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Metabolism. 2010 Aug;59(8):1145-55. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.09.037. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

High follicular fluid adenosine levels may be pivotal in the metabolism and recycling of adenosine nucleotides in the human follicle.

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Biomedical Sciences, School of Health and Social Science, Middlesex University, Hendon NW4 4BT, UK.


This study investigated the biochemical relationship between human follicular/oocyte maturity and the levels of follicular fluid purines. Intrafollicular levels of purine metabolites and creatinine are associated with oocyte presence, and the presence of such high levels of adenosine indicates a privileged site with no adenosine deaminase activity. Subgrouping according to oocyte recovery and fertilization revealed differences in correlation between the purine metabolites: Only where an oocyte was recovered and subsequently fertilized did follicular fluid adenosine, adenine, and hypoxanthine levels correlate with each other. Significantly, purines' correlation with levels of the terminal degradation product, uric acid, could only be seen in failed fertilization samples. Given the established metabolic pathways for adenosine triphosphate/adenosine diphosphate/adenosine monophosphate degradation, the results indicate maximization of 2 purine salvage pathways (from adenine and hypoxanthine) that pivot on the presence of high adenosine levels. Such optimized recovery may be necessary to build a store of salvaged adenosine phosphate for oocyte survival.

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