Blanquer-Rosselló MD, Santandreu FM, Oliver J, Roca P, Valle A.
Leptin is a hormone that regulates energy expenditure and suppresses food intake. The concentration of leptin in the blood rises as body weight and fat mass increase. Leptin is also involved in many other processes including sex maturation, lactation, immune response and the development of mammary gland. Leptin can increase cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in breast cells.
In this paper they investigate the link between leptin and metabolism in breast cancer cells. Cancer cells must rewire cell metabolism to satisfy demands of growth and proliferation. They analyze the effects of a physiological dose of leptin in several features of cellular and mitochondrial metabolism in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
They find that cellular ATP levels become more reliant on mitochondria in leptin-treated cells and rates of glycolysis decreased. Mitochondrial oxygen consumption increases, but no changes are seen in mitochondrial volume density, respiratory chain proteins or proton leak. ROS levels were decreased and autophagy was increased.
They conclude that leptin ameliorates oxidative stress and increases mitochondrial ATP production in breast cancer cells, which may benefit growth and survival.