Relationship between LH receptor concentrations in thecal and granulosa cells and in-vivo and in-vitro steroid secretion by ovine follicles during the preovulatory period Academic Article uri icon


  • Ewes were ovariectomized before (Group 1, N=5) or after (Group 2, N=6) the peak of the preovulatory gonadotrophin surge. Ovarian secretion rates of oestradiol and testosterone were significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2. The presence of high levels of LH receptors in both thecal and granulosa cells was used to identify ovulatory from non-ovulatory follicles. There was a significant fall in the LH receptor concentration in the thecal and granulosa cells of ovulatory follicles after the peak of the preovulatory gonadotrophin surge. Ovulatory follicles in Group 1 produced significantly more oestradiol and testosterone in vitro than did those in Group 2. In both groups ovulatory follicles secreted significantly more oestradiol in vitro than did non-ovulatory follicles. Follicular fluid oestradiol concentrations were similar in pattern to the in-vitro oestradiol secretion activity in ovulatory and non-ovulatory follicles. However, follicular fluid testosterone concentrations were significantly higher in non-ovulatory follicles than in ovulatory follicles. Incubation of follicles with 250 ng testosterone/ml did not significantly alter the in-vitro oestradiol secretion rate in any of the groups of follicles except for Group 2 non-ovulatory follicles in which oestradiol accumulation increased. The number of thecal and granulosa cell LH receptors was significantly correlated with follicular fluid oestradiol concentrations in ovulatory follicles and with in-vitro oestradiol production by Group 1 ovulatory follicles. It is suggested that the fall in oestradiol secretion rates, which occurs after the peak of the preovulatory gonadotrophin surge, may be due to a decrease of aromatase activity associated with a fall in the concentration of LH receptors and is not due to a lack of the oestrogen precursor testosterone. The elevated concentration of testosterone and low oestradiol concentrations in non-ovulatory follicles compared with ovulatory follicles are probably due to an inactive aromatase system, perhaps associated with the lack of granulosa cell LH receptors.

author list (cited authors)

  • Webb, R., & England, B. G.

citation count

  • 28

publication date

  • September 1982


  • Animals
  • Castration
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Estradiol
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Ovarian Follicle
  • Ovulation
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Lh
  • Sheep
  • Testosterone
  • Theca Cells