Impact of maternal cholesterol metabolism on ovarian follicle development and fertility

Aafke P A van Montfoort, Torsten Plösch*, Annemieke Hoek, Uwe J F Tietge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The relationship among maternal lipid metabolism, fetal development, and adult disease of the offspring represents an emerging topic of high epidemiological relevance. The present review highlights the very early aspects of this process. Recent data suggest a link between lipid metabolism and reproduction/fertility, not only on the systemic level, but also locally on the level of the ovary that maintains its own sterol metabolism, likely in a self-regulated fashion. Follicular fluid - which surrounds oocytes in a developing follicle - contains all relevant lipoprotein subclasses that reach the follicular fluid either by diffusion, in the case of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or by local production within the granulosa cells, in the case of very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). Here, we summarize current knowledge on lipoprotein metabolism in the ovary in the context of fertility, and hypothesize that lipoproteins within follicular fluid are relevant to the development of the early embryo and thereby putatively also to the programming of metabolic disease later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-6
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Granulosa Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Pregnancy

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