Nulliparous heifers (n = 58) were studied to determine whether computer-assisted quantitative echotexture analysis of ultrasound images reflects the functional and histomorphological characteristics of the corpus luteum. The ovaries of heifers were examined daily by transrectal ultrasonography from day −2 (day 0 = ovulation) until the day of ovariectomy during metoestrus (day 3; n = 8), early dioestrus (day 6; n = 9), mid-dioestrus (mean, day 10; n = 7), or pro-oestrus (mean, day 18; n = 8; Expt 1). High resolution ultrasound images of corpora lutea were obtained in vitro, and were digitized and analysed using custom-developed computer algorithms optimized for ultrasonography. Cryostat sections of corpora lutea were examined for lipid distribution, and corpora lutea were homogenized to determine the content of progesterone, total protein, cholesterol and triglyceride. In Expt 2, heifers (n = 26) were ovariectomized as in Expt 1, and ovaries were prepared for histomorphometric evaluation. Pixel values (brightness of picture elements) of ultrasound images of corpora lutea were characterized as high during metoestrus, low during early and mid-dioestrus, and increasing again during pro-oestrus (P < 0.05). Changes (P < 0.001) in volume density of luteal cells were characterized as increasing from metoestrus (40.7 ± 0.4%) to mid-dioestrus (55.8 ± 2.8%) and decreasing again at pro-oestrus (41.5 ± 0.9%). The proportion of blood vascular components decreased (P < 0.001) progressively from 31.0 ± 1.0% in metoestrus to 15.6 ± 1.1% in pro-oestrus. Pixel values of ultrasound images of corpora lutea were correlated with luteal (r = −0.72, P < 0.05) and plasma (r = −0.71, P < 0.03) progesterone concentration, and to the volume densities of luteal cells (r = −0.75, P < 0.02) and connective tissue (r = 0.69, P < 0.03). Estimates of triglyceride, protein and cholesterol content of corpora lutea were not correlated with pixel values of ultrasound images. Protein and cholesterol content did not change while triglyceride concentration increased during pro-oestrus (P < 0.05). Results support the hypothesis that ultrasound images reflect luteal and plasma progesterone content, and histomorphological characteristics of the corpus luteum.
J. Singh, R. A. Pierson and G. P. Adams
J. Singh, R. A. Pierson and G. P. Adams
Heifers were studied to determine whether computer-assisted quantitative echotexture analysis of ultrasound images reflect functional and endocrine characteristics of dominant and subordinate follicles at specific stages of development. Heifers were examined using transrectal ultrasonography each day until ovariectomy on day 3 (n = 8) and day 6 (n = 9) of wave 1, day 1 of wave 2 (n = 7), or after onset of pro-oestrus ≥ 17 days after ovulation (n = 8) to obtain growing, early-static, late-static and regressing dominant follicles of wave 1, subordinate follicles, preselection follicles and preovulatory dominant follicles. Ultrasound images of the follicles were obtained in vitro and analysed using custom-developed computer algorithms. Mean pixel (picture element) values (grey-scale: black = 0, white = 255) for the follicle wall and stroma increased (P < 0.05) progressively from the growing to the regressing phases of the dominant follicle of wave 1. The antrum and wall of subordinate follicles had higher (P < 0.05) mean pixel values than that of the corresponding dominant follicles. Pixel heterogeneity (a measure of variation of grey-scale values of pixels) of images of the follicle antrum and wall increased (P < 0.05) progressively during the early-static to regressing phases. A progressive increase (P < 0.05) in the slope of the regression line of pixel values for the follicle wall was detected from the growing to the regressing phases of the dominant follicle of wave 1. The regression line of the wall of the preovulatory dominant follicle had the lowest (P < 0.05) slope. Oestradiol concentration in the follicular fluid decreased (P < 0.05) from the growing to the late-static phase, while a marked decrease (P < 0.05) in the androstenedione concentration was recorded between the growing and the early-static phases of the dominant follicle. Progesterone content did not increase until follicles were in the final stages of regression. Pixel heterogeneity of the antrum and wall, and the slope of the follicle wall regression line were negatively correlated (P < 0.001) with oestradiol and the oestradiol:progesterone ratio in follicular fluid. The results of this study support the hypothesis that echotexture characteristics of ultrasound images of the follicle antrum and wall are correlated with the functional and endocrine status of a follicle.
S. M. Totey, G. Singh, M. Taneja, C. H. Pawshe and G. P. Talwar
Summary. Cumulus–oocyte complexes, 5596, were cultured for 24 h in either TCM-199 or Ham's F-10 with or without gonadotrophins and supplemented with either 20% buffalo oestrous serum (BES) or fetal calf serum (FCS). The maturation rates of oocytes cultured in TCM-199 or Ham's F-10 medium supplemented with 20% BES were 47·4 ± 17·8 and 44·8 ± 25·6, respectively. Addition of luteinizing hormone (LH) (5 μg ml−1) significantly improved the maturation rate in the Ham's F-10 medium supplemented with 20% BES (76·8 ± 18·3), but follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (0·5 μg ml−1) and oestradiol (1 μg ml−1) failed to synergize with LH (71·7 ± 19·5). In the TCM-199 system, LH failed to enhance the maturation rate but the addition of FSH and oestradiol significantly enhanced the proportion of mature oocytes (42·7 ± 1·4 and 81·7 ± 14·5, respectively; P < 0·05). Frozen–thawed spermatozoa prepared in Bracket and Oliphant (BO) medium and treated with 5 mmol caffeine l−1 ± 10 μg heparin showed a higher fertilization rate (29·8%) than those treated in Hepes–Talp and treated with 10 μg heparin ml−1 (19·6%). Fertilization rate was significantly improved when fresh ejaculated spermatozoa treated with 5 mmol caffeine l−1 and 10 pg heparin in BO medium (50%) was used. Rate of cleavage and development were also higher when in vitro fertilization was carried out with fresh ejaculated spermatozoa treated with caffeine and heparin (34·1 and 36·8%, respectively) than with frozen–thawed spermatozoa (27·0 and 22·0%, respectively).
Development rate was enhanced when fertilized ova were cultured in ligated rabbit oviduct (28·0%) than when co-cultured on oviductal cell monolayers (8·2%). The results indicate that oocytes cultured in medium supplemented with BES and gonadotrophins reveal high rates of maturation and development to the blastocyst stage after fertilization with fresh ejaculated spermatozoa.
Keywords: oocytes; maturation; fertilization; culture; buffalo
F C F Dias, M I R Khan, M A Sirard, G P Adams and J Singh
Microarray analysis was used to compare the gene expression of granulosa cells from dominant follicles with that of those after superstimulatory treatment. Cows were allocated randomly to two groups (superstimulation and control, n=6/group). A new follicular wave was induced by ablation of follicles ≥5 mm in diameter, and a progesterone-releasing device controlled internal drug release (CIDR) was placed in the vagina. The superstimulation group was given eight doses of 25 mg FSH at 12-h intervals starting from the day of wave emergence (day 0), whereas the control group was not given FSH treatment. Both groups were given prostaglandin F2 α twice, 12 h apart, on day 3 and the CIDR was removed at the second injection; 25 mg porcine luteinizing hormone (pLH) was given 24 h after CIDR removal, and cows were ovariectomized 24 h later. Granulosa cells were collected for RNA extraction, amplification, and microarray hybridization. A total of 190 genes were downregulated and 280 genes were upregulated. To validate the microarray results, five genes were selected for real-time PCR (NTS, FOS, THBS1, FN1, and IGF2). Expression of four genes increased significantly in the three different animals tested (NTS, FOS, THBS1, and FN1). The upregulated genes are related to matrix remodeling (i.e. tissue proliferation), disturbance of angiogenesis, apoptosis, and oxidative stress response. We conclude that superstimulation treatment i) results in granulosa cells that lag behind in maturation and differentiation (most of the upregulated genes are markers of the follicular growth stage), ii) activates genes involved with the NFE2L2 oxidative stress response and endoplasmic reticulum stress response, and iii) disturbs angiogenesis.
G. Singh, M. M. Singh, S. C. Maitra, W. Elger, V. Kalra, S. N. Upadhyay, S. R. Chowdhury and V. P. Kamboj
Summary. RU-38486 or ZK-98734 treatment (3 mg/day, s.c.) to intact or hysterectomized adult female rats on Days 5–7 post coitum induced changes characteristic of luteolysis. Ultrastructurally, the luteal cells exhibited an extensive vacuolization of the cytoplasm and perinuclear areas, degeneration of mitochondrial cristae, massive accumulation of lipid droplets, increase in number of lysosome like granules and heterochromatinization of the nucleus. In general, RU-38486 induced more marked degeneration of the luteal cells than did ZK-98734. There was also a significant decrease in peripheral plasma progesterone concentrations in treated rats. We suggest that these antiprogestagens act via inhibition of luteal function in addition to their antagonism at the uterine progesterone receptor level.
Keywords: antiprogestagens; ultrastructure; corpora lutea; progesterone; rat
Sakshi Chauhan, Subhashree Parida, E Prakash, G Srinivasan, Vivek Srivastava, Manjit Panigrahi, Thakur Uttam Singh and Santosh K Mishra
The aim of the present study was to reveal the effect of hyperlipidemia on β2- and β3-adrenergic signaling in late pregnant rat uterus. Hyperlipidemia was induced in female Wistar rats by feeding a high-fat high-cholesterol diet for 8 weeks before and after mating upto the 21st day of gestation. The effect of hyperlipidemia on β-adrenergic signaling was studied with the help of tension experiments, real-time PCR and cAMP ELISA in 21-day pregnant rat uterus. In tension experiments, hyperlipidemia neither altered the spontaneous contractility nor the oxytocin-induced contractions. However, it decreased the −logEC50 values of β2-adrenoceptor agonist, salbutamol and β3-adrenoceptor agonist, BRL37344. It also decreased the efficacy of adenylyl cyclase activator, forskolin. Further, there was a significant decrease in salbutamol and BRL37344-stimulated cAMP content in uterine tissues. However, there was no alteration in mRNA expressions of β2-adrenoceptor (Adrb2), β3-adrenoceptor (Adrb3) and Gs protein (Gnas) though there was a significant increase in the mRNA expression of Gi protein (Gnai). In conclusion, reduced cAMP content after beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation, which correlates with an increase in Gnai mRNA, may explain the mechanism of the impairment of uterine β-adrenergic signaling in hyperlipidemic pregnant rats. The clinical implication of the present study may relate to reduced myometrial relaxant response to β-adrenergic agonists in high fat-induced uterine dysfunction.
S G Hannesdóttir, X Han, T Lund, M Singh, R van der Zee, I M Roitt and P J Delves
Immunosterilization is an attractive alternative to surgical castration. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) controls the production of the gonadotropins thereby having an orchestrating effect on the reproductive hormone cascade and spermatogenesis. Induction of neutralizing antibody can abrogate the effect of the hormone. Current GnRH-based vaccines often require strong adjuvants and/or multiple injections of the vaccines to overcome variability in the response. Heat shock proteins (hsp) have been used as carrier molecules because of their powerful intrinsic ability to enhance an immune response to associated antigens. A GnRH-analogue, GnRH-d6-Lys, was conjugated to recombinant Mycobacterium tuberculosis hsp70. Male BALB/c mice were immunized i.p. with GnRH-hsp70 in the mild adjuvant Ribi or in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA). The initial immunizations were done on pre-pubertal 3-week-old mice, with boosts at 5 and 8 weeks of age. The mice were killed at 10 weeks of age and GnRH-specific antibodies and serum testosterone levels measured. All the immunized mice mounted GnRH-specific antibody responses, with no difference in the mice immunized with GnRH-hsp70/Ribi or with GnRH-hsp70/IFA. There was substantial atrophy of the urogenital complex and significantly (P < 0.0005) reduced levels of testosterone-dependent testicular relaxin-like factor mRNA expression. Mice immunized with GnRH-hsp70/Ribi showed substantially reduced (P < 0.001) serum testosterone levels. These results indicate that hsp70 may serve as a particularly advantageous carrier for GnRH-based vaccines.
Amol R Padol, Susanth V Sukumaran, Abdul Sadam, Manickam Kesavan, Kandasamy Arunvikram, Ankita D Verma, Vivek Srivastava, Manjit Panigrahi, Thakur Uttam Singh, Avinash G Telang, Santosh K Mishra and Subhashree Parida
High cholesterol is known to negatively affect uterine contractility in ex vivo conditions. The aim of the present study was to reveal the effect of in vivo hypercholesterolemia on spontaneous and oxytocin-induced uterine contractility in late pregnant mouse uterus. Female Swiss albino mice were fed with high cholesterol (HC) diet (0.5% sodium cholate, 1.25% cholesterol and 15% fat) for 6 weeks and then throughout the gestation period after mating. On day 19 of gestation, serum cholesterol level was increased more than 3-fold while triglycerides level was reduced in HC diet-fed animals as compared to control animals fed with a standard diet. In tension experiments, neither the mean integral tension of spontaneous contractility nor the response to CaCl2 in high K+-depolarized tissues was altered, but the oxytocin-induced concentration-dependent contractile response in uterine strips was attenuated in hypercholesterolemic mice as compared to control. Similarly, hypercholesterolemia dampened concentration-dependent uterine contractions elicited by a GNAQ protein activator, Pasteurella multocida toxin. However, it had no effect on endogenous oxytocin level either in plasma or in uterine tissue. It also did not affect the prostaglandin release in oxytocin-stimulated tissues. Western blot data showed a significant increase in caveolin-1 and GRK6 proteins but decline in oxytocin receptor, GNAQ and RHOA protein expressions in hypercholesterolemic mouse uterus. The results of the present study suggest that hypercholesterolemia may attenuate the uterotonic action of oxytocin in late pregnancy by causing downregulation of oxytocin receptors and suppressing the signaling efficacy through GNAQ and RHOA proteins.