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Geyer, A.; Daub, L.; Otzdorff, C.; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Braun, J.; Walter, B. (2016): Reversible estrous cycle suppression in prepubertal female rabbits treated with slow-release deslorelin implants. In: Theriogenology, Vol. 85, No. 2: pp. 282-287
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effect of a 4.7-mg deslorelin GnRH analog implant on ovarian function in the prepubertal female rabbit. Seven female rabbits (group 1) were treated with the implant at the age of 60 days. The implant was inserted subcutaneously in the umbilical region. Two animals (group 2) were not treated and served as a control group. The vulva of all 9 animals was examined for the presence of typical cyclical changes, additionally the occurrence of mounting behavior was recorded. Ovarian function was checked by administration of a short-acting GnRH agonist to induce ovulation and pseudopregnancy (0.8 μg of buserelin per animal intramuscularly). Ten days after each treatment with buserelin, blood was collected for progesterone measurement to confirm pseudopregnancy. After implant insertion, the first blood collection (Day 10) was done without preceding induction of ovulation to screen for implant induced ovulation and pseudopregnancy. The implant was in situ for 273 days, and during this time span, 12 attempts of induction of ovulation were carried out in intervals of 21 days, beginning at the age of 81 days. Afterward, it was removed under local anesthesia and 3 further inductions of ovulation by the same scheme were conducted. The insertion of the implant led to the establishment of a pseudopregnancy in 2 of 7 animals; the remaining 5 animals did not show elevated progesterone values. Attempts to induce ovulation by administration of the short-acting GnRH analog while the slow-release GnRH analog implant was in place were not successful in treated animals, and progesterone concentrations were basal. The effect was reversible as ovulation could be induced in 2 subsequent cycles in all animals by the third induction of ovulation after implant removal. Induction of ovulation in control animals at the age of 110 and 131 days resulted in elevated progesterone levels after 10 days. No adverse side effects could be observed in implant-treated animals. The typical red coloration of the vulva could be seen in group 2 and after implant removal in group 1. The results suggest that in 5 of 7 rabbits, puberty was delayed by the treatment with the 4.7-mg deslorelin slow-release analog until the implant had been removed. In the other animals, the treatment induced an initial flare-up phenomenon. Afterward, the treatment could reversibly suppress ovarian function in all 7 treated animals.