Effect of progesterone supplementation in the first week post conception on embryo survival in beef heifers

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Title: Effect of progesterone supplementation in the first week post conception on embryo survival in beef heifers
Authors: Beltman, Marijke Eileen
Lonergan, Patrick
Diskin, M. G.
Roche, J. F.
Crowe, Mark
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4663
Date: 15-Apr-2009
Abstract: 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.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2009 Elsevier Inc
Keywords: Cattle;Progesterone;Embryo survival;Locomotion score
DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.12.014
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Veterinary Medicine Research Collection

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