Modulation of microvascular permeability in the preovulatory rat ovary by an ovulatory gonadotropin stimulus

Preovulatory gonadotropin stimulation induces changes in ovarian permeability, with an increase in the radii of the small and large pores and a threefold increase in the large pore fraction of the hydraulic conductance.


Kenrokuro Mitsube M.D., Ph.D., Mats Brännström M.D., Ph.D., Börje Haraldsson M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 903-909, 1 March 2013



To characterize the size-selectivity of the rat ovarian vasculature and its changes after gonadotropin induction of ovulation.


Experimental study.


Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.


Immature, female Sprague-Dawley rats.


Rats were pretreated with equine chorionic gonadotropin and ovaries were retrieved either 48h later or at any of several time points during ovulation induced by hCG. FITC-labeled Ficoll was injected 10min before ovarian sampling and the distribution of Ficoll was measured in plasma and ovarian extracts.


The Ficoll data was analyzed according to a two-pore model two acquire information on small (rS) and large (rL) pore radius as well as the number of large pores reflected by the large pore fraction of the hydraulic conductance (LpS%) at each periovulatory time interval.


Prior to hCG, (rS) and (rL) were 54.7 ± 1.2Å (mean ± SEM) and 149.3 ± 5.3Å, respectively. At this preovulatory stage (LpS%) was 7.1 ± 3.2%. Stimulation with hCG caused close to a 3-fold increase in LpS% at 2h and 4h (20.9 ± 1.8% and 20.7 ± 2.5%, respectively) and approximately 15 % enlargements of rS and rL. Thus, the change in LpS% represents a dramatic increase in the number of large pores, and not increased size of pre-existing large pores, since the small and large pore radii changed in parallel.


These results indicate that capillary permeability of the ovarian blood follicle barrier is modulated by gonadotropin, mainly through increased numbers of large pores, similar to a classical inflammatory response.

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