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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 1991 Apr;8(2):209-21.

Dynamics of ovarian follicular development in cattle during the estrous cycle, early pregnancy and in response to PMSG.

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Laboratoire de la Reproduction, Institut National Recherche Agronomique, Nouzilly, France.


Ovarian follicular dynamics of cattle were examined during the estrous cycle, early pregnancy and in response to PMSG. Number and size of follicles were monitored by ultrasonographic examinations. During the estrous cycle, distinct periods of follicular dominance (measured by the increase in difference in size between the largest and second largest follicle) occurred in both the luteal (Days 6-8) and proestrus (18-22) phases of the estrous cycle (two follicular waves). Associated with the well timed development of the first dominant follicle was a change in distribution of follicle numbers in small (less than 5 mm; increased on Days 2-4), medium (6-8 mm; increased on Days 3-5) and large (greater than or equal to 9 mm; increased on Days 6-9) follicular size classes. Follicular development was greater on the ovary bearing the CL for the period that the CL was present. The dominant follicle formed during the first follicular wave was capable of ovulating (6 of 8 heifers) following an injection of a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin F-2 alpha on Day 9 of the estrous cycle. During early pregnancy (Days 6-34), follicular development (size of largest follicle, number of follicles and total accumulated size of all follicles) on the ovary bearing the CL was suppressed between Days 24 and 34 of pregnancy. This was a local effect in that follicular development was sustained on the contralateral ovary. Therefore, the CL or conceptus may be regulating follicular development in a manner to help prevent luteolysis. Associated with the injection of PMSG was an initial increase in the number of small follicles followed by their recruitment into medium and large size classes leading to ovulation. Number of follicles greater than 5 mm on the Day of estrus was related (r = .97) to the number of subsequent embryos and oocytes collected. Ultrasonography is a valuable technique to monitor ovarian follicular dynamics in cattle, and can thereby be used to infer changes in physiological and endocrine states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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