Presence of leptin in breast cell lines and breast tumors.
Leptin is the product of the ob gene, reported to be secreted exclusively from adipocytes and thought to control satiety by providing information to the central nervous system. However, the function of leptin appears to be more complex because multiple studies demonstrate its role in hematopoiesis, reproduction, and immunity. In addition, several nonadipose sources of leptin have been reported. The purpose of this study was to examine several breast cancer cell lines and ductal carcinomas of the breast for expression of leptin messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein. For tumor studies, specimens were preassayed for contaminating adipose tissue. Northern blot analyses demonstrated leptin mRNA in several breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, T47D, and MDA-MB-231), a normal breast epithelial cell line (MCF10A), and four breast tumors. Leptin protein was identified in T47D breast cancer cells by indirect immunofluorescent staining and in samples of the same breast tumors used for Northern studies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). This preliminary study suggests that leptin is expressed in malignant epithelial cells of the breast. Further investigation is needed to determine whether this protein plays a role in breast carcinogenesis.
O'brien, SN; Welter, BH; Price, TM
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