Preliminary results of blood growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) measurement in cats: future aspects of GDF-9 on stage of the cycle and spaying history

Pol J Vet Sci. 2022 Mar;25(1):149-154. doi: 10.24425/pjvs.2022.140851.


Growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9), an oocyte-derived member of the TGF-β superfamily, plays an essential role in regulation of follicular development. This study aimed to determine the cyclic changes in serum GDF-9 concentration, compare its levels before and after ovariohysterectomy (OHE), and investigate its potential as a tool in ovarian remnant syndrome (ORS) diagnosis in cats. GDF-9 measurements were performed on 50 cats referred for routine OHE. The stage of the estrous cycle was determined by vaginal cytology and measurement of serum estradiol and progesterone levels was carried out to detect the cyclic changes in circulating GDF-9. One week after OHE, serum samples were collected again from 30 cats to reveal differences in GDF-9 levels. GDF-9 levels in the follicular phase were significantly higher than those in the interestrus (p⟨0.05). The postoperative analysis could be performed. GDF-9 levels slightly decreased one week after OHE (p=0.053). In conclusion, blood GDF-9 levels change during the estrous cycle, and may decrease with age in cats. However, further studies are needed to reveal the efficiency of GDF-9 in ORS diagnosis.

Keywords: cats; growth differentiation factor 9; ovarian cycle; ovary.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats / blood*
  • Cats / physiology
  • Cats / surgery*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrous Cycle
  • Female
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9 / blood*
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9 / genetics
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9 / physiology
  • Hysterectomy / veterinary*
  • Oocytes*
  • Ovariectomy / veterinary*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Vagina / cytology


  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol