Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29351649
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Oct 1;111(10):448-456
Leptin is a nutritional hormone whose production is generally higher in females. We investigated how leptin is associated with sex dimorphism during urinary schistosomiasis in relation with wasting.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in three villages in northern Senegal. Ninety-eight school-aged children belonging to the Fulani or Wolof villages were enrolled. We performed parasitic diagnosis and anthropometric measurement to evaluate nutritional status. We collected peripheral blood to determine the amount of circulating leptin and immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG4 and IgE directed to soluble worm antigen preparation (SWAP).
The prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium infection was higher among boys regardless of ethnic group, but exposure to parasites did not exacerbate malnutrition. The greater ability of girls to produce leptin was not altered by schistosomiasis and was recovered in both ethnic groups. However, while the usual correlation between leptin and fat storage was preserved in Fulani girls, it was disrupted in Fulani boys, who displayed a remarkable susceptibility for wasting. Finally, we observed that leptin was negatively associated with the level of antibodies in Wolof boys.
Leptin can be disconnected from body fat and may exert a sex-dependent influence on host immune response to S. haematobium infection in Senegalese children.