Immunohistochemical Expression of Growth Factors in the Follicular Wall of Normal and Cystic Ovaries of Sows

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The expression of growth factors was evaluated immunohistochemically in normal and cystic ovaries of sows. The immunohistochemically stained area (IHCSA) was quantified by image analysis to analyse the expression of these proteins in the follicular wall of secondary, tertiary and cystic follicles. IGF-I immunoreactivity was strong in the granulosa cell layer (GC), moderate in the theca interna (TI) and mild in the theca externa (TE) of the normal follicles. There was severe reduction of the labelling to IGF-I in the GC of the follicular and luteinized cysts. In the normal follicles, the reactivity for IGF-II was very similar to pattern noted in IGF-I. There was reduction of the IHCSAs in the GC of the follicular and luteinized cysts, but the decrease was not significant. The staining of the IGF-II in the TI and TE of the cysts was increased, in comparison with normal follicles. The IHCSAs for VEGF were higher in the GC and TE of the normal follicles in contrast to TI, but this difference was noted only in the tertiary follicle. The VEGF reactivity increased in the GC of the cysts, in relation to normal follicles. The results of the current study show that the formation of ovarian cysts in sows is associated with alterations in the immunohistochemical expression of some growth factors.

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