- ‘Post-mortem examination of the reproductive organs of female wild boars
(Sus scrofa) in Sweden’
- Authors: Anna Malmsten; Gunnar Jansson, Anne-Marie Dalin
Abstract: In recent decades, wild boars (Sus scrofa) have increased in numbers and distribution in Europe. Compared to other wild ungulates of similar body size, wild boars have a high reproductive capacity. To increase the knowledge of wild boar reproduction, the objective of this study was to investigate characteristics of reproductive organs, and to provide information on the occurrence of abnormalities in reproductive organs from free-ranging female wild boars. Between December 2011 and December 2015, reproductive organs from female wild boars (>30 kg body weight), were collected during hunting in four Swedish counties at estates where supplementary feeding was applied. The organs were macroscopically examined and measured. The stage of the reproductive cycle was defined according to the ovarian structures and in relation to uterus characteristics. Observed abnormalities were noted. The results from 569 animals that met the requirements to be included in this study showed significant differences in weight and length of the uterus between the various reproductive stages. Sampling region had significant effect on these differences. Abnormalities in the reproductive organs were present in approximately 10% of the examined animals. The prevalence of abnormalities increased significantly with age and was significantly affected by sampling region.
- Chilled and post-thaw storage of sperm in different goldfish types
- Authors: G Bernáth; I Ittzés, Z Szabó, Á Horváth, S Krejszeff, J Lujić, L Várkonyi, B Urbányi, Z Bokor
Abstract: The effective storage time of sperm after stripping (for 48 hr in 6-hr intervals) and after thawing (for 6 hr in 2-hr intervals) in Black moor, Oranda and Calico goldfish types was investigated. Variations in sperm density were also measured in all lines. The efficiency of a sperm cryopreservation method formerly developed for common carp was recorded in all three goldfish lines. Motility parameters ((pMOT, %), curvilinear velocity (VCL, μm/s) and straightness (STR, %)) of Black moor sperm did not decrease significantly during 48 hr of storage. A significant reduction in the Oranda type compared to the fresh control was observed in pMOT after 42 (23 ± 2%) and VCL after 36 (94 ± 12 μm/s) hours (pMOT 84 ± 5%, VCL 150 ± 11 μm/s). In the Calico type, pMOT decreased significantly already after 18 (42 ± 26%) and VCL after 6 (105 ± 8 μm/s) hours (fresh: pMOT 92 ± 5%, VCL 151 ± 6 μm/s). A high pMOT immediately following thawing was measured in Oranda (46 ± 12%) and Calico (55 ± 15%) types, whereas a reduced pMOT was recorded in Black moor (24 ± 19%). In Calico, pMOT showed a significant reduction after 6 hr (19 ± 11%) in comparison with the initial value, with no changes observed in VCL and STR. None of the parameters changed in the Black moor and Oranda types. Evidence was found that different goldfish lines have different sperm quality and characteristics. Further studies can investigate the possible effects of chilled and post-thaw storage on the fertilizing capacity of sperm in the Black moor, Oranda and Calico goldfish types.
- Effect of steroid hormones on the innate immune response induced by
Staphylococcus aureus in the goat mammary gland
- Authors: K Kuwahara; Y Yoshimura, N Isobe
Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare the dynamics of innate immune components after intramammary infusion of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) under conditions of high oestrogen and high progesterone in goats. In one group (“E-group”), controlled internal drug release (CIDR) devices were inserted intravaginally from days −11 to −4. Prostaglandin F2α was administered immediately after removal of the CIDR device at day −3, and then oestradiol benzoate (E) was injected intramuscularly once a day from days −2 to 3. Heat-inactivated SA was then administered via intramammary infusion to the left udder at day 0, whilst only saline was infused to the right udder as a control. In a second group (“P-group”), CIDR devices were inserted intravaginally from days −3 to 7 and SA was infused at day 0 in the same way as in the E-group. The milk yield and the concentration of innate immune components (somatic cell count (SCC), lactoferrin (LF), S100A7 and goat ß-defensin 1 (GBD-1)) in the milk were measured. Milk yield decreased drastically in both SA and control udders in the E-group, whereas the P-group exhibited increased milk yield in both SA and control udders. SCC increased after SA infusion in both E- and P-groups, although it was higher in the E-group than in the P-group. There was no significant change in LF concentration in the E-group, but a decrease was observed in the P-group. Concentrations of S100A and GBD-1 were significantly increased after SA infusion in the E-group but not in the P-group. These results suggest that E enhances the innate immune response induced by SA in the goat mammary gland. This effect may be due to the reduction in milk yield and upregulation of innate immune components.
- Polymorphism in 5′ untranslated region of heat-shock protein 70 gene as
marker of post-partum anoestrus in Murrah buffaloes
- Authors: R Kumar; M Ghosh, N Kumar, AK Balhara, M Gupta, RK Sharma, I Singh
Abstract: The enormous production potential of buffaloes has never been accomplished due to various reproductive insufficiencies. Among them, post-partum anoestrus, a multifactorial disorder, is predominant but any genetic association is yet to be established. This study focused to identify novel polymorphisms in heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene and its possible association with post-partum anoestrus in Murrah buffaloes. A 579-bp fragment from 5′ untranslated region of HSP70 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction from blood genomic DNA of 614 animals maintained under similar management conditions. In phase-I experiment, custom sequencing and restriction enzyme (RE) digestion of the amplified fragment were performed in 40 buffaloes with similar post-partum oestrous conditions over previous consecutive three or more gestations—20 animals each showing post-partum anoestrus (>120 days after parturition) and normal cyclicity (
- Effect of vitrification on the mRNA transcriptome of bovine oocytes
- Authors: N Wang; C-Y Li, H-B Zhu, H-S Hao, H-Y Wang, C-L Yan, S-J Zhao, W-H Du, D Wang, Y Liu, Y-W Pang, X-M Zhao
Abstract: Vitrification has been shown to decrease the developmental capacity of mammalian oocytes, and this is closely associated with the abnormal mRNA expressions of vitrified oocytes. However, the effect of vitrification on transcriptional machinery of oocytes examined by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has yet to be defined. In the present study, the mRNA transcriptomes of fresh and vitrified bovine oocytes were analysed by Smart-seq2 with the differently expressed genes determined by DEseq2 (an adjusted p-value of .05 and a minimum fold change of 2). The differentially expressed mRNAs were then searched against the Gene Ontology (GO) and Genomes (KEGG) database. Finally, the mRNA expressions of 10 candidate genes were validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Approximately 12,000 genes were detected in each sample of fresh or vitrified oocytes. Of these, the expression levels of 102 genes differed significantly in vitrified groups: 12 genes mainly involved in cell cycle, fertilization and glucose metabolism were upregulated, and 90 genes mainly involved in mitochondria, ribosomal protein, cytoskeleton, transmembrane protein, cell cycle and calcium ions were downregulated. GO analysis showed that these genes were mainly enriched in terms of membrane-bounded organelles, macromolecular complex, and intracellular part. The mRNA expression levels of 10 candidate genes selected randomly were in agreement with the results of the RNA-seq. In conclusion, our results showed that vitrification affected the mRNA transcriptome of bovine oocytes by downregulating genes, which contributed to the decreased developmental capacity of vitrified oocytes. Our findings will be useful in determining approaches to improve the efficiency of vitrified oocytes.
- Endometrial biopsy in Bos indicus beef heifers
- Authors: O Ramirez-Garzon; N Satake, RE Lyons, J Hill, MK Holland, M McGowan
Abstract: An endometrial biopsy allows for a comprehensive assessment of the uterine environment of a breeding female. Although routine in mares, devices used for endometrial biopsies are impracticable in heifers due to the size and structure of the cervix. This report describes the use of a human bronchoscopy biopsy device (Karl Storz® 10366L) for collection of endometrial biopsies in Bos indicus beef heifers. The Storz® device is smaller and thinner and enabled the collection of an endometrial biopsy in 86% of heifers (n = 44/51). The biopsied tissue was of good quality and suitable for transcriptomic assessment of the endometrium, with total RNA yield and RNA integrity number (RIN) averaging 1.3 μg (range 0.4–5.3 μg) and 7.4 (range 5.7–8.4), respectively.
- Development of an in vitro oviduct epithelial explants model for studying
sperm–oviduct binding in the buffalo
- Authors: KK Saraf; A Kumaresan, S Nayak, S Chhillar, L Sreela, S Kumar, UK Tripathi, TK Datta, TK Mohanty
Abstract: In this study, we developed an in vitro model for studying sperm–oviduct binding in the buffalo. Oviduct explants were prepared by overnight culture of epithelial cells in TCM-199 medium under 5% CO2 at 38.5 °C. Cryopreserved spermatozoa from buffalo bulls (n = 4) were incubated with the oviduct explants, and the sperm–oviduct explants complex was stained with JC-1. The effect of sperm concentration (2, 3 and 4 million), size of the oviduct explants (0.4 mm2) and time of incubation (1 hr and 4 hr) on binding index (BI—number of sperm bound to unit area of explants) was studied. No significant difference was observed in the BI among
- Comparison of the effects of Ham'sF10 and αMEM in combination with FBS or
BSA in vitrification/warming solution on quality and viability of sheep
- Authors: F Mohammadzadeh; L Safdarian, F Amidi, A Mohammadzadeh, K Mortezaee, S Mehdinejhadiani, A Sobhani, S Ghasemi, F Sargolzaei Aval
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the two types of media, namely minimum essential medium (αMEM) and Ham'sF10, supplemented with foetal bovine serum (FBS) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) in vitrification/warming solution on the quality and viability of sheep ovarian follicles. Vitrification method was applied for cryopreservation of sheep ovarian cortex using Ham'sF10 and αMEM supplemented with either BSA or FBS. There were five groups: Fresh, Ham'sF10+ BSA, Ham'sF10+ FBS, αMEM + BSA and αMEM + FBS. Samples were cultured for two weeks after warming. Viability and morphology of follicles and DNA fragmentation in follicles and in tissue stroma cells were analysed before vitrification/warming and following one and two weeks of culture. The Ham'sF10+ FBS and Ham'sF10+ BSA groups showed a significant decrease in follicular viability after one week of culture (p
- Effects of supplementation of medium with different antioxidants during in
vitro maturation of bovine oocytes on subsequent embryo production
- Authors: TC Sovernigo; PR Adona, PS Monzani, S Guemra, FDA Barros, FG Lopes, CLV Leal
Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of different antioxidants on the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH) in oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM), as well as on the production of embryos. Oocyte of slaughterhouse-derived cattle ovaries were placed in IVM with different antioxidants: quercetin (2 μM), cysteamine (100 μM), carnitine (0.5 mg/ml), vitamin C (50 μg/ml) or resveratrol (2 μM). Oocytes matured without any antioxidant supplementation were used as control. The oocytes were assessed for maturation rates and for ROS and GSH levels by fluorescence staining in 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and Cell Tracker Blue, respectively. Embryo production was assessed in terms of cleavage, blastocysts and hatching rates and embryo cell numbers. The results expressed in arbitrary fluorescence units showed ROS reduction (p
- Peri-conceptional under-nutrition alters the expression of TRIM28 and
ZFP57 in the endometrium and embryos during peri-implantation period in
- Authors: K Zglejc; A Franczak
Abstract: DNA methylation is maintained by the main elements of methylation complex—tripartite motif containing 28 (TRIM28) and zinc finger protein 57 (ZFP57). Previously, it was found that the activity of TRIM28 and ZFP57 determines the process of DNA methylation and preserves over-expression of genes. We hypothesized that restricted diet applied during peri-conceptional period may induce changes in the expression of methylation complex in porcine endometrium and embryos during the peri-implantation period. The aim of this study was to detect and determine the expression of TRIM28 and ZFP57 in the endometrium and embryos harvested from gilts during the peri-implantation period (days 15–16 of pregnancy) fed restricted (n = 5) or normal (n = 5) diet during peri-conceptional period. In restricted-diet-fed gilts, endometrial expression of TRIM28 and ZFP57 mRNAs was decreased in comparison with normal-diet-fed gilts (p ≤ .01), while the embryonic expression of TRIM28 and ZFP57 mRNAs was increased in restricted-diet-fed gilts (p ≤ .05). The immunofluorescence showed the presence of TRIM28 and ZFP57 in luminal epithelial (LE), glandular epithelial (GE) and stromal cells (ST) of the endometrium as well as in the embryos. Total endometrial and embryonic abundance of TRIM28 and ZFP57 proteins was significantly higher (p ≤ .05) in restricted-diet-fed gilts than in normal-diet-fed gilts. Female under-nutrition during peri-conceptional period affects the expression of two main elements of methylation complex in the endometrium and in embryos during the peri-implantation period and may have the impact on DNA methylation in these tissues.
- Bax and Bcl-2 are involved in the apoptosis induced by local testicular
heating in the boar testis
- Authors: H Xi; X Fan, Z Zhang, Y Liang, Q Li, J He
Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine whether the effect of Bax and Bcl-2 on the apoptosis of germ cells is caused by local testicular heating (42°C, 1 hr) in boar testis. The testes of three boars were exposed to 42°C for 1 hr. Three other boars were assigned as control (no heat treatment). After 6 hr of heat treatment, all boars were castrated and the testes were harvested. Immunohistochemical results showed that a redistribution of Bax was caused by heat stress, and Bcl-2 was expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Western blot analyses and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) showed that the protein and mRNA levels of Bax and Bcl-2 were increased after local testicular heating. The number of TUNEL-positive cells was increased in the seminiferous tubules compared with the control after local testicular heating. These results suggested that local testicular heating induced the apoptosis of germ cells by regulating the Bax and Bcl-2 protein levels.
- Metabolomic profiling in umbilical venous plasma reveals effects of
dietary rumen-protected arginine or N-carbamylglutamate supplementation in
nutrient-restricted Hu sheep during pregnancy
- Authors: L Sun; H Zhang, Y Fan, Y Guo, G Zhang, H Nie, F Wang
Abstract: Maternal nutrient restriction during pregnancy is a major problem worldwide for human and animal production. Arginine (Arg) is critical to health, growth and reproduction. N-carbamylglutamate (NCG), a key enzyme in arginine synthesis, is not extensively degraded in rumen. The aim of this study was to investigate ameliorating effects of rumen-protected arginine (RP-Arg) and NCG supplementation on dietary in undernourished Hu sheep during gestation. From day 35 to 110 of gestation, 32 Hu ewes carrying twin foetuses were randomly divided into four groups: a control (CG) group (n = 8; fed 100% National Research Council (NRC) requirements for pregnant sheep), a nutrient-restricted (RG) group (n = 8; fed 50% NRC requirements, which included 50% mineral–vitamin mixture) and two treatment (Arg and NCG) groups (n = 8; fed 50% NRC requirements supplemented with 20 g/day RP-Arg or 5 g/day NCG, which included 50% mineral–vitamin mixture). The umbilical venous plasma samples of foetus were tested by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance. Thirty-two differential metabolites were identified, indicating altered metabolic pathways of amino acid, carbohydrate and energy, lipids and oxidative stress metabolism among the four groups. Our results demonstrate that the beneficial effect of dietary RP-Arg and NCG supplementation on mammalian reproduction is associated with complex metabolic networks.
- Effect of selenium supplementation on semen characteristics of Brazil's
- Authors: M Piagentini; DC Silva, CPF Dell'Aqua, CF Moya-Araujo, VM Codognoto, AA Ramos, E Oba
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different concentrations of oral supplementation with selenium (Se) upon ram sperm parameters. Thirty rams managed in stall under intensive system were used and divided into five groups (six animals per group) as follows: control group (G1) mineral mixture supplementation without Se, group 2 (G2) mineral mixture supplemented with 5 mg/kg Se, group 3 (G3) supplemented with 10 mg/kg Se, group 4 (G4) supplemented with 15 mg/kg Se and group 5 (G5) supplemented with 20 mg/kg Se. For each group, there was an adjustment period of 14 days. The experimental period was 350 days. Every 56 days, the animals were weighed and semen samples were collected by electroejaculation. Semen analysis included volume, mass moviment, total motility, vigour, concentration and morphology. For plasmatic and acrosomal membrane integrity evaluation and mitochondrial membrane potential were used a combination of fluorescent probes. Differences between means values obtained by analysis of variance were verified by Tukey test with 5% probability. There was no statistical difference between treatment groups in relation to volume, mass moviment, total motility, vigour, concentration, plasma and acrosomal membrane integrity (p > .05). Sperm morphology was different between treatment groups, the G1 (0 mg of selenium) had the highest percentage of major defects (11.11 ± 1.11a; p
- Identification of sperm morphometric subpopulations in cooled-stored
canine sperm and its relation with sperm DNA integrity
- Authors: M Urbano; I Ortiz, J Dorado, M Hidalgo
Abstract: The aims of this study were to (i) identify different morphometric subpopulations in cooled-stored canine sperm and their patterns of distribution during cool-storage for up to 240 hr and (ii) determine whether or not morphometric sperm subpopulations (sP) are related to sperm DNA integrity. For that purpose, morphometric parameters were analysed by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and sperm DNA fragmentation (sDFi) using the sperm Halomax test. Four morphometric sperm heads subpopulations were identified: sP1 (large and rounded), sP2 (large and elongated), sP3 (small and rounded) and sP4 (small and elongated). sP1 was the most predominant subpopulation for up to 72 hr and thereafter sP3 increased progressively. sDFi increased after 48 hr of cool-storage. Although sP3 showed a positive correlation with sDFi, and both increased over time, it could not be ensured that only the sperm with fragmented DNA are accumulated in sP3. In conclusion, sP3 and DNA fragmentation increased progressively during cool-storage, becoming possible indicators of sperm damage. However, it cannot be concluded that sP3 only contains sperm with fragmented DNA.
- Impaired reproduction in Japanese Black cattle under cold environmental
- Authors: H Nabenishi; A Yamazaki
Abstract: Environmental factors such as the temperature–humidity index (THI) are known to affect reproductive parameters in cattle. Therefore, here, we examined whether there was any correlation between the THI and the reproductive performance of Japanese Black cattle by analysing the first-service conception rates of 178,492 artificially inseminated cows across 9,833 herds in south-western Japan over a 3-year period. The daily mean (±SD) THI over the study period was 63.6 ± 11.3 (range: 41.4–81.5). The calving to first artificial insemination (AI) interval was significantly negatively correlated with THI in the month of AI (r = −.75, p
- Clinical relevance of pre-ovulatory follicular temperature in
heat-stressed lactating dairy cows
- Authors: F López-Gatius; RHF Hunter
Abstract: Temperature gradients in female reproductive tissues seem to influence the success of key processes such as ovulation and fertilization. The objective of this study was to investigate whether pre-ovulatory follicles are cooler than neighbouring uterine tissue and deep rectal temperatures in lactating dairy cows under heat stress conditions. Temperatures within the pre-ovulatory follicle, on the uterine adjacent surface and 20 cm deep within rectum, were measured using fine thermistor probes within 45 min after sunrise (dawn). Cows were selected from synchronized groups for fixed-time insemination during the warm period of the year. Five cows under direct sun radiation and 11 cows in the shade were included in the study. None of the cows in the sun area ovulated within 24 hr, whereas 10 of the 11 cows in the sun area ovulated. Four of the 10 ovulating cows became pregnant. In the ovulating cows, follicular temperatures were 0.74 and 1.54°C significantly cooler than uterine surface and rectal temperatures, respectively, whereas temperatures in the uterine area were 0.80°C significantly cooler than rectal temperatures. No significant differences among temperatures were found in non-ovulating cows. Follicular size was similar for ovulating and non-ovulating cows. Environmental temperatures in the shade area were 6.4°C significantly lower than those in the sun area. Results of this study indicate that pre-ovulatory follicles are cooler than neighbouring uterine tissue and deep rectal temperatures and those temperature gradients were not found in cows suffering ovulation failure.
- Distribution of mast cells in the feline ovary in various phases of the
- Authors: P Hamouzova; P Cizek, R Novotny, A Bartoskova, F Tichy
Abstract: This study is the first description of the distribution of mast cells in various phases of the oestrous cycle in the ovary of cat. Furthermore, this is the first description in species with an induced ovulation. The aim was to describe the distribution of mast cells and variability of their numbers in the feline ovaries in different phases of the oestrous cycle. The number of mast cells in medulla ovarii was affected by the estradiol and progesterone level in the blood serum because the lowest number was detected in anoestrus when the levels of hormones were basal. Nevertheless, both high and low numbers of mast cells were found in oestrus and dioestrus. To conclude, mast cells seem to be essential for the induction of spontaneous ovulation, but they do not play the same role for ovulation itself in cats with induced ovulation.
- Supplement of autologous ooplasm into porcine somatic cell nuclear
transfer embryos does not alter embryo development
- Authors: W-J Lee; J-H Lee, R-H Jeon, S-J Jang, S-C Lee, J-S Park, S-L Lee, W-A King, G-J Rho
Abstract: Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is considered as the technique in which a somatic cell is introduced into an enucleated oocyte to make a cloned animal. However, it is unavoidable to lose a small amount of the ooplasm during enucleation step during SCNT procedure. The present study was aimed to uncover whether the supplement of autologous ooplasm could ameliorate the oocyte competence so as to improve low efficiency of embryo development in porcine SCNT. Autologous ooplasm-transferred (AOT) embryos were generated by the supplementation with autologous ooplasm into SCNT embryos. They were comparatively evaluated with respect to embryo developmental potential, the number of apoptotic body formation and gene expression including embryonic lineage differentiation, apoptosis, epigenetics and mitochondrial activity in comparison with parthenogenetic, in vitro-fertilized (IVF) and SCNT embryos. Although AOT embryos showed perfect fusion of autologous donor ooplasm with recipient SCNT embryos, the supplement of autologous ooplasm could not ameliorate embryo developmental potential in regard to the rate of blastocyst formation, total cell number and the number of apoptotic body. Furthermore, overall gene expression of AOT embryos was presented with no significant alterations in comparison with that of SCNT embryos. Taken together, the results of AOT demonstrated inability to make relevant values improved from the level of SCNT embryos to their IVF counterparts.
- Appraisal and standardization of curvilinear velocity (VCL) cut-off values
for CASA analysis of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) sperm
- Authors: U Farooq; IA Malecki, M Mahmood, GB Martin
Abstract: One of the basic steps in objective analysis of sperm motility is the subdivision of a motile sperm population into slow, medium and rapid categories based on their velocity. However, for CASA analysis of quail sperm, the velocity values for categorization of slow, medium and rapid sperm have not yet been standardized. To identify the cut-off values of “velocity curvilinear” (VCL) for quail sperm categorization, we captured and analysed 22,300 tracks of quail sperm using SCA®-CASA. The median and mean VCL values were 85 and 97 μm/s. To define the VCL cut-off values, we used two methods. In the first, we identified the upper (rapid sperm) and lower (slow sperm) cut-off values using: (i) median VCL ± 25% or ± 50% or ± 75% of median VCL value; (ii) first and third quartile values of VCL data (i.e. 25% cut-off setting); and (iii) 33% and 66% of VCL data. Among these settings, sperm categories and their corresponding motility characteristics recorded using the “25%” setting (i.e. slow ≤36 ≤ medium ≤154 ≤ rapid) were found the most realistic and coherent with male ranking by fertility. In the second method, we calculated heteroscedasticity in the total VCL data using PCA and the two-step clustering method. With this approach, the mean of the high and low clusters was 165 and 51 μm/s, respectively. Together, the mean from two methods suggested that, for SCA®-CASA categorization of quail sperm, sperm should be classed as “rapid” at VCL ≥160 μm/s and “slow” at VCL ≤45 μm/s.
- Localization of orexin B and receptor 2 for orexins in testicular
cytotypes of the camelid alpaca (Vicugna pacos)
- Authors: G Liguori; C Squillacioti, L Assisi, N Mirabella, E Langella, A Costagliola, A Vittoria
Abstract: The orexins A (OxA) and B (OxB) are two hypothalamic peptides involved in many physiological functions of the mammalian body. They act through the binding of two G-coupled receptors named receptor 1 (OX1) and receptor 2 (OX2) for orexins. The first receptor is specific for OxA, while the second binds both the substances with equal affinity. The orexins and the relative receptors have been traced by means of different techniques also at the periphery of the body and particularly in the adrenals, and in gastrointestinal and genital organs. Aim of this work was to investigate the presence of OxB and OX2 by means of immunohistochemistry and Western blotting analysis in the testis of the South American camelid alpaca, a species primarily breed in Chile and Ecuador and recently diffused in Europe where the quality of its wool is particularly appreciated. OxB immunoreactivity (IR) was found in the tubular compartment of the testis where spermatogonia (resting), zygotene and pachytene spermatocytes, and spermatids clearly showed differently sized and shaped cytoplasmic positive structures. OX2-IR was found both in the interstitial and tubular compartments of the testis and particularly in Leydig cells and round and elongated spermatids. Western blotting analysis of testis lysates showed the presence of a protein band whose molecular weight corresponded to that currently assigned to OX2. Such findings easily translate the hypothesis that OxB and its receptor 2 play a functional role both in the interstitial and tubular compartments of the alpaca testis.
- Protein and mRNA expression of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor and
luteinizing hormone receptor during the oestrus in the yak (Bos grunniens)
- Authors: S-d Huo; S-e Chen, R-j Long, J-t Yang, J-x Lu, R-x Zang, T-j Zhang, A. Abudureyimu, J-l Liu, G-h Zhang, Y-q Zhao, Z-r Ma
Abstract: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) have a central role in follicle growth, maturation and oestrus, but no clear pathway in the seasonal oestrus of yak (Bos grunniens) has been found. To better understand the role of FSH and LH in seasonal oestrus in the yak, six yaks were slaughtered while in oestrus, and the pineal gland, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonads were collected. Using real-time PCR and immunohistochemical assays, we determined the mRNA and protein expression of the FSH and LH receptors (FSHR and LHR) in these organs. The analysis showed that the FSHR mRNA expression level was higher in the pituitary gland tissue compared with LHR (p
- Are foetal ultrasonographic and maternal blood progesterone measurements
near parturition reliable predictors of the time of birth in the domestic
- Authors: R Keiser; IM Reichler, O Balogh
Abstract: In cats, accuracy of parturition day prediction by ultrasonographic measurement of foetal structures is decreasing towards the end of gestation. Foetal measurements during the last days of pregnancy are scarce. We determined foetal biparietal, abdominal and eye diameter (BPD, AD and ED, respectively) by ultrasonography as well as maternal blood progesterone (P4) within five days of delivery to predict parturition date and calculate accuracy of prediction. Foetal BPD at birth was compared with newborn kitten head diameter (HD). Kitten HD, crown-rump length (CRL) and body weight were compared by breed and gender. Ultrasonography measurements were carried out on the day of parturition in 14 queens, and on days 62–63 after the first mating and repeated 24–72 hr later in ten other cats. Accuracy of parturition day prediction using BPD and AD was determined based on the equations of Beccaglia et al. (2008) Veterinary Research Communications, 32(Suppl 1), S99 and Garcia Mitacek et al. (2015) Theriogenology, 84, 1131. Progesterone was measured at the time of presentation and repeated 24–72 hr later if parturition did not occur. Data were analysed with linear regression, t test, Mann–Whitney U test, one-way anova and Kruskal–Wallis test. There was a moderate relationship between BPD, days before birth (DBB) and litter size. AD and DBB had a low agreement, and ED was not associated with DBB. BPD at birth was significantly related to HD. The accuracy of parturition day prediction using BPD and AD was 27–53% and 17–35%, respectively. Kitten HD was associated with body weight, and both were inversely related to litter size. Newborn biometric measurements differed by breed but not by gender. Progesterone decreased towards parturition and reached 3.18 ± 1.68 ng/ml on the day of delivery. In conclusion, close to birth, the combination of foetal ultrasonography and maternal blood P4 rather than each as a sole predictor of parturition is recommended.
- Administration of exogenous hormones in ovulatory and embryonic response
in Pelibuey sheep
- Authors: A García-Salas; C Cortez-Romero, J Salazar-Ortiz, J Arroyo-Ledezma, VM Ruíz-Vera, H Vaquera-Huerta, J Gallegos-Sánchez
Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of two sources of commercial porcine pituitary-derived follicle-stimulating hormone (pFSH) and pFSH—porcine Luteinizing Hormone (pLH), including equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), in ovulatory and embryonic response in Pelibuey sheep. Twenty-four Pelibuey sheep were used and were assigned randomly to four treatments (n = 6): (T1; 200 mg pFSH-Folltropin®); (T2; 200 mg pFSH + 300 UI eCG-Folligon®); (T3; 250 UI pFSH/pLH-Pluset®) and (T4; 250 UI pFSH/pLH + 300 UI eCG). The interval of hours from withdrawal of the device to the beginning of oestrus (BO) was lower (p
- Urine levels of luteinizing hormone as predictor of the period of
ovulation for advantage of timed-artificial insemination in murrah buffalo
- Authors: RM Selvam; D Singh, MA Akbarsha, G Archunan
Abstract: Assessment of urine levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) for predicting the reproductive status of animals is in practice. The aim of this study was to predict the period of ovulation based on the urine levels of LH for timed-artificial insemination to increase the conception rate in buffaloes, which are naturally silent-oestrous animals. Level of LH in urine was assessed using ELISA, and a cut-off LH concentration for prediction of ovulation period was obtained using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Artificial insemination was performed before- and after -positive prediction of ovulation period adopting this method, and the rates of conception were assessed. Urine LH level of 105 mIU/ml (n = 14) was derived as a cut-off concentration which predicts the ovulation period. The buffaloes in the positively predicted group (day 1 or 2) inseminated via intracervical route had an increase in the conception rate (83.33%); however, the insemination in the before-positive-prediction group resulted in poor conception rates (day 0; 16.66%) compared to that of the naturally inseminated group (day 0; 75.0%). In conclusion, the urinary LH would possibly be a fairly reliable predictor of the ovulation period. The day when cut-off LH concentration is obtained may be taken as the most favourable time for artificial insemination, so as to attain a much better rate of conception in the buffalo.
- The effect of some cryoprotectants on dromedary camel frozen-thawed semen
- Authors: DA El-Badry; RH Mohamed, HA EL-Metwally, TR Abo Al-Naga
Abstract: The cryopreserved camel semen is often associated with poor quality and fertility. This study aimed to improve the dromedary frozen semen quality by comparing the efficiency of four cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) on sperm freezability. Semen samples were collected from seven male Maghrabi camels, diluted with Shotor diluent supplemented with glycerol (Sh-G), dimethyl formamide (DMF, Sh-DF), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, Sh-DS) or ethylene glycol (EG, Sh-EG), all at 6% final concentration, and the samples were subjected to cryopreservation. The results revealed the superiority of Sh-DF over Sh-G and Sh-DS in terms of post-thaw motility (55.83 ± 2.20 vs. 47.50 ± 4.33 and 45.00 ± 2.89%, respectively), sperm membrane (49.00 ± 0.58, 39.33 ± 3.33 and 42.67 ± 1.45%, respectively) and acrosomal integrities (53.00 ± 0.58, 57.33 ± 0.88 and 52.33 ± 1.45%, respectively). Sh-EG group showed the lowest post-thaw motility, plasma membrane and acrosome integrities (12.50 ± 1.44, 22.67 ± 1.45 and 30.67 ± 1.45, respectively). In conclusion, the protocols of dromedary camel semen cryopreservation could be enhanced using 6% DMF as a cryoprotectant agent.
- Effects of supplemental conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) on fresh and
post-thaw sperm quality of Holstein bulls
- Authors: R Karimi; A Towhidi, S Zeinoaldini, K Rezayazdi, M Mousavi, H Safari, F Martinez-Pastor
Abstract: This study was designed to investigate the effects of feeding-protected conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the semen production and sperm freezability in Holstein bulls. Twelve bulls were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 6 per group). Bulls received the normal diet (control group) or the normal diet top-dressed with 50 g of CLA (treated group) for 10 weeks. The control group received 40 g/day calcium soap of fatty acid. Fresh and post-thaw semen quality was assessed on ejaculates collected at the 0, 4, 6, 8 and 10 week of supplementation. Semen evaluations including sperm concentration, motion characteristics (subjective and computer-assisted), viability (Eosin–Nigrosin), membrane integrity (hypo-osmotic swelling test) and abnormality were conducted. Semen volume, sperm concentration and total sperm output were not affected by dietary treatment (p > .05). The proportion of spermatozoa with abnormal morphology in fresh semen significantly increased (p
- Uterine serpin (SERPINA 14) correlates negatively with cytokine production
at the foetal–maternal interface but not in the corpus luteum in
pregnant dairy heifers experimentally infected with Neospora caninum
- Authors: B Serrano-Pérez; S Almería, R Mur-Novales, I López-Helguera, I Garcia-Ispierto, JL Alabart, L Darwich, F López-Gatius
Abstract: This study examines gene expression patterns in dairy heifers experimentally infected with N. caninum during on Day 110 of pregnancy with live foetuses at euthanasia, 42 days later. The study population was constituted of four non-infected controls and three infected dams. Gene expression was determined on gamma interferon (IFNγ), (Th1 pro-inflammatory cytokine), interleukin-4 (IL4) (Th2 pro-gestation cytokine) or interleukin-10 (IL10) (T regulatory cytokine) and the serine peptidase inhibitor SERPINA14 in intercaruncular, placental, uterine lymph node (UTLN) and luteal tissue samples. Intercaruncular SERPINA14 expression was negatively correlated with IFNγ expression in cotyledon samples and with IL4 expression in UTLN. No relationships were detected between cytokine gene expression at the foetal–maternal interface and SERPINA14 expression in the luteal samples. Our findings suggest that gene expression of the uterine serpin SERPINA14 correlates negatively with the expression of Th1 and Th2 cytokines at the foetal–maternal interface but not in the corpus luteum.
- The effect of cooling to different subzero temperatures on dog sperm
- Authors: A Alcantar-Rodriguez; A Medrano
Abstract: The objective was to assess the effect of cooling to different subzero temperatures around ice formation (−5°C) on dog sperm cryosurvival and plasma membrane fluidity. Semen was centrifuged, and sperm were resuspended in a Tris-egg yolk medium (3% glycerol). Diluted sperm were cooled from 22 to 5°C, and then, a Tris-egg yolk medium containing 7% glycerol was added (final concentration of 5% glycerol and 200 × 106 cells/ml). Sperm were packaged in 0.5-ml plastic straws, and equilibration was done 16 hr at 5°C before freezing. I. Straws (n = 47) at 5°C were exposed to nitrogen vapours to determine the freezing point. II. Other straws (from different ejaculates) processed as mentioned, were further cooled to −3, −5 or −7°C and immediately rewarmed in a water bath at 37°C. Motility, plasma membrane functionality and acrosome integrity were assessed. III. Other straws (from different ejaculates) processed as mentioned were further cooled to −3 or −5°C, frozen over nitrogen vapours and stored in liquid nitrogen for one month. Straws were thawed in a water bath at 38°C for 30 s. Motility, plasma membrane functionality, plasma membrane integrity, acrosome integrity, capacitation status and plasma membrane fluidity were assessed. Ice nucleation temperature was −14.3 ± 2.05°C (mean ± SD); cooling to +5, −3, −5 and −7°C, without freezing, produces no differences on sperm quality between target temperatures; cooling to +5, −3, and −5°C produced no differences on sperm survival and plasma membrane fluidity after freeze–thawing. In conclusion, cooling of dog spermatozoa to different subzero temperatures did not improve sperm cryosurvival and had no effect on plasma membrane fluidity after thawing.
- Transporting bovine oocytes in a medium supplemented with different
macromolecules and antioxidants: Effects on nuclear and cytoplasmic
maturation and embryonic development in vitro
- Authors: M Ambrogi; PC Dall'Acqua, NAS Rocha-Frigoni, BCS Leão, GZ Mingoti
Abstract: We investigated whether supplementing the medium used to transport bovine oocytes with different macromolecules [foetal calf serum (FCS) or bovine serum albumin (BSA)] or a mixture of antioxidants (cysteine, cysteamine and catalase) affects their nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation and thereby affects their subsequent embryonic development and cryotolerance. Oocytes were transported for 6 hr in a portable incubator and then subjected to standard in vitro maturation (IVM) for 18 hr. The oocytes in the control groups were cultured (standard IVM) for 24 hr in medium containing 10% FCS (Control FCS) or 10% FCS and the antioxidant mixture (Control FCS+Antiox). The intracellular concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the end of IVM period were lower in the oocytes subjected to simulated transport in the presence of a macromolecular supplement or the antioxidant mixture than that of the control group (FCS: 0.62 and BSA: 0.66 vs. Control FCS: 1.00, p
- Ejaculation does not contribute to the stress response
to electroejaculation in sheep
- Authors: S Abril-Sánchez; A Freitas-de-Melo, JP Damián, J Giriboni, A Villagrá-García, R Ungerfeld
Abstract: Electroejaculation procedures (EEPs) provoke stress; nevertheless, ejaculation produces physiological changes similar as those usually used to measure stress responses. The application of EEP to animals that cannot ejaculate—as ewes—may be useful to discriminate the responses induced by ejaculation from those provoked by EEP. The aim was to determine the stress response to EEP in rams and ewes. The EEPs were applied to 10 rams and 10 ewes during the non-breeding season, and the number of vocalizations, the heart rate, rectal temperature, serum cortisol concentration, biochemical and haematological parameters were measured. Overall, EEP provoked increases in cortisol concentration, glycaemia, rectal temperature and concentration of creatine kinase (all them: p
- Analysis of gene expression in granulosa cells post-maturation to evaluate
oocyte culture systems in the domestic cat
- Authors: J Zahmel; H Mundt, K Jewgenow, BC Braun
Abstract: Maturation of oocytes is a prerequisite for successful embryo development. The fertilization competence of in vivo derived oocytes is significantly higher than that of oocytes matured in vitro. Commonly evaluated morphological criteria for oocyte maturation do not reflect the complexity and quality of maturation processes. Oocytes and granulosa cells are communicating closely in a bidirectional way during follicular growth and maturation. Assessing the mRNA expression of specific genes in granulosa cells could be a non-invasive way to evaluate the conditions of in vitro oocyte maturation. The objective of this study was to elucidate the influence of two different FSH additives on the in vitro maturation rate and gene expression of cumulus–oocytes complexes in domestic cat. Feline oocytes were matured in a medium, supplemented with LH and 0.02 IU/ml porcine FSH versus 0.02 IU or 1.06 IU/ml human FSH. Granulosa cells were separated from oocytes directly after 24 hr of maturation or after additional 12 hr of in vitro fertilization. Gene expression levels were analysed by quantitative PCR for aromatase, antimullerian hormone, follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) and prostaglandin E synthase. Neither oocyte maturation rate nor gene expression levels differed after 24 or 36 hr in all three groups. However, variations were discovered in correlations of expression levels, for instance for FSHR and LHCG, indicating differences in the fine-tuning of in vitro maturation processes under varying FSH supplementations. We suppose that correlation between gene expressions of selected genes suggests a superior maturation quality of feline oocytes.
- Endocrine and paracrine controls of canine follicular development and
- Authors: N Songsasen; J Nagashima, C Thongkittidilok
Abstract: Canid reproduction is unique among other mammals in that females experience long and variable periods of ovarian inactivity. While the domestic dog exhibits a non-seasonal, largely sporadic monoestrus occurring once or twice a year, most wild canids, such as the gray wolf (Canis lupus) and red wolf (Canis rufus), are seasonal breeders with onset apparently dependent on species, latitudinal location and/or variety of environment factors. Neuroendocrine controls of ovarian functions have been mostly studied in the dog, but less so in their wild counterparts, due to difficulties in regular blood sampling. Yet, development of non-invasive hormone monitoring has advanced the understanding of reproductive cycle in wild canids. Recent advances in in vitro follicle culture technology also have begun to provide insights into paracrine controls of canid ovarian folliculogenesis. This review highlights current knowledge on canid reproduction with emphasis on endocrine and paracrine controls of follicular development. We also discuss future research priorities, including advancing the understanding of anoestrous termination and role of paracrine factors in canine folliculogenesis.
- Metabolism of prostaglandin F2alpha in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and Asian
leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura)
- Authors: M Dehnhard; SV Naidenko, K Jewgenow
Abstract: Methods for monitoring endocrine status are useful tools for reproduction management. In particular, successful captive breeding of endangered feline species requires reliable methods for pregnancy diagnosis. In many species, uterine and placental prostaglandin-F2α (PGF2α) is involved in the regulation of reproductive processes. PGF2α is metabolized to 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-PGF2a (PGFM) during the first passage through the lungs. Immunoreactive PGFM is elevated in pregnant felids during the last trimester and is used for pregnancy diagnosis, although authentic PGFM is excreted in negligible amounts. To investigate the metabolism of PGF2α, a radiometabolism study was performed in two individuals of two feline species, Eurasian lynx and leopard cats, by injection of tritiated PGF2α and collection of faecal and urinary samples. All samples were extracted and subjected to HPLC separation. Radioactivity and immunoreactivity towards PGFM were determined in each HPLC fraction. The radio- and immunogramms differ slightly between the two species, and radiolabelled PGFM was present only in minor amounts. One major eicosanoid metabolite was found in all urine and faecal samples analysed, and also in previous studies in faecal samples of several pregnant feline species. Its polarity was similar, but not identical to PGF2α. We hypothesized that PGF2α is metabolized to more polar dinor and tetranor metabolites. First mass spectrometric analyses favoured a dinor metabolite as major compound of PGF2α metabolism in felids. Following identification and validation in the studied species, we aim to use these metabolites to improve pregnancy detection in other felids and probably other carnivores.
- Dynamic changes in mitochondrial DNA, distribution and activity within cat
oocytes during folliculogenesis
- Authors: N Songsasen; LH Henson, W Tipkantha, C Thongkittidilok, JH Henson, K Chatdarong, P Comizzoli
Abstract: Mitochondria play fundamental roles during oocyte development. The accumulation and spatial redistribution of these energy-producing organelles have been linked to the developmental competence of mammalian oocytes. Here, we assessed the copy number, distribution and activity of mitochondria within cat oocytes during folliculogenesis. In Experiment 1, oocytes were recovered from primordial (n = 152), primary (112), secondary (95), early (131), small (118), antral (86) and advanced antral (5) stages follicles, and mitochondria DNA extracted and quantified using qPCR. In Experiment 2, oocytes from pre-antral (n = 44), early antral (n = 66), small antral (n = 59), antral (n = 41) and advanced antral (n = 21) follicles were isolated and stained with CMXRos MitoTracker dye to assess mitochondrial distribution pattern and activity levels. Oocyte's mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) copy numbers gradually increased as folliculogenesis progressed, with a significant shift at the small antral stage (0.5 to
- Lack of effects of an equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) administration
between days 9 and 15 postpartum on reproductive performance in a Holstein
- Authors: M Freick; O Passarge, J Weber
Abstract: Recently, it has been demonstrated that administration of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) in the postpartum period in dairy cows can enhance follicle growth, reduce the interval from calving to first ovulation and increase plasma estradiol concentrations, and, thus, could enhance reproductive performance in a dairy herd when administered on day 6 postpartum. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a single dose of eCG between days 9 and 15 postpartum on parameters of reproductive performance in dairy cows. German Holstein cows (n = 1937; primiparous cows: n = 748; pluriparous cows: n = 1189) in a commercial dairy farm were randomly assigned to three experimental groups. Animals within the group eCG received a single dose of 600 IU eCG intramuscularly (i.m.) between days 9 and 15 postpartum followed by an i.m. administration of 500 μg cloprostenol after 14 days. Those of treatment group PG received cloprostenol only between days 23 and 29 postpartum. Cows of the control group remained untreated. Starting on day 49 postpartum, cows were subjected to a Presynch-Ovsynch protocol and inseminated artificially. The impact of application time (days postpartum) of eCG on the intervals calving to first service and calving to conception was statistically not significant. Outcomes of reproductive performance (i.e. first service conception rate, proportion of pregnant cows until 100 and 150 days in milk [DIM], number of inseminations until 150 DIM, calving to first service interval and calving to conception interval) did not differ significantly between treatment group eCG and group PG compared to control group. Regarding postpartum eCG administration, significant interactions between treatment and parity, season, milk yield, and early puerperal disorders, respectively, could not be shown. In conclusion, an eCG treatment of dairy cows between days 9 and 15 postpartum to increase reproductive performance cannot be recommended under the given circumstances.
- Different expression of leptin and IGF1 in the adult and prepubertal
testis in dogs
- Authors: L Müller; MP Kowalewski, IM Reichler, E Kollár, O Balogh
Abstract: Leptin (Lep) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) are implicated in the regulation of testicular function, but in dogs, our knowledge is limited to the possible role of the IGF1 system in testicular tumours. In this study, we aimed to describe and compare gene expression and protein localization of Lep, IGF1 and their receptors (LepR and IGF1R, respectively) in the testis of healthy adult and prepubertal dogs. Testes were collected from sexually healthy mature (n = 7) and from 8-week-old dogs (n = 7). Relative gene expression of Lep, LepR, IGF1 and IGF1R was determined by semi-quantitative real-time (TaqMan) PCR and cellular distribution in the testis by immunohistochemistry. Statistical analysis was carried out with Student's t test. Lep and LepR mRNA concentration was similar between the two groups, but IGF1 and IGF1R gene expression was significantly higher in the 8-week-old pups. Protein localization and the intensity of signals differed by age. In adults, Lep and LepR immunoreactivity was detected in spermatocytes and spermatids. Leydig cells showed sporadic, weak Lep staining. In prepubertal animals, intense Lep signals were present in Leydig and Sertoli cells, and LepR was found in Leydig cells. IGF1 and IGF1R protein was expressed in spermatogonia of the mature testis; IGF1 signals in Leydig cells seemed stronger than IGF1R. In the pups, IGF1 and IGF1R staining was detected in Leydig cells and in gonocytes. Sertoli cells showed weak IGF1 and sporadic, weak IGF1R signals. In conclusion, Lep and IGF1 may support spermatogenesis in adult dogs and mediate Leydig cell function. In the immature testis, they may promote development of Sertoli and Leydig cells and gonocytes.
- Effect of cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins on cryosurvival of dog
- Authors: J Khan; MZ Tahir, A Khalid, A Sattar, N Ahmad
Abstract: Cryopreservation affects integrity of cholesterol and phospholipids in the plasma membrane of sperm leading to decreased fertility of frozen-thawed semen. Cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins (CLC) have been shown to improve post-thaw semen quality in various species. The aim of this study was to investigate the optimal concentration of CLC for better post-thaw semen quality in dogs. Semen collection, through digital manipulation, was conducted once a week in four adult German shepherd dogs (n = 20 ejaculates; five ejaculates/dog). Semen samples with mass motility>3 (0: without movement; 5: fast progressive movement), motility>70% and concentration>200 × 106/ml were pooled and processed in Tris-citrate extender containing 0, 1, 2 or 3 mg of CLC. The post-thaw quality was assessed on the basis of percentage motility, morphological abnormalities, live/dead ratio and plasma membrane, acrosome and DNA integrity, evaluated using anova and further analysed by Tukey's range test, if applicable. The addition of CLC showed an overall improvement in post-thaw semen quality. Among various treatment groups, and when compared to the control, the percentages of motile (55.5%), viable (65%), plasma membrane intact (56.7%), acrosome intact (49.2%) and DNA intact (98%) spermatozoa were significantly higher in 2 mg/ml CLC group (p
- Dose rates of antimicrobial substances in boar semen preservation—time
to establish new protocols
- Authors: M Schulze; M Grobbel, A Riesenbeck, S Brüning, J Schaefer, M Jung, R Grossfeld
Abstract: To achieve a standardized number of spermatozoa in the final AI dose, varying amounts of extender fluid with a fixed concentration of antimicrobial substances are currently added to boar ejaculates. This practice ignores the different degrees of dilution of the antimicrobials in the end product. In calculating the final concentration of gentamicin in AI doses from 27,538 processed boar ejaculates, we demonstrated varying gentamicin concentrations in the resultant extended boar semen samples. The median concentration was 220.37 mg/L. In 25 of the samples (0.09%), the gentamicin concentration fell below 5 mg/L, which is close to or below the epidemiological cut-off value for many bacteria. We calculated the minimum inhibitory concentration of gentamicin for bacteria isolated from raw and extended ejaculates. Five of the isolates from extended ejaculates exceeded the maximum test concentration of 512 mg/L. As a result, we are presenting an alternative method of boar semen preservation whereby a particular combination of gentamicin concentrate and antibiotic-free extender is incorporated that standardizes the antibiotic concentration in the diluted semen. The addition of standardized antibiotic concentrations did not negatively affect sperm quality when compared to the use of ready-to-use extenders. In conclusion, an end volume-based and standardized addition of gentamicin to boar ejaculates can be a helpful alternative to prevent insufficient dosage of antibiotics in liquid preserved boar semen without affecting semen quality.
- Issue Information
- Pages: 1 - 2
- Undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1 (UTF1) and deleted
in azoospermia-like (DAZL) expression in the testes of donkeys
- Authors: YS Lee; HJ Jung, MJ Yoon
Pages: 264 - 269
Abstract: Putative markers for each specific germ cell stage can be a useful tool to study the fate and functions of these cells. Undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1 (UTF1) is a putative marker for undifferentiated spermatogonia in humans, rats and horses. The deleted in azoospermia-like (DAZL) protein is also expressed by differentiated spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes in several species. However, whether the expression patterns of these molecular markers are identical and applicable to donkeys remains to be elucidated. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression patterns of UTF1 and DAZL in donkey testicular tissue, using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Testicular samples were collected from routine field castration of donkeys in Korea. The reproductive stages (pre- or post-puberty) of the testes were determined from the morphological characteristics of cross-sections of the seminiferous tubules. For IHC, the UTF1 and DAZL primary antibodies were diluted at 1:100 and 1:200, respectively. The immunolabelling revealed that UTF1 was expressed in approximately 50% of spermatogonia in the pre-pubertal stage, whereas its expression was limited to an early subset of spermatogonia in the post-pubertal stage. DAZL was expressed in some, but not all, spermatogonia in the pre-pubertal spermatogonia, and interestingly, its expression was also observed in spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes in the post-pubertal stage. Co-immunolabelling of the germ cells with both UTF1 and DAZL revealed three types of protein expression patterns at both reproductive stages, namely UTF1 only, DAZL only and both UTF1 and DAZL. These protein molecules were not expressed in Sertoli and Leydig cells. In conclusion, a co-immunolabelling system with UTF1 and DAZL antibodies may be used to identify undifferentiated (UTF1 only), differentiating (UTF1 and DAZL), and differentiated spermatogonia (DAZL only) in donkey testes.
- Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and green tea polyphenols do not improve
stallion semen parameters during cooling at 4°C
- Authors: D Bucci; M Spinaci, B Mislei, B Gadani, G Rizzato, CC Love, C Tamanini, G Galeati, G Mari
Pages: 270 - 277
Abstract: Stallion semen storage for artificial insemination is mainly based on liquid cooled storage. In many stallions this technique maintains sperm quality for an extended period of time (24–72 hr) at 7°C. While this technique is commonly used in the horse industry, there can be a decline in fertility in some stallions, due to an inability of their sperm to tolerate the cool storage process. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of two natural antioxidants (epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) at 20, 60 and 120 μm and green tea polyphenols, and p at .001, .01 and .1 mg/ml) on some sperm parameters (sperm motility, viability/acrosome integrity and DNA quality) in extended semen immediately after its collection (T0) and after 2, 6, 24 and 48 hr of cool storage. Two ejaculates from three trotter stallions were analysed after 48 hr of storage at 4°C. No beneficial effect on the analysed parameters was observed: the two antioxidants were not able to improve sperm quality after 48 hr of storage. These results are in agreement with previous findings on the effect of different antioxidants reported by other researches, who have demonstrated that stallion semen keeps good antioxidant capacity after dilution for 24 hr. In conclusion, the positive effect exerted by antioxidant molecules in other species is not confirmed in the equine one.
- Lipid and protein oxidation levels in spermatozoa and seminal plasma of
Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) and their relationship with semen
- Authors: S Satitmanwiwat; K Promthep, K Buranaamnuay, S Mahasawangkul, K Saikhun
Pages: 283 - 288
Abstract: Peroxidation damage to spermatozoa and seminal plasma has an important role in sperm quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the levels of lipid and protein oxidation in spermatozoa and seminal plasma of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with varying percentage of progressive motility. Lipid and protein oxidation was measured by the thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS) assay and the 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) carbonyl groups assay, respectively. Fresh semen samples were collected from Asian elephants and classified according to the percentage of motile spermatozoa into good (>60%) and poor (≤20%) motility. Results revealed that seminal plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and seminal plasma protein carbonyls (PCs) were significantly higher in poor motility than in good motility (p
- Effect of mitochondrial uncoupling and glycolysis inhibition on ram sperm
- Authors: JDA Losano; DSR Angrimani, A Dalmazzo, BR Rui, MM Brito, CM Mendes, GKV Kawai, CI Vannucchi, MEOA Assumpção, VH Barnabe, M Nichi
Pages: 289 - 297
Abstract: Studies have demonstrated the importance of mitochondria to sperm functionality, as the main source of ATP for cellular homoeostasis and motility. However, the role of mitochondria on sperm metabolism is still controversial. Studies indicate that, for some species, glycolysis may be the main mechanism for sperm energy production. For ram sperm, such pathway is not clear. Thus, we evaluated ram sperm in response to mitochondrial uncoupling and glycolysis inhibition aiming to assess the importance of each pathway for sperm functionality. Statistical analysis was performed by the SAS System for Windows, using the General Linear Model Procedure. Data were tested for residue normality and variance homogeneity. A p
- Reproductive performance of breeder quails fed diets supplemented with
L-cysteine-coated iron oxide nanoparticles
- Authors: H Mohammadi; A Farzinpour, A Vaziry
Pages: 298 - 304
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of L-cysteine-coated iron oxide nanoparticles on reproductive performance in breeder quails. The five treatment diets consisted of (i) negative control diet not supplemented with iron, (ii) positive control diet supplemented with 60 mg/kg of Fe3O4 and (iii) experimental diets supplemented with 0.6, 6 and 60 mg/kg of L-cysteine-coated iron oxide nanoparticles. A total of 100 seven-day-old quail chicks were weighed and randomly placed to five groups of five replicate cages. Four quails (one male and three females) were raised in each cage (50 × 15 × 17 cm). Egg production, feed consumption and egg weight were recorded daily and calculated on a hen per day basis. Egg components, fertility, hatchability and day-old chicks hatched from their eggs were measured at the end of the experiment. The percentage of egg production and egg mass of the 6 mg/kg Fe3O4-Cys NPs group were significantly higher than those of the control groups. Throughout the experimental period, the highest weekly egg weight was recorded for the 60 mg/kg Fe3O4-Cys NPs group. Fertility was improved by diet supplemented with iron, both FeSO4 and Fe3O4-Cys NPs. The breeder fed Fe3O4-Cys NPs had the highest day-old chicks weight. The results of this study showed that Fe3O4 nanoparticles that were coated by L-cysteine could improve availability and utilization of iron in diet. Finally, it was proposed that Fe3O4-Cys NPs could be used as feed additives in quails.
- Effect of sperm pretreatment with glutathione and membrane destabilizing
agents lysolecithin and Triton X-100, on the efficiency of bovine
intracytoplasmic sperm injection
- Authors: F Zambrano; L Aguila, ME Arias, R Sanchez, R Felmer
Pages: 305 - 311
Abstract: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproduction tool with several applications. Its effectiveness in bovines is lower than that in other species, mainly because of difficulties in the decondensation of the sperm nucleus after injection, and the presence of the acrosome and the plasma membrane which remain intact in this procedure. In this study, we assessed the effect of lysolecithin (LL) and Triton X-100 (TX), in combination with glutathione (GSH) as sperm pretreatments prior to ICSI. The GSH-LL and GSH-TX groups showed 0% of spermatozoa with intact membrane (SYBR 14+/PI), in comparison with the control (63.3%) and GSH (65.7%) groups. The proportions of spermatozoa with damaged acrosome membrane in the GSH-LL, GSH-TX, GSH and control groups were 46%, 35.9%, 10.5% and 7.5%, respectively. Sperm chromatin decondensation analysis showed that the groups incubated for 3 hr with GSH presented greater decondensation (p
- Gonad histology and serum 11-KT profile during the annual reproductive
cycle in sterlet sturgeon adult males, Acipenser ruthenus
- Authors: A Golpour; C Broquard, S Milla, H Dadras, AR Baloch, T Saito, M Pšenička
Pages: 319 - 326
Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess monthly testicular development in the cultured breeding stock of sterlet, Acipenser ruthenus, using histological and serum sex steroid changes. Testicular development in the adult male was examined monthly and showed four distinct phases including resting, pre-spawning, spawning and post-spawning. Also, seasonal changes of the testes were described according to its variations in gonadosomatic index (GSI) during different phases of testicular development. Using histology, we identified continuous spermatogenesis and asynchronous gonad development pattern in the testes of male sterlet, which shows that regulation of annual gonadal cycle is influenced by season. Results also showed variation in the GSI value and number of spermatogenic cells according to each season during annual cycle of gonad, as the highest value of GSI was recorded during spawning phase (spring; March-May). Hormonal profiles of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) showed peak, which indicated a seasonal pattern of gonadal development. The 11-KT concentration increased considerably during the spermatogenesis (pre-spawning phase) and remained quite high throughout the pre-spermiation period. In the final phase of testicular development (spawning phase), the 11-KT markedly dropped. This study undertook an examination of complete reproductive development in cultured sterlet sturgeon to provide a valuable guide for the future sterlet studies, and allows comparison of reproductive development between sturgeon species.
- Establishment and characterization of a coculture system of equine
endometrial epithelial and stromal cells
- Authors: L Lapko; D Böttcher, T Theuß, J Klug, H-A Schoon
Pages: 327 - 334
Abstract: To investigate the equine endometrium as close to the in vivo situation as possible, we established a coculture system for epithelial and stromal cells (ECs/SCs). ECs and SCs were isolated from nine endometrial tissue specimens. ECs obtained as glandular formations were cultivated on one side of the semipermeable membrane of a Millicell® insert. After 2 days, SCs (2 × 104 cells/membrane) were seeded onto the other side of the same membrane. During cocultivation, the low serum containing culture medium (Theuß et al., 2010) was supplemented with different concentrations and combinations of 17β-estradiol (2.0–3.0 pg/ml medium) and progesterone (0.5–15.0 ng/ml medium). Once the cocultures formed continuous cell layers as determined by phase-contrast microscopy, the membranes were fixed and processed for light microscopical examination. Cytokeratin 19, steroid hormone receptors and the uterine proteins uteroglobin and calbindinD9k were detected using immunocytochemistry to determine the degree of culture purity and functional cellular differentiation. The culture purity of the EC layer averaged ≥95%. Uteroglobin and calbindinD9k were consistently expressed in ECs, while hormone receptors were predominantly absent in both cell populations. An explicit cytomorphological epithelial differentiation with formation of round-oval to polygonal cell forms was encountered in ≤50% of all ECs and independent of supplemented steroids. Based on the findings altogether, and despite the partly absent congruence to the in situ prerequisites, we established a standardized and reproducible coculture system, which offers a basic approach for studies of physiologic and pathophysiologic issues in the mare.
- Testosterone serum profile, semen characteristics and testicular biometry
of Mangalarga Marchador stallions in a tropical environment
- Authors: B Waddington; JM Penitente-Filho, JGS Neves, RO Pinho, AY Chaya, PP Maitan, CO Silveira, MG Neves, SEF Guimarães, GR Carvalho, JD Guimarães
Pages: 335 - 343
Abstract: This study was conducted to characterize the daily profile of testosterone secretion and its mean concentrations in the four seasons as well as to evaluate the semen characteristics and testicular biometry of Mangalarga Marchador stallions throughout the year in a tropical region. Three stallions were submitted to semen collections and evaluation of testicular biometry every 14 days along a year. Blood samples were collected once at the middle of each season, in a 20-min interval during 24 hr in order to evaluate the testosterone secretion profiles among seasons. Testosterone concentrations along the day were higher at the beginning of the afternoon (from 12:00 to 15:00 hr), but a circadian secretion was not clearly observed. Mean testosterone concentrations did not differ among seasons (p > .05), but a pattern of secretion along the day showed variations with higher concentrations in the afternoon during the winter. Ejaculate volume was higher during summer; however, sperm motility decreased in summer and spring. Total sperm in ejaculate, sperm morphology and testicular biometry kept constant along the year showing no differences among the seasons. The results demonstrated that in a tropical region, reproductive aspects of stallions did not show a clearly defined seasonal variation, and months of autumn and winter were not unsuitable for reproduction of the males.
- Short communication: Progressive motility of frozen–thawed canine semen
is highest five minutes after thawing
- Authors: S Karger; B Geiser, M Grau, W Heuwieser, SP Arlt
Pages: 350 - 352
Abstract: Progressive motility is usually estimated by visual inspection using a light contrast microscope at X 100 immediately after semen collection or immediately after thawing frozen semen. Standard operating procedures have never been established for this test. The objective of this experiment was to examine time-dependent changes of motility after thawing cryopreserved canine semen. Semen of 35 dogs was collected, and volume, concentration, progressive motility, morphology, membrane integrity and HOS test were evaluated. For cryopreservation, CaniPRO® Freeze A&B was used. Semen was thawed and diluted using CaniPRO® culture medium. After thawing, semen was evaluated as before. In addition, every sample was evaluated for progressively motile sperm cells 0, 5, 20 and 60 min after thawing. Progressive semen motility was significantly highest five minutes after thawing.
- Prolactin and growth hormone immunoactivity in canine mammary adenomas and
- Authors: ER Bohrer; CV Löhr, MA Kutzler
Abstract: It is now widely accepted in human medicine that prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) function in the mammary gland in an autocrine and paracrine manner in tumour formation. The aim of this study was to compare PRL and GH immunoactivity in canine mammary tumours submitted for histopathologic evaluation. Formalin-fixed specimens from spontaneously occurring mammary adenomas and adenocarcinomas from 24 female client-owned dogs were used. Information pertaining to the reproductive status of the patient at the time of mammary tumour diagnosis was obtained from each of the submitting veterinarians. Tissues were paraffin-embedded and sectioned (5 μm) onto charged slides. All slides were deparaffinized and rehydrated. Endogenous peroxidase activity was inactivated with 3% H2O2, and non-specific binding was blocked. Polyclonal rabbit antihuman PRL (DAKO A0569) and GH antibody (DAKO A0570) were applied at a 1:250 and 1:200 dilutions, respectively. A universal rabbit negative control (DAKO N1699) was used. Slides were then reacted with anti-rabbit horseradish peroxidase followed by Nova Red Peroxidase substrate. Slides were counter-stained with haematoxylin, dehydrated and mounted. Tumour type and reproductive status at time of tumour diagnosis were compared individually between tumours that were negative or positive for PRL and GH using a two-tailed analysis of variance. Significance was defined as p
- Regulation of diapause in carnivores
- Authors: JC Fenelon; PL Lefèvre, A Banerjee, BD Murphy
Abstract: Embryonic diapause is an evolutionary strategy to ensure that offspring are born when maternal and environmental conditions are optimal for survival. In many species of carnivores, obligate embryonic diapause occurs in every gestation. In mustelids, the regulation of diapause and reactivation is influenced by photoperiod, which then acts to regulate the secretion of pituitary prolactin. Prolactin in turn regulates ovarian steroid function. Reciprocal embryo transplant studies indicate that this state of embryonic arrest is conferred by uterine conditions and is presumed to be due to a lack of specific factors necessary for continued development. Studies of global gene expression in the mink (Neovison vison) revealed reduced expression of a cluster of genes that regulate the abundance of polyamines in the uterus during diapause, including the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine production, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). In addition, in this species, in vivo inhibition of the conversion of ornithine to the polyamine, putrescine, induces a reversible arrest in embryonic development and an arrest in both trophoblast and inner cell mass proliferation in vitro. Putrescine, at 0.5, 2 and 1,000 μM concentrations induced reactivation of mink embryos in culture, indicated by an increase in embryo volume, observed within five days. Further, prolactin induces ODC1 expression in the uterus, thereby regulating uterine polyamine levels. These results indicate that pituitary prolactin acts on ovarian and uterine targets to terminate embryonic diapause. In summary, our findings suggest that the polyamines, with synthesis under the control of pituitary prolactin, are the uterine factor whose absence is responsible for embryonic diapause in mustelid carnivores.
- Long-term effects of GnRH agonists on fertility and behaviour
- Authors: S Goericke-Pesch
Abstract: This review aimed to summarize the present knowledge about the effects of GnRH agonist slow-release implants (GnRH A-SRI) on fertility and behaviour in male and female dogs and cats with special focus on deslorelin.Following an initial stimulation of gonadotropin and testosterone secretion possibly associated with an improved semen quality, GnRH A-SRI induce long-term depression of fertility in male dogs and cats with, however, a large individual variation in onset and duration of efficacy especially in cats. The GnRH A-SRI furthermore interfere with testosterone-dependent/affected behaviour; a significant positive effect in reducing sexual behaviour and libido, hypersexuality, intermale dominance and excessive territorial urine marking has been described. Rates of improvement of the respective behaviour are comparable to those after surgical castration, making GnRH A-SRI a valuable option to predict castration-related effects on behaviour and to identify animals where surgical castration will not be beneficial. No effect has been seen in reducing aggression towards humans indicating the need for behavioural therapy to control this problem. Effects on spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis and behaviour have by now been shown to be fully reversible. Knowledge in females is more limited, and particularly, the initial induction of a possibly fertile oestrus and individual variation in duration of efficacy remain problems in bitches and queens treated for suppression of fertility. However, long-term suppression of oestrous cycle and fertility seems to be possible with induced effects shown to be reversible including restoration of normal fertility after the end of efficacy/GNRH A-SRI removal.
- Changes in acetylation of lysine 5 on histone H4 in canine oocytes
following in vitro maturation
- Authors: TF Motheo; DR Arnold, LC Padilha-Nakaghi, EA Pires-Buttler, AE Alves, M Apparicio, WRR Vicente, FL Lopes
Abstract: Post-translational modifications of histones, such as acetylation, are involved in regulating chromatin remodelling and gene expression. Proper in vitro maturation (IVM) of canine oocytes, for many reasons, is up to now inefficient. This study aimed to evaluate the post-translational histone H4 acetylation at lysine 5 (H4K5) in immature and post-IVM canine oocytes. Oocyte nuclear stage was assessed using Hoechst 33342 staining. Acetylation patterns were determined by indirect immunofluorescence staining of immature and post-IVM oocytes, using an antibody against the acetylated lysine 5 residue on histone 4 (H4K5ac). The experiment was repeated four times, with a total of 7–17 oocytes evaluated per stage. Immunofluorescence signal was quantified using the NIHimagej software. Data were expressed as a percentage of the average fluorescence intensity of the specific antibody over the intensity of DNA, as determined by Hoescht staining. H4K5ac displayed a significantly higher acetylated pattern in immature oocytes (0.97 ± 0.08) when compared to post-IVM oocytes at different nuclear stages. There was a decrease in the fluorescence level of the matured oocytes with the progression of meiosis (GVBD: 0.47 ± 0.06 and MI/MII: 0.35 ± 0.04). Similarly to other domestic species, we hypothesized that post-translational modification of histone acetylation takes place during meiosis of in vitro matured canine oocytes. However, it remains to be investigated whether these changes occur during in vivo maturation.
- Efficiency of uterine fluid cytology in the diagnosis of subclinical
endometritis in the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
- Authors: SC Gahlot; S Kumar, A Kumaresan, S Chand, RK Baithalu, S Lathika, TK Patbandha, SS Lathwal, TK Mohanty
Abstract: This study compared endometrial cytology vis-a-vis uterine fluid cytology for assessment of uterine health in clinically normal and subclinical endometritis (SE)-affected buffaloes. Uterine fluid samples and endometrial samples were collected from the buffaloes (n = 38) at oestrus using blue sheath and cytobrush, respectively. The smears were stained with Field stain for 3 minutes, and a minimum of 400 cells were counted in each smear for determination of the percentage of polymorphonuclear (PMN) leucocyte. The incidence of subclinical endometritis, based on the cytobrush cytology, was 23.08%. The correlation between cytobrush cytology with uterine fluid cytology was positive and significant (r = .37; p = .02). The ratio of PMN leucocyte in cytobrush cytology to uterine fluid cytology was 1:2.4. ROC analysis revealed that the threshold value of 6.16% PMN leucocyte in uterine fluid cytology showed a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 100% in differentiating normal from SE-affected buffaloes. In conclusion, collection of uterine fluid was easier compared to collection of endometrial samples using cytobrush and the percentage of PMN leucocyte in uterine fluid cytology can be used as a tool for diagnosis of subclinical endometritis in buffaloes.
- The effect of cumulus cells on domestic cat (Felis catus) oocytes during
in vitro maturation and fertilization
- Authors: N Sowińska; K Frankowska, A Filipczyk, A Adamaszek, K Nalik, K Fic, A Pietsch-Fulbiszewska
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of co-culture of denuded oocytes with cumulus cells (CC) or cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) on in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Immature oocytes were collected from ovaries of domestic cats following a routine ovariectomy. Oocytes were matured in vitro for 24 hr within four groups: (i) denuded oocytes (DO), (ii) DO co-cultured with CC, (iii) DO co-cultured with COC and (iv) COC as a control group. In further experiments, COCs were matured in vitro for 24 hr, and then, oocytes were randomly divided into four groups as previously described and fertilized in vitro. Embryos were cultured for up to 7 days. At the end of each experiment, oocytes/embryos were stained with Hoechst 33342 solution and observed under an inverted fluorescence microscope. The results of oocyte maturation showed that their meiotic competence decreased significantly in all experimental groups, compared to the control group. The maturation rates were approximately 45%, 24%, 43% and 76% in experiment 1, and 21%, 14%, 33% and 50% in experiment 2 in groups (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), respectively. Examination of in vitro fertilization revealed that embryos developed up to the morula stage in all experimental groups. DO and oocytes cultured with COC during fertilization showed a lower cleavage rate—36% and 25% as opposed to those co-cultured with loose CC and the control group—43% and 42%, respectively. Results of this study indicate that cumulus cells connected with an oocyte into a cumulus—oocyte complex are irreplaceable for the maturation of domestic cat oocyte, but that the addition of loose CC may be beneficial for IVF.
- Temporal changes in serum luteinizing hormone following ovariohysterectomy
and gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccination in domestic cats
- Authors: HL Bateman; LM Vansandt, J Newsom, WF Swanson
Abstract: Measurement of circulating luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations in cats and temporal changes following ovariohysterectomy (OHE) or possibly GnRH vaccination may be informative for assessing their fertility, contraception or sterilization status. In this study, serum LH concentrations were measured in domestic cats (n = 6) immediately prior to and up to 120 days post-OHE. Basal LH concentrations of females previously subjected to OHE (n = 4; ~1.5 years post-OHE) were compared pre- and post-vaccination with a GnRH immunocontraceptive, and to LH concentrations in intact females. Basal serum LH concentrations (2.67 ± 0.43 ng/ml; mean ± SEM) in intact females increased (p
- Canine and feline colostrum
- Authors: S Chastant-Maillard; C Aggouni, A Albaret, A Fournier, H Mila
Abstract: Puppy and kitten survival over the first weeks is particularly dependent on colostrum, a specific secretion of the mammary gland produced during the first 2 days post-partum. Colostrum is a source of nutrients and immunoglobulins. It also contributes to the digestive tract maturation. Colostrum differentiates from milk mainly based on its concentration in immunoglobulins G: 20–30 g/L in dog colostrum, 40–50 g/L in cats’ vs
- Distribution of follicles in canine ovarian tissues and
xenotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissues with even
distribution of follicles
- Authors: I Wakasa; M Hayashi, Y Abe, H Suzuki
Abstract: Ovarian follicles are not homogeneously distributed within the ovarian cortex in several species of mammals. Yet to maximize the reproducibility of experimental results of ovarian transplantation, it is essential to assess the degree of density and distribution of follicles in ovarian tissues before their transplantation. In this study, the ovarian cortex from 13 immature bitches (ten purebred and three mongrels) was sectioned into 1.0- to 1.5-mm3 cubes, those were fixed, sectioned and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. To evaluate the density and distribution of follicles, the mean number of all stages of follicles per square millimetre was calculated after observation under a microscope. The distribution of follicles was considered even when the variance value was lower than 10 or between 10 and 16, with an absolute value of distortion inferior to 1. The mean number of follicles ranged from 3.24 to 28.34/mm2 in 25 ovaries from 13 bitches examined. The variance and distortion ranged from 0.35 to 119.64 and −1.87 to 4.40, respectively. The distribution of follicles within the ovarian cortex was judged uneven in 12 of 25 ovaries. These results indicated that follicles were not homogeneously distributed within the ovarian cortex in a large proportion of ovaries. In addition, cryopreserved ovarian fragments with even distribution of follicles were transplanted to NSG mice with or without 400 U/kg of disialylated erythropoietin (asialo EPO). After removing both sides of ovary, a piece of ovarian fragment was placed under the kidney capsule in both sides of kidney. At 4 weeks after transplantation, the fragments were recovered from the mice and the number of primordial, primary, secondary and antral follicles was counted. Total number of follicles and survival rates of follicles in transplanted fragments with asialo EPO were higher than without asialo EPO in four bitches examined. These findings suggest that asialo EPO might be effective on the follicular survival of canine ovarian tissues after xenotransplantation. Knowing the degree of density and distribution of follicles in ovarian tissues before transplantation is expected to contribute to the precise interpretation of results after transplantation of the ovarian tissues.
- New approaches to non-surgical sterilization for dogs and cats:
Opportunities and challenges
- Authors: Linda Rhodes
Abstract: Over the last 40 years, researchers have explored methods to non-surgically suppress fertility in animals. Immunocontraception has been used to control wildlife populations but does not confer long-term immunity. The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin, formulated as an implant to provide 6-month to 1-year suppression of fertility in male dogs, is available commercially in some countries. Neither of these approaches provide permanent sterility. A single-dose, permanent treatment would be a valuable tool in dog and cat population control. The Michelson Prize and Grants (MPG) programme was initiated “to eliminate shelter euthanasia of healthy, adoptable companion animals and reduce populations of feral and free-roaming cats and dogs” offering a $25 million US prize for a non-surgical sterilant that is effective as a single treatment in both male and female dogs and cats. Michelson Prize and Grants programme has offered US $50 million in grant money for research and has attracted scientists worldwide. Approaches under study include gene therapy, small interfering RNA to inhibit reproductive targets and delivery of cytotoxins to pituitary gonadotrophs or GnRH producing neurons in the hypothalamus. Research in implant technology that could deliver compounds over an animal's lifetime is also underway. Details of funded grants and results to date can be found at: http://www.michelsonprizeandgrants.org/michelson-grants/research-findings. The next steps are translating the most promising research into products. The Alliance for Contraception of Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) is helping to research practical methods of marking sterilized animals to avoid costly retreatment and population modelling that will help guide field workers in use of resources for sterilization programmes.
- A retrospective clinical study of endoscopic-assisted transcervical
insemination in the bitch with frozen–thawed dog semen
- Authors: SJ Mason
Abstract: Since the conclusion of data collation from previously published work, a further 352 inseminations using frozen–thawed dog semen by endoscopic-assisted transcervical insemination (EIU) have been performed by the author. Insemination was performed on the second day in which crenulation of the anterior vagina was detected in conjunction with a progesterone concentration of>10 ng/ml. All semen samples were analysed for total number of sperm, total motility and progressive motility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA). The insemination dose was based on the progressively motile normal spermatozoa (PMNS). Insemination was performed on all bitches as previously described using a ureterorenoscope. Additional extender was inseminated subsequent to the semen to expand and fill the uterus. The semen and additional extender were inseminated slowly over a period of 15–20 min. Pregnancy was determined by B-mode ultrasound equipped with a 7.5-MHz probe whilst standing and/or via the whelping rate. The number of sperm inseminated ranged from 9 × 106 PMNS to 519 × 106 PMNS, with progressive motility values ranging between 20% and 80%. The overall pregnancy rate was 68% (238/352). When stratified by PMNS, pregnancy rates were as follows:>150 × 106 PMNS - 76% (110/145), 100–150 × 106 - 68% (87/128) and 150 × 106 PMNS (p = .003) or 100–150 ×106 PMNS (p = .027) were inseminated compared to 150 × 106 PMNS to maximize pregnancy rate. These results indicate that one optimally timed EIU insemination results in similar pregnancy rates to previous publications of one optimally timed, or two or more non-optimally timed inseminations using the Norwegian catheter.
- Cryopreservation of feline oocytes by vitrification using commercial kits
and slush nitrogen technique
- Authors: L Fernandez-Gonzalez; K Jewgenow
Abstract: Assisted reproductive techniques are a valuable tool for conservation breeding of endangered species. Cryopreservation methods are the basis of gamete banks, supporting genetic diversity preservation. Unfortunately, cryopreservation of feline oocytes is still considered an experimental technique. The aim of this study was to compare two commercial kits, with our protocol for vitrification of cat oocytes (IZW), which comprises a three-step method with ethylene glycol, DMSO, fetal calf serum, trehalose and Ficoll PM-70. Furthermore, we applied slush nitrogen (SN2) for ultra-rapid freezing to improve survival rates. Cumulus–oocyte complexes were collected from domestic cat ovaries by slicing and vitrified at immature stage using Cryotop as storage device. Vit Kit® Freeze/Thaw (n = 89) showed the lowest maturation percentage obtained after warming (10.1%). A significant difference in maturation percentage of oocytes was found between Kitazato® kit (38.7%, n = 137) and IZW protocol (24.5%, n = 143). The cleavage after ICSI of warmed and matured oocytes (20.7% and 28.6%, respectively) and the morula percentage (18. 2% and 22.5%, respectively), however, did not reveal any significant difference between the two methods. Application of SN2 did not result in any improvement of oocytes’ cryopreservation. Maturation percentage of the oocytes vitrified by IZW method with SN2 (n = 144) decreased until 6.1%, without any cleavage after fertilization. For Kitazato® (n = 62), only 17.7% were able to undergo maturation and cleavage percentage dropped to 18.2%, not reaching morula stage. These data demonstrate that feline oocytes can be vitrified either by our IZW method or by commercial Kitazato® kit, but the use of SN2 is improving neither maturation nor cleavage percentages when combined with these procedures.
- Beneficial effect of extracellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate treatment
on the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) sperm quality after
- Authors: P Thuwanut; W Tipkantha, B Siriaroonrat, P Comizzoli, K Chatdarong
Abstract: The Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) population, included in CITES Appendix I, has been declining for decades. Proper gamete preservation condition is critical for breeding programme management using artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF). The present study aimed at investigating the impact of post-thawing treatment of leopard semen with extracellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATPe) on sperm quality (including morphological traits and ability to fertilize an oocyte). Semen from six adult male leopards was collected by electroejaculation (one ejaculation per cat). After the evaluation of the fresh sample quality, the semen was cryopreserved (10 × 106 cells per straw; two straws per cat). After thawing, the sperm sample from the first straw of each cat was divided into three aliquots: control (no ATPe), supplemented with 1.0 or 2.5 mM ATPe that were evaluated for sperm quality at 10, 30 min and 3 hr post-thawing. The sperm sample from the second straw, supplemented with 0, 1.0 or 2.5 mM ATPe for 30 min, was assessed for IVF with domestic cat oocytes. Sperm quality (all metrics) was negatively affected by the cryopreservation process (p ≤ .05). However, the percentage of sperm motility, level of progressive motility and percentage of plasma membrane integrity did not differ (p > .05) among post-thawing groups. The sperm mitochondrial membrane potential was enhanced (p ≤ .05) by ATPe treatment (1.0 and 2.5 mM; 10 min to 3 hr of incubation). Furthermore, incubation of ATPe (1.0 and 2.5 mM) for 30 min could promote sperm velocity patterns (curvilinear velocity; VCL and straight line velocity; VSL) (p ≤ .05). The percentage of pronuclear formation and cleaved embryos was increased (p ≤ .05) after 1.0 ATPe treatment (49.8 ± 2.8; 45.9 ± 1.5) compared to 0 mM (41.4 ± 3.3; 38.9 ± 0.5) whereas the number of sperm binding/oocyte did not significantly differ among groups. In summary, we suggest that ATPe activated the velocity of Indochinese leopard sperm motility that may lead to faster sperm/oocyte binding and sperm penetration (factors of successful embryo development).
- Engineering a gene silencing viral construct that targets the cat
hypothalamus to induce permanent sterility: An update
- Authors: GA Dissen; K Adachi, A Lomniczi, T Chatkupt, BL Davidson, H Nakai, SR Ojeda
Abstract: The intent of this contribution is to provide an update of the progress we have made towards developing a method/treatment to permanently sterilize cats. Our approach employs two complementary methodologies: RNA interference (RNAi) to silence genes involved in the central control of reproduction and a virus-based gene therapy system intended to deliver RNAi selectively to the hypothalamus (where these genes are expressed) via the systemic administration of modified viruses. We selected the hypothalamus because it contains neurons expressing Kiss1 and Tac3, two genes essential for reproduction and fertility. We chose the non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector whose tropism could be modified to target the hypothalamus. The issues that must be overcome to utilize this vector as a delivery vehicle to induce sterility include modification of the wild-type AAV to target the hypothalamic region of the brain with a simultaneous reduction in targeting of peripheral tissues and non-hypothalamic brain regions, identification of RNAi targets that will effectively reduce the expression of Kiss1 and Tac3 without off-target effects, and determination if neutralizing antibodies to the AAV serotype of choice are present in cats. Successful resolution of these issues will pave the way for the development of a powerful tool to induce the permanent sterility in cats.
- Age and anti-Müllerian hormone levels predict the success of in vitro
maturation of cat oocytes
- Authors: F Snoeck; S Sarrazin, E Wydooghe, A Van Soom
Abstract: Up to date, in vitro maturation (IVM) rates of oocytes are highly variable between individual cats. This study was carried out to investigate the predictive value of age and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) concentration in relation to capacity for IVM of cat oocytes. Ovaries were collected from 33 cats, which were divided into three age groups: (i) 0–3 months (pre-pubertal); (ii) 3–12 months (peripubertal); and (iii) older than 12 months (pubertal). The cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were matured and subsequently stained to check nuclear maturation status, and blood was taken for AMH analysis. Increasing age was significantly associated with decreasing AMH levels, and mean AMH levels differed significantly between all age categories: group 1: mean AMH 18.71 μg/L; group 2: mean AMH 9.27 μg/L; and group 3: mean AMH 4.13 μg/L. Moreover, the probability of maturation was more likely in groups 2 and 3 compared to group 1. Between categories 2 and 3, no significant difference in maturation probability was found (p = .31). Finally, the probability of oocyte maturation decreased significantly with increasing AMH levels. In age group 2, oocytes with a higher AMH level were less likely to mature. In age groups 1 and 3, no significant association between the AMH level and the proportion of maturated COC was found. We can conclude that if a higher probability of nuclear maturation is required, it is preferable to use cats with lower AMH levels and older than 3 months of age to improve cat IVM.
- Natural and artificial hyperimmune solutions: Impact on health in puppies
- Authors: H Mila; A Grellet, C Mariani, A Feugier, B Guard, J Suchodolski, J Steiner, S Chastant-Maillard
Abstract: Colostrum and milk are complex mammary secretions providing the puppy with many nutritional and immunological factors, which play a crucial role for its correct development and survival. In the case of colostrum and/or milk intake deficiency, puppies are at increased risk of infectious diseases. This work reviews the various nutritional hyperimmune supplementations proposed to provide a passive immune protection and to positively impact puppies’ health. Some strategies rely on canine immunoglobulins: canine colostrum banking and canine serum/plasma supplementation. Others involve heterologous sources of antibodies and other immune factors: bovine colostrum or hyperimmune egg powder. Among the different solutions evaluated from birth to weaning, canine plasma and hyperimmune egg powder showed promising beneficial effect on puppies’ health. Canine plasma seems to positively impact not only growth (increased growth during the neonatal period), but also digestive health (higher species richness of intestinal microbiota) and the general health (tendency of lower morbidity). Puppies supplemented with hyperimmune egg powder presented increased neonatal growth and decreased risk of canine parvovirus infection. Nevertheless, natural canine maternal colostrum and milk ingestion remains the optimal guarantee for puppies’ health and survival, as a source of immunity, energy and growth factors.
- Research on reproduction is essential for captive breeding of endangered
- Authors: K Jewgenow; BC Braun, M Dehnhard, J Zahmel, F Goeritz
Abstract: Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has great potential for conservation, but its successful application in captive breeding programmes of endangered species is often compromised by limited background on species' biology. Although carnivore species benefit from knowledge obtained in domesticated species (dogs, cats and ferrets), the focus of research is different. In pet animals, research in reproduction has mainly been focused on ovarian function and contraception, although substantial progress has also been made in the field of in vitro embryo production, transgenic embryos and cloning to aid relevant medical models. In endangered species, however, research should focus on characterizing reproductive traits (cyclicity and seasonality) to unravel species-specific endocrine principles of reproduction physiology. Based on this knowledge, it is crucial to enhance the ability to manipulate female reproductive cycles, especially those of embryo recipients. Furthermore, research conducted on molecular and cellular mechanisms of gamete and embryo development, as well as on cryopreservation protocols of gametes and embryos, is required for successful implementation of advanced ART to wild carnivores. This review will provide a summary on the state of the art with focus on ART contributing to conservation breeding of endangered carnivores.
- The nuclear and developmental competence of cumulus–oocyte complexes is
enhanced by three-dimensional coculture with conspecific denuded oocytes
during in vitro maturation in the domestic cat model
- Authors: MG Morselli; GC Luvoni, P Comizzoli
Abstract: The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy of coculture with conspecific cumulus-denuded oocytes (CDOs) during in vitro maturation in a three-dimensional system of barium alginate microcapsules on the in vitro embryo development of domestic cat cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs). In Experiment I, COCs were cocultured with conspecific CDOs or cultured separately in a 3D system for 24 hr of in vitro maturation, before assessing the meiotic progression. In Experiment II, the in vitro fertilization of COCs and CDOs was carried out with chilled epididymal spermatozoa and the presumptive zygotes were cultured in vitro separately for 7 days in 3D microcapsules before assesment of embryonic development. The results showed that the viability was maintained and that meiosis was resumed in the 3D culture system. The presence of CDOs during in vitro maturation improved the meiotic competence of the COCs, since the proportions of telophase I/metaphase II were higher than that in the groups cultured separately. The enrichment of the maturation system by companion oocytes also enhanced the ability of COCs to develop into embryos, and increased the percentages of morula and blastoycst stages. The COCs cocultured with CDOs developed at higher rates than the COCs cultured separately and the CDOs themselves. The beneficial effects of coculture with conspecific CDOs were presumably due to the paracrine action of some secreted factors that enhanced many molecular patterns related to the complex of cumulus oophorous cells. Further investigations to understand how the 3D microenvironment can influence the features of oocytes and embryos are required.
- Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and steroid receptors in foetal gonads
of domestic cat—Sex similarities and differences
- Authors: BC Braun; K Jewgenow
Abstract: Foetal gonads already produce steroid hormones and by this influence the further development of external and internal genitalia as well as of the brain. Beside this, foetal gonads themselves can be influenced by foetal or maternal hormones. The time course of foetal gonadal development can differ between species. As knowledge on processes in domestic cats is very limited, the steroidogenic enzyme expressions as well as these of steroid receptors were analysed in foetal gonads of domestic cats. We investigated a period from beginning of the second half of pregnancy to the beginning of the third trimester; a phase, where also gonadal development proceeds. The mRNA expression of most of the steroidogenic enzymes was remarkably higher in male gonads compared to female ones on all analysed days. The enzyme mRNA expression in female gonads shows a tendency for an increase towards the beginning of the third trimester, except that of aromatase gene CYP19A1—it shows the opposite trend. CYP19A1 was detectable just in female gonads, indicating that only female foetal gonads are capable of producing oestrogens. Gene expressions of genomically and non-genomically acting steroid receptors for progesterone, androgen and oestrogen reception were observed in gonads of both genders. Slightly higher expressions of some receptors were detected in female compared to male gonads; only for the non-genomically oestrogen receptor GPER, we observed the opposite. The protein staining for progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) exposed a potential function of it on steroid-producing cell and/or cells that suppose early oogenesis.
- Survival rate after vitrification of various stages of cat embryos and
blastocyst with and without artificially collapsed blastocoel cavity
- Authors: M Ochota; B Wojtasik, W Niżański
Abstract: Embryo vitrification is a modern technique for cryopreservation in assisted reproductive programs. From all the embryos, blastocysts are the most challenging during cryostorage due to their size, multicellular structure and the presence of blastocoelic fluid. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability for vitrification of various developmental stages of feline embryos and the influence of the artificial shrinkage (AS) of expanded blastocyst on post-vitrification survival rates. The AS procedure is the manual puncture of the trophectoderm allowing for the reduction of blastocoelic fluid prior to vitrification and thus preventing the ice crystal formation. The vitrified embryos were divided into groups of 2-cell, 4- to 8-cell,>8-cell, morulae, compacted and expanded blastocyst, based on morphological assessment and vitrified in groups of 1–3 embryos per Cryotop. The post-warming survival was similar regardless the embryo developmental stage prior vitrification; however, development to blastocysts was only noted in 4- to 8-cell and>8-cell vitrified embryos (13% and 27%, respectively). Following warming, the significantly more viable blastocysts were noted in vitrified compacted versus expanded blastocyst and in expanded blastocyst subjected to AS procedure versus expanded blastocyst without AS (total survival: 58.3% vs. 33.3% and 64.3% vs. 38.5%, respectively; re-expansion rate within 2 hr post-warming: 41.7 vs. 6.7% and 50% vs. 7.7%, respectively). One-fifth of vitrified expanded blastocyst showed morphological damage immediately after warming procedure, whereas no visible damage was noted in compacted blastocyst and artificially collapsed expanded ones. The obtained results suggest that the most suitable for vitrification are feline embryos containing four to 16 blastomeres and compacted blastocyst. In addition, the reduction of blastocoel cavity in expanding blastocyst by artificial collapse improved the blastocyst vitrification outcome.
- Safety and effectiveness of a single and repeat intramuscular injection of
a GnRH vaccine (GonaCon™) in adult female domestic cats
- Authors: LM Vansandt; MA Kutzler, AE Fischer, KN Morris, WF Swanson
Abstract: Sterilization is a key strategy to reduce the number of domestic cats entering and killed in shelters each year. However, surgical sterilization is expensive and labour-intensive and cannot fully address the 70 million free-roaming cats estimated to exist in the United States. GonaCon™ is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine originally developed for use as a wildlife immunocontraceptive. An earlier formulation was tested in domestic cats and found to be safe and effective for long-term contraception. However, the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered formulation consists of a different antigen-carrier protein and increased antigen concentration and has never been tested in cats. A pilot study was undertaken to evaluate the short-term safety of a single GonaCon immunization, assess the consequences of vaccinated cats receiving an accidental second GonaCon injection and determine the humoral immune response to immunization. During Phase 1, cats in Group A (n = 3) received a single intramuscular injection of GonaCon and Group B (n = 3) received a single intramuscular injection of saline. During Phase 2, Group A received a second GonaCon injection and Group B received their initial GonaCon injection. All cats developed GnRH antibodies within 30 days of vaccine administration. The endpoint titre (1:1,024,000) was similar among all cats, and levels remained high throughout the duration of the study. Four cats developed a sterile, painless, self-limiting mass at the site of injection. The mean number of days to mass development was 110.3 (range, 18–249 days). In conclusion, this preliminary study suggests that the EPA-registered GonaCon formulation is safe for continued testing in domestic cats, an accidental revaccination should not increase the risk of a vaccine reaction and the EPA-registered formulation effectively elicits a strong humoral immune response.
- Decidualization of the canine uterus: From early until late gestational in
vivo morphological observations, and functional characterization of
immortalized canine uterine stromal cell lines
- Authors: FR Graubner; IM Reichler, NA Rahman, R Payan-Carreira, A Boos, MP Kowalewski
Abstract: The apparent lack of classical mechanisms for maternal recognition of pregnancy is one of the most intriguing features of canine reproduction. Consequently, similar levels of circulating luteal steroids are observed in pregnant and non-pregnant dogs. However, the early pre-implantation canine embryo locally modulates uterine responses to its presence, facilitating the successful onset of pregnancy. As a part of this interaction, the canine uterus undergoes a species-specific decidualization. Maternal stroma-derived decidual cells develop, the only cells of the canine placenta expressing progesterone receptor (PGR). There exists an acute need for an in vitro stable cell line model for canine decidualization. Therefore, herein our goal was to establish, immortalize and characterize such a cell line. We immortalized three monolayer dog uterine stromal (DUS) cell lines by stably transfecting them with SV40Tag oncogene. Cells retained their mesenchymal character for over 30 passages, as evidenced by VIMENTIN staining. Genomic incorporation of the SV40Tag protein was confirmed by immunofluorescence and Western blot analyses. Cells submitted to a classical in vitro decidualization protocol (N6,2′-O-dibutyryladenosine-3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate) revealed upregulated gene levels of selected major decidualization markers (e.g. PRLR, PGR, IGF1, PTGES). Additionally, the basic decidualization capability of PGE2 was demonstrated, revealing increased levels of, for example, PGR and PRLR gene expression, thereby implying its involvement in the progesterone-dependent decidualization in the canine uterus. In summary, our in vitro model with immortalized DUS cell line could serve as an ideal and unique model to study the underlying molecular and endocrine mechanisms of canine decidualization.
- Effect of testicular tissue lysate on developmental competence of porcine
oocytes matured and fertilized in vitro
- Authors: AK Singh; S Naskar, B Saikia, Y Vashi, S Gupta, S Banik, MK Tamuli, V Pande, DK Sarma, SK Dhara
Pages: 183 - 188
Abstract: The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of testicular tissue lysate (TTL) on developmental competence of germinal vesicle (GV) stage porcine oocytes. Two types of TTL were prepared through repeated freeze–thaw in liquid nitrogen, one from whole testicular tissue (wTTL) and other from either of four different sections of testes, namely just beneath the tunica albuginea (TA), from the transitional area between the seminiferous cord/tubules and the mediastinum testis (TR) and from the intermediate area (parenchymal tissue origin) and CE (cauda epididymis origin). The whole or section-wise TTL treatments were given for 44 hr during in vitro maturation (IVM). Oocyte maturation was done in either of the two media, namely defined (high-performance basic medium for porcine oocyte maturation, commercially available) and serum containing (TCM199). After maturation, oocytes were co-incubated with fresh spermatozoa for 6 hr and then transferred to embryo culture media. Treatment of GV stage oocytes with wTTL (1 mg/ml) increased the cleavage and morula percentage rate (69.23 ± 6.23 and 48.15 ± 6.77, respectively) than that of their control (58.33 ± 8.08 and 32.54 ± 5.53, respectively) in defined media, and in serum-containing media, cleavage and morula percentage rate were almost equal in both treatment (54.56 ± 7.79 and 34.70 ± 6.78, respectively) and control (59.52 ± 8.21 and 38.52 ± 6.54, respectively). However, effect of wTTL was not significant. In case of section-wise TTL supplements, TR section significantly (p
- Nasal immunization with inhibin DNA vaccine delivered by attenuated
Salmonella choleraesuis for improving ovarian responses and fertility in
- Authors: Q Liu; ZU Rehman, JJ Liu, L Han, XR Liu, LG Yang
Pages: 189 - 194
Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the effect of immunization with inhibin DNA vaccine delivered by attenuated Salmonella choleraesuis on ovarian responses and fertility in cross-bred buffaloes. A total of 134 cross-bred buffaloes were divided into four groups: groups T1 (n = 34), T2 (n = 35) and T3 (n = 31) were nasal immunized twice a day with 10 ml of 1 × 1010 CFU/ml of the C501 (pVAX-asd-IS) vaccine for 5, 3 and 1 day, respectively. Group C (n = 34) was nasal immunized with 10 ml PBS for 5 days. All animals were immunized twice with an interval of 14 days and administered with 200 μg of a GnRH analogue on day 28, 0.5 mg PGF2α on day 35 and 200 μg of the same GnRH analogue on day 37. TAI was performed at 18 and 24 hr after the second GnRH treatment. Fourteen days after primary immunization, C501 (pVAX-asd-IS) elicited significant immune responses, and anti-inhibin IgG antibody titres in group T1 were significantly higher (p
- Antisperm antibodies in repeat-breeding cows: Frequency, detection and
validation of threshold levels employing sperm immobilization, sperm
agglutination and immunoperoxidase assay
- Authors: SK Srivastava; S Shinde, SK Singh, S Mehrotra, MR Verma, AK Singh, S Nandi, N Srivastava, SK Singh, TK Goswami, SK Bhure, H Kumar, SK Ghosh
Pages: 195 - 202
Abstract: Antisperm antibodies have been found in repeat-breeding(RB) cows, and those causing agglutination and/or immobilization of sperm are considered to be closely related to unexplained infertility. However, a standard protocol for identifying antisperm antibodies (ASA) in cattle is not validated. Therefore, an investigation was undertaken to evaluate sperm immobilization (SIT), sperm agglutination (SAT) and immunoperoxidase (IPT)assays for detection of ASA in serum and their respective threshold levels for confirmation. Animals (heifers, normally breeding, repeat-breeding and pregnant animals) that were free from IBR, brucellosis and uterine infections (screened by clinical examination) were included in the study. Sperm agglutinating, sperm immobilizing and antisperm antibodies evaluated by respective assay were significantly higher (p
- miRNA and piRNA expression profiles of breeder cock testes detected by
- Authors: SR Wu; W Guo, YL Li, XC Ren, XY Lei, XY Li, JH Yao, XJ Yang
Pages: 203 - 213
Abstract: miRNAs are small non-coding regulatory RNAs that play key roles in diverse biological processes. In this study, we used the Solexa sequencing technique to profile miRNAs in breeder cock testes to illustrate their functions. A total of 663 co-expressed miRNAs and 3,180 co-expressed piRNAs were detected in three libraries. Based on Mir-X™ miRNA qRT-PCR, three miRNAs representing low, medium and high expression levels according to the sequencing results were selected randomly to validate the miRNAs' expression profiles. Results suggested that the miRNA expression profiles data could represent actual miRNA expression levels. Moreover, target genes prediction of the co-expressed miRNAs and further Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses were performed, which revealed that some candidate miRNAs were involved in the regulation of the spermatogenesis process, spermatozoa function and testicular metabolism. In conclusion, we provided a useful resource for further elucidation of the miRNAs' regulatory role in spermatogenesis, contributing to a preliminary database for functional and molecular mechanistic studies in testicular metabolism, spermatogenesis and other testes functions.
- The impact of cross-breeding Egyptian and Italian buffalo on reproductive
and productive performance under a subtropical environment
- Authors: MAF Nasr
Pages: 214 - 220
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the reproductive and productive performance of pure Egyptian (PE) buffaloes and their crosses with Italian buffaloes. In this study, 2969 dairy buffaloes were used (1599 PE; 615 F1 crosses, 50% PE and 50% Italian buffaloes; and 755 backcross [BC], 75% PE and 25% Italian buffaloes). When compared to PE, the BC and F1 had a significantly lower incidence of calving difficulty (odds ratio [OR] = 0.18, p
- Estimation of endogenous levels of osteopontin, total antioxidant capacity
and malondialdehyde in seminal plasma: Application for fertility
assessment in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) bulls
- Authors: P Kumar; M Saini, D Kumar, A Bharadwaj, PS Yadav
Pages: 221 - 226
Abstract: This study was attempted to identify subfertile bulls by quantifying the endogenous levels of osteopontin (OPN), total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in seminal plasma of buffalo bulls. On the basis of conception rate, buffalo bulls were classified into two groups: high-fertile (conception rate>50%) and subfertile bulls (conception rate
- First case of sterility associated with sex chromosomal abnormalities in a
- Authors: J Dorado; G Anaya, M Bugno-Poniewierska, A Molina, A Mendez-Sanchez, I Ortiz, M Moreno-Millán, M Hidalgo, P Peral García, S Demyda-Peyrás
Pages: 227 - 234
Abstract: Chromosomal abnormalities are one of the main causes of genetic infertility in horses. Currently, their detection rate is rising due to the use of new diagnostic tools employing molecular markers linked to the sex chromosome pair. Despite genetic similarities, there are no previous reports of sterility associated with chromosomal abnormalities in the domestic donkey (Equus asinus). Hereby, we determined the presence of a chromosomal mosaicism in a female donkey with reproductive problems using molecular methodologies developed for horses. A two-and-a-half-year-old jenny characterized by morphological abnormalities of the reproductive tract was cytogenetically analysed using conventional and fluorescent techniques and a group of microsatellite markers (short tandem repeat, STR). At the same time, five ultrasound measures of the reproductive tract were taken and compared with eight contemporary jennies of the same breed. After slaughter, morphological examinations showed that the case study had a blind vaginal vestibule defining an empty pouch that covered the entrance of the cervical os. Histopathological studies demonstrated that this abnormal structure was compatible with a remnant hymen. Molecular markers, STR and fluorescent in situ hybridization determinations revealed that the animal was a 62, XX/61,X mosaic and, therefore, the first case of chromosomal abnormalities in the sex pair reported in donkeys.
- Isolation, proliferation and characterization of endometrial canine stem
- Authors: V De Cesaris; S Grolli, C Bresciani, V Conti, G Basini, E Parmigiani, E Bigliardi
Pages: 235 - 242
Abstract: In the last decade, progenitor cells isolated from dissociated endometrial tissue have been the subject of many studies in several animal species. Recently, endometrial cells showing characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been demonstrated in human, pig and cow uterine tissue samples. The aim of this study was the isolation and characterization of stromal cells from the endometrium of healthy bitches, a tissue that after elective surgery is routinely discarded. Multipotent stromal cells could be isolated from all bitches enrolled in the study (n = 7). The multipotency of cells was demonstrated by their capacity to differentiate into adipocytic, osteocytic and chondrocytic lineages. Clonogenicity and cell proliferation ability were also tested. Furthermore, gene expression analysis by RT-PCR was used to compare the expression of a set of genes (CD44, CD29, CD34, CD45, CD90, CD13, CD133, CD73, CD31 CD105, Oct4) with adipose tissue-derived MSC. Stromal cells isolated from uterine endometrium showed similar morphology, ability of subculture and plasticity, and also expressed a panel of genes comparable with adipose tissue-derived MSC. These data suggest that endometrial stromal cells fulfil the basic criteria proposed by the “Mesenchymal and Tissue Stem Cell Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy” for the identification of mesenchymal stem cells. Although endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (EnMSC) showed a lower replicative ability in comparison with adipose tissue-derived MSC, they could be considered a cell therapeutic agent alternative to adipose tissue or bone marrow-derived MSC in dog.
- Bovine ovarian stem cells differentiate into germ cells and oocyte-like
structures after culture in vitro
- Authors: GB Souza; JJN Costa, EV Cunha, JRS Passos, RP Ribeiro, MVA Saraiva, R Hurk, JRV Silva
Pages: 243 - 250
Abstract: Stem cells have been isolated from ovaries, and their ability to differentiate into oocytes in vitro has been demonstrated for mice and human, but not for bovine species. The aims of this study were to isolate germline stem cells from bovine ovaries and to evaluate the effects of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) 2 and 4, and follicular fluid on the differentiation of these stem cells into oocyte-like structures. The ovarian stem cells were isolated and cultured in α-MEM+ supplemented with BMP2, BMP4 or follicular fluid. On days 0 and 14, cells were evaluated for their morphological appearance, viability, expression of alkaline phosphatase and for markers of germ cell formation (VASA and DAZL) and oocyte development (GDF9, ZPA and SCP3) by qPCR. Levels of mRNA were analysed using ANOVA and Bonferroni test (p
- Environmental and maternal factors associated with gross placental
morphology in dairy cattle
- Authors: MM Kamal; M Van Eetvelde, L Vandaele, G Opsomer
Pages: 251 - 256
Abstract: This article reports on a study of gross placental morphology of 282 expelled placentas from 89 primi- and 193 multiparous Holstein dams immediately after calving and examines associations with environmental factors such as typical herd features and season of calving, and maternal factors such as age at calving, level of milk yield at conception and cumulative amount of milk produced during gestation. The highest correlation between calf measurements and placental characteristics was found between the weight of the calf and the total cotyledonary surface (r = .643; p
- Evaluation of epididymis storage temperature and cryopreservation
conditions for improved mitochondrial membrane potential, membrane
integrity, sperm motility and in vitro fertilization in bovine epididymal
- Authors: M Nichi; T Rijsselaere, JDA Losano, DSR Angrimani, GKV Kawai, IGF Goovaerts, A Van Soom, VH Barnabe, JBP De Clercq, PEJ Bols
Pages: 257 - 263
Abstract: The maintaining of the epididymis at lower temperatures during storage and transport improves sperm quality. Our study aimed to test whether epididymis storage temperature (post-mortem) and sperm cryopreservation affect sperm kinetics, membrane integrity, mitochondrial potential and fertility capacity. Thirty-six epididymides were collected from 18 bulls after slaughter and divided into two groups: at 4 or 34°C for 2–3 hr. The sperm was collected from the epididymis cauda. The evaluation consisted of computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), SYBR14/PI/JC1 to evaluate membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and measurement of lipid peroxidation (TBARS). The sperm was then frozen using an automatic device. After thawing, sperm samples were evaluated by the same variables and further in vitro fertilization rates. Cryopreservation negatively affected sperm motility in samples stored at 4 and 34°C. Nevertheless, the 4°C samples yielded higher rates of blastocyst formation. Pre-freeze sperm motility, progressive motility and velocity were higher in sperm from epididymis stored at 4°C while post-thaw sperm motility, progressive motility and velocity remained the same among samples from epididymis stored at 4 or 34°C. However, with regard to the kinetic patterns, samples collected from epididymis stored at 34°C had lower values when compared to those stored at 4°C prior the cryopreservation process. Our results indicate that epididymis handling conditions after cryopreservation may affect sperm quality after thawing, especially due to compromised MMP in sperm collected from epididymis stored at higher temperatures.
- The onset of puberty in Cameroon Dwarf goats kept as pets in northwestern
- Authors: D Đuričić; S Vince, H Valpotić, I Žura Žaja, R Turk, M Lojkić, I Getz, V Berta, M Samardžija
Pages: 278 - 282
Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine onset of puberty in Cameroon Dwarf goats (CDGs) kept as pets in northwestern Croatia by determining progesterone (PGS) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels in the blood by RIA methods. The first cyclic ovarian activity was estimated according to hormone profiles as determined in CDG in a moderate climate environment. Sixteen female CDG kids were kept in stables with access to pasture which provided space for exercise. The goat kids born in winter (December–January–February), spring (March–April–May), summer (June–July–August) and autumn (September–October–November) were assigned into four groups according to the season of the year of birth (n = 4 in each group). At 75 days of age at the initiation of the study, they weighed between 3.2 and 5.1 kg (4.24 ± 0.53 kg). The onset of ovulatory activity was determined by PGS and IGF-I serum concentrations every 10 days starting from 75 days to 155 days of age. The onset of puberty in CDG kids occurred on average at 141.15 ± 2.66 days of age, but varied depending on the season of birth. All CDG kids born during summer were in heat by 155 days of age. In the other groups (kids born in autumn, winter or spring), one goat in each group was not in heat. Changes in blood serum PGS and IGF-I concentrations during prepubertal and pubertal periods could aid in the evaluation of reproductive status and determination of the onset of puberty in CDG during all seasons of the year in a moderate climate region.
- Assessment of spermatozoa in fertile alpaca (Vicugna pacos) males: Study
of sperm head morphometry using a nonautomated digital method and sperm
morphology based on strict criteria
- Authors: D Evangelista-Vargas; S Evangelista-Vargas, M Valdivia, A Santiani
Pages: 312 - 318
Abstract: Although computer-assisted systems for sperm morphometry and morphological analysis are important tools in the study of male fertility, their use in extensive systems in alpacas is limited by factors such as the expense of equipment and the high altitudes of the Andean region. The objectives of this study were to evaluate alpaca sperm head morphometry using a nonautomated digital method and determine the frequency of sperm abnormalities based on strict criteria for sperm morphology in fertile male alpacas. Ejaculates (n = 15) from seven alpacas were collected, and sperm smears stained with modified Papanicolaou were processed. For morphometric analysis, 3,000 sperm (200 cells/sample) images were captured at 400× magnification and Quick Photo MICRO 3.0 software was used for manual measurement of basic (sperm head length, width, perimeter and area) and derived variables (ellipticity, shape factor, elongation and regularity). For morphology assessment, smears were observed at 1000× magnification according to WHO and strict criteria. Average morphometric parameters were length 5.48 μm, width 2.99 μm, perimeter 13.62 μm, area 12.43 μm2, ellipticity 1.86, shape factor 1.20, elongation 0.29 and regularity 1.05. Significant between-individual and within-individual differences were found in morphometric parameters. Based on morphometric study, sperm heads were classified as elliptical or normal (49%), long (18%), short (2%), pyriform (12%), round (9%), large (6%) and small (4%). Morphological analysis found no additional sperm head defects in 49% of normal sperm obtained by morphometry, although a 4% incidence of neck/mid-piece defects and a 16% incidence of principal-piece defects were found. We conclude that sperm head morphometry assessment in fertile alpacas using a nonautomated digital method is feasible, and that defects in sperm heads constitute the main morphological alteration (>50% of the sperm population), based on WHO and strict criteria.
- A new device to inseminate cows at the base of the uterine horns
- Authors: O García-Peña; R Rangel-Santos, R Rodríguez-De Lara, CA Apodaca-Sarabia, E Maldonado-Simán
Pages: 344 - 349
Abstract: A new device (Chapingo device) to deposit semen at the base of the uterine horns of cattle was developed at Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, Mexico. Nine Holstein heifers were inseminated by transvaginal laparoscopy, using a laparoscope for cattle and the Chapingo device. A dose of sexed semen (2.1 × 106 spermatozoa) was deposited at the base of the uterine horn ipsilateral to the ovary where the preovulatory follicle was identified. Insemination was achieved in all the heifers, taking on average 13.7 ± 3.1 min per animal. In all cases, it was possible to see both ovaries, the base of the uterine horns and the oviducts. After the procedure, none of the heifers showed any type of complications such as haemorrhage, adhesions or trauma. On days 21 and 22 after insemination, four of the nine heifers (44.4%) returned into oestrus; on day 30 after insemination, one heifer was found to be pregnant by ultrasound. The results show the feasibility of generating pregnancies by transvaginal laparoscopy in heifers inseminated with sexed semen.