Leptin replacement therapy does not improve the abnormal lipid kinetics of hypoleptinemic patients with HIV-associated lipodystrophy syndrome

Rajagopal V. Sekhar, Farook Jahoor, Dinakar Iyer, Anuradha Guthikonda, Jaya Paranilam, Fareed Elhaj, Ivonne Coraza, Ashok Balasubramanyam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Patients with HIV-associated dyslipidemic lipodystrophy (HADL) have characteristic lipid kinetic defects: accelerated lipolysis, blunted fat oxidation and increased hepatic fatty acid reesterification. HADL patients with lipoatrophy also have leptin deficiency. Small or non-randomized studies have suggested that leptin replacement improves glucose metabolism in HADL, with very limited data regarding its effects on the lipid kinetic abnormalities. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalating (0.02 mg/kg/d for two months; 0.04 mg/kg/d for a further two months) study of the effects of metreleptin on lipid kinetics in 17 adults with HADL, hypertriglyceridemia and hypoleptinemia. Rates of lipolysis, intra-adipocyte and intrahepatic reesterification and fatty acid oxidation were measured using infusions of 13C1-palmitate and 2H 5-glycerol, and indirect calorimetry. Fasting lipid profiles and glucose and insulin responses to oral glucose challenge were also measured. Metreleptin treatment induced significant, dose-dependent increases in fasting plasma leptin levels. There was no significant change in total lipolysis, net lipolysis, adipocyte or hepatic re-esterification or fatty acid oxidation, or in fasting triglyceride or HDL-C concentrations, with metreleptin treatment. Metreleptin decreased fasting non-HDL-C levels (P <.01) and area-under-the-curve for glucose (P <.05). In hypoleptinemic HADL patients, treatment with metreleptin at 0.02 or 0.04 mg/kg/d does not improve abnormal fasting lipid kinetics, or triglyceride or HDL-C levels. Metreleptin does, however, improve glycemia and non-HDL-C in these patients. These results suggest a dissociation between leptin's effects on glucose metabolism compared to those on lipid kinetics in HADL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1403
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Fat oxidation
  • HDL-C
  • Leptin resistance
  • Lipolysis
  • Non-HDL-C
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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