Growth hormone during in vitro fertilization in older women modulates the density of receptors in granulosa cells, with improved pregnancy outcomes
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Objective: To study the effect of aging and granulosa cell growth hormone receptor (GHR) expression, and the effect of growth hormone (GH) co-treatment during IVF on receptor expression. Design: Laboratory study. Setting: University. Patient(s): A total of 445 follicles were collected from 62 women undergoing standard infertility treatment. Intervention(s): Preovulatory ovarian follicle biopsies of granulosa cells and follicular fluid. Main Outcome Measure(s): Older women with a poor ovarian reserve were co-treated with GH to determine the effect of the adjuvant during IVF on the granulosal expression density of FSH receptor (FSHR), LH receptor (LHR), bone morphogenetic hormone receptor (BMPR1B), and GHR. Ovarian reserve, granulosa cell receptor density, oocyte quality, and pregnancy and live birth rates were determined. Result(s): Growth hormone co-treatment increased the receptor density for granulosal FSHR, BMPR1B, LHR, and GHR compared with the non–GH-treated patients of the same age and ovarian reserve. Growth hormone co-treatment increased GHR density, which may increase GHR activity. The GH co-treatment was associated with a significant increase in pregnancy rate. Conclusion(s): Growth hormone co-treatment restored the preovulatory down-regulation of FSHR, BMPR1B, and LHR density of the largest follicles, which may improve the maturation process of luteinization in older patients with reduced ovarian reserve. The fertility of the GH-treated patients improved.
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