F Pothier

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (22)148.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cloning of mammalian oocytes requires that the recipient oocyte is enucleated to remove all genetic material associated with the chromosomes. The procedure currently used in most species requires careful micromanipulation of oocytes treated with cytochalasin B to prevent structural damage. Although functional, this procedure requires time and limits the number of oocytes available for cloning, and our ability to understand the mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating different procedures to enucleate large pools of oocytes in a time-efficient manner. Two different approaches were tested. The first approach involved centrifugation of zona-free oocytes through a percoll gradient to separate the portion containing the chromatin from the cytoplasmic portion. The second used etoposide to prevent chromatin segregation at first metaphase and resulting in the expulsion of all chromosomes in the polar body. Using the chemical approach an average enucleation rate of 39.4 +/- 7.5% was obtained, while the centrifugation approach resulted in an average enucleation rate of 66.9 +/- 6. In terms of time efficiency, the control manipulation method takes 0.11 min and the centrifugation took an average of 0.52 min per oocyte. The MPF activity at the end of procedure was estimated through the measurement of H1 activity and as expected, the etoposide-cycloheximide treated oocytes had lower H1 activity which was restored by further incubation in the maturation medium for 5 hr while the centrifugation gave a nonsignificant intermediary result. In conclusion, the results presented suggest that both the chemical and the mechanical methods are usable alternatives to micromanipulation of oocytes to generate a large number of chromosome free cytoplasm for biochemical analysis. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 67: 70-76, 2004.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 02/2004; 67(1):70-6. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transgenic animal bioreactors represent a powerful tool to address the growing need for therapeutic recombinant proteins. The ability of transgenic animals to produce complex, biologically active recombinant proteins in an efficient and economic manner has stimulated a great deal of interest in this area. As a result, genetically modified animals of several species, expressing foreign proteins in various tissues, are currently being developed. However, the generation of transgenic animals is a cumbersome process and remains problematic in the application of this technology. The advantages and disadvantages of different transgenic systems in relation to other bioreactor systems are discussed.
    Trends in Biotechnology 10/2003; 21(9):394-9. · 10.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) has been implicated in a wide variety of physiological processes including ovarian function. To better understand the ovarian role of IGF-I, transgenic mice harbouring a human IGF-I cDNA (hIGF-I) under the control of the mouse LH receptor promoter were generated. Expression of the hIGF-I, determined by Northern blot, was found to occur in the gonad tissues of these transgenic mice. The hIGF-I protein was also detectable by radioimmunoassay in ovarian extracts as well as in the plasma. The fertility of mating transgenic females, as estimated by the number of implantation sites post-coitum, did not appear to be affected. However, transgenic females who failed to mate and produce offspring were found to possess polycystic ovaries. Evaluation of testosterone, estradiol, and LH levels revealed that transgenic animals had significantly elevated circulating levels of testosterone compared to their non-transgenic littermates, while LH levels in transgenic females were significantly lower. Yet, estradiol appeared to be unaffected. These results support the contention that the IGF system plays an important role in ovarian function and that an imbalance in this system may result in ovarian pathology.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 07/2001; 59(2):178-85. · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • A Rieth, F Pothier, M A Sirard
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    ABSTRACT: There are several methods of modifying bovine genomes. Pronuclear microinjection is more widely used but it is still to be improved. Searches for alternatives have lead to the development of new methods including SMGT (Sperm Mediated Gene Transfer), in which live spermatozoa are used as vehicles for DNA delivery during in vitro fertilization. In previous studies, we presented evidence that a highly repetitive Alu-like repeat favours transgenesis by homologous recombination (HR). Up to 60% integration via HR was obtained following pronuclear microinjection of a Pst1 beta-actin GFP DNA construction. In the present study, we show that HR-mediated integration is also possible using SMGT, since bovine spermatozoa electroporated with the same DNA construct are able to transfer it to a high proportion of embryos obtained by in vitro fertilization. Swim-up selected bovine spermatozoa were mixed with the Pst1 beta-actin GFP construct (6 x 10(6) spermatozoids were incubated with 600 ng of muDNA), submitted or not to electroporation (300 V, 25 F) and treated or not with DNase I. The process of electroporation itself did not affect in vitro embryonic development. However, oocytes fertilized with electroporated DNA-treated spermatozoa developed beyond the 16-cell stage in proportions that were significantly lower (27% with Pst1 beta-actin GFP and 34% with beta-actin GFP) compared to the control without DNA (44%). On the other side, the use of electroporation significantly increased the uptake of DNA. The number of homologous recombination events detected by PCR went from 3.5% without electroporation to 46.5% after electroporation. In conclusion, our results confirm that spermatozoa electroporation combined with homologous recombination in a highly repetitive Pst1 sequence is a feasible method to obtain transgenic bovine embryos.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 01/2001; 57(4):338-45. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Production of foreign proteins in the tissues of transgenic animals represents an efficient and economical method of producing therapeutic and pharmaceutical proteins. In this study, we demonstrate that the mouse P12 gene promoter specific to the male accessory sex gland can be used to generate transgenic mice that express human growth hormone (hGH) in their seminal vesicle epithelium. The hGH is secreted into the ejaculated seminal fluids with the seminal vesicle lumen contents containing concentrations of up to 0.5 mg/ml. As semen is a body fluid that can be collected easily on a continuous basis, the production of transgenic animals expressing pharmaceutical proteins into their seminal fluid could prove to be a viable alternative to use of the mammary gland as a bioreactor.
    Nature Biotechnology 12/1999; 17(11):1087-90. · 39.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a low molecular weight peptide that mediates the cell proliferating actions of growth hormone. Evidence exists indicating that IGF-I is produced by various cell types and this growth factor has been implicated in a variety of reproductive processes. To investigate the effect of IGF-I over-expression on reproductive systems, we generated three independent lines of transgenic mice harbouring a human IGF-I cDNA (hIGF-I) under the control of a Cytomegalovirus immediate early (CMV) promoter. The CMV promoter was used in an attempt to direct expression of IGF-I into a variety of tissues both reproductive and non-reproductive. Yet expression of the foreign hIGF-I gene, determined by Northern blot, was found to occur only in the testicular tissues of the male mice, apparently due to methylation of the transgene in all the tissues tested except the testes, which demonstrate transgene hypomethylation. Evaluation of the transgene expression during testicular development revealed that expression begins between 10 and 15 days of development, coinciding with the appearance of the zygotene and pachytene primary spermatocytes during early spermatogenesis, therefore indicating germ line expression of the transgene. Extensive study of the CMV-hIGF-I transgenic lines of mice has revealed that the effects of the transgene expression do not extend beyond the testicular tissues. No significant differences (P > 0.05) in the IGF-I serum levels, growth rates, or testicular histology have been observed between transgenic and non-transgenic male siblings. The ability of transgenic males to produce offspring also appears unaffected. Evaluation of the IGF binding protein (IGFBP) levels in the testicular tissues of CMV-hIGF-I transgenic mice by Western ligand blot revealed an increase in the concentration of testicular proteins with molecular weights corresponding to IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3. These results suggest that the testicular over-expression of IGF-I induces increased IGFBP localization in this tissue. Inhibition of IGF activity by the IGFBPs would explain the lack of a dramatic physiological effect in the CMV-hIGF-I transgenic mice, despite the presence of elevated testicular IGF-I. The observation that testis specific IGF-I overexpression induces localization of IGFBPs in this tissue confirms the existence of a well regulated testicular IGF system and supports the convention that this growth factor plays an important role in testicular function.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 10/1999; 54(1):32-42. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Homologous recombination (HR) has proven to be functional in mammalian embryos. The efficiency of the HR process was tested in bovine zygotes in an attempt to increase the frequency of transgene integration using different lengths of a bovine satellite (BS) DNA flanking both ends of a neo gene marker (called BS500, BS250, and BS50) and neo alone as a control. Pronuclear microinjection at 16-19 hr post insemination (hpi) of the BS500, BS250, BS50 or neo fragments at a concentration of 1 ng/microl resulted in an increasingly negative effect on embryo development. Therefore all microinjections were performed at a single molecular concentration (320 x 10(6) molecules/ microl). After microinjection, the embryos were allowed to develop for 6 days followed by morphological and PCR analysis. The HR event was detected by PCR in 13 of the 26 embryos (43%) that developed beyond the 12-cell stage, 7/22 (31%), 9/27 (33%), and 0/25 (0%) with the BS500, BS250, BS50, and neo constructs respectively. The length of BS homology had no effect on transgene integration. However, embryos injected with BS neo constructs had significantly lower development rates than neo injected zygotes (17% more than 16 cells for BS500; 14% for BS250; 16% for BS50 compared to 32% for neo, P < 0.05, 6 replicates). These results demonstrate that BS sequences have a negative effect on embryo development and survival regardless of the amount of DNA injected. The use of HR with highly repetitive genomic sequences is therefore a feasible procedure to produce transgenic bovine embryos.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 05/1999; 53(1):1-7. · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • A Rieth, M Gagné, F Pothier
    Theriogenology 01/1999; 51(1):425-425. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Theriogenology 01/1999; 51(1):424-424. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Theriogenology 01/1999; 51(1):419-419. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Theriogenology 01/1999; 51(1):416-416. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Marc Gagné, François Pothier, Marc-André Sirard
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    ABSTRACT: Microinjection into bovine zygotes was performed to evaluate the effects of the timing of injection during the phase of DNA replication on the subsequent in vitro development of embryos and expression of injected chicken β-actin promoter-lac Z gene construct. The period of DNA replication of bovine zygotes, determined by 3H-thymidine incorporation, begins between 12 hr and 13 hr postinsemination (hpi) of in vitro matured oocytes, reaches a maximum from 17 hpi to 19 hpi, and is complete by 21–22 hpi. Aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA polymerase alpha, was used to synchronize the pronuclei and the zygote population. Treatment with aphidicolin at 9–18 hpi arrested DNA replication without affecting formation of the pronuclei or embryo development. Cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, was used for nucleocytoplasmic resynchronization of the aphidicolin-treated zygotes. Microinjection was performed at 15 (early), 18 (mid), and 21 (late S phase) hpi. Embryonic development was affected following each of the three microinjection times. The development of zygotes injected at 18 hpi was significantly higher (P<0.01) after 5 days of culture than those injected at 15 hpi or 21 hpi. Expression of the marker gene was observed in the higher stage of development (>16 cells) only in the zygotes injected at 18 hpi. At the earlier stages of development, the proportions of embryos showing expression of the foreign gene were the same for all microinjection times. In aphidicolin- and cycloheximide-treated zygotes, expression of the marker gene followed the same curve as development, i.e., expression was low when injected early or late and higher (P<0.005) when injected in the middle of zygotic S phase. The ability of the embryos to survive microinjection and to express the marker gene as a function of hpi seems to be influenced mostly in the cytoplasm processing stage rather than the pronuclei processing stage. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 05/1995; 41(2):184 - 194. · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • M Gagné, F Pothier, M A Sirard
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/1995; 48:161-6. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Cas-Br-E murine leukemia virus induces a spongiform myeloencephalopathy in susceptible mice. We constructed transgenic mice harboring either the viral genome (in a replication-defective form) or only its env gene. Low levels of expression of either transgene resulted in mild neuropathology and/or signs of neurological disease in more than half of these mice. These results indicate that the disease can occur in the absence of virus replication and strongly suggest that the env gp70/p15E complex is sufficient to induce disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/1993; 90(10):4538-42. · 9.81 Impact Factor
    Theriogenology 01/1993; 39(1):223-223. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • M C Pepin, F Pothier, N Barden
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    ABSTRACT: We have created transgenic mouse lines with impaired glucocorticoid receptor function by expression of a type II glucocorticoid receptor antisense RNA in brain tissues. These animals have endocrinological characteristics similar to those seen in depression, including a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as indicated by elevated plasma corticosterone and adrenocorticotropin hormone levels. Treatment of transgenic animals with the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine increased hypothalamic glucocorticoid receptor mRNA concentration and dexamethasone-binding activity while decreasing plasma adrenocorticotropin hormone concentration and corticosterone levels. These results support the hypothesis that antidepressants exert action on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis through modulation of glucocorticoid receptor gene expression.
    Molecular Pharmacology 01/1993; 42(6):991-5. · 4.12 Impact Factor
  • M C Pepin, Francois Pothier, Nicholas Barden
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids, in conjunction with their cognate receptors, exert negative-feedback effects on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, suppressing adrenal steroid secretions. Two types of corticosteroid receptor, distinguishable by their ability to bind corticosterone, have been identified as classical mineralocorticoid (type I) and glucocorticoid (type II) receptors by cloning their complementary DNAs. The type I receptor controls the basal circadian rhythm of corticosteroid secretion. Both receptor types are involved in negative feedback, but the type II receptor may be more important for terminating the stress response as it is the only one to be increased in animals rendered more sensitive to corticosteroid negative-feedback effects. Here we create a transgenic mouse with impaired corticosteroid-receptor function by partially knocking out gene expression with type II glucocorticoid receptor antisense RNA. We use this animal to study the glucocorticoid feedback effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.
    Nature 03/1992; 355(6362):725-8. · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed an improved method for determining CAT activity directed by stably (transgenic mice) or transiently (tissue culture cell lines) introduced CAT reporter gene constructs. The procedure is based on the use of a new buffer system which considerably increases the stability of the CAT enzyme during the preparation of the crude cell extracts. When compared to other procedures, our method enables an increase of up to 100-fold in the sensitivity of the assay, depending on the transgenic tissue tested. Furthermore, a strong increase (up to 23-fold) was also observed with various promoter/CAT constructs transiently transfected in established tissue culture cell lines. This increase in sensitivity provides a significant reduction in the time required to perform the CAT assay when strong promoters are studied (from 18 to 1 hr) and is also very useful for the analysis of CAT gene expression driven by weak promoters.
    DNA and Cell Biology 01/1992; 11(1):83-90. · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • M B Gagné, F Pothier, M A Sirard
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, electroporation was used to test the ability of spermatozoa to carry foreign DNA into the bovine oocytes. Frozen-thawed bovine spermatozoa (10(7)/ml) were electroporated using six different combinations of voltage (500, 1,000, or 1,500 V) and capacitance (1 or 25 microFarads) in the presence of 1 mg/ml of plasmid pRGH527. The portions of plasmids retained by sperm cells after three washings (stable for ten washings) were 4.3, 5.5, 5.1, 6.0, 6.8, and 5.8% for 1 microFarad, 500, 1,000, and 1,500 V and 25 microFarads, 500, 1,000, and 1,500 V, respectively. Nonelectroporated cells have retained only 1% of plasmids. In the same experiment, electroporated spermatozoa were acrosome reacted by treatment with ionophore A23187 to evaluate the fraction of marked plasmids joined at the acrosomal membrane. The results show that 3.5, 5.0, 4.4, 5.0, 6.3, and 4.4% remain tied to the ionophore-treated sperm. Only 0.7% of plasmid was retained after removal of the acrosome of nonelectroporated cells. Acrosome reaction was not significantly induced by the electrical field (EF) (P less than 0.005). EF decrease motility significantly for greater than 100 V in 0.3 M mannitol (M) and mannitol-TALP (MT) (1/1) media and greater than or equal to 500 V (P less than 0.05) in TALP medium. The retained plasmid rate was compared between TALP medium M and MT media and resulted in a percentage of 1.0, 2.5, 6.5 at 1 microFarads, 100 V, and 0.9, 3.8, and 3.8 at 25 microFarads, 100 V in TALP, MT, and M medium, respectively. Sperm cells electroporated at 1 microFarad, 500 or 1,000 V, 25 microFarad, 500 V or 1,000 in TALP medium hold plasmids in proportion of 5.2, 5.4, 7.4, and 6.0%. Electroporation above 100 V in M and MT killed the cells. In a part of this experiment, spermatozoa electroporated in the presence of radiolabeled plasmids have been treated with DNase I and results revealed that 35, 28, 54, 58, and 3% of marked DNA remains in sperm cells following digestion after electroporation in TALP (1,000 V, 1 and 25 microFarads), M medium (100 V, 1 and 25 microFarads), and control, respectively. Using in vitro matured bovine oocytes, the electroporation conditions were correlated with the fertilization rate (85% for control and 55% for electroporated spermatozoa). Autoradiography of embryos following fertilization indicated the presence of plasmids in the cytoplasm and in the zona pellucida.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 06/1991; 29(1):6-15. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mouse secretory protease inhibitor p12 is significantly transcribed by the cells from the seminal vesicle, the coagulating gland, the ventral prostate, and to a lesser level by the pancreas. It is otherwise undetectable in every other tissue examined. To study the molecular mechanisms involved in this model of cell-specific control of gene expression, we cloned fragments containing various lengths of the p12 promoter upstream of the CAT reporter gene. We demonstrated that p12 sequences from +34 to -108 relative to the CAP site can confer a constitutive level of CAT expression following transient transfection in non-prostatic CV1 and GH4C1 cells. We identified within this minimal p12 promoter the cis-acting sequences needed to direct such a significant level of CAT expression. A DNA-binding site (p12.A) highly homologous to the rat growth hormone (rGH) sequence recognized by the trans-acting factor GC2 was identified between the TATA- and the double CAAT-box sequences from the p12 promoter. Using competition and mutation analysis, we provide evidence that the positively acting p12.A-binding protein is likely to be the rGH GC2 transcription factor, suggesting that the same, or a very similar factor, regulates expression of both rGH and p12 genes. By further analysis of the p12 5'-flanking sequences, we demonstrated that plasmids including sequences from -109 to -843 can strongly repress the level of transcription directed by this minimal p12 promoter, providing evidence for the presence of cis-acting negative regulatory elements critical for the establishment of p12 gene extinction in non-prostatic cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/1991; 265(35):22035-43. · 4.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

764 Citations
148.11 Total Impact Points


  • 1990–1995
    • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    • Université du Québec
      • Département des Sciences Animales
      Québec, Quebec, Canada
  • 1993
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1992
    • Laval University
      • Faculté de Médecine
      Québec, Quebec, Canada