Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Multiple matings modify the estrous length, the moment of ovulation, and the estradiol and LH patterns in ewes

Juan Pedro Bottino; Raquel Pérez-Clariget; Mariana Garcia Kako Rodriguez; Marcelo Ratto; Rodolfo Ungerfeld

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In several species, mating reduces the estrous length and advances ovulation. The aim of this study was to determine if multiple matings reduces the estrous length and modifies the moment of ovulation, as well as the estradiol and LH patterns in ewes. The estrous cycle of Corriedale ewes was synchronized, and the onset of receptivity was monitored every 3 h with rams, avoiding mating. At the estrous onset, ewes were assigned to two experimental groups (n=10 each): 1) estrous was monitored every 3 h with a ram avoiding mating (group CON), and 2) a ram was allowed to mate and ejaculate once every 3 h (group MAT). The ovaries were scanned with transrectal ultrasonography and blood samples were collected for measuring 17β-estradiol and LH concentrations every 3 h until ovulation. Estrus was shorter in MAT than CON ewes (24.7 ± 1.5 h vs. 30.4 ± 1.5 h, respectively; P=0.02); the proportion of animals that ovulated before the end of estrus was greater in CON ewes: (9/10 vs. 3/10, P=0.009). The area under the LH curve (AUC) was greater in MAT than CON ewes (36.1 ± 3.5 ng.h-1.mL-1 vs 24.9 ± 3.5 ng.h-1.mL-1 P=0.03). However, MAT ewes had a lower 17β-estradiol AUC than CON ewes (41.0 ± 4.9 pg.h-1.mL-1 vs 59.4 ± 4.9 pg.h-1.mL-1 P=0.01). Mating reduced the estrous length, induced a greater secretion of LH but less total 17β-estradiol secreted and, additionally, ovulation occurred more frequently after the end of estrus in mated ewes.


copula, estrous cycle, follicle, preovulatory LH surge, sexual behavior


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