Leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin, new potential mediators of ischemic stroke.

OBJECTIVES: Fat tissue is an important endocrine organ that produces a number of hormones and cytokines (leptin, adiponectin, resistin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, Tumour necrosis factor TNF α) with essential roles in regulation of many physiological functions.

METHODS: We targeted implications of adipokines in ischemic stroke patients. Patients with acute stroke were examined (n=145) and the results were compared with the control group (n=68). We have examined potential associations between leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin, and different types of stroke and traditional risk factors.

RESULTS: Significantly higher levels of leptin and lower levels of adiponectin and ghrelin were confirmed in the stroke group. The level of leptin in women with stroke was three-times higher than in men, and the leptin levels positively correlated with obesity in both sexes. Ghrelin levels correlated mildly with triglyceride levels, and were dominant in men with cardioembolic stroke. Adiponectin levels were not different between men and women with acute stroke, and correlated with atherothrombotic and lacunar stroke types in men.

CONCLUSIONS: Adipokines and ghrelin play an important role in ischemic stroke, but their function in stroke subtypes seems to be different and sex influenced. More research is required to confirm our results.

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