Three experiments were conducted to study changes in pulsatile secretion of LH and FSH during the breeding season or anoestrus in ovariectomized Ile-de-France ewes fed different amounts of the phyto-oestrogen coumestrol. In Exp. 1, conducted during the breeding season, ewes (3-4 per group) were fed lucerne supplying 4, 18 or 30 mg coumestrol per ewe per day for 15 days. Experiments 2 and 3 were conducted during seasonal anoestrus. In Exp. 2, ewes (4 per group) were fed lucerne supplying coumestrol concentrations ranging from 4 to 38 mg/ewe/day for 15 days. In Exp. 3, ewes (10 per group) were fed lucerne supplying 14 or 125 mg coumestrol/ewe/day for 15 days. During the breeding season, an increased concentration of coumestrol in the diet significantly decreased the amplitude of LH pulses. There were no effects on LH pulse frequency or on FSH concentrations. During seasonal anoestrus, there were no significant effects on LH pulse frequency, or amplitude and no significant effect on FSH concentration. These results show that high concentrations of coumestrol in lucerne diets would not explain seasonal variation in LH pulse frequency in ovariectomized ewes. However, lucerne diets with increased coumestrol concentrations can influence LH release during the breeding season.
|Journal||Journal of Reproduction and Fertility|
|Publication status||Published - 1985|