Effects of body weight loss on serum progesterone concentrations of non-lactating dairy cows
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The objective was to evaluate serum concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), cortisol, insulin, and progesterone (P4) of dairy cows maintaining or mobilizing body weight (BW). Eleven non-lactating, non-pregnant, and ovariectomized Gir X Holstein cows were stratified by BW and body condition score (BCS), and randomly assigned to: 1) BW loss (six cows; LOSS) and 2:1 BW maintenance (five cows; MAINT). Treatments were achieved through a grazing schedule using three pastures. From Days -7 to 1 of the study, all cows were maintained in Pasture A (12 kg of dry matter/cow daily). From Days 2 to 30, LOSS cows were maintained in Pasture B (less than 1.0 kg of dry matter/cow daily), whereas MAINT cows were maintained in Pasture C (12 kg of dry matter/cow daily). However, from Days 3 to 30 of the study, cows from both treatments were regrouped daily into Pasture A from 0600 to 1200 h to allow LOSS cows to consume, on average, 4.5 kg/d of forage dry matter. on Day -66 of the study, all cows received an intravaginal drug releasing device containing 1.9 g of P4 (replaced every 14 d and removed on Day 3). Cow BW and BCS were assessed on Day 0 and 30 and blood samples were collected daily from Days 0 to 30 at 0600 and 1200 h. Changes in BW and BCS were greater (P <= 0.05) in LOSS cows compared to MAINT cows. Within samples collected at 0600 h, serum NEFA concentrations were often greater (P < 0.05) in LOSS cows compared to MAINT after Day 14. Serum P4 concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 21 and 22, and tended (P < 0.10) to be greater on Days 16, 23, and 24 of the study in LOSS cows compared to MAINT. In conclusion, BW loss was associated with increased circulating concentrations of P4 in non-lactating ovariectomized dairy cows; this was mainly attributed to fat mobilization and consequent release of P4 stored in adipose tissues. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.