Administration of recombinant bovine somatotropin prior to fixed-time artificial insemination and the effects on fertility, embryo, and fetal size in beef heifers

Nicola Oosthuizen, Pedro L.P. Fontes, Darren D. Henry, Francine M. Ciriaco, Carla D. Sanford, Luara B. Canal, Gentil V. de Moraes, Nicolas Dilorenzo, John F. Currin, Sherrie Clark, William D. Whittier, Vitor R.G. Mercadante, G. Cliff Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Our objectives were to determine the effects of the administration of recombinant bovine somatotropin (bST) at the initiation of a fixed-time AI (TAI) protocol on concentrations of plasma IGF-1, follicle diameter, embryo/fetal size, and pregnancy rates in replacement beef heifers. Four hundred and fourteen Angus-based beef heifers were enrolled in a completely randomized design at 4 locations from January to July of 2016. All heifers were exposed to the 7-d CO-Synch + controlled internal drug release (CIDR) protocol where they received a 100-µg injection of GnRH and a CIDR insert on day −9, 25 mg of PGF at CIDR removal on day −2, followed by a 100-µg injection of GnRH and TAI 54 ± 2 h later on day 0. Within location, all heifers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: 1) heifers that received 650 mg of bST on day −9 (BST; n = 191); or 2) heifers that did not receive bST on day −9 (CONTROL; n = 223). Blood samples were collected on day −9, 0, 28, and 60 to determine the plasma concentrations of IGF-1. Follicle diameter was determined on day −2 and 0 by transrectal ultrasonography. Pregnancy was diagnosed via transrectal ultrasonography on day 28 or 35, and again at least 30 d after the end of the breeding season. Embryo morphometry was assessed by measuring crown-to-rump length (CRL) on day 28, and fetal size was assessed by measuring crown-to-nose-length (CNL) on day 60. Concentrations of plasma IGF-1 did not differ between treatments on day −9 (P = 0.924), 28 (P = 0.075), and 60 (P = 0.792); however, concentrations of plasma IGF-1 were greater (P < 0.001) in BST-treated heifers at TAI (372.4 ± 16.6 vs. 193.7 ± 16.6 ng/ ml). No differences (P = 0.191) were detected for follicle diameter between CONTROL and BST treatments on day −2 or 0. Pregnancy rates to TAI (PR/AI) were greater (P = 0.028) for CONTROL compared to BST heifers (42.5 ± 4.0 vs. 29.9 ± 4.1%). No differences (P = 0.536) in CRL were observed on day 28 between CONTROL and BST heifers. In addition, no difference (P = 0.890) was observed for CNL between CONTROL and BST treatments. Final pregnancy rates did not differ (P = 0.699) between treatments. The administration of bST to beef heifers at the initiation of a TAI protocol increased plasma concentrations of IGF-1 at TAI; however, failed to enhance follicle diameter, embryo/fetal size, and reduced PR/AI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1894-1902
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2018


  • Beef heifers
  • Fixed-time artificial insemination
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1
  • Recombinant bovine somatotropin


Dive into the research topics of 'Administration of recombinant bovine somatotropin prior to fixed-time artificial insemination and the effects on fertility, embryo, and fetal size in beef heifers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this