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Pedro L J Monteiro, Roberto Sartori, Aurea M O Canavessi, Leonardo F Melo, Jessica C L Motta, Carlos E C Consentini, and Milo C Wiltbank

Inappropriate corpus luteum (CL) regression can produce pregnancy loss. An experimental model was utilized to investigate regression of accessory CL during pregnancy in dairy cows. Cows were bred (day 0) and treated with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone 6 days later to form accessory CL. Transrectal ultrasound (every other days) and blood samples for progesterone (P4; daily) were performed until day 56 of pregnancy. On day 28, 13 cows were confirmed pregnant, and accessory CL were found contralateral (n = 9) or ipsilateral (n = 4) to previous ovulation. On day 18, CL biopsy was performed to analyze mRNA expression for interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Luteolysis occurred more frequently in cows that had contralateral accessory CL (88.9% (8/9)) than in cows with ipsilateral accessory CL (0% (0/4)). Luteolysis of contralateral accessory CL occurred either earlier (days 19–23; 2/8) or later (days 48–53; 6/8) in pregnancy and occurred rapidly (24 h), based on daily P4. After onset of earlier or later accessory CL regression, circulating P4 decreased by 41.2%. There was no difference in luteal tissue mRNA expression for ISGs on day 18 between accessory and original CL and between CL that subsequently regressed or did not regress. On day 56, an oxytocin challenge dramatically increased prostaglandin F2α metabolite (PGFM) in all cows but produced no pregnancy losses, although cows with previous accessory CL regression had greater PGFM. In summary, ipsilateral accessory CL did not regress during pregnancy, whereas most contralateral CL regressed by 63 days of pregnancy, providing evidence for local mechanisms in regression of accessory CL and protection of CL during pregnancy.

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Pedro L J Monteiro, Caio A Gamarra, Rodrigo S Genari, Alexandre B Prata, Rafael V Barletta, Peregrino G Duran, Aurea M O Canavessi, Roberto Sartori, and Milo C Wiltbank

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of accessory corpus luteum (CL) induction on fertility in dairy cows. On day 5 after artificial insemination (AI), lactating Holstein cows were assigned unequally to receive gonadotrophin-releasing hormone treatment (GnRH) (n = 641) or no treatment (control; n  = 289). Cows had their blood sampled for progesterone (P4), and ovaries were scanned by ultrasound on days 5, 12, 19, 26, 33, 47, and 61 after AI. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed on days 26, 33, 47, and 61. On day 12, cows treated with GnRH were allocated to ipsilateral (n = 239) or contralateral (n = 241) groups based on the side of accessory CL formation relative to previous ovulation. Accessory CL cows had greater P4 than controls. In total, 52.7% (78/148) of pregnant cows in contralateral group had accessory CL regression earlier (<day 33; 30.8%) or later (days 33–61; 69.2%) in pregnancy with coincident decrease in P4. No cows with ipsilateral accessory CL underwent regression. There was no difference in pregnancy/AI among groups. Cows with contralateral accessory CL that underwent early regression had greater pregnancy loss (30%) than controls (10%), or cows with ipsilateral CL (3%) or contralateral CL with either later or no regression (12%). Cows with ipsilateral accessory CL had lower pregnancy loss than controls. In conclusion, elevating circulating P4 by the induction of accessory CL, particularly ipsilateral CL, increases P4 and reduces pregnancy loss. However, contralateral accessory CL that undergoes regression before day 33 of pregnancy has increased pregnancy loss, possibly due to an abrupt decrease in P4 at a pivotal period of pregnancy (days 26–33).