Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Correlation between hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance and obesity.Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Mar; 502:214-221.CC
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex and heterogeneous endocrine disease characterized by clinical or laboratorial hyperandrogenism, oligo-anovulation and metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, excessive weight or obesity, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The most significant clinical manifestation of PCOS is hyperandrogenism. Excess androgen profoundly affects granulosa cell function and follicular development via complex mechanisms that lead to obesity and insulin resistance. Most PCOS patients with hyperandrogenism have steroid secretion defects that result in abnormal folliculogenesis and failed dominant follicle selection. Hyperandrogenism induces obesity, hairy, acne, and androgenetic alopecia. These symptoms can bring great psychological stress to women. Drugs such as combined oral contraceptive pills, metformin, pioglitazone and low-dose spironolactone help improve pregnancy rates by decreasing androgen levels in vivo. Notably, PCOS is heterogeneous, and hyperandrogenism is not the only pathogenic factor. Obesity and insulin resistance aggravate the symptoms of hyperandrogenism, forming a vicious cycle that promotes PCOS development. Although numerous studies have been conducted, the definitive pathogenic mechanisms of PCOS remain uncertain. This review summarizes and discusses previous and recent findings regarding the relationship between hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, obesity and PCOS.