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Monitoring ovarian function and pregnancy in Eld's deer (Cervus eldi thamin) by evaluating urinary steroid metabolite excretion.
S L Monfort; C Wemmer; T H Kepler; M Bush; J L Brown; D E Wildt (Profiled Author: R. Bush)
National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20008.
Journal of reproduction and fertility 1990;88(1):271-81.
Direct radioimmunoassays (RIA) for urinary oestrone conjugates and pregnanediol-3 alpha-glucuronide (PdG) were used to study ovarian activity patterns and pregnancy in Eld's deer. In 2 does, urinary metabolite patterns were compared to temporal patterns of plasma LH, oestradiol-17 beta and progesterone. Preovulatory LH peaks occurred coincident with behavioural oestrus, and plasma progesterone secretion paralleled PdG excretion. Although plasma oestradiol-17 beta levels fluctuated between 5 and 10 pg/ml throughout the oestrous cycle, no preovulatory oestrogen surge was observed. Based on PdG excretion, non-conception oestrous cycles averaged 21.5 +/- 2.1 days (+/- s.e.m., n = 65); however, 2 of 13 does exhibited prolonged oestrous cycles (30.1 +/- 4.4 days; range 14-62 days, n = 14) characterized by sustained PdG excretion. Excluding these 2 females, the mean oestrous cycle was 18.5 +/- 0.3 days (range 14-23 days, n = 51). Behavioural oestrus (12-24 h duration) was observed in 42 of 65 cycles (64.6%), and always corresponded with intercyclic troughs in PdG excretion (2-5 days duration). Mean gestation duration (n = 10) was 33.5 +/- 0.4 weeks. PdG concentrations increased (P less than 0.05) by Week -32 (3rd week of gestation), plateaued between Weeks -31 and -25, increased (P less than 0.05) markedly by Week -22 and then rose steadily until parturition, declining (P less than 0.05) rapidly thereafter. Mean excretion of oestrone conjugates remained low until Week -30, increased (P less than 0.05) steadily to Week -24 (P less than 0.05) and then returned to baseline by Week -17. Increased (P less than 0.05) oestrone conjugates concentrations were detected again by Week -4 followed by a rapid increase to peak pregnancy levels by Week -1, declining (P less than 0.05) precipitously after parturition. The results confirm that the Eld's deer is seasonally polyoestrous with onset (January-March) and cessation (August-October) of regular, cyclic ovarian activity coinciding with increasing and decreasing daylengths, respectively. Urinary PdG excretion accurately reflects cyclic ovarian activity and markedly elevated concentrations of this metabolite provide an accurate index of pregnancy. The simultaneous monitoring of oestrone conjugates appears useful for estimating the stage of pregnancy and predicting parturition onset.
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S L Monfort; K D Dahl; N M Czekala; L Stevens; M Bush; D E WildtJournal of reproduction and fertility 1989;85(1):203-12.
M Chaudhuri; D G Kleiman; D E Wildt; M Bush; E S Frank; R B ThauJournal of reproduction and fertility 1988;84(1):23-8.
R H Gray; O M Campbell; H A Zacur; M H Labbok; S L MacRaeThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 1987;64(4):645-50.
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