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Effect of bST administration on plasma concentrations of IGF-I and follicular dynamics and ovulation during the interovulatory cycle of sheep and goats

Cox, J.F., Navarrete, F., Carrasco, A., Dorado, J., Saravia, F.
Theriogenology 2019 v.123 pp. 159-166
Saanen, animal ovaries, cattle, ewes, follicular development, goats, insulin-like growth factor I, ovulation, radioimmunoassays, somatotropin, ultrasonography
This study used a comparative approach to gather clinical information to assess the effect of bovine somatotropin (bST) on follicular dynamics and ovulation in sheep and goats during an interovulatory cycle. The performance of general markers of ovarian function and specific features of follicular dynamics obtained by daily ultrasonography (US) were used to assess the hypothesis that bST, associated with supraphysiological levels of IGF-I, was able to disrupt the follicular dynamics and ovulation in Highlander ewes and Saanen goats. In Exp 1, 15 ewes and 14 goats were estrous-synchronized (P4-6 days + PGFα d-6) and then allocated to a bST-treated group (50 and 100 mg, Lactotropin®; n = 5 females each) and to an untreated control group (5 ewes and 4 goats) to assess the activity of bST through plasma IGF-I (RIA). In Exp 2, 12 animals from each species were synchronized. At day 6, they were divided into a bST-group (100 mg in sheep and 50 mg in goats, n = 6 each) and an untreated control group (n = 6 each). Starting at day 6 and up to 22 days after ovulation in sheep and 25 days in goats, each female was subjected to daily US (10 mHz probe) to assess follicular and luteal (CL) dynamics and ovulation. This included assessments of both general ovarian features and specific follicular wave features. Our results showed that bST increased plasma IGF-I by day 3 (p < 0.01) when compared to the control group. Moreover, these concentrations were maintained for at least 10 days in sheep and 10 days in goats before returning to pre-treatment concentrations. Increases in IGF-I after bST doses were similar in terms of a daily and total amount (P > 0.10). Results from Exp.2 indicate that in sheep, bST administration had a subtle inhibitory effect on follicular function. However, bST in goats had a stronger influence, extending the interovulatory cycle (P = 0,034), increasing the number of follicular waves during the period (P = 0.003), and reducing the functional potential of large follicles as measured by their lower follicular diameter (P = 0.02), duration of the follicle waves (P = 0.02), and persistence of follicles after reaching their maximum diameters (P = 0.04). In addition, untreated sheep and goats shared common patterns of terminal follicular development and ovulations characterized by overlapping between follicular waves and ovulations of follicles from different waves, features not seen in cattle.