Ovarian antral follicular dynamics in sheep revisited: comparison among estrous cycles with three or four follicular waves.
ABSTRACT In this study, the characteristics of ovarian follicular waves and patterns of serum concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and progesterone were compared between cycles with three (n=9) or four (n=10) follicular waves in Western White Face (WWF) ewes (Ovis aries). Transrectal ultrasonography and blood sampling were performed daily during one cycle. Estrous cycles were 17.11+/-0.3 and 17.20+/-0.2 d long in cycles with three and four waves, respectively (P>0.05). The first interwave interval and the interval from the emergence of the final wave to the day of ovulation were longer in cycles with three waves compared with those in cycles with four waves (P<0.05). The growth phase (5.1+/-0.5 vs. 3.1+/-0.4 d) and life span (5.67+/-0.3 vs. 4.3+/-0.3 d) of the largest follicle growing in the last or ovulatory wave was longer in cycles with three waves compared with that in cycles with four waves (P<0.05). The maximum diameter of the largest follicle was greater in the first wave and the ovulatory wave compared with that in other waves of the cycle (P<0.05). The regression phase of the largest follicle growing in the first wave was longer in cycles with three waves compared with that in cycles with four waves (4.44+/-0.4 vs. 3.4+/-0.4 d; P<0.05). The length of the life span, regression phase, and, although not significant in every case, FSH peak concentration and amplitude decreased across the cycle (P<0.05). We concluded that estrous cycles with three or four follicular waves were confined within the same length of cycle in WWF ewes. In this study, there were no apparent endocrine or follicular characteristics that could explain the regulation of the different number of follicular waves (three vs. four) during cycles of similar length.
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ABSTRACT: The dynamics of ovarian follicular development and the pattern of pituitary and ovarian hormone concentration were investigated during the luteal phase in ewes with autotransplanted ovaries. The follicles were measured by ultrasound and samples of ovarian and jugular venous blood were collected at intervals of 12 h. Blood samples were collected before and after a GnRH challenge (250 ng GnRH, i.v.) to allow the determination of basal and LH-stimulated concentration of ovarian steroids. Throughout the luteal phase, large antral follicles developed in three waves, each of which was preceded by a rise in the concentration of FSH (P < 0.05). The concentrations of oestradiol and androstenedione in the unstimulated and LH-stimulated samples were similar (P > 0.05) during the first 3 days of the luteal phase but differed thereafter, with the LH-stimulated being significantly higher than the basal concentrations (P < 0.05). In the first wave of follicular development the changes in follicular size were accompanied by an increase in the concentration of ovarian steroids and inhibin A. During the second follicular wave, although changes in follicle diameter were similar to the first wave (P > 0.05), the basal concentration of ovarian steroids and inhibin A remained unchanged throughout the period of emergence and demise of the large follicles. These results confirm that the development of large antral follicles during the luteal phase of the sheep occurs in successive waves that are associated with fluctuations in FSH secretion. However while the results strongly suggest that fluctuations in both inhibin A and oestradiol secretion control FSH during the first follicular wave, the cause of the FSH fluctuations associated with waves two and three is unclear. Final resolution of this issue may need to await the development of a specific assay for dimeric inhibin B.Journal of Endocrinology 03/1998; 156(3):563-72. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The pattern of ovarian follicle development in maiden cyclic lambs was characterized using the definition of a follicle wave as the changes in the number of follicles among the days of the estrous cycle, as originally defined in cattle by Rajakoski in 1960. We also examined the steroid content relationships among follicles on Days 5 (Wave 1) and 14 (Waves 2 and 3) of the estrous cycle. In Experiment 1, the ovaries of 20 cyclic lambs (40 to 45 kg) were examined daily using transrectal ultrasonography for 1 or 2 estrous cycles (n = 31 cycles). The number of small (2 and 3 mm in diameter), medium (4 and 5 mm) and large (> or = 6 mm) follicles were aligned with the beginning and end of the average length estrous cycle and then compared among days. Identified follicles were defined as those that grew to > or = 4 mm and remained at > or = 3 mm for > or = 3 d. The number of identified follicles emerging (retrospectively identified at 2 or 3 mm) per ewe per day was also aligned with the average length estrous cycle. In Experiment 2, ewe lambs were ovariectomized on Day 5 (n = 6) or 14 (n = 5) of the estrous cycle, then follicle diameters and follicular fluid concentrations of estradiol and progesterone were compared among follicles. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA and compared among days using Fisher's LSD. In Experiment 1, either 2 (n = 10 cycles), 3 (n = 20 cycles) or 4 (n = 1 cycle) periods of emergence of identified follicles occurred during individual cycles, with estrous cycle lengths of 15.6 +/- 1.6, 16.1 +/- 1.1 and 17 d respectively. In animals with 2 or 3 periods of emergence of identified follicles, the total number of small, medium and large follicles differed (P < 0.05) among days of the estrous cycle showing a wave-like pattern. In Experiment 2, a single follicle collected on each of Days 5 and 14 of the cycle (6.2 +/- 0.2 and 3.9 +/- 0.2 mm in diameter) had a higher (P < 0.05) concentration of follicular fluid estradiol (36.2 +/- 4.4 and 50.9 +/- 21.6 ng/mL) than other follicles collected on the same day (next largest follicle: 4.3 +/- 0.3 and 3.5 +/- 0.4 mm; 4.3 +/- 0.9 and 18.2 +/- 6.7 ng/mL estradiol). The results showed that 1) there was a synchronous emergence of follicles associated with fluctuations in the number and size of follicles during the estrous cycle; 2) within a wave there was a hierarchy among follicles for diameter and steroid content; 3) ovarian follicle growth in ewe lambs occurred in 2 or 3 organized waves during the estrous cycle.Theriogenology 02/2000; 53(3):699-715. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: During the breeding season, five groups of three ewes were implanted at ovariectomy with 0.36, 0.5, 1.0 and 6.0 cm oestradiol implants or implants containing no steroid. Eleven days after receiving implants, blood samples were taken every 10 min for 6 h; implants were then removed. Treatments were repeated three times during each of two consecutive breeding seasons and four times during the intervening anoestrus. In ovariectomized ewes without steroid treatment, luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency increased from early to mid-breeding season, decreased to a minimum at mid-anoestrus and increased to reach a maximum at the mid-point of the second breeding season, subsequently declining. LH pulse amplitude was inversely related to frequency. Basal serum LH concentrations decreased gradually from the first breeding season to reach a minimum at mid-anoestrus and gradually increased to reach a maximum at the end of the second breeding season. Mean serum LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations were higher at the end of the second breeding season compared with the beginning of the first breeding season. All parameters of gonadotrophin secretion were decreased much more by oestradiol during the anoestrus than during the breeding season. LH pulse frequency was decreased during anoestrus and at high oestradiol concentrations during the first breeding season. Apart from LH pulse amplitude, the decreases in all parameters of gonadotrophin secretion were less during the second compared with the first breeding season. The minimum effective dose of oestradiol required to decrease mean and basal serum concentrations of LH during anoestrus was lower than in the breeding season. The minimum effective dose of oestradiol required to decrease mean serum concentrations of FSH was lower in the first compared with the second breeding season. Oestradiol depression of LH pulse amplitude and mean serum concentrations of LH and FSH showed a dose dependency during the breeding season. During anoestrus dose dependency was seen for basal concentrations of LH and mean serum concentrations of LH and FSH. We conclude that significant chronic changes in gonadotrophin secretion occur in the ewe with time after ovariectomy. Sensitivity to oestradiol also changes, and the effects of oestradiol are not always dose dependent. We suggest that the circannual pattern of LH pulse frequency and basal LH secretion are directly linked to the circannual cycle of photoperiod.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)J Reprod Fertil 04/1992; 94(2):511-23.