Article

Summer heat stress alters the mRNA expression of selective-uptake and endocytotic receptors in bovine ovarian cells

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Abstract

Summer heat stress (HS) is a major factor in decreased reproductive performance in high-producing dairy cattle, possibly by affecting the steroidogenic capacity of ovarian follicles and ovarian follicular dynamics. In the present study, mRNA expression of cholesterol receptors was determined in bovine ovarian cells. Two endocytotic receptors (very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLr) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr)), and two selective-uptake receptors (scavenger receptor class B type 1 receptor (SRB1) and the lipoprotein-receptor-related protein 8 (LRP8)) were evaluated. Ovarian follicles in four diameter categories were evaluated from cows under non-heat stress (NHS) and HS conditions. As follicle size increased, expression of mRNA in NHS cows increased for the selective-uptake receptors, SRB1 and LRP8, and decreased (P<0.004) for the endocytotic receptors, LDLr and VLDLr. In contrast, in HS cows, mRNA expression did not significantly change (with increasing follicle diameter) for either receptor type. With increasing follicle diameter, cholesterol and fatty acid concentrations in the follicular fluid did not change in HS cows, whereas in NHS cows, cholesterol increased (P<0.008) and fatty acid decreased (P<0.0001). These changes paralleled those in the different lipoprotein fractions in the follicular fluid. In follicles from HS cows, the altered mRNA expression patterns for the endocytotic and selective-uptake receptors caused changes in the regulation of cholesterol supply at critical stages of folliculogenesis, which may play a role in the low turnover rates of ovarian follicles during the summer.

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... In cattle, HDL is the major lipoprotein in the plasma and follicular fluid [99,100], and α-Toc is mainly located in HDL among lipoproteins [37]. Rajapaksha et al. [101] sequenced bovine SCARB1 cDNA, which contains 509 amino acids. ...
... Rajapaksha et al. [101] sequenced bovine SCARB1 cDNA, which contains 509 amino acids. The changes in SCARB1 mRNA levels were evaluated in developing bovine ovarian cells; however, the relationship between the mRNA level and α-Toc concentration in follicular fluid is unknown [99,100]. By contrast, Higuchi et al. [37] clarified that the upregulation of SCARB1 mRNA in neutrophils in cattle supplemented with α-Toc and the cellular α-Toc contents were decreased after anti-SRBI treatment. ...
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Levels of alpha-tocopherol (α-Toc) decline gradually in blood throughout prepartum, reaching lowest levels (hypovitaminosis E) around calving. Despite numerous reports about the disease risk in hypovitaminosis E and the effect of α-Toc supplementation on the health of transition dairy cows, its risk and supplemental effects are controversial. Here, we present some novel data about the disease risk of hypovitaminosis E and the effects of α-Toc supplementation in transition dairy cows. These data strongly demonstrate that hypovitaminosis E is a risk factor for the occurrence of peripartum disease. Furthermore, a study on the effectiveness of using serum vitamin levels as biomarkers to predict disease in dairy cows was reported, and a rapid field test for measuring vitamin levels was developed. By contrast, evidence for how hypovitaminosis E occurred during the transition period was scarce until the 2010s. Pioneering studies conducted with humans and rodents have identified and characterised some α-Toc-related proteins, molecular players involved in α-Toc regulation followed by a study in ruminants from the 2010s. Based on recent literature, the six physiological factors: (1) the decline in α-Toc intake from the close-up period; (2) changes in the digestive and absorptive functions of α-Toc; (3) the decline in plasma high-density lipoprotein as an α-Toc carrier; (4) increasing oxidative stress and consumption of α-Toc; (5) decreasing hepatic α-Toc transfer to circulation; and (6) increasing mammary α-Toc transfer from blood to colostrum, may be involved in α-Toc deficiency during the transition period. However, the mechanisms and pathways are poorly understood, and further studies are needed to understand the physiological role of α-Toc-related molecules in cattle. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying hypovitaminosis E will contribute to the prevention of peripartum disease and high performance in dairy cows.
... In fact, a stringent surveillance is present in order to repair or eliminate oocytes with compromised genomic fidelity which could cause subfertility and infertility [20,28]. Heat stress during oogenesis compromises oocyte maturation, leading to alterations in follicular function, follicular growth, steroid secretion, and gene expressions [21,[29][30][31]. The oocytes through the preovulatory period are more susceptible to heat stress, and damage at this stage could reflect hormonal perturbations [32]. ...
... In fact, a stringent surveillance is present in order to repair or eliminate oocytes with compromised genomic fidelity which could cause subfertility and infertility [20,28]. Heat stress during oogenesis compromises oocyte maturation, leading to alterations in follicular function, follicular growth, steroid secretion, and gene expressions [21,[29][30][31]. The oocytes through the pre-ovulatory period are more susceptible to heat stress, and damage at this stage could reflect hormonal perturbations [32]. ...
Article
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... Recently, we reported the differential expression of lipoprotein receptors in theca and granulose cells and corpora lutea from bovine ovaries [17]. Expression of mRNA encoding lowdensity lipoprotein receptor (LDLr), very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLr) and lipoprotein receptorrelated protein 8 (LRP8) were affected by follicular size, stage of follicular development [18] and seasonality [19]. Perhaps seasonal alterations, e.g. ...
... Nevertheless, the mechanism governing this process is not clear. In our previous studies conducted on bovine follicular cells [17], we showed that mRNA encoding the endocytotic receptors (LDLr and VLDLr) and selective-uptake receptors (SRB1 and LRP8) was expressed in both theca and granulosa cells and the corpus luteum [18], and was affected by seasonality [19]. Therefore, in the current study, a screen of these receptors' mRNA expression was conducted. ...
Article
Reduced reproductive performance of dairy cows during the summer is often associated with elevated temperature. Semen collected and cryopreserved during the summer may be of low quality and might contribute to the compromised fertility of dairy cows during this season. The present study examined the association between seasonality, semen quality and its potential to survive cryopreservation. A comparison between semen collected during the summer (July to August) and that collected during the winter (November to December) revealed the summer semen to be inferior, as reflected by low motility and high mortality of sperm. Furthermore, samples that were defined as good quality had changes in lipid concentration and fatty-acid composition in both the seminal plasma and cell compartment. In particular, semen collected during the summer had reduced levels of polyunsaturated arachidonic acid (20:4; P<0.05) and decreased levels of linoleic acid (18:2; P<0.05) in the cell compartment; corresponding reductions in cholesterol (P<0.06) and fatty-acid concentrations (P<0.001) were detected in seminal plasma of semen collected during the summer. In addition, we provided the first evidence for the existence of a very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLr) in bovine sperm, suggesting a mechanism for sperm utilization of extracellular lipids. Interestingly, the expression of VLDLr was three-fold greater in samples collected during the winter than in those collected in the summer (P<0.01) and was negatively associated with saturated fatty-acid concentration (P<0.018) but not with that of cholesterol. An opposite pattern was noted for samples obtained during the summer; mRNA expression of VLDLr was negatively associated with cholesterol concentration (P<0.01) but not with that of saturated fatty acids. Such modifications associated with extracellular lipid utilization and fatty-acid composition might explain, in part, the reduced quality of summer semen.
... Greater temperatures affect the oocyte by altering the patterns of ovarian follicular development, steroid production, and gene expression (Roth et al., 2000;Hansen et al., 2001;Argov et al., 2005;Ferreira et al., 2016). Heat stress alters the duration of estrus, conception rate, and uterine function in cattle. ...
... There have been previous reports that a greater than optimal THI affects reproductive performance by causing an increase in the concentrations of FSH and decreased inhibin concentrations in plasma. These endocrine effects may have physiological significance that could be associated with lesser fertility of cattle during the summer and autumn as compared with other seasons of the year (Roth et al., 2000;Hansen et al., 2001;Argov et al., 2005;Ferreira et al., 2016). Greater than optimal THIs during the period of early antral follicular development in the present study tended to be associated with an enhanced quality embryos recovered per uterine flushing as a result of a greater percentage of freezable and transferable embryos recovered. ...
Article
The present study investigated the effects of climatic variables on the quality grade and quantity of in vivo derived cattle embryos in the Midwestern United States. Climatic information included greatest and least daily temperature, average daily wind speed and average temperature-humidity index for each of the 765 records. The response variables included the number of ovarian structures, viable embryos, quality grade 1 embryos, quality grade 2 embryos, quality grade 3 embryos, freezable embryos (sum of quality grade 1 and quality grade 2 embryos), transferable embryos (sum of quality grade 1-3 embryos), degenerate embryos and unfertilized ova. Measures for variables among the breeds of donors and sires grouped by geographical origin were compared. A negative effect of greater temperatures during the early embryonic development stage tended (P < 0.10) to be associated with a decrease in the quality of embryos recovered. Interestingly, the greater the Temperature-Humidity Index (THI) during the early ovarian antral follicular development stage 40-45 days prior to ovulation was associated with a tendency for greater numbers of total number of freezable and transferable embryos recovered per uterine flushing (P < 0.10). Increased wind speed at the early antral follicular phase 40-45 days prior to ovulation was associated with an increase in the percentage of quality grade 1 embryos recovered (P < 0.05). Wind speed during the estrous synchronization period was also associated with a lesser number of embryos recovered (P < 0.05). This retrospective study confirms that climatic variables have significant effects on the in vivo production of cattle embryos and that wind speed should be considered in future analyses of factors affecting embryo quality.
... Com a diminuição da liberação das gonadotropinas (LH e FSH), a produção de estrógenos é alterada, pois afeta a capacidade esteroidogênica dos folículos e da dinâmica folicular ovariana. Altera ainda a expressão do RNAm de receptores de colesterol em células ovarianas, bem como, as concentrações de colesterol e ácidos graxos no fluido folicular ovariano de folículos de vários tamanhos como observado por Argov et al. (2005) ...
... Após análise dos dados bioclimáticos e constatação da adaptabilidade dos animais ao ambiente, não era esperado que fossem encontradas diferenças nas concentrações de estrógeno e de colesterol entre os animais do Grupo I e do Grupo II. Em função da adaptação dos animais, o ambiente não foi capaz de provocar alterações na temperatura corporal dos mesmos, e a manutenção da temperatura corporal provavelmente impediu uma alteração da capacidade esteroidogênica das células da teca e da granulosa, reduzindo a atividade da aromatase e, consequentemente, as concentrações de estradiol em células ovarianas, bem como as concentrações de colesterol total e ácidos graxos no fluido folicular ovariano de folículos de vários tamanhos (Rensis & Scaramuzzi 2003, Argov et al. 2005, Ozawa et al. 2005, Shehab-El-Deen et al. 2010. ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the pattern of blood perfusion of dominant follicles after ovulation induction with hCG by ultrasound Color Doppler, and cholesterol and estrogen levels in preovulatory follicles of mares submitted or not to thermal discomfort. Therefore, estrous cycles of 15 mares were randomly distributed between comfort (Group I) and thermal discomfort (Group II) groups and monitored by transrectal ultrasonography periodically until the largest follicle reached at least 32mm of diameter. At this time, the mares received 1000IU of Chorulon® (hCG), and had the preovulatory follicle accompanied by Doppler ultrasound every 6 hours up to 24 hours, at which time the aspirations were taken from the follicular?uid of cholesterol and estrogen dosing. The follicular vascular perfusion was estimated subjective basis, taking into account the percentage of the circumference of the follicular wall with Color Doppler signals. Aspirated follicular fluid was recovered and centrifuged at 1000G for 15 minutes, and the supernatant recovered and stored in cryovials at-20°C until the estrogen dosage and cholesterol were performed. To characterize the thermal environment, the temperature and humidity index test (THI), described by Hansen (2005), was used. In order to characterize the adaptation of animals to the thermal environment, the heat tolerance coeffcient (HTC) and the adaptability coeffcient (AC) were used. The average THI found for the analyzed period (March and April/2014) was 58.33, which does not characterize stressful environment for the animals. After bioclimatic analysis found HTC average values of Group I and Group II 95.47, 87.14, these averages were statistically different (p<0.05), indicating a greater tolerance of Group I when compared to Group II. The AC average found for the group I was 3.84 and the Group II 4.29, values that differed statistically (p<0.05), showing greater adaptability in Group I compared to Group II. The average values of vascular perfusion of preovulatory follicles were: Group I: H0=32.5%; H6=43.75%; H12=41.85%; H18=33.75%; H24=42.5%; Group II: H0=24.85%; H6=41.42%; H12=48.57%; H18=38.57%; H24=47.14%. There were no statistically signifcant differences (p>0.05) between the percentages of follicular vascular perfusion between the groups in the analyzed moments. The mean values of cholesterol and estrogen for Groups I and II were respectively 51.62mg/ml and 46.14mg/ml and 325739.64pg/dL and 316381.05pg/dL. There were no statistically signifcant differences (p>0.05) between groups. These results demonstrate that environments that deprive the shadow animals are likely to generate thermal discomfort, even if the indices do not point stressful environment for the animal. However, this discomfort is not enough to harm steroidogenesis or percentage follicular vascularization in 24 hours.
... Yine benzer şekilde ısı stresine maruz kalmayan ineklerde follikül sıvısında, follikül çapı arttıkça, kolesterol miktarında artış ve yağ asitlerinde azalış meydana gelirken, ısı stresindeki ineklerde bu değişimlerin oluşmadığı da belirlenmiştir. 10 follikülogenezis ve folliküler dinamikte olumsuz değişimlere işaret etmektedir. ...
... Oositin içinde bulunduğu follikül sıvısının bileşimi de ısı stresinden olumsuz etkilendiği bilinmektedir. 10 Bu nedenle damızlık ineklerin uzun süreli ısı stresine maruz kalması durumunda, oosit kalitesinin de olumsuz etkilenerek, dölverimini düşüş görülebileceği bilinmelidir. ...
Article
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When a living creature is forced to live in a climate condition interval in which it has not used to be living, the physio-pathologic reaction the living creature’s body lays out during this condition may be called heat stress. Although heat stress is concerned with ambient temperature, it is also closely related with relative humidity and air current. Mammalians generally regulates its body temperatures with perspiration / evaporation, so while relative humidity detrimentally affects thermoregulation and air current vice versa. Therefore, if relative humidity is high, heat stress can be occurred in low temperatures in animals. The cattle breeds (Bos Taurus) bred in Turkey adapt to cold climate conditions, so the heat stress can easily be occurred in summer time. The heat stress in cows causes appetite, reduction in feed consumptions, reduction in ovarium activity and detrimentally affect quality of oocyte and embryo. Therefore heat stress causes reduction in reproductive productivity in cows. In bulls, heat stress detrimentally and directly affects spermatogenesis and causes low quality sperm production. Moreover, heat stress detrimentally affects estrus cycles and estrus behaviors in cows and libido (sexualis) in bulls. Studies point out that heat stress increases infertility 50% or more in cows. Therefore infertility caused by heat stress in cows leads big economic losses in stock farms if precautions are not taken in time. Well known effects of heat stress on reproduction in cattle and precautions taken during heat stress may reduce economic losses caused by heat stress in stock farms. In this review, effects of physiologic and hormonal changes on reproduction in cows affected by heat stress and precautions against heat stress has been reviewed.
... The mechanism by which heat stress during oogenesis compromises oocyte function is likely to involve alterations in follicular function. Heat stress can alter follicular growth , steroid secretion (Wolfenson et al. 1997;Roth et al. 2001a;Ozawa et al. 2005) and gene expression (Argov et al. 2005). In goats, heat stress reduced plasma concentrations of oestradiol and lowered follicular oestradiol concentration, aromatase activity and LH receptor level, and delayed ovulation (figure 4; Ozawa et al. 2005). ...
Article
Heat stress can have large effects on most aspects of reproductive function in mammals. These include disruptions in spermatogenesis and oocyte development, oocyte maturation, early embryonic development, foetal and placental growth and lactation. These deleterious effects of heat stress are the result of either the hyperthermia associated with heat stress or the physiological adjustments made by the heat-stressed animal to regulate body temperature. Many effects of elevated temperature on gametes and the early embryo involve increased production of reactive oxygen species. Genetic adaptation to heat stress is possible both with respect to regulation of body temperature and cellular resistance to elevated temperature.
... Total cholesterol content was determined after saponification of 100 μl of concentrated medium. After extraction in petroleum ether, colorimetric measurements were done with a modified Lieberman–Buchard reaction, as described previously [30]. ...
Article
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Leptin, like estrogen, is one of the endo/paracrine factors, which are synthesized in and secreted from mature adipocytes. The roles of the mammary fat pad and mammary adipocytes in the initiation of lactation are not clear. In this study, we showed that combination of prolactin, leptin and estrogen elevated the expression of the milk protein beta-lactoglobulin. We also showed that after prolactin stimulate the secretion of leptin from the mammary fat, leptin upregulated the expression of estrogen receptor alpha in the mammary epithelial cells. Also, prolactin affected aromatase mRNA expression in the bovine mammary fat and we demonstrated that leptin and prolactin can affect cholesterol secretion from explants in culture to the medium. Therefore, we suggest that prolactin initiates estrogen expression (as represented by aromatase mRNA) in the mammary fat pad, whereas leptin stimulates estrogen receptor alpha expression in the mammary epithelial cells. We hypothesize that leptin and estrogen, secreted from the mammary fat regulate lactation after stimulation of prolactin.
... Total lipids were extracted from milk using a protocol adapted from the cold extraction procedure developed by Folch as previously described. 20 Each sample was extracted twice, once for lipid analysis by normal-phase LC and once for fatty acid analysis by GC. Total lipids were extracted from 0.5 mL of milk with methanolÀchloroformÀwater (1:2:0.6, ...
Article
The mammary epithelial cell produces unique structures and a range of diversely sized lipid particles from tens of micrometers to less than 1 μm. The physical, chemical, and biological properties of the differently sized milk fat globules (MFGs) and their complex membranes are not well described. Six size fractions of MFGs were obtained by gravity-based separation and analyzed, and their partial lipidome was determined. The smallest MFGs had a higher concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs). The FAs indicative of elongase activity were highest in the smallest MFGs, whereas those FAs indicative of desaturase activity did not differ between size groups. The phosphatidylinositol concentration was highest whereas the phosphatidylserine concentration was lowest in MFGs with an average diameter of 2 μm. Phosphatidylethanolamine and cholesterol concentrations were highest whereas that of sphingomyelin was lowest in MFGs with an average diameter of 3 μm. Phosphatidylcholine concentrations did not vary between the size groups. Results suggest that the assembly of milk fat globules that differ in size is not a homogeneous nor random process and that the differences in composition may reflect discrete biosynthetic routes.
... The mechanism by which active follicles reduce their NEFA content is not fully understood, but NEFA might be used as an energy supply or as a membrane component of the growing follicle, as unsaturated fatty acid might be used for membrane synthesis during intensive proliferation. 29 This hypothesis is further supported by the reduced concentrations of arachidonic acid, which is a main component of membrane phospholipids. Arachidonic acid is a precursor of prostaglandins. ...
Article
Aim The present study described hormonal and lipids concentrations of follicles that develop under high progesterone plasmatic levels, mimicking the second follicular wave. Methods All follicles were removed by aspiration in order to generate a new follicular wave. Follicular fluid was then obtained from either 3 day old follicles (F3) or 6 day old follicles (F6). This experimental protocol was carried out at 20 days and 90 days post-partum on Frisian daily cows that had already returned to cyclicity. Results Estrogen active follicles (ratio of estrogen to progesterone in follicular fluid higher than 1) have higher levels of VEGF, IGF-I and linoleic acid, and have lower levels of NEFA, oleic and arachidonic acid. Non-estrogen active follicular fluid concentrations of IGF-I and NEFA were similar to plasma concentrations. In contrast, estrogen active follicles showed higher IGF-I and lower NEFA levels than plasmatic ones that could be used to sustain follicular growth. Conclusions The results show that estrogen active follicles might have their own metabolism.
... The series reactions helped cells keep their original shape and proliferation after heating. As different cell types have their own characteristic temperature sensitivities, thermotolerances and self-recovery abilities (Chen et al., 2008;Santos-Marques et al., 2006;Argov et al., 2005), we chose 8 h of hyperthermia as the treatment time in the latter study. ...
Article
The protective effects of vitamin E (VE) against hyperthermia-induced damage in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) were studied. The structure of BMEC membrane was damaged by hyperthermia treatment. The VE (25nmol/ml) efficiently increased cell viability and attenuated morphological damages in hyperthermia-treated BMEC. Compared with the control, VE significantly reduced lactate dehydrogenase leakage and malondialdehyde formation in hyperthermia-treated BMEC. Meanwhile, superoxide dismutase activity was increased significantly in the presence of VE. It is inferred that VE displayed cytoprotective effects on hyperthermia-induced damage in BMEC through increasing intracellular antioxidant levels and decreasing lipid peroxidation.
... Heat stress probably compromises oocyte quality by altering patterns of follicular development [27], steroid production [26,28] and gene expression [29]. Direct effects of elevated temperature on the growing oocyte are also possible but this has not been examined. ...
Article
Heat stress causes large reductions in fertility in lactating dairy cows. The magnitude and geographical extent of this problem is increasing because improvements in milk yield have made it more difficult for cows to regulate body temperature during warm weather. There have been efforts to improve fertility during heat stress by exploiting determinants of oocyte and embryonic responses to elevated temperature. Among these determinants are genotype, stage of development, and presence of cytoprotective molecules in the reproductive tract. One effective strategy for increasing pregnancy rate during heat stress is to use embryo transfer to bypass effects of elevated temperature on the oocyte and early embryo. Pregnancy success to embryo transfer in the summer can be further improved by exposure of embryos to insulin-like growth factor-I during culture before transfer. Among the cytoprotective molecules that have been examined for enhancing fertility during heat stress are bovine somatotropin and various antioxidants. To date, an effective method for delivery of these molecules to increase fertility during heat stress has not been identified. Genes in cattle exist for regulation of body temperature and for cellular resistance to elevated temperature. Although largely unidentified, the existence of these genes offers the possibility for their incorporation into dairy breeds through crossbreeding or on an individual-gene basis. In summary, physiological or genetic manipulation of the cow to improve embryonic resistance to elevated temperature is a promising approach for enhancing fertility of lactating dairy cows.
... During hot seasons, follicle selection is impaired and the length of follicular waves may increase. It is believed that heat stress can reduce the quality of oocytes, and disrupt follicular dynamic and steroidogenesis (Badinga et al., 1993;Roth et al., 2001;Ozawa et al., 2005;Payton et al., 2011) resulting in aberrant gene expression (Argov et al., 2005). ...
Article
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Summary Heat shock may affect different aspects of oocyte maturation and its subsequent development to the blastocyst stage. A series of in vitro experiments was performed to determine whether physiologically heat shock (41°C) disrupts the progression of the ovine oocytes through meiosis, activation and blastocyst formation. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were aspirated from 2-6-mm follicles and cultured at 38.5°C (control) or 41°C (heat shock) for the first 12 h of maturation. The oocytes were incubated at 38.5°C during the last 10 h of maturation and 8 days after activation. Results showed that most of the oocytes matured under heat-shock conditions remained at the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) stage and they showed an aberrant chromatin configuration. After heat shock, oocyte diameter and time spent for zona pellucida dissolution increased (P < 0.05). The heat-shocked group had a higher percentage of oocytes with incomplete migration of cortical granules (P < 0.05). The heat-shock condition decreased (P < 0.05) cleavage rates (56.19 versus 89.28%) and morula formation (26.85 versus 37.81%). However, there was no significant difference in blastocyst formation and percentage of hatched blastocysts. At 12 h, heat shock had an adverse effect on embryo quality and reduced inner cell mass number (P < 0.05). Quantitative gene expression analysis showed greater transcripts (P < 0.05) for Na/K-ATPase mRNA in heat-shocked oocytes. To sum up, heat shock has disruptive effects on ovine oocyte maturation and can impair cellular and molecular factors that are important for embryo development.
... The extent of this problem is increasing because intense genetic selection for high milk production is associated with decreased thermoregulatory competence [16,17]. Follicular oocyte development is one of the most critical periods of the reproductive cycle that is affected by heat stress, which alters patterns of follicular development [18], steroid production [19,20] and gene expression [21,22]. As a consequence, oocytes harvested from Holstein cows exposed to heat stress show reduced competence in developing into blastocysts in vitro [12,16,[22][23][24][25]. ...
Article
Oocyte quality is known to be a major cause of infertility in repeat-breeder (RB) and heat-stressed dairy cows. However, the mechanisms by which RB oocytes become less capable of supporting embryo development remain largely unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether the decreased oocyte competence of RB cows during summer is associated with an altered gene expression profile and a decrease in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. Therefore, oocytes collected from heifers (H), non-RB cows in peak lactation (PL) and RB cows were used to evaluate mtDNA amounts as well as the expression levels of genes associated with the mitochondria (MT-CO1, NRF1, POLG, POLG2, PPARGC1A and TFAM), apoptosis (BAX, BCL2 and ITM2B) and oocyte maturation (BMP15, FGF8, FGF10, FGF16, FGF17 and GDF9). The oocytes retrieved from RB cows during winter contained over eight times more mtDNA than those retrieved from RB cows during summer. They also contained significantly less mtDNA than oocytes retrieved from H and PL cows during summer. Moreover, the expression of mitochondria- (NRF1, POLG, POLG2, PPARGC1A and TFAM) and apoptosis-related (BAX and ITM2B) genes, as well as of GDF9, in RB oocytes collected during summer was significantly greater than that in oocytes collected from H and PL cows during the same season. In oocytes from H and PL cows, the expression levels of these genes were lower in those collected during summer compared with winter, but this difference was not observed in oocytes collected from RBs. Altogether, these data provide evidence of altered gene expression and reduced mtDNA copy number in the oocytes collected from RB cows during summer. This indicates a loss of fertility in RB cows during summer, which might be caused by a possible mitochondrial dysfunction associated with a greater chance of oocytes to undergo apoptosis.
... Wolfenson et al. reported that HS caused relatively low plasma concentration of the luteinizing hormone (LH), reduced progesterone secretion by luteal cells and increased the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) [4]. The disruption of steroid hormone secretion was caused by the abnormal expression of their synthetic genes in ovaries under heat stress [5]. Ozawa et al. observed that heat stress during the follicular recruitment phase suppressed the subsequent growth to ovulation, accompanied by decreased LH receptor level and estradiol synthesis activity in the follicles [3]. ...
Article
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Background: Resveratrol, an important phyto-antioxidant commonly found in grapes, mulberry, and other plants, has a variety of functions including anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities. In the current study, we investigated the beneficial effects of resveratrol on in vitro porcine oocyte maturation under heat stress (HS). The effect of resveratrol, melatonin and their combination on alleviating HS was compared according to the maturation rate of oocytes and the development competence of embryos after parthenogenetic activation (PA). Results: Supplementation with resveratrol (2.0 μmol/L) not only improved the nuclear maturation but also raised the blastocyst rate of porcine embryos' PA from oocytes that underwent HS by increasing their glutathione (GSH) level, reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and up-regulating the expression of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). It was also found that melatonin (10(-7) mol/L) and the combination of resveratrol (2.0 μmol/L) plus melatonin (10(-7) mol/L) exhibited more potent effects than resveratrol alone regarding their protective activities on oocyte maturation under HS. Conclusions: This study compared the efficiencies of resveratrol, melatonin and their combination for protecting porcine oocytes from heat stress. The mechanisms are attributed to the fact that each treatment may have different ability to regulate the synthesis of steroid hormones and the expression of mature related genes.
... Compromised steroidogenic capacity of theca and granulose cells, impaired ovarian follicular dynamics ( Argov et al. 2005), depressed thyroid functioning, increase in prolactin levels, and stress-responsive hormones (glucocorticoids), decrease in aldosterone and parathyroid hormone secretion, decline in triiodothyronine (T 3 ) in summer in species such as buffalo and cattle (Marai and Haeeb 2010), with ultimate adverse effects on milk yield ...
Chapter
Livestock is an integral component of economy and livelihood of millions of people worldwide. There is a need to use sustainable methods of animal health and production in an environment challenged by climate change. The native livestock with evolutionary merits to adverse climate and low inputs offers benefits that are good for humans and the environment.
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The steroidogenic capacity of several tissues has been shown to be regulated by lipoproteins. However, the ability of the various lipoprotein classes to affect steroid production in general and estradiol-synthesis in particular has not been established in bovine ovarian cells. In previous studies, we described alterations in the lipoprotein profiles in follicles of different sizes and corresponding changes in lipoprotein-receptor gene expression. In the present study, the effect of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-enriched medium on aromatization competence of whole ovarian follicles was determined in vitro. Gene expression of aromatase increased and that of selective-uptake receptors decreased in the presence of LDL. These results suggest a role for LDL availability in folliculogenesis.
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High ambient temperature has largely reduced the milk production due to the weak heat tolerance ability of Holstein. One potential mechanism for the destructive effect on organism is that the heat stress stimulated excessive cellular toxicants. The glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTP1) has been proposed to play an important role to inactivate toxic metabolites in human malignant tumors. In this study, researchers evaluated the effect of heat stress on GSTP1 mRNA expression in Holstein using semi-quantitative RT-PCR method. With the liver tissue exception, the GSTP1 gene showed relatively high expression level in heart, spleen and kidney tissues in cool ambient temperature. After heat stress treatment, the GSTP1 mRNA expression increased significantly in all studied tissues. We sequenced the 3705 bp fragment containing complete sequence of GSTP1 gene among 15 cows and detected 31 variations. The nonsynonymous variation of G18C (p.M6I) was further scanned in 106 Holsteins using RFLP method to analyze the association of genotypes with heat tolerance ability. However, we did not detect statistical difference of heat tolerance ability among genotypes. To the knowledge, this is the first report to study GSTP1 mRNA expression under heat stress, SNPs distribution and association of genotypes with heat tolerance ability in Holstein. The significantly elevated expression of GSTP1 would suggest the positive role to resist heat stress, especially in liver tissue.
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This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between high environment temperature and humidity and reproductive rates in a equine embryo transfer program in Baixada Fluminense RJ. We evaluated the reproductive history of 60 donor mares and 111 recipient mares during summer of breeding seasons of 2008/2009, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. Daily climatics data of environmental temperature (°C) and relative humidity (%) for the each breeding seasons were obtained from the web site of the National Institute of Meteorology (IN-MET), based on these data we calculated the temperature x humidity index (TUI) wich measures the thermal comfort zone. The reproductive parameters assessed were embryo recovery rate (RR) and pregnancy rate (PR). After the computation of reproductive and climatic data, these were compared to establish relationships between high temperatures and humidity on reproductive rates. There was a negative relationship between RR and high environmental temperatures, especially in the summer time, greater RR at 26°C (71%) and lower RR at 27°C (51.4%) (p <0.05). To PR there was a negative relationship to high environmental temperatures, the higher PR was obtained at 24°C (81.5%) and lowest PG (35%) at 27°C (p <0.05). We conclude that there are relationships between environmental variables and ET success.
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The effects of mild hyperthermia on bovine mammary epithelial cells exposed to 40 °C for 1 h were studied. The results showed that cell viability, ultrastructural features as well as mitochondrial function were significantly influenced by the mild heat treatment (40 °C). There was a considerate decrease in cell viability accompanied by cell loss resulting from apoptosis and necrosis followed by G2/M arrest. Cell death followed the typical cascade, namely decrease in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), mitochondrial swelling and caspase-3 activities dramatically increased; DNA was also damaged. In conclusion, hyperthermia depresses cell viability and induces bovine mammary cell apoptosis and necrosis through the mitochondrial-triggered cell death pathway.
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This study was designed to evaluate the effect of nutritional supplementation offered during the pre- and postpartum periods on serum cholesterol, triglycerides and total lipids of Canchim beef cows and their relationship with folliculogenesis. Thirty cows with predicted calving date between September and October, kept in pastures of Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandú together with their calves, were randomly distributed into three experimental groups: the first received only a mineral mixture (Control Group, CG); the second group received a concentrate with 16%crude protein/kg dry matter (DM) and 3000 kcal digestible energy/kg DM offered for 45 days prepartum and 120 days postpartum (PREG); the third group received the concentrate from parturition until the 120th day postpartum (POSG). Consumption was estimated at 1% of body weight, and each cow received approximately 4.0 kg/day (fresh weight) of supplement. Blood samples were taken and an ultrasound examination of the ovaries was performed twice a week until the 60th day postpartum. The body condition score (BCS) and the weight of the cows were recorded at 15-day intervals from calving until the 60th day postpartum. Data are presented as mean+/-SEM. Mean weight and BCS at calving were, respectively, 448+/-54.9 kg and 6.2+/-0.25 (PREG); 432+/-71.1 kg and 5.5+/-0.69 (POSG); and 434+/-66.4 kg and 5.5+/-0.69 (CG). Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TRIG) and total lipids (TLIP) were measured using colorimetry until the 60th day postpartum. TC averages were PREG 186+/-62.6 mg/dL, POSG 159+/-43.1mg/dL and CG 133+/-35.1mg/dL (P<0.05). For TRIG, the means were PREG 29+/-11.3mg/dL (P<0.05), POSG 24+/-8.1mg/dL and CG 26+/-12.1mg/dL (P>0.05). Serum concentrations of TLIP were PREG 588+/-145.6 mg/dL, POSG 512+/-137.6 mg/dL and CG 452+/-122.4 mg/dL (P<0.05). The first dominant follicle (DF) was identified on Day 21+/-10.3 (PREG), 36+/-28.5 (POSG) and 51+/-32.8 (CG) after calving. The difference between PREG and CG was significant (P<0.05). TC was positively correlated with the calving to first estrus interval (P<0.05). Results showed that nutritional supplementation before parturition assured good body condition at calving and suggested that it was effective at increasing cholesterol availability to maintain ovarian follicle function and to favor earlier resumption of ovarian activity.
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The aim of this study was to characterize the immediate effects of heat stress on plasma FSH and inhibin concentrations, and its involvement in follicular dynamics during a complete oestrous cycle, and to examine a possible delayed effect of heat stress on follicular development. Holstein dairy cows were oestrous synchronized and randomly assigned to either cooled (n = 7) or heat-stressed (n = 6) treatment groups. During a complete oestrous cycle, control cows, which were cooled, maintained normothermia, whereas heat-stressed cows, which were exposed to direct solar radiation, developed hyperthermia. At the end of this oestrous cycle (treated cycle), both groups were cooled and maintained normothermia for the first 10 days of the subsequent oestrous cycle. Throughout this period, follicular development was examined by ultrasonography, and plasma samples were collected. During the second follicular wave of the treated oestrous cycle, a significantly larger cohort of medium sized follicles (6-9 mm) was found in heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (P < 0.05). The enhanced growth of follicles in this wave in heat-stressed cows was associated with a higher plasma FSH increase which lasted 4 more days (days 8-13 of the oestrous cycle; P < 0.05), and coincided with a decrease in the plasma concentration of immunoreactive inhibin (days 5-18 of the oestrous cycle; P < 0.05). During the follicular phase (days 17-20 of the treated cycle), heat-stressed cows showed an increase in the number of large follicles (>/= 10 mm), and the preovulatory plasma FSH surge was significantly higher in heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (P < 0.01). The effect of heat stress was also observed during the first follicular wave of the subsequent cycle: the postovulatory plasma FSH concentration was higher (P < 0.01), but fewer medium follicles developed, and the first follicular wave decreased at a slower rate in previously heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (0.40 and 0.71 follicles per day, respectively). This study shows both immediate and delayed effects of heat stress on follicular dynamics, which were associated with high FSH and low inhibin concentrations in plasma. These alterations may have physiological significance that could be associated with low fertility of cattle during the summer and autumn.
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Follicular growth rates were studied in 5 Hereford-Holstein cross heifers on Day 14 of the oestrous cycle. The granulosa cell mitotic index (MI) was measured in non-atretic antral follicles of various diameters (0.13-8.57 mm) from Bouin-fixed ovaries collected before (199, control) and 2 h after colchicine treatment (189, treated). In control ovaries, follicles of 0.68-1.52 mm had a higher MI than those of other size classes (P less than 0.05). In colchicine-treated ovaries, the MI of follicles ranging from 0.68 to 8.57 mm increased more than that of other sized follicles, so that the mitotic time was shorter (0.78 h vs 1.32 h) in medium and large sized follicles (0.68-8.57 mm) than in smaller follicles (0.13-0.67 mm). Calculations based on the number of granulosa cells in follicles of various classes and from the time required to double the number of cells within a follicle indicate that a follicle takes 27 days to grow from 0.13 to 0.67 mm, 6.8 days from 0.68 to 3.67 mm and 7.8 days from 3.68 to 8.56 mm, indicating that growth rates varied with the size of the follicle. A period equivalent to 2 oestrous cycles would therefore be required for a follicle to grow through the antral phase, i.e. from 0.13 mm to preovulatory size. Increased MI, decreased mitotic time and increased atresia found in follicles larger than 0.68 mm could indicate a change in the follicular metabolism during its maturation.
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This paper describes a rapid two-step procedure for the purification of the low density lipoprotein receptor from bovine adrenal cortex membranes. After solubilization with nonionic detergents, the receptor adheres tightly to a DEAE-cellulose column at pH 6. Following elution from DEAE-cellulose, detergent is removed, leaving the receptor in a soluble form. The receptor is then subjected to affinity chromatography on low density lipoprotein coupled to Sepharose 4B. The receptor is eluted with suramin, a newly-found inhibitor of low density lipoprotein-receptor interactions. This procedure yields a single protein with a molecular weight of 164,000. The same protein is also isolated when the crude DEAE-cellulose fraction is applied to an immunoaffinity column containing a monoclonal antibody directed against the receptor. The 164,000-dalton receptor protein has an acidic isoelectric point of 4.6, which rises to 4.8 after extensive treatment with neuraminidase. The purified receptor retains all of the binding properties of the receptor of intact cells and crude membranes.
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Effects of acute and seasonal heat stress on tonic and GnRH-induced LH and FSH secretion were examined during the early follicular phase of the oestrous cycle of cows (n = 40). Prostaglandin F2 alpha was injected on day 11 +/- 1 of the oestrous cycle and on the next day blood samples were collected at intervals of 15-20 min for 14 h, and i.m. injection of GnRH was given after 7 h. Treatments compared were control versus acute heat stress during blood sampling in winter, and cooled versus chronic heat stress in summer. Before GnRH injection, chronic heat stress in summer did not affect basal concentrations of plasma LH, but did lower LH pulse amplitude. However, in cows with low plasma oestradiol (1.9 +/- 0.2 pg ml-1), the mean and basal concentrations and amplitude of tonic LH pulses were reduced by heat stress (3.1, 2.1 and 4.8 versus 1.9, 1.4 and 2.5 ng ml-1, respectively). In cows with high plasma oestradiol (6.3 +/- 0.5 pg ml-1), these parameters were not affected. In chronically heat stressed cows in summer, GnRH-induced increases in plasma LH and FSH concentrations were the same as in the cooled controls. However, in cows with low plasma oestradiol, mean concentrations of FSH in plasma (31.8 versus 25.5 ng ml-1), the peak of the GnRH-induced FSH and LH surge (FSH 47.4 versus 35.6 ng ml-1, LH 50.7 versus 37.3 ng ml-1) and the shape of the GnRH-induced FSH and LH curves (treatment by time interaction) were significantly lower in non-cooled versus cooled controls.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Isolation and characterization of cDNAs encoding human very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor revealed the presence of two forms of the receptor: one consists of five domains that resemble the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, and a variant form lacks an O-linked sugar domain. More than 96% of amino acids in the human and rabbit VLDL receptors are identical, whereas those in the LDL receptors are less conserved between the two species (76%). The human VLDL receptor gene contains 19 exons spanning approximately 40 kilobases. The exon-intron organization of the gene is almost the same as that of the LDL receptor gene, except for an extra exon that encodes an additional repeat in the ligand binding domain of the VLDL receptor. Analysis of DNA from human-rodent hybrid cells revealed that the gene is located on chromosome 9. Although the 5'-flanking region of the VLDL receptor gene contains two copies of a sterol regulatory element-1 like sequence, the levels of mRNA for the receptor in THP-1 human monocytic leukemia cells were unchanged by sterols. The 5'-untranslated region of the receptor mRNA contains a polymorphic triplet repeat found also in the fragile X syndrome gene.
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The effect of progestin and luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency on dynamics of dominant follicle growth during the first follicular wave after oestrus was examined in non-lactating Holstein cows by ultrasonography. On day 8 of the cycle, cows (n = 8) received a luteolytic dose of prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha; 25 mg) and an ear implant of Norgestomet (6 mg). On day 18, cows were assigned to a crossover design in which the implants were retained (T1) or replaced with a new implant (T2). All implants were removed on day 23. After oestrus, cows underwent a normal intervening oestrus cycle. On day 8 of the third cycle, T1 and T2 were reversed among cows. Ultrasonography and blood sampling were performed on alternate days throughout the experiment. On days 10 and 19 of the third cycle, blood was sampled every 15 min for 8 h in concert with an additional control group (n = 3) sampled on day 10 of the cycle. Progesterone concentration on day 8 before PGF2 alpha was 6.5 +/- 0.5 ng ml-1. Dominance of the first wave dominant follicle was extended beyond day 18 in 15 of 16 cows for T1 and T2 periods. The original dominant follicle ovulated in five of eight T1 and none of eight T2 periods (P < 0.01). New dominant follicles were detected on day 24 +/- 1 in T1 (n = 3) and on day 20.6 +/- 1 in T2 (n = 8; P < 0.01) cows.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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The scavenger receptor, class B, type I (SR-BI) binds HDL and mediates the selective transfer of cholesteryl esters from HDL to cultured cells. The tissue distribution of SR-BI in mice suggests that this receptor may deliver HDL-cholesterol to the liver and to nonplacental steroidogenic tissues. To examine the role of SR-BI in vivo, we determined its tissue and cell type-specific expression pattern and regulation in rats. High levels of immunodetectable SR-BI were present in the adrenal gland, ovary, and liver. In pregnant animals, the mammary gland also expressed high levels of the protein. SR-BI was localized by immunofluorescence to the surfaces of steroidogenic cells in the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis of the adrenal gland and to the corpus luteal cells of the ovary. High-dose estrogen treatment dramatically reduced SR-BI in the liver and increased SR-BI in the adrenal gland and corpus luteal cells of the ovary. These estrogen-induced increases in SR-BI in the adrenal gland and ovary were accompanied by enhanced in vivo uptake of fluorescent lipid from HDL. The administration of human chorionic gonadotropin induced a dramatic increase in SR-BI in the steroidogenic Leydig cells of the testes. These findings suggest that SR-BI mediates physiologically relevant uptake of cholesterol from HDL to nonplacental steroidogenic tissues in vivo.
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The present study concerned the seasonal and acute effects of heat stress on steroid concentrations in follicular fluid and on steroid production by granulosa and theca interna cells, in bovine dominant follicles. Three groups of cows were studied: summer (n = 5), autumn (n = 5) and winter (n = 9) cows. During the winter season, another group of cows was acutely heat-stressed from days 3 through 5 of the estrous cycle (n = 5). On day 7 of the estrous cycle, follicular fluid from first-wave dominant follicles was aspirated, and dispersed granulosa and theca cells from each seasonal group were incubated for 18 h at normothermic (37.5 degrees C) or high (40.5 degrees C) temperatures. Cells were incubated in media only or in media containing testosterone (300 ng ml-1, for granulosa cells) or forskolin (4 micrograms ml-1, for theca cells). In follicular fluid the 17 beta-estradiol concentration was high (P < 0.05) in winter and low in autumn, and summer, the androstenedione concentration was high in summer (P < 0.05), low in autumn, and intermediate in winter. During the winter season, acute in vivo heat stress increased follicular fluid androstenedione and decreased estradiol to levels comparable with those prevailing in summer. Basal and forskolin-stimulated androstenedione production by theca cells was higher (P < 0.05) in the winter group than in the summer and autumn groups, and also higher than in the cows that were heat-stressed during winter, which suggests that theca cell function is susceptible to chronic (summer), short-term (winter) and delayed (autumn) heat stresses. In vitro incubation at high temperature (40.5 degrees C) reduced the high, forskolin-stimulated androstenedione production in winter (P < 0.05). Estradiol production by granulosa cells was high in winter and autumn, and low in summer (P < 0.05). Acute heat stress in winter did not alter estradiol production relative to winter controls, whereas a high incubation temperature (40.5 degrees C) reduced (P < 0.05) estradiol production only in the autumn, when the highest production rate was recorded. The results indicate a differential effect of heat stress on the functions of granulosa and theca cells. Both concurrent and delayed effects of heat stress on the steroidogenic capacity of ovarian follicles in cattle are presented.
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This study examined the mechanisms by which calcium soaps of fatty acids and bovine somatotropin (bST) affect production and reproduction of high producing cows. Calcium soaps of fatty acids were fed at 2.2% dry matter, and 500 mg of Zn-sometribove (Monsanto Inc., St Louis, MO) were injected subcutaneously every 14 d from 10 to 150 d in milk (DIM). Production of fat-corrected milk was increased by 3.5 kg/d when calcium soaps of fatty acids were fed, by 6.1 kg/d when bST was administered, and by 7.4 kg/d when calcium soaps of fatty acids were fed and bST was administered. Body weight was similar for cows on all treatments until 85 DIM after which cows that were treated with bST had lower body weights. Body condition scores decreased more for cows treated with bST and began increasing later and more slowly. Treatment with bST resulted in more cows that experienced first ovulation after 30 DIM, and more cows on the control treatment exhibited first estrus before 35 DIM. Days open were greater when bST was administered. After the first artificial insemination, conception rates were similar for cows on the control treatment and for cows fed calcium soaps of fatty acids; conception rates after the first artificial insemination were low for all cows treated with bST. Pregnancy rates at 120 and 150 DIM were decreased by bST. Number of DIM to first ovulation, number of DIM to first estrus, and days open were negatively correlated with glucose and cholesterol concentrations in plasma. Production of fat-corrected milk was correlated with days open and with concentrations of triglycerides in plasma, nonesterified fatty acids, and cholesterol. Increased production had different effects on reproduction when induced by calcium soaps of fatty acids or bST treatment. Some of the adverse effects of bST treatments were alleviated by calcium soaps of fatty acids.
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Membrane physiology, plasma lipid levels, and intracellular sterol homeostasis are regulated by both fatty acids and cholesterol. Sterols regulate gene expression of key enzymes of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism through proteolysis of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP), which binds to sterol regulatory elements (SRE) contained in promoters of these genes. We investigated the effect of fatty acids on SRE-dependent gene expression and SREBP. Consistent results were obtained in three different cell lines (HepG2, Chinese hamster ovary, and CV-1) transfected with SRE-containing promoters linked to the luciferase expression vector. We show that micromolar concentrations of oleate and other polyunsaturated fatty acids (C18:2-C22:6) dose-dependently (0.075-0.6 mmol) decreased transcription of SRE-regulated genes by 20-75%. Few or no effects were seen with saturated free fatty acids. Fatty acid effects on SRE-dependent gene expression were independent and additive to those of exogenous sterols. Oleate decreased levels of the mature sterol regulatory element-binding proteins SREBP-1 and -2 and HMG-CoA synthase mRNA. Oleate had no effect in sterol regulation defective Chinese hamster ovary cells or in cells transfected with mutant SRE-containing promoters. We hypothesize that unsaturated fatty acids increase intracellular regulatory pools of cholesterol and thus affect mature SREBP levels and expression of SRE-dependent genes.
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The effect of fat and bovine somatotropin (bST) on preovulatory follicular hormones and lipids was evaluated by feeding cows for 150 d from parturition a control diet, a control diet plus 0.55 kg/d of calcium soaps of fatty acids, or a control diet with 500 mg of bST injected every 14 d. Fourteen days after a synchronized or natural estrus, cows were injected with a PGF2 alpha analogue; 48 h later, follicular fluid from all ovarian follicles > 8 mm was aspirated. Cows fed fat or injected with bST produced more milk and milk solids than did control cows, and cows on the bST treatment lost more body condition after calving than did cows on the other treatments. Both treatments changed the proportion of estradiol-active follicles (> 400 ng of estradiol/ml of follicular fluid) and the correlation between follicular fluid estradiol concentration and the total number large follicles per cow. In follicles aspirated between 60 and 90 DIM the percentage of estradiol-active follicles was 67, 40, and 0 for cows on the control, calcium soaps of fatty acids, and bST treatments, respectively. After 90 DIM, no differences existed between treatments in the percentage of estradiol-active follicles. Estradiol concentration in follicular fluid was correlated with DIM at follicle aspiration (r = 0.51). The proportion of oleic acid in free fatty acids in plasma at 50 DIM was lower in control cows and was lower in follicular fluid of estradiol-active follicles. Both calcium soaps of fatty acids and bST had a considerable effect on follicular development and activity and the composition of fatty acids in follicles.
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The aim of this study was to characterize the immediate effects of heat stress on plasma FSH and inhibin concentrations, and its involvement in follicular dynamics during a complete oestrous cycle, and to examine a possible delayed effect of heat stress on follicular development. Holstein dairy cows were oestrous synchronized and randomly assigned to either cooled (n = 7) or heat-stressed (n = 6) treatment groups. During a complete oestrous cycle, control cows, which were cooled, maintained normothermia, whereas heat-stressed cows, which were exposed to direct solar radiation, developed hyperthermia. At the end of this oestrous cycle (treated cycle), both groups were cooled and maintained normothermia for the first 10 days of the subsequent oestrous cycle. Throughout this period, follicular development was examined by ultrasonography, and plasma samples were collected. During the second follicular wave of the treated oestrous cycle, a significantly larger cohort of medium sized follicles (6-9 mm) was found in heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (P < 0.05). The enhanced growth of follicles in this wave in heat-stressed cows was associated with a higher plasma FSH increase which lasted 4 more days (days 8-13 of the oestrous cycle; P < 0.05), and coincided with a decrease in the plasma concentration of immunoreactive inhibin (days 5-18 of the oestrous cycle; P < 0.05). During the follicular phase (days 17-20 of the treated cycle), heat-stressed cows showed an increase in the number of large follicles (>/= 10 mm), and the preovulatory plasma FSH surge was significantly higher in heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (P < 0.01). The effect of heat stress was also observed during the first follicular wave of the subsequent cycle: the postovulatory plasma FSH concentration was higher (P < 0.01), but fewer medium follicles developed, and the first follicular wave decreased at a slower rate in previously heat-stressed cows than in cooled cows (0.40 and 0.71 follicles per day, respectively). This study shows both immediate and delayed effects of heat stress on follicular dynamics, which were associated with high FSH and low inhibin concentrations in plasma. These alterations may have physiological significance that could be associated with low fertility of cattle during the summer and autumn.
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During the autumn, the conception rate of dairy cattle in warm countries is low although ambient temperatures have decreased and cows are no longer exposed to summer thermal stress, indicating that there may be a delayed effect of heat stress on cattle fertility. Two experiments were conducted to examine possible delayed effects of heat stress on follicular characteristics and steroid production at two distinct stages of follicular growth: medium-sized and preovulatory follicles, 20 and 26 days after heat exposure, respectively. Lactating cows were subjected to heat stress for 12 h a day in an environmental chamber, during days 2-6 of a synchronized oestrous cycle. In Expt 1, ovaries were collected on day 3 of the subsequent cycle, before selection of the dominant follicle, and medium-sized follicles were classified as atretic or healthy. In Expt 2, on day 7 of the subsequent cycle, PGF(2a) was administered and preovulatory follicles were collected 40 h later. In both experiments, follicular fluid was aspirated, granulosa and thecal cells were incubated, and steroid production was determined. In healthy medium-sized follicles (Expt 1), oestradiol production by granulosa cells and androstenedione production by thecal cells were lower (P < 0.05) and the concentration of progesterone in the follicular fluid was higher in cows that had been previously heat-stressed than in control cows (P < 0.05). In preovulatory follicles (Expt 2), the viability of granulosa cells was lower (P < 0.05) and the concentration of androstenedione in the follicular fluid and its production by thecal cells were lower (P < 0.05) in cows that had been previously heat-stressed than in control cows. In both experiments, the oestradiol concentrations in the follicular fluids were not altered by heat stress. These results demonstrate a delayed effect of heat stress on steroid production and follicular characteristics in both medium-sized and preovulatory follicles; this effect could be related to the low fertility of cattle in the autumn.
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The aim of this study was to examine the function of granulosa cells and hormone concentrations in follicular fluid in bovine ovarian follicles during selection of the first dominant follicle. Ovaries were obtained from beef heifers on days 1-5 after ovulation: follicles > 4 mm in diameter were dissected and follicular fluid and granulosa cells were collected from individual follicles. Oestradiol production by granulosa cells after culture with testosterone was used to determine aromatase activity and responsiveness to gonadotrophins was determined by cAMP production after culture with FSH or LH. Concentrations of oestradiol, progesterone and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs)-4 and -5 were measured in follicular fluid. Follicles were classified as largest or smaller (days 1 and 2), or dominant or subordinate (days 3-5). Aromatase activity was greater in granulosa cells from the largest follicle than in granulosa cells from smaller follicles on days 1, 3, 4 and 5 (P < 0.05). Responsiveness to LH was not detected in granulosa cells on day 1, but from day 2 to day 5 cells from the largest follicle were significantly more responsive than cells from smaller follicles (P < 0.05). Responsiveness to FSH was detected in granulosa cells from all follicles from day 1 onwards and did not differ between cells from the largest follicle or smaller follicles on any day. Follicular fluid concentrations of oestradiol and the ratio of oestradiol:progesterone were greater and concentrations of IGFBP-4 and -5 were lower in the largest follicle than in smaller follicles from day 2 to day 5 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, selection of the dominant follicle is associated with increased granulosa cell aromatase activity followed by increased cAMP response to LH and follicular fluid oestradiol concentrations, and decreased follicular fluid concentrations of IGFBP-4 and -5 within 2 days after ovulation.
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The concept that selective transfer of high density lipoprotein (HDL)-derived cholesteryl esters (CE) does not require lipoprotein internalization has been challenged recently by evidence that implicates HDL recycling during the selective uptake process. This has prompted us to examine the role of the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) in selective uptake. LRP is an endocytic receptor for lipoprotein lipase (LpL) and apolipoprotein E (apoE) ligands that are able to mediate selective uptake. We report that molecules that interfere with ligand binding to LRP, such as the receptor-associated protein (RAP), suramin, alpha(2)-macroglobulin, or lactoferrin, inhibit HDL-CE selective uptake by human primary adipocytes and SW872 liposarcoma cells by 35-50%. This partial inhibition of selective uptake from total HDL was not due to preferential inhibition of the HDL(2) or HDL(3) subfractions. Selective uptake by the scavenger receptor BI was not inhibited by RAP, excluding its involvement. Furthermore, in SW872 cells in which LRP was reduced to 14% of control levels by stable antisense expression, selective uptake was attenuated by at least 33%, confirming a role for LRP in this process. RAP, alpha(2)-macroglobulin, lactoferrin, and suramin (individually or in paired combinations) also attenuated selective uptake of HDL-CE by primary human adipocytes by about 40%. On the other hand, human skin fibroblasts express LRP abundantly but lack the capacity for selective uptake, demonstrating that other molecules are required. In SW872 cells, exogenous apoE or LpL can facilitate selective uptake but only the apoE-enhanced uptake can be inhibited by RAP, implicating apoE as a likely co-mediator. We discuss the possible mechanisms by which the endocytic receptor, LRP, can mediate selective uptake.
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This study examined seasonal differences in progesterone (P4) production by granulosa cells (GC) and thecal cells (TC) that were luteinized in vitro during the winter or the summer; it also compared plasma P4 concentrations of lactating dairy cows in the two seasons. First-wave dominant follicles obtained from Holstein cows were dissected on day 6 of the cycle, GC and TC were separated, enzymatically dispersed, and cultured for 9 days in media containing 1% fetal calf serum, forskolin (10 micromol/mL) and insulin (2 microg/mL), to induce cell luteinization. All experimental procedures were identical and characteristics of the follicles were similar in the two seasons. During 9 days of culture, P4 production by luteinized GC was higher in winter than in summer, but the difference only tended to be significant. In contrast, luteinized TC produced three times as much P4 in winter as in summer (324 versus 100 ng/10(5)cells). In the in vivo experiment, P4 concentrations in plasma collected during entire estrous cycles in winter and summer were compared. The cows were, on average, at 70 days postpartum and yielded similar amounts of milk. Concentrations of progesterone in plasma were significantly higher in winter than in summer; during the mid-luteal phase the difference between the two seasons was 1.5 ng/mL. These results indicate that chronic effects of heat-stress are possibly carried over from an impaired follicle to an impaired corpus luteum (CL), and that luteinized TC are more susceptible to heat-stress than luteinized GC.
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Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and migration are important events in the development of atherosclerosis. The low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein (LRP1) mediates suppression of SMC migration induced by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Here we show that LRP1 forms a complex with the PDGF receptor (PDGFR). Inactivation of LRP1 in vascular SMCs of mice causes PDGFR overexpression and abnormal activation of PDGFR signaling, resulting in disruption of the elastic layer, SMC proliferation, aneurysm formation, and marked susceptibility to cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis. The development of these abnormalities was reduced by treatment with Gleevec, an inhibitor of PDGF signaling. Thus, LRP1 has a pivotal role in protecting vascular wall integrity and preventing atherosclerosis by controlling PDGFR activation.
Article
The high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, or scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), is critical for cholesterol transport and a potential target for hypercholesterolemic drugs. Thus, elucidation of the mechanism underlying regulation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene is essential. It has been previously shown that there is a correlation between depletion in ovarian cholesteryl ester content and increased HDL receptor SR-BI expression in response to hormonal stimulation. We wanted to determine whether the levels of mature sterol response element-binding protein-1a (SREBP-1a), a key protein in the transcriptional regulation of several genes by sterols, are affected under these conditions. Thus, Western blot analysis was carried out. Consistent with the possibility that SREBP-1a may be involved in the regulation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene, we found that mature SREBP-1a levels increased up to 11-fold in the ovary after treatment with 50 U hCG. This increase in mature SREBP-1a protein levels correlated with a 30% decrease in ovarian cholesterol levels. These changes in both SREBP-1a and cholesterol levels preceded a 2-fold induction of HDL receptor SR-BI protein levels. To determine whether SREBP-1a could directly regulate the expression of the rat HDL receptor SR-BI gene, approximately 2.2 kb of the receptor SR-BI promoter were cloned and sequenced, and deletion analysis and mobility shift assays were performed. The results of these studies demonstrate that the rat HDL receptor SR-BI promoter contains two sterol response elements (pSRE and dSRE) through which SREBP-1a can bind and activate transcription of this gene. These motifs are similar to known SRE motifs reported for sterol-sensitive genes, and the pSRE is located between two Sp1 sites, similar to the SRE-1 motif in the low density lipoprotein receptor. The cysteine protease inhibitor N-acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal, which inhibits SREBP degradation, enhanced the effect of SREBP-1a on the regulation of the rat HDL receptor SR-BI gene. It has previously been shown that tropic hormones such as hCG can also influence gene expression by increasing cAMP levels. Consistent with this fact, me have recently shown that steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) mediates cAMP activation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene. Thus, we decided to examine whether SREBP-1a could cooperate with SF-1 to enhance transcription this gene. The results confirm that indeed both SF-1 and SREBP-1a synergize to induce HDL receptor SR-BI gene expression.
Article
The low-density Lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) is a 4544-amino-acid membrane protein which closely resembles the LDL receptor in its arrangement of cysteine-rich motifs. Binding studies have suggested that one function of the molecule is as a receptor for ligands containing apolipoprotein E. We present here the sequence and structure of the promoter region of the LRP. These data show that the LRP contains no sterol regulatory element, and is not down-regulated by sterols like the LDL receptor. This lends further support to the identity of the LRP as a chylomicron remnant receptor.
Article
Growth of ovarian Graafian follicles and cytodifferentiation of granulosa and theca cells are regulated by gonadotropins, sex steroids and peptidyl growth factors. For example insulin and intraovarian insulin-like growth factor type I (IGF-I) may amplify the actions of both follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in promoting biochemical luteinization and enhancing steroidogenesis. To explore further the notion of interactions between insulinomimetic peptides and LH and to examine the associated mechanisms, we have established porcine granulosa cells in monolayer culture for 48 h in 3% serum with insulin (1 μg/ml), estradiol (0.5 μg/ml), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH, 5 ng/ml) to allow cell anchorage, facilitate in vitro cytodifferentiation and confer LH responsiveness. To limit any carry-over effects of serum, granulosa cells were stabilized overnight in serum-free medium. Studies were then initiated to assess the impact of insulin on the dose-responsive actions of LH. A maximally effective concentration of insulin (1 μg/ml) synergistically augmented LH’s dose-dependent ampilification of progesterone and cAMP accumulation; viz. by ≈twofold (progesterone) and ≈2.5-fold (cAMP) above that observed in maximally LH-stimulated cultures (P<0.001). Mechanistically, insulin significantly enhanced the sensitivity of granulosa cells to LH’s drive of cAMP accumulation [ED50 for LH 61±14 ng/ml (control) vs. 10±1.0 ng/ml (insulin) (P<0.01)]. Insulin also augmented the maximal stimulatory effect of LH; i.e. LH efficacy rose from 6.5±0.4 to 17±1.4 (pmole cAMP/μg DNA/48 h; P<0.001). Insulin dose-response analysis showed that insulin alone minimally elevated basal, but significantly heightened LH's stimulation of progesterone and cAMP accumulation at (insulin) concentrations as low as 3–10 ng/ml. The molecular mechanisms underlying insulin and LH’s synergy were assessed by RNase protection assays with (porcine) cRNA probes encoding the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R), Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein (StAR), P450 cholesterol sidechain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) and (as a possible negative control) Sterol Carrier Protein 2 (SCP-2) [data normalized to constitutive 18S rRNA]. Non linear least-squares analysis was applied to confirm or refute an hypothesis of interactive synergy between LH and insulin on gene expression. LH and insulin alone exerted no effect on StAR message accumulation, and LH alone minimally stimulated P450scc and LDL-R mRNA’s accumulation at 48 h. In contrast, insulin in combination with LH augmented StAR mRNA concentrations by ≈5–10-fold and stimulated LDL-R message levels by threefold above the respective maximally LH-driven values (P<0.01). Maximal P450scc mRNA expression was enhanced twofold by cotreatment with LH and insulin compared with maximal LH-treated cultures. In contrast SCP-2 mRNA accumulation remained unaffected by any treatment. In summary, we have used a serum-free, in vitro differentiated porcine granulosa cell culture system to assess regulatory interactions between the disparate first messengers, LH and insulin. We observe marked LH-insulin steroidogenic synergy after 48 h of joint hormonal stimulation, and further clarify that the mechanism(s) of synergy include augmentation of cAMP production and increased steady-state concentrations of transcripts of key sterol-regulatory genes; namely, LDL-R, StAR, and P450scc, but not SCP-2. Since the encoded products of these genes variously control sterol substrate uptake, delivery to and utilization in mitochondrial steroidogenesis, we speculate that the concerted actions of insulin-like peptides and LH may contribute to steroidogenic differentiation during the later stages of follicular maturation and the granulosa-luteal cell transition.
Article
This study examines the ability of human high density lipoproteins (HDL3) to deliver cholesteryl esters to human granulosa cells and describes the selective cholesterol pathway by which this occurs. Luteinized cells obtained from subjects undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer procedures were incubated with native HDL3 (or radiolabeled or fluorescently labeled HDL cholesteryl esters) to determine whether cells from humans (in which HDL is not the primary circulating lipoprotein species) can nevertheless interiorize and appropriately process cholesteryl esters for steroidogenesis. The results indicate that hormone-stimulated granulosa cells actively and efficiently use human HDL-derived cholesterol for progesterone production. More than 95% of the mass of HDL cholesteryl esters entering cells does so through the nonlysosomal (selective) pathway, i.e. cholesteryl esters released from HDL are taken up directly by the cells without internalization of apoproteins. Once internalized, the cholesteryl esters are either hydrolyzed and directly used for steroidogenesis or stored in the cells as cholesteryl esters until needed. The utilization of the internalized cholesteryl esters is a hormone-regulated event; i.e. luteinized human granulosa cells internalize and store large quantities of HDL-donated cholesteryl esters when available, but further processing of the cholesteryl esters (hydrolysis, re-esterification, or use in steroidogenesis) does not occur unless the cells are further stimulated to increase progesterone secretion.
Article
The hormonal regulation of thecal cell function was investigated with cells isolated at various stages of antral follicle development. Bovine thecal cells were isolated from small antral, medium antral, and large Graffian follicles (small, medium, and large ovarian follicles). Serum-free cultures of thecal cells were established and viable for a minimum of 6-8 days of culture. The purity of the thecal cell population was characterized cytochemically and was found to contain less than 5% endothelial cell and/or granulosa cell contamination. The steroidogenic capacity of this purified population of thecal cells in serum-free culture was examined through an analysis of androgen and progesterone production. Androgen production was high during the first 3 days of culture, then declined to undetectable levels. Production of androstenedione was approximately 10-fold higher than production of testosterone. Progesterone production remained relatively constant throughout the 8-day culture period. hCG was found to stimulate androgen production during days 1-3 of culture, but had a negligible effect on progesterone production. In contrast, hCG stimulated progesterone production during days 3-6 of culture, but had a negligible effect on androgen production. Insulin stimulated progesterone production during days 3-6 of culture, but had no effect on androgen or progesterone production during days 1-3 of culture. The minimum effective concentrations of hCG and insulin required to stimulate steroidogenesis of the thecal cells ranged from approximately 1-10 ng/ml. Addition of serum to the cultures decreased androgen production and suppressed the hormone responsiveness of the cells. Thecal cells in culture appear to alter their steroidogenic capacity from an androgen-producing cell to a progesterone-producing cell. Analysis of the developmental regulation of thecal cell function revealed that androgen production and hormone responsiveness were relatively constant in small, medium, and large follicles. In contrast, progesterone production and hormone responsiveness were highest in small follicles, intermediate in medium follicles, and lowest in large follicles. A more general analysis of the developmental regulation of thecal cell function examined the secretion of radiolabeled proteins. A large number of radiolabeled proteins were secreted by thecal cells, ranging in molecular mass from 5-500 kDa. Interestingly, insulin and hCG had no major effect on secretion of proteins by cells isolated from any of the stages of development examined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Article
Since in vitro studies have demonstrated that capillary endothelial cells are thermosensitive, experiments were performed to determine the (in vivo) heat sensitivity of blood capillaries and their endothelial cells. Angiogenesis discs were implanted subcutaneously in mice, and vascular growth was stimulated by slow release of epidermal growth factor placed in the center of each disc. After 5 days of growth the discs were subjected to radiofrequency-induced hyperthermia. Heat exposures were 41, 42, 43, and 44 degrees C for 30 min. Control discs were sham treated. Seven days after heating the discs were extracted and paraffin embedded. Centripetal (radial) vessel growth was measured in magnified medial planar sections. An inverse relationship was demonstrated between vessel growth and exposure temperature. The extent of the fibroblastic growth was also inversely proportional to temperature. Thus, at least in this system, the microvasculature shows dose-dependent damage by hyperthermia, consistent with preceding in vitro observations. This inhibition of angiogenesis may result from endothelial cell killing, interference with cell replication, inhibition of cell migration, or a combination of these mechanisms.
Article
The LDL receptor, which mediates the cellular uptake of cholesterol, is subject to classic end-product repression when cholesterol accumulates in the cell. We here show that the sensitivity to end-product repression depends upon a 42 bp element in the 5'-flanking region of the human LDL receptor gene. This sequence, designated sterol regulatory element 42 (SRE 42), contains two 16 bp direct repeats that exhibit positive and negative transcriptional activities. Cells transfected with a fusion gene containing SRE 42 inserted into the promoter of the herpes simplex viral TK gene produced abundant mRNA when grown without sterols. When sterols were present, the mRNA was reduced by 57%-95%, depending on the number of copies of SRE in the fusion gene. These transfection data plus DNAase I footprinting experiments suggest a model of end-product repression in which the end product (sterols) opposes the action of a positive transcription factor that binds to a discrete promoter element.
Article
The hypotheses that secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) varies with season and that estradiol may modulate the seasonal fluctuation in secretion of LH in cows were investigated. Seven mature cows were ovariectomized approximately 30 days before initiation of the experiment. Three of the ovariectomized cows (OVX-E2) were administered a subcutaneous estradiol implant that provided low circulating levels of 17 beta-estradiol. The remaining 4 cows (OVX) were not implanted. From December 21, 1982, to September 20, 1984, blood samples were collected sequentially (at 10-min intervals for 6 h) at each summer and winter solstice, and each spring and autumn equinox. In addition, from March 17, 1983, to March 17, 1984, sequential samples were collected midway between each solstice and equinox. Concentration of LH was measured in all samples, and concentration of estradiol was measured in pools of samples. An annual cycle in mean serum concentration of LH and amplitude of LH pulses was detected in both groups of cows. The seasonal pattern did not differ in the two treatment groups. Serum concentration of LH and amplitude of LH pulses were highest around the spring equinox, decreased gradually to the autumn equinox, and then increased and peaked again during the following spring equinox. Frequency of LH pulses and concentration of estradiol in serum did not vary with season. Circulating concentrations of LH and amplitude of pulses tended to be higher in OVX-E2 than OVX cows throughout the experimental period. Frequency of pulses of LH was lower in OVX-E2 than OVX cows throughout the experiment. Concentrations of estradiol were higher in the implanted cows.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
In cattle, a dramatic increase in plasma estradiol occurs during the short 2- to 3-day follicular phase. The objective of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms that mediate this critical change, specifically whether increases in the steroidogenic ability of granulosa and thecal cells of the preovulatory follicle are associated with increases in the levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) for steroidogenic enzymes. Luteolysis and a follicular phase were induced cycling Holstein heifers (n=15) by injection of a luteolytic dose of prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF 2 alpha) on day 6 or 7 of the estrous cycle (day 0 = estrus), and preovulatory follicles were obtained at three stages of differentiation (0, 12, or 24 h post-PGF2 alpha treatment). To assess developmental changes in steroidogenesis in vivo, estradiol and androstenedione were measured in follicular fluid and in culture medium after a 3-h incubation of granulosa and thecal cells in defined medium with or without gonadotropins. To determine whether changes in mRNA for steroidogenic enzymes are associated with changes in follicular steroidogenesis, levels of mRNA for cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (P450scc), 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta HSD), cytochrome P450 17 alpha-hydroxylase, and cytochrome P450 aromatase (P450arom) were measured in thecal and granulosa cells using ribonuclease protection assays. Concentrations of estradiol in follicular fluid were relatively high at time zero, increased significantly by 12 h, and increased further by 24 h post-PGF2 alpha treatment. However, the aromatizing activity of granulosa cells was high at the time of PGF2 alpha injection and did not increase significantly during the first 24 h after the initiation of luteolysis. The aromatizing activity of granulosa cells was reflected in levels of mRNA for P450arom, which was relatively abundant in granulosa cells obtained before luteolysis and did not increase further during the first 24 h of the follicular phase. Concentrations of androstenedione were virtually undetectable in follicular fluid at time zero and had increased dramatically by 12 and 24 h post-PGF2 alpha treatment. Similarly, thecal cells isolated at 24 h secreted 3-fold more androstenedione than cells isolated at the time of PGF2 alpha injection. Androstenedione production by thecal cells in response to LH was also markedly higher at 12 and 24 h than at the time of PGF2 alpha injection. Likewise; levels of mRNA for P450 17 alpha-hydroxylase increased significantly by 12 h post-PGF2 alpha treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Article
Four experiments were performed to determine whether cooling cows during final maturation of oocytes and early embryonic development or injection of vitamin E at AI prevented adverse effects of heat stress on pregnancy rates in lactating Holstein dairy cows. In Experiment 1, cows were placed in a cooling facility containing sprinklers and forced ventilation or received shade only from 2 to 3 d before until 5 to 6 d after breeding. Although cooling had no effect on detection of estrus, pregnancy rates were increased slightly for cooled cows (8 of 50 cows; 16.0%) compared with those for cows exposed to shade only (2 of 32 cows; 6.2%). In Experiments 2 through 4, cows were administered 3000 IU of vitamin E or placebo i.m. at AI during two consecutive summers and one winter in Florida. Administration of vitamin E had no consistent beneficial effect on pregnancy rates during summer or winter. Short-term cooling improved pregnancy rates slightly in heat-stressed cows, but administration of vitamin E had no beneficial effects on pregnancy rates during heat stress. Further improvements in cooling schemes during early pregnancy and delineation of antioxidant effects are necessary before such systems become practical for improvement of fertility in heat-stressed dairy cows.
This study used radioactive microspheres to examine blood flow distribution in the mammary and reproductive systems of hyperthermic (+1 degrees C), anesthetized laboratory rabbits at different stages of pregnancy and lactation. Ovarian, cervical and oviductal blood flows decreased by 20-30% during heat stress while vulval blood flow rose by 40%, irrespective of pregnancy and/or lactation status. Mammary blood flow was unaltered during heat stress at most pregnancy and/or lactation stages, with the exception of a 35% decrease in non-pregnant rabbits in early lactation. Uterine blood flow in non-pregnant rabbits in early and peak lactation decreased by 42% and rose by 33%, respectively. Uterine blood flow response to heat stress in pregnant animals varied among tissues: no changes occurred in the flow to implantation sites (early pregnancy) or to inter-embryonic segments (mid- to late pregnancy); that to gestation sacs decreased by 12-40% at the different lactation stages; and that to maternal placentas decreased in the lactating state by 18%, and rose in the non-lactating state by 50%. Results indicate that pregnancy and lactation modulate vasomotor responses to heat stress in mammary and reproductive tissues, and that the extent of the modulation depends upon their respective stages.
Article
We thank our colleagues Beth Duncan, Jay Horton, Axel Nohturfft, Jih-tung Pai, Juro Sakai, Jin Shimano, and Iichiro Shimomura for helpful comments in the preparation of this review. We thank Ravi Pathak for the immunofluorescence micrograph (Figure 3Figure 3). Our research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL20948) and the Perot Family Foundation.
Article
The objective of this study was to investigate changes in expression of mRNAs encoding FSH receptor (FSHr), LH receptor (LHr), cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (P450(scc)), cytochrome P450 17alpha-hydroxylase (P450(c17)), and cytochrome P450 aromatase (P450(arom)) during recruitment and selection of bovine ovarian follicles. Dairy heifers (4-5 per group) were ovariectomized at 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, or 96 h after initiation of the first follicular wave following estrus as determined by ultrasonography (Time 0 = initiation of follicular wave; mean +/- SEM = 42.0 +/- 2.6 h after estrus). Expression of mRNAs encoding FSHr, LHr, P450(scc), P450(c17), and P450(arom) was detected by in situ hybridization and quantified by image analysis. Antral follicles were classified as healthy or atretic. Healthy follicles expressed higher (p < 0.01) amounts of mRNAs for gonadotropin receptors and steroidogenic enzymes than did atretic follicles, and expression of LHr, FSHr, P450(scc), P450(c17), and P450(arom) increased (p < 0.01) with follicular size and stage of the follicular wave. Expression of mRNAs for P450(scc), P450(arom), and LHr was time- and size-dependent during recruitment and selection. During recruitment, expression of mRNAs for P450(scc) and P450(arom) was first detected in granulosa cells of 16 of 21 of the follicles 4-6 mm in diameter at 12 h. At 24 and 36 h, almost all follicles 6-9 mm in diameter, but not those 4-5 mm in diameter, expressed both P450(scc) and P450(arom) mRNA in the granulosa cells. At 48 h and thereafter, P450(scc) and P450(arom) mRNA were expressed predominantly in one healthy large follicle per cow with a few exceptions. Expression of LHr mRNA was first detected in granulosa cells at 36 h and was always found in granulosa cells of one follicle > or = 8 mm per cow with exception of one cow at 36 h (no expression) and another two cows, one each at 36 and at 84 h (expression in 2 follicles). In addition, LHr mRNA expression in the granulosa cell layer was limited to follicles that also expressed mRNAs for P450(scc) and P450(arom) in the granulosa cells. In summary, follicular recruitment in cattle was associated with expression of P450(scc) and P450(arom) mRNA within granulosa cells, and the process of follicular selection was associated with initiation of LHr mRNA expression in granulosa cells.
Article
Steroidogenic activity in the mature corpus luteum of most mammals depends upon provision of cholesterol from the circulating lipoproteins. In cattle, as in many species, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the major lipoprotein involved. The recent identification of the scavenger receptor SR-BI as an HDL-receptor allows control of this process to be investigated more closely. In this study, we have sequenced the bovine SR-BI HDL-receptor and examined changes in expression of the receptor mRNA during corpus luteum development in vivo and granulosa cell luteinization in vitro. Sequencing of the bovine HDL-receptor showed that it codes for a protein of 509 amino acids with close identity to hamster, mouse, rat and human sequences. Examination of the tissue distribution of the HDL-receptor mRNA showed high levels in adrenal cortex and corpus luteum and lower levels in spleen and liver. Using a semi-quantitative, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction technique levels of HDL-receptor mRNA were measured in corpora lutea from cattle at known stages of the oestrus cycle and in bovine granulosa cells luteinized in culture. Levels of HDL-receptor mRNA were low in isolated bovine granulosa cells, but increased 7-fold during corpus luteum development in vivo and 5-fold during granulosa cell luteinization in culture. Results show that luteinization of granulosa cells is associated with an increase in HDL-receptor RNA levels which, along with changes in steroidogenic enzyme activity, is likely to explain the marked increase in steroidogenic capacity which occurs during corpus luteum formation.
Article
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of vaginal progesterone (P4) administered during the luteal phase, on endometrial morphology during the subsequent oestrous cycle. In experiment 1, lactating Holstein cows were allotted to three groups: (1) Control group in which cows remained untreated; (2) The CIDR group in which cows were treated with two P4-containing controlled intravaginal-drug releasing devices (CIDR) during days (d) 6-12 of the cycle; and (3) The PG + CIDR group of cows that received two prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) injections on d 6 and 7 of the oestrous cycle, to regress the corpus luteum (CL), and were treated with CIDRs on d 6-12, like the CIDR group. All cows were slaughtered on d 3 of the subsequent oestrous cycle. In experiment 2, cows were allotted to three groups: (1) Control cows that remained untreated; (2) CIDR cows that were treated with two CIDRs from d 6 to 15; and (3) Early PG cows that received three i.m. injections of PGF2 alpha on d 3 and 4 of the oestrous cycle to reduce plasma P4. All cows were slaughtered on d 15 of the subsequent cycle. In both experiments, blood was collected during the treated and subsequent cycles to determine P4 and oestradiol (E2) concentrations, and tissue samples from the uterine horn ipsilateral to the CL were collected on the day of slaughter to evaluate endometrial morphology. In both experiments, plasma P4 differed between treatments during the treated cycle but no differences in P4 and E2 concentrations were recorded during the subsequent cycle. In experiment 1, the endometrial morphology of the cows from CIDR and PG + CIDR groups differed from that found in the control group: The surface epithelium was medium to high and the glands were round and tortuous, as compared with low epithelium and oblong glands in the control. In addition, the density of blood vessels and the level of edema was higher in the CIDR-treated cows than in the control cows. In experiment 2, the endometrial morphology of the CIDR-treated group differed from that of the control and early PG groups: Low surface epithelium and oblong glands in the former compared with high epithelium and tortuous glands in the latter. In summary, P4 supplementation during the luteal phase had delayed effect on endometrial morphology at different stages of the subsequent oestrous cycle.
Article
The present studies were undertaken to examine the expression of the high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, SR-B1 messenger RNA (mRNA) in ovarian cell types during folliculogenesis and luteinization using in situ hybridization histochemistry and to examine its hormonal regulation using Northern blots. For the in situ study for HDL receptor mRNA localization, 21-day-old rats were treated with 50 IU PMSG, and ovaries were collected 0, 24, and 56 h postinjection. At 56 h, animals were treated with a single dose of hCG, and ovaries were subsequently collected at 6-, 12-, 24-, and 72-h and 5-day intervals. In addition, on day 4 of pseudopregnancy, a second dose of 50 IU hCG or saline was administered, and ovaries were collected at 12, 24, and 48 h to determine the induction of the expression of HDL receptor mRNA. The results of in situ hybridization histochemistry showed that in the immature ovary, HDL receptor mRNA is associated with theca interna and interstitial cells (stroma). The mRNA expression in these cell types increased with PMSG treatment, but no signal was detected in the granulosa cells. Northern blot analysis also showed a marked increase in mRNA content in thecal and interstitial cells during follicular development. During luteinization, the intensity of the signal began to appear in the luteinized granulosa cells. With the completion of luteinization, the signal in the corpus luteum tissue became more intense. Further treatment with hCG increased the HDL receptor mRNA content compared with that in the saline-treated control. These results demonstrate that the cholesterol-using cell types of the ovary, namely the interstitial cells, thecal cells, and fully luteinized granulosa cells are endowed with the HDL receptor mRNA, which provides credence to the functional significance of the role of HDL receptor SR-B1 in cholesterol transport and ovarian steroidogenesis.
Article
In cattle, prolonged progestogen treatments following luteolysis result in persistent dominant follicles (DF) that are associated with precise onset of estrus but marked reductions in pregnancy rate (PR). The aim was to determine whether increasing duration of dominance of the ovulatory follicle in heifers affected 1) precision of onset of estrus and 2) the timing and nature of the decline in PR. In Exp. 1, duration of dominance of the ovulatory follicle was controlled by causing corpus luteum (CL) regression at emergence of the second follicle wave (mean duration of dominance of 2.1+/-.3 d, Dm2, n = 11) or first day of dominance of the second DF of the cycle; the latter was combined with insertion of a 3-mg norgestomet ear implant for 2 to 10 d to maintain the second DF for 4 (Dm4, n = 32), 6 (Dm6, n = 19), 8 (Dm8, n = 49), 10 (Dm10, n = 28), or 12 d (Dm12, n = 20). Heifers detected in estrus were inseminated approximately 12 h later with frozen-thawed semen. Durations of dominance of the ovulatory follicle of up to 8 d did not affect (P>.05) PR (Dm2 8/9, Dm4 19/28, Dm6 14/18, and Dm8 34/48 heifers pregnant), but PR in Dm10 heifers (12/23 heifers pregnant) was reduced (P = .05) compared with Dm2 heifers; PR in Dm12 heifers (2/17 pregnant) was less compared with all other treatments (P<.01). Fitting a logistic regression model to the pooled PR data to examine the trend in PR showed that extending the duration of dominance from 2 to 9 d and from 10 to 12 d resulted in a predicted decline in PR of 10 to 25% and a further decline of 35 to 75%, respectively. Onset of estrus was delayed in heifers assigned to Dm4 treatment relative to all other treatments (P<.001); it was less variable than that for heifers on Dm6, Dm8, and Dm10 treatments (P<.1). In Exp. 2, heifers received a PGF2alpha analogue and a norgestomet implant on d 12 of the cycle for 3 or 7 d to give approximate durations of dominance of the preovulatory follicle of 2 to 4 d (Dm2-4, n = 29) or 6 to 8 d (Dm6-8, n = 24), respectively. The PR did not differ (P>.05) between heifers on Dm2-4 (22/29) and Dm6-8 (15/24) treatments, but the interval to onset of estrus was delayed (P<.05) by 7 h in the Dm2-4 heifers. In conclusion, restricting the duration of dominance of the preovulatory follicle to < or =4 d at estrus, results in a precise onset of estrus and a high PR following a single AI at a detected estrus.
Article
The high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, or scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), is critical for cholesterol transport and a potential target for hypercholesterolemic drugs. Thus, elucidation of the mechanism underlying regulation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene is essential. It has been previously shown that there is a correlation between depletion in ovarian cholesteryl ester content and increased HDL receptor SR-BI expression in response to hormonal stimulation. We wanted to determine whether the levels of mature sterol response element-binding protein-1a (SREBP-1a), a key protein in the transcriptional regulation of several genes by sterols, are affected under these conditions. Thus, Western blot analysis was carried out. Consistent with the possibility that SREBP-1a may be involved in the regulation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene, we found that mature SREBP-1a levels increased up to 11-fold in the ovary after treatment with 50 U hCG. This increase in mature SREBP-1a protein levels correlated with a 30% decrease in ovarian cholesterol levels. These changes in both SREBP-1a and cholesterol levels preceded a 2-fold induction of HDL receptor SR-BI protein levels. To determine whether SREBP-1a could directly regulate the expression of the rat HDL receptor SR-BI gene, approximately 2.2 kb of the receptor SR-BI promoter were cloned and sequenced, and deletion analysis and mobility shift assays were performed. The results of these studies demonstrate that the rat HDL receptor SR-BI promoter contains two sterol response elements (pSRE and dSRE) through which SREBP-1a can bind and activate transcription of this gene. These motifs are similar to known SRE motifs reported for sterol-sensitive genes, and the pSRE is located between two Sp1 sites, similar to the SRE-1 motif in the low density lipoprotein receptor. The cysteine protease inhibitor N-acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal, which inhibits SREBP degradation, enhanced the effect of SREBP-1a on the regulation of the rat HDL receptor SR-BI gene. It has previously been shown that tropic hormones such as hCG can also influence gene expression by increasing cAMP levels. Consistent with this fact, we have recently shown that steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) mediates cAMP activation of the HDL receptor SR-BI gene. Thus, we decided to examine whether SREBP-1a could cooperate with SF-1 to enhance transcription this gene. The results confirm that indeed both SF-1 and SREBP-1a synergize to induce HDL receptor SR-BI gene expression.
Article
The synthesis of androgens by theca-interstitial cells is stimulated by LH and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) system. An essential element of the steroidogenesis is the uptake of plasma cholesterol and transformation to steroid hormones. In the rat, the uptake of cholesterol by the theca-interstitial cells is mediated by the high density lipoprotein receptor. The goal of the present study was to examine whether insulin has any effect on cholesterol delivery into theca-interstitial cells. The effects of insulin and hCG on the expression of the high density lipoprotein receptor (SR-BI) messenger RNA (mRNA) and intracellular cholesterol levels were examined in rat theca-interstitial cells under in vivo and in vitro conditions. Twenty-five-day-old rats were treated with insulin, hCG, or insulin followed by hCG. The expression of SR-BI mRNA was then examined in ovaries enriched in theca-interstitial cell population by Northern blot analysis. Treatment with insulin increased the expression of SR-BI mRNA over that in controls treated with saline. hCG administration also increased the expression of SR-BI mRNA. A combination of insulin followed by hCG produced an even greater increase in SR-BI mRNA expression. Measurements of cellular cholesterol in the ovarian tissue showed an increase in total and free cholesterol levels in response to insulin treatment. As expected, administration of hCG produced a depletion of cellular cholesterol, and the depletion was even more pronounced in response to treatment with insulin and hCG. The effect of insulin and hCG on SR-SBI mRNA expression was then examined under in vitro conditions using primary cultures of theca-interstitial cells. Treatment with insulin produced an increase in SR-BI mRNA expression. As the cultured theca-interstitial cells were not able to maintain hCG receptors, hCG addition produced no increase in SR-BI mRNA expression. However, in the presence of insulin, these cells were able to maintain hCG receptors and readily responded to hCG to increase SR-BI mRNA expression. Although insulin alone produced a modest increase in total and free cholesterol levels, in the presence of insulin, hCG produced the expected depletion of cellular cholesterol content. The present study shows that insulin has a stimulatory effect on the expression of high density lipoprotein receptors in theca-interstitial cells, suggesting that one of the actions of insulin is to increase intracellular cholesterol, which is subsequently mobilized for androgen biosynthesis in theca-interstitial cells.
Article
Follicle dynamics and oocyte viability in Holstein primiparous and multiparous cows and the relationships between fertility and the biochemical and physical properties of oocyte membranes with season were examined. The conception rates of primiparous (n = 70 885) and multiparous (n = 143 490) cows differed, peaking in the winter and decreasing in the summer. The number of follicles 3-8 mm in diameter per ovary was higher in winter (19.6) compared with summer (12.0). However, in winter the percentage of ovaries with fewer than ten follicles per ovary was 16%, in contrast to 50% in summer. After aspiration of follicles, 7.5 oocytes per ovary were found in winter and 5.0 oocytes per ovary in summer. Cleavage to the two- to four-cell stage after chemical activation was greater in winter than in summer; this was enhanced at the morula stage and embryo development to the blastocyst stage was significantly higher in winter than in summer. Determination of the lipid phase transition in oocyte membranes revealed a shift of 6 degrees C between summer and winter. Fatty acid composition of phospholipids from follicular fluid, granulosa cells and oocytes indicated that there was a higher percentage of saturated fatty acids during the summer and that the percentages of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids were higher in oocytes and granulosa cells during the winter. Oocytes and granulosa cells had similar fatty acid compositions, in contrast to follicular fluid. These results may explain the differences in the ability of oocytes to develop to the blastocyst stage at different seasons. Thus, temperature changes may lead to changes in membrane properties, which, in turn, can influence oocyte function and fertility.
Article
Low progesterone concentrations during the bovine oestrous cycle induce enhanced responsiveness to oxytocin challenge late in the luteal phase of the same cycle. The delayed effect of low progesterone concentrations during one oestrous cycle on uterine PGF(2alpha) secretion after oxytocin challenge on day 15 or 16 of the subsequent cycle was studied by measuring the concentrations of the major PGF(2alpha) metabolite (13,14-dihydro-15-keto PGF(2alpha); PGFM) in plasma. Two experiments were conducted, differing in the type of progesterone treatment and in the shape of the low progesterone concentration curves. In Expt 1, progesterone supplementation with intravaginal progesterone inserts, with or without an active corpus luteum, was used to obtain high, or low and constant plasma progesterone concentrations, respectively. In Expt 2, untreated cows, representing high progesterone treatment, were compared with cows that had low but increasing plasma progesterone concentrations that were achieved by manipulating endogenous progesterone secretion of the corpus luteum. Neither experiment revealed any differences in plasma progesterone concentrations between the high and low progesterone groups in the subsequent oestrous cycle. In both experiments, both groups had similar basal concentrations of PGFM on day 15 (Expt 1) or 16 (Expt 2) of the subsequent oestrous cycle, 18 days after progesterone treatments had ended. In both experiments, the increases in PGFM concentrations in the low progesterone groups after an oxytocin challenge were markedly higher than in the high progesterone groups. These results indicate that low progesterone concentrations during an oestrous cycle have a delayed stimulatory effect on uterine responsiveness to oxytocin during the late luteal phase of the subsequent cycle. This resulting increase in PGF(2alpha) secretion may interfere with luteal maintenance during the early stages of pregnancy.
Article
The two most commonly used methods to analyze data from real-time, quantitative PCR experiments are absolute quantification and relative quantification. Absolute quantification determines the input copy number, usually by relating the PCR signal to a standard curve. Relative quantification relates the PCR signal of the target transcript in a treatment group to that of another sample such as an untreated control. The 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method is a convenient way to analyze the relative changes in gene expression from real-time quantitative PCR experiments. The purpose of this report is to present the derivation, assumptions, and applications of the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method. In addition, we present the derivation and applications of two variations of the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method that may be useful in the analysis of real-time, quantitative PCR data.
Article
In this study, the fertility of postpartum dairy cows after a sequence of treatments with GnRH (Day 0), PGF2alpha (Day 7) and GnRH (Day 9) (GnRH group; n = 164) or hCG (Day 0), PGF2alpha (Day 7) and hCG (Day 9) (group hCG; n = 166) was investigated in summer and winter seasons. All cows were artificially inseminated without estrus detection, 16-18 h after the end of treatment. Control cows (CONT; n = 226) were not treated and were inseminated at natural estrus. The pregnancy rates at Day 90 (46% versus 33%; P < 0.05) and at Day 135 (76% versus 62%; P < 0.05) postpartum were significantly lower in CONT cows in summer compared to winter months but this effect was not observed in the two treated groups. The number of days from calving to conception was significantly lower in GnRH and hCG treatment groups compared to CONT cows in cold months (102 +/- 3.2, 106 +/- 4.2, 126 +/- 3.1, respectively; P < 0.001) and in hot months (112 +/- 3.2, 114 +/- 4.2, 139 +/- 3.1, respectively; P < 0.001). The concentration of insulin was significantly higher in winter (P < 0.001). There were no differences in average plasma concentration of glucose (P = 0.474), GH (P = 0.441) or IGF-I (P = 0.190). In conclusion, we have shown that veterinary supervision combined with a program of estrous synchronization and fixed time insemination can improve fertility of cows suffering heat stress.
Article
Steroid hormones are synthesized using cholesterol as precursor, with a substantial portion supplied by the selective uptake of lipoprotein-derived cholesteryl esters. Adrenals express a high level of neutral cholesteryl ester hydrolase activity, and recently hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) was shown to be responsible for most adrenal neutral cholesteryl ester hydrolase activity. To determine the functional importance of HSL in adrenal steroidogenesis, adrenal cells were isolated from control and HSL-/- mice, and the in vitro production of corticosterone was quantified. Results show that, even though adrenal cholesteryl ester content was substantially elevated in both male and female HSL-/- mice, basal corticosterone production was reduced approximately 50%. The maximum corticosterone production induced by dibutyryl cAMP, and lipoproteins was approximately 75-85% lower in adrenal cells from HSL-/- mice compared with control. There is no intrinsic defect in the conversion of cholesterol into steroids in HSL-/- mice. Dibutyryl cAMP-stimulated conversion of high-density lipoprotein cholesteryl esters into corticosterone was reduced 97% in HSL-/- mice. An increase in low-density lipoprotein receptor expression appears to be one of the compensatory mechanisms for cholesterol delivery in HSL-/- mice. These findings suggest that HSL is functionally linked to the selective pathway and is critically involved in the intracellular processing and availability of cholesterol for adrenal steroidogenesis.
Article
Differences in rates of steroid production and secretion will, eventually, determine the developmental rates of ovarian follicles. The major supply of cholesterol, the precursor for steroid and androgen biosynthesis, to ovarian cells is from circulating lipoproteins via membrane receptors from the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL) superfamily. This occurs by either endocytosis, which has been described for very low density lipoprotein receptors (VLDLr), for LDL receptors (LDLr), and by the selective uptake pathway described for the scavenger receptor class B type 1 receptor (SRB1) and the recently described ovarian receptor, lipoprotein receptor-related protein 8 (LRP8). In this study, the mRNA expression of these four cholesterol receptors in bovine ovarian cells was determined at different stages of follicular development. In small antral follicles, mRNA expression of the endocytosis receptors was higher than in large antral follicles. Expression of LRP8 mRNA increased linearly with follicular size together with an increase in LDL, VLDL, and cholesterol concentrations in the follicular fluid. SRB1 mRNA expression tended to increase with follicular diameter. Because different mRNA expression patterns were found for the two types of receptor, this may imply different regulation of cholesterol supply at different stages of follicular development. Accumulation of LDL and VLDL particles in the follicular fluid of large antral follicles may enhance cholesterol availability for the intense steroidogenic activity that is essential at these stages.
Article
Lipoproteins in the plasma are the major source of cholesterol obtained by the ovarian theca and granulosa cells for steroidogenesis. In this study, we have identified mRNA expression in bovine theca and granulosa cells of two lipoprotein receptors, low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) and very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLr) in granulosa cells from small antral follicles through preovulatory follicles and in theca cells from large and medium sized antral follicles. In the corpus luteum (CL) both these receptors were found in the developing and differentiating stages whereas only mRNA for VLDLr was detected in the regression stage. This study also described for the first time, the presence of lipoprotein receptor related protein (LRP8) in granulosa cells from small antral follicles through preovulatory follicles and in theca cells from large and medium sized antral follicles. This may indicate a role of LRP8 in cholesterol delivery to steriodogenic cells. LRP8 was not detected in any of the CL stages. The roles of the LDLr superfamily in lipid transport to ovarian cells and its participation in follicular and CL development and regression is discussed.