Superovulation and embryo collection in nulliparous Boer goat does immunized against a recombinant ovine alpha-subunit inhibin
Padilla, G., Knight, P. G. and Holtz, W. (2008) Superovulation and embryo collection in nulliparous Boer goat does immunized against a recombinant ovine alpha-subunit inhibin. Small Ruminant Research, 74 (1-3). pp. 159-164. ISSN 0921-4488
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2007.05.006
With the purpose of eliciting a superovulatory response, 12 adult nulliparous Boer goat does were actively immunized against a recombinant a-subunit of ovine inhibin (roIHN-alpha; two injections of 100 mg 4 weeks apart). Another 12 control Boer goat does were treated with physiological saline and acted as controls. One year later the immunized animals were boostered by the administration of another dose (100 mg) of the immunogen. Following treatment, blood samples were collected twice weekly for the periods of 16 and 12 weeks, respectively, to monitor the inhibin binding ability with the aid of a radio-tracer binding assay. Throughout the experiment, estrus detection was conducted twice daily with the aid of an aproned intact buck. From the first day after treatment to 48 h after standing estrus, ovarian activity was monitored daily by transrectal ultrasonography. On alternate estrous cycles, does were mated and 6 days later flushed transcervically to recover embryos. All goats treated with the roIHN-alpha produced antibodies reactive to the native bovine inhibin tracer-the titre increasing from 2.9 +/- 0.4 to a maximum of 21.9 +/- 2.9% binding after the second injection. The antibody titre gradually subsided over the next 16 weeks. The booster injection restored an elevated antibody titre (11.7 +/- 0.4%), which was maintained until the end of the sampling period 12 weeks later. In the control goats only trace amounts of antibody were recorded throughout the trial. In the roIHN-alpha-immunized goats the number of follicles reaching a diameter of > 4 mm was 14.6 +/- 1.2 per doe. A positive correlation was recorded between the follicle number and antibody titre (r=0.61; P < 0.01). The number of follicles ovulating per doe (6.9 +/- 0.7) followed the same tendency-however, the proportion decreased with increasing follicle numbers. A relatively weak correlation was recorded between the inhibin binding ability and number of ovulations (r=0.27; P < 0.05). In the control goats the majority (92%) of follicles exceeding 4 mm in diameter ovulated (2.5 +/- 0.1 follicles/doe). Embryo collection proved unsatisfactory (42% versus 39% recovery for immunized and control animals, respectively)-presumably because the uterine lumen of the nulliparous does was too narrow to permit effective flushing. In the group of immunized goats the occurrence of short estrous cycles (< 15 days) recorded was 34% versus only 6% in the controls. Overall, immunization of goats against roIHN-alpha led to an almost six-fold increase in number of ovarian follicles, a three-fold increase in ovulations and, despite the low recovery rate, a more than three-fold increase in ova or embryos recovered. It may be concluded that treatment of female goats with roIHN-alpha leads to an inhibin antibody response, accompanied by enhanced ovarian activity. The response was, however, accompanied by a large proportion of retained follicles and a high incidence of short estrous cycles. These problems need to be further investigated before rendering the method fit for application in embryo transfer programs in goats. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.