Effects of endogenous androgens and abdominal fat distribution on the interrelationship between insulin and non-insulin-mediated glucose uptake in females

Academic Article


  • Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance. Glucose disposal occurs via noninsulin-mediated glucose uptake (NIMGU) and insulinmediated glucose uptake (IMGU). It is unknown whether in PCOS NIMGU increases to compensate for declining IMGU and whether androgens and fat distribution influence this relationship. Objectives: The objective of the study was to compare in women with PCOS and controls the interrelationship between NIMGU [ie, glucose effectiveness (Sg)] and IMGU [ie, the insulin sensitivity index (Si)] and the role of androgens and fat distribution. Participants: Twenty-eight PCOS(by National Institutes of Health 1990 criteria) and 28 control (age, race, and body mass index matched) women were prospectively studied. A subset of 16 PCOS subjects and 16 matched controls also underwent abdominal computed tomography. Main Outcome Measures: Glucose disposal (by a frequently sampled iv glucose tolerance test), circulating androgens, and abdominal fat distribution [by waist to hip ratio and visceral (VAT) and sc (SAT) adipose tissue content] were measured. Results: PCOS women had lower mean Si and similar Sg and abdominal fat distribution compared with controls. PCOS women with Si below the PCOS median (more insulin resistant) had a lower mean Sg than controls with Siabove the control median (more insulin sensitive). In PCOS only, body mass index, free T, modified Ferriman-Gallwey score, and waist to hip ratio independently predicted Sg, whereas Si did not. In PCOS, VAT and SAT independently and negatively predicted Si and Sg, respectively. Conclusion: The decreased IMGU in PCOS is not accompanied by a compensatory in crease in NIMGU or associated with excessive VAT accumulation. Increased general obesity, SAT, and hyperandro-genism are primary predictors of the deterioration of NIMGU in PCOS. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ezeh U; Pall M; Mathur R; Dey D; Berman D; Chen IY; Dumesic DA; Azziz R
  • Start Page

  • 1541
  • End Page

  • 1548
  • Volume

  • 98
  • Issue

  • 4