Periparturient Endocrine Changes of Conceptus and Maternal Units in Jersey Cows Bred for Milk Yield

D. S. Eley, W. W. Thatcher, H. H. Head, R. J. Collier, C. J. Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Control cows, sired by and bred to bulls with assumed zero estimated breeding values, and selected cows, sired by and bred to bulls of high predicted differences for milk yield, were used. Blood samples were collected via jugular venipuncture on alternate days from 35 to 14 days prepartum, from 14 to 28 days postpartum, and daily from 14 days prepartum to 14 days postpartum. We examined blood hematocrit, and concentrations in plasma of protein, estrone, estradiol, estrone sulfate, progestins, glucocorticoids, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin. Total plasma volume was measured on days −21, −7, and +11. Weekly body weights, prepartum and postpartum, were recorded. All data were analyzed by least squares analysis of variance with day and hematocrit as continuous independent variables. Hematocrit was higher for selected cows throughout the sampling period. Prepartum concentrations of progesterone were higher in selected cows, but concentrations of estrone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin were lower than in control cows. Hormonal and physiological responses indicated that selection for milk yield influenced both the conceptus and maternal units as measured by prepartum endocrine function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-311
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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