Mating induces a surge of both LH and FSH in the blood of female rabbits, followed 10–12 h later by a surge of FSH only, which begins at the time of ovulation. We have studied the effect of suppression of ovulation on the post-ovulatory surge of FSH. In the first experiment, follicular fluid and oocytes were withdrawn from the largest follicles 8 h after coitus. In the second experiment, ovulation was inhibited by injecting the rabbits with 25 mg indomethacin/kg body weight 7·5 h after mating. Levels of serum FSH and LH were measured for 24-48 h after mating. Control rabbits ovulated normally in both experiments. The treatments did not significantly affect the levels of serum FSH in either experiment, although the second surge of FSH was slightly higher after fluid had been aspirated from the preovulatory follicles. These observations show that the post-ovulatory surge of serum FSH is not dependent upon the completion of ovulation and that it is programmed before 7·5–8 h post coitum.
J. Endocr. (1987) 112, 57–61