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Human ovarian cyclic function is a complex process. Ovarian failure can lead to a loss of not only female hormonal function, which depends on cyclic changes of gonadotropin levels, but to the absence of oocytes. Whereas there are numerous factors associated with ovarian dysfunction and de- creased female fertility, the autoimmune mechanisms have been put forward by several investigators. In ovarian pathology, such as idiopathic infertility, premature ovarian failure and polycystic ovarian syndrome, immunological etiology has been suggested. Special interest has been focused on antiovarian autoantibodies directed to multiple targets, including cellular elements and oocyte-related antigens. However, the exact role of ovarian autoimmunity in these disorders still remains controversial. There are also some conflicting reports on association of antiovarian antibodies with repeated attempts of in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. Antiovary autoimmunization may be induced by repeated stimulation and puncture of ovarian follicles, probably due to the releasing of altered, immunogenic proteins from the internal layers of ovary. Since, autoimmunity plays an important role in ovarian disorders and infertility, therefore there is an increased need for identification of the specific antigens and development of standar- dized tests enabling a diagnosis and providing a basis for therapy.
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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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