Objective: We aim to assess the effect of metformin treatment on metabolic parameters, endothelial function and inflammatory markers in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) subjects.
Methods: The study population consisted of 40 reproductive-age women with PCOS, who underwent treatment with metformin during a 12-week period, and their corresponding matched controls (n = 44). We evaluated endocrinological parameters, adhesion molecules (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and E-selectin) and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)) in serum. In addition, interactions between human umbilical vein endothelial cells and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells were assessed by flow chamber microscopy. In addition, a group of type 2 diabetes patients who underwent treatment with metformin during a 12-week period was incorporated into the study.
Results: Metformin produced beneficial effects on PCOS patients by decreasing polymorphonuclear (PMN) rolling flux and adhesion. It also decreased levels of ICAM-1, E-selectin, IL-6 and ΤΝFα. In addition, metformin induced an improvement of endocrine and anthropometric parameters in PCOS subjects by reducing glucose, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and androstendione, and by increasing dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S). Metformin also had beneficial effects in type 2 diabetic subjects by reducing body weight, waist circumference and PMN adhesion, and by increasing PMN rolling velocity.
Conclusion: Our results highlight the modulating effect of metformin on leukocyte/endothelium interactions. These findings may explain the potential beneficial effect of metformin in reducing the risk of vascular events in PCOS patients and in insulin resistance conditions.
Keywords: Endothelium; Leukocyte; Metformin; Mitochondria; PCOS; Type 2 diabetes.
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