This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of active immunization against inhibin on hormonal levels and the ovulation rate in goats. Ten adult Shiba goats (Capra hircus) in two groups were used in this study. The first group was injected with inhibin vaccine (immunized, n=5) and the second group was injected with Freund's adjuvant (control, n=5) followed by three booster injections at 4-week intervals. After the third booster injection, three consecutive periods of oestrus were induced using prostaglandin F(2alpha) at intervals of 11 days. Blood samples were collected at 2-6 h intervals and the ovaries were monitored using B-mode ultrasonography. All inhibin-immunized goats generated antibodies that bound (125)I-labelled bovine inhibin and their FSH concentrations were significantly higher than corresponding values in the control group. Also, inhibin-immunized goats had significantly higher preovulatory oestradiol-17beta (P<0.01) and higher concentrations of progesterone in the luteal phase (P<0.05). Immunization of goats against inhibin resulted in a significant (P<0.01) increase in ovulation rate (control: 1.7+/-0.3 vs immunized: 7.6+/-1.1). These results demonstrate that active immunization against inhibin enhances ovarian follicular development and ovulation rate by promoting an increase in pituitary FSH secretion. Therefore, immunization against inhibin may be a useful alternative to the conventional approach of superovulation in goats.
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