Objective. Many studies have suggested that there is a possible hormonal dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and an increased cortisol clearance in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Therefore in this study, we have examined the role of glucocorticoid receptor/s (GR) characteristics in the developing of these abnormalities in patients with PCOS. Method. For this purpose, the number and affinity of GR in peripheral mononuclear leukocytes (MNL) of 10 patients with PCOS and 10 healthy women (controls) were determined. Results. There were no significant differences in the number (6500 +/- 1001 sites/cell and 6352 +/- 1697 sites/cell, respectively; P > 0.05) and affinity (3.93 +/- 0.89 nM and 4.49 +/- 0.71 nM, respectively; P > 0.05) of GR between the PCOS patients and the controls. Conclusions. These results suggest that the alterations in the HPA axis and in the cortisol metabolism observed in PCOS are not related to GR deficiency. (C) 1998 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.