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  • Author: Melba O Gastal x
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Open access

Shah T Bashir, Angela R Baerwald, Melba O Gastal, Roger A Pierson, and Eduardo L Gastal

Growth patterns and associated endocrine profiles were compared between dominant anovulatory (ADF) and ovulatory follicles (OvF) developing from different waves within and between menstrual cycles in women. Follicular mapping profiles of 49 healthy women of reproductive age and blood samples were obtained every 1–3 days. Sixty-three dominant follicles were classified into wave 1 (W1ADF; n = 8) and wave 2 (W2ADF; n = 6) anovulatory follicles and wave 2 (W2OvF; n = 33) and wave 3 (W3OvF; n = 16) ovulatory follicles. Comparisons were made between W1ADF and W2ADF, W2ADF and W2OvF, and W2OvF and W3OvF. The waves were numbered 1, 2, or 3 based on when the waves emerged relative to the preceding ovulation. W1ADF emerged closer to the preceding ovulation, and W2ADF emerged in the late luteal or early follicular phase. The interval from emergence to maximum diameter was shorter for W2ADF than W1ADF and for W3OvF than W2OvF. Selection of W3OvF occurred at a smaller diameter compared to W2OvF. W1ADF regressed at a faster rate than W2ADF. Also, W1ADF were associated with lower mean FSH and higher mean estradiol than W2ADF. In contrast, W3OvF were associated with higher FSH and LH compared to W2OvF. However, W2OvF were associated with higher progesterone than W3OvF. This study contributes to the understanding of the physiologic mechanisms underlying selection of the dominant follicle, ovulation, and pathophysiology of anovulation in women, as well as optimization of ovarian stimulation protocols for assisted reproduction.

Open access

Kendall A Hyde, Francisco L N Aguiar, Benner G Alves, Kele A Alves, Gustavo D A Gastal, Melba O Gastal, and Eduardo L Gastal

Characterization of the ovarian preantral follicle population is a necessary step to improve understanding of folliculogenesis and ovarian physiology. Therefore, in the present study, the preantral follicle population in the equine ovary in young and old mares was investigated according to follicular morphology, follicular class, distance from the geometric center using ovarian maps, and follicular density within ovarian portions (lateral vs intermediary) and regions (dorsal vs ventral). Ovaries were collected from an abattoir and histologically processed for evaluation, and the follicle population was calculated. Overall, in the current detailed study, a higher preantral follicle population per mare ovary (mean: 82,206 ± 50,022; range: 1477 to 773,091) than originally reported was identified. Additionally, a mare age effect was observed in the follicle population (young: 152,664 vs old: 11,750) and the spatial distribution of morphologically normal and abnormal follicles and the density and population of follicular classes. These results demonstrate that, in addition to the preantral follicle population in the mare ovary being comparable to that of other species, the location and spatial distribution of these follicles is dynamic and varies depending on mare age and follicle status (i.e. morphology and developmental stage). The characterization of the distribution and population of preantral follicles in the mare ovary provided by this study can potentially aid in improving reproductive studies and assisted reproductive techniques and may expand the understanding of mechanisms involving ovarian plasticity and follicular migration.

Lay summary

Knowledge of the distribution and population of immature eggs within follicles (preantral follicles) in the ovaries of mares can improve approaches to assisted reproductive techniques and fertility preservation. As the existing research on horse preantral follicle population was focused solely on large follicles, the present study provides an updated investigation of small and large preantral follicles in the mare, showing that the population is similar to those in other species. This study also shows that the way these follicles are distributed in the ovary varies depending on age and follicle characteristics. Results from this study may help to highlight which areas of the mare ovary should be looked at to find samples of good-quality follicles.