Ovarian parameters and fertility of dairy cows selected for one QTL located on BTA3.
ABSTRACT Recently, one Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) of female fertility located on Bos Taurus chromosome 3 (BTA3), QTL-F-Fert-BTA3, has been identified in Holstein breed. It is implied in the success rate after the first AI (AI1) in cow. The failure of pregnancy can be due to several factors involved in the different steps of the reproductive process. The aim of our study was to finely phenotype heifers and primiparous cows selected for their haplotype at the QTL-F-Fert-BTA3. We specifically studied the ovarian follicular dynamic and several fertility parameters. Females carrying the favourable haplotype "fertil+" or unfavourable haplotype "fertil-" were monitored by transrectal ultrasonography during their cycle before the first AI (AI1). Follicular dynamic was similar between the two groups. However, the length of the estrus cycle was shorter in heifers than in primiparous cows and two-wave cycles were shorter than three-wave cycles, regardless of the age and the haplotype. The concentration of plasma anti-Müllerian hormone was correlated with the number of small antral follicles. It was higher in heifers than in primiparous cows, independently of their haplotype. The success rate at the AI1 was significantly higher in "fertil+" than in "fertil-" primiparous cows, 35 d after the AI1 (70% vs 39%). In both haplotypes, pregnancy failure occurred mainly before 21 d after AI1. The commencement of luteal activity after calving was significantly earlier in "fertil+" than in "fertil-" primiparous cows. Calving-AI1 and calving-calving intervals were similar between "fertil+" and "fertil-" primiparous cows. Taken together, "fertil+" and "fertil-" primiparous cows present a difference in the success rate after AI1 that is not explained by variations of ovarian dynamics.
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ABSTRACT: High between-animal variability in the number of embryos produced by multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) and ovum pick-up and in vitro production (OPU-IVP) methods remains a major limit to the development of embryo biotechnologies in cattle. The measurement of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) endocrine concentrations in cows can help to predict their follicular and ovulatory responses to gonadotrophin treatment. The present study aimed to provide practical information for a simple prognostic method based on AMH measurement in Holstein cows. Accurate AMH concentrations could be measured with ELISA in blood or plasma. In cows undergoing repeated OPU protocols over 1 year, the AMH concentrations measured in plasma samples collected before each gonadotrophin treatment were found to be highly repeatable and were tightly correlated with follicular responses. From data obtained at both an experimental station and farm settings, it was possible to propose AMH cut-off values to identify low-responding cows. Gonadotrophin-stimulated cows producing fewer than 15 large follicles at oestrus and fewer than 10 embryos in MOET protocols could be discarded efficiently with plasma AMH concentrations below 87 and 74 pg mL(-1), respectively. In conclusion, we propose a prognostic method based on a single AMH measurement to improve the results of embryo biotechnologies.Reproduction Fertility and Development 09/2012; 24(7):932-44. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Improvement of reproduction in dairy cows has become a major challenge in dairy production. We have recently shown that dairy cows carrying the 'fertil-' haplotype for one quantitative trait locus (QTL), affecting female fertility and located on the bovine chromosome 3, had a significantly lower conception rate after the first artificial insemination than cows carrying the 'fertil+' haplotype. The objective of this paper was to study other phenotypic modifications linked to this QTL. In the present study, 23 'fertil+' and 18 'fertil-' cows were characterized for live weight, milk production, food intake, eating behaviour and plasma metabolites. These parameters were measured during the first lactation, from calving to 40 weeks postpartum (wkpp). In the first 7 weeks of lactation, 'fertil+' primiparous cows had a significantly higher live BW and milk production than 'fertil-' cows. Dry matter intake tended to be slightly higher for 'fertil+' than for 'fertil-' primiparous cows in this period. However, energy balance was similar for the two haplotypes in the whole lactation, except in the first wkpp, and consequently, could not explain their different fertility. The major observation concerned the eating behaviour. 'Fertil+' primiparous cows had a significantly lower eating rate than 'fertil-' cows during the 40 weeks of lactation. In parallel, 'fertil+' cows spent significantly more time at the feeder for a similar number of visits than 'fertil-' cows. Furthermore, no differences in plasma concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids and insulin were observed between the two haplotypes. Plasma glucose was significantly lower in 'fertil+' than in 'fertil-' cows in the second wkpp. Taken together, our results show that 'fertil+' and 'fertil-' dairy cows, with different fertility, have also different eating behaviour without any variation in energy balance, except in the first week of lactation.animal 11/2012; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prim’Holstein heifers selected for “Fertil-” homozygous haplotype of QTL-F-Fert-BTA3 showed a higher rate of early pregnancy failure and slower embryo development after in vitro maturation (IVM) suggesting lower oocyte quality. We aimed to ascertain intrafollicular factors related to lower oocyte quality in “Fertil-” cows. Analysis of individual oocytes showed meiotic progression delay in “Fertil-” as compared to “Fertil+” dairy cows after in vivo and in vitro maturation (p<0.05). Expression of several genes localized to QTL-F-Fert-BTA3 or related to meiosis and MAPK pathway were analyzed in individual metaphase-II oocytes by real-time PCR. Energy metabolism, apoptosis, extracellular matrix and QTL’s genes were analyzed in surrounding CC. In vivo, significant decrease in prostaglandin synthase PTGES1 and PTGS2 expression coupled with lower PTGS2 protein abundance in cumulus cells (CC) and reduced expression of MOS in enclosed metaphase-II oocytes from “Fertil-” cows was observed. IVM strongly deregulated gene expression in CC and in oocytes as compared to in vivo; nevertheless, differential expression of several genes including MOS was observed between the two haplotypes. During IVM, PTGS2 activity inhibitor NS398 (50μM) led to lower expression of FASN (fatty acid synthase) in CC and of MOS in treated metaphase-II oocytes. By immunofluorescence, MOS protein was localized to a midbody-like contractile ring separating the polar body from the ooplasm, suggesting a role in the terminal stage of oocyte maturation. Our results suggest that factors involved in prostaglandin synthesis and lipid metabolism in CC could impair oocyte maturation and might be involved in the reduced fertility of “Fertil-” cows.Theriogenology 01/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor