Increased follistatin levels after oral contraceptive treatment in obese and non-obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome.Hum Reprod 2010; 25(3):779-85HR
Follistatin levels have recently been considered as a marker for inflammation. Our objective was to evaluate the level of circulating follistatin and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) after oral contraceptive (OC) treatment.
A total of 56 Taiwanese women with PCOS were enrolled in this prospective observational study in which they were treated for 3 months with OCs (ethinyl estradiol-cyproterone acetate). Blood samples were taken at baseline after treatment during the withdrawal bleed. Body mass index (BMI), lipid profiles, plasma follistatin, hsCRP, fasting glucose, insulin for the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and hormone profiles were measured and analyzed.
Total testosterone, free androgen index (FAI), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol levels were significantly lower, but total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, circulating follistatin and hsCRP were significantly higher than baseline in women with PCOS after treatment with OCs. An elevation of fasting insulin, HOMA-IR and hsCRP after OC treatment was more evident in non-obese than obese women, whereas the elevation of follistatin was significant in both obese and non-obese women. Follistatin and hsCRP levels all showed significant correlations with each other at baseline and after treatment. The differences in follistatin and hsCRP levels from baseline to after OC treatment were significantly associated with the difference in triglyceride levels.
Both hsCRP and follistatin levels increase after OC treatment in women with PCOS. Follistatin seems more sensitive than hsCRP alone to represent the aggravated low-grade inflammatory status after OC treatment in obese and non-obese women with PCOS.