Use of a neuroleptic in assisted reproduction of the critically endangered Mohor gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr)

Gonzalez, R and Berlinguer, F and Espeso, G and Ariu, F and del Olmo, A and Garde, J J and Gomendio, M and Ledda, S and Roldan, E R S (2008) Use of a neuroleptic in assisted reproduction of the critically endangered Mohor gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr). Theriogenology, 70 (6). pp. 909-922.

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Stress is a limiting factor in assisted reproduction in wild animals maintained in captivity and measures to reduce it should improve reproductive Success. The effect of the long-acting neuroleptic (LAN) perphenazine enanthate was assessed on ovarian stimulation for the recovery of immature oocytes from Mohor gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr) and their subsequent in vitro maturation, fertilization and embryo culture. The viability of embryos after transfer was also examined. Perphenazine enanthate decreased activity levels and facilitated handling of treated animals when compared to controls. LAN-treated animals showed a more regular pattern of respiratory and heart rates and body temperature than controls; no major differences were found in hematological and biochemical parameters between groups. Perphenazine-treated females had lower plasma cortisol levels during the days of intense handling. No significant differences were found in the number of punctured follicles and recovered oocytes between groups. The percentage of mature oocytes per female was significantly higher in the LAN-group. Fertilization and cleavage rates were not significantly different between groups. Embryos developed in culture but none reached the blastocyst stage, and those transferred to the oviduct of synchronized recipients did not develop to term. In conclusion, treatment of females with perphenazine enanthate during ovarian stimulation did not have negative effects on maturation, fertilization and embryo development in vitro. Moreover, an increase in oocyte maturation rate per female was observed. Thus, the use of LANs could be useful to alleviate the effects of handling-stress during assisted reproductive procedures in wild ungulates. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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