U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



U.S. Government Work


Biology of Reproduction, 2019, 100(1), 71–85 doi:10.1093/biolre/ioy180 Research Article


Reproductive performance of female pigs that do not receive sufficient colostrum from birth is permanently impaired. Whether lactocrine deficiency, reflected by low serum immunoglobulin immunocrit (iCrit), affects patterns of endometrial gene expression during the periattachment period of early pregnancy is unknown. Here, objectives were to determine effects of low iCrit at birth on the adult endometrial transcriptome on pregnancy day (PxD) 13. On the first day of postnatal life, gilts were assigned to high or low iCrit groups. Adult high (n = 8) and low (n = 7) iCrit gilts were bred (PxD 0), and humanely slaughtered on PxD 13 when tissues and fluids were collected. The endometrial transcriptome was defined for each group using mRNAseq and microRNAseq. Reads were mapped to the Sus scrofa 11.1 genome build. Mature microRNAs were annotated using miRBase 21. Differential expression was defined based on fold change (≥ ±1.5). Lactocrine deficiency did not affect corpora lutea number, uterine horn length, uterine wet weight, conceptus recovery, or uterine luminal fluid estrogen content on PxD 13. However, mRNAseq revealed 1157 differentially expressed endometrial mRNAs in high versus low iCrit gilts. Differentially expressed genes had functions related to solute transport, endometrial receptivity, and immune response. Six differentially expressed endometrial microRNAs included five predicted to target 62 differentially expressed mRNAs, affecting similar biological processes. Thus, lactocrine deficiency on the first day of postnatal life can alter uterine developmental trajectory with lasting effects on endometrial responses to pregnancy as reflected at the level of the transcriptome on PxD 13.