Cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating the effect of polychlorinated biphenyls on oocyte in vitro maturation.
ABSTRACT Cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating the effect of polychlorinated biphenyls on oocyte in vitro maturation: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are stable, lipophilic compounds that accumulate in the environment and in the food chain. Recent studies provide evidence that exposure to PCBs can cause reproductive problems. PCBs have been identified in the ovarian follicle of women and other mammals and many data in the literature clearly indicate that both follicles and oocytes are particularly susceptible to these pollutants. In the present review we describe the multifaceted effects of PCBs on mammalian oocyte maturation in detail. Published studies clearly indicate that PCB congeners, both singly or as complex mixtures, disrupt mammalian oocyte maturation and subsequent embryo development. Specifically, data point out to the ability of PCBs to interfere with the organization of the microtubules cytoplasmic network resulting in an altered compartmentalization of the ooplasm. Furthermore, a critical role of cumulus cells in mediating PCB ovotoxicity has been observed, most likely related to a disregulation in intracellular communication between the germinal and the somatic compartment. Finally, since coplanar PCBs, induce gene expression via a ligand-dependent transactivating factor, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, this signalling pathway is also reviewed with respect to understanding the toxic mechanisms of these compounds.
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ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are stable, lipophilic compounds that accumulate in the environment and in the food chain. Though some studies provided evidence that PCBs had adverse effects on reproductive function, most of these results were from in vitro models. Therefore we investigated the effect of Aroclor 1254 (a commercial PCBs mixture) treatments on in vivo maturation and developmental potential of mouse oocytes. In the present study, female ICR mice were treated with different doses (12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg) of Aroclor 1254 (a commercial PCB mixture) once every 72 hours by intraperitoneal injection for 9 days. After three treatments of Aroclor 1254, the mice were superovulated to collect oocytes one day after the last exposure. The effects of Aroclor 1254 on oocyte maturation, fertilization, and preimplantation embryonic development were investigated. Immunofluorescence-stained oocytes were observed under a confocal microscope to assess the effects of Aroclor 1254 on spindle morphology. Parthenogenic activation and the incidence of cumulus apoptosis in cumulus-oocyte complexes were observed as well. Oocytes exposed to different doses of Aroclor 1254 in vivo were associated with a significant decrease in outgrowth potential, abnormal spindle configurations, and the inhibition of parthenogenetic activation of ovulated oocytes. Furthermore, the incidence of apoptosis in cumulus cells was increased after exposed to Aroclor 1254. These results may provide reference for the treatment of reproductive diseases such as infertility or miscarriage caused by environmental contaminants.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e102064. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Immune system development, particularly in the pre-natal and early post-natal periods, has far-reaching health consequences during childhood, as well as throughout life. Exposure to poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during pre-natal and early life has been previously associated with changes in the incidence of infectious and allergic diseases in children, and humoral immunity alterations. Lymphocyte immunophenotyping is an important tool in the diagnosis of immunologic and hematologic disorders. This study used a lysed whole blood method for analysis of lymphocyte sub-populations in samples from children born and living in two districts: a highly-contaminated area (Michalovce) and one (Svidnik/Stropkov) with ≈ 2-fold lower environmental PCB levels. The percentages of B-lymphocytes (CD19(+)), activated HLADR(+)CD19(+) cells, and CD8(+) T-lymphocytes significantly increased at 6- and 16-months-of-age in both selected regions as compared to in cord blood values (p < 0.001). Levels of CD3(+) cells increased significantly (from 61 to 65%) in samples from Michalovce (p < 0.01). Levels of CD4(+) T-lymphocytes declined 10% among 16-month-olds in both regions (Michalovce at p < 0.001 and Svidnik/Stropkov at p < 0.01). Natural killer (NK) cell levels decreased 50% in Michalovce 6- and 16-month-old children and 42% among 6-month-olds in Svidnik/Stropkov (p < 0.001). Compared with the less-contaminated region, Michalovce samples showed significantly higher expression of CD3(+) T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and activated B-lymphocytes, whereas NK cells were less expressed. Even after adjustment for selected covariates, e.g., maternal cigarette smoking, age, parity, ethnicity, birth weight, and gender of infant, the levels of CD19(+), HLADR(+)CD19(+), and CD3(-)CD(16 + 56)(+) cells were seen to remain significantly different between the districts. These results showed that early-life environmental PCB exposure was associated with fluctuations in major lymphocyte subsets in children, suggesting that there is a post-natal immune system response to PCB exposures.Journal of Immunotoxicology 01/2011; 8(4):333-45. · 1.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Increased global industrial activity has exposed humans to a wide variety of chemical substances some of which, called 'endocrine-disrupting chemicals' (EDCs) or 'endocrine disruptors', can disrupt the endocrine system in the body. The ovarian follicle is a very fragile micro-environment where interactions between hormones, growth factors, the oocyte and its surrounding somatic cells are essential to generate a fully competent oocyte. In vitro experiments suggest that EDCs can disturb this finely tuned balance, but very scarse in vivo data are available to confirm this assumption. Therefore, we have investigated if the presence of EDCs in human follicular fluid is a risk factor for the developmental competence of an in vivo exposed oocyte. Furthermore, because of the limited access to human follicular fluid, we verified if follicular fluid contamination can be predicted based on EDC levels in serum. Follicular fluid (n = 40) and serum (n = 20) samples from women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) were analyzed by means of gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry to examine the presence of different EDCs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and organochlorine pesticides. Statistical models were used to investigate the relation between the characteristics and ART results of the patients and the contamination status of their follicular fluid and to assess the capacity of serum samples to predict follicular fluid contamination. Chlorinated biphenyl 153 (72 ± 44 and 201 ± 106 pg/ml) and p,p'-DDE (392 ± 348 and 622 ± 406 pg/ml) were the compounds found in the highest concentrations in follicular fluid and serum samples, respectively. A new variable principal component 1, representing the overall contamination status of the follicular fluid samples, is strongly associated with fertilization rate (P < 0.00001) and the proportion of high-quality embryos relative to the amount of retrieved oocytes (P < 0.05), even when the analysis is adjusted for age, estradiol concentration, BMI, fertilization procedure and male subfertility as explanatory variables. The strong correlations between the EDC concentrations in serum and follicular fluid (r ≥ 0.93) allowed us to build regression models, which accurately predict EDC concentrations in the follicular fluid based on serum samples. An overall higher EDC contamination in the follicular micro-environment was associated with a decreased fertilization rate and consequently with a lower chance of an oocyte to develop into a high-quality embryo. In addition, EDC concentrations in serum were reliable predictors of the contamination status of the follicular micro-environment.Human Reproduction 01/2012; 27(4):1025-33. · 4.67 Impact Factor