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Theriogenology. 2020 Jan 1;141:202-210. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.05.010. Epub 2019 May 14.

Postovulatory treatment with GnRH on day 5 reduces pregnancy loss in recipients receiving an in vitro produced expanded blastocyst.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA; Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA.
2
ST Genetics-Volm Farm ST Heifer Center, Kewaskum, WI, 53040, USA.
3
Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA; Departamento de Ciencias Agrícolas y Pecuarias. Universidad Francisco de Paula Santander, Cúcuta, 540003, Colombia.
4
Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA.
5
ST Genetics, Navasota, TX, 77868, USA.
6
Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706, USA. Electronic address: wiltbank@wisc.edu.

Abstract

The present study tested the hypothesis that administration of GnRH on day 5 of the estrous cycle in embryo transfer (ET) recipients would increase progesterone (P4) concentrations, embryo size, and improve fertility. Holstein and cross-bred Holstein heifers (n = 1562) were synchronized using a modified 5-day CIDR-Synch protocol as follows (All AM treatments): D-8, CIDR inserted; D-3, CIDR removed and PGF2α (500 μg cloprostenol) treatment; D-2, second PGF2α; D0, GnRH (G1, 100 μg gonadorelin acetate) to induce ovulation. On D5 in the afternoon, heifers were assigned in a completely randomized design to one of two treatments: Control (untreated) or GnRH (200 μg). Transfer of day 7 fresh IVP embryos was performed between D6 and D8 after G1. Data collected from each heifer included: embryo stage and quality, body condition score, technician performing ET, interval from G1 to ET, and number of previous transfers. All heifers were evaluated by transrectal ultrasonography on D5, D33, and D60 and a subset of heifers was scanned on D12 (n = 718; to determine ovulation to treatment) and another subset on D33 (n = 295; 16 s video to determine embryo and amniotic vesicle size). Serum P4 was determined from a subset of heifers on D12 (n = 467) and on D21 (n = 837) and pregnancy specific protein B (PSPB) on D28 (n = 843). Pregnancies per ET (P/ET) were analyzed by logistic regression and continuous outcomes by ANOVA. Ovulation to D5 GnRH, defined by the presence of an accessory CL on D12, was 83.9% (302/360) in GnRH-treated heifers vs. 3.3% (12/358) in Controls (P < 0.001). On D12, P4 was greater (P < 0.001) in GnRH-treated heifers (7.2 ± 0.1 ng/ml) vs Controls (6.0 ± 0.1 ng/ml). There was greater P/ET at D33 and D60 of pregnancy for Stage 7 than Stage 6 embryos. Treatment with GnRH did not alter P/ET with either embryo stage but decreased pregnancy loss between D33 and D60 in heifers receiving Stage 7 embryos. Presence of an accessory CL at the D33 pregnancy diagnosis was associated with a larger reduction in pregnancy loss from D33 to D60 in recipients of Stage 7 embryos (11.6 vs 27.6%). Although there was no GnRH effect on embryo size, the presence of an accessory CL was associated (P < 0.05) with larger amniotic vesicle volume in recipients of Stage 7 embryos. In addition, greater PSPB was linked to greater amniotic vesicle volume (P = 0.01) and to reduced pregnancy loss (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, treatment with GnRH on D5 caused ovulation and formation of an accessory CL, increased circulating P4, and reduced pregnancy loss in heifers receiving a Stage 7 but not a Stage 6 IVP embryo.

KEYWORDS:

Cattle; Embryo transfer; GnRH; IVP embryo; Pregnancy loss

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