Summary. LH was used to stimulate cAMP production in theca cells from the 5 largest preovulatory follicles of hens and this was related to LH-stimulated androstenedione production in the same cells. cAMP production was stimulated by LH to the same extent in theca cells from each follicle. However, LH was not effective in stimulating androstenedione production in theca cells from the largest follicle (T1), although androstenedione production was greatly increased by LH in the smaller follicles (T2–T5). Effects similar to those of LH on cAMP production were observed in response to forskolin, indicating that the intrinsic adenylate cyclase activity was similar in theca cells from each follicle. In addition, forskolin was unable to stimulate androstenedione production by T1 cells. Our results provide evidence that the levels of receptor-mediated and non-receptor-mediated cAMP production are similar in theca cells from the 5 largest follicles. We conclude that the step that restricts the ability of T1 cells to produce androgen is distal to cAMP generation.
Keywords: cAMP; theca; LH; follicular maturation; domestic hen
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