Forty-six adult merino ewes were immunised against oestradiol-17 beta-6 carbomethyloxime:human serum albumin and 48 comparable ewes were used as controls in an experiment to study the effects of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) on ovulatory responses after treatment with pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophin (PMSG). All the ewes were treated with progestogen sponges for 14 days and received 1500 iu PMSG on the 12th day. Twenty-four control and 24 immunised ewes received 25 micrograms GnRH 21.5 hours and 23 hours after the sponges were withdrawn. Plasma samples were collected between 17 and 50 hours after the sponges were withdrawn and assayed for luteinising hormone (LH). Immunisation reduced the proportion of ewes which ovulated and their rate of ovulation. Injection of GnRH increased the proportion of immunised ewes ovulating (P less than 0.0005) and their rate of ovulation (P less than 0.0001). More unovulated follicles were observed in immunised ewes regardless of GnRH treatment (P less than 0.0001). The rate of recovery of eggs was reduced after immunisation. Treatment with GnRH produced a surge of LH of equal magnitude in the control and immunised ewes although not as many immunised ewes ovulated.
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