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Associations between pregnancy-associated glycoproteins and pregnancy outcomes, milk yield, parity, and clinical diseases in high-producing dairy cows

Mercadante, P.M., Ribeiro, E.S., Risco, C., Ealy, A.D.
Journal of dairy science 2016 v.99 no.4 pp. 3031-3040
Holstein, abomasum, artificial insemination, blood, body condition, dairy cows, endometritis, glycoproteins, milk yield, odds ratio, placenta, postpartum period, pregnancy outcome, progesterone, ultrasonography
Pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG) are produced by the ruminant placenta and secreted into the maternal circulation throughout pregnancy. The extent to which circulating PAG concentrations predict pregnancy outcomes was examined herein. Also, associations between circulating PAG concentrations and various production parameters and clinical diseases were evaluated. Lactating primiparous and multiparous Holstein cows (n=345) were bred via timed artificial insemination using a standard Ovsynch protocol. Pregnancy was diagnosed by transrectal ultrasonography at d 32, 46, and 74 of gestation. Blood was harvested at d 32 to determine plasma concentrations of PAG and progesterone. Cows pregnant at d 32 that subsequently lost their pregnancy at d 46 and 74 had reduced PAG concentrations. Both artificial insemination service number and parity were associated with plasma PAG concentrations. Concentration of PAG in plasma was greater for cows pregnant from their second or later breeding than those pregnant from the first breeding postpartum, and was increased for primiparous compared with multiparous. In addition, cows with greater milk yield had increased plasma PAG concentrations. No association was detected between body condition score and plasma PAG concentrations. Cows that experienced clinical metritis, metabolic problems, or left displacement abomasum in the early postpartum period preceding breeding had greater plasma PAG concentrations than cows not experiencing these clinical diseases. Also, cows with multiple clinical diseases had increased odds of pregnancy loss when compared with cows not experiencing clinical diseases. Odds ratio testing detected a tendency in the relationship between reduced milk yield and increased pregnancy loss. Collectively, these associations illustrate one feature of the early developing placenta that may predict pregnancy outcomes in dairy cattle. It is unclear if plasma PAG are actively involved with mediating pregnancy outcomes, but modifications in circulating PAG concentrations due to pregnancy loss, milk yield, parity, and clinical disease implicate placental PAG production or PAG release as being responsive to various physiological stimuli.