HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors : Do They Have Potential in the Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Kodaman PH, Duleba AJ.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Many women of reproductive age are affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a heterogeneous endocrinopathy characterized by androgen excess, chronic oligo-anovulation and/or polycystic ovarian morphology.
In addition, PCOS is often associated with insulin resistance, systemic inflammation and oxidative stress, which, on one hand, lead to endothelial dysfunction and dyslipidaemia with subsequent cardiovascular sequelae and, on the other hand, to hyperplasia of the ovarian theca compartment with resultant hyperandrogenism and anovulation.
Traditionally, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have been used to treat dyslipidaemia by blocking HMG-CoA reductase (the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis); however, they also possess pleiotropic actions, resulting in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects.
Statins offer a novel therapeutic approach to PCOS in that they address the dyslipidaemia associated with the syndrome, as well as hyperandrogenism or hyperandrogenaemia. These actions may be due to an inhibition of the effects of systemic inflammation and insulin resistance/hyperinsulinaemia.
Evidence to date, both in vitro and in vivo, suggests that statins have potential in the treatment of PCOS; however, further clinical trials are needed before they can be considered a standard of care in the medical management of this common endocrinopathy.