Problem Follicular fluid (FF) and surrounding tissue contains various lymphocytes that synthesize different cytokines. The other sources of cytokines are ovarian somatic cells. FF provides microenvironment for the oocyte and contains immunological factors for the regulation of its development. Changes in expression and concentrations of certain cytokines can influence oocyte and embryo quality, resulting in a reduced ability to implant. Some data shows that follicular environment depends on infertility indication. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether cytokines interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) are released in the human FF and also to evaluate impact of those cytokines on fertilization rate, cleavage rate, embryo quality, and pregnancy rate.
Methods of study Couples treated by assisted reproductive technologies were selected for this study. A total of 121 patients participated in the study. Until cytokine detection samples of FF were stored at −20°C. In vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure was used depending on the indication. After 72 hr, on the day of transfer, embryo morphology was evaluated. Embryo transfer based on embryo morphology was performed. Commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit from Diaclone, France was used for the quantitative determination of human IL-10 and IFN-γ concentrations in FF. Analysis of the results was performed using spss 12.0.
Results One hundred and twenty-one FF samples were tested for IL-10 and IFN-γ. IFN-γ and IL-10 were detected in 14 (11.6%) and 108 (89.3%) FF samples, respectively (range 0.9–31.1 pg/mL for IFN-γ and 0.7–10.8 pg/mL for IL-10). There was no significant correlation between infertility indication, fertilization rate, cleavage rate, and concentrations of the follicular cytokines. Similarly, IL-10 concentrations did not differ significantly in different age groups and did not alter pregnancy rate.
Conclusion Our study showed that IFN-γ and IL-10 are not suitable markers in predicting outcome of assisted reproductive technologies.