Inhibin B is a product of the gonads and it is a marker for ovarian follicular development. We studied leptin, inhibin B and LH levels in two groups of patients with AN, at low weight (n=20, BMI=14.3 plus/minus 0.3 kg/m2) and after they reached goal weight and restore menstrual cycles (n=13, BMI 19.3 plus/minus 1.0 kg/m2). Nineteen eumenorrheic females (BMI 19.8 plus/minus 0.4 kg/m2) served as controls. At low weight in patients with AN, basal leptin (1.1 plus/minus 0.2 ng/L), inhibin B (3.0 plus/minus 1.3 pg/ml), LH (1.1 plus/minus 0.1 IU/L) were as expected significantly lower than in controls (leptin 8.1 plus/minus 0.9 ng/ml, inhibin B 41.8 plus/minus 6.7 pg/ml and LH 3.3 plus/minus 0.5 IU/L, p<0.01). Compared with AN patients at low weight, AN patients who recovered weight and restored menstrual cycles had significantly increased leptin (8.5 plus/minus 1.3 ng/ml), inhibin B (32.4 plus/minus 4.7 pg/ml) and LH levels (4.1 plus/minus 1.0 IU/L, p<0.01), as expected not different from controls (p > 0.05). The results suggest that inhibin B levels reflect follicular avtivity in the ovary in weight recovered and eumenorrhoic patients with AN. Inhibin B, besides leptin, may be another useful link between nutrition and the reproductive system.
22 - 24 Mar 2004
British Endocrine Societies