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Levels of BMP-6 mRNA in goat ovarian follicles and in vitro effects of BMP-6 on secondary follicle development

  • Isana M.A. Frota (a1), Cintia C.F. Leitão (a1), José J.N. Costa (a1), Robert van den Hurk (a2), Márcia V.A. Saraiva (a3), José R. Figueiredo (a3) and José R.V. Silva (a4)...


Expression of BMP-6 mRNA was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the BMP-6 protein was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in the primordial, primary, secondary, small and large antral follicles of goat. Furthermore, the influence of BMP-6 on increase in diameter, antrum formation and expression of BMP-6 and FSH-R in in vitro cultured secondary follicles was studied. Therefore, goat primordial, primary and secondary follicles, as well as small and large antral follicles were obtained and the mRNA levels of BMP-6 were quantified by PCR in real time. Expression of BMP-6 protein in goat follicles was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. The influence of BMP-6 in the presence or absence of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on both the development of secondary follicles and the expression of mRNA for BMP-6 and FSH-R was evaluated after 6 days of culture. Furthermore, the follicular diameter and the formation of the antrum were evaluated before and after 6 days of culture and compared by Kruskal–Wallis and chi-squared tests (P < 0.05), respectively. The results show that the level of mRNA for BMP-6 in primary and secondary follicles was significantly higher than in the primordial follicles (P < 0.05). Similar levels of BMP-6 mRNA were observed in cumulus–oocyte complexes and mural granulosa/theca cells from small and large antral follicles, respectively. BMP-6 protein was expressed in oocytes of all categories of follicles and in granulosa cells from secondary follicles onwards. Addition of BMP-6 to the culture medium increased the diameter of secondary follicles mainly by antrum formation after 6 days’ culture, in the presence or absence of FSH (P < 0.05). Furthermore, addition of FSH resulted in increased levels of BMP-6 mRNA in these follicles (P < 0.05). Simultaneous administration of FSH and BMP-6 enhanced the levels of FSH receptor (FSH-R) mRNA (P < 0.05). It is concluded that BMP-6 mRNA is increased during transition from primordial to primary/secondary follicles in the goat ovaries and that BMP-6 enhances the growth of cultured secondary follicles.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: J.R.V. Silva. Biotechnology Nucleus of Sobral – NUBIS, Federal University of Ceara, Rua Comandante Maurocélio Rocha Pontes 100, CEP 62042–280, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Tel:/Fax: +55 88 36132603. e-mail:


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Levels of BMP-6 mRNA in goat ovarian follicles and in vitro effects of BMP-6 on secondary follicle development

  • Isana M.A. Frota (a1), Cintia C.F. Leitão (a1), José J.N. Costa (a1), Robert van den Hurk (a2), Márcia V.A. Saraiva (a3), José R. Figueiredo (a3) and José R.V. Silva (a4)...


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