• Neutrophil activation;
  • ovulation induction;
  • sex-steroids

Orvieto R, Ben-Rafael Z, Abir R, Bar-Hava I, Fisch B, Molad Y. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation: a state of neutrophil activation. AJRI 1999; 42:288–291 © Munksgaard, Copenhagen

PROBLEM: To investigate if controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) affects the expression of neutrophil adhesion molecules and if a correlation exists between neutrophil activation and serum sex-steroid levels.

METHOD OF STUDY: The pilot study was carried out in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) unit of our department, and required no modification of our routine IVF protocol. Four patients arriving for baseline hormonal profile on day 1 of the menstrual cycle before initiation of COH (control group) and 11 patients admitted for oocyte recovery (study group) were included. Venous blood was obtained from all patients and examined for hormonal profile and neutrophil activation. The latter was performed by staining for the surface adhesion molecules β2 integrin and L-selectin. Positive cell count and mean fluorescence intensity were determined by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: While neutrophil L-selectin was significantly lower in the study group than in the control group, neutrophil β2 integrin was nonsignificantly higher. Though no significant correlations were found between neutrophil adhesion molecules and patient age, serum estradiol level, and human chorionic gonadotropin level; neutrophil L-selectin was negatively correlated with serum progesterone levels.

CONCLUSIONS: COH leads to neutrophil activation, which correlates with the degree of luteinization. Further studies are required to elucidate the relationship between the immune system and COH. These may lead to new strategies for promoting fertility and preventing complications of COH.