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Endocrine regulation of ovarian antral follicle development in cattle

By A. Mihm and E. C. L. Bleach


Antral follicle growth in cattle occurs in two distinct phases; the first 'slow' growth phase spans the time from antrum acquisition to a size of approximately 3 mm detectable by transrectal ultrasound, and the second 'fast' phase is gondadotrophin-dependent and includes cohort growth, dominant follicle (DF) selection, and DF growth. This review summarises current concepts of the relative roles FSH and LH, ovarian and metabolic hormones play mainly in the second phase of antral follicle growth in animals of different reproductive and nutritional states. It is proposed that differential FSH response may enable one cohort follicle to become selected, and that follicular secretions, particularly inhibin, suppress FSH and thus are responsible for DF selection and dominance. Acute dependence of the DF on LH pulses will determine DF lifespan, and the LH pulse profile can be influenced by metabolic hormones such as leptin, providing one possible link for nutritional state and reproduction. Direct ovarian effects of acute and chronic changes in growth hormone, insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I have been described on cohort follicles, DF oestrogen activity and on DF growth. Influences of metabolic hormones on early antral follicles undergoing their first 'slow' growth phase are less well described, yet metabolic hormones appear to enhance growth into the cohort available for FSH-induced emergence, and may influence subsequent developmental competence of oocytes. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1016/s0378-4320(03)00092-7
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