Cytokines such as VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and ILs (interleukins) are involved in follicular development in the mammalian ovary. The aim of the present study is to examine the transcripts of IL-8 and -1 that differ during follicular development; the relationships between IL-8, IL-1 and VEGF in theca cells is still unknown. We first examined the gene expression of IL-8, IL-1β and their respective receptors, CXCR1 and IL-1R1 in the theca cells of PRF (preselection) and POF (postselection follicles) from the bovine ovary. Expression of IL-8 and CXCR1 genes were observed in POF, whereas expression of IL-1β and IL-1R1 genes was observed in both follicles. Secondly, we examined the effects of VEGF on the expression of IL-8, IL-1β and their receptors genes in cultured bovine theca cells. mRNA expression was quantified by using real-time PCR methods. VEGF stimulates the expression of IL-8 and CXCR1 mRNA. However, VEGF down-regulates the expression of CXCR2 mRNA during the culture period. Expression of IL-1β and -1R1 mRNA was induced in the cultured theca cells at 48 h. Our data demonstrate that VEGF stimulated the expression of the IL-8 and CXCR1 genes and that CXCR2 expression was suppressed by VEGF, suggesting a follicle stage-dependent expression pattern for the IL-8 system. Furthermore, our results suggest that the transcription system for CXCR genes may have different pathways of VEGF stimulation in bovine theca cells. Taken together, our data suggested that VEGF is associated with the IL system in theca cells in bovine ovary.