Summary. Active immunization of 6 Damline ewes against LHRH during seasonal anoestrus resulted in an inhibition of ovarian cyclicity throughout 2 subsequent breeding seasons. This was associated with a significant suppression of plasma LH and FSH concentrations but no significant effect on prolactin. The ovaries of LHRH-immunized ewes 30 months after primary immunization contained no follicles > 2·5 mm in diameter and a greater proportion of follicles between 1 and 2 mm were atretic than in control ewes (N = 8). In-vitro production of testosterone and androstenedione were similar in follicles 1–2 mm in both control and LHRH-immunized ewes (N = 6) and all had little or no ability to secrete oestradiol. However, basal and hCG-stimulated progesterone secretion was suppressed in the follicles from LHRH-immunized ewes. These results show that follicular development beyond 2·5 mm in the ewe is dependent on adequate stimulation by both LH and FSH.
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