Latest Papers

  • Effect of energy balance profiles on metabolic and reproductive response in Holstein and Swedish Red cows.
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    Effect of energy balance profiles on metabolic and reproductive response in Holstein and Swedish Red cows.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:276-283

    Authors: Ntallaris T, Humblot P, Båge R, Sjunnesson Y, Dupont J, Berglund B

    This study examined the effect of two feeding levels during the antepartum and postpartum period on reproductive performance and blood metabolites (glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), insulin) in primiparous Holstein and Swedish Red (SRB) cows, in order to identify possible differences in the way these breeds respond to negative energy balance after calving. A total of 44 cows (22 Holstein, 22 SRB) kept in a loose housing system were included in the study. The control group (HE, n = 23) was fed a diet for high-producing cows (target 35 kg/d energycorrected milk, ECM). A lower feeding intensity (LE, n = 21) was achieved by giving -50% concentrate to target 25 kg/d ECM. Diets were implemented 30 days before expected calving and the cows were monitored for 120 days postpartum. Milk yield and composition, dry matter intake (DMI), live body weight and body condition score (BCS) were assessed to calculate the weekly energy balance (residual feed intake). Blood sampling started before diet implementation and was repeated every 2 weeks until Day 60 postpartum and then once monthly until Day 120. Plasma was kept at -20 °C until analysis for glucose, insulin and NEFA concentrations. Mixed linear models were used to analyse data (SAS 9.3; PROC MIXED). Holstein cows had lower mean energy balance than SRB cows (-4.7 ± 1.4 and -0.9 ± 1.4 MJ, respectively; p = 0.05). SRB cows had higher (p<0.001) BCS (3.3 ± 0.1) than Holstein cows (2.7 ± 0.1) and also higher plasma glucose concentrations from Day -30 to Day 120 relative to parturition (4.1 ± 0.1 and 4.2 ± 0.1 log ; mg/100 ml, respectively; p < 0.05). Overall, breed or diet had no effect on NEFA blood plasma concentrations. However, plasma NEFA concentration levels tended to be higher (p = 0.09) in SRB cows than in Holsteins at Day -14 before calving, indicating higher mobilisation of lipid from adipose tissue already before calving. In contrast, Holstein cows had higher NEFA at Day 14 postpartum than SRB cows (p < 0.05). There were no significant effects of diet or breed on reproductive performance (% pregnant at first AI, days open). However, commencement of luteal activity within 21d postpartum was affected (p < 0.05) by the interaction of breed and diet. These results suggest that Holstein cows prioritise milk production to a larger extent than SRB cows, resulting in a less balanced metabolic profile.

    PMID: 28166980 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Impact of a killed Tritrichomonas foetus vaccine on clearance of the organism and subsequent fertility of heifers following experimental inoculation.
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    Impact of a killed Tritrichomonas foetus vaccine on clearance of the organism and subsequent fertility of heifers following experimental inoculation.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:245-251

    Authors: Edmondson MA, Joiner KS, Spencer JA, Riddell KP, Rodning SP, Gard JA, Givens MD

    Tritrichomonas foetus is a sexually transmitted reproductive pathogen of cattle that causes transient infertility, early embryonic death, metritis, pyometra, and sporadic abortions. The objective of this research was to assess the impact on reproductive health of vaccinating naïve heifers with a killed T. foetus vaccine (TrichGuard) before experimental exposure followed by breeding. A total of 40 beef heifers were randomly assigned into two treatment groups. Heifers where then vaccinated with two doses of TrichGuard or sham vaccinated with 0.9% sterile saline according to their respective groups. Sixty days following vaccination or sham vaccination, heifers were intravaginally inoculated with 2 × 10(6) organisms of a cloned isolate of T. foetus of bovine origin (CDTf-4) during synchronized estrus. Three days following inoculation of T. foetus, bulls free of T. foetus were introduced for natural breeding. Three bulls were maintained with the 40 heifers (20 vaccinated; 20 sham vaccinated) for a 49-day breeding season. Cervical mucous samples were obtained from each heifer at Day 0 and at 29 additional time points throughout the study for T. foetus culture. Pregnancy assessments were performed routinely by using transrectal palpation and ultrasonography. Pregnancies were detected in 19/20 (95%) vaccinated heifers and 14/20 (70%) sham-vaccinated heifers (P = 0.046). Only 4/20 (20%) of the sham-vaccinated heifers gave birth to a live calf compared with 10/20 (50%) of the vaccinated heifers (P = 0.048). Thus, embryonic or fetal loss was detected in 9/19 (47%) vaccinated heifers and 10/14 (71%) sham-vaccinated heifers (P = 0.153). The interval of time between inoculations with T. foetus and conceptions of pregnancies that were maintained until birth did not differ significantly between groups (vaccinated = 18.7 days; sham-vaccinated = 17.3 days; P = 0.716). The infectious challenge in this study proved to be very rigorous as a positive culture was detected from all heifers. The culture-positive results on the last culture day did not differ significantly (P = 0.115) between vaccinated heifers (63.9 days) and sham-vaccinated heifers (79.2 days). All uterine culture samples collected from the 26 nonpregnant heifers on Day 207 postinoculation did not result in the detection of T. foetus. These findings indicate that the killed, whole cell vaccine used in this study (TrichGuard) was effective in improving reproductive health evidenced by significantly reducing losses associated with T. foetus infections.

    PMID: 28166975 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Endometrial mRNA expression of selected pro-inflammatory factors and mucins in repeat breeder cows with and without subclinical endometritis.
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    Endometrial mRNA expression of selected pro-inflammatory factors and mucins in repeat breeder cows with and without subclinical endometritis.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:237-244

    Authors: Wagener K, Pothmann H, Prunner I, Peter S, Erber R, Aurich C, Drillich M, Gabler C

    Repeat breeder cows (RBC) are defined as cyclic cows without clinical abnormalities that fail to conceive after at least three subsequent inseminations. Previous studies have elucidated cellular defence mechanisms in the bovine uterus but detailed information on inflammatory events of endometrial cells in RBC is still lacking. Thus, the objective of this study was to analyse endometrial mRNA expression of selected transcripts associated with uterine inflammatory processes. Cytobrush samples from 91 RBC and 11 synchronised heifers with no history of gynaecological abnormalities (controls, CON) were collected. The proportion of polymorphonuclear neutrophils in these samples was used for the diagnosis of subclinical endometritis (SE). Ultrasonography and progesterone blood concentrations were used to determine ovarian activity and the stage of the oestrous cycle. Total RNA was isolated from the cytobrush samples and subjected to reverse transcription-quantitative PCR for interleukins (IL) 1A, IL1B, IL6, IL8, chemokine CXL ligand (CXCL) 3, CXCL5, prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), tracheal antimicrobial peptide (TAP) and mucin (MUC) 4, MUC5, MUC6, MUC12 and MUC16. CXCL3 mRNA was higher (2-fold) and PTGS2 mRNA lower (6-fold) expressed in RBC compared with CON (P < 0.05). After subdivision of RBC in animals with (RBC-SE) and without SE (RBC-noSE), these differences remained significant between RBC-noSE and CON. Higher mRNA abundances of IL1A and IL1B were found in RBC-SE compared with RBC-noSE (3- and 4-fold; P < 0.05). No differences in the mRNA expression of IL6, IL8, CXCL5 and TAP were observed between RBC-SE, RBC-noSE and CON. MUC4 and MUC12 mRNA was more highly expressed in RBC than in CON (P < 0.05). In RBC-noSE, a 5- and 14-fold higher MUC4 and MUC12 mRNA expression was noticed compared with CON (P < 0.05). A significantly lower mRNA expression of MUC5 and MUC16 (7- and 4-fold) was detected in RBC in the luteal phase compared with RBC in the follicular phase, whereas such a down-regulation was not observed for MUC4 and MUC12. In conclusion, we demonstrated different PTGS2 and CXCL3 mRNA expression between RBC and control heifers, which might be related to subfertility in RBC. Further studies are required to confirm that an unregulated MUC4 and MUC12 mRNA expression may contribute to subfertility of RBC. These findings provide a valid basis for further research on regulatory mechanisms of mRNA expression in subfertile cows.

    PMID: 28166974 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Comparison between allantochorion membrane and amniotic sac detection by per rectal palpation for pregnancy diagnosis on pregnancy loss, calving rates, and abnormalities in newborn calves.
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    Comparison between allantochorion membrane and amniotic sac detection by per rectal palpation for pregnancy diagnosis on pregnancy loss, calving rates, and abnormalities in newborn calves.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:219-227

    Authors: Romano JE, Pinedo P, Bryan K, Ramos RS, Solano KG, Merchan D, Velez J

    The objectives of the present investigation were to evaluate the pregnancy diagnosis by detection of either the allantochorion membrane (FMS) or amniotic sac (ASP) by per rectum palpation (PRP) during late embryonic or early fetal period on pregnancy loss (PRL) at reexamination, calving rates, and abnormalities in newborn calves. A controlled randomized blind design with 800 lactating dairy pregnant cows diagnosed by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) between Days 35 and 57 of gestation from one dairy farm were included. The cows were randomly divided according to detection of allantochorion membrane (FMS group; n = 264), detection of amniotic sac (ASP group; n = 266), and TRUS (control [CON] group; n = 270). TRUS was considered as the criterion standard method of comparison. The entire PRP was performed by one experienced veterinarian. Then, all the cows were reexamined only by TRUS between 2 and 4 weeks later by two independent veterinarians to assess PRL. The calving rate one (number of cows calved divided by the number of cows initially pregnant) and calving rate two (number of cows calved divided by the number of cows pregnant at reexamination) for each group was calculated. All abortions and stillborns were necropsied, and calves alive were followed for 5 days. The overall initial PRL (between initial pregnant cows and reexamination) for FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 7.4% (19/258), 8.8% (23/262), and 9.2% (24/260), respectively (P = 0.75). The overall late PRL (between reexamination and calving) for FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 4.2% (9/213), 5.7% (12/209), and 4.2% (9/216), respectively (P = 0.71). The calving rate one for FMS, ASP, and TRUS groups was 79.1% (204/258), 75.2% (197/262), and 79.6% (207/260), respectively (P = 0.63). The calving rate two for the same groups was 85.4% (204/239), 82.4% (197/239), and 87.7% (207/236), respectively (P = 0.27). The number of fetuses aborted late, premature, and mature dead from FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 6, 4, and 5, respectively (P = 0.85), and no abnormalities at necropsy were detected. One stillborn male calf with atresia coli after 281 days of gestation from a cow examined by ASP at Day 51 was diagnosed. It was concluded that the use of either FMS or ASP for pregnancy diagnosis during late embryonic or early fetal period did not increase the PRL, affect calving rates, or produce calves with congenital abnormalities.

    PMID: 28166972 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Functional and molecular characterization of voltage gated sodium channel Nav 1.8 in bull spermatozoa.
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    Functional and molecular characterization of voltage gated sodium channel Nav 1.8 in bull spermatozoa.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:210-218

    Authors: Chauhan DS, Swain DK, Shah N, Yadav HP, Nakade UP, Singh VK, Nigam R, Yadav S, Garg SK

    The aim of our study was to characterize the voltage gated sodium channel Nav 1.8 in bull spermatozoa. Forty ejaculates were collected from four Hariana bulls and semen samples were pooled in view of the nonsignificant variations between different ejaculates. Functional characterization was undertaken using A-803467, a selective blocker of Nav1.8, and veratridine as an opener of the voltage gated sodium channels while molecular characterization was done using western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence assays. In vitro capacitation was induced using heparin, and to study the functional involvement of Nav 1.8 in regulation of capacitation induced hyper sperm motility, A-803467 was used. Selective blocking of NaV 1.8 by A-803467 at 6 and 8 μM concentration significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the forward progressive sperm motility in a time-dependent manner, while, blocking at higher concentrations (10 and 15 μM) resulted in fast forward motility in spermatozoa after 2 h of incubation and it was observed up to 3 h. Treatment of sperm cells with veratridine (6, 8, 10, 15, 20 μM) resulted in concentration- and time-dependent increase in forward progressive sperm motility and it persisted up to 4 h. However, hyperactive motility was induced by veratridine at higher concentrations (10 and 15 μM) after 2 h of incubation. In vitro capacitated spermatozoa treated with A-803467 revealed significant (P < 0.05) reduction in forward progressive motility after 2 h of incubation. Both A-803467 and veratridine altered the percentage of spermatozoa showing high mitochondrial transmembrane potential in concentration- and time-dependent manner. High concentrations (10 and 15 μM) of A-803467 and veratridine resulted in bent neck condition in spermatozoa along with significant (P < 0.05) reduction in membrane integrity (HOST negative). Immunoblot revealed the presence of a single protein band of 260 kDa molecular weight along with positive immunoreactivity (IR) in head, neck, middle piece and tail of the spermatozoa. Strongest IR was observed in the neck and middle piece whereas weak IR was observed in tail and acrosomal region of the spermatozoa. Results of our present study evidently revealed the presence of voltage gated sodium channel Nav1.8 in bull spermatozoa and its functional involvement in regulation of spermatozoa dynamics in terms of motility, membrane integrity, acrosome integrity, capacitation and mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Further studies are warranted to unravel their mechanistic pathways and/or their interaction with other ion channels in regulating sperm dynamics.

    PMID: 28166971 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Influence of post-insemination nutrition on embryonic development in beef heifers.
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    Influence of post-insemination nutrition on embryonic development in beef heifers.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:185-190

    Authors: Kruse SG, Bridges GA, Funnell BJ, Bird SL, Lake SL, Arias RP, Amundson OL, Larimore EL, Keisler DH, Perry GA

    Previous studies have demonstrated that a decrease in nutrition immediately following AI reduces pregnancy success in beef heifers. The objective of this experiment was to determine if nutrient restriction following AI impacted early embryonic development among non-super ovulated heifers. Beef heifers in eight replications (Rep; Rep 1; n = 14, Rep 2; n = 15, Rep 3; n = 15, Rep 4; n = 14, Rep 5; n = 15, Rep 6; n = 15, Rep 7; n = 25, Rep 8; n = 25) across two locations (UMN, SDSU) were developed in a dry-lot and fed 125% NRC requirements from weaning to timed-AI (d 0). Heifers were timed-AI to a single sire in all replications. Immediately following AI, heifers were assigned, based on age, weight, and estrous response to one of two post-AI nutritional treatments. Half the heifers in each replication continued on the pre-insemination diet, serving as the control treatment (CON) and the remaining heifers were restricted to a sub-maintenance diet (RES). At UMN, heifers in the RES treatment were fed the same diet, but intake was limited to 80% NEm, while at SDSU, DMI remained the same, but diet composition was altered with the addition of straw to reduce NEm to 50% of requirements. On d 6, single embryos were collected nonsurgically and recovered embryos (CON; n = 46, RES; n = 42) were evaluated to determine quality (grade 1-9) and stage (1-4). Embryos were then stained and evaluated to determine the number of dead cells and total blastomeres. In Reps 1 through 6, concentrations of IGF-1 were assessed on d 0 and 6 and progesterone concentrations on d 4 and 6. Data were analyzed using the Mixed procedures of SAS. There were no treatment by Rep or treatment by location interactions for any embryo parameter evaluated, thus all data were pooled. Embryo stage and quality were improved (P < 0.01) in the CON (4.4 ± 0.16, 2.2 ± 0.19, respectively) compared to RES treatment (3.7 ± 0.16, 2.9 ± 0.19, respectively). Embryos in the CON treatment had greater total blastomeres (66.9 ± 5.05; P < 0.01) and tended to have a greater percentage of live cells (P < 0.10; 80.9 ± 4.19%) compared to RES (47.9 ± 5.41; 69.7 ± 4.39%, respectively). Progesterone and IGF-1 concentrations did not differ between treatments. In summary, nutrient restriction for 6 days immediately following AI resulted in poorer quality embryos that were delayed in stage of development, suggesting that immediate changes in nutritional status after insemination can alter early embryonic development.

    PMID: 28166966 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Expression and localization of ARTEMIN in the bovine uterus and embryos.
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    Expression and localization of ARTEMIN in the bovine uterus and embryos.

    Theriogenology. 2017 Mar 01;90:153-162

    Authors: Gómez E, Martin D, Carrocera S, Sánchez-Calabuig MJ, Gutierrez-Adán A, Alonso-Guervos M, Peynot N, Giraud-Delville C, Sandra O, Duranthon V, Muñoz M

    Artemin a member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family is present in mice and human preimplantation embryos, and reproductive tract, during early pregnancy promoting embryo development in vitro. The presence of artemin in cattle embryos and reproductive tract, however, is unknown. In the present work we identified for first time artemin in bovine uterine fluid (UF) (Western blot), endometrium (RT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry) and embryos (RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry) during early preimplantation development. In addition, GFRalpha3, a component of the artemin receptor was localized in blastocysts produced in vitro. Individually developing embryos released ARTEMIN in culture medium and triggered ARTEMIN mRNA down-regulation in epithelial cells from endometrial cell cultures. Our results suggest that ARTEMIN derived from early embryos and maternal reproductive tract may exert important roles during early development in cattle.

    PMID: 28166962 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


“Reproductive Physiological Phenomena”[Mesh] AND “Cattle”[mesh] AND “English”[language]