Localization of relaxin in the pig follicle during preovulatory development.

C. A. Bagnell, L. B. Frando, B. R. Downey, B. K. Tsang, L. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase method and antisera to purified porcine relaxin were used to localize relaxin in sections of follicles from pregnant mare's serum gonadotropin (PMSG)/human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-primed pigs during preovulatory development. Prepubertal pigs were treated i.m. with PMSG (750 IU) and 72 h later with hCG (500 IU) to induce follicular development and ovulation. Follicles were collected from untreated gilts or from gilts 24, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, or 108 h after PMSG treatment. Light immunostaining in the theca interna was observed early in follicular development, at 48 and 60 h post-PMSG. At 72 h post-PMSG, relaxin immunostaining in the theca interna of the preovulatory follicle was more intense. After hCG treatment, the intense thecal immunostaining persisted and was apparent 84 and 96 h after PMSG. At about 6 h prior to expected ovulation (108 h post-PMSG), there was thinning of the follicle wall and a reduction in relaxin immunostaining in the theca interna. Immunoactive relaxin was not detected in follicles from untreated gilts, follicles 24 h post-PMSG, small healthy or atretic follicles, or in granulosa cells, theca externa or ovarian stroma, at any of the time points studied. These studies support the hypothesis that the theca interna is the primary source of follicular relaxin and provide further evidence for a paracrine role for relaxin in the ovulatory process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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