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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2001;44(7):1307-1312.
Published online July 1, 2001.
Relationships Between Concentrations of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha and Nitric Oxide in Follicular Fluid and Oocyte Quality.
K S Lee
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea.
Our objective was to explain a relationship between concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and nitric oxide (NO) in follicular fluid, oocyte quality, and outcomes of in vitro fertilization- embryo transfer (IVF-ET). METHOD: The concentrations of TNF-alpha and NO were measured in 115 follicular fluid samples collected from 43 patients undergoing IVF-ET program, due to tubal obstruction, some with endometriosis (8 patients) or hydrosalpinx (5 patients). A correlation of these factors concentrations and the oocyte quality, the oocyte marurity, and infertility associated disease was analyzed RESULT: No correlation was found between concentrations of NO and TNF-alpha in follicular fluid. NO concentrations in follicular fluids were significantly higher in patients with endometriosis (P<0.001) or hydrosalpinx (P<0.01) compared to the patients with just tubal obstruction. Follicular NO concentration differences according to oocyte maturity and oocyte quality were not found. In contrast, TNF-alpha concentrations in follicular fluids were significantly higher in poor quality oocytes (P<0.05) but were not associated with infertility-associated diseases, such as hydrosalpinx or endometriosis, and the oocyte maturity. No significant differences in follicular levels of NO and TNF-alpha as well as IVF-ET parameters of pregnant and nonpregnant groups were revealed. CONCLUSIONS: There is no significant correlation between the concentrations of NO and TNF-alpha in follicular fluid. NO levels in follicular fluid are altered in infertility-associated disease. However, TNF-alpha levels but not NO levels influence oocyte quality. These results suggest that the production of NO and TNF- alpha in follicular fluid may be regulated via different pathways and can be tempered with infertility-associated disease, thereby influencing oocyte quality locally.
Key Words: Follicular fluid, Nitric oxide, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Oocyte quality

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