intestinal rings 33% after 5 min of incubation. The inhibition increased to 56% after 30 min. However, neither at 5 min nor at 30 min did leptin prevent intracellular galactose accumulation. This leptin effect was accompanied by a decrease of the active sugar transport apparent Vmax (20 vs. 4.8 micromol/g wet weight 5 min) and apparent Km (15.8 vs. 5.3 mM) without any change in the phlorizin-resistant component. On the other hand, immunohistochemical experiments using anti-leptin monoclonal antibodies recognized leptin receptors in the plasma membrane of immune cells located in the lamina propria. These results indicate for the first time that leptin has a rapid inhibitory effect on sugar absorption and demonstrate the presence of leptin receptors in the intestinal mucosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Galactose / pharmacokinetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Jejunum / cytology
  • Kinetics
  • Leptin
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Phlorhizin / pharmacology
  • Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Receptors, Leptin


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • Phlorhizin
  • Galactose