Administration of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist for synchronization of estrus and generation of pseudopregnancy for embryo transfer in rats

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2014 May;53(3):232-7.

Abstract

In the past decade, the use of genetically engineered rats has increased exponentially; therefore, the ability to perform embryo transfer (ET) in rats to rederive, reanimate, or create mutant rat lines is increasingly important. However, the successful generation of pseudopregnant female rats for ET represents a limiting factor. We here evaluated the subcutaneous administration of 40 μg luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist (LHRHa) for estrus synchronization during the development and implementation of a rat ET program. Our first experiment assessed endogenous estrus cycling patterns by examining vaginal cytology without administration of LHRHa in 5-wk-old peripubertal Sprague-Dawley female rats. These rats then received LHRHa at approximately 7 wk of age; 57% of the rats were synchronized in proestrus or estrus as assessed by vaginal cytology 96 h later. In a second experiment, 8-wk-old virgin, unmanipulated Sprague-Dawley female rats received LHRHa; 55% were synchronized in proestrus or estrus 96 h later. Copulatory plugs were confirmed in 28% and 82% of the rats that had been synchronized in the first and second experiments, respectively, and mated with vasectomized male rats. Embryo transfer surgery was performed, and live pups were born from both fresh and cryopreserved transgenic rat embryos. Our results indicate that subcutaneous administration of 40 μg LHRHa followed by examination of vaginal cytology 96 h later is an effective technique to generate multiple pseudopregnant recipient rats for use in an ET program.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo Transfer / methods
  • Embryo Transfer / veterinary*
  • Estrus
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Pseudopregnancy / chemically induced
  • Pseudopregnancy / veterinary*
  • Rats*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms

Substances

  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone