BackgroundPolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. The circulating C1Q/TNF-related proteins (CTRP-2, CTRP-9) and growth differentiation factors (GDF-8, GDF-15) contribute to glucose and lipid homeostasis. The effects of intralipids and insulin infusion on CTRP-2, CTRP-9, GDF-8 and GDF-15 in PCOS and control subjects before and after chronic exercise training were examined.MethodsTen PCOS and nine healthy subjects were studied at baseline status and after moderate-intensity chronic exercise training (1 h exercise, 3 times per week, 8 weeks). All participants were infused with 1.5 mL/min of saline or intralipids (20%) for 5 h, and during the last 2 h of saline or intralipids infusion hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (HIEC) was performed. CTRP-2, CTRP-9, GDF-8 and GDF-15 levels were measured at 0, 3 and 5 h.ResultsIntralipids dramatically increased CTRP-2 levels in PCOS (P = 0.02) and control (P = 0.004) subjects, which was not affected by insulin infusion or by exercise. Intralipids alone had no effects on CTRP-9, GDF-8, or GDF-15. Insulin increased the levels of GDF-15 in control subjects (P = 0.05) during the saline study and in PCOS subjects (P = 0.04) during the intralipid infusion. Insulin suppressed CTRP9 levels during the intralipid study in both PCOS (P = 0.04) and control (P = 0.01) subjects. Exercise significantly reduced fasting GDF-8 levels in PCOS (P = 0.03) and control (P = 0.04) subjects; however, intralipids infusion after chronic exercise training increased GDF-8 levels in both PCOS (P = 0.003) and control (P = 0.05) subjects and insulin infusion during intralipid infusion reduced the rise of GDF-8 levels.ConclusionThis study showed that exogenous lipids modulate CTRP-2, which might have a physiological role in lipid metabolism. Since chronic exercise training reduced fasting GDF-8 levels; GDF-8 might have a role in humoral adaptation to exercise. GDF-15 and CTRP-9 levels are responsive to insulin, and thus they may play a role in insulin responses.