Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) developmental model

  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common: more than one in 1 in 15 young women has this condition. There are many associated health problems including abnormal periods, miscarriages, infertility, excess hair, acne, weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. As we do not understand what causes PCOS we can only treat the various symptoms rather than the condition itself. We think that the seeds for PCOS are sown at the beginnings of life before birth. Although sheep don’t normally suffer from PCOS if we slightly change the hormonal environment before birth they develop a lot of the features of PCOS as adults. We think that similar changes in the environment before birth in women is associated with the development of PCOS. In order to try to prevent it happening we need to study what happens before birth and what are the initial changes that start the ball rolling towards PCOS as adults. We have developed new techniques to study the
very earliest changes so that we can work out how to stop them happening. As well as this we need to ensure that we can develop and test the best treatments for PCOS when it has occurred. We will use these sheep to test new treatments and how treatments focussing on different aspects of PCOS work. Together this research will help us try to reduce the development of this distressing condition and optimise the treatments if it has occurred.

  • Start Date:

    1 May 2010

  • End Date:

    5 June 2014

  • Activity Type:

    Research

  • Funder:

    Medical Research Council

  • Value:

    £130956

Project Team