Deterioration of mitochondrial biogenesis and degradation in the endometrium is a cause of subfertility in cows

Shuichi Matsuyama, Sho Nakamura, Shiori Minabe, Miki Sakatani, Naoki Takenouchi, Takuya Sasaki, Yuki Inoue, Hisataka Iwata, Koji Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate possible causes of reproductive failure, we conducted global endometrial gene expression analyses in fertile and subfertile cows. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that RICTOR and SIRT3 are significant upstream regulators for highly expressed genes in fertile cows, and are predicted to be activated upstream regulators of normal mitochondrial respiration. Canonical pathway analysis revealed that these highly expressed genes are involved in the activation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, in subfertile cows, the inactivation of RICTOR and SIRT3 may correlate with decreased capacity of mitochondrial respiration. Furthermore, the expression levels of most mitochondrial DNA genes and nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins were higher in subfertile cows. The mitochondrial DNA copy number was significantly higher in the endometrium of subfertile cows, whereas the ATP content did not differ between fertile and subfertile cows. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression of PGC1a, TFAM, MFN1, FIS1, and BCL2L13 were significantly lower in subfertile cows. In addition, transmission electron microscopy images showed mitochondrial swelling in the endometrial cells of the subfertile cow. These results suggest that poor-quality mitochondria accumulate in the endometrium owing to a reduced capacity for mitochondrial biogenesis, fusion, fission, and degradation in subfertile cows, and may contribute to infertility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • cow
  • endometrium
  • fertility
  • mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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