, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 222-228

Relationships Between Concentrations of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α and Nitric Oxide in Follicular Fluid and Oocyte Quality

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Purpose: Our objective was to explain a relationshipbetween concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)and nitric oxide (NO) in follicular fluid, oocyte quality, andoutcomes of in vitro fertilization=nembryo transfer (IVF-ET).

Methods: The concentrations of TNF-α and NO weremeasured in 115 follicular fluid samples collected from 43patients undergoing IVF-ET program, due to tubalobstruction, some with endometriosis (8 patients) or hydrosalpinx(5 patients). A correlation of these factors concentrationsand the oocyte quality, the oocyte maturity, andinfertility-associated diseases was analyzed.

Results: No correlation was found between concentrationsof NO and TNF-α in follicular fluid. NO concentrations infollicular fluids were significantly higher in patients withendometriosis (P < 0.001) or hydrosalpinx (P < 0.01)compared to the patients with just tubal obstruction. FollicularNO concentration differences according to oocyte maturityand oocyte quality were not found. In contrast, TNF-αconcentrations in follicular fluids were significantly higher inpoor quality oocytes (P < 0.05) but were not associatedwith infertility-associated diseases, such as hydrosalphinxor endometriosis, and the oocyte maturity. No significantdifferences in follicular levels of NO and TNF-α as well asIVF-ET parameters of pregnant and nonpregnant groupswere revealed.

Conclusions: There is no significant correlation betweenthe concentrations of NO and TNF-α in follicular fluid. NOlevels in follicular fluid are altered in infertility-associateddiseases. However, TNF-α levels but not NO levels influenceoocyte quality. These results suggest that the production ofNO and TNF-α in follicular fluid may be regulated viadifferent pathways and can be tempered withinfertility-associated diseases, thereby influencing oocyte qualitylocally.