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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2012 Jan;44(1):125-31. doi: 10.1007/s11250-011-9898-x. Epub 2011 Jun 4.

Follicular characteristics and intrafollicular concentrations of nitric oxide and ascorbic acid during ovarian acyclicity in water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).

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Animal Reproduction Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, 243122, India.


The objective of this study was to examine the follicular characteristics and intrafollicular concentrations of nitric oxide and ascorbic acid during ovarian acyclicity in buffaloes. Ovaries were collected from 56 acyclic and 95 cyclic buffaloes at slaughter, surface follicle number was counted and follicles were classified into small (5.0-6.9 mm), medium (7.0-9.9 mm), and large (≥ 10.0 mm) size categories based on their diameter. Follicular fluid was aspirated and assayed for nitric oxide, ascorbic acid, estradiol, and progesterone. Acyclic buffaloes had a higher (P<0.05) number of medium-sized follicles and a lower (P<0.001) number of large follicles than the cyclic ones. In acyclic animals, the number of large follicles was lower (P<0.01) than in medium size category which in turn was lower (P<0.001) than the number of small follicles. In contrast, the number of medium and large follicles was not different (P>0.05) in the cyclic control. However, the number of small-sized follicles was higher (P<0.001) compared to the other two categories. The incidence of large-sized follicles was lower (P<0.05) in acyclic buffalo population compared to the cyclic control. Evaluation of estrogenic status demonstrated that all the follicles of acyclic buffaloes are estrogen-inactive (E (2)/P (4) ratio<1). Small- and medium-sized follicles of acyclic buffaloes had higher concentrations of nitric oxide (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively) and lower concentrations of ascorbic acid (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively) than the corresponding size estrogen-active follicles of their cyclic counterparts. In conclusion, this study indicates that follicular development continues during acyclicity in buffaloes. Although follicles in some acyclic buffaloes attain a size corresponding to morphological dominance, they are unable to achieve functional dominance, perhaps due to an altered balance of intrafollicular nitric oxide and ascorbic acid and, as a result, these follicles instead of progressing to ovulation undergo atresia.

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