Sperm survival and transport in the female reproductive tract.
ABSTRACT Fertilization failure, mostly due to absence of sperm in the oviducts, is a major cause of reproductive inefficiency of farm animals. Sperm may be transported to the oviducts of cattle and sheep within a few minutes after mating or insemination, but these sperm probably fertilize few ova. Slower transport, with establishment of sperm populations in each segment of the reproductive tract, requires a few to several hours. In swine, sperm capable of fertilizing ova reach the oviducts in less than 1 h. Smooth muscle contractions of the reproductive tract, ciliary beats, fluid currents, and flagellar activity of sperm are primary mechanisms of sperm transport. Sperm become hyperactive in the oviducts in association with capacitation. Most sperm in an inseminate drain from the female reproductive tract within a few minutes or hours after insemination; remaining sperm are removed from the tract by slower drainage or phagocytosis. Sperm survival and transport in estrous ewes is reduced drastically by pastures with high estrogen content and by regulating estrus with progestogen or prostaglandin F2 alpha. The cervix is the initial site of inhibition of sperm transport in ewes, and endocrine imbalances probably are the basis of inhibition. Sperm transport problems generally are associated with immobilization and death of sperm in the uterus and anterior segments of the cervix within 2 h after mating. After gilts are inseminated with frozen-thawed semen, relatively few sperm are retained in the reproductive tract, apparently accounting for lowered fertilization rates. Sperm transport has been improved by adding to semen or administering to females such compounds as prostaglandin F2 alpha, oxytocin, estradiol, phenylephrine, or ergonovine. Estradiol, prostaglandin F2 alpha, phenylephrine, and ergonovine administered to rabbits at insemination each increased fertilization rates.
- SourceAvailable from: Gobikrushanth Mohanathas[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The primary objective was to determine if low doses of PGF2α (dinoprost) given intramuscularly (im) concurrent with timed artificial insemination (TAI) would improve conception rates in dairy cattle. A secondary objective was to determine if body condition score (BCS) and parity would influence conception rates, either independently or in interaction with PGF2α treatment. In experiment I, 307 lactating Holstein cows were randomly assigned to receive either 5-mg PGF2α im (PGF2α treated, n = 154) or 0-mg PGF2α (control, n = 153) at TAI (Day 0). Blood samples were obtained on Days −10, −3, 0, and 7 to determine plasma progesterone (P4) concentrations. Pregnancy was confirmed 30 to 32 days after insemination by transrectal ultrasonography. In experiment II, 451 cows were randomly assigned to receive either 10-mg PGF2α im (PGF2α treated, n = 226) or 0-mg PGF2α (control, n = 225) at TAI, and pregnancy was confirmed 45 to 50 days after TAI by palpation per rectum. Pregnancy data were analyzed by CATMOD (SAS). In experiment I, PGF2α treatment, BCS, and parity did not affect conception rate (35.7% vs. 37.0% for PGF2α treated vs. control; P > 0.05). However, in experiment II, conception rates were higher in cows given 10-mg PGF2α than those in control cows (45.8% vs. 36.0%; P < 0.05), in cows with high BCS than in cows with low BCS (52.1% vs. 30.4%; P < 0.01), and in primiparous than in multiparous cows (47.6% vs. 34.4%; P < 0.01), but their interaction with PGF2α treatment did not affect conception rates. In summary, 5 mg of PGF2α given im concurrent with TAI failed to enhance conception rate in lactating dairy cows, whereas 10 mg of PGF2α significantly increased conception rateTheriogenology 10/2014; · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cows exhibiting estrus near the time of fixed-time AI had greater pregnancy success than cows showing no estrus. The objective of these studies were to determine the relationship between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration between cows that did or did not exhibit estrus during a fixed-time AI protocol. Ovulation was synchronized in beef cows by applying the CO-Synch protocol [GnRH (100 μg) on d -9, PGF2α (25 mg) on d -2, and a second injection of GnRH 48 h after PGF2α (d 0)] to both suckled (Exp.1) and non-suckled (Exp.2) cows. Follicle size (d 0) and ovulation (d 2) was determined by ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected every 3 or 4 h beginning at time of PGF2α injection (0 h). Estrus was detected by visual observation with the aid of estrus-detection patches, and cows that ovulated were classified as exhibited estrus (n = 46) or did not exhibit estrus (n = 63). In both suckled and non-suckled cows, there was a positive relationship between all cows (P < 0.05) and among those that exhibited estrus (P < 0.05), between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration, but no linear relationship (P > 0.50) between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration was observed among cows not exhibiting estrus. Cows that exhibited estrus had greater (P < 0.01) peak estradiol concentrations than cows that did not exhibit estrus. Suckled cows exhibiting standing estrus had greater (P < 0.001) preovulatory concentrations of estradiol beginning 6 h (replicate 1) or4 h (replicate 2) after the injection of PGF2α on day -2 compared with cows not exhibiting standing estrus. Non-suckled cows exhibiting standing estrus had greater (P < 0.001) preovulatory concentrations of estradiol beginning at the injection of PGF2α on day -2 compared with cows not exhibiting standing estrus. Furthermore, cows that exhibited estrus had an increased (P < 0.01) rate in the rise in concentrations of estradiol following the PGF2α to peak estradiol than cows not exhibiting estrus. In summary, follicle diameter had a positive relationship with peak concentrations of estradiol, but only among cows that exhibited standing estrus, and estradiol increased earlier in cows that exhibited estrus compared to cows that did not.Domestic Animal Endocrinology 07/2014; · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accurate diagnosis of non-pregnancy and prompt re-enlistment of “non-pregnant” cattle into an appropriate breeding protocol are essential components of successful reproductive programs. Various methods aimed at improving detection of pregnancy and identification of non-pregnant cows earlier and more accurately are the focus of previous review articles and beyond the scope of this manuscript. Recently, the ability to measure pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) in cattle has changed how pregnancy and, more importantly, non-pregnancy are detected. This presentation provides an overview of current research on the pregnancy-associated glycoprotein family, and how these glycoproteins might be utilized as indicators of pregnancy wastage in cattle.Theriogenology 08/2008; 70(3):550–559. · 2.08 Impact Factor