Chemical Characteristics of Follicular Glycosaminoglycans

  • M. E. Bellin
  • R. L. Ax
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 219)


As follicles mature, they shift from follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to luteinizing hormone (LH) dependence and atretic follicles generally exhibit reduced capacity to bind gonadotropins (Nimrod et al., 1977; Erickson et al., 1979; Amsterdam et al., 1981). In vitro assays revealed that binding of gonadotropins to rat granulosa could be inhibited by addition of bovine follicular fluid (FF). Fluid from small follicles was more effective than large follicles at inhibiting that binding (Amsterdam et al., 1979). The glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) chondroitin sulfate and heparin effectively inhibited hormonal stimulation of adenylyl cyclase in a dose-dependent manner in fragmented granulosa cell preparations (Salomon et al., 1978; Nimrod and Linder, 1980). Dermatan sulfate (DS), also referred to as chondroitin sulfate-B, and heparan sulfate (HS) are the predominant GAGs found in follicular fluid and secreted by granulosa cells in vitro (Ax et al., 1985). Heparin is structurally similar to HS except it possesses a unique oligosaccharide sequence which provides its characteristic anticoagulant activity (Lindahl et al., 1977). Concentrations of FF, DS and HS decreased with follicular enlargement and were significantly elevated in atretic follicles regardless of follicle size in the bovine (Grimek et al., 1984; Bellin and Ax, 1984; Bushmeyer et al., 1985). Therefore, changes in concentrations of GAGs in FF contrast patterns for gonadotropin binding to granulosa. The purpose of this study was to examine the chemical characteristics as well as the concentrations of follicular fluid GAGs isolated from follicles at different stages of maturation.


Granulosa Cell Heparan Sulfate Chondroitin Sulfate Follicular Fluid Amino Sugar 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Bellin
    • 1
  • R. L. Ax
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dairy ScienceUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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