Indexed on: 17 Dec '08Published on: 17 Dec '08Published in: Animal Reproduction Science
The present study aimed to assess the efficacy of reduced doses of cloprostenol for synchronizing estrus and ovulation in hair sheep. With the aim to evaluate the luteolytic activity of reduced cloprostenol doses, a first experiment was performed using a relatively large (group H: 126 microg; n=8), medium (group M: 68.25 microg; n=6) and small (group L: 38.5 microg; n=6) cloprostenol dose. Luteolysis was assessed at Days 3 and 6 after injection (Day 0) by progesterone concentrations (P(4)) and transrectal ultrasonography (US). In Experiment 2, sheep were randomly assigned to the same three doses to evaluate a protocol for estrous synchronization using two injections administered 9 days apart. A third trial was performed with ewes treated (9 days apart) with the large dose (H=126 microg; n=12) and with a small dose adjusted for facilitating volume management (LA=43.75 microg; n=12). Presence of estrous cycling was determined in all the ewes by US and P(4) assay, at Days -9, -6, -2, 0 (Day of second cloprostenol injection), 8 and 11. Bleeding and US were done every 4h from 16 h of the beginning of the estrus during the third trial to assess the preovulatory LH surge and timing of ovulation. Additionally, blood samples were drawn at Days 0, 1, 2 and 3 to assess estradiol (Experiments 2 and 3) and P(4) (Experiment 2) concentrations during the ovarian follicular phase. In all experiments, percentage of animals showing luteolysis, preovulatory follicular dynamics and function and percentage of ewes showing behavioral estrus in response to treatment was similar among groups. Timing of estrus for group H was earlier than group L (28.6+/-1.8h compared with 37.1+/-2.4h; P<0.05). In the third trial, the preovulatory LH peak was higher in the LA group than group H, in terms of maximum mean concentration during the surge (27.7+/-1.8 ng/mL compared with 21.3+/-2.2 ng/mL; P<0.05) and area under the curve (AUC; 183.4+/-12.7 ng/mL compared with 127.7+/-10.9 ng/mL; P<0.01). However, timing of ovulation was similar for H and LA groups. Thereafter, ovulation rate and luteal function at Day 11 were similar. Current results demonstrate that reduced doses of cloprostenol may be applied in a practical manner for reproductive management of sheep, with the additional advantage of reducing treatment costs.