Comparison of prolactin, free T3 and free T4 levels in the follicular fluid of infertile women and healthy fertile oocyte donors

Authors: M. Čedíková 1,2;  V. Babuška 3;  D. Rajdl 4;  N. H. Zech 5;  V. Kališ 6;  M. Králíčková 1,2,6
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav histologie a embryologie, LF UK, Plzeň, přednostka doc. MUDr. M. Králíčková, Ph. D. 1;  Biomedicínské centrum, LF UK, Plzeň, vědecký ředitel doc. MUDr. M. Štengl, Ph. D. 2;  Ústav lékařské chemie a biochemie, LF UK, Plzeň, přednosta prof. MUDr. J. Racek, DrSc. 3;  Ústav klinické biochemie a hematologie, LF UK a FN, Plzeň, přednosta prof. MUDr. J. Racek, DrSc. 4;  Institut reprodukční medicíny a endokrinologie, IVF Centra Prof. Zech, Plzeň, přednosta univ. prof. dr. med. N. H. Zech 5;  Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika, LF UK a FN, Plzeň, přednosta doc. MUDr. Z. Novotný, CSc. 6
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2012; 77(5): 471-476


Follicular fluid (FF) provides an important microenvironment for the development of oocytes. The biochemical composition of the FF plays critical role in the oocyte competence. The aim of our study was to compare the levels of selected hormones in FF of infertile women and healthy fertile oocyte donors.

Retrospective comparative study.

Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague; Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Charles University and University Hospital in Pilsen; Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology, IVF Centers Prof. Zech, Plzeň.

Levels of prolactin, free T3 and free T4 hormones in the FF of 146 women were analyzed. We have analysed FF of 74 infertile patients (mean age 31 years, SD = 4.65) and 72 healthy fertile oocyte donors (mean age 26 years, SD = 4.44). Only blood free samples were studied after pooling of all FF samples each patient. Levels of hormones were determined using ECLIA method (Electro-Chemi-Luminiscent Immunoassay) on the Cobas e411.

Results showed statistically significantly higher levels of prolactin (p=0.0006) and free T4 hormone (p=0.0246) in FF of infertile women in comparison to the group of healthy fertile oocyte donors.

Our study confirms the presence of prolactin and thyroid hormones in FF and it can be suggested that they play a key role in the regulation of reproductive processes. The study of FF from donors and their detailed comparison with infertile patients with various gynaecological causes of infertility has great value for better understanding of regulatory mechanisms of fertility.

Key words:
follicular fluid, prolactin, free T4, infertility, donor oocytes.


1. Anifandis, G., Koutselini, E., Stefanidis, I., et al. Serum and follicular fluid leptin levels are correlated with human embryo quality. Reproduction, 2005, 130, 6, p. 917–921.

2. Asimakopoulos, B., Koster, F., Felberbaum, R., et al. Intrafollicular and circulating concentrations of leptin do not predict the outcome in IVF-ICSI cycles. Reprod Sci, 2009, 16, 1, p. 113–119.

3. Asimakopoulos, B., Abu-Hassan, D., Metzen, E., et al. The levels of steroid hormones and cytokines in individual follicles are not associated with the fertilization outcome after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril, 2008, 90, 1, p. 60–64.

4. Asimakopoulos, B., Nikolettos, N., Papachristou, DN., et al. Follicular fluid levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and leptin are associated with pregnancy outcome of normal women participating in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. Physiol Res, 2005, 54, 3, p. 263–270.

5. Baka, S., Malamitsi-Puchner, A. Novel follicular fluid factors influencing oocyte developmental potential in IVF: a review. Reprod Biomed Online, 2006, 12, 4, p. 500–506.

6. Forges, T., Monnier-Barbarino, P., Alberto, JM., et al. Impact of folate and homocysteine metabolism on human reproductive health. Hum Reprod Update, 2007, 13, 3, p. 225–238.

7. Fortune, JE. Ovarian follicular growth and development in mammals. Biol Reprod, 1994, 50, 2, p. 225–232.

8. Fried, G., Remaeus, K., Harlin, J., et al. Inhibin B predicts oocyte number and the ratio IGF-I/IGFBP-1 may indicate oocyte quality during ovarian hyperstimulation for in vitro fertilization. J Assist Reprod Genet, 2003, 20, 5, p. 167–176.

9. Gürbüz, B., Yalti, S., Ficicioglu, C., TasĢdemir, S. The relation of serum and follicular fluid leptin and ovarian steroid levels in response to induction of ovulation in in vitro fertilization cycles. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol, 2005, 118, 2, p. 214–218.

10. Kamel, MA., Zabel, G., Bernart, W., et al. Comparison between prolactin, gonadotrophins and steroid hormones in serum and follicular fluid after stimulation with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists and human menopausal gonadotrophin for an in-vitro fertilization programme. Hum Reprod, 1994, 9, 10, p. 1803–1806.

11. Lebedeva, IY., Denisenko, YY., Lebedev, VA., Kuzmina, TI. Prolactin in follicular fluid and intracellular store calcium in follicular cells are related to morphological signs of ovarian follicle atresia in cows: work in progress. Theriogenology, 1998, 49, 3, p. 509–519.

12. Lédée, N., Lombroso, R., Lombardelli, L., et al. Cytokines and chemokines in follicular fluids and potential of the corresponding embryo: the role of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Hum Reprod, 2008, 23, 9, p. 2001–2009.

13. Lewicka, S., von Hagens, C. Hettinger, U., et al. Cortisol and cortisone in human follicular fluid and serum and the outcome of IVF treatment. Hum Reprod, 2003, 18, 8, p. 1613–1617.

14. Park, DW., Yang, KM. Hormonal regulation of uterine chemokines and immune cells. Clin Exp Reprod Med, 2011, 38, 4, p. 179–185.

15. Patel, SS., Bamigboye, V. Hyperprolactinaemia. J Obstet Gynaecol, 2007, 27, 5, p. 455–459.

16. Poppe, K., Velkeniers, B., Glinoer, D. The role of thyroid autoimmunity in fertility and pregnancy. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab, 2008, 4, 7, p. 394–405.

17. Salmassi, A., Acil, Y., Schmutzler, AG., et al. Differential interleukin-6 messenger ribonucleic acid expression and its distribution pattern in eutopic and ectopic endometrium. Fertil Steril, 2008, 89, 5, Suppl, p. 1578–1584.

18. Salmassi, A., Schmutzler, AG., Schaefer, S., et al. Is granulocyte colony-stimulating factor level predictive for human IVF outcome? Hum Reprod, 2005, 20, 9, p. 2434–2440.

19. Wang, Q., Sun, QY. Evaluation of oocyte quality: morphological, cellular and molecular predictors. Reprod Fertil Dev, 2007, 19, 1, p. 1–12.

20. Wunder, DM., Guibourdenche, J., Birkhäuser, MH., Bersinger, NA. Anti-Müllerian hormone and inhibin B as predictors of pregnancy after treatment by in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril, 2008, 90, 6, p. 2203–2210.

21. Wakim, AN., Polizotto, SL., Buffo, MJ., et al. Thyroid hormones in human follicular fluid and thyroid hormone receptors in human granulosa cells. Fertil Steril, 1993, 59, 6, p. 1187–1190.

Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine

Article was published in

Czech Gynaecology

Issue 5

2012 Issue 5

Most read in this issue
Forgotten password

Enter the email address that you registered with. We will send you instructions on how to set a new password.


Don‘t have an account?  Create new account