S A Hugentobler

National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, C, Ireland

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Publications (7)14.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Early embryo loss is a major factor affecting the conception rate in cattle. Up to 40% of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilisation while they are nutritionally dependent on oviduct and uterine fluids for their survival. Inadequate systemic progesterone is one of the factors contributing to this loss. We have characterised the effects of changes in systemic progesterone on amino acid, ion and energy substrate composition of oviduct and uterine fluids on Days 3 and 6, respectively, of the oestrus cycle in cattle. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ following infusion of progesterone. There was no effect of progesterone on oviduct fluid secretion rate; however, uterine fluid secretion rate was lowered. Progesterone increased uterine glucose, decreased oviduct sulfate and, to a lesser degree, oviduct sodium, but had no effect on any of the ions in the uterus. The most marked effect of progesterone was on oviducal amino acid concentrations, with a twofold increase in glycine, whereas in the uterus only valine was increased. These results provide novel information on the maternal environment of the early cattle embryo and provide further evidence of progesterone regulation of oviduct amino acid concentrations in cattle.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2010; 22(4):684-94. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Advances in Animal Biosciences. 01/2010; 1(01):165-165.
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 40 percent of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilization but there is little or no published information on the composition of the oviduct and uterine fluids essential for their survival during this time. We have measured the concentrations of the energy substrates, glucose, lactate, and pyruvate in cattle oviduct fluid on Days 0, 2, 4, and 6 and uterine fluid on Days 6, 8, and 14 of the oestrous cycle and corresponding blood samples. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ. Glucose concentrations in oviduct and uterine fluids were similar on all days and lower than in plasma (P < 0.05). Oviduct lactate concentration was up to eightfold higher than uterine or plasma concentration (P < 0.01). Oviduct pyruvate concentrations were similar on all days and lower than plasma concentrations on Days 0 and 2 (P < 0.005). Pyruvate concentrations were similar in the uterus and in plasma except on Day 14 when the concentration in plasma was higher (P < 0.05). There were no associations between systemic progesterone or oestradiol and glucose, lactate or pyruvate. There was a linear positive relationship (P < 0.001) between oviduct fluid secretion rate and oviduct glucose concentration and a linear negative relationship (P < 0.001) between oviduct fluid secretion rate and oviduct lactate, but no association between uterine fluid secretion rate and energy substrates. The different concentrations and associations between the energy substrates in oviduct and uterine fluids and blood plasma indicate a differential regulation of the secretion of these energy substrates by the oviduct and uterine epithelium.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 03/2008; 75(3):496-503. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oviduct and uterus provide the environments for the earliest stages of mammalian embryo development. However, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie the formation of oviduct and uterine fluids, or the extent to which the supply of nutrients via these reproductive tract tissues matches the nutrient requirements of early embryos. After reviewing our limited knowledge of these phenomena, a new experimental paradigm is proposed in which the epithelia lining the endosalpinx and endometrium are seen as the final components in a supply line that links maternal diet at one end and embryo uptake of nutrients at the other. When considered in this way, the oviduct and uterine epithelia become, for a few days, potentially the most critical maternal tissues in the establishment of a healthy pregnancy. In fulfilling this 'gatekeeper' role, female reproductive tract fluids have a key role in the 'developmental origins of health and disease' concept.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 02/2008; 20(1):1-8. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • S A Hugentobler, D G Morris, J M Sreenan, M G Diskin
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    ABSTRACT: In the bovine up to 40% of embryos die before implantation but despite the importance of ions in oviduct and uterine fluid formation and in gamete, zygote and early embryo development there is very little published information on the ion concentrations of oviduct or uterine fluid. The free anions chloride, phosphate and sulphate and the free cations sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium were measured in oviduct fluid on days 0, 2, 4 and 6 and in uterine fluid on days 6, 8 and 14 and in corresponding blood samples. Oviduct and uterine fluids were collected in situ. Sodium was 25-fold higher than potassium and 80-fold higher than the other ions and chloride was 10-fold higher than potassium and 40-fold higher than the other ions in oviduct and uterine fluid. Phosphate, sulphate, magnesium, potassium and calcium were at lower concentrations in all fluids. Oviduct calcium and sodium were higher on day 0 than other days. The most striking uterine differences were the higher potassium and lower chloride, sodium and magnesium on day 14 than other days. There were significant positive associations between oviduct and blood chloride, sulphate, magnesium and calcium while only uterine sulphate was positively related to its blood concentration. There was no relationship between fluid secretion rate and no association between the concentrations of systemic progesterone or oestradiol and any ion in oviduct or uterine fluid. The different concentrations and associations between ions in the oviduct, uterus and blood suggest a differential regulation of ion secretion by the oviduct and uterine epithelia.
    Theriogenology 10/2007; 68(4):538-48. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 40% of cattle embryos die within 3 weeks of fertilization while they are nutritionally dependent on the maternal environment provided by the oviduct and uterine fluids for their development and survival. Despite this dependence there is limited information on the composition of these fluids in cattle. Amino acids are essential for the normal growth and development of the early embryo, acting as precursors of proteins and nucleic acids and as energy sources, osmolytes and signaling molecules. The objective of this study was to measure and compare the amino acid concentrations of oviduct and uterine fluid and blood plasma on different days of the estrous cycle. Oviduct fluid was collected in situ from anaesthetised heifers on Days 0, 2, 3, 4 and 6 and uterine fluid on Days 6, 8 and 14 of the estrous cycle and the concentrations of 19 amino acids determined. Glycine was the most abundant amino acid in both oviduct and uterine fluid. However, the concentrations of many amino acids differed between oviduct and uterus and many were present at higher concentrations in oviduct and uterine fluid than in blood plasma. Oviduct fluid concentrations of amino acids were not affected by day of cycle in contrast to uterine fluid for which there was a day of cycle effect on most of the amino acids. These results provide novel information on the amino acid concentrations in the maternal environment of the early cattle embryo and could form the basis for devising improved media for the production of embryos in vitro.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 05/2007; 74(4):445-54. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • S Hugentobler, D G Morris, M T Kane, J M Sreenan
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of oviduct and uterine pH in cattle is lacking mainly because of the difficulty of accessing these reproductive tissues, which for the oviduct at least necessitates anesthesia. Because halothane anesthesia is known to depress respiratory function and thus increase blood CO2 and decrease pH, oviduct and uterine pH was measured both in the presence and absence of halothane. Using short-term anesthesia with thiopentone only, oviduct pH was measured on days 2-4 of the estrous cycle and uterine pH on days 6 and 8; there was no significant effect of day of the cycle but oviduct pH ( 7.60+/-0.010 ) was greater ( P<0.001 ) than uterine pH ( 6.96+/-0.009 ). Oviduct pH was higher ( P<0.001 ) and uterine pH lower ( P<0.001 ) than venous blood pH ( 7.41+/-0.007 ). Using thiopentone/halothane anesthesia, oviduct pH was measured on days 0, 2, 3, 4 and 6, and uterine pH on days 6, 8 and 14; there was no effect of day of cycle but oviduct pH values were generally higher than uterine values and significantly so ( P<0.001 ) on day 6 where direct comparison was possible. To our knowledge these are the first published in situ measurements of oviduct pH in cattle.
    Theriogenology 06/2004; 61(7-8):1419-27. · 2.08 Impact Factor