Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is an endocrine marker that can help predict superovulatory responses to treatments administered to cows for embryo production. However, the optimal time of the estrous cycle at which a blood test should be performed for a highly reliable prognosis has not yet been established. Moreover, little is known about the regulation of AMH production. To answer these questions, a study was designed to investigate the regulation of AMH production in cows selected for their high or low ovulatory responses to superovulation. At the granulosa cell level, AMH production was inhibited by follicle-stimulating hormone but enhanced by bone morphogenetic proteins. At the follicular level, the expression of AMH within the follicle was dependent on the stage of follicular development. At the ovarian level, the size of the pool of small antral growing follicles determined ovarian AMH production. At the endocrine level, AMH followed a specific dynamic profile during the estrous cycle, which occurred independently of the follicular waves of terminal follicular development. Cows selected for their high or low responses to superovulation did not differ in the regulation of AMH production, but cows with higher responses had higher plasma AMH concentrations throughout the cycle. The optimal period of the estrous cycle at which to measure AMH concentrations with the aim of selecting the best cows for embryo production was found to be at estrus and after Day 12 of the cycle. Based on this multiscale study, we propose a model that integrates the different regulatory levels of AMH production.
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Vol. 84 • No. 3