Serum leptin, soluble leptin receptor, free leptin index and bone mineral density in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis

Ferenc Szalay, Aniko Folhoffer, Andrea Horváth, Timea Csak, Gabor Speer, Zsolt Nagy, Peter Lakatos, Csaba Horváth, Andrzej Habior, Istvan Tornai, Peter Laszlo Lakatos

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Background/aim: The pathophysiology of osteoporosis in chronic liver diseases is unknown. Recent data suggest that serum leptin is associated with bone mineral density (BMD). In animal studies leptin was found to be a potent inhibitor of bone formation. We investigated the relationship between serum leptin levels, soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R), free leptin index (FLI) and BMD in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Patients and methods: Ninety-four female patients with PBC were included in this study; 122 healthy women served as controls. Serum leptin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay, sOB-R by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. BMD was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Results: Serum leptin was significantly lower in patients with PBC compared with healthy controls. No difference was found between the body mass index (BMI) of patients and controls. There was a strong positive correlation between leptin and BMI. In PBC no association was found between leptin, sOB-R and liver function tests, histological stages or the presence of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis was present in 38 patients. A positive correlation was found between serum leptin and femoral neck z-score even after adjustment for BMI, whereas serum sOB-R correlated inversely with the serum leptin level. There was no difference in FLI between the subgroups of PBC patients according to the stages of the disease. Conclusions: We found a lower serum leptin level and a higher sOB-R in patients with PBC, which could not be explained by the difference in BMI. As leptin was associated with BMD, it may be hypothesized that leptin is involved in the complex regulation of bone metabolism in PBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-928
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Free leptin index
  • Hepatic osteopathy
  • Leptin
  • Osteoporosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Soluble leptin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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