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Reproduction, Fertility and Development
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RFD is the official journal of the International Embryo Transfer Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology.


 
 

Reproduction, Fertility and Development publishes research and reviews on all aspects of vertebrate reproduction and developmental biology. More

Editor-in-Chief: Tony Flint 

 
 
 

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Published online 24 July 2014
Dietary propylene glycol and in vitro embryo production after ovum pick-up in heifers with different anti-Müllerian hormone profiles 
G. Gamarra, C. Ponsart, S. Lacaze, B. Le Guienne, P. Humblot, M.-C. Deloche, D. Monniaux and A. A. Ponter

Ovum pick-up and in vitro embryo production is a technique that can be used in high genetic merit dairy heifers to produce large numbers of high quality embryos. Serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) was positively correlated with the numbers and quality of in vitro produced embryos after superovulation. A simple dietary supplement, propylene glycol, which increased circulating insulin, glucose and IGF1, was able to further increase oocyte quality and embryo production in animals with high AMH levels.

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Published online 24 July 2014
Variations in epithelial Na+ transport and epithelial sodium channel localisation in the vaginal cul-de-sac of the brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, during the oestrous cycle 
T.-A. Alsop, B. J. McLeod and A. G. Butt

The vaginal cul-de-sac, which is unique to the reproductive tract of marsupials, is thought to play an important role in reproduction, as the volume of fluid in the cul-de-sac increases up to ovulation and diminishes thereafter. Generally, changes in fluid volume in the reproductive tract are a result of changes in the transport properties of the epithelial lining. Our findings describe an epithelial transport mechanism responsible for absorption of fluid from the cul-de-sac following ovulation.

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Published online 22 July 2014
N-Glycans in Xenopus laevis testis characterised by lectin histochemistry 
Galder Valbuena, Juan Francisco Madrid, María Martínez de Ubago, Laura Gómez-Santos, Edurne Alonso, Lucio Díaz-Flores and Francisco J. Sáez

N-glycans (oligosaccharide chains linked to proteins by the amino group of an asparagine) essentials for mammalian spermatogenesis have been identified. Here, for the first time the presence of N-glycans in the testis of the amphibian Xenopus laevis has been analysed by lectin histochemistry. The functional role of these glycans could be related to the role of N-glycans involved in mammalian spermatogenesis.

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Published online 18 July 2014
Effect of combined exogenous progesterone with luteotrophic support via equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) on corpus luteum development, circulating progesterone concentrations and embryo development in cattle 
L. O'Hara, N. Forde, P. Duffy, F. Randi, A. K. Kelly, A. Valenza, P. Rodriguez and P. Lonergan

Low circulating progesterone in the week following ovulation has been implicated in poor fertility in cattle. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of exogenous progesterone in combination with a luteotrophic agent on corpus luteum survival and conceptus development in cross-bred beef heifers. Results may provide the basis for a strategy to elevate progesterone and improve fertility.

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Published online 18 July 2014
Superovulation alters embryonic poly(A)-binding protein (Epab) and poly(A)-binding protein, cytoplasmic 1 (Pabpc1) gene expression in mouse oocytes and early embryos 
Saffet Ozturk, Aylin Yaba-Ucar, Berna Sozen, Derya Mutlu and Necdet Demir

Superovulation adversely influences oocyte maturation and early embryo development, but how superovulation results in these disturbances has not been clearly addressed yet. In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of superovulation on expression of embryonic poly(A)-binding protein (Epab) and poly(A)-binding protein, cytoplasmic 1 (Pabpc1) genes. We found that superovulation significantly alters Epab and Pabpc1 gene expression in mouse oocytes and early embryos.

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Published online 18 July 2014
In vitro interaction between resistin and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ in porcine ovarian follicles 
Agnieszka Rak-Mardy?a and Eliza Drwal

Resistin is a small cysteine-rich protein, produced by adipose tissue and involved in insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and reproduction. The findings of this study suggest that there is local cooperation exists resistin and PPARγ expression in the porcine ovary; resistin significantly increases PPARγ expression, whereas PPARγ decreases resistin expression. PPARγ is a new key regulator of resistin expression and function.

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Published online 18 July 2014
Expression patterns of mitochondrial OXPHOS components, mitofusin 1 and dynamin-related protein 1 are associated with human embryo fragmentation 
Vesna Otasevic, Lela Surlan, Milica Vucetic, Ivan Tulic, Biljana Buzadzic, Ana Stancic, Aleksandra Jankovic, Ksenija Velickovic, Igor Golic, Milica Markelic, Aleksandra Korac and Bato Korac

Improving the quality of preimplantation embryos is imperative in human in vitro fertilisation since the birth of the first baby in 1978, and high fragmentation is one of the limiting factors. This study links the phenomenon of human embryo fragmentation with energy homeostasis, mitochondrial dynamics and oxidative phosphorylation, suggesting altered transcriptional profiles of mitochondria-encoded components. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes may help improve the energy capacity of the early embryo.

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Published online 17 July 2014
Mitochondrial activity during pre-maturational culture in in vitro-grown bovine oocytes is related to maturational and developmental competences 
Weiping Huang, Sung-Sik Kang, Katsuhisa Nagai, Yojiro Yanagawa, Yoshiyuki Takahashi and Masashi Nagano

Clarifying the mechanism for acquisition of developmental competence in bovine oocytes is important for improving the in vitro production system. Relationships between developmental competence and mitochondrial activity of in vitro-grown oocytes during meiotic arrest immediately before IVM culture were investigated. Mitochondrial activity at 10 h after starting meiotic arrest was highest and those oocytes showed comparable developmental competence with in vivo-grown oocytes.

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Published online 16 July 2014
Efficient generation of sFat-1 transgenic rabbits rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids by intracytoplasmic sperm injection 
Shun Zhang, Fenghua Lu, Qingyou Liu, Yubing Liu, Xiaomei Guan, Yingming Wei, Shijian Tan and Deshun Shi

N-3 PUFAs are beneficial to human health, and increasing the amount of n-3 PUFAs in mammals by introducing sFat-1 gene will improve the animal meat quality. This study was undertaken to produce sFat-1 transgenic rabbit by ICSI, and found that sFat-1 transgenic rabbits exhibited an ~10-fold increase in n-3 PUFAs in muscles. It will be possible to produce a new transgenic rabbit breed with high n-3 PUFAs.

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Published online 15 July 2014
Low-density lipoprotein receptor affects the fertility of female mice 
Tao Guo, Liang Zhang, Dong Cheng, Tao Liu, Liguo An, Wei-Ping Li and Cong Zhang

Low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) is responsible for the uptake of cholesterol-carrying lipoprotein particles into cells. The Ldlr deficient mice developed severe dyslipidemia and had significantly decreased female fertility. This study provides additional evidence for the role of Ldlr in regulation of lipid metabolism as well as female reproductive health during postnatal life.

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Published online 15 July 2014
Low level of basal testosterone: a significant risk factor for poor oocyte yield after ovulation induction 
Jing Guo, Qingxue Zhang, Yu Li, Wenjun Wang and Dongzi Yang

This study supplies a new predictor for poor ovarian response (POR) in the in vitro fertilisation field. We investigated the association of low basal androgen levels and IVF outcomes in a large Chinese population, and found low basal testosterone (<0.88 nmol L–1) was an independent risk factor for POR. This finding may help to identify young patients at high risk of POR.

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Published online 15 July 2014
Oocytes recovered after ovarian tissue slow freezing have impaired H2AX phosphorylation and functional competence 
Sam Sudhakaran, Shubhashree Uppangala, Sujith Raj Salian, Sachin D. Honguntikar, Ramya Nair, Guruprasad Kalthur and Satish Kumar Adiga

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation by slow freezing and vitrification are techniques available to cancer-affected women to preserve their fertility before cancer therapy. Comparison of these two techniques in mouse ovarian tissue has demonstrated the adverse effects of ovarian tissue slow freezing but not vitrification on oocyte DNA quality and functional ability. Hence, vitrification may be preferred over slow freezing for ovarian tissue cryopreservation.

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Published online 11 July 2014
Analysis and characterisation of bovine oocyte and embryo biomarkers by matrix-assisted desorption ionisation mass spectrometry imaging 
Roseli F. Gonçalves, Mônica S. Ferreira, Diogo N. de Oliveira, Rafael Canevarolo, Marcos A. Achilles, Daniela L. D'Ercole, Peter E. Bols, Jose A. Visintin, Gary J. Killian and Rodrigo R. Catharino

Lipid pathways play important biological roles in mammalian embryology. We document a new strategy to analyse bovine oocytes and embryos, and provide a chemical image using MALDI-MSI technology. Results obtained in this work demonstrates that a combination of MF, MSI features and chemometric analysis can be applied to discriminate cell stages, characterising specific biomarkers and relating them to developmental pathways.

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Published online 09 July 2014
Differential gene-expression profiles from canine cumulus cells of ovulated versus in vitro-matured oocytes 
Su-Jin Cho, Kyeong-Lim Lee, Yu-Gon Kim, Dong-Hoon Kim, Jae-Gyu Yoo, Byoung-Chul Yang, Jin-Ki Park and Il-Keun Kong

Canine oocytes are ovulated at the GV/GVBD stage and rely on CCs to mature to MII stage. Consequently, the role of CCs is very likely to be more important than in other species. The objective was to identify the relationship between oocytes and cumulus cells during oocyte maturation. The results demonstrated that cumulus cells play key roles in supporting oocyte maturation to the MII stage.

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Published online 08 July 2014
Semen collection, ejaculate characteristics and in vitro manipulation of spermatozoa from six species of captive flying-fox (Pteropus spp.) 
D. F. Melville, E. G. Crichton and S. D. Johnston

Almost two thirds of the 65 documented Pteropus species (large bats called flying-foxes) are considered threatened with extinction. Our research aimed to provide foundational information from which to develop a method of semen collection, extension and preservation for use in male fertility assessments and artificial insemination. The successful collection of >400 semen samples from six Pteropus species, four which had never been characterised before, adds to the general knowledge of male reproductive biology in these species and advances the likelihood that artificial reproductive technologies may one day be used to assist conservation efforts.

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Published online 26 June 2014
Impacts of and interactions between environmental stress and epigenetic programming during early embryo development 
Michael J. Bertoldo, Yann Locatelli, Christopher O'Neill and Pascal Mermillod

Embryos experience stress when they are grown in the laboratory, and this is believed to be detrimental to the embryo later in life. This article reviews the effects of in vitro conditions on the embryo and the mechanisms involved. By having a greater understanding of the mechanisms, we can potentially prevent stress during embryo growth in vitro.

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Published online 26 June 2014
Effects of varying doses of ?-nerve growth factor on the timing of ovulation, plasma progesterone concentration and corpus luteum size in female alpacas (Vicugna pacos) 
C. C. Stuart, J. L. Vaughan, C. M. Kershaw-Young, J. Wilkinson, R. Bathgate and S. P. de Graaf

Alpaca seminal plasma contains the protein β-nerve growth factor (β-NGF), which induces ovulation in females. We examined the effects of three doses of β-NGF and a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist on ovulation rate and interval, corpus luteum diameter and plasma progesterone when administered to female alpacas and found that only ovulation rate varied. This suggests that there is no advantage to using β-NGF over more readily available and cheaper GnRH agonists to induce ovulation in alpacas.

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Published online 26 June 2014
Antibiotics and oxygen availability affect the short-term storage of spermatozoa from the critically endangered booroolong frog, Litoria booroolongensis 
Aimee J. Silla, Leesa M. Keogh and Phillip G. Byrne

Sperm storage technologies aim to extend sperm longevity and increase the time available to achieve artificial fertilisation. Overall, results from this study on the booroolong frog indicate that increased oxygen availability is beneficial to sperm longevity, but that antibiotics are detrimental. The optimal storage protocols identified will allow spermatozoa from spatially separated breeding stock to be transferred among captive facilities, a tool that will assist the genetic management of this critically endangered species.

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Published online 23 June 2014
Suboptimal maternal nutrition during early-to-mid gestation in the sheep enhances pericardial adiposity in the near-term fetus 
Shalini Ojha, Michael E. Symonds and Helen Budge

Changes in maternal diet during pregnancy can have long-lasting influences on the offspring’s health. In sheep, suboptimal nutrition during early-to-mid gestation results in enhanced fat deposition around the fetal heart. This is accompanied by increased abundance of genes that promote adipocyte synthesis. These adaptations may promote survival at birth but contribute to obesity in later life.

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Published online 19 June 2014
Effect of superstimulation protocols on nuclear maturation and distribution of lipid droplets in bovine oocytes 
D. Dadarwal, M. Honparkhe, F. C. F. Dias, T. Alce, C. Lessard and J. Singh

Lipids are the main energy source for oocytes. Based on 3D-microscopic evaluation, a mature bovine oocyte contained 22 picolitres of lipids distributed as 3000 droplets occupying 3.3% of the cell volume. Extending the FSH treatment from 4 to 7 days yielded a higher proportion of mature oocytes with no effect on lipids. FSH starvation for 84 h resulted in failure of meiotic resumption and accumulation of large lipid droplets, indicating degenerative changes.

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Published online 19 June 2014
Free-radical production after post-thaw incubation of ram spermatozoa is related to decreased in vivo fertility 
Enrique Del Olmo, Alfonso Bisbal, Olga García-Álvarez, Alejandro Maroto-Morales, Manuel Ramón, Pilar Jiménez-Rabadán, Luis Anel-López, Ana J. Soler, J. Julián Garde and María R. Fernández-Santos

This paper shows a direct relation between fertility and ROS production in sperm samples. The Fluorescein (CM-H2DCFDA) test combined with the SOF incubation could be considered a standard method for improving sperm-quality assessment. Ultimately, this technique could be a possible solution to the problem of fertility prediction in the laboratory.

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Published online 16 June 2014
Insulin regulates primordial-follicle assembly in vitro by affecting germ-cell apoptosis and elevating oestrogen 
Xin-Lei Feng, Yuan-Chao Sun, Min Zhang, Shun-Feng Cheng, Yan-Ni Feng, Jing-Cai Liu, Hong-Hui Wang, Lan Li, Guo-Qing Qin and Wei Shen

Insulin plays an important role in the regulation of ovarian function; however, the specific molecular mechanism of its function remains largely unknown. This study found that insulin promoted folliculogenesis by facilitating germ-cell apoptosis within the cysts and upregulating oestrogen levels. This work established an effective model to study the function of insulin in folliculogenesis.

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Published online 12 June 2014
Transgenerational inheritance of ovarian development deficiency induced by maternal diethylhexyl phthalate exposure 
Xi-Feng Zhang, Teng Zhang, Zhe Han, Jing-Cai Liu, Yu-Ping Liu, Jun-Yu Ma, Lan Li and Wei Shen

Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) disrupts the physiological functions of endogenous hormones and induces abnormal development of mammals. However, the effects of DEHP exposure on folliculogenesis remain largely unknown. DEHP exposure significantly delayed the first meiotic progression of female fetal germ cells and accelerated follicle recruitment. DEHP exposure induced ovarian development deficiency, which was transgenerational in mice.

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Published online 03 June 2014
Validation of the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test in the Amphibian Xenopus laevis using in situ nick translation and comet assay 
K. Pollock, J. Gosálvez, F. Arroyo, C. López-Fernández, M. Guille, A. Noble and S. D. Johnston

The integrity of sperm DNA is recognised as an important parameter of semen quality, but there are no published reports of this procedure for any amphibian. Validated as the first amphibian protocol for the assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation, the sperm chromatin dispersion test revealed three nuclear morphotypes representing varying degrees of DNA damage. This protocol has the potential to benefit assisted breeding programs using assisted reproductive technologies to support amphibian conservation efforts.

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Published online 29 May 2014
Open pulled straw vitrification and slow freezing of sheep IVF embryos using different cryoprotectants 
M. H. Bhat, V. Sharma, F. A. Khan, N. A. Naykoo, S. H. Yaqoob, G. Vajta, H. M. Khan, M. R. Fazili, N. A. Ganai and R. A. Shah

Embryo cryopreservation has huge potential to ensure the storage and worldwide distribution of elite germplasm. The aim of this study was to establish a standard procedure using specific cryoprotectant concentrations to avoid loss during cryopreservation procedures. Vitrification using 40% ethylene glycol resulted in superior embryo survival in sheep embryos from abattoir-derived oocytes. These results provide an easier option for embryo cryopreservation without compromising embryo survival.

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Published online 22 May 2014
Protein deubiquitination during oocyte maturation influences sperm function during fertilisation, antipolyspermy defense and embryo development 
Young-Joo Yi, Miriam Sutovsky, Won-Hee Song and Peter Sutovsky

Tagging with multi-ubiquitin chains targets substrate proteins for recycling by the 26S proteasome, during which deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) remove multi-ubiquitin chains from the substrate to regenerate mono-ubiquitin. In this study, DUB inhibitors impaired porcine oocyte maturation, fertilisation and pre-embryo development by altering the turnover of oocyte proteins such as major vault protein. Thus, DUBs may promote the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence.

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Published online 28 April 2014
Distribution of cortical granules and meiotic maturation of canine oocytes in bi-phasic systems 
Maricy Apparicio, Giuliano Q. Mostachio, Tathiana F. Motheo, Aracelle E. Alves, Luciana Padilha, Eliandra A. Pires-Butler, Paula A. P. Savi, Ricardo A. R. Uscategui, Gaia C. Luvoni and Wilter R. R. Vicente

Studies about canine reproduction have increased over the years once this species can be used as a model for their endangered counterparts. This work aimed to reproduce in laboratory a similar hormonal condition in order to improve the results that are still far from satisfactory. Our results reveal that mimicking the hormonal changes is beneficial for oocyte maturation and so it is a more reliable approach to overcome the challenges of in vitro techniques.

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Published online 23 April 2014
Src family kinases are involved in the meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes 
Kateřina Kheilová, Jaroslav Petr, Tereza Žalmanová, Veronika Kučerová-Chrpová and Dalibor Řehák

Src family kinases are involved in the meiotic maturation of mammalian oocytes, but the information about their role in regulation of meiotic maturation has been mainly obtained from mouse oocytes. The present study proved that the Src family kinases play an active role in the meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes at least partly through MPF and MAPK activity regulation. Considering that data from mouse oocytes need not be validated in other species, our findings contribute to the understanding of the regulation of oocyte maturation.

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Published online 17 April 2014
Addition of l-ascorbic acid to culture and vitrification media of IVF porcine blastocysts improves survival and reduces HSPA1A levels of vitrified embryos 
Miriam Castillo-Martín, Marc Yeste, Albert Soler, Roser Morató and Sergi Bonet

The presence of non-enzymatic antioxidants in the environment surrounding the embryo reduces oxidative stress. Thus, the present study sought to determine how the addition of l-ascorbic acid during culture and vitrification and warming affects quality and gene expression of in vitro produced porcine blastocysts. Results obtained indicate that l-ascorbic acid supplementation increases embryo survival following cryopreservation via decreasing HSPA1A levels.

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Published online 10 April 2014
Substitution of starch for palm oil during gestation: impact on offspring survival and hepatic gene expression in the pig 
K. L. Almond, H. P. Fainberg, M. A. Lomax, P. Bikker, M. E. Symonds and A. Mostyn

Various dietary strategies to reduce piglet mortality have been tested, with increased fat in the maternal diet thought to improve energy partitioning to the fetus, subsequently improving neonatal outcome. However, we found that a maternal diet containing palm oil in place of starch led to reduced maternal glucose tolerance, increased neonatal mortality and altered gene expression in the liver at 1 week of age. Despite this, offspring from mothers fed the fat-substituted diet displayed no changes in postnatal growth or hepatic gene expression at 6 months of age.

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Published online 10 April 2014
In utero exposure to the oestrogen mimic diethylstilbestrol disrupts gonadal development in a viviparous reptile 
Laura M. Parsley, Erik Wapstra and Susan M. Jones

Studies of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in egg-laying reptiles have significantly advanced knowledge in this field; however, 30 % of reptiles are live-bearing. We examined the effects of feminising EDCs by exposing female Niveoscincus metallicus to the synthetic oestrogen, diethylstilbestrol, and found that gonadal development of male and female neonates from exposed mothers was impaired at birth. Maternal exposure to feminising EDCs may have profound consequences on reproductive fitness.

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Published online 10 April 2014
Antioxidant treatment during manipulation procedures prevents mitochondrial and DNA damage and enhances nuclear reprogramming of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos 
Hyo-Kyung Bae, In-Sun Hwang, Ji-Ye Kim, Sung-Young Lee, Choon-Keun Park, Boo-Keun Yang and Hee-Tae Cheong

The efficiency of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is low because of incomplete nuclear reprogramming. We tried to prevent the mitochondrial and DNA damage caused by mechanical stress-associated reactive oxygen species during manipulation procedures of SCNT using antioxidants. Antioxidant treatment during manipulation procedures can efficiently prevent cellular damage and improve nuclear reprogramming.

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Published online 04 April 2014
Prenatal exposure to testosterone masculinises the female gerbil and promotes the development of lesions in the prostate (Skene 
Manoel F. Biancardi, Ana P. S. Perez, Cássia Regina Suzuki Caires, Rejane M. Góes, Patrícia S. L. Vilamaior, Fernanda C. A. Santos and Sebastião R. Taboga

This research reports important improvements in prostate biology focusing on the mechanisms underlying the origins of diseases from the female prostate (Skene’s gland). Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the interferential effects of exogenous testosterone exposure during the prenatal and pubertal periods on the health of the female prostate. We observed that the exposure to androgenic disruptors may predispose the gland to develop lesions with aging.

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Published online 03 April 2014
Differential expression of Notch component and effector genes during ovarian follicle and corpus luteum development during the oestrous cycle 
D. Murta, M. Batista, E. Silva, A. Trindade, L. Mateus, A. Duarte and L. Lopes-da-Costa

Ovarian dynamics involve extensive cell-to-cell communication, requiring fine regulation of cell signalling. This led us to evaluate the expression patterns of Notch cell-signalling pathway component and effector genes during follicle and corpus luteum development. We found Notch signalling active, and Notch expression spatially and temporally associated with key events in follicle and corpus luteum development. This suggests a relevant regulatory role of Notch signalling in ovarian dynamics.

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Published online 03 April 2014
Effects of vitrification on the expression of pluripotency, apoptotic and stress genes in in vitro-produced porcine blastocysts 
Miriam Castillo-Martín, Marc Yeste, Eva Pericuesta, Roser Morató, Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán and Sergi Bonet

The demand for the successful preservation of porcine embryos has increased in the past decade. In this study, we evaluated the effects of vitrification and warming, a widely used cryopreservation method, on the expression of six relevant genes in in vitro-produced porcine blastocysts. The results suggest that vitrification and warming affect embryo developmental ability and pluripotency by increasing the number of cells with fragmented DNA, peroxide levels and HSPA1A gene expression.

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Published online 02 April 2014
Seasonal variation in urinary and salivary reproductive hormone levels in Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) 
Rodrigo S. Amaral, Fernando C. W. Rosas, Vera M. F. da Silva, Laura H. Graham, Priscila Viau, Marcilio Nichi and Claudio A. Oliveira

The Amazonian manatee is a threatened aquatic mammal endemic to the Amazon basin and the species is a seasonal breeder. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the season on the reproductive hormone levels of captive Amazonian manatees. Different from males, all female hormones levels showed seasonal variation. The results strongly suggest the existence of reproductive seasonality in Amazonian manatees, even in captive conditions; however, apparently only females exhibit reproductive quiescence during the non-breeding season.

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Published online 31 March 2014
Effect of pregnancy on endometrial expression of luteolytic pathway components in the mare 
M. de Ruijter-Villani, H. T. A. van Tol and T. A. E. Stout

Preventing pulsatile endometrial PGF release is critical to pregnancy recognition in mares, and downregulation of PTGS2 and OXTR underlies initial avoidance of luteolysis. By Day 21 of pregnancy, however, expression of both PTGS2 and OXTR recovers to levels consistent with luteolysis. Continued luteal maintenance may instead involve uncoupling of PGF generating feedback loops by inhibition of PGF receptor (PTGFR) expression.

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Published online 31 March 2014
Ram spermatozoa migrating through artificial mucus in vitro have reduced mitochondrial membrane potential but retain their viability 
Carmen Martínez-Rodríguez, Mercedes Alvarez, Elena López-Urueña, Susana Gomes-Alves, Luis Anel-López, Cesar A. Chamorro, Luis Anel and Paulino de Paz

The ram sperm population that migrates through a column of cervical mucus surrogates in a penetration test was evaluated. These spermatozoa exhibit an adequate motility to cross the mucus barrier and we think that these cells can give information about the transport through the female genital tract. The viability of migrating spermatozoa was not changed but the mitochondrial status was affected after migration.

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Published online 27 March 2014
Cloning and expression of progesterone receptor isoforms A and B in bovine corpus luteum 
Robert Rekawiecki, Magdalena Karolina Kowalik and Jan Kotwica

Nuclear progesterone receptor has two main isoforms, PGRA and PGRB, which have different functions. PGRB cDNA from cattle was cloned then mRNA and protein levels for both isoforms in corpora lutea during the oestrous cycle and first trimester of pregnancy were determined. The data suggest that the variable expression of these isoforms during the oestrous cycle may depend on the influence of progesterone.

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Published online 25 March 2014
Contribution of boars to reproductive performance and paternity after homospermic and heterospermic artificial insemination 
C. E. R. Ferreira, D. B. Sávio, A. C. Guarise, M. J. Flach, G. D. A. Gastal, A. O. Gonçalves, O. A. Dellagostin, R. V. Alonso, I. Bianchi, C. D. Corcini and T. Lucia

Although it is commonly used in swine farms, heterospermic AI does not allow precise evaluation of boar fertility. The reproductive performance and the paternity contribution of four boars (A, B, C and D) were compared in this study using homospermic and heterospermic AI in 511 sows. Differences among boars were only identified after genotyping the piglets sired through heterospermic AI.

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Published online 25 March 2014
Validation of computer-assisted sperm-motility analysis in the amphibian Silurana tropicalis 
Severine Larroze, Daniel B. Pickford and William V. Holt

Computer-assisted sperm-motility analysis has been scarcely studied or used on amphibians. In this research we validated a standardised method producing reproducible results and compared traditional data analysis with sperm-subpopulation frequencies. We demonstrated that sperm-subpopulation frequency analysis can detect treatment effects on sperm motility.

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Published online 20 March 2014
Mouse ovarian tissue vitrification on copper electron microscope grids versus slow freezing: a comparative ultrastructural study 
Ferda Topal-Celikkan, Sinan Ozkavukcu, Deniz Balci, Sibel Serin-Kilicoglu and Esra Atabenli-Erdemli

Ovarian cryopreservation for fertility preservation is a gold standard procedure in numerous cases, like childhood cancers, although it is still considered experimental. Vitrification is widely used in embryo and oocyte cryopreservation, but its effectiveness for ovarian freezing remains debatable. Slow freezing seems to preserve ovarian content better and therefore the vitrification of tissues needs to be improved by means of cryoprotective agents and carrying devices.

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Published online 17 March 2014
Follistatin is essential for normal postnatal development and function of mouse oviduct and uterus 
S. J. Holdsworth-Carson, R. G. Craythorn, W. R. Winnall, K. Dhaliwal, R. Genovese, C. J. Nowell, P. A. W. Rogers, D. M. de Kretser, M. P. Hedger and J. E. Girling

Follistatin is a protein with key roles in the female reproductive system. We used mutant mouse strains to demonstrate the importance of follistatin in the postnatal development and function of the uterus and oviduct. Our work highlights the need to further examine the role of follistatin in the reproductive tract, as well as its key role in the ovary.

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    | Supplementary Material (1.3 MB)
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Published online 11 March 2014
Developmental programming of bone deficits in growth-restricted offspring 
Tania Romano, John D. Wark and Mary E. Wlodek

Offspring born with low birth weight are predisposed to a number of adult diseases, including osteoporosis. Herein, we report that such rat offspring develop reduced bone mineral content and strength at various ages. Importantly these deficits affected males more severely than females and became worse with aging. Interventions to improve bone quality in adult life for individuals born small may reduce the incidence of osteoporosis in the future.

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Published online 04 March 2014
Subpopulation pattern of eel spermatozoa is affected by post-activation time, hormonal treatment and the thermal regimen 
V. Gallego, M. C. Vílchez, D. S. Peñaranda, L. Pérez, M. P. Herráez, J. F. Asturiano and F. Martínez-Pastor

Eel culture requires closing of the life cycle in captivity. We have characterised sperm subpopulations in eel sperm by cluster analysis of CASA data. Keeping male eels at 20°C and using recombinant human chorionic gonadotropin (hCGrec) resulted in early and stable spermiation, with a higher proportion of a high quality subpopulation.

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    | Supplementary Material (512 KB)
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Published online 04 March 2014
Variation of spermatogenic and Sertoli cell number detected by fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in Iberian red deer during and out of the breeding season 
Eliana Pintus, José Luis Ros-Santaella and José Julián Garde

Few studies have dealt with spermatogenesis in red deer, which represent a good model in which to investigate testicular function owing to their reproductive seasonality. Herein, we found that both spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell number decreased significantly out of the breeding season in Iberian red deer. Our results provide new insights into the dynamics of spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell populations, and challenge current dogma that Sertoli cell number is fixed in adulthood.

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Published online 28 February 2014
Sperm survival kinetics in different types of bull semen: progressive motility, plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal status and reactive oxygen species generation 
Mushtaq Ahmad, Nasim Ahmad, Amjad Riaz and Muhammad Anzar

Sperm survival is important for the fertilisation of oocytes. The kinetics of progressive sperm motility, acrosomes, plasma membrane and generation of reactive oxygen species were determined in vitro over 24 h. Bull sperm longevity was poor in frozen–thawed semen. Different types of spermatozoa followed different death pathways. All types of spermatozoa generated superoxide anions during incubation, which adversely affected their plasma membranes.

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Published online 24 February 2014
Selection of pre- versus postpubertal pig oocytes for parthenogenetic activation and somatic cell nuclear transfer 
H. S. Pedersen, Y. Liu, R. Li, S. Purup, P. Løvendahl, P. Holm, P. Hyttel and H. Callesen

Oocytes from sexually immature pigs are used for in vitro production techniques studying, for example, human diseases. The objective of the present study was met by developing a method for the selection of prepubertal oocytes with high developmental competence by measuring the oocyte’s diameter in combination with morphological evaluation. The study is important for understanding oocyte growth and development and for increasing the efficiency of in vitro work.

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Published online 24 February 2014
In vitro manipulation techniques of porcine embryos: a meta-analysis related to transfers, pregnancies and piglets 
Ying Liu, Juan Li, Peter Løvendahl, Mette Schmidt, Knud Larsen and Henrik Callesen

Over the last decade in vitro manipulation techniques of pig embryos have been used increasingly, but the overall tendencies and main problems are not well known. In this first systematic review we show that using more in vitro manipulations of porcine embryos decreases the overall production of piglets, and that nuclear transfer has developed markedly and now gives more stable results. This new knowledge illustrates the present status of in vitro techniques, and it will also be useful in the continuing attempts to identify problems and find solutions for nuclear transfer.

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Published online 21 February 2014
Effect of different freezing velocities on the quality and fertilising ability of cryopreserved rabbit spermatozoa 
E. Mocé, E. Blanch, A. Talaván and M. P. Viudes de Castro

The freezing step of the protocol for rabbit sperm cryopreservation negatively influences the performance of the spermatozoa. In this study we show the important role that the freezing rate plays in the quality and fertilising ability of the spermatozoa, with medium freezing rates (–40°C min–1) more suitable for freezing rabbit spermatozoa. These results could help to develop reliable protocols for rabbit sperm cryopreservation.

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Published online 19 February 2014
Elective single versus double embryo transfer: live birth outcome and patient acceptance in a prospective randomised trial* 
Nicolás Prados, Rocío Quiroga, Cinzia Caligara, Myriam Ruiz, Víctor Blasco, Antonio Pellicer and Manuel Fernández-Sánchez

The aim of the study was to determine which strategy (i.e. single (eSET) versus double (eDET) embryo transfer) has a better trade-off in live birth delivery considering patient acceptance. The live birth delivery rate was significantly higher after eDET versus eSET (65% vs 42%, respectively), but no multiple births were observed after eSET compared with 35% after eDET. Nearly half the patients refused eSET even after having been well informed of its benefits.

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  *&title=Reproduction, Fertility and Development&date=9999&volume=9999&spage=&epage=&aulast=Prados&aufirst=Nicolás" target="_blank" >  | Supplementary Material (44 KB)
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Published online 19 February 2014
Oocyte expression, secretion and somatic cell interaction of mouse bone morphogenetic protein 15 during the peri-ovulatory period 
Brigitta Mester, Lesley J. Ritter, Janet L. Pitman, Adrian H. Bibby, Robert B. Gilchrist, Kenneth P. McNatty, Jennifer L. Juengel and C. Joy McIntosh

New work investigating how mammalian eggs achieve ovulation has found that the key fertility protein bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) is produced by the egg in more than one protein form just before ovulation. Whereas most previous studies focused on the mature region of BMP15, the present study shows that the proregion form is also increasingly produced just before ovulation and binds to surrounding cumulus and granulosa cells. This finding furthers our understanding of the complexity of BMP15 signalling and provides promising new routes of improving fertility treatments.

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Published online 14 February 2014
Knockdown of regulator of G-protein signalling 2 (Rgs2) leads to abnormal early mouse embryo development in vitro 
Yan Zhu, Ya-Hong Jiang, Ya-Ping He, Xuan Zhang, Zhao-Gui Sun, Man-Xi Jiang and Jian Wang

We hypothesised that Rgs2 may play a role in early embryo development. Therefore, we investigated the localisation of Rgs2 in mouse ovarian tissues and early embryos, and determined the effect of downregulating Rgs2 on the development of early embryos. Rgs2 was abundant in mouse early embryos, and the results of Rgs2 knockdown indicate that Rgs2 plays a critical role in early embryo development.

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Published online 12 February 2014
Polymorphisms in TOX and NCOA2 genes and their associations with reproductive traits in cattle 
Gregório M. F. de Camargo, Raphael B. Costa, Lucia G. de Albuquerque, Luciana C. A. Regitano, Fernando Baldi and Humberto Tonhati

The detection of causal mutation in genes improves genetic evaluation of animals. The aim of the present study was to search for causal mutations in the TOX and NCOA2 genes and relate them to reproductive traits in beef cattle. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms in the NCOA2 gene were associated (P < 0.05) with early pregnancy probability, age at first calving and days to first calving.

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Published online 11 February 2014
New insight into the castrated mouse epididymis based on comparative proteomics 
Xin Liu, Wenjuan Wang and FuJun Liu

The mammalian epididymis is responsible for sperm maturation and is critically regulated by testicular factors. Comparative proteomics was used to discover key testis-dependent proteins in epididymides from castrated mice. The results showed that the differentially expressed proteins participated primarily in energy metabolism and the antigen processing and presentation pathway. Our findings may provide potential new candidates for further studies into epididymal function and male aging.

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    | Supplementary Material (351 KB)
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Published online 30 January 2014
FSH and LH receptors are differentially expressed in cumulus cells surrounding developmentally competent and incompetent mouse fully grown antral oocytes 
Giulia Vigone, Valeria Merico, Carlo Alberto Redi, Giuliano Mazzini, Silvia Garagna and Maurizio Zuccotti

As experienced by many couples that undergo assisted reproduction, the oocyte quality is crucial for correct development. This study shows that Fsh and Lh receptors on the cumulus cells that surround the mouse oocyte are differentially expressed in developmentally competent or incompetent gametes. The method presented is a potential non-invasive procedure to discriminate between oocytes of good or bad quality.

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    | Supplementary Material (180 KB)
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Published online 30 January 2014
Shotgun proteomics of rainbow trout ovarian fluid 
Joanna Nynca, Georg J. Arnold, Thomas Fröhlich and Andrzej Ciereszko

Studies on the protein components of ovarian fluid (OF) may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying oocyte development and quality. A shotgun proteomic approach was used to identify 54 proteins of in the OF of rainbow trout; most of the proteins are described for the first time in fish OF. The results of this study could help in the decoding of the biological function of these proteins and in the discovery of potential biomarkers of oocyte quality.

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    | Supplementary Material (18 KB)
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Published online 24 January 2014
Mitochondria and vesicles differ between adult and prepubertal sheep oocytes during IVM 
Karen L. Reader, Neil R. Cox, Jo-Ann L. Stanton and Jennifer L. Juengel

By identifying differences between good and poor quality oocytes (i.e. eggs), methods for improving oocyte quality may be ascertained. This research discovered differences in the distribution, number and structure of mitochondria and the volume of storage vesicles, between adult (good quality) and juvenile (poor quality) sheep oocytes. Treatments that can alter these cell organelles in the oocytes, either in the laboratory or the animal, may now be identified to improve oocyte quality.

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Published online 15 January 2014
Efficiency of delayed reproduction in Mus spicilegus 
Marie Lafaille, Patrick Gouat and Christophe Féron

To cope with varying ecological costs some species delay their first breeding, but delaying the first reproduction generally involves reproductive costs. We show here in a wild-type rodent (Mus spicilegus) that the delayed reproducers reproduce as well and more quickly than younger first-time breeders. The hypothesis of a lower reproductive potential in these relatively aged individuals seems to be contradicted.

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Published online 13 January 2014
Exogenous γ-tocotrienol promotes preimplantation development and improves the quality of porcine embryos 
Enok Lee, Sung-Hun Min, Bong-Seok Song, Ji-Yeong Yeon, Jin-Woo Kim, Jung-Ho Bae, Soo-Yong Park, Yong-Hee Lee, Sun-Uk Kim, Dong-Seok Lee, Kyu-Tae Chang and Deog-Bon Koo

Researchers have paid much attention to gamma-tocotrienol (GTT) due to its strong anti-oxidant properties. Therefore, the effects of GTT on blastocyst development, expression levels of reactive oxygen species and apoptotic index were investigated in preimplantation porcine embryos. We revealed that GTT improves the developmental competence and quality of porcine embryos by preventing oxidative stress.

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Published online 13 January 2014
Relationship between adiponectin and fertility in the female pig 
Danila B. Campos, Marcelo Albornoz, Paula C. Papa, Marie-France Palin, Vilceu Bordignon and Bruce D. Murphy

Adiponectin isoforms mediate different aspects of the pleiotropic function of the protein, including the reproductive process. We demonstrated that lower abundance of circulating adiponectin isoforms and altered ovarian adiponectin system expression are related to lower porcine fertility. These data present new elements contributing to a better understanding of the role of adiponectin in the reproduction and extends previous observations that reduced circulating adiponectin is associated with reproductive disorders, including PCOS. These findings open a new avenue for the application of commercial letrozole in monosex fish production.

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Published online 13 January 2014
Effect of dietary administration of letrozole and tamoxifen on gonadal development, sex differentiation and biochemical changes in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) 
Atul K. Singh, P. P. Srivastava, Rita Verma, Sharad C. Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar and Abubakar Ansari

Induced sex manipulation in fish is connected with better aquaculture production and sex control. Masculinisation in sexually undifferentiated common carp was attempted using non-steroidal tamoxifen and letrozole, which resulted in highly significant changes, particularly for letrozole, which produced almost all male C. capio. These findings open a new avenue for the application of commercial letrozole in monosex fish production.

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Published online 06 January 2014
Oxygen-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

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.

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Published online 03 January 2014
Aging 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

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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Published online 03 January 2014
T26248G-transversion mutation in exon7 of the putative methyltransferase Nsun7 gene causes a change in protein folding associated with reduced sperm motility in asthenospermic men 
Nahid Khosronezhad, Abasalt Hosseinzadeh Colagar and Syed Golam Ali Jorsarayi

The Nsun7 gene with location 4p14, encodes putative methyltransferase Nsun7, has a role in sperm motility. Analysis of the direct sequencing of PCR products of exon7 showed a T26248G-transversion mutation with protein folding and function exchange in asthenospermic men, which may lead to reduced sperm motility and infertility. Based on, it can be helpful as an infertility marker for males with a history of subfertility or idiopathic infertility in fertility assessment.

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Published online 03 January 2014
Assessment of DNA damage in goat preantral follicles after vitrification of the ovarian cortex 
Luciana R. Faustino, Adeline A. Carvalho, Cleidson M. G. Silva, Rafael Rossetto, Cláudio A. P. Lopes, Maurício F. van Tilburg, Pedro B. M. Carneiro, Sônia N. Báo, Arlindo A. A. Moura, Vilceu Bordignon, José R. Figueiredo and Ana Paula R. Rodrigues

Effective methods for tissue cryopreservation should protect cell viability and genome integrity. This study used the TUNEL assay and detection of γH2AX foci to investigate DNA damage in goat ovarian tissues cryopreserved with a new vitrification method (the Ovarian Tissue Cryosystem). This vitrification method preserved both morphology and DNA integrity of goat preantral follicles and therefore represents a potential alternative for ovarian tissue preservation in other species.

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Published online 23 December 2013
Interaction 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

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.

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Published online 20 December 2013
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids during gestation and lactation to a vitamin B12-deficient or -supplemented diet improves pregnancy outcome and metabolic variables in Wistar rats 
Amrita Khaire, Richa Rathod, Nisha Kemse, Anvita Kale and Sadhana Joshi

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.

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Published online 17 December 2013
Dynamic changes in nuclear import of a nuclear localisation signal-bearing substrate in 8-cell stage porcine embryos 
Yanfang Li, Ki-Eun Park and Ryan A. Cabot

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.

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Published online 12 December 2013
Influence 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

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.

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Published online 04 December 2013
Progestin 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

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.

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Published online 04 December 2013
Colloid single-layer centrifugation improves post-thaw donkey (Equus asinus) sperm quality and is related to ejaculate freezability 
I. Ortiz, J. Dorado, D. Acha, M. J. Gálvez, M. Urbano and M. Hidalgo

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.

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Published online 27 November 2013
The 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

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.

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Published online 27 November 2013
Influence of sperm fertilising concentration, sperm selection method and sperm capacitation procedure on the incidence of numerical chromosomal abnormalities in IVF early bovine embryos 
Sebastián Demyda-Peyrás, Jesús Dorado, Manuel Hidalgo and Miguel Moreno-Millán

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.

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Published online 12 November 2013
Structure, histochemistry and seasonal variations of the male reproductive accessory glands in the Pallas 
Caroline M. Christante, Mateus R. Beguelini, Cintia C. I. Puga, Ana C. Negrin, Eliana Morielle-Versute, Patrícia S. L. Vilamaior and Sebastião R. Taboga

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).

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Published online 11 November 2013
Tolerance 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

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.

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Published online 11 November 2013
Exposure 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

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.

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    | Supplementary Material (336 KB)
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Published online 06 November 2013
Follicle 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

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.

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Published online 01 November 2013
Effect of vehicle and route of administration of letrozole on ovarian function in a bovine model 
M. J. Yapura, R. J. Mapletoft, R. A. Pierson, J. Singh and G. P. Adams

The use of natural or synthetic oestrogens for controlling reproductive function has been the subject of considerable controversy in the cattle industry. Letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, prevents the body from producing its own oestrogens. The ability of aromatase inhibitors to control follicular dynamics holds potential for development of letrozole-based (non-steroidal) methods of controlling and synchronising ovarian function in cattle and other species.

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Published online 30 October 2013
Structure, histochemistry, ultrastructure and seasonal variations of the male prostatic complex in the black Myotis bat, Myotis nigricans (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) 
Ana C. Negrin, Mateus R. Beguelini, Cintia C. I. Puga, Caroline M. Christante, Larissa M. Bueno, Eliana Morielle-Versute, Patrícia S. L. Vilamaior and Sebastião R. Taboga

Because of its wide geographic distribution, Myotis nigricans exhibit considerable variability in reproductive strategies. Thus, the aim of the present study was to characterise the prostatic complex of M. nigricans and evaluate its seasonal variations. The prostatic complex is composed of three bilobed regions (ventral, dorsolateral and dorsal), each with distinctive morphological characteristics. However, all three regions synchronise to establish the main reproductive peak in summer.

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Published online 25 October 2013
Recovery of fertility from adult ovarian tissue transplanted into week-old Japanese quail chicks 
Jianan Liu, Kimberly M. Cheng and Frederick G. Silversides

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.

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Published online 24 October 2013
EZH2 is essential for development of mouse preimplantation embryos 
Xian-Ju Huang, Xuguang Wang, Xueshan Ma, Shao-Chen Sun, Xiaolong Zhou, Chengcheng Zhu and Honglin Liu

Ezh2 controls the fate of mouse embryos at an early stage. We investigated Ezh2 expression during preimplantation and found that lacking Ezh2 results in mouse embryos with severe development defects. Our results showed that Ezh2 affect mouse embryo development through the regulation of epigenetic modification, gene expression and apoptosis.

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    | Supplementary Material (622 KB)
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Published online 24 October 2013
The pattern of LH secretion and the ovarian response to the ‘ram effect 
R. J. Scaramuzzi, L. Oujagir, J-B. Menassol, S. Freret, A. Piezel, H. M. Brown, J. Cognié and C. Fabre Nys

The food animals eat has a major influence on their ability to reproduce. This experiment was designed to determine if fatness or high-energy diets affected the socio-sexual responses of ewes to rams. High-energy diets stimulated insulin and glucose but had little influence on reproductive responses. Thin ewes had reduced glucose and insulin and compromised responses to socio-sexual stimulation, suggesting that fatness was a significant contributor to reproductive success.

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Published online 21 October 2013
Y chromosome in Turner syndrome: detection of hidden mosaicism and the report of a rare X;Y translocation case 
Adriana Valéria Sales Bispo, Pollyanna Burégio-Frota, Luana Oliveira dos Santos, Gabriela Ferraz Leal, Andrea Rezende Duarte, Jacqueline Araújo, Vanessa Cavalcante da Silva, Maria Tereza Cartaxo Muniz, Thomas Liehr and Neide Santos

The presence of Y-chromosome material in Turner syndrome is of medical importance because it results in an increased risk of developing gonadal tumours and virilisation. We detected cryptic Y-chromosome sequences in 2.7% of cases and describe one girl with a very uncommon karyotype 46,X,der(X)t(X;Y)(p22.3?2;q11.23). We recommend that the search for Y-chromosome mosaicism should be carried out in all Turner cases.

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Published online 21 October 2013
Are the basal cells of the mammalian epididymis still an enigma? 
S. Arrighi

This review summarises the striking novelties obtained from morphophysiological investigations after David W. Hamilton stated ‘epididymal basal cells are an enigma’ in the 1970s. In addition to an earlier hypothesised scavenger role linked to the expression of macrophage antigens, basal cells have been shown to be involved in cell–cell cross-talk and to function as luminal sensors regulating epithelial activity.

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Published online 21 October 2013
Spermatozoa of the old endemic rodents of Australia – the possible functional significance of their ventral processes 
Simon Drew, Chris Leigh and William G. Breed

Most Australian old endemic rodents contain a highly complex spermatozoon with the head containing two processes extending from its upper concave surface. This study investigates the structure and function of these processes.  It shows that they are highly rigid structures and suggests that they may stabilise the spermatozoon at the time of egg-coat binding. Since these spermatozoa occur throughout this rodent group they probably evolved in an early common ancestor over 5 million years ago.

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Published online 25 September 2013
Isolation, characterisation and cDNA sequencing of a new form of parvalbumin from carp semen 
Mariola A. Dietrich, Błażej Westfalewicz, Patrycja Jurecka, Ilgiz Irnazarow and Andrzej Ciereszko

Parvalbumins are calcium-binding proteins and their presence in carp semen may be related to the importance of calcium ions in the mechanism controlling carp sperm movement. We aimed to purify and characterise the new form of carp seminal parvalbumin (Pv-II), which differed from other carp parvalbumins and had a tendency to oligomerise. The oligomerisation was protected by the presence of seminal plasma. The results suggest the role of parvalbumin in mechanism of carp sperm activation and spermatozoa protection against apoptosis.

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Published online 18 September 2013
LAPS-FSH: a new and effective long-acting follicle-stimulating hormone analogue for the treatment of infertility 
Sunyoung Jung, Youngjin Park, YoungHoon Kim, Yu Yon Kim, Hyun-Ji Choi, Woo-Chan Son and SeChang Kwon

As FSH has relatively short half-life, there is a great need for the development of a long-acting FSH analogue with increased efficacy. A new FSH analogue, LAPS-FSH, demonstrates several advantages such as a long half-life, good potency, and ability to increase the number of Graafian follicles and the size of the follicles. LAPS-FSH is expected to increase the success rate of infertility treatments while also reducing the effort and time.

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Published online 17 September 2013
Altered chromatin condensation of heat-stressed spermatozoa perturbs the dynamics of DNA methylation reprogramming in the paternal genome after in vitro fertilisation in cattle 
Mohammad Bozlur Rahman, Md. Mostofa Kamal, Tom Rijsselaere, Leen Vandaele, Mohammed Shamsuddin and Ann Van Soom

Shortly after fertilisation, methylation of both maternal and paternal DNA is reprogrammed for further embryo development. The objectives of this study were to investigate DNA methylation reprogramming following fertilisation of oocytes with heat-stressed spermatozoa and the results show that the normal pattern of DNA methylation reprogramming is perturbed in the paternal genome, leading to a lower fertilisation rate. Our data can be used to address lower fertilisation potential of spermatozoa with suboptimal quality.

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Published online 12 September 2013
Cryotolerance and global gene-expression patterns of Bos taurus indicus and Bos taurus taurus in vitro- and in vivo-produced blastocysts 
Mateus J. Sudano, Ester S. Caixeta, Daniela M. Paschoal, Alicio Martins, Rui Machado, José Buratini and Fernanda D. C. Landim-Alvarenga

The major challenge for a greater dissemination of in vitro-produced bovine embryos is to improve embryonic survival after cryopreservation. The results generated in this study provide different transcriptomic signatures of a model with two bovine subspecies and two embryo origins that presented distinct lipid content and post-cryopreservation survival. Such knowledge will be useful to characterise the specific role of identified genes in lipid metabolism and embryo cryosurvival capacity.

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Published online 06 September 2013
Predictive value of antral follicle count and anti-Müllerian hormone for follicle and oocyte developmental competence during the early prepubertal period in a sheep model 
Laura Torres-Rovira, Antonio Gonzalez-Bulnes, Sara Succu, Antonio Spezzigu, Maria E. Manca, Giovanni G. Leoni, Marina Sanna, Salvatore Pirino, Marilia Gallus, Salvatore Naitana and Fiammetta Berlinguer

Factors and mechanisms driving early prepubertal follicle development still need to be completely elucidated. Here, we found that antral follicle count (AFC) could represent a sign of follicular maturation in the prepubertal ovaries, while its close relationship with the non-growing follicle pool could develop only after the full establishment of reproductive activity. These data extend our knowledge of the ovarian functionality during the early prepubertal period.

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Published online 28 August 2013
Triphenyltin chloride induces spindle microtubule depolymerisation and inhibits meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes 
Yu-Ting Shen, Yue-Qiang Song, Xiao-Qin He, Fei Zhang, Xin Huang, Yu Liu, Lu Ding, Lin Xu, Mao-Bi Zhu, Wen-Feng Hu, Zhong-Quan Qi, Hai-Long Wang and Xiang-Jun Yang

Triphenyltin chloride (TPTCL) is a highly bioaccumulated and toxic environmental oestrogen; however, its effect on oocyte meiosis remains unknown. In this study we examined the effect of TPTCL on mouse oocyte meiotic maturation in vitro and in vivo and found that TPTCL seriously affects meiotic maturation by disturbing cell-cycle progression and the microtubule cytoskeleton. Our study may be helpful for investigating infertility and miscarriage of undetermined origin.

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Published online 27 August 2013
Mitochondrial SIRT5 is present in follicular cells and is altered by reduced ovarian reserve and advanced maternal age 
Leanne Pacella-Ince, Deirdre L. Zander-Fox and Michelle Lane

Young women whose eggs age prematurely or women over 40 have reduced fertility. Our study shows that the follicular cells of these women have reduced activity of a mitochondrial protein, SIRT5, that alters the activity of enzymes resulting in an accumulation of ammonium in the follicular fluid that bathes the egg. This altered follicular-fluid composition may contribute to the reduced egg quality in these women.

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Published online 19 August 2013
FOXM1 is lower in human fetal membranes after spontaneous preterm labour and delivery 
Ratana Lim, Gillian Barker and Martha Lappas

Preterm birth is typically associated with infection and/or inflammation, and being accountable for approximately 1 million annual neonatal deaths, is a global healthcare issue. We found that spontaneous preterm labour is associated with a decrease in transcription factor FOXM1 in fetal membranes, with FOXM1 gene silencing in primary amnion cells increasing inflammation-induced pro-labour mediators. The role of FOXM1 in labour processes enhances our understanding of the mechanisms that drive preterm birth, perhaps leading to a future clinical therapeutic.

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Published online 08 August 2013
Synthesis of leukotrienes in porcine uteri with endometritis induced by infection with Escherichia coli 
Barbara Jana, Joanna Czarzasta and Jerzy Jaroszewski

Leukotrienes (LTs) are pro-inflammatory lipid mediators and their production in inflamed uteri is not fully understood. The present experiment aimed to determine LTB4 and LTC4 amounts and 5-lipooxygenase, LTA4 hydrolase and LTC4 synthase mRNA levels and protein expression in the porcine uteri with inflammation. The data obtained show the upregulation of LT synthesis and secretion in inflamed porcine uteri, which suggests the importance of these factors for functions of pathologically changed organs.

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Published online 08 August 2013
Long-term effect on in vitro cloning efficiency after treatment of somatic cells with Xenopus egg extract in the pig 
Ying Liu, Olga Østrup, Rong Li, Juan Li, Gábor Vajta, Peter M. Kragh, Mette Schmidt, Stig Purup, Poul Hyttel, Dan Klærke and Henrik Callesen

Incomplete reprograming of somatic cells is one of the important reasons for the low efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In our study we investigated the reprogramming effect of Xenopus egg extract on somatic donor cells from pig used subsequently for SCNT, and our results showed that a single extract treatment produces a long-term increase in in vitro efficiency of SCNT. Our findings provide new understandings about the process of cellular reprogramming and also have potential application for future work on practical SCNT.

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    | Supplementary Material (25 KB)
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Published online 07 August 2013
Gestational protein restriction delays prostate morphogenesis in male rats 
Cristiane F. Pinho, Mariana A. Ribeiro, Jaqueline C. Rinaldi, Sergio L. Felisbino, Patricia F. Pinheiro, Raquel F. Domeniconi, Ricardo A. Fochi, Patrícia A. Boer and Wellerson R. Scarano

Maternal nutritional status during pregnancy is essential for normal growth, as intra-uterine development is dependent on the nutritional, hormonal and metabolic environment provided by the mother. We investigated the effects of gestational protein restriction on prostate morphogenesis in male rats and the results showed that maternal malnutrition delayed prostate development. This result could be an important factor in altered postnatal development and long-term diseases in the prostate.

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Published online 07 August 2013
Human seminal fibronectin fragmentation patterns and their domain immunoreactivities in leucocytospermic patients 
Ewa M. Kratz, Marcin Wójtowicz, Magdalena Przybysz, Ricardo Faundez and Iwona K?tnik-Prastowska

Male infertility has become a social and medical problem of developed countries over the last decades. This work reports the differences in degree of fibronectin fragmentation and its domain reactivities in seminal plasmas of fertile normozoospermic and infertile leucocytospermic male patients. It is expected that the analysis of human seminal fibronectin molecular status would be helpful for selecting the highest quality spermatozoa for use in assisted reproduction techniques.

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Published online 06 August 2013
In vitro development of preimplantation porcine embryos using alginate hydrogels as a three-dimensional extracellular matrix 
Catherine N. Sargus-Patino, Elane C. Wright, Sarah A. Plautz, Jeremy R. Miles, Jeff L. Vallet and Angela K. Pannier

Deficiencies in porcine embryo elongation contribute to approximately 20% of embryonic loss, but exact mechanisms of elongation are poorly understood. We have established a culture system using alginate hydrogel as a three-dimensional matrix that facilitates morphological changes with increased oestrogen production and differential gene expression of porcine embryos, consistent with in vivo elongation. This alginate culture system can serve as a tool for evaluating specific mechanisms of embryo elongation.

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Published online 05 August 2013
Human oocyte vitrification with corona radiata, in autologous follicular fluid supplemented with ethylene glycol, preserves conventional IVF potential: birth of four healthy babies 
Xian-Hong Tong, Li-Min Wu, Ren-Tao Jin, Hong-Bing Luan and Yu-Sheng Liu

There is the possibility for a woman to cryopreserve and store her own eggs in an egg bank until she is ready to proceed with motherhood. Autologous follicular fluid supplemented with ethylene glycol and sucrose was an efficient cryoprotectant for egg cryopreservation; the frozen–thawed eggs have similar potential for fertilisation and development as that of fresh eggs. This simple, feasible method for egg cryopreservation can be popularised in all reproductive centres.

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Published online 05 August 2013
Transgenerational programming of fetal nephron deficits and sex-specific adult hypertension in rats 
Linda A. Gallo, Melanie Tran, Luise A. Cullen-McEwen, Kate M. Denton, Andrew J. Jefferies, Karen M. Moritz and Mary E. Wlodek

A suboptimal pregnancy environment that reduces birth weight has the potential to program disease in subsequent generations. The aim of the study was to examine transgenerational cardio-renal effects, via the maternal line, using a rat model of uteroplacental insufficiency. We report alterations to kidney development and transient, sex-specific hypertension in second generation offspring. This study demonstrates that in utero exposures can have far-reaching effects that extend into the next generation.

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Published online 02 August 2013
Effects of castration on androgen receptors and gonadotropins in the pituitary of adult male viscachas 
Verónica Filippa, Daiana Godoy, Edith Perez and Fabian Mohamed

Androgens are essential for the initiation and maintenance of reproduction in mammals. Androgens act via androgen receptors (AR) and can regulate the function of a variety of cells in a number of organs, including pituitary cells secreting gonadotropins (LH and FSH). In the present study we saw a decrease in pituitary cells expressing AR, LH and FSH, and in cells coexpressing FSH and AR, in castrated male viscachas. These findings suggest that androgens could differentially affect the LH-and FSH-secreting cells.

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Published online 01 August 2013
Induction of autophagy during in vitro maturation improves the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes 
Bong-Seok Song, Ji-Su Kim, Young-Hyun Kim, Bo-Woong Sim, Seung-Bin Yoon, Jae-Jin Cha, Seon-A Choi, Hae-Jun Yang, Seong-Eun Mun, Young-Ho Park, Kang-Jin Jeong, Jae-Won Huh, Sang-Rae Lee, Sang-Hyun Kim, Sun-Uk Kim and Kyu-Tae Chang

The critical role of autophagy has been demonstrated in mammalian early embryogenesis. The present study was conducted to elucidate the effect of rapamycin, a chemical autophagy inducer, on the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes. We revealed that autophagy induction by rapamycin could improve the rate of MII oocyte production, monospermic fertilization, blastocyst formation rate, total cell number and cell survival.

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Published online 01 August 2013
Equine oviduct explant culture: a basic model to decipher embryo–maternal communication 
Hilde Nelis, Katharina D'Herde, Karen Goossens, Lynn Vandenberghe, Bart Leemans, Katrien Forier, Katrien Smits, Kevin Braeckmans, Luc Peelman and Ann Van Soom

The subtle manner of embryo–oviductal communications in the horse is very difficult to analyse in vivo. Therefore, we developed a system sustaining equine oviduct explants, bordered by highly differentiated, functional and intact epithelial cells, with only a negligible percentage of apoptotic or necrotic cells and so mimicking the in vivo situation very closely. Since the system is easy to set up, it appears to be an excellent tool for proteome, transcriptome and miRNome analysis, in order to unravel embryo–maternal interactions in the horse.

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Published online 26 July 2013
Ovarian hyperstimulation affects fluid transporters in the uterus: a potential mechanism in uterine receptivity 
Laura A. Lindsay and Christopher R. Murphy

Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, commonly involved in fertility treatment, is associated with an altered uterine environment, making it less receptive to an implanting blastocyst. A rat ovarian hyperstimulation model used in this study showed an increase in AQP5 water channels and a decrease in a tight junction protein, claudin-4, in the uterus at the time of implantation. These results suggest that there is an alteration in uterine luminal fluid dynamics and content at the time of implantation in the ovarian hyperstimulated rat.

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Published online 19 July 2013
Three-dimensional systems for in vitro follicular culture: overview of alginate-based matrices 
Ivina R. Brito, Isadora M. T. Lima, Min Xu, Lonnie D. Shea, Teresa K. Woodruff and José R. Figueiredo

In vitro follicle culture can be accomplished using two- or three-dimensional systems. This review focuses on three-dimensional in vitro culture systems based on the use of alginate hydrogel and its importance for the maintenance of follicular architecture, which is essential to ensure appropriate interactions between granulosa cells and the oocyte. Such a culture system has many important applications including its use in assisted reproductive technology.

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Published online 17 July 2013
Pentose phosphate pathway activity: effect on in vitro maturation and oxidative status of bovine oocytes 
Cynthia Gutnisky, Gabriel C. Dalvit, Jeremy G. Thompson and Pablo D. Cetica

To improve embryo in vitro production techniques, is necessary to understand the variables involved in the process. In the present study, we investigated the control of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), a key metabolic pathway involved in NADPH and ribose synthesis, in cumulus–oocytes complexes during IVM and revealed a link between PPP activity and oxidative and mitochondrial metabolism of the oocyte. These findings will help us understand the relationship between the PPP in cumulus cells and events related with the maturational capability of the oocyte.

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blank image Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume 26 Number 6 2014

 
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A novel subclass of bovine β-defensins links reproduction and immunology 
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F. Narciandi , A. Lloyd , K. G. Meade and C. O'Farrelly
pp. 769-777

β-defensins are a suite of natural antibiotics that are expanded to at least 57 genes in cattle. Our research has uncovered a new panel of these genes that are highly expressed in reproductive tissues. Results emerging in other species show that β-defensins can affect fertility via several mechanisms, including the regulation of sperm motility. The discovery and characterisation of new members of this multifunctional gene family hold significant promise as alternatives to antibiotics as well as targets for improved animal breeding.

 
  
 

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ART do not increase the risk of Y-chromosome microdeletion in 19 candidate genes at AZF regions 
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Xiao-Hong Liu , Li-Ying Yan , Cui-Ling Lu , Rong Li , Xiao-Hui Zhu , Hong-Yan Jin , Yan Zhang , Wen-Xin Zhang , Su-Hong Gao and Jie Qiao
pp. 778-786

Whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) increases the risk of Y chromosome microdeletion (YCM) de novo in ART-derived offspring remains elusive. Nineteen candidate genes related with YCM have been analysed in 199 fathers and their 228 sons (Chinese, Han ethnicity) by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. The results suggest that ART does not increase the risk of YCM in male offspring.

 
  
 

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Spermatogenesis recovery in protein-restricted rats subjected to a normal protein diet after weaning 
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Michelle C. Melo , Fernanda R. C. L. Almeida , André L. Caldeira-Brant , Gleydes G. Parreira and Hélio Chiarini-Garcia
pp. 787-796

This study investigated the pre- and postnatal effects of protein restriction on spermatogenesis in adult male rat offspring. We observed that the negative effects of protein undernutrition on the testicles are more severe when it occurs from conception to adulthood, resulting either in under-fertility or infertility. Nevertheless, if normal protein diet is offered after weaning, their reproductive capacity is recovered in adulthood.

 
  
 

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Reduced levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species and apoptotic status are not correlated with increases in cryotolerance of bovine embryos produced in vitro in the presence of antioxidants 
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Nathália A. S. Rocha-Frigoni , Beatriz C. S. Leão , Ériklis Nogueira , Mônica F. Accorsi and Gisele Z. Mingoti
pp. 797-805

In vitro-produced (IVP) embryos are susceptible to oxidative damage as a consequence of the increased oxidative stress in culture systems. This study examined the effects of antioxidant supplementation during IVP of bovine embryos and was found that antioxidant supplementation reduced oxidative stress and the rate of cellular death, but did not increase embryonic development and cryotolerance. These findings encourages the use of antioxidants in IVP systems to modulate oxidative stress and promote embryo viability.

 
  
 

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Histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A affects porcine oocyte maturation in vitro 
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Yong-Xun Jin , Ming-Hui Zhao , Zhong Zheng , Jung-Suk Kwon , Seul-Ki Lee , Xiang-Shun Cui and Nam-Hyung Kim
pp. 806-816

Porcine oocyte aging resulting from asynchronised IVM impairs embryo developmental competence. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether trichostatin A (TSA) prolongs the maturation time and prevents the aging of oocytes. The results show that TSA prolongs IVM and prevents aging in porcine oocytes, which provides a feasible option by which to adjust the initiation time of downstream experiments based on porcine matured oocytes.

 
  
 

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Germ cell survival and differentiation after xenotransplantation of testis tissue from three endangered species: Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) and Mohor gazelle (G. dama mhorr) 
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Lucía Arregui , Ina Dobrinski and Eduardo R. S. Roldan
pp. 817-826

The rescue of germ cells from dead animals may be a key tool to preserve valuable genetic resources from endangered species. Xenografting of testis tissue from young males was carried out in critically endangered gazelle and Iberian lynx, with elongated spermatids developing in gazelle testis xenografts. Thus, differentiated germ cells could be obtained from individuals that die before sexual maturity; these results represent an important advance in biodiversity conservation.

 
  
 

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Low levels of naturally occurring regulatory T lymphocytes in blood of mares with early pregnancy loss 
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Christine Aurich , Jürgen Weber , Christina Nagel , Maximiliane Merkl , Rony Jude , Sascha Wostmann , Dirk Ollech , Udo Baron , Sven Olek and Thomas Jansen
pp. 827-833

In horses, early pregnancy loss is a major reason for low fertility but has so far mainly been explained by conceptus-related factors. Regulatory T lymphocytes, which contribute to the maintenance of gestation in several species, were studied for the first time in horse mares and levels were low in animals that subsequently suffered pregnancy loss. Treatments that stimulate regulatory T lymphocytes might be a therapy to avoid pregnancy loss in mares.

 
  
 

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Two periods of total testicular regression are peculiar events of the annual reproductive cycle of the black Myotis bat, Myotis nigricans (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) 
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Mateus R. Beguelini , Rejane M. Góes , Sebastião R. Taboga and Eliana Morielle-Versute
pp. 834-846

Previous studies proposed that the reproductive cycle of Myotis nigricans is geographically variable. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate how the reproduction of this species is regulated in a tropical environment. The data demonstrated that it presents an annual reproductive cycle with two peaks of spermatogenic activity followed by two periods of deactivated spermatogenesis, a pattern never before observed in any other species.

 
  
 

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Effect of sperm pretreatment with sodium hydroxide and dithiothreitol on the efficiency of bovine intracytoplasmic sperm injection 
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M. E. Arias , R. Sánchez , J. Risopatrón , L. Pérez and R. Felmer
pp. 847-854

The efficiency of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is lower in bovines than in other species due, in part, to a lack of optimal conditions for its implementation. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of pretreatment of bovine spermatozoa with NaOH and dithiothreitol on the efficiency of ICSI. The results allowed to define a simpler treatment in sperm–Tyrode’s albumin lactate pyruvate (Sp-TALP) for 2 h, which worked better than any of the treatments assessed.

 
  
 

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Cumulus cell gene expression associated with pre-ovulatory acquisition of developmental competence in bovine oocytes 
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A. Bunel , A. L. Nivet , P. Blondin , C. Vigneault , F. J. Richard and M. A. Sirard
pp. 855-865

The final days before ovulation impact significantly on ovarian follicular functions and oocyte quality. Here, an hormonal withdrawal was applied on cows to study acquisition then loss of the oocyte developmental competence in oocyte companion cumulus cells. These cells showed few gene expression changes during the acquisition period, however during the loss period more relevant gene expression changes appeared. This highlights a role for cumulus cells principally in sustaining the oocyte viability in the latest stages before ovulation.

 
    | Supplementary Material (139 KB)
 

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Metabolic profile of serum and follicular fluid from postpartum dairy cows during summer and winter 
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Benner G. Alves , Kele A. Alves , Muller C. Martins , Lucas S. Braga , Thiago H. Silva , Bruna G. Alves , Ricarda M. Santos , Thiago V. Silva , Marco A. O. Viu , Marcello E. Beletti , José O. Jacomini and Maria L. Gambarini
pp. 866-874

Biochemical changes that occur during lactation might compromise the reproductive performance of dairy cows. This study was designed to monitor the biochemical profiles of serum and follicular fluid (FF) of postpartum dairy cows during the summer and winter. The biochemical profile of serum and FF of dairy cows under heat-stress conditions demonstrates marked changes that may impair fertility during lactation.

 
  
 

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Comparative effects of adding β-mercaptoethanol or L-ascorbic acid to culture or vitrification–warming media on IVF porcine embryos 
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Miriam Castillo-Martín , Sergi Bonet , Roser Morató and Marc Yeste
pp. 875-882

Exposing embryos to stress factors such as in vitro culture or cryopreservation reduces embryo quality by increasing oxidative stress levels. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of supplementing culture or vitrification–warming media with two different antioxidants (β-mercaptoethanol and l-ascorbic acid) on the quality of in vitro-produced porcine embryos. The results suggest that the addition of antioxidants to culture or vitrification–warming media is beneficial for embryo quality, because lower reactive oxygen species levels and better rates of survival were found for l-ascorbic acid-treated embryos.

 
  
 

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Oligomycin A-induced inhibition of mitochondrial ATP-synthase activity suppresses boar sperm motility and in vitro capacitation achievement without modifying overall sperm energy levels 
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Laura Ramió-Lluch , Marc Yeste , Josep M. Fernández-Novell , Efrén Estrada , Luiz Rocha , José A. Cebrián-Pérez , Teresa Muiño-Blanco , Ilona I. Concha , Alfredo Ramírez and Joan E. Rodríguez-Gil
pp. 883-897

The role of mitochondria in regulating sperm function is not fully elucidated. To obtain more information, we induced boar sperm in vitro capacitation (IVC) and in vitro acrosome exocytosis (IVAE) in the presence of oligomycin A, an inhibitor of mitochondrial ATP synthase. This inhibition immobilised spermatozoa and prevented the achievement of IVC and IVAE without significant changes in the overall energy status, excepting in the IVAE-linked mitochondrial energy peak. Results indicate that in conditions other than IVAE mitochondria control boar spermatozoa functions in ways not affecting the overall energy output.

 
  
 

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MicroRNA-regulated molecular mechanism underlying bovine subclinical endometritis 
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D. Hailemariam , S. Ibrahim , M. Hoelker , M. Drillich , W. Heuwieser , C. Looft , M. U. Cinar , E. Tholen , K. Schellander and D. Tesfaye
pp. 898-913

An impaired uterine environment triggered by subclinical endometritis often compromises fertility in the bovine. We aimed to elucidate the pathways underlying the occurrence of subclinical endometritis and found a microRNA-mediated molecular mechanism that operates in the uterus of cows without clinical signs of endometritis. The result suggests a regulatory role for uterine miRNAs in the development and progression of endometrial inflammation that may lead to reduced fertility.

 
    | Supplementary Material (251 KB)
 

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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    RD14165  Accepted 23 July 2014
    Decreased melatonin levels and an elevated amount of advanced oxidation protein products in the seminal plasma are related to male infertility
    Ewa Kratz, Agnieszka Piwowar, Michal Zeman, Katarína Stebelová, Theresia Thalhammer
    Abstract


    RD13397  Accepted 20 July 2014
    Decreased expression of aquaporin 2 is associated with impaired endometrial receptivity in controlled ovarian stimulation
    Dan Zhang, Gufeng Xu, Runju Zhang, Yimin Zhu, Huijuan Gao, Caiyun Zhou, Jianzhong Sheng, Hefeng Huang
    Abstract


    RD14160  Accepted 17 July 2014
    The necessity for protein kinase C delta (PRKCD) during pre-implantation bovine embryo development
    Qi-En Yang, Manabu Ozawa, Kun Zhang, Sally Johnson, Alan Ealy
    Abstract


    RD14099  Accepted 17 July 2014
    Signalling pathways involved in the synergistic effects of human GDF9 + BMP15
    Karen Reader, David Mottershead, Georgia Martin, Robert Gilchrist, Derek Heath, Kenneth McNatty, Jennifer Juengel
    Abstract


    RD14118  Accepted 15 July 2014
    Stress preconditioning of semen before cryopreservation improves fertility and increases the number of offspring born – a prospective randomized study on porcine model
    András Horváth, Otto Szenci, Krisztina Nagy, Laszlo Vegh, Csaba Pribenszky
    Abstract


    RD14034  Accepted 12 July 2014
    Analysis of STAT1 expression and biological activity reveals interferon-tau-dependent STAT1-regulated SOCS genes in the bovine endometrium
    Anais Vitorino Carvalho, Caroline Eozenou, Gareth Healey, Niamh Forde, Pierrette Reinaud, Martine Chebrout, Laurence Gall, Nathalie Rodde, Audrey LESAGE, Corinne Giraud-Delville, Magalie Leveugle, Christophe Richard, Martin Sheldon, Patrick Lonergan, Genevieve Jolivet, Olivier Sandra
    Abstract


    RD14128  Accepted 03 July 2014
    IL11: similar or opposite roles in female reproduction and reproductive cancer?
    Amy Winship, Ellen Menkhorst, Michelle Van Sinderen, Eva Dimitriadis
    Abstract


    RD14013  Accepted 02 July 2014
    Oxygen modulates human embryonic stem cell metabolism in the absence of changes in self-renewal
    Alexandra Harvey, Joy Rathjen, Lijia Yu, David Gardner
    Abstract


    RD14059  Accepted 24 June 2014
    Yolk size and ovulation order determine fertility within double yolked duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) eggs
    Attila Salamon, John Kent
    Abstract


    RD14035  Accepted 23 June 2014
    Low physiological levels of prostaglandins E2 and F2 improve human sperm functions
    Mariana Rios Raggio, Daniela Carreño, Carolina Oses, Nelson Barrera, Bredford Kerr, Manuel Villalon
    Abstract


    RD14087  Accepted 16 June 2014
    A new technique for human sperm morphology analysis in unstained cells from raw semen
    Carles Soler, Almudena García, María Sancho, Jesús Contell, Manuel Núñez, Trevor Cooper
    Abstract


    RD14147  Accepted 13 June 2014
    Effects of maternal undernutrition during late gestation and/or lactation on colostrum synthesis and immunological parameters in the offspring
    Stella Chadio, Angeliki Katsafadou, Basiliki Kotsampasi, George Michailidis, Konstantinos Mountzouris, Dimitrios Kalogiannis, Vladimiros Christodoulou
    Abstract


    RD14134  Accepted 13 June 2014
    Discovery of hPH20 and hSPACA1 immunocontraceptive epitopes and their effects on fertility in male and female mice
    Xuemei Chen, Xiaodong Liu, Xiuhua Ren, Xuewu Li, Li Wang, Weidong Zang
    Abstract


    RD14132  Accepted 12 June 2014
    Expression of group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in the male mouse reproductive system
    Marcin Marciniak, Barbara ChruÅ›cicka, Tomasz Lech, Grzegorz Burnat, Andrzej Pilc
    Abstract


    RD14051  Accepted 20 May 2014
    The role of linker histone H1c during the reprogramming of Chinese swamp buffalo (Bubalus Bubalis) embryos produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer
    Gaobo Huang, Li Quan, yonglian zeng, Jian Yang, kehuan Lu, Shengsheng Lu
    Abstract


    RD12339  Accepted 19 October 2012
    The critical importance of ovarian angiogenesis
    Bob Robinson
    Abstract




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Rank Paper Details
1. Published 5 December 2013
IETS 2014 abstracts


2. Published 5 December 2013
Role of stem cells in large animal genetic engineering in the TALENs–CRISPR era

Ki-Eun Park and Bhanu Prakash V. L. Telugu

3. Published 5 December 2013
Parental diet, pregnancy outcomes and offspring health: metabolic determinants in developing oocytes and embryos

Kevin D. Sinclair and Adam J. Watkins

4. Published 5 December 2013
Reproductive technologies and genomic selection in dairy cattle

C. Ponsart, D. Le Bourhis, H. Knijn, S. Fritz, C. Guyader-Joly, T. Otter, S. Lacaze, F. Charreaux, L. Schibler, D. Dupassieux and E. Mullaart

5. Published 5 December 2013
Molecular signatures of bovine embryo developmental competence

M. Hoelker, E. Held, D. Salilew-Wondim, K. Schellander and D. Tesfaye

6. Published 5 December 2013
Genetic control of reproduction in dairy cows

Stephen T. Butler

7. Published 5 December 2013
Editing livestock genomes with site-specific nucleases

Daniel F. Carlson, Wenfang Tan, Perry B. Hackett and Scott C. Fahrenkrug

8. Published 10 October 2013
Effect of varying glucose and glucosamine concentration in vitro on mouse oocyte maturation and developmental competence

L. A. Frank, M. L. Sutton-McDowall, D. L. Russell, X. Wang, D. K. Feil, R. B. Gilchrist and J. G. Thompson

9. Published 14 August 2013
Global gene expression in the bovine corpus luteum is altered after stimulatory and superovulatory treatments

Luciana A. Fátima, Pietro S. Baruselli, Lindsay U. Gimenes, Mario Binelli, Francisco P. Rennó, Bruce D. Murphy and Paula C. Papa

10. Published 11 July 2013
Effects of FSH on the expression of receptors for oocyte-secreted factors and members of the EGF-like family during in vitro maturation in cattle

Ester Siqueira Caixeta, Mariana Fernandes Machado, Paula Ripamonte, Christopher Price and José Buratini

11. Published 5 December 2013
Directional freezing of spermatozoa and embryos

Amir Arav and Joseph Saragusty

12. Published 11 July 2013
Development of bovine embryos derived from reproductive techniques

Míryan L. V. Alberto, Flavio V. Meirelles, Felipe Perecin, Carlos E. Ambrósio, Phelipe O. Favaron, André L. R. Franciolli, Andrea M. Mess, José M. dos Santos, Rose E. G. Rici, Marcelo Bertolini and Maria A. Miglino

13. Published 6 January 2014
Predictive value of bovine follicular components as markers of oocyte developmental potential

Satoko Matoba, Katrin Bender, Alan G. Fahey, Solomon Mamo, Lorraine Brennan, Patrick Lonergan and Trudee Fair

14. Published 19 June 2014
Replacing serum in culture medium with albumin and insulin, transferrin and selenium is the key to successful bovine embryo development in individual culture

E. Wydooghe, S. Heras, J. Dewulf, S. Piepers, E. Van den Abbeel, P. De Sutter, L. Vandaele and A. Van Soom

15. Published 11 July 2013
Exposure to bisphenol A results in a decline in mouse spermatogenesis

Guo-Liang Zhang, Xi-Feng Zhang, Yan-Min Feng, Lan Li, Evanna Huynh, Xiao-Feng Sun, Zhong-Yi Sun and Wei Shen

16. Published 12 March 2014
Effect of hCG administration during corpus luteum establishment on subsequent corpus luteum development and circulating progesterone concentrations in beef heifers

V. Maillo, P. Duffy, L. O'Hara, C. de Frutos, A. K. Kelly, P. Lonergan and D. Rizos

17. Published 14 August 2013
Glycolytic pathway activity: effect on IVM and oxidative metabolism of bovine oocytes

Cynthia Gutnisky, Sergio Morado, Gabriel C. Dalvit, Jeremy G. Thompson and Pablo D. Cetica

18. Published 6 January 2014
Paradoxical effect of supplementary progesterone between Day 3 and Day 7 on corpus luteum function and conceptus development in cattle

L. O'Hara, N. Forde, F. Carter, D. Rizos, V. Maillo, A. D. Ealy, A. K. Kelly, P. Rodriguez, N. Isaka, A. C. O. Evans and P. Lonergan

19. Published 10 October 2013
Successful cloning of coyotes through interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer using domestic dog oocytes

Insung Hwang, Yeon Woo Jeong, Joung Joo Kim, Hyo Jeong Lee, Mina Kang, Kang Bae Park, Jung Hwan Park, Yeun Wook Kim, Woo Tae Kim, Taeyoung Shin, Sang Hwan Hyun, Eui-Bae Jeung and Woo Suk Hwang

20. Published 17 July 2014
Cumulus cell gene expression associated with pre-ovulatory acquisition of developmental competence in bovine oocytes

A. Bunel, A. L. Nivet, P. Blondin, C. Vigneault, F. J. Richard and M. A. Sirard


      
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