, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 7-9
Date: 04 Oct 2009

Leptin therapy in lipodystrophy

This is an excerpt from the content

Although much maligned, fat is an essential organ with important mechanical and metabolic roles. Like many good things in life, too much (obesity) or too little of it (lipodystrophy) is unhealthy, whereas maintaining some reserve capacity (leanness) to buffer and accommodate modern eating habits is ideal. So why do we need some fat?

First, to store surplus energy as triacylglycerol and to buffer meal-related NEFA and triacylglycerol fluxes [1]. Second, to release energy in the form of NEFAs for use by other tissues during prolonged exercise or whilst fasting, and, third, to produce hormones such as leptin, which convey information about nutritional status to the brain and other tissues. In the case of leptin, low levels signal ‘starvation’ and trigger behavioural responses aimed at finding and eating more food, whereas rising levels reflect adequate energy stores and reduce food intake. Unfortunately, the human brain, possibly as a result of a predominant evolutionary drive to survive f ...