Obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and inflammation in polycystic ovary syndrome

Mira Aubuchon, Jennifer A. Bickhaus, Frank González

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Obesity has grown in pandemic proportions with modern dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle as likely contributors. More recently, epigenetic phenomena have been implicated in the development of obesity. Beyond its energy-storing capacity, the adipose tissue acts as an endocrine and immunological organ. Accumulation of excess adiposity causes dysfunction of the adipose tissue compartment. This dysfunction ultimately leads to immune alterations characterized by inflammation, which then cause metabolic derangement and endocrine imbalance. Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), dyslipidemia, and hypertension. In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the presence of obesity exacerbates the signs and symptoms of the disorder by worsening preexisting chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance. In many ways, the metabolic pathophysiology of obesity and PCOS runs in parallel, except that the proinflammatory effects that promote metabolic dysfunction are more pronounced in obesity compared with what is observed in PCOS alone. Nevertheless, diet-induced oxidative stress and inflammation in PCOS that are independent of excess adiposity induce molecular alterations that may be the underpinning of insulin resistance, atherogenesis, and ovarian dysfunction in this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolycystic Ovary Syndrome
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent and Emerging Concepts
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781461483946
ISBN (Print)146148393X, 9781461483939
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Aubuchon, M., Bickhaus, J. A., & González, F. (2014). Obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and inflammation in polycystic ovary syndrome. In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current and Emerging Concepts (Vol. 9781461483946, pp. 117-144). Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8394-6_8