Ovulation rate and the concentrations of gonadotrophic and metabolic hormones in ewes fed lupin grain

J. A. Downing, J. Joss, P. Connell, R. J. Scaramuzzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    131 Citations (Scopus)


    An experiment in which a lupin grain supplement was fed to ewes (n = 11) over days 2-13 of the oestrous cycle was carried out. A group of 12 ewes was used as a control and not fed the supplement. Plasma concentrations of LH and GH (20 min intervals) and FSH, insulin and prolactin (hourly intervals) were determined in plasma samples collected every 20 min over 24 h on day 11 of the oestrous cycle. The changes were related to increases in ovulation rate. Ovulation rate was increased (2.5±0.2 versus 1.9±0.2 for lupin-supplemented and control groups, respectively; P= 0.073) in the group that received the lupin supplement, but this increase was not associated with significant changes in either LH or FSH concentrations on day 11 of the oestrous cycle. Lupin supplementation had significant effects on the plasma concentrations of prolactin, GH and insulin. There was a transient increase (P < 0.05) in the concentration of prolactin 4-8 h after feeding, whereas insulin concentrations were increased immediately after feeding (P< 0.02) and were still high 24 h later (P < 0.02). Growth hormone concentrations were reduced in ewes fed with lupin grain (P < 0.001). These metabolic responses initiated by feeding a high energy and protein supplement such as lupin grain may be related to changes in ovulation rate. In particular, the sustained increases in insulin concentrations suggest that an increased supply of glucose to the follicle mediates nutritionally stimulated increases in ovulation rate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-145
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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