Lower follicular n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are associated with a better response to ovarian stimulation
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To analyze in detail the fatty acid (FA) composition of follicular fluid (FF) from two-sized follicles at oocyte retrieval and to determine associations of the FAs from large follicles with the woman’s age and the response to ovarian stimulation.
University and fertility clinic.
Sixty-four women (age 19–46), consisting of unfertile patients and oocyte donors, undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation.
Main outcome measure(s)
FF from small (< 12 mm) and large (≥ 18 mm) follicles was collected at oocyte retrieval. FAs by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection.
Thirty-two FAs with chain lengths ranging from 14 to 25 carbons were identified. There was a readjustment in FA distribution as follicle size increased, raising very long-chain saturated FAs, nervonic (24:1n-9), arachidonic (20:4n-6), and n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA, P < 0.001), the latter mainly due to an increase in docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA). In large follicles, double bond and peroxidizability indices and total n-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, correlated positively with the woman’s age and negatively with the number of total and mature oocytes, total and top-quality embryos, and fertilization rate.
We have described 32 FAs in ovarian FF, of which 16 changed their distribution with follicle size. The results also indicate that lower n-3 PUFA levels in large follicles, which are associated with younger women, predict a better response to ovarian stimulation based on the recovery of total and mature oocytes, total and top-quality embryos, and fertilization rate per cycle.
The fatty acid profile of ovarian FF changes as the follicle grows and lower n-3 PUFA levels in large follicles, associated with younger women, predict a better response to ovarian stimulation.
KeywordsFemale infertility Fatty acids Aging Gas chromatography Follicular fluid
Supported by the “PN de I+D+I” of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, “ISCIII-Subdirección General de Evaluación y Fomento de la Investigación” and FEDER (ref. FIS/FEDER PI11/02559), University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU (ref. GIU16/62), and the Basque Government (Department of Education, Universities and Research, predoctoral grant to IP, and Department of Development, Economy and Competitiveness, SPRI, ref. IG-2013 0001214).
Compliance with ethical standards
The Ethics Committee of the University UPV/EHU (Ethics Committee for Research involving Human Subjects, CEISH) approved the human subject protocol (CEISH/96/2011/RUIZLARREA), and the study was performed according to the UPV/EHU and IVI-RMA Bilbao agreement, Ref. 2012/01. The project complies with the Spanish Law of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (14/2006). Written informed consent was obtained from all trial subjects for participation in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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