Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

New insights on the neuroendocrine control of puberty and seasonal breeding in female sheep

Caroline Decourt, Massimiliano Beltramo

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Timing of puberty has a great influence on animal productivity. For example, reproduction in sheep can be affected by seasonality, leading to fluctuations in availability of animal products. Therefore, optimization of birth dates would improve reproductive success in sheep. Since the discovery of the major role of kisspeptin and Kiss1R, its cognate receptor, in reproductive function, there are new opportunities for interventions. Repeated or continuous administration of native kisspeptin are able to hasten puberty and induce ovulation during breeding and non-breeding seasons of sheep. However, due to the short half-life of kisspeptin, protocols involving native kisspeptin are usually proof of concept, but not practical under field conditions. Consequently, there are efforts to develop kisspeptin analogues capable of replicating effects of repeated/continuous administration of native kisspeptin. In this review, we intended to provide a comprehensive summary of the neuroendocrine requirements for puberty onset and ovulation in adult ewes, focusing on kisspeptin, its physiological effects and responses to its analogues on reproductive function in ewes.


kisspeptin, ovulation, puberty onset, sheep reproduction.


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