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Geyer, A.; Poth, T.; Otzdorff, C.; Daub, L.; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Braun, J.; Walter, B. (2016): Histopathologic examination of the genital tract in rabbits treated once or twice with a slow-release deslorelin implant for reversible suppression of ovarian function. In: Theriogenology, Vol. 86, No. 9: pp. 2281-2289
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A total of 13 rabbits were treated with a subcutaneous deslorelin long-term release implant (4.7 mg) to study the effect on ovarian function and histologic features of the uterus. Seven rabbits (group 1) were implanted with a slow-release deslorelin implant before onset of puberty for 273 days as a part of a previous study. After resumption of ovarian function had been confirmed, they were implanted again at the age of 430 days. Six adult rabbits (>177 days old; group 2) were implanted with a slow-release deslorelin implant for 273 days. Ovarian function before, during, and after treatment with the implant was assessed by measuring serum progesterone levels 10 days after a challenge injection of a short-acting GnRH (0.8 μg buserelin intramuscularly) on progesterone levels in peripheral blood. Values more than 4 ng/mL progesterone were considered to verify ovarian function. Animals in group 1 underwent ovariohysterectomy during the second treatment with the implant and the uteri, and ovaries were subjected to histopathologic examination. Endometrial hyperplasia and endometritis were observed in 5 of 7 animals. Nonatretic and atretic follicles at different developmental stages, but no active corpora lutea, were present in the ovaries. Ovariohysterectomy of group 2 animals was performed 2 to 12 months after implant removal. The histopathologic examination of the uterus and ovary of four animals neutered during induced pseudopregnancy showed no signs of uterine disorders. In two animals undergoing ovariohysterectomy 12 months after implant removal, endometritis was present. Their ovaries contained follicles at different developmental stages and corpora albicantia. Reversible suppression of ovarian function can be achieved in female rabbits by the use of GnRH slow-release implants administered before or after puberty. The findings of endometrial hyperplasia and endometritis in seven out of 13 rabbits treated once or twice with the implant may indicate that the development of age-related pathologies of the uterus cannot be prevented by the suppression of ovarian function with a long-acting GnRH implant.