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Adiponectin Affects Periovulatory Remodeling

Lower adiponectin levels in obese women may contribute to ovarian dysfunction

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Adiponectin stimulates expression of genes in ovarian cells that may contribute to periovulatory remodeling, according to a report in the November issue of Endocrinology. Lower adiponectin levels found in overweight women might contribute to ovarian dysfunction that often accompanies obesity, the authors note.

In the study, Bruce D. Murphy, Ph.D., from the Universite de Montreal in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues examined the signaling and gene expression effects following adiponectin treatment of cultured porcine ovarian cells. Expression of genes associated with periovulatory remodeling were assessed within 24 hours of treatment with physiological levels of adiponectin.

The researchers first showed that both adiponectin and adiponectin receptors can be found in antral follicles, and that activation of these receptors in ovarian granulosa cells upregulates many genes responsible for periovulatory remodeling. Either alone or in combination with leutinizing hormone or insulin, adiponectin promotes expression of COX-2, prostaglandin E synthase and vascular endothelial growth factor. Adiponectin also has anti-diabetic properties and sensitizes tissues to insulin.

The authors suggest that reduced adiponectin levels found in obese women might contribute to ovarian dysfunction. "This work extends previous observations that adiponectin can induce prostanoid synthesis and provides potential mechanisms to link adipose tissue abundance to ovarian function and fertility," they conclude.

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