OBJECTIVE: The aims of the present study were to (i) determine the presence and concentration of albumin fractions (α1, α2, β, γ), immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, IgM) and cytokines [interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)] in periovulatory ovarian follicular fluid (FF) of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients, (ii) examine the relationship between these parameters and the etiology of infertility as well as the IVF outcome and (iii) find out if these parameters in FF could be used as a predictive factor of IVF outcome.
DESIGN: The levels of albumin fractions, immunoglobulin and cytokines were measured from women who underwent IVF therapy for various indications and the results were compared between the patient groups and IVF outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Follicular fluid was obtained from 160 IVF patients. A total of 79 patients underwent controlled ovarian hyperstimulations (COH) either with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or HMG. Whereas, the HMG was used for the second set of patients (n=81) – after down regulation with gondotropin-releasing hormone agonists (Gn-RHa) – the protein fractions were determined using electrophoresis separation. Immunoglobulins were measured using a commercial kits and the concentration of cytokines was determined by the highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods.
RESULTS: The stimulation regimens used have no effect on albumin (α1, α2, β, γ) and immunoglobulin (IgA, IgG, IgM) concentrations, as no significant difference was observed between the two groups. Besides, no specific relationship was found between the concentration of these investigated parameter in FF and etiology of infertility or fertilization, cleavage and pregnancy rate. Besides, there were no significant differences between the groups for any cytokine investigated. Moreover, there were no correlations between the concentration of IL-6, IL-8 and GM-CSF in FF and steroid hormone concentration in the blood at the day of oocytes retrieval or IVF outcome.
IN CONCLUSION: Total protein, albumin fraction, immunoglobulins and cytokines level in FF of patients undergoing COH for IVF therapy for various etiology of infertility could not be a useful parameter for predicting IVF outcome.