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C Menendez, M Lage, R Peino, R Baldelli, P Concheiro, C Dieguez, and FF Casanueva

Leptin, the product of the ob gene, is secreted into the circulation by white adipose tissue; its major role being to participate in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Plasma leptin levels are mainly determined by the relative adiposity of the subject; however, the great dispersion of values for any given body mass index and the noteworthy gender-based differences indicate that other factors are operating. Steroid hormones actively participate in the regulation of leptin secretion; however, non-steroid nuclear hormones have either not been studied or have provided contradictory results. In order to understand the role of hormones of the non-steroid superfamily such as 3,5,3'-tri-iodothyronine (T(3)), vitamin D(3) and retinoic acid (RA) in the control of leptin secretion, in the present work doses of 10(-9), 10(-8) and 10(-7) M of these compounds have been studied on in vitro leptin secretion. The organ culture was performed with omental adipose tissue samples from healthy donors (n=28). T(3) was devoid of effect at any dose studied, while an inhibition of leptin secretion was observed with 9-cis-RA (slight) and all-trans-RA (potent). Interestingly, vitamin D(3) exerted a powerfully inhibitory role at the doses studied, and its action was synergistic with all-trans-RA. In conclusion, in vitro leptin secretion by human adipose tissue is negatively controlled by either RA or vitamin D(3). The clinical significance of leptin regulation by this superfamily of nuclear receptors remains to be ascertained.

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C Menendez, R Baldelli, JP Camina, B Escudero, R Peino, C Dieguez, and FF Casanueva

Leptin is a circulating hormone secreted by adipose tIssue which acts as a signal to the central nervous system where it regulates energy homeostasis and neuroendocrine processes. Although leptin modulates the secretion of several pituitary hormones, no information is available regarding a direct action of pituitary products on leptin release. However, it has been pointed out that leptin and TSH have a coordinated pulsatility in plasma. In order to test a direct action of TSH on in vitro leptin secretion, a systematic study of organ cultures of human omental adipose tIssue was performed in samples obtained at surgery from 34 patients of both sexes during elective abdominal surgery. TSH powerfully stimulated leptin secretion by human adipose tIssue in vitro. In contrast, prolactin, ACTH, FSH and LH were devoid of action. These results suggest that leptin and the thyroid axis maintain a complex and dual relationship and open the possibility that plasmatic changes in TSH may contribute to the regulation of leptin pulses.