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Leptin levels are increased and its negative regulators, SOCS-3 and sOb-R are decreased in obese patients with osteoarthritis: a link between obesity and osteoarthritis
  1. Katriina Vuolteenaho1,
  2. Anna Koskinen1,
  3. Teemu Moilanen1,2,
  4. Eeva Moilanen1
  1. 1The Immunopharmacology Research Group, University of Tampere School of Medicine and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
  2. 2Coxa Hospital for Joint Replacement, Tampere, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katriina Vuolteenaho, The Immunopharmacology Research Group, University of Tampere, School of Medicine, FI-33014, Tampere, Finland; katriina.vuolteenaho{at}

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Leptin is a hormone originally discovered in white adipocytes which regulates energy metabolism and appetite. Obese individuals have increased levels of circulating leptin, as compared with their non-obese counterparts, and in mouse models, leptin deficiency causes morbid obesity.1 However, due to the appearance of leptin resistance in the hypothalamus, increased blood levels of leptin in obese subjects fail to induce the expected responses to high leptin, that is, increased energy expenditure, reduced food intake and decreased body weight.2 Leptin resistance has been shown to be mediated by an increased expression of the suppressor of cytokine signalling-3 (SOCS-3).1 ,2

Obesity has been thought to contribute to the development of osteoarthritis (OA) by increasing the load on weight-bearing joints. However, this appears to be an over-simplification, since obesity is also linked to …

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  • Funding The Academy of Finland, the Competitive Research Funding of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Päivikki ja Sakari Sohlberg Foundation.

  • Competing interest None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study is approved by the Ethics Committee of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Finland.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.