Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a glycoprotein hormone with a short half-life and has to be given twice daily for 3-4 days to induce superovulation in heifers. Since such a regimen is time consuming we compared the ovulatory response and yield of embryos in heifers following superovulation with either once or twice daily injections of pFSH for 4 days during the mid-luteal phase of a synchronized estrous cycle or during a prolonged luteal phase in heifers which had been immunized against prostaglandin F2alpha (PG). In Experiment 1, crossbred heifers (n = 42) previously actively immunized against a PG immunogen were superovulated in a 2 (cyclic or persistent corpus luteum) x 2 (once or twice daily injection) factorial plan. The heifers were superovulated with 75 units pFSH, which was injected subcutaneously once (22.5, 22.5, 15 and 15 units per day) or twice daily (9.3 units per injection) for 4 days. In Experiment 2, cyclic crossbred beef heifers (n = 80) were superovulated using pFSH which was given randomly to heifers once daily subcutaneously (T1) or twice daily intramuscularly (T2) using the same daily dose of 9, 7, 5, and 3 mg per day. Estrus was induced in all heifers in both experiments using 500 mug and 250 mug Cloprostenol 12 hours apart on the third day of pFSH injections. All heifers were inseminated twice with frozen-thawed semen at 12 and 24 hours after the onset of standing estrus or at 56 and 72 hours after the first PG if estrus was not observed. Embryos were recovered at slaughter and graded on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = excellent, 5 = degenerated). Data were recorded for the number of corpora lutea (CL), large (>/=10 mm) and medium (5-9 mm) follicles, number of embryos recovered and embryo morphology. Data were analyzed by least squares analysis of variance procedures. In Experiment 1, there was no difference in ovulation rate between main effects. Fewer embryos were recovered from heifers with a persistent corpus luteum (pCL) and injected once daily (1.71+/-.75 vs 5.75+/-1.27) than from any other group. Heifers with pCL yielded lower (P < 0.05) numbers of freezable embryos than cyclic animals, regardless of injection regimen. In Experiment 2, T2 heifers had a significantly higher number of CL (16.4+/-1.7 vs 7.7+/-1.7; P = 0.0003), large follicles (4.1+/-0.5 vs 2.8+/-0.5; P = 0.04), medium follicles (6.4+/-0.7 vs 4.4+/-0.7; P = 0.04), embryos recovered (9.6+/-1.1 vs 4.9+/-1.1; P = 0.0025) and freezable embryos (4.7+/-0.7 vs 2.1+/-0.7; P = 0.014) than T1 heifers. It is concluded that a single daily subcutaneous injection of pFSH results in a lower superovulatory response than the twice daily regimen in heifers.
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