Forty superovulated dairy ewes of the Greek Chios breed were used in an experiment to evaluate the efficiency of laparoscopic intrauterine insemination on fertilization and embryo recovery rates as well as embryo quality. Estrus was synchronized by intravaginal progestagen impregnated sponges and superovulation was induced by administration of 8.8 mg o-FSH i.m. following a standard 8 dose protocol. A small volume (0.3 mL) of diluted fresh ram semen was deposited in each uterine horn 24 to 28 h after onset of the estrus by a laparoscopic technique. The animals were allocated randomly into two groups (Group A and B) of 20 animals each. In Group A, embryos were recovered 18 to 24 h after the intrauterine insemination and in Group B on Day 6. The average number of corpora lutea was 12.8 +/- 1.2 and 11.5 +/- 1.1 (+/- SEM); the overall embryo recovery was 66.4% and 57% and the percentage of recovered fertilized ova was 81% and 82.8% in Groups A and B, respectively. More fertilized ova were collected per ewe from Group A (P < or = 0.1). Results indicated that in Chios breed, superovulation using homologous FSH combined with laparoscopic AI leads to good ovarian response with satisfactory results in fertilization, embryo recovery and quality of embryos. This could lead to improved and more efficient methods for obtaining large numbers of high quality oocytes and embryos for embryo transfer programs which could contribute to genetic improvement and increase of the population size.
Animals Embryonic and Fetal Development* Estrus Synchronization Female Fertilization* Insemination, Artificial/methods Insemination, Artificial/veterinary* Laparoscopy/veterinary Male Progestins Random Allocation Sheep/physiology* Superovulation Uterus