Low doses of bovine somatotropin enhance conceptus development and fertility in lactating dairy cows

Eduardo S. Ribeiro, Ralph G.S. Bruno, Alexandre M. Farias, Juan A. Hernández-Rivera, Gabriel C. Gomes, Ricardo Surjus, Luis F.V. Becker, Alyssa Birt, Troy L. Ott, Josh R. Branen, R. Garth Sasser, Duane H. Keisler, William W. Thatcher, Todd R. Bilby, José E.P. Santos

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58 Scopus citations


Objectives were to evaluate the effects of administering either one or two low doses of slow-release recombinant bovine somatotropin (bST) on hormone concentrations, conceptus development, and fertility in dairy cows. Cows from two farms were detected in estrus on or after 50 days postpartum (n1/4 1483), inseminated, and enrolled in the study (Day 0). Within farm, cows were blocked by parity and assigned randomly to receive a single placebo injection at insemination (control), a single injection with 325 mg of bST at insemination (S-bST), or two injections with 325 mg of bST administered on Days 0 and 14 (T-bST). From a subset of cows, blood was collected twice weekly from Day 0 to 42 for determination of hormone concentrations and on Day 19 for isolation of leucocytes and analysis of transcript abundance of selected interferon-stimulated genes. Pregnancy was diagnosed on Days 31 and 66, and ultrasonographic morphometry of the conceptus was performed on Days 34 and 48 in a subset of cows. Cows that received T-bST had increased plasma concentrations of GH and IGF1 for 4 wk, increased mRNA expression of ISG15 and RTP4 in leukocytes, earlier rise in the pregnancy-specific protein B in plasma of pregnant cows, increased conceptus size, and enhanced fertility. Cows that received S-bST had increased concentrations of GH and IGF1 for only 2 wk and it was insufficient to alter conceptus development and fertility. In conclusion, supplementation with low doses of bST during the pre- and peri-implantation periods enhanced conceptus development, reduced embryonic losses, and improved fertility in dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 10
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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