Deficiency in proliferative, angiogenic, and LH receptors in the follicle wall: implications of season toward the anovulatory condition.


Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


This study aimed to gain insight on the effect of different seasons of the year on the expression pattern of growth factor and hormone receptors involved in follicle development. A novel follicle wall biopsy technique was used to collect in vivo follicle wall layers (ie, granulosa, theca interna, and theca externa) and follicular fluid samples from growing dominant follicles, simultaneously and repeatedly, using the same mares during the spring anovulatory (SAN), spring ovulatory (SOV), summer (SU), and fall ovulatory (FOV) seasons. The immunofluorescent expression patterns of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Ki-67, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), and LH receptor (LHR) were evaluated in each follicle wall layer, in addition to intrafollicular estradiol and nitric oxide (NO). Proliferative proteins (EGFR and Ki-67) were highly (P < 0.05-P < 0.001) expressed during the SOV season compared with the SAN and FOV seasons. Lower (P < 0.05-P < 0.001) expression of both proteins was observed during SU compared with the SOV season. The expression of VEGFR was greater (P < 0.05-P < 0.01) in the theca interna of dominant follicles during the SOV season compared with the SAN and SU seasons. Similarly, in the overall quantification, the VEGFR expression was greater (P < 0.001) during the SOV season compared with the SU and FOV seasons. A higher (P < 0.05) LHR expression was detected in the theca interna during the SOV season than the SAN season. Furthermore, a higher (P < 0.05-P < 0.001) expression of LHR was observed in the granulosa, theca interna, and in the overall quantification during the SOV season compared with the SU and FOV seasons. Intrafollicular NO concentration did not differ (P > 0.05) among different seasons of the year. The intrafollicular estradiol concentration was higher (P < 0.05) during the SU compared with the SAN season and higher (P < 0.05) during the FOV season compared with the SAN and SOV seasons. In conclusion, the synergistic effect of lower expression of proliferative protein, angiogenic, and LH receptors in at least some of the layers of the follicle wall seems to trigger dominant follicles toward the anovulation process during the spring and fall transitional seasons.


Follicle wall biopsy,Horse,Ovary,Receptors,Season,

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