The effects of administration of recombinant bovine ST (bST) on plasma hormone concentrations of cows, conceptus development, and postnatal calf performance were examined. Lactating beef cows (n = 190) were exposed to a fixed-time AI (TAI) protocol from d −10 to 0 (TAI on d 0). Cows were blocked by breed and stratified by days postpartum and then randomly assigned to receive, subcutaneously 1) 2 injections of saline (1 mL of 0.9% saline), 1 on d 0 at TAI and a second injection on d 14 (CTRL; n = 53); 2) an injection of 325 mg of bST on d 0 and a saline injection on d 14 (bST0; n = 48); 3) a saline injection on d 0 and an injection of 325 mg of bST on d 14 (bST14; n = 49); or 4) 2 injections of 325 mg of bST, 1 on d 0 and a second injection on d 14 (bST0+14; n = 40). Pregnancy status, crown-to-rump length (CRL) on Day 35, and crown-to-nose length (CNL) on Day 65 were determined via transrectal ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected on d 0, 7, 14, 21, 35, and 65, relative to TAI, to determine plasma concentrations of progesterone (P4), IGF-1, and pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) and also on d 18 and 21 for isolation of peripheral blood leukocytes for RNA extraction and measurement of interferon-stimulated genes transcript abundance. Individual calf BW was determined at birth and every 30 d until weaning. A subset of 24 calves was randomly selected for liver biopsies at birth to determine mRNA expression of target genes. Administration of bST to cows increased (P < 0.0001) concentrations of plasma IGF-1 for 14 d after injection compared with CTRL but did not affect fetal CRL and CNL (P = 0.23). Cows receiving bST only on d 0 had a greater (P = 0.05) transcript abundance in myxovirus resistance 2 on d 21 compared with 2bST cows (2.0- and 0.8-fold for bST0 and 2bST, respectively), whereas cows receiving bST14 and CTRL were intermediate (1.2- and 0.9-fold, respectively). Calf BW did not differ (P ≥ 0.100) among treatments on d 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 relative to birth. Injection of bST only on d 0 tended (P = 0.062) to increase calf liver mRNA expression of IGF-1 receptor at birth compared with the calves born to cows in other treatments. Therefore, during a TAI protocol, the administration of 1 or 2 injections of 325 mg of bST to lactating beef cows enhanced their plasma concentrations of IGF-1 but failed to improve fetal size and plasma concentrations of maternal PSPB and P4 and had no effect on postnatal calf growth performance.
- Beef cattle
- Fetal programming
- Insulin-like growth factor 1
- Recombinant bovine somatotropin