Leptin levels in menopause: Effect of estrogen replacement therapy

Rosa Maria Cento, Caterina Proto, Rosario Sebastiano Spada, Valerio Napolitano, Mario Ciampelli, Francesco Cucinelli, Antonio Lanzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the effect of menopause and estrogen replacement therapy on leptin levels, 17 white postmenopausal women were recruited for the study. After an overnight fasting, blood samples were collected for LH, FSH, estradiol, testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA sulfate, insulin and leptin assays. Body mass index (BMI) and the waist-to-hip ratio were also evaluated. Patients were reanalyzed after a 12-week administration of transdermal estrogen patches delivering 50 μg 17β-estradiol. The results were compared to those obtained from a group of 11 female volunteers in reproductive age, in whom basal blood was sampled during the early follicular phase of their cycle. Patients were divided into lean and obese according to their BMI. Obese postmenopausal women showed lower leptin levels when compared to premenopausal counterparts (25.1 ± 5.9 vs. 37 ± 11.3; p <0.05), whereas no significant differences were found between the lean groups (14.5 ± 3.8 vs. 14.4 ± 4.9). Estrogen administration did not significantly change serum leptin concentrations in hypoestrogenized women (obese: 25.1 ± 5.9 vs. 28.6 ± 9.2; lean: 14.4 ± 4.9 vs. 17.6 ± 7.2). A positive linear correlation was found between leptin plasma levels and BMI only in obese patients (r = 0.58; p <0.01) both before and after estrogen treatment. Menopause is characterized by a decreased expression of the obese gene, even if estrogens do not seem to represent a main causal factor. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalHormone Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Estrogen replacement
  • Leptin
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Reproductive age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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