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Front Vet Sci. 2017 Jun 30;4:99. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00099. eCollection 2017.

Effect of the Camelid's Seminal Plasma Ovulation-Inducing Factor/β-NGF: A Kisspeptin Target Hypothesis.

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Comparative Anatomy Unit/URAC49, Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Veterinary Sciences, Hassan II Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine Institute, Rabat, Morocco.
Department of Neurobiology of Rhythms, CNRS UPR 3212, Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.


Female mammals are classified into spontaneous and induced ovulators based on the mechanism eliciting ovulation. Ovulation in spontaneous species (e.g., human, sheep, cattle, horse, pigs, and most rodents) occurs at regular intervals and depends upon the circulating estradiol. However, in induced ovulators (e.g., rabbits, ferrets, cats, and camelids), ovulation is associated with coitus. In the later, various factors have been proposed to trigger ovulation, including auditory, visual, olfactory, and mechanic stimuli. However, other studies have identified a biochemical component in the semen of induced ovulators responsible for the induction of ovulation and named accordingly ovulation-inducing factor (OIF). In camelids, intramuscular or intrauterine administration of seminal plasma (SP) was shown to induce the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge followed by ovulation and subsequent formation of corpus luteum. Recently, this OIF has been identified from SP as a neurotrophin, the β subunit of nerve growth factor (β-NGF). β-NGF is well known as promoting neuron survival and growth, but in this case, it appears to induce ovulation through an endocrine mode of action. Indeed, β-NGF may be absorbed through the endometrium to be conveyed, via the blood stream, to the central structures regulating the LH preovulatory surge. In this review, we provide a summary of the most relevant results obtained in the field, and we propose a working hypothesis for the central action of β-NGF based on our recent demonstration of the presence of neurons expressing kisspeptin, a potent stimulator of GnRH/LH, in the camel hypothalamus.


camel; camelids; kisspeptin; ovulation; ovulation-inducing factor; seminal plasma; β-NGF

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