Effect of oral administration of pioglitazone on follicular dynamics in Holstein dairy cows

Yousefi, A R and Kohram, H and Zare Shahneh, A and Zamiri, M J and Dirandeh, E and Kazemi Khoozani, M and Dadashpour Davachi, N and Zhandi, M and Fouladi-Nashta, A A (2019) Effect of oral administration of pioglitazone on follicular dynamics in Holstein dairy cows. LIVESTOCK SCIENCE, 224. pp. 50-56.

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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of oral administration of pioglitazone (PGT), a specific and synthetic ligand of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPARγ), on follicular dynamics and corpus luteum (CL) functionality in dairy cows. Cows exhibiting strong signs of estrus after 2 injections of PGF2α (given14 d apart) at d 30 postpartum (n = 28) were allotted to four groups (n = 7 cows/treatment) and orally received 6 mg PGT/kg body weight/day according to the following protocol: no PGT (control); PGT for 14 d from 7 d before expected estrus (10 d after 1st injection of PGF2α) to 7 d after observed estrus (PGT14); PGT for 21 d after observed estrus (PGT21); and PGT for 28 d, 7 d before expected estrus to 21 d after observed estrus (PGT28). During the first follicular wave, number of follicles (total and small) increased in PGT14 and PGT28 cows compared to the control group (P < 0.05). During the ovulatory wave, number of total and small follicles increased in PGT28 (P < 0.05) and PGT21 (P < 0.10) compared with PGT14 and control cows. Size of the largest follicle at first wave was greater in PGT28 (P < 0.05), PGT14 (P < 0.05) and PGT21 (P < 0.10) compared to the control cows. Maximal size of the ovulatory follicle was greater in PGT28 (P < 0.05) and PGT21 (P < 0.10) groups compared to the control group. Growth rate of the largest follicle at first wave was higher (P < 0.05) in PGT-treated cows, while growth rate of the ovulatory wave was higher in PGT28 and PGT21 groups, leading to shorter days from luteolysis to ovulation. Pioglitazone administration did not affect CL size, but increased progesterone (P4) concentration. The PGT14 and PGT28 cows had higher maximal plasma P4 concentration and shorter intervals to reach maximal plasma P4 compared to the control group. In conclusion, oral administration of PGT had some positive effects on follicular development and circulating P4 levels which may be conducive to better reproductive performance.