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Differences in leptin biosynthesis in the stomach and in serum leptin level between men and women

Irena Kasacka, Żaneta Piotrowska, Michał Niezgoda, Wojciech Łebkowski
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2019 April 24

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Although the stomach has been identified as important source of leptin, detailed biosynthesis sites of leptin in human gastrointestinal tract has not been fully elucidated. The study objective was to compare leptin distribution and expression in the stomach and its serum level between healthy men and women.

METHODS: Nineteen subjects (organ donors; 10 men and 9 women) with normal gastric mucosa histology were recruited. Research material contained gastric samples from the cardia, fundus and pyloric regions. Gastric mucosa leptin content and leptin gene expression were determined by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR method. Plasma leptin level was measured using ELISA method.

RESULTS: In the stomach of healthy adult subjects, leptin-immunoreactive cells were mainly found in the fundus, and the number of immunoreactive cells was higher in women than in men. Leptin-containing cells were less numerous in the cardia and pylorus mucosa. Similarly, leptin gene expression was the highest in the fundus and higher in women than in men. Serum leptin level was higher in women than in men, and was found to correlate positively with BMI and weight in both sexes. A negative correlation between leptin level and age was noted in women, but not in men.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study is the first to provide evidence for the presence of leptin-containing cells in all segments of the human stomach. The differences in gastric leptin biosynthesis and serum leptin levels between men and women suggest that leptin secretion can be controlled by sex hormones or other unknown factors.


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