Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine and reproductive disorder in premenopausal women, characterized by hyperandrogenemia, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation. Women who had PCOS during their reproductive years remain hyperandrogenemic after menopause. The consequence of chronic hyperandrogenemia with advanced aging has not been studied to our knowledge. We have characterized a model of hyperandrogenemia in female rats and have aged them to 22–25 months to mimic advanced aging in hyperandrogenemic women, and tested the hypothesis that chronic exposure to hyperandrogenemia with aging has a deleterious effect on renal function. Female rats were chronically implanted with dihydrotestosterone pellets (DHT 7.5 mg/90 days) that were changed every 85 days or placebo pellets, and renal function was measured by clearance methods. Aging DHT-treated females had a threefold higher level of DHT with significantly higher body weight, mean arterial pressure, left kidney weight, proteinuria, and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), than did age-matched controls. In addition, DHT-treated-old females had a 60% reduction in glomerular filtration rate, 40% reduction in renal plasma flow, and significant reduction in urinary nitrate and nitrite excretion (UNOxV), an index of nitric oxide production. Morphological examination of kidneys showed that old DHT-treated females had significant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, global sclerosis, and interstitial fibrosis compared to controls. Thus chronic hyperandrogenemia that persists into old age in females is associated with renal injury. These data suggest that women with chronic hyperandrogenemia such as in PCOS may be at increased risk for development of chronic kidney disease with advanced age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)