Slow recovery of blood glucose in the insulin tolerance test during the prepartum transition period negatively impacts the nutritional status and reproductive performance postpartum of dairy cows.
- Publisher: Japanese Society of Veterinary Science
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science,
dairy cows | glucose metabolism | insulin tolerance test | reproductive performance | transition period
In peripartum dairy cows, insulin resistance (IR) increases to adjust the direction of energy to lactation after calving. To investigate the effect of prepartum IR on postpartum reproductive performance, the insulin tolerance test (ITT) was applied to 15 cows at 3 weeks (Pre21) and 10 days (Pre10) before the predicted calving date. Blood glucose area under the curve (AUCglu) within 120 min after administration of 0.05 IU/kg-BW insulin was calculated. The occurrence of first ovulation, days to first artificial insemination (AI) and first AI conception rate were recorded. Nutritional status postpartum was evaluated by blood chemical analysis. Based on AUCglu changes from Pre21 to Pre10, cows were classified into either the AUC-up group (AUCglu increase, n=5) or the AUC-down group (AUCglu decrease, n=10). There was no difference in the decrease in blood glucose at 30 min after insulin injection between groups, although glucose recovery from 30 to 60 min during the ITT was slow at Pre10 in the AUC-up group. The AUC-up group had a higher number of days to first AI and high glucose, total protein, globulin, γ-glutamyltransferase, triacylglycerol levels and a low albumin-globulin ratio at the 14th day postpartum. The present study infers that prepartum slow glucose recovery rather than insulin sensitivity might increase the potential for subclinical health problems postpartum and thus suppress reproductive performance. During the prepartum transition period, glucose dynamics in the ITT can be considered as a new indicator for the postpartum metabolic status and reproductive performance of dairy cows.