[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ultrastructural morphological injuries and maturation rates were investigated in equine oocytes exposed to vitrification solutions (VS) containing synthetic ice blockers (SIBs) during different exposure times. In experiment 1, compact cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs; n = 30) were randomly allocated to treatments: (1) fresh fixed (control); (2) VS-1 (1.4 M dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO] + 1.8 M ethylene glycol [EG] + 1% SIB) for 3 minutes of equilibrium time and VS-2 (2.8 M DMSO + 3.6 M EG + 0.6 M sucrose + 1% SIB) for 1 minute (Eq-long); and (3) VS-1 for 1.5 minutes and VS-2 for 30 seconds (Eq-short). In experiment 2, compact (n = 248) and expanded (n = 264) COCs were evenly distributed to the following treatments: (1) immediate maturation in vitro (control); (2) vitrification using the Eq-short protocol as in experiment 1; and (3) vitrification using a stock solution containing 2.8 M formamide, 2.8 M DMSO, 2.7 M EG, 7% polyvinylpyrrolidone, and 1% SIB (Eq-short-mod). More (P < .02) oocytes with normal ultrastructural morphology were seen in fresh control and Eq-short groups than in Eq-long group. Metaphase-II (MII) rates were higher (P < .05) for oocytes with expanded cumulus than compact cumulus in the control group, and higher (P < .05) for oocytes with expanded cumulus than compact cumulus in Eq-short and Eq-short-mod groups. No difference in MII rates was detected among groups within each type of COC. In conclusion, reduction of exposure time to VS better preserved oocyte ultrastructural features, and MII rates were higher for vitrified oocytes with expanded cumulus. This study advances our knowledge on potential alternatives for vitrification of immature equine oocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures are limited by the inability to mature equine oocytes on in vitro methods. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate structural integrity of equine oocytes subjected to vitrification with a synthetic polymer (PVA). METHODS: The effect of eGH and its relationship with IGF-I on in vitro maturation (IVM) were evaluated. Compact cumulus oocytes complexes (n=122) were cultured in TCM-199 with eGH, IGF-I or eGH+IGF-I for 30h at 38.5C in air with 5% CO2. Oocytes were fixed after IVM or subjected to the vitrification protocol. Cryopreserved oocytes were exposed to 1.4M DMSO+1.8M EG+1% PVA for 3min, and then transfer to 2.8M DMSO+3.6M EG+0,6M sucrose+1% PVA for 1min. After rewarming, oocytes were evaluated by confocal microscopy. RESULTS: Maturation rates of oocytes were not significant different among groups (P>0.05), however eGH+IGF-I group can develop the assessment of resumption of meiosis (MI+MII = 86.7%). CONCLUSION: The oocyte did not show morphological alterations. The use of PVA-copolymer may represent a potential alternative for vitrification of equine oocytes after IVM.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the binding patterns of Canavalia ensiformis (ConA), Canavalia boliviana (ConBol) and Canavalia brasiliensis (ConBr) lectins to bovine sperm and their effects on sperm motility, viability, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species production and fertilization ability. ConA bound to whole spermatozoa, with the exception of the equatorial segment, ConBol did not interact with the acrosome region and ConBr exhibited a fragmented binding pattern. The three lectins decreased sperm motility but did not affect cell viability or lipid peroxidation. Nevertheless, ROS production was increased in comparison to controls and a reduction in the cleavage and blastocyst ratio was induced in comparison to controls. In conclusion, this study determined that structurally similar lectins interact differently with bovine sperm and affect sperm motility, viability, lipid peroxidation, ROS production and fertilization ability in various ways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study the correlation between seminal plasma protein profile and the sperm motility and sperm viability in rabbits submitted to treatment with an expression vector containing EPO gene and with human recombinant EPO was evaluated. In rabbits submitted to treatment with EPO expression vector, two protein bands were associated to sperm motility 48kDa associated to low motility (P<0.05) and 18kDa to high motility (P<0.05) and this protein band was also associated to high sperm viability (P<0.05). In rabbits submitted to treatment with human recombinant EPO, a protein factor, 63kDa, was associated to high sperm motility (P<0.05) while two protein factors, 26 and 40kDa, were associated to high sperm viability (P<0.05). These results suggest that gene doping leads to changes in rabbit seminal plasma protein, altering sperm motility and sperm viability.
Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 02/2013; 65(1):75-81. · 0.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (EPO) gene therapy can be used for several purposes; however, its effects on reproductive performance are unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicological effects of non-viral (EPO) gene transfer on sperm motility, viability, morphology and concentration. Rabbit EPO cDNA was cloned into a pTarget mammalian expression vector. Rabbits were administered with: (1) pTarget/EPO vector, (2) recombinant human EPO (rHuEpo) and (3) saline (control). Both pTarget/EPO and rHuEpo significantly increased (P < 0.05) hematocrit levels 1 week after injection and they remained significantly higher than the control for up to 5 weeks (P < 0.05), showing that both EPO treatments were effective in stimulating the production of red blood cells in rabbits. The EPO gene transfer or rHuEPO administration had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on sperm motility, vigor, viability, concentration or morphology in the testis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is considered the major stimulant for food intake in mammals and fish. Previous results indicate that NPY is involved in the feeding behaviour of the Brazilian flounder, Paralichthys orbignyanus. In this study, we evaluated hypothalamic NPY expression before (-2 h), during (0 h) and after feeding (+2 h) in two independent experiments: (1) during a normal feeding schedule and (2) in fish fasted for 2 weeks. During normal feeding, changes in the levels of NPY mRNA were periprandial, with expression levels being significantly elevated at meal time (P less than 0.05) and significantly reduced 2 h later (P less than 0.05). Comparing the fasting and unfasted groups, NPY mRNA levels were significantly higher (P less than 0.05) at -2 h and +2 h in the fasting group, but there was no difference at 0 h. In addition, the higher NPY mRNA levels that were observed in the fasting group were maintained throughout the sampling period. In summary, our results show that NPY expression was associated with meal time (0 h) in food intake regulation.
Journal of Biosciences 06/2012; 37(2):227-32. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the p53 gene have been studied extensively in humans. The aims of this study were to determine the frequency of the Arg/Pro SNP in p53 in Thoroughbred mares on one stud in Brazil and to correlate p53 genotypes with reproductive performance. SNPs were detected by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism in blood samples from 105 horses and confirmed by sequencing. The allele frequency in Thoroughbred mares at codon 72 in exon 4 was 73.3% Arg/Pro, 17.1% Arg/Arg and 9.6% Pro/Pro. The presence of Arg/Pro was significantly associated with abortion (P=0.02), while Pro/Pro mares had a lower probability of abortion (P<0.05). Using a logistic regression model, the dominance effect was significant (P=0.044; odds ratio 7.94) for abortion and additive effects were not significant (P=0.26). p53 may play a role in equine reproduction.
The Veterinary Journal 03/2012; 193(2):573-5. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) reamplification of the first PCR product (2nd-PCR) and a qPCR assay were used to detect the sex determining region Y (SRY) gene from circulating cell-free fetal DNA (ccffDNA) in blood plasma of pregnant mares to determine fetal sex. The ccffDNA was isolated from plasma of 20 Thoroughbred mares (5-13 y old) in the final 3 mo of pregnancy (fetal sex was verified after foaling). For controls, plasma from two non-pregnant mares and two virgin mares were used, in addition to the non-template control. The 182 bp nucleotide sequence corresponding to the SRY-PCR product was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Based on SRY/PCR, 8 of 11 male and 9 of 9 female fetuses were correctly identified, resulting in a sensitivity of 72.7% (for male fetuses) and an overall accuracy of 85%. Furthermore, using SRY/2nd-PCR and qPCR techniques, sensitivity and accuracy were 90.9 and 95%, respectively. In conclusion, this study is apparently the first report of fetal sex determination in mares using ccffDNA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate neuropeptide Y (NPY) and sea bream gonadotropin-release hormone (sbGnRH) gene expression in juvenile and adult males of Brazilian flounder. Hypothalamuses from fish were sampled for total RNA extraction. After cDNA synthesis, real-time PCR was used to measure gene expression. NPY showed approximately 2-fold increases in their mRNA levels while sbGnRH showed 3-fold increases in adult fish. These results suggest that these peptides could be involved on hypothalamic regulation of Brazilian flounder sexual maturation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SummaryThe gene expression of Bax, Bcl-2, survivin and p53, following in vitro maturation of equine oocytes, was compared in morphologically distinct oocytes and cumulus cells. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) were harvested and divided into two groups: G1 - morphologically healthy cells; and G2 - less viable cells or cells with some degree of atresia. Total RNA was isolated from both immature and in vitro matured COC and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to quantify gene expression. Our results showed there was significantly higher expression of survivin (P < 0.05) and lower expression of p53 (P < 0.01) in oocytes compared with cumulus cells in G1. No significant difference in gene expression was observed following in vitro maturation or in COC derived from G1 and G2. However, expression of the Bax gene was significantly higher in cumulus cells from G1 (P < 0.02).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic animals have been successfully produced by mass gene transfer techniques such as sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT). The aim of this work was to demonstrate transgene transmission by SMGT in chickens using dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) as transfectants after seminal plasma removal to prevent DNase activity. Sperm samples were prepared by repetitive washes, and after each wash sperm motility, seminal plasma proteins, exogenous DNA integrity and its uptake by spermatozoa were evaluated. Laying hens were inseminated using spermatozoa transfected with pEGFP-N1 vector in the presence of DMSO or DMAc. Transgene transmission in newborn chicks was evaluated by in vivo enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression, RT-PCR and PCR analysis. DNA internalization was limited to sperm samples washed twice. The presence of DMSO or DMAc during transfection had no effect on fertilization or hatching rates. PCR analysis detected the presence of EGFP DNA in 38% of newborn chicks from the DMSO group and 19% from the DMAc group. EGFP mRNA was detected in 21% of newborn chicks from the DMSO group, as against 8.5% from the DMAc group. However, in vivo expression of EGFP was only observed in a single animal from the DMSO group. Our data revealed that the plasmid DNA-DMSO combination coupled with sperm washes can be an efficient method for transfection in chickens.
Journal of Biosciences 09/2011; 36(4):613-20. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective was to evaluate the effect of three cryopreservation methods on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and membrane integrity (MIn) of immature equine oocytes. An open pulled straw (OPS) method, a novel solid surface vitrification (SSV) process, and the addition of a synthetic ice blocker were evaluated. Compared with the control group (N=269), the OPS (N=159) and the SSV (N=202) cryopreservation methods decreased both IVM (50.9 vs. 13.3 and 9.4%, respectively; P<0.001) and MIn (76.6 vs. 31.1 and 33.7%; P<0.001) of immature equine oocytes. However, inclusion of 0.1% ice blocker in the OPS vitrification process increased the rates of both IVM (30.5%; P<0.01) and MIn (45.8%; P<0.05) of the oocytes (N=59). Including 0.1% ice blocker in the SSV process improved the IVM rate (20.9%; P<0.05), whereas MIn remained compromised in this group (N=67). However, increasing the concentration of the ice blocker (to 1.0%) in the cryopreservation methods did not significantly improve rates of IVM. In conclusion, the addition of a synthetic ice blocker (0.1%) to both cryopreservation processes significantly increased rates of both IVM and MIn of immature equine oocytes cryopreserved by OPS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives were to investigate whether: 1) nanotransfectants are more effective than other common transfection methods for SMGT; 2) NanoSMGT is able to transmit exogenous DNA molecules to bovine embryos; and 3) halloysite clay nanotubes (HCNs) can be used as a transfection reagent to improve transgene transmission. Four transfection systems were used: naked DNA (without transfectant), lipofection, nanopolymer, and halloysite clay nanotubes. Plasmid uptake by sperm and its transfer to embryos were quantified by conventional and real-time PCR, as well as EGFP expression by fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, sperm motility and viability, and embryo development were investigated. Mean number of plasmids taken up was affected (P < 0.05) by transfection procedure, with the nanopolymer being the most effective transfectant (∼ 153 plasmids per spermatozoon). None of the treatments affected sperm motility or viability. The mean number of plasmids transmitted to four-cell stage embryos was higher (P < 0.05) in nanopolymer and HCNs than liposomes and naked DNA groups. The number of embryos carrying the transgene increased from 8-10% using naked DNA or liposomes to 40-45% using nanopolymer or HCN as transfectants (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences among transfection procedures regarding blastocyst formation rate of resulting embryos. However, no EGFP-expressing embryo was identified in any treatment. Therefore, nanotransfectants improved transgene transmission in bovine embryos without deleterious effects on embryo development. To our knowledge, this was the first time that bovine embryos carrying a transgene were produced by NanoSMGT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sperm from different species shows biological differences, determining the success or failure of the sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT) technique. There is evidence that exogenous DNA uptake by the spermatozoa is a species-specific and highly regulated phenomenon. Problems involving SMGT procedures might be related to activation of defenses in spermatozoa and in seminal plasma such as DNase enzymes. The objective in the present study was to transfect South American catfish spermatozoa after seminal plasma removal. Seminal plasma had a strong DNase activity that is reduced after sperm washes in isosmotic solution, in which Western blot analysis demonstrated a reduction in the DNase content after washes and Southern blot evaluations show the presence of plasmid after sperm washes. The seminal plasma DNase digests exogenous DNA in a few minutes and has an optimal activity at 43°C. Also, EDTA at 30 mM concentration inhibits the DNase activity. Using PCR the pEGFP vector was internalized by sperm cells even at lesser concentrations (5-40 ng/10(6) spermatozoa) without motility loss after seminal plasma removal. Conversely, using greater pEGFP concentrations (100 ng/10(6) spermatozoa), there were no motile cells, suggesting toxicity of exogenous DNA for sperm cells. These results are interpreted to provide information that can improve the protocol for generation of transgenic South American catfish.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective was to introduce exogenous DNA into commercially sex-sorted bovine sperm using nanopolymer for transfection. In the first experiment, the optimal concentration and ratio of linear-to-circular plasmid was determined for NanoSMGT in unsorted sperm. A second experiment was conducted to transfect exogenous DNA into sex-sorted sperm. Exogenous DNA uptake occurred in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05). The optimal amount of DNA was 10 μg/10(6) cells. The ratios of linear-to-circular plasmid do not influence the uptake by unsorted sperm cells and none of the tested treatments affected sperm motility and viability. Commercially sex-sorted bovine sperm were able to uptake exogenous DNA using nanopolymer; however, both X- and Y-sorted sperm had decreased DNA uptake in comparison to unsorted sperm (P < 0.05). Neither sperm motility nor viability were affected by nanotransfection. In conclusion, nanopolymer efficiently introduced exogenous DNA into commercially sex-sorted bovine sperm; we inferred that these sperm could be used for production of embryos of the desired sex, a technique named NanoSMGT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to clone sbGnRH cDNA, evaluate the mRNA levels in different tissues of flounder, and also evaluate brain sbGnRH expression in juvenile and adult males. Using RT-PCR the cloning of a 297 nucleotides coding region of sbGnRH from Brazilian flounder brain was demonstrated for the first time. Expression of sbGnRH was detected in several peripheral tissues. Brain gene expression in the adult flounder was higher than those found in juvenile. These results suggest that sbGnRH is involved on the Brazilian flounder puberty.
Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 02/2011; 63(1):239-246. · 0.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules with around 22 nucleotides that are unable to encode proteins and play a key role on post-transcription regulation process. Several studies have demonstrated the relevant role of miRNAs on the regulation of embryonic development on different species, from the control of gene expression during the early embryo development to determination of cellular lineages over the organogenesis. This review will present the miRNAs and its role on reproductive biology focusing on the mammalian embryo development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Testis-mediated gene transfer (TMGT) has been used as in vivo gene transfer technology to introduce foreign DNA directly into testes, allowing mass gene transfer to offspring via mating. In this study, we used plasmid DNA (pEGFP-N1) mixed with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA) or liposome (Lipofectin) in an attempt to improve TMGT. Males receiving consecutive DNA complex injections were mated to normal females to obtain F0 progeny. In vivo evaluation of EGFP expression, RT-PCR and PCR were used to detect the expression and the presence of exogenous DNA in the progeny. We also evaluated possible testicular damage by histological procedures. PC R and RT-PCR analyses revealed that liposome and DMSO increased the rate of TMGT. Histological analyses demonstrated that repeated (4 times) injections of DNA complexes can affect spermatogenesis. DMSO was the most deleterious among the reagents tested. In this study, we detected the presence of transgene in the progeny, and its expression in blood cells. Consecutive injections of DNA complexes were associated with impaired spermatogenesis, suggesting requirement of optimal conditions for DNA delivery through TMGT.
Biological research 01/2011; 44(3):229-34. · 1.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In swine, multiple artificial inseminations (AI) are commonly performed per estrus due to the long estrus duration. This observational study aimed to evaluate the association among the number of AI conducted per estrus, the estrus duration and the subsequent reproductive performance on a commercial swine farm. After evaluation of both estrus profile and follicle dynamics using ultrasound, by two independent teams, the number of AI per estrus was recorded, with no interference in the farm habitual management. The first AI was done at the time of estrus detection and subsequent AIs were done at 12 h intervals, as long as females showed estrus signs. The risk of conducting more than three AI per estrus as a function of estrus duration was also estimated. For females receiving two AI per estrus, farrowing rate (92.0%) was higher (p < 0.05) than for those receiving three (77.5%) or four to six AI (79.6%). Total litter size did not differ (p > 0.05) for females receiving two, three or 4 to 6 AI per estrus (10.6, 12.0 and 12.0, respectively). For females having estrus longer than 78 horas, the odds of receiving 4-6 AI were 6.1 times higher than for those having estrus shorter than 50 hours, and 3.4 times higher than for those having estrus within 50 to 74 h (both p < 0.05). Thus, although long estrus duration allows multiple AI per estrus, we concluded that more than three AIs per estrus are not recommended because there is no benefit for subsequent reproductive performance.