Leptin, the ob gene product that can decrease caloric intake and increase energy expenditure, is functionally released by insulin from adipose tissue. Adenosine is thought to be an important regulator of the action of insulin in adipose tissue. The present study investigated the role of adenosine in the release of leptin by insulin in isolated rat white adipocytes. Release of leptin, measured by radioimmunoassay, from insulin-stimulated samples was seen after 30 min. Adenosine deaminase, at concentrations sufficient to metabolize endogenous adenosine, decreased insulin-stimulated leptin release. Also, the insulin-stimulated leptin release was completely blocked by the adenosine A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX). Mediation of endogenous adenosine in this action of insulin was further supported by the assay of adenosine released into the medium from adipocytes stimulated with insulin. In addition, activation of adenosine A1 receptors by N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) induced an increase in leptin release in a concentration-dependent manner that could be blocked by antagonists, either DPCPX or 8-(p-sulfophenyl)theophylline (8-SPT). In the presence of U73312, a specific inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC), CPA-stimulated leptin secretion from adipocytes was reduced in a concentration-dependent manner, but it was not affected by U73343, the negative control for U73312. Moreover, chelerythrine and GF 109203X diminished the CPA-stimulated leptin secretion at concentrations sufficient to inhibit protein kinase C (PKC). These results suggest that, in isolated white adipocytes, the released adenosine acts as a helper and/or a positive regulator for insulin in the release of leptin via an activation of adenosine A1 receptors that involves the PLC-PKC pathway.

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