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J Reprod Fertil. 1998 Nov;114(2):253-8.

The effects of age and sex steroids on the macrophage population in the ovary of the chicken, Gallus domesticus.

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1
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Japan.

Abstract

The role of macrophages in the function of the hen ovary has not yet been described, although these cells may be an important regulator of ovarian function in mammals. The aim of this study was to determine the changes in the frequency of macrophages during ageing and follicular atresia, and the effects of sex steroids on the macrophage population in the hen ovary. Cryostat sections of ovarian tissues of immature, young laying and old laying hens and those of immature hens treated with or without diethylstilboestrol (DES) or progesterone were immunostained for macrophage cells using mouse anti-chicken macrophage monoclonal antibody. Macrophages were observed under a light microscope and counted using a computer assisted image analyser. The frequency of macrophages in both the stroma and theca of primary follicles was significantly greater in young laying hens than in immature and old laying hens and these cells were more frequent in old laying hens than in immature hens (P < 0.01). Macrophages were more frequent in atretic follicles than in normal follicles (P < 0.01). The number of macrophages in both the stroma and theca of primary follicles of DES-treated birds was significantly greater than in those of progesterone-treated and control birds (P < 0.01). Progesterone had no significant effect on the population of macrophages. These results suggest that macrophages in the ovary increase in association with sexual maturation of birds and atresia of follicles and decrease during ageing. Oestrogen may be one of the factors that affect the population of macrophages in the hen ovary.

PMID:
10070355
DOI:
10.1530/jrf.0.1140253
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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