The preovulatory surge of gonadotropins induces meiotic maturation of the oocyte, the follicular/luteal phase shift in hormone production, and ovulation. This complex and rapid series of developmental changes is difficult to study in large mammals, such as primates and ruminants, because variability in the length of individual reproductive cycles makes it virtually impossible to predict the time of the LH surge. We have validated an experimental model for inducing the LH surge and ovulation in cattle and used it to study the sequence of changes in hormone secretion and some of the mechanisms of these changes. Luteolysis and a follicular phase were induced by injection of prostaglandin F2α; injection of a GnRH analogue 36 h later induced an LH surge and ovulation. The LH surge peaked 2 h after GnRH and ovulation followed 22–31 h after the surge, consistent with the periovulatory interval in natural cycles. The ensuing luteal phase was normal, both in length and in concentrations of circulating progesterone. In experiment I, the uteroovarian effluent was collected, via cannulation of the vena cava, at frequent intervals relative to GnRH injection. Circulating estradiol declined progressively after GnRH, reaching a nadir by 8–10 h before ovulation, whereas concentrations of androstenedione and testosterone remained constant. In experiment II, preovulatory follicles were obtained at 0, 3.5, 6, 12, 18, or 24 h after GnRH. Concentrations of androgens and estradiol were measured in follicular fluid and medium from cultures of follicle wall (theca granulosa cells); steady-state levels of mRNA for 17α-hydroxylase (17αOH) and P450 aromatase were measured in follicular tissue. Shortly after the LH surge (3.5 h post-GnRH) there was an acute increase in the capacity of follicular tissue to secrete androstenedione, but not estradiol, in vitro. Thereafter, both androgens and estradiol declined, both in follicular fluid and in medium collected from cultures of follicle wall. Levels of mRNA for 17αOH and aromatase in follicle wall decreased significantly by 6 h after GnRH, suggesting that declining levels of these enzymes underlie the decreases in steroid production by follicular cells. These results show that in cattle the preovulatory decrease in follicular estradiol production is mediated by redundant mechanisms, because androgen production and the capacity of granulosa cells to convert androgens to estradiol decline coordinately, in concert with decreases in mRNA for 17αOH and P450 aromatase.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.