Estradiol has a major role in antrum formation of porcine preantral follicles cultured in vitro.

PMID 23347746


Antrum formation and estradiol (E2) secretion occur during early folliculogenesis. The objective was to determine the role of E2 in antrum formation of oocyte-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) derived from porcine preantral follicles (PAFs). Supplementation of the culture medium with E2 (1 μg/mL) improved antrum formation of OGCs during 14 days of in vitro culture. Furthermore, adding 0.1 μg/mL androstenedione (a precursor of E2) to the medium also improved antrum formation. Concentration of E2 was higher in the medium of developmentally competent OGCs versus incompetent OGCs (8.5 vs. 3.5 ng/mL, P < 0.05). Fulvestrant (1 μg/mL), a competitive inhibitor of E2, completely inhibited antrum formation of OGCs that were cultured in medium containing either E2 (0.1 μg/mL) or androstenedione (0.1 μg/mL); however, increasing E2 to 1 μg/mL ameliorated the inhibitory effect. Conversely, in the case of early antral follicles, OGCs formed antrums without E2 supplementation. After E2 pretreatment, OGCs derived from PAFs formed antrums even when the OGCs were subsequently cultured in medium without E2. Furthermore, when OGCs derived from PAFs were cultured without E2 followed by an additional in vitro culture with E2, antrums were formed, albeit with the same period delay by the same pretreatment periods. In conclusion, E2 in the culture medium was indispensable for in vitro antrum formation of OGCs derived from PAFs; therefore, one of the roles of E2 is in the initiation of antrum formation.

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