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Wang-Dong Xu, Yu-Jing Zhang, Hai-Feng Pan, Dong-Qing Ye*
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public
Health, Anhui Medical University, 81 Meishan Road, Hefei, Anhui, 230032,
*Correspondence: Dong-Qing Ye, M.D, Department of Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, 81
Meishan Road, Hefei, Anhui, 230032, PR China,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel.: +86 551 5167726; Fax: +86 551 5161171.
McMahon, et al1 have reported that high plasma leptin levels confer
increased risk of atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
patients, and are associated with inflammatory oxidised lipids. In the
study, leptin levels are significantly higher in patients than in
controls, which are also higher in the 43 SLE patients with plaque than
without plaque and associate with inflammatory biomarkers of
atherosclerosis such as piHDL (proinflammatory high-density lipoprotein),
Lp(a) and OxPL/apoB100, furthermore, age and hypertension, and so on.
In fact, relationship between leptin and SLE have been studied
increasingly both in humans and animal models, but different results
exist2-10. Hahn, et al4 developed a mouse model of multigenic lupus
exposed to environmental factors known to accelerate atherosclerosis in
humans--high-fat diet with or without injections of the leptin, where the
lupus-prone strain (BWF1 mice), addition of leptin increased
proinflammatory high-density lipoprotein scores, indicating the presence
of piHDL as well as atherosclerosis, accelerated proteinuria. Moreover,
several investigations have confirmed the higher leptin levles are
significantly associated with SLE compared to controls6,8,10, especially
the serum leptin levels with age, hypertension3,5,8,9, but Chung, et al5
found no significant relationship between leptin or adiponection levels
and coronary calcification in SLE pantients and controls. On contrary,
lower leptin levels in SLE patients4 or no statistically significant
differences between leptin levels in SLE patients and the controls7 are
discovered as well.
As is known, leptin belongs to the type I cytokine superfamily and
has an important role in regulating immune functions. Leptin protects T
lymphocytes from apoptosis and regulates T-cell proliferation and
activation, and influences cytokine production from T lymphocytes,
generally switching the phenotype toward a Th1 response 11-13.
Consequently, in order to better understand the link between SLE,
atherosclerosis and leptin, further to clarify the associaiton of leptin
and SLE based on large samples not only in humans, but in animals are
1. McMahon M, Skaggs BJ, Sahakian L, et al. High plasma leptin levels
confer increased risk of atherosclerosis in women with systemic lupus
erythematosus, and are associated with inflammatory oxidised lipids. Ann
Rheum Dis 2011;70:1619-24.
2. Hahn BH, Lourenco EV, McMahon M, et al. Pro-inflammatory high-
density lipoproteins and atherosclerosis are induced in lupus-prone mice
by a high-fat diet and leptin. Lupus 2010;19:913-7.
3. Kim HA, Choi GS, Jeon JY, et al. Leptin and ghrelin in Korean
systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus 2010;19:170-4.
4. De Sanctis JB, Zabaleta M, Bianco NE, et al. Serum adipokine
levels in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Autoimmunity 2009;42:272-4.
5. Chung CP, Long AG, Solus JF, et al. Adipocytokines in systemic
lupus erythematosus: relationship to inflammation, insulin resistance and
coronary atherosclerosis. Lupus 2009;18:799-806.
6. Vadacca M, Margiotta D, Rigon A, et al. Adipokines and systemic
lupus erythematosus: relationship with metabolic syndrome and
cardiovascular disease risk factors. J Rheumatol 2009;36:295-7.
7. Wisowska M, Rok M, StepieK, et al. Serum leptin in systemic lupus
erythematosus. Rheumatol Int 2008;28:467-73.
8. Ryan MJ, McLemore GR Jr, Hendrix ST. Insulin resistance and
obesity in a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus. Hypertension
9. Sada KE, Yamasaki Y, Maruyama M, et al. Altered levels of
adipocytokines in association with insulin resistance in patients with
systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 2006;33:1545-52.
10. Garcia-Gonzalez A, Gonzalez-Lopez L, Valera-Gonzalez IC, et al.
Serum leptin levels in women with systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol
11. Fantuzzi G. Adipose tissue, adipokines, and inflammation. J
Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;115:911-9.
12. Zhang Y, Proenca R, Maffei M, et al. Positional cloning of the
mouse obese gene and its human homologue. Nature 1994;372:425-32.
13. Busso N, So A, Chobaz-Peclat V, et al. Leptin signaling
deficiency impairs humoral and cellular immune responses and attenuates
experimental arthritis. J Immunol 2002;168:875-82.