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      Recurrent Pregnancy Loss in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Role of Hyperhomocysteinemia and Insulin Resistance

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          Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which occurs in ∼50% of total pregnancies is a frequent obstetric complication. Among the several hypotheses, insulin resistance (IR), obesity and hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) play significant role/s in RPL. This study was conducted to assess the link between elevated levels of homocysteine and IR in PCOS-associated women with RPL in Kolkata, India. A retrospective study was conducted of one hundred and twenty six PCOS women (<30 years) who experienced two or more spontaneous abortions during the first trimester presenting to Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRM) in Kolkata during the period of March 2008 through February 2011. One hundred and seventeen non-PCOS subjects with matching age range were randomly chosen as controls. Incidence of HHcy and IR was 70.63% (n = 89) and 56.34% (n = 71), respectively, in RPL-affected PCOS population which was significantly higher (p<0.04; p<0.0001) when compared to the non-PCOS set (HHcy: 57.26%; IR: 6.83%). Rates of miscarriage were significantly higher (p<0.008; p<0.03) in hyperhomocysteinemia-induced miscarriage when compared to the normohomocysteinemic segment (PCOS: 70.63% vs.29.36% & non-PCOS: 57.26% vs. 42.73%) along with the insulin resistant (p<0.04; p<0.0001) population (PCOS: 70.63% vs. 56.34% & non-PCOS: 57.26% vs. 6.83%) in both groups. A probabilistic causal model evaluated HHcy as the strongest plausible factor for diagnosis of RPL. A probability percentage of 43.32% in the cases of HHcy- mediated RPL suggests its increased tendency when compared to IR mediated miscarriage (37.29%), further supported by ROC-AUC (HHcy: 0.778 vs. IR: 0.601) values. Greater susceptibility towards HHcy may increase the incidence for miscarriage in women in India and highlights the need to combat the condition in RPL control programs in the subcontinent.

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          Current approaches for assessing insulin sensitivity and resistance in vivo: advantages, limitations, and appropriate usage.

          Insulin resistance contributes to the pathophysiology of diabetes and is a hallmark of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and many cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, quantifying insulin sensitivity/resistance in humans and animal models is of great importance for epidemiological studies, clinical and basic science investigations, and eventual use in clinical practice. Direct and indirect methods of varying complexity are currently employed for these purposes. Some methods rely on steady-state analysis of glucose and insulin, whereas others rely on dynamic testing. Each of these methods has distinct advantages and limitations. Thus, optimal choice and employment of a specific method depends on the nature of the studies being performed. Established direct methods for measuring insulin sensitivity in vivo are relatively complex. The hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp and the insulin suppression test directly assess insulin-mediated glucose utilization under steady-state conditions that are both labor and time intensive. A slightly less complex indirect method relies on minimal model analysis of a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test. Finally, simple surrogate indexes for insulin sensitivity/resistance are available (e.g., QUICKI, HOMA, 1/insulin, Matusda index) that are derived from blood insulin and glucose concentrations under fasting conditions (steady state) or after an oral glucose load (dynamic). In particular, the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) has been validated extensively against the reference standard glucose clamp method. QUICKI is a simple, robust, accurate, reproducible method that appropriately predicts changes in insulin sensitivity after therapeutic interventions as well as the onset of diabetes. In this Frontiers article, we highlight merits, limitations, and appropriate use of current in vivo measures of insulin sensitivity/resistance.
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            Folate and human reproduction.

            The influence of folate nutritional status on various pregnancy outcomes has long been recognized. Studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s led to the recognition of prenatal folic acid supplementation as a means to prevent pregnancy-induced megaloblastic anemia. In the 1990s, the utility of periconceptional folic acid supplementation and folic acid food fortification emerged when they were proven to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects. These distinctively different uses of folic acid may well be ranked among the most significant public health measures for the prevention of pregnancy-related disorders. Folate is now viewed not only as a nutrient needed to prevent megaloblastic anemia in pregnancy but also as a vitamin essential for reproductive health. This review focuses on the relation between various outcomes of human reproduction (ie, pregnancy, lactation, and male reproduction) and folate nutrition and metabolism, homocysteine metabolism, and polymorphisms of genes that encode folate-related enzymes or proteins, and we identify issues for future research.
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              Endometrium in PCOS: Implantation and predisposition to endocrine CA.

              Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrinopathy characterized by oligo/anovulatiaon and elevated circulating androgens or evidence of hyperandrogenism after all known potential causes have been excluded. In addition, insulin resistance and accompanying hyperinsulinemia commonly occur in women with PCOS. There is increasing evidence that the endocrinologic and metabolic abnormalities in PCOS may have complex effects on the endometrium, contributing to the infertility and endometrial disorders observed in women with this syndrome. Androgen receptors and steroid receptor co-activators are over-expressed in the endometrium of women with PCOS. Also, biomarkers of endometrial receptivity to embryonic implantation-such as alpha(v)beta3-integrin and glycodelin-are decreased, and epithelial expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) abnormally persists in the window of implantation in endometrium in women with PCOS. In addition to being responsive to the steroid hormones estradiol, progesterone, and androgens, the endometrium is also a target for insulin, the receptor for which is cyclically regulated in normo-ovulatory women. In vitro, insulin inhibits the normal process of endometrial stromal differentiation (decidualization). In addition, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their binding proteins are regulated in and act on endometrial cellular constituents, and hyperinsulinemia down-regulates hepatic IGFBP-1, resulting in elevated free IGF-I in the circulation. Thus, elevated estrogen (without the opposing effects of progesterone in the absence of ovulation), hyperinsulinemia, elevated free IGF-I and androgens, and obesity all likely contribute to endometrial dysfunction, infertility, increased miscarriage rate, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrial cancer common in women with PCOS. The potential mechanisms underlying these disorders, specifically in women with PCOS, are complex and await additional transdisciplinary research for their complete elucidation.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                21 May 2013
                : 8
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Infertility, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Kolkata, India
                [2 ]Department of Assisted Reproduction, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Kolkata, India
                [3 ]Reproductive Biology Research, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur, Kolkata, India
                [4 ]Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, P 1/12, Calcutta Improvement Trust Scheme VIIM, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
                Imperial College London, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: PC SKG BNC KJ. Performed the experiments: SKG SS SR. Analyzed the data: PC SS SR. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: BNC SS SR SNK KJ. Wrote the paper: BNC SNK PC KJ. Collection of data and setting them in order: SS SR.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 6
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
                Clinical Research Design
                Retrospective Studies
                Diabetic Endocrinology
                Gestational Diabetes
                Obstetrics and Gynecology
                Miscarriage and Stillbirth
                Pregnancy Complications
                Female Subfertility
                Management of High-Risk Pregnancies
                Cancers and Neoplasms
                Gynecological Tumors
                Ovarian Cysts



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