Leptin and body composition in healthy postmenopausal women.Panminerva Med. 2001 Sep; 43(3):149-54.PM
Leptin has been proposed to be involved in central control of adiposity and fat distribution but the role of this peptide is controversial. The aim of our study was to test the relationship between serum leptin and body composition, fat distribution, and some biochemical markers such as fasting insulinemia and lipoproteins in a population of healthy Italian postmenopausal women.
One hundred and twenty-three postmenopausal women (62.1+/-8.7 years) were evaluated. Body composition (fat and lean mass) was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Two regions of interest were determined for regional fat analysis. Serum leptin and insulinemia were measured by radioimmunoassay, lipoproteins with colorimetric methods and apolipoproteins nephelometrically.
Plasma leptin levels are strongly related to total fat mass, in grams (r=0.73, p<0.001) or as a percentage of soft tissue (r=0.75, p<0.001), and to adiposity, calculated as ratio between lean and fat mass (r=0.76, p<0.001). A significant correlation was also found between serum leptin and central fat distribution (r=0.29, p<0.01). As concerns biochemical markers, serum leptin was significantly related to fasting insulin (r=0.38, p<0.001), total cholesterol (r=0.29, p<0.01), Apolipoprotein-B (r=0.35, p<0.001), and triglycerides (r=0.22, p<0.05). When corrected for total fat mass, the partial correlation coefficients remain significant for percentage of total body fat (r=0.27, p<0.01), adiposity (r=0.23, p<0.01), and fat proportion in android region (r=0.18, p<0.05).
These data indicate that leptin levels are related to adiposity and fasting insulin levels; indeed fast insulin mantains significant correlation with leptin (r=0.23, p<0.01) after controlling for fat mass. Android distribution of fat mass in elderly women is associated with leptin concentration.