The time at which follicles acquire LHR in bovine granulosa cells is the subject of some controversy among researchers. The main objective of the present study was to assess the mRNA expression of LHR and LRBP (mRNA protein binding), a post-transcriptional suppressor of LHR mRNA expression, in granulosa cells from the two largest follicles around the expected time of follicle deviation in Nelore heifers. First, the interval between ovulation and follicle deviation in 20 Nelore heifers was determined (2.3 ± 0.2 days after ovulation). Ovulation was hormonally synchronized, and then, heifers were slaughtered on days 2, 2.5 and 3 after ovulation (before, during and after, respectively, the expected time of follicle deviation), and granulosa cells from the two largest follicles were collected. The mRNA abundance of an LHR fragment common to all isoforms (total LHR) and LRBP was assessed by real-time RT-PCR, and LHR alternative transcripts were assessed by semiquantitative RT-PCR followed by electrophoresis. LHR mRNA expression was not detected before the expected time of deviation. Total LHR mRNA abundance was greater in the largest follicle and increased from day 2.5 to 3. In contrast, LRBP mRNA was detected starting on day 2 and was more expressed in the second largest follicle on days 2.5 and 3. The present data suggest that the expression of LHR mRNA in bovine granulosa cells is established after follicle deviation and that the lower abundance of LRBP mRNA after the expected time of deviation may contribute to greater expression of LHR in the bovine dominant follicle.