Indexed on: 13 May '08Published on: 13 May '08Published in: Reproduction (Cambridge, England)
Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) play an important role in the primary to secondary follicle transition and follicle activation in vivo. In organ culture of neonatal mouse ovaries, it was observed that significantly fewer primary follicles develop to the secondary stage. The objectives of this study were: (1) to compare ovarian follicular populations between organ-cultured neonatal mouse ovaries and freshly isolated age-matched control ovaries; (2) to quantify RNA levels of Gdf9, Bmp15, and Amh in cultured primary follicles; and (3) to immunolocalize GDF9 and AMH in cultured ovaries. Ovaries from 3-day-old (PND 3) mice were cultured for 7 or 10 days in the absence or presence of FSH. Follicular populations were counted in freshly isolated 13-day-old (PND 13) ovaries and organ-cultured ovaries. Transcripts were quantified in isolated primary follicles using real-time RT-PCR, and protein expressions were localized using immunohistochemistry. The number of secondary follicles in organ-cultured ovaries was significantly lower than in vivo controls. Gdf9 and Bmp15 mRNA expression levels were similar as in controls. Amh mRNA levels were significantly (P<0.05) lower after day 10 of culture in the absence of FSH. GDF9 and AMH proteins were respectively detected in the oocytes and the granulosa cells (GC) beginning at the primary and primordial stages onward. GDF9 and BMP15 production in cultured primary follicles are not different from in vivo controls; hence abnormal early follicular growth was not related to a deficient transcription of these factors.