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Ovarian follicular dynamics and plasma steroid concentrations are not significantly different in ewes given intravaginal sponges containing either 20 or 40mg of fluorogestone acetate

Letelier, C.A., Contreras-Solis, I., García-Fernández, R.A., Ariznavarreta, C., Tresguerres, J.A.F., Flores, J.M., Gonzalez-Bulnes, A.
Theriogenology 2009 v.71 no.4 pp. 676-682
sheep, ewes, estrus synchronization, controlled internal drug release devices, synthetic progestogens, cloprostenol, ovarian follicles, follicular development, ovulation, hormone secretion, estradiol, progesterone, dose response
Although various progestagens are often used to induce and synchronize estrus and ovulation in ruminants, concerns regarding residues are the impetus to develop alternative approaches, including reduced doses of progestagens. Therefore, the objective was to determine whether ovarian function was affected by halving the dose of fluorogestone acetate in intravaginal sponges for synchronizing ovulation in sheep during the physiologic breeding season. Twenty Manchega ewes, 4-6-year-old, were randomly allocated to receive an intravaginal sponge containing either 20mg (P20, n =10) or 40mg of fluorogestone acetate (P40, n =10). Cloprostenol (125μg) was given at sponge insertion, and all sponges were removed after 6d. Ovarian follicular dynamics (monitored by daily ultrasonography) and other aspects of ovarian function did not differ significantly between the two groups. Ovulatory follicles (OF) grew at a similar growth rate (r =0.62; P <0.001), with comparable initial and maximum diameters (4.2±0.4 to 6.0±0.3mm in P20 vs. 4.6±0.6 to 5.7±0.2mm in P40, mean±S.E.M.). Plasma estradiol concentrations (determined once daily) increased linearly during the 72h interval after sponge removal (1.3±0.1 to 3.3±0.1pg/mL for P20, P <0.005 and 1.4±0.1 to 3.1±0.2pg/mL for P40, P <0.005). Ten days after sponge removal, ovulation rates (1.2±0.2 for P20 and 1.4±0.3 for P40), and plasma progesterone concentrations (3.8±0.35ng/mL for P20 and 3.9±0.38ng/mL for P40) were similar. In conclusion, reducing the dose of fluorogestone acetate from 40 to 20mg did not affect significantly ovarian follicular dynamics or other aspects of ovarian function.