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Open AccessArticle

A High Protein Model Alters the Endometrial Transcriptome of Mares

1
Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
2
Theriogenology Department, University of Mansoura, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
3
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
4
Department of Animal Reproduction, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-270, Brazil
5
Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
6
Department of Animal Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(8), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080576
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 30 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Genetics)
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Abstract

High blood urea nitrogen (BUN) decreases fertility of several mammals; however, the mechanisms have not been investigated in mares. We developed an experimental model to elevate BUN, with urea and control treatments (7 mares/treatment), in a crossover design. Urea-treatment consisted of a loading dose of urea (0.03 g/kg of body weight (BW)) and urea injections over 6 h (0.03 g/kg of BW/h). Control mares received the same volume of saline solution. Blood samples were collected to measure BUN. Uterine and vaginal pH were evaluated after the last intravenous infusion, then endometrial biopsies were collected for RNA-sequencing with a HiSeq 4000. Cuffdiff (2.2.1) was used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEG) between urea and control groups (false discovery rate-adjusted p-value < 0.1). There was a significant increase in BUN and a decrease of uterine pH in the urea group compared to the control group. A total of 193 genes were DEG between the urea and control groups, with five genes identified as upstream regulators (ETV4, EGF, EHF, IRS2, and SGK1). The DEG were predicted to be related to cell pH, ion homeostasis, changes in epithelial tissue, and solute carriers. Changes in gene expression reveal alterations in endometrial function that could be associated with adverse effects on fertility of mares. View Full-Text
Keywords: high protein diets; high blood urea nitrogen concentrations; urea; uterus; horse; early embryonic loss; fetal loss high protein diets; high blood urea nitrogen concentrations; urea; uterus; horse; early embryonic loss; fetal loss
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Boakari, Y.L.; El-Sheikh Ali, H.; Dini, P.; Loux, S.; Fernandes, C.B.; Scoggin, K.; Esteller-Vico, A.; Lawrence, L.; Ball, B. A High Protein Model Alters the Endometrial Transcriptome of Mares. Genes 2019, 10, 576.

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