Effect of acute nutritional restriction on incidence of anovulation and periovulatory estradiol and gonadotropin concentrations in beef heifers1
Mackey, David R.
Sreenan, Joseph M.
Roche, James F.
Diskin, Michael G.
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Mackey, David R. Sreenan, Joseph M.; Roche, James F.; Diskin, Michael G. (1999). Effect of acute nutritional restriction on incidence of anovulation and periovulatory estradiol and gonadotropin concentrations in beef heifers1. Biology of Reproduction 61 (6), 1601-1607
The effects of acute nutritional restriction on follicular dynamics, incidence of anovulation, and periovulatory estradiol and gonadotropin concentrations were studied in two replicates using beef heifers exhibiting regular estrous cycles. Heifers fed a diet supplying 1.2 maintenance (1.2 Mn) were synchronized using an intravaginal progesterone-releasing device for 8 days. One day before device removal, heifers were allocated randomly, within replicate, to a diet supplying 0.4 Mn (n = 20), or kept at 1.2 Mn (n = 21). On the sixth day after detected ovulation, heifers received 500 mu g of synthetic prostaglandin F-2 alpha (PGF(2 alpha)) to induce luteolysis, estrus, and ovulation of the first dominant follicle (DF). Animals were inseminated and returned to a diet of 1.2 Mn. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed 30 days later. The maximum diameter subsequently attained by the DF present at progesterone withdrawal was smaller (P < 0.01) in heifers fed 0.4 Mn. Two heifers fed 0.4 Mn failed to ovulate this DF (P > 0.10). Growth rate (P < 0.01) and maximum diameter (P < 0.001) of the DF in the first follicular wave of the next estrous cycle was also reduced in heifers fed 0.4 Mn. After prostaglandin administration, a further 10 heifers fed 0.4 Mn failed to ovulate the first DF of this cycle, and it regressed (P < 0.001), causing anovulation in 12 of 20 heifers within 13-15 days (P < 0.001). Anovulation of the DF present at progesterone withdrawal was preceded by a proestrous estradiol increase but absence of a gonadotropin surge (2 of 2 heifers), while neither endocrine event was detected before anovulation of the DF of the first new follicular wave (2 of 2 heifers). In cases in which ovulation of the first DF of the new cycle occurred, fertility was similar (P > 0.10) in heifers fed either 0.4 (n = 7) or 1.2 Mn (n = 20). In conclusion, acute nutritional restriction of cyclic heifers from 1.2 to 0.4 Mn decreased the growth rate and maximum diameter of DFs and induced failure of the DF to ovulate in 60% of heifers, but, within the confines of limited animal numbers, did not compromise fertility in heifers that ovulated.