The initial hypothesis was that the follicular fluid prorenin concentration was higher in women with polycystic ovaries (PCO) compared to normally cycling women stimulated by gonadotrophins. In a controlled prospective study, 47 women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) were enrolled: 20 women with PCO represented the study group and 27 normally cycling women the control group. Plasma prorenin, active renin, serum oestradiol, and androstenedione concentrations were measured on the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) administration and 36 hours after HCG administration. Follicular fluid prorenin, active renin, oestradiol, and androstenedione concentrations from the dominant follicle and pooled follicles were measured 36 hours after HCG administration. Plasma prorenin concentration 36 hours after HCG administration was significantly higher in the PCO group (1867 μU/l; range 1137–3162 μU/l) than in controls (860 μU/l; range 433–1763 μU/l) (p = 0.007). The follicular fluid prorenin concentration in the dominant follicle and in the pooled follicles was lower in the PCO group (20190 μU/l; range 11130–25955 μU/l) than in controls (46930 μU/l; range 20671–66171 μU/l) (p = 0.003). We conclude that plasma prorenin concentrations in gonadotrophin-stimulated PCO cycles are augmented due to numerous follicles. Lower follicular fluid prorenin concentrations in women with PCO show that the synthesis of prorenin in theca cells starts later after HCG administration than in normally cycling women.
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