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Intrafollicular concentrations of the oocyte-secreted factors GDF9 and BMP15 vary inversely in polycystic ovaries

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CONTEXT: The oocyte-secreted factors growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) play essential roles in follicle development and oocyte maturation, and aberrant regulation might contribute to the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome.

OBJECTIVE: Are there measurable differences in concentrations of GDF9, BMP15, and the GDF9/BMP15 heterodimer in small antral follicle fluids from women with and without polycystic ovaries (PCO)?

DESIGN AND SETTING: Follicle fluids (n = 356) were collected from 4- to 11-mm follicles in unstimulated ovaries of 87 women undergoing ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation.

PATIENTS: Twenty-seven women with PCO were identified and 60 women without PCO-like characteristics (non-PCO women) were matched according to age and follicle size.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intrafollicular concentrations of GDF9, BMP15, GDF9/BMP15 heterodimer, anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), inhibin-A and -B, total inhibin, activin-B and -AB, and follistatin were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

RESULTS: The detectability of GDF9, BMP15, and the GDF9/BMP15 heterodimer were 100%, 94.4%, and 91.5%, respectively, and concentrations were significantly negatively correlated with increasing follicle size (P < 0.0001). GDF9 was significantly higher in women with PCO (PCO: 4230 ± 189 pg/mL [mean ± SEM], n = 188; non-PCO: 3498 ± 199 pg/mL, n = 168; P < 0.03), whereas BMP15 was lower in women with PCO (PCO: 431 ± 40 pg/mL, n = 125; non-PCO: 573 ± 55 pg/mL, n = 109; P = 0.10), leading to a significantly higher GDF9:BMP15 ratio in women with PCO (P < 0.01). Significant positive associations between BMP15 and AMH, activins, and inhibins in non-PCO women switched to negative associations in women with PCO.

CONCLUSIONS: Intrafollicular concentrations of GDF9 and BMP15 varied inversely in women with PCO reflecting an aberrant endocrine environment. An increased GDF9:BMP15 ratio may be a new biomarker for PCO.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Volume107
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)e3374-e3383
ISSN0021-972X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society.

    Research areas

  • PCOS, follicle fluid, antral follicle, BMP15, GDF9, cumulin, Growth Differentiation Factor 9/analysis, Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/diagnosis, Biomarkers/analysis, Humans, Anti-Mullerian Hormone/analysis, Oocytes/metabolism, Female, Inhibins/metabolism, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15/analysis, Follicular Fluid/chemistry

ID: 77928488