Gene expression patterns in the ventral tegmental area relate to oestrus behaviour in high-producing dairy cows

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Abstract

Reduced oestrus behaviour expression or its absence (silent oestrus) results in subfertility in high-producing dairy cows. Insight into the genomic regulation of oestrus behaviour is likely to help alleviate reproduction problems. Here, gene expression was recorded in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of high milk production dairy cows differing in the degree of showing oestrus behaviour (H – highly expressing versus L – lowly expressing), which was then analysed. Genes regulating cell morphology and adhesion or coding for immunoglobulin G (IgG) chains were differentially expressed in VTA between cows around day 0 and 12 of the oestrus cycle, but only in cows that earlier in life tended to show high levels of oestrus behaviour (H0 versus H12). The comparisons between H and L groups of cows also revealed differential expression of several genes (e.g. those of the IgG family or encoding for pro-melanin-concentrating hormone). However, any significant changes in VTA genes expression were detected in the comparison of L0 versus L12 cows. Altogether, the genes expression profile in VTA of cows highly expressing oestrus behaviour changes together with phases of the oestrus cycle, while in case of cows expressing oestrus behaviour lowly it remains stable. This supports the existence of genomic regulation by centrally expressed genes on the expression of oestrus behaviour in dairy cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Volume128
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • cerebral-cortex
  • immunoglobulin
  • fertility
  • normalization
  • microarray
  • molecules
  • profiles
  • adhesion
  • neurons
  • stress

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