PCOS Forum

Research in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Today and Tomorrow

Renato Pasquali; Elisabet Stener-Victorin; Bulent O. Yildiz; Antoni J. Duleba; Kathleen Hoeger; Helen Mason; Roy Homburg; Theresa Hickey; Steve Franks; Juha S. Tapanainen; Adam Balen; David H. Abbott; Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis; Richard S. Legro


Clin Endocrinol. 2011;74(4):424-433. 

In This Article

PCOS: Inflammation and Infection

Growing evidence supports the concept that PCOS is associated with increased oxidative stress and systemic inflammation. When compared to healthy control subjects, women with PCOS have increased markers of lipid peroxidation, elevated levels of C-reactive protein, inflammatory cytokines, as well as higher concentrations of blood lymphocytes and monocytes.[68,69] However, the cause/causes of these alterations has/have not yet been identified. This suggests a new hypothesis that chronic infections may be involved in the aetiology of PCOS; such chronic infections may induce inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn may contribute to insulin resistance, ovarian dysfunction and other alterations characteristic of PCOS. In support of this concept, there is evidence that PCOS is associated with a greater risk of exposure to intracellular pathogens capable of inducing long-term inflammation including Chlamydia pneumonia and Chlamydia trachomatis.[70] A correlation between Chlamydia pneumonia and insulin resistance has also been observed.[71] Furthermore, Chlamydia pneumonia infection in mice resulted in increased ovarian size and a greater number of antral follicles.[71]


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