Progesterone and Luteinizing hormone secretion patterns in early pregnant gilts

Silke M. Haen*, Mari Heinonen, Stefan Bjorkman, Nicoline M. Soede, Olli A.T. Peltoniemi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We studied luteinizing hormone (LH) pulsatility and episodic progesterone release of the corpus luteum (CL) on Day 11 and Day 21 in inseminated gilts and aimed to establish a relationship between these two hormones. Blood was collected at 15-min intervals for 12 hr on Days 11, 16 and 21 from a vena cava caudalis catheter. At euthanasia, eight gilts were pregnant and six gilts were not pregnant. Progesterone parameters (basal, mean, pulse frequency and pulse amplitude) did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant gilts on Day 11, LH pulse frequency and amplitude tended to differ (p =.07 and p =.079). In pregnant gilts, basal and mean progesterone, progesterone pulse amplitude and frequency declined significantly from Day 11 to Day 21 (p <.05). A significant decline was also seen in the LH pulse amplitude from Day 11 to Day 21 (p <.05). None of the LH pulses was followed by a progesterone pulse within 1 hr on Day 21. On Day 11 and Day 21 appeared a synchronicity in the LH pulse pattern, as there were two or three LH pulses in 12 hr and these LH pulses appeared in the same time window. We conclude that on Day 11 and Day 21 of pregnancy in gilts, progesterone pulses do not follow an LH pulse within one hour. Further we demonstrated that the successful or not successful formation of a CL of pregnancy is independent of progesterone release on Day 11 after insemination. We confirmed the decline of progesterone from Day 11 to Day 21 in the vena cava caudalis and could demonstrate that this decline is partly due to lower progesterone pulse amplitude and frequency and that the decline occurs simultaneously with a decline in LH pulse amplitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-804
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Issue number7
Early online date16 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Corpus luteum
  • early pregnancy
  • gilt
  • luteinizing hormone
  • progesterone

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