Extra- and intra-ovarian factors in polycystic ovary syndrome: impact on oocyte maturation and embryo developmental competence
Familial polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been proposed to be linked to a site near the follistatin gene. We studied the concentrations of circulating follistatin, activin A and inhibin B in well-characterized subjects with PCOS (n = 108) and controls without PCOS (n = 20). Mean (+/- SEM) concentrations of follistatin were higher (P < 0.05) in PCOS (0.27 +/- 0.03 ng/ml) than controls (0.15 +/- 0.02 ng/ml) and activin A were lower (P < 0.05) in PCOS (0.20 +/- 0.01ng/ml) than controls (0.24 +/- 0.02 ng/ml). Inhibin B concentrations were not different between the two groups: PCOS (0.06 +/- 0.01ng/ml), and controls (0.06 +/- 0.01ng/ml). It is proposed that higher concentrations of follistatin with lower concentrations of activin A may relate to follicular development not proceeding beyond 8-10 mm and may be partly responsible for the lack of pre-ovular follicle development in PCOS.