Evaluation of the pathophysiological role of Fetuin A levels in adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 23. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2020-0524. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinopathy, in which hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinism have both occurred. Fetuin-A, a natural inhibitor of tyrosine kinase, leads to insulin resistance. The aim was to evaluate the relationship between fetuin-A and hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinism and the role of fetuin-A in the pathophysiology of PCOS.

Methods: Thirty-eight cases with PCOS and 40 healthy adolescents were included in the study. PCOS and controls were divided into obese/non-obese subgroups. LH, FSH, total and free testosterone (TT, FT), SHBG, androstenedione, DHEAS were measured in patients with PCOS. Fasting glucose, insulin, lipid profile, AST, ALT, HsCRP, and fetuin levels of PCOS patients and healthy controls were also measured.

Results: Fetuin-A levels were higher in PCOS patients than in controls. In the obese-PCOS group, when compared to non-obese PCOS patients; the levels of SHBG and HDL were low while cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, HOMA-IR, FT, FAI, and HSCRP levels were high, but Fetuin-A levels were similar. In the obese-PCOS group, fetuin-A levels were higher than in obese-controls. HOMA-IR and fetuin-A levels were higher in non-obese PCOS patients than in non-obese controls. In the PCOS group, fetuin-A was positively correlated with TT, FT, FAI and androstenedione and negatively correlated with SHBG. Regression analysis demonstrated that FT, SHBG, and androstenedione significantly predicted fetuin-A levels (R2=54%). In non-obese PCOS patients and controls, fetuin-A was positively correlated with insulin and HOMA-IR.

Conclusions: These results suggest a relationship between androgen levels and fetuin-A in PCOS cases, independent of insulin resistance, and may shed light on further studies.

Keywords: fetuin-A; hyperandrogenism; hyperinsulinism; polycystic ovary syndrome.