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Conception Rate and Reproductive Hormone Secretion in Holstein Cows Immunized against Inhibin and Subjected to the Ovsynch Protocol

Sciprofile linkRihong Guo, Sciprofile linkFang Chen, Sciprofile linkCheng Mei, Sciprofile linkZicun Dai, Sciprofile linkLeyan Yan, Sciprofile linkZ.D. Shi
Published: 17 February 2020
 by  MDPI
 in Animals
Animals , Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10020313

Abstract: In recent decades, conception rates in lactating dairy cows have dramatically decreased, and improving the conception rate has become a major challenge in dairy cow reproduction. Various Ovsynch protocols have been developed to aid in the resumption of ovarian follicular activity for timely breeding in post-partum cows. However, the effect of Ovsynch protocols on improving the conception rate is unsatisfactory. In addition, immunization against inhibin was reported to improve the fertility of domestic animals. Thus, a novel reproductive technique combining immunization against inhibin and the widely used Ovsynch protocol was proposed and tested in this study. Our results showed that immunization against inhibin has the potential to improve conception rates in cows, but also compromised luteal function. According to these results, additional luteal-stimulating treatments are suggested to further improve cow fertility based on immunization and the Ovsynch protocol. This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of improving fertility in dairy cows via immunization against inhibin. Thirty-two cows were divided into Control (n = 11), Low-dose (n = 10) and High-dose (n = 11) groups. The High-dose and Low-dose cows were treated with 1 and 0.5 mg of the inhibin immunogen, respectively. All the cows were subjected to the Ovsynch protocol from the day of antigen administration and were artificially inseminated. Blood samples were serially collected over a 24-day period from the start of the Ovsynch protocol to 14 days after insemination. The results showed that immunization against inhibin dose-dependently increased the plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E2), and activin A, but decreased progesterone (P4) concentrations in the luteal phase. Immunization also increased the plasma interferon (IFN)-τ concentrations in pregnant cows on day 14 after initial insemination. The conception rates in High-dose (45.5%) and Low-dose (40%) cows marginally increased compared to that in Control cows (27.3%), but the increases were not significant (p > 0.05). In conclusion, a single immunization against inhibin has the potential to improve conception rates, despite impaired luteal development. To further improve the reproductive performance of dairy cows, additional luteal-stimulating treatments are suggested in combination with immunization against inhibin and Ovsynch techniques.
Keywords: immunization / Hormone / Holstein Cows / Inhibin / Conception rate

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