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1 October 2004 Developmental Pattern of Small Antral Follicles in the Bovine Ovary
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Abstract

The study was designed to characterize the developmental pattern of 1- to 3-mm follicles and to determine the stage at which the future dominant follicle first attains a size advantage among its cohorts. In experiment 1, heifers (n = 18) were examined every 24 h by transrectal ultrasonography for one interovulatory interval (IOI). In experiment 2, cows (n = 9) were examined every 6 h from 5 to 13 days after ovulation to monitor precisely the diameter changes of individual follicles ≥1 mm during emergence of wave 2. Results revealed a change over days (P < 0.05) in the number of 1- to 3-mm follicles, with a maximum (P < 0.05) 1 or 2 days before wave emergence (conventionally defined as the time when the dominant follicle is first detected at 4 mm), followed 3–4 days later by a maximum (P < 0.05) in the number of ≥4-mm follicles. The profiles of small (1–3 mm) and large (≥4-mm) follicles were inversely proportional (r = −0.79; P = 0.01). The profile of the number of 1- to 3-mm follicles during wave emergence was similar (P = 0.63) between waves in two-wave IOI, but differed (P < 0.01) among waves in three-wave IOI as a result of a greater number of follicles in the ovulatory wave (P < 0.04). As well, the number of follicles in the ovulatory wave tended to be greater (P < 0.06) in three-wave IOI than in two-wave IOI. The future dominant follicle was first identified at a diameter of 1 mm and emerged 6–12 h earlier than the first subordinate follicle (P < 0.01). After detection of the dominant follicle at 1 mm (0 h), its diameter differed from that of the first and second subordinate follicles at 24 h (P = 0.04) and 12 h (P = 0.01), when the dominant follicle was 2.4 ± 0.17 mm and 1.7 ± 0.14 mm, respectively. The growth rate of the dominant follicle differed from that of the first and second subordinate follicles at 120 h (P = 0.03) and 108 h (P = 0.02), when the dominant follicle was 9.5 ± 0.30 mm and 8.8 ± 0.49 mm, respectively. Emergence of the future dominant (r = 0.71), first (r = 0.73), and second (r = 0.76) subordinate follicles was temporally associated (P < 0.01) with a rise in circulating concentrations of FSH. Transient, nocturnal elevations in plasma FSH concentration were followed within 6 h by an increase in the growth rate of 1- to 3-mm follicles. We conclude that 1) 1- to 3-mm follicles develop in a wave-like manner in association with surges in plasma concentrations of FSH, 2) 1- to 3-mm follicles are exquisitely responsive to transient elevations in FSH, and 3) selection of the dominant follicle is manifest earlier than previously documented and is characterized by a hierarchical progression over a period encompassing the entire FSH surge (5 days).

R. S. Jaiswal, J. Singh, and G. P. Adams "Developmental Pattern of Small Antral Follicles in the Bovine Ovary," Biology of Reproduction 71(4), 1244-1251, (1 October 2004). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.104.030726
Received: 6 April 2004; Accepted: 1 June 2004; Published: 1 October 2004
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