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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2013 Jan;44(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Interaction between melatonin and follicle-stimulating hormone promotes in vitro development of caprine preantral follicles.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory of Manipulation of Oocyte and Preantral Follicles, State University of Ceara, 60740-000 Fortaleza CE, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on the in vitro culture of goat preantral follicles. Ovarian fragments were cultured for 7 d in α-minimum essential medium (α-MEM(+)) containing melatonin (100, 250, 500, or 1,000 pM), FSH (50 ng/mL), or a combination of the 2 hormones and further analyzed by histology and transmission electron and fluorescent microscopy. The results showed that after 7 d of culture, tissues cultured in α-MEM(+) alone or supplemented with FSH alone, melatonin (500 and 1,000 pM), or the combination of FSH and melatonin (1,000 pM) maintained percentages of normal preantral follicles similar to the fresh control. In contrast to the noncultured tissues, the percentage of developing follicles was increased under all culture conditions after 7 d (P < 0.05). The addition of 1,000 pM melatonin associated with FSH to the culture medium increased follicular and oocyte diameters compared with α-MEM(+) alone after 7 d of culture (P < 0.05). Ultrastructural and fluorescent analyses confirmed the integrity of follicles cultured with 1,000 pM of melatonin plus FSH for 7 d. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the interaction between melatonin and FSH maintains ultrastructural integrity and stimulates further growth of cultured caprine preantral follicles.

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