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High FSH doses during superovulation of heifers with a small ovarian reserve increase the number of dysfunctional ovulatory-size follicles that do not ovulate in response to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Thus, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC), two well-established biomarkers of responsiveness of individuals to superovulation, are hypothesized to be positively linked to number of dysfunctional ovulatory-size follicles developing in response to superovulation with high FSH doses. To test this hypothesis, heifers with a small ovarian reserve were stimulated beginning on Day 1 of the estrous cycle with twice daily treatments for 4 days with each of four Folltropin-V (FSH) doses (35 IU, 70 IU (industry standard), 140 IU, or 210 IU) followed by prostaglandin F2α to regress corpora lutea (CL) from the previous estrous cycle and hCG to induce ovulation. Ovulatory-size follicles were classified as functional or dysfunctional based on whether they ovulated and formed CL in response to hCG. FSH dose did not impact the relationship between AMH, AFC and the number of functional or dysfunctional ovulatory-size follicles developing in response to superovulation. Thus, data from the four superovulations were averaged for each heifer. AMH and AFC were positively associated with the subsequent number of functional and dysfunctional ovulatory-size follicles and the proportion of ovulatory-size follicles that are dysfunctional after superovulation. Because measurements of AMH concentration and AFC predict the number but not functionality of ovulatory-size follicles, which may also impact oocyte quality, these ovarian reserve biomarkers are concluded to be unlikely useful to improve IVF or embryo transfer outcomes in heifers with a small ovarian reserve. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Kaitlin R Karl, Janet L H Ireland, Zaramasina L Clark, Robert J Tempelman, Keith E Latham, James J Ireland. Limitations in use of ovarian reserve biomarkers to predict the superovulation response in small ovarian reserve heifers. Theriogenology. 2022 Apr 01;182:53-62

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PMID: 35123311

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