Leptin stimulates autophagy/lysosome-related degradation of long-lived proteins in adipocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACTObesity, a condition most commonly associated with hyper-leptinemia, is also characterized by increased expression of autophagy genes and likely autophagic activity in human adipose tissue (AT). Indeed, circulating leptin levels were previously shown to positively associate with the expression levels of autophagy genes such as Autophagy related gene-5 (ATG5). Here we hypothesized that leptin acts in an autocrine-paracrine manner to increase autophagy in two major AT cell populations, adipocytes and macrophages. We followed the dynamics of autophagosomes following acute leptin administration with or without a leptin receptor antagonist (SMLA) using high-throughput live-cell imaging in murine epididymal adipocyte and macrophage (RAW264.7) cell-lines. In macrophages leptin exerted only a mild effect on autophagy dynamics, tending to attenuate autophagosomes growth rate. In contrast, leptin-treated adipocytes exhibited a moderate, ~20% increase in the rate of autophagosome growth, an effect that was b...

publication date

  • February 1, 2019