Superovulatory response and embryo quality in Katahdin ewes treated with FSH or FSH plus eCG during non-breeding season

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a co-treatment of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) plus equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) on serum insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentrations, superovulatory response, ovulatory rate, and number and production of embryos in Katahdin breed ewes during the non-breeding season. Twenty Katahdin ewes were synchronized with progestagens (CIDR) and assigned to two superovulation treatments (n = 10): (1): ewes treated with 200 mg ewe−1 of FSH from day 5 to 8 after CIDR insertion at decreasing doses every 12 h (FSH group) and (2) ewes treated as FSH group plus 300 IU of eCG on day 5 after CIDR insertion (FSH + eCG group). Estrous behavior was monitored and direct mating was performed. On days − 7 (CIDR insertion), 0 (CIDR withdrawal), and 7 (embryo recovery), blood samples were collected to determine serum hormone concentrations. Co-treatment with eCG (FSH group) did not affect (P > 0.05) serum hormone levels. Superovulation response, ovulation rate, recovery rate, fertilization, and number of embryos were also similar (P > 0.05) between treatments. Compared with FSH group, FSH + eCG ewes had lower (P < 0.05) number of transferable embryos and higher (P < 0.05) number of oocyte and a tendency to increase the number of degenerated embryos (P = 0.07). Overall results suggest that the administration of eCG is not beneficial either to improve the ovulatory response or the amount of transferable embryos in Katahdin ewes superovulated with a protocol using progesterone and FSH at decreasing doses.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Faculty Improvement Program (PROMEP) for financing project UJAT-CA-221, as well as Mr. H. Pérez for granting the ewes for this experiment.

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Correspondence to C. Luna-Palomera.

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Animal handling procedures were performed in accordance with the Mexican Official Standard (NOM-051-ZOO-1995: Humanitarian care of animals during its mobilization, and NOM-062-ZOO-1999: Technique specifications to production, care, and use of laboratory animals), and procedures of Ethics Committee of the University Juarez Autonoma of Tabasco.

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Luna-Palomera, C., Macías-Cruz, U. & Sánchez-Dávila, F. Superovulatory response and embryo quality in Katahdin ewes treated with FSH or FSH plus eCG during non-breeding season. Trop Anim Health Prod 51, 1283–1288 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-01801-9

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Keywords

  • Superovulation
  • Ovarian response
  • MOET
  • Katahdin ewes