Abstract #LB2

# LB2
Low fertility in postpartum dairy cows with subclinical endometritis (SCE) is not explained by failed ovarian response to a timed AI (TAI) protocol.
Roger Molina-Coto*1, Tyler J. Stratman1, Monica O. Caldeira1, Scott E. Poock2, Matthew C. Lucy1, 1Division of Animal Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Dairy cows with SCE have lesser fertility but the specific mechanism is unknown. We hypothesized that reduced fertility can be explained by an effect of SCE on ovarian function. The objective was to classify cows for SCE and then evaluate their ovarian response to a TAI protocol. We also examined growth of the conceptus from d 35 to 45 after TAI. Twelve weekly cohorts of Holstein cows (n = 56) were enrolled in a TAI protocol (Presynch Ovsynch) [PGF (PGF1), 14 d, PGF (PGF2), 14 d, GnRH, 7 d, PGF (PGF3), 56 h, GnRH, 16 h, TAI] so that first TAI was 68 to 77 d postpartum. Endometrial cytology was assessed by using a cytobrush at PGF1 [30–39 d postpartum; cytobrush (CB) 1] and 1 d before PGF3 (64–73 d postpartum; CB2). The percentage of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (% PMN) was calculated as a function of total nucleated cells in the endometrial sample. Ovarian follicles and corpora lutea (CL) were counted and measured and ovulatory responses were assessed from PGF1 to 5 d after TAI. Growth of the conceptus after TAI was measured every other d from d 35 to 45 of gestation. Cows were retrospectively assigned to SCE groups based on % PMN at CB1 and CB2. Group 1 (G1; n = 29 cows) had ≤13% PMN at CB1 and ≤2%PMN at CB2; Group 2 (G2; n = 14 cows) had > 13% at CB1 and ≤2% at CB2; and Group 3 (G3; n = 13 cows) had >2% PMN at CB2. Pregnancies per AI (P/AI) were 59.3, 35.7, and 23.1% for G1, G2 and G3, respectively (P < 0.073). The percentage of cows with a CL at PGF3 did not differ for G1 to G3 (93, 86, and 85%, respectively; P > 0.10). Size of the ovulatory follicle (15.6 ± 0.6 mm), percentage of cows ovulating after TAI (88%), and diameter of the CL after ovulation (21.4 ± 0.6 mm) did not differ (P > 0.10) between groups. Fetal and amniotic vesicle size increased with d of pregnancy (P < 0.001) but did not differ for G1 to G3 (P > 0.10). Cows classified according to SCE tended to differ for P/AI but were similar for ovarian response to a TAI protocol. Although SCE appeared to affect the capacity to establish pregnancy, growth of the conceptus from d 35 to 45 in pregnant cows was not affected by SCE.

Key Words: endometritis, timed AI, ovary