Introduction: Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3) represent ovarian functional markers of granulosa and theca cells respectively. This study investigated AMH and INSL3 plasma levels in two groups of ovulatory or anovulatory women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and their relationship with ovarian morphology and androgen levels.
Methods: AMH and INSL3 were measured in a cohort of 57 patients with PCOS classified in two groups according to progesterone (P) levels (n: 21 ovulatory; n: 36 anovulatory) and in 27 age and body-weight matched controls with normal menses. Progesterone levels were randomly measured in those with amenorrhea and on the day 21 of the cycle in those with oligomenorhea or normal cycles. Clinical and endocrine characteristics and ovarian morphology were compared between the two PCOS groups.
Results: Compared to controls, plasma AMH and INSL3 were higher in PCOS women (P<0.001 and P=0.01 respectively) and, among them, in those with chronic anovulation with respect to the ovulatory ones (P=0.003 and P=0.01 respectively). The anovulatory group had lower number of cycles per year (P<0.001) and presented with higher number of ovarian follicles (P=0.004) and serum levels of testosterone (P=0.001), LH (P<0.001) and FSH (P<0.001) compared with the ovulatory group. Intriguingly, levels of INSL3 correlated with those of AMH in all PCOS women (r=0.45; P=0.001). Moreover, both INSL3 and AMH significantly and positively correlated with LH values in all PCOS women (r=0.31; P=0.02 and r=0.53; P=0.001 respectively).
Conclusion: These data show for the first time that blood levels of INSL3 significantly correlate with AMH plasma concentrations, and that levels of both peptides are specifically altered in anovulatory women with PCOS.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
05 - 09 May 2012
European Society of Endocrinology