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Aust Vet J. 2017 Aug;95(8):281-288. doi: 10.1111/avj.12611.

Effects of GnRH, a progesterone-releasing device, and energy balance on an oestrus synchronisation program in anoestrous dairy cows.

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Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



The aim of this research was to study the roles of the day 0 energy balance and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and progesterone levels on dominant follicle (DF) and corpus luteum (CL) development during the first 7 days of a gonadotrophin-prostaglandin-gonadotrophin (GPG) + progesterone (P4) program in anoestrous dairy cows.


Cows (n = 81) were allocated to one of the three treatments: (1) GPG + P4 (days 0 and 9, 100 µg GnRH; day 0-7, intravaginal P4 device; day 7, 500 µg PGF ); (2) GPG (as for treatment 1 but excluding the P4 device) and (3) prostaglandin + GnRH + P4 (as for treatment 1, but excluding day 0 GnRH). DF and CL size, plasma concentrations of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) were measured on days 0 and 7.


The proportion of cows with a CL on day 7 was significantly different between groups (GPG: 78%, GPG+P4: 69%, PGF + GnRH + P4: 42%, P = 0.02). The CL volume on day 7 was significantly associated with treatment, treatment by time postpartum and plasma concentrations of insulin, IGF-I and NEFA.


In cows without a CL present on day 0 of an oestrus synchronisation program, removal of the day 0 GnRH treatment led to reduced CL development; however, no effect of adding progesterone was found. In contrast, in cows with a CL present on day 0 inclusion of a progesterone device led to a higher CL volume, but removal of the first GnRH injection had no effect. Response to the treatment was affected by plasma concentrations of insulin, IGF-I and NEFA.


dairy cows; energy balance; gonadotrophin-releasing hormone; insulin; insulin-like growth factor-I; non-esterified fatty acids; postpartum anoestrus; progesterone-releasing device; seasonal calving

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