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31-01-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

HMW adiponectin reduced in PCOS independent of BMI, insulin resistance


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Study findings show that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have significantly lower levels of high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin than do women without the condition, independent of body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance (IR).

It is known that HMW adiponectin contributes to IR, but the role of HMW adiponectin and factors that influence its concentration in women with PCOS are less clear, say Helen Roche (University College Dublin, Belfield, Ireland) and colleagues.

The researchers therefore assessed serum levels of HMW adiponectin in 98 women with PCOS, aged 28.2 years on average with a mean BMI of 32.28 kg/m2, and 103 BMI-matched control women aged 32.3 years on average. An additional, 68 control women among the cohort were age-, BMI-, and IR level-matched with 68 of the PCOS women.

Women with PCOS had significantly lower levels of HMW adiponectin than women matched for BMI alone, and for BMI and IR, at a mean of 2.72 versus 3.57 and 3.63 ng/ml, respectively.

Although BMI and IR were the main predictors of HMW adiponectin, an interaction between waist-to-hip ratio and plasma testosterone contributed to the lower HMW adiponectin levels seen in PCOS women.

Adipose tissue gene expression analysis revealed reduced messenger RNA expression of the androgen receptor and tumor necrosis factor–alpha genes AR and TNF-alpha, but not of the adiponectin gene ADIPOQ.

Roche et al conclude: “Although BMI and IR are the main predictors of HMW adiponectin in the PCOS population, the combined effect of androgens and abdominal adiposity cannot be ignored.”

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