Precocious subcutaneous abdominal stem cell development to adipocytes in normal-weight women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Subcutaneous abdominal adipose stem cells of normal-weight women with polycystic ovary syndrome show exaggerated development of newly formed adipocytes in vitro compared with age- and body mass index–matched controls

Volume 110, Issue 7, Pages 1367–1376


Samantha C. Fisch, B.S., Ariella Farzan Nikou, B.S., Elizabeth A. Wright, B.S., Julia D. Phan, B.S., Karen L. Leung, Tristan R. Grogan, M.S., David H. Abbott, Ph.D., Gregorio D. Chazenbalk, Ph.D., Daniel A. Dumesic, M.D.



To examine whether abnormal subcutaneous (SC) abdominal adipose stem cell (ASC) development to adipocytes in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) correlates with hyperandrogenism.


Prospective cohort study.


Academic medical center.


Eight normal-weight women with PCOS and eight normoandrogenic ovulatory (control) women matched for age and body mass index.


Circulating hormone and metabolic measurements, intravenous glucose tolerance testing, total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and SC abdominal fat biopsy.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

In vitro ASC commitment to preadipocytes (ZFP423 protein expression, day 0.5), preadipocyte differentiation to adipocytes (PPARγ gene expression, day 3) and adipocyte lipid content (Oil-Red-O fluorescence, day 12) comparisons correlated with clinical outcomes.


In women with PCOS, SC abdominal ASCs compared with those of control women showed exaggerated commitment to preadipocytes and had greater lipid content in newly formed adipocytes after in vitro maturation. In all women combined, ZFP423 protein expression negatively correlated with fasting plasma glucose levels whereas the lipid content of newly formed adipocytes positively correlated with both PPARγ gene expression and serum free testosterone levels.


In normal-weight women with PCOS compared with the control group, exaggerated SC abdominal ASC commitment to preadipocytes and enhanced adipocyte lipid content during maturation in vitro negatively and positively correlate with circulating fasting glucose and androgen levels, respectively, as a possible mechanism to maintain glucose–insulin homeostasis when fat accretion is accelerated.

Read the full text here.

Please sign in or register for FREE

Your Fertility and Sterility Dialog login information is not the same as your ASRM or EES credentials. Users must create a separate account to comment or interact on the Dialog.