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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Jun;20(6):971-6. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2272.

The incretin effect and secretion in obese and lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study.

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Division of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 S. Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, Greece.



Insulin resistance is considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and in the progression to type 2 diabetes. Recent reports concentrate on a possible relationship between incretin secretion and beta-cell function in PCOS. The aim of the present study is to investigate the incretin effect in obese and lean women with PCOS.


Twenty women with PCOS and ten age-matched healthy women were recruited in the study. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and isoglycemic test were carried out on each participant after an overnight fast at 2-weeks interval. Plasma levels of insulin, glucose, C-peptide, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) were assayed.


Obese women with PCOS demonstrated lower GIP concentrations (area under the curve [AUC]) in response to OGTT compared to the control group. The incretin effect was found significantly augmented in the obese women with PCOS compared to controls. This finding remained robust in the subgroup analysis including only body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy women.


Increased insulinotropic effect could counteract the blunted GIP response to OGTT in obese women with PCOS. It is suggested that the pathology of PCOS may also include impaired activity of the enteroinsular axis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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