Background - Leptin, the protein product of the ob gene, has been linked to a faster heart rate in animal and human studies. The interaction between leptin and heart rate in the denervated heart is not known. Therefore, we studied the relationship between plasma leptin levels and heart rate in heart transplant recipients. Methods and Results - We studied 32 male patients (mean age, 56.5±9.3 years; range, 41 to 74 years) after orthotopic heart transplantation. All subjects underwent a physical examination, anthropometric measurements, blood chemistry analysis, and office blood pressure measurements. A blood sample was collected from each subject while fasting. In univariate analysis, heart rate was related to leptin levels (r=0.47, P=0.007) but heart rate was not related to systolic or diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, body mass index, or catecholamines. Leptin levels were only strongly associated with heart rate and body mass index (r=0.73, P<0.0001). In multivariate analysis, heart rate was independently and positively associated with leptin levels (F=2.61, P=0.017). We also observed a strong, independent association between leptin levels and body mass index (F=5.8, P<0.00001). Conclusions - We show an independent association between leptin levels and heart rate in heart transplant recipients. We speculate that this may be due, in part, to a direct effect of leptin on heart rate, conceivably mediated through cardiac leptin receptors.
- Heart rate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)