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


Date of this Version


Document Type



Animal Reproduction Science 239 (2022) 106968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2022.106968


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Increased antral follicles are associated with greater fertility and a uterine environment that is more supportive of early embryonic development in beef heifers. Glucose is a primary energy source for embryos, and glucose concentrations are elevated in uterine luminal fluid (ULF) of pregnant heifers. We hypothesized that ULF glucose concentrations and endometrial transcript abundance for glucose transporters on d16 after insemination would be greater in heifers with increased numbers of antral follicles. Heifers classified with either increased or diminished antral follicle counts were artificially inseminated following the CO-Synch protocol (d0). On d16 after insemination, reproductive tracts of heifers were collected at an abattoir to retrieve conceptuses to determine pregnancy. Uterine luminal fluid was collected, endometrium was biopsied, total RNA was extracted and glucose transporter transcript abundances were determined. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS with antral follicle group, pregnancy status, and the interaction as fixed effects. Glucose concentrations in ULF were greater in heifers with increased antral follicle numbers. Glucose ULF concentrations increased in pregnant heifers. Facilitated glucose transporter member 1 (SLC2A1) transcript abundance was increased in the endometrium of pregnant heifers but was not different due to antral follicle number or the interaction. Differences in uterine concentrations of glucose associated with antral follicle number could be due to another mechanism, since glucose transporters were not different between antral follicle numbers. Therefore, heifers with increased number of antral follicles have increased energy availability in the uterus to support trophoblast proliferation and function.