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Theriogenology. 1993 Sep;40(3):465-78.

Progesterone and estradiol in biodegradable microspheres for control of estrus and ovulation in mares.

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  • 1Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Progesterone and estradiol 17-beta in poly (DL-lactide) microspheres were used to control estrus and ovulation in mares after luteolysis was induced by prostaglandin F(2)infinity. Mares were given a single intramuscular injection of biodegradable poly (DL-lactide) microspheres, 1 day following prostaglandin treatment, containing no hormones (control), 0.625 g progesterone and 50 mg estradiol (low dose), 1.25 g progesterone and 100 mg estradiol (medium dose), or 1.875 g progesterone and 150 mg estradiol (high dose; n=15 mares per group). Mares treated with the low dose had significantly longer intervals (P<0.05) to estrus and ovulation than the control mares; however, low dose mares had shorter intervals (P<0.05) to estrus than high dose mares and shorter intervals to ovulation than medium and high dose mares. Regression analysis indicated that the medium dose was sufficient for maximizing interval to ovulation while the high dose maximized interval to estrus. All groups of mares exhibited similar (P>0.05) post-treatment estrus lengths. A clinical response scoring system based on synchrony of both estrus and ovulation within a treatment group was also used to measure the effectiveness of treatments on control of estrus and ovulation. Clinical response scores did not differ (P>0.05) among treatment groups. Mares were randomly assigned for insemination at the beginning of the first post-treatment estrus. Rates for embryo recovery performed by uterine lavage 7 days post-ovulation did not differ (P>0.05) among groups. Concentrations of serum progesterone increased in mares receiving progesterone and estradiol microspheres. At 10 to 14 days post-injection of microspheres, progesterone concentrations were higher (P<0.05) and remained above 1 ng/ml in the mares receiving the high dose. Progesterone concentrations were also higher (P<0.05) on Days -3 to -1 (Day 0 = day of post-treatment ovulation) in mares receiving the high dose when compared to control mares. Gonadotropin concentrations were suppressed (P<0.05) in the medium and high dose groups.

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