Leptin levels in children with central precocious puberty

Mark R. Palmert, Sally Radovick, Paul A. Boepple

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53 Scopus citations


Several studies have suggested that sufficient serum leptin levels may be involved in the initiation of puberty. To assess further the relationship between leptin and the onset of puberty in humans, we measured the serum leptin concentration in children with central precocious puberty (CPP). We studied 65 children with either idiopathic (IPP; n = 50 girls and 3 boys) or neurogenic central precocious puberty (NPP; n = 5 girls and 7 boys). The serum leptin levels in these patients were compared with normative data from healthy children and adolescents using SD scores that adjust for body mass index (BMI) and Tanner stage. The mean SD scores of IPP and NPP girls were +0.4 ± 0.1 and + 1.0 ± 0.5, respectively, compared with that of age- matched prepubertal girls and + 0.7 ± 0.2 and + 1.6 ± 0.6 compared with that of girls matched for pubertal stage. The CPP girls with lower BMIs contributed larger SD scores, such that the leptin so score was negatively correlated with BMI. A similar, modest increase in leptin levels in the CPP girls was evident when additional normative data were considered. The mean leptin SD scores of IPP and NPP boys were -0.9 ± 0.5 and +0.7 ± 0.3, respectively, compared with that of normal boys at Tanner stage 3-4. Serum leptin levels in the boys with CPP were not different from those in healthy boys in any of the normative studies. These data should be interpreted cautiously, but they suggest that girls with CPP have modestly elevated serum leptin concentrations compared with those in healthy children and adolescents. In addition, the negative correlation between the leptin SD score and BMI suggests that sufficient leptin levels may be associated with initiation of puberty in girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2260-2265
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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