Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology

Reactive oxygen species in follicular fluid may serve as biochemical markers to determine ovarian aging and follicular metabolic age.

PMID 25014488


The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of oxidative stress in the process of ovarian aging. Follicular fluid (FF) from two randomly selected sibling follicles was collected from women undergoing in-vitro fertilization and tested for hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) levels. Group A consists of seven women with whom each of the two sibling separate follicle yielded an oocyte that was later discordantly developed to a low- and top-quality embryo. Group B consists of 13 patients in whom one of the sibling follicle yielded an oocyte while the other did not (empty follicle). High-quality embryos were derived from follicles with lower H(2)O(2) levels compared to follicles from which poor-quality embryos developed (1.004 units ± 0.260 versus 1.145 units ± 0.236, p < 0.02). H(2)O(2) levels were significantly higher (0.951 units ± 0.233 versus 0.623 units ± 0.309, p < 0.001) in sibling follicles containing oocyte compared to empty follicles. During the process of ovarian ageing, there might be a gradual increase in H(2)O(2) level in the follicle. Finally, when the follicle ages and becomes empty of oocyte H(2)O(2) levels drops significantly. Therefore, H(2)O(2) levels in FF may serve as a possible marker to determine ovarian aging and follicular metabolic age.