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      Adiposity, leptin and stress reactivity in humans

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      Biological Psychology

      Elsevier Science B.V

      Psychological stress, Adiposity, Leptin, Cytokines, Cardiovascular reactivity

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          Abstract

          Evidence suggests that individuals who are more obese may be more responsive to stress. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the adipose-tissue cytokine leptin stimulates SNS activity in animals. We examined the relationship between adiposity, leptin and physiological responses to acute laboratory stress in 67 women. We predicted that individuals with greater adiposity and/or higher plasma leptin would be more stress-responsive. Adiposity was unrelated to cardiovascular or neuroendocrine stress reactivity. However, women with larger waists had greater stress-induced increases in plasma leptin and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). Similarly, women with higher basal leptin displayed greater stress-induced increases in heart rate and plasma interleukin-6, and larger decreases in heart rate variability and cardiac pre-ejection period. Heightened cardiovascular and inflammatory stress responses are predictive of future cardiovascular risk. Our findings suggest that the cytokines leptin and IL-1Ra may play a role in the association between obesity, stress and cardiovascular health.

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          Most cited references 51

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          The weight of leptin in immunity.

          Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone/cytokine that links nutritional status with neuroendocrine and immune functions. As a hormone, leptin regulates food intake and basal metabolism, and is sexually dimorphic - that is, its serum concentration is higher in females than in males with a similar body fat mass. As a cytokine, leptin can affect thymic homeostasis and the secretion of acute-phase reactants such as interleukin-1 and tumour-necrosis factor. Similar to other pro-inflammatory cytokines, leptin promotes T helper 1 (TH1)-cell differentiation and can modulate the onset and progression of autoimmune responses in several animal models of disease. Here, we review the advances and controversy for a role of leptin in the pathophysiology of immune responses.
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            Heart rate variability: standards of measurement, physiological interpretation and clinical use. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology.

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              Endocrine and signalling role of adipose tissue: new perspectives on fat.

               P Trayhurn (2005)
              White adipose tissue (WAT) is now recognized as a major endocrine and secretory organ, releasing a wide range of protein factors and signals termed adipokines - in addition to fatty acids and other lipid moieties. A paradigm shift came with the discovery of leptin, a pleiotropic hormone which is a critical signal to the hypothalamus in the control of appetite and energy balance. A number of adipokines, including adiponectin, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage migration inhibitory factor, nerve growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and haptoglobin, are linked to inflammation and the inflammatory response. Obesity is characterized by a state of mild inflammation, and the expression and release of inflammation-related adipokines generally rises as adipose tissue expands; a notable exception is adiponectin, with its anti-inflammatory action, the levels of which fall. WAT may be the main site of inflammation in obesity, increased circulating levels of inflammatory markers reflecting spillover from an 'inflamed' tissue, leading to the obesity-associated pathologies of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. From the wide range of adipokines now identified, it is evident that WAT is highly integrated into overall physiological regulation, involving extensive crosstalk with other organs and multiple metabolic systems. Whether major changes in adipokine production in obesity, particularly of those factors linked to inflammation, are unique to this condition, or are a feature of all situations in which there are substantial increases in adipose mass (such as pregnancy, and pre-hibernatory and pre-migratory fattening) requires consideration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biol Psychol
                Biol Psychol
                Biological Psychology
                Elsevier Science B.V
                0301-0511
                1873-6246
                February 2011
                February 2011
                : 86
                : 2
                : 114-120
                Affiliations
                Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [* ]Tel.: +44 207 679 5973; fax: +44 207 916 8542. l.brydon@ 123456ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                BIOPSY6207
                10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.02.010
                3042594
                20193730
                © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

                This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.

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