Adipose Tissue Dysfunction in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine and metabolic disorder among premenopausal women. In addition to infertility, PCOS is associated with insulin resistance, features of the metabolic syndrome, and an increased risk for diabetes. Similar to individuals with metabolic syndrome, many women with PCOS manifest abdominal obesity, suggesting adipose tissue dysfunction. The adipose tissue of women with PCOS is characterized by hypertrophic adipocytes and impairments in lipolysis and insulin action. The expression and secretion of a wide variety of adipokines implicated in insulin resistance, including adiponectin and others, are also altered in PCOS. Collectively, the available data indicate that adipose tissue dysfunction plays a central role in the metabolic abnormalities observed in PCOS. Whether these abnormalities are primary or secondary to hyperandrogenism or other abnormalities in PCOS is not yet known.