Leptin and leptin receptor expression in the myometrium and uterine myomas: is leptin involved in tumor development?
- Anna Markowska
- Anna Sandra Belloni
- Marcin Rucinski
- Anna R. Parenti
- Giovan Battista Nardelli
- Krzysztof Drews
- Gastone G. Nussdorfer
- Ludwik K. Malendowicz
Department of Perinatology and Gynecology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, PL-60781 Poznan, Poland
- Published online on: December 1, 2005 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.27.6.1505
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Leptin, the product of the obesity (ob) gene, along with its receptors (Ob-Rs), is expressed in several tissues and organs. Evidence has been provided that leptin, in addition to being involved in obesity development, plays a role in the regulation of the female reproductive system, angiogenesis and tumor growth. Uterine myoma is a rather common disease that develops more frequently in obese than lean women, where plasma leptin concentrations are elevated. RT-PCR and Western blotting showed that leptin was expressed, as mRNA and protein, in several uterine myomas but not in normal myometrium, while leptin receptors were expressed in both tissues. Immunocytochemistry indicated that leptin-immunoreactivity was located in both myometrial cells and blood-vessel walls of uterine myomas. Leptin(22-56), at concentrations of 10−7 and 10−6 M, enhanced the proliferative activity of both the normal myometrium and myoma cells in primary culture. Taken together, our findings allow us to suggest that leptin, acting through autocrine-paracrine mechanism(s), may be involved in the development of uterine myomas.