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Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been implicated in the regulation of ovarian follicular development and are promising candidates to apply in IVM and IVF protocols. We investigated the expression of BMP2, BMP4 and BMP receptors in bovine ovaries and the effects of BMP2 and BMP4 during oocyte maturation on bovine IVM. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction studies with antral follicles showed the expression of BMPR-IA, BMPR-IB, ActR-IA, ActR-IIB, BMPR-II and BMP4 mRNA in all follicular compartments, while BMP2 mRNA was generally restricted to theca and cumulus tissue. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of BMPR-II in oocytes and granulosa cells of preantral follicles but only in oocytes of antral follicles. The immunostaining of BMP2 and BMP4 was limited to theca interna and approximately 25% of oocytes of antral follicles. Exogenously added BMP2 or BMP4 to IVM medium did not affect oocyte nuclear maturation, cumulus cell expansion, nor blastocyst formation following IVF. It is concluded that a BMP-signaling system, consisting of BMP2, BMP4, type II and I receptors, is present in bovine antral follicles and that this system plays a role in development and functioning of these follicles rather than in final oocyte maturation and cumulus expansion.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





872 - 889


Animals, Apoptosis, Base Sequence, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4, Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I, Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, Cattle, Cell Nucleus, Cells, Cultured, DNA, Complementary, Embryonic Development, Female, Fertilization in Vitro, Gene Expression, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Nick-End Labeling, Molecular Sequence Data, Oocytes, Ovarian Follicle, Ovary, Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, Growth Factor, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Signal Transduction, Transforming Growth Factor beta