Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Ovarian responses and FSH profiles at superovulation with a single epidural administration of gonadotropin in the Thai-Holstein crossbreed

Rujira Chumchai; Thanaporn Ratsiri; Ruthaiporn Ratchamak; Thevin Vongpralub; Wuttigrai Boonkum; Vibuntita Chankitisakul

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The conventional method of ovarian superstimulation requires multiple injections of gonadotropins which is time-consuming and may be stressful for the cows. This study was designed to determine whether a single epidural injection of FSH (EI group) would induce the superovulatory response in the Thai-Holstein crossbreed and evaluate FSH plasma hormone concentrations. Eight cows (replication = 3; n=24) were assigned to one of 2 treatments in switch back design. Control group (n=12): cows were received 400 mg FSH twice daily by intramuscularly for 4 days (80, 80, 60, 60, 40, 40, 20 and 20 mg), EI group (n=12): cows were received 400 mg FSH by single epidural injection. Data were collected in term of ovarian follicle responses, superovulatory responses, ova/embryo collection. FSH concentrations were examined using ELISA. The total follicular responses during oestrus were not different between treatments; however, the large follicles were less frequent (P < 0.01) while the medium follicle sizes were higher (P < 0.05) in the EI group. The plasma concentration of FSH in EI was dramatically increased within 2 hours before decreasing sharply thereafter (P < 0.01) and did not remain above baseline after 10 hours of administration. The embryo quality was better in the control than the EI groups (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the number of ovulation cysts in the EI group was 50%. The ovarian responses and embryo quality in the cows with cysts were worse compared with the non-cyst groups (P < 0.05). In conclusion, alternative protocols decreased the superovulatory response and increased poor embryo quality in Thai-Holstein crossbred. Also, the incidence of ovarian follicular cysts is higher in the EI group.


Embryo transfer, superstimulation, dairy cows, ovarian cysts


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