Leptin induction following irradiation is a conserved feature in mammalian epithelial cells and tissues

Purpose: Leptin (LEP) is a peptide hormone with multiple physiological functions. Besides its systemic actions, it has important peripheral roles such as a mitogen action on keratinocytes following skin lesions. We previously showed that LEP mRNA is significantly induced in response to neutron irradiation in mouse skin and that the protein increases in the irradiated epidermis and in the related subcutaneous adipose tissue. In this work, we investigated the post-transcriptional regulation of LEP by miRNAs and the conservation of LEP’s role in radiation response in human cells.

Methods: We used microarray analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to analyze modulation of miRNAs potentially targeting LEP in mouse skin following irradiation and bioinformatic analysis of transcriptome of irradiated human cell lines and cancer tissues from radiotherapy-treated patients to evaluate LEP expression.

Results and conclusions: We show that a network of miRNAs potentially targeting LEP mRNA is modulated in irradiated mouse skin and that LEP itself is significantly modulated by irradiation in human epithelial cell lines and in breast cancer tissues from radiotherapy-treated patients. These results confirm and extend the previous evidence that LEP has a general and important role in the response of mammalian cells to irradiation.