Effect of post-mating GnRH analogue (buserelin) treatment on PGF(2 alpha) release in ewes and ewe lambs

T. H. Khan, Neil F. G. Beck, G. E. Mann, M. Khalid

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The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of buserelin or saline treatment on ovarian function (Experiment 1), plasma PGFM concentrations and oxytocin stimulated prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) release (Experiment 2) in ewe lambs and ewes. Welsh Halfbred ewes (n = 26) and ewe lambs (n = 24) were mated to vasectomised rams at synchronised oestrus and on Day 12 post-mating each animal was injected intramuscularly either normal saline or 4 μg buserelin. In Experiment 1, plasma progesterone and oestradiol concentrations were determined in samples collected by jugular venepuncture 1 h before and at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h after treatment (n = 7 per treatment group). Progesterone concentrations increased (P <0.05) from 2 to 8 h after buserelin treatment and returned to basal levels after 72 h, whereas oestradiol concentrations were maximal at 2 h post-treatment and returned to basal levels after 24 h (P <0.05). Oestradiol concentrations were lower (P <0.05) in buserelin-treated animals than controls at 72 h post-treatment. Basal and post-treatment progesterone concentrations were greater (P <0.05) in ewes than in ewe lambs but oestradiol levels were similar for both age groups. Ovulation rate, determined by laparoscopy on Day 14, was similar for both age groups (ewes 1.1; ewe lambs 1.0). Buserelin treatment induced accessory corpora lutea in ewes (4/7; 57%) but not in ewe lambs (0/7; 0%). In the Experiment 2, plasma PGFM concentrations were determined in samples collected at 20-min intervals for 6 h on Day 14 and at 20-min intervals for 1 h before and at 10-min intervals for 1 h and then at 20-min intervals for a further 3 h period after an intravenous injection of oxytocin (1 IU/kg body weight) on Day 15 post-oestrus. In this experiment there were five ewe lambs and six ewes per treatment group. There was no effect of buserelin treatment or age on basal PGFM concentrations on either Day 14 or 15. Although peak PGFM concentrations tended to be lower in buserelin-treated animals, the difference was not significant (P > 0.05). However, peak duration following oxytocin challenge on Day 15 post-mating was shorter (P <0.05) in control ewes compared with control ewe lambs. In conclusion, buserelin treatment given on Day 12 post-oestrus enhances luteal function more in ewes than ewe lambs and after a transitory increase, reduces oestradiol concentrations in both ewes and ewe lambs. However, buserelin treatment does not significantly attenuate the luteolytic signal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number1-2
Early online date27 Oct 2005
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2006


  • GnRH
  • PGF2α
  • ewes
  • ewe lambs


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