Published online Mar 12, 2016. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v6.i1.9
Peer-review started: May 26, 2015
First decision: June 18, 2015
Revised: July 9, 2015
Accepted: November 3, 2015
Article in press: November 4, 2015
Published online: March 12, 2016
Leptin, an adipokine responsible for body weight regulation, may be involved in pathological processes related to inflammation in joint disorders including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). These arthropathies have been associated with a wide range of systemic and inflammatory conditions including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. As a potent mediator of immune responses, leptin has been found in some studies to play a role in these disorders. Furthermore, current potent biologic treatments effectively used in PsA including ustekinumab (an interleukin 12/23 blocker) and adalimumab (a tumor necrosis factor-alpha blocker also used in RA) have been found to increase leptin receptor expression in human macrophages. This literature review aims to further investigate the role leptin may play in the disease activity of these arthropathies.
Core tip: Leptin is an adipokine well known for its role in metabolism and body weight regulation. More recently, it has gained recognition as a potential contributor to the pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders. Numerous studies reveal elevated leptin levels in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Similarly, a link between severity of osteoarthritis and leptin levels has been suggested. At the same time, little research on the role of leptin in the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis has been conducted. Further investigation on these relationships could provide for better-targeted treatment of these rheumatic diseases and their systemic manifestations.