Expression of adiponectin, leptin, and their receptors in ovarian endometrioma

Leptin and its receptor (ObR) are induced in ovarian endometriomas. There was positive correlation between ObR and adiponectin expression. The leptin-ObR system was associated with adiponectin gene expression in endometriotic cells.

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Youn Seok Choi, M.D., Ph.D., Hoon Kyu Oh, M.D., Ph.D., Jung-Hye Choi, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 1, Pages 135-141.e2, July 2013



To evaluate the expression of leptin, leptin receptor (ObR), adiponectin, and adiponectin receptor (AdipoR) in ovarian endometriomas compared with normal endometrium, and to analyze relationships among adipokines and their receptors.


Experimental study.


A clinic for the treatment of endometriosis and basic research laboratories.


Forty-four women with endometriosis and 42 age-matched women with no laparoscopic evidence of endometriosis as control subjects.


Endometrial tissue samples were obtained during laparoscopic surgery.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Immunohistochemical staining for leptin, ObR, adiponectin, and AdipoR was performed with the use of tissue microarray. Clinical characteristics were reviewed from the patient’s medical records. The effect of leptin on the expression of adiponectin was evaluated in endometriotic cell line using real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.


Positive expression rates of leptin and ObR were significantly higher in ovarian endometrioma compared with normal endometrium, but those of adiponectin and AdipoR were similar (ovarian endometrioma vs. normal endometrium, respectively: leptin 100% vs. 59.5%; ObR 72.7% vs. 33.3%; adiponectin 31.8% vs. 42.9%; AdipoR 88.6% vs. 73.8%). Expression of adipokines and their receptors did not show any correlation with disease stage. A positive correlation was found between expression of ObR and adiponectin (correlation coefficient 0.488; P=.001). Leptin treatment in endometriotic cells induced mRNA expression of adiponectin.


These data suggest that leptin and its receptor are induced in ovarian endometriomas, and that the leptin/ObR system regulates adiponectin gene expression in endometriotic cells.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.