Superovulation of Beef Heifers with Follicle Stimulating Hormone or Human Menopausal Gonadotropin: Acute Effects on Hormone Secretion
The effects of superovulatory treatment (follicle stimulating hormone [FSH] versus human menopausal gonadotropin [HMG]) and of route of administration (intramuscular versus intravenous) of prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a) on hormonal profiles were determined in 32 Angus x Hereford heifers for breeding and subsequent embryo collection and transfer. Heifers were superstimulated either with FSH (total of 26 milligrams) or HMG (total of 1,050 international units) beginning on days 9 to 12 of an estrous cycle and PGF2a (40 milligrams) was administered at 60 and 72 hours after the beginning of superovulatory treatments. Heifers were artificially inseminated three times at 12-hour intervals beginning 48 hours after PGF2a treatment. Blood serum samples were collected immediately before treatments began and at frequent intervals until embryo collection 288 hours later. Concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH were not affected by hormone treatments, route of PGF2a injection, or interactions between them. Estradiol-17ß (E2-17ß) levels were higher in HMG- than in FSH-treated heifers 60 hours after gonadotropin treatment. Peak concentration of E2-17ß occurred earlier in HMGthan in FSH-treated heifers and earlier in heifers injected with PGF2a intramuscularly than those injected intravenously. Progesterone concentrations were not influenced by treatment or route of PGF2a administration. The progesterone:E2-17ß ratio was higher in FSH- than in HMG-treated heifers 24 hours after the LH peak. The high steroid hormone concentrations in superovulated beef heifers before and after ovulation may lead to asynchrony between stages of embryonic development, a situation that may interfere with the pregnancy outcome of superovulated embryos in recipient animals.