Supplementation of equine early spring transitional follicles with luteinizing hormone stimulates follicle growth but does not restore steroidogenic activity.
ABSTRACT This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that supplementation of growing follicles with LH during the early spring transitional period would promote the development of steroidogenically active, dominant follicles with the ability to respond to an ovulatory dose of hCG. Mares during early transition were randomly assigned to receive a subovulatory dose of equine LH (in the form of a purified equine pituitary fraction) or saline (transitional control; n = 7 mares per group) following ablation of all follicles >15 mm. Treatments were administered intravenously every 12 h from the day the largest follicle of the post-ablation wave reached 20 mm until a follicle reached >32 mm, when an ovulatory dose of hCG (3000 IU) was given. Saline-treated mares during June and July were used as ovulatory controls. In a preliminary study, injection of this pituitary fraction (eLH) to anestrus mares was followed by an increase in circulating levels of LH (P < 0.01) but not FSH (P > 0.6). Administration of eLH during early transition stimulated the growth of the dominant follicle (Group x Day, P < 0.00001), which attained diameters similar to the dominant follicle in ovulatory controls (P > 0.1). In contrast, eLH had no effect on the diameter of the largest subordinate follicle or the number of follicles >10 mm during treatment (P > 0.3). The numbers of mares that ovulated in response to hCG in transitional control, transitional eLH and ovulatory control groups (2 of 2, 3 of 5 and 7 of 7, respectively) were not significantly different (P > 0.1). However, after hCG-induced ovulation, all transitional mares returned to an anovulatory state. Circulating estradiol levels increased during the experimental period in ovulatory controls but not in transitional eLH or transitional control groups (Group x Day, P = 0.013). In addition, although progesterone levels increased after ovulation in transitional control and transitional eLH groups, levels in these two groups were lower than in the ovulatory control group after ovulation (Group, P = 0.045). In conclusion, although LH supplementation of early transitional waves beginning after the largest follicle reached 20 mm promoted growth of ovulatory-size follicles, these follicles were developmentally deficient as indicated by their reduced steroidogenic activity.
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ABSTRACT: Two groups of mares were exposed to an abrupt, artificial increase or a natural increase in daylength. In both groups, mean LH pulse frequency increased with time of year and was accompanied by a reciprocal decrease in LH pulse amplitude. A non-pulsatile pattern of LH secretion was observed in some mares sampled close to the day of ovulation. Maximum mean LH pulse frequency and the onset of the breeding season occurred earlier in those mares exposed to an abrupt artificial increase in daylength. In blood samples collected frequently, mean serum LH concentrations increased in relation to time of year. However, during 60 days before ovulation, when LH pulse frequency increased, mean daily serum LH values only increased on Day -3 before ovulation. The magnitude of the periovulatory LH rise was greater before the second than the first ovulation of the breeding season. These results support the hypothesis that, in the mare, a photoperiod-induced seasonal alteration in LH pulse frequency and/or amplitude may play a role in the onset of the breeding season.J Reprod Fertil 04/1987; 79(2):485-93.
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ABSTRACT: Pharmacological control of reproduction in mares requires the use of equine gonadotrophins to avoid induced immunological resistance. Crude equine gonadotrophins (CEG) have been used but the presence of equine luteinizing hormone (eLH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (eFSH) in CEG has led to disappointing results in superovulation studies. Separation of eLH and eFSH activities from CEG is necessary to overcome this problem. The hydrophobic properties of the two hormones were sufficiently different to permit their separation by hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) on a phenyl Sepharose matrix. Good yields of separate FSH and LH fractions were readily obtained by stepwise elution and the method was adapted for large scale preparations of enriched fractions of eLH and eFSH. Two experiments were performed in vivo to evaluate the biological activity of the HIC fractions. Experiment 1 showed that biological activity of the LH fraction in inducing ovulation of preovulatory follicles was similar to that obtained with CEG, indicating that LH bioactivity was not altered by HIC. Experiment 2 demonstrated that biological activity of the FSH fraction was identical (as far as rate of ovulation was concerned) to that of CEG in superovulating mares, indicating that FSH activity was also not altered by HIC. Although we have not obtained better results with the separate equine gonadotrophins than with CEG, it is potentially advantageous to use preparations with single activity to obtain a controlled balance of FSH and LH activity. The HIC technique was chosen because it could easily be scaled up to provide the large amounts of the separate hormones needed for the treatment of a large number of mares.J Reprod Fertil 08/1993; 98(2):597-602.
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ABSTRACT: A novel experimental model was developed in cattle to investigate the requirement for FSH and LH during ovarian follicle growth and development. On Day 5 of the estrous cycle, 7 heifers were each implanted with an osmotic minipump containing a GnRH agonist (GnRHa), Buserelin (release rate, 2.5 micrograms/h). Another 7 heifers served as controls. Each minipump was replaced 28 days later with a second pump, which was left in place for a further 20 days. Blood samples were collected daily throughout the experimental period, and frequent samples were also collected on both days of minipump insertion and at 10 days after insertion of the second pump. The ovaries of all heifers were scanned daily by real-time ultrasonography to monitor follicular dynamics. All controls displayed 2 or 3 waves of FSH and follicular development per estrous cycle during the experiment. Insertion of the first minipump produced a large LH and FSH surge and induced ovulation in all 7 animals. Within 8 days of the start of treatment, serum LH concentrations fell to basal levels; they then remained constant at this level throughout the infusion period, only beginning to recover 4-5 days after the termination of infusion. After the initial increase, FSH returned to basal levels before showing a normal wave that was coincident with the emergence, growth, and regression of a dominant follicle. However, despite the peak levels of FSH, dominant follicles from the next wave failed to grow beyond 7-9 mm; they remained at this size for 3 wk until 3-4 days after insertion of the second minipump, when FSH fell precipitously to reach low levels that were maintained throughout the remainder of the infusion. After this fall in FSH concentrations, these follicles regressed rapidly, and no antral follicles > 4 mm were detected until after the termination of treatment. Thereafter, FSH concentrations increased significantly; the increase was accompanied by the emergence of a follicular wave and development of a dominant follicle, with estrus observed 8-11 days later. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated clearly that in cattle the early stages of follicle development (< or = 4 mm) are not dependent on acute support by gonadotropins. However, FSH is required for further growth of follicles up to 9 mm, while LH pulses are indispensable for follicle development beyond 9 mm in diameter. The model developed in this study should be valuable for studying the control of ovarian follicle development and atresia in vivo.Biology of Reproduction 08/1996; 55(1):68-74. · 4.03 Impact Factor