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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 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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  l-ascorbic acid to culture and vitrification media of IVF porcine blastocysts improves survival and reduces HSPA1A levels of vitrified embryos&title=Reproduction, Fertility and Development&date=9999&volume=9999&spage=&epage=&aulast=Castillo-Martín&aufirst=Miriam" target="_blank" >
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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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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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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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    | Supplementary Material (109 KB)
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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 29 July 2013
MicroRNA-regulated molecular mechanism underlying bovine subclinical endometritis 
D. Hailemariam, S. Ibrahim, M. Hoelker, M. Drillich, W. Heuwieser, C. Looft, M. U. Cinar, E. Tholen, K. Schellander and D. Tesfaye

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.

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    | Supplementary Material (251 KB)
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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 22 July 2013
A novel subclass of bovine ?-defensins links reproduction and immunology 
F. Narciandi, A. Lloyd, K. G. Meade and C. O'Farrelly

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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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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Published online 16 July 2013
Oligomycin A-induced inhibition of mitochondrial ATP-synthase activity suppresses boar sperm motility and in vitro capacitation achievement without modifying overall sperm energy levels 
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

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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Published online 08 July 2013
Two periods of total testicular regression are peculiar events of the annual reproductive cycle of the black Myotis bat, Myotis nigricans (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) 
Mateus R. Beguelini, Rejane M. Góes, Sebastião R. Taboga and Eliana Morielle-Versute

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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Published online 05 July 2013
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

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.

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    | Supplementary Material (142 KB)
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Published online 02 July 2013
Metabolic profile of serum and follicular fluid from postpartum dairy cows during summer and winter 
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

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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Published online 02 July 2013
Comparative effects of adding β-mercaptoethanol or l-ascorbic acid to culture or vitrification–warming media on IVF porcine embryos 
Miriam Castillo-Martín, Sergi Bonet, Roser Morató and Marc Yeste

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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Published online 21 June 2013
Low levels of naturally occurring regulatory T lymphocytes in blood of mares with early pregnancy loss 
Christine Aurich, Jürgen Weber, Christina Nagel, Maximiliane Merkl, Rony Jude, Sascha Wostmann, Dirk Ollech, Udo Baron, Sven Olek and Thomas Jansen

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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Published online 18 June 2013
Effect of sperm pretreatment with sodium hydroxide and dithiothreitol on the efficiency of bovine intracytoplasmic sperm injection 
M. E. Arias, R. Sánchez, J. Risopatrón, L. Pérez and R. Felmer

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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Published online 14 June 2013
Germ cell survival and differentiation after xenotransplantation of testis tissue from three endangered species: Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), Cuvier 
Lucía Arregui, Ina Dobrinski and Eduardo R. S. Roldan

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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Published online 13 June 2013
MicroRNA-199a mediates mucin 1 expression in mouse uterus during implantation 
Wilasinee Inyawilert, Tzu-Yen Fu, Chun-Ting Lin and Pin-Chi Tang

The glycoprotein mucin 1, expressed on the uterine epithelia during the non-receptive phase, acts as an implantation barrier to prevent embryo attachment onto the endometrium. Opposite expression patterns were found for microRNA (miRNA)-199a and mucin 1 during early pregnancy in mice and it was confirmed that mucin 1 is a direct target of miRNA-199a because mucin 1 expression is suppressed by miRNA-199a. The result suggests that miRNAs may serve as a novel strategy to assist clinical treatment in human implantation failure.

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Published online 13 June 2013
Histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A affects porcine oocyte maturation in vitro 
Yong-Xun Jin, Ming-Hui Zhao, Zhong Zheng, Jung-Suk Kwon, Seul-Ki Lee, Xiang-Shun Cui and Nam-Hyung Kim

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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Published online 13 June 2013
Culture environment regulates amino acid turnover and glucose utilisation in human ES cells 
Joy Rathjen, Christine Yeo, Charlotte Yap, Boon Siang Nicholas Tan, Peter D. Rathjen and David K. Gardner

When optimising conditions for the maintenance of human embryonic stem cells the focus has been on maintaining pluripotency. In contrast, there has been little work assessing other cell indicators, such as metabolism. Here, carbohydrate utilisation and amino acid turnover were used to show that culture conditions significantly impact metabolism, and that commonly used culture supplements could alter nutrient use and biosynthesis without affecting pluripotency. The use of conditions that alter cell physiology may hamper future application of these cells and analysis of metabolism should be used when cell quality is assessed.

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Published online 11 June 2013
Nlrp4g is an oocyte-specific gene but is not required for oocyte maturation in the mouse 
Hui Peng, Wenchang Zhang, Tianfang Xiao and Yong Zhang

Nlrp4g is a member of the Nlrp gene family associated with innate immunity and reproduction in the mouse. The aim of the present study was to analyse the expression pattern and protein localisation of Nlrp4g and the effect of Nlrp4g knockdown on oocyte maturation. We found that Nlrp4g is an oocyte-specific gene but dispensable for oocyte maturation. These data are essential for understanding the molecular mechanism of oogenesis and oocyte maturation in mammals.

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Published online 11 June 2013
ART do not increase the risk of Y-chromosome microdeletion in 19 candidate genes at AZF regions 
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

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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Published online 07 June 2013
Cluster analysis reveals a binary effect of storage on boar sperm motility function1 
Heiko Henning, Anna M. Petrunkina, Robin A. P. Harrison and Dagmar Waberski

The fertility of boar semen stored in diluent is known to decline, but the reasons why are unclear. We applied cluster analysis to sperm movement characteristics recorded under fertilising conditions and found that during storage the sperm subpopulation displaying a fast linear movement in response to the capacitating stimulus bicarbonate declines as a percentage of the total population. Therefore, the loss of fertilising ability may be due to a stepwise inactivation of bicarbonate-dependent signalling pathways.

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Published online 07 June 2013
Spermatogenesis recovery in protein-restricted rats subjected to a normal protein diet after weaning 
Michelle C. Melo, Fernanda R. C. L. Almeida, André L. Caldeira-Brant, Gleydes G. Parreira and Hélio Chiarini-Garcia

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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Published online 06 June 2013
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 
Nathália A. S. Rocha-Frigoni, Beatriz C. S. Leão, Ériklis Nogueira, Mônica F. Accorsi and Gisele Z. Mingoti

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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Published online 05 June 2013
Immunolocalisation and oestrogen regulation of small proline-rich protein 2a protein in the mouse uterus 
Hyang-Ah Lee, Hye-Ryun Kim, Young Jin Lee, Seung-Joon Lee, Woo Jin Kim, Seon-Sook Han, Se-Ran Yang, Heung-Myong Woo, Sunghun Na, Haengseok Song and Seok-Ho Hong

In our study, we investigated the effects of estrogen (E2) and estrogenic compounds on the regulation and localisation of Sprr2a protein in the mouse uterus. We concluded that Sprr2a protein is up-regulated by E2 via its nuclear estrogen receptors and also sensitively induced by BPA and OP, indicating that Sprr2a protein is a true E2-responsive protein in the mouse uterus. Our study proposes that Sprr2a protein can be valuable marker to predict and assess estrogenic activity in the uterus and offers useful tool to investigate unique regulatory mechanisms in non-squamous epithelia different from that in squamous epithelia.

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Published online 05 June 2013
Development of interspecies testicular germ-cell transplantation in flatfish 
Tiziana Pacchiarini, Carmen Sarasquete and Elsa Cabrita

In this work the essential tools for testicular germ cells transplantation were investigated in two flatfish species. The turbot, a domesticated species, was used as recipient and the Senegalese sole, a species whose reproduction in captivity is only guaranteed by wild broodstocks, as donor. The results of this work highlight the potential of germinal cell biotechnology in aquaculture and encourage further studies in the field of xenogenic transplantation for flatfish.

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Published online 03 June 2013
Impact of gonadotropins on oocyte maturation, fertilisation and developmental competence in vitro 
Xuemei Wang, Tony Tsai, Jie Qiao, Zhan Zhang and Huai L. Feng

The combination ratio and dose of gonadotropins are key factors for IVF success. However, the dose-dependent effects of gonadotropins on rates of oocyte maturation, fertilisation and early embryo development in vitro remain unknown. The results of the present study could be applied to therapeutic clinical stimulation protocols to help improve IVF success rates.

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Published online 30 May 2013
Identification of bovine embryos cultured in groups by attachment of barcodes to the zona pellucida 
Sergi Novo, Roser Morató, Oriol Penon, Sara Duran, Leonardo Barrios, Carme Nogués, José Antonio Plaza, Luisa Pérez-García, Teresa Mogas and Elena Ibáñez

A novel direct bovine embryo-tagging system has been developed using polysilicon barcodes. This system allows the collective culture of embryos from different origins whilst preserving their pedigree, and facilitates the production of embryos from live animals of high genetic merit.

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Published online 29 May 2013
Impact of embryo donor adiposity, birthweight and gender on early postnatal growth, glucose metabolism and body composition in the young lamb 
Jacqueline M. Wallace, John S. Milne, Raymond P. Aitken and Clare L. Adam

Low birthweight is a risk factor for adverse metabolic health. We investigated the relationship between prenatal and early postnatal growth trajectories and body composition in intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) and normal birthweight lambs of both sexes and showed that although IUGR lambs grew faster they remained smaller at weaning, but gender had the major influence on adiposity. Thus, prenatal growth status and gender are both likely to influence carcass composition and offspring health.

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Published online 28 May 2013
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

Most attempts to introduce individual culture in cattle embryos have shown a reduction in development from a typical 25–35% blastocysts in group culture to less than 10% in individual culture. However, we observed that the very simple act of using serum-free culture medium based on BSA and ITS unexpectedly led to high blastocyst development in individual culture. The development of a semi-defined individual culture system is not only an important tool for research laboratories and practitioners working with bovine IVF; in addition this study upgraded the value of bovine embryos as a model for human IVF.

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Published online 27 May 2013
Dynamics of sperm subpopulations based on motility and plasma membrane status in thawed ram spermatozoa incubated under conditions that support in vitro capacitation and fertilisation 
Olga García-Álvarez, Alejandro Maroto-Morales, Manuel Ramón, Enrique del Olmo, Pilar Jiménez-Rabadán, M. Rocio Fernández-Santos, Luis Anel-López, J. Julián Garde and Ana J. Soler

Knowledge of the changes that occur in spermatozoa during the process of fertilisation can be keys to determining the reproductive potential of males. We observed changes in sperm motility patterns and membrane fluidity after incubation of sperm samples in IVF media. These changes did not occur in all spermatozoa, enabling the identification of various sperm subpopulations. The distribution of these subpopulations was found to be related to fertilising ability.

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Published online 23 May 2013
Mouse embryo motion and embryonic development from the 2-cell to blastocyst stage using mechanical vibration systems 
Yuka Asano and Koji Matsuura

We investigated the effect of mechanical stimuli on mouse embryonic development from the 2-cell to blastocyst stage using mechanical vibration systems (MVSs). The MVS transmitted mechanical vibration power efficiently to embryos and resulted in a significant decrease in development to the morula or blastocyst stage after 2 days. These results suggest that mouse embryos are more sensitive to physical stimuli than human or pig embryos because of their thinner zona pellucida.

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Published online 23 May 2013
Numerical calculations for diffusion effects in the well-of-the-well culture system for mammalian embryos 
Koji Matsuura

Blastocyst development in the well-of-the-well (WOW) culture system is better than in conventional culture systems with the same embryo number. To compare the concentration of chemical factors between conventional and WOW culture, a model was constructed to calculate concentrations. The findings suggest that the WOW culture system is better than conventional group culture because of increased final concentrations of autocrine factors and higher diffusion kinetics of waste materials.

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Published online 15 May 2013
Claudin-8 expression in Sertoli cells and putative spermatogonial stem cells in the bovine testis 
Mary McMillan, Nicholas Andronicos, Rhonda Davey, Sally Stockwell, Geoff Hinch and Sabine Schmoelzl

Adhesion molecules are thought to be highly important in stem cell niches including the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Here, we investigate the expression of claudin-8, a tight-junction protein, in the testis, and show expression in undifferentiated spermatogonia and associated Sertoli cells. Our findings suggest a role for claudin-8 in the cellular interaction between those cells, and in the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation processes.

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blank image Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume 26 Number 4 2014

 
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Elements of functional genital asymmetry in the cow 
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B. Trigal, C. Díez, M. Muñoz, J. N. Caamaño, F. Goyache, E. Correia-Alvarez, F. J. Corrales, M. I. Mora, S. Carrocera, D. Martin and E. Gómez
pp. 493-501

Bilateral regulation of embryo development can exist in the cow, although the mechanism remains basically unexplored. In uterine fluid, hexoses and proteins related to embryo development, but not to embryonic sex, were found to change between left and right uterine horns. These discoveries may lead to a better understanding of uterine physiology, fertility and bilateral pregnancy regulation.

 
  
 

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Dimethylsulfoxide and conjugated linoleic acids affect bovine embryo development in vitro 
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Hanna Stinshoff, Sandra Wilkening, Ana Hanstedt, Heinrich Bollwein and Christine Wrenzycki
pp. 502-510

Although conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are employed frequently in dairy cow nutrition, their effects on the bovine preimplantation embryo have not been fully assessed so far. In the present study an effect of CLA and the carrier substance DMSO on morphological and molecular bovine embryo quality was detected in an in vitro model. This suggests that effects evoked by CLA might result in altered early embryonic development.

 
  
 

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A diet enriched in linoleic acid compromises the cryotolerance of embryos from superovulated beef heifers 
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Monique M. Guardieiro, Grazieli M. Machado, Michele R. Bastos, Gerson B. Mourão, Luiz H. D. Carrijo, Margot A. N. Dode, Jo L. M. R. Leroy and Roberto Sartori
pp. 511-520

This study evaluated the production and cryotolerance after freezing or vitrification of embryos from superovulated Nelore heifers supplemented with rumen-protected polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Heifers kept in pasture were supplemented in a crossover design with either PUFA (predominantly linoleic acid; n =40) or a fat-free supplement with additional corn (n = 40) before superovulation. Dietary PUFA rich in linoleic acid did not improve embryo production, but compromised the cryotolerance of frozen or vitrified embryos.

 
  
 

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Ovarian synchronisation in wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) during the anovulatory season 
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J. Manuel Palomino, Robert B. McCorkell, Murray R. Woodbury and Gregg P. Adams
pp. 521-526

The existence of wild wood bison is threatened by tuberculosis and brucellosis introduced more than 90 years ago by domestic cattle. We developed a technique for synchronizing ovarian activity among bison as a necessary step in establishing a bio-bank of disease-free embryos that could be used to restore once populous herds. This is the most recent of our studies focused on establishing reproductive technologies to facilitate repopulation of the largest land mammal in the Americas.

 
  
 

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In vivo embryo production in cows superovulated 1 or 2 days after ovum pick-up 
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Ricardo S. Surjus, Alexandre B. Prata, Marta Borsato, Fernanda C. S. Z. Mattos, Mariana C. Martins da Silveira, Gerson B. Mourão, Alexandre V. Pires, Milo C. Wiltbank and Roberto Sartori
pp. 527-532

This study evaluated superovulatory responses and in vivo embryo production in 33 Nelore cows treated with FSH starting at 1 (D1) or 2 (D2) days after ovum pick-up (OPU). Cows in Group D2 cows had a greater superovulatory response (18.9 vs 9.1 corpora lutea; P < 0.03) and more freezable embryos (3.2 vs 1.3; P < 0.05) than Group D1 cows. Therefore, it is recommended to wait at least 2 days before starting superovulatory treatment with FSH after OPU.

 
  
 

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THY1 is a surface marker of porcine gonocytes 
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Yi Zheng, Ying He, Junhui An, Jinzhou Qin, Yihan Wang, Yaqing Zhang, Xiue Tian and Wenxian Zeng
pp. 533-539

Gonocytes are primitive germ cells responsible for the production of spermatozoa in male testes. The objective of this study was to identify a cell surface marker for gonocytes in pigs. The findings from this work will not only help to elucidate the characteristics of gonocytes, but also to facilitate their subsequent manipulation.

 
  
 

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Actions of oestradiol and progesterone on the prostate in female gerbils: reversal of the histological effects of castration 
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Marianna Zanatelli, Diego A. L. Silva, Filipe Z. Shinohara, Rejane M. Góes, Fernanda C. A. Santos, Patricia S. L. Vilamaior and Sebastião R. Taboga
pp. 540-550

This study evaluated the effects of oestradiol (E2) plus progesterone (P4) administration on the prostate of castrated female gerbils using histological and immunohistochemical techniques. Treatment of castrated gerbils with E2 + P4 restored the secretory activity and morphological structure of the female prostate. These findings may indicate a synergistic action of E2 and P4 in maintaining healthy prostate physiology, and may also lead to the development of treatments for important prostate diseases.

 
  
 

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WNT3A signalling pathway in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryonic stem cells 
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Mohammad Zandi, Musharifa Muzaffar, Syed Mohmad Shah, Ramakant Kaushik, Manoj Kumar Singh, Prabhat Palta, Suresh Kumar Singla, Radhey Sham Manik and Manmohan Singh Chauhan
pp. 551-561

In our study, we investigated the transcriptional profile and role of WNT3A signaling in maintaining the pluripotency of buffalo embryonic stem (ES) cells as well as in inducing their differentiation. We concluded that WNT3A, in combination with exogenous FGF-2 and LIF, induced proliferation of undifferentiated ES cells, while differentiation studies revealed its role in causing formation of scaffold-like structures and preventing differentiation into neuron-like cells. Thus, WNT3A signalling pathway is necessary both for maintaining pluripotency and for directed differentiation of buffalo ES cells.

 
    | Supplementary Material (104 KB)
 

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Post-ovulatory ageing of mouse oocytes affects the distribution of specific spindle-associated proteins and Akt expression levels 
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Sandra Cecconi, Gianna Rossi, Hamid Deldar, Valerio Cellini, Felice Patacchiola, Gaspare Carta, Guido Macchiarelli and Rita Canipari
pp. 562-569

A drastic decrease of oocyte viability and fertilisability occurs during post-ovulatory ageing (POA). The aim of this study was to determine if POA could impair oocyte quality by altering the expression level or localization of proteins implicated in cell survival and chromosome segregation. Aged oocytes showed altered distribution of some spindle-associated proteins and a decrease in both H3S10 phosphorylation and Akt expression levels. All these events could impair fertilization by inducing oocyte apoptosis.

 
  
 

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Embryo development and sex ratio of in vitro-produced porcine embryos are affected by the energy substrate and hyaluronic acid added to the culture medium 
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Eva Torner, Eva Bussalleu, M. Dolors Briz, Marc Yeste and Sergi Bonet
pp. 570-577

It is widely known that the energy substrate and hyaluronic acid added to the culture medium of porcine in vitro-produced embryos influence their development. The aim of the present study was to determine the putative synergistic effects of glucose or pyruvate–lactate and hyaluronic acid on embryo development, as well as on the sex ratio. Interestingly, high concentrations of hyaluronic acid decreased blastocyst rates in both energy substrate groups, but only affected the sex ratio of embryos cultured with pyruvate–lactate.

 
  
 

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Infection-induced autoantibodies and pregnancy related pathology: an animal model 
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Vladimir Petrušiū, Irena Živkoviū, Lina Muhandes, Rajna Dimitrijeviū, Marijana Stojanoviū and Ljiljana Dimitrijeviū
pp. 578-586

Bacterial infections pose a serious risk for ongoing pregnancy, but can also have a great impact on fecundity. By using an animal model to investigate the influence of the major bacterial components lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN) on pregnancy, we discovered that LPS and PGN induce different types of reproductive failures. Our animal model can serve as a valuable tool to gain a better understanding of the factors underlying infection-induced pregnancy complications in humans.

 
  
 

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The novel porcine gene early growth response 4 (Egr4) is differentially expressed in the ovaries of Erhualian and Pietrain pigs 
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Jingjing Wang, Yongyan Zhao, Kecui Gu, Ping Yu, Baole Zhang, Wei Wang, Juanjuan Yang and Yinxue Xu
pp. 587-598

Reproductivity is one of the most important traits in pig production but has low heritability, so the genetic characterisation is more and more important. The aim of the work is to identify the genes that might affect the high reproduction rate of Erhualian pig. In the present study, differential gene expression was identified in the ovaries between Erhualian and Pietrain pigs, and Egr4 was evaluated as a novel candidate gene for porcine reproductivity.

 
    | Supplementary Material (643 KB)
 

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Insulin-like growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins in the bovine uterus throughout the oestrous cycle 
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Lisa M. Costello, Padraic O'Boyle, Michael G. Diskin, Ailish C. Hynes and Dermot G. Morris
pp. 599-608

The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system of ligands and binding proteins constitute a complex regulatory system on which many aspects of reproduction and embryo growth are dependent. Very little is known about uterine IGF-1 and binding proteins (IGFBP) and how these are affected by stage of cycle and concentration of progesterone. This study indicates that uterine concentration of IGF-1 and IGFBP in cattle differ from that of plasma and suggest that they are under dynamic control throughout the oestrous cycle.

 
  
 

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Spermatozoa from mice deficient in Niemann-Pick disease type C2 (NPC2) protein have defective cholesterol content and reduced in vitro fertilising ability 
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Dolores Busso, María José Oñate-Alvarado, Elisa Balboa, Juan Castro, Carlos Lizama, Gabriela Morales, Susana Vargas, Steffen Härtel, Ricardo D. Moreno and Silvana Zanlungo
pp. 609-621

The cholesterol content of the sperm membrane is regulated in the epididymis. In this study we analysed the role of the epididymal cholesterol transport protein Niemann-Pick disease, type C2 (NPC2) protein in male fertility using genetically engineered NPC2-deficient mice. Spermatozoa from NPC2-deficient mice had less cholesterol and a reduced ability to fertilise eggs in vitro. These results could have important implications in the understanding of mammalian reproductive physiology and human infertility.

 
  
 

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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.

    RD14024  Accepted 18 April 2014
    Open pulled straw (OPS) vitrification and slow freezing of sheep IVF embryos using different cryoprotectants
    Maajid Bhat, Veena Sharma, Firdous Khan, Niyaz Naykoo, Syed Hilal Yaqoob, Gabor Vajta, Hilal Khan, Mujeeb R Fazili, Nazir Ganai, Riaz Ahmad Shah
    Abstract


    RD14070  Accepted 13 April 2014
    Validation of the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test in the Amphibian Xenopus laevis using in situ nick translation and comet assay
    Kate Pollock, Jaime Gosalvez, Paqui Arroyo, Carmen Lopez-Fernandez, Matthew Guille, Anna Noble, Stephen Johnston
    Abstract


    RD14012  Accepted 08 April 2014
    Protein deubiquitination during oocyte maturation influences sperm function during fertilization, anti-polyspermy defense and embryo development
    Young-Joo Yi, Miriam Sutovsky, Won-Hee Song, Peter Sutovsky
    Abstract


    RD14062  Accepted 07 April 2014
    Antibiotics and oxygen availability affect the short-term storage of sperm from the critically endangered Booroolong Frog, Litoria booroolongensis
    Aimee Silla, Leesa Keogh, Phillip Byrne
    Abstract


    RD14049  Accepted 31 March 2014
    Impacts of and interactions between environmental stress and epigenetic programming during early embryo development
    Michael Bertoldo, Yann Locatelli, Christopher O'Neill, Pascal Mermillod
    Abstract


    RD13265  Accepted 23 March 2014
    Effect of superstimulation protocols on nuclear maturation and distribution of lipid droplets in bovine oocytes
    Dinesh Dadarwal, Mrigank Honparkhe, Fernanda Dias, Tegan Alce, Carl Lessard, Jaswant Singh
    Abstract


    RD13352  Accepted 18 March 2014
    Src family kinases are involved in the meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes
    Katerina Kheilova, Jaroslav Petr, Tereza Zalmanova, Veronika Kucerova-Chrpova, Dalibor Rehak
    Abstract


    RD14022  Accepted 13 March 2014
    Cortical Granules distribution and meiotic maturation of canine oocytes in bi-phasic systems using gonadotrophin and steroids
    Maricy Apparício, Giuliano Mostachio, Tathiana Motheo, Aracelle Alves, Luciana Padilha, Eliandra Pires-Butler, Paula Savi, Ricardo Uscategui, Gaia Luvoni, Wilter Vicente
    Abstract


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




The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

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


2. Published 18 April 2013
Supplementation of culture medium with L-carnitine improves development and cryotolerance of bovine embryos produced in vitro

Toshikiyo Takahashi, Yasushi Inaba, Tamas Somfai, Masahiro Kaneda, Masaya Geshi, Takashi Nagai and Noboru Manabe

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. Published 3 June 2013
Vitrification in human and domestic animal embryology: work in progress

Gábor Vajta

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

Stephen T. Butler

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

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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

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 5 December 2013
Editing livestock genomes with site-specific nucleases

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

15. 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

16. 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

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 3 June 2013
Effects of treatment with human chorionic gonadotrophin or intravaginal progesterone-releasing device after AI on circulating progesterone concentrations in lactating dairy cows

A. B. Nascimento, A. H. Souza, J. N. Guenther, F. P. Dalla Costa, R. Sartori and M. C. Wiltbank

19. Published 10 October 2013
Production of good-quality blastocyst embryos following IVF of ovine oocytes vitrified at the germinal vesicle stage using a cryoloop

Adel R. Moawad, Jie Zhu, Inchul Choi, Dasari Amarnath, Wenchao Chen and Keith H. S. Campbell

20. Published 18 April 2013
Microtubule organisation, pronuclear formation and embryonic development of mouse oocytes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection or parthenogenetic activation and then slow-freezing with 1,2-propanediol

Dun-Gao Li, Yan Zhu, Feng-Ying Xing, Shan-Gang Li, Xue-Jin Chen and Man-Xi Jiang


      
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