The serum concentration of certain acute phase proteins significantly increases during various pathological conditions in cattle. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of claw disorders etiology on the concentrations of two major acute phase proteins in dairy cattle: haptoglobin (Hp) and serum amyloid protein A (SAA). Fifty dairy cows with claw pathology were included. Fourteen clinically healthy heifers served as controls. The animals were subdivided in 5 groups according to the pathological findings on their claws: 1. Heel horn erosion (HE), 2. Acute laminitis (AL), 3. Sole ulcer (SU), 4. Digital dermatitis (DD) and 5. White line separation (WLS). Hp and SAA concentrations were measured in serum samples using commercial ELISA kits. Higher concentrations of both Hp and SAA were found in the AL and SU groups (p<0.01) compared to the HE, DD and WLS and control groups. Dairy cows in the DD group had higher (p<0.05) Hp and SAA concentrations than the HE and WLS groups and the controls. The serum values between the HE, WLS and the control group did not differ significantly. The presented results indicate that the claw diseases are associated with a systemic acute phase response. Hp and SAA could be used as valuable biomarkers for early detection of claw diseases in dairy cows.
Motility patterns of spermatozoa are an indicator of their fertilizing capacity. Reduced glutathione (GSH) has been reported to induce positive effects on the biological quality of the frozen-thawed spermatozoa. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GSH addition to semen extender based on the following kinetic parameters: continuous line velocity (VSL), average path velocity (VAP), curvilinear velocity (VCL), amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALH), linearity (LIN), straightness (STR), beat cross frequency (BCF), total motility (tMOT) and progressive motility (pMOT), and to appoint them as indicators of its presence. A soybean-based extender was used for dilution of the semen samples, fractioned in two parts, one containing GSH (5 mMol/ml) and second without GSH. The ejaculates (n=48) were collected from two rams (January - May, 2013) which were classified in two groups according to the used extender: Group 1 (with GSH, n=24) and Group 2 (without GSH, n=24), and then frozen in liquid nitrogen on -196°C degrees in a programmable freezer. Assessment of the samples has been performed post-thawing (30 sec. at 37°C) on CASA equipment, acquiring kinetic parameters. Results showed that only VSL and BCF have a statistically significant difference between group1 and group 2 (102.98±15.13 vs. 88.47±20.63, t=2.77, p<0.01 and 32.01±2.68 vs. 89.47±2.92, t=3.13, p<0.01, respectively). The summary of the investigation concludes that none of the kinetic parameters could be appointed as indicators that confer the positive effect of GSH as an additive to soy-bean semen extender.
Postpartum anestrus is a physiological phenomenon in high-producing dairy cows. Static ovaries have been related as major contributors for its occurrence causing a significant reproductive problem to the dairy industry. Different treatment methods have been employed with inconsistent rate of success in initiation of cyclicity, requiring further investigations in order to achieve satisfactory results. The aim of the present study was to compare the ovarian response in cows diagnosed with static ovaries, more than 60 days postpartum using two different hormonal treatment (GnRH and eCG) methods. A total of 58 acyclic cows (no CL, follicles<8mm, P4<0.5ng/mL) were randomly divided into three groups: GnRH (Group 1, n=23), eCG (Group 2, n=23) and Controls (n=12), and allocated thereafter, into subgroups according to the applied doses of GnRH (100μg or 250μg); eCG (750 IU or 1000 IU) whilst control group cows were left untreated. Daily follicular growth rate and treatment respond interval were estimated based on repeated ultrasound examinations. Blood serum P4 sampling was done on d -7, d-0 (start of the experiment) and on d 7 after ovulation. Resumption of cyclic activity occurred in 55.17% (32/58) of the treated cows, 56.52% in Group 1; 60.86% in Group 2 and 41.66% in the control group. Overall, the follicular growth rate was similar between the trials group and significant with regard to the cows in the control group (p<0.05). eCG or GnRH treated cows responded significantly faster 6.85±0.2 and 7.84±0.2 days, respectively, in comparison to the control group cows (17±0.7 days, p<0.001). Treatment with a single dose of GnRH or eCG caused resumption of follicular growth and ovulation following luteogenesis (forming CL) without significant changes in P4 concentrations on day 7 after ovulation (p>0.05). Cows in Group 2 had significantly higher incidence of multiple ovulations than cows in Group 1 (p<0.05). The eCG treatment resulted in a faster response and higher ovulation rate compared to GnRH treatment. In conclusion, both treatments have shown acceptable results in resumption of cyclicity in dairy cows with static ovaries.
Several reports indicated that a large proportion of dairy cows have not resumed cyclicity until day 60 after calving. These cows are traditionally classified as non-cycling (anoestrous or anovular cows). Static ovaries (SO, lack of luteal tissue and follicles >8 mm, and progesterone < 0.5 ng/mL) could be a possible underlying reason that contributes to a non-cycling status. Although SO affects both primiparous (PP) and multiparous (MP) cows, PP cows are more prone to be non-cycling than MP. Therefore, this study aims to compare the metabolic profiles and hormonal status between non-cycling PP and MP cows diagnosed with SO. One hundred and twenty one animals that did not express signs of oestrus until day 60 postpartum were grouped by parity (PP, n=58 and MP, n=63), then blood sampled and examined using transrectal ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected before the ultrasonographic examination. Out of those, 42 PP (72.4%) and 28 MP (44.4%) were diagnosed as non-cycling (bearing SO). Serum concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, total protein and albumin did not differ between parity groups. The glucose concentrations in PP cows (1.43 ± 0.59 mmol/L) and MP cows (1.69 ± 0.71 mmol/L) did not differ, however, they were less than the normal physiological concentration. In addition, no differences were detected between parity groups for concentrations of NEFA, β-HBA, progesterone and estradiol. In summary, we concluded that non-cycling PP and MP cows bearing SO have similar hormonal status and metabolic profiles.
The objectives of the present study were to examine the fatty acid (FA) profiles in serum and in the follicular fluid (FF) and the association between polyunsaturated fatty acid level (PUFA) and follicular growth dynamics following induced luteolysis in dairy cows. A total of 29 dairy cows (CL>25mm, follicle≈15mm) at d0 (start of the experiment) were submitted to ultrasound guided transvaginal follicular aspiration for FF collection from the largest follicle and were injected with 500 μg of cloprostenol. The cows were subdivided into Group A1 (n=11) and Group A2 (n=8) resuming follicular growth either from a secondary follicle less than or larger than 8.5mm, respectively, present at the moment of aspiration and Group A0 (n=10) not resuming follicular growth. Follicular development was monitored daily by ultrasonography until the next dominant follicle reached ≈15mm and was subsequently punctured in Group A1 and A2 (d1). Serum and FF samples for FA determination were taken at d0 from all cows and at d1 in Group A1 and A2. No differences were observed between the FA profile in serum nor in FF between sampling days. Regarding the PUFA levels, the serum linoleic acid (C18:2n6) levels at d0 and d1 were significantly higher than in FF, while alpha linolenic acid (C18:3n3) was lower in the serum than in FF, both at d0 and d1. At d0, a tendency for negative correlation between serum and the FF C18:2n6 with subsequent daily follicular growth rate was observed, while, at d1 there was a strong negative correlation between the serum C18:2n6 and daily growth rate (r=−0.71; p=0.0006). The present study revealed similarities of the FA profiles in the serum and in the FF and association between serum and FF PUFA content with the follicular dynamics after induced luteolysis.
Reduced glutathione (GSH) and homologous ram seminal plasma (HSP), used as additives in cryopreserving (CP) media prior to freezing, showed conflicting results in retaining structural integrity and progressive motility in post-thawed ram spermatozoa. The aims of this research were: (1) to assess the effect of GSH and/or HSP supplementation via soybean-lecithin CP extender on cryopreserved ram spermatozoa viability, morphology and motility pattern; and (2) to assess the effect of incubation in the context of the previous aim. Quantitatively and qualitatively, homogenized and pooled ram ejaculates (N=10) were extended with one of the following extenders: control (C) – tris-based, GSH and HSP-free, experimental-1 (E1) – C + GSH 5 mM, experimental-2 (E2) – C + HSP 20 % and experimental-3 (E3) - GSH 5 mM + HSP 20 %. Following thawing, samples were taken at 0- and 3-hours from each group (n=10) and were assessed for spermatozoa viability, morphology, and motility pattern. C-0h samples yielded a spermatozoa population with low viability, altered head morphology and highly deviated motility pattern. E3-3h samples yielded spermatozoa with unaffected viability, head morphology and high progressive motility. In conclusion, E3 extender added to cryopreserved-thawed ram spermatozoa is most efficient in obtaining high viability, unaltered head morphology, and progressive motility.