Polycystic ovary syndrome and autoimmunity
J Petrikova1,2, D Kozakova4, J Vrbikova3, Y Shoenfeld2 & I Lazurova1
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by laboratory and/or clinical features consisting of hyperandrogenism with chronic anovulation. and is currently one of the most common endocrinopaties in women of fertile age. PCOS is associated with a variety of endocrine and metabolic disturbances. It is well known that women are more prone to develop autoimmune diseases compared to men and levels of sexual hormones are thought to be responsible for such a difference. Our aim is to prove that women with PCOS are more prone for autoimmune diseases even though their protective levels of androgens. It was already demonstrated that the prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis is 3fold higher among these patients. Recent studies reveal a higher incidence of autoantibodies such as antihistone, anti dsDNA presented in systemic autoimmune disease, however their clinical significance is still unknown.
Materials and method: We analyzed sera of 180 patients with PCOS using commercially available kits for presence of various autoantibodies (such as ANA, ENA, aTPO, aTG, ANCA, ACLA and their typization) known in systemic and organ specific autoimmune diseases and compared it with 43 healthy controls. Moreover we tried to prove presence of anti-ovarian autoantibodies in patients sera what could mean that disease is autoimmune itself.
Results: We found no significant differences between the presence of systemic autoantibodies in patients sera compared to controls. Significant difference was seen in presence of antibodies typical for Hashimoto tyreoiditis. Only in some PCOS patients we could observe a tendency to bind ovarian cancer cell-lines meaning there could be a subgroup of PCOS. Clinical significance is still uknown and whether these patients will develop autoimmune disease in future remains unclear. It raises a question of hormonal influence on immune system.