Evaluation of kisspeptin levels in prepubertal obese and overweight children: Sexual dimorphism and modulation of antioxidant levels

Diego Curro', Angelina Barini, Andrea Silvestrini, Piero Valentini, Antonio Mancini, Carmine Bruno, Edoardo Vergani, Francesco Guidi, Nicola Nicolotti, Elisabetta Meucci Calabrese, Aurora Natalia Rossodivita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: Kisspeptin, neuropeptide involved in puberty beginning and regulation of pituitary-gonadal axis, has been shown to stimulate antioxidant defenses in murine models. Its levels are greater in females than males and also in obese prepubertal girls. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate sex-related differences in prepubertal obese patients and the relationships of Kisspeptin with metabolic/ hormonal parameters. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied Kisspeptin concentrations in 54 children (22 males and 32 females, Tanner stage 1), 5-12 ys, classified according to Cole’s criteria into 17 overweight and 37 obese; 25 normal-weight children, aged 6-12 years, were studied as controls. We evaluated metabolic (glucose and insulin levels after oral glucose load, total- LDL- HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid) and hormonal (fT3, fT4, TSH, IGF-1, leptin) parameters. Moreover, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was evaluated by spectrophotometric method, using the system H202-metmyoglobin-ABTS. Kisspeptin levels were measured by RIA. RESULTS: We did not find significant differences between obese and normal-weight children, but obese males presented significantly lower levels than females. Kisspeptin did not correlate with BMI, HOMA-IR, Insulin peak levels and TAC; a significant correlation was found between Kisspeptin and fT3 (r2=0.25; p=0.003) in the obese group; leptin levels, significantly greater in obese vs. overweight and control children, significantly correlated with TAC (r2=0.39; p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that both hormones could modulate antioxidants, Kisspeptin indirectly via influence on thyroid hormones, and Leptin by a direct effect. This mechanism seems to be sex-related, not attributable to peripheral steroid levels. Further studies can clarify the complex interrelationship between central and peripheral Kisspeptin secretion and oxidative stress in children obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Antioxidants
  • Insulin-resistance
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid


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