Veterinary uses of gonadotropins

Gonadotrophins may be utilized to treat subfertility in animals and are routinely used to induce a superovulatory response in valuable animals, most notably valuable horses and cattle.

The theory and practice of superovulation is quite similar to the use of gonadotrophins to assist in vitro fertilization procedures in humans. Exogenous FSH is administered to the animal such that multiple follicles develop simultaneously. After administration of LH to help promote ovulation, the animal is mated, thus fertilizing the released egg cells. Depending upon the specific animal and the superovulatory regime employed, anything between 0 and 50 viable embryos may be produced, although, more typically, the number is between 4 and 10. The embryos are then

Table 11.10 Recombinant gonadotropins now approved for general medical use in the EU and/or the USA

Product (tradename)



Gonal F (rhFSH)


Anovulation and Superovulation

Puregon (rhFSH)

N.V. Organon

Anovulation and Superovulation

Follistim (rhFSH)


Some forms of infertility

Luveris (rhLH)


Some forms of infertility

Ovitrelle (rhCG)


Used in selected assisted reproductive


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