Inflammatory pathways linking obesity and ovarian dysfunction

Rebecca L. Robker, Linda L.Y. Wu, Xing Yang

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96 Citations (Scopus)


This review summarizes some of the recent advances in obesity research and describes how we and others have built upon these findings to better understand the impact of obesity on granulosa cells, cumulus cells and oocytes within the ovaries of obese females. Obesity is associated with lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissue cells and the induction of oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress responses that are tightly linked with systemic inflammation. Analysis of ovarian cells and fluid of obese women indicates that these same mechanisms are activated in the ovary in response to obesity. Studies in mice support this and allow further dissection of the pathways by which diet-induced obesity contributes to changes in mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. These studies are in their infancy but cumulatively provide basic information about the cellular mechanisms that may lead to the impaired ovulation and reduced oocyte developmental potential that is observed in obese females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Lipid
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Ovary
  • Oxidative stress

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