Gut microbiota dysbiosis-derived macrophage pyroptosis causes polycystic ovary syndrome via steroidogenesis disturbance and apoptosis of granulosa cells

Gut microbiota dysbiosis is critical in the etiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, the mechanisms of gut microbiota in PCOS pathogenesis have not been fully elucidated. We aimed to explore the role of gut microbiota-derived macrophage pyroptosis in PCOS.


This study conducted dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) induced PCOS mice model, 16S rDNA sequencing, western blot, genetic knocking out, transcriptome and translatome profiling, et al. to evaluate the underlying mechanisms. 16S rDNA sequencing showed reduced gut Akkermansia and elevated gram-negative bacteria (Desulfovibrio and Burkholderia) abundances in DHEA induced PCOS mice, which was accompanied by increased serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS).


LPS could induce macrophage pyroptosis in mice ovaries, also activated in PCOS. Gasdermin D (GSDMD) is the final executor of macrophage pyroptosis. We demonstrated that Gsdmd knockout in mice could dramatically ameliorate PCOS. Mechanistically, transcriptome and translatome profiling revealed that macrophage pyroptosis disrupted estrogen production and promoted apoptosis of granulosa cells. Interferon (IFN)-γ, which was elevated in PCOS mice serum and ovaries, enhanced macrophage pyroptosis and exacerbated its effect on estrogen receptor in granulosa cells.


Inspiringly, we identified that disulfiram and metformin could augment gut Akkermansia abundance, reduce serum IFN-γ level, inhibit macrophage pyroptosis in ovaries, therefore ameliorating PCOS. Collectively, this study emphasizes that macrophage pyroptosis, which was induced by gut microbiota dysbiosis and enhanced by IFN-γ, plays a key role in PCOS pathogenesis through estrogen synthesis dysfunction and apoptosis of granulosa cells. Disulfiram and metformin, which enhanced gut Akkermansia abundance and suppressed macrophage pyroptosis, may be considered as potential therapeutic strategies for PCOS.



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Published: 16 March 2022

International Immunopharmacology; DOI link: