Follicular fluid (FF) constitutes the microenvironment of the developing oocyte. We recently characterized its lipid composition and found lipid signatures of positive pregnancy outcome after in vitro fertilization (IVF). In the current study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that unexplained female infertility is related to lipid metabolism, given the lipid signature of positive-outcome IVF patients we previously found. Assuming that FF samples from IVF patients with male factor infertility can represent a non-hindered metabolic microenvironment, we compared them to FF taken from women with unexplained infertility. FF from patients undergoing IVF was examined for its lipid composition. We found highly increased triacylglycerol levels, with a lower abundance of monoacylglycerols, phospholipids and sphingolipids in the FF of patients with unexplained infertility. The alterations in the lipid class accumulation were independent of the body mass index (BMI) and were altogether kept across the age groups. Potential lipid biomarkers for pregnancy outcomes showed a highly discriminative abundance in the FF of unexplained infertility patients. Lipid abundance distinguished IVF patients with unrecognized infertility and provided a potential means for the evaluation of female fertility.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by a grant from the Joint Research Fund of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center and The Adolf and Klara Brettler Center for Research in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Follicular fluid
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Unexplained infertility