Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder diagnosed by anovulation hyperandrogenism. Hyperandrogenism increases apoptosis, which will eventually disturb follicular growth in PCOS patients. Since mitochondria regulate apoptosis, they might be affected by high incidence of follicular atresia. This may cause infertility. Since vitamin D3 has been shown to improve the PCOS symptoms, the aim of study was to investigate the effects vitamin D3 on copy number, mitochondrial biogenesis, and membrane integrity of granulosa cells in a PCOS-induced mouse model.
In this experimental study, the PCOS mouse model was induced by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Granulosa cells after identification by follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were cultured in three groups: 1. granulosa cells treated with vitamin D3 (100 nM for 24 hours), 2. granulosa cells without any treatments, 3. Non-PCOS granulosa cells (control group). Mitochondrial biogenesis gene (TFAM) expression was compared between different groups using real-time PCR. copy number was also investigated by qPCR. The mitochondrial structure was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Hormonal levels were measured by an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit.
The numbers of pre-antral and antral follicles increased in PCOS group in comparison with the non-PCOS group. Mitochondrial biogenesis genes were downregulated in granulosa cells of PCOS mice when compared to the non-PCOS granulosa cells. However, treatment with vitamin D3 increased expression levels of these genes compared to PCOS granulosa cells with no treatments. Most of the mitochondria in the PCOS group were spherical with almost no cristae. Our results showed that in the PCOS group treated with vitamin D3, the copy number increased significantly in comparison to PCOS granulosa cells with no treatments.
According to this study, we can conclude, vitamin D3 improves mitochondrial biogenesis and membrane integrity, mtDNA copy number in granulosa cells of PCOS mice which might improve follicular development and subsequently oocyte quality.
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