Kushnir MM, Naessén T, Wanggren K, Hreinsson J, Rockwood AL, Meikle AW, Bergquist J
J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 162 (-) 126-133 [2016-09-00; online 2015-09-24]
Steroid concentrations in stimulated follicular fluid (sFF) samples have been linked to the quality of oocytes used in IVF treatments. Most of the published studies focused on evaluating the association of the IVF outcomes with only a few of the steroids, measured by immunoassays (IA). We performed a treatment outcome, prospective cohort study using stimulated FF sampled from 14 infertile women undergoing IVF treatment; single oocyte was used per IVF cycle. Fourteen endogenous steroids were analyzed in 22 ovarian follicle aspirations, which corresponded to the embryos used in the IVF. Ten oocytes were associated with live birth (LB) and 12 with no pregnancy (NP). Steroids were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods. Differences in distribution of concentrations in association with the pregnancy outcome (LB or NP), and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves analysis were performed for the entire cohort and for within-women data. The predominant androgen and estrogen in stimulated sFF were androstenedione (A4) and estradiol (E2), respectively. Lower concentrations of pregnenolone (Pr), lower ratios of A4/ dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (Te)/DHEA, and greater ratios of E2/Te, and estrone/A4 were observed in sFF samples associated with LB. Among the oocytes associated with NP, in four out of 12 samples total concentration of androgens was above the distribution of the concentrations in the oocytes corresponding to the LB group. Observations of the study indicated increased consumption of precursors and increased biosynthesis of estrogens in the follicles associated with LB. Our data suggest that potentially steroid profiles in sFF obtained during oocyte retrieval may serve as biomarkers for selection of the best embryo to transfer after IVF.