Author(s): Gastal EL, Gastal MO, Bergfelt DR, Ginther OJ
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Abstract Follicles > or = 5 mm were ablated in pony mares by a transvaginal ultrasound-guided technique on Day 10 (ovulation = Day 0). Follicle emergence (at 15 mm, experiment 1; at 6 mm, experiment 2) and development of the new wave was monitored by transrectal ultrasound. Deviation was defined as the beginning of a marked difference in growth rates between the two largest follicles. In experiment 1, mares were grouped (n = 4 per group) into controls, ablation-controls (ablations at Day 10 only), and a two-follicle model (periodic ablation sessions so that only the two largest follicles developed). There were no significant indications that the two-follicle model altered follicle diameters, growth rates, or time intervals of the two retained follicles at or between events (follicle emergence, deviation, and ovulation). In experiment 2, the two-follicle model (n = 14) was used for follicle and hormonal characterization and hypothesis testing, without the tedious and error-prone necessity for tracking many (e.g., 20) individual follicles. The future dominant follicle emerged a mean of 1 day earlier (p < 0.008) than the future subordinate follicle, the growth rates for the two follicles between emergence and deviation (6 days later) did not differ, and the dominant follicle was larger at the beginning of deviation (23.1 +/- 0.8 mm versus 19.6 +/- 0.9 mm; p < 0.0001). Mean FSH and LH concentrations increased (p < 0.05) concomitantly from emergence of the future dominant follicle and peaked 3 days later when the follicle was a mean of 13 mm. Thereafter, the two hormones disassociated until ovulation: FSH decreased and LH increased. Results supported the hypothesis that the future dominant follicle has an early size advantage over future subordinate follicles and indicated that the advantage was present as early as 6 days before deviation.
This article was published in Biol Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science