The Relationship Between Menopause and Metabolic Syndrome: Experimental and Bioinformatics Analysis

Biochem Genet. 2021 Dec;59(6):1558-1581. doi: 10.1007/s10528-021-10066-7. Epub 2021 May 10.


Menopausal hormonal changes have been associated with the emergence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its consequences such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The common gene signature and the associated signaling pathways of MetS, T2D, CVD and menopause status have not been widely studied. We analyzed a total of 314 women aged between 35 and 75 years. The sample was divided into two groups: Group I, including women in the premenopausal period and Group II, comprising women in the post-menopausal period. The presence of MetS and its components were evaluated, as well as occurrence of T2D and CVD in both groups. We also exploited the translational bioinformatics approach to choose the common gene signatures for MetS, T2D, CVD and the menopause status. The frequency of the MetS was significantly higher in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal ones (67.1 vs. 27.2%, p < 0.001). Gene mining analysis revealed that a total of 47 genes were commonly associated with MetS, T2D, CVD and the menopausal changes. The gene enrichment analysis showed that these genes were markedly enriched in biological processes, including positive regulation of binding, positive regulation of leukocyte cell-cell adhesion, regulation of lipid localization. Furthermore, P53 signaling pathway, prolactin signaling pathway, parathyroid hormone synthesis, secretion and action were the top enriched pathways. Additionally, network analysis revealed TGFB1, SPP1, MMP2, MMP9, CCL2, IGF1, EGFR, ICAM1, TNF and IL6 as important hub genes with significant interacting partners. These hub genes identified in our study may play key role in menopausal changes and influence the risks of MetS, T2D and CVD.

Keywords: Bioinformatics; CVD; Menopause; MetS; T2D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Computational Biology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Risk Factors