In vitro development of sheep preantral follicles. (1/4214)

Preantral ovarian follicles isolated from prepubertal sheep ovaries were individually cultured for 6 days in the presence of increasing doses of FSH (ranging from 0.01 to 1 microg/ml) and under two different oxygen concentrations, 20% and 5% O2. Follicle development was evaluated on the basis of antral cavity formation as well as the presence of healthy cumulus oocyte complexes. Follicle growth was enhanced by FSH addition to culture medium, while the use of a low oxygen concentration slightly stimulated this process. However, when follicles were cultured in the presence of high doses of FSH (1 microgram/ml) and under low oxygen concentration, a high proportion of them showed the presence of an antral cavity and of a healthy cumulus-oocyte complex. In addition, under this specific culture condition sheep preantral follicles released higher levels of estradiol as compared to those secreted at lower FSH concentrations or under 20% O2. When the meiotic competence of oocytes derived from follicles cultured at 1 microgram/ml FSH was assessed, no significant difference was recorded between the two oxygen groups. These results show that the culture conditions here identified are beneficial to in vitro growth and differentiation of sheep preantral follicles.  (+info)

Cloning, sequencing, and localization of bovine estrogen receptor-beta within the ovarian follicle. (2/4214)

The potential role of estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) in normal ovarian folliculogenesis and in reproductive disorders such as ovarian follicular cysts has not been well defined. Therefore, we were interested in cloning, sequencing, and localizing ERbeta mRNA and protein within the bovine ovary. Bovine ERbeta (bERbeta) was amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), then cloned and sequenced. Results showed that the open reading frame of bERbeta cDNA spanned 1584 nucleotides encoding a protein of 527 amino acids. The N-terminal region of bERbeta was found to be 80% homologous to human and mouse ERbeta and 79% homologous to rat ERbeta. Bovine ERbeta DNA-binding domain was 100% homologous to human, mouse, and rat ERbeta sequences. The C-terminal/ligand-binding domain of bERbeta was 89% homologous to human, 86% homologous to mouse, and 88% homologous to rat ERbeta. Human and bovine ERbeta amino acid sequences are similar in that their coding region extended farther 5' than initially reported for the published rat ERbeta sequence. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, ERbeta mRNA and protein, respectively, were demonstrated to be present in granulosa cells of antral follicles in various stages of follicular growth. These findings suggest a role for bERbeta in ovarian follicular growth and maturation.  (+info)

Activities of glucose metabolic enzymes in human preantral follicles: in vitro modulation by follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor I, and transforming growth factor beta1. (3/4214)

Modulation of glucose metabolic capacity of human preantral follicles in vitro by gonadotropins and intraovarian growth factors was evaluated by monitoring the activities of phosphofructokinase (PFK) and pyruvate kinase (PK), two regulatory enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), a key mitochondrial enzyme of the Krebs cycle. Preantral follicles in classes 1 and 2 from premenopausal women were cultured separately in vitro in the absence or presence of FSH, LH, epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), or transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) for 24 h. Mitochondrial fraction was separated from the cytosolic fraction, and both fractions were used for enzyme assays. FSH and LH significantly stimulated PFK and PK activities in class 1 and 2 follicles; however, a 170-fold increase in MDH activity was noted for class 2 follicles that were exposed to FSH. Although both EGF and TGFbeta1 stimulated glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzymes for class 1 preantral follicles, TGFbeta1 consistently stimulated the activities of both glycolytic enzymes more than that of EGF. IGF-I induced PK and MDH activities in class 1 follicles but negatively influenced PFK activity for class 1 follicles. In general, only gonadotropins consistently stimulated both glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzyme activities several-fold in class 2 follicles. These results suggest that gonadotropins and ovarian growth factors differentially influence follicular energy-producing capacity from glucose. Moreover, gonadotropins may either directly influence glucose metabolism in class 2 preantral follicles or do so indirectly through factors other than the well-known intraovarian growth factors. Because growth factors modulate granulosa cell mitosis and functionality, their role on energy production may be related to specific cellular activities.  (+info)

True hermaphroditism associated with microphthalmia. (4/4214)

A 4-year-old boy with an undescending left testis, penoscrotal hypospadia and bilateral microphthalmia was admitted to our hospital. Chromosome analysis revealed a karyotype of 46, XX del(x)(p2 2,31) and the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY) was negative. The right testis was located in the scrotum and a left cystic ovary-like gonad, a salpinx and a unicorn uterus were found in the left inguinal canal. Histologically the gonad was an ovotestis in which primordial follicles covered infantile seminiferous tubules. Microphthalmia is observed in some congenital syndromes caused by interstitial deletion of the X chromosome. This case suggested that the short arm of the X chromosome was involved in the differentiation of the gonad. Very closely located follicles and infantile seminiferous tubules indicated that induction of meiosis in the fetus was controlled by the local microenvironment in follicles and seminiferous tubules, and not by the systemic hormonal condition.  (+info)

Ovarian follicular responses in dairy cows treated with GnRH and cloprostenol. (5/4214)

Lactating, nonpregnant (with a corpus luteum) Holsteins were given 100 ug GnRH (n = 12) or saline (n = 12) and 500 ug cloprostenol 6 d later. Following luteolysis, ovulation occurred 10.1 +/- 0.2 d (range, 9-12 d) after GnRH and 8.6 +/- 1.0 d (range, 3-12 d) after saline (differences between groups: means, P > 0.05; variability, P < 0.001). Treatment with GnRH and cloprostenol resulted in a relatively synchronous ovulation.  (+info)

Luteinization and proteolysis in ovarian follicles of Meishan and Large White gilts during the preovulatory period. (6/4214)

This experiment was conducted to determine why follicles luteinize faster in the Meishan breed than in the Large White breed of pig. Follicles were recovered during the late follicular phase from ovaries of both breeds before and after administration of hCG given to mimic the LH surge. First, the patterns of cholesterol transporters (high and low density lipoproteins: HDL and LDL) were compared. Cholesterol transporters detected in follicular fluid consisted of HDL only. Similar amounts of Apolipoprotein A-I were found in all samples. There was no obvious breed effect on minor lipoproteins found in the HDL-rich fraction, and this pattern was altered similarly by hCG in the two breeds. The LDL-rich samples of serum from both breeds contained similar amounts of protein. Second, three steroidogenic enzymes, adrenodoxin, 17 alpha-hydroxylase-lyase (P450(17) alpha) and 3 beta-hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD) were detected by immunohistochemistry and quantified by image analysis on sections of the two largest follicles. Before hCG treatment, theca interna cells demonstrated immunoreactivities for adrenodoxin (strong), P450(17) alpha and 3 beta-HSD (very strong), whereas granulosa cells displayed immunoreactivities for adrenodoxin only. After hCG treatment, the localization of the enzymes was unchanged but the staining intensity of adrenodoxin on granulosa cells and 3 beta-HSD on theca cells increased (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). Breed effects were detected for the amounts of adrenodoxin in theca cells (Meishan > Large White; P < 0.05) and of 17 alpha-hydroxylase (Large White > Meishan, P < 0.01). Breed x treatment interactions were never detected. Finally, gelatinases, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteases (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) were visualized by direct or reverse zymography or western blotting. Whatever the stage relative to LH administration, follicular fluid from Large White gilts contained more TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 (P < 0.02 and P < 0.01, respectively). No breed effect was detected for the amounts of gelatinases and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1. However, for these parameters, a significant breed x time interaction was obvious, as the Meishan follicles had a greater response to hCG (P < 0.01). Since proteolysis plays a key role in the bioavailability of growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor 1, fibroblast growth factor and transforming growth factor beta, which have the ability to alter gonadotrophin-induced progesterone production in pigs, the differences observed in its control in the present study may explain, at least in part, the different patterns of luteinization observed in Meishan and Large White follicles.  (+info)

Comparative expression of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone receptors in ovarian follicles from high and low prolific sheep breeds. (7/4214)

Expression of gonadotropin receptors and granulosa cell sensitivity to gonadotropin hormones by small (1-3 mm) and large (3.5-7 mm) follicles were compared in Romanov (ROM, ovulation rate = 3) and Ile-de-France (IF, ovulation rate = 1) ewes in the early and late follicular phase. In healthy follicles, LH receptor levels in granulosa cells increased with increasing follicular size (p < 0. 001) while FSH receptor levels decreased (p < 0.05). In granulosa cells of large follicles, LH receptor (LHR) mRNA levels were greater in the late than in the early follicular phase (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, for ROM and IF, respectively). In the early follicular phase, LHR levels in granulosa (p < 0.001) and theca cells (p < 0.05) of small follicles were greater in ROM than in IF ewes. FSH receptor mRNA levels in granulosa cells of small and large ROM follicles were greater than in the corresponding IF follicles (p < 0.05). Finally, a greater responsiveness (increase in cAMP secretion) to both FSH and hCG was observed by granulosa cells collected during the early follicular phase from ROM vs. IF ewes. Data provide evidence that the greater ovulation rate in the ROM as compared to the IF breed is associated with a greater gonadotropin responsiveness during the early follicular phase.  (+info)

Dynamics of human follicular growth and in-vitro oocyte maturation. (8/4214)

The physiological trigger for meiotic resumption in the human oocyte is the surge of luteinizing hormone, but it can also occur spontaneously if oocytes are released from antral follicles and cultured in vitro. The development of novel techniques for the culture of murine oocytes has raised the possibility of growing human oocytes to maturity in vitro. Such a system could open the door to a number of techniques with revolutionary consequences. It would clearly be of benefit in basic physiological studies of follicular development, as well as being used to test the effect of toxicological substances on oocyte maturation. More significantly, such a system could provide a source of human oocytes for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) where immature or germinal vesicle oocytes are cultured to maturity before being fertilized. If this can be achieved, it might facilitate oocyte cryopreservation, where surplus oocytes are stored, thus avoiding the need for repeated superovulation. A combination of immature oocyte cryopreservation for later maturation and IVF will provide the opportunity to establish oocyte banks and help overcome some of the practical and ethical dilemmas that are currently shadowing the field of reproductive medicine.  (+info)