Effects of recombinant LH treatment on folliculogenesis and responsiveness to FSH stimulation
ABSTRACT The role of LH in sensitizing antral follicles to FSH is unclear. LH is required for normal hormone production and normal oocyte and embryo development, but follicular responses to LH may depend upon the stage of development. Potential roles at the early follicular phase were explored in a clinical setting by employing a sequential approach to stimulation by recombinant human (r-h) LH followed by r-hFSH in women who were profoundly down-regulated by depo GnRH agonist.
We employed a multi-centre, prospective, randomized approach. Women (n = 146) were treated in a long course high-dose GnRH agonist (Decapeptyl, 4.2 mg s.c.) protocol and were randomized to receive r-hLH (Luveris, 300 IU/day) for a fixed 7 days, or no r-hLH treatment. This was followed by a standard r-hFSH stimulation regime (Gonal-F, 150 IU/day). Ultrasound and hormone assessments of responses were measured at the start of r-hLH treatment, on FSH stimulation Days 0 and 8 and at the time of HCG administration.
The LH treatment was associated with increased small antral follicles prior to FSH stimulation (P = 0.007), and an increased yield of normally fertilized (2 PN) embryos (P = 0.03). There was no influence of the r-hLH pretreatment upon hormone profiles or ultrasound assessments during the FSH phase. Anti-mullerian hormone increased in both groups during the week prior to FSH stimulation (P = 0.002).
This sequential approach to the use of r-hLH in standard IVF showed a possible modest clinical benefit. The results support other recent work exploring up-regulated androgen drive upon follicular metabolism indicating that clinical benefit may be obtainable after further practical explorations of the concept.
Article: IVF endocrinology: the Edwards era.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Through pioneering human in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) as a global infertility treatment, Robert Edwards and his clinical partner Patrick Steptoe launched the field of IVF endocrinology. Following repeated failures with oocytes collected in human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) primed cycles timed to injection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), the first successful IVF pregnancy came from a spontaneous menstrual cycle. Intensive endocrine monitoring was used to track preovulatory follicular development and collect a single ripe egg timed to the natural luteinising hormone (LH) surge. Despite this groundbreaking achievement, superovulation was clearly required to make IVF treatment clinically robust and reliable. Ovarian stimulation with clomiphene citrate was used to achieve the first maternity from a superovulated human IVF cycle in 1980. HMG/HCG regimens were then successfully introduced-including substitution of 'pure' follicle-stimulating hormone as the principal ovarian stimulant. The application and success of IVF treatment were dramatically enhanced by the introduction of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues that enabled elective control of endogenous gonadotrophin release during ovarian stimulation. Programmed gonadotrophin regimes yielding double-digit oocyte numbers became normal: "more is better" was the ethos. Bob Edwards expressed increasing concern over the cost, complexity and potential long-term health risks of such high-order ovarian stimulation. In later life he repeatedly called for a return to minimalist approaches based on the natural menstrual cycle to improve oocyte quality over quantity. This article reviews the application of superovulation to human IVF and celebrates Edwards' abiding impact on the field, which firmly grounds him in the reproductive endocrinology pantheon.Molecular Human Reproduction 10/2013; DOI:10.1093/molehr/gat068 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of recombinant human luteinizing hormone supplementation (rLH priming) during the early follicular phase on in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes. In order to evaluate available evidence regarding the efficacy of rLH priming in IVF/ICSI procedures, a systematic review and meta-analysis was preformed. Searches were conducted on MEDLINE®, EMBASE and the Cochrane Database of Clinical Trials without language limitation, but were restricted to randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Three RCTs including 346 patients were included in this meta-analysis, which demonstrated that rLH priming did not increase ongoing pregnancy rate. Although less recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (rFSH) was required and the oestradiol level was higher on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin administration in the rLH priming group, the numbers of oocytes retrieved and embryos produced were comparable between patients treated with rLH priming and those treated with rFSH alone. This systematic review and meta-analysis has demonstrated that at present there is insufficient evidence that patients undergoing IVF/ICSI may benefit from rLH priming during the early follicular phase.The Journal of international medical research 03/2014; 42(2). DOI:10.1177/0300060513509044 · 1.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Is the steroid hormone profile in follicular fluid (FF) at the time of oocyte retrieval different in naturally matured follicles, as in natural cycle IVF (NC-IVF), compared with follicles stimulated with conventional gonadotrophin stimulated IVF (cIVF)? Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) concentrations are ∼3-fold higher, androstenedione (A2) is ∼1.5-fold higher and luteinizing hormone (LH) is ∼14-fold higher in NC-IVF than in cIVF follicles, suggesting an alteration of the follicular metabolism in conventional gonadotrophin stimulated IVF. In conventional IVF, the implantation rate of unselected embryos appears to be lower than in NC-IVF, which is possibly due to negative effects of the stimulation regimen on follicular metabolism. In NC-IVF, the intrafollicular concentration of AMH has been shown to be positively correlated with the oocyte fertilization and implantation rates. Furthermore, androgen treatment seems to improve the ovarian response in low responders. This cross-sectional study involving 36 NC-IVF and 40 cIVF cycles was performed from 2011 to 2013. Within this population, 13 women each underwent 1 NC-IVF and 1 cIVF cycle. cIVF was performed by controlled ovarian stimulation with HMG and GnRH antagonists. Follicular fluid was collected from the leading follicles. AMH, T, A2, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), E2, FSH, LH and progesterone (P) were determined by immunoassays in 76 women. Aromatase activity in follicular fluid cells was analysed by a tritiated water release assay in 33 different women. For statistical analysis, the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U or Wilcoxon tests were used. In follicular fluid from NC-IVF and from cIVF, median levels were 32.8 and 10.7 pmol/l for AMH (P < 0.0001), 47.2 and 18.8 µmol/l for T (P < 0.0001), 290 and 206 nmol/l for A2 (P = 0.0035), 6.7 and 5.6 pg/ml for DHEA (n.s.), 3292 and 1225 nmol/l for E2 (P < 0.0001), 4.9 and 7.2 mU/ml for FSH (P < 0.05), 14.4 and 0.9 mU/ml for LH (P < 0.0001) and 62 940 and 54 710 nmol/l for P (n.s.), respectively. Significant differences in follicular fluid concentrations for AMH, E2 and LH were also found in the 13 patients who underwent both NC-IVF and cIVF when they were analysed separately in pairs. Hormone analysis in serum excluded any relevant impact of AMH, T, A2, and E2 serum concentration on the follicular fluid hormone concentrations. Median serum concentrations were 29.4 and 0.9 mU/ml for LH (P < 0.0001) and 2.7 and 23.5 nmol/l for P (P < 0.0001) after NC-IVF and c-IVF, respectively. Positive correlations were seen for FF-AMH with FF-T (r = 0.35, P = 0.0002), FF-T with FF-LH (r = 0.48, P < 0.0001) and FF-E2 with FF-T (r = 0.75, P < 0.0001). The analysis of aromatase activity was not different in NC-IVF and cIVF follicular cells. Any association between the hormone concentrations and the implantation potential of the oocytes could not be investigated as the oocytes in cIVF were not treated individually in the IVF laboratory. Since both c-IVF and NC-IVF follicles were stimulated by hCG before retrieval, the endocrine milieu in the natural cycle does not represent the pure physiological situation. The endocrine follicular milieu and the concentration of putative markers of oocyte quality, such as AMH, are significantly different in gonadotrophin-stimulated conventional IVF compared with natural cycle IVF. This could be a cause for the suggested lower oocyte quality in cIVF compared with naturally matured oocytes. The reasons for the reduced AMH concentration might be low serum and follicular fluid LH concentrations due to LH suppression, leading initially to low follicular androgen concentrations and then to low follicular AMH production. Funding for this study was obtained from public universities (for salaries) and private industry (for consumables). Additionally, the study was supported by an unrestricted grant from MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme GmbH and IBSA Institut Biochimique SA. The authors are clinically involved in low-dose monofollicular stimulation and IVF therapies, using gonadotrophins from all gonadotrophin distributors on the Swiss market, including Institut Biochimique SA and MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme GmbH. Otherwise, the authors have no competing interests. Not applicable.Human Reproduction 03/2014; 29(5). DOI:10.1093/humrep/deu044 · 4.59 Impact Factor