Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 361–366 | Cite as

Serum Leptin Elevation in Obese Women with PCOS: A Continuing Controversy

  • Hisham Ali Saleh
  • Mohamed Amr El-Nwaem
  • Magdy Mamdouh El-Bordiny
  • Hala Mohamed El-Sayed Maqlad
  • Amr Ahmed El-Mohandes
  • Ebtehag Mohamed Eldaqaq


Purpose: To evaluate leptin levels in a sample of obese women with PCOS and compare the results with obese and non-obese control, to be ultimately correlated with BMI, and insulin sensitivity.

Methods: Leptin and insulin assays by immuno-radiometric method, glucose assay by enzymatic colorimetric method.

Results: Leptin levels were significantly different between obese and non-obese subjects, and were significantly different between insulin resistant and non-insulin resistant obese PCOS, but were not significantly different between obese non-insulin resistant PCOS, and obese controls.

Conclusions: Body mass index and insulin resistance are the two main factors governing serum leptin levels.

Body mass index leptin obesity polycystic ovary syndrome 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Zhang Y, Proenca R, Maffei M, et al.: Positional cloning of the mouse obese gene and its human homologue. Nature 1994;372:425-432Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ahima RS, Flier JS: Leptin. Annu Rev Physiol 2000;62:413-437Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Caprio M, Fabbrini E, Isidori AM,et al.: Leptin in reproduction. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2001;12:65-72Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Caro JF, Sinha MK, Kolaczynski ZW, et al.: Leptin: The tale of an obesity gene. Diabetes 1996;45:1455-1462Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stephens TW, Caro JF: To be lean or not to be lean. Is leptin the answer? Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1998;106:1-15Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kennedy GC, Mitra J: Body weight and food intake as initiating factors for puberty. J Physiol 1963;166:408-418Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Frisch RE: Body fat, puberty, and fertility. Biol Rev 1984;59:161-188Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wade GN, Schneider JE, Li HY: Control of fertility by metabolic cues. Am J Physiol 1996;270:E1Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Neel JV: Diabetes mellitus: A thrifty genotype rendered detri-mental by progress? Am J Hum Gen 1962;14:353-362Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fox R: Polycystic ovarian disease and insulin resistance: Patho-physiology and wider health issues. In Progress in Obstetrics and Gynecology, J. Studd, (ed), London, Churchill Livingstone, 1997, Vol 11, Ch 19, pp 351-367Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Caro JF, Kolaczynski JW, Nyce MR, et al.: Decreased cere-brospinal fluid/serum leptin ratio in obesity: A possible mech-anism for leptin resistance. Lancet 1996;348:159-161Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schwartz MW, Peskind E, Raskind M, et al.: Cerebrospinal fluid leptin levels: Relation to plasma levels and to adiposity in humans. Nat Med 1996;2:589-593Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Saad MF, Riad-Gabriel MG, Khan A: Diurnal and ultradian rhythmicity of plasma leptin: Effect of gender and adiposity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1998;83:453-459Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Norman J, Masters SC, Hague W, et al.: Metabolic approaches to the subclassification of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 1995;63:329-335Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Louvet JP, Harman SM, Schreiber JR, et al.: Evidence for a role of androgens in follicular maturation. Endocrinology 1975;97:366-372Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Anderson E, Lee GY: The effects of DHEAand its metabolites on the PCO condition: Cytogenetic changes of rat granulosa cells in vitro. Tissue Cell 1996;28(6):673-685Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fauser BC: Observations in favor of normal early follicular de-velopment and disturbed dominant follicle selection in PCOS. Gynecol Endocrinol 1994;8:75Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lanzone A, Fulghesu AM, Fortini A, et al.: Effect of opi-ate receptor blockade on the insulin response to oral glucose load in polycystic ovarian disease. Hum Reprod 1991;6:1043-1049Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hillier SG: Regulatory functions for inhibin and activin in hu-man ovaries. J Endocrinol 1991;131:171-175Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mather JP, Moore A, Li RH: Activin, inhibins, and follistatins: Further thoughts on a growing family of regulators. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1997;215:209-222Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brzechaffa PR, Jakimiuk AJ, Agarwal SK, et al.: Serum im-munoreactive leptin concentrations in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996;4166-4171Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chapman IM, Wiltert JA, Norman RJ: Circulating leptin con-centrations in polycystic ovary syndrome in relation to anthro-pometric and metabolic parameters. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1997;46:175-179Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rouru J, Antilla L, Koskinen P, et al.: Serum leptin con-centrations in women with PCOS. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:1697-1702Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mantzoros CS, Dunaif A, Flier JS: Leptin concentrations in the polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:1687-1694Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Telli MH, Yildirim M, Noyan V: Serum leptin levels in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 2002;77:932-935Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Conway GS, Jacobs HS: Leptin: A hormone of reproduction. Hum Reprod 1997;12:633-635Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Remsberg KE, Talbott EO, Zborowski JV, et al.: Evidence for competing effects of body mass, hyperinsulinemeia, insulin resistance and androgens on leptin levels among lean, over-weight, and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 2002,78:479-486Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stein IF, Leventhal ML: Amenorrhea associated with bilateral polycystic ovaries. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1935;29:181-187Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Achard C, Thiers J: Le virilisme pilaire et son association a'l' insuffisance glycolytique (diabete a femmes de barbe). Bull Acad Natl Med (Paris) 1921;86:51-66Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Poretsky L, Kahin MF: The gonadotropic function of insulin. Endocrinol Rev 1987;8:134-141Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Moller DE, Flier JS: Detection of an alteration in the insulin receptor gene in a patient with insulin resistance, acanthosis nigricans and the polycystic ovary syndrome. N Eng J Med 1988;319:1526-1529Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Walder K, Flippis A, Clark S, et al.: Leptin inhibits insulin binding in isolated rat adipocytes. J Endocrinol 1997;155:R5-R7Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cohen B, Novich D, Rubinstein M: Modulation of insulin activities by leptin. Science 1996;274:1185-1188Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Karlsson C, Lindell K, Svensson E, et al.: Expression of func-tional leptin receptors in the human ovary. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:4144-4148Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Spicer JL, Francisco CC: The adipose obese gene product, lep-tin: Evidence of a direct inhibitory role on ovarian function. Endocrinology 1997;138:3374-3379Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Jacobs HS: Familial aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome. Gy-necol Forum 1997;2:8-10Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Dunaif A, Xia J, Book CB, et al.: Excessive insulin receptor phosphorylation in cultured fibroblasts and in skeletal muscles. J Clin Invest 1995;96:801-810Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zhang LH, Rodrigues H, Ohno S, et al.: Serine phosphorylation of human p450 c17 increases 17,20 lyase activity: Implications for adrenarche and the polycystic ovary syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1995;92:10619-10623Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisham Ali Saleh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohamed Amr El-Nwaem
    • 3
  • Magdy Mamdouh El-Bordiny
    • 2
  • Hala Mohamed El-Sayed Maqlad
    • 3
  • Amr Ahmed El-Mohandes
    • 3
  • Ebtehag Mohamed Eldaqaq
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

Personalised recommendations