Animal scientist to check reproductive dysfunction in cattle

A Penn State animal scientist has obtained a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Division of Agriculture to steer a crew conducting analysis on reproductive dysfunction in cattle.

Francisco Diaz, affiliate professor of reproductive biology within the school of agriculture sciences, will use the three-year award coming by USDA’s Nationwide Institute of Meals and Agriculture to check how excessive ranges of androgen — a hormone produced by each women and men however extra intently related to the regulation of male traits resembling elevated muscle mass — contribute to impaired follicular growth and ovulation.

Extreme androgen stimulation is related to important ovarian dysfunction and may very well be a serious reason for anovulation — when an egg, or ovum, does not launch from a cow’s ovary — however the potential mechanism stays obscure, in response to Diaz. Anovulation, with or with out the presence of cystic ovarian follicles, is a big reason for reproductive dysfunction in cattle.

“Environmental components resembling warmth stress, feed high quality and hormonal imbalances all contribute to diminished reproductive effectivity,” he stated. “Our long-term goals are to first perceive the ovarian causes of anovulation and cyst formation after which develop methods to mitigate these results to enhance ovarian operate and reproductive success.”

Along with enhancing animal agriculture, this work additionally has implications for the remedy of polycystic ovarian syndrome — also known as PCOS — in ladies, Diaz steered. PCOS is a situation characterised by excessive androgen ranges and related ovarian dysfunction together with anovulation.

“Cows are a great mannequin to imitate ovarian operate in ladies as a result of they ovulate one egg per cycle, ovarian buildings are of comparable dimension and the hormonal regulation of the ovary is comparable,” he stated. “Subsequently, by learning ovarian dysfunction brought on by androgens in cows, we could possibly study extra in regards to the situation of PCOS in ladies and provide you with higher therapies.”

The examine shall be carried out in vitro utilizing cells from cows which were processed for meat.