Monitoring the Reproductive Status of Dairy Cows by Urinary Pregnanediol Glucuronide

Yang, C.J.;Wu, L.S.;Liu, S.H.;Lin, J.H.

  • Received : 2002.12.09
  • Accepted : 2003.12.08
  • Published : 2004.04.01


This study was undertaken with the aim to establish a reliable radioimmunoassay (RIA) system for urinary pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) and to employ it for monitoring the reproductive status of dairy cows. Urine and blood samples were collected from the Holstein cows both pregnant and non-pregnant. The samples were then investigated for evaluating the relationship between progesterone ($P_{4}$) in blood and PdG in urine adjusted with or without urinary creatinine basis. Biweekly urine collection was employed for three cows in estrous and those artificially inseminated, while urine from pregnant cows was collected on a monthly basis. P_{4}$ and PdG levels were measured by enzymeimmunoassay (EIA) and RIA techniques, respectively. Our results indicated the sensitivity of PdG for RIA being 35 pg/tube and the recovery rate of 100%. Urinary creatinine concentrations also fluctuated within a day, but change at midday was not noteworthy. Regardless of the time of urination the change in concentrations of PdG was relatively smaller and did not vary significantly. The urinary PdG concentration showed periodic changes as that with serum P_{4}$ levels during the cow's estrus cycle. The correlation coefficient rose when creatinine level in urine was adjusted but the change was also not significant. The concentrations of PdG during the luteal phase were detected between 8.2 and 17.4 ng/ml, three to five times higher than that in the follicular phase. The concentration of PdG from pregnant cows (21 days after conception) was three to four times higher than in the nonpregnant cows. Our finding suggests that the determination of urinary PdG could be reliably employed for early pregnancy detection. The urinary PdG level continued to raise until 30 days pre-partum while the concentration reached its peak at 30 ng/ml, after which it started to fall 18 to 30 days before parturition and finally fell to its nadir value one week after parturition. As the correlation coefficient between the urinary PdG and serum P_{4}$ was higher than that corrected by urinary creatinine it can be suggested that the adjustment is not needed. The concentrations of urinary PdG could be maintained stably for 2 days in urine samples stored at room temperature and extended to 8 days when the samples were pretreated by boiling for 30 minutes. In conclusion urinary PdG concentration even without the need for creatinine basis adjustment can be used directly for monitoring the reproductive status of dairy cows.


Dairy Cow;Progesterone;Pregnanediol Glucuronide;Urine


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