Effects of daily propylene glycol drenching during the Ovsynch protocol on fertility and metabolic parameters in lactating dairy cows

Cakircali R., Karakaya-Bilen E., Guner B., MECİTOĞLU Z., Ortac C. T., KESKİN A., ...More

Reproduction in Domestic Animals, vol.58, no.8, pp.1097-1103, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/rda.14405
  • Journal Name: Reproduction in Domestic Animals
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1097-1103
  • Keywords: BHBA, dairy cow, fertility, Ovsynch, propylene glycol
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Negative energy balance (NEB) caused by restricted feed intake leads to body condition loss (BCS), increased metabolic stress and reduced fertility in dairy cows. Propylene glycol (PG) is a precursor of ruminal propionate for gluconeogenesis used to increase metabolic adaptation to the early postpartum period. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of daily drenching of PG during the fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocol on beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA), glucose, adiponectin, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) concentrations, follicle size and pregnancy rate in dairy cows. Cows (n = 148) were randomly divided into two groups and received either 300 mL of PG (PG-OVS, n = 76) or 300 mL of water (CON-OVS, n = 72) each day of the Ovsynch protocol (GnRH-7 days-PGF2α-56 hours-GnRH-16-18-hour FTAI) between days 57 ± 3 to 67 ± 3 postpartum for the first service. Body condition scores (14 days before expected calving, at calving, on days 21 and 42 postpartum) were recorded. Blood samples were collected days 7 ± 3, 21 ± 3 postpartum, at the beginning of the Ovsynch (days 57 ± 3) and at the time of FTAI (days 67 ± 3) for measurements of BHBA, glucose, adiponectin and IGF1 concentrations. Ultrasonographic examinations were done to measure follicle size at the beginning of Ovsynch and FTAI and to determine pregnancy on days 30 and 60 following FTAI. There were no differences (p >.05) in glucose, adiponectin and IGF1 concentrations between the groups during the study. Although there was no difference (p >.05) in BHBA concentrations on postpartum day 7 ± 3, 21 ± 3 and 57 ± 3 between the groups, BHBA concentrations at the time of insemination was lower (p <.05) in the PG-OVS group (0.72 ± 0.03 mmol/L) than in the CON-OVS group (0.81 ± 0.03 mmol/L). Follicle sizes at the beginning of Ovsynch (PG-OVS, 14.5 ± 0.48 mm; CON-OVS, 14.3 ± 0.59 mm) and FTAI (PG-OVS, 17.8 ± 0.52 mm; CON-OVS, 17.7 ± 0.42 mm) were not different (p <.05). Pregnancy rate of the cows in the PG-OVS group (46.1%, 35/76) was higher (p =.05) than in the CON-OVS group (30.6%, 22/72) on day 30 following FTAI. In conclusion, decreasing serum BHBA concentrations at the time of FTAI by means of daily drenching of PG during the Ovsynch protocol, increased the pregnancy rate at first service in lactating dairy cows. On the other hand, blood glucose was not related with pregnancy rates in our study, probably as a result of our sampling time and more rapid fluctuations of blood glucose concentrations when compared to BHBA.