A cohort of 40 women diagnosed with PCOS according to Rotterdam 2003 criteria and eight healthy controls were examined at baseline and 6 years follow-up. Clinical measurements for evaluation of glucose homeostasis as well as blood/serum samples were obtained at each visit. Methylated and unmethylated INS cfDNA were quantified using droplet digital PCR. Differences between groups were assessed using Kruskall-Wallis test and Wilcoxon Signed rank test.
At baseline, there was no detectable difference in copy number (copies/μL) of methylated (p = 0.74) or unmethylated INS cfDNA (p = 0.34) between PCOS and Control groups. At follow up, neither methylated (p = 0.50) nor unmethylated INScfDNA levels (p = 0.48) differed significantly between these groups. Likewise, when pooling the groups, there was no difference between baseline and follow up, in terms of copies of methylated or unmethylated INS cfDNA (p = 0.38 and p = 0.52, respectively). There were no significant correlations between counts of unmethylated or methylated cfDNA and the clinical measurements of β-cell function and pre-diabetes.
The circulating level of unmethylated and methylated INScfDNA is similar between PCOS and Controls and cannot be used to predict islet β-cell loss and progression to Type 2 diabetes in a 6-year follow-up.
The Danish Data Protection Agency (REG-31-2016. Approval: 01-12-2015) and by the Danish Scientific Ethical committee of Region Zealand (Journal no. SJ-525. Approval: 13-06-2016), Clinicaltrials.gov, (NCT03142633, registered 1. March, 2017, Retrospectively registered).