Serum Anti-Müllerian Hormone Concentration During Controlled Ovarian Stimulation in Felids for Improved Monitoring of Reproductive Potential
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is considered the best marker for estimating ovarian reserve as well as response to fertility treatments in women.1 In felids, it has been used to diagnose the presence of reproductive organs in male and female domestic cats.2,3 Our goal was to investigate the broader utility of AMH in felids, studying the correlation with age and response to controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) to improve selection of zoo-based endangered cats for breeding programs and assisted reproductive efforts, especially with advancing age. In a retrospective study in domestic cats (as a model for wild felids), 185 serum samples from 108 queens were assayed for AMH. AMH showed a downward trend from baseline through time of procedure and post-AI, with the post-AI group significantly lower than the baseline group. AMH, at ovum pickup, was positively correlated with ovarian structures, grade 1 oocytes, and total oocytes. Age and baseline AMH did not have a significant relationship, likely due to variability among females. Control factors were introduced to limit the impact of reproductive pathology in the sample population, and a biphasic pattern was observed for AMH across age groups. Mean concentrations were low in the youngest group, peaked at 1.5–4 yrs, and declined with age. All queens with AMH concentrations above 15 ng/ml were noted to have uterine or ovarian pathologies, indicating that AMH can also be a diagnostic tool for clinical cases. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis, n=14, 3–14 yrs) AMH values showed a significant correlation with ovarian response following COS, and concentrations decreased with advancing age. The range of values (0.11–3.27 ng/ml) were comparable to those seen in stimulated domestic cats (0.13–14.14 ng/mL). Amur tiger (Panthera tigris tigris, n=7; 4–15 yrs) values were below the detection limit of the assay. These data provide insight into the correlation between AMH and response to COS in both queens and ocelots. Results suggest that AMH may be valuable for identifying clinical pathologies, as well as reproductive potential for conservation purposes in felids, specifically for predicting response to COS prior to initiating assisted reproductive procedures in older females.
The authors would like to thank Drs. John S. Davis and Jeff French for assistance and support with original project design and execution.
1. Almog B, Shehata F, Suissa S, Holzer H, Shalom-Paz E, La Marca A, Muttukrishna S, Blazar A, Hackett R, Nelson SM, Cunha-Filho JS, Eldar-Geva T, Margalioth EJ, Raine-Fenning N, Jayaprakasan K, McIlveen M, Wunder D, Freour T, Nardo LG, Balasch J, Peñarrubia J, Smeenk J, Gnoth C, Godehardt E, Lee TH, Lee MS, Levin I, Gamzu R, Tulandi T. Age-related normograms of serum antimüllerian hormone levels in a population of infertile women: a multicenter study. Fertil Steril. 2011;95;2359–2363.
2. Axnér E, Ström Holst B. Concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone in the domestic cat. Relation with spay or neuter status and serum estradiol. Theriogenology. 2015;83;817–821.
3. Place NJ, Hansen BS, Cheraskin J-L, Chudney SE, Flanders JA, Newmark AD, Barry B, Scarlett JM. Measurement of serum anti-Mullerian hormone concentration in female dogs and cats before and after ovariohysterectomy. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2011;23;524–527.