Bovine steroid hormone and SHBG concentrations postpartum and during the oestrous cycle

Vesanen, M.; Isomaa, V.; Bolton, N.J.; Alanko, M.; Vihko, R.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 31(4): 459-469


ISSN/ISBN: 0044-605X
PMID: 2099624
Document Number: 366124
Changes in consecutive estimates of milk progesterone concentrations and serum steroid hormone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations in the postpartum period were examined in Finnish Ayrshire and Friesian dairy cows which were divided according to feeding into a hay group and a silage group. Milk progesterone concentrations rose above 10 nmol/l, indicating the start of ovarian luteal activity, slightly earlier in the silage group (28.4 .+-. 8.7 (S.D.) days n = 19) than in the hay group (33.4 .+-. 10.3, n = 28) after calving. Likewise, the first normal oestrous cycles began slightly earlier in cows fed with silage. On the other hand, no differences in the beginning of ovarian activity were observed between the breeds. Serum oestradiol-17.beta., oestrone, testosterone, 5.alpha.-dihydrotestosterone (5.alpha.-DHT), pregnenolone and progesterone concentrations were fairly unchanged during postpartum anoestrus after uterine inovulation and before ovarian cyclic activity. After first ovulation, considerable increases in milk and serum progesterone concentrations were observed. The increase was accompanied by elevations in serum pregnenoline and 5.alpha.-DHT concentrations. In the late luteal phase, progesterone, 5.alpha.-DHT and pregnenolone concentrations rapidly declined, leading to low hormone levels in pro-oestrus. Thereafter, serum pregenolone and 5.alpha.-DHT concentrations slightly increased during the follicular phase. On the other hand, oestradiol-17.beta. concentration were elevated in pro-oestrus and decreased after that, being lowest at met-oestrous. Serum testosterone concentrations appeared to be unchanged during postpartum anoestrus and over the oestrous cycle. Serum SHBG concentrations were unchanged during postpartum anoestrous and over the oestrous cycle, as well as in pregnant animals. The serum SHBG concentrations were about double those found in women with normal menstrual cycles, whereas oestradiol concentrations were much lower. At present, it cannot be explained how the biological effects of oestradiol become evident under such conditions.

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