Control of FSH, follicular development and estrus synchronization in the mare with steroid-free follicular fluid

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Twenty-two pony mares were used in a project designed to determine the effectiveness of different treatments in controlling FSH, follicular development and synchronization of estrus and ovulation. Mares in Group 1 (n=8) received daily oral altrenogest (0.044 mg/kg); those in Group 2 (n=7) received daily altrenogest (0.044 g/kg) and, during the last 4 days of treatment they received steroid-free follicular fluid, (15 cc) intravenously (I.V.) two times a day; Mares in Group 3 (n=7) received daily intramuscular (I.M.) injections of progesterone (80 mg) and estradiol valerate (7 mg). All treatments lasted for 10 days, at the end of which prostaglandin (PgF2α, 10 mg) was administered. Sexual behavior, follicular development and FSH concentrations were monitor daily. Concentrations of FSH in Group 2 mares, were not significantly different (P>0.05) from those of Group 1 until the mares in Group 2 were treated with follicular fluid (P<0.05). Concentrations of FSH in Group 3 mares, were significantly lower than those of Groups 1 and 2 (P<0.05) until the mares in Group 2 were treated with steroid-free follicular fluid. At this point there was no significant difference between groups 2 and 3 (P>0.05). Steroid-free follicular fluid appears to induce atresia in larger follicles (>11 mm), and the initiation of new follicular wave. The combination of progesterone and estradiol valerate appears to delay follicular growth and not to induce atresia, since larger follicles (>11 mm) continued to grow after treatment. Both treatments (groups 2 and 3) resulted in ovulations within 5 days period. The treatment in Group 1 did not have any effect on FSH or follicular development and ovulations were dispersed through a 9-day period. We concluded that steroid-free follicular fluid offers a new possibility to synchronize ovulation in the mare by controlling FSH and follicular development. © 1992.

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