Putative Predictors of Antibodies Against Follicle-Stimulating Hormone in Female Infertility: A Study Based on In Vitro Fertilization Patients

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We have previously demonstrated the presence of naturally occurring antibodies against follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in patients with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Here, we investigated the parameters associated with anti-FSH antibodies in in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients.

Methods of study

The following parameters were studied in 135 patients: peripheral FSH levels, FSH β-subunit gene (FSHB) haplotypes, history of previous IVF, and susceptibility to autoimmune reactions in general [seven common autoantibodies (against nuclear antigens on human and rodent substrates, smooth muscle, gastric parietal cells, β2-glycoprotein I, cardiolipin, and thyroid peroxidase) and HLA-DQB1 alleles].


Although the anti-FSH levels were higher in patients when compared with controls, those higher levels were not associated with FSHB haplotypes. The anti-FSH IgM associated with (i) the levels of FSH in women with male and tubal factor infertility; (ii) the history of IVF in patients with PCOS, endometriosis, and unexplained infertility; and (iii) the production of common autoantibodies among all IVF patients. The anti-FSH IgA associated with HLA-DQB1*03. The anti-FSH IgG correlated with the values of anti-FSH IgA and IgM.


Anti-FSH may be naturally occurring antibodies associated with peripheral FSH concentrations, but increased in infertile women with dysregulation of immune reactions and repeatedly performed IVF.

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