Ovulation and conversion of the follicle into the corpus luteum involve remarkable changes in vascular permeability and neovascularization of the luteinizing granulosa layer. To evaluate the importance of these vascular events in follicle rupture and luteal development, sequential experiments were designed in which vehicle or angiogenic inhibitors (TNP-470 or statin) were injected directly into the preovulatory follicle of rhesus monkeys during spontaneous menstrual cycles. After control injections, 13 of 14 animals exhibited serum levels of progesterone (P) during the subsequent luteal phase that were comparable to untreated animals in our colony. Following low-dose (400 pg/mL) TNP-470, serum P levels increased normally until d 8 of the luteal phase, but then declined prematurely by d 9 (p < 0.05 compared to controls) and remained below controls until menses. Following high-dose (2 μg/mL) TNP-470, serum P levels were diminished in the early luteal phase (d 3-5; p < 0.05 compared to controls), but reached typical levels at mid luteal phase, only to decline prematurely by d 9 (p < 0.05) and remain low until menses. Control ovaries displayed indices of follicle rupture (protruding stigmata) and luteinization. TNP-470-treated ovaries exhibited signs of distension (torn surface epithelium/tunica albuginea) and luteinization; however, a well-formed stigmata was not observed. A "trapped" oocyte was not observed in serial sections of developing corpora lutea from control or TNP-470-treated animals. However, the early corpus luteum of TNP-470-injected ovaries contained pockets of excessive numbers of blood cells that were absent in controls. Angiostatin did not alter serum P levels or ovarian morphology compared to controls. These data suggest that acute exposure to the antiangiogenic agent TNP-470 impairs the development and functional capacity of the primate corpus luteum in a dose-dependent manner. The results are consistent with a critical role for angiogenesis in cyclic ovarian function in primates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism