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Int J Fertil Steril. 2012 Jul;6(2):111-6. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Nitric oxide-induced polycystic ovaries in the wistar rat.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Embryology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.



Nitric oxide (NO) involves in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a cause of infertility in women during the reproductive age. The PCOS is now categorized as an inflammatory phenomenon. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of NO, a proinflammatory agent, in this syndrome at histological and biochemical levels.


In this experimental study, animals were female Wistar rats (weighing 200-250 g) kept under standard conditions. L-Arginine (50-200 mg/kg), a precursor of NO, was injected intra-peritoneally (i.p.) through a period ranging from 9 to14 days/ once a day. The rats' estrous cycle was studied using Papanicolaou test; those showing phase of Diestrous were grouped into experimental and control groups. The control group solely received saline (1 ml/kg, i.p.) throughout all experiments. To evaluate the inflammatory effect of NO, the rats were treated an anti-inflammatory agent, naloxone hydrochloride (0.4 mg/kg, i.p.), prior to L-arginine. At the end of the treatment period all animals' ovaries were assessed for histopathological and histochemical investigations. Also, activation of NO synthase (NOS) in the experiments was studied using NADPH-diaphorase technique.


The ovaries of rats treated with L-arginine showed polycystic characteristics in contrast to those collected from control or naloxone pretreated groups, based on image analysis. A difference in enzyme activation was also shown in the sections that belonged to the groups that received L-arginine when compared with the pre-naloxone and control groups.


Based on these results, we believe that NO may play a major role in the pathophysiology of PCOS.


L-Arginine; NADPH-Diaphorase; Naloxone; Nitric oxide; PCOS


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