Early embryo death is a serious problem in most mammals including cows. To investigate the protective effect of Chinese herbal medicine against embryo loss during implantation, 100 healthy multiparious cows were divided randomly into five groups: Control (CO) group, Taishan Panshi (TP) powder group, Baotai Wuyou (BW) powder group, Huangqin (HQ) group and baicalin (BC) group. The cows in the control group were fed routinely, each cow in the other four groups was given TP, BW, HQ or BC powder respectively into their ration daily from day 7 to day 14 after artificial insemination (AI), then blood serum was collected on days 7, 14, 24 and 54 after AI. The contents of progesterone and Th2/Th1 cytokines, interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) were detected with commercial kits. Results showed that with increasing days after AI, the levels of progesterone and IL-4 increased steadily, while the contents of IFN-γ increased first but decreased afterwards in all the five groups. Among the five groups, treatment with TP and BW powder significantly increased the number of pregnant cows and elevated the levels of progesterone, IL-4 and the ratio of Th2/Th1. The results indicate that TP and BW powder, which represent two formulas, would exert their effect at the maternal fetal interface in pregnant cows by elevating the levels of progesterone and regulating the secretion balance of Th2/Th1 cytokines, these effects, in other words, would be beneficial to a successful embryo implantation and survival.
Key words: Herbal medicine, progesterone interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL-4), cow, implantation.
CO, Control; TP, Taishan Panshi powder; BW, Baotai Wuyou powder; HQ,Huangqin; BC, baicalin.
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