Overexpression of IL-18 in the Proliferative Phase Endometrium of Patients With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    February 2017 in “ Reproductive Sciences
    Xiaoyu Li, Rong Li, Yan Yang, Jie Qiao
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    TLDR Women with PCOS, especially those overweight, have higher levels of IL-18 in their endometrium, which may affect fertility.
    The study, supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, analyzed the expression of interleukin 18 (IL-18) in the endometrium of 23 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and 20 healthy controls. It was found that IL-18 levels were significantly higher in the endometrium of women with PCOS, particularly in those who were overweight with a BMI ≥23. The increase in IL-18 was not significantly different between PCOS patients with and without insulin resistance, suggesting that the overexpression is associated with PCOS and obesity rather than insulin resistance. The results imply that chronic low-grade inflammation, as indicated by elevated IL-18, may play a role in the pathogenesis of PCOS and could impact fertility. However, the study's small sample size may have limited the detection of differences in IL-18 expression related to insulin resistance among PCOS patients.
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