J M Sreenan

TEAGASC - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Carlow, Leinster, Ireland

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Publications (98)125.85 Total impact

  • D Morris · S Hugentobler · H Leese · P Humpherson · J Sreenan · M Diskin ·

    04/2010; 1(01):165-165. DOI:10.1017/S2040470010003080
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    ABSTRACT: Early embryo loss is a major factor affecting the conception rate in cattle. Up to 40% of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilisation while they are nutritionally dependent on oviduct and uterine fluids for their survival. Inadequate systemic progesterone is one of the factors contributing to this loss. We have characterised the effects of changes in systemic progesterone on amino acid, ion and energy substrate composition of oviduct and uterine fluids on Days 3 and 6, respectively, of the oestrus cycle in cattle. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ following infusion of progesterone. There was no effect of progesterone on oviduct fluid secretion rate; however, uterine fluid secretion rate was lowered. Progesterone increased uterine glucose, decreased oviduct sulfate and, to a lesser degree, oviduct sodium, but had no effect on any of the ions in the uterus. The most marked effect of progesterone was on oviducal amino acid concentrations, with a twofold increase in glycine, whereas in the uterus only valine was increased. These results provide novel information on the maternal environment of the early cattle embryo and provide further evidence of progesterone regulation of oviduct amino acid concentrations in cattle.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2010; 22(4):684-94. DOI:10.1071/RD09129 · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • S Childs · F Carter · C.O. Lynch · J.M. Sreenan · P Lonergan · A.A. Hennessy · D.A. Kenny ·
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation on embryo yield and quality in heifers. Animals were individually offered barley straw and concentrate diets supplemented with either palmitic acid (C16:0; CON) or a partially rumen protected n-3 PUFA-enriched supplement. Following oestrous cycle synchronisation, superovulation was induced using FSH. Blood samples were collected for the measurement of fatty acids, metabolites, insulin and IGF-1. On day 7 post-insemination the number of ovulations was estimated and embryos recovered non-surgically and quality graded. At embryo recovery 50 ml of the uterine flushing was collected from each horn for fatty acid analysis. Grade 1 embryos were isolated, snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80 degrees C. mRNA expression for six genes, LIF, BAX, Cx43 and E-CAD associated with embryo development, and PPAR-alpha and -delta, associated with lipid metabolism was analysed. The n-3 PUFA supplementation increased plasma n-3 PUFA concentration (P<0.05) and reduced n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (P<0.05). Uterine concentration of the n-3 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid was increased (P<0.05) and the concentration of arachidonic acid decreased (P<0.05) following n-3 PUFA supplementation. While CON increased triglyceride concentrations, diet did not affect the other plasma metabolites, insulin or IGF-1 (P>0.05). Similarly, there was no effect of diet on superovulation rate, embryo recovery rate, embryo quality (P>0.05) or mRNA expression of the genes examined (P>0.05).
    Theriogenology 10/2008; 70(6):992-1003. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.06.008 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this experiment was to examine the effects of dietary n-3 or n-6 fatty acid (FA) supplementation on blood FA, metabolite and hormone concentrations, follicle size and dynamics and corpus luteum (CL) size. Reproductively normal heifers (n = 24) were individually fed diets of chopped straw and concentrate containing either (i) no added lipid (CON; n = 8); (ii) 2% added fat as whole raw soya beans (WSB, n-6; n = 8); or (iii) 2% added fat as fish oil (FO, n-3; n = 8). Following oestrous cycle synchronisation, blood samples were collected at appropriate times and intervals for the measurement of hormones, FAs and metabolites. On days 15 and 16 of the cycle, animals were subjected to an intravenous oxytocin challenge and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) response, measured as venous concentrations of 13,14-dihydro-15-keto PGF2α (PGFM). Dry matter intake and average daily gain were similar among treatments (P > 0.05). Plasma concentration of linoleic acid was highest on WSB (P < 0.05), while eicosapentaenoic (EPA, n-3; P < 0.0001) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, n-3; P < 0.0001) were greatest in the FO group. Plasma concentrations of arachidonic acid were higher on FO (P < 0.05) compared with CON and WSB. Plasma triglyceride concentrations increased, while β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) decreased with time on all diets (P < 0.05). There was a diet × time interaction (P < 0.01) for non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. Plasma cholesterol was higher on WSB and FO (P < 0.01) compared with CON. Progesterone (P4) and oestradiol (E2) concentrations, as well as follicle growth rate and CL diameter were similar across diets (P > 0.05). There was a diet × day interaction for PGFM (P < 0.01). When corrected for systemic E2 : P4 ratio, day 15 concentrations of PGFM were higher in the WSB group at 15 and 30 min (P < 0.01) post oxytocin administration compared with CON and FO, which were similar (P > 0.05). Concentrations of PGFM on day 16 were similar for WSB and FO and were greater than CON at 15 (P < 0.01) and 45 min (P < 0.05) post oxytocin administration, and at 30 min for FO (P < 0.05). With the exception of PGFM, dietary lipid source did not affect the reproductive variables measured.
    animal 06/2008; 2(6):883-93. DOI:10.1017/S1751731108002115 · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • S Childs · AA Hennessy · J M Sreenan · D C Wathes · Z Cheng · C Stanton · M G Diskin · D.A. Kenny ·
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    ABSTRACT: Reproductively normal crossbred beef heifers were individually offered a diet of barley straw and concentrate supplemented with one of four levels of a fish oil (FO) enriched supplement. Following oestrous cycle synchronisation, blood samples were collected at appropriate intervals for the measurement of progesterone (P(4)), oestradiol (E(2)), fatty acids, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and metabolites. On days 15 and 16 of the cycle, oxytocin was administered intravenously and the prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) response was measured as venous concentrations of 13,14-dihydro-15-keto PGF(2alpha) (PGFM). The heifers were slaughtered on days 17 or 18 of the oestrous cycle and endometrial tissue, rumen fluid and follicular fluid were collected for determination of fatty acid concentrations. In general there was no effect (P>0.05) of diet on plasma P(4) or E(2) concentrations. Increasing FO supplementation increased CL diameter on day 7 post-oestrus (P<0.0001) but had no effect on diameter on day of slaughter (P>0.05). On day 15, PGFM concentration was greater on the highest level of FO supplementation compared to controls (P<0.05), however, there were no differences between other diet comparisons (P>0.05). There was no effect of diet on PGFM concentration on day 16 (P>0.05). There was a strong positive relationship between plasma and uterine endometrial concentrations of both EPA (R(2)=0.86; P<0.0001) and total n-3 PUFA (R(2)=0.77; P<0.0001). IGF-1 concentrations increased on all diets and were greatest at the highest level of n-3 PUFA supplementation (P<0.05).
    Theriogenology 06/2008; 70(4):595-611. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.04.002 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • G.S. Coyne · D.A. Kenny · S Childs · J.M. Sreenan · S.M. Waters ·
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    ABSTRACT: Nutrition plays a critical role in the regulation of cow fertility. There is emerging evidence that dietary long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) may act as specific regulators of some reproductive processes. In vitro studies suggest that the n-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may play pivotal roles by suppressing the synthesis of uterine prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) which is centrally involved in the control of the bovine oestrous cycle and in early embryo survival. The objective of the current study was to determine the effect of dietary inclusion of n-3 PUFA on uterine endometrial mRNA expression of key genes regulating PGF(2alpha) biosynthesis. Beef heifers were fed either a low (CON; n=10) or high (HIGH PUFA; n=10) n-3 PUFA diet for 45 days and endometrial tissues were harvested following slaughter. Following analysis, tissues within each dietary group were ranked on the basis of their PUFA concentrations and the highest (n=7) and lowest (n=7) within each of HIGH PUFA and CON, respectively, were used in gene expression studies. Endometrial n-3 PUFA concentrations were more than two-fold higher (P<0.05) and EPA concentrations alone more than seven-fold higher (P<0.01) in the HIGH PUFA than the CON group. Endometrial concentrations of arachidonic acid, were lower (P<0.001) in the tissues from HIGH PUFA than those from the CON group. Total RNA was isolated from all endometrial tissues and real-time reverse transcription (RT) PCR conducted to compare the relative expression of 11 genes with known involvement in uterine biosynthesis of 2-series prostaglandins. Expression of mRNA for prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, PPAR alpha and delta was increased (P<0.05) while mRNA expression of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) was decreased (P=0.06) in the HIGH PUFA endometrial tissues. Expression of genes coding for the oxytocin receptor (OTR), phospholipase C (PLC), cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), PGE(2) 9-ketoreductase (9-KPR), prostaglandin F synthase (PGFS), and the nuclear transcription factor, PPAR gamma was not different (P>0.05) between HIGH PUFA and CON tissues. Overall the results indicate that key genes regulating uterine PGF(2alpha) biosynthesis can be regulated by dietary inclusion of LC n-3 PUFA which may influence uterine function and embryo survival.
    Theriogenology 06/2008; 70(5):772-82. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.05.048 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • SA Hugentobler · P G Humpherson · H J Leese · J M Sreenan · D G Morris ·
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 40 percent of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilization but there is little or no published information on the composition of the oviduct and uterine fluids essential for their survival during this time. We have measured the concentrations of the energy substrates, glucose, lactate, and pyruvate in cattle oviduct fluid on Days 0, 2, 4, and 6 and uterine fluid on Days 6, 8, and 14 of the oestrous cycle and corresponding blood samples. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ. Glucose concentrations in oviduct and uterine fluids were similar on all days and lower than in plasma (P < 0.05). Oviduct lactate concentration was up to eightfold higher than uterine or plasma concentration (P < 0.01). Oviduct pyruvate concentrations were similar on all days and lower than plasma concentrations on Days 0 and 2 (P < 0.005). Pyruvate concentrations were similar in the uterus and in plasma except on Day 14 when the concentration in plasma was higher (P < 0.05). There were no associations between systemic progesterone or oestradiol and glucose, lactate or pyruvate. There was a linear positive relationship (P < 0.001) between oviduct fluid secretion rate and oviduct glucose concentration and a linear negative relationship (P < 0.001) between oviduct fluid secretion rate and oviduct lactate, but no association between uterine fluid secretion rate and energy substrates. The different concentrations and associations between the energy substrates in oviduct and uterine fluids and blood plasma indicate a differential regulation of the secretion of these energy substrates by the oviduct and uterine epithelium.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 03/2008; 75(3):496-503. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20760 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oviduct and uterus provide the environments for the earliest stages of mammalian embryo development. However, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie the formation of oviduct and uterine fluids, or the extent to which the supply of nutrients via these reproductive tract tissues matches the nutrient requirements of early embryos. After reviewing our limited knowledge of these phenomena, a new experimental paradigm is proposed in which the epithelia lining the endosalpinx and endometrium are seen as the final components in a supply line that links maternal diet at one end and embryo uptake of nutrients at the other. When considered in this way, the oviduct and uterine epithelia become, for a few days, potentially the most critical maternal tissues in the establishment of a healthy pregnancy. In fulfilling this 'gatekeeper' role, female reproductive tract fluids have a key role in the 'developmental origins of health and disease' concept.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 02/2008; 20(1):1-8. DOI:10.1071/RD07153 · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • S.A. Hugentobler · D.G. Morris · J.M. Sreenan · M.G. Diskin ·
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    ABSTRACT: In the bovine up to 40% of embryos die before implantation but despite the importance of ions in oviduct and uterine fluid formation and in gamete, zygote and early embryo development there is very little published information on the ion concentrations of oviduct or uterine fluid. The free anions chloride, phosphate and sulphate and the free cations sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium were measured in oviduct fluid on days 0, 2, 4 and 6 and in uterine fluid on days 6, 8 and 14 and in corresponding blood samples. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ. Sodium was 25-fold higher than potassium and 80-fold higher than the other ions and chloride was 10-fold higher than potassium and 40-fold higher than the other ions in oviduct and uterine fluid. Phosphate, sulphate, magnesium, potassium and calcium were at lower concentrations in all fluids. Oviduct calcium and sodium were higher on day 0 than other days. The most striking uterine differences were the higher potassium and lower chloride, sodium and magnesium on day 14 than other days. There were significant positive associations between oviduct and blood chloride, sulphate, magnesium and calcium while only uterine sulphate was positively related to its blood concentration. There was no relationship between fluid secretion rate and no association between the concentrations of systemic progesterone or oestradiol and any ion in oviduct or uterine fluid. The different concentrations and associations between ions in the oviduct, uterus and blood suggest a differential regulation of ion secretion by the oviduct and uterine epithelia.
    Theriogenology 10/2007; 68(4):538-48. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2007.04.049 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • Christoph G Baumann · Dermot G Morris · Joseph M Sreenan · Henry J Leese ·
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    ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that the viability of early mammalian embryos is associated with a metabolism that is "quiet" rather than "active" (Leese HJ, 2002:BioEssays 24:845-849). The data on which this hypothesis was based were largely drawn from measurements on the depletion and appearance of amino acids from the culture medium. Data on the de novo synthesis of protein in in vivo- and in vitro-derived bovine embryos, as determined from the flux of radiolabeled methionine, have provided further support of the hypothesis and are interpreted to provide a new set of testable propositions that could illuminate the molecular basis of the quiet metabolism phenotype. The propositions are based on the premise that the extent of DNA damage, and the RNA and protein content of the immature oocyte, are key factors in determining whether the zygote progresses to the blastocyst stage. We propose that stochastic events and environmental stresses determine whether the condition of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome of the zygote will support development. Several molecular components are identified that may determine the viability of a zygote, and we speculate that the cellular response to unfavorable events or excessive DNA damage may be the premature activation of the embryonic genome and of apoptosis.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 10/2007; 74(10):1345-53. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20604 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 40% of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilization while they are nutritionally dependent on the maternal environment provided by the oviduct and uterine fluids for their development and survival. Despite this dependence there is limited information on the composition of these fluids in cattle. Amino acids are essential for the normal growth and development of the early embryo, acting as precursors of proteins and nucleic acids and as energy sources, osmolytes and signaling molecules. The objective of this study was to measure and compare the amino acid concentrations of oviduct and uterine fluid and blood plasma on different days of the estrous cycle. Oviduct fluid was collected in situ from anaesthetised heifers on Days 0, 2, 3, 4 and 6 and uterine fluid on Days 6, 8 and 14 of the estrous cycle and the concentrations of 19 amino acids determined. Glycine was the most abundant amino acid in both oviduct and uterine fluid. However, the concentrations of many amino acids differed between oviduct and uterus and many were present at higher concentrations in oviduct and uterine fluid than in blood plasma. Oviduct fluid concentrations of amino acids were not affected by day of cycle in contrast to uterine fluid for which there was a day of cycle effect on most of the amino acids. These results provide novel information on the amino acid concentrations in the maternal environment of the early cattle embryo and could form the basis for devising improved media for the production of embryos in vitro.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 04/2007; 74(4):445-54. DOI:10.1002/mrd.20607 · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • M.G. Diskin · J.J. Murphy · J.M. Sreenan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Efficient pasture-based milk production systems require a compact calving pattern aligned to the onset of the grazing season, a 365-day calving interval and low culling rates for infertility. Achievement of these targets requires high herd reproductive performance. While high genetic merit Holstein cows produce more milk in grass-based systems their fertility is compromised. Management of the modern high genetic merit Holstein dairy cow presents a major challenge in pasture-based systems of production. It appears that the extent of early embryo loss is greater (up to 20% points greater) in the modern high-producing dairy cow and that a much higher proportion of the embryos die before day 7 following insemination in contrast to heifers and lower yielding cows. About 7-8% of pregnancies are lost between days 30 and 90 of gestation with no evidence that loss rate is related to cow genetic merit, parity or level of production. Systemic concentrations of progesterone during both the cycle preceding and following insemination affect embryo survival rate with evidence that too low or indeed too high a concentration of progesterone been negatively associated with embryo survival rate. Peripheral concentrations of both progesterone and oestradiol are lowered by increased plane of feed intake due to increased metabolic clearance rate of the steroids, which is related to liver blood flow. It appears that high producing dairy cows have an increased risk of embryo death as a result of lowered peripheral concentrations of progesterone as a consequence of increased hepatic metabolism of progesterone. Uterine expression of mRNA for progesterone receptor, oestradiol receptor and retinol binding protein mRNA appears to be sensitive to changes in peripheral concentrations of progesterone during the first week after AI. It would appear that energy balance and dry matter intake during the 4 weeks, immediately after calving are critically important in determining conception rate when cows are inseminated at 70-100 days post-calving. Concentrate supplementation of cows at pasture during the breeding period has minimal affects on conception rates though sudden reduction in dietary intake should be avoided. For pasture-based systems of milk production more balanced breeding strategies, with greater emphasis on fertility and feed intake must be developed.
    Animal Reproduction Science 01/2007; 96(3-4):297-311. DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2006.08.008 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • R E McNeill · M G Diskin · J M Sreenan · D G Morris ·
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    ABSTRACT: The relationships between the concentration of milk progesterone and early embryo survival on Days 4-8 inclusive and between the concentration of progesterone on different days from Days 0-8 inclusive following ovulation and insemination were examined in dairy cows. The relationships were examined following 77 randomly chosen artificial inseminations to cows in standing oestrus. There was a significant (P < 0.05) linear and quadratic relationship between the concentration of milk progesterone on each of Days 4-6 after ovulation and the probability of embryo survival. There was no association (P > 0.05) between milk progesterone concentration and probability of embryo survival on Days 7 and 8 after ovulation. There were no associations between milk progesterone concentration on Days 0-2 and the concentrations on Days 4-7, however, progesterone concentrations on Days 4 and 5 were highly predictive of the concentration on Days 6 and 7, respectively. Overall, the results indicate that suboptimal progesterone support during the early luteal phase is likely to deleteriously affect embryo viability and in addition, that it is possible to predict milk progesterone concentrations during the early luteal phase based on earlier stage concentrations and thus identify cows at risk of early embryo loss.
    Theriogenology 04/2006; 65(7):1435-41. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.08.015 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence indicates an association between the concentration of systemic progesterone during the early luteal phase of the oestrous cycle and embryo survival rate in cattle. We examined the relationship between the concentration of systemic progesterone on Days 4 to 8 post-ovulation and expression of progesterone receptor (PGR), oestrogen receptor +/- (ESR1) and retinol-binding protein (RBP) mRNA in the bovine endometrium. Heifers were blood sampled from the day of ovulation (Day 0) to Day 8 post-ovulation. On Day 4, animals were divided into low progesterone control (LC) and high progesterone control (HC) groups based on their plasma progesterone concentrations. Half of each group was supplemented with exogenous progesterone resulting in two further groups, low progesterone supplemented (LS) and high progesterone supplemented (HS). Endometrial tissues were recovered from all groups on Day 6 or Day 8 and gene expression was analysed following Northern blotting. Increasing progesterone concentrations were associated with decreased PGR and ESR1 expression. Duration-dependent effects of progesterone supplementation on ESR1 were evident and there was an effect of systemic progesterone concentrations between Day 0 and Day 4 on the expression of RBP at Days 6 and 8. Such progesterone-responsive changes in uterine gene expression are likely to affect embryo development.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 02/2006; 18(5):573-83. DOI:10.1071/RD05100 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lifespan of the bovine corpus luteum (CL) is an important factor in the control of normal ovarian cyclicity and the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. There is increasing evidence that CL lifespan is regulated by alternative expression of genes that promote or inhibit luteolysis. To gain further insights into these events a 434 character ovarian cDNA array comprising genes attributed to key aspects of CL function including more than 100 anonymous expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was constructed and screened with alpha(33)P dATP labeled RNA isolated from non-regressed (n=6) and regressed (n=6) CL tissue. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) identified 15 genes that changed expression 1.7-fold or more with a false discovery rate of <5%. The differentially expressed genes encoded enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis and oxygen radical metabolism and proteins involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, apoptosis and cell structure. Results for five of the differentially expressed genes including matrix gla protein and collagen alpha1(I) (extracellular matrix), glutathione-S-transferase alpha I (oxygen metabolism), clusterin (apoptosis) and scavenger receptor BI (steroid biosynthesis) were confirmed by Northern blot analysis and found to be significantly different (P<0.01) between non-regressed and regressed CL tissue. Collectively this study identified genes with recognized roles in CL regression, genes with potential roles in this process and genes whose function have yet to be defined in this event.
    Theriogenology 12/2005; 64(9):1963-76. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.04.015 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • A.J.H. Stronge · J.M. Sreenan · M.G. Diskin · J.F. Mee · D.A. Kenny · D.G. Morris ·
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    ABSTRACT: Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between post-insemination milk progesterone concentration and embryo survival, and between milk yield and milk progesterone concentration. Milk samples were collected on Days 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (insemination=Day 0) following 871 inseminations in spring-calving dairy cows. Milk progesterone concentrations were measured by enzyme-immunoassay and pregnancy diagnosis was conducted with transrectal ultrasonography at approximately Day 30. There was a negative linear relationship (P<0.01) between milk progesterone concentration on Day 4 and embryo survival while, in contrast, there was a positive linear and quadratic relationship between milk progesterone concentration on Days 5, 6 and 7 (P<0.05) and also between the rate of change in progesterone concentrations between Days 4 and 7 inclusive and embryo survival (P<0.05). There was a weak negative linear relationship between average daily milk yield at the time of insemination and milk progesterone concentrations (P<0.001). There was no association between many production parameters, including liveweight and body condition score measured at various stages between calving and insemination, and milk progesterone concentration between Days 4 and 7 inclusive (P>0.05). In conclusion, low progesterone during Days 5-7 (after insemination) was associated with low fertility in dairy cows and there were indications of a range of progesterone concentrations within which embryo survival was maximal.
    Theriogenology 09/2005; 64(5):1212-24. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.02.007 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To gain new insights into gene identity and gene expression in the bovine corpus luteum (CL) a directionally cloned CL cDNA library was constructed, screened with a total CL cDNA probe and clones representing abundant and rare mRNA transcripts isolated. The 5'-terminal DNA sequence of 960 cDNA clones, composed of 192 abundant and 768 rare mRNA transcripts was determined and clustered into 351 non-redundant expressed sequence tag (EST) groups. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that 309 (88%) of the ESTs showed significant homology to existing sequences in the protein and nucleotide public databases. Several previously unidentified bovine genes encoding proteins associated with key aspects of CL function including extracellular matrix remodelling, lipid metabolism/steroid biosynthesis and apoptosis, were identified. Forty-two (12%) of the ESTs showed homology with human or with other uncharacterised ESTs, some of these were abundantly expressed and may therefore play an important role in primary CL function. Tissue-specificity and temporal CL gene expression of selected clones previously unidentified in bovine CL tissue was also examined. The most interesting finds indicated that mRNA encoding squalene epoxidase was constitutively expressed in CL tissue throughout the oestrous cycle and 7-fold down-regulated (P < 0.05) in late luteal tissue, concomitant with the disappearance of systemic progesterone, suggesting that de novo cholesterol biosynthesis plays an important role in steroidogenesis. The mRNA encoding the growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-related protein 1 (IGFBP-rP1), remained constant during the oestrous cycle and was 1.8-fold up-regulated (P < 0.05) in late luteal tissue implying a role in CL regression.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/2004; 1679(1):10-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bbaexp.2004.03.011 · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • S Hugentobler · D G Morris · M T Kane · J M Sreenan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of oviduct and uterine pH in cattle is lacking mainly because of the difficulty of accessing these reproductive tissues, which for the oviduct at least necessitates anesthesia. Because halothane anesthesia is known to depress respiratory function and thus increase blood CO2 and decrease pH, oviduct and uterine pH was measured both in the presence and absence of halothane. Using short-term anesthesia with thiopentone only, oviduct pH was measured on days 2-4 of the estrous cycle and uterine pH on days 6 and 8; there was no significant effect of day of the cycle but oviduct pH ( 7.60+/-0.010 ) was greater ( P<0.001 ) than uterine pH ( 6.96+/-0.009 ). Oviduct pH was higher ( P<0.001 ) and uterine pH lower ( P<0.001 ) than venous blood pH ( 7.41+/-0.007 ). Using thiopentone/halothane anesthesia, oviduct pH was measured on days 0, 2, 3, 4 and 6, and uterine pH on days 6, 8 and 14; there was no effect of day of cycle but oviduct pH values were generally higher than uterine values and significantly so ( P<0.001 ) on day 6 where direct comparison was possible. To our knowledge these are the first published in situ measurements of oviduct pH in cattle.
    Theriogenology 06/2004; 61(7-8):1419-27. DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2003.08.008 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    M G Diskin · D R Mackey · J F Roche · J M Sreenan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Nutrition is a major factor affecting cow reproductive efficiency. Long-term moderate or chronic dietary restriction results in a gradual reduction in dominant follicle (DF) growth rate, maximum diameter and persistence. Animals become anoestrus when they lose on average 22-24% of their initial body weight. There is evidence of significant animal-to-animal variation in the interval from the imposition of dietary restriction to onset of anoestrus and from the recommencement of re-alimentation to resumption of ovulation. In contrast, acute dietary restriction to 40% of maintenance requirements rapidly reduces dominant follicle growth rate and maximum diameter and induces anoestrus in a high proportion (60%) of heifers within 13-15 days of dietary restriction. In lactating dairy and beef cows negative energy balance or reduced dietary intake in the early post-partum period, while not affecting the population of small-to-medium size follicles, adversely affects the size and ovulatory fate of the dominant follicle. Re-alimentation of nutritionally induced anoestrous heifers results in an initial gradual increase in dominant follicle growth rate and maximum diameter, followed by a more accelerated increase in dominant follicle growth rate and maximum diameter as the time of resumption of ovulation approaches. Increased dominant follicle growth rate and maximum diameter are associated with increased peripheral concentrations of IGF-I, pulsatile LH and oestradiol. Direct nutritional effects on ovarian function appear to operate through hepatic rather than follicular regulation of IGF-I, and on systemic concentrations of IGF-I BPs and insulin; cumulatively reducing follicular responsiveness to LH and ultimately shutting down follicular oestradiol production. Indirect nutritional effects are apparently mediated through altering the GnRH pulse generator and in-turn selectively reducing pulsatile LH secretion without any apparent adverse effect on FSH secretory patterns. Endogenous opioid peptides, NPY and glucose appear to play a role in the nutritional regulation of GnRH release and in turn pulsatile LH secretion.
    Animal Reproduction Science 11/2003; 78(3-4):345-70. DOI:10.1016/S0378-4320(03)00099-X · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    D G Morris · P G Humpherson · H J Leese · J M Sreenan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Blastocyst elongation from day 14 to day 16 after insemination coincides with a major phase of embryo loss in cattle. Protein synthesis, reflected in protein content, increases markedly over this period but little is known about the amino acid requirement of elongating blastocysts at this time. Cattle blastocysts produced in vivo were recovered on days 14-16 after insemination and cultured individually for up to 8 h in synthetic oviduct fluid containing a physiological mixture of amino acids plus 1 mmol glutamine l(-1) and 0.1% (w/v) polyvinyl alcohol (SOFaaPVA). After 1, 4 and 8 h in culture, an aliquot of culture medium was removed and the rate of amino acid depletion or production was calculated per unit of protein and per hour of culture. Amino acids were depleted or produced at different rates. Arginine was depleted from the medium at a significant rate (P < 0.05) during all culture periods. Alanine and glutamate were produced at a significant rate (P < 0.05) during all culture periods. The rate of alanine production was significantly greater (P < 0.05) in blastocysts recovered on day 14 compared with days 15 or 16 after insemination. Alanine production and arginine depletion tended to be greater in smaller embryos recovered on day 14 compared with larger and later stage embryos, indicating that earlier stage embryos may have higher metabolic activity than later stage embryos. Qualitatively, the pattern of amino acid consumption and production during elongation was similar to that shown from the zygote to early blastocyst stage.
    Reproduction (Cambridge, England) 12/2002; 124(5):667-73. DOI:10.1530/rep.0.1240667 · 3.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
125.85 Total Impact Points


  • 1995-2005
    • TEAGASC - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority
      Carlow, Leinster, Ireland
  • 1987-2004
    • National University of Ireland, Galway
      • • Department of Physiology
      • • Department of Microbiology
      Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland
  • 1992
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
      • Department of Dairy Science
      Блэксбург, Virginia, United States