This study investigated the in vitro culture of bovine follicles included in ovarian tissue for 2 or 6 days (D2 or D6), with the addition of different concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (0, 10, 50, 100 or 200 ng/ml). Data were compared for follicular development, morphological integrity and diameter of follicles and oocytes. Ovaries (n = 10) from Nelore cows (n = 5) were divided into fragments (n = 11 per ovary) and were immediately fixed in Bouin’s solution (D0) or were individually cultured for 2 or 6 days in one of the described concentrations of FSH and then processed for histology. Compared with the rates of follicular development at D2 for minimal essential medium (MEM) (75.0%) and 50 ng/ml of FSH (71.1%), the best rates of follicular development at D2 were obtained with 10 (84.7%), 100 (87.5%) and 200 ng/ml of FSH (85.0%; P<0.05). After 6 days of cultivation, there were no differences among treatments regarding follicular growth. The morphological integrity of preantral follicles was better maintained by 100 ng/ml FSH for 2 and 6 days of cultivation (51.2 and 40.4%, respectively; P<0.05) than that for MEM (D2: 30.9%, D6: 20.8%), 10 (D2: 39.2%, D6: 22.8%), 50 (D2: 30.4%, D6: 28.8%) and 200 ng/ml FSH (D2: 45.2%, D6: 36.8%). FSH at 100 ng/ml provided the highest mean diameter averages: 34.5±10.8 µm at D2 and 33.2±12.5 µm at D6 (P<0.05). We concluded that the medium supplemented with 100 ng/ml FSH during in vitro culture provided appropriate conditions for the development and morphological integrity of preantral follicles in cattle.