Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common reproductive endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age, causes anovulatory infertility. Increased apoptosis of granulosa cells has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to abnormal follicular development. Ferredoxin 1 (FDX1) encodes a small ferredoxin that is involved in the reduction in mitochondrial cytochromes and the synthesis of various steroid hormones and has the potential to influence the function of granulosa cells. In the present study, we aimed to determine the relationship between FDX1 and follicular granulosa cell function. To this end, we investigated the difference between FDX1 expression in the granulosa cells of 50 patients with PCOS and that of the controls. Furthermore, we sought to elucidate the role and mechanism of FDX1 in PCOS granulosa cells by establishing a mouse PCOS model with dehydroepiandrosterone and KGN (a steroidogenic human granulosa cell-like tumor cell line). The results indicated significant up-regulation of FDX1 in the granulosa cells after androgen stimulation. Knockdown of FDX1 promoted the proliferation of KGN and inhibited apoptosis. Moreover, FDX1 could regulate autophagy by influencing the autophagy proteins ATG3 and ATG7. Our results demonstrated that FDX1 plays a critical role in female folliculogenesis by mediating apoptosis, autophagy, and proliferation. Therefore, FDX1 may be a potential prognostic factor for female infertility.

You do not currently have access to this content.