The early corpus luteum (CL) (before Day 6) does not regress after a single PGF(2 alpha) treatment. We hypothesized that increasing PGF(2 alpha) dose or number of treatments would allow regression of the early CL (Day 5). Nonlactating Holstein cows (N = 22) were synchronized using the Ovsynch protocol. On Day 5 (Day 0 = second GnRH treatment), cows were assigned to: (1) control (N = 5): no further treatment; (2) 1PGF (N = 6): one dose of 25 mg PGF(2 alpha); (3) 2PGF (N = 5): two doses of 25 mg PGF(2 alpha) (50 mg) given 8 hours apart (second PGF(2 alpha) on Day 5 at the same time as the other PGF(2 alpha) treatments); (4) DPGF (N = 6): double dose of 25 mg PGF(2 alpha) (50 mg) given on Day 5. Blood samples were collected to monitor progesterone (P4) profiles in two periods. In the first period (0 to 24 hours), there were effects of treatment (P = 0.01), time (P < 0.01), and an interaction of treatment and time (P = 0.02). Group 1PGF versus control was different only at 12 hours (P = 0.02). Cows treated with DPGF were different than control at 4 hours (P = 0.04), 12 hours (P < 0.01), and 24 hours (P < 0.01). Only cows treated with 2PGF had lower P4 than control during the entire period and low P4(0.37 +/- 0.17 ng/mL) at 24 hours, usually indicative of luteolysis. In the second period (Day 5 to 15 of the cycle), there were effects of treatment (P < 0.01), time (P < 0.01), and interaction of treatment and time (P = 0.002). Group 1PGF was not different than control from Day 5 to 13 and P4 was greater than control on Day 14 (P = 0.01) and 15 (P < 0.01). Circulating P4 in DPGF cows was lower than control from Day 7 (P = 0.05) through 12 (P < 0.01). Likewise, there were differences between control and 2PGF from Day 7 to 13, but not on Day 14 and 15. On Day 15, all PGF(2 alpha)-treated groups had circulating P4 consistent with an active CL. Ultrasound evaluation confirmed that no CL from any group completely regressed during the experiment and no new ovulations occurred to account for functional CL later in cycle. In summary, a double dose of PGF(2 alpha) (twice on Day 5 or 8 hours apart) can dramatically decrease P4, consistent with classical definitions of luteolysis; however, these CL recover and become fully functional. Thus, the Day 5 CL of mature Holstein cows do not regress even to two doses of PGF(2 alpha). (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.