Fatty acid composition of the follicular fluid of normal weight, overweight and obese women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment : a descriptive cross-sectional study
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Reproductive biology and endocrinology. - London
, p. 1-11
University of Antwerp
Background: It has been well documented that the maturing oocyte is very vulnerable to changes in its micro-environment, the follicular fluid (FF). Recent research has focused on different components within this FF, like hormones, growth factors and metabolites, and how their concentrations are altered by diet and the metabolic health of the mother. It has been proposed that fatty acids (FAs) are potential factors that influence oocyte maturation and subsequent embryo development. However, a thorough study of the specific FF FA composition per lipid fraction and how this may be affected by BMI is currently lacking. Therefore, we investigated the BMI-related concentration of FAs in the phospholipid (PL), cholesteryl-ester (CHE), triglyceride (TG) and non-esterified (NE) lipid fraction in the FF of women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART). Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, the FF of normal weight (18.5 <= BMI < 25.0 kg/m(2), n = 10), overweight (25.0 <= BMI < 30.0 kg/m(2), n = 10) and obese (BMI >= 30.0 kg/m(2), n = 10) women, undergoing ART, was sampled and analyzed for 23 specific FAs in the PL, CHE, TG and NEFA fraction, using a gas chromatographic analysis method. Differences between BMI-groups were studied by means of univariate general linear models and post hoc Sheffe tests. Results: Total FA concentrations in the PL and CHE fraction did not differ between BMI groups. Total TG concentrations tended to differ and total NEFA concentrations differed significantly between BMI groups. Interestingly, 42% and 34% of the total FAs was esterified in the PL and CHE fraction, respectively, while only 10% were present in both the TG and NEFA fraction. Only few individual FA concentrations differed in the PL, CHE and TG fraction between BMI groups, whereas abundant BMI-related differences were found in the NEFA fraction. Conclusions: Our data show that differences in BMI are associated with alterations in the FA composition of the FF, an effect most pronounced in the NEFA fraction. These BMI-related variations could possibly affect granulosa cell viability, oocyte developmental competence and subsequent embryo quality possibly explaining differences in oocyte quality in obese patients described by others.