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Reproduction. 2004 Nov;128(5):555-64.

Localization and temporal regulation of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases 3 and 4 in bovine preovulatory follicles.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1225, USA.

Erratum in

  • Reproduction. 2004 Dec;128(6):863.


The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) are potential regulators of the focalized extracellular matrix degradation required for ovulation. The objectives of the present study were to determine localization and temporal regulation of TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 mRNA and protein in bovine preovulatory follicles. Ovaries containing preovulatory follicles were collected at 0, 12 and 20 h after GnRH injection for real-time PCR quantification of TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 mRNAs and immunohistochemical localization studies. Additional samples collected at 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 h post GnRH injection were subjected to Western analysis to determine temporal changes in TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 proteins in the apex and base of preovulatory follicles. Results indicate the gonadotropin surge regulates TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 expression. TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 mRNAs increased within 12 h after GnRH injection. TIMP-3 protein was localized to granulosal and thecal layers of preovulatory follicles and adjacent ovarian stroma, whereas TIMP-4 immunoreactivity was localized to granulosal and thecal cells and ovarian blood vessels. Amounts of TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 proteins in the follicular apex peaked within 12 h post GnRH injection and subsequently declined by 24 h. However, amounts of TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 proteins in the base were not elevated after GnRH administration. Results demonstrate that mRNA and protein for both TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 are increased in bovine preovulatory follicles following the gonadotropin surge. Coordinate expression of TIMPs and MMPs may help regulate the extracellular matrix remodeling characteristic of the ovulatory process.

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