Proliferative Index of Human Luteinized Granulosa Cells Varies as a Function of Ovarian Reserve

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

We examined whether the proliferative index of luteinized granulosa cells, as determined by flow cytometry, varied as a function of a woman's ovarian reserve, as reflected by follicular-phase day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone.

STUDY DESIGN

This prospective cohort study consisted of 19 women of similar chronologic age preparing for in vitro fertilization--embryo who met specific day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone criteria. The "low follicle-stimulating hormone" group consisted of 11 women with day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels <=6 IU/L. The "high follicle-stimulating hormone" group consisted of eight women with day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels >=18 IU/L. A total of 56 preovulatory follicles containing >=10 [4] luteinized granulosa cells were examined by flow cytometry. The low follicle-stimulating hormone group was compared with the high follicle-stimulating hormone group to examine proliferative index as a function of serum day 3 follicle-stimulating hormone levels.

RESULTS

The low follicle-stimulating hormone group had a greater proliferative index (11.1% +/-0.4%) than did the high follicle-stimulating hormone group (8.3% +/-0.6%), p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that in spite of the same chronologic age, luteinized granulosa cells from preovulatory follicles of women with day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels >=18 IU/L have a 25% decreased proliferative index compared with luteinized granulosa cells from women with day 3 serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels <=6.

CONCLUSIONS

This suggests that granulosa cell proliferation is influenced by ovarian reserve and may explain in part the more favorable response to ovulation induction protocols that younger women demonstrate compared with women of more advanced reproductive age. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1993;169:1531-5.)

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