Publications by authors named "Jeferson Ferreira Fonseca"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effect of eCG in a short-term synchronization treatment on ovarian status, estrus synchrony, and ovulation in dairy goats managed under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Apr 5;53(2):246. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 04, CP 145, CEP, Sobral, CE, 62010-970, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to assess the need of using eCG on short-term estrus synchronization protocol in nulliparous (NUL) and multiparous (MULT) dairy goats during the breeding season. Alpine (n = 20), Nubian (n = 20), and Saanen (n = 16) goats received 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate intravaginal sponges for 6 days plus 30 μg d-cloprostenol and 200 IU eCG (G-eCG, n = 28) or saline (G-Control, n = 28) 24 h before sponge removal. The NUL and MULT goats of each breed were equally assigned into the two treatments. Transrectal ultrasonography was used to evaluate ovulatory parameters, and teaser goats were used for estrus detection every 12 h from sponge removal to ovulation. eCG did not affect (P > 0.05) estrus response (~86%), diameter of ovulatory follicles (~6.8 mm), and number of ovulations (~1.6). Nevertheless, eCG led to earlier (P < 0.05) ovulation (G-eCG = 65.1 and G-Control = 73.2 h) and increased (P < 0.05) the ovulation rate (G-eCG = 96.4% and G-Control = 67.9%). In the absence of eCG, no differences regarding reproductive parameters (P > 0.05) were found between parity orders. Alpine MULT goats underwent a superior (P < 0.05) number of ovulations (2.2) in comparison to NUL goats (1.3). In conclusion, the exclusion of eCG from short-term estrus synchronization protocol did not interfere with estrus response but decreased the ovulation rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02699-yDOI Listing
April 2021

NonSurgical Embryo Recovery from Estrus-Synchronized or Superovulated Morada Nova Ewes: A Feasible Strategy for Sheep Embryo Banking.

Biopreserv Biobank 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the feasibility of embryo production and nonsurgical embryo recovery (NSER) in Morada Nova ewes (an endangered native Brazilian breed of sheep) subjected to different estrus synchronization and/or superovulation protocols. Ewes received intravaginal sponges soaked with 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (MAP), which were kept in place for six (G6;  = 12), nine (G9;  = 12), or 12 (G12;  = 12) days. Half of the ewes in each group remained estrus synchronized only () and the other half was superovulated () with 133 mg porcine follicle-stimulating hormone (pFSH). There were no differences ( > 0.05) in antral follicle counts determined with ultrasonography 60 hours before MAP sponge removal (or at the time of the first pFSH dose) among G6 (6.4 ± 0.9), G9 (6.2 ± 0.7), and G12 (5.5 ± 0.6). Estrus responses and NSER success rates did not vary ( > 0.05) among the three progestin-treatment groups of ewes for either estrus-induced or superovulated animals. The onset of estrus occurred 10-12 hours later ( < 0.01) in G9 ewes compared with G6 and G12 and the duration of estrus was ∼19 hours greater ( < 0.01) in G9 than in G6. The average duration of the NSER procedure was 32.6 ± 1.3 minutes. At least one structure was recovered in 85.7% of synchronized and in 87.5% of superovulated ewes. Viable embryo recovery rates were also similar ( > 0.05) for G6 (1.0 ± 0.3 and 2.5 ± 1.5), G9 (1.3 ± 0.5 and 4.8 ± 2.0), and G12 groups (1.0 ± 0.3 and 4.8 ± 2.3; estrus-synchronized and superovulated ewes, respectively). In conclusion, progestogen pretreatment of different durations and NSER can be employed in Morada Nova ewes, resulting in reasonable viable embryo recovery rates in both estrus-synchronized and superovulated animals. Therefore, both techniques are suitable for use in commercial settings as well as small ruminant conservation programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bio.2020.0125DOI Listing
March 2021

Vaginal cytology and cervical mucus as tools to predict ovulation time in small ruminants.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Mar 22;53(2):223. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Núcleo Regional Sudeste, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, CEP, Coronel Pacheco, MG, 36155-000, Brazil.

The possibility of using cervical mucus and vaginal cytology as tools to predict ovulation time was assessed in 11 ewes and 11 does raised under tropical conditions. Every 12 h from progesterone removal to ovulation, estrus behavior, cervical mucus, vaginal cytology, and ovarian ultrasound exams were performed. In goats, vaginal cytology had 88% of accuracy on detecting the ovulation time. However, in sheep, there was no cell pattern in the vaginal cytology and cervical mucus varied at ovulation. In conclusion, both vaginal cytology and mucus evaluation may be useful tools to determine the ovulation time in goats; however, both strategies are less accurate in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02667-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Luteotropic effects of human chorionic gonadotropin administered 7.5 days after synchronous estrous induction in Morada Nova ewes.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 2;223:106644. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Theriogenology, School of Agricultural and Veterinarian Sciences, São Paulo State University, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil; Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, Cep 36.155-000, Coronel Pacheco, MG, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted in ewes to assess effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration after imposing an estrous induction treatment regimen. Ewes (n = 115) were treated with a 60 mg medroxyprogesterone-intravaginal-sponge for 6 d plus 200 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) im and 37.5 μg d-cloprostenol im 36 h before sponge removal (Day 0). After natural mating, ewes having at least one corpus luteum (CL; n = 108) were administered either 1 mL of saline (G-Control; n = 53) or 300 IU of hCG (G-hCG; n = 55) on Day 7.5 after sponge removal (Day 0). Ovarian ultrasonography and blood collection were performed on Days 7.5, 13.5, 17.5, 21.5, and 30.5. Accessory CL (aCL) were observed in 81.5 % (G-hCG) and 0.0 % (G-Control) of ewes (P = 0.0001). Diameter, area, and volume of luteal tissue were greater (P < 0.05) in G-hCG from Day 13.5 to 30.5. Progesterone (P) concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 13.5, 17.5, 21.5 and 30.5 for ewes of the G-hCG group. Pregnancy percentage was similar (P = 0.25) between groups [47.1 % (G-control) compared with 60.0 % (G-hCG)], although total number of lambs produced by estrous synchronized ewes was greater (P = 0.005) in ewes of the G-hCG group (90.9 % compared with 66.0 %). In conclusion, hCG administration 7.5 days after sponge removal from Morada Nova ewes during the non-breeding season is an effective treatment to induce aCL formation, improve luteal tissue biometry and P4 concentrations, and to enhance the total number of lambs born.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106644DOI Listing
December 2020

In vivo embryo production and recovery in lacaune ewes after imposing a superovulation treatment regimen is related to pFSH dose.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 14;223:106625. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted to assess effects of different doses of pFSH on follicular recruitment, superovulatory response, ova/embryo recovery, and embryo yield in lactating ewes. Ewes (n = 24) had a superovulation treatment regimen imposed. All ewes were implanted with a progesterone intravaginal device for 9 d, and administered either 100 (G-100) or 200 (G-200) mg pFSH, proportioned into six doses administered at 12-h intervals, starting 60 h before device removal. At 7 days subsequent to progesterone device removal, there were non-surgical embryo recoveries (NSER) from ewes having three or more corpora lutea. At the time of the first pFSH injection, number of antral follicles were similar (P < 0.05) between ewes in the G-100 and G-200 group, however, there were more 3.1-4.0 mm follicles in ewes of the G-200 than G-100 group at the time of the second pFSH administration. Estrous response and CL number were less (P < 0.05) in ewes of the G-100 (66.7 % and 2.6 ± 0.7) than G-200 (91.7 % and 11.6 ± 1.2) group. There were embryo collections from 100 % and 90.9 % of ewes in the G-100 and G-200 groups, respectively (P > 0.05). Viable embryo numbers and ova/embryo recovery rate were greater (P < 0.05) in ewes of the G-200 (6.9 ± 1.1 and 67.8 %) than G-100 (1.0 ± 0.5 and 27.6 %) group. A dose of 200 mg pFSH was more effective in inducing a superovulatory response and embryo yield after NSER in ewes, however, the 100 mg dose was insufficient for these purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106625DOI Listing
December 2020

Ultrasonographic cervical evaluation: A tool to select ewes for non-surgical embryo recovery.

Reprod Domest Anim 2020 Nov 29;55(11):1638-1645. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the cervical ultrasonography mapping as a tool to select donor ewes for non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER). Lacaune ewes had their cervix evaluated by ultrasonography 12 hr after induced oestrus onset (Trial 1, n = 24) or 30 min before NSER (Trial 2, n = 17). Cervical rings were longitudinally evaluated and classified by their degree of misalignment on ultrasonography (DMUS) into: DMUS-1-cervix rectilinear, DMUS-2-intermediate and DMUS-3-highly asymmetrical. For predicting cervical transposing, only DMUS-1 and DMUS-2 were considered suitable. Similar ranking was attributed to degree of misalignment on the cervical map (DMCM 1-3), established immediately before NSER, which was performed at days 6 to 7 after oestrus. In Trial 1, cervical retraction for NSER was not possible only in three ewes classified as DMUS-3 (3/14, 21.4%). No difference (p > .05) was observed in the cervical transposing rates between ewes with different DMUS (ranged from 80% to 100%). In Trial 2, DMUS-1 and DMUS-2 reached 100% of transposing, and the only DMUS-3 ewe has not been transposed. In Trial 1, the prediction performance for successful cervical transposing showed low sensitivity (45%) and no specificity due to a high incidence of false negatives (52%). However, in Trial 2, sensitivity and specificity were both 100%. The DMCM and DMUS were uncorrelated, probably due to cervical stretching required to perform NSER. In conclusion, cervical ultrasound assessment immediately before NSER was more efficient to predict the cervical transposing than at induced oestrus, allowing the classification and selection of ewes eligible for NSER.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13825DOI Listing
November 2020

Effect of a 12-h increment in the short-term treatment regimen on ovarian status, estrus synchrony, and pregnancy rate in artificially inseminated dairy goats.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Oct 10;221:106571. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Av. Peter Henry Rolfs, s/n, CEP 36570-000, Viçosa, MG, Brazil; Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 04, CP 145, CEP 62010-970, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted to assess effects of two hormonal treatments on ovarian follicular status, estrous synchrony and fertility in dairy goats during the non-breeding season when duration of progestogen device use varied by 12 h. In both experiments, does were administered 60 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate via intravaginal devices, respectively, for 6 and 6.5 d (G6 and G6.5). At 24 or 36 h before device removal, 200 IU of eCG im and 30 μg d-cloprostenol im were administered. In Experiment 1 (n = 24), data related to sexual behavior and that were collected using ovarian ultrasonography were recorded, and in Experiment 2 (n = 83) fertility was assessed after Flexible Time Artificial Insemination (FxTAI). The interval from device removal to estrus was shorter (P < 0.05) after imposing the G6.5 treatment regimen. Diameter of largest and second-largest ovarian follicles and interval from device removal to ovulation were similar (P> 0.05) between groups. The does treated with the G6.5 hormonal regimen had greater estrous synchrony, associated with greater development of largest follicles at the time of device removal, which might have led to a lesser fertility rate (P > 0.05). Conversely, treatment with the G6 hormonal regimen resulted in a greater conception rate. In conclusion, increasing time the intravaginal device is inserted from 6 to 6.5 d resulted in greater estrous synchrony, advanced ovarian follicular development, abnormal CL function and lesser pregnancy rates in artificially inseminated dairy goats when there were treatments during the non-breeding season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106571DOI Listing
October 2020

Embryo yield and quality are associated with progestogen treatment during superovulation protocol in lactating Lacaune ewes.

Theriogenology 2020 Oct 8;155:132-138. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/ Groaíras, km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study assessed the effect of progestogen treatment length on ovarian parameters and embryo yield in superovulated Lacaune ewes collected by nonsurgical embryo recovery. Twenty-three lactating ewes were superovulated 30 d apart using a cross-over design. All ewes received 60 mg of MAP intravaginal sponges for 6 (G-6 group) or 9 (G-9 group) d. A total dose of 133 mg pFSH was given in six decreasing doses (twice a day) starting at 60 h before device removal. Ultrasound examination of the ovaries was performed at the first pFSH injection and one day before embryo recovery, which was performed 6-7 d after the onset of estrus. Embryo recovery was conducted only in ewes that expressed estrus and were mated. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in the total number of follicles between G-6 (15.7 ± 1.0) and G-9 (15.6 ± 0.8) at the time of the first pFSH treatment. The percentage of responding donors with ≥3 corpora lutea (CL; 78.2% [18/23] vs 69.5% [16/23]), mean (±SEM) CL number (7.0 ± 1.2 vs 8.1 ± 1.6), transcervical passage rate (94.4% [17/18] vs 83.3% [15/18], and ova/embryo recovery rate (54.5% [60/110] vs 68.0% [83/122]) were not different (P > 0.05) between the G-6 and G-9 groups. However, the mean number of viable embryos was lower (P < 0.05) in the G-6 group (1.8 ± 0.7) than in the G-9 group. (3.5 ± 1.1). In conclusion, treatment with an intravaginal MAP sponge for 9 d during a superovulation protocol is beneficial for viable embryo yield in Lacaune ewes out of the breeding season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.06.004DOI Listing
October 2020

Use of two cloprostenol administrations 11.5 days apart efficiently synchronizes oestrus in photostimulated multiparous dairy goats in the non-breeding season.

Reprod Domest Anim 2020 Aug 22;55(8):965-973. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Núcleo Regional Sudeste, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the efficiency of synchronous oestrous induction by light programme followed by two doses of cloprostenol in acyclic Saanen goats of different parity orders. Primiparous (n = 22) and multiparous (n = 33) goats were subjected to 16 hr of light and 8 hr of darkness for 60 days (D0-D60), starting 10 days after the winter solstice. All goats received 120 µg cloprostenol doses on D130 (morning) and D141.5 (afternoon) (11.5 days apart). Oestrus behaviour, ovarian follicular dynamics and serum progesterone (P4) analyses were recorded from D0 to D174 at different intervals. Animals in oestrus after D141.5 were randomly assigned into two groups: assisted natural mating (NM) or artificial insemination (AI; 10-24 hr after oestrus onset with frozen-thawed semen). From D57 to D120, 89.0% of goats presented large follicles (5-8 mm) and P4 concentrations were subluteal from D0 to D120. More multiparous compared to primiparous goats (54.5%, 18/33 vs. 18.2%, 4/22) exhibited oestrus after both injections. More primiparous compared to multiparous goats (54.5%, 12/22 vs. 12.1%, 4/33) did not exhibit oestrus after any injection. A total of 35 goats (64%) were in oestrus after the second prostaglandin injection and were subjected to NM or AI. The conception rate was similar among primiparous (70.0%, 7/10) and multiparous (68.0%, 17/25) goats but the pregnancy rate differed, being 31.8% (7/22) and 51.5% (17/33), respectively. No interaction was found between parity order and P4 concentrations in does that became pregnant or not. Thus, the association between light programme (60 days, starting at the beginning of winter) and two cloprostenol administrations 11.5 days apart (starting 70 days after the end of the light treatment) resulted in sufficient synchronous oestrous response in multiparous acyclic Saanen goats to reach satisfactory fertility levels after both NM and AI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13736DOI Listing
August 2020

Transcervical vs. laparotomy embryo collection in ewes: The effectiveness and welfare implications of each technique.

Theriogenology 2020 Sep 11;153:112-121. Epub 2020 May 11.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brazil Filho, 64, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24230-340, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study assessed animal welfare in ewes subjected to transcervical (TC) or laparotomy (LP) embryo collection, and the efficiency of these two techniques. Santa Inês ewes (n = 57) received a protocol for estrus synchronization and superovulation. Cervical dilation protocol was initiated 12 h before embryo collection in all ewes. Depending on the success of cervical passage, the embryos were collected from ewes by either TC or LP. Records were made of physiological (rectal temperature (RT) and heart rate (HR)), endocrine (cortisol concentration), biochemical (glycaemia, total proteins, globulin and albumin concentrations), and behavioral variables. Data were recorded before fasting (BF) and sedation (BS), during (DC) and immediately after embryo collection (IAC), and 1 h (1hAC), 3 h (3hAC), 6 h (6hAC), 12 h (12hAC), 24 h (24hAC), and 48 h (48hAC) after embryo collection. The LP and TC procedures were applied to 22 and 35 ewes (with 100.0% and 94.3% of procedures being successful, respectively). The use of LP took longer than TC (P = 0.007) but was less effective in the recovery of uterine fluid and structures (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.0180, respectively), with no difference in the number of viable embryos recovered per animal. The TC procedure induced a greater RT at DC (P = 0.002) and IAC moments (P < 0.0001). The heart rate was greater in TC than LP in IAC (P = 0.036). On the other hand, HR was greater with LP at 12hAC (P = 0.033) and 24hAC (P = 0.002). There was no interaction between the procedures and time on total proteins, albumin, or globulin concentrations. The TC procedure induced greater glycaemia than LP in IAC (P < 0.0001). LP induced greater serum cortisol concentration than TC at DC, IAC, 1hAC (P = 0.0004; P = 0.0006; P = 0.036, respectively), even though it was greater in the TC than the LP procedure at 3hAC (P = 0.008). In conclusion, the TC embryo collection was more effective than the traditional LP procedure. Although both embryo collection procedures affected ewes' welfare, the TC procedure is probably less stressor than the LP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.05.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Successful transcervical uterine flushing can be performed without or reduced dose of oestradiol benzoate in cervical relaxation protocol in Dorper ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2020 Jul 26;55(7):844-850. Epub 2020 May 26.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the efficiency of cervical relaxation protocol using none, half or full dose (1.0 mg) of oestradiol benzoate in Dorper ewes subjected to non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER). Thirty-six pluriparous ewes received progestogen sponge (60 mg) for 9 days plus eCG administration (300 IU i.m.) 24 hr before sponge removal. Ewes were not mated and were randomly assigned to receive at 16 hr before NSER 37.5 µg d-cloprostenol i.m. and different doses of oestradiol benzoate: 0.0 mg (0EB group; n = 12); 0.5 mg (0.5EB group; n = 12) or 1.0 mg of oestradiol (1.0EB group, n = 12). All ewes received oxytocin (50 IU) i.v. 20 min before NSER, which was performed 8 days after sponge removal. Corpora lutea were counted by transrectal ultrasonography 24 hr before NSER. After procedure, the ewes were kept in natural breeding period to check their post-NSER fertility. NSER was performed in 91.7% (33/36) of the animals with overall fluid recovery efficiency over 97% (p > .05). The cervical transposing with Hegar dilator was longer (p < .05) in 0EB (4.2 ± 0.3 min) compared to 0.5EB (1.7 ± 0.3 min) and 1.0EB group (1.5 ± 0.3 min). The cervical transposing with mandrel/catheter was longer (p < .05) in 0EB (2.4 ± 0.5 min) than 1.0EB group (1.3 ± 0.5 min). Overall duration of uterine flushing was 25.4 min with structure recovery rate of 43.5%, with no difference among groups (p > .05). The post-NSER fertility was higher (p < .05) in 0.0EB (90%) than 0.5EB group (36.4%). In conclusion, NSER can be successfully performed in Dorper ewes by using a cervical relaxation protocol without oestradiol benzoate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13692DOI Listing
July 2020

Are the spectral Doppler indices of ovarian arteries indicative of antral follicular development and predictive of ovulatory responses and embryo yields in superovulated ewes?

Reprod Biol 2019 Dec 3;19(4):394-403. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

Nineteen ewes received 200 mg of pFSH administered in eight decreasing doses from Days 1 to 4, starting three days before CIDR® device removal. Ten ewes received an injection of 350 μg of estradiol benzoate at CIDR® device insertion (Group E) and nine animals served as controls (Group C). B-mode and spectral Doppler ultrasonographic examinations were performed daily throughout superovulatory treatment to enumerate ovarian antral follicles and to determine ovarian blood flow indices, respectively. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in superovulatory responses between left and right ovaries/uterine horns or the two groups of animals. End-diastolic velocity (EDV) and mean velocity (Vm) values were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 1 and 2, and peak systolic velocity (SVp) was greater (P < 0.05) on Day 3 in Group C than in Group E. In Group E 15 correlations was recorded among indices (SVp, Vm, EDV, flow velocity integral-FVI, and pulsatility index-PI) and follicles numbers in different size classes on Days 1, 2 and 4, and seven correlations among indices (SVp, EDV, Vm, and vascular resistance index-RI) and superovulatory/embryo results (numbers of regressing corpora lutea, numbers/percentages of degenerated embryos and viability rates) on Days 1, 2 and 3. In Group C, there were three correlations among EDV and RI and medium-sized/large follicle numbers on Days 1 and 3, and five correlations among indices (EDV, RI and PI) and superovulatory/embryo results (numbers of luteinized unovulated follicles, degenerated embryos and unfertilized eggs) on Days 2 or 4. There was a lack of consistency in the velocimetric correlates of antral follicle numbers and superovulatory responses between the left and right side. Therefore, the usefulness of ovarian arterial indices to predict ovine superovulatory outcomes remains equivocal and requires further confirmatory studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2019.11.004DOI Listing
December 2019

Preovulatory follicular dynamics, ovulatory response and embryo yield in Lacaune ewes subjected to synchronous estrus induction protocols and non-surgical embryo recovery.

Theriogenology 2020 Mar 8;145:238-246. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, Km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of the duration of progesterone-based estrus induction protocols on preovulatory follicular dynamics, ovulatory response, and embryo yield after non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER) in Lacaune ewes. Females received acetate medroxyprogesterone intravaginal sponges for six (G-6; n = 14) or nine (G-9; n = 14) days plus d-cloprostenol and eCG 24 h before sponge removal (Day 0). Preovulatory follicular dynamics and the luteal characteristics are evaluated by B-mode and Color-Doppler ultrasonography. NSER was performed five to six days after ovulation. The estrous behavior rate was 85.7% for both groups, and the percentage of ewes that ovulated was 92.9% in G-6 and 100% in G-9. The day of wave emergence (relative to Day 0) did not differ (P > 0.05) between G-6 (-3.0 ± 0.5) and G-9 (-4.2 ± 0.5). The number of follicles of size 4.1-5.0 mm was higher (P < 0.05) in G-9 (1.4 ± 0.2) compared to G-6 (0.8 ± 0.2) during the Days -4 to 0. At NSER, the transcervical penetration rate was 95.2% (20/21) and its duration time was lower (P < 0.05) in G-9 (3.4 ± 0.6 min) than in G-6 (7.2 ± 1.3 min). The number of ovulations and viable embryos was higher (P < 0.05) in G-9 (2.9 ± 0.3 and 1.3 ± 0.4, respectively) than in G-6 (1.9 ± 0.3 and 0.4 ± 0.2, respectively). In conclusion, the 9-day protocol promoted higher ovulation rate and embryo yield; moreover, the cervical dilation treatment allowed NSER in a high percentage of Lacaune ewes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.11.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Follicular dynamics and in vivo embryo production in Santa Inês ewes treated with smaller doses of pFSH.

Anim Reprod Sci 2019 Oct 25;209:106137. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Department of Preventative Veterinary Medicine and Animal Reproduction, School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, São Paulo State University, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane S/N, 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

To evaluate follicular dynamics, there was assessment of superovulatory response and in vivo embryo production in ewes treated with relatively smaller doses of exogenous pFSH than typically used in combination with a dose of eCG at the beginning of the gonadotropin treatment period. Santa Inês ewes (n = 24) were randomly divided into three groups, based on mg dose of pFSH administered: G200 (n = 8), G133 (n = 8) and G100 (n = 8) in eight decreasing doses at 12 -h intervals. All ewes were treated with 300 IU of eCG concomitantly starting with first pFSH administration. Ovulatory follicular dynamics and follicular wall vascularization (FWV) were evaluated using a B-mode and color Doppler ultrasonic machine, respectively. Superovulatory response and embryo production were evaluated 6 days after estrous detection. In the G200 group, the preovulatory follicle size (PFS) were less (P <  0.05), ovulation time later (P <  0.05), and PFS rate greater (P <  0.05); while in the G100 group ovulation rate, and number and percentage of unfertilized eggs were greater (P <  0.05) than in the G133 group (P <  0.05). Number and percentage of viable embryos were greater in the G200 and G100 compared to G133 group (P <  0.05). The dose of 100 mg of FSH was as efficacious as the traditional dose of 200 mg, in combination with a dose of eCG, for superovulatory response and viable embryo production but there was a greater percentage of unfertilized eggs with this treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2019.106137DOI Listing
October 2019

Pregnancy rate after fixed-time transfer of cryopreserved embryos collected by non-surgical route in Lacaune sheep.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Nov 9;54(11):1493-1496. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil.

This study investigated the feasibility of applying fixed-time (cryopreserved) embryo transfer in ewes. Embryos (n = 106) were non-surgically recovered from superovulated donors (n = 39) on day 6-7 after oestrus. Straws containing one or two embryos (morulae and/or blastocysts) subjected to either slow freezing (SF, n = 62) or vitrification (VT, n = 44) were randomly used within fixed-time embryo transfer on Day 8.5. Recipient ewes were nulliparous (n = 58) bearing corpora lutea after synchronous oestrous induction protocol. The pregnancy rate was higher (p = .03) in SF (39.4%) than VT (16.9%) and survival rate tended (p = .08) to be higher in SF than in VT (25.8% vs. 15.9%). Lambing rates were similar (p = .13) between SF (20.9%) and VT (15.9%). Embryos recovered by non-surgical route after cervical dilation treatment and later cryopreserved by either slow freezing or vitrification produced reasonable pregnancy rates after FTET.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13550DOI Listing
November 2019

Comparison of the intravenous and intravaginal route of oxytocin administration for cervical dilation protocol and non-surgical embryo recovery in oestrous-induced Santa Inês ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Sep 25;54(9):1230-1235. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Sobral-CE, Brazil.

This study compared the effects of intravaginal and intravenous routes of oxytocin (OT) administration in 46 oestrous-induced Santa Inês ewes (6-day treatment with progestin-releasing intravaginal sponges and a single injection of 200 IU of eCG at the time of sponge removal) that underwent transcervical embryo recovery 6-7 days after oestrous onset and mating. All ewes received 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol via latero-vulvar route, and 1 mg of oestradiol benzoate i.m. 16 hr before and 50 IU of OT 20 min before non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER), with OT being administered intravenously (n = 21) or intravaginally (n = 21). An overall oestrous response was 95.6% (44/46), and adequate cervical retraction could be accomplished in 78.6% (33/42) of ewes. The percentage of successful NSER procedures was 57% (24/42) or 72.7% (24/33) of animals with sufficient cervical retraction. The duration of NSER procedure averaged 28 min (range: 17-40 min) and ~96% of flushing fluid could be recovered (range: 85%-100%). Out of 18 ewes that could not undergo NSER, 12 (66.6%) presented various anatomical barriers, whilst the other 33.4% did not present these barriers and still could not be traversed. Excluding the ewes with those anatomical features, the overall success rate of NSER was 80% (24/30). The route of OT administration had no effect on NSER efficiency or the ease with which transcervical embryo flushing was performed. Both routes of OT administration can be used for cervical dilation protocol. Discarding ewes with anatomical features precluding cervical penetration is highly recommended to increase the efficacy of NSER in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13499DOI Listing
September 2019

Early luteal development in Santa Inês ewes superovulated with reduced doses of porcine follicle-stimulating hormone.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Mar 4;54(3):456-463. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, UNESP-Universidade Estadual Paulista, Jaboticabal, Brazil.

The aim was to compare the early luteal development in ewes superovulated with different doses of pFSH. Twenty-nine Santa Inês ewes received a progesterone device (CIDR®) for 8 days. Gonadotrophic treatment started on Day 6: G200 (control, n = 9, 200 mg); G133 (n = 10, 133 mg); and G100 (n = 10, 100 mg of pFSH). On Day 6, all females received eCG (300 IU). B-mode and spectral Doppler ultrasonography were performed daily during the early luteal phase (Days 11-15) to monitor the development of corpora lutea (CLs; dimensions) and ovarian arteries indices. CLs were also classified as normal or prematurely regressed (PRCL) on Day 15 by videolaparoscopy. Ewes from G100 and G133 showed gradual increase in luteal diameter during the early luteal phase (p < 0.001), whereas G200 animals presented increase from Day 11 to Day 13, and then decrease on Days 14 and 15 (p < 0.001). The G200 females showed greater percentage of PRCL (45.20%) than those of the other groups (p < 0.001). The normal CLs number was greater in G100 than in G133 (p = 0.04), while the PRCL number was greater in G200 than in the other groups (p = 0.03). Resistive index (RI) was greater in G200 than in G100 (p = 0.02). RI was lower in Day 12 than Day 15 (p = 0.02). Pulsatility index (PI) was greater on Days 14 and 15 (p < 0.01). In conclusion, the lowest dose of pFSH (100 mg) can be considered sufficient for an efficient superovulatory response in sheep, producing better CLs development dynamic in early luteal phase and ovarian blood perfusion and smaller number of PRCL than the traditional (200 mg) pFSH dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13374DOI Listing
March 2019

Differences in the thermal sensitivity and seminal quality of distinct ovine genotypes raised in tropical conditions.

Theriogenology 2019 Jan 29;123:123-131. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Embrapa Southeast Livestock (CPPSE/Embrapa), São Carlos, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

For different ovine breeds to maximize their reproductive capacity in countries with tropical climate, it is important to evaluate their potential for thermal resilience and consequences on their reproductive traits. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of thermal environment temperatures of climate seasons in a tropical climate region on the surface temperatures of the scrotum, testicular biometric characteristics, seminal quality and serum testosterone concentration of rams of different genotypes. Breeders of four different genotypes (Dorper, n = 8, Texel, n = 8, Santa Inês, n = 9 and Morada Nova, n = 8) were used throughout the four climate seasons. Higher thermal challenge was recorded in the spring and summer. In the summer increase in scrotal surface temperature was detected by infrared thermography (P < 0.05), mainly in the regions of the distal testicular pole and tail of the epididymis. The animals of the Texel genotype had higher rectal temperature in the summer. In spring, this genotype also had the highest testicular pole (32.2 ± 0.5 °C; P < 0.05) and distal (29.9 ± 0.4 °C; P < 0.05) temperatures and a higher mean testicular temperature (31.7 ± 0.4 °C; P < 0.05). The Morada Nova genotype showed a higher surface temperature gradient between testicular poles (2.96 ± 0.1 °C; P < 0.05), especially in spring. Genotype-dependent thermal sensitivity was detected for the thermal gradient between the testicular poles, reflecting the seminal quality. There was a positive correlation of the thermal gradient between testicular poles with sperm membrane integrity and negative correlation with total sperm defects. The Texel genotype showed less progressive motility and higher percentage of sperm defects. There was no difference in testosterone concentration between genotypes and in the different seasons (P > 0.05). Thus, the indigenous genotypes showed a greater capability to maintain the scrotum-testicular thermoregulation. Dorper animals resembled the indigenous sheep genotypes, in terms of seminal characteristics, unlike Texel animals, which showed lower adaptability and lower seminal quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.09.037DOI Listing
January 2019

Combined treatment with oestradiol benzoate, d-cloprostenol and oxytocin permits cervical dilation and nonsurgical embryo recovery in ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Jan 29;54(1):118-125. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil.

This study examined the feasibility of transcervical embryo recovery after the hormonal treatment to induce cervical dilation, following the 7-day oestrous synchronization protocol in multiparous Santa Inês ewes. A total of 23 cyclic ewes received two doses of 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol by latero-vulvar route 7 days apart. After the second injection of d-cloprostenol, the ewes were checked for oestrus (every 12 hr) and then mated by fertile rams throughout the oestrous period. All ewes received 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol (latero-vulvar) and 1 mg of oestradiol benzoate by either intramuscular (EBim group; n = 12) or intravaginal (EBivg group; n = 11) route 16 hr before embryo flushing. Twenty minutes before the flushing, 50 IU of oxytocin were administered intravenously. The oestrous response (i.e., the percentage of ewes that showed signs of oestrous behaviour after the second d-cloprostenol injection) was 91.3% (21/23). The proportion of successfully penetrated ewes (81.8% compared with 80.0%), the mean duration of embryo flushing (24.7 ± 2.0 min compared 26.2 ± 1.9 min), the flushing fluid recovery rate (94.8 ± 1.3% compared with 91.0 ± 2.9%) and the average number of structures recovered per ewe (0.5 ± 0.4 compared with 0.8 ± 0.4) did not vary (p > 0.05) between the EBim and EBivg groups. Viable embryos were recovered from 41.2% (7/17) of successfully penetrated ewes. It can be concluded that nonsurgical (i.e., transcervical) embryo collection can be performed in oestrous-synchronized Santa Inês ewes pretreated with d-cloprostenol, oxytocin and oestradiol benzoate, with the latter hormone administered by either the intramuscular or intravaginal route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13318DOI Listing
January 2019

Effects of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum formation and progesterone production in estrous-induced nulliparous Santa Inês ewes.

Anim Reprod 2018 Aug 16;15(2):135-139. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

The effect of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum (ACL) formation, CL area, and plasma progesterone (P4) concentration (ng/mL) seven days after breeding was studied in nulliparous Santa Inês sheep. Intravaginal 60 mg MAP sponges were inserted into ewes for six days and 300 IU eCG i.m. and 30 µg d-cloprostenol latero-vulvar were administered 24 h before sponge removal. Ewes were naturally bred and, seven days after first mating (Day 0; D0), were treated with either 250 IU hCG (hCG group; n = 7) or 1 mL saline solution (control group; n = 7). Blood was collected to determine plasma P4 concentrations and sonograms were performed on Days 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 22. Number of CL on D7 was similar (P > 0.05) between hCG (1.3 ± 0.5) and control (1.3 ± 0.5) groups; however, on D13, it was greater (P < 0.05) in the hCG group (2.3 ± 0.5) than in the control group (1.3 ± 0.5). A greater (P < 0.05) luteal tissue area was detected in hCG-treated ewes (n = 4) on Days 16 to 22 than in the animals in the control group (n = 7). Plasma P4 concentration on D13 to D22 was higher (P < 0.05) in hCG-treated animals than in control ewes. Administration of hCG seven days after estrus onset efficiently induced accessory CL formation in ewes, increasing luteal tissue area and plasma P4 concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR2017-957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8186880PMC
August 2018

Cervical transposition test using Hegar dilator at oestrus as a tool to select ewes for transcervical embryo collection.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Jan 5;54(1):126-128. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil.

This study evaluated the cervical transposition method as a tool to select ewes for embryo collection by transcervical route. Adult Santa Inês ewes (n = 50) received Day 0 protocol for superovulation treatments. The cervix transposition test was performed both at oestrus and at the embryo collection time. The latter was preceded by hormonal cervical dilation. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy were 85.7%, 66.6%, 85.7%, 66.6% and 80.0%, respectively. The kappa index yielded a moderate score (κ = 0.52). In conclusion, the high sensitivity and accuracy indicate that the cervical transposition test is a screening option to select ewes for embryo collection by transcervical route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13306DOI Listing
January 2019

Anti-Müllerian hormone and antral follicle count are more effective for selecting ewes with good potential for in vivo embryo production than the presence of FecG mutation or eCG pre-selection tests.

Theriogenology 2018 Jun 23;113:146-152. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brazil Filho, 64, CEP 24230-340, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

This study aims to compare four different methods for selecting high responding sheep donors for in vivo embryo production. These methods include a pre-selection eCG test (eCG), antral follicle count (AFC), plasma anti-Müllerian hormone measurement (AMH) and genotyping for the presence of the FecG mutation (a polymorphism in the GDF9 gene associated with increased ovulation rate). Santa Ines ewe lambs (n = 25) underwent superovulation (SOV) with 800 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) and the corpus luteum (CL) count was recorded by laparoscopy after eight days. At the D0, blood samples for AMH and genotyping analysis were collected. Twenty-one days after the end of the eCG test, the same animals underwent SOV with 200 mg of FSH, administered in six decreasing doses, and then naturally mated. Immediately before the beginning of the FSH protocol (D0), and at the moment of the first FSH dose (D9), the AFC was assessed. Plasma AMH was again determined at the D9. After each screening process, animals were classified as having a high (HR), or low (LR), potential of response (using specific thresholds for each method). Then, the ewes' response to SOV and embryo yield for each screening method, classified as HR or LR, were compared. Animals classified as HR by AFC (HR) and by AMH concentration (HR) at the D9, produced more viable embryos than those classified as LR and LR (HR 6.2 ± 3.2 vs LR 2.8 ± 3.0 and HR 6.6 ± 3.6 vs LR 3.0 ± 2.9). Pre-selection tests with eCG and different FecG genotypes, either heterozygous (+/E) or wild type (+/+), were unable to discriminate HR or LR animals. A tendency (P = 0.06) to have lower plasma AMH was observed in heterozygous FecG (+/E) ewes. In conclusion, both AFC and plasma AMH can be used to select donor ewes with a higher potential of response for in vivo embryo production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.02.018DOI Listing
June 2018

Use of two doses of cloprostenol in different intervals for estrus synchronization in hair sheep under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2018 Feb 4;50(2):427-432. Epub 2017 Nov 4.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Av. Vital Brasil Filho, 64, CEP, Niterói, RJ, 24230-340, Brazil.

This study evaluated the effect of two doses of prostaglandin at different intervals on reproductive parameters of crossbred ewes. In Experiment 1, 30 ewes received two doses of 120 μg cloprostenol at 7 (G ), 9 (G ), or 11.5 (G ) days apart. Ultrasound assessments were performed from the first and second cloprostenol administration for 5 days or ovulation detection. Estrus signs were checked by a teaser male. Plasma progesterone concentration was measured before each cloprostenol dose. In Experiment 2, 95 ewes were allocated into the same treatments and after the second dose, ewes in estrus were mated. At 30 days after breeding, pregnancy diagnosis was conducted and prolificacy was evaluated at lambing. In Experiment 1, at the first cloprostenol administration, 50% of ewes had an active CL and all showed estrus. At the second administration, 66.7% of ewes had an active CL and one did not present estrus. There was no difference (P > 0.05) after the second dose for as follows: overall estrous response (90%), interval from cloprostenol administration to estrous onset (42.0 ± 4.9 h), estrus duration (31.5 ± 2.1 h), ovulation rate (100.0%), and number of ovulations (1.5 ± 0.3). In Experiment 2, both pregnancy and prolificacy rates were similar (P > 0.05) for G (73.3; 145%), G (75.9; 125%), or G (75.9; 145%), leading to an overall pregnancy rate of 75.0% (66/88) and prolificacy rate of 137% Therefore, the three treatments proposed were able to promote high pregnancy and prolificacy rates in crossbred ewes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1454-xDOI Listing
February 2018

Early pregnancy diagnosis in ewes by subjective assessment of luteal vascularisation using colour Doppler ultrasonography.

Theriogenology 2018 Jan 22;106:247-252. Epub 2017 Oct 22.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24230-340, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was designed to evaluate early pregnancy diagnosis using colour Doppler ultrasonography (US) for luteal vascularisation assessment. In Study 1, 28 ewes were artificially inseminated (Day 0), and luteal vascularisation was assessed from Day 12 to Day 19 by two evaluators using colour Doppler US, categorising the corpus luteum (CL) on a subjective scale ranging from 1 to 4. Females bearing a CL with score 2 or greater were presumably considered pregnant. Pregnancy was confirmed on Day 30 by B-Mode US. In Study 2, a predictive pregnancy diagnosis was performed on Day 17 in 197 ewes based on the criteria described in Study 1. Pregnancy was confirmed by B-mode US on Day 45. Agreement between evaluators was verified by an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Kappa index (κ). Performance of colour Doppler US for early pregnancy diagnosis was evaluated calculating sensitivity (Sens), specificity (Spec), negative predictive values (NPV), positive predictive values (PPV) and accuracy (Ac). In Study 1, luteal vascularisation assessment was unable to predict non-pregnant animals between 12 and 14 days after insemination, as all animals still had vascularised CL, and thus were considered pregnant. The colour Doppler US performance improved progressively until Day 17, when it reached maximum values (Sens = 100%, Spec = 76%, PPV = 73%, NPV = 100% and Ac = 86%). The subjective scale for luteal irrigation assessment showed medium to good agreement among evaluators on Day 12 and Day 13 (ICC = 0.66 and 0.68, respectively), and excellent agreement from Day 14 to Day 19 (ICC = 0.90, 0.80, 0.80, 0.84, 0.95 and 0.93, respectively). Agreement was almost perfect for score 1 CLs (κ = 0.87), and moderate for scores 2, 3 and 4 CLs (κ = 0.54, 0.48 and 0.41, respectively). In Study 2, performance of colour Doppler US as a tool to predict pregnancy status in ewes on Day 17 post-insemination was as follows: Sens = 93.5%, Spec = 80.8%, PPV = 85.6%, NPV = 91.1% and Ac = 87.8%. Subjective luteal vascularisation assessment using colour Doppler US to distinguish between pregnant and non-pregnant animals was considered a reliable tool which was highly efficient beginning 17 days after breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.10.029DOI Listing
January 2018

Effect of different hormonal combinations on follicular wave emergence and superovulatory response in sheep.

Theriogenology 2017 Nov 26;103:24-29. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, Brazil. Electronic address:

The aim of the present study was to compare hormonal treatments to induce and synchronize follicular wave emergence to improve the results of superovulatory (SOV) treatments in ewes. In Experiment 1 (n = 66), ewes were treated with a progesterone intravaginal implant plus a PGF analogue (group G), or with the same treatment plus estradiol benzoate (G), a GnRH agonist (G), or both, estradiol benzoate and a GnRH agonist (G) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Follicular wave emergence was determined by ultrasound. Follicular wave did not emerge during the studied period in 10 females (one from G, six from G and three from G). Follicular emergence was less synchronized (P = 0.007) when estradiol was administered (G: 103.6 ± 22.0 h), without any interaction with GnRH treatment (G: 80.1 ± 21.4 h, G: 52.5 ± 8.7 h, G: 56.6 ± 10.4 h). Estradiol administration delayed the moment of follicular emergence (P = 0.007) and the follicular wave emergence moment in which follicular dominance was achieved (P = 0.009), without interactions between estradiol and GnRH in the moment of follicular wave emergence or dominance. In Experiment 2 (n = 22), two SOV protocols were compared: the best treatment of Experiment 1 (G) was used to synchronize follicular wave emergence, initiating the SOV treatment 2.5 days later; in the control treatment, SOV treatment started 80 h after a short-term protocol to synchronize ovulation (G). The number of corpora lutea (CL) and the evaluation of the collected embryos were performed six days after estrus. Blood samples were collected daily for plasma progesterone determination. Although the number of CL was similar in G (7.1 ± 1.0) and G (6.9 ± 5.1), the number of structures and viable embryos recovered were greater in G (P < 0.05). The occurrence of luteal premature regression was significantly greater in G (60%) than in G (8.3%). The use of GnRH agonist alone did not improve synchronization of follicular wave emergence. When EB was used (alone or associated) follicular wave emergence was less synchronized. The SOV protocol proposed had a similar ovarian response; however, it resulted in less transferable embryos.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.07.036DOI Listing
November 2017

Reproductive features and use of an anti-inflammatory drug in estrus-induced dairy goats artificially inseminated in a standing position with cervix immobilization.

Reprod Biol 2017 Sep 21;17(3):268-273. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Embrapa Goats and Sheep, CP 145, Três Lagoas Farm, Road Sobral-Groaíras, km 04, Sobral, CE, CEP: 62010-970, Brazil.

This study evaluated reproductive features and role of Flunixin-Meglumine at timed artificial insemination (AI), using a new technique of standing position with cervix immobilization. In Experiment 1, 10 goats (n=5 nulliparous [Null] and 5 pluriparous [Plu]) were evaluated after estrus induction by recorded reproductive parameters to define the ideal time for AI. In Experiment 2, goats were artificially inseminated 51-54h after sponge removal with frozen-thawed semen. At AI, 1mL saline (CONTROL; 18 Null and 14 Plu) or 50mg Flunixin-Meglumine (FLUNIXIN; 15 Null and 18 Plu) was administered i.m. Location of semen deposition was recorded for both groups. In Experiment 1, all sexual behavior and ovulatory parameters were similar between Null and Plu for estrus response and ovulation (100%), interval from sponge removal to ovulation (∼64.2h), largest ovulatory follicle diameter (∼6.6mm), and number of ovulations (∼2.0). In Experiment 2, pregnancy rate was superior (P<0.01) for CONTROL (62.5%; 10 Null and 10 Plu) than FLUNIXIN (30.3%; 3 Null and 7 Plu) goats. Regardless of the treatment, intrauterine AI was more frequent (P<0.01) in Plu (100.0%; 32/32) than in Null (69.7%; 23/33) goats. Moreover, AI was more time-consuming (P<0.01) in Null (44±37s; 4-139s) than in Plu (21±19s, 4-78s) goats. Therefore, administration of Flunixin-Meglumine at the time of AI adversely affected pregnancy rate. High rates of intrauterine cervical penetration were obtained, achieving good pregnancy rates in goats not receiving Flunixin-Meglumine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2017.07.002DOI Listing
September 2017

Protected fatty acid supplementation during estrus synchronization treatment on reproductive parameters of dairy goats.

Anim Sci J 2017 Feb 16;88(2):254-258. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

This study evaluated the effect of the protected fatty acid inclusion during estrus synchronization on reproductive parameters. Goats (n = 32) received progestagen sponges for 6 days and 200 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin and 30 µg d-cloprostenol were given on Day 5. No difference was found among control (C), 1% protected fatty acid inclusion (C + 1%) or 4% protected fatty acid inclusion (C + 4%) groups, respectively, in estrus (100.0, 100.0 or 90.9%), estrus duration (31.6 ± 12.3; 43.2 ± 12.9 or 40.8 ± 14.1 h), animals ovulating (100.0, 90.0 or 100.0%) or ovulation rate (1.3 ± 0.5; 1.1 ± 0.3 or 1.2 ± 0.4). The interval from sponge removal to ovulation and from estrus to ovulation, respectively, were shorter for C + 4% (45.2 ± 8.0 h; 18.3 ± 11.0 h) compared with C (56.3 ± 12.6 h; 30.6 ± 10.5 h) or C + 1% (57.7 ± 8.7 h; 30.3 ± 11.1 h). The average ovulatory follicle diameter was smaller for C + 4% (6.2 ± 0.7 mm) than C (7.5 ± 0.8 mm), but similar to C + 1% (7.0 ± 1.5 mm). Insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1, glucose and progesterone concentrations were similar among groups. The inclusion of protected fatty acid during synchronization treatment promoted no benefits on ovulation rate, but 4% anticipated the ovulation time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/asj.12640DOI Listing
February 2017

Efficiency of different hormonal treatments for estrus synchronization in tropical Santa Inês sheep.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2016 Mar 6;48(3):545-51. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Av. Vital Brasil Filho, 64, CEP 24230-340, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of (i) the duration of hormone treatment with progestogen sponges during the seasonal anestrus and (ii) the administration of two doses of prostaglandin at 7 days apart during the breeding season on reproductive parameters of Santa Inês ewes. In experiment 1, 32 ewes received intravaginal MAP sponges for 6 (G6 days), 9 (G9 days), or 12 (G12days) days and 75 μg D-cloprostenol i.m. and 300 IU eCG i.m. 1 day before sponge removal. In experiment 2, 23 ewes received two doses of 0.48-mg sodium cloprostenol i.m. 7 days apart. Ovarian follicular dynamic was assessed through transrectal ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected daily to determine progesterone concentrations. In experiment 1, estrus and ovulation rates did not differ (P > 0.05) among protocols and between cyclic and acyclic ewes at the beginning of the experiment. The G9 days treatment showed a lower dispersion of ovulations in relation to onset of estrus when compared to G6 days and G12 days. In experiment 2, all ewes exhibit estrus and ovulated after the second dose of prostaglandin, although ewes that were in diestrus at D0 showed subluteal concentrations of progesterone during the follicle development stage of the treatment. In conclusion, the use of progestogen device during 9 days promotes lower dispersion of ovulation when compared to its use for 6 or 12 days, and the protocol of two doses of prostaglandin 7 days apart synchronizes estrus efficiently but results in follicular development under low progesterone concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0989-yDOI Listing
March 2016

Reproductive performance, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes in winter and summer under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2015 Mar 18;47(3):627-31. Epub 2015 Jan 18.

Departamento de Patologia e Clínica Veterinária, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brasil, 64, Santa Rosa, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 24320-340, Brazil,

The study aimed to evaluate the reproductive, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes during winter and summer in the tropical climate of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The ewes (n = 16) were prepared for induction of synchronised oestrus with a short-term hormonal treatment, and follicular dynamics were assessed with ultrasonography. Blood samples for biochemical and hormonal analyses were collected on days zero, six and eight of the protocol at 7, 13 and 19 h. Reproductive behaviour did not differ (P > 0.05) between seasons. Based on ultrasonography data, the ovulation rate was 100% in summer and 81.3% in winter. Most of the ewes showed double ovulation in summer, and the diameter of the largest and second largest follicles differed (P < 0.05) between seasons. Among the biochemical parameters, plasma glucose, plasma urea and serum albumin differed (P < 0.05) between the study periods. Regarding the hormonal profile, higher serum triiodothyronine, thyroxine and prolactin concentrations (P < 0.05) were observed in summer. The average progesterone concentrations demonstrated low reproductive seasonality. In conclusion, the reproductive performance of the ewes was superior in summer, and higher levels of plasma glucose and serum albumin during this season may have played a role in the observed ovulation rates. The higher levels of serum prolactin and serum thyroxine in summer demonstrated that these compounds were not involved in the regulatory mechanisms underlying the onset of anoestrus in these Santa Inês ewes under tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0757-zDOI Listing
March 2015

Is the Santa Inês sheep a typical non-seasonal breeder in the Brazilian Southeast?

Trop Anim Health Prod 2014 Dec 25;46(8):1533-7. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Department of Pathology and Clinical Veterinary, Veterinary School, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Vital Brasil street, no. 64, 24320-340, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil,

This study aimed to characterize the annual reproductive cycle of Santa Inês sheep in the Fluminense lowland region (latitude 22° 27' 45″ south, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) between September 2011 and August 2012. Ten ewes were maintained in a semi-intensive system under natural photoperiods with access to pasture and shelter. Blood samples were collected every 2 weeks to determine plasma progesterone concentrations. The body condition score (BCS) was determined each month. There was no seasonal variation in the plasma progesterone concentration from the months of September to January, April, and May to August. In the months of February and April, the plasma hormone levels were higher than August to November. Seventy percent (7/10) of the sheep studied had short seasonal anestrus. The periods of anestrus were concentrated between the months of September and December (spring season) in 85.7 % (6/7) of the cases evaluated. In these cases, 57.1 % (4/7) also had short periods of reproductive inactivity during other months of the year. The progesterone values obtained in the spring corroborate the higher reproductive anestrus observed in this season. Higher plasma progesterone values were found in summer and autumn with reduction in the winter to lower values in the spring. No changes in the BCS during the study period were observed. Under the studied conditions, the Santa Inês sheep showed a low degree of reproductive seasonality. However, some individual ewes had seasonal anestrus during the spring. Further studies that include management techniques are needed to improve reproductive efficiency without hormone therapy in this breed under tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-014-0672-8DOI Listing
December 2014
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