Allelic estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) gene variants predict the outcome of ovarian stimulation in in vitro fertilization

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The outcome of in vitro fertilization (IVF) depends substantially on the effectiveness of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) induced by administration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). In COH, endogenously produced estrogens extend the action of FSH in stimulating folliculogenesis. We determined the associations between genetic variations in estrogen receptor ESR1 and ESR2 genes and etiology of female infertility, and analysed the influence of these variations on COH outcome-the quantity and quality of oocytes retrieved. ESR1 PvuII T/C (rs2234693) and XbaI A/G (rs9340799) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and (TA)n microsatellite polymorphism, as well as ESR2 RsaI G/A (rs1256049) SNP and (CA)n microsatellite polymorphism were genotyped in 159 IVF patients. The ovarian response to FSH was diminished in patients with endometriosis when compared to tubal factor infertility. ESR1 PvuII and XbaI as well as ESR2 RsaI SNPs were associated with the microsatellite length of the respective genes. Shorter ESR1 (TA)n was linked with a higher risk for unexplained infertility, whereas longer ESR1 (TA)n associated with PvuII*C allele were predictive of a better COH, but not clinical pregnancy outcome in an age-independent manner. These data suggest the variations in ESR1 gene, in addition to the age of a woman, may predict the COH outcome in IVF.




Altmäe, S., Haller, K., Peters, M., Hovatta, O., Stavreus-Evers, A., Karro, H., … Salumets, A. (2007). Allelic estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) gene variants predict the outcome of ovarian stimulation in in vitro fertilization. Molecular Human Reproduction, 13(8), 521–526.

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