Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Fertil Steril. 2002 Sep;78(3):569-76.

Molecular progress in infertility: polycystic ovary syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey 17033, USA.



To review the evidence that polycystic ovary syndrome is a genetic disease.


Review of published literature.


The existing literature provides a strong basis for arguing that PCOS clusters in families. However, the mode of inheritance of the disorder is still uncertain, although the majority of studies are consistent with an autosomal dominant pattern, modified perhaps by environmental factors. In addition, studies on PCOS cells (theca, muscle, and adipocytes) in culture have documented a persistent biochemical and molecular phenotype that distinguishes them from normal cells. Although several loci have been proposed as PCOS genes including CYP11A, the insulin gene, and a region near the insulin receptor, the evidence supporting linkage is not overwhelming. The strongest case can be made for the region near the insulin receptor gene, as it has been identified in two separate studies. However, the responsible gene at chromosome 19p13.3 remains to be identified. Association studies have provided a number of potential loci with genetic variants that may create or add to a PCOS phenotype, including Calpain 10, IRS-1 and -2, and SHBG.


Collectively, these findings are consistent with the concept that a gene or several genes are linked to PCOS susceptibility. Because the mutations/genotypes associated with PCOS are rare, and their full impact on the phenotype incompletely understood, routine screening of women with PCOS or stigmata of PCOS for these genetic variants is not indicated at this time. Currently the treatment implications for individually identified genetic variants is uncertain and must be addressed on a case by case basis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center