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Inheritance of hormonal disorder marked by excessive insulin in daughters
Date:7/28/2008

vary insulin. Compared to the control group, the girls also had lower levels of urinary hormones.

According to Legro, the key finding of the study is that insulin levels appear to be elevated in daughters of PCOS mothers, which becomes more pronounced as they pass through puberty. Since the androgen levels were comparatively normal throughout puberty, and insulin resistance was only found in girls who had undergone puberty, Legro argues that insulin is the primary problem, while male hormones are a secondary problem.

"Insulin is the real culprit in terms of stimulating the ovary, more so than gonadotropins, said Legro, whose findings appeared in a recent issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and was the subject of an editorial in the same issue.

"You could argue children of PCOS mothers build up excessive insulin during puberty, which in turn contributes to reproductive abnormality," explained Legro.

However, Legro cautions that it may be too early to conclude that excessive insulin is the sole factor that makes daughters of PCOS mothers susceptible to the disease. He is also not fully sure whether hyperandrogenism -- excess of male hormones -- precedes or follows excessive levels of insulin.

Researchers say future longitudinal studies will focus only on girls and try to pin down whether an abnormal level of insulin is the sole factor that causes reproductive abnormalities.

"That is the tantalizing question," the Penn State medical researcher said. "The ultimate goal would be to find the earliest sign that makes a child more susceptible to develop PCOS. Right now the earliest sign would be an elevation in insulin levels."


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Contact: Megan Manlove
mmanlove@hmc.psu.edu
717-531-8604
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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