Responses of seasonally anovulatory mares to daily administration of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and(or) gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog.

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Seventeen seasonally anovulatory light horse mares were treated daily, starting January 5 (d 1), for 28 d with GnRH analog (GnRH-A; 50 ng/kg BW) and(or) thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH; 5 microg/kg BW) in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to test the hypothesis that combined treatment may stimulate follicular growth and development. Ovaries were examined via ultrasonography and jugular blood samples were collected every 3 d. Frequent blood samples were collected after treatment injections on d 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16, and 22; on d 29, all mares received an i.v. mixture of GnRH, TRH, sulpiride, and EP51389 (a growth hormone secretagogue) to assess pituitary responsiveness. No consistent effects (P > 0.1) of treatment were observed for plasma LH, FSH, prolactin, or thyroxine concentrations in samples collected every 3 d. The only effect on ovarian follicle numbers was a reduction in number of follicles 11 to 19 mm in diameter due to TRH treatment (P = 0.029). No mare ovulated during treatment. On the days of frequent sampling, mean LH (P = 0.0001) and FSH (P = 0.001) concentrations were higher in mares receiving GnRH-A and tended to increase from d 1 through 7. In contrast, mean prolactin (P = 0.001) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (P = 0.0001) concentrations were high in mares receiving TRH on d 1 but rapidly decreased thereafter. When mares were administered the secretagogue mixture on d 29, the LH response was greater (P = 0.0002) in mares that had previously received GnRH-A but the FSH response was not affected (P > 0.1); the prolactin response was greater (P = 0.014) and the TSH response was smaller (P = 0.0005) in mares that had previously received TRH. Surprisingly, an immediate growth hormone response to EP51389 was absent in all mares. In conclusion, daily GnRH-A treatment stimulated plasma LH and FSH concentrations immediately after injection; although no long-term elevation in preinjection concentrations was achieved, the responses gradually increased over time, indicating a stimulation of gonadotropin production and storage. Daily treatment with TRH stimulated plasma TSH and prolactin concentrations, but the response diminished rapidly and was minimal within a few days, indicating a depletion of pituitary stores and little or no stimulation of production. There was no beneficial effect of adding TRH treatment to the daily GnRH-A regimen.

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Journal of animal science

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