Short-term feed restriction decreases the systemic and intrafollicular concentrations of leptin and increases the vascularity of the preovulatory follicle in mares.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of short-term feed restriction on characteristics of the preovulatory follicle and on concentrations of systemic hormones (leptin, follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH], luteinizing hormone [LH]) and follicular fluid hormones and growth factors (leptin, estradiol, inhibin-A, activin-A, free insulin-like growth factor-1 [IGF1], insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 [IGFBP2], vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF]). Mares were submitted to a short-term (48 h) feed restriction when the expected ovulatory follicle was > or =27 mm (Hour 0) or served as controls (n=8/group). No effect of short-term feed restriction was detected for systemic concentrations of FSH and LH and for intrafollicular concentrations of estradiol, activin-A, free IGF1, and IGFBP2. Restricted mares had decreased systemic concentrations of leptin at Hour 24 (approached significance) and at Hours 36 and 48 (P<0.04). Follicular fluid of restricted mares at Hour 48 had lower (P<0.02) concentration of leptin and a tendency (P<0.1) for greater concentrations of inhibin-A and VEGF. The percentage of wall of the preovulatory follicle with color-Doppler signals of blood flow at Hour 48 was greater (P<0.04) in the restricted group. Intrafollicular concentration of leptin (combined groups) was positively correlated with score for body condition (r=+0.60; P<0.002) and negatively correlated with the percentage of the follicle wall with blood-flow signals (r=-0.60; P<0.02). Our favored interpretation is that the preovulatory follicle seems to compensate for a nutritional deficiency by increasing the blood flow in the follicle wall. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2009.11.032