Changes in postpartum metabolites and resumption of ovarian cyclicity in primiparous and multiparous dairy cows


The postpartum period in high-yielding dairy cows creates an enormous drain of nutrients in favor of milk yield which antagonizes the resumption of ovulatory cycles. Therefore, a study was undertaken to evaluate the association of changes in postpartum serum metabolites with resumption of ovarian cyclicity. A total of 24 clinically healthy, freshly parturated primiparous (P-1) and multiparous (P-2) Holstein Frisian cows was selected. Cows were further divided on the basis of body condition score (BCS) 1 and 2 having BCS 3 or above 3, respectively. Weekly blood samples were collected and serum glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, progesterone, and cortisol concentrations were determined for a period of 7 weeks. The glucose concentration was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in cows in P-2 during week 7. Cows in parity 2 had significantly (P < 0.05) high cholesterol during week 6 and 7. The serum triglyceride concentration in multiparous animals having BCS-2 during week 6 was increased significantly (P < 0.05). Serum cortisol was significantly (P < 0.05) high in P-1 during week 1 and 2 and significantly (P < 0.05) high in P-2 during week 7. Serum progesterone was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in cows during week 7 in P-2 having BCS-2. The increased serum progesterone concentration during postpartum period was associated with decreased levels of serum cortisol and more availability of cholesterol and glucose. The multiparous cows maintained the postpartum blood metabolite concentration and showed better adaptability to reproductive cyclicity during the postpartum period as compared to primiparous cows.

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The authors are thankful to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for funding this work through indigenous Ph.D. scholarship.

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Correspondence to Rifat Ullah Khan.

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Saqib, M.N., Qureshi, M.S. & Khan, R.U. Changes in postpartum metabolites and resumption of ovarian cyclicity in primiparous and multiparous dairy cows. Appl Biol Chem 61, 107–111 (2018).

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  • Postpartum
  • Metabolism
  • Multiparous
  • Primiparous
  • Cows