Article

Cardiovascular effects of leptin and orexins

Department of Anesthesiology, Miyazaki Medical College, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.
AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.53). 04/2003; 284(3):R639-51. DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00359.2002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Leptin, the product of the ob gene, is a satiety factor secreted mainly in adipose tissue and is part of a signaling mechanism regulating the content of body fat. It acts on leptin receptors, most of which are located in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain known to control body homeostasis. The fastest and strongest hypothalamic response to leptin in ob/ob mice occurs in the paraventricular nucleus, which is involved in neuroendocrine and autonomic functions. On the other hand, orexins (orexin-A and -B) or hypocretins (hypocretin-1 and -2) were recently discovered in the hypothalamus, in which a number of neuropeptides are known to stimulate or suppress food intake. These substances are considered important for the regulation of appetite and energy homeostasis. Orexins were initially thought to function in the hypothalamic regulation of feeding behavior, but orexin-containing fibers and their receptors are also distributed in parts of the brain closely associated with the regulation of cardiovascular and autonomic functions. Functional studies have shown that these peptides are involved in cardiovascular and sympathetic regulation. The objective of this article is to summarize evidence on the effects of leptin and orexins on cardiovascular function in vivo and in vitro and to discuss the pathophysiological relevance of these peptides and possible interactions.

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