Animal reproduction science

Pre-parturition profile of steroids and prostaglandin in cows with or without foetal membrane retention.

PMID 11530264


Retained foetal membranes in cattle is one of the most common complications associated to the reduction in milk yield and impaired fertility in dairy cattle. In order to determine some endocrine mechanisms controlling parturition and delivery of foetal membranes, plasma concentrations of steroids and prostanoids were determined in 20 healthy Holstein cows. Samples were taken within the interval of 5 days pre-parturition to 12h after calving. Progesterone (P4) levels were similar in cows with (PR) and without (NPR) placental retention. While the estradiol-17beta (E2) peak at parturition was lower in PR than in NPR cows, cortisol levels were greater in PR cows 12 and 24h pre-parturition. The Prostaglandin F2alpha metabolite (PGFM) levels were higher at parturition in NPR compared with the PR group, but 12h later, these levels in the PR group increased so that concentrations were greater as compared with NPR cows. The Prostaglandin E2 metabolite (PGEM), 24, 48 and 72 h pre-parturition, were higher in PR cows. However, the PGFM:PGEM ratio was greater in cows up NPR at all time when included, indicating the importance of higher levels of Prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2alpha) than Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) for normal placental delivery. In conclusion, placental retention was related to both estrogen and PGF2alpha deficiency, which may be a consequence of metabolic stress leading to PGE2 and maternal cortisol synthesis before parturition.

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13,14-Dihydro-15-ketoprostaglandin E2 solution, ~90%