Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects female fertility and is associated with other problems, including insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Some evidence suggests that dysregulated insulin signalling contributes to PCOS. Restuccia et al. examine this link by studying ovarian cyst formation in mice deficient for PKBβ (also known as Akt2), a kinase downstream of the insulin receptor. PKBβ-knockout mice are more susceptible to ovarian cyst formation with age, and a model of induced PCOS is more severe in PKBβ-knockout mice than in wild-type mice. Molecular analysis provides potential new treatment options for PCOS, including ERK inhibitors. These findings open up new therapeutic avenues for PCOS and caution that PKB inhibitors currently being developed to treat other indications might cause ovarian cysts as a side effect. Page 403

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