The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an hCG subdose applied at the acupoint as an ovulation inducer in donkeys. Eleven donkeys were distributed in randomized blocks in T1 = application of 1,500 IU of hCG intravenous (IV); T2 = 450 IU of hCG applied at the false acupoint (IV), and T3 = 450 IU of hCG applied at the acupoint. There was no difference (P > 0.05) between the treatments regarding the mean diameter of the pre-ovulatory follicle (34.5 ± 1.3 mm), the ovulation rate (96.97%), the interval between induction and ovulation (58.07 ± 16.82 h), the mean diameter of the CL (D0 = 23.0 ± 0.6; D2 = 27.7 ± 1.9 and D8 = 28.2 ± 0.8mm), and serum P concentrations (10.50 ± 2.99 ng.mL). The application of 450 IU of hCG at the acupoint increased ovulation rate (72.73%) more than 48 h after induction (P = 0.03) and a larger diameter of the CL on D4 (30.7 ± 5.1 mm) (P = 0.04). The vascularization area of the CL on D8, obtained by minimum number of colored pixel (NCP), was greater (P < 0.05) in the donkeys that received 1,500 IU of IV hCG (T1, 41.91 ± 1.17), and we found a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between mean NCP and P concentration in the donkeys that received 450 IU of hCG IV at the false acupoint (T2) or at the acupoint (T3). The application of 450 IU of hCG by IV route at the false acupoint or the acupoint was sufficient to induce ovulation in donkeys, demonstrating that the average dosage commonly used for this species is too high.
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