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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Embryotoxicity of a regressing corpus luteum in beef cows supplemented with progestogen.

Postpartum cows with short-lived corpora lutea produce embryos that arrive at the uterus, but pregnancy rates are low even with exogenous progestogen. Four experiments were conducted to determine whether prostaglandin (PG) F2 alpha, known to cause early luteolysis, could have a direct effect on embryonic loss. Exogenous progestogen was injected s.c. twice daily in each experiment, starting 3 or 4 days after estrus (day of estrus = Day 0). Nonlactating, cycling beef cows were mated and injected i.m. every 8 h on Days 4 through 7 (experiment 1) or 5 through 8 (experiment 3) with either 15 mg PGF2 alpha or 3 ml saline. In experiment 1, cows in a third group received 1 g flunixin meglumine i.m. every 8 h. Ten of 18 PGF2 alpha-treated cows in experiment 3 were luteectomized on Day 5. Pregnancy rates were higher (p < 0.05) in cows given saline or flunixin meglumine (5 of 7) than in cows given PGF2 alpha (1 of 5) in experiment 1, and in cows given saline (6 of 9) or given PGF2 alpha, and luteectomized (8 of 10) than in cows given PGF2 alpha (2 of 8) in experiment 3. Postpartum beef cows, mated at weaning-induced first estrus, received i.m. injections every 8 h on Days 4 through 9 of 3 ml saline or 1 g flunixin meglumine (experiment 2); 14 flunixin meglumine-treated cows were luteectomized on Day 7. Pregnancy rates were higher in cows given flunixin meglumine and luteectomized (7 of 14) than in cows given saline (4 of 15) or flunixin meglumine alone (3 of 15; p < 0.05). In experiment 4, postpartum cows were luteectomized or sham-operated on Day 5. Pregnancy rates (2 of 13 and 2 of 14, respectively) did not differ. Thus, both reduction of endogenous PGF2 alpha and luteectomy were required for embryo survival in postpartum cows with short-lived corpora lutea, whereas luteectomy alone prevented effects of exogenous PGF2 alpha in cycling cows.[1]


  1. Embryotoxicity of a regressing corpus luteum in beef cows supplemented with progestogen. Buford, W.I., Ahmad, N., Schrick, F.N., Butcher, R.L., Lewis, P.E., Inskeep, E.K. Biol. Reprod. (1996) [Pubmed]
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