U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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L.K. Quail et al. Animal Reproduction Science 243 (2022) 107016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2022.107016


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As prenatal transportation stress altered behavior and adrenal glucocorticoid secretion of calves, we hypothesized that prenatal transportation stress would decrease ovarian reserve size and negatively impact female offspring fertility. The impact of prenatal transportation stress on ovarian follicle numbers in female offspring for three generations was studied. Brahman cows were transported for 2 h on day 60 ± 5, 80 ± 5, 100 ± 5, 120 ± 5, and 140 ± 5 of gestation. Ovaries were collected from offspring of transported or non-transported dams at multiple ages. Primordial, primary, secondary, and antral follicles were histologically analyzed. Antral follicle numbers were determined by ultrasound in a subset of offspring. Numbers of primordial, primary, secondary, and antral follicles were analyzed using the MIXED procedure, while the CORR procedure of SAS was used to determine the correlation between follicles observed by ultrasonography and histology. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in the number of primordial, primary, secondary, antral, or total follicles observed histologically due to treatment. Younger females had significantly greater numbers of follicles than older females (P < 0.0001). Antral follicles tended to be correlated with total histological ovarian follicles (P = 0.10). There was no difference in the number of antral follicles observed at ultrasound due to treatment (P = 0.3147), or generation (P = 0.6005) when controlling for age at observation. These results show that short-term transportation stress during early- to mid-gestation did not impact fertility as measured by ovarian follicle numbers in female Brahman offspring for three generations.