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Serum progesterone and milk production and composition in dairy cows fed two concentrations of nitrate



Serum progesterone and milk production and composition in dairy cows fed two concentrations of nitrate



Veterinary and Human Toxicology 32(1): 27-31



Forty clinically normal lactating Holstein cattle from a herd involved in a natural outbreak of chronic nitrate toxicosis were divided into 2 equal groups according to production, stage of lactation, age, and apparent pregnancy state (pregnant or nonpregnant). One group was fed a low-nitrate ration (average of 356 ppm on dry matter basis in concentrate; less than 400 ppm in free-choice hay for 1st 5 wks of study). The 2nd group was fed a high-nitrate (HN) ration (average of 1,600 ppm in protein concentrate-amemded corn silage; 4,000 ppm in free-choice hay for the 8-week study). At the end of the study, the 2 groups were classified according to their starting reproductive status: nonpregnant (open); early pregnant (less than 60 da); midpregnant (average of 105 da). Milk production, milk fat, and milk nitrate concentrations were similar for cows fed both rations. Serum progesterone concentration (SPC) was depressed (P less than 0.05) in cows fed the HN ration. This effect was prominent in open, luteal phase cows, less prominent but still apparent in early pregnant cows, and absent in midpregnant cows. The early reproductive problems of chronic nitrate toxicosis may be due to depression of SPC. A possible mechanism of inhibition of luteal progesterone synthesis by inhibition of cytochrome P-450 is presented.

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Accession: 002219838

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PMID: 2301146


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