Effect of GnRH Administration on Pregnancy-Associated Glycoproteins in Dairy Sheep with Different Reproductive Status


  • Stanimir Yotov Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9435-6854
  • Branimir Sinapov Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.




Background: Measurement of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) by radioimmunoassay or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay has been commonly used for early pregnancy diagnosis in ruminants. However, an accurately pregnancy detection depends on test antibody, breed and number of embryos. Only few studies have conducted to detect or predict animals at risk of late embrionic mortality (LEM) and to use hormonal interventions for embryo losses reducing, but this area is still open in sheep. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) administration on Day 4 after artificial insemination on the pregnancy-associated glycoproteins in dairy sheep with different reproductive status in relation to pregnancy and late embrionic mortality detection.
Materials, Methods & Results: Sixty-five East Friesian sheep were divided in 2 groups - I (Control group, n = 35) and II (GnRH group, n = 30) and sublected to estrus synchronization and artificial insemination (AI). Group I was not treated and
Group II received 50 μg GnRH on Day 4 after AI. PAGs in blood serum were measured by Alertys Ruminant Pregnancy test on Days 4, 12, 20, 25 and 35 after AI and ultrasound pregnancy test was conducted on Days 20, 25, 35 and 60. Reproductive status (non-pregnant, pregnant and animals with LEM) was determined by ultrasound and the results between different groups were compared. The PAGs mean values according to reproductive status and Day after AI were analysed. Accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the PAGs test for pregnancy diagnosis on Day 35 were calculated. On Day 20 after AI the pregnat sheep (83.3%) in group I tended to be higher than those (77.1%) in group II with decrease of 25.7% and 20% for the same groups on Day 25. On day 25 LEM was recorded in 33.3% and 24% in group I and II, respectively. The ultrasound exams on Day 60 confirmed the results from Day 25 after AI. A total value of non-pegnant, pregnant animals and LEM was 20%, 56.9% and 28.8%, respectively. The mean values of PAGs in animals with the same reproductive status in group I and II no differed statistically between Days 4 and 35 after AI. On Day 25 the PAGs values in LEM groups (0.126 ± 0.072 and 0.179 ± 0.029) were higher than those (0.062 ± 0.038 and 0.083 ± 0.023) in the non-pregnant groups, but no significan difference was deternined. On Day 35 after AI the mean values of PAGs (0.414 ± 0.125 and 0.421 ± 0.121) for the pregnant groups were significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those (0.078 ± 0.053 and 0.093 ± 0.034) for the non-pregnant groups. The values of PAGs in LEM groups on Day 25 (0.099 ± 0.062 and 0.113 ± 0.058) were decreased and close to the mean values in non-pregnant sheep. A significant effect of the day after AI on the PAGs values was evidenced in pregnant animals only (control r = 0.97 and GnRH r = 0.98; P < 0.05). The PAGs started to rise rapidly between Days 25 and 35 after AI. On Day 35 the accuracy (98%), the sensitivity (97.3%) and the specificity (100%) of the PAG test for pregnancy diagnosis were similar to the values (100%) for ultrasound method.
Discussion: The gonadotropin treatment on Day 4 after AI tended to improve the reproductive performance in the sheep,
but no significant effect of GnRH on the PAGs values in the animals with different reproductive status was found. The PAGs profiles in non-pregnant and LEM sheep were close and distinguishing between non-pregnant and LEM ewes on Day 35 was impossible. The PAGs values in pregnant sheep showed significantly (P < 0.05) increase between Days 25 and 35 after AI with higher mean values in pregnant than non-pregnant groups on Day 35 (P < 0.05). Alertys Ruminant Pregnancy test was a reliable for pregnancy detection in sheep on Day 35 after artificial insemination.

Keywords: sheep, GnRH, PAGs, reproductive status, pregnancy.


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Yotov, S., & Sinapov, B. (2023). Effect of GnRH Administration on Pregnancy-Associated Glycoproteins in Dairy Sheep with Different Reproductive Status . Acta Scientiae Veterinariae, 51. https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.129955




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