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

Downloads: 0
Views: 54


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


Alexander SL, Irvine CHG, Shand N, Evans MJ. Is luteinizing hormone secretion modulated by endogenous oxytocin in the mare? Studies on the role of oxytocin and factors affecting its secretion in estrous mares. Biol Reprod. 1995;1(monograph_series1):177-87.

Caraty A, Delaleu B, Chesneau D, Fabre-Nys C. Sequential role of E2 and GnRH for the expression of estrous behavior in ewes. Endocrinology. 2002;143(1):139-45. PMid:11751602.

Clarke IJ. Induction of male behavior in ovariectomized ewes and ovariectomized-androgenized ewes chronically implanted with oestradiol-17β or testosterone. Anim Reprod Sci. 1979;1(4):305-12.

Druart X, Rickard JP, Mactier S, Kohnke PL, Kershaw-Young CM, Bathgate R, Gibb Z, Crossett B, Tsikis G, Labas V, Harichaux G, Grupen CG, de Graaf SP. Proteomic characterization and cross species comparison of mammalian seminal plasma. J Proteomics. 2013;91:13-22. PMid:23748023.

Fletcher IC, Lindsay DR. Effect of rams on the duration of oestrus behaviour in ewes. J Reprod Fertil. 1971;25(2):253-9. PMid:5105152.

Fulkerson WJ, Adams NR, Gherardi PB. Ability of castrate male sheep treated with oestrogen or testosterone to induce and detect oestrus in ewes. Appl Anim Ethol. 1981;7(1):57-66.

Goodman RL, Gibson M, Skinner DC, Lehman MN. Neuroendocrine control of pulsatile GnRH secretion during the ovarian cycle: evidence from the ewe. Reprod Suppl. 2002;59:41-56. PMid:12698972.

Harper GP, Glanville RW, Thoenen H. The purification of nerve growth factor from bovine seminal plasma. Biochemical characterization and partial amino acid sequence. J Biol Chem. 1982;257(14):8541-8. PMid:7085682.

Kendrick KM, Fabre-Nys C, Blache D, Goode JA, Broad KD. The role of oxytocin release in the mediobasal hypothalamus of the sheep in relation to female sexual receptivity. J Neuroendocrinol. 1993;5(1):13-21. PMid:8097940.

Kendrick KM, Keverne EV, Baldwin BA, Sharman DF. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of acetylcholinesterase, monoamines and oxytocin during labor, parturition, vaginocervical stimulation, lamb separation and suckling in sheep. Neuroendocrinology. 1986;44(2):149-56. PMid:3796790.

Kershaw-Young CM, Druart X, Vaughan J, Maxwell WM. β-Nerve growth factor is a major component of alpaca seminal plasma and induces ovulation in female alpacas. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2012;24(8):1093-7. PMid:22951217.

Lindsay DR, Cognie Y, Pelletier J, Signoret JP. Influence of the presence of rams on the timing of ovulation and discharge of LH in ewes. Physiol Behav. 1975;15(5):423-6. PMid:1241139.

Marion GB, Smith VR, Wiley TE, Barret GR. The effect of sterile copulation on the time of ovulation in dairy heifers. J Dairy Sci. 1950;33(12):885-9.

O’Byrne KT, Lunn SF, Coen SW. Central oxytocin stimulates luteinizing hormone release in the marmoset, a primate which fails to show lactationally-induced infertility. J Neuroendocrinol. 1990;2(4):419-21. PMid:19215367.

Parker GA, Birkhead TR. Polyandry: the history of a revolution. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013;368(1613):20120335. PMid:23339245.

Preston BT, Stevenson IR, Pemberton JM, Wilson K. Dominant rams lose out by sperm depletion. Nature. 2001;409(6821):681-2. PMid:11217847.

Randel RD, Short RE, Christensen DS, Bellows RA. Effects of various mating stimuli on the LH surge and ovulation time following synchronization of estrus in the bovine. J Anim Sci. 1973;37(1):128-30. PMid:4737208.

Ratto MH, Leduc YA, Valderrama XP, van Straaten KE, Delbaere LTJ, Pierson RA, Adams GP. The nerve of ovulation-inducing factor in semen. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012;109(37):15042-7. PMid:22908303.

Recabarren SE, Escobar H, Lobos A, Recabarren MP, Parilo J. Luteinizing hormone pulse frequency is increase by arginine infusion in prepubertal sheep. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1996;104(1):72-7. PMid:8750574.

Roelofs JB, Bouwman EG, Dieleman SJ, Van Eerdenburg FJCM, Kaal-Lansbergen LMTE. Influence of repeated rectal ultrasound examinations on hormone profiles and behaviour around oestrus and ovulation in dairy cattle. Theriogenology. 2004;62(7):1337-52. PMid:15325559.

Romano JE, Abella DF. Effect of servcie on duration of oestrus and ovulation in dairy goats. Anim Reprod Sci. 1997;47(1-2):107-12. PMid:9233510.

Romano JE, Alkar A, Amstalden M. Effect of copulation on estrus duration and ovulation time in goats. Theriogenology. 2016;85(2):330-4. PMid:26483310.

Romano JE, Benech A. Effect of service and vaginal-cervical anesthesia on estrus duration in dairy goats. Theriogenology. 1996;45(3):691-6. PMid:16727831.

Romano JE, Keisler DH, Amstalden M. Effect of copulation on estrus duration, LH response, and ovulation in Boer goats. Theriogenology. 2018;121:62-6. PMid:30138795.

Romano JE. Effect of service number on estrus duration in dairy goats. Theriogenology. 1994a;41(6):1273-7. PMid:16727481.

Romano JE. Effects of different stimuli of service on estrus duration in dairy goats. Theriogenology. 1994b;42(5):875-9. PMid:16727592.

Shibusawa K, Saito S, Fukuda M, Kawai T, Yamada H, Tomizawa K. Neurosecretion of oxytocin stimulates the reléase of the pituitary gonadotrophin. Endocrinol Jpn. 1955;2(3):183-7. PMid:13285433.

Signoret JP, Buisson FM, Mauléon P. Effect of mating on the onset and duration of ovulation in the sow. J Reprod Fertil. 1972;31(2):327-30. PMid:4674007.

Tilbrook AJ, Cameron AWN. The contribution of the sexual behavior of rams to successful mating of ewes under field conditions. In: Oldham CM, Martin GB, Purvis IW, editors. Reproductive physiology of Merino sheep: concepts 30 and consequences. Crawley: The University of Western Australia; 1990. p. 143-60.

Tilbrook AJ, Lindsay DR. Differences in the sexual “attractiveness” of oestrous ewes to rams. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1987;17(1-2):129-38.

Tilbrook AJ, Pearce DT. Pattern of loss of spermatozoa from the vagina of the ewe. Aust J Biol Sci. 1986;39(3):295-303. PMid:3827743.

Ungerfeld R, Lacuesta L. Competition between different social ranked-rams has similar effects on testosterone and sexual behavior throughout the year. Reprod Domest Anim. 2015;50(6):1022-7. PMid:26489705.

Ungerfeld R, Rubianes E. Estrus response to the ram effect in Corriedale ewes primed with medroxyprogesterone during the breeding season. Small Rumin Res. 1999;32(1):89-91.

Waberski D, Südhoff H, Hahn T, Jungblut PW, Kallweit E, Calvete JJ, Ensslin M, Hoppen HO, Wintergalen N, Weitze KF, Topfer-Petersen E. Advanced ovulation in gilts by the intrauterine application of a low molecular mass pronase-sensitive fraction of boar seminal plasma. J Reprod Fertil. 1995;105(2):247-52. PMid:8568767.

Wheeler AG, Baird DT, Land RB, Scaramuzzi RJ. Increased secretion of progesterone from the ovary of the ewe during the preovulatory period. J Reprod Fertil. 1975;45(3):519-22. PMid:1239511.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

6149d465a953951a605bfca5 animreprod Articles
Links & Downloads

Anim Reprod

Share this page
Page Sections