Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365051

Research Project: Biophotonics - The Application of Novel Imaging Methodologies to Livestock Production Research

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: In vivo antral follicle wall biopsy: a new research technique to study ovarian function at the cellular and molecular levels

item ISHACK, GHASSAN - Southern Illinois University
item DUTRA, GABRIEL - Southern Illinois University
item GASTAL, GUSTAVO - Southern Illinois University
item GASTAL, MELBA - Southern Illinois University
item CAVINDER, CLAY - Mississippi State University
item FEUGANG, JEAN - Mississippi State University
item GASTAL, EDUARDO - Southern Illinois University

Submitted to: Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2018
Publication Date: 7/28/2018
Citation: Ishack, G., Dutra, G., Gastal, G., Gastal, M., Cavinder, C., Feugang, J., Gastal, E. 2018. In vivo antral follicle wall biopsy: a new research technique to study ovarian function at the cellular and molecular levels. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 16(71):1-12.

Interpretive Summary: In vivo studies involving molecular markers of the follicle wall associated with follicular fluid (FF) milieu are crucial for a better understanding of follicle dynamics. The inability to obtain in vivo samples of antral follicle wall (granulosa and theca cells) without jeopardizing ovarian function has restricted advancement in knowledge of folliculogenesis in several species. The purpose of this study in mares was to develop and validate a novel, minimally invasive in vivo technique for simultaneous collection of follicle wall biopsy (FWB) and FF samples, and repeated collection from the same individual, during different stages of antral follicle development. We hypothesized that the in vivo FWB technique provides samples that maintain the normal histological tissue structure of the follicle wall layers, offers sufficient material for various cellular and molecular techniques, and allows simultaneous retrieval of FF. Findings indicate that this in vivo technique developed in this study can be repeatedly and simultaneously used to provide sufficient FWB and FF samples for various cellular and molecular studies without jeopardizing the ovarian function, and has the potential to be translated to other species, including humans.

Technical Abstract: In Experiment 1 (ex vivo), each follicle was sampled using two techniques: biopsy forceps and scalpel blade (control). In Experiment 2 (in vivo), FWB and FF samples from 10-, 20-, and 30-mm follicles were repeatedly and simultaneously obtained through transvaginal ultrasound-guided technique. In Experiment 1, the thickness of granulosa, theca interna, and theca externa layers was not influenced (P > 0.05) by the harvesting techniques. In Experiment 2, the overall recovery rates of FWB and FF samples were 97 and 100%, respectively. However, the success rate of obtaining samples with all layers of the follicle wall and clear FF varied according to follicle size. The expression of luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) was mostly confined in the theca interna layer, with the estradiol-related receptor alpha (ERRa) in the granulosa and theca interna layers. The 30-mm follicle group had greater (P < 0.05) LHR expression in the theca interna and ERRa in the granulosa layer compared to the other groups. The overall expression of LHR and ERRa, and the intrafollicular estradiol were higher (P < 0.05 – P < 0.0001) in the 30-mm follicle group.