Metabolite and Ionic Composition of Follicular Fluid From Different-Sized Follicles and Their Relationship to Serum Concentrations in Dairy Cows

Anim Reprod Sci. 2004 Feb;80(3-4):201-11. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4320(03)00173-8.


Metabolic changes in blood serum may be reflected in the biochemical composition of follicular fluid and could indirectly influence oocyte quality. The purpose of this study was to examine the biochemical composition of follicular fluid harvested from different-sized follicles and its relationship with that of blood serum in dairy cattle. Following slaughter, blood samples were collected from dairy cows n=30 and follicular fluid aspirated from three size classes of non-atretic follicles (<4 mm, 6-8 mm and >10 mm diameter). Samples remained independent between cows and between size classes within cows. Serum and follicular fluid samples were assayed using commercial clinical and photometric chemistry assays for ions (sodium, potassium and chloride) and metabolites (glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB), lactate, urea, total protein, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and total cholesterol). Results showed that follicular fluid concentrations of glucose, beta-OHB and total cholesterol increased from small to large follicles and decreased for potassium, chloride, lactate, urea and triglycerides. There was a significant concentration gradient for all variables between their levels in serum and follicular fluid (P<0.05). Significant correlations were observed for chloride (r=0.40), glucose (r=0.56), beta-OHB (r=0.85), urea (r=0.95) and total protein (r=0.60) for all three follicle size classes and for triglycerides (r=0.43), NEFA (r=0.50) and total cholesterol (r=0.42) for large follicles (P<0.05). The results from the present study suggest that the oocyte and the granulosa cells of dairy cows grow and mature in a biochemical environment that changes from small to large follicles. Furthermore, the significant correlation between the composition of serum and follicular fluid for the above-mentioned metabolites suggests that metabolic changes in serum levels will be reflected in the follicular fluid and, therefore, may affect the quality of both the oocyte and the granulosa cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid / analysis
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid / blood
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Cattle / blood*
  • Cattle / metabolism
  • Chlorides / analysis
  • Chlorides / blood
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Follicular Fluid / chemistry*
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Lactic Acid / analysis
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Ovarian Follicle / anatomy & histology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / metabolism
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Potassium / blood
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Sodium / analysis
  • Sodium / blood
  • Triglycerides / analysis
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Urea / analysis
  • Urea / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Proteins
  • Chlorides
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Proteins
  • Triglycerides
  • Lactic Acid
  • Urea
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Glucose
  • Potassium
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid