Developmental programming: prenatal testosterone excess disrupts anti-Müllerian hormone expression in preantral and antral follicles

Prenatal T leads to changes in anti-Mullerian hormone protein expression that likely accounts for the increased follicular recruitment and persistence found in this animal model of PCOS.


Almudena Veiga-Lopez, D.V.M., Ph.D., Wen Ye, Ph.D., Vasantha Padmanabhan, Ph.D.

Volume 97, Issue 3, Pages 748-756



To investigate the impact of prenatal T excess on the expression of key ovarian regulators implicated in follicular recruitment and persistence using a large animal model of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Interventional, animal model study.


Academic research unit.


A total of 25 female fetuses, 14 prepubertal female, and 24 adult female Suffolk sheep.


Prenatal T treatment.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Immunohistochemical determination of expression of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), kit ligand, and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in fetal, prepubertal, and adult ovarian tissues.


Prenatal T treatment reduced the AMH protein expression in granulosa cells (GC) of preantral follicles and increased its expression in antral follicles compared with age-matched adult controls. These differences were not evident in prepubertal animals. Protein expression of GDF9 and kit ligand was not altered at any of the developmental time points studied.


Prenatal T exposure is associated with changes in AMH expression in preantral and antral follicles in adult ovaries, similar to findings in women with PCOS. These findings indicate that abnormal folliculogenesis in PCOS may be at least in part mediated by changes in AMH expression.

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