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Reproduction, fertility, and development

Determination of anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in blood as a tool to select Holstein donor cows for embryo production: from the laboratory to the farm.


PMID 22935154

Abstract

High between-animal variability in the number of embryos produced by multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) and ovum pick-up and in vitro production (OPU-IVP) methods remains a major limit to the development of embryo biotechnologies in cattle. The measurement of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) endocrine concentrations in cows can help to predict their follicular and ovulatory responses to gonadotrophin treatment. The present study aimed to provide practical information for a simple prognostic method based on AMH measurement in Holstein cows. Accurate AMH concentrations could be measured with ELISA in blood or plasma. In cows undergoing repeated OPU protocols over 1 year, the AMH concentrations measured in plasma samples collected before each gonadotrophin treatment were found to be highly repeatable and were tightly correlated with follicular responses. From data obtained at both an experimental station and farm settings, it was possible to propose AMH cut-off values to identify low-responding cows. Gonadotrophin-stimulated cows producing fewer than 15 large follicles at oestrus and fewer than 10 embryos in MOET protocols could be discarded efficiently with plasma AMH concentrations below 87 and 74 pg mL(-1), respectively. In conclusion, we propose a prognostic method based on a single AMH measurement to improve the results of embryo biotechnologies.

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