The effect of exogenous gonadotropins on ovarian function in goats actively immunized against inhibin
Holtz, W., Wang, X., El-Gayar, M. and Knight, P.G. (2012) The effect of exogenous gonadotropins on ovarian function in goats actively immunized against inhibin. Theriogenology, 77 (12). pp. 253-259. ISSN 0093-691X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2011.07.037
The aim of this investigation was to compare the ovarian response to superovulatory treatments in does before and after inhibin immunization, with a view to optimizing the superovulatory potential of the caprine ovary. To avoid interference by the ovarian cycle, the experiment was conducted out-of-season. At the onset of the experiment 48 does were subjected to treatment with an sc implant of the progestogen norgestomet, combined with a gonadotropin; eight does each received a single injection of 1200 IU eCG, 400 IU eCG or 2 mL physiological saline (control) or six injections (at 12 h intervals) constituting 16 or 5.4 AU pFSH. The does were mated and subjected to embryo collection 6 to 7 d later. Throughout the experiment ovarian function (by ultrasonography) and plasma levels of inhibin antibodies and progesterone were monitored. Of 40 does treated during the first part of the experiment, 48% showed estrus. The ovarian response in does treated with a high or low dose of eCG or a low dose of pFSH was barely in excess of the ovarian response in the saline-treated controls, whereas a superovulatory dose of pFSH (16 AU) gave a satisfactory response of, on average, 14.5 ovulations (yielding 8.8 flushed ova and embryos). Immediately after the does had been subjected to embryo collection they were actively immunized against inhibin by administering two injections of a recombinant α-subunit of ovine inhibin at four week intervals. All immunized does produced antibodies with the maximal titer reached two weeks after the second injection. Groups of immunized does were subjected to the same gonadotropin treatments as before (avoiding allocation of individuals to the same treatments). This time all does showed estrous symptoms. The ovulatory response to the various treatments, including the saline controls, was virtually identical, the overall average being 21.8 follicles and 9.1 ovulations. The average embryo yield per doe was 5.7. The results imply that inhibin acted as the key factor in determining the ovulatory response since no impact of any of the supplementary gonadotropins was noted in inhibin-immunized does. This finding gives rise to the notion that inhibin antibodies may act primarily by an intraovarian paracrine action rather than by reducing the suppressive action of inhibin on pituitary FSH release. Further, these findings confirm earlier reports that eCG is less suitable than FSH for inducing superovulation in goats, and indicate that active immunization against inhibin may be considered a viable alternative to using exogenous gonadotropin for inducing superovulation in goats.