In mammals, the mechanisms triggering initiation of follicular growth remain largely unknown. The present study constitutes an attempt to relate morphological and functional changes occuring in follicles at the time of transition from the nongrowing to the early growing stage. The population of very small follicles, including both nongrowing and early growing follicles, has been studied in fetal and adult monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Counts of these follicles and immunohistochemical analyses of their content in various intraovarian peptides led to the conclusion that initiation is probably not similar, on a quantitative as well as a qualitative point of view, in the fetal and in the adult ovary. In addition to the recently evidenced stimulatory role of the stem cell factor (SCF) in rats, activation of a nongrowing follicle might imply an arrest in the production of inhibiting factors, such as the transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2), occuring simultaneously with the production of stimulatory factors, such as the transforming growth factor-alpha (TGFα). (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- C-kit receptor
- Epidermal growth factor system
- Growth differentiation factor 9
- Monkey ovary (fetus, adult)
- Primordial follicles
- Stem cell factor
- Transforming growth factor-βs