Reduced circulating levels of chemokine CXCL14 in adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome: normalization after insulin sensitization

Cristina García-Beltran, Ruben Cereijo, Tania Quesada-López, Rita Malpique, Abel López-Bermejo, Francis de Zegher, Lourdes Ibáñez, Francesc Villarroya

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OBJECTIVE: CXCL14 (C-X-C motif chemokine ligand-14) is a chemokine released by active brown fat, showing protective effects against insulin resistance in experimental models. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in adolescent girls is usually related to hepato-visceral fat excess and insulin resistance, and associates with comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes. Treatment with a low-dose combination of one antiandrogen and antimineralocorticoid drug (spironolactone) and two insulin sensitizers (pioglitazone/metformin) (SPIOMET) is particularly effective in improving these metabolic derangements. Adipose tissue may be involved in the metabolic alterations of PCOS, and it is a likely target of therapeutic action. We investigated the alterations in CXCL14 levels and the effects of drugs composing SPIOMET treatment on CXCL14 in human adipocytes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We studied 51 adolescent patients with PCOS and 21 age-matched healthy controls. Thirty-one adolescent patients with PCOS under SPIOMET or oral contraception-based treatment were also studied. For studies in vitro, Simpson Golabi Behmel Syndrome (SGBS) adipose cells were used. Gene expression for CXCL14 and other genes was quantified using quantitative real-time PCR. The levels of CXCL14 and adipokines in serum and cell culture media were determined by ELISA.

RESULTS: Serum CXCL14 levels are reduced in patients with PCOS. One-year SPIOMET treatment normalized CXCL14 concentrations and improved the metabolic status of patients with PCOS. Pioglitazone induced CXCL14 expression in differentiating human SGBS adipocytes, in parallel with the induction of marker genes of brown adipogenesis. Spironolactone induced CXCL14 expression and release in differentiated human adipocytes.

CONCLUSION: Insulin sensitization with SPIOMET normalizes the abnormally low levels of CXCL14 in girls with PCOS. This is consistent with the effects of pioglitazone and spironolactone inducing CXCL14 expression and promoting a brown-like phenotype in adipocytes. CXCL14 may be a novel biomarker for PCOS as well as a potential mediator of the beneficial effects of the SPIOMET combination and may hold promise as a therapeutic modulator of the disorder.


TidsskriftBMJ open diabetes research & care
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2020

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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