Date:March 14, 2023 /Source:Houston Methodist

Scientists at Houston Methodist have made a promising discovery linking high cholesterol to female infertility. By using a bacterial protein called serum opacity factor, they were able to lower cholesterol levels by over 40% in just three hours, leading to restored fertility in sterile mice. The protein alters the structure of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), also known as “good cholesterol,” making it easier for the liver to dispose of excess cholesterol that hampers conception. This breakthrough suggests the potential use of serum opacity factor as an alternative to statins for lowering cholesterol. HDL dysfunction can be a risk factor for various diseases, so addressing it is crucial. The researchers plan to conduct a clinical study to assess lipid levels in women with idiopathic infertility and explore serum opacity factor as a potential treatment option. The ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on women struggling to conceive. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bass Endowment.

In summary, Houston Methodist scientists have found that reducing high cholesterol with a bacterial protein called serum opacity factor can reverse infertility in mice. The protein lowers cholesterol levels and improves HDL function, potentially serving as an alternative to statins. Further research is planned to explore its application in treating infertility in women.

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Materials provided by Houston Methodist

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