Follicle size and reproductive hormone profiles during a post-weaning altrenogest treatment in primiparous sows

J.J.J. van Leeuwen, M.R.T.M. Martens, J. Jourquin, M.A. Draincourt, A. Wagner, B. Kemp, N.M. Soede

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the endocrine background of follicle size changes during post-weaning altrenogest treatment. altrenogest-treated sows received a 20-mg dosage daily at 8.00 a.m. from Day –1 to Day 14 after weaning. On Day –1, only 3/13 altrenogest-treated sows showed LH pulses compared with 8/8 control sows (P = 0.001). On Day 0, control sows showed a typical high frequency–low amplitude LH pattern, indicative for recruitment of oestrogenic follicles. In altrenogest-treated animals on Day 0, half of the sows showed high frequency–high amplitude pulses from 4–5 h after weaning. In altrenogest-treated sows, average follicle size increased from 3.1 ± 0.5 mm on Day 0 to 4.4 ± 0.6 mm on Day 5, then decreased to 3.7 ± 0.5 mm on Day 7 and stabilised thereafter. FSH and oestradiol (E2) concentrations showed a distinct diurnal pattern; high at 7.00 a.m. and low at 3.00 p.m. E2 concentrations (7.00 a.m.) showed a 2.5-fold increase from Day –1 to Day 2, and subsequently a 2-fold decline to reach a plateau at Day 8. FSH concentrations reached maximum levels by Day 5 and slowly declined afterwards. In conclusion, once-daily administration of altrenogest starting one day before weaning delays the weaning-induced increase in LH pulses. Although FSH and follicle size increase until Day 5 after weaning, follicle E2 production already decreased from Day 2 after weaning. Post-weaning altrenogest treatment thus results in a follicular wave of follicles that lose oestrogenic competence at Day 2 after weaning, presumably related to the changed LH dynamics during altrenogest treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
JournalReproduction Fertility and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • litter size
  • luteinizing-hormone
  • allyl trenbolone
  • luteal-phase
  • weaned sows
  • estrus
  • gilts
  • secretion
  • synchronization
  • estradiol

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