Effect of time of eCG administration on the fate of ovarian follicle in Holstein heifers

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


1 Resident of Theriogenology, Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) on ovarian follicles at three stages of development (emergence, dominance and early static phases) during the first follicular wave (FFW) in Holstein heifers. Heifers (n=20) were randomly assigned into four experimental groups (n=5 in each group). Heifers received eCG (500 IU; Folligon®; Intervet, Holland; i.m) a) on the day of follicle emergence (day of ovulation; group 1), b) on the dominant phase (dominant follicle (DF): the first day in which follicle was observed at ≥10 mm; group 2, and c) on the early static phase (group 3) of the FFW. Control group heifers did not receive any treatment. Daily ultrasonography was conducted to monitor ovarian structure throughout estrous cycle. All treatment group heifers, regardless of the stage of follicle development, displayed follicle growth after eCG injection. Administration of eCG, in group 1, hastened DF detection and induced co-dominant follicles; whereas, in groups 2 and 3, it delayed DF regression, and increased cycle length compared to control. In all treatment group heifers, DF was present 84 h after eCG injection. Maximum diameter of corpus luteum was larger in eCG treated groups compared to control (P<0.05). In conclusion, depending on the time of eCG administration throughout the FFW (emergence, dominant and early static phases), co-dominancy, maintenance of DF, enhancement of follicle and corpus luteum growth and increase in estrous cycle length could be observed in Holstein heifers.


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