Leptin is a protein encoded by the ob gene and expressed in adipocytes, and is known to be correlated with themass of body fat and to respond to changes in energy intake. Leptin may be an important mediator of the reproductivefunction. We hypothesized that the leptin concentration in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) wouldbe low and that leptin may be a sensitive marker of overall nutritional status. We therefore examined the leptin concentrationand energy intake of 19 hypothalamic amenorrheal women and 12 control women. The leptin concentrationwas lower in the HA subjects than in the control subjects, and the fat intake, insulin concentration, irregular eatingbehavior and smoking habit were higher in those women with HA than in the control subjects.
These data demonstrate that leptin was independent of the fat mass and nutritional intake in women with HA.The low leptin level may have reflected a nutritional abnormality, irregular eat ing behavior and smoking habit.