Indexed on: 18 Dec '04Published on: 18 Dec '04Published in: Cells, tissues, organs
Several experimental models have been developed for the study of the polycystic ovarian syndrome in the rat. In the present study, the syndrome was induced by exposure to constant light, and the expression of cytoskeletal proteins in the follicular wall was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. We analyzed the immunohistochemically stained area (IHCSA) by image analysis to evaluate the expression of intermediate filaments (vimentin, desmin, cytokeratins, gliofibrillary acidic protein and neurofilaments) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) in cystic ovaries in relation to normal ovaries. The granulosa cell layer of cystic follicles had a significantly greater IHCSA for vimentin than the normal antral follicles. This difference was also significant between atretic and antral follicles. Cytokeratins showed a very low expression in the granulosa cells of antral follicles of control ovaries while in granulosa cells of atretic and cystic follicles they showed a significantly higher IHCSA. Immunohistochemical localization of desmin and alpha-SMA was restricted to the theca externa. Immunoreactivity for gliofibrillary acidic protein and neurofilament was negative. The highest intensity in the staining with vimentin and cytokeratins observed in the granulosa cells of the cystic follicles is probably due to structural and functional changes that occur during the process of cystogenesis and they could be associated with intense changes in the expression of cytoskeletal proteins that may be essential to the proper cellular functioning.