Serum leptin concentrations in obese women with Down syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome

R. M. Cento, C. Proto, R. S. Spada, L. Ragusa, S. Reitano, V. Napolitano, A. Lanzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have evaluated serum leptin concentrations in two forms of genetic obesity. The subjects examined were eight women with Down syndrome and eight women with Prader-Willi syndrome. All patients were in the reproductive age range and were obese (body mass index ≥ 27 kg/m2). Plasma leptin values, analyzed as a function of body mass index showed a statistically significant correlation in both Prader-Willi (r = 0.985; p <0.001) and Down syndrome patients (r = 0.943; p <0.001). Obese Down syndrome women exhibited significantly lower leptin values (10.8 ± 1.1) as compared to patients with Prader-Willi syndrome (31 ± 2.6; p <0.01). The linear correlation between leptin and insulin in the two groups of patients was not statistically significant. The data suggested that obesity in Prader-Willi subjects could be caused by failure of leptin to reach its target in the brain, as a consequence of defects in the receptor or in postreceptor processing, whereas data on obese patients with Down syndrome could be due to a different pathogenetic origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Down syndrome
  • Leptin
  • Obesity
  • Prader-Willi syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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