Serologic markers of autoimmunity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Fertil Steril. 2010 May 1;93(7):2291-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.01.056. Epub 2009 Mar 17.


Objective: To evaluate whether women with the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased rate of elevated serum levels of common autoimmunologic parameters.

Design: Prospective case-control study.

Setting: Academic research institution.

Patient(s): One hundred nine women with PCOS and 109 age-matched healthy controls.

Intervention(s): Peripheral venous puncture, ultrasonography, questionnaire.

Main outcome measure(s): Serum levels of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) were measured by immunometric enzyme immunoassay, serum levels of IgG class autoantibodies against histone, IgG class autoantibodies against nucleosomes, and IgG class autoantibodies against double-stranded (ds) DNA were measured by enzyme immunoassays.

Result(s): Women with PCOS had significantly elevated serum levels of antihistone and anti-dsDNA antibodies, whereas serum levels of ANAs and antinucleosome antibodies were similar between the two groups. When serum levels of ANAs, antihistone, antinucleosomes, and anti-dsDNA antibodies were correlated with clinical and biochemical parameters, a significant correlation between serum levels of ANAs and serum TSH was established.

Conclusion(s): Our study shows that serologic parameters of autoimmunity (i.e., antihistone and anti-dsDNA antibodies) are elevated in women with PCOS. A role of autoimmunologic processes in PCOS can be suspected.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity* / physiology
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA / immunology
  • Female
  • Histones / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Nucleosomes / immunology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / immunology*
  • Serologic Tests
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Biomarkers
  • Histones
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Nucleosomes
  • DNA