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RFD is the official journal of the International Embryo Transfer Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology.


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(1)

New approaches to superovulation and embryo transfer in small ruminants

A. Menchaca A D, M. Vilariño A, M. Crispo B, T. de Castro A, E. Rubianes C

A Instituto de Reproducción Animal Uruguay, Marincho 1059, Montevideo, Uruguay.
B Unidad Animales Transgenicos, Institut Pasteur Montevideo, Mataojo 2020, Montevideo, Uruguay.
C Producción Animal y Pasturas, Facultad de Agronomía, Garzón 780, Montevideo, Uruguay.
D Corresponding author. Email: alejomen@adinet.com.uy
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The present paper reviews the current state of knowledge in multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) technology in small ruminants, focusing on recently reported information. Major new findings are related to follicular wave patterns in small ruminants, the elucidation of follicular dominance and the integration of this information into ovarian superstimulatory treatment protocols. Follicular dynamics determine steroid and gonadotrophin secretion, follicular responses to FSH, ovulatory responses and embryo yield. Protocols that control follicular dominance have been designed to allow the initiation of superstimulation at the beginning of a follicular wave. New approaches consist of (1) synchronisation of ovulation for superstimulation during Wave 1 (i.e. Day 0 protocol), (2) pretreatment with a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist from 10 days prior to FSH treatment to avoid follicular dominance and (3) progesterone–oestradiol cotreatment to synchronise follicle wave emergence. These protocols provide a homogeneous pool of small follicles that are gonadotrophin responsive, enhancing the superovulatory response and embryo yield with a reduction in the incidence of unovulated follicles and early regression of corpora lutea. In addition, the rate of fertilisation failure has been reduced by using an inducer of ovulation (i.e. GnRH) associated with intrauterine insemination. In summary, the application of recently acquired knowledge has resulted in relevant improvements in MOET programmes in small ruminants.

Keywords: follicle, goat, gonadotrophin, ovary, sheep.

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