Age-related variations in follicular apolipoproteins may influence human oocyte maturation and fertility potential

Fertil Steril. 2010 May 1;93(7):2354-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.129. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


Objective: To investigate involvement of specific apolipoproteins in the process of human oocyte maturation and age-related infertility as molecular constituents of follicular fluid.

Design: Laboratory-based observational study.

Setting: Basic science laboratory at a large academic institution.

Patient(s): Follicular fluid obtained from healthy women aged 18 to 45 years undergoing in vitro fertilization for unexplained infertility, ovulatory dysfunction, tubal disease, male factor infertility, or oocyte donation.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): Specific concentration of apolipoproteins and content of lipoprotein particles in follicular fluid and blood plasma as related to reproductive aging.

Result(s): We registered a decline of follicular apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1) and apolipoprotein CII (Apo CII) and an increase of the apolipoprotein E (Apo E) with age, which parallels a lower number of retrieved mature oocytes in older women. Follicular apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B (Apo B), apolipoprotein E, and apolipoprotein C II are present in diverse heterogeneous complexes including very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate-low-density lipoproteins (IDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that vary with patient age and differ from the blood plasma lipoprotein complexes.

Conclusion(s): Age-related variation in follicular apolipoprotein content and distribution in the cholesterol particles may be associated with the decrease in production of mature oocytes and the age-related decline in fertility potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Apolipoproteins / analysis
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Apolipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology*
  • Follicular Fluid / chemistry
  • Follicular Fluid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / blood
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Infertility / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Oogenesis / physiology*
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Peptides