Interplay between polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism on serum testosterone, oxidative stress and StAR gene expression in female rats

Endocrinol Diabetes Metab. 2022 Sep;5(5):e359. doi: 10.1002/edm2.359. Epub 2022 Jul 24.


Introduction: Endocrine disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism can cause infertility. There are evidence that they happen jointly in some circumstances. It still remains unknown, how these two illnesses interact and influence the body.

Methods: Accordingly, a five-group was designed, first is the control group, followed by the PCOS group. Estradiol valerate (EV) induced PCOS, the second group had only PCOS and the third, fourth and fifth groups were given varied dosages of propylthiouracil (PTU) to cause hypothyroidism after induction of PCOS. Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) expression was measured in the ovaries, and serum was obtained to determine testosterone levels, as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD) as an antioxidant and malondialdehyde (MDA) as an oxidant.

Results: Based on radioimmunoassay data, testosterone levels were significantly higher in the PCOS group than the control group, and significantly lower (p ˂ .05) in PTU groups comparing with the PCOS group. According to the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) data, the same results were obtained for the StAR gene as well. The data also indicated a positive correlation between these two. Although both oxidant and antioxidant level increased in PCOS group compared than control group, after hypothyroidism, oxidant level increased significantly (p ˂ .05), meanwhile antioxidant level decreased significantly (p ˂ .05).

Conclusions: The results of this study illustrate that the presence of both PCOS and hypothyroidism alters the situation more than just PCOS. They also indicate that this situation is associated with imbalanced oxidative/antioxidative status.

Keywords: hypothyroidism; polycystic ovary syndrome; steroidogenic acute regulatory protein; testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism* / etiology
  • Oxidants
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phosphoproteins* / genetics
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / genetics
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Testosterone* / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidants
  • Phosphoproteins
  • steroidogenic acute regulatory protein
  • Testosterone

Associated data

  • RefSeq/NM_031558
  • RefSeq/NM_017008