Name: Effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids on oocyte quality and follicular development in lactating dairy cows in summer

Authors: T R Bilby 1J BlockB C do AmaralO Sa FilhoF T SilvestreP J HansenC R StaplesW W Thatcher

Address:1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0910, USA.

Abstract: Dietary sources of fatty acids were evaluated for their influence on oocyte quality and follicular development using 54 lactating cows in summer. Fat supplements were 1) sunflower oil (80% cis 18:1), 2) Ca salt of transoctadecenoic acids (57% trans 18:1), 3) Ca salt of vegetable oils (30% 18:2), and 4) linseed oil (56% 18:3 and 16% 18:2). Fats were fed at 1.35% of dietary dry matter beginning at 5 wk prior to expected calving date and at 1.5% (oils) and 1.75% (Ca salts) of dietary dry matter for 15 wk after parturition. Four days following a programmed induced ovulation, 5 transvaginal oocyte aspirations were performed 3 or 4 d apart. Three days after the last aspiration, PGF was injected, followed 3 d later by a GnRH injection and a timed artificial insemination (d 0) 16 to 20 h later. For the first 4 aspirations, oocytes grading 1 or 2 were used for in vitro embryo production. Total cell number and the proportion of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)–positive blastomeres were analyzed at d 8. At the fifth aspiration, the occurrence of metaphase II, group II caspase activity, and TUNEL labeling were determined after oocyte maturation. A total of 1,011 oocytes were collected. The proportion of oocytes with high caspase activity was greater for grade 3 compared with grades 1 and 2 (37.5 vs. 1.54 and 1.61%). Feeding polyunsaturated fatty acids, as compared with monosaturated fatty acids, failed to affect oocyte quality, as demonstrated by subsequent embryo development. Cows fed 18:2- or 18:3-enriched diets had a larger preovulatory follicle at insemination and subsequent volume of the corpus luteum compared with those fed cis 18:1 or trans 18:1 diets (16.8, 16.2 vs. 15.0, 14.9 ± 0.7 mm; 7,323, 8,208 vs. 6,033, 5,495 ± 644 mm3, respectively). The previously documented benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids on reproductive performance appear to reflect actions at alternative biological windows in lactating dairy cows.

Key Words: fatty acid, embryo, oocyte, cow

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