Genetics of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Hippokratia 2009, 13(4):216-223

N. Prapas, A. Karkanaki, I. Prapas, I. Kalogiannidis, I. Katsikis, D. Panidis


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome involving defects in primary cellular control mechanisms that result in the expression of chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism. This syndrome has been for many years one of the most controversial entities in gynecological endocrinology.Polycystic ovary syndrome has been proven to be a familial condition. Although the role of genetic factors in PCOS is strongly supported, the genes that are involved in the etiology of the syndrome have not been fully investigated until now, as well as the environmental contribution in their expression.The heterogeneity of the syndrome entertains the mystery around this condition which concerns thousands of infertile women worldwide. Some genes have shown altered expression suggesting that the genetic abnormality in PCOS affects signal transduction pathways controlling steroidogenesis, steroid hormones action, gonadotrophin action and regulation, insulin action and secretion, energy homeostasis, chronic inflammation and others. The present review of the contemporary literature constitutes an effort to present all the trends in the current research for the etiology of polycystic ovary syndrome.