We previously proposed that an endothelin-angiotensin-atrial natriuretic peptide system may contribute to inducing ovulation of mature bovine follicles by modulating follicular secretion of steroids and prostaglandins (PGs). Thus, this study aimed to determine the real-time changes in the local release of angiotensin II (Ang II), endothelin (ET), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), PGF2α, and steroid hormones from bovine mature follicles during the periovulatory period in vivo. Seven cows were treated for superovulation using FSH and PGF2α injections. Two dialysis capillary membranes per follicle were surgically implanted into the theca layer of mature follicles and connected to a microdialysis system (MDS). Fractions of the perfusate were collected from Day −1 (Day 0 = LH surge) to Day 3. Five out of seven treated cows were normally ovulated, and the newly formed corpora lutea were observed at the end of the experiment. In these five ovulated cows, the release of estradiol, androstenedione, and progesterone in the theca layer increased (P < 0.05) synchronously with the LH surge. Acute increases in PGF2α and Ang II concentrations in the ovarian venous plasma (OVP) were observed at 24–48 h after the peak of the LH surge, when multiple ovulations were expected to occur. The follicular Ang II release was low during the pre-LH surge period and rose (P < 0.05) at the beginning of the increase in the LH surge. On the other hand, ET-1 release dropped (P < 0.05) when plasma LH started to increase. However, no clear changes in ANP concentration in the MDS perfusate and plasma were observed. The above local changes in Ang II, PGF2α, as well as steroid hormones were not observed in cows (n = 2) that did not show an LH surge and ovulation. The present results demonstrate for the first time the local release of Ang II, ET-1, and ANP from the bovine mature follicle in real-time in vivo and show that Ang II and PGF2α concentrations in the OVP acutely increase around the time of ovulation. The overall results support the concept of a local functional ET-Ang-ANP system in the bovine mature follicle that may be involved in the ovulatory process.
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