Effects of crossbreeding on endocrine patterns determined in pregnant beef/dairy cows naturally infected with Neospora caninum

I. García-Ispierto, B. Serrano-Pérez, S. Almería, D. Martínez-Bello, A. F. Tchimbou, N. M. de Sousa, J. F. Beckers, F. López-Gatius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Neospora caninum is an intracellular coccidian parasite causing abortion worldwide in dairy cattle. Studies have shown that N caninum infection modifies endocrine patterns and that beef cows or cows with a crossbreed pregnancy, especially for a greater maternal-paternal genetic distance, show a reduced risk of abortion when naturally infected compared with pure-breed Holstein Friesian (HF) pregnancies. This study examined the effects of crossbreeding on plasma progesterone (P4), pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG)-1 and -2, and prolactin patterns produced during gestation in N caninum-infected beef/dairy cows. We analyzed 74 pregnancies in nonaborting cows carrying a single fetus established in 26 lactating HF cows bred with Holstein bulls (H-H), 13 HF cows bred with Limousin bulls (H-L), 12 HF cows used as recipients of transferred invivo-produced frozen-thawed Rubia Gallega (beef breed; RG) embryos (H-RG-ET), and 23 RG suckling cows bred with RG bulls (RG-RG). Of the cows, 29 (39%) were seropositive for N caninum. Blood samples for hormone and placental protein determinations were collected on Days 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 of gestation. Procedures of repeated measures analysis of variance throughout gestation revealed higher PAG-1 levels in the H-L and H-RG-ET groups compared with H-H and RG-RG. Higher prolactin levels were detected in RG-RG than in the remaining groups. N caninum seropositivity and fetal genotype had a significant effect on PAG-2 concentrations, such that highest levels of PAG-2 occurred in RG-RG seropositive cows and lowest in H-H seropositive cows, whereas Neospora-seropositive cows showed lower P4 concentrations than their seronegative partners. In conclusion, chronic N caninum infection modifies endocrine patterns of PAG-2 and P4 during pregnancy, whereas PAG-1 and prolactin concentrations are affected by breed and fetal genotype, irrespective of Neospora infection status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-496
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Bovine
  • Conceptus
  • Embryo transfer
  • Hormone
  • Neosporosis
  • Placenta well-being

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