Transforming growth factor-β1 and its receptor soluble endoglin are altered in polycystic ovary syndrome during controlled ovarian stimulation

Reshef Tal, David B. Seifer, Aya Shohat-Tal, Richard V. Grazi, Henry E. Malter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the relationship between transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and its receptor, soluble endoglin (sENG), in the serum and follicular fluid of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) compared with that of non-PCOS normal ovulating women during controlled ovarian stimulation (COS). Design: Prospective case-control study. Setting: Academic-affiliated assisted reproductive technology unit. Patient(s): Fourteen PCOS and 14 matched non-PCOS control women undergoing COS. Intervention(s): Serum was collected on day 3 (baseline), day of hCG, and day of retrieval. Follicular fluid (FF) was collected on day of oocyte retrieval. ELISA was performed to determine TGF-β1 and sENG protein levels. Main Outcome Measure(s): Serum and FF levels of TGF-β1 and sENG. Result(s): Serum TGF-β1 did not change significantly during COS but was increased in PCOS compared with non-PCOS women on day 3 and days of hCG administration and oocyte retrieval. Serum sENG increased after hCG administration only in the non-PCOS control group. In addition, serum sENG was decreased in PCOS compared with non-PCOS control women on the days of hCG and retrieval. Accordingly, the bioavailability of TGF-β1 (TGF-β1/sENG ratio) was increased in women with PCOS compared with non-PCOS controls at all three time points. No differences in either factor were noted in FF between groups. Conclusion(s): The increased TGF-β1 bioavailability in PCOS is not only due to increased TGF-β1 levels but also to decreased levels of its receptor, sENG. These data suggest that increased TGF-β1 bioavailability may contribute to the pathogenesis of PCOS and its increased risk for ovarian hyperstimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-543
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • angiogenesis
  • controlled ovarian stimulation (COS)
  • soluble endoglin (sENG)
  • transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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