Follicular development from ovarian xenografts in SCID mice

in Reproduction

Cortical slices of either cat or sheep ovaries were grafted under the renal capsules of ovariectomized SCID mice. The grafts became vascularized and were still surviving with large follicles present at autopsy up to nine months later. As developing follicles undergo atresia during the period of ischaemia after ovarian grafting, those found in long-term grafts at autopsy had presumably started to grow from the primordial stage after transplantation. Some follicles had reached a diameter of 3 mm with a normal antrum and appeared to be cytologically normal, but the latent period for the emergence of antral follicles was shorter in cat compared with sheep grafts. Oestradiol production from grafts, as indicated by vaginal cornification and plasma measurements collected at autopsy, was not constant and circulating concentrations varied among animals, and were sometimes far in excess of the normal physiological range of the host. The vaginal smears never presented cytological patterns like those of the normal mouse oestrous cycle, and ovulation had not occurred in any of the grafts. These results demonstrate that ovarian xenografts in SCID mice can serve as experimental models for investigating follicle development in species in which follicle growth in vitro and studies of the parent animal are impracticable.


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Society for Reproduction and Fertility

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