Adipose expression of adipocytokines in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

In a cross-sectional study of women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity but not PCOS affected the expression of adipose expression and plasma levels of adipocytokines.

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Pernille Fog Svendsen, M.D., Michael Christiansen, M.D., Paula Louise Hedley, M.Sc., Lisbeth Nilas, M.D., Steen Bønløkke Pedersen, M.D., Ph.D., Sten Madsbad, M.D.

Vol 98, Issue 1 , Pages 235-241



To investigate the role of adipocytokines in the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by analyzing the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and plasma levels of adipocytokines.


Cross-sectional study.




Thirty-six women with PCOS, 17 lean (LP) and 19 obese (OP), and 24 age- and weight-matched controls, 8 lean (LC) and 16 obese (OC).


Subcutaneous adipose tissue and fasting plasma samples collected from 60 women, and insulin sensitivity evaluated by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp and homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR).

Main Outcome Measure(s):

mRNA expression of adiponectin, leptin, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in adipose tissue, and plasma levels of leptin, adiponectin, resistin, visfatin, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α).


The baseline data on body mass index (BMI), age, androgen levels, and insulin sensitivity was published previously. We found no independent effect of PCOS on the adipose expression of leptin, adiponectin, or IL-6 or on the plasma levels of adiponectin, leptin, resistin, visfatin, and TNF-α. Obesity was associated with increased mRNA expression of leptin, lower expression of adiponectin, and increased plasma levels of leptin.


Obesity is per se associated with increased adipose expression and plasma levels of leptin, lower expression of adiponectin, and marginally elevated expression of IL-6, but PCOS does not appear to have an independent effect on the adipose expression of leptin, adiponectin, and IL-6 or the circulating adipocytokines.

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