Histological characteristics and steroid concentration of ovarian follicles at different stages of development in pregnant and non-pregnant dairy cows
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The aim of the study was to investigate the histological characteristics and steroid concentrations in follicular fluid of different populations of follicles at different stages of development, during pregnancy and the oestrous cycle in cows. Follicles from ovaries collected at a slaughterhouse were allocated into three size categories (small, 2-5.9 mm; medium, 6-13.9 mm; and large, 14-20 mm) in pregnant and non-pregnant cows. Slices were stained with HE and PAS for histological analysis. Follicular fluid was pooled according to size and pregnancy status and estradiol, testosterone and progesterone concentrations in follicular fluid were determined by RIA. Characteristics of healthy follicles did not differ, regardless of follicle size or pregnancy status. Total histological atresia was significantly higher in pregnant cows than in non-pregnant cows (p < 0.05). Estradiol increased and testosterone decreased significantly, while follicles increased in size, in both non-pregnant and pregnant cows (p < 0.05). Nonpregnant cows had the highest estradiol values in follicles of all sizes. Medium and large follicles from pregnant cows showed the lowest testosterone concentration (p < 0.05). Progesterone levels increased with follicle size only in non-pregnant animals. In large follicles, progesterone concentration was significantly higher in non-pregnant cows than in pregnant cows (p < 0.05). Considering steroid concentration and histological findings, most large follicles might be atretic during pregnancy in cattle.
Artículo de Publicación ISI
DOI: DOI: 10.1007/s11259-006-3100-3