Association of polycystic ovary syndrome with metabolic syndrome and gestational diabetes: Aggravated complication of pregnancy (Review)
Affiliations: Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children (Sichuan University), Ministry of Education, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China
- Published online on: June 22, 2017 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2017.4642
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-20% of the reproductive age women globally. PCOS is diagnosed by the presence of hyperandrogenism, oligo-anovulation, and polycystic morphology of at least one ovary. Insulin resistance (IR), hyperinsulinemia and associated metabolic abnormalities including metabolic syndrome play a significant role in the development of PCOS. The chances of developing MS in PCOS women was shown to increase by almost 14-fold in patients with increasing body mass index. Even in the absence of overt obesity, a preferential deposition of intra-abdominal fat is noted in PCOS women and this intra‑abdominal fat leads to impaired insulin action and functional IR and hyperandrogenism. Functional ovarian hyperandrogenism of ovaries was suggested to be a consequence of IR, which activates androgen synthesizing enzyme, cytochrome p450‑c17α‑hydroxylase, in ovarian theca cells and causes elevated oxidative stress accompanied by lower antioxidant status in ovaries, which contribute to PCOS pathogenesis. The elevated levels of luteinizing hormone that accompany the early stages of hyperandrogenemia, accelerate ovarian functional deterioration, which is further aggravated by hyperinsulinemia, in PCOS women. The risk of developing gestational diabetes in PCOS women is approximately three times greater, as compared to non-PCOS women, due to IR and hyperinsulinemia. Typical insulin‑sensitizing drugs such as metformin, have been used to curtail IR and hyperinsulinemia in pregnant PCOS women, with varying results indicating the complexity of the disease and the need for better controlled studies and additional efforts for PCOS‑specific drug discovery.