Using pregnancy associated glycoproteins (PAG) for pregnancy detection at day 24 of gestation in beef cattle
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The objective of this experiment was to determine if circulating concentrations of pregnancy associated glycoproteins (PAG) on day 24 of gestation can be utilized to diagnose pregnancy and embryo viability in beef cattle. Postpartum beef cows (n = 677) and heifers (n = 127) were exposed to a 7-day CO-Synch + CIDR estrus synchronization protocol followed by fixed-time AI (FTAI) on day 0. Blood samples were collected at day 24 after TAI to assess circulating concentrations of PAG utilizing an in-house ELISA. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed 30 and 100 days after FTAI via transrectal ultrasonography. Mean circulating PAG concentration at day 24 differed (P < 0.001) between animals diagnosed pregnant and non-pregnant at day 30 (1.69 ± 0.10 ng/mL vs 0.30 ng/mL ± 0.07 ng/mL; mean ± SEM; respectively). Pregnant heifers had increased PAG concentration at day 24 compared with pregnant cows (P < 0.01; 3.29 ± 0.36 ng/mL vs 1.39 ± 0.10 ng/mL, respectively). Based on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, serum concentration of PAG at day 24 ≥ 0.33 ng/mL in cows and ≥0.54 ng/mL in heifers was 95% accurate at determining pregnancy status at day 30. Heifers that experienced late embryonic mortality between day 30 and 100 of gestation had decreased circulating concentrations of PAG on day 24 (2.02 ng/mL ± 0.73) compared with heifers that maintained an embryo until day 100 (3.69 ng/mL ± 0.39; P = 0.02). However, there was no difference in day 24 PAG concentration (P = 0.39) between cows that maintained or lost a pregnancy (1.31 ng/mL ± 0.25 vs 0.92 ng/ml ± 0.50). In summary, circulating PAG concentration on day 24 of gestation may be a useful marker for early pregnancy detection in beef cattle, and might be a potential marker for predicting embryonic loss.
author list (cited authors)
Filho, R., Franco, G. A., Reese, S. T., Dantas, F. G., Fontes, P., Cooke, R. F., ... Pohler, K. G.