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The effects of raising post-oestrus progesterone concentrations on luteal activity in post-partum dairy cows


, : The effects of raising post-oestrus progesterone concentrations on luteal activity in post-partum dairy cows. Animal science: an international journal of fundamental and applied research 68(3): 527-532

In order to investigate the rationale of manipulating post-ovulation progesterone (P(4)) concentrations, luteal activity was measured in 10 Holstein-Friesian cows treated with a progesterone-releasing device (CIDR, 1(.)9 g P(4)) inserted on the morning of day 2 post-oestrus for a period of 7 days and compared with 10 untreated control animals. Milk samples were collected daily during afternoon milking from 7 days pre- to 24 days post-oestrus and P(4) concentrations were measured using enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA). The milk P(4) profiles were used to assess the effects of early post-oestrus P(4) elevation on five intervals of the luteal phase. In the treated (T) and control (C) animals, the mean interval from oestrus to P(4) rise (greater than or equal to 3 microgram/l), was 2(.)38 (s.e. 0(.)18) and 4(.)90 (s.e. 0(.)28) days, respectively, (P <0(.)01). The mean interval from oestrus to the attainment of peak P(4) concentrations was not significantly different (P > 0(.)05) between the T (14(.)75 (s.e. 1(.)62) days) and C (14(.)30 (s.e. 0(.)70) days) animals, with cows in the T group showing a more variable (F(7, 9) = 4(.)30, P <0(.)05) interval to the occurrence of the peak. The interval from peak P(4) to corpus luteum (CL) regression (when P(4) fell below 3 microgram/l) was not significantly different between the T (4(.)13 (s.e. 1(.)30 days) and C (5(.)60 (s.e. 0(.)88) days) groups. Furthermore, CIDR insertion did not alter luteal phase length, number of days with P(4) concentrations greater than or equal to 3 microgram/l (T = 16(.)50 (s.e. 0(.)80) v. C = 15(.)00 (s.e. 0(.)47) days) or the interval from oestrus to CL regression (T = 18(.)88 (s.e. 0(.)79) v. C = 19(.)90 (s.e. 0(.)41) days). We conclude that treatment with CIDR 2 days after oestrus successfully increased the availability of P(4) to cows without significantly affecting luteal phase characteristics.

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