Role of gonadotrophins and progesterone in the regulation of morphological remodelling and atresia in the monkey peri-ovulatory follicle

Charles L. Chaffin, Richard Stouffer

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    35 Scopus citations


    Peri-ovulatory progesterone plays an indispensable role in ovulation and luteinization, possibly by controlling tissue remodelling of the ovulatory follicle. This study was designed to evaluate gonadotrophin- versus progestin-mediated changes to the morphology of the follicle wall during luteinization. Ovaries were obtained from macaques undergoing ovarian stimulation either before (0 h) or up to 36 h following administration of an ovulatory human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) bolus with or without a 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitor and a non-metabolisable progestin. Morphological changes occurred within 12 h of HCG in the theca, and around 24 h in the granulosa layer and basement membrane. Steroid depletion resulted in follicles that did not luteinize during the 36 h interval, or alternatively, those that exhibited premature luteinization by 12 h post-HCG. Progestin replacement restored normal morphology, although the presence of antral blood suggested acceleration of normal tissue remodelling. A proportion of pre-ovulatory follicles became atretic after the HCG bolus, although progestin treatment reduced the percentage of atretic follicles. Ovarian stimulation resulted in the development of multiple pre-ovulatory follicles which are heterogeneous in their response to the HCG bolus and local progestin action. Nevertheless, this model supports both anti-atretic and pro-differentiative actions of progesterone in promoting follicular health and remodelling during the development of the corpus luteum.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2489-2495
    Number of pages7
    JournalHuman Reproduction
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2000



    • Atresia
    • Monkey
    • Morphology
    • Peri-ovulatory
    • Progesterone

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Reproductive Medicine

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