Browse

You are looking at 31 - 40 of 12,496 items for

  • Refine by Access: Content accessible to me x
Clear All
Free access

Xuesong Sui, Arne Klungland, and Lu Gao

In brief

RNA modifications play key roles in regulating various biological processes. This article discusses and summarizes the recent advances of RNA m6A modifications related to mammalian gametogenesis, early embryonic development, and miscarriage.

Abstract

The epitranscriptome is defined as the collection of post-transcriptional chemical modifications of RNA in a cell. RNA methylation refers to the chemical post-transcriptional modification of RNA by selectively adding methyl groups under the catalysis of a methyltransferase. The N6 methyladenosine (m6A) is one of the most common of the more than 100 known RNA modifications. Recent research has revealed that RNA m6A modifications are reversible. Additionally, m6A containing RNA can be selectively identified by immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (MeRIP-SEQ). These two developments have inspired a tremendous effort to unravel the biological role of m6A. The role of RNA m6A modifications in immune regulation, cell division, stem cell renewal, gametogenesis, embryonic development, and placental function has gradually emerged, which is of great significance for the study of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in reproductive biology. This review summarizes the current knowledge about RNA m6A modification in a variety of mammalian reproductive events.

Restricted access

Olivia E Smith, Fanny Morin, Vickie Roussel, Micka C Bertucci, Alexandre Boyer, and Bruce D Murphy

In brief

The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) is essential for mature mouse gonad steroidogenic gene expression, for Leydig and Sertoli cell function, and depletion of SF-1 in steroidogenic cells of the testis compromises steroidogenesis, spermatogenesis and male fertility.

Abstract

Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1 or NR5A1) plays an essential role in the development of fetal gonads and regulates genes involved in steroid biosynthesis. Since SF-1 is expressed in multiple cell types in mouse gonads, we developed three novel conditional knockout (cKO) mouse models employing Cre-recombinase and floxed alleles of SF-1 (Nr5a1f/f) to identify its role in testes and ovaries of mature mice: Cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase (Cyp17Cre/+;Nr5a1f/f, Leydig and theca cell-specific), aromatase (Cyp19Cre/+;Nr5a1f/f, Sertoli and granulosa cell-specific), as well as a combination of both (Cyp17+Cyp19-Cre;Nr5a1f/f). Compared to control animals, Cyp19-Cre;Nr5a1f/f cKO males showed normal fertility and testicular function. The Cyp17Cre/+;Nr5a1f/f cKO males had smaller testis, with drastically reduced Leydig cell volumes and impaired steroidogenesis, though their reproductive performance remained comparable to controls. Some 50% of Cyp17Cre/++Cyp19Cre/+;Nr5a1f/f double-cKO (dKO) males were infertile, while the remaining 50% showed significantly reduced fertility. These dKO males also had smaller testis with degenerative seminiferous tubules, abnormal Leydig cell morphology and lower levels of intra-testicular testosterone. Abnormal Sertoli cell localization was noted in dKO testes, with increased Sox9, p27 and inhibin subunit ßb and decreased androgen receptor expression. Female mice from all genotypes showed normal reproductive capacity, though steroidogenic gene expression levels were significantly decreased in both Cyp17Cre/+;Nr5a1f/f cKO and dKO females. These results show the essential role of SF-1 in mature mouse gonad steroidogenic gene expression, for Leydig and Sertoli cell function, and that depletion SF-1 in all steroidogenic cells of the testis compromises steroidogenesis, spermatogenesis and male fertility.

Restricted access

María Belén Poretti, Santiago Bianconi, Eugenia Luque, Ana Carolina Martini, Laura Vincenti, Veronica Cantarelli, Pedro Torres, Marina Ponzio, Helgi B Schiöth, and Valeria Paola Carlini

In brief

Ghrelin signals to the hypothalamus inhibit reproduction during times of food scarcity. In this study, we demonstrate that ghrelin impairs sperm quality in male mice.

Abstract

Ghrelin (GHRL) is an orexigenic peptide that has been investigated as one of the signals responsible for the reproductive performance of mammals under fluctuating metabolic conditions. Central GHRL administration impairs spermatogenesis in mice by regulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis function. In the present study, the hypothalamus role as a mediator of GHRL effects on sperm fertilizing capacity and male sexual behavior was evaluated. After 42 days of hypothalamic GHRL infusion or artificial cerebrospinal fluid, in vitro and in vivo sperm fertilizing capacity, testicular α-tubulin, speriolin gene expression and spermatic α-tubulin protein were evaluated. Hypothalamic expression of genes Kiss1, Gpr54 and Gnrh was also studied. The second group of animals was infused with one time only GHRL or artificial cerebrospinal fluid into the hypothalamus to evaluate the effects on sexual behavior. Results demonstrated that chronic GHRL administration to male mice significantly increased the percentages of pre-implantation embryo loss and the number of post-implantation embryo loss. In relation to the gene expression, our results show a relative decrease of Kiss1, Gpr54 and Spatc1. Although no significant differences were observed in the quantitative expression of α-tubulin protein, qualitative changes in its expression pattern were observed. In addition, a dual effect on sexual behavior was observed: 40% of the treated animals showed a significant reduction in the number of mounts and intromissions, while a 60% showed a significant decrease in ejaculation latency vs control animals. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that central GHRL administration possibly induces failure in embryo development and/or implantation in the females mated with treated males, possibly because of a negative effect in the α-tubulin pattern.

Open access

Limor Man, Nicole Lustgarten Guahmich, Eleni Kallinos, Laura Park, Richard Bodine, Nikica Zaninovic, Glenn Schattman, Zev Rosenwaks, and Daylon James

In brief

Xenografts of human ovarian cortical tissue provide a tractable model of heterotopic autotransplantation that is used for fertility preservation in patients undergoing ablative chemo/radiotherapy. This study describes the behavior of hundreds of xenografts to establish a framework for the clinical function of ovarian cortex following autotransplantation over short- and long-term intervals.

Abstract

More than 200 live births have been achieved using autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian cortical fragments, yet challenges remain to be addressed. Ischemia of grafted tissue undermines viability and longevity, typically requiring transplantation of multiple cortical pieces; and the dynamics of recruitment within a graft and the influence of parameters like size and patient age at the time of cryopreservation are not well-defined. Here, we describe results from a series of experiments in which we xenografted frozen/thawed human ovarian tissue (n  = 440) from 28 girls and women (age range 32 weeks gestational age to 46 years, median 24.3 ± 4.6). Xenografts were recovered across a broad range of intervals (1–52 weeks post-transplantation) and examined histologically to quantify follicle density and distribution. The number of antral follicles in xenografted cortical fragments correlated positively with the total follicle number and was significantly reduced with increased patient age. Within xenografts, follicles were distributed in focal clusters, similar to the native ovary, but the presence of a leading antral follicle coincided with increased proliferation of surrounding follicles. These results underscore the importance of transplanting ovarian tissue with a high density of follicles and elucidate a potential paracrine influence of leading antral follicles on neighboring follicles of earlier stages. This temporal framework for interpreting the kinetics of follicle growth/mobilization may be useful in setting expectations and guiding the parameters of clinical autotransplantation.

Restricted access

Yan Sun, Yifen Yang, Ziran Jiang, Feiyu wang, Kun Han, Linjun Hong, Jianhua Cao, and Mei Yu

In brief

Transforming the endometrial luminal epithelium (LE) into a receptive state is a requisite event for successful embryo implantation. This study suggests the role of a transcription factor in regulating endometrial LE receptivity.

Abstract

The endometrial luminal epithelium (LE) undergoes extensive remodeling during implantation to establish receptivity of the uterus in response to the conceptus signals, such as interleukin 1β (IL1B). But the mechanisms remain to be fully understood. This study investigated the role of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBP-β) in regulating pig endometrial LE receptivity. Our results showed that C/EBP-β was expressed and activated only in the endometrial LE in an implantation-dependent manner. In addition, C/EBP-β was highly activated at the pre-attachment stage compared to the attachment stage, and its activation was correlated with the expression of IL1B-dependent extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2-p90 ribosomal S6 kinase signaling axis. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing analysis revealed that the binding of C/EBP-β within the promoter was positively associated with the transcription of genes related to cell remodeling. One such gene is matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP8), which is responsible for extracellular matrix degradation. The expression of MMP8 was abundant at the pre-attachment stage but dramatically declined at the attachment stage in the endometrial LE. Consistent with C/EBP-β, the expression and activation of MMP8 were limited to the endometrial LE in an implantation-dependent manner. Using ChIP-qPCR and electrophoresis mobility shift assay approaches, we demonstrated that C/EBP-β regulated the expression of the MMP8 gene during implantation. Furthermore, we detected that MMP8 and one of its substrates, type II collagen, showed a mutually exclusive expression pattern in pig endometrial LE during implantation. Our findings indicate that C/EBP-β plays a role in pig endometrial LE receptivity by regulating cell remodeling-related genes, such as MMP8, in response to conceptus signals during implantation.

Free access

Saranya Giridharan, Karla J Hutt, and Amy L Winship

Human genome-wide association studies and evidence from animal models link ovarian ageing to double-strand (ds)DNA break repair capacity. Is there a connection between single-strand (ss)DNA repair mechanisms and ovarian function? We hypothesize that endogenous cellular processes subject oocytes to ssDNA lesions, and thus, ssDNA repair capacity is fundamental to their survival and maintenance.

Restricted access

Adrian Guzmán, Camilla H K Hughes, and Bruce D Murphy

In brief

It is well-established that liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1/NR5A2) regulates the ovarian function and is required for ovulation and luteinization in mice. In the present experiment, we showed that LRH-1 is required to control vascular changes during ovulation, a novel mechanism of action of this orphan nuclear receptor.

Abstract

Liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1/NR5A2) is a key regulator of ovarian function, and recently, it has been suggested that it may regulate changes in follicular angiogenesis, an important event during the ovulatory process and luteal development. In the present experiment, the objective was to determine whether conditional depletion of LRH-1 in mice granulosa cells modified vascular changes during the periovulatory period and to explore the possible mechanisms of this modification. We generated mice (22- to 25-day-old) with specific depletion of LRH-1 in granulosa cells by crossing Lrh1 floxed (Lrh1 f/f) mice with mice expressing Cre-recombinase driven by the anti-Müllerian type II receptor (Amhr2-cre; conditional knockout or cKO mice). We showed that preovulatory follicles of LRH-1 cKO mice had a reduced number of endothelial cells in the theca cell layer at 8 h after human chorionic gonadotropin treatment compared with control (CON) mice. Additionally, mRNA and protein expression of leptin receptor (LEPR), a protein that stimulates angiogenesis in a vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA)-dependent manner, and teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor-1 (TDGF1), which may directly stimulate endothelial cell function, were reduced in LRH-1 cKO mice as compared to CON after the LH surge. These results showed that LRH-1 is necessary for the correct vascular changes that accompany ovulation in mice and that this effect may be regulated through VEGFA-dependent and VEGFA-independent pathways mediated by LEPR and TDGF1.

Free access

Robert John Aitken

Free access

Jacinta H Martin, Brett Nixon, Shenae L Cafe, R John Aitken, Elizabeth G Bromfield, and Tessa Lord

In brief

Post-ovulatory ageing of oocytes leads to poor oocyte and embryo quality as well as abnormalities in offspring. This review provides an update on the contributions of oxidative stress to this process and discusses the current literature surrounding the use of antioxidant media to delay post-ovulatory oocyte ageing.

Abstract

Following ovulation, the metaphase II stage oocyte has a limited functional lifespan before succumbing to a process known as post-ovulatory oocyte ageing. This progressive demise occurs both in vivo and in vitro and is accompanied by a deterioration in oocyte quality, leading to a well-defined sequelae of reduced fertilisation rates, poor embryo quality, post-implantation errors, and abnormalities in the offspring. Although the physiological consequences of post-ovulatory oocyte ageing have largely been characterised, less is known regarding the molecular mechanisms that drive this process. This review presents an update on the established relationships between the biochemical changes exhibited by the ageing oocyte and the myriad of symptoms associated with the ageing phenotype. In doing so, we consider the molecular events that are potentially involved in orchestrating post-ovulatory ageing with a particular focus on the role of oxidative stress. We highlight the mounting evidence that oxidative stress acts as an initiator for a cascade of events that create the aged oocyte phenotype. Specifically, oxidative stress has the capacity to disrupt mitochondrial function and directly damage multiple intracellular components of the oocyte such as lipids, proteins, and DNA. Finally, this review addresses emerging strategies for delaying post-ovulatory oocyte ageing with emphasis placed on the promise afforded by the use of selected antioxidants to guide the development of media tailored for the preservation of oocyte integrity during in vitro fertilisation procedures.

Free access

Fernando J Peña and Zamira Gibb

In brief

The growing understanding of the mechanisms regulating redox homeostasis in the stallion spermatozoa, together with its interactions with energetic metabolism, is providing new clues applicable to the improvement of sperm conservation in horses. Based on this knowledge, new extenders, adapted to the biology of the stallion spermatozoa, are expected to be developed in the near future.

Abstract

The preservation of semen either by refrigeration or cryopreservation is a principal component of most animal breeding industries. Although this procedure has been successful in many species, in others, substantial limitations persist. In the last decade, mechanistic studies have shed light on the molecular changes behind the damage that spermatozoa experience during preservation. Most of this damage is oxidative, and thus in this review, we aim to provide an updated overview of recent discoveries about how stallion spermatozoa maintain redox homeostasis, and how the current procedures of sperm preservation disrupt redox regulation and cause sperm damage which affects viability, functionality, fertility and potentially the health of the offspring. We are optimistic that this review will promote new ideas for further research to improve sperm preservation technologies, promoting translational research with a wide scope for applicability not only in horses but also in other animal species and humans.