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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of subcutaneous melatonin implants on reproductive seasonality of farmed fallow deer (Dama dama).

A total of 18 fallow does, including pubertal, non-pregnant and pregnant adult does (6 per class), each received a single subcutaneous implant containing 18 mg melatonin on 4 occasions at 29-30-day intervals from 10 November 1986 (approximately 120-day treatment period). A further 18 contemporary does served as herd-mate controls. Two adult fallow bucks were treated the same and were run with the does until 16 March. Thereafter, 1 of 4 control bucks was run with the does until 1 June. Of the 6 pregnant does receiving implants within the last 40 days of their gestation, 4 failed to lactate after parturition in December 1986. The remaining 2 does successfully reared their fawns, as did the 6 contemporary controls. Mean (+/- s.e.m.) dates of first oestrus in 1987 were 27.6 February (+/- 3.0 days) and 22.9 April (+/- 0.8 days) for all treated and all control does respectively (P less than 0.001). Pubertal does were generally later to exhibit first oestrus than were older does within their respective treatment groups. Return oestrus occurred only in 2 pubertal does (1 treated and 1 control) with remaining does conceiving to their first oestrus, as verified by plasma progesterone profiles. However, 5 (28%) of the treated does and 3 (17%) of the control does failed to maintain pregnancy and fawn in 1987. The mean (+/- s.e.m.) 1987 fawning date of the remaining does was 22.4 October (+/- 2.7 days) for the treated group (N = 13) and 13.1 December (+/- 0.8 days) for the control group (N = 15; P less than 0.001). Mean (+/- s.e.m.) gestation length of treated does (238.9 +/- 0.6 days) was significantly longer than that of control does (234.5 +/- 0.4 days; P less than 0.001). Of 13 fawns born to treated does, 4 (31%) died within 24 h of birth (mainly due to hypothermia) whereas all 15 fawns born to control does survived to weaning. Melatonin-treated bucks exhibited a marked advancement of neck muscle hypertrophy during the treatment period and displayed normal rutting activity (e.g. vocalization) in response to early oestrus in the treated does.[1]


  1. Effects of subcutaneous melatonin implants on reproductive seasonality of farmed fallow deer (Dama dama). Asher, G.W., Barrell, G.K., Adam, J.L., Staples, L.D. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1988) [Pubmed]
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