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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Mar;26(3):181-6. doi: 10.1080/09513590903215557.

Comparison of follicular fluid and serum cytokine concentrations in women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment with GnRH agonist long and antagonist protocols.

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Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yeditepe University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.



This study investigated whether follicular fluid (FF) and serum (S) concentrations of cytokines in women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART) were different in GnRH antagonist cycles compared to agonist long ones.


A retrospective clinical study was performed at a University ART center. A total of 85 women who underwent ART either with agonist long (n = 34) or antagonist protocol (n = 51) were analyzed. FF and serum samples were collected at the time of oocyte retrieval and measured for interleukin (IL)- 1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique, using commercially available kits and nitric oxide (NO) by the nitrate/nitrite colorimetric assay. The results were compared between GnRH antagonist and agonist cycles.


No significant difference was found in the FF concentrations of those cytokines between the two protocols. The serum values were also similar in the two groups except IL-6 (14.3 +/- 4.8 vs. 20.5 +/- 12.2 pg/ml; p = 0.008) and NO (1.4 +/- 1.1 vs. 2.2 +/- 1.9 microm; p = 0.038) levels which were found to be significantly lower in antagonist cycles.


There is no significant difference in follicular microenvironment in terms of IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, TNF-alpha, and NO levels between agonist long and antagonist cycles. However, serum IL-6 and NO levels were lower in women given antagonists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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