- 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
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.
- 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.
- Identification of lactoferrin and glutamate receptor-interacting protein 1
in bovine cervical mucus: A putative marker for oestrous detection
- Authors: WY Lee; MH Park, KW Kim, H Song, KB Kim, CS Lee, NK Kim, JK Park, BC Yang, KB Oh, GS Im, HJ Chung
Abstract: Accurate detection of oestrus is important for artificial insemination. The aim of this study was to identify oestrous-specific bovine cervical mucus proteins that could be used to determine the optimal time for artificial insemination. Non-oestrous and controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-induced oestrous-stage mucus proteins were purified and subjected to surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF. Among differentially expressed proteins, lactoferrin (LF) and glutamate receptor-interacting protein 1 (GRIP1) showed a twofold increase during the CIDR-induced oestrous stage compared to the levels in non-oestrous stage in bovine cervical mucus. The RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry results showed that LF and GRIP1 expression was significantly increased during the oestrous stage in the uterus. This study demonstrated that bovine LF and GRIP1 exist during the oestrous stage, but not during the non-oestrous stage, suggesting that cervical mucus LF and GRIP1 are useful oestrous detection markers in cattle.
- 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).
- Effects of supplemental dietary vitamin C on quality of semen from Nile
tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) breeders
- Authors: NLAF Sarmento; EFF Martins, DC Costa, WS Silva, CC Mattioli, MR Luz, RK Luz
Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vitamin C on growth and quality of semen from Oreochromis niloticus breeders. One hundred and sixty males were fed with different levels of vitamin C (0, 261, 599 and 942 mg/kg diet). The higher weight values were recorded for 599 (166 g) and 942 (175 g) mg of vitamin C/kg diet. Sperm motility, vigour and concentration were higher with 599 and 942 mg of vitamin C/kg diet. The semen volume, gonadosomatic index and plasma protein data from the last week showed a direct relationship with increasing levels of vitamin C. No changes were observed in the hepatosomatic index and blood glucose. The haematocrit and erythrocyte showed higher values estimated by equations derived at 850 and 638 mg vitamin C/kg diet, respectively. The leucocytes were inversely proportional to the increasing levels of vitamin C. After 100 days of feeding, animals fed the diet containing 942 mg vitamin C/kg diet had higher sperm motility, linearity, curvilinear velocity, straight line velocity and average path velocity (p
- Monochorial diamniotic dizygotic twins in a German Shepherd Dog: A case
- Authors: C Urhausen; K Wolf, A Beineke, C Dierks, M Schmicke, A Einspanier, AR Günzel-Apel
Abstract: Case report: A 6.5-year-old clinically healthy German Shepherd Dog with regular oestrous cycles of 6 months was presented for pregnancy diagnosis on day 38 after ovulation (p.ov.). Ultrasonography revealed three individual placental sites in progressed resorption and two vital adequately developed foetuses sharing a joint placenta. On days 41 and 48 p.ov., sonographic signs indicated normal development of both foetuses, but on day 52 p.ov., both foetuses were found to be dead. A caesarean section was performed the same day. Examination of the removed uterus confirmed the diagnosis of a “twin” pregnancy with two foetuses sharing the same placental site but separate amniotic membranes. One foetus showed generalized oedema (anasarca). Bacterial culture of swabs taken from inside the placental cavity was negative. At histological examination of the uterus, no signs of inflammation were found. Serum relaxin concentrations (day 38, 41, 48 and 52. p.ov.) were consistent with those of bitches with normal pregnancies. Cytogenetic analysis of the two foetuses revealed dizygotic twins, one male and one female according to SRY-PCR. By genotyping 17 high-polymorphic canine microsatellites, it could be demonstrated that the two foetuses developed from two different oocytes.
- 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.
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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
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
- Uterine infection with bovine herpesvirus type 4 in dairy cows
- Authors: S Klamminger; I Prunner, MJ Giuliodori, M Drillich
Abstract: Diseases of the reproductive tract are a frequent problem in dairy herds. Herpesviruses are uterine pathogens also involved in other clinical diseases; for example, bovine herpesvirus type 4 BoHV-4 induces abortion, enteritis, metritis, pneumonia and vaginitis, but it can also be detected in healthy cows. The role of BoHV-4 in the development of clinical endometritis (CE) or subclinical endometritis (SE) has not clearly been described. Therefore, the objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of uterine BoHV-4 infection and its relationship with clinical, bacteriological and cytological findings in dairy cows 20–30 days after calving. The experiment was performed as a completely randomized block design, with farm (n = 10) as blocking criterion and with cow (n = 397) as the experimental unit. Logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of BoHV-4 infection on CE, SE and reproductive performance. Proportion of cows infected with BoHV-4 was 5.8% (n = 23/397). BoHV-4 was isolated in 11.0% (n = 12/109), 4.8% (n = 4/84) and 3.6% (n = 7/194) of cows diagnosed as CE, SE or healthy, respectively. A logistic model revealed that BoHV-4 infection showed a tendency to increase the risk for CE (AOR = 2.17; p = .10) but significantly reduced both, the odds for artificial insemination within 80 days post-partum (dpp) (AOR = 0.37; p = .035) and for pregnancy within 200 dpp (AOR = 0.13; p = .004). Furthermore, BoHV-4 infection increased the chance for intrauterine infection with Trueperella pyogenes (AOR = 5.55; 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
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
- The impact of cross-breeding Egyptian and Italian buffalo on reproductive
and productive performance under a subtropical environment
- Authors: MAF Nasr
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
- Fertility of Angus cross beef heifers after GnRH treatment on day 23 and
timing of insemination in 14-day CIDR protocol
- Authors: RK Kasimanickam; JB Hall, WD Whittier
Abstract: This study compared artificial insemination pregnancy rate (AI-PR) between 14-day CIDR-GnRH-PGF2α-GnRH and CIDR-PGF2α-GnRH synchronization protocol with two fixed AI times (56 or 72 hr after PGF2α). On day 0, heifers (n = 1311) from nine locations assigned body condition score (BCS: 1, emaciated; 9, obese), reproductive tract score (RTS: 1, immature, acyclic; 5, mature, cyclic) and temperament score (0, calm; and 1, excited) and fitted with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR, 1.38 g of progesterone) insert for 14 days. Within herd, heifers were randomly assigned either to no-GnRH group (n = 635) or to GnRH group (n = 676), and heifers in GnRH group received 100 μg of GnRH (gonadorelin hydrochloride, IM) on day 23. All heifers received 25 mg of PGF2α (dinoprost, IM) on day 30 and oestrous detection aids at the same time. Heifers were observed for oestrus thrice daily until AI. Within GnRH groups, heifers were randomly assigned to either AI-56 or AI-72 groups. Heifers in AI-56 group (n = 667) were inseminated at 56 hr (day 32 PM), and heifers in AI-72 group (n = 644) were inseminated at 72 hr (day 33 AM) after PGF2α administration. All heifers were given 100 μg of GnRH concurrently at the time AI. Controlling for BCS (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
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.
- Infertility associated with the absence of endometrial progesterone
receptors in a bitch
- Authors: JC Dockweiler; B Cossic, CG Donnelly, RO Gilbert, E Buckles, SH Cheong
Abstract: A three-year-old intact female Old English sheepdog was presented for evaluation of infertility. A uterine biopsy was performed during dioestrus, and the microscopic appearance was inconsistent with progesterone stimulation; the glands were sparse, simple and failed to show coiling, while the glandular epithelium was cuboidal instead of columnar. There was very little evidence of glandular activity. Due to the inappropriate appearance of the glands for the stage of the cycle, immunohistochemistry for progesterone receptors was performed. No progesterone receptor-positive immunoreactivity was identified in the endometrial luminal epithelium, glandular epithelium or stroma. Weak intranuclear immunoreactivity was identified within the smooth muscle cells of the myometrium. The absence of progesterone receptors within the endometrial glands is the most likely explanation for the abnormal appearance of the endometrium and for this bitch's infertility. To our knowledge, this is the first report of endometrial progesterone receptor absence in a bitch.
- Use of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation test to
monitor gonadal function in intact adult male cats
- Authors: S Romagnoli; A Baldan, C Righetti, C Fontaine, L Scenna, T Badon, C Stelletta, C Milani, M Cecchetto, A Mollo
Abstract: The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation test is a common procedure used to investigate normality of the pituitary-gonadal axis in mammals. There is very little information on the technique, its efficacy and side effects in small animals and in particular no information for male cats. In dogs, such test is performed by intravenous (IV) administration. With cats, the number of times the animal needs to be restrained for blood sampling should be the least possible. The purpose of this study was to assess efficacy and side effects of the GnRH stimulation test in tomcats comparing the IV with the intramuscular (IM) route of administration. A GnRH stimulation test was performed in eight adult tomcats through IM or IV administration of 50 μg gonadorelin. The response of the pituitary-gonadal axis was assessed by measuring serum testosterone on blood samples collected prior to and 1 hr following treatment. When considering each single group of cats, the post-stimulation serum testosterone values were significantly higher than the pre-treatment ones (p
- Identification and changes in the seasonal concentrations of heat shock
proteins in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) epididymides
- Authors: AM Majewska; W Kordan, M Koziorowska-Gilun, P Wysocki
Abstract: Heat shock proteins (HSPs) act as molecular chaperones with important regulatory functions. HSPs are considered to be essential factors in animal reproduction. In view of seasonal variations in the secretory activity of the reproductive tract of mature roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), the aims of this study were to identify HSPs in the epididymides and compare the expression of the identified proteins in three periods of the reproductive season. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the highest number of polypeptides in homogenates of epididymal tissues and in caput, corpus and cauda epididymal fluids throughout the reproductive season. Epididymal tissue homogenates and epididymal fluids were analysed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to reveal 31 polypeptides with enzymatic activity, including polypeptides with antioxidant properties, structural and cell signalling functions. Moreover, among the identified polypeptides, five of them were similar to heat shock proteins: endoplasmin (Grp94); heat shock protein 90 kDa (HSP90); 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (Grp78); chain A, the crystal structure of the human HSP70 ATPase domain and heat shock protein beta-1 isoform X. The concentrations of the analysed polypeptides, expressed in optical density units (ODU), differed significantly (p ≤ .05) across the examined periods of the reproductive season. The highest ODU values for almost all analysed proteins were observed during the rutting period. The presence of HSPs in the epididymal tissues and fluids of roe deer in different periods of the reproductive season could indicate that those proteins play an important role in sperm maturation in the epididymis.
- Expression pattern of HIF1alpha and vasohibins during follicle maturation
and corpus luteum function in the bovine ovary
- Authors: B Berisha; D Schams, D Rodler, F Sinowatz, MW Pfaffl
Abstract: The aim of this study was to characterize expression patterns of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF1A) and vasohibin family members (VASH1 and VASH2) during different stages of ovarian function in cow. Experiment 1: Antral follicle classification occurred by follicle size and estradiol-17beta (E2) concentration in the follicular fluid into 5 groups (180 E2 ng/ml). Experiment 2: Corpora lutea (CL) were assigned to the following stages: days 1–2, 3–4, 5–7, 8–12, 13–16 and >18 (after regression) of oestrous cycle and of pregnancy (months 1–2, 3–4, 6–7, >8). Experiment 3: Cows on days 8–12 were injected with a prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF) analogue and CL were collected before and 0.5, 2, 4, 12, 24, 48 and 64 hr after PGF injection. Expression of mRNA was measured by qPCR, steroid hormone concentration by EIA and localization by immunohistochemistry. HIF1A mRNA expression in our study increases significantly in follicles during final maturation. The highest HIF1A mRNA expression was detected during the early luteal phase, followed by a significant decrease afterwards. In contrast, the mRNA of vasohibins in small follicle was high, followed by a continuous and significant downregulation in preovulatory follicles. The obtained results show a remarkable inverse expression and localization pattern of HIF1A and vasohibins during different stages of ovarian function in cow. These results lead to the assumption that the examined factors are involved in the local mechanisms regulating angiogenesis and that the interactions between proangiogenic (HIF1A) and antiangiogenic (vasohibins) factors impact all stages of bovine ovary function.
- Differential expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9
in canine early placenta
- Authors: M Diessler; M Ventureira, R Hernandez, C Sobarzo, L Casas, C Barbeito, E Cebral
Abstract: The zonary and endotheliochorial dog placenta is the most invasive placenta of carnivores. The importance of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) in placenta invasiveness has been determined in several mammals including species with haemochorial, epitheliochorial and endotheliochorial placentation. Regarding the latter, the expression of MMP enzymes has been studied in the cat and the mature canine placenta. The aim of this study was to analyse the expression and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in the early dog placenta. Placentae from 18 to 30 days of pregnancy were collected from four bitches. Two placentae from each bitch were analysed. Placental tissue from one uterine horn was fixed in formaldehyde for immunohistochemistry, while marginal haematoma, labyrinth, non-implantative and implantative endometrium from the contralateral horn were immediately frozen in dry ice for the analysis of MMP expression (Western blot [WB]) and activity (zymography). MMP-2 and MMP-9 were evidenced in the labyrinth, maternal glands and marginal haematoma; this finding was directly correlated with levels of MMP expression by WB, and with the activity of MMP-2, mainly in the haematoma (the area of major remodelling of tissues). Thus, although MMP-9 is well expressed in the early canine placenta, it is not active. Given the important role of MMPs for invasiveness, maternal–foetal angiogenesis and the establishment of a correct foetal nutrition, the results are consistent with the findings in other species in which the MMP-2 activation precedes the MMP-9 one in early placentation.
- Different associations of cryoprotectants for testicular tissue of
prepubertal cats submitted to vitrification
- Authors: DBC Lima; TFP Silva, GB Morais, A Aquino-Cortez, JSAM Evangelista, FAF Xavier Júnior, DA Viana, LDM Silva
Abstract: The cryopreservation of testicular tissue is presented as the only alternative for the preservation of genetic material from prepubertal animals. However, this biotechnology is still being tested. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different associations of cryoprotectants and the potential of cell proliferation after vitrification of testicular tissue of prepubertal cats. Five testicular pairs from five prepubertal cats were used, and each pair was divided into four fragments. Of these, one fragment composed of the control group (CG) and the rest were distributed in experimental groups according to the associations of cryoprotectants to be tested (dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO)/glycerol (GLY); ethylene glycol (EG)/GLY) or DMSO/EG) in a final cryoprotectant concentration of 5.6 m. The fragments were submitted to vitrification, and after one week, fragments were heated and processed for histomorphological evaluation and quantification of nucleolar organizer regions (NORs). DMSO/GLY did not differ from CG and was superior to the other vitrified groups, as to cell separation and degree of shrinkage of the basal membrane. Concerning cell differentiation, visibility of the nucleus and nuclear condensation, all the vitrified groups were inferior to CG; however, DMSO/EG was inferior to DMSO/GLY and EG/GLY, which did not differ among themselves. CG was superior to all groups in quantification of NORs. DMSO/EG was inferior to all others, and there was no difference between DMSO/GLY and EG/GLY. The association DMSO/GLY presented the best preservation of tissue integrity and potential of cell proliferation after vitrification of the testicular tissue of prepubertal cats.
- Responsiveness of intraovarian dog follicles in vitro to epidermal growth
factor and vascular endothelial growth factor depends on ovarian donor age
- Authors: C Thongkittidilok; DE Wildt, N Songsasen
Abstract: We investigated the influence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on in vitro follicle development within ovarian cortices recovered from pre-pubertal (≤6 months) versus peri-pubertal dogs (≥10 months). Ovarian cortices were cultured for 3 or 7 days in EGF (0 or 10 ng/ml) and VEGF (0, 0.1 or 1 ng/ml) and subjected to histological and apoptosis analyses. Fresh cortices from the same dogs served as “non-cultured controls” (NCC) and were evaluated similarly. The response of ovarian follicles to growth factors differed between pre-pubertal versus peri-pubertal tissues. For pre-pubertal dogs, percentage of structurally normal follicles in cortices cultured for 3 days in low VEGF (0.1 ng/ml) and EGF alone was comparable to that of the NCC. Follicle density declined in all cultured groups even after 3 days. Primary follicle diameter in all cortices cultured for 7 days, except in low VEGF, was smaller than that of the NCC, and percentage apoptotic follicles sharply increased in all treatment groups compared to the NCC. For peri-pubertal donors, percentages of structurally normal follicles decreased in all culture treatments at 3 and 7 days of incubation compared to the NCC. However, more normal follicles were found in cortices cultured in low VEGF and the two VEGF and EGF combinations than in the absence of growth factors or with EGF alone. Culture reduced the density of developing follicles, but follicle diameter was similar to that of the NCC. TUNEL analysis revealed that high-VEGF (1 ng/ml) treatment protected follicles against apoptosis, with the proportion of apoptotic follicles at Day 7 being comparable to that of the NCC. The findings demonstrate that the response of ovarian cortices to growth factor supplementation varied between pre-pubertal versus peri-pubertal donors.
- Evaluation of different fragment sizes and cryoprotectants for
cryopreservation of feline testicular tissues
- Authors: BI Macente; GH Toniollo, M Apparicio, CFM Mansano, HE Thomé, CL Canella, MEG Tozato, RR Gutierrez
Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate tissue damage of feline testicles sectioned in two different sizes (0.3 or 0.5 cm3) and submitted to different cryoprotectants (propanediol or glycerol). Testicles obtained from 12 domestic cats were sectioned in 0.3 and 0.5 cm3 sized pieces and immediately evaluated by TBARS and semi-quantitatively by histomorphology. The remaining fragments were placed in cryotubes with 1 ml Egg yolk Tris Equex STM extender containing 3% glycerol or 3% propanediol and cryopreserved by fast-freezing technique. Frozen-thawed fragments were also evaluated by TBARS and histomorphology. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA with Student–Newmann–Keuls post hoc test, with p
- Reproductive performance and pre-weaning mortality: Preliminary analysis
of 27,221 purebred female dogs and 204,537 puppies in France
- Authors: S Chastant-Maillard; C Guillemot, A Feugier, C Mariani, A Grellet, H Mila
Abstract: The objective of this study was to describe efficiency of reproduction of purebred dogs in field breeding conditions, from mating to weaning in France. Data were collected between 2010 and 2014 in 5,667 French breeding kennels via a reproduction management software (Breeding Management System, Royal Canin, Aimargues, France). Effect of breed size (Mini: adult body weight 40 kg), age of dam and male on pregnancy rate, abortion rate and litter size were evaluated by multivariable models. Data on 45,913 heats (all with mating), from 27,221 bitches from 248 breeds, were analysed. At mating, mean age (±SD) was 3.1 ± 1.8 years for bitches and 3.3 ± 2.0 for males. Males originated from the same kennel as the females in 88.5% of the matings. Based on breeder's evaluation of the pregnancy status, pregnancy rate (number of pregnant females based on breeders declaration/number of heats) was 87.8% and abortion rate was 6.8%. Finally, 81.9% of the mated females gave birth to a litter. On 37,946 litters (204,537 puppies), mean litter size was 5.4 ± 2.8 puppies (range 1–24), which was influenced by breed size and dam age (p
- Molecular markers of putative spermatogonial stem cells in the domestic
- Authors: SJ Bedford-Guaus; S Kim, L Mulero, JM Vaquero, C Morera, R Adan-Milanès, A Veiga, Á Raya
Abstract: Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are an important tool for fertility preservation and species conservation. The ability to expand SSCs by in vitro culture is a crucial premise for their use in assisted reproduction. Because SSCs represent a small proportion of the germ cells in the adult testis, culture success is aided by pre-enrichment through sorting techniques based on cell surface-specific markers. Given the importance of the domestic cat as a model for conservation of endangered wild felids, herein we sought to examine culture conditions as well as molecular markers for cat SSCs. Using a cell culture medium for mouse SSCs supplemented with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), germ cells from prepuberal cat testes remained viable in culture for up to 43 days. Immunohistochemistry for promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger (PLZF) protein on foetal, prepuberal and adult testis sections revealed a pattern of expression consistent with the labelling of undifferentiated spermatogonia. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) with an antibody against epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EPCAM) was used to sort live cells. Then, the gene expression profile of EPCAM-sorted cells was investigated through RT-qPCR. Notably, EPCAM (+) cells expressed relatively high levels of CKIT (CD117), a surface protein typically expressed in differentiating germ cells but not SSCs. Conversely, EPCAM (-) cells expressed relatively high levels of POU domain class 5 transcription factor 1 (POU1F5 or OCT4), clearly a germ line stem cell marker. These results suggest that cat SSCs would probably be found within the population of EPCAM (–) cells. Future studies should identify additional surface markers that alone or in combination can be used to further enrich SSCs from cat germ cells.
- Epidemiological analysis of reproductive performances and kitten mortality
rates in 5,303 purebred queens of 45 different breeds and 28,065 kittens
- Authors: A Fournier; M Masson, F Corbière, H Mila, C Mariani, A Grellet, S Chastant-Maillard
Abstract: Reproduction management and performances are evaluated in the feline species only through a limited number of animals and studies. Our objective was to provide reference figures in purebred cats, from a large-scale sample. Data were collected from an online software dedicated to cattery management (Breeding Management System®, BMS, Royal Canin, Aimargues, France). Information was recorded on a voluntary basis by French breeders between 2011 and 2014. Data were anonymously transferred for analysis. A total of 9,063 oestrous periods (in contact with a male) from 5,303 queens (45 breeds) were recorded from 1,521 breeders. Most matings (70.1%) occurred during increasing day length periods. The mean age at mating (±SD) was 2.7 ± 1.6 years for queens and 2.9 ± 1.9 years for tomcats. Pregnancy rate (based on breeders declaration) was 85.2%. Among queens declared pregnant, 8.4% failed to maintain pregnancy. Globally, 78% of the mated females gave birth to 28,065 kittens within 7,075 L. Mean litter size was 4.0 ± 1.9 kittens among which 8.5% were stillborn. Neonatal and paediatric mortality rate was 8.2%. In total, 16.0% of kittens born died before weaning. The results of this study are based on the largest feline database ever analysed. The figures collected can thus be used as reference to define average reproductive performances in numerous breeds for cat breeders. Further analysis will identify factors influencing reproductive performances and early mortality in the feline species.
- Retained fertilizing capability in cryopreserved feline spermatozoa
- Authors: K Chatdarong
Abstract: Sperm cryopreservation offers a long-term preservation of male genetic materials for future assisted reproductive technologies. However, dramatic changes in temperature during freezing and thawing injure sperm cells. While motility is essential for AI and membrane integrity is crucial for in vitro fertilization (IVF), sperm DNA integrity is a common index of fertilizing capability required for AI, IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In endangered felids died unexpectedly, attempts have been made to recover as many DNA intact spermatozoa as possible from epididymis and testis to increase the opportunity to produce offspring in future. Although sperm from caudal epididymis has shown retained fertilizing capability after freezing and thawing (27.3% conception rate after unilateral intrauterine insemination), sperm recovery from the corpus epididymis has been suggested as an alternative to increase the amount of preserved genetic materials. To improve epididymal sperm quality, pre-treatment with single-layer centrifugation resulted in selection of sperm cells with intact DNA while post-thaw treatment with extracellular ATP incubation promoted the blastocyst rate. Cold storage of domestic cat testis for 7 days at 4°C demonstrated
- Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry for
the spatial location of feline oviductal proteins
- Authors: M Apparicio; VG Santos, DFO Rocha, CR Ferreira, BI Macente, GM Magalhães, AE Alves, TF Motheo, LC Padilha-Nakaghi, EA Pires-Buttler, GC Luvoni, MN Eberlin, WRR Vicente
Abstract: With the purpose of identifying factors involved in early stages of embryo development in the domestic cat, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) was used for the first time to describe the spatial localization of proteins in the oviducts of queens. Oviducts were obtained from two 2 and 4 years old cross-bred queens, divided into three segments, snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen and then stored at −80°C until use. Next, they were sectioned in a cryostat, fixed on ITO (indium tin oxide) conductive glass slides for MALDI-IMS and serial sections were collected on microscope slides for histology. As confirmed by histology, MALDI-IMS was able to show contrasting protein distributions in the oviductal infundibulum, ampulla and isthmus. Mass spectra were characterized by abundant ions of m/z 1,259, 4,939, 4,960 and 10,626, which have been tentatively attributed to keratin, thymosin β10, thymosin β4 and S100, respectively. Keratin and thymosins are involved in the biological response to tissue damage. S100 proteins are calcium-modulated proteins implicated in a variety of cellular activities, including cell differentiation and regulation of cell motility. These results suggest that protein composition differs between segments of the cat oviduct, which corresponds to morphological changes within these sections. Further functional studies could elucidate the effects of these proteins on feline reproductive physiology.
- Viability and growth of feline preantral follicles in vitro cultured with
insulin growth factor and epidermal growth factor supplemented medium
- Authors: AE Alves; LC Padilha-Nakaghi, EA Pires-Butler, M Apparicio, NAM Silva, TF Motheo, WRR Vicente, GC Luvoni
Abstract: In vitro culture of ovarian preantral follicles has emerged as a reproductive technology aimed at obtaining large amount of oocytes for in vitro embryo production. The addition of growth factors (GF) in the in vitro culture of preantral follicles of different species has provided superior results of follicular development, antrum formation and proliferation of granulosa cells. However, there are only few reports regarding the use of these factors on feline preantral follicle in vitro culture. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a combination of IGF-1 and EGF on in vitro viability and growth of preantral follicles and enclosed oocytes collected from domestic cats. A total of 64 follicles characterized by multilayer granulosa cells were isolated and individually cultured for 6 days (T6) in minimum essential medium supplemented with IGF-1+ EGF (100 ng/ml each) or without (control). A higher percentage of follicles were viable after culture with GF than without, and an increase in size when IGF-1+ EGF were added to the medium (170 ± 32.4 μm (T0) vs. 201 ± 22.3 μm (T6); p
- Canine pyometra: What is new?
- Authors: R Hagman
Abstract: Pyometra is a common disease in countries where elective spaying is not routinely performed. Hormonal and bacterial factors are fundamental in the pathogenesis of the disease, which manifests itself as a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the uterus. Surgical ovariohysterectomy is the safest and most effective treatment for pyometra, and it has recently been shown that laparoscopically assisted methods for surgical treatment are feasible to use in selected cases. New protocols for improved medical treatment alternatives have also been tested with promising results. To be able to predict outcome and presence of complications early would be valuable in clinical practice for optimizing therapy and increasing survival. Results of commonly investigated clinical and laboratory investigations have been shown to be useful as predictive markers, with leucopenia being associated with increased risk of peritonitis as well as prolonged post-operative hospitalization after surgical treatment. A cage-side rapid and cost-effective diagnostic test would be highly valuable in clinical practice, and detection of pyometra-specific upregulated genes in the uterus and the corresponding products is a potential start in identifying novel markers suitable for such as test. The focus of the present review is to highlight recent findings on pathogenesis, prediction of outcome, diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, central research questions and suggestions for future investigations about several aspects of canine pyometra will be addressed.
- Lipid composition of the canine sperm plasma membrane as markers of sperm
- Authors: CF Lucio; MM Brito, DSR Angrimani, KRA Belaz, D Morais, D Zampieri, JDA Losano, MEOA Assumpção, M Nichi, MN Eberlin, CI Vannucchi
Abstract: The fatty acid composition of the sperm membrane is an important factor involved in the overall sperm quality, including motility. However, in the canine species, the exact composition of the plasma membrane is still unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the plasma membrane lipid composition of motile sperm cells and to compare it with asthenospermic samples, as an attempt to determine possible involvements of membrane lipids in dog sperm cell motility. The sperm-rich fraction of ten mature dogs was collected, and samples were subjected to density gradient centrifugation by Percoll®, in order to separate motile and asthenospermic samples. Processed semen samples were evaluated for sperm motility, plasma and acrosome membrane integrity, mitochondrial activity and susceptibility to oxidative stress. Lipid plasma membrane composition was identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The motile sperm samples presented the following phospholipids in a high frequency in the plasma membrane: phosphatidylcholine 38:4 (composed of stearic and arachidonic fatty acids), phosphatidylcholine 36:1 (stearic and oleic fatty acids), phosphatidylethanolamine 34:4 (myristic and arachidonic fatty acids), glycerophosphatidic acid 36:4 (palmitic and arachidonic fatty acids), phosphatidylcholine 40:4 plasmanyl and phosphatidylcholine 40:5 plasmenyl. Furthermore, no lipid markers were found in the asthenospermic samples. Results also indicate that differences on plasma membrane composition between motile and asthenospermic samples are crucial factors for determining sperm motility, sperm functionality and susceptibility to oxidative stress. In conclusion, plasma membrane lipid composition varies considerable between motile and asthenospermic samples. Therefore, lipid markers of sperm motility can be considered, such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine plasmanyl, phosphatidylcholine plasmenyl and phosphatidic acid.
- Urethral catheterization and sperm vitrification for simplified semen
banking in felids
- Authors: WF Swanson; HL Bateman, LM Vansandt
Abstract: Semen banking of domestic cats and wild felids represents a vital resource for their long-term conservation, but current methods require access to advanced training and specialized equipment. A newer method of semen collection, urethral catheterization of medetomidine-treated cats, allows recovery of high sperm numbers, but it is unclear if this approach permits maximal sperm recovery or is feasible using less expensive alpha-2 agonists. Similarly, a newer sperm preservation approach, vitrification, offers advantages of simplicity and minimal equipment needs, but its efficacy in combination with urethral catheterization has not been investigated. Our specific objectives were to (i) evaluate sequential semen recovery with urethral catheterization and electroejaculation in domestic cats, (ii) assess the effectiveness of a weak (xylazine) versus strong (dexmedetomidine) alpha-2 agonist for inducing sperm release, and (iii) compare post-thaw sperm motility, acrosome status and fertilizing capacity of catheter-recovered samples after vitrification or straw freezing. Results indicated that electroejaculation following repeated catheterization allowed recovery of additional spermatozoa (range, 11–32 × 106 sperm/male) and that xylazine was ineffective for inducing meaningful sperm release (range, 0–0.4 × 106 sperm/male). Post-thaw motility and acrosome status of vitrified catheter samples did not differ (p > .05) from that of straw frozen samples. Preliminary results indicated that in vitro fertilization success (9/30, 30%) of vitrified catheter sperm did not differ (p > .05) from that observed with straw frozen samples (17/30, 57%). In conclusion, urethral catheterization of dexmedetomidine-treated cats allows recovery of substantial sperm numbers but electroejaculation still may be warranted for maximal sperm recovery. Xylazine is not suitable as an inexpensive alternative to dexmedetomidine for catheterization. Vitrification of catheter samples results in comparable post-thaw parameters to straw freezing and may be adequate for use with oviductal insemination procedures.
- Uterine haemodynamic, vascularization and blood pressure changes along the
oestrous cycle in bitches
- Authors: IB Nogueira; LL Almeida, DSR Angrimani, MM Brito, RA Abreu, CI Vannucchi
Abstract: Characterization of the bitch's reproductive physiology is of utmost importance for the development of new reproductive techniques and the diagnosis of reproductive diseases. In this respect, uterine B-mode ultrasonography has been employed in several studies; however, the focus on haemodynamic changes along the oestrous cycle is yet to be described. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize haemodynamic changes (uterine vascularization, systemic arterial blood pressure and heart rate) throughout the oestrous cycle in bitches. For this purpose, ten Golden Retriever bitches were evaluated during an entire oestrous cycle, twice during each stage of the cycle. Uterine artery blood flow, velocity wave forms, haemodynamic parameters and vascularization were analysed by Doppler ultrasonography. Furthermore, uterine diameter, arterial blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Uterine artery pulsatility index at early prooestrus was significantly lower in comparison with early oestrus, mid- and late anoestrus. Uterine artery resistance index was higher at early oestrus when compared to late oestrus and uterine diameter was significantly higher during late prooestrus. Furthermore, mean arterial blood pressure was lower and heart rate was higher during late prooestrus in comparison with the other oestrous cycle stages. In conclusion, haemodynamic changes in the uterine artery, uterine diameter, systemic blood pressure and heart rate occur during the canine oestrous cycle. Specifically, there is an increase in uterine artery perfusion, uterine diameter and mean arterial blood pressure during prooestrus, while uterine blood flow diminishes during oestrus and anoestrus.
- Canine reproductive ultrasound examination for predicting future sperm
- Authors: GCW England; L Bright, B Pritchard, IM Bowen, MB Souza, LDM Silva, R Moxon
Abstract: The reproductive potential of male animals is commonly evaluated using a breeding soundness examination incorporating B-mode ultrasound examination of the testes and recently Doppler ultrasound examination of the testicular arteries. These techniques may detect testicular normality or pathology, and while some measured parameters are associated with semen quality at the time of ultrasound examination, few studies have investigated the relationship with future semen quality. We hypothesized that B-mode and Doppler ultrasound measurements would correlate with future semen quality. Within two studies, we investigated the relationship between ultrasound measured testicular volume, testicular echogenicity, testicular homogeneity, subjective assessment of the testicular parenchyma, testicular artery resistance index, and pulsatility index with subsequent semen quality. Fifty-five normal fertile dogs of which 29 had stable semen quality and 26 had a subsequent decline in semen quality were examined during a 6-month period commencing 62 days after the ultrasound examination. Statistical analysis showed that no ultrasound parameters were predictive of future total sperm output or percentage live normal sperm. However, mean testicular echogenicity was positively related to future sperm motility (t = 2.202, p = .039). We conclude that quantitative ultrasound assessment of the appearance of the testicular parenchyma has potential for the evaluation of future semen quality in dogs.
- Deciphering the mechanisms involving cenexin, ninein and centriolin in
sperm maturation during epididymal transit in the domestic cat
- Authors: T Rowlison; MA Ottinger, P Comizzoli
Abstract: The sperm centrosome is an essential organelle with a key role in organizing the sperm aster for proper syngamy and formation of the first mitotic spindle. The sperm cell acquires the functional capability during epididymal transit by incorporation of key factors. The objective of the study was to identify these key maturation proteins, such as ninein and centriolin as well as cenexin—a scaffold protein that serves to bind ninein and centriolin. Epididymal samples were dissected from 17 adult cat testes (>1 year old) and spermatozoa were extracted from the different regions, including rete testis, caput, corpus, cauda and vas deferens. Tissue samples and sperm cells were fixed separately in 4% paraformaldehyde before immunostaining with anticenexin, ninein or centriolin antibodies. Results showed that the proportion of sperm cells with cenexin localized at the centrosome progressively increased along the tract with the lowest percentage of stained cells in the testis (mean = 45%) and highest in the cauda (mean = 81%). Although not significant, the intensity of cenexin immunofluorescence in positive cells increased twofold from the testis to vas deferens. There was no significant difference in the proportion of sperm labelled with centriolin or ninein (ranges of 21%–26% and 33%–48% between segments, respectively) or the intensity (±58% and ±63% change as compared to testis, respectively). Cenexin may serve as a scaffold protein for centriolin and ninein, as the vast majority of spermatozoa only displayed colocalization of these proteins when cenexin was also present (mean = 85% and 91% colocalization, respectively). In summary, these results could be applied to future efforts to create an in vitro culture system capable of rescuing the impaired centrosome of an infertile male, with particular potential for wild felid conservation.
- The influence of benign prostatic hyperplasia on sperm morphological
features and sperm DNA integrity in dogs
- Authors: RB Flores; DSR Angrimani, BR Rui, MM Brito, RA Abreu, CI Vannucchi
Abstract: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has a high incidence in older intact dogs. Due to the increased prostatic oxidative stress and hormonal imbalance of BPH, sperm damage can arise, such as sperm morphological alterations and DNA fragmentation. This study aimed to compare the reproductive potential of healthy dogs and those affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia. Ten dogs were assigned to two experimental groups: dogs without BPH (control; n = 5) and dogs diagnosed with BPH (n = 5), based on clinical signs and ultrasonographic findings. Three semen collections were performed from each dog within one month and analysed using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and functional tests. Control group showed higher percentage of sperm DNA integrity (95 ± 1.8%) compared to the BPH group (79.2 ± 6.4%). On the other hand, the percentage of minor sperm defects, amplitude of lateral sperm head displacement of the spermatozoa and medium sperm mitochondrial activity were higher in the BPH group. In conclusion, BPH decreases sperm DNA integrity, increases mitochondrial activity, as well as modifies sperm movement pattern. Therefore, a careful sperm analysis of aged dogs with BPH is required before a reproductive programme can be established for such patients.
- Kisspeptin-10 and the G protein-coupled receptor 54 are differentially
expressed in the canine pregnant uterus and trophoblast cells
- Authors: S Schäfer-Somi; SS Ay, D Kaya, M Sözmen, HB Beceriklisoy, AR Ağaoğlu, M Fındık, T Haeften, S Aslan
Abstract: Uterine tissue was collected from bitches after ovariohysterectomy at different times after ovulation. Samples were assigned to four groups: metestrous non-pregnant, day 10–12, n = 4; pre-implantation, day 10–12, n = 9; post-implantation, day 18–25, n = 13; mid-gestation, day 30–40, n = 7. RT-qPCR detection was performed for kiss1 and the G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54, specific receptor for kisspeptin). In addition, immunohistochemistry was performed for detection of kisspeptin-10 (KP-10), GPR54, as well as pan-cytokeratin and vimentin. The latter two were included to differentiate the different placental cell types. The percentage of positive stained cells was evaluated, and an immunoreactivity score (IRS) was obtained by multiplying the labelling intensity score (0–3) with the percentage of immunolabelled cells (range: 0–300). In non-pregnant and pre-implantation tissues, gene expression was highly variable for kiss1 and GPR54. Expression of GPR54 was higher before embryo adhesion than during post-implantation and mid-gestation (p
- Characterization of teratogenic potential and gene expression in canine
and feline amniotic membrane-derived stem cells
- Authors: MT Cardoso; AO Pinheiro, AS Vidane, JB Casals, VC Oliveira, NJN Gonçalves, DS Martins, CE Ambrósio
Abstract: The biosafety of innovative procedures that utilize stem cells in regenerative medicine has been addressed in several studies. Previous work has showed no tumour formation following the use of feline and human amniotic membrane-derived stem cells (AMSCs). In contrast, tumour formation was observed when canine AMSCs were utilized. These findings suggested that feline and human, but not canine, AMSCs are suitable for cell transplantation trials. This study aimed to further evaluate the feasibility of utilizing canine AMSCs for transplantation purposes as well as for felines. We tested teratoma formation following cell injection into BALB/c nude mice and then assessed expression of haematopoietic, mesenchymal, tumorigenic, pluripotency and cellular regulation markers using flow cytometry and qPCR. The use of canine AMSCs did not result in macroscopic tumour formation as determined 60 days after transplantation. The immunophenotypic characterization by flow cytometry revealed expression of mesenchymal markers (CD73 and CD90) and expression of the pluripotent marker OCT4 and SOX2. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed that there were no differences in the patterns of gene expression (CD34, CD73, OCT4, CD30 and P53) between canine and feline AMSCs, with the exception of the expression of SOX2 and CD90.
- The localization of kisspeptin and kisspeptin receptor in the canine ovary
during different stages of the reproductive cycle
- Authors: ME Cielesh; BM McGrath, CJ Scott, ST Norman, CP Stephen
Abstract: Kisspeptin is a neuropeptide involved in the hypothalamic regulation of reproduction in many species. Recent studies have revealed kisspeptin within the ovaries of rats, Siberian hamsters and humans, indicating a local role in reproduction. However, the role of kisspeptin in the ovary is poorly understood in the bitch. This study investigated the presence and location of kisspeptin protein (KISS1) and kisspeptin receptors (KISS1R) in the canine ovary during different stages of the reproductive cycle (pre-pubertal, anoestrus and cycling) by means of immunohistochemical staining. Ovaries from 24 bitches presented at local veterinary clinics for routine ovariohysterectomy were collected and grouped based on reproductive stage (pre-pubertal, anoestrus and cycling (proestrus, oestrus and dioestrus)). The presence or absence of immunoreactive KISS1 and KISS1R was recorded without any quantification of the levels of expression within cells. Immunoreactive KISS1 was found in the oocytes during all stages of the oestrous cycle, in the granulosa cells during all stages except anoestrus and in the corpus luteum (CL) during dioestrus. KISS1 was absent in the ovaries of pre-pubescent bitches. Immunoreactive KISS1R were consistently found in the oocytes, primordial follicles, the granulosa cells and CL in cycling bitches. The finding of KISS1R in the granulosa cells is suggestive that kisspeptin and progesterone may be linked as this pattern of staining is seen in animals that show preovulatory luteinisation of follicles during oestrus, KISS1R were also observed in the ovaries of pre-pubescent and anoestrous bitches, suggesting a possible role of kisspeptin in oocyte proliferation, development and maturation of granulosa cells, and progesterone production. This study provides a starting point for the establishment of a canine model for kisspeptin regulation within the ovary.
- Immunolocalization of proteins in the spermatogenesis process of canine
- Authors: NCG Pieri; AF Souza, ACF Mançanares, KCS Roballo, JB Casals, CE Ambrosio, DS Martins
Abstract: Spermatogenesis is a process in which differentiated cells are produced and the adult stem cell population—known as spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs)—is continuously replenished. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes are not fully understood in the canine species. We addressed this in this study by analysing the expression of specific markers in spermatogonia of seminiferous tubules of canine testes. SSCs at different stages of reproductive development (prepubertal and adult) were examined by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family receptor alpha-1 (GFRA1), deleted in azoospermia-like (DAZL) and promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger (PLZF) were expressed in SSCs, while stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (STRA8) was detected only in undifferentiated spermatogonia in prepubertal testis and differentiated spermatogonia and spermatocytes in adult canine. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) showed an expression pattern, and the levels did not differ between the groups examined. However, C-kit expression varied as a function of reproductive developmental stage. Our results demonstrate that these proteins play critical roles in the self-renewal and differentiation of SSCs and can serve as markers to identify canine spermatogonia at specific stages of development.
- Transplantation of amniotic membrane-derived multipotent cells ameliorates
and delays the progression of chronic kidney disease in cats
- Authors: AS Vidane; AO Pinheiro, JB Casals, D Passarelli, MCFNS Hage, RS Bueno, DS Martins, CE Ambrósio
Abstract: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common clinical condition in domestic cats, characterized by tubulointerstitial, vascular and glomerular inflammation and severe fibrosis. Studies in rodent model of induced CKD have shown a decrease and stabilization of the clinical condition. In this study was evaluated the safety and effect of intrarenal and intravenous infusion of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) derived from feline amniotic membrane in cats with naturally occurring CKD. Cat AMSCs were harvested after mechanical and enzymatic digestion of amnion. A healthy cat received intrarenal injection of AMSCs guided by ultrasound in both kidneys (5 × 105 cells/kidney). Nine cats with CDK received repeated intravenous infusions of AMSCs (2 × 106 cells × 2 treatments). The clinical parameters of healthy cat did not change, but sedation and general anaesthesia was required. The number of interventions stressed the animal, and he developed transient haematuria after AMSC injection. Cats with CDK registered a significant improvement of renal function (decrease in serum creatinine and urine protein concentrations and increase in urine specific gravity). The kidney architecture and morphology did not change following the treatment. The feline AMSCs have a renoprotective effect and improve renal function in cats with naturally occurring CKD, stabilizing the clinical condition and disease progression. Thus, intravenous injection of AMSCs may be an important tool to provide welfare in cats with chronic kidney disease.
- Differential expression of ISG 15 mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear
cells of nulliparous and multiparous pregnant versus non-pregnant Bos
- Authors: NP Soumya; DN Das, S Jeyakumar, S Mondal, A Mor, UT Mundhe
Abstract: Embryonic mortality is found to be the main source of reproductive wastage in domestic ruminants. Many genes are involved in the growth and development of the embryo, and the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG 15) is one of the major gene stimulated by interferon tau, the maternal recognition of pregnancy signal in ruminants. In this study, both genomic and cDNA sequences of ISG 15 from Bos indicus (Deoni breed) were amplified and characterized. The genomic sequence of Deoni ISG 15 exhibited 99% identity with Bos taurus and 97% identity with that of Bos mutus and Bubalus bubalis. Moreover qRT-PCR analysis revealed constitutive expression of the ISG 15 mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Deoni heifers and multiparous cows during early pregnancy. Fourteen Deoni heifers and fifteen multiparous Deoni cows were synchronized for timed AI by CIDR-Ovsynch protocol, and six animals were kept as cyclic control in each group. Blood samples were collected on days 7, 14, 16, 18, 21, 30 and 45 from the day of AI. Pregnancy was confirmed by plasma progesterone level through ELISA. A significantly higher expression of ISG 15 mRNA was found on day 16 (p
- Presence of sucrose in the vitrification solution and exposure for longer
periods of time improve post-warming follicle integrity in cat ovarian
- Authors: L Mouttham; P Comizzoli
Abstract: Ovarian tissue cryopreservation followed by tissue culture is a promising approach to preserving the fertility of biomedical models and endangered species. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of exposure time to vitrification solution and presence of sucrose using different exposure temperatures and base media on intra-ovarian follicle integrity. Peripubertal ovarian cortical pieces were obtained by isolating the cortex and dissecting it into 1 × 1 × 0.2 mm3 pieces. The cortical pieces were then exposed to equilibration solution and then vitrification solutions (VS) in one of the conditions mentioned above, plunged directly into liquid nitrogen and stored for ≥24 hr in liquid nitrogen. After thawing, the cortical pieces were cultured in vitro for 0, 1 or 7 days to determine the follicle integrity (through histological assessment) and the ability of the tissue to recover from cryoinjury. Fresh controls maintained a constant level of normal morphology (>60% of the total follicles) throughout the culture period. Cortical pieces exposed to VS with sucrose for 10 min had the highest percentage of normal follicles (approximately 20% after 7 days of culture) throughout the culture period. Other conditions using different base medium, lower exposure temperatures or different thawing methods did not improve the follicle integrity. This protocol provides a solid foundation on which to optimize ovarian tissue cryopreservation in the domestic cat and to investigate the molecular effects of vitrification.
- Mitigation of sperm tail abnormalities using demembranation approach in
the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
- Authors: W Tipkantha; P Thuwanut, B Siriaroonrat, P Comizzoli, K Chatdarong
Abstract: Clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) produced high proportion of abnormal spermatozoa (mainly tail defects) that can limit sperm movement and conception. The study aimed to better identify the origin of those defects using a demembranation approach. Ejaculates (1–2 ejaculations/male; n = 9) were allocated to simple washing (control; resulting in 11.7% ± 1.9% coiled tails) and processed through colloid centrifugation to reduce the number of sperm with tail defects (treatment, resulting in 5.9% ± 0.9% coiled tails). Aliquots of semen were incubated in hypo-osmotic solution (HOS, 60 mOsm fructose solution) containing 5 mM dithiothreitol (DTT) (a reducing agent) to prevent oxidation of sperm membrane. Thereafter, 20% Triton X-100 (TX) (a detergent) was added to the HOS/DTT-treated samples. After HOS/DTT incubation, the control samples and sperm-selected samples presented 73.4% ± 3.1% and 73.9% ± 2.5% swollen sperm (bent and coiled) indicating membrane intact, respectively. Most of the coiled tail in the raw ejaculates could not be opened by TX indicating that the cause of coiled sperm tails may be from testicular origin. The proportion of sperm with tightly coiled tail tended to be lower in the sperm-selected group than control group (18.8% ± 3.8% and 26.5% ± 3.4%; p = .1), whereas the sperm opened up by TX tended to be higher in the sperm-selected group (53.6% ± 10.4% and 21.1% ± 7.9%; p = .06). The results indicated TX was able to uncoil half of the tightly coiled sperm in the semen undergone preparation. In conclusion, the coiled sperm in the clouded leopard semen were likely not a defect of sperm volume regulation during post-ejaculate (osmotic swelling) but pre-ejaculate origin. Semen preparation demonstrated its ability to lessen the primary sperm defects and selected spermatozoa that were prone to be mitigated after demembranation.
- Diagnostic possibilities from a serum sample—Clinical value of new
methods within small animal reproduction, with focus on anti-Müllerian
- Authors: BS Holst
Abstract: During the last decade, analysis of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), highly conserved between mammalian species, has contributed to new information in reproductive endocrinology, due to clinically available diagnostic assays. AMH is produced solely in the gonads, in the Sertoli cells of testes and granulosa cells of the ovary, and thus offers possibilities to diagnose physiologic and pathologic conditions involving these organs. This article reviews indications for AMH analysis in cats and dogs, including diagnosing the presence of gonads, and granulosa or Sertoli cell tumours. Diagnostic challenges are addressed. One specific organ, the prostate, is commonly affected by pathologic changes in older dogs. A commercial assay for analysing canine prostatic specific esterase (CPSE) enables analysis of CPSE in clinical practice, of potential value in the workup of benign prostatic hyperplasia in male dogs. This is described in this review, as is a new method for analysis of steroids: liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry LC-MS/MS. Steroids have since long been analysed in studies on reproduction, and LC-MS/MS has the advantage of allowing analysis of panels of multiple steroids from small sample volumes. Altogether, these available methods may give new insights into small animal reproduction and are valuable tools for the practicing veterinarian.
- Freeze-dried spermatozoa: A future tool?
- Authors: M Olaciregui; L Gil
Abstract: Cryopreservation has been routinely used to preserve sperm of human and different animal species. However, frozen sperm storage for a long time brings many inconveniences because of liquid nitrogen. Many attempts have been made to overcome the disadvantages of the current cryopreservation method. Freeze-drying has been proposed as alternative method for sperm preservation to achieve the ability to store sperm doses indefinitely at ambient temperature or in ordinary refrigerators. At present, it has been reported successfully sperm freeze-drying on many animal species including canine and feline. It is well known that during freeze-drying process, sperm DNA could be damaged, but if suitable protection is provided, the sperm nucleus could preserve the ability to activate the oocyte and embryos could be generated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Many factors influence the freeze-drying efficacy, so current researches have been conducted to find strategies to control these factors to maintain the sperm DNA integrity. This review describes the latest method of sperm freeze-drying for practical application in preserving and transporting genetic resources. In addition, the approaches to improve the efficiency of the technique were studied. We demonstrated that the DNA integrity of freeze-dried dog sperm is affected by the composition of the freeze-drying solution as well as the temperature and period of storage. Further studies are necessary to refine freeze-drying protocol in order to protect the DNA and maintain the sperm functionality and obtain offspring from freeze-dried sperm.
- Canine epididymal spermatozoa: A hidden treasure with great potential
- Authors: GC Luvoni; MG Morselli
Abstract: The hidden treasure represented by epididymal spermatozoa has great potential in the current reproductive technologies in dogs. In case of azoospermia or when a donor male accidentally dies or undergoes orchiectomy, the retrieval of epididymal spermatozoa opens new possibilities to generate progeny. Spermatozoa can be collected by different techniques from ex vivo or in vivo testicles and can be cryopreserved for a future use. Freeze tolerance of canine epididymal spermatozoa seems lower than that of ejaculated spermatozoa; however, puppies were born after artificial insemination with frozen epididymal semen, other than with fresh and chilled. Even though several aspects need to be further investigated, advances have been recently made in the use of epididymal spermatozoa in assisted reproduction in dogs.
- Generation of RUNX3 knockout pigs using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene
- Authors: J-T Kang; J Ryu, B Cho, E-J Lee, Y-J Yun, S Ahn, J Lee, D-Y Ji, K Lee, K-W Park
Abstract: Pigs are an attractive animal model to study the progression of cancer because of their anatomical and physiological similarities to human. However, the use of pig models for cancer research has been limited by availability of genetically engineered pigs which can recapitulate human cancer progression. Utilizing genome editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 system allows us to generate genetically engineered pigs at a higher efficiency. In this study, specific CRISPR/Cas9 systems were used to target RUNX3, a known tumour suppressor gene, to generate a pig model that can induce gastric cancer in human. First, RUNX3 knockout cell lines carrying genetic modification (monoallelic or biallelic) of RUNX3 were generated by introducing engineered CRISPR/Cas9 system specific to RUNX3 into foetal fibroblast cells. Then, the genetically modified foetal fibroblast cells were used as donor cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer, followed by embryo transfer. We successfully obtained four live RUNX3 knockout piglets from two surrogates. The piglets showed the lack of RUNX3 protein in their internal organ system. Our results demonstrate that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is effective in inducing mutations on a specific locus of genome and the RUNX3 knockout pigs can be useful resources for human cancer research and to develop novel cancer therapies.
- Developmental regulation and modulation of apoptotic genes expression in
sheep oocytes and embryos cultured in vitro with L-carnitine
- Authors: A Mishra; IJ Reddy, PSP Gupta, S Mondal
Abstract: The objective of this study was to find out the impact of L-carnitine (10 mM) on developmental regulation of preimplantation sheep embryos cultured in vitro when supplemented in maturation medium and post-fertilization medium separately. Subsequent objective was to observe the L-carnitine-mediated alteration in expression of apoptotic genes (Bcl2, Bax, Casp3 and PCNA) in sheep oocytes and developing embryos produced in vitro. Oocytes matured with L-carnitine showed significantly (p
- Breed differences of bull frozen-thawed semen
- Authors: A Ntemka; G Tsousis, C Brozos, E Kiossis, CM Boscos, IA Tsakmakidis
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the quality of frozen-thawed semen from different bull breeds. Commercial frozen-thawed bull semen samples (26 per breed, 130 totally) of five breeds (Holstein [Η], Brown Swiss [BS], Limousin [L], Belgian Blue [BB], Blonde d' Aquitaine [BA]) were used. After thawing, each semen sample was subjected to thermal resistance test (TR) for 0.5 and 1 hr at 38°C and hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST) for 1 hr at 150 mOsm at 37°C. Additionally, all samples were evaluated at times 0 hr (thawing), 0.5 hr (TR), 1 hr (TR) for kinetics by CASA [progressive, immotile, rapid, medium, slow moving spermatozoa, curvilinear velocity (VCL), average path velocity (VAP), straight line velocity (VSL), linearity (LIN), straightness (STR), beat cross-frequency (BCF), amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALH), wobble (WOB)]. Moreover, directly after thawing, all semen samples were evaluated for morphometry, morphology, viability and DNA fragmentation. Statistical analysis was conducted using a mixed model for repeated measures. The results showed (a) higher VCL after thawing in H, L breeds compared to BB and BA, (b) higher VAP after thawing in L compared to BB, BA, (c) higher values of progressive spermatozoa after TR in H, BS compared to BB, BA, (d) higher values of rapid spermatozoa after thawing and 0.5 hr of TR in H, BS, L compared to BB, BA, (e) lower viability in BA after thawing compared to H, BS, BB, (f) lower morphological abnormalities in H compared to L, BB, (g) higher head length in Η compared to BB. No significant differences were observed in the results from HOST and DNA fragmentation between breeds. In conclusion, quality characteristics of frozen-thawed bull semen are dependent on the breed. Frozen semen from BB and BA breeds should be handled more carefully after thawing, as it is more sensitive to stress.
- Differential DNA methylation of the meiosis-specific gene FKBP6 in testes
of yak and cattle–yak hybrids
- Authors: B Li; H Luo, Q Weng, S Wang, Z Pan, Z Xie, W Wu, H Liu, Q Li
Abstract: FK506-binding protein 6 (FKBP6) is essential for meiosis during mammalian spermatogenesis. However, the molecular regulation of FKBP6 during spermatogenesis remains unclear. In the present study, we performed molecular characterization of the meiosis-specific gene FKBP6 in yak testes. Yak FKBP6 encodes a polypeptide of 295 amino acid residues with an FK506-binding domain (FKBP_C) and three tetratricopeptide repeat domains. The methylation level of the FKBP6 promoter in testes was significantly higher in cattle–yak with male sterility than in yak, and the FKBP6 promoter was methylated in liver tissues in which FKBP6 is not expressed. FKBP6 promoter activity was significantly decreased after treatment with the M.SssI methyltransferase in vitro. Furthermore, the FKBP6 gene was remarkably activated in bovine mammary epithelial cells treated with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time that the FKBP6 promoter is differentially methylated in testes; together with the functional promoter analysis, this suggests that methylation of this promoter may contribute to cattle–yak male infertility.
- Fibrin–alginate hydrogel supports steroidogenesis, in vitro maturation
of oocytes and parthenotes production from caprine preantral follicles
cultured in group
- Authors: IR Brito; GM Silva, AD Sales, CH Lobo, GQ Rodrigues, RF Sousa, AAA Moura, CEM Calderón, M Bertolini, CC Campello, J Smitz, JR Figueiredo
Abstract: This study aimed to establish a culture system that improves the in vitro development of caprine preantral follicles. In a first experiment, follicles were encapsulated as a single unit per bead and cultured singly or in groups or with five follicles in the same alginate (ALG) bead for 18 days. In a subsequent experiment, the “five follicles per bead” design was chosen to culture in ALG, fibrin–alginate (FA) or hyaluronate (HA) for 18 days. In a third experiment, we chose the five follicles per bead in FA to culture for 30 days. The culture set-up of five follicles per ALG bead increased antrum formation and follicle diameter compared to the other culture designs (p
- Molecular expression of caprine estrogen receptor gene 1 in reproductive
and non-reproductive tissues
- Authors: S Saraswat; PK Rout, SD Kharche, SK Jindal, AK Goel
Abstract: During the last decades, physiological effects of oestrogens have been increasingly explored by scientists and biotechnologists. Estrogens exert a wide range of effects on a large variety of cell types. Oestrogen and its receptors are essential for sexual development and reproduction. Estrogen receptor alpha is a nuclear receptor activated by the hormone oestrogen. In male, ERα is encoded by the gene estrogen receptor gene 1 (ESR1), responsible for better fertility. The ESR1 is involved in the reabsorption of luminal fluid during the transit of spermatozoa from the testis to the head of the epididymis which is important for their survival and maturation during epididymal storage. The absence of ESR1 leads to reduced epididymal sperm content, reduced sperm motility and fertilizing ability. Therefore, this is a good startby to study the expression pattern of estrogen receptor 1 gene in high-fertile (G1) and low-fertile (G2) bucks of Jamunapari and Barbari breeds identified on the basis of seminal quality traits and fertility trials. RNA was extracted from the tissues by TRIzol method. The identification and expression pattern of caprine ESR1 gene was analysed by real-time PCR (Roche LC-480). Our work shows that the relative quantification by RT-PCR indicates more fold in head of epididymis as compared to spleen of caprine ESR1 gene. Furthermore, the RT-PCR indicated that fertile bucks of Jamunapari breed have more fold value as compared to Barbari breed in respect of reproductive organ.
- Composition of seminal plasma and ovarian fluid in Ide Leuciscus idus and
Northern pike Esox lucius
- Authors: MAM Siddique; O Linhart, R Kujawa, S Krejszeff, IAE Butts
Abstract: Seminal plasma (SP) and ovarian fluid (OF) plays an important role as storage media to prevent the activation of gametes both in vivo and under artificial conditions. The objectives of this study were to quantify gamete biochemistry and explore correlations among quantitative characteristics of SP, OF and sperm performance traits of Ide Leuciscus idus and Northern pike Esox lucius. Generally, Na+, K+ and Cl− were found to be the most dominating ions, although concentrations of K+ were higher in SP, while Na+ and Cl− concentrations were higher in OF for both species. Several significant correlations among the biochemical properties such as total protein, glucose, osmolality, cholesterol, K+, Ca2+, Cl− and Mg2+ were observed for SP and OF. Total protein content of Ide SP was positively correlated with sperm activity traits (r ≥ .89, p ≤ .05), while K+ concentration was negatively correlated with sperm traits (r ≥ −.89, p ≤ .05). Moreover, Ca2+ concentration in Northern pike SP was positively correlated with the percentage of sperm motility (r = . 98, p
- Beta-mercaptoethanol supplementation of in vitro maturation medium does
not influence nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of equine oocytes
- Authors: B Merlo; E Iacono, D Bucci, M Spinaci, G Galeati, G Mari
Abstract: In vitro embryo production in the horse is still not as efficient as in other species. Oxidative stress negatively affects oocyte and embryo culture. To attenuate/minimize the oxidative stress, antioxidants such as low-molecular thiol compounds can be added to culture media. Beta-mercaptoethanol (BME) has been shown to improve maturation and embryo development in different species. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the addition to maturation medium of BME at common (0.1 mM) and high (0.7 mM) concentration could improve oocyte maturation also in the horse. Equine oocytes recovered from slaughterhouse ovaries were used. Meiotic configuration after in vitro maturation (IVM) and early embryo production after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were considered as criteria for assessing nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation, respectively. A total of 1,076 oocytes were analysed over two experiments: 848 (control n = 293, BME 0.1 n = 270, BME 0.7 n = 285) were stained with Hoechst 33342 and examined for nuclear stage after 26 hr of IVM, and 228 MII oocytes were fertilized by ICSI (control n = 83, BME 0.1 n = 65, BME 0.7 n = 80). Cleavage rates were determined after 60 hr of culture. Unlike results obtained in other species, the addition of BME did not influence maturation rates (51.9% control vs 55.6% BME 0.1 mM and 55.1% BME 0.7 mM), nor cleavage rates after ICSI (38.6% vs 38.5% and 41.3%, respectively). In conclusion, the addition of BME at 0.1 and 0.7 mM to the maturation medium, in our culture conditions, has no effect on nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of equine oocytes.
- Cumulus cell expansion and first polar body extrusion during in vitro
oocyte maturation in relation to morphological and morphometric
characteristics of the dromedary camel ovary
- Authors: F Mesbah; M Kafi, H Nili
Abstract: The morphological and morphometric characteristics of the ovary are fundamental properties for in vitro oocyte maturation. Nuclear maturation, including first polar body (1PB) extrusion, cytoplasmic maturation and cumulus cell (CC) expansion are the criteria for in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocyte. This study was designed to determine the effect of morphological and morphometric features of the ovary on CC expansion and 1PB extrusion during IVM of oocyte in the adult female dromedary camel. The weight, volume and three dimensions of ovaries from slaughtered dromedary camels and oocytes inside zona diameter and zona pellucida thickness were measured. The follicles were classified in regard to the size and oocytes according to their ooplasm appearance and CC compactness. Aspirated cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were incubated for 48 hr (with a 6-hr interval) in Hams-F10, and CC expansion and 1PB extrusion were assessed. Significant differences were seen in the shape, weight, volume and three dimensions of the ovaries between ≤4-year-old and >4-year-old dromedary camel (p 4-year-old dromedary camel. The CC expansion and 1PB extrusion were seen in 86% and 21.88% of COCs, respectively. Age and sexual conditions of dromedary camel influence the morphological and morphometric characteristics of the ovary. Most COCs retrieved from 2–6 mm follicles are cultivable. The most slaughterhouse-derived COCs retrieved from 2–6 mm follicles of non-pregnant dromedary camels are excellent and good and yielding a most favourable diameter to achieve the developmental competence for IVM in an optimal time of 24–30 hr; the optimal time for CC expansion is 24–30 hr in this species. However, the CC expansion is a prerequisite process, but not sufficient for IVM.
- Semen characteristics of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following
diets containing different vegetable fatty acid levels
- Authors: M Hajiahmadian; K Sarvi Moghanlou, N Agh, F Farrokhi Ardabili
Abstract: Brood fish nutrition is an important factor susceptible to affect not only fecundity and gametogenesis but also gamete quality. In this study, we investigated the effects of altering dietary vegetable fatty acid content on semen quality (i.e. motility, density and seminal plasma composition), fertilizing ability and also blood testosterone (T) concentration in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish were fed a commercial diet and ten formulated diets with similar proximate compositions but different levels of vegetable fatty acids (highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA): monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA); HUFA: polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); and HUFA: saturated fatty acids (SFA) ratios). Fish fed with HUFA: MUFA = 0.0 and HUFA: SFA = 0.25 ratios had the highest semen motility percentage and duration. However, the highest semen concentration and semenatocrit were observed in HUFA: SFA = 0.0 and HUFA: PUFA = 0.37 ratios. There was a significant difference in terms of K+ ion among diets supplemented with HUFA: PUFA = 0.0, HUFA: PUFA = 0.37 and HUFA: MUFA = 0.16 ratios (p
- Reduction in the mRNA expression of sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2 is associated with
the selection of dominant follicle in cows
- Authors: PV Ortega Serrano; A Guzmán, CG Hernández–Coronado, H Castillo-Juárez, AM Rosales-Torres
Abstract: The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is essential for follicular development by promoting follicular angiogenesis, as well as for the proliferation and survival of granulosa cells. The biological effects of VEGF are regulated by two membrane receptors, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2, and two soluble receptors, sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2, which play an antagonistic role. Thus, the objective of this study was to identify the mRNA expression pattern of total VEGF, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2 in bovine preselected follicles (PRF) and post-selected follicles (POF). The mRNA expression of these five genes in both granulosa cells (GC) and theca cells (TC) was compared between follicles classified as PRF and POF based on their diameter and on their ratio of estradiol/progesterone (E2/P4). Results showed a lower expression of mRNA of sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2 in POF than in PRF (p .05). Our results showed that the mRNA expression of VEGFR2 and sVEGFR1 was more abundant than the expression of VEGFR1 and sVEGFR2, while GC was the main source of mRNA for total VEGF. On the other hand, TC was the follicular compartment where the receptors were most expressed. Our results suggest that non-dominant follicles maintain a greater concentration of the mRNA expression of both membrane and soluble VEGF receptors. On the other hand, follicular dominance is related to a reduction in the mRNA expression of sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2, which may favour VEGF binding with VEGFR2 and, hence, improve the follicular health and development.
- Lipid profiles of canine spermatozoa as revealed via matrix-assisted laser
desorption/ionization mass spectrometry
- Authors: LT Braga; NRS Bravo, KRA Belaz, D Zampieri, MN Eberlin, VA Conforti
Abstract: In this study, we investigated the ability of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) to characterize the lipid contents of canine spermatozoa. For that, samples of pure semen were analysed. Indeed, quite comprehensive lipid coverage was observed, and the most abundant phospholipid ions detected were from four phosphatidylcholines, that is those of m/z 760.6; 782.6; 808.6; and 830.6 and one of m/z 725.6 from a sphingomyelin. In conclusion, MALDI-MS was found to offer an easy, fast, accurate, and sensitive analytical method for lipid profiling in canine spermatozoa and could be used as a tool to select sires by assessing the relationship between sperm lipid profiles and variables such as age and breeding history as well as to study the effects of cryopreservation on lipid contents.
- Transcriptome analysis of the uniparous and multiparous goats ovaries
- Authors: LJ Wang; XW Sun, FY Guo, YJ Zhao, ZH Zhang, ZQ Zhao
Abstract: Transcriptome analysis of Inner Mongolia Cashmere goat and Dazu black goat generated 38,772,947 and 38,771,668 clean pair end reads, respectively, which were assembled into 72,422 and 80,069 unigenes by Trinity, respectively. For Inner Mongolia Cashmere goat, 26,051 and 10,100 unigenes were assigned to gene ontology (GO) categories and clusters of orthologous groups, respectively. A total of 32,772 unigenes can comment to SWISS-Prot database, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database (KEGG) mapped 24,420 unigenes. While annotating the unigenes about Dazu black goats, we found 29,444(45.42%), 11,271 (38.28%), 36,910(56.94%) and 27,766 (42.83%) unigenes were assigned to GO database, COG database, SWISS-Prot database and KEGG database, respectively. In addition, we performed the bioinformatics analysis of gene expression profiling aimed at the ovarian transcriptome difference between Inner Mongolia Cashmere goat and Dazu black goat. We obtained a sequencing depth of over 5.5 million and 5.8 million tags. There were 1,133 DEGs between two species, of which 632 genes upregulated in the Dazu black goat and 501 genes downregulated compared with which in Inner Mongolia Cashmere goat. By annotating the 1,133 DEGs into KEGG database, we found 525 DEGs. And there were 68 DEGs annotated in metabolic pathways, 31 DEGs annotated in ribosome, 28 DEGs annotated in focal adhesion, 27 DEGs annotated in phagosome, 26 DEGs annotated in pathways in cancer, 25 DEGs annotated in ECM-receptor interaction, 23 DEGs annotated in protein digestion and absorption, 20 DEGs annotated in oxidative phosphorylation, 17 DEGs annotated in lysosome, and 16 DEGs annotated in cell adhesion molecules.
- The effects of canthaxanthin on porcine oocyte maturation and embryo
development in vitro after parthenogenetic activation and somatic cell
- Authors: A Taweechaipaisankul; JX Jin, S Lee, GA Kim, BC Lee
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of canthaxanthin (Cx) treatment during in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes on embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation (PA) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), on intracellular glutathione (GSH) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in mature oocytes, and on gene expression in both PA- and SCNT-derived blastocysts. To determine the optimal effective concentration of Cx, porcine oocytes were cultured in IVM medium supplemented with various concentrations (0, 20, 40 and 80 μM) of Cx for 22 hr. Compared to other groups, supplementation with 40 μM Cx significantly improved blastocyst formation rates after PA (p
- Effect of short-term exposure of cumulus–oocyte complex to
3-morpholinosydnonimine on in vitro embryo development and gene expression
- Authors: P Loren; C Cheuquemán, E Sánchez, J Risopatrón, ME Arias, R Felmer, R Sánchez
Abstract: Short-term exposure of gametes to different types of stress might induce stress tolerance in mammalian embryos. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of short-term exposure of bovine mature cumulus–oocyte complex (COC) to 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1) on subsequent in vitro embryo development, embryo quality and relative gene expression. Matured COCs were incubated with SIN-1 (0, 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 μM SIN-1) for 1 hr before in vitro fertilization and zygotes were cultured until Day 7. The cleavage rate at 72 hr did not show any differences among groups. However, the blastocyst rate on Day 7 decreased with all treatments evaluated, with the embryos generated with 10 μM SIN-1 showing the lowest embryo production rate. Embryo quality analysis did not show any differences in total cell number (TCN) or inner cell mass (ICM) among groups. Relative gene expression analysis showed a downregulation of eNOS expression and an upregulation of nNOS expression in all treatments evaluated compared to the control group. Also, a downregulation was observed in some treatments: SOD2 at 0.1 μM; SOD1 at 0.1 and 100 μM; PRDX5 at 0.1, 10 and 100 μM; and NANOG at 10 and 100 μM; and an upregulation of CDX2 expression was observed at 100 μM. The other genes (OCT4, HIF1A, HSPA1A, BCL2A and iNOS) did not show any differences in the relative gene expression. These results suggest that the short-term exposure of mature bovine COCs to SIN-1 does not induce stress tolerance and has no beneficial effect on bovine in vitro embryo production.
- The application of apoptotic inhibitor in apoptotic pathways of MII stage
porcine oocytes after vitrification
- Authors: Y Niu; J Dai, C Wu, Y Chen, S Zhang, D Zhang
Abstract: Apoptosis is one of the main drivers of the decline in developmental potential of porcine oocytes after vitrification. However, which apoptotic pathways are engaged after vitrification remains poorly understood. To distinguish among the possible apoptotic pathways induced by vitrification of MII stage porcine oocytes, this study detected activity and expression levels of several key proteins and genes in both the death receptor and mitochondrial pathways using in situ fluorescence staining and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) following the addition of specific inhibitors of either the death receptor or the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway (Z-IETD-FMK or Z-LEHD-FMK, respectively) into the incubation solution. Survival and parthenogenetic developmental ability were also examined. The results showed the following: (i) compared with the vitrified group, the activities of pan-caspase, caspase 3, caspase 8 and caspase 9 as well as the early apoptotic rate were significantly lower in the Z-IETD-FMK and Z-LEHD-FMK groups (p
- Expression and localization of angiopoietin family in corpus luteum during
different stages of oestrous cycle and modulatory role of angiopoietins on
steroidogenesis, angiogenesis and survivability of cultured buffalo luteal
- Authors: SR Mishra; MS Parmar, VP Yadav, R Reshma, J Bharati, MK Bharti, A Paul, VS Chouhan, G Taru Sharma, G Singh, M Sarkar
Abstract: The objective of this study was to document the expression and localization of angiopoietin (ANGPT) family members comprising of angiopoietin (ANGPT1 and ANGPT2), and their receptors (Tie1 and Tie2) in buffalo corpus luteum (CL) obtained from different stages of the oestrous cycle, and the modulatory role of ANGPT1 and ANGPT2 alone or in combinations on progesterone (P4) secretion and mRNA expression of phosphotidylinositide-3kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT), phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK), protein kinase B (AKT), Bcl2 associated death promoter (BAD), caspase 3 and von willebrand factor (vWF) in luteal cells obtained from midluteal phase (MLP) of oestrous cycle in buffalo. Real-time RT-PCR (qPCR), Western blot and immunohistochemistry were applied to investigate mRNA expression, protein expression and localization of examined factors whereas, the P4 secretion was assessed by RIA. The mRNA and protein expression of ANGPT1 and Tie2 was maximum (p
- Effects of duration of electric pulse on in vitro development of cloned
cat embryos with human artificial chromosome vector
- Authors: LTK Do; M Wittayarat, T Terazono, Y Sato, M Taniguchi, F Tanihara, T Takemoto, Y Kazuki, K Kazuki, M Oshimura, T Otoi
Abstract: The current applications for cat cloning include production of models for the study of human and animal diseases. This study was conducted to investigate the optimal fusion protocol on in vitro development of transgenic cloned cat embryos by comparing duration of electric pulse. Cat fibroblast cells containing a human artificial chromosome (HAC) vector were used as genetically modified nuclear donor cells. Couplets were fused and activated simultaneously with a single DC pulse of 3.0 kV/cm for either 30 or 60 μs. Low rates of fusion and embryo development to the blastocyst stage were observed in the reconstructed HAC-transchromosomic embryos, when the duration of fusion was prolonged to 60 μs. In contrast, the prolongation of electric pulse duration improved the embryo development and quality in the reconstructed control embryos without HAC vector. Our results suggested that the optimal parameters of electric pulses for fusion in cat somatic cell nuclear transfer vary among the types used for donor cells.
- Expression of retinoic acid-metabolizing enzymes, ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2,
ALDH1A3, CYP26A1, CYP26B1 and CYP26C1 in canine testis during post-natal
- Authors: VR Kasimanickam
Abstract: Mammalian spermatogenesis involves highly regulated temporal and spatial dynamics, carefully controlled by several signalling processes. Retinoic acid (RA) signalling could have a critical role in spermatogenesis by promoting spermatogonia differentiation, adhesion of germ cells to Sertoli cells, and release of mature spermatids. An optimal testicular RA concentration is maintained by retinaldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs), which oxidize RA precursors to produce RA, whereas the CYP26 class of enzymes catabolizes (oxidize) RA into inactive metabolites. The objective was to elucidate gene expression of these RA-metabolizing enzymes (ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2, ALDH1A3, CYP26A1, CYP26B1 and CYP26C1) and their protein presence in testes of young, peripubertal and adult dogs. Genes encoding RA-synthesizing isozymes ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 and RA-catabolizing isomers CYP26A1, CYP26B1 and CYP26C1 were expressed in testis at varying levels during testicular development from birth to adulthood in dogs. Based on detailed analyses of mRNA expression patterns, ALDH1A2 was regarded as a primary RA-synthesizing enzyme and CYP26B1 as a critical RA-hydrolysing enzyme; presumably, these genes have vital roles in maintaining RA homeostasis, which is imperative to spermatogenesis and other testicular functions in post-natal canine testis.
- Multicystic degeneration of the Cowper's gland in a Large White boar
- Authors: A Grahofer; H Nathues, C Gurtner
Abstract: The present report describes a case of multicystic degeneration of the Cowper's gland in a 1.3-year-old purebred Large White intact boar with reduced fertility in Switzerland. Based on the case history, a general physical examination, an andrological investigation and a transrectal ultrasonography combined with a subsequent thorough pathological examination including histology a multicystic degeneration of the Cowper's gland were diagnosed. The case indicates that cystic degeneration of the bulbourethral gland should be contemplated in the differential diagnoses of andrological disorders even though it has not been described in pigs so far. While selecting breeding boars, a morphological check of the bulbourethral gland can be performed, since degeneration of the gland would potentially have an impact on future fertility.
- Does serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels always discriminate presence of
the ovaries in adult bitches? Comparison of two ELISA kits
- Authors: I Pir Yagci; M Pekcan, IM Polat, H Kalender, HC Macun
Abstract: Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is produced in the ovary, and thus, it is an excellent marker of follicle pool in females. Current interest is the clinical use of this parameter as a biomarker to assess presence or absence of an intact ovary and to diagnose ovarian remnant syndrome (ORS) following incomplete ovariohysterectomy (OHE) in bitches. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum AMH concentrations in bitches (n = 34) before and after OHE using two different commercial ELISA kits, one of which is based on detecting human AMH and the other is based on detecting human AMH and the other specified for canine AMH. Furthermore, serum AMH levels were also measured in six ORS cases to compare the diagnostic utility of the two different ELISA kits. Serum AMH concentrations measured using the human and canine kit prior to and after OHE were 0.32 ± 0.24, 0.006 ± 0.22 ng/ml (p
- Twin reduction by PGF2α intraluteal instillation in dairy cows
- Authors: F López-Gatius; RHF Hunter
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine whether induced luteolysis of one of the two corpora lutea in twin pregnancies would provoke spontaneous twin reduction. In Experiment 1, 12 post-partum cows with two corpora lutea in the same ovary were assigned to (three cows per group): Group I, Group II, Group III or Group IV receiving into one of the corpora lutea puncture with no treatment, 0.5 mg dinoprost, 1.5 mg dinoprost and 2.5 mg dinoprost, respectively. One of the two corpora lutea showed clear signs of luteolysis on Day 2 and was practically non-detectable on Day 7 after treatment in the three cows of the Group IV. In Experiment 2, 11 cows carrying live twins with two corpora lutea on Day 28 of gestation, eight bilateral and three unilateral, received 2.5 mg dinoprost into one of the corpora lutea. Corpus luteum reduction and embryo reduction after treatment were registered in 10 and 9 cows, respectively. In bilateral twin pregnancies, four cows suffering embryo reduction remained pregnant. In unilateral twin pregnancies, membrane detachment resulted in the death of both cotwins. In conclusion, although observations were based on few animals, there seems to be a mechanism that operates locally to transfer ovarian progesterone to the uterus, and also a quantitative relationship between the amount of progesterone secreted and support of conceptuses, resulting in death of one twin embryonic vesicle when one corpus luteum regresses.
- Hormonal changes and follicular activity after treatment with intravaginal
progesterone-releasing devices in llamas
- Authors: MV Cavilla; CP Bianchi, F Aguilera, M Hermida, MA Aba
Abstract: Plasma progesterone (P4) concentrations and follicular activity after administration of different P4 doses were evaluated in 33 adult female llamas treated with intravaginal devices. In Study 1, a group of llamas (n = 10) was treated with an intravaginal device (IVD) containing 160 (n = 5) or 780 mg of P4 (n = 5). Based on the results from the first study, in Study 2, females with follicles at different stages of development were treated with the IVD containing 780 mg of P4 (n = 21) or remain untreated (control; n = 12) to evaluate the effect of P4 on follicular activity. In Study 1, the IVD containing 160 mg of P4 induced follicular turnover in 60% of females while the remaining 40% of llamas developed persistent follicles. Thus, this device controlled follicular activity in llamas, although it promotes the persistence of follicles present at start of treatment. Conversely, in both studies, the IVD containing 780 mg of P4 suppressed follicular development and hasten the emergence of a new follicular wave in all females regardless of the follicular phase at insertion. Additionally, in Study 2, this device effectively concentrated the appearance of follicles with ovulatory diameter at a definite time after treatment in comparison with control animals. In conclusion, treatment with an IVD containing 780 mg of P4 would be considered for the control of follicular activity in llamas as it ensures the presence of a young follicle with ovulatory diameter by day 6 after the end of treatment in all females.
- Selection of red deer spermatozoa with different cryoresistance using
- Authors: O García-Álvarez; AJ Soler, Z Maulen, A Maroto-Morales, M Iniesta-Cuerda, A Martín-Maestro, MR Fernández-Santos, JJ Garde
Abstract: The objective of sperm selection media is selecting the best spermatozoa and to remove seminal plasma and diluent for using them in assisted reproductive techniques. It is known that individuals show different cryoresistance in response to the same freezing procedure. Our hypothesis was that the efficacy of selection media could be dissimilar for samples with different sperm quality after thawing. Epididymal sperm samples from mature Iberian red deer were collected and frozen. Males were classified as with high post-thaw sperm quality when sperm motility (SM) ≥ 70%, or as with low post-thaw sperm quality when SM ≤ 69%. Samples were centrifuged using the following density gradients (DG): Percoll®, Puresperm® and Bovipure™, and several functional sperm parameters were assessed after sperm selecting and washing. Males classified with high sperm quality had higher post-thawing values (p > .05) for all parameters evaluated, except for linearity index, than those categorized as low sperm quality. After selection, some sperm characteristics improved (viability, apoptosis and mitochondrial activity) for both groups, showing the males with high sperm quality higher values in all sperm parameters except for kinematic traits and DNA fragmentation index (%DFI), regardless of DG. Bovipure™ yield lower values of sperm motility, viability, apoptosis and mitochondrial activity in relation to Percoll® and Puresperm® considering both quality groups. There was an interaction between the type of DG and sperm quality group for sperm viability (p = .040) and apoptosis (p = .003). Thus, Percoll® selected less live and more apoptotic spermatozoa than Puresperm® and Bovipure™ for males with low sperm quality. In conclusion, the DG are more efficient selecting spermatozoa from samples with high sperm quality, acting differently depending on initial sperm quality.
- GnRH and prostaglandin-based synchronization protocols as alternatives to
progestogen-based treatments in sheep
- Authors: M Rekik; A Haile, A Abebe, D Muluneh, S Goshme, I Ben Salem, M El-Dine Hilali, N Lassoued, Y Chanyalew, B Rischkowsky
Abstract: The study investigated, for cycling sheep, synchronizing protocols simultaneously to the standard “P” protocol using progestogens priming with intravaginal devices and gonadotropin. In November 2014, 90 adult Menz ewes were assigned to either the “P” protocol, “PGF” treatment where oestrus and ovulation were synchronized using two injections of prostaglandin 11 days apart or a “GnRH” treatment where the ewes had their oestrus and ovulation synchronized with GnRH (day 0)–prostaglandin (day 6)–GnRH (day 9) sequence. The ewes were naturally mated at the induced oestrus and the following 36 days. Plasma progesterone revealed that 92% of the ewes were ovulating before synchronization and all, except one, ovulated in response to the applied treatments. All “P” ewes exhibited oestrus during the 96-hr period after the end of the treatments in comparison with only 79.3% and 73.3% for “PGF” and “GnRH” ewes, respectively (p
- Identification of candidate miRNAs and expression profile of yak oocytes
before and after in vitro maturation by high-throughput sequencing
- Authors: XR Xiong; DL Lan, J Li, XD Zi, MY Li
Abstract: Small RNA represents several unique non-coding RNA classes that have important function in a wide range of biological processes including development of germ cells and early embryonic, cell differentiation, cell proliferation and apoptosis in diverse organisms. However, little is known about their expression profiles and effects in yak oocytes maturation and early development. To investigate the function of small RNAs in the maturation process of yak oocyte and early development, two small RNA libraries of oocytes were constructed from germinal vesicle stage (GV) and maturation in vitro to metaphase II-arrested stage (M II) and then sequenced using small RNA high-throughput sequencing technology. A total of 9,742,592 and 12,168,523 clean reads were obtained from GV and M II oocytes, respectively. In total, 801 and 1,018 known miRNAs were acquired from GV and M II oocytes, and 75 miRNAs were found to be significantly differentially expressed: 47 miRNAs were upregulated and 28 miRNAs were downregulated in the M II oocytes compared to the GV stage. Among the upregulated miRNAs, miR-342 has the largest fold change (9.25-fold). Six highly expressed miRNAs (let-7i, miR-10b, miR-10c, miR-143, miR-146b and miR-148) were validated by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and consistent with the sequencing results. Furthermore, the expression patterns of two miRNAs and their potential targets were analysed in different developmental stages of oocytes and early embryos. This study provides the first miRNA profile in the mature process of yak oocyte. Seventy-five miRNAs are expressed differentially in GV and M II oocytes as well as among different development stages of early embryos, suggesting miRNAs involved in regulating oocyte maturation and early development of yak. These results showed specific miRNAs in yak oocytes had dynamic changes during meiosis. Further functional and mechanistic studies on the miRNAs during meiosis may beneficial to understanding the role of miRNAs on meiotic division.
- Issue Information
- Pages: 853 - 854