A majority of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have metabolic dysfunction that results in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. We previously developed a pubertal mouse model using the aromatase inhibitor, letrozole, which recapitulates many of the reproductive and metabolic features of PCOS. To further our understanding of the effects of androgen excess, we compared the effects of letrozole treatment initiated in puberty versus adulthood on reproductive and metabolic phenotypes as well as on the gut microbiome.
Letrozole treatment of both pubertal and adult female mice resulted in reproductive hallmarks of PCOS, including hyperandrogenemia, anovulation and polycystic ovaries. However, unlike pubertal mice, treatment of adult female mice resulted in modest weight gain and abdominal adiposity, minimal elevation in fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, and no detectable insulin resistance. In addition, letrozole treatment of adult mice was associated with a distinct shift in gut microbial diversity compared to letrozole treatment of pubertal mice.
Read more at: BioMed Central