Expression of estrus modifies the gene expression profile in reproductive tissues on Day 19 of gestation in beef cows
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The aim of this study was to test the effect of expression of estrus at artificial insemination (AI) on endometrium, conceptus, and CL gene expression of beef cows. Thirty-six multiparous nonlactating Nelore cows were enrolled on an estradiol- and progesterone (P4)-based timed AI protocol (AI = Day 0) and then slaughtered for the endometrium, CL, and conceptus collection on Day 19. The animals were retrospectively grouped on the basis of cows that (1) showed signs of estrus near AI (n = 19; estrus) and (2) did not show any signs of estrus (n = 17; nonestrus). Body condition score, blood sampling, and ultrasound examination were performed on Days 0, 7, and 18 of the experiment followed by messenger RNA extraction and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis of 58 target genes. Data were checked for normality and analyzed by ANOVA for repeated measures using proc GLM, MIXED, and UNIVARIATE of SAS. Only pregnant cows were included in the analyses (n = 12; nonestrus, n = 11). Estrous expression had no correlation with parameters such as body condition score, preovulatory follicle and CL diameter, P4 concentration in plasma on Days 7 and 18 after AI, and interferon-tau concentration in the uterine flushing (P > 0.15); however, a significant increase was observed in conceptus size from cows that expressed estrus (P = 0.02; 38.3 ± 2.8 vs. 28.2 ± 2.9 mm). The majority of transcripts affected by estrous expression in the endometrium belong to the immune system and adhesion molecule family (MX1, MX2, MYL12A, MMP19, CXCL10, IGLL1, and SLPI; P ≤ 0.05), as well as those related with prostaglandin synthesis (OTR and COX-2; P ≤ 0.05). Genes related to apoptosis, P4 synthesis, and prostaglandin receptor were downregulated (CYP11A, BAX, and FPr; P < 0.05) in the CL tissue of cows that expressed estrus. In addition, four genes were identified as differentially expressed in the 19-day-old conceptus from cows that expressed estrus (ISG15, PLAU, BMP15, and EEF1A1; P < 0.05). There was also a significant effect of Day 7 concentration of P4 mainly affecting the immune system, adhesion molecules, and wnt signaling pathway of the endometrium (IGLL1, MX2, SLPI, TRD, APC, WNT2, GLYCAM1, and MYL12A; P < 0.05). A significant interaction between estrous expression and P4 concentration on Day 7 was more pronounced in immune system genes (MX1, MX2, TRD, SLPI, and IGLL1; P < 0.05). This study reported that estrous expression at the time of AI favorably altered the gene expression profile in reproductive tissues during the preimplantation phase toward a more receptive state to the elongating conceptus. These effects seem to be more evident in the endometrium during the time of dynamic remodeling for embryo implantation.
author list (cited authors)
Davoodi, S., Cooke, R. F., Fernandes, A., Cappellozza, B. I., Vasconcelos, J., & Cerri, R.