Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of anovulatory infertility in women. This study identified changes in free fatty acids profiles in the follicular fluid that may lead to better diagnosis and management of infertility in PCOS women.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by various endocrine/metabolic disorders and impaired reproductive potential. Alterations in oocyte competence are considered potentially causative factors for infertility in PCOS women and analyzing the composition of follicular fluid in these patients may help to identify which changes have the potential to alter oocyte quality. In this study, free fatty acid metabolic signatures in follicular fluid were performed to identify changes that may impact oocyte competence in non-obese PCOS women. Sixty-four non-obese women (32 with PCOS and 32 age- and BMI-matched controls) undergoing in vitro fertilization were recruited. Embryo quality was morphologically assessed. Free fatty acid metabolic profiling in follicular fluid was performed using gas/liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Principal component analysis and orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis models were further constructed. Nine free fatty acids and 24 eicosanoids were identified and several eicosanoids synthesized by the cyclooxygenase pathway were significantly elevated in PCOS patients compared to controls. The combination of PGE2, PGF2α, PGJ2, and TXB2 had an area under the curve of 0.867 (0.775–0.960) for PCOS discrimination. Furthermore, follicular fluid levels of PGE2 and PGJ2 were negatively correlated with high-quality embryo rate in PCOS patients (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis revealed that follicular fluid lipidomic profiles undergo changes in non-obese PCOS women, which suggests that identifying changes in important metabolic signatures may give us a better understanding of the pathogenesis of PCOS. Furthermore, elevated PGE2 and PGJ2 concentrations may contribute to impaired oocyte competence in non-obese PCOS patients.