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Endocrinology. 2012 Jun;153(6):2861-9. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-1754. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Reproductive and metabolic phenotype of a mouse model of PCOS.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder in women in their reproductive age, is characterized by both reproductive and metabolic features. Recent studies in human, nonhuman primates, and sheep suggest that hyperandrogenism plays an important role in the development of PCOS. We investigated whether chronic dihydrotestosterone (DHT) exposure in mice reproduces both features of PCOS. Such a model would allow us to study the mechanism of association between the reproductive and metabolic features in transgenic mice. In this study, prepubertal female mice received a 90 d continuous release pellet containing the nonaromatizable androgen DHT or vehicle. At the end of the treatment period, DHT-treated mice were in continuous anestrous, their ovaries contained an increased number of atretic follicles, with the majority of atretic antral follicles having a cyst-like structure. Chronic DHT-exposed mice had significantly higher body weights (21%) than vehicle-treated mice. In addition, fat depots of DHT-treated mice displayed an increased number of enlarged adipocytes (P < 0.003). Leptin levels were elevated (P < 0.013), adiponectin levels were diminished (P < 0.001), and DHT-treated mice were glucose intolerant (P < 0.001). In conclusion, a mouse model of PCOS has been developed showing reproductive and metabolic characteristics associated with PCOS in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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