Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Thematic Section: 36th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Embryo Technology Society (SBTE)

Use of new recombinant proteins for ovarian stimulation in ruminants

Pietro Sampaio Baruselli; Laís Ângelo de Abreu; Bruna Lima Chechin Catussi; Ana Carolina dos Santos Oliveira; Lígia Mattos Rebeis; Emanuele Almeida Gricio; Sofía Albertini; José Nélio Sousa Sales; Carlos Alberto Rodrigues

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Abstract: Currently, gonadotropin products (follicle stimulating hormone, FSH, and luteinizing hormone, LH) used in animal reproduction are produced by extraction and purification from abattoir-derived pituitary glands. This method, relying on animal-derived materials, carries the potential risk of hormone contamination and pathogen transmission. Additionally, chorionic gonadotropins are extracted from the blood of pregnant mares (equine chorionic gonadotropin; eCG) or the urine of pregnant women (human chorionic gonadotropin; hCG). However, recent advancements have introduced recombinant gonadotropins for assisted animal reproduction therapies. The traditional use of FSH for superovulation has limitations, including labor requirements and variability in superovulation response, affecting the success of in vivo (SOV) and in vitro (OPU/IVEP) embryo production. FSH treatment for superstimulation before OPU can promote the growth of a homogenous follicular population and the recovery of competent oocytes suitable for IVEP procedures. At present, a single injection of a preparation of long-acting bovine recombinant FSH (rFSH) produced similar superovulation responses resulting in the production of good-quality in vivo and in vitro embryos. Furthermore, the treatment with eCG at FTAI protocol has demonstrated its efficacy in promoting follicular growth, ovulation, and P/AI, mainly in heifers and anestrous cows. Currently, treatment with recombinant glycoproteins with eCG-like activity (r-eCG) have shown promising results in increasing follicular growth, ovulation, and P/AI in cows submitted to P4/E2 -based protocols. Bovine somatotropin (bST) is a naturally occurring hormone found in cows. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), produced through genetic engineering techniques, has shown potential in enhancing reproductive outcomes in ruminants. Treatment with rbST has been found to improve P/IA, increase donor embryo production, and enhance P/ET in recipients. The use of recombinant hormones allows to produce non-animal-derived products, offering several advantages in assisted reproductive technologies for ruminants. This advancement opens up new possibilities for improving reproductive efficiency and success rates in the field of animal reproduction.


follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, bovine somatotropin


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