Objective: Possibly due to a deficiency of insulin mediators, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with insulin resistance (IR) and hyperinsulinemia, likely responsible for an elevated production of reactive oxygen species. We investigated oxidative-related alterations in erythrocytes and anti-inflammatory effects of inositol in women with PCOS before and after treatment with myo-inositol (MYO).
Methods: Twenty-six normal-weight PCOS patients were investigated before and after MYO administration (1200 mg/day for 12 weeks; n=18) or placebo (n=8) by evaluating serum testosterone, serum androstenedione, fasting serum insulin, fasting serum glucose, insulin area under the curve (AUC), and glucose AUC after oral glucose tolerance test and homeostasis model of assessment-IR. In erythrocytes, band 3 tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr-P) level, glutathione (GSH) content, and glutathionylated proteins (GSSP) were also assessed.
Results: Data show that PCOS patients' erythrocytes underwent oxidative stress as indicated by band 3 Tyr-P values, reduced cytosolic GSH content, and increased membrane protein glutathionylation. MYO treatment significantly improved metabolic and biochemical parameters. Significant reductions were found in IR and serum values of androstenedione and testosterone. A significant association between band 3 Tyr-P levels and insulin AUC was found at baseline but disappeared after MYO treatment, while a correlation between band 3 Tyr-P and testosterone levels was detected both before and after MYO treatment.
Conclusions: PCOS patients suffer from a systemic inflammatory status that induces erythrocyte membrane alterations. Treatment with MYO is effective in reducing hormonal, metabolic, and oxidative abnormalities in PCOS patients by improving IR.