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29 July 2009 Effect of Direct Ovarian Infusion of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 6 (BMP6) on Ovarian Function in Sheep
B.K. Campbell, N.R. Kendall, D.T. Baird
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Bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) has been suggested as an important local factor capable of modulating the stimulatory actions of follicle-stimulating hormone in granulosa cells in vitro. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of direct ovarian infusion of BMP6 (2 μg/h) on ovarian function in ewes with an autotransplanted ovary. Treated ewes (n = 6) and vehicle-treated controls (n = 6) were infused during the early follicular phase, between 12 and 24 h after luteal regression, and ovarian response was determined by collection of samples of ovarian venous blood and transdermal ultrasound. In the absence of any change in circulating gonadotropins or in the antral follicle population, BMP6 infusion resulted in acute but transient increases in ovarian inhibin A, androstenedione, and estradiol secretion (P < 0.05) during the second half of the infusion period. Thereafter, treated animals had an advance in the time of the LH surge by around 10 h (43.3 ± 2.8 h in treated vs. 53.3 ± 2.7 h in controls; P < 0.05) and smaller preovulatory follicles (4.1 ± 0.2 mm in treated vs. 5.3 ± 0.1 mm in controls; P < 0.01), which gave rise to smaller corpora lutea (9.5 ± 0.8 mm in treated vs. 11.7 ± 0.6 mm in controls; P < 0.05). There was, however, no effect of infusion on ovulation rate. Despite the changes in the size of the ovulatory follicles, when the hormonal data were aligned to the time of the luteinizing hormone surge, there were no differences in preovulatory estradiol, androstenedione, or inhibin A between groups. This study therefore provides strong in vivo evidence to support the hypothesis that BMP6 is an important local regulator of ovarian function and that alterations in BMP6 cellular signaling may explain some of the effects of the FecB mutation in inducing precocious maturation of ovulatory follicles.

B.K. Campbell, N.R. Kendall, and D.T. Baird "Effect of Direct Ovarian Infusion of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 6 (BMP6) on Ovarian Function in Sheep," Biology of Reproduction 81(5), 1016-1023, (29 July 2009).
Received: 2 February 2009; Accepted: 1 June 2009; Published: 29 July 2009
bone morphogenic protein
growth factors
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