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Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is one of the main causes of infertility in dairy cattle. It has been shown that intra-ovarian factors, such as members of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system, may contribute to follicular persistence. The bioavailability of IGF to initiate its response by binding to specific receptors (IGFRs) depends on interactions with related compounds, such as pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A). The aim of this study was to determine IGFR1 and PAPP-A expression both in follicles at different stages of development and in cysts, to evaluate the roles in the etiopathogenesis of COD in cattle. The mRNA expression of PAPP-A was higher in granulosa cells of large tertiary follicles than in cysts, whereas the protein PAPP-A present in the follicular fluid from these follicles showed no differences. Although no PAPP-A mRNA expression was detected in smaller tertiary follicles, in their follicular fluid, this protease was detected in lesser concentration than in cysts. The mRNA expression of IGFR1 was lower in granulosa cells from cystic follicles than in those from tertiary ones. However, the protein expression of this receptor presented the highest levels in cystic structures, probably to increase the possibility of IGF response. The data obtained would indicate that animals with COD have an altered regulation of the IGF system in the ovary, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease in cattle.