Form of dietary selenium affects mRNA encoding cholesterol biosynthesis and immune response elements in the early luteal phase bovine corpus luteum

Benjamin R. Crites, Sarah N. Carr, James C. Matthews, Phillip J. Bridges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Widespread regions of the southeast United States have soils, and hence forages, deficient in selenium (Se), necessitating Se supplementation to grazing cattle for optimal immune function, growth, and fertility. We have reported that supplementation with an isomolar 1:1 mix (MIX) of inorganic (ISe) and organic (OSe) forms of Se increases early luteal phase (LP) progesterone (P4) above that in cows on ISe alone. Increased early LP P4 advances embryonic development. Our objective was to determine the effect of form of Se on the transcriptome of the early LP corpus luteum (CL) with the goal of elucidating form of Se-regulated processes affecting luteal steroidogenesis and function. Non-lactating, 3-yr-old Angus-cross cows underwent 45-d Se-depletion, then repletion periods, and then at least 90 d of supplementation (TRT) with 35 ppm Se/d as either ISe (n = 5) or MIX (n = 5). CL were then recovered on day 7 of the estrous cycle, total RNA isolated, and the effect of TRT on the luteal transcriptome evaluated using bovine gene 1.0 ST arrays (Affymetrix, Inc., Santa Clara, CA). The abundance of transcripts in each CL was subjected to one-way ANOVA using Partek Genomic Suite software to determine TRT effects. Microarray analysis indicated a total of 887 transcripts that were differentially expressed and functionally annotated, with 423 and 464 up- and down-regulated (P < 0.05) in MIX vs. ISe CL, respectively. Bioinformatic analysis (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis) revealed the top TRT-affected canonical pathways to include seven specific to cholesterol biosynthesis and two to inflammatory responses. Results from the microarray analysis were corroborated by targeted real-time PCR. MIX CL had increased (P < 0.05) abundance of transcripts regulating cholesterol biosynthesis including DHCR7, DHCR24, and CYP51A1 (fold changes of 1.65, 1.48, and 1.40, respectively), suggesting MIX-induced increases in P4 to be due, in part, to increased availability of substrate to luteal cells. In addition, MIX CL had increased (P < 0.05) abundance of immune-response transcripts including C1QC, FAS, ILR8B, and IL1R1 (fold changes of 2.30, 1.74, 1.66, and 1.63, respectively). SREBF1 mRNA was also increased (1.32-fold, P < 0.05) in the MIX CL, which increases cholesterol synthesis and stimulates IL1B, linking effects of form of supplemental Se (TRT) on cholesterol biosynthesis and immune function in the CL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberskac135
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2018-67015-27613 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (P.J.B. and J.C.M.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.


  • cholesterol
  • corpus luteum
  • immune
  • progesterone
  • selenium
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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