Abstract.Follicular growth is allowed by extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling and vascular network development. Since matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a crucial role in both of these processes, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression of gelatinases MMP2 and MMP9 in swine ovarian follicle (theca and granulosa compartments) during its development. Moreover, we measured gelatinase activities into follicular fluids (FF). Our data demonstrate for the first time that MMP2 and MMP9 are expressed in swine ovarian follicle both in theca and granulosa layers; moreover we show that the expression of both gelatinases increases in theca while decreases in granulosa during follicle growth. Additionally, MMP2 activity has been detected in FF. The spatial pattern of expression of gelatinases in swine follicle suggests a differential role during physiological ovarian events.
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