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During cell death, DNA is fragmented and reaches the bloodstream in the form of cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Luteal cells must undergo an apoptotic process during structural luteolysis to begin a new oestrous cycle. We hypothesized that cfDNA concentrations would increase when inducing luteolysis by applying prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) analog to the cycling cow. Multiparous non-pregnant and non-lactating Angus cows (Bos taurus; n = 15) were synchronized using the 7-day CoSynch + CIDR protocol. Ten days after oestrus was detected, two treatments were applied (PGF2α, n = 10; or Con, n = 5). Twice a day, grey mode and colour Doppler ultrasonography were used to calculate area (CL-A) and luteal blood perfusion (LBP%). Additionally, we collected one blood sample for plasma progesterone (P4) and cfDNA concentrations for four consecutive days. Data analysis was performed using the GLM procedure of SAS. The luteolysis induction was demonstrated by a decrease in P4 concentrations (p ≤ .01) and CL-A (p ≤ .01) in the PGF2α group after 12 h of the PGF2α injection. Reduction of LBP% (p ≤ .01) in the PGF2α group after 36 h of the injection. The concentration of cfDNA showed a significant increase (p = .05) after 48 h of the PGF2α application in the PGF2α group. In conclusion, cfDNA showed a significantly increased concentration after luteolysis induction, which can imply that cfDNA could be used as a luteolysis biomarker in plasma. © 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Maria Camila Lopez-Duarte, Camila Londoño, Sergio Lasso, Daniella Heredia, Morgan Brown, Nicolas DiLorenzo, Ky Pohler, Angela Gonella. Plasma cell-free DNA concentration increases during luteolysis in beef cows. Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene. 2023 Sep;58(9):1334-1337

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PMID: 37402175

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