, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 419–423 | Cite as

Elevated serum levels of interleukin-18 are associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Yi-fei Zhang
  • Yi-sheng Yang
  • Jie Hong
  • Wei-qiong Gu
  • Chun-fang Shen
  • Min Xu
  • Peng-fei Du
  • Xiao-ying Li
  • Guang Ning
Original Articles


Overproduction of proinflammatory factors is associated with obesity and diabetes. Interleukin (IL)-18 as a member of IL-1 cytokine family is increased in obese, in diabetic, and even in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients. In the present study we evaluated the association of serum IL-18 levels with insulin resistance in PCOS women. Forty-two PCOS women and 38 control subjects were enrolled in this study and matched with respect to age and body mass index (BMI). Serum IL-18 levels and hormones were measured for all subjects. Furthermore, euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test was performed in selected 30 PCOS women and 11 control subjects. Serum IL-18 levels were elevated in PCOS women compared with the control (p=0.003). IL-18 levels were positively correlated with homeostasis model assessment index (HOMA) β index, which assesses β cell function (p=0.035), but were inversely correlated with clamp indices, which best-represent insulin resistance status: M, Clamp ISIS100, and MCRg values (p=0.006, 0.010, and 0.009 respectively). No correlation was found between IL-18 and age, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), lipid profile, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), or fasting insulin levels. In conclusion, in the present study, serum IL-18 levels were significantly increased in PCOS women and firmly associated with insulin resistance displayed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test. It indicates that IL-18 may be a contributing factor linking inflammation and insulin resistance in PCOS women.

Key Words

Interleukin-18 polycystic ovarysyndrome insulin resistance euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi-fei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yi-sheng Yang
    • 1
  • Jie Hong
    • 1
  • Wei-qiong Gu
    • 1
  • Chun-fang Shen
    • 1
  • Min Xu
    • 1
  • Peng-fei Du
    • 1
  • Xiao-ying Li
    • 1
  • Guang Ning
    • 1
  1. 1.Shanghai Clinical Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Shanghai Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Ruijin HospitalShanghai Jiaotong University Medical SchoolShanghaiP.R. China

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