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    The objective of this study was to determine if intramuscular administration of 60 units of oxytocin once daily for 29 days, regardless of when treatment was initiated during the estrous cycle (i.e., without monitoring estrous behavior and/or detecting ovulation), would induce prolonged corpus luteum (CL) function in cycling mares. Mares were randomly assigned to two groups: (1) saline-treated control (n = 7) and (2) oxytocin-treated (n = 9) subjects. Control mares received 3 cc of saline, and oxytocin-treated mares received 60 units (3 cc) of oxytocin intramuscularly for 29 consecutive days. Treatment was initiated in all mares on the same day (day 1), independent of the day of the cycle. Jugular blood samples for determination of progesterone concentration were collected three times weekly (M, W, and F) for 21 days before treatment was initiated to confirm that all mares had a luteal phase of normal duration immediately before treatment. Beginning on the first day of treatment, blood samples were collected daily for eight days and then three times weekly through day 80. Mares were considered to have prolonged CL function if serum progesterone remained >1.0 ng/mL continuously for at least 25 days after the end of the treatment period. The proportion of mares with prolonged CL function was higher in the oxytocin-treated group than in the saline-treated group (7/9 vs. 1/7, respectively; P < .05). Three of the seven oxytocin-treated mares that developed prolonged CL function initially underwent luteolysis within 4-7 days of the start of oxytocin treatment and then developed prolonged CL function after the subsequent ovulation during the treatment period. In the other four oxytocin-treated mares that developed prolonged CL function, progesterone remained >1.0 ng/mL throughout the treatment period and into the post-treatment period. All mares with prolonged CL function maintained elevated progesterone concentrations through at least day 55 of the study. In conclusion, intramuscular administration of 60 units of oxytocin for 29 consecutive days effectively prolonged CL function in mares, regardless of when treatment was initiated during the estrous cycle. Importantly, this represents a protocol for using oxytocin treatment to prolong CL function that does not require detection of estrous behavior or day of ovulation. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Kate C Parkinson, Dirk K Vanderwall, Johanna Rigas, Alexis Sweat. Effect of Chronic Administration of Oxytocin on Corpus Luteum Function in Cycling Mares. Journal of equine veterinary science. 2020 Jul;90:102991

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    PMID: 32534769

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