Circulating bovine pregnancy associated glycoproteins are associated with late embryonic/fetal survival but not ovulatory follicle size in suckled beef cows Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective was to examine the relationship between ovulatory follicle size and embryo and fetal survival by using circulating concentrations of bovine pregnancy associated glycoproteins (bPAG) to detect the presence of an embryo or fetus and monitor placental function. Before examining the relationship between bPAG, ovulatory follicle size, and embryo and fetal survival, the half-life of bPAG was determined in Exp. 1. The half-life of bPAG after PGF 2 -induced abortion on d 32 to 36 postinsemination was 35.8 21.9 h (mean SD; range 7.1 to 78.5 h). In Exp. 2, suckled beef cows (n = 91) were treated with the CO-Synch protocol (GnRH on d -9, PGF 2 on d -2, and GnRH and AI 48 h later [d 0]) and classified into 1 of 2 ovulatory follicle size groups: 1) small follicle (<12.5 mm; n = 25) or 2) large follicle (12.5 mm; n = 66). The first increase (P < 0.0001) in serum bPAG occurred in pregnant cows on d 24 after insemination and circulating bPAG decreased before a decrease in progesterone in 3 of 4 cows that lost an embryo or fetus. Pattern of secretion of bPAG in serum from d 24 to 60 after insemination (d 0) was affected by day (P < 0.0001), but not ovulatory follicle size. In Exp. 3, suckled beef cows (n = 1164) were administered the CO-Synch protocol either with (donor cows; n = 810) or without (recipient cows; n = 354) AI on d 0. Single embryos (n = 394) or oocytes (n = 45) were recovered from the donor cows [d 7; embryo transfer (ET)] and all live embryos were transferred into recipients the same day. Cows were classified on d 0 as having a small (<12.5 mm) or large (12.5 mm) ovulatory follicle, and randomly chosen as donors or recipients to remove confounding effects of ovulatory follicle size on fertility. Serum concentration of bPAG at d 28 was not affected by ovulatory follicle size (P = 0.85), embryo stage at ET (P = 0.75), embryo quality at ET (P = 0.64), estradiol at GnRH2 (P = 0.62) or serum progesterone at ET (d7; P = 0.14). Compared with cows that maintained pregnancy (n = 176), cows that exhibited late embryonic or fetal mortality (n = 19) after d 28 had decreased (P < 0.05) concentrations of bPAG on d 28. In summary, there was no relationship between serum bPAG and ovulatory follicle size or embryo stage or quality at ET; however, cows that lost an embryo after d 28 had reduced concentrations of bPAG on d 28 compared with cows that maintained pregnancy. 2013 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Animal Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Pohler, K. G., Geary, T. W., Johnson, C. L., Atkins, J. A., Jinks, E. M., Busch, D. C., ... Smith, M. F.

publication date

  • January 2013