Leptin/IL-1 Host Response

WASHINGTON, Jun 14 - Dr. Nancy J. Rothwell and her associates from the University of Manchester, UK reported in the June 8th Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that leptin induces production of the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) in the brain during the course of the infectious process in rats and mice.

In talking to repoters she is quoted as having said,

We know IL-1 is important in host defense responses. It's involved, for example, in fever and the feeling of sleepiness and in weight loss. We wanted to know whether leptin might also be involved in responses to disease and might be signalling the brain, not only about body weight, but also potentially as a mediator of responses to inflammation.

Even in normal rats, apparently, leptin injected into either (1) the cerebral 3rd or 4th ventricules or (2) peripherally switched on IL-1, dose-dependently increasing core body temperature and appetite suppression. Blocking IL-1 inhibited these responses to leptin. Moreover, "Leptin failed to affect food intake or body temperature in obese Zucker rats, which possess a defective leptin receptor."

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1999;96:7047-7052

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