The effects of zearalenone on embryo quality in Japanese black and Holstein cows and the monthly variation of zearalenone concentration in TMR and urine samples during seasonal changes in cattle.
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Fusarium species make multiple mycotoxins of which the most important are deoxinivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA). ZEA and its metabolites α-zearalenol (α-ZOL) and β-zearalenol (β-ZOL) have reportedly an effect on the reproductive system because they act as an estradiol agonist. Chronic DON exposure in cattle can reduce phagocytic and neutrophilic activity. The objective of the first experiment was to determine if there was any correlation between the embryo quality after superovulation treatment and ZEA concentration in the urine of Japanese black and Holstein cattle. The urine ZEA concentration was determined using an ELISA kit, superovulation treatment and embryo flushing was done without any additions. Quality of the embryos was defined as the percentage of transferable embryos, percentage degenerated embryos and percentage unfertilized embryos. The ZEA concentration in the urine was measured because this has proven to be a biomarker for ZEA exposure (Takagi et al. 2011). A commercially available ELISA kit was used because this is a reliable method to monitor the urine ZEA concentration (Takagi et al. 2011). De ZEA concentration is expressed as the ration to urinary creatinine (Crea). No significant correlations were observed between the urinary ZEA concentration of Japanese Blacks and the total number of embryos r=-0,015 P=0,956, transferable embryos r=0,191 P=0,479, degenerated embryos r=-0,108 P=0,689 or unfertilized embryos r=-0,372 P=0,156. In the Holstein group also no significant correlations were discovered. Holstein ZEA concentration and the total number of embryos r=0,053 P=0,815, transferable embryos r=0,011 P=0,960, degenerated embryos r=0,141 P=0,532 or unfertilized embryos r=-0,015 P=0,948. In the second experiment the ZEA concentration in the TMR and urine was checked monthly. The goal was to determine a correlation and/or significant difference in the ZEA in TMR and urine throughout the year. During this research the same ELISA kit was used to determine the ZEA but also the DON concentration. The third and final objective was to determine if there was a correlation between the SSC and DON concentration. SSC data were collected from the farm records to find a correlation with the DON. No DON was detected in the urine and TMR samples by the ELISA and LC/MC/MC. The individual urinary ZEA concentration by itself had no correlation with the individual SSC in the Holstein herd r=-0.027 P=0.86. In this experiment no correlation was found between the urinary and TMR samples that were collected the same month r=0,167 P=0,604. However, there was a significant difference in the Urinary ZEA concentration between December and April, December and July P<0,05. Nevertheless this result is questionable because of many variables decreasing the standardization. The two experiments were conducted under field conditions to examine the effect of these 2 mycotoxines.