Salicylate administration suppresses the inflammatory response to nutrients and improves ovarian function in polycystic ovary syndrome

Frank González, Kieren J. Mather, Robert V. Considine, Ola A. Abdelhadi, Anthony J. Acton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation are often present in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We examined the effects of salsalate treatment on nutrient-induced OS and inflammation, ovarian androgen secretion, ovulation, and insulin sensitivity in PCOS. Eight lean insulin-sensitive women with PCOS and eight age- and body composition-matched ovulatory controls for baseline comparison participated in the study. The women with PCOS underwent a 12-wk treatment of salsalate, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, at a dose of 3 g daily. Markers of OS and inflammation were quantified in mononuclear cells (MNC) and plasma from blood drawn fasting and 2 h after saturated fat ingestion before and after treatment. Ovarian androgen secretion was assessed from blood drawn fasting and 24, 48, and 72 h after human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) administration before and after treatment. Ovulation was documented based on biphasic basal body temperatures and luteal range progesterone elevations. A two-step pancreatic clamp was performed pre- and posttreatment to measure basal endogenous glucose production (EGP) and the steady-state glucose disposal rate (GDR) during the euglycemic phase and markers of OS and inflammation in MNC and plasma during the hyperglycemic phase. Salsalate administration suppressed lipid- and glucose-stimulated reactive oxygen species generation, activated nuclear factor-κB and circulating tumor necrosis factor-a, normalized basal androgen levels, and lowered HCG-stimulated androgen secretion without altering EGP or GDR. Four salsalate-treated subjects responded with two consecutive ovulations. We conclude that in PCOS, salsalate-induced suppression of OS and inflammation ameliorates ovarian androgen hypersecretion and may induce ovulation while maintaining insulin action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E744-E752
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Inflammation
  • Nutrients
  • Ovarian hyperandrogenism
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Salicylates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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