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Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2018 Jan;134:7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2017.11.001. Epub 2017 Nov 9.

Comprehensive profiling of prostaglandins in human ovarian follicular fluid using mass spectrometry.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States.
Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States. Electronic address:


Prostaglandins are formed by enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms. They have been detected in human ovarian follicular fluid (HFF), a medium rich in growth factors and nutrients important for oocyte growth and fertility. However, the comprehensive identification of HFF prostaglandins has not been addressed. Here we use hybrid triple quadrupole time-of-flight and triple quadrupole mass spectrometers to comprehensively analyze prostaglandins in HFF. We identified PGE1, PGE2, PGF2α, and other prostaglandins synthesized via prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (i.e. Cox) cascades. We also identified specific PGF2α isomers (F2-isoprostanes) and PGF3α analogs whose structures are inconsistent with Cox-dependent formation. A prospective cohort pilot study of infertility patient subtypes revealed two potential associations. F2-isoprostanes are decreased in the diminished ovarian reserve subtype and elevated PGF2α may be associated with decreased live birth. Other than PGF2α, only body mass index >25kg/m2 correlated with poor in vitro fertilization outcome. Our studies suggest that HFF contains prostaglandins formed from at least two mechanisms, which may correlate with distinct clinical parameters.


Cyclooxygenase; Fertilization; Lipid; Mass spectrometry; Ovary; Polyunsaturated fatty acid; Prostaglandin

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