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Lipoic acid supplementation increases the expression of pgc-1alpha gene in granulosa cells and improves IVF results in aging women undergoing IVF

      Objective

      This study was performed to investigate the effects of lipoic acid on controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes, and PGC-1alpha gene expression in granulosa cells in aging women undergoing IVF.

      Design

      Retrospective cohort study

      Materials and Methods

      This study included 101 consecutive IVF/ICSI cycles in 101 infertile patients over 37 years who were given lipoic acid at a dose of 200mg twice a day orally for 60-90 days before and during COS period (study group, n=53) or were not given lipoic acid (control group, n=48) in our center between March 2015 and June 2016. The expression of PGC-1alpha mRNA in granulosa cells was analyzed by realtime RT-PCR.

      Results

      There were no significant differences in patient's characteristics between the study and control groups. Total dose and days of gonadotropins used for COS were similar between the two groups. The number of oocytes retrieved was also comparable. However, the numbers of mature oocytes, fertilized oocytes and grade I or II embryos were significantly higher in the study (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.003, respectively). Relative amount of PGC-1alpha mRNA in the ganulosa cells was significantly higher in the study group of 8.45 ± 3.84 compared with 3.04 ± 1.98 in the control group (p < 0.001). Clinical pregnancy rate seemed to be higher in the study, but the difference did not achieve the statistical significance.

      Conclusions

      The supplementation of lipoic acid of 200mg twice a day for 60-90 days increases the numbers of mature oocytes and good quality embryos and PGC-1alpha gene expression in granulosa cells in aging women undergoing IVF.