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1 May 2000 Intrafollicular Concentrations of Steroids and Steroidogenic Enzymes in Relation to Follicular Development in the Mare
François Belin, Ghylène Goudet, Guy Duchamp, Nadine Gérard
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The objective of the present study was to determine the changes in follicular fluid steroid concentrations and in granulosa cell steroidogenic enzyme expression during the follicular phase, in relation to follicular size and physiological status in the mare.

Follicular fluid and follicular cells were recovered by ultrasound-guided follicular punctures either around the time of emergence of the dominant follicle, at the end of the dominant follicle growth, or at the preovulatory stage, after injection of gonadotropin to induce ovulation. Cellular relative amounts of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), P450-side chain cleavage (P450scc), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3βHSD), 17α-hydroxylase, and aromatase were assessed by semiquantitative Western blot and densitometry. Follicular fluid was assayed for cholesterol concentrations by colorimetric assay and for progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol-17β concentrations by RIA.

Intrafollicular concentrations of progesterone and estradiol-17β significantly increased in the dominant follicle during growth. After injection of gonadotropin, follicular maturation was characterized by a decrease in estradiol-17β concentrations and a further increase in progesterone concentrations. Granulosa cells from dominant follicles had increased levels of StAR, P450scc, 3βHSD, and aromatase during growth, but decreased levels during maturation. Levels of StAR, P450scc, 3βHSD, and aromatase, as well as progesterone and estradiol-17β, were lower in granulosa cells from subordinate than from dominant follicles. We did not observe a relationship between the steroidogenic activity of follicles and the capacity of their enclosed oocytes to complete meiosis in vitro.

François Belin, Ghylène Goudet, Guy Duchamp, and Nadine Gérard "Intrafollicular Concentrations of Steroids and Steroidogenic Enzymes in Relation to Follicular Development in the Mare," Biology of Reproduction 62(5), 1335-1343, (1 May 2000).
Received: 18 August 1999; Accepted: 1 January 2000; Published: 1 May 2000
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