Exposure of female macaques to Western-style diet with or without chronic T in vivo alters secondary follicle function during encapsulated 3-dimensional culture.

PMID 25545382


Increased adiposity and hyperandrogenemia alter reproductive parameters in both animal models and women, but their effects on preantral follicles in the ovary remain unknown. We recently reported that Western-style diet (WSD) consumption over 1 year, with or without chronic exposure to elevated circulating T, increased the body fat percentage, elicited insulin resistance, suppressed estradiol and progesterone production, as well as altered the numbers, size, and dynamics of antral follicles in the ovary during the menstrual cycle in female macaques. Therefore, experiments were designed to compare the WSD and WSD+T effects to age-matched controls on the survival, growth, and function of isolated secondary follicles during 5 weeks of encapsulated 3-dimensional culture. Follicle survival significantly declined in the WSD and WSD+T groups compared with the control (CTRL) group. Although media progesterone levels were comparable among groups, androstenedione and estradiol levels were markedly reduced in the WSD and WSD+T groups compared with the CTRL group at week 5. Anti-Müllerian hormone levels peaked at week 3 and were lower in the WSD+T group compared with the WSD or CTRL group. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels also decreased at week 5 in the WSD+T group compared with the WSD or CTRL group. After human chorionic gonadotropin exposure, only antral follicles developed from the CTRL group yielded metaphase II oocytes. Thus, WSD with or without T exposure affects the cohort of secondary follicles in vivo, suppressing their subsequent survival, production of steroid hormones and local factors, as well as oocyte maturation in vitro.