Backgrounds: In vitro fertilization involves high dosage gonadotropin stimulation, which apparently has some negative impact on follicular endocrine function. As chorionic gonadotropin stimulation has been shown to increase the blood-follicular permeability in animal models, this raises the question if such an effect also applies to gonadotropins in humans, possibly affecting the endocrine follicular milieu.Findings: Follicular fluid and serum were collected at the time of follicular aspiration in in vitro fertilisation without (Natural cycle IVF, n = 24) and with (conventional gonadotropin stimulated IVF, n = 31) gonadotropin stimulation. The concentration of the extra-ovarian hormones prolactin and cortisol were analysed by immunoassays.Results: Median serum prolactin and cortisol concentrations were 12.3 ng/mL and 399 nmol/L without versus 32.2 ng/mL and 623 nmol/L with gonadotropin stimulation. The corresponding concentrations in follicular fluid were 20.6 ng/mL and 445 nmol/L versus 28.8 ng/ml and 456 nmol/L for prolactin and cortisol. As a consequence, mean follicular fluid:serum ratios were significantly reduced under gonadotropin stimulation (prolactin p = 0.0138, cortisol p = 0.0001). As an enhanced blood-follicular permeability and transportation, induced by gonadotropin stimulation, would result in increased instead of decreased follicular fluid:serum ratios as found in this study, it can be assumed that this does not affect extra-ovarian protein and steroid hormones as illustrated by prolactin and cortisol.Conclusions: The model of serum follicular fluid:serum ratio of hormones, produced outside the ovaries, did not reveal a gonadotropin induced increased blood-follicular transportation capacity. Therefore it can be assumed that the effect of gonadotropins on follicular endocrine function is not due to an increased ovarian permeability of extra-ovarian hormones. © 2013 von Wolff et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
von Wolff, M., Schneider, S., Kollmann, Z., Weiss, B., & Bersinger, N. A. (2013). Exogenous gonadotropins do not increase the blood-follicular transportation capacity of extra-ovarian hormones such as prolactin and cortisol. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-11-87