Single-chain human gonadotropin analogs induce follicle development in sheep

Elyse P. Lemke, Betty M. Adams, Albina Jablonka-Shariff, Irving Boime, Thomas E. Adams

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13 Scopus citations


The biopotency of single-chain analogs of human hFSH, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and a dually active gonadotropin construct (FcCGβα) was examined. Sheep (bwt=61.4±1.1 kg; n=6 ewes/treatment) received a single injection (5 IU/kg, i.v.) of the hFSH analog (Fcα), the hCG analog (CGβα), FcCGβα, or Fcα and CGβα. Control animals received conditioned media. Ovulation was induced 3 days after analog administration using hCG (1000 IU, i.v.). Basal serum concentrations of estradiol (E2) were maintained in control animals. Neither Fcα nor CGβα alone induced significant E2 production during the pre-hCG period. Conversely, serum concentrations of E2 were increased (P<0.05) 2 days after administration of FcCGβα or Fcα + CGβα. Although P4 concentrations were maintained at basal levels in control animals, significant increase was noted in all other treatment groups during the post-hCG period. Final ovarian weight was significantly increased (P<0.05) in animals receiving Fcα, Fcα + CGβα, or FcCGβα, but not CGβα alone. Most of the ovarian enlargement was attributed to the formation of corpora lutea. Collectively, these observations demonstrate that the single-chain analogs of the human gonadotropins are active in sheep. The construct with singular FSH activity supports follicle development but not E2 production. Conversely, the construct that incorporates β-domains from both CG and FSH has dual activity. The long-lived nature of the single-chain constructs suggests that these recombinant gonadotropins may be effective alternatives to pituitary- or placenta-derived gonadotropins in out-of-season breeding and/or superovulation protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


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