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  • Author: A M Monteiro x
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M Mihm, P J Baker, L M Fleming, A M Monteiro, and P J O'Shaughnessy

This study was designed to identify genes that regulate the transition from FSH- to LH-dependent development in the bovine dominant follicle (DF). Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) was used to compare the transcriptome of granulosa cells isolated from the most oestrogenic growing cohort follicle (COH), the newly selected DF and its largest subordinate follicle (SF) which is destined for atresia. Follicle diameter, follicular fluid oestradiol (E) and E:progesterone ratio confirmed follicle identity. Results show that there are 93 transcript species differentially expressed in DF granulosa cells, but only 8 of these encode proteins known to be involved in DF development. Most characterised transcripts upregulated in the DF are from tissue development genes that regulate cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, signalling and tissue remodelling. Semiquantitative real-time PCR analysis confirmed seven genes with upregulated (P≤0.05) mRNA expression in DF compared with both COH and SF granulosa cells. Thus, the new genes identified by SAGE and real-time PCR, which show enhanced mRNA expression in the DF, may regulate proliferation (cyclin D2; CCND2), prevention of apoptosis or DNA damage (growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible, β; GADD45B), RNA synthesis (splicing factor, arginine/serine rich 9; SFRS9) and unknown processes associated with enhanced steroidogenesis (ovary-specific acidic protein; DQ004742) in granulosa cells of DF at the onset of LH-dependent development. Further studies are required to show whether the expression of identified genes is dysregulated when abnormalities occur during DF selection or subsequent development.

Open access

P J O'Shaughnessy, A Monteiro, G Verhoeven, K De Gendt, and M H Abel

FSH and androgen act to stimulate and maintain spermatogenesis. FSH acts directly on the Sertoli cells to stimulate germ cell number and acts indirectly to increase androgen production by the Leydig cells. In order to differentiate between the direct effects of FSH on spermatogenesis and those mediated indirectly through androgen action, we have crossed hypogonadal (hpg) mice, which lack gonadotrophins, with mice lacking androgen receptors (AR) either ubiquitously (ARKO) or specifically on the Sertoli cells (SCARKO). These hpg.ARKO and hpg.SCARKO mice were treated with recombinant FSH for 7 days and testicular morphology and cell numbers were assessed. In untreated hpg and hpg.SCARKO mice, germ cell development was limited and did not progress beyond the pachytene stage. In hpg.ARKO mice, testes were smaller with fewer Sertoli cells and germ cells compared to hpg mice. Treatment with FSH had no effect on Sertoli cell number but significantly increased germ cell numbers in all groups. In hpg mice, FSH increased the numbers of spermatogonia and spermatocytes, and induced round spermatid formation. In hpg.SCARKO and hpg.ARKO mice, in contrast, only spermatogonial and spermatocyte numbers were increased with no formation of spermatids. Leydig cell numbers were increased by FSH in hpg and hpg.SCARKO mice but not in hpg.ARKO mice. Results show that in rodents 1) FSH acts to stimulate spermatogenesis through an increase in spermatogonial number and subsequent entry of these cells into meiosis, 2) FSH has no direct effect on the completion of meiosis and 3) FSH effects on Leydig cell number are mediated through interstitial ARs.

Free access

E A A Santos, P C Sousa, J A M Martins, R A Moreira, A C O Monteiro-Moreira, F B M B Moreno, M F Oliveira, A A Moura, and A R Silva

This study was conducted to characterize the major proteins of the peccary seminal plasma, based on the semen samples collected from nine adult and reproductively sound animals. Our approach included the use of two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by Coomassie blue staining and analysis of polypeptide maps with PDQuest Software (Bio-Rad). Proteins were identified by tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). We detected 179 protein spots per gel and 98 spots were identified by mass spectrometry, corresponding to 23 different proteins. The combined intensity of those spots accounted for 56.2±6% of the intensities of all spots and 60.9% of the intensities of spots presented in every protein map. Protein spots identified as clusterin represented 19.7±8.3% of the integrated optical densities of all spots detected in the seminal plasma maps. There was a negative association (r=−0.87; P<0.05) between the intensity of a clusterin spot and the percentage of sperm with functional membrane. Spermadhesin porcine seminal plasma protein 1 and bodhesin 2 comprised 5.4±1.9 and 8.8±3.9% of the total intensity of all spots respectively. Many proteins appeared in a polymorphic pattern, such as clusterin (27 spots), epididymal secretory glutathione peroxidase (ten spots), inter-α-trypsin inhibitor (12 spots), and IgG-binding protein (ten spots), among others. In conclusion, we presently describe the major seminal plasma proteome of the peccary, which exhibits a distinct high expression of clusterin isoforms. Knowledge of wild species reproductive biology is crucial for an understanding of their survival strategies and adaptation in a changing environment.

Free access

Pedro L J Monteiro, Caio A Gamarra, Rodrigo S Genari, Alexandre B Prata, Rafael V Barletta, Peregrino G Duran, Aurea M O Canavessi, Roberto Sartori, and Milo C Wiltbank

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of accessory corpus luteum (CL) induction on fertility in dairy cows. On day 5 after artificial insemination (AI), lactating Holstein cows were assigned unequally to receive gonadotrophin-releasing hormone treatment (GnRH) (n = 641) or no treatment (control; n  = 289). Cows had their blood sampled for progesterone (P4), and ovaries were scanned by ultrasound on days 5, 12, 19, 26, 33, 47, and 61 after AI. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed on days 26, 33, 47, and 61. On day 12, cows treated with GnRH were allocated to ipsilateral (n = 239) or contralateral (n = 241) groups based on the side of accessory CL formation relative to previous ovulation. Accessory CL cows had greater P4 than controls. In total, 52.7% (78/148) of pregnant cows in contralateral group had accessory CL regression earlier (<day 33; 30.8%) or later (days 33–61; 69.2%) in pregnancy with coincident decrease in P4. No cows with ipsilateral accessory CL underwent regression. There was no difference in pregnancy/AI among groups. Cows with contralateral accessory CL that underwent early regression had greater pregnancy loss (30%) than controls (10%), or cows with ipsilateral CL (3%) or contralateral CL with either later or no regression (12%). Cows with ipsilateral accessory CL had lower pregnancy loss than controls. In conclusion, elevating circulating P4 by the induction of accessory CL, particularly ipsilateral CL, increases P4 and reduces pregnancy loss. However, contralateral accessory CL that undergoes regression before day 33 of pregnancy has increased pregnancy loss, possibly due to an abrupt decrease in P4 at a pivotal period of pregnancy (days 26–33).