Primate Center shares in egg quality grant

Does excess insulin damage oocytes?

September 1, 2003

The National Institute of Child Health and Development on Sept. 1 awarded Daniel Dumesic at the Mayo Clinic a $1.2 million, four-year grant to determine whether excess circulating insulin in women and monkeys with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) causes infertility by damaging eggs.

Leading the monkey studies is David Abbott, National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Primate Center scientists will attempt to reverse detrimental excess insulin by putting PCOS monkeys on a calorie-restricted diet that will lower circulating insulin levels and potentially normalize egg quality, according to Abbott.

"The monkey model for PCOS affords us a unique look at egg quality and early embryo defects in primates, since human embryo work is not ethically possible for these studies," Abbott said.

Primate Center researchers will compare their egg quality findings with those related to eggs obtained from both PCOS-afflicted and normal women undergoing in vitro fertilization at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Primate Center scientists Ricki Colman and R. Dee Schramm are two other coinvestigators on the grant. Collaborators include Lisa Forrest, Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine; Michael Diamond, Wayne State University; Cheryl Conover, Michael Jensen and Wilma Lingle, Mayo Clinic; Jerome F. Strauss III, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, and Dagan Wells, St. Barnabus Medical Center.