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Dev Biol. 1988 Mar;126(1):71-9.

Infertility due to growth arrest of ovarian follicles in Sl/Slt mice.

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Department of Pathology, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


Sl, Sld, and Slt are mutant alleles at the steel locus. All Sl/Sld and most Sl/Slt female mice are infertile, but the cause of the infertility is different. Germ cells are absent in Sl/Sld ovaries but present in Sl/Slt ovaries. The infertility of Sl/Slt female mice was attributed to the growth arrest of ovarian follicles, and the mechanism was analyzed by producing aggregation chimeras between Sl/Slt and +/+ embryos. Sl/Slt oocytes were ovulated and fertilized in Sl/Slt----+/+ chimeras. We investigated the origin of granulosa cells in the growing follicles and that of granulosa-derived luteal cells in the chimeras by using the electrophoretic pattern of phosphoglycerate kinase-1 and the histochemical activity of beta-glucuronidase as markers. Granulosa cells of Sl/Slt genotype developed and constituted pregnant corpora lutea in Sl/Slt----+/+ chimeras. Therefore, the growth arrest of Sl/Slt ovarian follicles may not be due to an intrinsic defect in granulosa cells but may instead be due to an intrinsic defect in ovarian stromal cells. This suggests that normal stromal cells are essential for the development of ovarian follicles.

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