Leptin belongs to the group of adipokines and has recently attracted attention because of its effects on the cardiovascular system. Increased leptin concentrations are reported in obese dogs but its role in cardiac disease (CD) is not known. Therefore, we investigated leptin expression in blood samples from dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF), and from myocardial samples of dogs with CDs.
Leptin mRNA was analyzed from blood samples of 8 dogs presented for cardiac screening in which no abnormalities were detected and 8 dogs in CHF. In addition, myocardial samples (interventricular septum, right and left atria, and ventricles) of 10 dogs with no cardiac abnormalities (controls), 7 dogs with acquired and 3 dogs with congenital CDs were investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Dogs with CHF had significantly higher blood concentrations of leptin mRNA than dogs without CD (P = .013). Myocardial leptin expression was significantly increased in acquired (P = .035) and decreased in congenital CD (P = .016) in comparison to controls. Dogs in heart failure stage D showed higher myocardial leptin concentrations than dogs in stage C3 and B (P = .031). Differences according to myocardial region (P < .05) were detected and higher leptin concentrations were present in the atria in comparison to the ventricles in dogs with CD (P = .005). Comparing male and female dogs with CD revealed higher leptin concentrations in female dogs (P = .001).
These results indicate leptin mRNA concentrations vary with CD, severity of CD, myocardial region, and possibly sex. Therefore, leptin might play a role in canine CD.