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Steroids. 2004 Jun;69(6):425-30.

Hormone and metabolic factors associated with leptin mRNA expression in pre- and postmenopausal women.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas, Universidad de Guanajuato, León, Guanajuato 37320, Mexico.


Recent information has extended leptin's action, beyond the control of appetite, to various sites of metabolic regulation. To better understand leptin's role we studied its production in subcutaneous and visceral fat compartments before and after menopause. During elective abdominal surgery, biopsies of subcutaneous and omental tissues were taken from 20 women at pre- (BMI 28.4 +/- 4.5 kg/m2) and 10 at postmenopause (BMI 30.6 +/- 7.7 kg/m2). In both groups serum leptin levels were similar, and highly correlated with BMI. In subcutaneous adipose tissue, leptin mRNA expression was significantly higher in pre- than in postmenopausal women (50.4 +/- 20.5 amol/microg total RNA versus 34.5 +/- 24.9 amol/microg total RNA, respectively). Leptin mRNA expression in subcutaneous tissue was independently correlated with fasting glucose (R = 0.89, P < 0.006) at premenopause, and with serum estradiol (R = 0.77, P < 0.04) at postmenopause. Leptin mRNA expression in visceral fat was correlated with DHEAS (R = 0.86, P < 0.001), at premenopause. These results indicate that in both compartments, leptin production is sensitive to different but overlapping stimuli, conveying information about energy availability to central and peripheral sites under different conditions of estrogen exposure.

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