Relationships between Circulating Urea Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows
Simple SummaryDairy cows fed high levels of protein to increase milk yield tend to have reduced fertility but the reasons behind this are unclear. Differing dietary protein levels are reflected in altered urea concentrations in both blood and other tissues including the uterus. We showed that the circulating urea concentration was highly correlated to changed expression levels of many genes in the endometrium shortly after calving. These were predominantly associated with tissue repair, innate immunity and lipid metabolism. A subsequent study found no effect of altered urea concentration on endometrial gene expression in vitro implying that the dietary influence is indirect.
AbstractBoth high and low circulating urea concentrations, a product of protein metabolism, are associated with decreased fertility in dairy cows through poorly defined mechanisms. The rate of involution and the endometrial ability to mount an adequate innate immune response after calving are both critical for subsequent fertility. Study 1 used microarray analysis to identify genes whose endometrial expression 2 weeks postpartum correlated significantly with the mean plasma urea per cow, ranging from 3.2 to 6.6 mmol/L. The biological functions of 781 mapped genes were analysed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. These were predominantly associated with tissue turnover (e.g., BRINP1, FOXG1), immune function (e.g., IL17RB, CRISPLD2), inflammation (e.g., C3, SERPINF1, SERPINF2) and lipid metabolism (e.g., SCAP, ACBD5, SLC10A). Study 2 investigated the relationship between urea concentration and expression of 6 candidate genes (S100A8, HSP5A, IGF1R, IL17RB, BRINP1, CRISPLD2) in bovine endometrial cell culture. These were treated with 0, 2.5, 5.0 or 7.5 mmol/L urea, equivalent to low, medium and high circulating values with or without challenge by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS increased S100A8 expression as expected but urea treatment had no effect on expression of any tested gene. Examination of the genes/pathways involved suggests that plasma urea levels may reflect variations in lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that it is the effects of lipid metabolism rather than the urea concentration which probably alter the rate of involution and innate immune response, in turn influencing subsequent fertility. View Full-Text
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Cheng, Z.; Oguejiofor, C.F.; Swangchan-Uthai, T.; Carr, S.; Wathes, D.C. Relationships between Circulating Urea Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows. Animals 2015, 5, 748-773.
Cheng Z, Oguejiofor CF, Swangchan-Uthai T, Carr S, Wathes DC. Relationships between Circulating Urea Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows. Animals. 2015; 5(3):748-773.Chicago/Turabian Style
Cheng, Zhangrui; Oguejiofor, Chike F.; Swangchan-Uthai, Theerawat; Carr, Susan; Wathes, D. C. 2015. "Relationships between Circulating Urea Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows." Animals 5, no. 3: 748-773.