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Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 9514861, 8 pages
Research Article

Influence of Dexamethasone on Some Reproductive Hormones and Uterine Progesterone Receptor Localization in Pregnant Yankasa Sheep in Semiarid Zones of Nigeria

1Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069, Maiduguri, Nigeria
2Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Correspondence should be addressed to Dauda Yahi; moc.liamg@aduadihay

Received 25 February 2017; Revised 24 August 2017; Accepted 10 September 2017; Published 18 October 2017

Academic Editor: William Alberto Cañón-Franco

Copyright © 2017 Dauda Yahi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dexamethasone is widely used in both veterinary and human medical practices. However, it seems to cause some deleterious effects on pregnancy probably by causing changes in the reproductive hormone levels and their corresponding receptor concentrations. This study investigated the effects of dexamethasone on these parameters. Twenty healthy adult Yankasa sheep comprising 18 ewes and 2 rams were used for this study. Pregnancies were achieved by natural mating after estrus synchronization. Dexamethasone was administered at 0.25 mg/kg body weight on days 1, 3, and 5 during first trimester; days 51, 53, and 55 during second trimester; and days 101, 103, and 105 during the third trimester. Blood samples were collected biweekly for hormonal assay. Uterine biopsies were harvested through caesarean section for immunohistochemical analysis. Results showed that dexamethasone significantly () decreased progesterone concentrations and caused abortion in Yankasa sheep but had no significant () effect on estrogen, while progesterone receptors (PR) were upregulated. The abortion could probably be due to decreased progesterone concentrations as a consequence of the adverse effects on placenta. The PR upregulation may be a compensatory mechanism to increase progesterone sensitivity. It was concluded that dexamethasone should not be used in advanced pregnancy in Yankasa sheep.