Role of midcycle fsh surge in follicular development

Vaclav Insler, Dita Kleinman, Uriel Sod-Moriah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The present study was undertaken to examine the importance of the proestrous surge of FSH for follicular development during the following cycles in the rat. The midcycle FSH surges were blocked in several consecutive cycles (1-5) by injecting proestrous rats with pentobarbital. The rats were sacrificed on the day of proestrus following the appropriate number of blocked FSH surges and their ovaries were removed for either direct measurements or for histological workout. The number and diameter of follicles were determined in the excised ovaries. Two or three cycles of barbiturate treatment reduced the number and diameter of the follicles. No large follicles (> 0.4 mm) were observed in the ovaries of rats in which four or five gonadotropin surges were blocked. A repeat experiment with concomitant supplementary hCG administration yielded the same results. Addition of exogenous FSH canceled the effect of pentobarbital. The cohort observed on ovaries after four cycles of treatment with pentobarbital and FSH resembled that observed in control rats. Histological measurements supported the results obtained with fresh ovaries. It is therefore suggested that in the third cycle preceding the ovulatory one, the midcycle FSH surge determines which follicles will be able to adequately develop in the following three cycles. In the cycle preceding the ovulatory one, the midcycle FSH peak ‘rescues’ a group of follicles and prepares them for a proper response to the FSH elevation taking place at the beginning of the subsequent ovulatory cycle. This process allows the selection of the dominant follicles which will respond by ovulation to the ensuing LH peak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic and Obstetric Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990


  • Follicular development
  • Follicular size
  • Midcycle FSH surge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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