Horm Metab Res 2018; 50(03): 257-266
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-122236
Endocrine Care
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Leptin and its Relation to Autonomic Activity, Endothelial Cell Activation and Blood Pressure in a Young Black and White Population: The African-PREDICT study

Blessing O. Ahiante
1  Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART), North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
,
Wayne Smith
1  Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART), North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
2  Medical Research Council: Research Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
,
Leandi Lammertyn
1  Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART), North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
2  Medical Research Council: Research Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
,
Aletta E. Schutte
1  Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART), North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
2  Medical Research Council: Research Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 26 July 2017

accepted 19 October 2017

Publication Date:
27 November 2017 (eFirst)

Abstract

An increasing prevalence of obesity-related hypertension is observed in the youth and may have severe consequences for future cardiovascular disease development. Previous studies portrayed leptin as a potential factor involved in obesity-related hypertension development. In order to understand leptin’s contributions to early cardiovascular deterioration, we investigated leptin and its associations with measures of autonomic activity, endothelial activation, and blood pressure in young healthy black and white men and women. We included 820 participants (aged 20–30 years) and determined serum leptin and endothelial cellular adhesion molecules. We measured 24-h blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability components. In multivariate-adjusted regression analyses, we found consistent associations between markers of autonomic activity (such as 24-h heart rate, day and night-time heart rate as well as heart rate variability total power) and leptin in both white (all p≤0.001) and black men (all p≤0.040). These findings were absent or less prominent in women, despite their almost 10-fold higher leptin levels than men. Only in white men, 24-h diastolic blood pressure was associated with leptin (Std β=0.37; p=0.006). This association was found to be partly mediated by autonomic activity (24-h heart rate variability total power). No independent associations were observed between leptin and markers of endothelial cell activation, irrespective of race or gender. Leptin’s independent association with autonomic neural activity in a young apparently healthy population suggests an early influence of leptin on autonomic function and future blood pressure elevation especially in men.

Supplementary Material