Effect of Follicle Size on In Vitro Maturation of Pre-Pubertal Porcine Cumulus Oocyte Complexes.
Follicular growth rates were determined by histological examination of ovaries of five prepubertal gilts following treatment with the stathmokinetic agent colchicine. One ovary from each of five gilts was removed surgically and then colchicine (n = 3) or saline (n = 2) was infused i.v. Precisely 2 h after treatment with colchicine, the remaining ovary was removed. Ovaries were processed for histological analyses and sectioned at 10 microns; every twentieth section was stained with hematoxylin and periodic acid-Schiffe's. Sections were viewed with a projection microscope and individual follicles were measured. Eight classes of follicles were established such that the number of granulosa cells per cross section doubled in each class. Diameters of follicles for each class were as follows: 1) less than 106 microns, 2) 106-148 microns, 3) 148-206 microns, 4) 206-287 microns, 5) 287-400 microns, 6) 400-657 microns, 7) 657-1480 microns, and 8) 1480-3130 microns. A layer of thecal cells was first seen in class 2 follicles, and 76% of class 3 follicles had a thecal layer. Oocyte diameter increased through the first four classes and reached a maximum diameter of approximately 110 microns. Almost all follicles greater than 400 microns had an antrum. Preantral follicles had a lower mitotic index and a higher mitotic time and class time than antral follicles. Growth rate increased with increasing size of follicles. Preantral follicles grew at a rate of 5.2 microns/day whereas antral follicles grew at 313 microns/day.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)