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Supplementation with long-acting progesterone in early diestrus in beef cattle: II. Relationships between follicle growth dynamics and luteolysis
- Martins, T., Pugliesi, G., Sponchiado, M., Cardoso, B.O., da Silva, K.R., Celeghini, E.C.C., Binelli, M.
- Domestic animal endocrinology 2019 v.68 pp. 1-10
- beef cows, diestrus, estrus, longevity, luteolysis, ovarian follicles, ovulation, pregnancy, progesterone, ultrasonography
- The aims were to characterize follicular dynamics in response to supplemental progesterone (P4) and to investigate the relationships between follicular growth and onset of luteolysis in P4-treated cows, submitted or not to artificial insemination (AI). Nonsuckled beef cows detected in estrus were assigned to receive AI or to remain non-AI. Three days after ovulation (ie, D3), AI cows were injected with 150 mg of long-acting P4 (AI + injectable P4 formulation [iP4]; n = 22), and the non-AI cows were assigned to receive 150 mg iP4 (n = 19) or saline (control, n = 19). Between D3 and D21, growth dynamics of the dominant follicles (DFs) was monitored by ultrasonography. Plasma P4 concentrations were measured every other day from D9 to D19. Pregnancy status (ie, P: pregnant and NP: nonpregnant) was examined by ultrasound on D28 to D32. Injectable P4 formulation supplementation decreased average maximum diameter of first-wave DF (DF1). Neither day of emergence of DF2 or DF3 nor the proportion of two- or three-wave cycles were altered by supplemental P4. Daily mean diameter of DF2 and DF3 was also similar between control and iP4 groups. Consistently, daily mean diameter of DF1 in iP4-treated cows was smaller for cows that underwent luteolysis by D15 compared to a later onset. Progesterone concentrations between D9 and D19 decreased earliest in the iP4 group, latest in the control group and was intermediate for the NP-AI + iP4 group. In addition, three-wave cycles presented a delayed decrease on plasma P4 concentrations than two-wave cycles. Further analysis revealed that on two-wave cycles, P4 concentrations on D15 were lowest in the iP4 and NP-AI + iP4 animals compared to the control and P-AI + iP4 groups. Conversely, for three-wave cycles, on D15, P-AI + iP4, NP-AI + iP4, and controls had greater P4 concentrations than the iP4 group. In summary, our data indicate that impairment of first follicular growth was associated with P4-induced shortened luteal lifespan (D14–D15) and that three-wave cycles after AI can be more supportive for pregnancy maintenance in P4-treated cows. We speculate that such conditions play a critical role in the embryonic ability to inhibit iP4-induced early luteolysis reported in part I of this series.