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Horm Res Paediatr. 2013;79(2):83-7. doi: 10.1159/000346898. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Relationship of adiponectin with sex hormone levels in adolescents.

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  • 1Institute of Applied Molecular Medicine, CEU-San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain.



Adiponectin is an adipose tissue-derived adipocytokine which, starting at puberty, is present in lower levels in males than in females. In adults, a relationship between adiponectin levels and sexual hormones has been suggested, but this association remains unclear in children. Our study aimed to analyze the relationship of adiponectin with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, testosterone, estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in adolescents.


The population-based sample included 785 healthy 12- to 16-year-old children. Testosterone, estradiol, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels were assessed by radioimmunoassay. SHBG was measured by immunoradiometric assay. Adiponectin concentrations were measured by ELISA.


Adiponectin levels were positively correlated with SHBG and negatively correlated with the free androgen index independently of body mass index (BMI) and fat mass. No significant correlations were observed between adiponectin and total testosterone or estradiol. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that, after adjustment for BMI, SHBG appears as the primary predictor of adiponectin levels in both sexes, accounting for 5.7% of the variation in adiponectin levels in boys and 7.5% in girls.


Adiponectin is related to free androgen index and SHBG levels in adolescents after adjusting for BMI and fat mass, thus suggesting an association between adiponectin levels and androgen bioavailability that would explain the sex-based differences in adiponectin levels through life.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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