Semin Reprod Med 2015; 33(04): 257-269
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1556568
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Emerging Role of Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation in the Pathophysiology of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Soulmaz Shorakae
1   Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
,
Helena Teede
1   Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
2   Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Clayton, Australia
,
Barbora de Courten
1   Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
2   Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Clayton, Australia
,
Gavin Lambert
3   Human Neurotransmitters Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
4   Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
,
Jacqueline Boyle
1   Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
,
Lisa J. Moran
1   Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
5   The Robinson Research Institute, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The University of Adelaide, The Robinson Research Institute, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
01 July 2015 (online)

Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has become increasingly common over recent years and is associated with reproductive features as well as cardiometabolic risk factors, including visceral obesity, dyslipidemia and impaired glucose homeostasis, and potentially cardiovascular disease. Emerging evidence suggests that these long-term metabolic effects are linked to a low-grade chronic inflammatory state with the triad of hyperinsulinemia, hyperandrogenism, and low-grade inflammation acting together in a vicious cycle in the pathophysiology of PCOS. Dysregulation of the sympathetic nervous system may also act as an important component, potentially creating a tetrad in the pathophysiology of PCOS. The aim of this review is to examine the role of chronic inflammation and the sympathetic nervous system in the development of obesity and PCOS and review potential therapeutic options to alleviate low-grade inflammation in this setting.