Inhibition of cortisol biosynthesis decreases circulating leptin levels in obese humans

Samuel Dagogo-Jack, Gunjan Tykodi, Indira Umamaheswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: Glucocorticoids increase both appetite and leptin secretion; the hyperleptinemic effect might be a counterregulatory response to the orexigenic effect of glucocorticoids. However, the effect of glucocorticoid inhibition on leptin production has not been reported. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that if glucocorticoid-induced hyperleptinemia plays a physiological role, then inhibition of endogenous cortisol biosynthesis should decrease leptin secretion. Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study design was used. Setting: The study was carried out at a General Clinical Research Center. Participants: Eight obese subjects (four men, four women; mean age, 30.4±1.56 yr; mean body mass index, 42.0±1.33 kg/m2) participated in the study. Intervention: The subjects were treated with metyrapone (750 mg every 4 h) or placebo for 24 h during two overnight admissions, 2 wk apart. Blood sampling for measurement of cortisol, leptin glucose, insulin, and C-peptide was performed hourly for 6 h and every 2 h for 24 h. Main Outcome Measure: The change in plasma leptin from baseline during metyrapone vs. placebo treatment was measured. Results: Metyrapone treatment was associated with a significant decrease in plasma cortisol level; the cortisol nadir was 4.84 ± 1.22 μg/dl during placebo and 2.80 ± 0.65 μg/dl during metyrapone treatment (P = 0.009). Compared with placebo, metyrapone treatment was associated with a significant reduction in circulating leptin levels and marked attenuation of the nocturnal rise in plasma leptin (+28.45 ± 11.12% vs. +55.51 ± 5.42%; P = 0.01). Conclusions: We conclude that metyrapone-induced inhibition of cortisol biosynthesis results in hypoleptinemia, which indicates that glucocorticoids may play an important role in the physiological regulation of leptin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5333-5335
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume90
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

Fingerprint

Biosynthesis
Leptin
Metyrapone
Hydrocortisone
Glucocorticoids
Placebos
Plasmas
Cross-Over Studies
Inhibition (Psychology)
C-Peptide
Appetite
Therapeutics
Body Mass Index
Blood
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Insulin
Sampling
Glucose
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Cite this

Inhibition of cortisol biosynthesis decreases circulating leptin levels in obese humans. / Dagogo-Jack, Samuel; Tykodi, Gunjan; Umamaheswaran, Indira.

In: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 90, No. 9, 01.09.2005, p. 5333-5335.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Context: Glucocorticoids increase both appetite and leptin secretion; the hyperleptinemic effect might be a counterregulatory response to the orexigenic effect of glucocorticoids. However, the effect of glucocorticoid inhibition on leptin production has not been reported. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that if glucocorticoid-induced hyperleptinemia plays a physiological role, then inhibition of endogenous cortisol biosynthesis should decrease leptin secretion. Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study design was used. Setting: The study was carried out at a General Clinical Research Center. Participants: Eight obese subjects (four men, four women; mean age, 30.4±1.56 yr; mean body mass index, 42.0±1.33 kg/m2) participated in the study. Intervention: The subjects were treated with metyrapone (750 mg every 4 h) or placebo for 24 h during two overnight admissions, 2 wk apart. Blood sampling for measurement of cortisol, leptin glucose, insulin, and C-peptide was performed hourly for 6 h and every 2 h for 24 h. Main Outcome Measure: The change in plasma leptin from baseline during metyrapone vs. placebo treatment was measured. Results: Metyrapone treatment was associated with a significant decrease in plasma cortisol level; the cortisol nadir was 4.84 ± 1.22 μg/dl during placebo and 2.80 ± 0.65 μg/dl during metyrapone treatment (P = 0.009). Compared with placebo, metyrapone treatment was associated with a significant reduction in circulating leptin levels and marked attenuation of the nocturnal rise in plasma leptin (+28.45 ± 11.12{\%} vs. +55.51 ± 5.42{\%}; P = 0.01). Conclusions: We conclude that metyrapone-induced inhibition of cortisol biosynthesis results in hypoleptinemia, which indicates that glucocorticoids may play an important role in the physiological regulation of leptin.",
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