, Volume 279, Issue 3, pp 361-364
Date: 30 Jul 2008

Peritoneal fluid and serum leptin concentrations in women with primary infertility

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Abstract

Aim

Leptin is proposed to participate in the reproductive system of women by acting on either ovaries or hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The objective of the present study is to investigate the leptin concentrations in peritoneal fluid and serum samples of women diagnosed with primary infertility.

Methods

A prospective study was carried out in women who underwent laparoscopy within the diagnostic process of primary infertility between January 2005 and January 2007. Leptin concentrations were determined in blood samples obtained before surgery and in peritoneal fluid samples collected during laparoscopy.

Results

Peritoneal fluid was obtained from 112 subjects; 21 with unexplained infertility 28 with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), 30 with bilateral tubal occlusion, and 33 with endometriosis. Subjects with PCOS have significantly higher body weights, BMI values and plasma leptin levels when compared to other study groups. Peritoneal fluid levels of leptin were significantly higher in the endometriosis group compared to other three study groups. A positive correlation was found between peritoneal fluid leptin levels and the endometriosis stage (r = 0.51, P = 0.01). However, plasma leptin levels were unrelated to the disease extent.

Discussion

It might be hypothesized that leptin may be an active factor in the pathogenesis of PCOS and endometriosis, which are two major causes of primary infertility. A mild leptin deficiency in peritoneal environment may interrupt follicular development and ultimately lead to PCOS. Leptin has angiogenic and mitogenic properties, which trigger inflammatory cytokines and eventually result in the development of endometriosis implants. Significantly, higher levels of leptin in peritoneal environments of endometriosis subjects strongly imply the important role of this common pathology.