Pregnant mares serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) was used in combination with prostaglandin F2alpha or its analogues to induce superovulation in 25 heifers. Total unconjugated oestrogen and progesterone were determined in peripheral plasma of these superovulated animals, and the levels compared with those found during the normal oestrous cycle. A very high level of oestrogen was found between day 3 and 6 after superovulation, and it seems likely that large unovulated follicles were responsible for the excess steroid. Similarly, progesterone levels were raised in the superovulated animal presumably due to production by the numerous corpora lutea. In two heifers, in which overstimulation of follicular development had occurred, there were no ovulations in one of the animals while in the other animal there were 16 ovulations but early regression of corpora lutea was indicated. It is concluded that the poor recovery of eggs on day 6 after superovulation could have been due to deleterious effects of high levels of oestrogen on either the motility of the genital tract causing the premature transport of eggs, or the properties of the zona pellucida.
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