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Effect of metabolic status on conceptus–maternal interactions on day 19 in dairy cattle: II. Effects on the endometrial transcriptome

Bauersachs, Stefan; Simintiras, Constantine A.; Sturmey, Roger G; Krebs, Stefan; Bick, Jochen; Blum, Helmut; Wolf, Eckhard; Lonergan, Pat; Forde, Niamh


Stefan Bauersachs

Constantine A. Simintiras

Stefan Krebs

Jochen Bick

Helmut Blum

Eckhard Wolf

Pat Lonergan

Niamh Forde


The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the metabolic stresses associated with lactation alter the ability of the endometrium to respond appropriately to the conceptus by examining endometrial gene expression on Day 19 of pregnancy. Immediately after calving, primiparous Holstein cows with similar production and fertility estimated breeding values (EBVs) were randomly divided into two groups and either dried off (i.e. never milked) immediately or milked twice daily. Approximately 65–75 days postpartum, grade 1 blastocysts recovered from superovulated Holstein heifer donors (n = 5) were transferred (1 per recipient) into lactating (n = 11) and non-lactating (n = 11) recipients. Control nulliparous Holstein heifers (n = 6) were artificially inseminated. RNA-sequencing was performed on intercaruncular endometrial samples recovered at slaughter from confirmed pregnant animals on Day 19 (n = 5 lactating and non-lactating cows; n = 4 heifers). Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between both postpartum groups compared to heifers and between lactating and non-lactating cows. Functional annotation of DEGs between cows and heifers revealed over-representation of categories, including endosome, cytoplasmic vesicle, endocytosis, regulation of exocytosis and cytokine receptor activity. Functional categories including transcription factor binding sites, cell motility and cell migration were enriched for DEGs between endometria from lactating and non-lactating cows. In conclusion, while the evidence for a major effect of lactation on the endometrial transcriptome is relatively weak, these data suggest that the metabolic status of the animal (heifer vs cow) modulates the response of the endometrium to the developing conceptus.


Bauersachs, S., Simintiras, C. A., Sturmey, R. G., Krebs, S., Bick, J., Blum, H., …Forde, N. (2017). Effect of metabolic status on conceptus–maternal interactions on day 19 in dairy cattle: II. Effects on the endometrial transcriptome. Biology of Reproduction, 97(3), 413-425.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 30, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2017
Publication Date Sep 1, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 3, 2018
Journal Biology of reproduction
Print ISSN 0006-3363
Electronic ISSN 1529-7268
Publisher Society for the Study of Reproduction
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 97
Issue 3
Pages 413-425
Keywords Endometrium; Pre-implantation; Metabolic status; RNA sequencing; Bovine; Pregnancy recognition response
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Biology of reproduction, 2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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