Effects of low-dose follicle-stimulating hormone administration on follicular dynamics and preovulatory follicle characteristics in dairy cows during the summer

E. Friedman, G. Glick, Y. Lavon, Z. Roth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The well-documented phenomenon of reduced conception rate in dairy cows during the hot season involves impaired functioning of the ovarian follicles and their enclosed oocytes. Three experiments were performed to examine the administration of low doses of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to induce turnover of follicles that are damaged upon summer thermal stress and to examine whether this FSH administration has beneficial effects on preovulatory follicles. In experiment 1, synchronized heifers were treated with 100 mg of Folltropin-V (n = 7) or 4.4 mg of Ovagen (n = 6) on day 3 of the estrous cycle. Treatment with both FSH sources resulted in greater (P < 0.05) numbers of follicles than in control animals (n = 12) on day 6 of the estrous cycle, indicating that low doses of FSH can increase the number of emerging follicles in a follicular wave. In experiment 2, milking cows were assigned to a control group (n = 4) or treated with 2.2 mg (FSH-2.2; n = 6) or 4.4 mg (FSH-4.4; n = 5) Ovagen. Follicle-stimulating hormone was administrated on day 3 or 4 and day 10 or 11 of the estrous cycle, coinciding with emergence of the first and second follicular waves, respectively. The number of follicles emerging during the first wave tended to be higher (P < 0.1) in FSH-4.4-treated cows than in controls. The second-wave dominant follicles emerged 2 d later in the treated cows and were smaller in diameter (P < 0.05) than controls, 2 d before aspiration. Despite being younger, the preovulatory follicles of FSH-4.4 cows expressed a steroidogenic capacity that was similar to controls with a tendency toward greater insulin concentrations (P < 0.09). In experiment 3, milking cows were assigned to a control group (n = 6) or treated with 4.4 mg Ovagen (FSH-4.4; n = 6). Follicle-stimulating hormone was administrated on day 3 and day 12 or 13 of the estrous cycle. The number of emerging follicles was higher (P < 0.05) in the treated vs control cows. However, the features of the preovulatory follicle developed in the subsequent cycle did not differ between groups. In summary, low doses of FSH can efficiently induce follicular turnover accompanied by a modest effect on the preovulatory follicle of the treated cycle. It appears that the administration of low doses of FSH, precisely timed to synchronize with the emergence of follicular waves, might have a beneficial effect on the preovulatory follicle and its enclosed oocyte.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • FSH
  • Follicular function
  • Heat stress
  • Insulin

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