The effects of proteolytic enzymes on in vitro ovulation in the rabbit

Yasunori Yoshimura, Rosemary Santulli, Susan J. Atlas, Shingo Fujii, Edward E. Wallach

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22 Scopus citations


The involvement of proteolytic enzymes in follicle rupture was assessed by use of the in vitro perfused rabbit ovary. Streptokinase (10 and 100 units/ml) induced ovulation in the absence of gonadotropin. Ovulation failed to occur in contralateral control ovaries. The time of ovulation in streptokinase- and human chorionic gonadotropin-treated ovaries was similar, but significantly more ova from streptokinase-treated ovaries were immature (p < 0.001). Other ovaries were pretreated with trans-4-(aminomethyl)cyclohexane-carboxylic acid, an inhibitor of the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, and then perfused with human chorionic gonadotropin (50 IU). Ovulatory efficiency was significantly reduced by trans-4-(aminomethyl)-cyclohexane-carboxylic acid at 10 or 1 mmol/L (p < 0.001), but ovum maturity was unaffected. Aprotinin (100 or 10 μg/ml), a potent inhibitor of plasmin, significantly inhibited human chorionic gonadotropin-induced ovulation (p < 0.001) but did not affect oocyte maturation. Scanning electron microscopy of detergent-treated streptokinase-perfused ovaries revealed loosening and decomposition of collagen in the tunica albuginea. These results suggest proteolytic enzyme involvement in follicle rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987


  • Perfused ovary
  • ovulation
  • proteolytic enzymes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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