Browsing Food Biosciences by Subject "Cattle"
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Effect of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation and post-insemination plane of nutrition on systemic concentrations of metabolic analytes, progesterone, hepatic gene expression and embryo development and survival in beef heifersNutrition, and particularly dietary energy intake, plays a fundamental role in reproductive function in cattle. There is some evidence that supplemental omega-3 dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) can exert positive effects on fertility. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation, post-insemination energy plane of nutrition and their interaction on embryo survival in cattle. Crossbred beef heifers (n = 185) were individually offered barley straw ad libitum and 6 kg DM of concentrate supplemented with either a rumen-protected source of saturated fatty acid (palmitic; control, CON) or a partially rumen-protected n-3 PUFA-enriched supplement (n-3 PUFA). Estrous was synchronised using two injections of PG administered at 11-d intervals and following artificial insemination (AI = Day 0) 179 heifers exhibiting oestrus were inseminated and assigned to one of two dietary treatments: (i) remain on their pre-insemination high dietary plane of nutrition (High) or (ii) restricted to 0.6 × estimated maintenance energy requirements (Low) in a 2 × 2 factorial design. The heifers were then maintained on their assigned diets until slaughter and embryo recovery on Day 16 (n = 92) or pregnancy diagnosis by ultrasound scanning at Day 30 post-AI (n = 87). Plasma concentrations of fatty acids, metabolites, insulin, progesterone (P4) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were measured at appropriate intervals. Hepatic expression of mRNA for aldo-keto reductase (AKR1C), cytochrome P450 2C (CYP 2C) and cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A) was examined. The n-3 PUFA supplementation increased plasma n-3 PUFA concentration (P < 0.05) and reduced n-6: n-3 PUFA ratio (P < 0.05). Plasma IGF-1 was higher for n-3 PUFA relative to the CON (P < 0.05) and for High compared with Low plane of nutrition post-AI (P < 0.05) groups. A low plane of nutrition post-AI increased plasma concentrations of progesterone from Days 7–16 after insemination (P < 0.001) but reduced embryo length (P < 0.001). Supplementation with n-3 PUFA reduced and tended to reduce hepatic expression of CYP2C (P = 0.01) and CYP3A (P = 0.08), respectively. However, while dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation and an abrupt reduction in nutrient status following insemination elevated plasma concentrations of n-3 PUFA and mid and late phase P4, respectively, there was no effect of either PUFA supplementation or post-insemination plane of nutrition on embryo survival.