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Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Apr;166(4):703-10. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0840. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Inositol administration reduces oxidative stress in erythrocytes of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Padua, Viale G. Colombo 3, Padua, Italy.



Possibly due to a deficiency of insulin mediators, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with insulin resistance (IR) and hyperinsulinemia, likely responsible for an elevated production of reactive oxygen species. We investigated oxidative-related alterations in erythrocytes and anti-inflammatory effects of inositol in women with PCOS before and after treatment with myo-inositol (MYO).


Twenty-six normal-weight PCOS patients were investigated before and after MYO administration (1200 mg/day for 12 weeks; n=18) or placebo (n=8) by evaluating serum testosterone, serum androstenedione, fasting serum insulin, fasting serum glucose, insulin area under the curve (AUC), and glucose AUC after oral glucose tolerance test and homeostasis model of assessment-IR. In erythrocytes, band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr-P) level, glutathione (GSH) content, and glutathionylated proteins (GSSP) were also assessed.


Data show that PCOS patients' erythrocytes underwent oxidative stress as indicated by band 3 Tyr-P values, reduced cytosolic GSH content, and increased membrane protein glutathionylation. MYO treatment significantly improved metabolic and biochemical parameters. Significant reductions were found in IR and serum values of androstenedione and testosterone. A significant association between band 3 Tyr-P levels and insulin AUC was found at baseline but disappeared after MYO treatment, while a correlation between band 3 Tyr-P and testosterone levels was detected both before and after MYO treatment.


PCOS patients suffer from a systemic inflammatory status that induces erythrocyte membrane alterations. Treatment with MYO is effective in reducing hormonal, metabolic, and oxidative abnormalities in PCOS patients by improving IR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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