• The effect of exogenous glucose infusion on early embryonic development in lactating dairy cows

      Leane, S.; Herlihy, Mary M.; Curran, F.; Kenneally, J.; Forde, Niamh; Simintiras, Constantine A.; Sturmey, Roger G.; Lucy, Matt C.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, Stephen; et al. (American Dairy Science Association, 2018-09-27)
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of intravenous infusion of glucose on early embryonic development in lactating dairy cows. Nonpregnant, lactating dairy cows (n = 12) were enrolled in the study (276 ± 17 d in milk). On d 7 after a synchronized estrus, cows were randomly assigned to receive an intravenous infusion of either 750 g/d of exogenous glucose (GLUC; 78 mL/h of 40% glucose wt/vol) or saline (CTRL; 78 mL/h of 0.9% saline solution). The infusion period lasted 7 d and cows were confined to metabolism stalls for the duration of the study. Coincident with the commencement of the infusion on d 7 after estrus, 15 in vitro-produced grade 1 blastocysts were transferred into the uterine horn ipsilateral to the corpus luteum. All animals were slaughtered on d 14 to recover conceptuses, uterine fluid, and endometrial tissue. Glucose infusion increased circulating glucose concentrations (4.70 ± 0.12 vs. 4.15 ± 0.12 mmol/L) but did not affect milk production or dry matter intake. Circulating β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were decreased (0.51 ± 0.01 vs. 0.70 ± 0.01 mmol/L for GLUC vs. CTRL, respectively) but plasma fatty acids, progesterone, and insulin concentrations were unaffected by treatment. Treatment did not affect either uterine lumen fluid glucose concentration or the mRNA abundance of specific glucose transporters in the endometrium. Mean conceptus length, width, and area on d 14 were reduced in the GLUC treatment compared with the CTRL treatment. A greater proportion of embryos in the CTRL group had elongated to all length cut-off measurements between 11 and 20 mm (measured in 1-mm increments) compared with the GLUC treatment. In conclusion, infusion of glucose into lactating dairy cows from d 7 to d 14 post-estrus during the critical period of conceptus elongation had an adverse impact on early embryonic development.