- Phenotypic Correlations of Testes Size with Semen Traits and the
Productive Traits of Young Boars
- Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a relationship of young boar testes size with semen traits and with productive traits. The dimensions (length, width and volume) of each testis and semen traits (semen volume, percentage of sperm with progressive motility, sperm concentration, total number of sperm in semen, percentage of sperm with normal acrosome, percentage of sperm with major and minor morphological defects, osmotic resistance test value and activity of aspartate aminotransferase in seminal plasma) were determined on 120 young boars aged 6 months. At 180 day of age, the boars backfat thickness and leanness (by ultrasonic apparatus) and body weight were also measured. The average daily gain was determined in the period from 70 to 180 days of age of the boars. The results showed that the sperm concentration, total number of sperm in semen and percentage of progressive motile sperm were a significantly positively correlated with width and volume of the left (p ≤ 0.01) and right testis (p ≤ 0.05) and with total volume of both testes (p ≤ 0.01). But the highest values of correlation coefficients were found between the width of the left testis and sperm concentration, total number of sperm in semen and percentage of progressive motile sperm. A correlations of dimensions (length and width) and volume of testes with other semen traits were very low and statistically non‐significant. The volume of testes (left and right testis and total testes) was significantly positively correlated with body weight at 180 days of age and daily gain (p ≤ 0.01), but lower correlation coefficient was between left testis and daily gain (p ≤ 0.05), whereas correlations were low and non‐significant with leanness and backfat thickness.
- Influence of Body Condition on Serum Metabolic Indicators of Lipid
Mobilization and Oxidative Stress in Dairy Cows During the Transition
- Abstract: The objectives of this study were to examine the influence of body condition of cows on metabolic and antioxidative status, as well as to investigate the relationship between metabolic indicators of lipid mobilization and oxidative stress during transition period. The study was conducted on 24 Holstein‐Friesian dairy cows divided into 2 groups according to their body condition score (BCS) as optimal (n = 12; BCS from 3.25 to 3.75) or adipose (n = 12; BCS ≥4). Metabolic status (glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, NEFA and BHB), paraoxonase‐1 (PON1) and apolipoprotein A‐I (ApoA‐I) were analysed in sera taken on days −30, −10, −2, 0, 5, 12, 19, 26 and 60 relative to parturition. Adipose cows had significantly higher glucose concentration at parturition being significantly decreased after parturition on days 12 and 19. Total cholesterol and HDL‐C concentrations were the lowest at parturition and significantly higher on days 26 and 60 after parturition in both groups of cows. Both investigated groups had significantly higher NEFA concentration from parturition until day 19 after parturition, indicating energy deficit and an increased lipid mobilization after calving. There were no significant differences in BHB concentration during transition period in both groups. No significant differences were found in PON1 activity and ApoA‐I concentration during transition period in both groups of cows. However, in adipose cows, although not significantly different, PON1 was decreased from calving until day 19 after parturition indicating a disturbance in antioxidative status in adipose cows. PON1 significantly positively correlated with total cholesterol and HDL‐C concentrations and negatively with NEFA indicating a strong relationship of PON1 with lipid metabolism. Significant positive correlation between NEFA and BHB in both groups of cows points out on energy deficit during transition period that cows tend to overcome by lipid mobilization providing alternative source of energy needed for parturition and lactation.
- Methyl‐β‐Cyclodextrin Improves Sperm Capacitation Status
Assessed by Flow Cytometry Analysis and Zona Pellucida‐Binding
Ability of Frozen/Thawed Bovine Spermatozoa
- Abstract: Mammalian sperm undergo a series of biochemical transformations in the female reproductive tract that are collectively known as capacitation. Cyclodextrins added to the sperm culture medium have been described to induce in vitro sperm capacitation, enabling its use in protein‐free media. However, the additive capacitating effect of methyl‐β‐cyclodextrin (MβCD) in the medium containing bovine serum albumin (BSA) is unknown in the bovine species. In this study, we evaluated the effects of incubating frozen–thawed bovine spermatozoa in a BSA‐containing medium supplemented with MβCD on different sperm quality and functional parameters. Sperm viability decreased with the addition of MβCD in a dose‐dependent manner (p
- Melatonin Supplementation During In Vitro Maturation and Development
Supports the Development of Porcine Embryos
- Authors: LTK Do; Y Shibata, M Taniguchi, M Nii, TV Nguyen, F Tanihara, M Takagi, T Otoi
Abstract: Melatonin has been reported to improve the in vitro development of embryos in some species. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of melatonin supplementation during in vitro maturation (IVM) and development culture on the development and quality of porcine embryos. In the first experiment, when the in vitro fertilized embryos were cultured with different concentrations of melatonin (0, 10, 25 and 50 ng/ml) for 8 days, the blastocyst formation rate of embryos cultured with 25 ng/ml melatonin (10.7%) was significantly increased (p
- Gene Expression and Localization of NGF and Its Cognate Receptors NTRK1
and NGFR in the Sex Organs of Male Rabbits
- Abstract: Experiments were devised to characterize the expression of nerve growth factor, beta polypeptide (NGF), and its cognate receptors neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 1 (NTRK1) and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) in rabbit male sex organs, as well as the concentrations of NGF in both seminal and blood plasma of sexually mature male rabbits. Immunoreactivity and gene expression for NGF and cognate receptors were detected in testis, prostate gland and seminal vesicle. The highest levels of NGF and NTRK1 transcripts were found in the prostate, while intermediate expressions were found in the testis. NGFR transcripts were expressed at the same levels in both testis and prostate and were more abundant than in seminal vesicles. The widespread distribution of NGF in all prostate glandular cells, together with its relative high mRNA abundance, confirms that the prostate of rabbits is the main source of this neurotrophin. In conclusion, the present data suggest that the NGF system is involved in the testicular development and spermatogenesis of rabbits and that NGF may act as a potential ovulation‐inducing factor being abundantly present in the seminal plasma.
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2015-09-15T11:48:46.819046-05:
- Establishment, Differentiation, Electroporation and Nuclear Transfer of
Porcine Mesenchymal Stem Cells
- Authors: Z Song; P Cong, Q Ji, L Chen, Y Nie, H Zhao, Z He, Y Chen
Abstract: The limited success of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is largely attributed to defects in epigenetic reprogramming of the donor genome. Donor cell types with distinct potential competence may offer different epigenetic flexibility for subsequent genome reprogramming in SCNT. Stem cells possibly enable their genomes to be more readily reprogrammed than differentiated cells. To improve the efficiency of cloning, porcine mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs) were isolated and well identified by 6‐channel flow cytometry and differentiation assays and were used as donors in SCNT. Compared with porcine embryonic fibroblasts (pEFs), our results showed that pMSCs markedly enhanced cloned embryo development in terms of cleavage and blastocyst formation (p
- Serum and Tissue Steroid Hormone Levels in Canine Mammary Tumours:
Clinical and Prognostic Implications
- Abstract: Hormonal dependency of canine mammary tumours (CMT) has been studied over the last few decades. However, studies assessing the prognostic and predictive potential of serum and/or tissue steroid hormone levels are still scarce in CMT. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report relating serum and tissue levels of steroid hormones and prognosis in dogs. Serum and tumour tissue from 45 female dogs with spontaneous CMT were included in the study. Moreover, serum and normal mammary tissue from 13 healthy female dogs were also included as controls. Steroid hormones were determined by competitive enzyme immunoassay. Overall, levels of steroid hormones in serum and tissue homogenates were significantly different between malignant and benign mammary tumours (p
- Tiger, Bengal and Domestic cat Embryos Produced by Homospecific and
Interspecific Zona‐Free Nuclear Transfer
- Authors: LN Moro; J Jarazo, C Buemo, MI Hiriart, A Sestelo, DF Salamone
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate three different cloning strategies in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris) and to use the most efficient to generate wild felid embryos by interspecific cloning (iSCNT) using Bengal (a hybrid formed by the cross of Felis silvestris and Prionailurus bengalensis) and tiger (Panthera tigris) donor cells. In experiment 1, zona‐free (ZP‐free) cloning resulted in higher fusion and expanded blastocyst rates with respect to zona included cloning techniques that involved fusion or injection of the donor cell. In experiment 2, ZP‐free iSCNT and embryo aggregation (2X) were assessed. Division velocity and blastocyst rates were increased by embryo aggregation in the three species. Despite fewer tiger embryos than Bengal and cat embryos reached the blastocyst stage, Tiger 2X group increased the percentage of blastocysts with respect to Tiger 1X group (3.2% vs 12.1%, respectively). Moreover, blastocyst cell number was almost duplicated in aggregated embryos with respect to non‐aggregated ones within Bengal and tiger groups (278.3 ± 61.9 vs 516.8 ± 103.6 for Bengal 1X and Bengal 2X groups, respectively; 41 vs 220 ± 60 for Tiger 1X and Tiger 2X groups, respectively). OCT4 analysis also revealed that tiger blastocysts had higher proportion of OCT4‐positive cells with respect to Bengal blastocysts and cat intracytoplasmic sperm injection blastocysts. In conclusion, ZP‐free cloning has improved the quality of cat embryos with respect to the other cloning techniques evaluated and was successfully applied in iSCNT complemented with embryo aggregation.
- Stress Response of Veterinary Students to Gynaecological Examination of
Horse Mares – Effects of Simulator‐Based and
- Authors: C Nagel; N Ille, R Erber, C Aurich, J Aurich
Abstract: Invasive procedures in animals are challenging for veterinary students who may perceive a gynaecological examination of mares as stressful. Simulator‐based training may reduce stress. In this study, students received equine gynaecology training 4 times either on horses (group H; n = 14) or a teaching simulator (group SIM; n = 13). One day and 14 days thereafter, their diagnostic skills were tested on horses (skills tests 1 and 2). During the skills tests, the students’ stress response was analysed by heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV) parameters SDRR (standard deviation of beat‐to‐beat [RR] interval) and RMSSD (root‐mean‐square of successive RR differences), and salivary cortisol. In addition, students answered a questionnaire on their perceived stress. Sympathetic activation with increased heart rate (p
- Effects of Dietary Contamination by Zearalenone and Its Metabolites on
Serum Anti‐Müllerian Hormone: Impact on the Reproductive
Performance of Breeding Cows
- Abstract: We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to low zearalenone levels on the anti‐Müllerian hormone endocrine levels and the reproductive performance of cattle. Urine and blood samples and reproductive records were collected from two Japanese Black breeding female cattle herds with dietary zearalenone contamination below the threshold levels (
- Identification of miRNAs in Bovine Endometrium through RNAseq and
Prediction of Regulated Pathways
- Abstract: Detection of miRNAs in reproductive tissues is a key step to understand their role in fertility. We hypothesize that miRNAs must be involved in pathways controlling endometrial physiology and defense against pathogens. In this study, we aimed to characterize miRNAs present in bovine endometrium and to predict regulated pathways. Cytobrush endometrial samples from four cows were collected at oestrous cycle days 1–5, 6–12, 13–18 and 19–21. RNA was extracted and sequenced using Ion Torrent ® technology. After mapping of the reads to miRNA stem loops, rRNAs and tRNAs, data were normalized and analysed using DESeq2. Targets and pathways were predicted with miRmap and KEGG, respectively. Validation of miRNAs in tissue was done by RT‐qPCR (miR‐Q). A total of 221 identities were common among groups, accumulating more than 99% of miRNA expression. MiRNAs were predicted to regulate MAPK signalling pathway, lysosome and extracellular matrix (ECM)‐receptor interaction. Eight miRNAs were validated by miR‐Q, showing that let‐7a‐5p and let‐7b were regulated across the oestrous cycle. This study demonstrated a high similarity in miRNA expression profile across the oestrous cycles in bovine endometrium. These miRNAs were predicted to regulate pathways involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, transport and catabolism. The number of pathways shared by different miRNAs indicates the broad range of regulation these molecules exhibit in the endometrium.
- Influence of Delipation on the Energy Metabolism in Pig
Parthenogenetically Activated Embryos
- Authors: C Wang; Y Niu, D Chi, Y Zeng, H Liu, Y Dai, J Li
Abstract: This study was designed not only to measure the effect of delipation on the developmental viability of pig parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos, but also to evaluate the changes of mitochondria DNA (mtDNA), reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content and gene (Acsl3, Acadsb, Acaa2, Glut1) expression level at different stages after delipation. Results showed that no effect was observed on the cleavage ability, but significant lower blastocyst rate was obtained in delipated embryos. Copy number of mtDNA decreased gradually from MII to four‐cell stages and subsequently kept consistent with blastocyst stage both in delipated and control embryos, but the copy number of mtDNA in delipated embryos was similar to that in the control groups no matter at which developmental stage was observed. Both in delipated and control embryos, ATP content progressive decreased from one‐cell to blastocyst stages, while just at one‐cell stage, a significant decrease of ATP level was observed in delipated embryos compared with that of control. The level of ROS increased obviously after delipation at cleavage stage, but no difference was seen at blastocyst stage. Finally, the expression level of genes related to fatty acids beta‐oxidation (Acadsb and Acaa2) was decreased, while the expression level of genes related to glucose metabolism (Glut 1) was upregulated after delipation. In conclusion, the reduction of lipids in pig oocytes will affect the developmental competence of pig PA embryos by disturbed energy metabolism and ROS stress.
- Computed Tomography of the Prostate Gland in Healthy Intact Dogs and Dogs
with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Abstract: To date, there is only scarce data on the evaluation of the prostate gland in dogs using computed tomography (CT). The aims of our study were to describe CT features of BPH in dogs and to determine the size of the prostate gland in healthy male dogs and dogs with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) through CT. Additionally, we aimed to compare and establish the most useful parameters for CT measurements of the prostate in patients with BPH. The study population consisted of 20 healthy intact male dogs and 20 male intact dogs with confirmed BPH. Pre‐ and post‐contrast CT studies were evaluated. The most common CT features in dogs with recognized BPH were symmetrical prostatomegaly and heterogeneity of the prostatic parenchyma. The mean prostatic density (D) was 56HU (±4.39) in pre‐contrast CT images and 84HU (±8) in post‐contrast images in dogs with BPH. The mean prostatic length (L) was 43.87 mm (±11), the mean width (W) amounted to 48.95 mm (±8.76) and the mean height (H) reached 44.9 mm (±9.48) in clinically affected patients. The mean ratios were: rL − 2,12 (±0.5); rW − 2.39 (±0.53) and rH − 2.16 (±0.39) in the BPH group. The prostate should be considered to be enlarged when rL exceeds 3.05; rW exceeds 3.38 and rH exceeds 2.94. Our findings indicated that CT is a useful tool in diagnosing prostate disorders, including BPH. The heterogeneity, density and ratios of prostatic length, width and height can be useful parameters in the diagnosis of BPH.
- Bovine Oviduct Epithelial Cells Dedifferentiate Partly in Culture, While
Maintaining their Ability to Improve Early Embryo Development Rate and
- Abstract: There are convincing arguments to suggest that the success of early reproductive events is reliant on a satisfactory dialogue between gametes–embryo and the oviduct epithelium. The aim of this study was to develop and characterize an in vitro model to study these interactions. Cattle zygotes produced in vitro were cultured in either SOF or TCM‐199 in the presence or absence of bovine oviduct cell monolayers (BOEC), under 20% or 5% O2. The embryonic development rate and its quality (cell numbers, cryosurvival) were evaluated, as were the BOEC contents in 11 candidate transcripts (real‐time PCR) at different time points. A BOEC co‐culture did indeed increase the rate of development in both media under 5% O2 (41 vs 27% and 28 vs 10% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM‐199, respectively; p
- Signalling Events and Associated Pathways Related to the Mammalian Sperm
- Authors: DK Gangwar; SK Atreja
Abstract: Capacitation is a biological phenomenon occurring prior to fertilization and is a multiple event process. Many physiological and biochemical changes takes place during the process; these changes are related to lipid composition of membrane, intracellular modulation of ion concentration, protein phosphorylation, sperm movement and membrane permeability. These events occur when the sperm is exposed to the new environment of ion concentration in the female reproductive tract. Ions such as bicarbonate and calcium facilitate capacitation by activating adenylyl cyclase, thus initiating protein kinase A (PKA) signalling cascade. Extracellular‐regulated kinase pathway is activated by ligand binding to the membrane receptors and intracellular activation by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Activation of these pathways leads to the phosphorylation of different proteins, which is associated with events such as capacitation, hyperactivation and acrosome reaction that are essential for successful fertilization. Extensive studies were carried out on protein phosphorylation in relation to capacitation, but its role still remains ambiguous.
- Effect of Testosterone Administration and Spiking on Reproductive Success
of Broiler Breeder Flocks
- Authors: B Ordas; S Vahedi, A Seidavi, M Rahati, V Laudadio, V Tufarelli
Abstract: Age negatively affects reproductive success of broiler breeder flocks. One of the main hormones involved in the change of fertility with the age is testosterone (TT). The introduction of young males at later production stages of broiler flocks is known as spiking and is expected to reduce the fertility decline with age. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of injection of different levels of TT and the effect of spiking on reproductive fitness of broiler breeder flocks. Two experiments were conducted on Ross 308 breeder flocks for 10 weeks (41–50 weeks of age). The experiment 1 included a control and three treatments corresponding to three doses of TT (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 cc), while the experiment 2 included a control and one treatment corresponding to spiking. The lower dose of TT (0.1 cc) and the spiking clearly slowed down the decline in hatchability. Therefore, either the external administration of TT to the males when the natural concentration of TT starts to decline or spiking the breeder flock with young roosters could contribute to improve reproductive success in later stages of the production cycle in broiler breeder flocks.
- Reproductive Patterns in the Non‐Breeding Season in Asinina de
- Abstract: This study aims to characterize the reproductive patterns in Asinina de Miranda jennies during the non‐breeding season. Reproductive activity was surveyed in 12 females, aged between 3 and 18 years old, using ultrasound and teasing with a jack. The animals were monitored from September to April, six in each consecutive year. Of these 12 females, nine showed disruption to the normal pattern of ovarian activity during the non‐breeding season. Loss of normal cyclicity included anoestrus (41.7%), silent ovulatory oestrus (25%), and persistence of corpus luteum (8.3%). Only three females maintained a regular cyclic pattern with oestrous behaviour during the non‐breeding season. Anoestrus began in early November and lasted for an average of 147 ± 28 days (113–191 days), ending near to the spring equinox. Onset of silent oestrous cycles began more erratically, between October and February. In both groups the first behavioural ovulation of the year occurred around the time of the spring equinox. Disrupted reproductive activity was preceded by a shorter oestrous cycle only in females entering anoestrus. The mean follicle size in the first ovulation of the year was larger than in the reproductive season (44.7 ± 2.45 mm vs 39.2 ± 3.60 mm) in anoestrous jennies with protracted oestrus. Though age and body condition score (BCS) were associated, changes in BCS below a threshold of four points (for anoestrus) and five points (for silent oestrus) contributed greatly to disruption of reproductive cycles. BCS in females with regular oestrous cycles during the winter season remained unchanged or exceeded five points prior to the winter solstice.
- Does Clinical Treatment with Phenylbutazone and Meloxicam in the
Pre‐ovulatory Period Influence the Ovulation Rate in Mares?
- Authors: AG Lima; LCB Costa, MA Alvarenga, CB Martins
Abstract: The presence of anovulatory haemorrhagic follicles during the oestrous cycle of mares causes financial impacts, slowing conception and increasing the number of services per pregnancy. Non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as meloxicam and phenylbutazone are used in the treatment of several disorders in mares, and these drugs can impair the formation of prostaglandins (PGs) and consequently interfere with reproductive activity. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of treatment with NSAIDs on the development of pre‐ovulatory follicles in mares. In total, 11 mares were studied over three consecutive oestrous cycles, and gynaecological and ultrasound examinations were performed every 12 h. When 32‐mm‐diameter follicles were detected, 1 mg of deslorelin was administered to induce ovulation. The first cycle was used as a control, and the mares received only a dose of deslorelin. In the subsequent cycles, in addition to receiving the same dose of deslorelin, each mare was treated with NSAIDs. In the second cycle, 4.4 mg/kg of phenylbutazone was administered, and in the third cycle, 0.6 mg/kg of meloxicam was administered once a day until ovulation or the beginning of follicular haemorrhage. All of the mares ovulated between 36 and 48 h after the induction in the control cycle. In the meloxicam cycle, 10 mares (92%) did not ovulate, while in the phenylbutazone cycle, nine mares (83%) did not ovulate. In both treatments, intrafollicular hyperechoic spots indicative of haemorrhagic follicles were observed on ultrasound. Thus, our results suggested that treatment with meloxicam and phenylbutazone at therapeutic doses induced intrafollicular haemorrhage and luteinization of anovulatory follicles.
- Astaxanthin Normalizes Epigenetic Modifications of Bovine Somatic Cell
Cloned Embryos and Decreases the Generation of Lipid Peroxidation
- Authors: R Li; H Wu, WW Zhuo, QF Mao, H Lan, Y Zhang, S Hua
Abstract: Astaxanthin is an extremely common antioxidant scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and blocking lipid peroxidation. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on oocyte maturation, and development of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. Cumulus–oocyte complexes were cultured in maturation medium with astaxanthin (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 mg/l), respectively. We found that 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation significantly increased the proportion of oocyte maturation. Oocytes cultured in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin supplementation were used to construct SCNT embryos and further cultured with 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 mg/l astaxanthin. The results showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin significantly improved the proportions of cleavage and blastulation, as well as the total cell number in blastocysts compared with the control group, yet this influence was not concentration dependent. Chromosomal analyses revealed that more blastomeres showed a normal chromosomal complement in 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin treatment group, which was similar to that in IVF embryos. The methylation levels located on the exon 1 of the imprinted gene H19 and IGF2, pluripotent gene OCT4 were normalized, and global DNA methylation, H3K9 and H4K12 acetylation were also improved significantly, which was comparable to that in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos. Moreover, we also found that astaxanthin supplementation significantly decreased the level of lipid peroxidation. Our findings showed that the supplementation of 0.5 mg/l astaxanthin to oocyte maturation medium and embryo culture medium improved oocyte maturation, SCNT embryo development, increased chromosomal stability and normalized the epigenetic modifications, as well as inhibited overproduction of lipid peroxidation.
- Pregnancy Rates to Fixed Embryo Transfer of Vitrified IVP Bos indicus, Bos
taurus or Bos indicus × Bos taurus Embryos
- Authors: LSR Marinho; BV Sanches, CO Rosa, JH Tannura, AG Rigo, AC Basso, JHF Pontes, MM Seneda
Abstract: The pregnancy rates obtained after the transfer of cryopreserved in vitro‐produced (IVP) embryos are usually low and/or inconsistent. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pregnancy rates of Holstein, Gyr and Holstein × Gyr cattle after the transfer of vitrified IVP embryos produced with X‐sorted sperm. Seventy‐two Gyr and 703 Holstein females were subjected to ovum pickup (OPU) sessions, followed by in vitro embryo production using semen from sires of the same breeds. Embryos (1636 Holstein, 241 Gyr and 1515 Holstein × Gyr) were exposed to forskolin for 48 h prior to vitrification. The pregnancy rate achieved with Gyr dam and sire was 46.1%, which was similar (p = 0.11) to that of Holstein dam and Gyr sire (40.3%). Crossing Gyr dams with Holstein sires resulted in a pregnancy rate of 38.9% and did not differ (p = 0.58) from the pregnancy rate obtained with the cross between Holstein dams and Gyr sires. The rate obtained with Holstein dam and sire was 32.5%. The average pregnancy rate was 36.6%, and no difference was found in the proportion of female foetuses (88.8%, in average) among breeds (p > 0.05). In conclusion, transfer of cryopreserved X‐sorted embryos represents an interesting choice for dairy cattle. Despite the small differences between pregnancy rates, we highlight the efficiency of this strategy for all of the racial groups studied.
- Energy Status Characteristics of Porcine Oocytes During In Vitro
Maturation is Influenced by Their Meiotic Competence
- Authors: I Milakovic; M Jeseta, S Hanulakova, D Knitlova, K Hanzalova, P Hulinska, L Machal, B Kempisty, P Antosik, M Machatkova
Abstract: The characteristics of energy status in porcine oocytes as related to their meiotic competence and in vitro maturation were studied. Cycling pubertal gilts in the early luteal to early follicular phases of the ovarian cycle were used as oocyte donors. The oocytes recovered from medium (MF) or small follicles (SF) were considered meiotically more or less competent, respectively. A half of oocytes from each category was matured by the standard protocol. The oocytes were examined before or after maturation by confocal microscopy, a bioluminescent cell assay and Western blotting. Four experiments, each in triplicate, were performed to assess both SF and MF oocytes in terms of metabolic units formed by mitochondria and lipids, ATP and lipid consumption and lipid droplets with adipose differentiation‐related protein (ADRP) expression. The proportion of oocytes with metabolic units, the mean ATP content and the number of lipid droplets per oocyte, and the relative number of lipid droplets with ADRP expression were significantly higher in the MF compared to SF oocytes before maturation. On the other hand, after maturation, there was an increase in the proportion of oocytes with metabolic units and the relative number of lipid droplets with ADRP expression in the SF compared to MF oocytes. In conclusion, specific differences in energy characteristics between porcine oocytes with different meiotic competence were found. Meiotically more competent oocytes are more advanced in terms of energy reserves before maturation, while meiotically less competent oocytes are more active in replenishing energy stores during maturation.
- Gene Expression of Monocarboxylate Transporters and Oocyte‐secreted
Factors in Bovine Cumulus‐oocyte Complexes Selected by
Brilliant Cresyl Blue
- Authors: EF Lopes; LS Marques, RG Duranti, ATD Oliveira, RFF Lopes, JL Rodrigues
Abstract: Oocyte selection based on the brilliant cresyl blue (BCB) staining test has been successfully used to differentiate between competent and incompetent bovine oocytes. Here, the expression of genes involved in transport of monocarboxylates (Mct1‐4) and oogenesis specific genes (Bmp15, Gdf9 and Has2) in BCB+ and BCB‐ selected immature and mature bovine cumulus‐oocyte complexes (COC) was evaluated. In order to find specific molecular markers to characterize successful oocyte maturation, our study was also aimed at identifying the expression of Mcts and oogenesis specific genes in denuded oocytes and cumulus cells. Immature COCs morphological appropriate were (i) stained with 26 mm BCB for 90 min before IVM, (ii) exposed to same incubation conditions as stained COCs, but without BCB (holding group) or (iii) transferred into a maturation medium immediately after morphological selection (control group). mRNA expression was investigated by RT‐PCR in COCs before and after IVM. No relationship was observed in the relative expression of Has2, Gdf9, Bmp15 or Mct1, 2 and 4 transcripts between BCB+ and BCB− COCs. Transcripts analysis showed that Gdf9 and Bmp15 in BCB+, BCB− and holding groups were up‐regulated (p
- Effect of Relaxin on Fertility Parameters of Frozen–Thawed Buffalo
(Bubalus bubalis) Sperm
- Authors: AR Elkhawagah; V Longobardi, G Neglia, A Salzano, G Zullo, GA Sosa, G Campanile, B Gasparrini
Abstract: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of relaxin on fertility parameters of buffalo frozen/thawed sperm. Sperm were incubated in the absence of capacitating agents (negative control), with a known capacitating agent such as heparin (positive control) and with 50 and 100 ng/ml relaxin for 2 and 4 h. Sperm viability, motility, capacitation and the effect of relaxin on the fertilizing ability after heterologous IVF were evaluated. Although viability was not affected, relaxin increased (p
- Resident Macrophages and Lymphocytes in the Canine Endometrium
- Abstract: Resident immune cells play a major role in endometrial immunity and in tissue homoeostasis. This study aimed to analyse the distribution of macrophages, B and T lymphocytes (respectively, Mø, B‐Lym and T‐Lym) in the canine endometrium throughout the oestrous cycle and in late involution (at the proestrus stage post‐parturition). An immunohistochemistry technique was used on samples from 50 post‐pubertal healthy female dogs, of which five in late post‐partum. The distribution of resident immune cells was analysed in three endometrial layers (superficial, intermediate and basal areas). Mø, B‐Lym and T‐Lym were demonstrated to reside in the endometrium in all the stages of the canine cycle; their numbers being considerably higher during late involution. T‐Lym were scattered in the stroma or amidst the glandular epithelium, constituting the predominant immune cell population in anestrus and proestrus, but decreased in number at all other stages. Endometrial B‐Lym remained fairly constant during the canine cycle, although its numbers were higher in late involution. Mø counts were higher during anestrus compared to the other stages, the cells being displaced into the superficial endometrial layer. Mø demonstrated the highest level in late involution samples, forming small aggregates below the surface epithelium. The number of immune cells was not normally distributed, suggesting the influence of individual factors, such as age or parity, not explored herein due to limited sample availability. Still, this study provides important information for the interpretation of endometrial biopsies in dogs and for the understanding of the increased susceptibility to uterine infection during dioestrus found in the bitch.
- Influence of Staining Method on the Values of Avian Sperm Head
- Abstract: Computer‐assisted systems for the assessment of sperm morphometry (ASMA systems) have been used successfully with several mammalian species. Unfortunately, they have so far been of little use for assessing bird semen, a consequence of the filiform shape of avian spermatozoa. This study compares two staining techniques (Hemacolor® and aniline blue staining) for the morphometric analysis of rooster and red‐legged partridge spermatozoa as part of a computer‐assisted light microscopy method. For both species, Hemacolor® staining provided a significantly higher percentage of measurable cells (93.7 ± 11.7% in roosters and 71.9 ± 15.3% in red‐legged partridges). Hemacolor® also showed greater repeatability (lower coefficients of variation) for length and area in roosters' sperm and for width in the case of red‐legged partridge's sperm. In the roosters, the Hemacolor® technique returned significantly (p
- Generation of α‐1,3‐Galactosyltransferase‐Deficient
Porcine Embryonic Fibroblasts by CRISPR/Cas9‐Mediated Knock‐in
of a Small Mutated Sequence and a Targeted Toxin‐Based Selection
- Authors: M Sato; A Kagoshima, I Saitoh, E Inada, K Miyoshi, M Ohtsuka, S Nakamura, T Sakurai, S Watanabe
Abstract: The CRISPR/Cas9 system has enabled the editing of mammalian genomes; however, its applicability and efficiency in the pig genome has not been studied in depth. The α‐gal epitope synthesized by α‐1,3‐galactosyltransferase gene (GGTA1) is known as a xenoantigen obtained upon pig‐to‐human xenotransplantation. We here employed the CRISPR/Cas9 system‐mediated knock‐in of endogenous GGTA1 via targeted homologous recombination (HR). Linearized donors with ~800‐bp homology flanking the CRISPR/Cas9 target site [exon 4 (containing ATG) of GGTA1] served as a template for gene targeting by HR. Using a targeted toxin strategy to select clones lacking α‐gal epitope expression, we successfully obtained several knock‐in clones within 3 weeks of initial transfection. These results suggest that the use of CRISPR/Cas9‐mediated HR to knock‐in a mutated fragment at defined loci represents an efficient strategy to achieve the rapid modulation of genes of interest in swine cells and is a promising tool for the creation of KO piglets.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound as a Potential Male Dog Contraceptive:
Determination of the Most Effective Application Protocol
- Authors: R Leoci; G Aiudi, F Silvestre, EA Lissner, F Marino, GM Lacalandra
Abstract: Ultrasound is one of the most promising forms of non‐invasive contraception and has been studied in several animal models. The objective of the current investigation was to determine the most practical and effective application protocol for dog sterilization. A total of 100 dogs were divided into five equal groups. Group A received 5‐min applications three times performed at 48‐hr intervals and covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz; Group B received 5‐min applications three times performed at 48‐hr intervals over the dorso‐cranial area of the testis at frequency of 3 MHz; Group C received three sequential 5‐min applications (at 5‐min intervals between applications) covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz; Group D received 15‐min applications two times performed at 48‐hr intervals and covering the entire testicular area at frequency of 1 MHz. The experimental groups' ultrasound had an intensity of 1.5W/cm2. The Control Group had the same procedure as Group A, but with the transducer switched‐off. Dogs were surgically castrated 40 days following the treatment for histological examination. Azoospermia, testicular volume reduction and apparently irreversible testicular damage were achieved by Group A. No effects were noticed in the other groups. Testosterone levels remained within physiological range with all application protocols. A regimen of three applications of ultrasound at 1 MHz, and 1.5 W/cm2, lasting 5 min with an interval of 48 h was effective as permanent sterilization in the dog without hormonal impact.
- Reproductive and Metabolic Responses of Early‐lactating Dairy Cows
Fed Different Dietary Protein Sources
- Authors: V Tufarelli; GM Lacalandra, V Laudadio
Abstract: Optimal reproduction is very closely tied with optimal nutrition, and early‐lactation diets in cows are critical to successful reproduction and monitoring is important. To evaluate the effects of different dietary protein sources on metabolic parameters and reproductive activity, a total of 36 Italian Friesian early‐lactating dairy cows were assigned for 16 weeks to three dietary treatments as follow: the control diet contained soya bean meal (SBM) as the main protein source, whereas the experimental diets contained faba bean (FB) or pea seeds (PS) as alternative protein sources. Diets were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Cow blood samples were collected, and plasma were analysed for metabolites, biological enzymes, β‐hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and non‐esterified fatty acids (NEFA). Feeding alternative protein sources had no effects on most metabolic blood profile, except for blood cholesterol, triglycerides and urea. Results from reproductive parameters indicated that cows fed FB diet had a lower insemination index, but a shorter calving to conception period and an improved conception rate and artificial insemination outcome, when compared to cows fed SBM or PS diets. It can be concluded that replacing conventional dietary SBM with alternative protein sources, especially FB, resulted in improved reproductive performances and metabolic parameters in early‐lactating dairy cows.
- Doppler and Contrast‐Enhanced Ultrasonography of Testicles in Adult
- Abstract: The objective was to characterize the vascular patterns of testicular blood flow of adult cats, measuring the systolic velocity (SV), diastolic velocity (DV), resistance index (RI), gate time (wash‐in) peak enhancement and output time (wash‐out) of the contrast and addition of tissue fill characteristics. Forty‐five adult cats were selected, and the echotexture, echogenicity, size, contours and margins of testicles were assessed via ultrasound. By Doppler were evaluated the blood flow and determined of vascular index in testicular artery (SV, DV and RI) and via contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography determine the time for phases: wash‐in, wash‐out and peak enhancement. Sonographic findings presented normal. Testicular artery was observed in the spermatic cord with tortuous patter and showed monophasic‐patterned waves and low vascular resistance and with systolic peak evident. Values of indices vascular were as follows: SV = 6.73 cm/s, DV = 2.8 cm/s and RI = 0.54 for left testicles; and SV = 6.23 cm/s, DV = 2.77 cm/s and RI = 0.53 for right testicles. Contrast filled the subcapsular vascular structures and after a few seconds, a homogeneous moderate enhancement of the parenchyma, with parenchymal vessels still distinguishable and after the peak phase, a rapid homogeneous decrease in echogenicity. Values of time for contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography were as follows: wash‐in = 8.78 s, peak enhancement = 21.62 s and wash‐out = 75.36 for left testicles; and wash‐in = 10.76 s, peak enhancement = 21.50 s and wash‐out = 81.81 for right testicles. Doppler and contrast‐enhanced ultrasonography of the testicles in healthy adult cats was easily implemented and may provide baseline data for this organ to allow the use of these techniques as a diagnostic tool for evaluating testicular abnormalities in sick cats.