Reproductive cycles and pregnancy in interspecific sheep↔goat chimaeras

L. A. Maclaren, G. B. Anderson, Robert Bondurant, A. J. Edmondson

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14 Scopus citations


The objectives of the current study were to determine whether interspecific sheep<-»goat chimaeras exhibited reproductive cycles of their component species and were capable of maintaining ovine and caprine pregnancies to term. All chimaeras had oestrous cycles and several exhibited characteristics of both ewes and does, including short, 6-7-day cycles. Sixteen caprine pregnancies were confirmed in eight sheep<->goat and one hybrid<-*sheep chimaera from 21 embryo transfers; of these, six appeared normal by ultrasonographic examination during Weeks 5 or 6, but none progressed beyond Week 8. Three apparent pseudopregnancies developed in two animals. In contrast, eight of 11 pregnancies in chimaeras resulted in term ovine offspring after transfer of ovine embryos or natural matings with rams. By comparison, interspecific (caprine or hybrid) pregnancies in ewes were lost in Week 4 (n = 8) or Weeks 5-6 (n = 2). First interspecific (ovine or hybrid) pregnancies in does were maintained longer (Weeks 6-12, n = l) than second interspecific pregnancies (Weeks 4-5, n = 5) (P<0-05) or interspecific pregnancies in ewes (P<0-05). The results suggest that abnormal fetomaternal interactions during the early stages of implantation are responsible for termination of caprine pregnancies in the ovine or chimaeric uterus, whereas ovine conceptuses are able to implant successfully in the chimaeric uterus. All chimaeras were fertile, since each carried at least one ovine pregnancy to term following natural matings with rams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


  • Embryo transfer
  • Sheep-goat hybrid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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