The oocytes found within the primordial follicles of mammalian ovaries remain quiescent for months to years until they receive the appropriate signals to undergo the primordial to primary follicle transition and initiate folliculogenesis. The molecular mechanisms and extracellular signaling factors that regulate this process remain to be fully elucidated. The current study investigates the mechanisms utilized by anti-Mllerian hormone (AMH; i.e. Mllerian inhibitory substance) to inhibit the primordial to primary follicle transition. Ovaries from 4-day-old rats were placed into organ culture and incubated in the absence or presence of AMH, either alone or in combination with known stimulators of follicle transition, including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), kit ligand (KITL), or keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). Following 10 days of culture, the ovaries were sectioned, stained, and morphologically evaluated to determine the percentage of primordial versus developing follicles. As previously demonstrated, AMH treatment decreased primordial to primary follicle transition. Interestingly, AMH inhibited the stimulatory actions of KITL, bFGF, and KGF. Therefore, AMH can inhibit the basal and stimulated development of primordial follicles. To investigate the mechanism of AMH actions, the influence AMH has on the ovarian transcriptome was analyzed. AMH treatment when compared with controls was found to alter the expression of 707 genes. The overall effect of AMH exposure is to decrease the expression of stimulatory factors, increase the expression of inhibitory factors, and regulate cellular pathways (e.g. transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway) that result in the inhibition of primordial follicle development. Analysis of the regulatory factors and cellular pathways altered by AMH provides a better understanding of the molecular control of primordial follicle development.