Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - PCOS MICROBIOME (Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the gut microbiome)

The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), consisting of anovulation, is the leading cause of infertility and affects up to 10% of reproductive age women. While PCOS has been extensively studied in the last two decades, the precise mechanisms leading to the clinical complex of PCOS have remained enigmatic to a large extent. Studies in the new field of microbiome research focus on the composition of overall microorganisms in our body and their impacts on our health. Changes in the composition of the gut microbiota (dysbiosis) have been linked with different health states such as pregnancy, obesity, IBD, metabolic syndrome, etc. and have been associated with low grade inflammation and reduced insulin sensitivity. We believe there is a strong link between the gut microbiome composition, diet, and PCOS. The main hypothesis of our project is that women with PCOS have an altered microbiota compared to normal ovulatory women and that a low-carbohydrate diet will positively alter their gut microbiota leading to improvement in their overall symptoms and fertility. Therefore, we aim to characterize the microbiome of normal and overweight healthy, PCOS untreated, and PCOS diet-treated women and to test whether the diet intervention affects symptoms and health. We further aim to perform fecal transplants from all study groups into germ-free mice in order to show a causal effect between the microbiome and health outcomes, as well as test the metabolomic profiles of each group. Outcomes of this research will likely lead to improvement of current treatments for PCOS in overweight as well as normal weight women, and to an understanding of the roles of gut microbiota composition in PCOS.
While we are still in the process of recruitment and sample collection, we have to date tested and analyzed the microbiota of a sample group of 4 control vs. 4 PCOS subjects (PCOS subjects including a sample from before intervention and after the diet intervention), and found distinct differences between groups. With the analysis of the full study group we hope to show that these differences are statistically significant and perhaps detect additional differences between groups.

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Life Sciences
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