Background: Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) inhibits the initiation of the development and early growth of mouse ovarian follicles. Furthermore, the ovarian follicle pool diminishes prematurely in AMH-knockout mice. In this study, we examined whether AMH plays a similar role in humans, controlling ovarian follicle growth. Methods: Human ovarian cortical tissue biopsy specimens were cut into small pieces and cultured for 7 days in medium containing rat recombinant AMH at 0, 10, 30 or 100 ng/ml. The developmental stages and viability of the follicles were evaluated from histological sections. Results: Similar to previous studies, significant initiation of follicle growth was observed in almost all culture media, as demonstrated by a significantly smaller proportion of primordial follicles (14-26%) compared with non-cultured control tissue (56%). The exception was tissue in medium supplemented with AMH at 100 ng/ml. Here, the proportion of primordial follicles was not significantly different from that in non-cultured tissue; furthermore, it was significantly greater than that in vehicle control cultures and cultures containing AMH at 10 ng/ml, indicating the inhibition of growth initiation. Viability was unaffected by the presence of AMH when compared with tissues in control media. Conclusions: Recombinant AMH at a concentration of 100 ng/ml has an inhibitory effect on early human ovarian follicular development in vitro, suppressing the initiation of primordial follicle growth.

AMH, In vitro culture, Ovarian follicles, Ovary,
Human Reproduction
Department of Internal Medicine

Carlsson, I.B, Scott, J.E, Visser, J.A, Ritvos, O, Themmen, A.P.N, & Hovatta, O. (2006). Anti-Müllerian hormone inhibits initiation of growth of human primordial ovarian follicles in vitro. Human Reproduction, 21(9), 2223–2227. doi:10.1093/humrep/del165