Leptin: A significant indicator of total body fat but not of visceral fat and insulin insensitivity in African-American women

Arnavaz Dua, Magda I. Hennes, Raymond G. Hoffmann, Diana L. Maas, Glenn R. Krakower, Gabriele E. Sonnenberg, Ahmed H. Kissebah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recently cloned adipose tissue hormone leptin has been proposed to be involved in the neuroendocrine regulation of adiposity and its metabolic sequelae. Visceral fat is known to predict reduced insulin sensitivity and associated adverse metabolic profiles. In this study, we report the first evaluation of the relationships between leptin levels and total body fat, visceral fat, and insulin sensitivity in a cohort of premenopausal African- American women. Thirty-four subjects were analyzed for total fat mass and visceral fat by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and computerized axial tomography, respectively. Insulin sensitivity (S(I)) was assessed using Bergman's minimal model. Results showed that fasting leptin levels strongly correlated with total body fat mass (r = 0.797, P < 0.001). Correlations of leptin with visceral fat (r = 0.54, P < 0.001) and S(I) (r = -0.419, P = 0.02) were dependent on total body fat. In conclusion, leptin levels reflect total body fat mass, and although visceral fat is known to predict reduced insulin sensitivity independently, leptin did not. Our data thus suggest that diverse mechanisms are responsible for the regulation of total body versus visceral fat distribution, with its metabolic and health risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1635-1637
Number of pages3
JournalDiabetes
Volume45
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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