The Expanding Role of Recombinant Gonadotropins in Assisted Reproduction


  • Conflict of interest: TE Adams declares no conflict of interest; B Irving is a paid consultant for AspenBio Pharma Inc.

Author’s address (for correspondence): TE Adams, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. E-mail:


Using recombinant gonadotropins for assisted reproduction of domestic species is still in its infancy. Yet, the purity, potency and pathogen-free nature of recombinant gonadotropins make them attractive alternatives to tissue-derived gonadotropic agents. In this study, the authors summarize the work to date using recombinant gonadotropins to enhance the - fertility of domestic animals and they discussed their recent studies examining the biopotency of single chain analogues of human gonadotropins. In these studies, single chain analogues of follicle stimulating hormone (Fcα), chorionic gonadotropin (CGβα) or a gonadotropin construct with dual activity (FcCGβα) were administered to sheep pre-treated with antisera directed against GnRH. Ovulation was induced 3 days after analogue administration using hCG (1000 IU, iv). Although Fcα or CGβα alone induced only modest oestradiol production during the pre-hCG period, serum concentrations of oestradiol were markedly increased (p < 0.05) 3 days after administration of FcCGβα or the Fcα + CGβα combination. Final ovarian weight was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in animals receiving Fcα, Fcα + CGβα or FcCGβα. Collectively, these observations demonstrate that the single chain analogues of the human gonadotropins are active in sheep.