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Ovarian follicular growth suppression by long-term treatment with a GnRH agonist and impact on small follicle number, oocyte yield, and in vitro embryo production in Zebu beef cows

E.O.S. Batista, L.M. Vieiraa, M.F. Sá Filho, E.A.R. Diasb, B.M. Bayeuxa, M.F. Accorsic, F.M. Monteirob, A.H. Souzad, P.S. Barusellia, M.J. D'Occhioe


The aim of the present study was to evaluate small follicle number, oocyte yield, andin vitro embryo production (IVEP) in Zebu beef cows treated long term with a GnRH agonist to suppress ovarian follicular growth. Nelore (Bos indicus) cows (n = 20) showing regular estrous cycles were randomly assigned to one of two groups: control (n = 10, placebo ear implant without a GnRH agonist); GnRH agonist (n = 10, GnRH agonist ear implant containing 9.4-mg deslorelin). All cows underwent an ovum pick-up (OPU) session 14 days (Day 14) before the start of treatments (Day 0) followed by seven OPU–IVEP procedures at 30-day intervals (Days 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180). Semen from a single batch of a previously tested bull was used for all the IVEP. Cows treated with agonist reported a decrease over time in the proportion of animals with a (CL; P ≤ 0.05) and large follicles (>10 mm, P ≤ 0.05). These cows had a lesser number of medium + large follicles (>5 mm; 1.74 ± 0.5 vs. 4.13 ± 0.5; P ≤ 0.05), greater number of small follicles (2–5 mm; 44.3 ± 2.8 vs. 30.8 ± 1.8; P ≤ 0.05), greater yield of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs; 21.0 ± 2.3 vs. 15.6 ± 1.9; P ≤ 0.05), greater proportion of COCs cultured (79.2 vs. 73.9%; P ≤ 0.05), COCs cleaved (10.6 ± 1.5 vs. 6.8 ± 1.1, P ≤ 0.05), and cleaved rate (52.8 vs. 44.3%; P ≤ 0.05) compared with control cows. The number (3.4 ± 0.7 vs. 3.0 ± 0.6; P > 0.05) and proportion (16.5 vs. 19.1%; P > 0.05) of blastocysts produced were similar between agonist and control cows, respectively. The study has shown that Zebu beef cows treated long term with a GnRH agonist had follicular growth restricted to small follicles. This did not compromise the ability of oocytes to undergo IVF and embryonic development.

Fonte: Theriogenology, v.85, n.9,p. 1680–1687, 2016.

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