Animal and in vitro studies indicate that leptin alleviates starvation-induced reduction in circulating vaspin and stimulates the production of visfatin. We thus examined whether vaspin and visfatin are affected by short- and long-term energy deprivation and leptin administration in human subjects in vivo.
Design and methods
We measured circulating levels of vaspin and visfatin i) before and after 72 h of starvation (leading to severe hypoleptinemia) with or without leptin administration in replacement doses in 13 normal-weight subjects, ii) before and after 72 h of starvation with leptin administration in pharmacological doses in 13 lean and obese subjects, iii) during chronic energy deficiency in eight women with hypothalamic amenorrhea on leptin replacement for 3 months, and iv) during chronic energy deficiency in 18 women with hypothalamic amenorrhea on leptin replacement or placebo for 3 months.
Acute starvation decreased serum leptin to 21% of baseline values, (P=0.002) but had no significant effect on vaspin and visfatin concentrations (P>0.05). Nor did normalization of leptin levels affect the concentrations of these two adipokines (P>0.9). Leptin replacement in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea did not significantly alter vaspin and visfatin concentrations, whether relative to baseline or placebo administration (P>0.25). Pharmacological doses of leptin did not affect circulating vaspin and visfatin concentrations (P>0.9).
Circulating vaspin and visfatin are not affected by acute or chronic energy deficiency leading to hypoleptinemia and are not regulated by leptin in human subjects, indicating that these adipocyte-secreted hormonal regulators of metabolism are independently regulated in humans.