Seasonal changes in ovarian activity: lessons learnt from the horse

F X Donadeu, E D Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The annual reproductive cycle in the horse involves a reduction in ovarian activity during short days. The absence of ovulatory activity during winter has important consequences for an equine industry eager to breed mares early during the year. The anovulatory season results from a reduction in the secretion of pituitary gonadotropin that is in turn triggered by the inhibitory effects of short photoperiod on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. Recent studies have provided evidence that the response of the ovaries to endocrine stimuli during the anovulatory season is affected not only by circulating concentrations of trophic hormones but also by locally produced growth factors that are putative modulators of follicular responses to gonadotropins. The present review summarises current knowledge on ovarian dynamics during the equine anovulatory season and the regulatory mechanisms involved at both systemic and local levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-42
Number of pages18
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Volume100
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Ovary
  • Seasons

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