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Roth, T. L., Armstrong, D. L., Barrie, M. T., & Wildt, D. E. (1997). Seasonal effects on ovarian responsiveness to exogenous gonadotrophins and successful artificial insemination in the snow leopard (Uncia uncia). Reprod Fertil Dev, 9(3), 285–295.
Abstract: Ovaries of the seasonally-breeding snow leopard (Uncia uncia) were examined to determine whether they were responsive to exogenous gonadotrophins throughout the year. The potential of laparoscopic artificial insemination (AI) also was assessed for producing offspring. During the non-breeding, pre-breeding, breeding and post-breeding seasons, females (n = 20) were treated with a standardized, dual- hormone regimen given intramuscularly (600 I.U. of equine chorionic gonadotrophin followed 80-84 h later with 300 I.U. of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)). Laparoscopy was performed 45-50 h after administration of hCG, and all ovarian structures were described. Females with fresh corpora lutea (CL) were inseminated, and anovulatory females were subjected to follicular aspiration to examine oocyte quality. Snow leopards responded to exogenous gonadotrophins throughout the year. Mean number of total ovarian structures (distinct follicles mature in appearance plus CL) did not differ (P > or = 0.05) with season, but the proportion of CL: total ovarian structures was greater (P < 0.01) for the breeding season compared with all other seasons. The proportion of females ovulating was greater (P < 0.05) during the breeding and post-breeding seasons than during the pre-breeding and non- breeding seasons respectively. No Grade-1 quality oocytes were recovered from follicles of anovulatory females. Serum concentrations of oestradiol-17 beta appeared elevated in all females, and neither oestradiol-17 beta concentrations nor progesterone concentrations differed (P > or = 0.05) among seasons. Of 15 females artificially inseminated, the only one that was inseminated in the non-breeding season became pregnant and delivered a single cub. This is the first successful pregnancy resulting from AI in this endangered species.
Keywords: Animal; Carnivora; anatomy; histology; Blood; physiology; Estradiol; Female; Gonadotropins; administration; dosage; pharmacology; Chorionic; Equine; Human; Insemination; artificial; methods; veterinary; Laparoscopy; Male; Oocytes; cytology; Ovary; drug; effects; Ovulation; Induction; Pregnancy; Progesterone; Seasons; Support; Non-U.S.Gov't; browse; non; us; gov't; government; 400
Swanson, W. F. (2003). Research in Nondomestic Species: Experiences in Reproductive Physiology Research for Conservation of Endangered Felids (Vol. 4).
Abstract: Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to broaden our understanding of reproductive processes in nondomestic felid species and further our capacity to use this basic knowledge to control and manipulate reproduction of endangered cats. Much of that progress has culminated from detailed scientific studies conducted in nontraditional laboratory settings, frequently at collaborating zoological parks but also under more primitive conditions, including in the field. A mobile laboratory approach is described, which incorporates a diverse array of disciplines and research techniques. This approach has been extremely useful, especially for conducting gamete characterization and function studies as well as reproductive surveys, and for facilitating the development of assisted reproductive technology. With continuing advances in assisted reproduction in rare felids, more procedures are being conducted primarily as service-related activities, targeted to increase effectiveness of species propagation and population management. It can be a challenge for both investigators and institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) to differentiate these service-based procedures from traditional research studies (that require IACUC oversight). For research with rare cat species, multi-institutional collaboration frequently is necessary to gain access to scientifically meaningful numbers of study subjects. Similarly, for service-based efforts, the ability to perform reproductive procedures across institutions under nonstandard laboratory conditions is critical to applying reproductive sciences for managing and preserving threatened cat populations. Reproductive sciences can most effectively assist population management programs (e.g., Species Survival Plans) in addressing conservation priorities if these research and service- related procedures can be conducted “on the road” at distant national and international locales. This mobile laboratory approach has applications beyond endangered species research, notably for other scientific fields (e.g., studies of hereditary disease in domestic cat models) in which bringing the laboratory to the subject is of value.
Keywords: artificial insemination; capacity building; catmodels; cryopreservation; electroejaculation; embryo transfer; mobile laboratory; nondomestic felids