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Cedars-Sinai Endocrine Researchers To Discuss Gene That May Be Linked To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Los Angeles - May 31, 2007 - Researchers in endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will make several presentations at the upcoming annual meetings of two medical organizations – the Androgen Excess Society (June 1, 2007) and the Endocrine Society (June 2-5, 2007).

One key topic will be a gene that appears to play a role in the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder among reproductive-age women.

Women with PCOS have many small cysts on the periphery of the ovaries and suffer from symptoms that include menstrual irregularities, excess weight, skin problems and an excess of male-type hair growth called hirsutism. These women also are often found to have insulin resistance, a condition that allows high levels of insulin to circulate in the blood, which increases risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

PCOS also is associated with excessive levels of androgens – “male” hormones that normally exist at low levels in women. The effects on androgen production by hormones secreted by fat tissue (adipokines) are being studied at Cedars-Sinai, and several researchers will present related findings at the meetings. Researchers also will present preliminary evidence that the level of androgens produced by the adrenal glands of preadolescent girls may serve as markers of the risk of PCOS.

Ricardo Azziz, M.D., chairman of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will open the Androgen Excess Society meeting with a brief history of the study of androgen excess disorders. He is one of the founders of the organization and its executive director. He also serves as director of Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Androgen Related Disorders (CARD), which offers in-depth testing, comprehensive treatments and support, and research into molecular mechanisms and future therapies for PCOS, androgen excess and related disorders.

The Androgen Excess Society meets June 1. The Endocrine Society meeting extends from June 2 through 5. Both will be held in Toronto, Canada.

Among the Endocrine Society sessions to be presented by Cedars-Sinai researchers: 

  • AKT2: First Evidence of Genetic Association with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Saturday, June 2, 1:15 p.m.; oral presentation.
  • Adipokine Regulation of Ovarian Theca Cell Androgen Production; Saturday, June 2, 11 a.m.; poster presentation.
  • Are Adrenal Androgens in Pre-Adolescent Girls Markers of Risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?; Monday, June 4, 11 a.m.; poster presentation.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Inflammation: Adipokine Secretion by Adipocytes and Regulation by Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines; Monday, June 4, 11 a.m.; poster presentation.
  • Circulating Adipokines, Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Young Women with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); Tuesday, June 5, 11 a.m.; poster presentation.