Leptin Dysfunction and Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence from Cellular, Animal, and Human Studies.

TitleLeptin Dysfunction and Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence from Cellular, Animal, and Human Studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMcGuire MJ, Ishii M
JournalCell Mol Neurobiol
Date Published2016 Mar
KeywordsAlzheimer Disease, Animals, Body Weight, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Leptin, Neuroprotective Agents, Translational Medical Research

There is accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies that changes in body weight are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) from mid-life obesity increasing the risk of developing AD to weight loss occurring at the earliest stages of AD. Therefore, factors that regulate body weight are likely to influence the development and progression of AD. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin has emerged as a major regulator of body weight mainly by activating hypothalamic neural circuits. Leptin also has several pleotropic effects including regulating cognitive function and having neuroprotective effects, suggesting a potential link between leptin and AD. Here, we will examine the relationship between leptin and AD by reviewing the recent evidence from cellular and animal models to human studies. We present a model where leptin has a bidirectional role in AD. Not only can alterations in leptin levels and function worsen cognitive decline and progression of AD pathology, but AD pathology, in of itself, can disrupt leptin signaling, which together would lead to a downward spiral of progressive neurodegeneration and worsening body weight and systemic metabolic deficits. Collectively, these studies serve as a framework to highlight the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the body weight and systemic metabolic deficits in AD, which has the potential to open new avenues that may ultimately lead to novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools.

Alternate JournalCell. Mol. Neurobiol.
PubMed ID26993509
PubMed Central IDPMC4846558
Grant ListK08 AG051179 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States