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  • Publication
    Effect of progesterone supplementation in the first week post conception on embryo survival in beef heifers
    Progesterone is essential for establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in mammals. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of elevating progesterone during the different physiological stages of early embryo development on embryo survival. Estrus was synchronized in cross-bred beef heifers (n = 197, ∼2-years old) and they were inseminated 12–18 h after estrus onset (=Day 0). Inseminated heifers were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) Control, n = 69; (2) progesterone supplementation using a Controlled Internal Drug Release Device (CIDR) from Day 3 to 6.5, n = 64; or (3) progesterone supplementation using a CIDR from Day 4.5 to 8, n = 64. Body condition (BCS) and locomotion scores (scale of 1–5) were recorded for all animals. Animals with a locomotion score ≥4 (very lame) were excluded. Embryo survival rate was determined at slaughter on Day 25. Conceptus length and weight were recorded and the corpus luteum (CL) of all pregnant animals was dissected and weighed. Supplementation with exogenous progesterone increased (P < 0.05) peripheral progesterone concentrations, but did not affect embryo survival rate compared with controls. Mean CL weight, conceptus length and conceptus weight were not different between treatments. There was a positive relationship (P < 0.04) between the increase in progesterone concentrations from Days 3 to 6.5 and embryo survival rate in treated heifers and a similar trend existed between the increase from Days 4.5 to 8 (P < 0.06). There was also a positive relationship (P < 0.05) between the progesterone concentration on Day 6.5 and the embryo survival rate in treated heifers. A direct correlation was seen between locomotion score and embryo survival rate, with higher (P < 0.05) early embryo survival rates in heifers with a lower locomotion score. In conclusion, supplementation with progesterone at different stages of early embryo development increased peripheral progesterone concentration and resulted in a positive association between changes in progesterone concentration during the early luteal phase and embryo survival rate. Supplementation with progesterone had no effect on either CL weight or conceptus size in pregnant animals. Lameness had a significant negative effect on early embryo survival.
      681Scopus© Citations 49
  • Publication
    Global proteomic characterization of uterine histotroph recovered from beef heifers yielding good quality and degenerate day 7 embryos
    The objective was to analyze the proteomic composition of uterine flushes collected from beef heifers on day 7 after insemination. Estrus was synchronized in crossbred beef heifers by using a protocol with a controlled intravaginal drug releasing device. Heifers detected in standing estrus (within 24-48 h after removal of controlled intravaginal drug releasing device) were inseminated (estrus = day 0) with frozen-thawed semen from a single ejaculate of a bull with proven fertility. Heifers from which an embryo was recovered (after slaughter on day 7) were classified as either having a viable embryo (morula/blastocyst stage) or a degenerate embryo (arrested at the 2- to 16-cell stage). The overall recovery rate (viable and degenerate combined) was 64%. Global liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry proteomic analysis of the histotroph collected identified 40 high-confidence proteins present on day 7; 26 proteins in the viable group, 10 in the degenerate group, and 4 shared between both groups. Five proteins (platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase IB subunit γ [PAFAH1B3], tubulin α-1D chain, tubulin β-4A chain, cytochrome C, and dihydropyrimidinase-related protein-2) were unique or more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a viable embryo, and 1 protein (S100-A4) was more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a degenerate embryo. Of interest, PAFAH1B3, detected only in histotroph from the group yielding viable embryos, belongs to the group of platelet-activating factors that are known to be important for the development of the pre-implantation embryo in other species. To our knowledge this is the first report of PAFAH1B3 in relation to bovine early embryonic development.
      713Scopus© Citations 12