Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
Reproduction, Fertility and Development

Reproduction, Fertility and Development

Volume 27 Number 2 2015

RD13256Recovery of fertility from adult ovarian tissue transplanted into week-old Japanese quail chicks

Jianan Liu, Kimberly M. Cheng and Frederick G. Silversides
pp. 281-284

Fertility can be recovered from birds’ ovaries using transplantation. Fragments of ovaries from adult Japanese quail were transplanted into week-old quail recipients and chicks were produced from the donor tissue, demonstrating that adult birds can be used as ovarian donors for genetic conservation. Changes in egg production with the transplants also suggested that ovarian transplantation can be used to study reproduction in birds.

RD13177Tolerance of spermatozoa to hypotonic stress: role of membrane fluidity and correlation with cryosurvival

Harriëtte Oldenhof, Anna Heutelbeck, Anne-Kathrin Blässe, Heinrich Bollwein, Gunilla Martinsson, Willem F. Wolkers and Harald Sieme
pp. 285-293

Sperm from different stallions exhibit great differences in cryosurvival rates, which likely can be attributed to differences in cellular properties, such as membrane stability towards osmotic stress. The aim of this study was to obtain insights in factors determining membrane stability as well as cryosurvival. Pre-freeze osmotic tolerance was evaluated for individual stallions, and it was found that this cannot be used as a parameter to predict sperm cryosurvival rates.

RD13281Exposure to Brefeldin A promotes initiation of meiosis in murine female germ cells

Lian-Jun Zhang, Bo Chen, Xin-Lei Feng, Hua-Gang Ma, Li-lan Sun, Yan-Min Feng, Gui-Jin Liang, Shun-Feng Cheng, Lan Li and Wei Shen
pp. 294-303

Our research focused on the mechanism of meiosis initiation, a complex process that is still not clear. In this study, we cultured 11.5 days post coitum female mouse genital ridges in vitro with exposure to Brefeldin A and found that meiosis initiation was stimulated partly via a retinoic acid–Stra8 signal. Our results contributed to the study of meiosis initiation in vitro and also confirmed the role of Stra8 in meiosis initiation.

RD13149Follicle size and reproductive hormone profiles during a post-weaning altrenogest treatment in primiparous sows

J. J. J. van Leeuwen, M. R. T. M. Martens, J. Jourquin, M. A. Driancourt, A. Wagner, B. Kemp and N. M. Soede
pp. 304-312

Post-weaning treatments with a progesterone analogue can be applied in sows to postpone oestrus after weaning, which may affect subsequent fertility. The present study investigated the underlying endocrinology of this phenomenon. Daily altrenogest treatment resulted in a wave of follicle growth for 5 days and a concomitant increase in FSH, but follicles lost oestrogenic competence by Day 2. The latter may be the cause of reduced fertility after short altrenogest treatments.

RD13232Structure, histochemistry and seasonal variations of the male reproductive accessory glands in the Pallas’s mastiff bat, Molossus molossus (Chiroptera: Molossidae)

Caroline M. Christante, Mateus R. Beguelini, Cintia C. I. Puga, Ana C. Negrin, Eliana Morielle-Versute, Patrícia S. L. Vilamaior and Sebastião R. Taboga
pp. 313-322

The male reproductive accessory glands (RAGs) of bats vary widely according to the reproductive strategies of each species. Thus, this study aimed to characterise the RAGs of Molossus molossus (Molossidae) and evaluate their seasonal variations. Results demonstrated the existence of two regions (ventral and dorsal), which had inherent characteristics; however, both synchronised to establish the main reproductive peak in spring (early rainy season).

RD13268The beneficial effects of reduced magnesium during the oocyte-to-embryo transition are conserved in mice, domestic cats and humans

Jason R. Herrick, Kevin J. Strauss, Ann Schneiderman, Mary Rawlins, John Stevens, William B. Schoolcraft and Rebecca L. Krisher
pp. 323-331

Reduced concentrations of Mg2+ during in vitro fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection improved cleavage or embryonic development in mice, domestic cats and humans. Although specific mechanisms may vary between species, sensitivity to increased concentrations of Mg2+ in the medium during the oocyte-to-embryo transition appears to be conserved in three different mammalian species.


The Andalusian donkey is an endangered breed and sperm banks are needed; however, cryopreservation may result in low sperm quality. This study investigated the effect of colloid single-layer centrifugation (SLC) on frozen–thawed donkey semen. It concluded that SLC is a suitable procedure to improve cryopreserved donkey semen, in particular for low-freezability ejaculates. These results could be helpful in the conservation of endangered donkey breeds.


Maternal vitamin B12 deficiency is known to lead to an adverse pregnancy outcome and increase the risk for developing diseases in mothers in later life. This study examines the effect of maternal n-3 PUFA supplementation to vitamin B12-deficient or -supplemented diets on pregnancy outcome, fatty-acid status and metabolic variables in Wistar rats. Results indicate that maternal vitamin B12 status is critical in determining pregnancy outcome and metabolic variables in dams and supplementation with n-3 PUFA is beneficial.


Chromosomal abnormalities are primary contributors to reduced efficiency of in IVF embryos, having a negative effect on the success of the entire process. Herein, we demonstrate that sperm fertilising concentration and handling increase the appearance of such chromosomal abnormalities. By using a lower sperm concentration and an adequate capacitation compound, the effect of chromosomal abnormalities in IVF embryos can be reduced.

RD13274Progestin priming before gonadotrophin stimulation and AI improves embryo development and normalises luteal function in the cat

Rosemary A. Stewart, Adrienne E. Crosier, Katharine M. Pelican, Budhan S. Pukazhenthi, Brandon D. Sitzmann, Tom E. Porter, David E. Wildt, Mary Ann Ottinger and JoGayle Howard
pp. 360-371

Exogenous gonadotrophins can alter endocrine dynamics and inhibit embryo development in felids. We demonstrate that priming the cat ovary with oral progestin before gonadotrophin stimulation and AI mitigates the negative influence of gonadotrophin therapy by normalising luteal function and improving embryonic developmental competence. These data enhance our understanding of the mechanisms involved in cat ovarian control and have practical implications for refining assisted reproductive technologies in endangered felids.

RD13263Interaction between differential gene expression profile and phenotype in bovine blastocysts originating from oocytes exposed to elevated non-esterified fatty acid concentrations

V. Van Hoeck, D. Rizos, A. Gutierrez-Adan, I. Pintelon, E. Jorssen, I. Dufort, M. A. Sirard, A. Verlaet, N. Hermans, P. E. J. Bols and J. L. M. R. Leroy
pp. 372-384

Metabolic disorders are risk factors for reproductive failure and elevated non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations have been proposed as key contributors by affecting oocyte quality. The aim of this study was to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms through which NEFAs impact on bovine maturing oocytes and subsequent embryo development. Transcriptome and functional data point to metabolic dysregulation in the resulting preimplantation embryos, findings that might explain the reduced conception rates in females across species suffering lipolytic disorders.


Mechanisms that partition intracellular proteins between the nucleus and cytoplasm have been shown to be critical players in cellular differentiation. Using the porcine embryo as our model, we found that the activity of discrete nuclear import pathways changes during progression from the oocyte to the 8-cell stage embryo. This suggests that nuclear import pathways serve a critical role regulating cleavage development.

RD13144Influence of pathogenic bacteria species present in the postpartum bovine uterus on proteome profiles

A. M. Ledgard, G. A. Smolenski, H. Henderson and R. S.-F. Lee
pp. 395-406

After parturition >90% of dairy cows will have some form of uterine infection with the risk of developing endometritis, which can reduce conception rates. We examined the effect of uterine infection or inflammation on the postpartum uterus and identified 12 proteins that correlated with the presence of bacterial pathogens and polymorphonuclear neutrophils. These indicator proteins could be used as biomarkers of subclinical endometritis.

RD13249Oxygen-regulated gene expression in murine cumulus cells

Karen L. Kind, Kimberley K. Y. Tam, Kelly M. Banwell, Ashley D. Gauld, Darryl L. Russell, Anne M. Macpherson, Hannah M. Brown, Laura A. Frank, Daniel J. Peet and Jeremy G. Thompson
pp. 407-418

Oxygen is a key component of the environment during oocyte maturation, in vivo and in vitro. Expression of target genes of the hypoxia-inducible factors was increased in cumulus cells from mouse cumulus–oocyte complexes matured in vitro at 2% or 5%, compared with 20% oxygen. Oxygen-regulated gene expression is identified as a potential mechanism through which oxygen could influence cumulus cell function.

RD13293Aging alters histone H3 lysine 4 methylation in mouse germinal vesicle stage oocytes

Gen-Bao Shao, Jie Wang, Liu-Ping Zhang, Chao-Yang Wu, Jie Jin, Jian-Rong Sang, Hong-Yan Lu, Ai-Hua Gong, Feng-Yi Du and Wan-Xin Peng
pp. 419-426

Abnormalities of chromatin modifications in old MII oocytes are the leading cause of mammalian infertility. Recent studies report that changes in histone acetylation at the MII stage arise at the GV stage. In the present study, aging caused abnormalities of histone methylation and demethylase at the GV stage. Inhibition of the demethylase alleviated some of the aging-caused GV abnormalities. These results provide insights for future studies into the effects of reproductive aging on chromatin modifications.

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