Reproduction

• • • • • Female anatomy Male anatomy Female endocrinology Reproductive cycles Male endocrinology

• Management systems for most animals are based upon the female reproductive cycle.

Estrus
Rebreeding

Weaning
Gestation Lactation

Birth

• Management systems for most animals are based upon the female reproductive cycle.

• The primary function of males is to provide spermatozoa for breeding.

Female Anatomy
• • • • • • Ovary Oviduct Uterus Cervix Vagina Vulva

Ovary
• Contains thousands of growing follicles • Each follicle contains an ovum or “egg” • Receives a rich supply of both blood vessels and nerves

Ovary

Ovary from a Mare

Sow Ovary

Follicles
• grow in response to hormones called gonadotropins • either die (become atretic) or ovulate and release their egg.

Corpus Luteum (Corpora Lutea)
• form from the tissue that remains after a follicle has ovulated • produce a number of hormones associated with pregnancy

• progesterone is its (their) primary product

Corpus Albicans (Corpora Albicantia)
• scar tissue left behind after corpus luteum dies or regresses • avascular, non-functional tissue

Follicle Maturation

Follicle death or Atresia

Ovulation
Follicle Maturation

Follicle death or Atresia

Ovulation
Follicle Maturation Luteal Formation & Function

Follicle death or Atresia

Ovulation
Follicle Maturation Luteal Formation & Function

Follicle death or Atresia

Luteal Regression

Sow Ovary

CL Follicle

CA

CL Ovary

Oviduct
• Funnel shaped organ • Specialized end near ovary called the fimbria • Fimbria picks up ovulated eggs

Oviduct (cont.)
• Anterior end called ampulla • Posterior end called isthmus • Fertilization and early embryonic development takes place in the oviduct in most animals

Oviduct

Ovary

Tip of Uterine Horn

Oviduct

Uterus
• Glandular inner lining surrounded by two layers of muscle • Longitudinal and circular layers • Responsible for maintenance of pregnancy • Also releases the hormone that regresses luteal tissue

Uterus

Bladder

Uterus

Sow

Uterine horns

Cervix
• Thick, muscular organ • Serves to isolate the uterus from external environment during pregnancy

• site of semen deposition in some animals

Vagina
• part of the birth canal • helps protect uterus from bacterial invasion • site of semen deposition in most animals

Vulva
• External female genitalia • Outer portion of the vagina

• Involved with recognition of receptivity and possibly with the production of female pheromones

Male Anatomy
• • • • • • Testicle Epididymis Vas deferens Secondary sex glands Penis (urethra) Sheath

Testicle
• Series of tubules (seminiferous tubules)

Testicle
• Series of tubules (seminiferous tubules) • Produce spermatozoa • Produce hormones (testosterone, androgens and others).

Epididymis (Epididymi)
• continuation of tubule in testicle • specialized for maturation and storage of spermatozoa • immature sperm enter epididymis • during their passage through epididymis they become mature

Vas deferens

Testicle

Epididymis

Vas deferens

Epididymis

Testicle

Testicle

Epididymis

Vas deferens
• Muscular tube with a small diameter • Passage for sperm from epididymis to urethra during ejaculation

Secondary Sex Glands
• Seminal vesicles, prostate and bulbourethral glands • Produce and secrete most of the liquid portion of semen • Composition of each is fairly specialized

Bulbourethral gland

Seminal Vesicles

Bladder

Seminal vesicles

Bladder

Bulbourethral gland

Seminal Vesicles

Bladder

Vas deferens

Penis
• Male reproductive organ • Specialized to deposit semen in female reproductive tract • central canal is the urethra • urethra is common exit for reproductive and urinary systems

Sheath
• specialized pouch in which penis remains when not in use • in some animals, the lining of the sheath is involved in male pheromone production.

Schematic of Semen Production

Testicle

Epididymis

Urethra

Bladder Seminal Vesicles Prostate Bulbo-urethral Gland Glands

Penis

Female Endocrinology
• Three groups based on functions
gonadotropins - stimulate ovary sex steroids/prostaglandins - direct control of reproductive state mammotropins - involved with lactation

Gonadotropins
• Luteinizing hormone (LH)
produced by the pituitary gland stimulates final growth of follicles causes ovulation also stimulates corpus luteum

Gonadotropins
• Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- produced by the pituitary gland - stimulates all stages of follicle growth, especially early periods

Sex Steroids/Prostaglandins
• Progesterone
- produced by corpus luteum and the placenta (some animals) - responsible for maintenance of pregnancy - inhibits gonadotropin secretion

Sex Steroid/Prostaglandins
• Estrogen (estradiol 17beta)
- produced by growing follicles, placenta and embryos - has both positive and negative effects on gonadotropins

Sex Steroids/Prostaglandins
• Estrogen (cont.) - stimulates pre-ovulatory surge of gonadotropins - prepares female for breeding and parturition - responsible for female mating behaviors

Sex Steroids/Prostaglandins
• Prostaglandin F2alpha
- primarily the uterus in the reproductive system - responsible for luteal regression - causes uterine contractions at birth

Mammotropins
• Prolactin
- produced in the pituitary - stimulates production of milk

Mammotropins
• Oxytocin
- produced by uterus and hypothalamus - stimulates milk excretion - stimulates uterine contractions

Reproductive Cycle (Stages)
• • • • • Puberty Estrous Cycles Pregnancy (Gestation) Lactation Post-partum period (Rebreeding)

Estrous cycles Rebreeding

Estrus

Estrous cycles

Weaning
Gestation Lactation

Puberty

Birth

Reproductive cycles
• involve interactions between the ovary, uterus mammary gland and brain • these organs communicate with one another via hormones and nerves

Puberty
• Puberty is generally defined as the age at which an animal is capable of adult reproductive function • Females - estrus, production of fertile eggs and maintenance of pregnancy • Males - libido, mating and production of fertile sperm

Puberty
• In most animals, it is the brain and production of gonadotropins, specifically LH that is the last function to mature during puberty • Ovaries and testes are capable of gamete and hormone production before puberty is reached

Estrous Cycle
• repeatable sequence of events that results in female becoming sexually receptive

Estrous Cycle
• Begins with estrus (period of sexual receptivity) • at estrus, estrogen is high and progesterone is low • high estrogen causes preovulatory surge of gonadotropins

Estrous Cycle
• • • • • LH surge causes ovulation Follicles release eggs Estrogen decreases Corpora lutea (corpus luteum) form Progesterone is produced from CL

Estrous Cycles
• Gonadotropin secretion is decreased because of progesterone • Progesterone and CL are maintained for 12 to 16 days • Prostaglandin is released from nonpregnant uterus • Corpora lutea are destroyed

Estrous Cycles
• • • • • Progesterone decreases LH and FSH increase Follicles grow Estrogen increases At certain level of estrogens, females exhibit estrus and then ovulate

Pregnancy
• After ovulation, fertilization occurs and embryonic development occurs

1 cell

2 cell

4 cell

Up to 8 cell stage, cells are totipotent 8 cell

any cell if removed can develop into a complete animal

Pregnancy

• In most females, their bodies do not realize that they are pregnant until around 12 days after fertilization

Pregnancy
• At day 12 embryo sends a signal to mother • prostaglandins are not released from the uterus • progesterone is maintained • Embryo begins to differentiate

Blastocyst

inner cell mass trophoblast

blastoceole

cells begin to differentiate and are unipotent (only develop into one type of tissue)

In the blastocyst,
• inner cell mass become fetus proper • cells within inner cell mass differentiate into bones, muscle, nerves, etc. • trophoblast becomes placental membranes of fetus

Pregnancy
• After embryo begins to differentiate and when it begins to take the shape and form of a young animal it is referred to as a fetus. • Fetuses are still differentiating, but they also are increasing in size very rapidly.

Fetal Growth in Cattle
Weight Length

80
Length (inches) 60

80
60 Weight (lbs)

40
20

40
20

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Fetal Age of Calf (months) 8 9

0

Parturition (Birth process)
• fetus initiates parturition • prostaglandins are released • progesterone decreases (except in the horse where it increases then decreases) • endocrine changes vary among species considerably

Lactation
• neural reflex arc

Neural Input

Endocrine Response

Prolactin produces milk for next meal

Physical stimulation of the nipple during nursing

Oxytocin causes milk release for current meal

Lactation
• neural reflex arc • physical stimulation of nipple during nursing causes prolactin and oxytocin release • prolactin - milk synthesis • oxytocin - milk ejection

Rebreeding
• Suckling action of young prevents release of LH and FSH (via another reflex arc) • Once suckling is terminated by weaning or decreases in intensity, then LH and FSH increase and estrus results. • The one exception is the mare.

Male Endocrinology
• FSH and LH stimulate sperm production (spermatogenesis) • FSH and LH stimulate testosterone production (mostly LH) • process is fairly continuous, at least during the breeding season

Schematic of Reproduction

Ovary

Oviduct

Cervix

Vagina

Vulva

Schematic of Female Reproduction
Estrus & Ovulation

Ovary

Oviduct

Cervix

Vagina
Breeding

Vulva

Schematic of Female Reproduction

Fertilization

Ovary

Oviduct
Embryonic & Fetal Growth

Cervix

Vagina
Parturition

Vulva