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Reproduction. 2010 Jan;139(1):153-61. doi: 10.1530/REP-09-0018.

Peripheral concentrations of inhibin A, ovarian steroids, and gonadotropins associated with follicular development throughout the estrous cycle of the sow.

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Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Azabu University, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8501, Japan.


We investigated changes in peripheral concentrations of inhibin A, total inhibin, steroids, and gonadotropins throughout the intact estrous cycle of the sow in relation to ovarian changes determined by daily transrectal ultrasonography. All visible follicles of 3 mm or more in diameter were classified as small (> or =3 and <6 mm) or large (> or =6 mm). Follicular recruitment was identified in two periods of the cycle: one from the late luteal to the follicular phase, characterized by an increase in the number of small follicles followed by the appearance of large follicles; and another during the early luteal phase, consisting only of increased numbers of small follicles. Plasma concentrations of inhibin A increased (P<0.05), coinciding with the two periods of follicle emergence. Estradiol (E(2)) levels increased (P<0.05) during the follicular phase, but not during the early luteal phase. An inverse relationship (P<0.01) between the patterns of inhibin and FSH concentrations was noted around the two periods of follicle emergence, but there was no relationship (P> or =0.1) between the patterns of plasma E(2) and FSH during the early luteal phase. In conclusion, measurement of plasma inhibin A levels combined with ultrasonographic examination of the ovaries revealed two periods of synchronous follicular growth during the sow's estrous cycle. The results strongly suggest that inhibin A functions as a negative feedback regulator of FSH secretion throughout the estrous cycle, whereas E(2) appears to influence FSH secretion only during the follicular phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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