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Hansenologia Internationalis (Online)

Print version ISSN 1982-5161

Abstract

MACEDO, Alexandre Casimiro de; GIGLIOTTI, Patrícia; GAMEIRO, Jacy  and  SOUZA, Vânia Nieto Brito de. Quantification of serum leptin levels in leprosy. Hansenol. int. (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.37, n.2, pp. 40-46. ISSN 1982-5161.

Leptin, an adipokine with structural and functional similarities to proinflammatory cytokines that contributes to the differentiation of T helper-1 cells, seems to be involved in the immune response to infectious agents. In leprosy, a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, whose clinical manifestations depend on the host immune response, there are no reports on the role of leptin. In this pilot study the serum leptin levels were quantified in newly diagnosed patients with different clinical forms of leprosy, patients with type 1 and 2 reaction, contacts of leprosy patients and healthy controls (237 serum samples:165 men and 72 women). In males, TT and BB patients showed concentrations close to those observed in controls while groups I, BT, BV, VV, type 1 and 2 reactional patients had lower means in comparison to controls and contacts, whereas in BV and VV patients it were observed the lowest levels of leptin. In females, we found a wide variation between the values observed in the different groups. The BV group had higher levels of leptin while groups I, TT, BT and BB had averages closed to that observed in contacts and controls. The differences observed in both men and women were not statistically significant. Our findings show a tendency to lower levels of leptin in multibacillary patients, however, these results do not allow any association of leptin with leprosy clinical forms.

Keywords : Leprosy; Leptin; Immune System.

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