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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Sep;31(9):887-97. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Mechanistic links between oxidative/nitrosative stress and tumor necrosis factor alpha in letrozole-induced murine polycystic ovary: biochemical and pathological evidences for beneficial effect of pioglitazone.

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Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between ovarian functionality and the oxidative response during cystogenesis induced by hyperandrogenization with letrozole and examine protective effect of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) agonist, pioglitazone (PIO), in polycystic ovary (PCO). Ovarian cysts were induced by oral administration of letrozol (1 mg/kg/day) for 21 consecutive days in the female rats. Effective dose of PIO (20 mg/kg/day) was administrated orally for 21 days. Serum estradiol (E), progesterone (P), testosterone (T), and the ovarian immunomodulator prostaglandin E (PGE) were analyzed as biomarkers of ovarian function. To determine the role of oxidative stress in PCO, the level of cellular lipid peroxidation (LPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and peroxynitrite (ONOO), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) as a marker of inflammation and apoptosis were measured in serum and the ovaries. Letrozole-induced PCO in rats exhibited a significant increase in LPO and ONOO in serum and ovary while significantly decreased serum and ovarian SOD, CAT, and GPx. Serum T and TNF-α, and ovarian PGE were increased in animals with cysts compared with healthy controls, while E and P diminished. When compared to control group, letrozole-treated group showed irregular sexual cycles, polycystic ovaries characterized by high incidence of sub-capsular ovarian cyst with diminished or scant granulosa cell layer, increased number of atretic pre-antral and antral follicles and absence of corpus luteum. There were almost no primary, secondary, and tertiary follicles observed in PCO rats. All measured parameters were improved by PIO and reached close to normal levels. The present study further supports the role of oxidative/nitrosative stress and infiammatory responses in the pathogenesis of letrozole-induced hyperandrogenic PCO rats. Results indicate that PIO is able to exert direct antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects on the endocrine, biochemical, and pathological alterations independent of its possible effects mediated via increased insulin sensitivity in hyperandrogenized PCO.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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