Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an anovulatory disorder characterized by excess androgen production and increased LH secretion. Serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is also elevated in this disorder. Women with PCOS exhibit a positive correlation between AMH and LH levels and recent in vitro data demonstrate that LH can directly stimulate AMH production by granulosa cells from women with PCOS.
Objective: The objective of the study was to directly test whether LH increases AMH production in women with PCOS in vivo by assessing responses after recombinant human chorionic gonadotropin (r-hCG) stimulation.
Design: This was a prospective study.
Setting: The study was conducted at a research center at an academic medical center.
Participants: Women with PCOS (n = 28) and normal controls (n = 29) participated in the study.
Interventions: Blood samples were obtained before and 24 hours after iv administration of 25 μg r-hCG.
Main outcome measures: Basal and stimulated serum AMH, androstenedione, T, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels were measured.
Results: Baseline AMH levels in women with PCOS were greater than in normal controls and correlated with levels of LH as well as androstenedione, T, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone. A rise of serum AMH levels was not observed after r-hCG administration in women with PCOS or normal ovaries.
Conclusion: These findings are in contrast to in vitro evidence demonstrating that AMH secretion by granulosa cells of PCOS women in response to LH stimulation and suggest AMH regulation in vivo is complex and that the elevated serum AMH in women with PCOS is not a direct effect of the excess LH production characteristic of PCOS.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00747617.