Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 113–120 | Cite as

Altered expression of the kisspeptin/KISS1R and neurokinin B/NK3R systems in mural granulosa and cumulus cells of patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Victor Blasco
  • Francisco M. Pinto
  • Ainhoa Fernández-Atucha
  • Nicolás Prados
  • Manuel Tena-Sempere
  • Manuel Fernández-Sánchez
  • Luz CandenasEmail author
Reproductive Physiology and Disease



The neurokinin B (NKB)/NK3 receptor (NK3R) and kisspeptin (KISS1)/kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R), two systems essential for reproduction, are present in human granulosa cells (GCs) of healthy women and contribute to the control of fertility, at least partially, by acting on the gonads. However, little is known about the expression of these systems in GCs of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of NKB/NK3R and KISS1/KISS1R in mural granulosa (MGCs) and cumulus cells (CCs) of PCOS women.


A cross-sectional study was performed in 46 healthy women and 43 PCOS women undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation. MGCs and CCs were collected from pre-ovulatory follicles after transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte retrieval and the expression of the genes encoding NKB (TAC3), NK3R (TACR3), KISS1, and its receptor (KISS1R) was analyzed using real-time quantitative RT-PCR.


TAC3, TACR3, and KISS1 mRNA levels were decreased in MGCs and CCs of PCOS women. TAC3 positively correlated with KISS1 in MGCs of healthy women and TACR3 was positively associated with KISS1R in CCs from healthy women. These associations were not observed in PCOS women.


The NKB/NK3R and KISS1/KISS1R systems are dysregulated in MGCs and CCs of PCOS women. The lower expression of these systems in GCs could contribute to the abnormal follicle development and defective ovulation that characterize the pathogenesis of PCOS.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome Neurokinin B Kisspeptin Granulosa cells Cumulus cells 


Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (RTC-2014-1431-1), Spain, with joint financing by FEDER funds from the European Union.

Compliance with ethical standards

Approval for this work was obtained from the institutional Ethics Committees of CSIC and Hospital Virgen Macarena (Sevilla, Spain) and all patients gave informed written consent.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10815_2018_1338_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 28 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas, CSICSevilleSpain
  2. 2.IVI-RMA GlobalSevilleSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de FisiologíaUniversidad del País VascoLeioaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e InmunologíaUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  5. 5.CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la NutriciónISCiiiCórdobaSpain
  6. 6.Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba/Hospital Universitario Reina SofíaCórdobaSpain

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