Purpose of review: To review the current knowledge of genetic variants in the two genes affecting the individual responsiveness to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) action-the FSH beta-subunit (FSHB) and the FSH receptor (FSHR), as well as the pharmacogenetic ramifications of the findings.
Recent findings: Four common variants in the FSHB and the FSHR genes were shown to exhibit significant effect on FSH action: linked FSHR variants Thr307Ala and Asn680Ser determining common receptor isoforms, and gene expression affecting polymorphisms FSHR -29G/A and FSHB -211G/T. In women, the FSHR Thr307Ala/Asn680Ser polymorphisms show consistent predictive value for estimating the most optimal recombinant FSH dosage in controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). The same variants exhibit a potential for the pharmacogenetic assessment of the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The FSHR -29G/A variant was also shown to contribute to ovarian response to COH. Pilot studies have suggested the FSHB -211 TT homozygous oligozoospermic men with genetically determined low concentration of FSH, as potentially the best responders to FSH treatment; furthermore, modulation of this response by FSHR polymorphisms is possible.
Summary: Genetic variants in FSHB and FSHR exhibit a potential for pharmacogenetic applications in selecting appropriate treatment options (timing and dosage) in male and female conditions requiring or benefiting from FSH therapy.