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Theriogenology. 2014 Jul 1;82(1):27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.02.019. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Presence of growth hormone receptor (GH-R) mRNA and protein in goat ovarian follicles and improvement of in vitro preantral follicle survival and development with GH.

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Laboratory of Manipulation of Oocytes Enclosed in Preantral Follicles (LAMOFOPA), Veterinary Faculty, State University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.
Potiguar University/Laureate International Universities, Natal, Brazil. Electronic address:
Potiguar University/Laureate International Universities, Natal, Brazil.
Biotechnology Nucleus of Sobral (NUBIS)-Federal University of Ceará, Sobral, Brazil.


This study aimed to demonstrate the expression of growth hormone receptor (GH-R) mRNA and protein in goat ovarian follicles in order to investigate the effects of GH on the survival and development of preantral follicles. The ovaries were processed for the isolation of follicles to study GH-R mRNA expression or to localization of GH-R by immunohistochemical analysis. Pieces of ovarian cortex were cultured for 7 days in minimum essential medium(+) (MEM(+)) in the presence or absence of GH at different concentrations (1, 10, 50, 100, and 200 ng/mL). High expression levels of GH-R mRNA were observed in granulosa/theca cells from large antral follicles. However, preantral follicles do not express mRNA for GH-R. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the GH-R protein was expressed in the oocytes/granulosa cells of antral follicles, but any protein expression was observed in preantral follicles. The highest (P < 0.05) rate of normal follicles and intermediate follicles was observed after 7 days in MEM(+) plus 10 ng/mL GH (70%). In conclusion, GH-R mRNA and protein are expressed in caprine antral follicles, but not in preantral follicles. Moreover, GH maintains the survival of goat preantral follicles and promotes the development of primordial follicles.


GH; Goat; Immunohistochemistry; In vitro culture; Preantral follicles activation

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