Functional relationship between leptin and nitric oxide in metabolism
Leptin, the product of the ob gene, was originally described as a satiety factor, playing a crucial role in the control of body weight. Nevertheless, the wide distribution of leptin receptors in peripheral tissues supports that leptin exerts pleiotropic biological effects, consisting of the modulation of numerous processes including thermogenesis, reproduction, angiogenesis, hematopoiesis, osteogenesis, neuroendocrine, and immune functions as well as arterial pressure control. Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical synthesized from L-arginine by the action of the NO synthase (NOS) enzyme. Three NOS isoforms have been identified: the neuronal NOS (nNOS) and endothelial NOS (eNOS) constitutive isoforms, and the inducible NOS (iNOS). NO mediates multiple biological effects in a variety of physiological systems such as energy balance, blood pressure, reproduction, immune response, or reproduction. Leptin and NO on their own participate in multiple common physiological processes, with a functional relationship between both factors having been identified. The present review describes the functional relationship between leptin and NO in different physiological processes.