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Smoking and adipose tissue inflammation suppress leptin expression in Japanese obese males: potential mechanism of resistance to weight loss among Japanese obese smokers

DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-10-3

Keywords: Leptin, Smoking, Low-grade inflammation, Nicotine, ICAM-1

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We compared the concentration of inflammatory markers and serum leptin levels among Japanese male subjects. Additionally, leptin and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) -1 gene expression was assessed in adipocytes co-cultured with or without macrophages in the presence or absence of nicotine and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS).In subjects with BMI below 25 kg/m2, both WBC counts and soluble-ICAM-1 levels are significantly higher in smokers than in non-smokers. However, leptin concentration did not differ according to smoking status. However, in subjects with BMI over 25 kg/m2, smokers exhibited significantly lower serum leptin level as well as higher WBC counts and s-ICAM-1 concentration as compared with non-smokers. Leptin gene expression was markedly suppressed in adipocytes co-cultured with macrophages than in adipocyte culture alone. Furthermore, nicotine further suppressed leptin gene expression. ICAM-1 gene expression was markedly up-regulated in adipocytes co-cultured with macrophages when stimulated with LPS.Adipose tissue inflammation appears to down-regulate leptin expression in adipose tissues. Nicotine further suppresses leptin expression. Thus, both smoking and inflammation may diminish leptin effect in obese subjects. Therefore, obese, but not normal weight, smokers might be more resistant to weight loss than non-smokers.Although there is no doubt that overall serum leptin concentration increases with increased body mass index and body fat content, there also observed large inter-individual differences in circulating leptin concentration even among obese subjects [1]. This may indicate production of leptin protein is regulated by various factors both at genetic and environmental levels. Among environmental factors, smoking appears to be one of such environmental factors, as smoking and its cessation have often been reported to be associated with low body mass index and weight gain [2]. However, previous reports on the effects of smoking on leptin level


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