Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Components of the complement cascade differ in polycystic ovary syndrome

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-17, 09:40 authored by Alexandra ButlerAlexandra Butler, Abu Saleh MoinAbu Saleh Moin, Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Stephen AtkinStephen Atkin
Complement pathway proteins are reported to be increased in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and may be affected by obesity and insulin resistance. To investigate this, a proteomic analysis of the complement system was undertaken, including inhibitory proteins. In this cohort study, plasma was collected from 234 women (137 with PCOS and 97 controls). SOMALogic proteomic analysis was undertaken for the following complement system proteins: C1q, C1r, C2, C3, C3a, iC3b, C3b, C3d, C3adesArg, C4, C4a, C4b, C5, C5a, C5b-6 complex, C8, properdin, factor B, factor D, factor H, factor I, mannose-binding protein C (MBL), complement decay-accelerating factor (DAF) and complement factor H-related protein 5 (CFHR5). The alternative pathway of the complement system was primarily overexpressed in PCOS, with increased C3 (p < 0.05), properdin and factor B (p < 0.01). In addition, inhibition of this pathway was also seen in PCOS, with an increase in CFHR5, factor H and factor I (p < 0.01). Downstream complement factors iC3b and C3d, associated with an enhanced B cell response, and C5a, associated with an inflammatory cytokine release, were increased (p < 0.01). Hyperandrogenemia correlated positively with properdin and iC3b, whilst insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) correlated with iC3b and factor H (p < 0.05) in PCOS. BMI correlated positively with C3d, factor B, factor D, factor I, CFHR5 and C5a (p < 0.05). This comprehensive evaluation of the complement system in PCOS revealed the upregulation of components of the complement system, which appears to be offset by the concurrent upregulation of its inhibitors, with these changes accounted for in part by BMI, hyperandrogenemia and insulin resistance.



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Published Citation

Butler AE, Moin ASM, Sathyapalan T, Atkin SL. Components of the complement cascade differ in polycystic ovary syndrome. Int J Mol Sci. 2022;23(20):12232

Publication Date

13 October 2022

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain




  • Published Version (Version of Record)