An official journal of the Society for Biology of Reproduction and the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn
Elsevier

September 2013 (No. 3)

Growth and antrum formation of bovine primary follicles in long-term culture in vitro

Jing Sun, Xiangdong Li*

State Key Laboratory for Agro-Biotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

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Abstract
Successful antral formation in vitro from bovine preantral follicles (145–170 µm) has been described previously, but antrum formation from the primary follicle (50–70 µm) has not yet been achieved in vitro. The aim of the study was to establish an optimal culture system supporting the growth and maturation of bovine primary follicles (50–70 µm) in vitro. Bovine primary follicles were cultured in a three-dimensional culture system for 13 or 21 days in alpha-minimum essential medium. Various treatments including follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), 17β-estradiol (E2), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) were tested. The follicular diameter and antrum formation rate were recorded, and follicular maturation markers (P450 aromatase, CYP19A1; anti – Mullerian hormone, AMH; growth differentiation factor-9, GDF9; bone morphogenetic protein – 15, BMP15; and type III transforming growth factor b receptor, TGFbR3) were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. After 21 days of culture under each treatment condition, the follicular diameter was significantly enlarged in the presence of FSH + LH + E2 + bFGF or FSH + LH + E2 + bFGF + EGF (p < 0.05). An addition of 50 ng/ml bFGF or bFGF + 25 ng/ml EGF initiated antrum formation by day 19 and day 17 of culture, and the antral cavity formation rate was 16.7% and 33.3% by 21 days of culture, respectively. The expression of follicular maturation markers (CYP19A1, AMH, GDF9, BMP15 and TGFbR3) was significantly altered. We conclude that addition of 50 ng/ml bFGF + 25 ng/ml EGF to media containing FSH + LH + E2 turned out to be the most effective optimized culture conditions to support the growth and maturation of bovine primary follicles in vitro.

Reproductive Biology 2013 13 3: 221–228.

* Corresponding author: State Key Laboratory for Agro-Biotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China; E-mail addresses: xiangdongli68@126.com, xiangdongli@cau.edu.cn (X. Li).