Embryo transfer to the uterine horn contralateral to the ovary containing the corpus luteum (CL) negatively impacts pregnancy establishment in cattle. Our aim was to compare the transcriptome and ability of the ipsilateral and contralateral uterine horns to support preimplantation conceptus survival and growth to day 14. In experiment 1, endometrial samples from both horns were collected from synchronized heifers slaughtered on day 5, 7, 13, or 16 post-estrus (n = 5 per time) and subjected to RNA sequencing. In experiment 2, 10 day 7 in vitro produced blastocysts were transferred into the uterine horn ipsilateral (n = 9) or contralateral to the CL (n = 8) or into both horns (i.e., bilateral, n = 9) of synchronized recipient heifers. Reproductive tracts were recovered at slaughter on day 14, and the number and dimensions of recovered conceptuses were recorded for each horn. A total of 217, 54, 14, and 18 differentially expressed genes (>2-fold change, FDR P < 0.05) were detected between ipsilateral and contralateral horns on days 5, 7, 13, and 16, respectively, with signaling pathways regulating pluripotency of stem cells, ErbB signaling pathway, and mTOR signaling pathway amongst the top canonical pathways. Site of embryo transfer did not affect recovery rate (48.0%, 168/350) or length of conceptuses (mean ± SE 2.85 ± 0.27 mm). Although differences in gene expression exist between the endometrium of uterine horns ipsilateral and contralateral to the CL in cattle, they do not impact conceptus survival or length between day 7 and 14.
Differences in endometrial gene expression exist between the ipsilateral and contralateral uterine horns in cattle, but conceptus growth to day 14 is not different between the horns.