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Excess testosterone levels affect up to 20% of the female population worldwide and are a key component in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome. However, little is known about how excess testosterone affects the function of the human fallopian tube-the site of gamete transport, fertilization, and early embryogenesis. Therefore, this study aimed to characterize alterations caused by long-term exposure to male testosterone levels. For this purpose, the Fallopian tubes of nine female-to-male transsexuals, who had been undergoing testosterone treatment for 1-3 years, were compared with the tubes of 19 cycling patients. In the ampulla, testosterone treatment resulted in extensive luminal accumulations of secretions and cell debris which caused ciliary clumping and luminal blockage. Additionally, the percentage of ciliated cells in the ampulla was significantly increased. Transsexual patients, who had had sexual intercourse before surgery, showed spermatozoa trapped in mucus. Finally, in the isthmus complete luminal collapse occurred. Our results imply that fertility in women with elevated levels of testosterone is altered by tubal luminal obstruction resulting in impaired gamete transport and survival. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Citation

Kate Dulohery, Matthias Trottmann, Susanne Bour, Bernhard Liedl, Irene Alba-Alejandre, Sven Reese, Barbara Hughes, Christian G Stief, Sabine Kölle. How do elevated levels of testosterone affect the function of the human fallopian tube and fertility?-New insights. Molecular reproduction and development. 2020 Jan;87(1):30-44

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PMID: 31705839

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