Many epidemiological studies have shown that anovulatory polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is accompanied by hyperandrogenism. However, the exact mechanism of hyperandrogen-induced anovulation remains to be elucidated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential mechanism of anovulation in PCOS. To investigate the role of klotho as a key factor in the androgen receptor (AR)-mediated development of PCOS, we investigated the effects of testosterone on ovarian klotho expression in vivo and in vitro.
Testosterone propionate (TP)-induced rats showed cycle irregularity, hyperandrogenism, polycystic ovarian changes, dyslipidemia. However, inhibition of AR expression could relieve PCOS traits. We also found that AR and klotho showed relatively high expression in PCOS rat ovarian tissue and in TP-induced granulosa cells (GCs), which was inhibited by the addition of flutamide. TP-induced GCs apoptosis was suppressed by AR antagonist, as well as silencing klotho expression in human GCs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that AR indirectly binds to the klotho promoter.
Our results demonstrated TP mediates the expression of klotho via androgen receptor and klotho alterations could be a reason for ovarian dysfunction in PCOS.

© 2023. The Author(s).