[Immune response to equine Chorionic Gonadotropin used for the induction of ovulation in goats and ewes]

Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2003 Sep;31(9):766-9. doi: 10.1016/s1297-9589(03)00214-5.
[Article in French]


In dairy goats and ewes the use of equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG) as a convenient hormone for the induction of ovulation is necessary for out-of-season breeding and artificial insemination (AI). Treatment for induction and synchronization of ovulation consists of a progestagen delivered by vaginal sponge, followed by an eCG injection. In some females, the first injection of eCG induces a humoral response with high concentrations of anti-eCG antibodies in contrast to other females displaying a very low concentration of anti-eCG antibodies. Females eliciting a low response were also poor responders after the following treatments. Conversely, high responders at the first treatment systematically yielded high immune responses upon the following treatment. By a molecular genetic approach using microsatellites we showed that the anti-eCG immune response phenotypes were associated with MHC class II polymorphism. Females with high residual antibody concentrations at the time of eCG injection exhibited a much lower kidding rate than other females did. Lower fertility of these females, inseminated at a fixed time after eCG treatment (43H for goats and 55H for ewes), might be due to the delay in estrus occurrence and the pre ovulatory LH surge. Consequently, under field conditions old females selected for AI are only those with low residual anti-eCG antibody concentrations and old females with high residual antibody concentration are culled from AI breeding because of their low fertility during the previous year. So we have undertaken comparative studies to establish if the anti-eCG immune response is correlated with the global immunity in animals.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibody Formation
  • Breeding
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / immunology*
  • Female
  • Goats / genetics
  • Goats / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Horses
  • Immunity / genetics
  • Insemination, Artificial / veterinary
  • Ovulation Induction / methods
  • Ovulation Induction / veterinary*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sheep / genetics
  • Sheep / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II