A field study to unravel factors that are significantly associated with the secretory activity of the corpus luteum during the first three postpartum cycles in high yielding dairy cows, based on the amount of steroidogenic and endothelial cells present in the luteal tissue
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Reproduction in domestic animals. - Berlin
, p. 881-893
University of Antwerp
Fourteen multi-and eight primiparous high-yielding dairy cows were followed from the first till the fourth ovulation postpartum. Cows were randomly divided into two groups and supplemented with soybean (group I; n = 11) or rapeseed meal (group II; n = 11). Both groups were subjected to a biopsy sampling of the corpus luteum (CL) at cycle day 9. The luteal capillary network (visualized by Bandeiraea simplicifolia) was denser in cycles 2 and 3 (p = 0.0005). The same was seen for the surface occupied by steroidogenic cells (visualized by 3b-hydroxysteroiddehydrogenase) (p = 0.0001). The peripheral blood progesterone concentration showed an increasing trend with increasing cycle number and was higher in primiparous cows (p = 0.013), which had also larger glands on cycle day 9. The area occupied by endothelial cells was positively correlated with the area occupied by steroidogenic cells (r = 0.59; p < 0.0001). Both the areas occupied by endothelial and by steroidogenic cells were negatively correlated with the blood concentration of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) (respectively, r = -0.377; p = 0.004 and r = -0.355; p = 0.007). We can conclude that primiparous cows generally have higher peripheral progesterone levels during the first three cycles after calving which is associated with a larger CL. In comparison with those of the first post-partum cycle, corpora lutea of cycles 2 and 3 have a denser capillary network and a larger area of steroidogenic cells, while these are only associated with a trend of higher peripheral progesterone concentrations.