Leptin levels are strongly correlated with those of GH-binding protein in prepubertal children

Ragnar Bjarnason*, Margaret Boguszewski, Jovanna Dahlgren, Lars Gelander, Berit Kriström, Sten Rosberg, Björn Carlsson, Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland, Lena M.S. Carlsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Nutritional status is an important determinant of growth, and previous studies have indicated that this is due, at least in part, to an increased target-tissue sensitivity to GH. An attractive candidate for mediating this effect is leptin, a hormone secreted by the adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate if there was a connection between GH-binding protein (GHBP) and leptin. Design and Methods: We investigated the relationship between serum levels of leptin and those of GHBP in 229 prepubertal children. These included 107 healthy children with normal GH secretion, 55 GH- deficient (GHD) children and 55 children born small for gestational age (SGA) sampled on one occasion for GHBP and leptin, and 12 healthy children followed longitudinally at monthly intervals for 1 year. Results: In the healthy children and in those born SGA, the serum concentration of GHBP was positively correlated with that of leptin (r=0.65, P<0.001; r=0.74, P<0.001 respectively). There was no correlation between GHBP and leptin in the group of children with GHD (r=0.27, not significant). This means that leptin alone explained 42% of the variation of GHBP in the healthy group and 55% in the SGA group. The correlation remained after adjustment for body mass index and age in the healthy children (r=0.57, P<0.0001, r2=0.33) and for children born SGA (r=0.74. P<0.0001, r2=0.55). There was a positive correlation between the intra-individual monthly changes in GHBP and changes in leptin respectively in the 12 healthy children followed longitudinally, the mean of the correlation coefficients was 0.38 (median = 0.29; range 0.03 to 0.86; P<0.05). Conclusions: There was a highly significant correlation between serum levels of leptin and those of GHBP except in children with GHD. The possibility that leptin could mediate the effects of body fat mass on GH sensitivity, therefore, merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


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