Development and maintenance of a polycystic condition in ovaries autotransplanted under the kidney capsule



A single injection of estradiol valerate (EV) produces a polycystic ovarian (PCO) condition in the rat. The development of the PCO condition coincides with alterations in the endogenous plasma gonadotropin patterns, suggesting that PCO may be a response to abnormal gonadotropin stimultion. Other factors, however, such as direct autonomic innervation, also contribute significantly to the regulation of the ovary and could be important in generating and/or maintaining PCO. We have, therefore, removed and autotransplanted one ovary in each of eight rats under the capsule of the ipsilateral kidney, thus totally disrupting its innervation. The animals were injected with EV and both ovaries of each animal were examined 8 weeks later. In a second group of animals, we induced the PCO condition, autotransplanted one polycystic ovary in each animal under the kidney capsule, and examined the ovaries 2 weeks later. In both groups the autotransplanted ovaries exhibited the full range of polycystic morphology, as did the intact ovary in each animal. We conclude that since a major perturbation in innervation affects neither the development nor the maintenance of PCO, autonomic innervation does not play a crucial role in this disorder.