Relationships between components of litter size in unilaterally ovariectomized and intact rabbit does

J Anim Sci. 1994 Dec;72(12):3066-72. doi: 10.2527/1994.72123066x.


A study was performed to evaluate the use of unilateral ovariectomy for the measurement of uterine capacity in rabbits through a comparison of the relationships between ovulation rate, number of implanted embryos, and litter size in unilaterally ovariectomized (ULO) and intact does. Data from 211 ULO and 323 intact does were analyzed. The animals were derived from a synthetic line previously selected on litter size. Laparoscopy was performed on all does during their second gestation 12 d after mating and the number of corpora lutea and implantation sites were recorded. Intact and ULO does had the same ovulation rate, confirming the presence of compensatory ovarian hypertrophy in the remaining ovary of the ULO does. The number of implantation sites in the ULO group (11.3) approached the number found in the control group (12.6). Embryonic survival (until implantation) was lower (P < .01) in ULO does (.77) than in intact does (.88), but fetal survival (after implantation) was the same in both groups. The ULO females produced litters 77% of the size of those of the normal control females. Pre- and postimplantation survivals were not related in intact does but seemed to be related in ULO does through an effect on the number of implantation sites. The coefficient of the regression of number of implantation sites on ovulation rate was positive in control does (.62 +/- .06) and was also positive in ULO does (.31 +/- .07), showing that a higher ovulation rate would have resulted in a higher number of embryos being implanted in both groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Female
  • Litter Size / physiology*
  • Ovariectomy / veterinary*
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Ovulation / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rabbits / embryology
  • Rabbits / physiology*
  • Rabbits / surgery
  • Regression Analysis