Morphometric characteristics of preantral and antral follicles and expression of factors involved in folliculogenesis in ovaries of adult baboons (Papio anubis)
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Baboons are commonly utilized as an animal model for studies of human reproduction. However, folliculogenesis in this species has not been fully documented. The aim of this study was to assess follicle morphometry and expression of essential proteins involved in folliculogenesis in baboons.
Ovaries were recovered from four adult baboons and processed for histological evaluation and immunohistochemical analyses. Follicle proportion, follicle and oocyte diameter, theca layer thickness, number of granulosa cells, and follicle density were calculated. Immunohistochemical staining was also carried out for connexin 43 (Cx43), aromatase, and zona pellucida 3 (ZP3).
A total of 2221 follicles were counted and measured. Proportions of primordial, primary, secondary, small antral, and large antral follicles were 49, 26, 23, 1, and 1 %, respectively. The increase in follicle diameter was due not only to the increase in oocyte diameter but also to granulosa cell proliferation. Almost all antral follicles were positive for Cx43 (89.8 %), aromatase (84.8 %), and ZP3 (100 %). Most secondary follicles were positive for Cx43 (65 %) and ZP3 (64.5 %), and some primary follicles were positive only for Cx43. No primordial follicles stained positive in any of these immunohistochemical analyses. Only antral follicles showed aromatase activity.
On the basis of these results, we can conclude that folliculogenesis in baboons appears to be similar to that in humans, and this animal therefore constitutes a valuable model.
KeywordsBaboon Folliculogenesis Ovarian follicles Oocyte Granulosa cells Theca cells
The authors thank Mira Hryniuk for reviewing the English language of the manuscript and Dolores Gonzalez and Olivier Van Kerk for their technical assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The present study was supported by grants from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique de Belgique (grant 5/4/150/5 awarded to Marie-Madeleine Dolmans), the Fondation St Luc, and the Foundation Against Cancer, and donations from Mr Pietro Ferrero, Baron Albert Frère, and Viscount Philippe de Spoelberch.
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