a1 Department of Fundamental Biology and Health Sciences, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
The discovery of the production of leptin by the stomach, in addition to its production by adipose tissue, has initiated new investigation into the possible role of this protein in the digestive physiology, in particular in the short-term control of energy balance. Leptin has been identified in the lower half of the stomach glands both in the pepsinogen granules of chief cells and in the granules of a specific endocrine cell type, suggesting that leptin action is exerted by both exocrine and endocrine pathways. Gastric leptin is sensitive to the nutritional state, being rapidly mobilized in response to food intake following fasting, or after the administration of satiety factors; this suggests a role for this protein in the short-term regulation of feeding, acting in collaboration with satiety peptides such as cholecystokinin. Leptin, produced by gastric cells and by adipocytes, could act on both acute and chronic regulation of feeding behaviour respectively, giving information to the brain on the availability of external (food) and internal (fat depots) energy resources, thus participating in short- and long-term satiation.
(Received September 20 2002)
(Revised May 01 2003)
(Accepted May 25 2003)