The peripheral blood transcriptome identifies dysregulation of inflammatory response genes in polycystic ovary syndrome

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018 Jul;34(7):584-588. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2017.1418851. Epub 2017 Dec 20.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women, resulting in ovulation failure and other metabolic problems. However, the underlying mechanisms of it remain largely uncertain due to the complexity of clinical manifestations. This systemic disorder is involved in endocrine, metabolism, immune system and many organs, and few studies have explored peripheral blood transcriptome in patients with PCOS. We performed gene expression profiling of peripheral blood from 8 PCOS patients and eight healthy women with microarray. The significance analysis of microarray (SAM) software was employed to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and gene ontology (GO) was used for functional enrichment analysis. In total, 181 DEGs with fold-changes >2.0 and q-values <0.05 were identified between the two groups. Among them, 149 were up-regulated and 32 down-regulated in PCOS. Unsupervised clustering of expressed genes could readily differentiate PCOS from control. More importantly, inflammatory response pathway including 14 dysregulated genes was highly enriched in PCOS. Furthermore, 10 DEGs were validated using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays. Our study provides independent evidence for the involvement of systemic inflammatory response in PCOS and it may facilitate a greater understanding of this complex disease.

Keywords: Polycystic ovary syndrome; differentially expressed genes; microarray; peripheral blood; systemic inflammatory response.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Cells / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / genetics*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / genetics*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / pathology
  • Transcriptome*


  • Inflammation Mediators