Bioactivity of ovulation inducing factor (or nerve growth factor) in bovine seminal plasma and its effects on ovarian function in cattle.

PMID 25796284


To understand the role of ovulation-inducing factor (or nerve growth factor) (OIF [NGF]) in bovine seminal plasma, we (1) used an in vivo llama bioassay to test the hypothesis that bovine seminal plasma induces ovulation and CL development in llamas similar to that of llama seminal plasma when the dose of seminal plasma is adjusted to ovulation-inducing factor content (experiment 1) and (2) determined the effect of bovine seminal plasma on the interval to ovulation and luteal development in heifers (experiment 2). Within species, seminal plasma was pooled (n = 160 bulls, n = 4 llamas), and the volume of seminal plasma used for treatment was adjusted to a total dose of 250 μg of ovulation-inducing factor. In experiment 1, mature female llamas were assigned randomly to four groups and treated intramuscularly with either 10 mL of PBS (negative control, n = 5), 50-μg GnRH (positive control, n = 5), 6-mL of llama seminal plasma (n = 6), or 12 mL of bull seminal plasma (n = 6). Ovulation and CL development were monitored by transrectal ultrasonography. In experiment 2, beef heifers were given a luteolytic dose of prostaglandin followed by 25-mg porcine LH (pLH) 12 hours later to induce ovulation. Heifers were assigned randomly to three groups and given 12 mL bovine seminal plasma intramuscularly 12 hours after pLH treatment (n = 10), within 4 hours after ovulation (n = 9), or no treatment (control, n = 10). Ovulation was monitored by ultrasonography every 4 hours, and the CL development was monitored daily until the next ovulation. In experiment 1, ovulation was detected in 0/5, 4/5, 4/6, 4/6 llamas in the PBS, GnRH, llama seminal plasma, and bovine seminal plasma groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Luteal development was not different among groups. In experiment 2, the interval to ovulation was more synchronous (range: 4 vs. 22 hours; P < 0.0001) in heifers treated with seminal plasma before ovulation compared with the other groups. Luteal development was not different among groups; however, plasma progesterone concentrations tended to be greater in the postovulation treatment group compared with other groups. In summary, results confirmed the presence of bioactive ovulation-inducing factor in bull seminal plasma and supported the hypothesis that bovine and llama seminal plasma have similar ovulatory effects, using a llama bioassay. Treatment with bovine seminal plasma resulted in greater synchrony of ovulation in heifers pretreated with pLH. Plasma progesterone concentration tended to be higher in heifers given bovine seminal plasma within 4 hours after ovulation, suggesting that bovine ovulation-inducing factor is luteotrophic.