Effects of intrauterine infusion of seminal plasma at artificial insemination on fertility of lactating Holstein cows.


Department of Animal Sciences and D. H. Barron Reproductive and Perinatal Biology Research Program, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-0910. Electronic address: [Email]


An inflammatory response is induced in the reproductive tract by deposition of semen during natural mating. This response might facilitate establishment and maintenance of pregnancy and alter the phenotype of the offspring by modifying the microenvironment of the reproductive tract. Here, we hypothesized that intrauterine infusion of 0.5 mL of seminal plasma at the time of artificial insemination (AI) in first-service lactating Holstein cows will improve pregnancy success after insemination. Cows were inseminated (511 primiparous cows inseminated with X-sorted semen, 554 multiparous cows inseminated with X-sorted semen, and 627 multiparous cows inseminated with conventional semen) using the Double-Ovsynch protocol. Cows were randomly assigned to receive intrauterine infusion of either 0.5 mL of seminal plasma or saline immediately after AI. There was no overall effect of seminal plasma infusion on the percentage of inseminated cows diagnosed pregnant at d 32 or 60 after AI, pregnancy loss, or percent of inseminated cows calving. If cows were inseminated with conventional semen, seminal plasma reduced pregnancies at d 32 and tended to reduce calvings. There was no effect of seminal plasma if cows were inseminated with X-sorted semen. Seminal plasma infusion increased the birth weight of heifer calves born using X-sorted semen but not conventional semen. These results do not support a beneficial effect of seminal plasma on pregnancy success after AI, but exposure to seminal plasma may program fetal development to affect phenotype at birth.


conception,developmental programming,fertility,pregnancy,seminal plasma,