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The relationship between steroidogenesis and tissue remodeling enzymes in ovulation in cycling pony mares

, : The relationship between steroidogenesis and tissue remodeling enzymes in ovulation in cycling pony mares. Theriogenology 58(2-4): 549-552, August

Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the relationship of steroidogenesis and the tissue-remodelling enzymes and their role in the ovulatory process in response to gonadotropin stimulus. In experiment 1, 10 cycling pony mares were given either hCG or saline (control) upon detection of pre-ovulatory follicle. Follicular fluid was collected 24 h after hCG administration and evaluated for steroid level. In experiment 2, 30 cycling pony mares were treated with either hCG or saline at the first detection of a 30-mm follicle during oestrus. The follicles were aspirated at 4, 9 or 24 h post-treatment. Blood samples were collected daily from the beginning of the project until the next subsequent ovulation, similar as in experiment 1. In experiment 3, 8 cycling pony mares were treated with either matrix metalloproteinases-2/9 (MMP) cyclic inhibitor or saline (control) intrafollicularly at the first detection of a 30-mm follicle during oestrus. The dominant follicle was aspirated 48 h after intrafollicular injection. In experiment 4, 7 cycling pony mares were given either a control vehicle (sesame oil) or 500 micro g RU486 in sesame oil intramuscularly at first detection of 30-mm follicle during oestrus. Serum and follicular fluid oestrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) were analysed together with MMP-2 levels. Data gathered from the 4 experiments suggest that there is a time-dependent relationship between the intrafollicular rise in P4 and the overall increase in MMP-2 in response to hCG stimulation, which plays a role in the ovulatory process and extracellular matrix remodelling in the mare. Through use of specific inhibitors, these data indicate that steroidogenesis by the pre-ovulatory follicle plays an important role in the activation of the remodelling enzymes for ovulation. Both P4 and MMP-2 are intimately involved and likely upregulate each other for proper tissue remodelling in the pre-ovulatory follicle to occur.


DOI: 10.1016/s0093-691x(02)00808-7

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