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Ovarian antral follicular dynamics and their associations with peripheral concentrations of gonadotropins and ovarian steroids in anoestrous Finnish Landrace ewes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Beard


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Daily transrectal ultrasonography of ovaries was done in seven Finn ewes during three 17-day periods from May to July. Blood samples were collected each day for estimation of the serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), oestradiol and progesterone concentrations, and also every 15 min for 6 h, halfway through each period of ultrasonographic examination, to determine the patterns of gonadotropic hormone secretion. Four ewes ceased cycling from March to mid-April (ewes entering anoestrus early) and three in May (ewes entering anoestrus late). In all ewes cyclicity resumed during the period from mid-August to mid-September. The growth of ovarian antral follicles to periovulatory sizes of ≥ 5 mm in diameter was seen at all stages of anoestrus. An average of four waves of follicular development (follicles growing from 3 to ≥ 5 mm in diameter before regression) with a periodicity of 4 days were recorded during each of the three scanning periods. There was a close temporal relationship between days of follicular wave emergence and peaks of successive FSH fluctuations. Ewes entering anoestrus late exceeded ewes that became anoestrus early in numbers of large (≥ 5 mm in diameter) ovarian antral follicles and maximum follicle diameter. Peak concentrations of transient FSH increases were higher (P < 0.05) in ewes entering anoestrus late than in ewes entering anoestrus early. The secretion of luteinising hormone, (LH; mean and basal level, and LH pulse frequency, but not amplitude) was lowest during the month of June in all ewes. Oestradiol production was markedly suppressed throughout anoestrus. Peaks of progesterone secretion appeared to occur at regular intervals and were associated with the end of the growth phase of the largest follicles of sequential waves. In conclusion, the growth of ovarian follicles to ostensibly ovulatory diameters is maintained throughout anoestrus in Finn ewes and periodic emergence of follicular waves is correlated with an endogenous rhythm of FSH secretion. The present study also provides evidence for the inverse relationship between the time of the onset of seasonal anoestrus and the number and size of antral follicles developing throughout anoestrus in Finn ewes, and indicates that differences exist in both the secretion of and ovarian responsiveness to gonadotropic hormones among early and late anoestrous ewes. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beard AP; Bartlewski PM; Vanderpol J; Cook SJ; Rawlings NC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Reproduction Science

Year: 2000

Volume: 58

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 273-291

ISSN (print): 0378-4320

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2232

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4320(99)00092-5

PubMed id: 10708901


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