Incipient ovarian failure and premature ovarian failure show the same immunological profile

Yvonne M. Van Kasteren*, Mary Von Blomberg, Annemiek Hoek, Corry De Koning, Nils Lambalk, Joris Van Montfrans, Joop Kuik, Joop Schoemaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


PROBLEM: Incipient ovarian failure (IOF) is characterized by regular menstrual cycles, infertility and a raised early-follicular FSH in women under 40. IOF might be a precursor or a mitigated form of premature ovarian failure (POF). Disturbances in the immune system may play a role in ovarian failure. METHOD OF STUDY: Autoantibodies and lymphocyte subsets were determined in 63 POF patients, 50 IOF patients, and 27 controls. RESULTS: The prevalence of autoantibodies did not differ between the groups. There was a statistically significant difference in lymphocyte subsets between the control group and the POF group, with the IOF group taking an intermediate position. We found a decrease in percentage of T-suppressor cells with a rise in T-helper/T-suppressor cell ratio, a decrease in natural killer cells, and an increase in B lymphocytes and HLA-DR positive T cells. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the concept that IOF is a mitigated form of POF. The question remains whether these changes are the cause or the consequence of the ovarian failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibodies
  • Incipient
  • Lymphocyte subsets
  • Ovarian failure
  • Premature


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