Leptin has direct effects not only on neuroendocrine function and metabolism, but also on T cell-mediated immunity. We report in this study that leptin receptor (ObR) is expressed on resting normal mouse CD4+, CD8+, B cells, and monocyte/macrophages. ObR expression is up-regulated following cell activation, but with different kinetics, in different lymphocyte subsets. Leptin binding to ObR results in increased STAT-3 activation in T cells, with a different activation pattern in resting vs anti-CD3 Ab stimulated T cells. Leptin also promotes lymphocyte survival in vitro by suppressing Fas-mediated apoptosis. B lymphocytes appear to be more susceptible to the antiapoptotic effects of leptin, and they show higher surface expression of ObR, compared with T cells. Moreover, CD4+ T cells isolated from ObR-deficient mice displayed a reduced proliferative response, compared with normal controls. Furthermore, ObR/STAT-3-mediated signaling in T lymphocytes is decreased in the diet-induced obese mouse model of obesity and leptin resistance. In summary, our findings show that the ObR is expressed on normal mouse lymphocyte subsets, that leptin plays a role in lymphocyte survival, and that leptin alters the ObR/STAT-3-mediated signaling in T cells. Taken together, our data further support the notion that nutritional status acting via leptin-dependent mechanisms may alter the nature and vigor of the immune response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy