The objective of this study was to determine whether induced luteolysis of one of the two corpora lutea in twin pregnancies would provoke spontaneous twin reduction. In Experiment 1, 12 post-partum cows with two corpora lutea in the same ovary were assigned to (three cows per group): Group I, Group II, Group III or Group IV receiving into one of the corpora lutea puncture with no treatment, 0.5 mg dinoprost, 1.5 mg dinoprost and 2.5 mg dinoprost, respectively. One of the two corpora lutea showed clear signs of luteolysis on Day 2 and was practically non-detectable on Day 7 after treatment in the three cows of the Group IV. In Experiment 2, 11 cows carrying live twins with two corpora lutea on Day 28 of gestation, eight bilateral and three unilateral, received 2.5 mg dinoprost into one of the corpora lutea. Corpus luteum reduction and embryo reduction after treatment were registered in 10 and 9 cows, respectively. In bilateral twin pregnancies, four cows suffering embryo reduction remained pregnant. In unilateral twin pregnancies, membrane detachment resulted in the death of both cotwins. In conclusion, although observations were based on few animals, there seems to be a mechanism that operates locally to transfer ovarian progesterone to the uterus, and also a quantitative relationship between the amount of progesterone secreted and support of conceptuses, resulting in death of one twin embryonic vesicle when one corpus luteum regresses.
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