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Open Access Regulation of Leptin Receptor Expression in Human Polarized Caco-2/15 Cells

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Background: Leptin receptors (LEPR) are expressed in intestinal epithelial cells from the duodenum to the colon. Since their role is fundamental for the proper control of nutrient absorption, mucus secretion and mucosa renewal, the regulation of LEPR expression is for the first time investigated as a function of various potential effectors.

Methodology/Principal Findings: Fully differentiated Caco-2/15 cells were incubated for 24 hours with nutrients [carbohydrates, fatty acids (FA), amino acids and sterols], hormones (leptin, insulin, hydrocortisone and epithelial growth factor), inflammatory agents (Interferon-γ, LPS, TNF-α), and PPAR agonists (rosiglitazone and WY14643). Levels of LEPR mRNA and protein expressions were measured by RT-PCR and Western blots, respectively.

Results: Long (219.1) and short (219.3) isoforms of the LEPR were detected in Caco-2/15 cells, while absence of the isoform 219.2 was noted. Their gene expression was modulated by carbohydrates, FA, PPAR agonists, biliary salts, insulin and leptin itself. On the other hand, LEPR protein expression was modulated by FA, cholesterol, biliary salts, PPAR agonists and insulin. Interestingly, the same effectors may have opposite effects on the short and the long LEPR isoforms, as well as on mRNA and protein levels. Finally, Caco-2/15 cells were found to be sensitive to the effector location, i.e. apical or basolateral compartment.

Conclusions/Significance: Our results suggest that (i) the expression of LEPR in Caco-2/15 cell line is not constitutive; (ii) the agents present in the apical or basolateral medium have different effects on LEPR mRNA and/or protein levels; and (iii) short and long isoforms of LEPR follow different patterns of regulation.
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Keywords: Caco 2/15 cells; LEPR; Methodology; PPAR agonists; Protein; biliary salts; cholesterol; cytokines; hormones; leptin receptor; mRNA; nutrients

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.
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