Periovulatory administration of firocoxib did not alter ovulation rates and mitigated post-breeding inflammatory response in mares

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Friso, Aime M. [UNESP]
Segabinazzi, Lorenzo G.T.M. [UNESP]
Cyrino, Marina [UNESP]
Correal, Sebastian B.
Freitas-Dell'Aqua, Camila P. [UNESP]
Teoro do Carmo, Marcio
Dell'Aqua Jr., José Antonio [UNESP]
Miró, J.
Papa, Frederico O. [UNESP]
Alvarenga, Marco Antonio [UNESP]

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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a therapeutic option for the treatment of inflammation. However, negative effects of non-selective NSAIDs for treatment of mares with endometritis have been described, including delayed uterine clearance and impairment of ovulations. Firocoxib is a specific cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor and has the ability to act in the uterus of mares. We investigated the effects of firocoxib on ovulation rate, numbers of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), and COX-2 protein levels in the endometrial tissue of susceptible mares after insemination. Two experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, twenty mares were evaluated in two consecutive estrous cycles broken into the following groups: Control - no pharmacological interference; Treatment - mares were treated with 0.2 mg/kg of firocoxib orally. The treatment began on the day of ovulation induction, and firocoxib was administered until one day after artificial insemination (AI). Ovulation was induced with 1 mg of deslorelin acetate and the mares were inseminated 24 h after the injection. Ovulation was confirmed 48 h after induction, and embryos were collected eight days after ovulation. Experiment 2: Nine mares susceptible to persistent mating-induced endometritis (PMIE) were artificially inseminated. The mares were examined with ultrasound and inseminated with fresh semen in two consecutive cycles, control and treated, in a cross-over study design. The amount of intrauterine fluid was measured, and endometrial samples were collected 24 h after AI. The number of PMNs was determined by endometrial cytology and biopsy, and COX-2 labeling in endometrial samples was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Firocoxib treatment did not induce ovulatory failure or affect embryo recovery rate in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, firocoxib treatment reduced inflammation after AI in mares as evidenced with results regarding PMN numbers/percentage and endometrial COX-2 staining. In conclusion, the proposed treatment with firocoxib reduced endometrial inflammation in mares susceptible to PMIE after breeding, with no adverse effects.



Barren mares, Endometritis, Equine, NSAID, Pregnancy rate

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Theriogenology, v. 138, p. 24-30.