Effect of supplements during the cold season on the reproductive system in prepubertal Tibetan sheep ewes

Xiaoping Jing, Quanhui Peng, Rui Hu, Hongze Wang, Xiaoqiang Yu, Allan Degen, Huawei Zou, Shanke Bao, Suonan Zhao, Zhisheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the development of the reproductive system in prepubertal Tibetan sheep ewes when fed only oat hay (CON) or supplemented with either lick blocks (BS) or concentrate feed (CS) during the cold season. The average daily gain of the CS ewes was greater than that of the BS ewes (P < 0.05), which was greater than that of the CON ewes. The same pattern was observed in the number of ovarian follicles (P < 0.001), that is, CS > BS > CON. Serum concentrations of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteotrophic hormone, estradiol and progesterone in the CS and BS groups were higher than in the CON group (P < 0.05). The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of KiSS-1, GPR54 (G protein-coupled receptor 54), ERα (estradiol receptor α) in the hypothalamic anteroventral periventricular area of the CS group were higher than in both the BS and CON groups (P < 0.05), while the BS group was higher than in the CON group (P < 0.05). Similar differences among groups were observed for gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor mRNA expression in the pituitary, follicle-stimulating hormone receptor and luteinizing hormone receptor mRNA expression in the ovary. These results indicated that the KiSS1/GPR54 system was more active with nutrition or trace mineral supplementation during the cold season. The system stimulated the hypothalamic–pituitary‑gonadal axis and enhanced folliclar development in prepubertal Tibetan sheep ewes. We concluded that energy, protein and trace minerals supplements could improve the reproductive performance of Tibetan sheep on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1278
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Science Journal
Volume88
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • KiSS1/GPR54
  • Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
  • Tibetan sheep ewe
  • reproductive performance
  • supplementary feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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