Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Expression of protein and mRNA encoding Insulin Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) in goat ovarian follicles and the influence of IGF-I on in vitro development and survival of caprine preantral follicles

F.S. Martins, M.V.A. Saraiva, J.J.H. Celestino, J.B. Bruno, A.P. Almeida, R.M.S. Cunha, J.R.V. Silva, C.C. Campello, C.M. Lucci, M.H.T. Matos, J.R. Figueiredo

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The aim of this study was to investigate the protein and mRNA expression levels of IGF-I and the effects of IGF-I on preantral follicle survival and development, using an in vitro goat ovarian cortical culture system. The ovaries were used for immunohistochemical localization of IGF-I protein or used to demonstrate mRNA expression of IGF-I. For the latter goal, preantral and antral follicles, cumulus-oocyte complex, mural granulosa and theca cells were collected to study mRNA expression. For in vitro studies, ovarian cortex were cultured for 1 and 7 days with MEM supplemented IGF-I (0, 1, 10, 50, 100 or 200 ng/ml). Immunohistochemical results showed strong reactions for IGF-I in oocytes and granulosa cells of all follicular stages, except in granulosa cells of primordial and primary follicles. mRNA expression analysis demonstrated a discrete increase in the production of IGF-I during the transition from primordial to the primary and secondary follicle stages. After 7 days of culture, addition of 50 ng/ml of IGF-I to the medium showed the greatest percentage of normal follicles when compared with other concentrations. Furthermore, the highest percentage of primary follicles was observed after 7 days of culture in MEM+ plus 10 and 50 ng/ml of IGF-I. Culture of ovarian tissue for 7 days in MEM+ plus 50 ng/ml of IGF-I promoted the greatest increase (P < 0.05) in follicular diameter of all of the concentrations tested. In conclusion, IGF-I protein and mRNA were expressed in all follicular categories of goat. Furthermore, IGF-I maintained preantral follicle survival, promoted primordial follicle activation and stimulated the transition from intermediate to primary follicles.


goat, insulin-like growth factor, ovary, preantral follicle
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