Objectives: To investigate the circulating levels of adiponectin, resistin, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and leptin/receptor ratio in healthy Spanish children throughout the different stages of pubertal development. To analyze the relationship between adipokines and sex steroid level changes during puberty.
Study design: Serum adiponectin, resistin, IL-6 levels, and leptin/receptor ratio were studied in 160 healthy Spanish children grouped according to their pubertal stage (Tanner I, 23 girls and 22 boys; Tanner II, 19 girls and 16 boys; Tanners III and IV, 21 girls and 20 boys; and Tanner V, 20 girls and 19 boys). In addition, circulating levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were determined in every subject, and testosterone and estradiol levels in boys and girls respectively.
Results: Adiponectin levels decreased in boys from mid puberty (P < 0.05) to become significantly lower than in girls (P < 0.001), whereas IL-6 decreased in both sexes (P < 0.05). Resistin levels and leptin/receptor ratio showed no differences between sexes or according to pubertal stage, except in adult females, who had the highest levels of both parameters (P < 0.001). Serum IL-6 levels correlated significantly (P < 0.05) with testosterone and estradiol levels (r=−0.37 and −0.42 respectively), whereas estradiol, but not testosterone, correlated with leptin/receptor ratio (r=0.59; P < 0.001). Furthermore, a positive relationship was found between SHBG and adiponectin and IL-6 (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05 respectively). In addition, a direct correlation between leptin/receptor and body mass index was found in both sexes (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Variations in adipokine profiles throughout pubertal development appear to be related with progression of gonadal function.