Application of the bovine model for the study of ovarian function in other species
A research model is a general pattern that scientists use as a tool to investigate a general phenomenon. Research models usually imply the use of specific techniques (e.g., ultrasonography) and experimental units (e.g., animals) with which data were originally gathered and patterns were originally defined. Research models offer a conceptual framework upon which specific hypotheses may be formed and tested, and they permit the extension of a concept into new areas (e.g., different species). Good research models are readily accessible (i.e., abundant and inexpensive), malleable (i.e., easy to work with and adaptable), of broad applicability, and lend themselves to quantitative assessment. Ovarian function is perhaps most studied and best understood in the bovine species. Through the use of ultrasound imaging, studies in the bovine species have served as a template for elucidating physiologic mechanisms related to ovarian function and for characterizing reproductive events in many other species, including humans . The following is intended as an overview of the bovine model for studying ovarian function and its remarkable impact on our understanding of the reproductive biology of many other domestic and non-domestic species. Examples of findings in other species are drawn primarily from studies in the author’s laboratory, and hence, is not intended as a comprehensive review.