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J Dairy Sci. 2006 Sep;89(9):3413-24.

Optimizing ovulation to first GnRH improved outcomes to each hormonal injection of ovsynch in lactating dairy cows.

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Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Ovulatory response to the first GnRH of Ovsynch is the critical determinant for successful synchronization of ovulation in dairy cows. Our objective in this study was to develop a pre-Ovsynch treatment that increased the percentage of cows that ovulated in response to the first GnRH injection of Ovsynch. To accomplish our goal, we evaluated a hormonal strategy that consisted of PGF2alpha and GnRH before the first GnRH of Ovsynch. Lactating dairy cows (n = 137) were assigned to receive either no treatment before Ovsynch (control) or 25 mg of PGF2alpha (PreP) followed 2 d later by 100 microg of GnRH (PreG), administered 4 (G4G), 5 (G5G), or 6 (G6G) d before initiating the Ovsynch protocol. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed to assess follicular size and resulting ovulation, and blood samples were collected to measure circulating concentrations of progesterone and estradiol immediately before each hormonal injection. Cows were inseminated at a fixed time 16 h after final GnRH of Ovsynch. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed 35 d later by palpation per rectum of uterine contents. Proportion of cows that ovulated to first GnRH of Ovsynch was 56.0, 66.7, 84.6, and 53.8% for G4G, G5G, G6G, and controls, respectively, and was greater for G6G than for control cows. Luteolytic response to PGF2alpha of Ovsynch was greater in all treated than control cows (92.0, 91.7, 96.2, and 69.2% for G4G, G5G, G6G, and control, respectively). Synchronization rate to Ovsynch was greater (92 vs. 69%, respectively) in G6G than in control cows. In addition, cows that ovulated in response to first GnRH of Ovsynch had greater response to PGF2alpha of Ovsynch (92.7 vs. 77.1%, respectively) and greater synchronization rate to the overall protocol (87.9 vs. 62.9%, respectively) than those that did not ovulate. Concentrations of progesterone at PGF2alpha of Ovsynch, and estradiol and follicle size at final GnRH of Ovsynch, were identified as significant predictors of probability of pregnancy 35 d after artificial insemination. In summary, a PGF2alpha-and-GnRH based pre-Ovsynch strategy consisting of a 6-d interval between PreG and first GnRH of Ovsynch resulted in a greater ovulatory and luteolytic response to first GnRH and PGF2alpha of Ovsynch, respectively, compared with control cows. This, in turn, optimized synchronization rate to Ovsynch.

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