Author(s): Armstrong DG, Webb R
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Abstract Folliculogenesis is associated with the development of a group of follicles at various stages of maturation from which a species-specific number of follicles are selected for continued growth. These selected follicles, after being exposed to the requisite hormonal environment, ovulate in response to the preovulatory gonadotrophin surge. Follicular dominance is the mechanism by which the selected follicle(s) undergoes rapid development in an environment where growth and development of other follicles, recruited at a similar time, are suppressed. These processes are controlled by the interaction of endocrine signals and locally produced ovarian growth factors. The response of the two major follicular cell types, granulosa and theca cells, to gonadotrophins is regulated by the local production of growth factors. Mechanisms controlling growth factor action occupy a central role in the regulation of folliculogenesis. In this review, we highlight the influence of the extracellular matrix in this process by describing its involvement in regulating the activity of components of the insulin-like growth factor system, transforming growth factor beta superfamily, fibroblast growth factors and the epidermal growth factor/transforming growth factor alpha family. In addition, some recent studies on the role of protein factors produced by the dominant follicle in maintaining dominance and inhibiting the growth of subordinate follicles are described.
This article was published in Rev Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science