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Effects of estradiol and FSH on leptin levels in women with suppressed pituitary

Abstract

Background

Female fertility depends on adequate nutrition and energy reserves, suggesting a correlation between the metabolic reserve and reproductive capacity. Leptin regulates body weight and energy homeostasis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether estradiol or FSH alone has a direct effect on the production of leptin.

Methods

A total of 64 patients submitted to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with recombinant FSH for assisted reproduction and 20 patients using estradiol valerate for endometrial preparation for oocyte donation treatment were included in the study. All patients used GnRH analogues before starting treatment to achieve pituitary suppression. Blood samples for hormonal measurements were collected before starting and after completing the respective treatments. Data were analyzed statistically by the chi-square test, Student’s t-test and Pearson’s correlation test.

Results

We observed an elevation of serum leptin levels secondary to the increase in estradiol, in the absence of influence of any other ovarian or pituitary hormone. The rising rate of leptin levels was higher in women treated with recombinant FSH, which also had higher levels of estradiol, than in those treated with estradiol valerate.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates a correlation between serum levels of estradiol and leptin, suggesting that estradiol is an important regulator of leptin production and that its effects can be amplified by its association with FSH.