Reliable methods of regulating estrus and stimulating superovulations in equine embryo transfer programs are desirable. Our objectives were to investigate the efficacy of a progesterone and estradiol-17β (P&E) estrus synchronization regimen in mares with and without subsequent equine follicle-stimulating hormone (eFSH) treatment and to examine the effects of eFSH on folliculogenesis and embryo production. Cycling mares were treated with P&E daily for 10 d. On the final P&E treatment day, prostaglandin F2α was administered, and mares were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups (n = 20 mares/group). In both groups, mares were examined daily by transrectal ultrasonography. In the eFSH group, twice-daily eFSH treatments were initiated at follicle diameter 20 to 25 mm and ceased at follicle ≥35 mm; human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) was administered after 36 h. In the control group, eFSH treatments were not given, but hCG was administered at follicle ≥35 mm. Mares were inseminated with fresh semen, and embryo recovery attempts were performed 8 d postovulation. Synchrony of ovulations within each group appeared to be similar. Six mares in the eFSH group failed to ovulate. The eFSH treatment resulted in higher (P < 0.05) numbers of preovulatory follicles and ovulations; however, embryo recovery rate did not increase (eFSH 1.0 ± 0.4 vs. control 0.95 ± 0.1 embryos/recovery attempt), and embryo per ovulation rate was significantly lower (36% vs. 73%). The eFSH-treated mares had significantly higher frequency of nonovulatory follicles (28% vs. 0) and higher periovulatory serum concentrations of estradiol-17β. Based on our findings, combined P&E and eFSH regimens cannot be recommended for cycling donor mares.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 15 Jul 2009|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Equine Health Research Fund of the University of Saskatchewan. The authors thank Intervet Canada Ltd for providing Chorulon and Pharmacia Animal Health for providing Lutalyse. Special gratitude is expressed to Ms. Susan Cook from the WCVM Endocrinology Laboratory for her expertise and to Dr. Karolin Thuemler, Dr. Barb Weselowski, and Mr. Jeffrey Bergermann for technical help.
- Embryo transfer