Insulin, C-peptide, androgens, and beta-endorphin response to oral glucose in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

Angelina Barini, Giovanna Tropeano, Antonino Lucisano, Gaetano Martino, I Liberale, Ip Vuolo, E Menini, S. Dell'Acqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the effects of an oral glucose load on plasma insulin, androgens, and beta-endorphin (beta EP) concentrations in patients carefully selected as having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and normal glucose tolerance. Our aim was to verify whether insulin resistance is a common feature of PCOS and to differentiate the metabolic abnormalities related to PCOS from those associated with obesity. Plasma immunoreactive insulin (IRI), C-peptide (C-PR), testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, ACTH, and beta EP responses to a 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were evaluated in 10 obese (OB-PCOS) and 10 nonobese (NO-PCOS) patients with PCOS and in 7 obese and 7 nonobese ovulatory controls. OB-PCOS and NO-PCOS did not differ significantly from weight-matched controls in the IRI response, but had a significantly higher C-PR response in terms of mean postglucose load levels and mean incremental areas. During OGTT, mean plasma levels of testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate declined in both PCOS groups as well as in controls, and no significant correlation between the plasma androgen and IRI or C-PR responses was found. The ACTH response in OB-PCOS and NO-PCOS was similar to that in controls, with a progressive decrease until 180 min. A similar decline in plasma beta EP was found in controls, whereas no change in plasma beta EP was observed in OB-PCOS and NO-PCOS. These findings indicate that independently of the presence of obesity, PCOS patients have enhanced insulin secretion in response to OGTT and show a peculiar pattern of changes in plasma beta EP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Androgens
  • Androstenedione
  • C-Peptide
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Obesity
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Testosterone
  • beta-Endorphin


Dive into the research topics of 'Insulin, C-peptide, androgens, and beta-endorphin response to oral glucose in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this