• Concurrent and long-term associations between the endometrial microbiota and endometrial transcriptome in postpartum dairy cows

      Moore, Stephen; Ericsson, Aaron C.; Behura, Susanta K.; Lamberson, William R.; Evans, Timothy J.; McCabe, Matthew; Poock, Scott E.; Lucy, Matthew C.; USDA Animal Health Formula Funds; Food for the twenty-first Century program, University of Missouri; et al. (BioMed Central, 2019-05-22)
      Background Fertility in dairy cows depends on ovarian cyclicity and on uterine involution. Ovarian cyclicity and uterine involution are delayed when there is uterine dysbiosis (overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria). Fertility in dairy cows may involve a mechanism through which the uterine microbiota affects ovarian cyclicity as well as the transcriptome of the endometrium within the involuting uterus. The hypothesis was that the transcriptome of the endometrium in postpartum cows would be associated with the cyclicity status of the cow as well as the microbiota during uterine involution. The endometrium of first lactation dairy cows was sampled at 1, 5, and 9 weeks postpartum. All cows were allowed to return to cyclicity without intervention until week 5 and treated with an ovulation synchronization protocol so that sampling at week 9 was on day 13 of the estrous cycle. The endometrial microbiota was measured by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and principal component analysis. The endometrial transcriptome was measured by mRNA sequencing, differential gene expression analysis, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Results The endometrial microbiota changed from week 1 to week 5 but the week 5 and week 9 microbiota were similar. The endometrial transcriptome differed for cows that were either cycling or not cycling at week 5 and cyclicity status depended in part on the endometrial microbiota. Compared with cows cycling at week 5, there were large changes in the transcriptome of cows that progressed from non-cycling at week 5 to cycling at week 9. There was evidence for concurrent and longer-term associations between the endometrial microbiota and transcriptome. The week 1 endometrial microbiota had the greatest effect on the subsequent endometrial transcriptome and this effect was greatest at week 5 and diminished by week 9. Conclusions The cumulative response of the endometrial transcriptome to the microbiota represented the combination of past microbial exposure and current microbial exposure. The endometrial transcriptome in postpartum cows, therefore, depended on the immediate and longer-term effects of the uterine microbiota that acted directly on the uterus. There may also be an indirect mechanism through which the microbiome affects the transcriptome through the restoration of ovarian cyclicity postpartum.
    • Endometrial expression of the insulin-like growth factor system during uterine involution in the postpartum dairy cow

      Llewellyn, S.; Fitzpatrick, Richard; Kenny, David A.; Patton, Joe; Wathes, D. C. (Elsevier, 2008-05-31)
      Rapid uterine involution in the postpartum period of dairy cows is important to achieve a short interval to conception. Expression patterns for members of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family were determined by in situ hybridisation at day 14±0.4 postpartum (n=12 cows) to investigate a potential role for IGFs in modulating uterine involution. Expression in each uterine tissue region was measured as optical density units and data were analysed according to region and horn. IGF-I mRNA was localized to the sub-epithelial stroma (SES) of inter-caruncular and caruncular endometrium. Both IGF-II and IGF-1R expression was detected in the deep endometrial stroma (DES), the caruncular stroma and myometrium. IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-6 mRNAs were all localised to the SES of inter-caruncular and caruncular uterine tissue, and in the DES and caruncular stroma, with IGFBP-4 mRNA additionally expressed in myometrium. IGFBP-3 mRNA was only detectable in luminal epithelium. IGFBP-5 mRNA was found in myometrium, inter-caruncular and caruncular SES and caruncular stroma. These data support a role for IGF-I and IGF-II in the extensive tissue remodelling and repair which the postpartum uterus undergoes to return to its non-pregnant state. The differential expression of binding proteins between tissues (IGFBP-3 in epithelium, IGFBP-2, -4, -5 and -6 in stroma and IGFBP-4 and -5 in myometrium) suggest tight control of IGF activity within each compartment. Differential expression of many members of the IGF family between the significantly larger previously gravid horn and the previously non-gravid horn may relate to differences in their rate of tissue remodelling.
    • Risk factors associated with detailed reproductive phenotypes in dairy and beef cows

      Carthy, Tara; Berry, Donagh; Fitzgerald, A. M.; McParland, Sinead; Williams, E. J.; Butler, Stephen; Cromie, A. R.; Ryan, Dan P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; European Union; et al. (Cambridge University PRess, 2014-04-17)
      The objective of this study was to identify detailed fertility traits in dairy and beef cattle from transrectal ultrasonography records and quantify the associated risk factors. Data were available on 148 947 ultrasound observations of the reproductive tract from 75 949 cows in 843 Irish dairy and beef herds between March 2008 and October 2012. Traits generated included (1) cycling at time of examination, (2) cystic structures, (3) early ovulation, (4) embryo death and (5) uterine score; the latter was measured on a scale of 1 (good) to 4 (poor) characterising the tone of the uterine wall and fluid present in the uterus. After editing, 72 773 records from 44 415 dairy and beef cows in 643 herds remained. Factors associated with the logit of the probability of a positive outcome for each of the binary fertility traits were determined using generalised estimating equations; linear mixed model analysis was used for the analysis of uterine score. The prevalence of cycling, cystic structures, early ovulation and embryo death was 84.75%, 3.87%, 7.47% and 3.84%, respectively. The occurrence of the uterine heath score of 1, 2, 3 and 4 was 70.63%, 19.75%, 8.36% and 1.26%, respectively. Cows in beef herds had a 0.51 odds (95% CI = 0.41 to 0.63, P<0.001) of cycling at the time of examination compared with cows in dairy herds; stage of lactation at the time of examination was the same in both herd types. Furthermore, cows in dairy herds had an inferior uterine score (indicating poorer tone and a greater quantity of uterine fluid present) compared with cows in beef herds. The likelihood of cycling at the time of examination increased with parity and stage of lactation, but was reduced in cows that had experienced dystocia in the previous calving. The presence of cystic structures on the ovaries increased with parity and stage of lactation. The likelihood of embryo/foetal death increased with parity and stage of lactation. Dystocia was not associated with the presence of cystic structures or embryo death. Uterine score improved with parity and stage of lactation, while cows that experienced dystocia in the previous calving had an inferior uterine score. Heterosis was the only factor associated with increased likelihood of early ovulation. The fertility traits identified, and the associated risk factors, provide useful information on the reproductive status of dairy and beef cows.