Androgen receptor and follicle-stimulating hormone receptor in the pig ovary during the follicular phase of the estrous cycle

H. Cárdenas*, W. F. Pope

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is an important regulator of follicular development. Some effects of FSH on ovarian follicles might be enhanced by androgens. The main objectives of the present study were to examine expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and FSH receptor (FSHR) in late developing follicles in pigs. Ovaries were collected from gilts on days 13, 15, 17, and 19 of the estrous cycle (day 0 = first day of estrus, n = 4 gilts/day), a period coincident with the follicular phase. One ovary was processed for immunohistochemistry (IHC) of AR. Samples of surface wall from the largest follicles (4-5 per gilt) were dissected from the other ovary, pooled and processed for determination of AR and FSHR mRNAs using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Intense AR immunostaining was present in nuclei of granulosa cells of preantral and antral follicles. AR immunoreactivity was also present in the nuclei of oocytes. Weak staining for AR was observed in cells of the theca interna, ovarian surface epithelium, and in most cells of the ovarian stroma. Relative amounts of immunoreactive AR in granulosa cells of late developing follicles, or small antral follicles (< 2 mm), did not differ between days 13, 15, 17, and 19. However, amounts of AR in granulosa cells of small antral follicles was greater (P < 0.05) than in the largest follicles present in the same ovary. The relative amounts of AR mRNA in tissue from the largest follicles on days 13, 15, 17, and 19 did not differ; however, amounts of FSHR mRNA in the same follicles were not different between days 13, 15, and 17, but decreased (P < 0.05) by day 19. Results indicate that during the follicular phase in gilts, the AR protein is mainly present in granulosa cells. Relative amounts of AR protein in granulosa cells and mRNA in walls of late developing follicles did not significantly change from day 13 to 19; however, amounts of FSHR mRNA decreased in pre-ovulatory follicles by day 19 of the estrous cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 9 2002


  • Androgen receptor
  • FSH receptor
  • Follicular phase
  • Ovary
  • Pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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