National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility

Hyperandrogenemia, Diet and Female Reproductive Health

Oregon National Primate Research Center

The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) proposes a Specialized Cooperative Center in Reproduction and Infertility Research (U54) that addresses the effects of hyperandrogenemia and obesity on female reproductive health. An interdisciplinary, translational program is designed to discern between the effects of excess androgen exposure and metabolic changes due to a typical Western-style diet (WSD, high fat and fructose content) on: (1) the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary-reproductive tract axis, as well as adipose tissue; (2) the impact on fertility; and (3) if the treatment effects are reversible. Three research projects use the nonhuman primate model, and one project focuses on the specific population of lean women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Project I, “Metabolic and Neuroendocrine Responses to¬†Androgen and Diet“, is co-directed by R. Stouffer and J. Cameron (at the University of Pittsburgh).

Project II, “Ovarian and Uterine Responses to Androgen and Diet“, is a collaboration between R. Stouffer and O. Slayden, ONPRC.

Project III, “Effects of Androgen and Diet on Adipose Function,” involves C. Roberts and colleagues at ONPRC.

Project IV, “Androgen Excess in Adipogenic Dysfunction in PCOS Women,” incorporates a consortium with clinical experts (D. Dumesic, G. Chazenbalk) at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Projects l-lll will be supported by a nonhuman primate (NHP) Core (O.Slayden, Supervisor) operating as a closed resource. This Core will maintain four treatment groups of young, female rhesus monkeys (controls, testosterone or T-treated, WSD-treated, and T + WSD) for four years, culminating in a fertility trial. In Year 05, reversibility of T and WSD actions will be examined. In addition, the Administrative Core (R. Stouffer, P.I.), and Outreach Core (D. Gordon and M. Zelinski) will promote interactions within and among SCCPIR Centers and increase public awareness and understanding of reproductive health research. Important, new information will accrue on the actions of androgen and diet related factors, individually and in combination, relevant to the etiology and treatment of fertility disorders, such as PCOS.