Neoadjuvant Treatment With Müllerian-Inhibiting Substance Synchronizes Follicles and Enhances Superovulation Yield

J Endocr Soc. 2019 Jul 22;3(11):2123-2134. doi: 10.1210/js.2019-00190. eCollection 2019 Nov 1.


Müllerian-inhibiting substance (MIS), also known as anti-Müllerian hormone, is thought to be a negative regulator of primordial follicle activation. We have previously reported that treatment with exogenous MIS can induce complete ovarian suppression within 5 weeks of treatment in mice. To investigate the kinetics of the return of folliculogenesis following the reversal of suppression, we treated animals with recombinant human MIS (rhMIS) protein for 40 days in adult female Nu/Nu mice and monitored the recovery of each follicle type over time. Following cessation of MIS therapy, secondary, and antral follicles returned within 30 days, along with the normalization of reproductive hormones, including LH, FSH, MIS, and Inhibin B. Furthermore, 30 days following MIS pretreatment, the number of antral follicles were significantly higher than controls, and superovulation with timed pregnant mare serum gonadotropin and human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation at this time point resulted in an approximately threefold increased yield of eggs. Use of the combined rhMIS-gonadotropin superovulation regimen in a diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) mouse model, created by 4-vinylcyclohexene dioxide treatment, also resulted in a twofold improvement in the yield of eggs. In conclusion, treatment with rhMIS can induce a reversible ovarian suppression, following which a rapid and synchronized large initial wave of growing follicles can be harnessed to enhance the response to superovulation. Therapies modulating MIS signaling may therefore augment the response to current ovarian stimulation protocols and could be particularly useful to women with DOR or poor responders to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation during in vitro fertilization.

Keywords: AMH; MIS; diminished ovarian reserve; folliculogenesis; primordial follicles; superovulation.