Glucose and lipopolysaccharide regulate proatherogenic cytokine release from mononuclear cells in polycystic ovary syndrome

Frank González, John P. Kirwan, Neal S. Rote, Judi Minium, Valerie B. O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have chronic low-grade inflammation, which can increase the risk of atherogenesis. We examined the effect of glucose ingestion and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on markers of proatherogenic inflammation in the mononuclear cells (MNC) and plasma of women with PCOS. Sixteen women with PCOS (8 lean, 8 obese) and 15 weight-matched controls (8 lean, 7 obese) underwent a 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) release from MNC cultured in the presence of LPS and plasma IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were measured from blood samples drawn while fasting and 2. h after glucose ingestion. Truncal fat was measured by dual-energy absorptiometry (DEXA). Lean women with PCOS and obese controls failed to suppress LPS-stimulated IL-6 and IL-1β release from MNC after glucose ingestion. In contrast, obese women with PCOS suppressed these MNC-derived cytokines under the same conditions. In response to glucose ingestion, plasma IL-6 and sVCAM-1 increased and CRP suppression was attenuated in both PCOS groups and obese controls compared with lean controls. Fasting plasma IL-6 and CRP correlated positively with percentage of truncal fat. The absolute change in plasma IL-6 correlated positively with testosterone. We conclude that glucose ingestion promotes proatherogenic inflammation in PCOS with a systemic response that is independent of obesity. Based on the suppressed MNC-derived cytokine responses suggestive of LPS tolerance, chronic low-grade inflammation may be more profound in obese women with PCOS. Excess abdominal adiposity and hyperandrogenism may contribute to atherogenesis in PCOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Abdominal adiposity
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Glucose
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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