, Volume 324, Issue 1-2, pp 13-20
Date: 13 Dec 2008

Exercise training decreases plasma leptin levels and the expression of hepatic leptin receptor-a, -b, and, -e in rats

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In addition to acting in the central nervous system, leptin also acts on peripheral tissues such as liver to provide a protection against lipid accretion. Previous evidence from human and animal model indicates that exercise training reduces circulating leptin levels beyond the changes in adiposity levels. Because liver is one of the main peripheral organs for leptin action, this present study was designed to determine whether leptin receptors expression in liver is changed by exercise training. Female rats trained (TR) or kept sedentary (Sed) for 8 weeks were submitted either to a standard (SD) diet for 8 weeks or for 6 weeks followed by 2 weeks of high-fat (HF) or high-carbohydrate (HC) feeding. Food intake, adiposity levels, circulating plasma leptin and insulin concentrations along with the hepatic expression of leptin receptors (ObR-a, -b, and -e) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma co-activator-1α (PGC-1α), were measured in all the animals. Intra-abdominal fat depots were increased under the HF but not under the HC diet. As expected, exercise training decreases intra-abdominal adiposity in animals fed with the SD and the HF diet, and to a lesser extent in HC-fed rats. Plasma leptin levels either expressed in absolute values or in values relative to adiposity levels were significantly (P < 0.05) increased with the HF diet and significantly decreased in TR animals, independently of the diet. Moreover, a significant (< 0.01) reduction in hepatic gene expression of ObR-a, -b and -e was found in TR animals in all the three diet conditions. PPARα and PGC-1α mRNAs were also decreased (P < 0.05) in TR animals in two out of three diet conditions. The present findings indicate that exercise training-induced decrease in plasma leptin levels is accompanied by a reduction in gene expression of three different isoforms of leptin receptors in liver.