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Rodler, Daniela (2016): Localization of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 in the Ovary of the Ostrich (Struthio camelus). In: Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, Vol. 45, No. 6: pp. 428-436
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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) play a paramount role in the regulation of normal and pathologic angiogenesis in the ovary of mammals. Very little is known on the expression of these two growth factors in the avian ovary. The aim of this study was to determine for the first time the localization of VEGF and FGF-2 in the ovary of the ostrich using immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the vascularization of the rapidly growing huge ostrich oocyte. At the oocyte periphery, distinct VEGF-positive granules are visible. In our opinion, the expression of VEGF in the growing oocytes, which does not occur in mammals such as bovines, does not significantly contribute to angiogenesis in the theca interna and externa, where all the original and developing vessels are located, but may contribute to the mitoses and survival of granulosa cells during folliculogenesis. A different immunostaining can be demonstrated for FGF-2: from late pre-vitellogenic follicles, FGF-2 immunopositivity can be observed at the inner perivitelline layer area. In the stroma, the smooth muscle cells of small arteries and the endothelial cells of venules and veins are positively stained for FGF-2. Another interesting finding of this study is the occurrence of a significant number of VEGF- and FGF-2 positive heterophilic granulocytes within the ovarian stroma, which migrate from the periphery of the ovary towards the growing follicles. We assume that the growth factors of the heterophilic granulocytes contribute significantly to the angiogenesis seen in both theca layers.