The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the commonest female endocrinopathies affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. The disorder, characterized by chronic anovulation and signs of hyperandrogenism, results from a complex interaction between genetic predisposing factors and environmental triggers. We have studied 85 Caucasian PCOS patients and 87 age-matched Caucasian control women for associations with four candidate genes: follistatin, CYP19 (aromatase), CYP17a, and the insulin receptor (INSR). These genes were analyzed using microsatellite markers located near or inside the genes. We found that only the insulin receptor gene marker D19S884 was significantly associated with PCOS (p=0.006 and even after a conservative correction p=0.042). The INSR gene region was then fine mapped with an additional panel of 9 markers but only marker D19S884, located 1 cM telomeric to the INSR gene, was again associated with PCOS. In conclusion, our results suggested that a susceptibility gene for PCOS was located on chromosome 19p13.3 in the insulin receptor gene region. It remains to be determined if this susceptibility gene is the insulin receptor gene itself or a closely located gene. Since insulin stimulates androgen secretion by the ovarian stroma it is likely that INSR function in the ovary is involved in the genetic susceptibility to PCOS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical