Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Novel Insights into Causes and Therapy

Editor(s): Macut D. (Belgrade) 
Pfeifer M. (Ljubljana) 
Yildiz B.O. (Ankara) 
Diamanti-Kandarakis E. (Athens) 
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Obesity, Adipokines and Metabolic Syndrome in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Carmina E.
Endocrine Unit, Department of Medical and Biological Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy Macut D, Pfeifer M, Yildiz BO, Diamanti-Kandarakis E (eds): Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Novel Insights into Causes and Therapy. Front Horm Res. Basel, Karger, 2013, vol 40, pp 40–50 (DOI:10.1159/000341840)


The complex mechanisms linking fat excess to metabolic syndrome are not well understood, but several experimental studies have shown that altered production of adipokines plays a main role in development and progression of this disorder. In particular, reduced secretion of adiponectin has a crucial role in inducing insulin resistance but also in determining the clustering of elevated triglycerides and small, dense LDL particles. Increased leptin secretion may be responsible for sympathetic nervous system overactivity and hypertension, while reduced omentin may have an important permissive role in the development of atherogenic processes. Finally, cytokines and other adipokines (resistin, visfatin) determine and modulate the inflammatory process that is an essential component of this condition of cardiovascular risk. Because obesity is prevalent in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it is not surprising that patients with PCOS present altered adipokine levels and increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome. However, because of the presence of other CV risk factors (androgen excess), in PCOS adipokine dysfunction is particularly severe. Understanding and treating adipokine dysfunction in young women with PCOS is an essential component of any politics of prevention of CV diseases in the general population.


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