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Theriogenology. 2007 Jun;67(9):1503-11. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Influence of progesterone concentrations on secretory functions of trophoblast and pituitary during the first trimester of pregnancy in dairy cattle.

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  • 1Laboratory of Endocrinology and Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, B-4000 Liege, Belgium.


The essential role played by progesterone in the maintenance of pregnancy is unequivocal; however, the effects of progesterone on the secretory patterns of placental and pituitary molecules during the gestation period are not well defined. The objective of this study was to describe pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG) concentrations (measured by RIA-497 and RIA-Pool) in pregnant females with progesterone concentrations lower (low-P4 group, n=20) or higher (high-P4 group, n=17) than the mean of 8.74 ng/mL on Day 21 (AI=Day 0). Luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin concentrations were also measured in both groups. Throughout the study period, blood samples were collected on Days 0, 21, 45, 60, and 80 from 37 females that were confirmed to be pregnant. PAG concentrations measured by both RIA-497 and RIA-Pool tended to be higher in high-P4 group than in low-P4 group from Day 30 until Day 80. On Day 80, plasma PAG concentrations that were measured using RIA-497 were observed to be higher (P<0.05) in the high-P4 group than in the low-P4 group (10.2+/-8.7 ng/mL versus 6.9+/-3.8 ng/mL). Concentrations of LH on Day 60 and prolactin on Day 80 were observed to be significantly lower (P<0.05) in the high-P4 group. There was a tendency for the concentrations of LH (Days 45 and 80) and prolactin (Days 30, 45, and 60) to be lower in cows in the high-P4 group than in the low-P4 group. Our results suggest the existence of a relationship among the concentration levels of progesterone, PAG, LH, and prolactin during early pregnancy.

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