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Dev Biol. 1997 Apr 1;184(1):122-37.

Stepwise requirement of c-kit tyrosine kinase in mouse ovarian follicle development.

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1
Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyoku, Japan. hyoshida@virus.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Ovarian follicle development is controlled by the cycling variation of gonadotrophins derived from the central nervous system. Intragonadal signals are also required, especially in the autonomous development of small follicles. Receptor tyrosine kinase c-kit and its ligand SLF (Steel factor) are expressed on the surface of specific populations of follicle-forming cells in a contiguous manner and are thought to have important roles in follicular development. We blocked the interaction of c-kit and its ligand by administering the function-blocking antibody ACK2 to developing mice at various times after birth and monitored ovarian follicle development. A blockade of c-kit function disturbed the onset of primordial follicle development, primary follicle growth, follicular fluid formation of preantral follicles, and penultimate-stage ovarian follicle maturation before ovulation. Ovarian follicle growth was dependent on c-kit during the first 5 days after birth when the functional FSH receptor is not yet expressed in mouse ovary. In contrast, primordial follicle formation and survival, small preantral or antral follicle development, ovulation, and luteinization of the ovulated follicle were not affected by this antibody. These findings indicate the stepwise requirement of c-kit and its ligand interaction system in the developing ovarian follicle and that c-kit with its ligand supports the autonomous development of ovarian follicle independent of gonadotrophins.

PMID:
9142989
DOI:
10.1006/dbio.1997.8503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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