Relationship between insulin sensitivity and plasma leptin concentration in lean and obese men

K. R. Segal, M. Landt, S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

486 Scopus citations


Alterations in the production of or the sensitivity to leptin, the protein encoded by the ob gene, cause obesity and diabetes in rodents. We evaluated the isolated relationship between leptin and insulin sensitivity in lean and obese humans. Three groups of subjects who were carefully matched for either insulin sensitivity (determined by the modified intravenous glucose tolerance test and minimal model analysis) or adiposity (determined by hydrodensitometry) were studied: 1) lean insulin-sensitive men (percentage body fat, 15 ± 1%); 2) lean insulin-resistant men (percentage body fat, 16 ± 1%), matched on percentage body fat and fat mass with the lean insulin- sensitive group; and 3) obese insulin-resistant men (percentage body fat, 31 ± 3), matched on insulin sensitivity with the lean insulin-resistant group. Basal plasma leptin concentrations were significantly lower in the lean insulin-sensitive than in the lean insulin-resistant men (1.90 ± 0.4 vs. 4.35 ± 1.21 ng/ml, P < 0.05) despite identical body composition. Plasma leptin in the obese men (9.27 ± 1.4 ng/ml) was significantly higher than values in the two lean groups (P < 0.01). Marked alterations in plasma glucose and insulin concentrations induced by glucose and tolbutamide injection did not cause any change in plasma leptin levels. These results demonstrate that insulin resistance is associated with elevated plasma leptin levels independent of body fat mass. However, plasma insulin itself does not acutely regulate leptin production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-991
Number of pages4
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between insulin sensitivity and plasma leptin concentration in lean and obese men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this