Zdzisław Smorag

Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland

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Publications (11)14.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The principal objective of this study was to develop a novel method based on confocal microscopy and a solvatochromic fluorescent dye, Nile red (NR) to quantify the main types of lipids in a single mammalian oocyte and embryo. We hypothesize that NR staining followed by the decomposition of NR-spectra identifies and quantifies the triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol in a single oocyte and embryo. We analyzed the lipid droplets in porcine oocytes and pre-implantation embryos up to the hatched blastocyst stage developed in vivo and in cultured blastocysts. The emission spectrum of NR-stained mixture of different lipid types is a convolution of several component spectra. The principal component analysis (PCA) and a multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares method (MCR-ALS) allowed to decompose the emission spectrum and quantify the relative amount of each lipid type present in mixture. We reported here that the level of the triglycerides, phospholipids and cholesterol in lipid droplets significantly decreases by 17.7%, 26.4% and 23.9%, respectively, from immature to mature porcine oocytes. The content of triglycerides and phospholipids remains unchanged in droplets of embryos from the zygote up to the morula stage. Then the triglyceride level decreases in the blastocyst by 15.1% and in the hatched blastocyst by 37.3%, whereas the amount of phospholipids decreases by 10.5% and 12.5% at the blastocyst and hatched blastocyst stages, respectively. In contrast, the content of cholesterol in droplets does not change during embryo cleavage. The lipid droplets in the blastocyst produced in vivo contain lower amounts of triglycerides (by 26.1%), phospholipids (by 14.2%) and cholesterol (by 34.8%) than those in the blastocyst cultured in NCSU-23 medium. In conclusion, our new technique is suitable to quantify the content of triglycerides, phospholipids and cholesterol in individual mammalian oocytes and embryos. Our findings indicate an important role for lipids during porcine oocyte maturation and early embryonic development, and suggest an altered lipid metabolism in cultured embryos.
    Theriogenology 01/2011; 75(1):42-54. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, total lipid content and content of triglycerides, phospholipids and cholesterol were determined in pig blastocysts cultured in medium without protein, supplemented with bovine serum albumin (BSA), with fetal calf serum (FCS), vitamin E or phenazine ethosulfate (PES). In comparison to blastocysts cultured in NCSU-23 with BSA, we observed a decrease of the total lipid content in PES-treated embryos. Triglyceride content in FCS-, vitamin E- and PES-treated embryos as well as in blastocysts cultured without protein was 81.9%, 70.2%, 57.2% and 74.8% of that found in the blastocysts cultured in NCSU-23 with BSA, respectively. Nevertheless the content of phospholipids remained unchanged. This decrease of triglyceride content in the porcine blastocyst after in vitro culture may be explained by altered lipid metabolism in embryos.
    Folia Biologica 01/2011; 59(1-2):45-52. · 0.89 Impact Factor
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    Barbara Gajda, Magdalena Bryła, Zdzisław Smorag
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    ABSTRACT: Effects of fetal calf serum (FCS) or bovine serum albumin (BSA), with or without vitamin E (vit. E) or phenazine ethosulfate (PES) supplementation on developmental competence and quality of cultured porcine embryos were examined. The experiment was done on zygotes and 2-cell embryos obtained from superovulated gilts. Morphologically normal zygotes were cultured in vitro in NCSU-23 medium supplemented with: experiment 1-0.004 g/ml BSA, 10% FCS, protein-free (control); experiment 2-0 (control), 25, 50 or 100 microM vit. E; experiment 3-0 (control), 0.025, 0.05 or 0.075 microM PES. Embryo quality criteria were developmental competence (cleavage, morula and blastocyst rates), total cell number per blastocyst and degree of apoptosis as assessed by TUNEL staining. Presence of BSA in culture medium increased significantly morula and blastocysts production as compared to FCS (P < 0.001) and protein-free group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). The blastocysts cultured in protein-free medium had higher average number of apoptotic nuclei and DNA fragmented nucleus index as compared to the BSA (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively) and FCS (P < 0.5) group. Supplementation in culture medium of 100 microM vit. E increased blastocyst production as compared to control and 50 microM vit-E (P < 0.05). Both the number of cells per and percentage of TUNEL positive nuclei per blastocyst were slightly lower in PES treated than control groups.
    Folia Biologica 02/2008; 56(1-2):57-63. · 0.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the experiment was to investigate the effect of vitrification on viability and the cell cycle of bovine cumulus cells and fibroblasts after culture with or without serum starvation. In all vitrified-thawed bovine somatic cells, the number of samples that reached the confluence stage was high (50 to 100%). The viability of vitrified somatic cells depended on the concentration of the cells. The viability was higher for cells vitrified at the concentration of 10 x 10(6) per ml than for cells vitrified at a concentration of 1 x 10(6) per ml (p < 0.05; for cumulus cell, and fibroblast). Time of cell starving has had no impact on their susceptibility to vitrification in case of vitrified cumulus cells. Starving time caused shifts in proportions of subsequent cell cycle phases of vitrified fibroblasts and cumulus cells. In conclusion, the bovine cumulus and fibroblast cells can be cryopreserved successfully by vitrification procedure.
    Cryo letters 06/2007; 28(4):271-9. · 0.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The article summarizes results of studies concerning: 1/ qualitative evaluation of pig nuclear donor cells to somatic cell cloning, 2/ developmental potency of sheep somatic cells to create chimera, 3/ efficient production of chicken chimera. The quality of nuclear donor cells is one of the most important factors to determine the efficiency of somatic cell cloning. Morphological criteria commonly used for qualitative evaluation of somatic cells may be insufficient for practical application in the cloning. Therefore, different types of somatic cells being the source of genomic DNA in the cloning procedure were analyzed on apoptosis with the use of live-DNA or plasma membrane fluorescent markers. It has been found that morphological criteria are a sufficient selection factor for qualitative evaluation of nuclear donor cells to somatic cell cloning. Developmental potencies of sheep somatic cells in embryos and chimeric animals were studied using blastocyst complementation test. Fetal fibroblasts stained with vital fluorescent dye and microsurgically placed in morulae or blastocysts were later identified in embryos cultured in vitro. Transfer of Polish merino blastocysts harbouring Heatherhead fibroblasts to recipient ewes brought about normal births at term. Newly-born animals were of merino appearance with dark patches on their noses, near the mouth and on their clovens. This overt chimerism shows that fetal fibroblasts introduced to sheep morulae/blastocysts revealed full developmental plasticity. To achieve the efficient production of chicken chimeras, the blastodermal cells from embryos of the donor breeds, (Green-legged Partridgelike breed or GPxAraucana) were transferred into the embryos of the recipient breed (White Leghorn), and the effect of chimerism on the selected reproductive and physiological traits of recipients was examined. Using the model which allowed identification of the chimerism at many loci, it has been found that 93.9% of the examined birds were chimeras. The effect of donor cells on the reproduction and physiology of the recipients was evident.
    Reproductive biology 02/2006; 6 Suppl 1:119-35. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Among all species analyzed, the domestic pig seems to be the most appropriate organ donor for xenotransplantation. Porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) are present in genomes of all pigs and are capable of infecting human cells in vitro thus posing a serious threat for xenotransplantation procedures. Despite the abundant distribution of PERVs integrated with porcine genome, the majority of PERV proviral DNA is not capable of expressing viral proteins unless seriously mutated. The aim of the study was to analyze PERV genome for mutations. The study was performed on blood samples from 146 pigs. Long-range polymerase chain reaction (Long-PCR) was performed with primer sets designed within long terminal repeats (LTRs). Long-PCR products of different molecular weights were obtained: 530 bp (33.1% of individuals), 580 bp (76.7%), 933 bp (100%), and 2900 bp (59.8%). Amplimers of 7200 bp were absent in 12.8% of individuals, indicating the lack of intact proviral DNA. Sequence analysis showed that most PERV proviral DNA was significantly mutated, thus suggesting the inability to express functional viral RNA; however, it cannot be ruled out that compensatory recombination processes could occur enabling replication of defective proviruses.
    Transplantation Proceedings 01/2006; 37(10):4610-4. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Domestic pig may serve as the most appropriate organ source for human xenotransplantation in the future. However, there is a serious threat of xenogeneic pathogens transmission, especially porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) which are present in genomes of all pigs. The aim of this study was to monitor the prevalence and distribution of PERV DNA in organs of a domestic pig. We used a primer set for a highly conserved fragment of PERV gag sequence to monitor a total PERV DNA copy number and genotype-specific primer sets to study PERV subtypes distribution using Real-Time QPCR (SYBR Green I). Our results showed that PERV DNA was present in all studied pigs, however, most PERV DNA molecules carried numerous mutations thus indicating inability to express functional retroviral particles. The level of PERV DNA in kidney was much higher than in heart (p = 0.007) and in the liver (p = 0.009). It indicates that kidney is potentially the biggest PERV reservoir which makes it the organ of particular concern in xenotransplantation. We also conclude it is possible to monitor pig herds for individuals with the lowest PERV DNA prevalence, especially lacking PERV-C, and perhaps with only defective PERV proviruses that are unable to express functional RNA.
    Annals of transplantation: quarterly of the Polish Transplantation Society 02/2005; 10(2):46-51. · 0.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the experiment was to determine the effect of potential antioxidants (adenosine, L-cysteine hydrochloride, ascorbic acid, magnesium fumarate and prolactin) supplementing the Biosolwens extender on semen survival time and sperm chromatin structure. The semen motility was examined every day and the susceptibility of sperm chromatin to denaturation was evaluated on collection day and day 15 of storage. The addition of magnesium fumarate to Biosolwens extender increased sperm survival but resulted in the highest increment in the proportion of sperm with damaged chromatin. Biosolwens supplemented with 200 mg of L-cysteine hydrochloride brought the best results. It is possible that lower concentrations of this component would act in a more protective manner. The examination of the chromatin structure appears to be an useful tool for investigation of semen preservation.
    Reproductive biology 04/2003; 3(1):81-7. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we compared the effects of preculture storage of ovaries, IVM medium, a reduced O(2) atmosphere and duration of culture on in vitro maturation (IVM) of domestic cat oocytes. One randomly selected ovary of each pair (69 pairs) was stored in PBS at 10 degrees C for 16-24h before oocyte recovery. The second ovary from each pair was used as a nonstored control. In Experiment I, we investigated the effect of culture media (TCM 199 versus SOF) and a reduced O(2) atmosphere (a humidified gas atmosphere of either 5% CO(2) in air or 5% CO(2):5% O(2):90% N(2)) on IVM of both stored and nonstored oocytes. In the second experiment, we compared timing of nuclear maturation of both stored and nonstored oocytes cultured for 17-18, 20-21, 24-26, 28-30, 33-34 or 42-45 h before being evaluated for meiotic status. In both, Experiments I and II, the recovery rate, quality and competence for maturation of oocytes originating from stored ovaries did not differ (P>0.05) compared with nonstored. In Experiment I, neither culture medium (37.5 versus 43.2% of Metaphase II, respectively in TCM 199 versus SOF) or gas atmosphere (40.0 versus 32.5% of Metaphase II, respectively in 5% CO(2) in air versus 5% CO(2):5% O(2):90% N(2)) affected oocyte maturation. In Experiment II, the mean proportion of oocytes achieving Metaphase II within 17-18 h of culture was 36.1% and did not significantly increase (P>0.05) over time up to 28 h. The highest proportion of oocytes (67.3%) reached Metaphase II stage after 42-45 h of culture. Therefore, we conclude that two "waves" of nuclear maturation of cat oocytes can be distinguished. The first wave takes place within 26 h and it is likely that most oocytes of this wave mature by 17-18 h; the second wave occurs after 28-30 h of IVM. It can be assumed that this double wave may reflect the presence of two oocyte populations with two different degrees of "prematuration" which require different lengths of IVM.
    Theriogenology 04/2003; 59(7):1567-74. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene construct WAP(6xHisThr):hGH containing the entire human growth hormone gene (hGH) under the rat whey acidic protein (WAP) promoter regulating the expression in mammary glands of mammals was prepared. The 5' end of the gene was modified by the addition of a sequence encoding six histidine residues and a sequence recognized by thrombin. The gene construct was introduced by microinjection into the male pronucleus of a fertilized oocyte. The founder male rabbit was obtained with the transgene mapping to chromosome 7. The presence of the growth hormone was confirmed in samples of milk collected during the lactation of F1 generation females. The growth hormone can be easily purified by affinity chromatography and cleavage by thrombin to an active form.
    Journal of applied genetics 02/2003; 44(2):165-74. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work was undertaken in order to study the developmental competence of nuclear transfer feline embryos with regard to the recipient-cytoplast's age and type of somatic cells used as donor nuclei. Oocytes were recovered by mincing the ovaries in HEPES-buffered TCM-199. Selected cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) with compact cumulus cell mass and a dark, homogenous ooplasm were cultured for maturation in the modified medium TC-199 for 24, 35, and 43 h, and after enucleation were used as a source of recipient cytoplasts for exogenous somatic nuclei. Two experiments were carried out. In Experiment 1, the source of recipient cytoplasts was oocytes matured in vitro for 24 h (Group 1), 35 h (Group 2), and 43 h (Group 3), while the source of donor nuclei was cycling fetal fibroblasts. Somatic cell-cytoplast complexes (SC-CCs) were fused electrically by double DC pulses of 2.0 kV/cm for 15 micros. The reconstructed embryos were cultured in B2 medium for 72 h after NT, then co-cultured with BRL cells in the same medium supplemented with 10% FBS at 38.5 degrees C under 5% CO2 in air. In Groups 1, 2, and 3, the fusion rates were 71.4 (25/35), 74.6 (47/63), and 57.5% (46/80), respectively. The cleavage rates in Groups 1, 2, and 3 were 80.0 (20/25), 55.3 (26/47), and 60.8% (28/46), respectively. The development to morula and blastocyst stages was higher in Groups 1 and 2 compared to Group 3 (morula stage 14/25 (56.0%), 16/47 (34.0%), and 13/46 (28.2%); blastocyst stage 2/20 (8.0%), 4/47, (8.5%), and 0/46, respectively). In Experiment 2, the oocytes matured for 24-35 h were used as a source of recipient cytoplasts and cycling fetal fibroblasts and cumulus cells derived from mature COCs were used as a source of donor nuclei. The fusion rates were 115/193 (59.6%) versus 65/143 (45.4%) for fetal fibroblasts and cumulus cells, respectively. The cleavage rate was 72/115 (62.6%) versus 48/65 (73.8%), and the development to blastocyst stage 6/115 (5.2%) versus 5/65 (7.7%), for fetal fibroblast and cumulus cells, respectively. In conclusion, a prolonged maturation period of cat oocytes decreases developmental competence of reconstructed embryos, especially the ability to reach the blastocyst stage. The in vitro development of reconstructed embryos with either nuclei of fetal fibroblasts or cumulus cells was at approximately the same level.
    Theriogenology 12/2002; 58(8):1615-21. · 2.08 Impact Factor