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Lower follicular n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are associated with a better response to ovarian stimulation

  • José-Ignacio Ruiz-Sanz
  • Irantzu Pérez-Ruiz
  • Susana Meijide
  • Marcos Ferrando
  • Zaloa Larreategui
  • María-Begoña Ruiz-LarreaEmail author
Assisted Reproduction Technologies
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

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.

Design

Observational study.

Setting

University and fertility clinic.

Patients

Sixty-four women (age 19–46), consisting of unfertile patients and oocyte donors, undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation.

Interventions

None.

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.

Result

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.

Conclusions

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.

Key message

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.

Keywords

Female infertility Fatty acids Aging Gas chromatography Follicular fluid 

Notes

Funding

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

Ethical approval

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress (FROS) Research Group of the Department of Physiology, Medicine and Nursing SchoolUniversity of the Basque Country UPV/EHULeioaSpain
  2. 2.BioCruces Health Research InstituteBarakaldoSpain
  3. 3.Valencian Institute of Infertility (IVI-RMA)-BilbaoLeioaSpain

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