The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Role of Leptin and Its Receptor ObR in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Thomas M Kinfe, Andreas Stadlbauer, Yavor Bozhkov, Natalia Kremenevski, Sebastian Brandner, Michael Buchfelder, Shafqat R Chaudhry

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Leptin has been recognized as a potential tumor growth promoter in various cancers including cranial tumor pathologies such as pituitary adenomas, meningiomas and gliomas. Despite recent advances in adjunctive therapy and the established surgical resection, chemo- and radiotherapy regimen, glioblastoma multiforme remains a particular diagnostic and therapeutic challenge among the intracranial tumor pathologies, with a poor long-term prognosis. Systemic inflammation and immune-metabolic signaling through diverse pathways are thought to impact the genesis and recurrence of brain tumors, and glioblastoma multiforme in particular. Among the various circulating mediators, leptin has gained especial diagnostic and therapeutic interest, although the precise relationship between leptin and glioblastoma biology remains largely unknown. In this narrative review (MEDLINE/OVID, SCOPUS, PubMed and manual searches of the bibliographies of known primary and review articles), we discuss the current literature using the following search terms: leptin, glioblastoma multiforme, carcinogenesis, immunometabolism, biomarkers, metformin, antidiabetic medication and metabolic disorders. An increasing body of experimental evidence implicates a relationship between the development and maintenance of gliomas (and brain tumors in general) with a dysregulated central and peripheral immune-metabolic network mediated by circulating adipokines, chemokines and cellular components, and in particular the leptin adipokine. In this review, we summarize the current evidence of the role of leptin in glioblastoma pathophysiology. In addition, we describe the status of alternative diagnostic tools and adjunctive therapeutics targeting leptin, leptin-receptors, antidiabetic drugs and associated pathways. Further experimental and clinical trials are needed to elucidate the mechanism of action and the value of immune-metabolism molecular phenotyping (central and peripheral) in order to develop novel adjunctive diagnostics and therapeutics for newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3691
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2020


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