The relationship between nocturnal urinary leptin and gonadotrophins as children progress towards puberty

Arfa R. Maqsood, Julie A. Trueman, Andrew J. Whatmore, Melissa Westwood, David A. Price, Catherine M. Hall, Peter E. Clayton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background/Aims: Leptin is necessary for normal human pubertal development but its exact role in the period leading up to the onset of puberty has not been defined. This study has assessed the relationship between leptin and gonadotrophin secretion over time as children progress into puberty. Subjects and Methods: Twenty children (13 boys and 7 girls) judged to be close to the initiation of puberty were recruited. Three consecutive first morning urine samples were collected from each subject each month over 6 months. At the end of the study, the children were classified into those who remained physically prepubertal (n = 7) and those that had advanced in puberty (n = 13). Leptin and gonadotrophins were measured by immunoradiometric and immunofluorometric assay, respectively. Results: Total urinary leptin excreted over 6 months was higher in girls than in boys, both prepubertally and in early puberty, and in both sexes, was higher in those advancing into puberty than in those remaining prepubertal (girls 8.0 vs. 3.4 ng/l and boys 3.6 vs. 1.7 ng/l; both p <0.05). In the whole group, when controlling for gender, there was a significant correlation between both leptin and luteinizing hormone (LH; r = 0.43, p <0.001) and leptin and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; r = 0.32, p = 0.001). The possibility of a lead relationship was explored by pairing leptin values with the gonadotrophin values in the following month. Leptin was significantly correlated with FSH but not LH in both pre- and peripubertal children (prepubertal r = 0.45, p = 0.01; peripubertal r = 0.32, p = 0.01). Conclusions: This study has shown that in children approaching and progressing into puberty, leptin is associated with LH and FSH over the same time frame, and with FSH when leptin is acting as the lead hormone. These data imply that leptin is an important facilitator of the early phases of human puberty. Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225-230
    Number of pages5
    JournalHormone Research
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


    • Gonadotrophin
    • Leptin


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