Distinctions in PCOS Induced by Letrozole Vs Dehydroepiandrosterone With High-fat Diet in Mouse Model

Pooja Suresh Poojary, Guruprasad Nayak, Gangotri Panchanan, Arpitha Rao, Sanjna Das Kundapur, Sneha Guruprasad Kalthur, Srinivas Mutalik, Satish Kumar Adiga, Yulian Zhao, Jamie Bakkum-Gamez, Alice Y. Chang, Christopher DeStephano, Mark Sherman, Nagarajan Kannan, Guruprasad Kalthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a complex health condition associated with metabolic disturbances and infertility. Recent data suggest that the prevalence of PCOS is increasing among women globally, although the etiology of these trends is undefined. Consequently, preclinical models that better reflect the biology of PCOS are urgently needed to facilitate research that can lead to the discovery of prevention strategies or improved management. The existing animal models have several limitations as they do not reflect all the PCOS features metabolically and/or phenotypically. Therefore, there is no clear consensus on the use of appropriate animal model and selection of the most appropriate PCOS-inducing agent. To that end, we have established a Swiss albino mouse model of PCOS based on 3 weeks of daily treatment with letrozole (50 μg/day; intraperitoneal) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, 6 mg/100 g body weight; subcutaneous) in 5-week-old female mice fed on normal or high-fat diet (HFD). Mice were regularly assessed for body weight, blood glucose, and estrous cycle. Three weeks after drug administration, mice were sacrificed and assessed for blood-based metabolic parameters as well as ovarian function. Our results indicate that DHEA combined with HFD produces changes mimicking those of clinical PCOS, including elevated serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone, dyslipidemia, poor ovarian microenvironment, and development of multiple ovarian cysts, recapitulating cardinal features of PCOS. In comparison, normal diet and/or letrozole produced fewer features of PCOS. The data from the experimental models presented here can improve our understanding of PCOS, a growing concern in women's health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbqac097
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology


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