Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Reprod. Fert. (1985) 75, 247-253 © 1985 Journals of Reproduction and Fertility Ltd Used by Permission


The crossbred gilts studied were aged 80 days (prepubertal), 180 days (prepubertal or postpubertal) and 260 days (postpubertal or pregnant). Estimates of metabolic clearance rate (MCR) of oestradiol and progesterone were consistently less (21 and 27%) in plasma than in blood, and these differences were not influenced by age of gilt. The MCR (1/day per kg body weight) for oestradiol and progesterone in plasma was greater (P < 0·05)for 80-day-old prepubertal gilts than for older gilts. The MCR values of oestradiol and progesterone were similar in 180-day-old and 260-day-old gilts independent of reproductive state. Production rate (PR) of oestradiol and progesterone increased with age (80-180days), and age and reproductive state differences were much more pronounced for PR of progesterone than of oestradiol. These results support the hypothesis that a reduction in the MCR and an increase in PR of oestradiol and progesterone in the gilt are associated with the process of pubertal development, and changes in gonadal steroid concentrations appear not to alter the MCR of oestradiol and progesterone.