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.

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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