2005 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 77-85
To establish a tool for the study of follicular growth and development, we xenotransplanted small pieces (approximately 1 mm3) of porcine ovarian cortical tissues containing only primordial follicles and small preantral follicles under the capsules of kidneys of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice (8-10 weeks old). The changes in cell proliferation and cell death/apoptosis, and vascularization in xenotransplanted follicles during follicular growth and development were analyzed histochemically at 1-26 weeks after operation. Follicles in grafted ovarian tissues grew rapidly forming an antral cavity (a hallmark of tertiary follicles) at 1 week after grafting. The diameter of the follicles in transplanted tissues ranged from 0.5 to 1.5 mm, from 0.5 to 2.0 mm and from 0.5 to 3.0 mm at 1, 2 and 26 weeks after the operation, respectively. Histological observation of ovarian tissues at 26 weeks after grafting revealed that all grafts had abundant capillary vessels, which invaded from murine organs and surrounded the growing follicles. Grafted small preantral follicles developed to the antral stages at 1 week after grafting and growing antral follicles survived at 26 weeks after grafting. The oocytes in the growing follicles were easily recovered for evaluating the quality. Our simple xenografting sysytem is easy to use and a good experimental tool for the study of folliclular growth and development in porcine ovaries.