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Bioscientifica Proceedings (2020) 18 CPRCPR16 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.18.0016

CPR2009 Control of Pig Reproduction VIII Maturation of The Pre-ovulatory Follicle (4 abstracts)

Intra-follicular regulatory mechanisms in the porcine ovary

M.G. Hunter 1 and F. Paradis

1School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, United Kingdom LE12 5RD; 2 Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, 4-10 Agriculture/Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G-2P5

The mechanisms controlling the follicular growth continuum in the pig involve the interaction between local growth factors which are expressed throughout development and extra-follicular factors such as gonadotrophins. A large number of follicular growth factors, many belonging to the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily, have been identified in the somatic cells and in the oocyte. The relative importance of these intra-follicular factors varies with stage of development. The initiation of follicular growth and early preantral development is controlled locally (by factors including c-kit-kit ligand, members of the bone morphogenetic family (e.g BMP-1 5) and growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9)) and gonadotrophins are not thought to be involved until later. During antral follicle development, the oocyte secretes factors that stimulate porcine granulosa cell proliferation and differentiation, modulate apoptosis and suppress progesterone production, thereby preventing premature luteinisation. Likely candidates for mediating these effects include BMP-6, -15 and GDF-9 that are critical for fertility and ovulation rate in several mammals. There are also paracrine interactions between the somatic cells, with theca derived transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) playing a key role in regulating antral follicle maturation. Finally, during the periovulatory period, members of the EGF family from the granulosa cells stimulate cumulus expansion and oocyte maturation. Evidence indicates that some of these local factors may also influence oocyte developmental potential, emphasizing further the complexity, and importance, of these intra-follicular interactions.

© 2009 Society for Reproduction and Fertility

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