Nutrition, body condition and reproduction in beef cows: fetal and placental development, and estrogens and progesterone in plasma

Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, Stillwater 74078.
Journal of Animal Science (Impact Factor: 2.11). 01/1991; 68(12):4267-76.
Source: PubMed


Mature, pregnant Hereford cows (n = 17) were used to determine the effect of nutrition and body energy reserves on fetal development, concentrations of nutrients and estrogens in placental fluids, and on progesterone, estrogens and placental lactogen in maternal plasma. On d 145 of gestation, cows were assigned by breeding date to two groups and fed to achieve either a thin (TH; n = 8) or a moderate (M; n = 9) body condition score (BCS) by d 195 of gestation. Body weights, BCS, estrogens, placental lactogen and progesterone in plasma were determined weekly between d 200 and 256 of gestation. Cows were slaughtered on d 259 +/- 1 of gestation, and amnionic and allantoic fluids were sampled and analyzed for concentrations of protein, fructose and estrogens. Body weights and BCS were less (P less than .01) for TH (419 kg; 3.7) than for M (511 kg; 5.7) cows at slaughter. Uterine weights were less (P less than .07), but chorioallantoic weights were greater (P less than .07) in TH than in M cows. Cotyledonary weights were greater (P less than .05) for TH than for M cows, and total fructose in amnionic fluid was reduced (P less than .01) in TH compared with M cows. Concentrations of estradiol, estrone and placental lactogen were greater between d 240 and 256 of gestation for TH than for M cows. We conclude that nutrient intake and(or) BCS of beef cows during late gestation influence placental weight, fructose in amnionic fluid, and placental lactogen, estrone and estradiol in plasma.

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Available from: Richard J Rasby
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    • "Calf birth weight is directly affected by placental size and functional capacity, both of which are affected by maternal nutrient intake during gestation (Rasby et al., 1990). The maternal pregnancy hormones indicative of placental functional capacity, namely estrone sulphate (ES) (Shah et al., 2007; Sullivan et al., 2010), bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein (bPAG) (Echternkamp et al., 2006) and bovine placental lactogen (bPL) (Echternkamp et al., 2006), are positively correlated with calf birth weight. "
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    ABSTRACT: The influence of nutrition during the first and second trimesters of gestation on the occurrence of dystocia was investigated in 3-year-old composite-breed beef heifers. Heifers were allocated according to stratification by weight and genotype to either a high (H/-=76 MJ metabolisable energy (ME) and 1.4 kg crude protein (CP)), or low (L/-=62 MJ ME and 0.4 kg CP daily) nutritional treatment on the day of artificial insemination (day 0) to the same Senepol bull. Half of each nutritional group changed to an opposite nutritional group on day 93 of gestation (-/H=82 MJ ME and 1.4 kg CP; -/L=63 MJ ME and 0.4 kg CP daily), resulting in four treatment groups: HH (n=16); HL (n=19); LH (n=17); LL (n=19). From 180 days until calving all heifers were fed the same diets. Pelvic area measures were taken at heifer selection (-72 days) and at 117 days. Maternal circulating concentrations of estrone sulphate (ES), bovine placental lactogen (bPL), bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein and progesterone were monitored throughout gestation. Heifers were observed continuously over the calving period and delivery type classified as being either eutocic or dystocic. The occurrence of dystocia was 14.1%. Increased calf birth weight increased the odds of occurrence of dystocia (odds ratio (OR)=1.40; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.12-1.76; P<0.01). High diets in the second trimester were associated with heavier calves at birth (P=0.01). The mean pelvic area of eutocic heifers on -72 d, tended to be greater compared to that of dystocic heifers (P=0.08) such that a 1-cm(2) difference in pelvic area tended to decrease the risk of dystocia (OR=0.97; 95% CI 0.93-1.01; P=0.09). Longer gestation length was associated with an increased risk of dystocia (P=0.03). ES (P=0.04) and bPL (P=0.09) at calving were positively associated with the risk of dystocia. In conclusion, the current study demonstrates (a) that pelvic area measurement at selection in 3-year-old Bos indicusxBos taurus heifers may be useful for identifying heifers at an increased risk of dystocia and (b) increased ES and bPL concentrations at calving are associated with increased risk of dystocia. Pelvic area measurements obtained prior to conception remain valid in their assessment of the relationship between pelvic area and likelihood of dystocia occurring in the event of changing maternal nutrient intake during gestation. This is an important finding given maternal diets high in protein and energy during the second trimester of gestation increased calf birth weight and calf birth weight was associated with an increase in the occurrence of dystocia in heifers calving as 3-year olds.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Animal reproduction science
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    • "Relationships between placental components and maternal plasma bPL [3], P4 [15] and ES [12] in the bovine have been established. Furthermore, nutrition has been shown to affect placental growth, influencing ES and bPL in cows [1], bPAG in sheep [14], and P4 in heifers [16], with the suggestion that these are mediated through the nutritionally sensitive hormones IGF [17] and leptin [18]. There have been few studies on the impact of maternal nutrition on placental growth in cattle, particularly the level of dietary "
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    ABSTRACT: The influences of nutritional protein during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy on placental hormones and fetal growth were determined in composite beef heifers. At artificial insemination, heifers were stratified by weight within each composite genotype into 4 treatment groups: High High (HH=1.4kg crude protein (CP)/day for first and second trimesters of gestation; n=16), High Low (HL=1.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 0.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=19), Low High (LH=0.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 1.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=17) or Low Low (LL=0.4kg CP/day for first and second trimesters; n=19). Maternal plasma bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein (bPAG) and progesterone (P4) were determined at gestation day (gd) 28, 82, 179 and 271 (mean gestation length 286 days) in addition to P4 at term. Estrone sulphate (ES) and bovine placental lactogen (bPL) concentrations were measured at gd 124, 179, 236 and 271 and at term in addition to ES at gd 82. Low dietary protein increased placental function as indicated by increased bPAG (P<0.001) and ES (P=0.02) concentrations in first trimester and increased bPL concentrations (P=0.01) in the second trimester of gestation. In the third trimester, when dietary treatment had ceased, placental function was no longer associated with previous dietary treatments. Dam genotype affected placental function as measured by bPL (P<0.001) and ES concentrations (P=0.02). Calf gender, heifer age and maternal insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, -II and leptin did not affect hormonal indicators or circulating markers of placental function. Enhanced placental function during the third trimester, as measured by ES, was associated with increased calf birth weight (P=0.003).
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Placenta
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    • "It has long been thought that PL is a factor involved in the partitioning of nutrients to maintain nutritional supply for fetal development. Rasby et al. (1990) studied the effect of nutrition and body reserves on fetal development, and measured the concentrations of nutrients and PL in maternal plasma in cows. In that study, the authors measured these parameters in pregnant cows that were thin and those with moderate body condition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine placenta produces an array of proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to pituitary prolactin. Bovine placental lactogen (bPL) is a glycoprotein hormone that has lactogenic and somatogenic properties. Purified bPL contains several kinds of isoforms that are created by alternative splicing and/or multiple glycosylation patterns. bPL can activate the prolactin (PRL) receptor-mediated signaling pathway as well as PRL does. The bPL mRNA is transcribed in trophoblast binucleate cells, and synthesized bPL protein is stored in membrane-bound secretory granules. The message encoding bPL is first detectable in trophoblast binucleate cells at approximately day 20 of gestation at, or shortly after, the appearance of binucleate cells in the trophoblast. Most binucleate cells are detected as expressed bPL in the placenta. Bovine PL may be the determinant in trophoblast differentiation. Although the biological activities of bPL have long been studied, the precise role of bPL is still largely unclear. This article reviews and discusses the biological roles of bPL, focusing on luteal function, fetal growth and pregnancy-associated maternal adaptation, mammogenesis and lactogenesis, and placental angiogenesis. The precise biological function of bPL needs to be further evaluated.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2006 · Animal Science Journal
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