- Serum and Tissue Steroid Hormone Levels in Canine Mammary Tumours:
Clinical and Prognostic Implications
- Abstract: Hormonal dependency of canine mammary tumours (CMT) has been studied over the last few decades. However, studies assessing the prognostic and predictive potential of serum and/or tissue steroid hormone levels are still scarce in CMT. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report relating serum and tissue levels of steroid hormones and prognosis in dogs. Serum and tumour tissue from 45 female dogs with spontaneous CMT were included in the study. Moreover, serum and normal mammary tissue from 13 healthy female dogs were also included as controls. Steroid hormones were determined by competitive enzyme immunoassay. Overall, levels of steroid hormones in serum and tissue homogenates were significantly different between malignant and benign mammary tumours (p
- Tiger, Bengal and Domestic cat Embryos Produced by Homospecific and
Interspecific Zona‐Free Nuclear Transfer
- Authors: LN Moro; J Jarazo, C Buemo, MI Hiriart, A Sestelo, DF Salamone
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate three different cloning strategies in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris) and to use the most efficient to generate wild felid embryos by interspecific cloning (iSCNT) using Bengal (a hybrid formed by the cross of Felis silvestris and Prionailurus bengalensis) and tiger (Panthera tigris) donor cells. In experiment 1, zona‐free (ZP‐free) cloning resulted in higher fusion and expanded blastocyst rates with respect to zona included cloning techniques that involved fusion or injection of the donor cell. In experiment 2, ZP‐free iSCNT and embryo aggregation (2X) were assessed. Division velocity and blastocyst rates were increased by embryo aggregation in the three species. Despite fewer tiger embryos than Bengal and cat embryos reached the blastocyst stage, Tiger 2X group increased the percentage of blastocysts with respect to Tiger 1X group (3.2% vs 12.1%, respectively). Moreover, blastocyst cell number was almost duplicated in aggregated embryos with respect to non‐aggregated ones within Bengal and tiger groups (278.3 ± 61.9 vs 516.8 ± 103.6 for Bengal 1X and Bengal 2X groups, respectively; 41 vs 220 ± 60 for Tiger 1X and Tiger 2X groups, respectively). OCT4 analysis also revealed that tiger blastocysts had higher proportion of OCT4‐positive cells with respect to Bengal blastocysts and cat intracytoplasmic sperm injection blastocysts. In conclusion, ZP‐free cloning has improved the quality of cat embryos with respect to the other cloning techniques evaluated and was successfully applied in iSCNT complemented with embryo aggregation.
- Stress Response of Veterinary Students to Gynaecological Examination of
Horse Mares – Effects of Simulator‐Based and
- Authors: C Nagel; N Ille, R Erber, C Aurich, J Aurich
Abstract: Invasive procedures in animals are challenging for veterinary students who may perceive a gynaecological examination of mares as stressful. Simulator‐based training may reduce stress. In this study, students received equine gynaecology training 4 times either on horses (group H; n = 14) or a teaching simulator (group SIM; n = 13). One day and 14 days thereafter, their diagnostic skills were tested on horses (skills tests 1 and 2). During the skills tests, the students’ stress response was analysed by heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV) parameters SDRR (standard deviation of beat‐to‐beat [RR] interval) and RMSSD (root‐mean‐square of successive RR differences), and salivary cortisol. In addition, students answered a questionnaire on their perceived stress. Sympathetic activation with increased heart rate (p
- Effects of Dietary Contamination by Zearalenone and Its Metabolites on
Serum Anti‐Müllerian Hormone: Impact on the Reproductive
Performance of Breeding Cows
- Abstract: We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to low zearalenone levels on the anti‐Müllerian hormone endocrine levels and the reproductive performance of cattle. Urine and blood samples and reproductive records were collected from two Japanese Black breeding female cattle herds with dietary zearalenone contamination below the threshold levels (
- Identification of miRNAs in Bovine Endometrium through RNAseq and
Prediction of Regulated Pathways
- Abstract: Detection of miRNAs in reproductive tissues is a key step to understand their role in fertility. We hypothesize that miRNAs must be involved in pathways controlling endometrial physiology and defense against pathogens. In this study, we aimed to characterize miRNAs present in bovine endometrium and to predict regulated pathways. Cytobrush endometrial samples from four cows were collected at oestrous cycle days 1–5, 6–12, 13–18 and 19–21. RNA was extracted and sequenced using Ion Torrent ® technology. After mapping of the reads to miRNA stem loops, rRNAs and tRNAs, data were normalized and analysed using DESeq2. Targets and pathways were predicted with miRmap and KEGG, respectively. Validation of miRNAs in tissue was done by RT‐qPCR (miR‐Q). A total of 221 identities were common among groups, accumulating more than 99% of miRNA expression. MiRNAs were predicted to regulate MAPK signalling pathway, lysosome and extracellular matrix (ECM)‐receptor interaction. Eight miRNAs were validated by miR‐Q, showing that let‐7a‐5p and let‐7b were regulated across the oestrous cycle. This study demonstrated a high similarity in miRNA expression profile across the oestrous cycles in bovine endometrium. These miRNAs were predicted to regulate pathways involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, transport and catabolism. The number of pathways shared by different miRNAs indicates the broad range of regulation these molecules exhibit in the endometrium.
- Influence of Delipation on the Energy Metabolism in Pig
Parthenogenetically Activated Embryos
- Authors: C Wang; Y Niu, D Chi, Y Zeng, H Liu, Y Dai, J Li
Abstract: This study was designed not only to measure the effect of delipation on the developmental viability of pig parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos, but also to evaluate the changes of mitochondria DNA (mtDNA), reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content and gene (Acsl3, Acadsb, Acaa2, Glut1) expression level at different stages after delipation. Results showed that no effect was observed on the cleavage ability, but significant lower blastocyst rate was obtained in delipated embryos. Copy number of mtDNA decreased gradually from MII to four‐cell stages and subsequently kept consistent with blastocyst stage both in delipated and control embryos, but the copy number of mtDNA in delipated embryos was similar to that in the control groups no matter at which developmental stage was observed. Both in delipated and control embryos, ATP content progressive decreased from one‐cell to blastocyst stages, while just at one‐cell stage, a significant decrease of ATP level was observed in delipated embryos compared with that of control. The level of ROS increased obviously after delipation at cleavage stage, but no difference was seen at blastocyst stage. Finally, the expression level of genes related to fatty acids beta‐oxidation (Acadsb and Acaa2) was decreased, while the expression level of genes related to glucose metabolism (Glut 1) was upregulated after delipation. In conclusion, the reduction of lipids in pig oocytes will affect the developmental competence of pig PA embryos by disturbed energy metabolism and ROS stress.
- Computed Tomography of the Prostate Gland in Healthy Intact Dogs and Dogs
with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Abstract: To date, there is only scarce data on the evaluation of the prostate gland in dogs using computed tomography (CT). The aims of our study were to describe CT features of BPH in dogs and to determine the size of the prostate gland in healthy male dogs and dogs with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) through CT. Additionally, we aimed to compare and establish the most useful parameters for CT measurements of the prostate in patients with BPH. The study population consisted of 20 healthy intact male dogs and 20 male intact dogs with confirmed BPH. Pre‐ and post‐contrast CT studies were evaluated. The most common CT features in dogs with recognized BPH were symmetrical prostatomegaly and heterogeneity of the prostatic parenchyma. The mean prostatic density (D) was 56HU (±4.39) in pre‐contrast CT images and 84HU (±8) in post‐contrast images in dogs with BPH. The mean prostatic length (L) was 43.87 mm (±11), the mean width (W) amounted to 48.95 mm (±8.76) and the mean height (H) reached 44.9 mm (±9.48) in clinically affected patients. The mean ratios were: rL − 2,12 (±0.5); rW − 2.39 (±0.53) and rH − 2.16 (±0.39) in the BPH group. The prostate should be considered to be enlarged when rL exceeds 3.05; rW exceeds 3.38 and rH exceeds 2.94. Our findings indicated that CT is a useful tool in diagnosing prostate disorders, including BPH. The heterogeneity, density and ratios of prostatic length, width and height can be useful parameters in the diagnosis of BPH.
- Bovine Oviduct Epithelial Cells Dedifferentiate Partly in Culture, While
Maintaining their Ability to Improve Early Embryo Development Rate and
- Abstract: There are convincing arguments to suggest that the success of early reproductive events is reliant on a satisfactory dialogue between gametes–embryo and the oviduct epithelium. The aim of this study was to develop and characterize an in vitro model to study these interactions. Cattle zygotes produced in vitro were cultured in either SOF or TCM‐199 in the presence or absence of bovine oviduct cell monolayers (BOEC), under 20% or 5% O2. The embryonic development rate and its quality (cell numbers, cryosurvival) were evaluated, as were the BOEC contents in 11 candidate transcripts (real‐time PCR) at different time points. A BOEC co‐culture did indeed increase the rate of development in both media under 5% O2 (41 vs 27% and 28 vs 10% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM‐199, respectively; p
- Signalling Events and Associated Pathways Related to the Mammalian Sperm
- Authors: DK Gangwar; SK Atreja
Abstract: Capacitation is a biological phenomenon occurring prior to fertilization and is a multiple event process. Many physiological and biochemical changes takes place during the process; these changes are related to lipid composition of membrane, intracellular modulation of ion concentration, protein phosphorylation, sperm movement and membrane permeability. These events occur when the sperm is exposed to the new environment of ion concentration in the female reproductive tract. Ions such as bicarbonate and calcium facilitate capacitation by activating adenylyl cyclase, thus initiating protein kinase A (PKA) signalling cascade. Extracellular‐regulated kinase pathway is activated by ligand binding to the membrane receptors and intracellular activation by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Activation of these pathways leads to the phosphorylation of different proteins, which is associated with events such as capacitation, hyperactivation and acrosome reaction that are essential for successful fertilization. Extensive studies were carried out on protein phosphorylation in relation to capacitation, but its role still remains ambiguous.
- Effect of Testosterone Administration and Spiking on Reproductive Success
of Broiler Breeder Flocks
- Authors: B Ordas; S Vahedi, A Seidavi, M Rahati, V Laudadio, V Tufarelli
Abstract: Age negatively affects reproductive success of broiler breeder flocks. One of the main hormones involved in the change of fertility with the age is testosterone (TT). The introduction of young males at later production stages of broiler flocks is known as spiking and is expected to reduce the fertility decline with age. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of injection of different levels of TT and the effect of spiking on reproductive fitness of broiler breeder flocks. Two experiments were conducted on Ross 308 breeder flocks for 10 weeks (41–50 weeks of age). The experiment 1 included a control and three treatments corresponding to three doses of TT (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 cc), while the experiment 2 included a control and one treatment corresponding to spiking. The lower dose of TT (0.1 cc) and the spiking clearly slowed down the decline in hatchability. Therefore, either the external administration of TT to the males when the natural concentration of TT starts to decline or spiking the breeder flock with young roosters could contribute to improve reproductive success in later stages of the production cycle in broiler breeder flocks.
- Reproductive Patterns in the Non‐Breeding Season in Asinina de
- Abstract: This study aims to characterize the reproductive patterns in Asinina de Miranda jennies during the non‐breeding season. Reproductive activity was surveyed in 12 females, aged between 3 and 18 years old, using ultrasound and teasing with a jack. The animals were monitored from September to April, six in each consecutive year. Of these 12 females, nine showed disruption to the normal pattern of ovarian activity during the non‐breeding season. Loss of normal cyclicity included anoestrus (41.7%), silent ovulatory oestrus (25%), and persistence of corpus luteum (8.3%). Only three females maintained a regular cyclic pattern with oestrous behaviour during the non‐breeding season. Anoestrus began in early November and lasted for an average of 147 ± 28 days (113–191 days), ending near to the spring equinox. Onset of silent oestrous cycles began more erratically, between October and February. In both groups the first behavioural ovulation of the year occurred around the time of the spring equinox. Disrupted reproductive activity was preceded by a shorter oestrous cycle only in females entering anoestrus. The mean follicle size in the first ovulation of the year was larger than in the reproductive season (44.7 ± 2.45 mm vs 39.2 ± 3.60 mm) in anoestrous jennies with protracted oestrus. Though age and body condition score (BCS) were associated, changes in BCS below a threshold of four points (for anoestrus) and five points (for silent oestrus) contributed greatly to disruption of reproductive cycles. BCS in females with regular oestrous cycles during the winter season remained unchanged or exceeded five points prior to the winter solstice.
- Does Clinical Treatment with Phenylbutazone and Meloxicam in the
Pre‐ovulatory Period Influence the Ovulation Rate in Mares?
- Authors: AG Lima; LCB Costa, MA Alvarenga, CB Martins
Abstract: The presence of anovulatory haemorrhagic follicles during the oestrous cycle of mares causes financial impacts, slowing conception and increasing the number of services per pregnancy. Non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as meloxicam and phenylbutazone are used in the treatment of several disorders in mares, and these drugs can impair the formation of prostaglandins (PGs) and consequently interfere with reproductive activity. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of treatment with NSAIDs on the development of pre‐ovulatory follicles in mares. In total, 11 mares were studied over three consecutive oestrous cycles, and gynaecological and ultrasound examinations were performed every 12 h. When 32‐mm‐diameter follicles were detected, 1 mg of deslorelin was administered to induce ovulation. The first cycle was used as a control, and the mares received only a dose of deslorelin. In the subsequent cycles, in addition to receiving the same dose of deslorelin, each mare was treated with NSAIDs. In the second cycle, 4.4 mg/kg of phenylbutazone was administered, and in the third cycle, 0.6 mg/kg of meloxicam was administered once a day until ovulation or the beginning of follicular haemorrhage. All of the mares ovulated between 36 and 48 h after the induction in the control cycle. In the meloxicam cycle, 10 mares (92%) did not ovulate, while in the phenylbutazone cycle, nine mares (83%) did not ovulate. In both treatments, intrafollicular hyperechoic spots indicative of haemorrhagic follicles were observed on ultrasound. Thus, our results suggested that treatment with meloxicam and phenylbutazone at therapeutic doses induced intrafollicular haemorrhage and luteinization of anovulatory follicles.
- Astaxanthin Normalizes Epigenetic Modifications of Bovine Somatic Cell
Cloned Embryos and Decreases the Generation of Lipid Peroxidation
- Authors: R Li; H Wu, WW Zhuo, QF Mao, H Lan, Y Zhang, S Hua
Abstract: Astaxanthin is an extremely common antioxidant scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and blocking lipid peroxidation. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on oocyte maturation, and development of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. Cumulus–oocyte complexes were cultured in maturation medium with astaxanthin (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 mg/l), respectively. We found that 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation significantly increased the proportion of oocyte maturation. Oocytes cultured in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation were used to construct SCNT embryos and further cultured with 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 mg/l astaxanthin. The results showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin significantly improved the proportions of cleavage and blastulation, as well as the total cell number in blastocysts compared with the control group, yet this influence was not concentration dependent. Chromosomal analyses revealed that more blastomeres showed a normal chromosomal complement in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin treatment group, which was similar to that in IVF embryos. The methylation levels located on the exon 1 of the imprinted gene H19 and IGF2, pluripotent gene OCT4 were normalized, and global DNA methylation, H3K9 and H4K12 acetylation were also improved significantly, which was comparable to that in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos. Moreover, we also found that astaxanthin supplementation significantly decreased the level of lipid peroxidation. Our findings showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin to oocyte maturation medium and embryo culture medium improved oocyte maturation, SCNT embryo development, increased chromosomal stability and normalized the epigenetic modifications, as well as inhibited overproduction of lipid peroxidation.
- Pregnancy Rates to Fixed Embryo Transfer of Vitrified IVP Bos indicus, Bos
taurus or Bos indicus × Bos taurus Embryos
- Authors: LSR Marinho; BV Sanches, CO Rosa, JH Tannura, AG Rigo, AC Basso, JHF Pontes, MM Seneda
Abstract: The pregnancy rates obtained after the transfer of cryopreserved in vitro‐produced (IVP) embryos are usually low and/or inconsistent. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pregnancy rates of Holstein, Gyr and Holstein × Gyr cattle after the transfer of vitrified IVP embryos produced with X‐sorted sperm. Seventy‐two Gyr and 703 Holstein females were subjected to ovum pickup (OPU) sessions, followed by in vitro embryo production using semen from sires of the same breeds. Embryos (1636 Holstein, 241 Gyr and 1515 Holstein × Gyr) were exposed to forskolin for 48 h prior to vitrification. The pregnancy rate achieved with Gyr dam and sire was 46.1%, which was similar (p = 0.11) to that of Holstein dam and Gyr sire (40.3%). Crossing Gyr dams with Holstein sires resulted in a pregnancy rate of 38.9% and did not differ (p = 0.58) from the pregnancy rate obtained with the cross between Holstein dams and Gyr sires. The rate obtained with Holstein dam and sire was 32.5%. The average pregnancy rate was 36.6%, and no difference was found in the proportion of female foetuses (88.8%, in average) among breeds (p > 0.05). In conclusion, transfer of cryopreserved X‐sorted embryos represents an interesting choice for dairy cattle. Despite the small differences between pregnancy rates, we highlight the efficiency of this strategy for all of the racial groups studied.
- Energy Status Characteristics of Porcine Oocytes During In Vitro
Maturation is Influenced by Their Meiotic Competence
- Authors: I Milakovic; M Jeseta, S Hanulakova, D Knitlova, K Hanzalova, P Hulinska, L Machal, B Kempisty, P Antosik, M Machatkova
Abstract: The characteristics of energy status in porcine oocytes as related to their meiotic competence and in vitro maturation were studied. Cycling pubertal gilts in the early luteal to early follicular phases of the ovarian cycle were used as oocyte donors. The oocytes recovered from medium (MF) or small follicles (SF) were considered meiotically more or less competent, respectively. A half of oocytes from each category was matured by the standard protocol. The oocytes were examined before or after maturation by confocal microscopy, a bioluminescent cell assay and Western blotting. Four experiments, each in triplicate, were performed to assess both SF and MF oocytes in terms of metabolic units formed by mitochondria and lipids, ATP and lipid consumption and lipid droplets with adipose differentiation‐related protein (ADRP) expression. The proportion of oocytes with metabolic units, the mean ATP content and the number of lipid droplets per oocyte, and the relative number of lipid droplets with ADRP expression were significantly higher in the MF compared to SF oocytes before maturation. On the other hand, after maturation, there was an increase in the proportion of oocytes with metabolic units and the relative number of lipid droplets with ADRP expression in the SF compared to MF oocytes. In conclusion, specific differences in energy characteristics between porcine oocytes with different meiotic competence were found. Meiotically more competent oocytes are more advanced in terms of energy reserves before maturation, while meiotically less competent oocytes are more active in replenishing energy stores during maturation.
- Gene Expression of Monocarboxylate Transporters and Oocyte‐secreted
Factors in Bovine Cumulus‐oocyte Complexes Selected by
Brilliant Cresyl Blue
- Authors: EF Lopes; LS Marques, RG Duranti, ATD Oliveira, RFF Lopes, JL Rodrigues
Abstract: Oocyte selection based on the brilliant cresyl blue (BCB) staining test has been successfully used to differentiate between competent and incompetent bovine oocytes. Here, the expression of genes involved in transport of monocarboxylates (Mct1‐4) and oogenesis specific genes (Bmp15, Gdf9 and Has2) in BCB+ and BCB‐ selected immature and mature bovine cumulus‐oocyte complexes (COC) was evaluated. In order to find specific molecular markers to characterize successful oocyte maturation, our study was also aimed at identifying the expression of Mcts and oogenesis specific genes in denuded oocytes and cumulus cells. Immature COCs morphological appropriate were (i) stained with 26 mm BCB for 90 min before IVM, (ii) exposed to same incubation conditions as stained COCs, but without BCB (holding group) or (iii) transferred into a maturation medium immediately after morphological selection (control group). mRNA expression was investigated by RT‐PCR in COCs before and after IVM. No relationship was observed in the relative expression of Has2, Gdf9, Bmp15 or Mct1, 2 and 4 transcripts between BCB+ and BCB− COCs. Transcripts analysis showed that Gdf9 and Bmp15 in BCB+, BCB− and holding groups were up‐regulated (p
- Effect of Relaxin on Fertility Parameters of Frozen–Thawed Buffalo
(Bubalus bubalis) Sperm
- Authors: AR Elkhawagah; V Longobardi, G Neglia, A Salzano, G Zullo, GA Sosa, G Campanile, B Gasparrini
Abstract: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of relaxin on fertility parameters of buffalo frozen/thawed sperm. Sperm were incubated in the absence of capacitating agents (negative control), with a known capacitating agent such as heparin (positive control) and with 50 and 100 ng/ml relaxin for 2 and 4 h. Sperm viability, motility, capacitation and the effect of relaxin on the fertilizing ability after heterologous IVF were evaluated. Although viability was not affected, relaxin increased (p
- Resident Macrophages and Lymphocytes in the Canine Endometrium
- Abstract: Resident immune cells play a major role in endometrial immunity and in tissue homoeostasis. This study aimed to analyse the distribution of macrophages, B and T lymphocytes (respectively, Mø, B‐Lym and T‐Lym) in the canine endometrium throughout the oestrous cycle and in late involution (at the proestrus stage post‐parturition). An immunohistochemistry technique was used on samples from 50 post‐pubertal healthy female dogs, of which five in late post‐partum. The distribution of resident immune cells was analysed in three endometrial layers (superficial, intermediate and basal areas). Mø, B‐Lym and T‐Lym were demonstrated to reside in the endometrium in all the stages of the canine cycle; their numbers being considerably higher during late involution. T‐Lym were scattered in the stroma or amidst the glandular epithelium, constituting the predominant immune cell population in anestrus and proestrus, but decreased in number at all other stages. Endometrial B‐Lym remained fairly constant during the canine cycle, although its numbers were higher in late involution. Mø counts were higher during anestrus compared to the other stages, the cells being displaced into the superficial endometrial layer. Mø demonstrated the highest level in late involution samples, forming small aggregates below the surface epithelium. The number of immune cells was not normally distributed, suggesting the influence of individual factors, such as age or parity, not explored herein due to limited sample availability. Still, this study provides important information for the interpretation of endometrial biopsies in dogs and for the understanding of the increased susceptibility to uterine infection during dioestrus found in the bitch.
- Influence of Staining Method on the Values of Avian Sperm Head
- Abstract: Computer‐assisted systems for the assessment of sperm morphometry (ASMA systems) have been used successfully with several mammalian species. Unfortunately, they have so far been of little use for assessing bird semen, a consequence of the filiform shape of avian spermatozoa. This study compares two staining techniques (Hemacolor® and aniline blue staining) for the morphometric analysis of rooster and red‐legged partridge spermatozoa as part of a computer‐assisted light microscopy method. For both species, Hemacolor® staining provided a significantly higher percentage of measurable cells (93.7 ± 11.7% in roosters and 71.9 ± 15.3% in red‐legged partridges). Hemacolor® also showed greater repeatability (lower coefficients of variation) for length and area in roosters' sperm and for width in the case of red‐legged partridge's sperm. In the roosters, the Hemacolor® technique returned significantly (p
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2015-07-14T08:14:13.834765-05:
- Generation of α‐1,3‐Galactosyltransferase‐Deficient
Porcine Embryonic Fibroblasts by CRISPR/Cas9‐Mediated Knock‐in
of a Small Mutated Sequence and a Targeted Toxin‐Based Selection
- Authors: M Sato; A Kagoshima, I Saitoh, E Inada, K Miyoshi, M Ohtsuka, S Nakamura, T Sakurai, S Watanabe
Abstract: The CRISPR/Cas9 system has enabled the editing of mammalian genomes; however, its applicability and efficiency in the pig genome has not been studied in depth. The α‐gal epitope synthesized by α‐1,3‐galactosyltransferase gene (GGTA1) is known as a xenoantigen obtained upon pig‐to‐human xenotransplantation. We here employed the CRISPR/Cas9 system‐mediated knock‐in of endogenous GGTA1 via targeted homologous recombination (HR). Linearized donors with ~800‐bp homology flanking the CRISPR/Cas9 target site [exon 4 (containing ATG) of GGTA1] served as a template for gene targeting by HR. Using a targeted toxin strategy to select clones lacking α‐gal epitope expression, we successfully obtained several knock‐in clones within 3 weeks of initial transfection. These results suggest that the use of CRISPR/Cas9‐mediated HR to knock‐in a mutated fragment at defined loci represents an efficient strategy to achieve the rapid modulation of genes of interest in swine cells and is a promising tool for the creation of KO piglets.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound as a Potential Male Dog Contraceptive:
Determination of the Most Effective Application Protocol
- Authors: R Leoci; G Aiudi, F Silvestre, EA Lissner, F Marino, GM Lacalandra
Abstract: Ultrasound is one of the most promising forms of non‐invasive contraception and has been studied in several animal models. The objective of the current investigation was to determine the most practical and effective application protocol for dog sterilization. A total of 100 dogs were divided into five equal groups. Group A received 5‐min applications three times performed at 48‐hr intervals and covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz; Group B received 5‐min applications three times performed at 48‐hr intervals over the dorso‐cranial area of the testis at frequency of 3 MHz; Group C received three sequential 5‐min applications (at 5‐min intervals between applications) covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz; Group D received 15‐min applications two times performed at 48‐hr intervals and covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz. The experimental groups' ultrasound had an intensity of 1.5W/cm2. The Control Group had the same procedure as Group A, but with the transducer switched‐off. Dogs were surgically castrated 40 days following the treatment for histological examination. Azoospermia, testicular volume reduction and apparently irreversible testicular damage were achieved by Group A. No effects were noticed in the other groups. Testosterone levels remained within physiological range with all application protocols. A regimen of three applications of ultrasound at 1 MHz, and 1.5 W/cm2, lasting 5 min with an interval of 48 h was effective as permanent sterilization in the dog without hormonal impact.
- Reproductive and Metabolic Responses of Early‐lactating Dairy Cows
Fed Different Dietary Protein Sources
- Authors: V Tufarelli; GM Lacalandra, V Laudadio
Abstract: Optimal reproduction is very closely tied with optimal nutrition, and early‐lactation diets in cows are critical to successful reproduction and monitoring is important. To evaluate the effects of different dietary protein sources on metabolic parameters and reproductive activity, a total of 36 Italian Friesian early‐lactating dairy cows were assigned for 16 weeks to three dietary treatments as follow: the control diet contained soya bean meal (SBM) as the main protein source, whereas the experimental diets contained faba bean (FB) or pea seeds (PS) as alternative protein sources. Diets were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Cow blood samples were collected, and plasma were analysed for metabolites, biological enzymes, β‐hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and non‐esterified fatty acids (NEFA). Feeding alternative protein sources had no effects on most metabolic blood profile, except for blood cholesterol, triglycerides and urea. Results from reproductive parameters indicated that cows fed FB diet had a lower insemination index, but a shorter calving to conception period and an improved conception rate and artificial insemination outcome, when compared to cows fed SBM or PS diets. It can be concluded that replacing conventional dietary SBM with alternative protein sources, especially FB, resulted in improved reproductive performances and metabolic parameters in early‐lactating dairy cows.
- Cryopreservation and In Vitro culture of Preimplantation Embryos in
Djungarian Hamster (Phodopus sungorus)
- Authors: EYu Brusentsev; TO Abramova, IN Rozhkova, TN Igonina, VA Naprimerov, NYu Feoktistova, SYa Amstislavsky
Abstract: Although embryo cryobanking was applied to Syrian golden and to Campbell's hamsters, no attempt has been made at freezing embryos in Djungarian hamsters. Four‐cell stage embryos were flushed from the reproductive ducts of pregnant females before noon of the third‐day post coitum and frozen in 0.25‐ml straws according to standard procedures of slow cooling. A mixture of permeating (ethylene glycol) and non‐permeating (sucrose) cryoprotectants was used. The thawing was performed by incubating at RT for 40 s followed by 40 s in a water bath at 30.0°C. Most (66.7%) of the non‐frozen four‐cell embryos developed up to the morula stage in rat one‐cell embryo culture medium (R1ECM). The use of hamster embryo culture medium (HECM) yielded fewer morulas (18.2%) during the same 24‐h period of culture. The rate of embryo's surviving the freezing–thawing procedures, as estimated by light microscopy, was 60.7–68.8%. After 24‐h culturing in R1ECM, 64.7% of frozen–thawed four‐cell embryos developed and all of them reached the morula stage. Supplementation of R1ECM with GM‐CSF (2 ng/ml) improved the rate of Djungarian hamster frozen–thawed embryo development: 100% of the four‐cell stage embryos developed, 50% of them achieved the morula stage, and 50% developed even further and reached the blastocyst stage within 24 h of culturing. This study reports the world's first successful transfer of frozen–thawed Djungarian hamster embryos yielding term pups. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrate the possibility of applying some key reproductive technologies, that is, embryo freezing/cryopreservation and in vitro culture, to Djungarian hamsters.
- Derivation of Canine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
- Authors: AEG Baird; T Barsby, DJ Guest
Abstract: Dogs and humans have many inherited genetic diseases in common and conditions that are increasingly prevalent in humans also occur naturally in dogs. The use of dogs for the experimental and clinical testing of stem cell and regenerative medicine products would benefit canine health and welfare and provide relevant animal models for the translation of therapies to the human field. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the capacity to turn into all cells of the body and therefore have the potential to provide cells for therapeutic use and for disease modelling. The objective of this study was to derive and characterize iPSCs from karyotypically abnormal adult canine cells. Aneuploid adipose‐derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AdMSCs) from an adult female Weimeraner were re‐programmed into iPSCs via overexpression of four human pluripotency factors (Oct 4, Sox2, Klf4 and c‐myc) using retroviral vectors. The iPSCs showed similarity to human ESCs with regard to morphology, pluripotency marker expression and the ability to differentiate into derivatives of all three germ layers in vitro (endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm). The iPSCs also demonstrated silencing of the viral transgenes and re‐activation of the silent X chromosome, suggesting full reprogramming had occurred. The levels of aneuploidy observed in the AdMSCs were maintained in the iPSCs. This finding demonstrates the potential for generating canine induced pluripotent stem cells for use as disease models in addition to regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical testing.
- Doppler and Contrast‐Enhanced Ultrasonography of Testicles in Adult
- Abstract: The objective was to characterize the vascular patterns of testicular blood flow of adult cats, measuring the systolic velocity (SV), diastolic velocity (DV), resistance index (RI), gate time (wash‐in) peak enhancement and output time (wash‐out) of the contrast and addition of tissue fill characteristics. Forty‐five adult cats were selected, and the echotexture, echogenicity, size, contours and margins of testicles were assessed via ultrasound. By Doppler were evaluated the blood flow and determined of vascular index in testicular artery (SV, DV and RI) and via contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography determine the time for phases: wash‐in, wash‐out and peak enhancement. Sonographic findings presented normal. Testicular artery was observed in the spermatic cord with tortuous patter and showed monophasic‐patterned waves and low vascular resistance and with systolic peak evident. Values of indices vascular were as follows: SV = 6.73 cm/s, DV = 2.8 cm/s and RI = 0.54 for left testicles; and SV = 6.23 cm/s, DV = 2.77 cm/s and RI = 0.53 for right testicles. Contrast filled the subcapsular vascular structures and after a few seconds, a homogeneous moderate enhancement of the parenchyma, with parenchymal vessels still distinguishable and after the peak phase, a rapid homogeneous decrease in echogenicity. Values of time for contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography were as follows: wash‐in = 8.78 s, peak enhancement = 21.62 s and wash‐out = 75.36 for left testicles; and wash‐in = 10.76 s, peak enhancement = 21.50 s and wash‐out = 81.81 for right testicles. Doppler and contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography of the testicles in healthy adult cats was easily implemented and may provide baseline data for this organ to allow the use of these techniques as a diagnostic tool for evaluating testicular abnormalities in sick cats.
- Evidence of Spontaneous Recovery of Granulosa‐Theca Cell Tumour in a
Heifer: A Retrospective Report
- Abstract: A 14‐month‐old Japanese Black heifer was evaluated on Day 0 (D 0) for enlargement of the right ovary (RO). Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) revealed that the RO was markedly enlarged and multicystic, while the left ovary (LO) was small and inactive. The presumptive diagnosis was granulosa‐theca cell tumour (GTCT), which was confirmed by markedly elevated plasma anti‐Müllerian hormone (AMH) of 4.42 ng/ml. Therefore, ovariectomy of the RO was the treatment of choice. The heifer was checked by TRUS and blood sampling on D 42, D 63 and immediately before ovariectomy on D 85. On D 42, TRUS did not show marked changes in either ovary in comparison with D 0. However, on D 63, the RO had transformed into a single cyst, and on D 85, the LO had resumed cyclic activity. The RO was extracted on D 85 by hand‐assisted laparoscopic ovariectomy to allow better control. Unexpectedly, histopathology revealed the lesion to be a fluid‐filled cystic structure, with no neoplastic proliferation of follicular epithelium that would indicate GTCT. The wall of the cystic structure consisted of collagen fibres and a few degenerated granulosa cells. The retrospective hormonal analysis revealed that the AMH concentrations had markedly dropped on D 63 and 85, which coincided with resumption of cyclicity in the LO. These findings suggest that the GTCT had self‐cured and transformed into a cyst‐like structure. The heifer then received an oestrous synchronization regime on D 105, was artificially inseminated on D 115 and became pregnant.
- Application of an ELISA Milk Pregnancy Test in Beef Cows
- Authors: JN Roberts; TM Byrem, DL Grooms
Abstract: Pregnancy‐associated glycoproteins (PAG) are secreted by the binucleate giant cells of the ruminant placenta and enter maternal circulation at the time of placental attachment. The IDEXX Milk Pregnancy Test (IDEXX, Westbrook, ME) detects a subset of PAG in milk. Although designed as a management tool for dairy cows, there is potential for using the milk PAG test in beef cows. Our objective was to compare the performance of the milk PAG ELISA with a gold standard method for pregnancy diagnosis and determine the agreement between milk and serum PAG analysis in lactating beef cows. Angus and Angus‐crossed cows (n = 332) from two Michigan beef herds were enrolled in this study. Cows were subjected either to timed artificial insemination followed by exposure to a bull or exclusively exposed to a bull. The bulls and cows were separated 30 days prior to examination. Serum and milk samples were collected and submitted within 24 h of collection to a commercial laboratory for PAG analysis using the IDEXX Milk Pregnancy Assay (milk) and the IDEXX Bovine Pregnancy Assay (serum). Concurrently with milk and serum collection, each cow was examined transrectally by palpation or ultrasonography. When compared to transrectal examination, the performance (and 95% confidence intervals) of the milk PAG ELISA was sensitivity of 99.7% (99.0–100.0%) and specificity of 80.8% (65.6–95.9%). The lower specificity is likely due to the low prevalence (9.9%) of open cows (n = 30) in the herds examined. Of the 332 cows examined, 1.8% (n = 6) were classified as rechecks using the milk PAG ELISA. Results of the milk and serum PAG ELISA were in high agreement (kappa coefficient = 0.91). The milk PAG ELISA was accurate in predicting pregnancy status using milk collected from beef cattle between days 37 and 125 post‐insemination and may be useful for aiding management decisions in beef herds.
- Endogenous Progesterone Concentrations Affect Progesterone Release from
Intravaginal Devices Used for Oestrous Synchronization in Cattle
- Authors: HL Neri; MP Palhao, DS Costa, JHM Viana, CAC Fernandes
Abstract: Intravaginal progesterone‐releasing devices are largely used both as contraceptives in humans and as a component of oestrous synchronization protocols in cattle. To reduce costs in large‐scale timed artificial insemination, the reuse of these releasing devices is common. Passive hormone diffusion, however, depends on the concentration gradient, which could affect the amount of residual progesterone present in these devices after a first use. To evaluate the effect of the presence of a corpus luteum in the release of progesterone from intravaginal devices, three synchronization protocols were designed to simulate the effects of inserting the device in the early dioestrus, late dioestrus or anoestrus. Holstein‐Zebu cross‐bred heifers were randomly allocated into one of these three treatments, and a series of blood samples was taken to evaluate the plasma progesterone concentrations. After 8 days, the intravaginal devices were removed and underwent a previously validated alcoholic extraction technique to measure the residual progesterone. Non‐used devices were used as controls. As expected, the simultaneous presence of the intravaginal device and a corpus luteum resulted in increased plasma progesterone concentrations. Conversely, the amount of residual progesterone in the devices after use was inversely proportional to the plasma progesterone concentration. These results demonstrate that the release rate of progesterone from intravaginal devices is affected by the endogenous concentration of this hormone; consequently, the strategy for reuse should account for the category and expected luteal cyclic activity of the animals undergoing synchronization protocols.
- Involvement of PAPP‐A and IGFR1 in Cystic Ovarian Disease in Cattle
- Abstract: Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is one of the main causes of infertility in dairy cattle. It has been shown that intra‐ovarian factors, such as members of the insulin‐like growth factor (IGF) system, may contribute to follicular persistence. The bioavailability of IGF to initiate its response by binding to specific receptors (IGFRs) depends on interactions with related compounds, such as pregnancy‐associated plasma protein A (PAPP‐A). The aim of this study was to determine IGFR1 and PAPP‐A expression both in follicles at different stages of development and in cysts, to evaluate the roles in the etiopathogenesis of COD in cattle. The mRNA expression of PAPP‐A was higher in granulosa cells of large tertiary follicles than in cysts, whereas the protein PAPP‐A present in the follicular fluid from these follicles showed no differences. Although no PAPP‐A mRNA expression was detected in smaller tertiary follicles, in their follicular fluid, this protease was detected in lesser concentration than in cysts. The mRNA expression of IGFR1 was lower in granulosa cells from cystic follicles than in those from tertiary ones. However, the protein expression of this receptor presented the highest levels in cystic structures, probably to increase the possibility of IGF response. The data obtained would indicate that animals with COD have an altered regulation of the IGF system in the ovary, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease in cattle.
- Cleaved PARP‐1, an Apoptotic Marker, can be Detected in Ram
- Abstract: The presence of apoptotic features in spermatozoa has been related to lower quality and functional impairment. Members of the poly‐ADP‐ribose polymerases (PARP) familyare involved in both DNA repair and apoptosis, playing important roles in spermatogenesis. Poly‐ADP‐ribose polymerase can be cleaved by caspases, and the presence of its cleavage product (cPARP) in spermatozoa has been related to chromatin remodelling during spermatogenesis and to the activation of apoptotic pathways. There are no reports on immunodetection of cPARP in ram spermatozoa; thus, we have tested a commercially available antibody for this purpose. cPARP was microscopically detected in the acrosomal ridge of some spermatozoa (indirect immunofluorescence). A preliminary study was carried out by flow cytometry (direct immunofluorescence, FITC). Ram semen was extended in TALP and incubated for 4 h with apoptosis inducers staurosporine (10 μm) or betulinic acid (200 μm). Both inducers and incubation caused a significant increase in cPARP spermatozoa (0 h, control: 21.4±3.3%, inducers: 44.3±1.4%; 4 h, control: 44.3±2.4%, inducers: 53.3±1.4%). In a second experiment, we compared the sperm fractions after density gradient separation (pellet and interface). The pellet yielded a slightly lower proportion of cPARP spermatozoa (28.5±1.2% vs 36.2±2.0% in the interface; p
- The Impact of Reproductive Technologies on Stallion Mitochondrial Function
- Abstract: The traditional assessment of stallion sperm comprises evaluation of sperm motility and membrane integrity and identification of abnormal morphology of the spermatozoa. More recently, the progressive introduction of flow cytometry is increasing the number of tests available. However, compared with other sperm structures and functions, the evaluation of mitochondria has received less attention in stallion andrology. Recent research indicates that sperm mitochondria are key structures in sperm function suffering major changes during biotechnological procedures such as cryopreservation. In this paper, mitochondrial structure and function will be reviewed in the stallion, when possible specific stallion studies will be discussed, and general findings on mammalian mitochondrial function will be argued when relevant. Especial emphasis will be put on their role as source of reactive oxygen species and in their role regulating sperm lifespan, a possible target to investigate with the aim to improve the quality of frozen–thawed stallion sperm. Later on, the impact of current sperm technologies, principally cryopreservation, on mitochondrial function will be discussed pointing out novel areas of research interest with high potential to improve current sperm technologies.
- Expression of miRNAs in Bull Spermatozoa Correlates with Fertility Rates
- Abstract: Bull spermatozoa are rich in active miRNAs, and it has been shown that specific spermborne miRNAs can be linked to fertility. Thus, expression profiling of spermatozoa could be helpful for understanding male fertility and the ability of spermatozoa to initiate and sustain zygotic, embryonic and foetal development. Herein we hypothesized that bulls with moderate to high fertility can be identified by differences in amounts of certain miRNAs between their ejaculates. RNA samples from spermatozoa of eight brother pairs (one bull with high and one with moderate NRR in each pair) of the Holstein breed were prepared. miRNA was isolated, and the expression of 178 miRNAs was determined by RT‐qPCR. Important findings were that highly expressed miRNAs, not linked to NRR status, were identified in the bull sperm samples, which indicate that these miRNAs have an important role in early embryogenesis. A large fraction of the targets genes were phosphoproteins and genes involved in the regulation of transcription. Seven miRNAs (mir‐502‐5p, mir‐1249, mir‐320a, mir‐34c‐3p, mir‐19b‐3p, mir‐27a‐5p and mir‐148b‐3p) were differentially expressed between bulls with moderate and high NRR with a strong tendency towards a higher expression of miRNAs in bulls with moderate fertility. Thus, bulls with a moderate NRR negatively regulate the expression of protein‐coding genes, which leads to problems during the pregnancy.
- The Effect of Seasonal Thermal Stress on Lipid Mobilisation, Antioxidant
Status and Reproductive Performance in Dairy Cows
- Abstract: Heat stress is a major factor contributing to low fertility of dairy cows with a great economic impact in dairy industry. Heat‐stressed dairy cows usually have reduced nutrient intake, resulting in a higher degree of negative energy balance (NEB). The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal thermal effect on lipid metabolism, antioxidant activity and reproductive performance in dairy cows. Thirty‐two healthy dairy heifers were included in the study. According to the ambient temperature, animals were divided into two groups: winter (N = 14) and summer season (N = 18). Metabolic parameters, paraoxonase‐1 (PON1) activity and total antioxidant status (TAS) were monitored at the time of insemination (basal values) and from 1 week before until 8 weeks after calving. Number of services per conception and calving‐to‐conception (CC) interval were calculated from the farm recording data. Serum triglyceride, non‐esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and beta‐hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations were significantly increased after calving in summer compared to winter, indicating higher degree of NEB in cows during summer. PON1 activity was significantly decreased after calving in both summer and winter group. TAS concentration was significantly lower in summer than that in winter. A significantly higher number of services were needed for conception in summer compared to winter, and CC interval was significantly longer in summer than that in winter as well. Additionally, reproductive performance significantly correlated with the severity of NEB, suggesting that lipid mobilization and lower antioxidant status contributed to poor reproduction ability in dairy cows during hot months.
- Comparative Development of Embryonic Age by Organogenesis in Domestic Dogs
- Abstract: The precise determination of the embryonic chronology is very important in reproductive biotechnologies, especially in estimating embryonic age. Thus, there is a need for greater knowledge and standardization for determining the chronology of embryonic development and functional morphology. We describe aspects of embryonic development in two domestic carnivores to add knowledge about organ peculiarities and for application in veterinary practice, in prenatal development and in the biotechnology fields. We found that the development of differential characteristics of embryonic organs occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy for both species. Thus, using the combination of the crown‐rump length, macroscopic analysis and optical microscopy, it is possible to predict gestational age more precisely in animals that lack a defined breed and establish an embryonic pattern.
- Relationships among Puberty, Muscle and Fat, and Liveweight Gain during
Mating in Young Female Sheep
- Authors: CA Rosales Nieto; MB Ferguson, H Thompson, JR Briegel, CA Macleay, GB Martin, AN Thompson
Abstract: Greater depths of muscle are associated with better reproductive performance in ewe lambs, but, in adult ewes, reproductive performance also seems to vary with liveweight gain during the mating period. Therefore, in a large field study with Merino ewe lambs, we tested whether the relationships among eye muscle depth (EMD), fat depth (FAT) and reproductive performance depend on liveweight gain during the mating period. We selected lambs with a wide range in phenotypic values for depths of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT) and assigned them to dietary treatments designed to achieve low (LOW, n = 244) or high (HIGH, n = 237) rates of liveweight gain during a 28‐day mating period. The LOW treatment maintained live weight, whereas the HIGH treatment gained 179 ± 3.8 g/day (p
- Immunolocalization of Aquaporins 1 and 9 in the Ram Efferent Ducts and
- Authors: BC Schimming; PFF Pinheiro, R Matteis, CM Machado, RF Domeniconi
Abstract: Aquaporins (AQPs) are essential membrane protein channels for the transport of water across membranes. Fluid movement in the epididymis is important for modulation of the luminal environment, in which sperm mature and reside. This study was designed to understand the morphology and localization of AQPs in ram efferent ducts (ED) and epididymis. For this purpose, the epididymis of seven animals were removed for histologic and immunohistochemical analyses. AQP1 immunoreactivity was observed in the apex of the ED, and AQP9 was found adjacent to the nuclei of the epithelial cells of the ED. The epithelial lining of ram epididymis is pseudostratified columnar and presents principal, basal, apical and narrow cells. In the initial segment (IS), a moderate reaction for AQP1 was observed in the apical cytoplasm of epithelial cells. An intense reactivity for AQP1 was noted over the microvilli of principal cells and in spermatozoa in the caput. In the corpus and cauda, AQP1 was noted only over the endothelial cells of vascular channels located in intertubular spaces. A weak‐to‐moderate reaction for AQP9 was observed in the nuclei of epithelial cells in the IS, caput and corpus of the epididymis. In the cauda, an intense reaction to AQP9 was observed in the epithelial border. In the IS, caput and corpus, the reactivity for AQP9 differed from those observed in domestic animals. The cauda showed a pattern similar to that previously described. These results indicate that AQPs 1 and 9 have reversed locations and roles in rams, suggesting activity variations related with fluid and solute absorption throughout the epididymis.
- Effect of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Boar Semen Quality After
Long‐term Refrigeration at 17°C
- Authors: SMP Teixeira; A Chaveiro, F Moreira da Silva
Abstract: In this study, the effect of conjugated linoleic acid (10 trans, 12 cis) (CLA) on refrigerated boar sperm quality parameters up to 14 days at 17°C was assessed. Semen was extended in Androhep and divided into four treatments supplemented with CLA (25, 50, 100 and 200 μm) and control group, then kept for 2 h at 22°C. Afterwards an aliquot of each treatment was removed, and mitochondrial activity, viability, lipid membrane peroxidation (LPO) and stability of the sperm plasma membrane were assessed by flow cytometry. The remaining extended semen was maintained at 17°C until 336 h, repeating the same analysis every 48 h. Regarding percentage of live spermatozoa, no statistical differences were observed among treatments up to 96 h. After this time, viability decreased significantly (p
- Management Strategies Aiming to Improve Horse Welfare Reduce Embryonic
Death Rates in Mares
- Authors: E Malschitzky; AM Pimentel, P Garbade, MIM Jobim, RM Gregory, RC Mattos
Abstract: The objective of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effect of management strategies aiming to improve animal well‐being on pregnancy and embryonic death (ED) rates. Breeding records of a cohort of 1206 Thoroughbred mares brought to a stallion station facility, to be bred with the stallions housed there, were evaluated during ten breeding seasons. Mares were blocked according to management strategies in two groups: Stress and Relax. Strategies used to improve animal well‐being (Relax group) were as follows: stopping the teasing routine, reducing or eliminating stall confinement, reducing the number of mares per group and maintaining herd stability during the breeding season. In barren mares, the pregnancy rate was higher in the Relax group (91.8%) when compared to the observed in Stress group (84.7%). However, no difference in pregnancy rates were observed (Stress = 85.2% vs. Relax = 86.2) in foaling mares. ED rate was higher in barren and foaling mares of the Stress group mares (25.5% and 26.8%, respectively) compared with the Relax group (16.1% and 14.7%, respectively). No significant differences were observed on foal heat pregnancy rate between groups; yet, the embryo loss on foal heat was significant reduced in Relax mares (Relax = 8.7% vs Stress = 24.5%). In conclusion, management strategies aimed to reduce social stress can reduce early pregnancy losses and the average cycles per pregnancy, improving reproductive performance in mares.
- Rotation of Boar Semen Doses During Storage Affects Sperm Quality
- Abstract: It is common practice to rotate boar semen doses during storage for prevention of sperm sedimentation. In this study, the effect of rotation of boar semen doses during storage on sperm quality was investigated. Manual turning twice daily and automatic rotation five times per hour resulted in the following effects: alkalinization of the BTS‐extender, loss of membrane integrity at day 3, and loss of motility and changes in sperm kinematics during a thermoresistance test at day 5. Using a pH‐stabilized variant of BTS extender, sperm motility and velocity decreased in continuously rotated samples, whereas membrane integrity and mitochondrial activity remain unaffected. It is concluded that rotation of semen samples adversely affects sperm quality and, therefore, should no longer be recommended for AI practice.
- Colour Doppler Ultrasonography as a Tool to Assess Luteal Function in
Santa Inês Ewes
- Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate luteal dynamics in the Santa Inês ewes using colour Doppler (CD) ultrasonography. Oestrus was synchronized in nulliparous females (n = 18), and subsequently, they were only teased (n = 6) or teased and mated (n = 12). Blood samples were collected daily for plasma progesterone (P4) concentrations. Ultrasonographic images of corpora lutea (CL) in CD mode were obtained for further analysis in its largest diameter. The CD mode allowed an early sequential monitoring of CL that was visualized by the first time 0.77 ± 0.62 days after ovulation, with luteal area 29.68 ± 13.21 mm2. During the luteogenesis, a progressive increase was observed, followed by a plateau of luteal area, vascularization area and plasma concentrations of P4 reaching maximum values in D11 (124.0 ± 38.0 mm2, 52.78 ± 24.08 mm2 and 11.23 ± 4.89 ng/ml, respectively). In the luteolysis, the plasma concentrations of P4 decreased sharply, whereas luteal and vascularization area gradually. The vascularization area was positively correlated with plasma concentrations of P4 during the luteogenesis (r = 0.22) and luteolysis (r = 0.48). The luteal dynamics of Santa Inês ewes showed patterns similar to those observed in other sheep breeds studied. The CD ultrasonography has the potential to be used as a tool to assess luteal function in sheep.
- Effect of Sildenafil on Pre‐Eclampsia‐Like Mouse Model Induced
- Authors: C Motta; C Grosso, C Zanuzzi, D Molinero, N Picco, R Bellingeri, F Alustiza, C Barbeito, A Vivas, MC Romanini
Abstract: N(omega)‐nitro‐L‐arginine methyl ester (L‐NAME) decreases the vasodilator effect of nitric oxide (NO) and induces pre‐eclampsia in mouse. Sildenafil inhibits the degradation of nitric oxide and increases vasodilation. This study aimed to determine the effects of sildenafil citrate on angiogenesis and oxidative stress at the maternal foetal interface on pre‐eclampsia‐like mouse model induced by L‐NAME. Twenty pregnant mice were divided into four groups: (i) vehicle control; (ii) L‐NAME; (iii) sildenafil; (4) L‐NAME+sildenafil. L‐NAME was administered from day 7 of pregnancy and sildenafil from day 8 until day 16; animals were euthanized on day 17. Placental and foetal sizes and weights were measured; lipid peroxide levels and catalase activity in placental homogenates were determined, and placental vascular endothelia were identified by lectin‐histochemistry using BSA‐I lectin. Western blot analysis was used to determine VEGF expression in placental homogenates. No changes were seen in placental and foetal development in mice with normal pregnancies treated with sildenafil. Treatments with L‐NAME reduced significantly the placental weight and average height and decreased the percentage of the endothelial surface. These alterations may be mediated by the reduction of NO levels in trophoblastic cells, due to the inhibitory effect of L‐NAME on nitric oxide synthase (NOS) synthesis. This effect was offset by the treatment with sildenafil, with an increase in the percentage of the endothelial surface. In conclusion, our results indicate that treatment with sildenafil on pre‐eclampsia mouse model can be used without adverse effects on the concept and its use in the treatment of pre‐eclampsia is promising.
- The Effect of Sperm Concentration and Storage Vessel on
Quercetin‐Supplemented Rabbit Semen During Chilled Storage
- Authors: D Johinke; SP Graaf, R Bathgate
Abstract: Extending the shelf life of chilled rabbit spermatozoa is vital for the expansion of the farmed rabbit industry. This study evaluated the relationship between sperm concentration and packaging on in vitro quality of chilled rabbit semen over 96 h. Semen was collected from adult bucks (n = 4) and pooled at 37°C following evaluation. Pooled ejaculates were diluted with a Tris‐based extender supplemented with 100 μm quercetin to a concentration of 15, 30 or 60 × 106 spermatozoa/ml, packaged into plastic tubes or 0.5‐ml straws and stored at 15°C. Sperm quality was assessed by computer‐assisted sperm Analysis [total motility (tMOT)] and flow cytometry [viability, acrosome integrity, H2O2 production, plasma membrane disorder, apoptosis and DNA fragmentation index (DFI)] at 0, 48, 72 and 96 h. From 48 h, concentrations of 30 and 60 × 106 spermatozoa/ml reported the highest tMOT, irrespective of storage vessel (p
- Is the Production of Embryos in Small‐Scale Farming an Economically
- Abstract: The present assay attempts to evaluate the feasibility of using embryo transfer in small community farmers by in vivo study and by modelling the results obtained. From the total of 59 donor cows, 62.7% responded to treatment, with a significant difference (p = 0.002) in the percentage of the response between breeds, being 90.5% (19/21) in Holstein and 47.4% (18/38) in Brahman. A total of 283 embryos were graded as transferable, while 141 as non‐transferable, without difference in the percentage of transferable embryo by breed (p = 0.18). The mean of transferable embryos graded as class I and II was not different between Holstein and Brahman (p = 0.96 and p = 0.92, respectively); besides, no differences were observed in the other grades (non‐transferable). The highest difference in costs, regardless of its quality by breed, was seen in the lower levels of probable fertility of the embryo transferred, even reaching several hundred dollars. When modelling the expected costs for embryo produced and transferred, values can reach nearly $2000.00 when the probable fertility is only 10%. However, when the probable fertility was 60%, embryo cost was close to $300.00. This technology seems to be viable on average or high‐scale systems, having a superovulatory response between 60 and 80% with 4–6 transferrable embryos. Yet, in small‐scale farming, due to the reduced number of donors and/or recipients, the costs surpass the economical feasibility of the technique.
- Influence of Macrophages on the Rooster Spermatozoa Quality
- Authors: L Kuzelova; J Vasicek, P Chrenek
Abstract: The goal of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of macrophages in rooster semen and to investigate their impact on the spermatozoa quality. Ross 308 breeder males (n = 30) with no evidence of genital tract infections were used to determine the concentration of macrophages using fluorescently conjugated acetylated low‐density lipoprotein (AcLDL). Subsequently, the roosters were divided into two groups on the basis of semen macrophage concentration, and semen quality was compared in two heterospermic samples. We applied computer‐assisted semen analysis (CASA) system to determine motility parameters. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry were used to evaluate occurrence of apoptotic and dead spermatozoa. Spermatozoa fertility potential was examined after intravaginal artificial insemination of hens. Eighteen roosters (control group) contained 0.2–3% of macrophages within spermatozoa population and ten roosters (macrophage group) had 10–15% of macrophages. Males from macrophage group had lower (p
- Cryopreservation of Piau‐Breed Wild Boar Sperm: Assessment of
Cooling Curves and Centrifugation Regimes
- Abstract: This study aimed to assess the effects of different cooling curves and centrifugation regimes used in cryopreservation protocols on the post‐thaw viability of Piau‐breed wild boar (Sus scrofa) sperm using in vitro assessment tests. Two centrifugations (800 g for 10 min and 2400 g for 3 min) and two cooling curves (conventional cooling using nitrogen vapour – freezing 1 and automated cooling using a programmed freezing machine – freezing 2) were tested. Therefore, the treatments were divided into M3 – centrifugation at 2400 g for 3 min and freezing 2; M10 – centrifugation at 800 g for 10 min and freezing 2; R3 – centrifugation at 2400 g for 3 min and freezing 1; and R10 – centrifugation at 800 g for 10 min and freezing 1. No significant differences (p > 0.05) between treatments occurred post‐thawing regarding the total sperm motility means recorded. The mean values of the different treatments were not different from each other regarding the supravital staining (SV), hypo‐osmotic test (HO), sperm–egg binding assay or sperm morphology. This study showed that both the cooling curve and the centrifugation regime affected the quality of post‐thaw sperm, and centrifugation for shorter times and cooling curves using automated cooling are the most suitable for minimizing sperm injury.
- Activation of the Albino Sterlet Acipenser ruthenus Eggs by
UV‐Irradiated Bester Hybrid Spermatozoa to Provide Gynogenetic
- Abstract: Meiotic gynogenesis was induced in the albino form of sterlet Acipenser ruthenus by activation of eggs with UV‐irradiated bester (Huso huso x Acipenser ruthenus) spermatozoa followed by inhibition of the second meiotic division performed by a heat shock. Obtained putative gynogenetic progeny were all albinos. The genetic verification based on three microsatellite DNA markers confirmed the only maternal inheritance of the progeny from the gynogenetic experimental groups. Cytogenetic analysis proved the gynogenetic sterlets were diploids. Application of the albino phenotype together with the molecular and the cytogenetic diagnostic approaches enabled to evaluate the efficiency of the spermatozoa irradiation and application of the heat shock to restore diploid state in the gynogenetic zygotes.
- Monitoring the Foetal Phase of Gestation in the Queen With a
12.5‐MHz Ultrasound Probe and Prediction of the Parturition by
Combining the Measurements of Head and Abdominal Diameters
- Authors: E Topie; D Bencharif, L Briand, D Tainturier
Abstract: Ten gestations in six domestic shorthair cats (Europeans) were monitored daily during the foetal phase of gestation, from the 28th day after the first mating until parturition, using ultrasound with a 12.5‐MHz probe. The development of the various organs over this period was recorded. The diameters of the head (HD) and abdomen (AD) were measured. Skeletal calcification visible on ultrasound occurred in a defined order between the 34th and 40th day of gestation. During the last 30 days of gestation, there was a significant correlation between HD and days before parturition (DBP) (r2 = 0.99) and between AD and DBP (r2 = 0.98). The following equations were obtained: DBP = −2.10*HD (mm) + 50.74; DBP = −1.01*AD (mm) + 42.19. The confidence intervals were stable over the last 30 days of gestation. For the HD, the confidence interval was ±1 day in 53% of cases and ±2 days in 85% of cases. For the AD, the confidence interval was ±1 day in 45% of cases and ±2 days in 77% of cases. A table obtained by combining the HD and AD measurements made it possible to estimate the date of parturition within 2 days with a reliability of over 85%.
- A Pilot Study to Compare Oxidative Status between Organically and
Conventionally Managed Dairy Cattle During the Transition Period
- Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the redox balance of organically managed dairy cattle (OMC; n = 40) during the transition period and to compare this with conventionally managed cattle (CMC; n = 22). Serum samples of dairy cows from two organic and one conventional farm were taken. Markers of oxidants production [reactive oxygen species] and total serum antioxidant capacity were measured in four different production stages: (i) far‐off dry (2 to 1 months before calving; 44 samples in CMC and 48 in OMC); (ii) close‐up dry (1 month until 3 days before calving; 44 CMC; 54 OMC); (iii) fresh (3 days to +1 month after calving; 44 CMC; 49 OMC); and (iv) peak of lactation (+1 to +3 months; 71 CMC; 78 OMC). Values were compared between production stages and against a metabolic baseline status (4th–5th month of pregnancy; 40 CMC; 30 OMC). Our results indicated that throughout the periparturient period, OMC had lower concentrations of reactive oxygen species, but also a lower antioxidant capacity than CMC. Indeed, when the two components of the redox balance were assessed together through the Oxidative Stress index, the values of this parameter were higher for OMC than for CMC, thereby implying a higher risk of oxidative stress. Therefore, further larger studies are needed to confirm the current observations, as organically reared animals might be exposed to a lack of antioxidants supply.
- Pages: 704 - 704
- Neuroendocrine, Metabolic and Genomic Cues Signalling the Onset of Puberty
- Abstract: Puberty is the result of a dynamic interaction between genetic factors and environmental cues, all of which lead to the attainment of reproductive capacity. Thus, significant changes in hormone secretion occur from the pre‐pubertal to the pubertal stage. The objective of this review is to provide an update of some endocrine, physiological, metabolic and genetic concepts involved in the establishment of the hypothalamic‐hypophyseal‐gonadal axis function promoting the onset of the reproductive function during puberty. To achieve this purpose, basic aspects of the function of the hypothalamic‐hypophyseal‐gonadal axis, the control of the axis by neurotransmitters and the interaction between reproductive function and metabolic status will be considered. Finally, the role of the novel kisspeptin system and the GPR54 receptor as modulators of puberty will be considered, in addition to the hierarchical expression of the main genes acting as regulators of the onset of puberty.
- Comparison of Two Different Programmes of Ovulation Synchronization in the
Treatment of Ovarian Cysts in Dairy Cows
- Authors: N Gundling; S Drews, M Hoedemaker
Abstract: It was the aim of this field study to evaluate two different protocols of ovulation synchronization for the treatment of ovarian cysts and their effect on reproductive performance in dairy cows. In addition, factors with a possible influence on treatment success and pregnancy outcome as well as costs per pregnancy were analysed. The study was performed with 130 German Holsteins with ovarian cysts diagnosed on days 55 to 60 postpartum. Cows belonging to group 1 (n = 65) received a modified ovsynch protocol [day 0: 0.15 mg cloprostenol (PGF) + 0.02 mg buserelin acetate (GnRH); day 14: PGF; day 16: GnRH]. Group 2 (n = 65) was treated with the conventional ovsynch protocol (day 0: GnRH; day 7: PGF; day 9: GnRH). Timed artificial insemination was performed 20 to 24 h later. Cows without ovarian cysts served as controls. Treatment success (disappearance of the ovarian cyst) after the first ovsynch cycle was higher in group 1 (66.2%) than in group 2 (23.1%, p
- Luteal Characteristics and Progesterone Production on Day 5 of the Bovine
- Authors: MP Green; GE Mann, MG Hunter
Abstract: In this study we have examined luteal function in non‐lactating and late lactation dairy cows on day 5 of the cycle, during the period of the post‐ovulatory progesterone rise. Comparison of luteal progesterone content and in vitro synthetic capacity with circulating plasma progesterone demonstrated that circulating progesterone concentration is a function of total luteal activity rather than the activity of individual units of tissue. Incubation of luteal tissue in vitro demonstrated stimulatory activity of LH and IGF‐I, and to a greater degree IGF‐II, on luteal progesterone synthesis. Finally the study showed no effect of double ovulation on luteal function. Occurrence of double ovulation in 35% of animals was not associated with any difference in luteal function or plasma progesterone concentrations.
- Effect of Time for Mating and Gestation Length on Reproductive Efficiency
- Authors: Y Shimatsu; H Yuzawa, K Aruga, M. Nakura
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of time for mating and gestation length on reproductive efficiency in dogs. Groups of eight, six and six beagle bitches were mated with a total of three sires on days 3, 5 and 7, respectively, after the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. All the bitches whelped successfully. The gestation lengths (the intervals from the LH surge to the whelping) were 65.1 ± 1.9, 65.5 ± 1.9 and 68.0 ± 1.8 days, respectively. This length of mating 7 days after the LH surge was significantly longer than that of mating 3 and 5 days after the LH surge (p
- Successful Low Dose Insemination of Flow Cytometrically Sorted Ram
Spermatozoa in Sheep
- Authors: SP De Graaf; G Evans, WMC Maxwell, JA Downing, JK O'Brien
Abstract: The fertility of ram spermatozoa that had undergone flow cytometric sorting (MoFlo® SX) and cryopreservation was assessed after low‐dose insemination of synchronized Merino ewes. Oestrus was synchronized with progestagen‐impregnated pessaries, PMSG and GnRH treatment. Ewes (n = 360) were inseminated with 1 × 106, 5 × 106 or 15 × 106 motile sorted frozen‐thawed (S1, S5, or S15 respectively) or non‐sorted frozen‐thawed (C1, C5 or C15 respectively) spermatozoa from three rams. An additional group of ewes were inseminated with 50 × 106 motile non‐sorted frozen‐thawed spermatozoa (C50) to provide a commercial dose control. The percentage of ewes lambing after insemination was similar for C50 (24/38, 63.2%), C15 (37/54, 68.5%), S15 (38/57, 66.7%), S5 (37/56, 66.1%) and S1 (32/52, 61.5%) groups (p > 0.05), but lower for C5 (19/48, 39.6%) and C1 (19/55, 34.5%) treatments (p
- Bovine Endothelial Cells Interact with Fully‐luteinized, but Not
Luteinizing, Granulosa Cells in the mRNA Expression of Endothelin‐1
System in Response to Prostaglandin F2α
- Authors: K Shirasuna; S Watanabe, D Yamamoto, M Hayashi, K Nagai, A Miyamoto
Abstract: The corpus luteum (CL) undergoes regression by prostaglandin (PG)F2α from uterus and endothelin‐1 (ET‐1) plays an important role during luteolysis as a local mediator of PGF2α in the cow. Endothelial cells (EC) and luteal cells are main cell types making up the CL and their interactions are vital for CL function. We aimed to examine the relevance of interactions between EC and luteal cells on stimulation of genes which involved ET‐1 synthesis by PGF2α. We further focused the impact of maturity of luteal cells on the stimulation of the genes. To make a microenvironment which resembles the CL, we used bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) and luteinizing or fully‐luteinized granulosa cells (GC) and evaluated the effect of PGF2α on the expression for mRNA of ET‐1 system by using real‐time RT‐PCR. PGF2α stimulated the expression of preproET‐1 and endothelin converting enzyme‐1 mRNA only in the co‐cultures of BAEC with fully‐luteinized GC, but not with luteinizing GC. The data suggest that interactions between BAEC and fully‐luteinized GC enhance the capability of BAEC to produce ET‐1 in response to PGF2α. This mechanism may contribute to the local induction of luteolytic action of PGF2α which is dependent on the age/maturation of the CL.
- Ovum Pick‐up in Dairy Heifers: Does it Affect Animal
- Abstract: The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the ovum pick‐up (OPU) technique on animal well‐being. Eight dairy heifers were subjected to 4 months of twice‐weekly OPU. The physiological response to OPU was recorded in four heifers at two sessions, at the beginning (time 1) and at the end (time 2) of the 4‐month period. Heart rates were measured and blood was analysed for cortisol, vasopressin and PG‐metabolite before, during (every 5 and 2 min), and after the OPU sessions. Reactions to each subprocedure of OPU (‘restraint’, ‘epidural’, ‘device in’ and ‘puncture’) were closely observed. In all heifers, reactions to the OPU procedures were also noted throughout the experimental period, and changes in routine behaviour, oestrous behaviour, body temperature, or other clinical traits were recorded. Subsequent to the experiment, the ovaries and tails were carefully inspected. At time 1, there was an insignificant increase in heart rate and cortisol throughout the OPU procedure. At time 2, these two parameters increased significantly, but both parameters declined to pre‐OPU levels 10 min after completion of the procedure. No significant changes were seen in vasopressin or PG‐metabolite at time 1 and time 2. Behaviourally, the heifers showed the strongest response to epidural anaesthesia, with a tendency for more intense response during the late 4‐month sessions. The response to ‘device in’ and ‘puncture’ varied among individuals independently of time. There were no changes in the routine or oestrous behaviour throughout the experiment and no signs of clinical disorders. No major pathological changes were macroscopically seen in the ovaries and tails subsequent to the 4 months of OPU. In conclusion, the heifers showed a response to OPU, mostly to administration of epidural anaesthesia. However, we demonstrated that epidural anaesthesia can be administered in a way causing less discomfort.
- Infertility in a Dog due to Proximal Cytoplasmic Droplets in the
Ejaculate: Investigation of the Significance for Sperm Functionality In
- Abstract: A 4‐year‐old Basque Shepherd male dog was presented for breeding soundness evaluation after the dog failed to impregnate the three bitches he had mated. Clinical examination showed no anomaly of the reproductive system. Semen evaluation showed normal sperm count (640 × 106), 80% had progressively motile spermatozoa, and 96% had morphologically abnormal sperm of which 84% had proximal cytoplasmic droplet and 12% had proximal droplet plus other anomaly. A zona pellucida‐binding assay, using canine oocytes derived from frozen‐thawed ovaries, was performed in order to investigate the zona‐binding ability of dog spermatozoa with proximal cytoplasmic droplets. For the zona pellucida‐binding assay, ovaries were thawed and minced in phosphate‐buffered saline + 0.4% bovine serum albumin, the oocytes recovered were divided into two groups of 35–40 oocytes to be, respectively, used with the infertile dog and with a control fertile dog. Spermatozoa were capacitated in Canine Capacitating Medium (CCM) at 38.5°C and 5% CO2 in air for 2 h before oocyte insemination. Groups of five to six oocytes placed in 45 μl droplets of CCM were incubated for 1 h. Afterwards, 5 μl of CCM containing 25 000 spermatozoa were added to each droplet and co‐incubated for 2 h before fixation and evaluation of the complexes. After oocyte insemination, sperm motility and viability were evaluated: the sample from the infertile dog had 85% sperm motility with fast and linear progressive movement, and sperm viability of 92%. The sample from the control dog showed 40% sperm motility with fast and highly curvilinear and erratic movement, high degree of sperm agglutination and sperm viability of 32%. For the infertile dog the mean number of bound spermatozoa/oocyte was 0.33 whereas for the control dog it was 1.80. It was concluded that dog sperm with proximal cytoplasmic droplets seem to lack normal capacitating ability in vitro, and consequently, they may have reduced capacity to bind to the zona pellucida of canine oocytes.
- Early Detection of Pregnancy and Embryonic Loss in Dairy Cattle by ELISA
- Abstract: Over a 25‐month period 8118 blood samples were assayed for the presence of the serum pregnancy specific‐protein B (PSPB) and progesteron (P4) concentrations on three Hungarian large‐scale dairy farms. Pregnancy (n = 4085) was checked by BioPRYN assay at 30–36 days post‐insemination (PI). Samples from all cows that tested not pregnant and from cows with an optical density (OD) reading in the BioPRYN test that was between 0% and 30% above the cutoff OD value were tested for serum P4 concentration. According to serum P4 concentration, cows were assigned to three categories: high (>4 ng/ml), medium (2–4 ng/ml) and low (
- Distribution of Spermatozoa and Embryos in the Female Reproductive Tract
after Unilateral Deep Intra Uterine Insemination in the Pig
- Authors: P Tummaruk; P Sumransap, M Techakumphu, A Kunavongkrit
Abstract: The present study was performed to investigate the number of either the spermatozoa or the embryos in the reproductive tracts of sows after unilateral, deep, intra uterine insemination (DIUI). Two experiments were conducted, 10 sows were used in experiment I and eight sows were used in experiment II. Transrectal ultrasonography was used to examine the time when ovulation took place in relation to oestrus behaviour. The sows were inseminated with a single dose of diluted fresh semen 6–8 h prior to expected ovulation, during the second oestrus after weaning. In experimental I, five sows were inseminated by a conventional artificial insemination (AI) technique using 100 ml of diluted fresh semen, containing 3000 × 106 motile spermatozoa and five sows were inseminated by the DIUI technique with 5 ml of diluted fresh semen, containing 150 × 106 motile spermatozoa. The sows were anesthetized and ovario‐hysterectomized approximately 24 h after insemination. The oviducts and the uterine horns on each side of the reproductive tracts were divided into seven segments, namely ampulla, cranial isthmus, caudal isthmus, utero‐tubal junction (UTJ), cranial uterine horn, middle uterine horn and caudal uterine horn. Each segment of the reproductive tracts was flushed with Beltsville thawing solution (BTS) through the lumen. The total number of spermatozoa in the flushing from each segment were determined. In experimental II, eight sows were inseminated by the DIUI technique using 5.0 ml diluted fresh semen containing 150 × 106 motile spermatozoa. The sows were anesthetized 61.1 ± 12 h after insemination (48–72 h) and the embryos were flushed from the oviduct through the proximal part of the uterine horn. It was revealed that, in experimental I, the spermatozoa were recovered from both sides of the reproductive tract in the AI‐group, and from unilateral side of the reproductive tract in the DIUI‐group (three sows from the left and two sows from the right sides). The number of spermatozoa recovered from the reproductive tracts was higher in the AI‐ than the DIUI‐group (p