Publications by authors named "Thomas W Geary"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Differential Transcript Profiles in Cumulus-Oocyte Complexes Originating from Pre-Ovulatory Follicles of Varied Physiological Maturity in Beef Cows.

Genes (Basel) 2021 06 10;12(6). Epub 2021 Jun 10.

USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab, Miles City, MT 59301, USA.

Small dominant follicle diameter at induced ovulation, but not at spontaneous ovulation, decreased pregnancy rate, fertilization rate, and day seven embryo quality in beef cows. We hypothesized that the physiological status of the follicle at GnRH-induced ovulation has a direct effect on the transcriptome of the Cumulus-Oocyte complex, thereby affecting oocyte competence and subsequent embryo development. The objective of this study was to determine if the transcriptome of oocytes and associated cumulus cells (CC) differed among small (≤11.7 mm) and large follicles (≥12.7 mm) exposed to a GnRH-induced gonadotropin surge and follicles (11.7-14.0 mm) exposed to an endogenous gonadotropin surge (spontaneous follicles). RNA sequencing data, from pools of four oocytes or their corresponding CC, revealed 69, 94, and 83 differentially expressed gene transcripts (DEG) among oocyte pools from small versus large, small versus spontaneous, and large versus spontaneous follicle classifications, respectively. An additional 128, 98, and 80 DEG were identified among small versus large, small versus spontaneous, and large versus spontaneous follicle CC pools, respectively. The biological pathway "oxidative phosphorylation" was significantly enriched with DEG from small versus spontaneous follicle oocyte pools (FDR < 0.01); whereas the glycolytic pathway was significantly enriched with DEG from CC pools obtained from large versus small follicles (FDR < 0.01). These findings collectively suggest that altered carbohydrate metabolism within the Cumulus-Oocyte complex likely contributes to the decreased competency of oocytes from small pre-ovulatory follicles exposed to an exogenous GnRH-induced gonadotropin surge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12060893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8227736PMC
June 2021

Analysis of the uterine lumen in fertility-classified heifers: I. Glucose, prostaglandins, and lipids†.

Biol Reprod 2020 02;102(2):456-474

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Survival and growth of the bovine conceptus (embryo and associated extraembryonic membranes) are dependent on endometrial secretions or histotroph found in the uterine lumen. Previously, serial embryo transfer was used to classify heifers as high fertile (HF), subfertile (SF), or infertile (IF). Here, we investigated specific histotroph components [glucose, prostaglandins (PGs), and lipids] in the uterine lumen of day 17 pregnant and open fertility-classified heifers. Concentrations of glucose in the uterine lumen were increased by pregnancy but did not differ among fertility-classified heifers. Differences in expression of genes encoding glucose transporters and involved with glycolysis and gluconeogenesis were observed between conceptuses collected from HF and SF heifers. In the uterine lumen, PGE2 and PGF2α were increased by pregnancy, and HF heifers had higher concentrations of PGE2, PGF2α, and 6-keto-PFG1α than SF heifers. Differences were found in expression of genes regulating PG signaling, arachidonic acid metabolism, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor signaling among conceptuses and endometrium from fertility-classified heifers. Lipidomics was conducted exclusively in samples from HF heifers, and phosphatidylcholine was the main lipid class that increased in the uterine lumen by pregnancy. Expression of several lipid metabolism genes differed between HF and SF conceptuses, and a number of fatty acids were differentially abundant in the uterine lumen of pregnant HF and SF heifers. These results support the ideas that uterine luminal histotroph impacts conceptus survival and programs its development and is a facet of dysregulated conceptus-endometrial interactions that result in loss of the conceptus in SF cattle during the implantation period of pregnancy establishment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioz191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331873PMC
February 2020

Analysis of the uterine lumen in fertility-classified heifers: II. Proteins and metabolites†.

Biol Reprod 2020 03;102(3):571-587

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Survival and growth of the bovine conceptus is dependent on endometrial secretions or histotroph. Previously, serial blastocyst transfer was used to classify heifers as high fertile (HF), subfertile (SF), or infertile (IF). Here, we investigated specific histotroph components (proteins and metabolites) in the uterine lumen of day 17 fertility-classified heifers. Interferon tau (IFNT) was more abundant in uterine lumenal fluid (ULF) of pregnant HF than SF animals as the conceptus was longer in HF heifers. However, no differences in endometrial expression of selected classical and nonclassical interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) were observed, suggesting that IFNT signaling in the endometrium of pregnant HF and SF heifers was similar. Pregnancy significantly increased the abundance of several proteins in ULF. Based on functional annotation, the abundance of a number of proteins involved in energy metabolism, oxidative stress, amino acid metabolism, and cell proliferation and differentiation were greater in the ULF of pregnant HF than SF heifers. Metabolomics analysis found that pregnancy only changed the metabolome composition of ULF from HF heifers. The majority of the metabolites that increased in the ULF of pregnant HF as compared to SF heifers were associated with energy and amino acid metabolism. The observed differences in ULF proteome and metabolome are hypothesized to influence uterine receptivity with consequences on conceptus development and survival in fertility-classified heifers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioz197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331878PMC
March 2020

Uterine influences on conceptus development in fertility-classified animals.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 02 5;115(8):E1749-E1758. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211;

A major unresolved issue is how the uterus influences infertility and subfertility in cattle. Serial embryo transfer was previously used to classify heifers as high-fertile (HF), subfertile (SF), or infertile (IF). To assess pregnancy loss, two in vivo-produced embryos were transferred into HF, SF, and IF heifers on day 7, and pregnancy outcome was assessed on day 17. Pregnancy rate was substantially higher in HF (71%) and SF (90%) than IF (20%) heifers. Elongating conceptuses were about twofold longer in HF than SF heifers. Transcriptional profiling detected relatively few differences in the endometrium of nonpregnant HF, SF, and IF heifers. In contrast, there was a substantial difference in the transcriptome response of the endometrium to pregnancy between HF and SF heifers. Considerable deficiencies in pregnancy-dependent biological pathways associated with extracellular matrix structure and organization as well as cell adhesion were found in the endometrium of SF animals. Distinct gene expression differences were also observed in conceptuses from HF and SF animals, with many of the genes decreased in SF conceptuses known to be embryonic lethal in mice due to defects in embryo and/or placental development. Analyses of biological pathways, key players, and ligand-receptor interactions based on transcriptome data divulged substantial evidence for dysregulation of conceptus-endometrial interactions in SF animals. These results support the ideas that the uterus impacts conceptus survival and programs conceptus development, and ripple effects of dysregulated conceptus-endometrial interactions elicit loss of the postelongation conceptus in SF cattle during the implantation period of pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721191115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828633PMC
February 2018

Loci and pathways associated with uterine capacity for pregnancy and fertility in beef cattle.

PLoS One 2017 11;12(12):e0188997. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Department Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States of America.

Infertility and subfertility negatively impact the economics and reproductive performance of cattle. Of note, significant pregnancy loss occurs in cattle during the first month of pregnancy, yet little is known about the genetic loci influencing pregnancy success and loss in cattle. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with large effects associated with early pregnancy loss, Angus crossbred heifers were classified based on day 28 pregnancy outcomes to serial embryo transfer. A genome wide association analysis (GWAA) was conducted comparing 30 high fertility heifers with 100% success in establishing pregnancy to 55 subfertile heifers with 25% or less success. A gene set enrichment analysis SNP (GSEA-SNP) was performed to identify gene sets and leading edge genes influencing pregnancy loss. The GWAA identified 22 QTL (p < 1 x 10-5), and GSEA-SNP identified 9 gene sets (normalized enrichment score > 3.0) with 253 leading edge genes. Network analysis identified TNF (tumor necrosis factor), estrogen, and TP53 (tumor protein 53) as the top of 671 upstream regulators (p < 0.001), whereas the SOX2 (SRY [sex determining region Y]-box 2) and OCT4 (octamer-binding transcription factor 4) complex was the top master regulator out of 773 master regulators associated with fertility (p < 0.001). Identification of QTL and genes in pathways that improve early pregnancy success provides critical information for genomic selection to increase fertility in cattle. The identified genes and regulators also provide insight into the complex biological mechanisms underlying pregnancy establishment in cattle.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0188997PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5724891PMC
January 2018

Identification of Beef Heifers with Superior Uterine Capacity for Pregnancy.

Biol Reprod 2016 08 14;95(2):47. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Infertility and subfertility represent major problems in domestic animals and humans, and the majority of embryonic loss occurs during the first month of gestation that involves pregnancy recognition and conceptus implantation. The critical genes and physiological pathways in the endometrium that mediate pregnancy establishment and success are not well understood. In study one, predominantly Angus heifers were classified based on fertility using serial embryo transfer to select animals with intrinsic differences in pregnancy loss. In each of the four rounds, a single in vitro-produced, high-quality embryo was transferred into heifers on Day 7 postestrus and pregnancy was determined on Days 28 and 42 by ultrasound and then terminated. Heifers were classified based on pregnancy success as high fertile (HF), subfertile (SF), or infertile (IF). In study two, fertility-classified heifers were resynchronized and bred with semen from a single high-fertility bull. Blood samples were collected every other day from Days 0 to 36 postmating. Pregnancy rate was determined on Day 28 by ultrasound and was higher in HF (70.4%) than in heifers with low fertility (36.8%; SF and IF). Progesterone concentrations in serum during the first 20 days postestrus were not different in nonpregnant heifers and also not different in pregnant heifers among fertility groups. In study three, a single in vivo-produced embryo was transferred into fertility-classified heifers on Day 7 postestrus. The uteri were flushed on Day 14 to recover embryos, and endometrial biopsies were obtained from the ipsilateral uterine horn. Embryo recovery rate and conceptus length and area were not different among the heifer groups. RNA was sequenced from the Day 14 endometrial biopsies of pregnant HF, SF, and IF heifers (n = 5 per group) and analyzed by edgeR-robust analysis. There were 26 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the HF compared to SF endometrium, 12 DEGs for SF compared to IF endometrium, and three DEGs between the HF and IF endometrium. Several of the DEG-encoded proteins are involved in immune responses and are expressed in B cells. Results indicate that preimplantation conceptus survival and growth to Day 14 is not compromised in SF and IF heifers. Thus, the observed difference in capacity for pregnancy success in these fertility-classified heifers is manifest between Days 14 and 28 when pregnancy recognition signaling and conceptus elongation and implantation must occur for the establishment of pregnancy.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5029478PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.116.141390DOI Listing
August 2016

Effects of preovulatory estradiol on embryo survival and pregnancy establishment in beef cows.

Anim Reprod Sci 2015 Jul 16;158:96-103. Epub 2015 May 16.

United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, Fort Keogh, Miles City, MT, USA. Electronic address:

The role of preovulatory estradiol on post-fertilization embryo survival and pregnancy establishment has not been well characterized in beef cows. We hypothesized that preovulatory estradiol is important for embryo survival and pregnancy establishment in beef cows. Twenty-four ovariectomized multiparous cows were used in a replicated 3×3 Latin Square design. Cows received estradiol cypionate (ECP) 36h, estradiol benzoate (EB) 12h, or no estradiol (CON) before a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (d 0) induced LH surge. Luteal phase progesterone was mimicked with twice daily progesterone injections from d 3 to 6. On d 7 cows received one embryo and progesterone was supplemented with progesterone-releasing devices (CIDR). Expression of interferon stimulated genes, ISG15, MX2, and OAS1, in leukocytes was determined on d 17, 19, 21, and 28 to determine capability of embryonic signaling. Pregnancy specific protein B concentrations were measured in serum samples from d 17 through 29 to determine embryonic attachment. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed on d 29 and 32 to determine pregnancy viability (heartbeat). Serum estradiol profiles during simulated proestrus/estrus were different (P<0.001) between treatments. Mean serum progesterone concentrations from d 17 to 24 were decreased (P=0.05) in EB and ECP cows compared to CON. Transrectal ultrasonography indicated that fewer CON (4%) cows had a viable embryo present compared to estradiol treated cows (25%). Embryonic loss in cows that did not receive estradiol during the simulated preovulatory period occurred following maternal recognition of pregnancy, indicating that its impact was likely on uterine receptivity and embryonic attachment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2015.05.006DOI Listing
July 2015

Increased conception rates in beef cattle inseminated with nanopurified bull semen.

Biol Reprod 2014 Oct 17;91(4):97. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Aberrant sperm phenotypes coincide with the expression of unique sperm surface determinants that can be probed by objective, biomarker-based semen analysis and targeted as ligands for semen purification. This study evaluated a nanoparticle-based magnetic purification method that removes defective spermatozoa (∼30% of sample) from bull semen and improves sperm sample viability and fertilizing ability in vitro and in vivo. Two types of nanoparticles were developed: a particle coated with antibody against ubiquitin, which is present on the surface of defective spermatozoa, and a particle coated with the lectin peanut agglutinin, which binds to glycans exposed by acrosomal damage. In a 2 yr artificial insemination field trial with 798 cows, a conception rate of 64.5% ± 3.7% was achieved with a 10 × 10(6) sperm dose of peanut agglutinin-nanopurified spermatozoa, comparable to a control nonpurified full dose of 20 × 10(6) spermatozoa per dose (63.3% ± 3.2%) and significantly higher than a 10 × 10(6) sperm dose of nonpurified control semen (53.7% ± 3.2%; P < 0.05). A total of 466 healthy calves were delivered, and no negative side effects were observed in the inseminated animals or offspring. Because the method is inexpensive and can be fully integrated in current protocols for semen cryopreservation, it is feasible for use in the artificial insemination industry to improve fertility with reduced sperm dosage inseminations. Spermatology will benefit from nanopurification methodology by gaining new tools for the identification of candidate biomarkers of sperm quality such as binder of sperm protein 5 (BSP5), described in the present study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.114.121897DOI Listing
October 2014

Effects of fertility on gene expression and function of the bovine endometrium.

PLoS One 2013 5;8(8):e69444. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA.

Infertility and subfertility are important and pervasive reproductive problems in both domestic animals and humans. The majority of embryonic loss occurs during the first three weeks of pregnancy in cattle and women due, in part, to inadequate endometrial receptivity for support of embryo implantation. To identify heifers of contrasting fertility, serial rounds of artificial insemination (AI) were conducted in 201 synchronized crossbred beef heifers. The heifers were then fertility classified based on number of pregnancies detected on day 35 in four AI opportunities. Heifers, classified as having high fertility, subfertility or infertility, were selected for further study. The fertility-classified heifers were superovulated and flushed, and the recovered embryos were graded and then transferred to synchronized recipients. Quantity of embryos recovered per flush, embryo quality, and subsequent recipient pregnancy rates did not differ by fertility classification. Two in vivo-produced bovine embryos (stage 4 or 5, grade 1 or 2) were then transferred into each heifer on day 7 post-estrus. Pregnancy rates were greater in high fertility than lower fertility heifers when heifers were used as embryo recipients. The reproductive tracts of the classified heifers were obtained on day 14 of the estrous cycle. No obvious morphological differences in reproductive tract structures and histology of the uterus were observed in the heifers. Microarray analysis revealed differences in the endometrial transcriptome based on fertility classification. A genome-wide association study, based on SNP genotyping, detected 7 moderate associations with fertility across 6 different chromosomes. Collectively, these studies support the idea that innate differences in uterine function underlie fertility and early pregnancy loss in ruminants. Cattle with defined early pregnancy success or loss is useful to elucidate the complex biological and genetic mechanisms governing endometrial receptivity and uterine competency for pregnancy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069444PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734181PMC
March 2014

Follicular determinants of pregnancy establishment and maintenance.

Cell Tissue Res 2012 Sep 18;349(3):649-64. Epub 2012 Mar 18.

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, 65211, USA.

Synchronization of dominant follicle development and control of ovulation/oocyte retrieval are commonly used assisted reproductive technologies in both cattle and humans. The final maturation of the dominant follicle is intimately tied to the final maturation of the oocyte, preovulatory secretion of estradiol, preparation of follicular cells for luteinization, postovulatory secretion of progesterone and endocrine control of the oviductal and uterine environment for gamete and embryo development. The physiological maturity of a dominant/ovulatory follicle can affect the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Premature induction of the ovulatory process can reduce pregnancy rates and increase late embryonic/fetal mortality in cattle, which is likely mediated through inadequate oocyte competence and a compromised maternal environment. Oocyte competence increases with follicular maturity and is dependent upon acquisition of a complete complement of mRNA transcripts and establishment of the appropriate epigenetic marking of the oocyte genome before the preovulatory gonadotropin surge. Preovulatory secretion of estradiol is a reflection of follicular maturity and affects the oocyte, follicular cells, oviduct and uterus. The corpus luteum is a continuation of follicular maturation and rate of progesterone secretion following ovulation is linked to fertility. Advancements in our understanding of how the follicular microenvironment affects pregnancy establishment and maintenance will improve the efficiency of assisted reproductive technologies in all species. The purpose of this review is to discuss how follicular microenvironment, oocyte competence, preovulatory secretion of estradiol and postovulatory secretion of progesterone can affect pregnancy establishment and embryo/fetal survival, with an emphasis on cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-012-1386-8DOI Listing
September 2012

Effect of reduced heifer nutrition during in utero and post-weaning development on glucose and acetate kinetics.

Br J Nutr 2011 Dec 21;106(11):1702-12. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, Miles City, MT 59301, USA.

Energetic efficiency was evaluated in composite bred heifers born from dams receiving 1·8 or 1·2 kg/d winter supplementation for approximately 80 d before parturition. Heifers were then developed post-weaning and randomly assigned to heifer development treatments of either control (100 %; ad libitum; n 8/year) or restricted (80 %; fed 80 % of supplementation fed to controls adjusted to a common body weight: n 8/year) in a 2-year study. A glucose tolerance test (GTT) and acetate irreversible loss test (AILT) were administered to heifers at the termination of a 140 d development period when the heifers were approximately 403 d of age and consumed a silage-based diet, and again at 940 d of age when pregnant with their second calf and grazing dormant forage. No differences were measured (P>0·08) for dam winter nutrition or heifer development treatment for baseline serum metabolites or measures in either the GTT or the AILT. However, changes in baseline serum concentrations (P>0·05) were different between metabolic challenges, which occurred at different stages of development. No difference in acetate disappearance (P = 0·18) and half-life (P = 0·66) was measured between the two metabolic challenges. A trend for glucose half-life to be shorter in heifers born from dams receiving in utero winter treatments that supplied 1·2 kg/d of winter supplementation was observed (P = 0·083). Heifers developed with lower total DM intake during a 140 d development period had similar glucose and acetate incorporation rates as ad libitum-fed heifers when evaluated at two different production stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511002224DOI Listing
December 2011

Relationship between follicle size at insemination and pregnancy success.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2005 Apr 28;102(14):5268-73. Epub 2005 Mar 28.

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

Administration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) induces a surge of luteinizing hormone and ovulation in a variety of species, including human beings. Our objectives were to determine the effect of follicle size at the time of ovulation on corpus luteum function and establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in cows in which ovulation was either spontaneous or induced with GnRH. GnRH-induced ovulation of follicles < or approximately = 11 mm in diameter resulted in decreased pregnancy rates and increased late embryonic mortality. This decrease in fertility was associated with lower circulating concentrations of estradiol on the day of insemination, a decreased rate of increase in progesterone after insemination, and, ultimately, decreased circulating concentrations of progesterone. In contrast, ovulatory follicle size had no apparent effect on fertility when ovulation occurred spontaneously. Follicles undergoing spontaneous ovulation do so at a wide range of sizes when they are physiologically mature. Therefore, administration of GnRH to induce ovulation likely initiates a preovulatory gonadotropin surge before some dominant follicles attain physiological maturity. GnRH-induced ovulation of follicles that are physiologically immature has a negative impact on pregnancy rates and late embryonic/fetal survival. These observations in cattle may have implications for assisted reproductive procedures in human beings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0501700102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC556005PMC
April 2005
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