Effect of flutamide on folliculogenesis in the fetal porcine ovary--regulation by Kit ligand/c-Kit and IGF1/IGF1R systems.Anim Reprod Sci. 2013 Nov 30; 142(3-4):160-7.AR
In pigs, primordial to primary follicle transition occur in the late pregnancy. The interactions between Kit ligand (KL) and its receptor (c-Kit), as well as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and cognate receptor (IGF1R) are crucial for the primordial follicle activation. It is well established that hormonal disruption induces abnormalities in the developing reproductive system. Hence, this study investigated the influence of antiandrogen, flutamide, on genes involved in the primordial to primary follicle transition. Pregnant gilts were injected with flutamide (50mg/kg bw, seven times, every day) or corn oil (control groups) starting on gestation days 83 (GD90) or 101 (GD108). Fetal ovaries were excised on days 90 and 108 of gestation. The proportion of primordial and primary follicles was determined, and immunohistochemistry for c-Kit and IGF1R was conducted. To assess KL, c-Kit, IGF1 and IGF1R mRNA expression real-time PCR was performed. Ovaries from both GD90 and GD108 animals exhibited a greater proportion of primordial to primary follicles when compared to respective control groups. C-Kit and IGF1R were immunolocalized in the oocytes of primordial and primary follicles. Both c-Kit mRNA and protein levels and KL mRNA expression were diminished in GD90 group. IGF1R expression decreased at mRNA and protein levels, whereas IGF1 mRNA expression was increased in GD90 and GD108 groups. In summary, our findings may indicate that the interactions between KL and c-Kit as well as IGF1 and IGF1R are relevant to the initiation of follicular transition from primordial into primary follicles and can be affected by AR signaling.