Scientific publications

Is leptin involved in phagocytic NADPH oxidase overactivity in obesity? Potential clinical implications

Fortuño A (1), Bidegain J, Baltanás A, Moreno MU, Montero L, Landecho MF, Beloqui O, Díez J, Zalba G.
(1) Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, Centre for Applied Medical Research, Pamplona 

Magazine: Journal of Hypertension

Date: Sep 1, 2010

Unidad de Chequeos [SP] Internal Medicine [SP]

Hyperleptinemia and oxidative stress play a major role in the development of cardiovascular diseases in obesity.

This study aimed to investigate whether there is a relationship between plasma levels of leptin and phagocytic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity, and its potential relevance in the vascular remodeling in obese patients.

The study was performed in 164 obese and 94 normal-weight individuals (controls). NADPH oxidase activity was evaluated by luminescence in phagocytic cells. Levels of leptin were quantified by ELISA in plasma samples.

Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) was measured by ultrasonography. In addition, we performed in-vitro experiments in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and murine macrophages.

Phagocytic NADPH oxidase activity and leptin levels were enhanced (P < 0.05) in obese patients compared with controls. NADPH oxidase activity positively correlated with leptin in obese patients.

This association remained significant in a multivariate analysis. cIMT was higher (P < 0.05) in obese patients compared with controls. In addition, cIMT also correlated positively with leptin and NADPH oxidase activity in obese patients.

In-vitro studies showed that leptin induced NADPH oxidase activation. Inhibition of the leptin-induced NADPH oxidase activity by wortmannin and bisindolyl maleimide suggested a direct involvement of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase C pathways, respectively. Finally, leptin-induced NADPH oxidase activation promoted macrophage proliferation.

These findings show that phagocytic NADPH oxidase activity is increased in obesity and is related to preclinical atherosclerosis in this condition. We also suggest that hyperleptinemia may contribute to phagocytic NADPH oxidase overactivity in obesity.

CITATION  J Hypertens. 2010 Sep;28(9):1944-50. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32833c21af.

you maybe interested


The Clínica is the greater private hospital with technological equipment of Spain, all in a single center.

Imagen de un PET, tecnología de vanguardia en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


The professionals of the Clínica perform continuous research and training, always to the benefit of the patient.

Imagen profesionales de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


Learn why we are different from other healthcare centers. Quality, speed, comfort and results.

Imagen del edificio de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra