Subluteolytic doses of prostaglandin F2α analogue (oestrophan) given i.m. and oxytocin (OT) antagonist (CAP) and noradrenaline (NA) infused into the abdominal aorta were used to test the importance of lureal OT in pulsatile secretion of prostaglandin F2α (PGF) during luteolysis in heifers (n = 17). In experiment 1, heifers were pre-infused for 30 minutes with saline on either day 17 of the oestrous cycle (group 1; n = 4) or on day 18 of the oestrous cycle (group 2; n = 3), and with CAP (8 mg per animal) on day 17 of the oestrous cycle (group 3; n = 4). Next, heifers were injected with oestrophan (30 μg per animal). Injection of oestrophan in Group 3 increased OT concentrations (P < 0.001) to values similar to those observed during spontaneous luteolysis (50 to 70 pg ml-1). PGFM concentrations in this group also increased (P < 0.001), but were lower (P < 0.05) than the values in groups 1 and 2. CAP given prior to oestrophan decreased both PGFM elevation (P < 0.06) and its area under the curve (P < 0.01), compared to the saline pretreated heifers. In experiment 2 NA (4 mg) was infused twice for 30 minutes at five hour intervals to release OT on day 17 of the oestrous cycle (n = 6). However, during hormone analysis it appeared that three of six heifers had elevated PGFM concentrations (group 1) and three others did not (group 2). NA caused the correlated increase of progesterone and OT secretion (r = 0.68; P < 0.05) in both groups but it only influenced PGF secretion in group 1 only (P < 0.05). We postulate that OT can amplify and modulate the course of induced luteolysis as a regulator of the amplitude of pulsatile PGF secretion. PGF analogue stimulates secretion of endogenous PGF from the uterus in cattle and this may be an important component of the luteolytic response to exogenous PGF.
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