Progesterone Concentrations during Estrous Cycle of Dairy Cows Exposed to Electric and Magnetic Fields
Sixteen multiparous nonpregnant lactating Holstein cows (each weighing 662 +/- 65 kg in 150.4 +/- 40 day of lactation) were confined to wooden metabolic cages with 12:12 h light:dark cycle during the experiment. The cows were divided into two sequences of eight cows each and exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) in an exposure chamber. This chamber produced a vertical electric field of 10 kV/m and a uniform horizontal magnetic field of 30 microT at 60 Hz. One sequence was exposed for three estrous cycles of 24 to 27 days. During the first estrous cycle, the electric and magnetic fields were off; during the second estrous cycle, they were on; and during the third estrous cycle, they were off. The second sequence was also exposed for three 24 to 26 days estrous cycles, but the exposure to the fields was reversed (first estrous cycle, on; second estrous cycle, off; third estrous cycle, on). The length of each exposure period (21 to 27 days) varied according to the estrous cycle length. No differences were detected in plasma progesterone concentrations and area under the progesterone curve during estrous cycles between EMF nonexposed and exposed periods (2.28 +/- 0.17 and 2.25 +/- 0.17; and 24.5 +/- 1.9 vs. 26.4 +/- 1.9 ng/ml, respectively). However, estrous cycle length, determined by the presence of a functional corpus luteum detected by concentrations of progesterone equal to or more than 1 ng/ml plasma, was shorter in nonexposed cows than when they were exposed to EMF (22.0 +/- 0.9 vs. 25.3 +/- 1.4 days).
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