The Role of Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) During Follicle Development in a Monovulatory Species (Sheep)

B. K. Campbell, M. Clinton, R. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knockout studies in mice have suggested that anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) modulates primordial follicle recruitment and the response of growing follicles to FSH. Little is known of the physiology of AMH in monovular species, despite intense clinical interest in this factor. Using sheep as a model, we sought to investigate the functional role of AMH in modulating follicle development in monovular species. In contrast to the rodent, the results indicate that AMH does not affect the rate of primordial follicle recruitment but appears to regulate the rate at which follicles progress through the gonadotropin-responsive phase, during which it is maximally expressed. Thus, knockdown of AMH bioactivity by active immunization lead to a decline in the population of gonadotropin-responsive preantral and small antral follicles (P <0.01) and increases in both the number of gonadotropin-dependent antral follicles (P <0.01) and ovulation rate (P <0.05). These in vivo findings were consistent with the results of other studies examining the pattern of expression of AMH, which was negatively correlated with aromatase (P <0.001), and in vitro supplementation experiments, which supported an inhibitory role for AMH in modulating the response of both theca and granulosa cells to LH and FSH, respectively. The elucidation of a functional relationship between AMH and LH-stimulated thecal androgen production may be significant in terms of the etiology of common forms of anovulatory infertility in women. Furthermore, the observed increase in both the number of recruitable antral follicles and ovulatory quota in response to AMH knockdown may have therapeutic value in women who respond poorly to ovarian stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4533-4543
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Early online date9 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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