Conceptus development and transcriptome at preimplantation stages in lactating dairy cows of distinct genetic groups and estrous cyclic statuses

E. S. Ribeiro, A. P.A. Monteiro, R. S. Bisinotto, F. S. Lima, L. F. Greco, A. D. Ealy, W. W. Thatcher, J. E.P. Santos

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26 Scopus citations


The objectives were to compare development and transcriptome of preimplantation conceptuses 15 d after synchronized ovulation and artificial insemination (AI) according to the genetic background of the cow and estrous cyclicity at the initiation of the synchronization program. On d 39 ± 3 postpartum, Holstein cows that were anovular (HA; n = 10), Holstein cows that were estrous cyclic (HC; n = 25), and Jersey/Holstein crossbred cows that were estrous cyclic (CC; n = 25) were randomly selected in a grazing herd and subjected to the Ovsynch protocol. All cows were inseminated on d 49 ± 3 postpartum, which was considered study d 0. Blood was sampled and analyzed for concentrations of progesterone, estradiol, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) on study d -10, -3, -1, 7, and 15 relative to AI. On study d 15, uteri were flushed and recovered fluid had IFN-τ concentrations measured and subjected to metabolomic analysis. Morphology of the recovered conceptuses was evaluated, and mRNA was extracted and subjected to transcriptome microarray analysis. Compared with HC, CC presented greater concentrations of progesterone and estradiol in plasma, with corpora lutea and preovulatory follicles of similar size. Conceptuses from CC were larger, tended to secrete greater amounts of IFN-τ, and had greater transcript expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), an important transcription factor that coordinates lipid metabolism and elongation at preimplantation development. In addition, pregnant CC had greater concentrations of anandamide in the uterine flush, which might be important for elongation of the conceptus and early implantation. Conceptuses from HA were also longer and secreted greater amounts of IFN-τ than conceptuses from HC, likely because of the distinct progesterone profiles before and after AI. Nonetheless, anovular cows had reduced concentrations of IGF-1 in plasma, and their conceptuses presented remarkable transcriptomic differences. Some of the altered transcripts suggest that conceptus cells from anovular cows might be under greater cellular stress and presented markers suggesting increased apoptosis and autophagy, which could lead to increased mortality after d 15 of development. Estrous cyclicity had more impact on transcriptome of bovine conceptus than genetic background, and the developmental changes observed during the preimplantation period might be linked to differences in fertility among groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74501
Pages (from-to)4761-4777
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Dairy Science Association.


  • Conceptus development
  • Crossbreeding
  • Dairy cow
  • Estrous cyclicity


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