Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Follicular dynamics and pregnancy rates in Bos taurus x Bos indicus embryo transfer recipients treated to increase plasma progesterone concentrations

M.O. Marques, L.F. Nasser, R.C.P. Silva, G.A. Bó, J.N.S. Sales, M.F. Sá Filho, E.L. Reis, M. Binelli, P.S. Baruselli

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GnRH, LH, hCG or exogenous progesterone administration on plasma progesterone concentrations and pregnancy rates following embryo transfer in Bos taurus x Bos indicus cross-bred heifers. In Experiment 1, animals with body condition scores 3.5 (1 to 5 scale) were synchronized with two injections of a prostaglandin F2 analog 13 days apart. Heifers detected in estrus (day 0; n = 37) were randomly assigned on day 7 to receive one of five treatments: Control (2 ml saline im; n = 6), GnRH (10 g Buserelin im; n = 8), hCG (1500 IU Chorulon im; n = 8), LH (25 mg pLH im; n = 7) or a CIDR-B device for 13 days (n = 8). Ovarian ultrasonography was performed daily from day 6 until the subsequent estrus. Heifers in the GnRH, hCG and LH groups were evaluated every 12 h between days 7 and 9 to confirm ovulation of the first-wave dominant follicle. Blood samples were collected daily for determination of P4 levels. Estrus detection was performed daily with the aid of androgenized cows. Ovulation rate for the first wave dominant follicle was 100% for heifers treated with GnRH, hCG and LH. Between days 13 and 17, the mean diameter of original CLs, diameter of accessory CLs and P4 concentrations were greater in heifers treated with hCG than in heifers in all other groups (P < 0.05). Duration of the luteal phase (number of days with a P4 concentration 1.0 ng/ml) was similar in hCG (14.3 ± 0.6), LH (13.4 ± 0.6), GnRH (13.4 ± 0.4), CIDR-B (14.5 ± 0.2) and Control (12.8 ± 0.5) groups. In Experiment 2, animals were kept on a grazing regimen at commercial farms in Brazil and were synchronized with one injection of a prostaglandin F2 analog. The same hormonal treatments as in Experiment 1 were given on day 7 after estrus at the time of transfer of frozen/thawed embryos to Bos taurus x Bos indicus recipients (n = 485). Pregnancy rates were higher in GnRH- (53.5%; 53/99) and hCG- (51.0%; 49/96) treated heifers (P < 0.05) than in control heifers (28.6%; 28/98), but were similar to heifers treated with CIDR devices (41.1%; 39/95) and LH (45.4%; 44/97). It was concluded that the improvement in conception rates in hCG treated Bos taurus x Bos indicus cross-bred heifers receiving frozen/thawed embryos were due to both P4-dependent and P4-independent mechanisms


cattle, corpus luteum, embryo transfer, pregnancy, progesterone
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