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Anim Reprod Sci. 2005 Aug;88(1-2):141-53.

Applications of GnRH in the control and management of fertility in female animals.

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  • 1School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.


Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) has long been recognized as a potential target for the control and management of fertility in female animals. Attempts to apply GnRH-based technology to manage fertility have focussed on the development of GnRH agonists, antagonists and vaccines. All of these methods have potential, but the widespread application of these technologies has been limited to date. The greatest advance in the use of GnRH-based technology for long-term fertility control in recent years has been the development and commercialization of depot formulations that release GnRH agonists for periods of up to 1 year. These products have a broad range of potential applications in production and domestic animal management. The further development and commercialization of GnRH vaccines has been hampered by the variability of response between individual animals. The need to use adjuvant and multiple boosters also make this a less attractive option than the current GnRH agonist technology. However, GnRH vaccines have the advantage that they do not induce the initial stimulatory response that follows GnRH agonist administration. GnRH antagonists and GnRH-toxin conjugates show promise but are in an earlier phase of development. To date, no depot or long-acting formulations of antagonists have been developed. GnRH-toxin conjugates have yet to achieve permanent sterilization, but further dose-response trials may advance this approach.

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