The aim of this article was to compare plasma estrone sulfate (E1SO4), clinical biochemistry, and milk yield of dairy cows carrying a female fetus from a bull (BULL) or from its clone (CLONE), evaluating also the relationship between the former variables and the birth weight of the newborn. Sixteen recipient dairy Friesian heifers (10 BULL and 7 CLONE) received a female embryo, obtained by in vitro embryo production and sexing by polymerase chain reaction with the semen of the BULL or the CLONE. Blood samples on all cows were obtained before feed distribution in the morning from jugular vein from 4 weeks before to 4 weeks after calving, to be analyzed for metabolic profile. The samples from late gestation were also analyzed for E1SO4 concentration. To separately assess the effect of calf birth weight (CBW), data were categorized as follows: low (<39 kg; BWT-A), mid (39-46 kg; BWT-B), and high (>46 kg; BWT-C). The plasma concentrations of β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB, P=0.019), Na (P=0.002), Cl (P=0.026), strong cation-anion balance (P=0.020), total bilirubin (P=0.054), and α1-globulin (P=0.044) were higher in prepartum BULL recipients than those in CLONE, whereas BHB (P=0.021) and Mg (P=0.090) were higher in postpartum BULL recipients, while no differences were recorded in the remaining postpartum parameters. The CBW class had significant interaction with week of gestation on antepartum plasma estrone sulfate (P=0.021), whereas CBW per se affected antepartum plasma BHB (P=0.021), and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA; P=0.011) being higher in BWT-C which also had the lower NEFA concentration during postpartum. Milk yield was unaffected by the sire used, both for quantitative and qualitative aspects. Cows carrying heavier fetus (BWT-C) had a different lactation affected by month compared with the other 2 CBW groups. From these results, there were no differences between BULL and CLONE recipients. Estrone sulfate, BHB, and NEFA may be used to predict CBW and provide different nutritional management during gestation.
Keywords: Bovine; Hematology; Metabolic profile; Recipient; SCNT.
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