Reproduction, nutrition, development vol:29 issue:3 pages:237-45
In order to define the patterns of TSH, T4, T3, rT3, GH and cortisol during the estrous cycle of sheep, pluriparous and primiparous ewes were synchronized with progestagen-impregnated pessaries (Veramix) at the start of the normal breeding season. After the pessaries were removed (day 0), daily blood sampling was carried out in cannulated ewes during the ovulatory cycle. Hormonal analyses of TSH, T4, T3, rT3, GH, cortisol, LH and progesterone (P) were performed by RIA. P and LH levels during the cycle were conform to the literature and were not different between the primiparous and pluriparous ewes of different breeds used in this study. Neither age nor breed influenced the hormone patterns. A significant negative correlation was found between TSH and P during the cycle, although the correlation between P and T4 was not significant; during the estrous period, low P levels were paralleled by high T4 levels, whereas the reverse was observed during the luteal phase. Higher T3 levels and T3/T4 ratios were observed during the luteal phase. No obvious pattern of rT3 and cortisol during the cycle was found. The GH concentration increased during the 17 days of the cycle. A positive correlation with P was calculated. During the estrous cycle obvious changes in thyroid hormones, GH and TSH occurred. However, this study shows no causal relationship between the thyroid and the gonadal axes.