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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2001 September;43(3):149-54


language: English

Leptin and body composition in healthy postmenopausal women

Martini G., Valenti R., Giovani S., Campagna S., Franci B., Nuti R.

From the Chair of Internal Medicine, Metabolic Disease Unit University of Siena, Policlinico “Le Scotte”, Siena, Italy

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Background. Leptin has ­been pro­posed to be ­involved in cen­tral con­trol of adi­pos­ity and fat dis­tri­bu­tion but the ­role of ­this pep­tide is con­tro­ver­sial. The aim of our ­study was to ­test the rela­tion­ship ­between ser­um lep­tin and ­body com­po­si­tion, fat dis­tri­bu­tion, and ­some bio­chem­i­cal mark­ers ­such as fast­ing insu­li­ne­mia and lipop­ro­teins in a pop­u­la­tion of ­healthy Italian post­men­o­pau­sal wom­en.
Methods. One hun­dred and twen­ty-­three post­men­o­pau­sal wom­en (62.1±8.7 ­years) ­were eval­u­at­ed. Body com­po­si­tion (fat and ­lean ­mass) was ­assessed by ­dual-ener­gy X-ray absorp­tiom­e­try (DXA). Two ­regions of inter­est ­were deter­mined for region­al fat anal­y­sis. Serum lep­tin and insu­li­ne­mia ­were meas­ured by radio­im­mu­noas­say, lipop­ro­teins ­with color­imet­ric meth­ods and apol­i­pop­ro­teins nephel­o­met­ri­cal­ly.
Results. Plasma lep­tin lev­els are strong­ly relat­ed to ­total fat ­mass, in ­grams (r=0.73, p<0.001) or as a per­cent­age of ­soft tis­sue (r=0.75, p<0.001), and to adi­pos­ity, cal­cu­lat­ed as ­ratio ­between ­lean and fat ­mass (r=0.76, p<0.001). A sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion was ­also ­found ­between ser­um lep­tin and cen­tral fat dis­tri­bu­tion (r=0.29, p<0.01). As con­cerns bio­chem­i­cal mark­ers, ser­um lep­tin was sig­nif­i­cant­ly relat­ed to fast­ing insu­lin (r=0.38, p<0.001), ­total cho­les­te­rol (r=0.29, p<0.01), Apolipoprotein-B (r=0.35, p<0.001), and tri­gly­ce­rides (r=0.22, p<0.05). When cor­rect­ed for ­total fat ­mass, the par­tial cor­re­la­tion coef­fi­cients ­remain sig­nif­i­cant for per­cent­age of ­total ­body fat (r=0.27, p<0.01), adi­pos­ity (r=0.23, p<0.01), and fat pro­por­tion in ­android ­region (r=0.18, p<0.05).
Conclusions. These ­data indi­cate ­that lep­tin lev­els are relat­ed to adi­pos­ity and fast­ing insu­lin lev­els; ­indeed ­fast insu­lin man­tains sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion ­with lep­tin (r=0.23, p<0.01) ­after con­trol­ling for fat ­mass. Android dis­tri­bu­tion of fat ­mass in eld­er­ly wom­en is asso­ciat­ed ­with lep­tin con­cen­tra­tion.

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