PROBLEM: The purpose of this study was to test whether the level of serum immunosuppressor factor (EASF) correlates with ovarian follicle development and with serum hormones during the ovarian cycle.
METHOD: One hundred seventy-three serum samples were collected starting at the time of ovulation and 1 wk after insemination from 29 women attempting pregnancy by ovarian hyperstimulation and intrauterine insemination. After ovarian stimulation, the patients were given human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) 38 h before insemination. Number and size of follicles were measured by ultrasound. Serum samples were tested for hCG. estradiol (E2). luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and progesterone levels. The level of EASF in patients' sera was assayed using a two-site sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system. The levels of different hormones and EASF were then correlated among themselves and with the number of ovarian follicles.
RESULTS: Eleven out of 29 patients had detectable levels of serum EASF-Patients positive for EASF had a significantly higher number ovarian follicles ≥ 13 mm and E2 levels after hCG treatment as compared to patients with no detectable EASF. The levels of EASF correlated with number of follicles (P = .001). blood E2 (P < .02) and FSH levels (P < .02). Number of follicles ≥ 13 mm correlated with E2 (P = .01) and FSH levels (P < .01) only in patients positive for EASF.
CONCLUSIONS: The levels of EASF, E2, and FSH may act synergistically in the development of ovarian follicles.