Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors in bovine cystic follicles
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Cystic follicles have excess fluid derived from blood flow in the theca interna of the follicle; therefore, the vasculature network is related to cystic follicle formation. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent stimulator of blood vessel permeability and angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of VEGF receptors proteins and mRNA in cystic follicles to elucidate the VEGF system in cystic follicles. The expression of protein for VEGF receptors; fms-like-tyrosine kinase-1 (Flt-1) and foetal liver kinase-1 (Flk-1) was detected by the immunohistochemical method. The mRNA expression of Flt-1 and Flk-1 in cystic follicles was determined by RT-PCR. Concentration of oestradiol-17β and progesterone in the follicular fluid of cystic follicles was determined using ELISA. Flt-1- and Flk-1 proteins were localized in granulosa and theca interna cells and endothelial cells of theca layers. The intensity of Flt-1 and Flk-1 immunoreaction was similar among cystic follicles with various ratios of oestradiol-17β/progesterone concentrations. The expression of Flt-1 and Flk-1 mRNA was similar, regardless of the ratio of oestradiol-17β to progesterone in follicular fluid. These results demonstrate that cystic follicles have both VEGF receptors in the granulosa and theca interna layers, which may be responsible for the increased permeability of microvessels, causing the accumulation of follicular fluid in cystic follicles.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals
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Journal compilation (c) 2008 Blackwell Verlag
Graduate School of Biosphere Science