Growing scientific evidence has unveiled increased incidences of obesity in domestic animals and its influence on a plethora of associated disorders. Leptin, an adipokine regulating body fat mass, represents a key molecule in obesity, able to modulate immune responses and foster chronic inflammatory response in peripheral tissues. High levels of cytokines and inflammatory markers suggest an association between inflammatory state and obesity in dogs, highlighting the parallelism with humans. Canine obesity is a relevant disease always accompanied with several health conditions such as inflammation, immune-dysregulation, insulin resistance, pancreatitis, orthopaedic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and neoplasia. However, leptin involvement in many disease processes in veterinary medicine is poorly understood. Moreover, hyperleptinemia as well as leptin resistance occur with cardiac dysfunction as a consequence of altered cardiac mitochondrial metabolism in obese dogs. Similarly, leptin dysregulation seems to be involved in the pancreatitis pathophysiology. This review aims to examine literature concerning leptin and immunological status in obese dogs, in particular for the aspects related to obesity-associated diseases.
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