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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2003 Mar;24(2):171-83.

Matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 activities in bovine follicular fluid of different-sized follicles: relationship to intra-follicular inhibin and steroid concentrations.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Biology and Technology, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Ikenodai 2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play very important roles in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling during ovarian follicular development, ovulation and atresia. The aim of the present study was to determine the content of gelatinases in follicular fluid in various sized bovine follicles. Bovine ovaries were collected from local slaughterhouse and follicular fluid from follicles of 2 to over 25 mm in diameter was collected. Gelatinase activity within the follicular fluid was analyzed by gelatin zymography. The concentration of inhibin in the follicular fluid was also measured by immunoblot analysis. The proMMP-2 and alpha-subunit (alphaN) inhibin was detected in all follicles regardless of their size. The abundance of proMMP-2 varied with follicular size, while alphaN inhibin increased significantly (P<0.01) in follicles of 10-14 and 15-20 mm in size. There was a positive and negative correlation between estradiol (E(2)) and progesterone (P(4)) concentrations with abundance of proMMP-2, respectively. Follicles of diameter over 25 mm had greater proMMP-9 activity than other follicles. These same follicles had significantly (P<0.01) lower inhibin levels than follicles of 10-14 and 15-20 mm in size. In conclusion, these results suggest a significant role of these proteases in growth and development of bovine follicle, particularly proMMP-2 and active MMP-2 activities in the follicular fluid could serve as markers of follicular health while abundance of proMMP-9 may possibly denote a follicular cyst.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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