Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is one of the main causes of reproductive failure in cattle and causes severe economic loss to the dairy farm industry because it increases both days open in the post partum period and replacement rates due to infertility. This disease is the consequence of the failure of a mature follicle to ovulate at the time of ovulation in the estrous cycle. This review examines the evidence for the role of altered steroid and gonadotropin signaling systems and the proliferation/apoptosis balance in the ovary with cystic structures. This evidence suggests that changes in the expression of ovarian molecular components associated with these cellular mechanisms could play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of COD. The evidence also shows that gonadotropin receptor expression in bovine cystic follicles is altered, which suggests that changes in the signaling system of gonadotropins could play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of conditions characterized by altered ovulation, such as COD. Ovaries from animals with COD exhibit a disrupted steroid receptor pattern with modifications in the expression of coregulatory proteins. These changes in the pathways of endocrine action would trigger the changes in proliferation and apoptosis underlying the aberrant persistence of follicular cysts.
Free Spanish abstract: A Spanish translation of this abstract is freely available at http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/149/6/R251/suppl/DC1.