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Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) and fertility management in agricultural species

A reliable, easy to assess marker for fertility in agricultural species would be highly desirable and Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a promising candidate. This review summarizes recent findings concerning AMH and its role in fertility management, mainly in cattle. It focuses on (1) alterations in circulating AMH concentrations from birth to puberty and during estrous cycles; (2) correlation of circulating AMH concentrations with ovarian follicle numbers and ovarian reserve; (3) factors that impact circulating AMH concentrations; (4) use of AMH as a predictor of fertility. Circulating AMH concentrations can be easily and reliably measured with a single blood sample in adult cattle because AMH varies minimally during the estrous cycle and is repeatable across multiple cycles. Circulating AMH concentrations are positively associated with several measures of fertility. Dairy heifers with low compared with higher AMH concentrations subsequently had lower pregnancy rates, higher probability of being culled after birth of their first calf and shorter herd longevity. Also, AMH is predictive of response to superovulation in cattle and sheep. Several factors contribute to the variability in AMH concentrations among individuals; for example, beef cattle have higher AMH than dairy cattle. Nutritional imbalances, disease and endocrine disruptors during fetal life may negatively program the size of the ovarian reserve and consequently serum AMH concentrations and potential fertility in adulthood. We conclude that AMH may be a predictor of fertility and herd longevity in cattle, whereas in sheep and other farm species, the potential association between AMH and reproductive performance remains largely unexplored.

Free Italian abstract: An Italian translation of this abstract is freely available at http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/154/1/R1/suppl/DC1

Source: The journal of Reproductive Science

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