Update on Leptin and Metabolic Disease

Topic: Lipodystrophy, Obesity/Weight management date: 08/11/2015 Featured Expert: Jeffrey M. Friedman, MD, PhD

Dr. Friedman's laboratory originally identified leptin and discovered its role in regulating food intake, body weight, and many other physiologic processes...


It was Dr. Jeffrey Friedman's laboratory that originally identified the hormonal signal leptin and its receptors, and discovered that leptin regulates food intake, body weight, and many other physiologic processes. This consequently led to the identification of a number of leptin deficiency states that can be treated with leptin, such as the severe metabolic disorder of generalized lipodystrophy, which is associated with hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and fatty liver. Leptin has since been found to have important therapeutic effects in this patient population.

Dr. Friedman's keynote presentation at the 10th Annual CMHC will review how leptin regulates body weight, provide a history of how leptin was identified, and how it may be used to treat obese patients with low leptin levels. Additionally, Dr. Friedman will discuss the role of leptin in treating low-leptin diabetes/lipodystrophy and explore the hypothesis that normal-weight "metabolically obese" patients likely have a polygenic form of lipodystrophy.

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