Estrogen induces estrus unaccompanied by a preovulatory surge in luteinizing hormone in suckled sows.

N. M. Cox, J. L. Ramirez, I. A. Matamoros, W. A. Bennett

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12 Scopus citations


The objective was to determine if progressive changes occurred in incidence of estrus and patterns of luteinizing hormone (LH) after estradiol benzoate (EB) administration at three stages of lactation. Estradiol benzoate (800 micrograms) was injected at the beginning of the second (7.8 +/- 0.3 days, range 7-8, n = 4), third (15.6 +/- 0.3 days, range 15-16 days, n = 5), or fourth (23.3 +/- 0.5 days, range 22-24, n = 4) wk of lactation. Interval to estrus (h) and proportion in estrus (in parentheses) were 72 (1/4), 88.5 (4/5), and 99 (4/4; pooled SEM = 3.5) for the second, third, and fourth weeks, respectively. Only one animal ovulated during lactation (third week). This animal had a progesterone concentration of 17 ng/ml 1 wk after estrus and an LH concentration above 2.0 ng/ml for 72 through 90 h after EB. In other sows, LH remained less than 1.0 ng/ml after EB. Patterns of LH after EB in sows treated during the fourth week of lactation were increased to a maximum of 0.76 ng/ml by 120 h after EB, which was greater than for those treated during the second or third week (maxima of 0.38 and 0.32 ng/ml, respectively; pooled SEM = 0.07; p less than 0.05). Concentrations of LH in sows that exhibited estrus were greater both before and after treatment than in sows that did not exhibit estrus after EB (p less than 0.05). By 2 wk after weaning, 8 sows had ovulated (6 of these exhibited estrus), and there were no effects of stage of lactation on these responses. We concluded that the behavioral responsiveness to EB increased as lactation progressed. The increased LH in sows treated during the fourth week indicated a partial recovery of the positive feedback response to EB. These data suggested that separate mechanisms caused behavioral and gonadotropin responses to EB in lactating sows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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