Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2007; 115(4): 244-251
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-956166

© J. A. Barth Verlag in Georg Thieme Verlag KG · Stuttgart · New York

Concerted Action of Leptin in Regulation of Fatty Acid Oxidation in Skeletal Muscle and Liver

S. Wein 1 [*] [**] , J. Ukropec 1 [*] , D. Gašperíková 1 , I. Klimeš 1 , E. Šeböková 1
  • 1Diabetes and Nutrition Research Laboratory, Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Further Information

Publication History

Received 28. 7. 2006 first decision 15. 9. 2006

Accepted 4. 10. 2006

Publication Date:
03 May 2007 (online)


Central action of leptin on food intake and energy expenditure is integrated with leptin's peripheral action modulating the fatty acid and glucose metabolism and preventing the accumulation of lipids in nonadipose tissues. However, exact mechanism(s) of the leptin's action in the peripheral tissues has not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the effect of a single intravenous injection of leptin on palmitoyl-CoA and palmitoyl-carnitine oxidation rate in liver and skeletal muscle followed by measurements of the carnitine-palmitoyl transferase 1 (CPT1) activity and activities of ß-oxidation enzymes in mitochondria (acyl-CoA dehydrogenase) and in peroxisomes (acyl-CoA oxidase) of rats. Animals were euthanized and tissues and serum harvested 15 min, 1 hour, 3 hours and 6 hours after leptin administration. Intravenous leptin injection increased mitochondrial palmitoyl-CoA oxidation rate in both liver (95%; P<0.025) and skeletal muscle (2.7-fold; P<0.05). This was paralleled by lowering hepatic (-156%; P<0.001) and skeletal muscle (-191%; P<0.001) triglyceride content. Leptin-induced elevation of palmitoyl-CoA oxidation rate in liver was paralleled by increased CPT1 activity (52%; P<0.05) and ß-oxidation capacity (52%; P<0.05). Lack of the leptin's effect on the CPT1-activity in muscle (20%; p=0.09) suggests the existence of an alternative pathway for increasing the palmitoyl-CoA-oxidation rate bypassing the CPT1 regulatory step. Interestingly, leptin stimulated the overall ß-oxidation capacity in muscle by 69% (P=0.027). This may indicate to an involvement of mitochondrial acyl-CoA dehydrogenases as well as of peroxisomal fat catabolism. Taken together, we showed that leptin acutely increases palmitoyl-CoA oxidation rate in liver and in skeletal muscle, which was associated with tissue specific effect on the CPT1 activity as well as on the downstream enzymes of fatty acid oxidation pathways in rat mitochondria and peroxisomes. Tangible evidence for the leptin-induced increase of fatty acid catabolism was provided by a lowered skeletal muscle and hepatic lipid deposition.


1 First two authors SW and JU contributed equally to this work.

2 Current address of author, Institute of Animal Nutrition & Physiology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Herrmann-Rodewald-Str. 9, 24098 Kiel, Germany
Email: wein@aninut.uni-kiel.de


J. UkropecPhD 

Inst. Exp. Endocrinology SAS

Vlárska Str. 3

SK-83306 Bratislava


Phone: +421/2/54 77 28 00

Fax: +421/2/54 77 26 87

Email: jozef.ukropec@savba.sk