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Sexually dimorphic gene expression in bovine conceptuses at the initiation of implantation

Forde, N.; Maillo, V.; Rizos, D.; Lonergan, P.; Forde, Niamh; Maillo, Veronica; O'Gaora, Peadar; Simintiras, Constantine A.; Sturmey, Roger G.; Ealy, Alan D.; Spencer, Thomas E.; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Rizos, Dimitrios; Lonergan, Patrick


N. Forde

V. Maillo

D. Rizos

P. Lonergan

Niamh Forde

Veronica Maillo

Peadar O'Gaora

Constantine A. Simintiras

Alan D. Ealy

Thomas E. Spencer

Alfonso Gutierrez-Adan

Dimitrios Rizos

Patrick Lonergan


In cattle, maternal recognition of pregnancy occurs on Day 16 via secretion of interferon tau (IFNT) by the conceptus. The endometrium can distinguish between embryos with different developmental competencies. In eutherian mammals, X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) is required to ensure an equal transcriptional level of most X-linked genes for both male and female embryos in adult tissues, but this process is markedly different in cattle than mice. We examined how sexual dimorphism affected conceptus transcript abundance and amino acid composition as well as the endometrial transcriptome during the peri-implantation period of pregnancy. Of the 5132 genes that were differentially expressed on Day 19 in male compared to female conceptuses, 2.7% were located on the X-chromosome. Concentrations of specific amino acids were higher in the uterine luminal fluid of male compared to female conceptuses, while female conceptuses had higher transcript abundance of specific amino acid transporters (SLC6A19 and SLC1A35). Of note, the endometrial transcriptome was not different in cattle gestating a male or a female conceptus. These data support the hypothesis that, far from being a blastocyst specific phenomenon, XCI is incomplete before and during implantation in cattle. Despite differences in transcript abundance and amino acid utilization in male versus female conceptuses, the sex of the conceptus itself does not elicit a different transcriptomic response in the endometrium.


Forde, N., Maillo, V., O'Gaora, P., Simintiras, C. A., Sturmey, R. G., Ealy, A. D., …Lonergan, P. (2016). Sexually dimorphic gene expression in bovine conceptuses at the initiation of implantation. Biology of Reproduction, 95(4), doi:10.1095/biolreprod.116.139857

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 11, 2019
Journal Biology of reproduction
Print ISSN 0006-3363
Electronic ISSN 1529-7268
Publisher Society for the Study of Reproduction
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 95
Issue 4
Article Number ARTN 92
Keywords Sexually dimorphic gene expression
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a description of an article published in Biology of reproduction, 2016.

The published article is currently free access on the publisher's website. 11/03/2019


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Copyright Statement
© 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc. This article is
available under a Creative Commons License 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial), as described at

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