Effect of progesterone supplementation on fertility responses of lactating dairy cows with corpus luteum at the initiation of the Ovsynch protocol

R. S. Bisinotto, M. B. Pansani, L. O. Castro, C. D. Narciso, L. D.P. Sinedino, N. Martinez, P. E. Carneiro, W. W. Thatcher, J. E.P. Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of supplemental progesterone on fertility responses of lactating dairy cows with a CL at the initiation of the timed artificial insemination (AI) program. Holstein cows were subjected to the Ovsynch protocol (Day -10 GnRH, Day -3 PGF, Day -0.7 GnRH, and Day 0 timed AI). Ovaries were scanned by ultrasonography on Day -10 and cows with CL were blocked by pen and assigned randomly to receive no supplemental progesterone (control, n=863) or to receive a controlled internal drug-release (CIDR) insert containing progesterone from Days -10 to -3 (1CIDR, n=862). Cows were observed for signs of estrus beginning on Day -9 based on removal of tail chalk and those in estrus received AI on the same day. Blood sampled from a subset of cows was analyzed for progesterone concentrations on Days -10, -9, -7, -5, -3, 0, 6, 13, and 19. Pregnancy was diagnosed on Days 32 and 60 after AI. Supplementation increased (P<0.01) progesterone concentrations between Day -9 and -3 compared with control (7.5 vs. 6.2ng/mL). Treatment had no effect on the ovulatory response to the first and final GnRH injections of the Ovsynch protocol, the proportion of cows that maintained their CL until the day of PGF injection, or the diameter of the ovulatory follicle before AI. Although the overall proportion of cows in estrus at AI did not differ between treatments, progesterone supplementation prevented (P<0.01) cows from coming into estrus from Days -9 to -3 (0.0% vs. 4.7%), whereas it increased (P=0.02) the proportion of cows inseminated in estrus from Days -2 to -1 (7.1% vs. 4.5%). Pregnancy per AI (P/AI) tended to be reduced (P=0.06) by supplemental progesterone on Day 32 (40.5% vs. 45.0%), but not on Day 60 after AI (36.6% vs. 39.7%). A tendency for an interaction (P=0.09) between treatment and the presence of CL at the PGF injection was observed for P/AI on Day 32 in cows that received timed AI because progesterone supplementation reduced P/AI in cows that maintained their CL until Day -3 (40.3% vs. 46.7%); however, it increased P/AI in those that did not have a CL at PGF (38.1% vs. 27.7%). Treatment did not affect pregnancy loss between Days 32 and 60 of gestation. In conclusion, incorporating a single intravaginal insert to the timed AI program increased progesterone concentrations in plasma by 1.3ng/mL, but did not benefit fertility in dairy cows that have CL at the initiation of the synchronization protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalTheriogenology
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015

Keywords

  • CIDR
  • Corpus luteum
  • Dairy cow
  • Progesterone
  • Reproduction

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