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ARS Home » Plains Area » Miles City, Montana » Livestock and Range Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365501

Research Project: Alleviating Rate Limiting Factors that Compromise Beef Production Efficiency

Location: Livestock and Range Research Laboratory

Title: Analysis of the uterine lumen in fertility-classified heifers: I. glucose, prostaglandins and lipids

item MORAES, JOAO - University Of Missouri
item BEHURA, SUSANTA - University Of Missouri
item Geary, Thomas
item SPENCER, THOMAS - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: Biology of Reproduction
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2019
Publication Date: 2/16/2020
Citation: Moraes, J.G., Behura, S.K., Geary, T.W., Spencer, T.E. 2020. Analysis of the uterine lumen in fertility-classified heifers: I. glucose, prostaglandins and lipids. Biology of Reproduction. 102(2):456-474.

Interpretive Summary: Exact signaling between the uterus and embryo is needed for embryo growth and survival in all mammals. An embryo needs specific nutrients from the uterus to grow and attach to the uterus. Repeated embryo transfer was used to classify cows as high fertile (HF), sub-fertile (SF) and infertile (IF). Specific uterine nutrients and signals (glucose, prostaglandins (PGs) and fats) in day 17 pregnant and non-pregnant fertility-classified cows were studied. Glucose was greater in pregnant cows but not different between HF and SF cows. Differences in genes involved in glucose transport and energy production were observed between embryos from HF and SF heifers. Specific PGs were increased by pregnancy and differed by fertility class. Several genes involved in fat breakdown differed between HF and SF embryos. Fatty acids were also different in the uterus of pregnant HF and SF cows. This study supports the idea that uterine nutrients differ between highly fertile and sub-fertile cows and these differences affect embryo growth and survival.

Technical Abstract: Survival and growth of the bovine conceptus (embryo and associated extraembryonic membranes) is dependent on endometrial secretions or histotroph found in the uterine lumen. Previously, serial embryo transfer was used to classify heifers as high fertile (HF), subfertile (SF), or infertile (IF). Here, we investigated specific histotroph components (glucose, prostaglandins (PGs) and lipids) in the uterine lumen of day 17 pregnant and nonpregnant fertility-classified heifers. Concentrations of glucose in the uterine lumen were increased by pregnancy, but did not differ among fertility-classified heifers. Differences in genes encoding glucose transporters and involved with glycolysis and gluconeogenesis were observed between conceptuses collected from HF and SF heifers. In the uterine lumen, PGE2 and PGF2a were increased by pregnancy, and HF heifers had higher concentrations of PGE2, PGF2a and 6-keto-PG1a than SF heifers. Differences were found in expression of genes regulating PG signaling, arachidonic acid metabolism, and PPAR signaling among conceptuses and endometrium from fertility-classified heifers. Phosphatidylcholine was the main lipid class increased in the uterine lumen of HF heifers by pregnancy. Expression of several lipid metabolism genes differed between HF and SF conceptuses, and a number of fatty acids were differently abundant in the uterine lumen of pregnant HF and SF heifers. These results support the ideas that uterine luminal histotroph impacts conceptus survival and programs its development and is a facet of dysregulated conceptus-endometrial interactions that result in loss of the conceptus in SF cattle during the implantation period of pregnancy.