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Biol Reprod. 1986 Sep;35(2):300-11.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone at estrus: luteinizing hormone, estradiol, and progesterone during the periestrual and postinsemination periods in dairy cattle.


Administering gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) improved conception rates in our previous studies. Our objective was to determine if the effect of GnRH was mediated through serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and/or by altered secretion of serum progesterone (P) and estradiol-17 beta (E) during the periestrual and post-insemination periods. Cattle were given either GnRH (n = 54) or saline (n = 55) at 72 h and inseminated artificially (AI) 80 h after the second of two injections of either prostaglandin F2 alpha or its analog, cloprostenol. Progesterone and E were measured in blood serum collected during 3 wk after AI (estrus) from 60 females. Blood was collected for LH determinations via indwelling jugular cannulae from 14 cows and 11 heifers. Collections were taken every 4 h from 32 to 108 h after the second PGF injection (PGF-2) (periestrual period) and at more frequent intervals during 240 min after administration of GnRH (n = 18) or saline (n = 7). Ten females had a spontaneous preovulatory LH surge before GnRH treatment (GnRH-spontaneous), whereas GnRH induced the preovulatory LH surge in six females. A spontaneous LH surge appeared to be initiated in two heifers at or near the time of GnRH treatment (spontaneous and/or induced). The remaining seven cows had spontaneous LH surges with no subsequent change in LH after saline treatment. Serum P during the 21 days after estrus was lower (p less than 0.05) in both pregnant and nonpregnant (open) cattle treated previously with GnRH compared with saline. Serum P during the first week after estrus was greater (p less than 0.01) and increased (p less than 0.05) more rapidly in saline controls and in GnRH-spontaneous cattle than in those exhibiting GnRH-induced or GnRH-spontaneous and/or-induced surges of LH. Conception rate of cattle receiving GnRH was higher (p = 0.06) than that of saline-treated controls. These data suggest that GnRH treatment at insemination initiated the preovulatory LH surge in some cattle, but serum P in both pregnant and open cows was compromised during the luteal phase after GnRH treatment. Improved fertility may be associated with delayed or slowly rising concentrations of serum progesterone after ovulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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