Adrenomedullary response to caffeine in prepubertal and pubertal obese subjects

M. Bondi, G. Grugni, A. Velardo, O. Biella, M. G. Venneri, F. Morabito, R. Menozzi, Graziano Del Rio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether blunted adrenomedullary responsiveness to stimuli is a primary feature of human obesity in childhood and adolescence. DESIGN: Comparison of plasma catecholamine response to caffeine in obese and lean subjects before and after puberty onset. SUBJECTS: Twelve lean prepubertal subjects (six males and six females), 15 prepubertal obese subjects (seven males and eight females), 12 pubertal lean subjects (six males and six females) and 24 pubertal obese subjects (12 males and 12 females). MEASUREMENTS: Plasma levels of Luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), 17β-estradiol and testosterone were used to validate Tanner score. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate and plasma catecholamines before and after caffeine administration (4 mg/kg of ideal body weight). RESULTS: Caffeine administration significantly stimulated adrenaline release in all subjects studied. The incremental area of adrenaline response to caffeine, analysed by multiple comparison test, was lower in pubertal obese subjects with respect to other groups. CONCLUSIONS: At variance with what is observed in adulthood obesity, prepubertal obese subjects show an intact adrenomedullary response to caffeine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-996
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Catecholomine secretion
  • Children
  • Obesity
  • Puberty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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