Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 433–439 | Cite as

Extra-adrenal glucocorticoids contribute to the postprandial increase of circulating leptin in mice

  • Yuka Tomabechi
  • Takeshi Tsuruta
  • Shinichi Saito
  • Martin Wabitsch
  • Kei SonoyamaEmail author
Research Article


Leptin, an adipokine secreted by white adipocytes, is known for its function in regulating food intake and energy expenditure, but the mechanisms regulating its circulating levels is not fully understood. Our previous findings suggest that as yet unidentified humoral factors released from enterocytes are involved. The present study tested glucocorticoids (GCs) as candidate factors. Supplementation of corticosterone and cortisol promoted leptin production in murine adipocytes from the 3T3-L1 cell strain and human adipocytes from the Simpson Golabi–Behmel syndrome (SGBS) cell strain, respectively. These changes were observed in the absence but not presence of the GC-receptor antagonist mifepristone. The cortisol concentration in conditioned medium (CM) of human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells was increased by phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate and decreased by metyrapone. When SGBS adipocytes were cultured in these CMs, leptin production was positively associated with cortisol concentrations. During a 2-h refeeding after fasting, plasma leptin levels continued to increase in sham-operated mice, transiently increased at 60 min in adrenalectomized mice, and were unchanged in mifepristone-administered mice. These results suggest that extra-adrenal GCs contribute to the GC-receptor signaling-dependent increase of postprandial circulating leptin, whereas further studies will be required to determine whether enterocytes participate in the GCs-mediated increase of postprandial circulating leptin.


Leptin Adipocyte Glucocorticoid Enterocyte 





Conditioned medium








Phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate


Real-time quantitative PCR


Simpson Golabi–Behmel syndrome



This study was supported in part by the Regional Innovation Strategy Support Program of the MEXT, and by the Center of Innovation Program Trial, Japan Science and Technology Agency.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The International CCN Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuka Tomabechi
    • 1
  • Takeshi Tsuruta
    • 2
  • Shinichi Saito
    • 3
  • Martin Wabitsch
    • 4
  • Kei Sonoyama
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Environmental and Life ScienceOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of MedicineYamaguchi UniversityUbeJapan
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  5. 5.Laboratory of Food Biochemistry, Research Faculty of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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