Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Effect of hCG application at different moments of the estrous cycle on corpus luteum and uterine vascularization and serum progesterone concentration in mares

Maria Augusta Alonso, Luciano Andrade Silva, Fernanda Jordão Affonso, Kleber Menegon Lemes, Eneiva Carla Carvalho Celeghini, Renata Lançoni, Henrique Fulanetti Carvalho, Rubens Paes de Arruda

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Establishment of pregnancy after embryo transfer is the ultimate goal of an embryo transfer program and increasing pregnancy rates and reducing pregnancy loss are mandatory. The utilization of treatments to improve conception rates in recipient mares has been the focus of several research groups over the last years and the results are controversial. Some studies using human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) found promising results. Our hypothesis was that hCG administration would cause an additional stimulation on luteal function, uterine and luteal vascularization and progesterone concentration, and the mares would have increased uterine and cervix tone. Therefore, in the present study the effects of hCG administration to induce ovulation, on day 0 (day of ovulation) or day 5 postovulation were evaluated on corpus luteum characteristics, reproductive tract vascularization, and serum progesterone concentration from ovulation until day 15 postovulation. Groups were: G1: (control) - no hCG; G2: 2500 IU of hCG to induce ovulation when a follicle greater than 35mm and uterine edema were detected; G3: 2500 IU hCG on day 0; G4: 2500 IU hCG on day 5 postovulation. Twelve mares were randomly assigned to each group, during consecutive cycles, in a Latin Square experimental design, in a total of 48 cycles. Doppler ultrasound evaluations were performed daily from day 0 until day 15 postovulation, including mesometrial vascularity, endometrial vascularity and corpus luteum vascularity. Blood samples were collected for serum progesterone concentration. Data was analyzed using the Proc Glimmix SAS Procedure for nonparametric variables and Proc Mixed for parametric parameters. There was no treatment effect for all variables studied (P > 0.05). Characteristics were only affected by day (P < 0.05). It can be concluded that hCG administration at the time points suggested in the current study did not alter the characteristics evaluated.


Color Doppler ultrasonography, equine, horse, embryo transfer.


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