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Inferior fertility and higher concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone in dairy cows with longer anogenital distance

Akbarinejad, V., Gharagozlou, F., Vojgani, M., Shourabi, E., Makiabadi, M.J.M.
Domestic animal endocrinology 2019 v.68 pp. 47-53
androgens, animal ovaries, anti-Mullerian hormone, blood serum, calving, conception rate, dairy cows, databases, estrus, female fertility, herds, lactation, maternal exposure, repeat breeder, reproductive performance
Anogenital distance (AGD), which is an indicator of prenatal androgen exposure, has been reported to have high variability and negative association with fertility in dairy cows. Prenatal exposure to androgens could influence the development of primordial follicles and size of ovarian reserve, which is related to reproduction. However, the relationship between AGD and size of ovarian reserve has not been studied. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the association between AGD and circulating anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), as an indirect marker of ovarian reserve, and to evaluate serum AMH concentration and reproductive performance in dairy cows with short and long AGD. Anogenital distance was measured 28 to 32 d postpartum, and based on the median of AGD, cows were divided into 2 subsets including short (n = 43) and long (n = 43) AGD groups. Afterward, serum AMH was evaluated on the day of estrus in cows that were estrus-synchronized. Furthermore, reproductive data of dairy cows during the previous lactation period were collected from the herd database. Concentrations of serum AMH tended to be positively associated with length of AGD, and there was a tendency for higher serum AMH concentrations in the long (634.89 ± 74.52 pg/mL) than short (451.39 ± 45.92 pg/mL) AGD group (0.05 <P ≤ 0.10). There was a tendency for more days to first service, lower first service conception rate, and higher proportion of repeat breeders in long (99.95 ± 5.34 d, 30.23% and 32.56%, respectively) than short (89.07 ± 4.97 d, 48.84% and 16.28%, respectively) AGD cows (0.05 <P ≤ 0.10). Services per conception did not differ between short (2.30 ± 0.27) and long (2.93 ± 0.29) AGD cows (P > 0.05). Calving to conception interval was prolonged in long (194.30 ± 17.12 d) than short (147.14 ± 13.11 d) AGD cows (P ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, the present study revealed elevated serum AMH concentrations and poor reproductive performance in cows with longer AGD compared with cows with shorter AGD.