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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2019 Mar;36(3):473-482. doi: 10.1007/s10815-018-1384-1. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Lower follicular n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are associated with a better response to ovarian stimulation.

Author information

1
Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress (FROS) Research Group of the Department of Physiology, Medicine and Nursing School, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48940, Leioa, Spain.
2
BioCruces Health Research Institute, Plaza de Cruces s/n, 48903, Barakaldo, Spain.
3
Valencian Institute of Infertility (IVI-RMA)-Bilbao, 48940, Leioa, Spain.
4
Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress (FROS) Research Group of the Department of Physiology, Medicine and Nursing School, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48940, Leioa, Spain. mbego.ruizlarrea@ehu.eus.
5
BioCruces Health Research Institute, Plaza de Cruces s/n, 48903, Barakaldo, Spain. mbego.ruizlarrea@ehu.eus.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To analyze in detail the fatty acid (FA) composition of follicular fluid (FF) from two-sized follicles at oocyte retrieval and to determine associations of the FAs from large follicles with the woman's age and the response to ovarian stimulation.

DESIGN:

Observational study.

SETTING:

University and fertility clinic.

PATIENTS:

Sixty-four women (age 19-46), consisting of unfertile patients and oocyte donors, undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

FF from small (< 12 mm) and large (≥ 18 mm) follicles was collected at oocyte retrieval. FAs by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection.

RESULT:

Thirty-two FAs with chain lengths ranging from 14 to 25 carbons were identified. There was a readjustment in FA distribution as follicle size increased, raising very long-chain saturated FAs, nervonic (24:1n-9), arachidonic (20:4n-6), and n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA, P < 0.001), the latter mainly due to an increase in docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA). In large follicles, double bond and peroxidizability indices and total n-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, correlated positively with the woman's age and negatively with the number of total and mature oocytes, total and top-quality embryos, and fertilization rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have described 32 FAs in ovarian FF, of which 16 changed their distribution with follicle size. The results also indicate that lower n-3 PUFA levels in large follicles, which are associated with younger women, predict a better response to ovarian stimulation based on the recovery of total and mature oocytes, total and top-quality embryos, and fertilization rate per cycle.

KEY MESSAGE:

The fatty acid profile of ovarian FF changes as the follicle grows and lower n-3 PUFA levels in large follicles, associated with younger women, predict a better response to ovarian stimulation.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Fatty acids; Female infertility; Follicular fluid; Gas chromatography

PMID:
30547270
PMCID:
PMC6439102
[Available on 2020-03-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10815-018-1384-1

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