Full-length visfatin levels are associated with inflammation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

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Abstract

Background

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common gynaecological endocrinopathy characterized by oligomenorrhea, amenorrhoea, clinical and/or biochemical hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovaries. Abdominal deposition of excess body fat and metabolic diseases like insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia are commonly observed in PCOS subjects. It has been suggested that visfatin is an adipokine secreted from the abdominal fat influencing glucose metabolism and might therefore contribute to the metabolic disturbances in PCOS.

Materials and methods

We measured circulating full-length visfatin levels with a specific enzyme immunoassay (AdipoGen Inc, Incheon, South-Korea) in 57 women with self-reported symptoms of PCOS (hirsutism and/or oligomenorrhea) and ultrasound confirmed polycystic ovaries, and in 57 controls from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort and explored its association with metabolic and inflammatory parameters.

Results

Polycystic ovary syndrome cases had higher body mass index (BMI) (25·7 vs. 24·1 kg/m2) and waist circumference (83·2 vs. 78·8 cm) compared to controls, yet there was no difference in plasma visfatin levels between them. In contrast, visfatin significantly correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) in the control group and with white blood cell count (WBC) in both groups. In linear regression analysis, adjusted for PCOS, smoking, socioeconomic status, BMI or waist circumference, serum lipids and markers of glucose metabolism and hormone status, only WBC remained significantly associated with plasma visfatin levels.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that circulating visfatin levels correlate with WBC and CRP but are not associated with PCOS, obesity or metabolic markers, suggesting that visfatin may act as a proinflammatory cytokine.

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