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Effect of constant administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist on reproductive activity in mares: preliminary evidence on suppression of ovulation during the breeding season



Effect of constant administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist on reproductive activity in mares: preliminary evidence on suppression of ovulation during the breeding season



American Journal of Veterinary Research 54(10): 1746-1751



During the breeding season, the effect of constant administration of an agonist analog of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH; goserelin acetate) on reproductive activity of mares was determined. Twenty-four mares undergoing estrous cycles were allocated at random to 6 groups (n = 4/group) and, on May 29 (day 0), received no treatment (group 1, controls), 120 micrograms (group 2), 360 micrograms (group 3), 600 micrograms (group 4), or 1,200 micrograms (group 5) of GnRH agonist/d for 28 days via a depot implanted subcutaneously. The final group of mares (group 6) was treated with 120 miocrograms of GnRH agonist/d for 84 days (3 occasions at 28-day intervals). During a pretreatment period (April 19 to May 29) and for 90 days after initiation of GnRH agonist treatment, follicular development and ovulation were monitored by transrectal ultrasonography of the reproductive tract at 2- to 3-day intervals. On each occasion a blood sample was collected for determination of luteinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone. Estrous behavior was monitored by teasing of mares with a stallion. Initiation of agonist treatment was random, relative to the stage of the estrous cycle, and all mares ovulated within 11 days before or after implantation. in 3 of 4 nontreated control mares, estrous cycles were observed throughout the study, with interovulatory intervals ranging from 18 to 26 days. In the remaining mare, concentration of progesterone was high after asynchronous double ovulation during the pretreatment period, suggestive of persistent corpus luteum. In group-2 mares, ovulation occurred in all mares 7 days before and 2 days after initiation of treatment; however, the next anticipated ovulation was delayed in 3 of 4 mares (interovulatory interval, 33 to 70 days). Estrous cycles were not disrupted in the remaining mare. At higher doses (groups 3-5), 1 mare each from groups 3 and 5 ovulated between days 0 and 2 of treatment initiation, but faded to ovulate during the remainder of the study (anovulatory for > 88 days). Similarly, an additional 2 mares of groups 2 and 3 ovulated within 2 days of GnRH agonist treatment. A second ovulation occurred in these mares 32 to 35 days later, thereafter, both mares were anovulatory for the remainder of the study. In the remaining 8 mares, interovulatory intervals were either lengthened (n = 6 mares, range, 32 to 82 days) or were unaffected (n = 2) by treatment. One group-6 mare had a lengthened interovulatory interval, 1 was anovulatory for > 90 days, and the remaining 2 mares were unaffected by treatment. During the 28-day treatment period, serum concentration of LH decreased (P < 0.05) only in mares of groups 3-5. In group-6 mares, concentration of LH was unchanged during each 28-day period after depot GnRH agonist administration. Thus, constant administration of a GnRH agonist to mares during the breeding season disrupted their estrous cycles. Anovulation or lengthening of the interovulatory interval by GnRH agonist treatment was associated with persistence of a corpus luteum or an extended follicular phase.

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Accession: 002354274

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PMID: 8250402



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