Analysis of follicular fluid and serum markers of oxidative stress in women with infertility related to endometriosis

Capsule:
Infertile women with endometriosis have an altered balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant activities that may have an impact on folliculogenesis and adequate embryo development.

Authors:
Laura Prieto, M.D., Juan F. Quesada, M.D., Olivia Cambero, M.D., Alberto Pacheco, Ph.D., Antonio Pellicer, M.D., Rosa Codoceo, M.D., Juan A. Garcia-Velasco, M.D.
Volume 98, Issue 1 , Pages 126-130, July 2012

Objective:
To study the levels of four markers of oxidative stress in follicular fluid (FF) and plasma of patients with infertility related to endometriosis and controls.

Design:
Experimental study.

Setting:
University-affiliated hospital and infertility center.

Patient(s):
Ninety-one infertile women were included in the study (23 infertile women with endometriosis and 68 controls including infertile women due to tubal factor, male factor, or healthy egg donors).

Intervention(s):
Blood was obtained at the time of egg retrieval, and FF from the mature follicles of each ovary was centrifuged and frozen until analysis.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Vitamin C and E, malondialdehyde, and superoxide dismutase concentrations in plasma and follicular fluid.

Result(s):
Women with endometriosis showed a lower vitamin C concentration in FF (12.7 ± 5.9 vs. 9.7 ± 6.9 μg/mL) and lower superoxide dismutase concentration in plasma (0.9 ± 1.4 vs. 0.5 ± 0.7 U/mL) compared with controls. Vitamin E plasma levels were significantly higher in women with endometriosis (8.1 ± 3.8 vs. 5.2 ± 3.2 μg/mL). A nonsignificant trend toward a lower plasma concentration of malondialdehyde was found in women with endometriosis.

Conclusion(s):
These findings suggest a lower antioxidant capacity in infertile women with endometriosis. Although a certain level of reactive oxygen species is required under physiological conditions, an altered balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant activities may have an impact on folliculogenesis and adequate embryo development.

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