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Bioscientifica Proceedings (2019) 3 RDRRDR36 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.3.036

1Department of Biomedical and Tropical Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville Q4817, Australia; and 2Dairying Research Corporation, Hamilton, New Zealand

The focus of this review is the physiological effects of undemutrition on ovarian follicle growth and the occurrence of ovulation in postpartum cows. Evidence suggests that moderate levels of underfeeding, before or after calving, may interfere with the mechanism(s) of final follicle maturation and ovulation, whereas more pronounced nutritional deficiencies may affect the mechanism(s) regulating dominant follicle size and the dynamics of dominant follicle growth and regression. Severe undemutrition may result in the absence of follicles > 5 mm in diameter. These changes are consistent with likely effects of reduced LH or FSH secretion that have been associated with inhibition of both tonic and surge release of GnRH from the hypothalamus. As yet, there is no direct evidence for local effects of undemutrition on ovarian function in cows, and studies examining this issue often ignore dynamic interdependencies between the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary gland, and the ovaries, and possible nutritional modulation of ovarian feedback mechanisms that affect gonadotrophin secretion. Further research is required to elucidate nutritional effects on the positive feedback regulation of gonadotrophin secretion and on the expression of behavioural oestrus. Further studies are also needed to determine whether nutritional or metabolic state may influence ovarian function directly in a manner that affects the duration of postpartum anoestrus and fertility in postpartum cows.

© 1995 Journals of Reproduction and Fertility Ltd

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