2005 Volume 51 Issue 4 Pages 455-463
Transrectal ultrasonography of ovaries was performed daily in 6 goats for 3 consecutive estrous cycles. Blood samples collected daily were measured for concentrations of FSH, inhibin A, and estradiol-17β. Follicular and hormonal data were analyzed for associations between the follicular waves and hormonal concentrations. During the interovulatory intervals, follicular growth and regression occurred in a wave like pattern (2-5 waves), and the predominant patterns were three and four follicular waves. In addition, there was no significant difference among the diameters of dominant follicles during the growth phase of the follicular waves. The number of 3 mm follicles peaked on days 0, 7, and 11 in interovulatory intervals that had three follicular waves and on days -1, 5, 11, and 15 in those that had four follicular waves. Plasma concentrations of FSH increased around the day of follicular wave emergence and declined with the growth of follicles. Circulating FSH increased again concomitant with regression of dominant follicles in the anovulatory wave, whereas FSH levels remained low in the ovulatory wave. Inhibin A was negatively correlated with FSH, while it was positively correlated with estradiol-17β, suggesting that inhibin A is a product of healthy growing follicles and that it contributes to the suppression of FSH secretion. In conclusion, the growth of ovarian follicles in goats exhibits a wave-like pattern, and follicular dominance is less apparent in goats. Moreover, inhibin A may be a key hormone for regulation of the follicular wave through suppression of FSH secretion in goats.