Sample records for cat oocyte activation

  1. Analysis of cat oocyte activation methods for the generation of feline disease models by nuclear transfer

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    Herrick Jason R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Somatic cell nuclear transfer in cats offers a useful tool for the generation of valuable research models. However, low birth rates after nuclear transfer hamper exploitation of the full potential of the technology. Poor embryo development after activation of the reconstructed oocytes seems to be responsible, at least in part, for the low efficiency. The objective of this study was to characterize the response of cat oocytes to various stimuli in order to fine-tune existing and possibly develop new activation methods for the generation of cat disease models by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Methods First, changes in the intracellular free calcium concentration [Ca2+]i in the oocytes induced by a number of artificial stimuli were characterized. The stimuli included electroporation, ethanol, ionomycin, thimerosal, strontium-chloride and sodium (Na+-free medium. The potential of the most promising treatments (with or without subsequent incubation in the presence of cycloheximide and cytochalasin B to stimulate oocyte activation and support development of the resultant parthenogenetic embryos was then evaluated. Finally, the most effective methods were selected to activate oocytes reconstructed during nuclear transfer with fibroblasts from mucopolysaccharidosis I- and alpha-mannosidosis-affected cats. Results All treatments were able to elicit a [Ca2+]i elevation in the ooplasm with various characteristics. Pronuclear formation and development up to the blastocyst stage was most efficiently triggered by electroporation (60.5 +/- 2.9 and 11.5 +/- 1.7% and the combined thimerosal/DTT treatment (67.7 +/- 1.8 and 10.6 +/- 1.9%; incubation of the stimulated oocytes with cycloheximide and cytochalasin B had a positive effect on embryo development. When these two methods were used to activate oocytes reconstructed during nuclear transfer, up to 84.9% of the reconstructed oocytes cleaved. When the 2 to 4-cell embryos (a total of 220 were

  2. Nuclear transfer of synchronized African wild cat somatic cells into enucleated domestic cat oocytes (United States)

    Gomez, M.C.; Jenkins, J.A.; Giraldo, A.; Harris, R.F.; King, A.; Dresser, B.L.; Pope, C.E.


    The African wild cat is one of the smallest wild cats and its future is threatened by hybridization with domestic cats. Nuclear transfer, a valuable tool for retaining genetic variability, offers the possibility of species continuation rather than extinction. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of somatic cell nuclei of the African wild cat (AWC) to dedifferentiate within domestic cat (DSH) cytoplasts and to support early development after nuclear transplantation. In experiment 1, distributions of AWC and DSH fibroblasts in each cell-cycle phase were assessed by flow cytometry using cells cultured to confluency and disaggregated with pronase, trypsin, or mechanical separation. Trypsin (89.0%) and pronase (93.0%) yielded higher proportions of AWC nuclei in the G0/G1 phase than mechanical separation (82.0%). In contrast, mechanical separation yielded higher percentages of DSH nuclei in the G0/G1 phase (86.6%) than pronase (79.7%) or trypsin (74.2%) treatments. In both species, pronase induced less DNA damage than trypsin. In experiment 2, the effects of serum starvation, culture to confluency, and exposure to roscovitine on the distribution of AWC and DSH fibroblasts in various phases of the cell cycle were determined. Flow cytometry analyses revealed that the dynamics of the cell cycle varied as culture conditions were modified. Specifically, a higher percentage of AWC and DSH nuclei were in the G0/G1 phase after cells were serum starved (83% vs. 96%) than were present in cycling cells (50% vs. 64%), after contact inhibition (61% vs. 88%), or after roscovitine (56% vs. 84%) treatment, respectively. In experiment 3, we evaluated the effects of cell synchronization and oocyte maturation (in vivo vs. in vitro) on the reconstruction and development of AWC-DSH- and DSH-DSH-cloned embryos. The method of cell synchronization did not affect the fusion and cleavage rate because only a slightly higher percentage of fused couplets cleaved when donor nuclei

  3. Evaluation of cheetah and leopard spermatozoa developmental capability after interspecific ICSI with domestic cat oocytes. (United States)

    Moro, L N; Sestelo, A J; Salamone, D F


    The ICSI procedure is potentially of great value for felids, and it has not been extensively studied in these species. The objectives of this work were to determine the best conditions for ICSI in the domestic cat (DC) to generate interspecific embryos by injecting cheetah (Ch) and leopard (Leo) spermatozoa. Firstly, DC oocytes were matured with insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) or without it (MM) and cultured using atmospheric (21%) or low (5%) oxygen tension after ICSI. The group ITS-5%O2 showed the highest blastocyst rate (p spermatozoa were able to generate blastocysts without artificial activation, which suggests that developmental capacity of wild felid spermatozoa can be evaluated by interspecific ICSI. This technique should be used to assist wild felid reproduction.

  4. Diffused Intra-Oocyte Hydrogen Peroxide Activates Myeloperoxidase and Deteriorates Oocyte Quality.

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    Sana N Khan

    Full Text Available Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 is a relatively long-lived signaling molecule that plays an essential role in oocyte maturation, implantation, as well as early embryonic development. Exposure to relatively high levels of H2O2 functions efficiently to accelerate oocyte aging and deteriorate oocyte quality. However, little precise information exists regarding intra-oocyte H2O2 concentrations, and its diffusion to the oocyte milieu. In this work, we utilized an L-shaped amperometric integrated H2O2-selective probe to directly and quantitatively measure the real-time intra-oocyte H2O2 concentration. This investigation provides an exact measurement of H2O2 in situ by reducing the possible loss of H2O2 caused by diffusion or reactivity with other biological systems. This experiment suggests that the intra-oocyte H2O2 levels of oocytes obtained from young animals are reasonably high and remained constant during the procedure measurements. However, the intra-oocyte H2O2 concentration dropped significantly (40-50% reduction in response to catalase pre-incubation, suggesting that the measurements are truly H2O2 based. To further confirm the extracellular diffusion of H2O2, oocytes were incubated with myeloperoxidase (MPO, and the diffused H2O2 triggered MPO chlorinating activity. Our results show that the generated hypochlorous acid (HOCl facilitated the deterioration in oocyte quality, a process that could be prevented by pre-incubating the oocytes with melatonin, which was experimentally proven to be oxidized utilizing HPLC methods. This study is the first to demonstrate direct quantitative measurement of intracellular H2O2, and its extracellular diffusion and activation of MPO as well as its impact on oocyte quality. These results may help in designing more accurate treatment plans in assisted reproduction under inflammatory conditions.

  5. Successful pregnancy following transfer of feline embryos derived from vitrified immature cat oocytes using 'stepwise' cryoprotectant exposure technique. (United States)

    Tharasanit, Theerawat; Manee-In, Sukanya; Buarpung, Sirirak; Chatdarong, Kaywalee; Lohachit, Chainarong; Techakumphu, Mongkol


    Oocyte cryopreservation is the desired tool for the 'long-term' storage of female genetic potential especially for endangered/valuable species. This study aims at examining the ability of different cryoprotectant (CPA) and CPA exposure techniques to protect immature feline oocytes against cryoinjury during vitrification. Immature oocytes were submitted to different CPA exposure techniques: 1) 2-step DMSO, 2) 4-step DMSO, 3) 2-step EG, 4) 4-step EG, 5) 2-step EG plus DMSO and 6) 4-step EG plus DMSO. Non-CPA treated, non-vitrified oocytes served as controls. The oocytes were then submitted either to in vitro maturation (Experiment 1, n = 334) or to vitrification/warming (Experiment 2, n = 440). The stage of nuclear maturation was subsequently determined. In Experiment 3, the vitrified immature oocytes (n = 254) were matured and fertilized in vitro, and their developmental competence was assessed. A total of 424 embryos derived from vitrified immature oocytes were transferred into the oviduct of 6 recipient queens (Experiment 4). Vitrification reduced significantly the meiotic and developmental competence of immature cat oocytes compared with the non-vitrified controls. The EG alone or a combination of EG and DMSO yielded higher maturation rates than DMSO, irrespective of the CPA equilibration techniques used. The 4-step EG vitrification resulted in the highest maturation rate (37.6%) but cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly lower than the non-vitrified controls (24.8% and 30.2% vs 62.5% and 49.3%, respectively). Pregnancy was established in recipients receiving embryos derived from non-vitrified and vitrified/warmed immature oocytes. It is concluded that the stepwise CPA exposure technique can be successfully applied for vitrification of immature cat oocytes, in terms of in vitro development but it is likely to affect in utero development.

  6. Effect of Ultrasound on Parthenogenic Activation of Mouse Oocyte

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    Hamid Gurabi


    Full Text Available Objective: Artificial stimulation of mouse oocyte, in the absence of sperm contribution,can induce its parthenogenic activation of oocyte. Ultrasound is one of the newest methodsfor artificial activation of mammal oocytes, and its successful utilization in pig oocyteactivation has been recently reported. Our objective was to assess the effect of ultrasoundon mouse oocyte activation.Materials and Methods: Our groups included1 control group, 3 experimental groups consistingof 1, 2 and 3 repetitions of ultrasound exposure, and 3 sham groups handled similarto experimental groups but ultrasound system was off during treatments.In experimental groups, adult female NMRI mice at the interval between pregnant mareserum gonadotropin (PMSG and human corionic gonadotropin (hCG injections, wereexposed to continuous ultrasound with 3.28 MHz frequency and peak intensity (Ipk = 355mW/cm2.Sixteen hours after injection of hCG, the mice were euthanized and their oocytes werecollected; thereafter, parthenogenic oocytes were counted.Results: Data analysis using the ANOVA test shows a significant increase in the number ofparthenogenic oocytes in mice with 3 overall exposures to ovarian ultrasound (p<0.05.A significant decrease in the number of metaphase II (MII oocytes numbers was alsoseen in mice treated with ultrasound (p<0.05.Conclusion: Ultrasound is thought to induce pores generation in oocyte membranes andprovides an easier inward transport of Ca++ into oocytes. This phenomenon can inducemeiosis resumption in immature oocytes. With increased exposure repetitions from 1 to 3times and greater Ca++ arrival, oocytes can be parthenogenetically activated.

  7. Aromatase is expressed and active in the rainbow trout oocyte during final oocyte maturation. (United States)

    Gohin, Maella; Bodinier, Pascal; Fostier, Alexis; Chesnel, Franck; Bobe, Julien


    While it is generally well accepted that the ovarian follicular sites of estradiol-17β (E2) synthesis are restricted to somatic cells, the possible contribution of the germinal compartment has received little or no attention in teleosts. In order to demonstrate the expression of ovarian aromatase in the oocyte, cyp19a1a mRNA was studied in ovarian follicles by in situ hybridization. In addition, the expression of cyp19a1a was studied in both somatic and germinal compartments of the ovarian follicle in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during final oocyte maturation (i.e., maturational competence acquisition and subsequent meiosis resumption) by real-time PCR. The enzymatic activity of ovarian aromatase was also studied in both somatic and germinal compartments of the ovarian follicle. Finally, E2 levels were monitored in follicle-enclosed oocytes throughout the pre-ovulatory period. We were able to demonstrate a significant ovarian aromatase expression and activity in the late vitellogenic oocyte. Furthermore, a dramatic decrease in aromatase expression and activity occurs in the oocyte during late oogenesis, concomitantly with the trend observed in surrounding follicular layers. We also report an unexpected increase of E2 levels in the oocyte during the pre-ovulatory period. To our knowledge, these observations are reported for the first time in any teleost species. Together, our data support the hypothesis of the participation of the germinal compartment in follicular estrogen synthesis and a biological role of E2 during oocyte and/or early embryo development.

  8. Improvement of an electrical activation protocol for porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Zhu, Jie; Telfer, Evelyn E; Fletcher, Judy; Springbett, Anthea; Dobrinsky, John R; De Sousa, Paul A; Wilmut, Ian


    Factors influencing pig oocyte activation by electrical stimulation were evaluated by their effect on the development of parthenogenetic embryos to the blastocyst stage to establish an effective activation protocol for pig nuclear transfer. This evaluation included 1) a comparison of the effect of epidermal growth factor and amino acids in maturation medium, 2) an investigation of interactions among oocyte age, applied voltage field strength, electrical pulse number, and pulse duration, and 3) a karyotype analysis of the parthenogenetic blastocysts yielded by an optimized protocol based on an in vitro system of oocyte maturation and embryo culture. In the first study, addition of amino acids in maturation medium was beneficial for the developmental competence of activated oocytes. In the second study, the developmental response of activated oocytes was dependent on interactions between oocyte age at activation and applied voltage field strength, voltage field strength and pulse number, and pulse number and duration. The formation of parthenogenetic blastocysts was optimal when activation was at 44 h of maturation using three 80-microsec consecutive pulses of 1.0 kV/cm DC. Approximately 84% of parthenogenetic blastocysts yielded by this protocol were diploid, implying a potential for further in vivo development.

  9. In vitro maturation and artificial activation of donkey oocytes. (United States)

    Zhao, Gaoping; Wu, Kaifeng; Cui, Liang; Zhao, Lixia; Liu, Yiyi; Tan, Xiuwen; Zhou, Huanmin


    Three media were evaluated for their ability to support in vitro maturation of donkey (Equus asinus) oocytes and their development after parthenogenetic activation. The basal medium for Medium 1 (M1) and Medium 2 (M2) was M199 and DMEM/F12 respectively, whereas, Medium 3 (M3) consisted of equal parts (v/v) of M199 and DMEM/F12. All three media were supplemented with 10% (v/v) fetal calf serum, 0.01 units/mL porcine FSH, 0.01 units/mL equine LH, 200 ng/mL insulin-like growth factor 1(IGF-I), 10 μl/mL insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS), 0.1 mg/mL taurine, 0.1 mg/mL L-cysteine, 0.05 mg/mL L-glutamine, 0.11 mg/mL sodium pyruvate, and 25 mg/mL gentamycin. There were no significant differences among the three maturation media for oocyte maturation. Maturation rate of donkey oocytes in M1 was 53% for compact (Cp) cumulus-oocyte complexes and 75% for expanded (Ex) cumulus-oocyte complexes; in M2 these were 55 and 77%, respectively; and in M3, 58 and 75%. The percentage of cleaved parthenotes and 4- or 8-cell embryos were not significantly different for oocytes matured in the various media (61 and 24% for M1; 66 and 32% for M2; and 67 and 33% for M3). Oocytes matured in M3 tended to yield a higher rate of advanced embryo development (morula) than oocytes matured in M1 (22 vs 9%; P = 0.07). In conclusion, donkey oocytes were matured and parthenogenetically activated in vitro, using methods similar to those used in the horse.

  10. Regulation of ALF promoter activity in Xenopus oocytes.

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    Dan Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In this report we evaluate the use of Xenopus laevis oocytes as a matched germ cell system for characterizing the organization and transcriptional activity of a germ cell-specific X. laevis promoter. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The promoter from the ALF transcription factor gene was cloned from X. laevis genomic DNA using a PCR-based genomic walking approach. The endogenous ALF gene was characterized by RACE and RT-PCR for transcription start site usage, and by sodium bisulfite sequencing to determine its methylation status in somatic and oocyte tissues. Homology between the X. laevis ALF promoter sequence and those from human, chimpanzee, macaque, mouse, rat, cow, pig, horse, dog, chicken and X. tropicalis was relatively low, making it difficult to use such comparisons to identify putative regulatory elements. However, microinjected promoter constructs were very active in oocytes and the minimal promoter could be narrowed by PCR-mediated deletion to a region as short as 63 base pairs. Additional experiments using a series of site-specific promoter mutants identified two cis-elements within the 63 base pair minimal promoter that were critical for activity. Both elements (A and B were specifically recognized by proteins present in crude oocyte extracts based on oligonucleotide competition assays. The activity of promoter constructs in oocytes and in transfected somatic Xenopus XLK-WG kidney epithelial cells was quite different, indicating that the two cell types are not functionally equivalent and are not interchangeable as assay systems. CONCLUSIONS: Overall the results provide the first detailed characterization of the organization of a germ cell-specific Xenopus promoter and demonstrate the feasibility of using immature frog oocytes as an assay system for dissecting the biochemistry of germ cell gene regulation.

  11. Effects of thioglycolic acid on parthenogenetic activation of Xenopus oocytes.

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    Zhuoran Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Existing in Permanent-wave solutions (PWS, thioglycolic acid (TGA is widely used in hairdressing industry for its contribution to hair styling. However, the toxicity of TGA, especially its reproductive toxicity, gradually calls the attention of more and more researchers. METHOD: In this work, xenopus oocytes were pretreated with different concentration of TGA, and then activated by calcium ionophore A23187. During culture, the oocytes activation rates were taken note at different time after adding calcium ionophore A23187. At the end of the culture period, the nuclear status was detected under confocal microscope. In addition, some other samples were collected for Western-Blotting analysis. RESULT: TGA significantly inhibited the oocytes activation rate and pronuclear formation. It may be resulted from the inhibition of the degradation of p-ERK1, Mos and CyclinB2. CONCLUSION: TGA inhibits in vitro parthenogenetic activation of xenopus oocytes with inhibited the degradation of proteins involved in mitogenic-activated protein kinase (MAPK and maturation-promoting factor (MPF pathways.

  12. Changes of spontaneous parthenogenetic activation and development potential of golden hamster oocytes during the aging process. (United States)

    Jiang, Han; Wang, Ce; Guan, Jiyu; Wang, Lingyan; Li, Ziyi


    The golden hamster is an excellent animal experimental model for oocyte research. The hamster oocytes are very useful in clinical examination of human spermatozoan activity. Non-fertile oocytes can lead to time-dependent processes of aging, which will affect the results of human spermatozoa examination. As a consequence there is a need to investigate the aging and anti-aging processes of golden hamster oocytes. In order to study the aging processes and parthenogenetic activation of golden hamster oocytes, in vivo oocytes, oocytes cultured with or without cumulus cells, and oocytes treated with Trichostatin A (TSA) or caffeine were collected and investigated. We found that: (1) spontaneous parthenogenetic activation, developmental potential (cleavage rate), and zona pellucida (ZP) hardening undergo age-dependent changes in in vivo, in vitro, and after TSA or caffeine treatment; (2) in vivo, oocytes became spontaneously parthenogenetic 25 h post-hCG treatment; (3) in vitro, cumulus cells did not significantly increase the parthenogenetic activation rate of cultured hamster oocytes; and (4) TSA or caffeine could delay spontaneous oocyte parthenogenetic activation and the aging processes by at least 5h, but also accelerated the hardening of the ZP. These results define the conditions for the aging and anti-aging processes in golden hamster oocytes. TSA and caffeine play roles in controlling spontaneous activation, which could facilitate the storage and use of golden hamster oocytes for studying processes relevant to human reproduction.

  13. Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer in Asiatic cheetah using nuclei derived from post-mortem frozen tissue in absence of cryo-protectant and in vitro matured domestic cat oocytes. (United States)

    Moulavi, F; Hosseini, S M; Tanhaie-Vash, N; Ostadhosseini, S; Hosseini, S H; Hajinasrollah, M; Asghari, M H; Gourabi, H; Shahverdi, A; Vosough, A D; Nasr-Esfahani, M H


    Recent accomplishments in the field of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) hold tremendous promise to prevent rapid loss of animal genetic resources using ex situ conservation technology. Most of SCNT studies use viable cells for nuclear transfer into recipient oocytes. However, preparation of live cells in extreme circumstances, in which post-mortem material of endangered/rare animals is improperly retained frozen, is difficult, if not impossible. This study investigated the possibility of interspecies-SCNT (iSCNT) in Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), a critically endangered subspecies, using nuclei derived from frozen tissue in absence of cryo-protectant at -20 °C and in vitro matured domestic cat oocytes. No cells growth was detected in primary culture of skin and tendon pieces or following culture of singled cells prepared by enzymatic digestion. Furthermore, no live cells were detected following differential viable staining and almost all cells had ruptured membrane. Therefore, direct injection of donor nuclei into enucleated cat oocytes matured in vitro was carried out for SCNT experiments. Early signs of nuclear remodeling were observed as early as 2 h post-iSCNT and significantly increased at 4 h post-iSCNT. The percentages of iSCNT reconstructs that cleaved and developed to 4-16 cell and morula stages were 32.3 ± 7.3, 18.2 ± 9.8 and 5.9 ± 4.3%, respectively. However, none of the iSCNT reconstructs developed to the blastocyst stage. When domestic cat somatic and oocytes were used for control SCNT and parthenogenetic activation, the respective percentages of oocytes that cleaved (51.3 ± 13.9 and 77.3 ± 4.0%) and further developed to the blastocyst stage (11.3 ± 3.3 and 16.8 ± 3.8%) were comparable. In summary, this study demonstrated that enucleated cat oocytes can partially remodel and reactivate non-viable nuclei of Asiatic cheetah and support its reprogramming back to the embryonic stage. To our knowledge, this is

  14. Parthenogenetic activation of rhesus monkey oocytes and reconstructed embryos. (United States)

    Mitalipov, S M; Nusser, K D; Wolf, D P


    This study determines the efficiency of sequential calcium treatments (electroporation or ionomycin) combined with protein synthesis (cycloheximide) or phosphorylation inhibitors (6-dimethylaminopurine) or the specific maturation promoting factor (MPF) inhibitor, roscovitine, in inducing artificial activation and development of rhesus macaque parthenotes or nuclear transfer embryos. Exposure of oocytes arrested at metaphase II (MII) to ionomycin followed by 6-dimethylaminopurine or to electroporation followed by cycloheximide and cytochalasin B induced pronuclear formation and development to the blastocyst stage at a rate similar to control embryos produced by intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Parthenotes did not complete meiosis or extrude a second polar body, consistent with their presumed diploid status. In contrast, oocytes treated sequentially with ionomycin and roscovitine extruded the second polar body and formed a pronucleus at a rate higher than that observed in controls. Following reconstruction by nuclear transfer, activation with ionomycin/6-dimethylaminopurine resulted in embryos that contained a single pronucleus and no polar bodies. All nuclear transfer embryos activated with ionomycin/roscovitine contained one large pronucleus. However, a third of these embryos emitted one or two polar bodies, clearly containing chromatin material. In summary, we have identified simple yet effective methods of oocyte or cytoplast activation in the monkey, ionomycin/6-dimethylaminopurine, electroporation/cycloheximide/cytochalasin B, and ionomycin/roscovitine, which are applicable to parthenote or nuclear transfer embryo production.

  15. Checkpoint for DNA integrity at the first mitosis after oocyte activation. (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Trimarchi, James R; Smith, Peter J S; Keefe, David L


    Activation of oocytes, arrested at the meiosis II (MII) in mammals, initiates meiotic release, mitotic divisions, and development. Unlike most somatic cell types, MII arrested female germ cells lack an efficient DNA integrity checkpoint control. Here we present evidence showing a unique checkpoint for DNA integrity at first mitosis after oocyte activation. Mouse oocytes carrying intact DNA cleaved normally after meiotic release, whereas 50% of oocytes harboring damaged DNA manifested cytofragmentation, a morphological hallmark of apoptosis. If not activated, DNA-damaged MII oocytes did not show apoptotic fragmentation. Further, activated, enucleated oocytes or enucleated fertilized oocytes also underwent cytofragmentation, implicating cytoplasmic coordination of the fragmentation process, independent of the nucleus. Depolymerization of either actin filaments or microtubules induced no cytofragmentation, but inhibited fragmentation upon oocyte activation. During the process of fragmentation, microtubule networks formed, then microtubule asters congregated at discrete locations, around which fragmented cellular bodies formed. Mitotic spindles, however, were not formed inactivated oocytes with damaged or absent DNA; in contrast, normal mitotic spindles were formed in activated oocytes with intact DNA. These results demonstrate that damaged DNA or absence of DNA leads to cytofragmentation after oocyte activation. Further, we found a mechanism of cytoskeletal involvement in the process of cytofragmentation. In addition, possible implication of the present findings in somatic cell cloning and human clinical embryology is discussed.

  16. Characterization of the effects of metformin on porcine oocyte meiosis and on AMP-activated protein kinase activation in oocytes and cumulus cells. (United States)

    Bilodeau-Goeseels, Sylvie; Magyara, Nora; Collignon, Coralie


    The adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR) and metformin (MET) inhibit resumption of meiosis in porcine cumulus-enclosed oocytes. The objective of this study was to characterize the inhibitory effect of MET on porcine oocyte meiosis by: (1) determining the effects of an AMPK inhibitor and of inhibitors of signalling pathways involved in MET-induced AMPK activation in other cell types on MET-mediated meiotic arrest in porcine cumulus-enclosed oocytes; (2) determining whether MET and AICAR treatments lead to increased activation of porcine oocyte and/or cumulus cell AMPK as measured by phosphorylation of its substrate acetyl-CoA carboxylase; and (3) determining the effects of inhibition of the AMPK kinase, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK), and Ca2+ chelation on oocyte meiotic maturation and AMPK activation in porcine oocytes and cumulus cells. The AMPK inhibitor compound C (CC; 1 μM) did not reverse the inhibitory effect of AICAR (1 mM) and MET (2 mM) on porcine oocyte meiosis. Additionally, CC had a significant inhibitory effect on its own. eNOS, c-Src and PI-3 kinase pathway inhibitors did not reverse the effect of metformin on porcine oocyte meiosis. The level of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation in oocytes and cumulus cells did not change in response to culture in the presence of MET, AICAR, CC, the CaMKK inhibitor STO-609 or the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM for 3 h, but STO-609 increased the percentage of porcine cumulus-enclosed oocytes (CEO) that remained at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage after 24 h of culture. These results indicate that the inhibitory effect of MET and AICAR on porcine oocyte meiosis was probably not mediated through activation of AMPK.

  17. High hydrostatic pressure treatment of porcine oocytes induces parthenogenetic activation

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    Lin, Lin; Pribenszky, Csaba; Molnár, Miklós;


    by HHP treatment was investigated in different holding media with or without Ca(2+). The efficiency of activation was tested at different pressure levels and media including T2 (HEPES-buffered TCM-199 containing 2% cattle serum), and mannitol-PVA fusion medium with (MPVA + Ca(2+)) or without Ca(2....... In the light of these results, the possible source of Ca(2+) during activation was investigated. It was found that even after a total of 30-min wash with TL-HEPES-PVA buffer without Ca(2+) before HHP treatment in MPVA, the oocytes could still be activated, indicating the possibility of an intracellular Ca(2...

  18. Cognitive activation theory of stress (CATS). (United States)

    Ursin, Holger; Eriksen, Hege R


    The cognitive activation theory of stress (CATS) is based on a long series of experiments on animals and on humans, in the laboratory, and in real life situations. From the common sense coping concept formulated by Seymour Levine; coping is when my "tommy" does not hurt, we have advanced to a systematic theory for what is behind the relaxed and happy coping rat (and cat). We also cover the translational leap to humans, starting with the now classic parachutist study. The bridge is based on formal and symbolic definitions, a theoretical short cut that Levine actually never really accepted. The essential pathophysiological concept is the potential pathological effects of sustained activation, which may occur in the absence of coping (positive response outcome expectancy). We review the current status of CATS in Behavioural Medicine by discussing its potential explanatory power in epidemiology, prevention and treatment of "subjective health complaints".

  19. An ideal oocyte activation protocol and embryo culture conditions for somatic cell nuclear transfer using sheep oocytes. (United States)

    Patel, Hiren; Chougule, Shruti; Chohan, Parul; Shah, Naval; Bhartiya, Deepa


    Pluripotent stem cells are possibly the best candidates for regenerative medicine, and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is one of the viable options to make patient-specific embryonic stem cells. Till date efficacy of SCNT embryos is very low and requires further improvement like ideal oocyte activation and in vitro culture system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate ideal oocyte activation using different stimulation protocols and to study the effect of cumulus co-culture conditions on embryo development. Results demonstrate that between electric stimulation and chemical stimulation using calcium ionomycin and ionophore, best oocyte activation was obtained using calcium ionomycin (5 microM for 5 min) which resulted in 83% cleavage followed by 7% of early blastocyst which further increased to 15% when a cumulus bed was also introduced during embryo culture. Sequential modified Charles Rosenkrans 2 (mCR2) medium was used for embryo culture in which glucose levels were increased from 1 mM to 5 mM from Day 3 onwards. SCNT using cumulus cells as donor somatic cell, calcium ionomycin to activate the reconstructed oocyte and embryo culture on a cumulus bed in sequential mCR2 medium, resulted in the development of 6% embryos to early blastocyst stage. Such technological advances will make SCNT a viable option to make patient-specific pluripotent stem cell lines in near future.

  20. Birth of domestic cat kittens of predetermined sex after transfer of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization of oocytes with flow-sorted sperm. (United States)

    Pope, C E; Crichton, E G; Gómez, M C; Dumas, C; Dresser, B L


    Our goals were to: (1) determine if domestic cat sperm could be sorted to high purity by flow cytometry after overnight shipment of cooled samples; (2) evaluate the efficiency with which sorted sperm could be used to generate cat embryos in vitro; and (3) determine if live kittens of predetermined sex could be produced after transfer of embryos derived by IVF using sorted sperm. Semen samples (n=5) from one male were extended in electrolyte-free solution and shipped overnight at 4 degrees C to the sorting facility. Samples were adjusted to 75x10(6)sperm/mL and stained with Hoechst 33342. After 1h at 34.5 degrees C, samples were adjusted to 50x10(6)sperm/mL with 4% egg yolk TALP+0.002% food dye and sorted by high-speed flow cytometry. Later resort analysis confirmed purities of 94% and 83% for X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, respectively. Sorted sperm were centrifuged, re-suspended in TEST yolk buffer and shipped overnight to the IVF laboratory. After IVF of in vivo matured oocytes with X-chromosome bearing sperm, cleavage frequency was 62% (54/87). After IVF of IVM oocytes with control, X- or Y-chromosome bearing sperm, the incidence of cleavage was 42% (48/115), 33% (40/120), and 35% (52/150), respectively, and blastocyst development was 53% (21/40), 50% (11/22), and 55% (23/42), respectively (P>0.05). On Day 2, 45 embryos produced by IVF of in vivo matured oocytes with X-chromosome bearing sperm were transferred to the oviduct of four Day 1 recipients, three of which subsequently delivered litters of one, four, and seven female kittens, respectively. In conclusion, we confirmed that sperm sorting technology can be applied to domestic cats and established that kittens of predetermined sex can be produced.

  1. Chemical activation of in vitro matured dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) oocytes: optimization of protocols. (United States)

    Wani, N A


    Experiments were conducted to study the efficiency of sequential treatments of ionomycine and ethanol combined with phosphorylation inhibitor (6-dimethylaminopurine) or the specific maturation promoting factor inhibitor (roscovitine) in inducing artificial activation in dromedary M-II oocytes. Cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs), collected from slaughterhouse ovaries were cultured at 38.5 degrees C in an atmosphere of 5% CO2 in air for 24-48 h. In experiment 1, the COCs were either fertilized in vitro or activated with 5 microM ionomycine for 5 min or 7% ethanol for 7 min, both followed by exposure to 6-diethylaminopurine or roscovitine for 4h. After 14-15 h of in vitro culture, the oocytes were fixed and stained with 1% aceto-orcein to evaluate their nuclear status. In experiment 2, the oocytes were activated in the same manner as in experiment 1 but were cultured for 7 days to evaluate their post-parthenogenetic development. In experiment 3, oocytes were exposed to the ionomycine for 2, 3, 4 or 5 min to evaluate the better exposure time while as in experiment 4, the oocytes matured for 28-48 h were activated to see the effect of aging on post-parthenogenetic development. Higher proportion (P0.05) in the proportion of oocytes activated with ethanol when compared with in vitro fertilized group. No significant difference was seen on the proportion of morula on day 7 of culture, however the development to blastocyst stage was higher (P0.05). The proportion of blastocysts obtained was higher (Pdromedary camel oocytes with ionomycine/6-DMAP is demonstrated and optimized in the present study for further use in the development of assisted reproductive techniques in this species.

  2. Heat stress and antioxidant enzyme activity in bubaline ( Bubalus bubalis) oocytes during in vitro maturation (United States)

    Waiz, Syma Ashraf; Raies-ul-Haq, Mohammad; Dhanda, Suman; Kumar, Anil; Goud, T. Sridhar; Chauhan, M. S.; Upadhyay, R. C.


    In vitro environments like heat stress usually increase the production of reactive oxygen species in bubaline oocytes which have been implicated as one of the major causes for reduced developmental competence. Oocytes during meiotic maturation are sensitive to oxidative stress, and heat stress accelerates cellular metabolism, resulting in the higher production of free radicals. Therefore, the aim of present work was to assess the impact of heat stress during meiotic maturation on bubaline cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC), denuded oocytes (DO), and cumulus cell mass in terms of their oxidative status. Accordingly, for control group, COC were matured at 38.5 °C for complete 24 h of meiotic maturation and heat stress of 40.5 and 41.5 °C was applied to COC during the first 12 h of maturation and then moved to 38.5 °C for rest of the 12 h. In another group, COC after maturation were denuded from the surrounding cumulus cells by manual pipetting. Results indicated that the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxides, and nitric oxide (NO) was significantly ( P stress (40.5 and 41.5 °C) during meiotic maturation compared to the oocytes matured under standard in vitro culture conditions (38.5 °C). Also, the antioxidant enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase were significantly ( P stress ensues oxidative stress in bubaline oocytes which triggers the induction of antioxidant enzymatic defense system for scavenging the ROS.

  3. Xp38gamma/SAPK3 promotes meiotic G(2)/M transition in Xenopus oocytes and activates Cdc25C

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perdiguero, Eusebio; Pillaire, Marie-Jeanne; Bodart, Jean-Francois


    /SAPK3 is the major p38 activated by MKK6 in the oocytes. We have cloned Xenopus p38gamma (Xp38gamma) and show that co-expression of active MKK6 with Xp38gamma induces oocyte maturation in the absence of progesterone. The maturation induced by Xp38gamma requires neither protein synthesis nor activation...

  4. Pregnancy outcome after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with strontium oocyte activation in a globozoospermic patient

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Yu Yang; Jing Wang; Jia-Yin Liu; Yan Gao; Zuo-Min Zhou; Jia-Hao Sha; Wei Zhang; Yu-Gui Cui; Xiao-Qiao Qian


    Dear Editor,I am Dr Xiao-Yu Yang,from the Center of Clinical Reproductive Medicine in the First Affiliated Hospital at the NanJing Medical University,Nanjing,China.We present here a case report of a globozoospermic patient whose partner became pregnant after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with assisted oocyte activation (AOA).Globozoospermia is characterized by the presence of 100% round- headed spermatozoa lacking an acrosome.The lack of the acrosome,which renders spermatozoa unable to bind to the zona pellucida or fuse with the oocyte oolemma,is considered to be the cause of infertility in these patients.

  5. Pentose phosphate pathway activity: effect on in vitro maturation and oxidative status of bovine oocytes. (United States)

    Gutnisky, Cynthia; Dalvit, Gabriel C; Thompson, Jeremy G; Cetica, Pablo D


    The relationship between pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) activity in cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) and oxidative and mitochondrial activity in bovine oocytes was evaluated with the aim of analysing the impact of two inhibitors (NADPH and 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN)) and a stimulator (NADP) of the key enzymes of the PPP on the maturation rate, oxidative and mitochondrial activity and the mitochondrial distribution in oocytes. The proportion of COCs with measurable PPP activity (assessed using brilliant cresyl blue staining), glucose uptake, lactate production and meiotic maturation rate diminished when 6-AN (0.1, 1, 5 and 10mM for 22h) was added to the maturation medium (P<0.05). The addition of NADPH did not modify glucose uptake or lactate production, but reduced PPP activity in COCs and meiotic maturation rates (P<0.05). The presence of NADP (0.0125, 0.125, 1.25 and 12.5mM for 22h of culture) in the maturation medium had no effect on PPP activity in COCs, glucose uptake, lactate production and meiotic maturation rate. However, in the absence of gonadotropin supplementation, NADP stimulated both glucose uptake and lactate production at 12.5mM (the highest concentration tested; P<0.05). NADP did not modify cleavage rate, but decreased blastocyst production (P<0.05). During IVM, oocyte oxidative and mitochondrial activity was observed to increase at 15 and 22h maturation, which was also related to progressive mitochondrial migration. Inhibiting the PPP with 6-AN or NADPH led to reduced oxidative and mitochondrial activity compared with the respective control groups and inhibition of mitochondrial migration (P<0.05). Stimulation of the PPP with NADP increased oxidative and mitochondrial activity at 9h maturation (P<0.05) and delayed mitochondrial migration. The present study shows the significance of altering PPP activity during bovine oocyte IVM, revealing that there is a link between the activity of the PPP and the oxidative status of the oocyte.

  6. Oscillatory change of SR-protein kinase activities during oocyte maturation meiosis in fish

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨仲安; 曹丹; 桂建芳


    The SR-protein kinase activity was analyzed and the cytological changes were observed during oocyte maturation in bisexual transparent color crucian carp ( Carassius auratus color variety). The results revealed that the SR-protein kinase activity was sensitive to the artificially induced spawning hormones, and the change of oscillatory activity was similar to that of the maturation-promoting factor (MPF) kinase that regulates meiotic cell cycle in fish.

  7. Development capacity of pre- and postpubertal pig oocytes evaluated by somatic cell nuclear transfer and parthenogenetic activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovsgaard, Hanne; Li, Rong; Liu, Ying;


    Most of the porcine oocytes used for in vitro studies are collected from gilts. Our aims were to study development capacity of gilt v. sow oocytes (pre- and postpubertal respectively) using 2 techniques illustrating development competence [parthenogenetic activation (PA) and somatic cell nuclear...... transfer (SCNT)], and to describe a simple method to select the most competent oocytes. Inside-ZP diameter of in vitro-matured gilt oocytes was measured (µm; small ≤110; medium >110; large ≥120). Gilt and sow oocytes were morphologically grouped as good (even cytoplasm, smooth cell membrane, visible...... perivitelline space) or bad before used for PA (good and bad) or SCNT (good). The PA and SCNT were performed as before with minor modifications (Cryobiol. 64, 60; Cell. Reprogr. 13, 521) before culture for 6 days in a standard or timelapse incubator. Rates of cleavage (CL%, Day 2), blastocyst (BL%, Day 6...

  8. Activity changes of the cat paraventricular hypothalamus during stressor exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard; Rector, David M; Poe, Gina R


    Dorso-medial paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) activity was assessed by light scattering procedures in freely behaving cats during auditory stressor exposure. Acoustic noise (> 95dB) raised plasma ACTH concentrations, somatic muscle tonus, respiratory frequency and cardiac rates; PVH activity...... and nadir. Isolated pixels appeared opposite in activity pattern to overall changes. We suggest that transient activity increases represent initial PVH neural stress responses, and that subsequent profound declines result from neural inhibitory feedback....

  9. Participation of PLA2 and PLC in DhL-induced activation of Rhinella arenarum oocytes. (United States)

    Zapata-Martínez, J; Medina, M F; Gramajo-Bühler, M C; Sánchez-Toranzo, G


    Rhinella arenarum oocytes can be artificially activated, a process known as parthenogenesis, by a sesquiterpenic lactone of the guaianolide group, dehydroleucodine (DhL). Transient increases in the concentration of cytosolic Ca2+ are essential to trigger egg activation events. In this sense, the 1-4-5 inositol triphosphate receptors (IP3R) seem to be involved in the Ca2+ transient release induced by DhL in this species. We analyzed the involvement of phosphoinositide metabolism, especially the participation of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and phospholipase C (PLC) in DhL-induced activation. Different doses of quinacrine, aristolochic acid (ATA) (PLA2 inhibitors) or neomycin, an antibiotic that binds to PIP2, thus preventing its hydrolysis, were used in mature Rhinella arenarum oocytes. In order to assay the participation of PI-PLC and PC- PLC we used U73122, a competitive inhibitor of PI-PLC dependent events and D609, an inhibitor of PC-PLC. We found that PLA2 inhibits quinacrine more effectively than ATA. This difference could be explained by the fact that quinacrine is not a specific inhibitor for PLA2 while ATA is specific for this enzyme. With respect to the participation of PLC, a higher decrease in oocyte activation was detected when cells were exposed to neomycin. Inhibition of PC-PLC with D609 and IP-PLC with U73122 indicated that the last PLC has a significant participation in the effect of DhL-induced activation. Results would indicate that DhL induces activation of in vitro matured oocytes of Rhinella arenarum by activation of IP-PLC, which in turn may induce IP3 formation which produces Ca2+ release.

  10. Phospholipase Czeta mRNA expression and its potency during spermatogenesis for activation of quail oocyte as a sperm factor. (United States)

    Mizushima, Shusei; Takagi, Soichi; Ono, Tamao; Atsumi, Yusuke; Tsukada, Akira; Saito, Noboru; Shimada, Kiyoshi


    This study was conducted to investigate the role of a sperm-borne compound in oocyte activation in special reference to the time when oocyte activation is required by testicular cells during spermatogenesis in quail. First, effects of a microinjection of quail sperm extract (SE) and quail phospholipase Czeta (PLCzeta) cRNA into quail oocytes were assessed by observation of pronuclear formation and cytoplasmic segmentation, respectively. Secondly, the effects of a microinjection of round spermatids with or without PLCzeta cRNA into quail oocytes were studied by observation of development. When the oocytes were injected with SE at 0.13 mg protein/ml, both pronuclear formation and cytoplasmic segmentation were optimally induced. However, pronuclear formation was blocked when SE was pretreated with heat or when the oocyte was pretreated with BAPTA (a Ca(2+) chelator) before SE injection. On the other hand, when the oocytes were injected with PLCzeta cRNA at 60 microg/ml, not only pronuclear formation but also cytoplasmic segmentation were optimally induced. However, PLCzeta cRNA-induced pronuclear formation was blocked by pretreatment with cycloheximide (an inhibitor of protein synthesis) or with BAPTA. Most interestingly, round spermatids alone cannot induce blastodermal development but microinjection of a round spermatid with PLCzeta cRNA can induce development. In addition, RT-PCR revealed that PLCzeta mRNA is expressed in elongated spermatids and testicular sperm but not in round spermatids. It is concluded that PLCzeta is a functional sperm factor for oocyte activation to initiate resumption of meiotic division in quail and its potency is acquired after elongated spermatid formation during the spermatogenesis.

  11. Cows are not mice: the role of cyclic AMP, phosphodiesterases, and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase in the maintenance of meiotic arrest in bovine oocytes. (United States)

    Bilodeau-Goeseels, Sylvie


    Meiotic maturation in mammalian oocytes is initiated during fetal development, and is then arrested at the dictyate stage - possibly for several years. Oocyte meiosis resumes in preovulatory follicles in response to the lutenizing hormone (LH) surge or spontaneously when competent oocytes are removed from follicles and cultured. The mechanisms involved in meiotic arrest and resumption in bovine oocytes are not fully understood, and several studies point to important differences between oocytes from rodent and livestock species. This paper reviews earlier and contemporary studies on the effects of cAMP-elevating agents and phosphodiesterase (PDE) enzyme inhibitors on the maintenance of meiotic arrest in bovine oocytes in vitro. Contrary to results obtained with mouse oocytes, bovine oocyte meiosis is inhibited by activators of the energy sensor adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK, mammalian gene PRKA), which is activated by AMP, the degradation product of cAMP. It is not clear whether or not the effects were due to AMPK activation, and they may depend on culture conditions. Evidence suggests that other signaling pathways (for example, the cGMP/nitric oxide pathway) are involved in bovine oocyte meiotic arrest, but further studies are needed to understand the interactions between the signaling pathways that lead to maturation promoting factor (MPF) being inactive or active. An improved understanding of the mechanisms involved in the control of bovine oocyte meiosis will facilitate better control of the process in vitro, resulting in increased developmental competence and increased efficiency of in vitro embryo production procedures.

  12. In vitro and in vivo developmental competence of dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) oocytes following in vitro fertilization or parthenogenetic activation. (United States)

    Khatir, H; Anouassi, A; Tibary, A


    Parthenogenetic activation of the oocyte represents an important step in the somatic cloning. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness (in term of in vitro development) of different methods of parthenogenetic activation of dromedary oocytes. Selected cumulus-oocytes-complexes (n=1264) collected by follicular aspiration from ovaries obtained postmortem were matured in vitro (IVM) for 30 h then divided randomly into seven groups and submitted to artificial activation. Two groups were preactivated with 25 microM of calcium ionophore (CaI) for 20 min then incubated for 4h with either 2mM 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) (group 1, n=202) or with 10 microg/mL cycloheximide (CHX) (group 2, n=194). Group 3 (n=172) and group 4 (n=184), oocytes were pretreated with 5 microM ionomycin (Iono) for 5 min then incubated with either 2mM 6-DMAP or 10 microg/mL cycloheximide for 4h, respectively. Group 5 (n=161) and group 6 (n=155) oocytes were preactivated with electrical stimulation (ES) then activated with either 2mM 6-DMAP or 10 microg/mL cycloheximide for 4h, respectively. Group 7 (n=196) oocytes were submitted to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and served as a control. All groups containing oocytes were cultured in vitro following activation or IVF, at 38.5 degrees C under 5% CO(2) in air with >95% humidity. The in vitro development rates of dromedary oocytes exposed to 6-DMAP after CaI (61%), ES (74%) and the IVF group (71%) were similar and significantly greater (Pdromedary embryos was examined by transfer to synchronized recipients. An embryonic vesicle was seen by ultrasonography at 15 days post transfer in four females (CaI/6-DMAP: 1/5; 20%, IVF: 3/10; 30%). The only pseudopregnancy obtained with an activated embryo resorbed at 25 days. One of the females receiving the IVF produced embryos aborted at 2 months and the other two females carried to term and gave birth to healthy calves (one female and one male). This study shows that artificial activation of

  13. LIMK1 activity is required for MTOC localization and spindle bipolarity establishment during meiosis in mouse oocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Xiaoyun; Li Xin; Ma Wei


    Aneuploid embryo generally leads to infertility, spontaneous abortion and birth defects, mainly resulting from abnormal chromosome segregation during maternal oocytes meiosis. Chromosome division is conducted by bipolar spindle which formed through an acentrosomal way, dependent on a unique microtubule organizing center ( MTOC) in mammalian oocytes, however, the molecular composition and functional regulation of MTOC is still not fully ex-plored. LIM kinases 1 (LIMK1) is a conserved serine/threonine kinase, a major regulator of actin and microtubule dynamics, involved in microtubule stability and spindle positioning during mitosis. So far little is known about LIMK1 protein expression and its roles in oocytes during meiosis. We reported here the protein expression and sub-cellular distribution of LIMK1 in mouse oocytes during meiosis. Western blot procedure detected high and stable expression of LIMK1 in mouse oocytes from germinal vesicle ( GV) stage to metaphase II ( MII) . In contrast, acti-vated LIMK1 ( phosphorylated at Thr508 , pLIMK1 Thr508 ) was only observed after germinal vesicle breakdown ( GVBD) , and gradually increased with peak levels at metaphase I ( MI) and MII. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that LIMK1 was co-localized with microtubules on the whole spindle structure, while pLIMK1Thr508 was con- centrated with key components of MTOC,pericentrin and -Tubulin, on spindle poles in mouse oocytes. Inhibition of LIMK1 activity by BMS3, a specific ATPase competitive inhibitor, distroyed the formation of bipolar spindle structure, disturbed MTOC integrity and MTOC proteins recruitment to spindle poles. Moreover, LIMK1 inhibition caused chromosome misalignment and meiotic progression arrest at MI stage. Therefore, LIMK1 activity is required for formation and maintenance of bipolar spindle in mouse oocytes,importantly, pLIMK1T508 is MTOC-associated protein,involved in establishment and positioning of MTOC.

  14. The optimal period of Ca-EDTA treatment for parthenogenetic activation of porcine oocytes during maturation culture (United States)

    MORITA, Yasuhiro; TANIGUCHI, Masayasu; TANIHARA, Fuminori; ITO, Aya; NAMULA, Zhao; DO, Lanh Thi Kim; TAKAGI, Mitsuhiro; TAKEMOTO, Tatsuya; OTOI, Takeshige


    The changes triggered by sperm-induced activation of oocytes, which are required for normal oocyte development, can be mediated by other agents, thereby inducing the parthenogenesis. In this study, we exposed porcine oocytes to 1 mM Ca-EDTA, a metal-ion chelator, at various intervals during 48 hr of in vitro maturation to determine the optimum period of Ca-EDTA treatment for parthenogenetic activation. When the oocytes were cultured with or without Ca-EDTA from 36 hr (post-12), 24 hr (post-24), 12 hr (post-36) and 0 hr (post-48) after the start of maturation culture, the blastocyst formation rates were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the post-24, post-36 and post-48 groups (3.3%, 4.0% and 2.6%, respectively) than those in the control group without treatment (0%). Furthermore, when the oocytes were cultured with Ca-EDTA for 0 hr (control), 12 hr (pre-12), 24 hr (pre-24), 36 hr (pre-36) and 48 hr (pre-48) from the start of maturation culture, the oocytes formed blastocysts only in the pre-36 and pre-48 groups (0.4% or 0.8%, respectively). Pronuclei (<66.7%) were observed only when the periods of Ca-EDTA treatment were more than 12 hr during maturation culture. In the control group, no pronuclei were detected. Our findings demonstrate that porcine immature oocytes can be parthenogenetically activated by Ca-EDTA treatment for at least 24 hr to 36 hr during maturation culture, leading to pronucleus formation followed by the formation of blastocysts. PMID:26947170

  15. Activity changes of the cat paraventricular hypothalamus during stressor exposure. (United States)

    Kristensen, Morten P; Rector, David M; Poe, Gina R; Harper, Ronald M


    Dorso-medial paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) activity was assessed by light scattering procedures in freely behaving cats during auditory stressor exposure. Acoustic noise (> 95dB) raised plasma ACTH concentrations, somatic muscle tonus, respiratory frequency and cardiac rates; PVH activity peaked 0.8s following stimulation, and then markedly declined below baseline to a trough at 9.7s. Hypothalamic responses were not uniformly distributed across the recorded PVH field. Activity changes emerged from subregions within the visualized area, and were widespread at the overall activity zenith and nadir. Isolated pixels appeared opposite in activity pattern to overall changes. We suggest that transient activity increases represent initial PVH neural stress responses, and that subsequent profound declines result from neural inhibitory feedback.

  16. An extraovarian protein accumulated in mosquito oocytes is a carboxypeptidase activated in embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wenlong Cho; Deitsch, K.W.; Raikhel, A.S. (Michigan State Univ., East Lansing (United States))


    The authors report a phenomenon previously unknown for oviparous animals; in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes a serine carboxypeptidase is synthesized extraovarially and then internalized by oocytes. The cDNA encoding mosquito vitellogenic carboxypeptidase (VCP) was cloned and sequenced. The VCP cDNA hybridizes to a 1.5-kilobase mRNA present only in the fat body of vitellogenic females. The deduced amino acid sequence of VCP shares significant homology with members of the serine carboxypeptidase family. Binding assays using a serine protease inhibitor, ({sup 3}H)diisopropyl fluorophosphate, showed that VCP is activated in eggs at the onset of embryonic development. Activation of VCP is associated with the reduction in its size from 53 kDa (inactive proenzyme) to 48 kDa (active enzyme). The active, 48-kDa, form of VCP is maximally present at the middle of embryonic development and disappears by the end.

  17. Expression and activity of a novel cathelicidin from domestic cats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C Leonard

    Full Text Available Cathelicidins are small cationic antimicrobial peptides found in many species including primates, mammals, marsupials, birds and even more primitive vertebrates, such as the hagfish. Some animals encode multiple cathelicidins in their genome, whereas others have only one. This report identifies and characterizes feline cathelicidin (feCath as the sole cathelicidin in domestic cats (Felis catus. Expression of feCath is predominantly found in the bone marrow, with lower levels of expression in the gastrointestinal tract and skin. By immunocytochemistry, feCath localizes to the cytoplasm of neutrophils in feline peripheral blood. Structurally, the mature feCath sequence is most similar to a subgroup of cathelicidins that form linear α-helices. feCath possesses antimicrobial activity against E. coli D31, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (IR715, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (clinical isolate similar to that of the human ortholog, LL-37. In contrast, feCath lacks the DNA binding activity seen with LL-37. Given its similarity in sequence, structure, tissue expression, and antimicrobial activity, the cathelicidin encoded by cats, feCath, belongs to the subgroup of linear cathelicidins found not only in humans, but also non-human primates, dogs, mice, and rats.

  18. Extracts from plants used in Mexican traditional medicine activate Ca(2+)-dependent chloride channels in Xenopus laevis oocytes. (United States)

    Rojas, A; Mendoza, S; Moreno, J; Arellano, R O


    The two-electrode voltage-clamp technique was employed to investigate the effects of chloroform-methanol (1:1) extracts derived from five medicinal plants on Xenopus laevis oocytes. When evaluated at concentrations of 1 to 500 microg/ml, the extracts prepared from the aerial parts of Baccharis heterophylla H.B.K (Asteraceae), Chenopodium murale L. (Chenopodiaceae), Desmodium grahami Gray (Leguminosae) and Solanum rostratum Dun (Solanaceae) produced concentration-dependent oscillatory inward currents in the oocytes, while the extract of Gentiana spathacea did not induce any response. The reversal potential of the currents elicited by the active extracts was -17 +/- 2 mV and was similar to the chloride equilibrium potential in oocytes. These ionic responses were independent of extracellular calcium. However, they were eliminated by overnight incubation with BAPTA-AM (10 microM), suggesting that the currents were dependent on intracellular Ca2+ increase. Thus the plant extracts activate the typical oscillatory Ca(2+)-dependent Cl- currents generated in the Xenopus oocyte membrane more probably via a mechanism that involves release of Ca2+ from intracellular reservoirs. These observations suggest that Xenopus oocyte electrophysiological recording constitutes a suitable assay for the study of the mechanisms of action of herbal medicines.

  19. A live birth of activated one-day-old unfertilized oocyte for a patient who experienced repeatedly near-total fertilization failure after intracytoplasmic sperm injection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LU Qun; CHEN Xi; LI Yang; ZHANG Xiao-hong; LIANG Rong; ZHAO Yong-ping; WEI Li-hui; SHEN Huan


    Total or near-total fertilization failure after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a rare event,but it occurs repeatedly because of sperm defects in activating oocyte.The case presents a successful pregnancy and live birth after calcium ionophore A23187 (A23187) activation on one-day-old unfertilized oocytes in a patient whose husband suffered oligoasthenoteratozoospermia,and who had experienced repeated near-total fertilization failure after ICSI.In the second ICSI cycle,only one oocyte was fertilized while nine were unfertilized.Oocyte activation with A23187 were performed on the one-day-old unfertilized oocytes after ICSI and resulted in fertilization and embryo transfer.A clinical pregnancy was achieved and a healthy baby was born.To our knowledge,this is the first reported case of a healthy birth after oocyte activation on the one-day-old unfertilized oocyte.This indicates that “rescue oocyte activation” on one-day-old unfertilized oocytes after ICSI may be helpful for preventing total or near-total fertilization failure after ICSI.

  20. Live birth after artificial oocyte activation using a ready-to-use ionophore: a prospective multicentre study. (United States)

    Ebner, Thomas; Montag, Markus; Montag, M; Van der Ven, K; Van der Ven, H; Ebner, T; Shebl, O; Oppelt, P; Hirchenhain, J; Krüssel, J; Maxrath, B; Gnoth, C; Friol, K; Tigges, J; Wünsch, E; Luckhaus, J; Beerkotte, A; Weiss, D; Grunwald, K; Struller, D; Etien, C


    Artificial oocyte activation has been proposed as a suitable means to overcome the problem of failed or impaired fertilization after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In a multicentre setting artificial oocyte activation was applied to 101 patients who were diagnosed with fertilization abnormalities (e.g. less than 50% fertilized oocytes) in a previous conventional ICSI cycle. Female gametes were activated for 15 min immediately after ICSI using a ready-to-use Ca(2+)-ionophore solution (A23187). Fertilization, pregnancy and live birth rates were compared with the preceding cycle without activation. The fertilization rate of 48% in the study cycles was significantly higher compared with the 25% in the control cycles (P splitting of the historical control group into failed (0%), low (1-30%) and moderate fertilization rate (31-50%) showed that all groups significantly benefitted (P embryo transfer cancelled compared with their previous treatments (1/101 versus 15/101). In total, 99% of the patients had an improved outcome with A23187 application resulting in a 28% live birth rate (35 babies). These data suggest that artificial oocyte activation using a ready-to-use compound is an efficient method.

  1. Effects of recipient oocyte age and interval from fusion to activation on development of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) nuclear transfer embryos derived from fetal fibroblasts. (United States)

    Lu, F; Jiang, J; Li, N; Zhang, S; Sun, H; Luo, C; Wei, Y; Shi, D


    The objective was to investigate the effect of recipient oocyte age and the interval from activation to fusion on developmental competence of buffalo nuclear transfer (NT) embryos. Buffalo oocytes matured in vitro for 22 h were enucleated by micromanipulation under the spindle view system, and a fetal fibroblast (pretreated with 0.1 μg/mL aphidicolin for 24 h, followed by culture for 48 h in 0.5% fetal bovine serum) was introduced into the enucleated oocyte, followed by electrofusion. Both oocytes and NT embryos were activated by exposure to 5 μM ionomycin for 5 min, followed by culture in 2 mM 6-dimethyl-aminopurine for 3 h. When oocytes matured in vitro for 28, 29, 30, 31, or 32 h were activated, more oocytes matured in vitro for 30 h developed into blastocysts in comparison with oocytes matured in vitro for 32 h (31.3 vs 19.9%, P fusion (P fusion. However, 3 of 16 recipients were pregnant following transfer of blastocysts developed from the NT embryos activated at 3 h after fusion, and two of these recipients maintained pregnancy to term. We concluded that the developmental potential of buffalo NT embryos was related to recipient oocyte age and the interval from fusion to activation.

  2. Health of children born through artificial oocyte activation: a pilot study. (United States)

    Deemeh, Mohammad R; Tavalaee, Marziyeh; Nasr-Esfahani, Mohammad H


    Artificial oocyte activation (AOA) has shown to improve fertility in severe male infertility following intracytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI). However, the effect of AOA on the health status of children has not been studied. This pilot historical cohort study aims to evaluate physical and mental health of 79 and 89 children from 275 and 406 couples undergoing ICSI-AOA using ionomycin and conventional ICSI, respectively. The outcomes assessed were clinical pregnancy, abortion, type of delivery, and health of children (major birth defect, mental and behavior status). No significant differences were observed between the ICSI-AOA and the ICSI groups for these parameters, and the rate of major birth defects were not significantly different between the 2 groups. In this study, AOA has not imposed a greater risk on physical and mental health of children born through AOA, but for such a solid conclusion, further trails with higher number of cases are required and conclusions drawn are limited to this study.

  3. Specific deletion of AMP-activated protein kinase (α1AMPK in murine oocytes alters junctional protein expression and mitochondrial physiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Bertoldo

    Full Text Available Oogenesis and folliculogenesis are dynamic processes that are regulated by endocrine, paracrine and autocrine signals. These signals are exchanged between the oocyte and the somatic cells of the follicle. Here we analyzed the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, an important regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, by using transgenic mice deficient in α1AMPK specifically in the oocyte. We found a decrease of 27% in litter size was observed in ZP3-α1AMPK-/- (ZP3-KO female mice. Following in vitro fertilization, where conditions are stressful for the oocyte and embryo, ZP3-KO oocytes were 68% less likely to pass the 2-cell stage. In vivo and in cumulus-oocyte complexes, several proteins involved in junctional communication, such as connexin37 and N-cadherin were down-regulated in the absence of α1AMPK. While the two signalling pathways (PKA and MAPK involved in the junctional communication between the cumulus/granulosa cells and the oocyte were stimulated in control oocytes, ZP3-KO oocytes exhibited only low phosphorylation of MAPK or CREB proteins. In addition, MII oocytes deficient in α1AMPK had a 3-fold lower ATP concentration, an increase in abnormal mitochondria, and a decrease in cytochrome C and PGC1α levels, suggesting perturbed energy production by mitochondria. The absence of α1AMPK also induced a reduction in histone deacetylase activity, which was associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation (K9/K14 residues. Together, the results of the present study suggest that absence of AMPK, modifies oocyte quality through energy processes and oocyte/somatic cell communication. The limited effect observed in vivo could be partly due to a favourable follicle microenvironment where nutrients, growth factors, and adequate cell interaction were present. Whereas in a challenging environment such as that of in vitro culture following IVF, the phenotype is revealed.

  4. Activity of pulmonary intravascular macrophages in cats and dogs with and without adult Dirofilaria immitis. (United States)

    Dillon, A R; Warner, A E; Brawner, W; Hudson, J; Tillson, M


    Pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIMs), large (20-80 microm diameter) monocytes are present in sheep, pigs, and horses, but not in dogs, rats, rabbits, or primates. The present study evaluated the phagocytic activity of various organs in cats and dogs and determined the influence of Dirofilaria immitis infections on PIM activity. Live or dead adult heartworm (HW) was transplanted via jugular venotomy into cats and dogs. Cats (four per group) were allocated to five groups: surgical controls--no HW, dead HW for 1 week, live HW for 1 week, dead HW for 3 weeks, or live HW for 3 weeks. Radioactive technetium (Tc-99m, 1.2mCi in 0.3ml) sulfa-colloid was injected intravenously. All cats with HW were clinically asymptomatic and developed radiographic pulmonary parenchymal changes. No gross changes were visible at necropsy for cats with HW; inflammatory changes were less severe in cats with live HW. In cats with dead HW for 3 weeks, worms were present but folded, flattened, and located in distal pulmonary arteries. Uninfected control dogs and those with dead HW did not demonstrate any PIM activity. In control cats, lungs were the primary phagocytic organ after systemic IV colloid injection (72.5% of the total recovered radioactive dose). The lung and liver together represented over 95% of the recovered Tc-99m colloid in all cats. In each group of cats with HW, phagocytic activity of the lung was significantly less (p < 0.001) than the PIM activity of controls. Cats with dead HW at 1 week (50.1%) had a significant (p < 0.019) decrease in PIM activity compared with cats with dead HW at 3 weeks (59.5%). The PIM activity in cats with live HW was significantly decreased (p < 0.001) from that in groups with dead HW, but there was no significant difference between the two groups infected with live worms. There were no significant differences in recovery between any groups in pairwise analysis of the spleen, heart, skeletal muscle, kidney, bone marrow, or blood. Significant

  5. The Feline Mystique: Dispelling the Myth of the Independent Cat. (United States)

    Soltow, Willow


    Describes learning activities about cats for primary and intermediate grades. Primary grade activity subjects include cat behavior, needs, breeds, storybook cats, and celestial cats. Intermediate grade activity subjects include cat history, care, language, literary cats, and cats in art. (BC)

  6. Active mechanics reveal molecular-scale force kinetics in living oocytes

    CERN Document Server

    Ahmed, Wylie W; Almonacid, Maria; Bussonnier, Matthias; Verlhac, Marie-Helene; Gov, Nir S; Visco, Paolo; van Wijland, Frederic; Betz, Timo


    Unlike traditional materials, living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as cell division. Single molecule studies have uncovered the detailed force kinetics of isolated motor proteins in-vitro, however their behavior in-vivo has been elusive due to the complex environment inside the cell. Here, we quantify active force generation in living oocytes using in-vivo optical trapping and laser interferometry of endogenous vesicles. We integrate an experimental and theoretical framework to connect mesoscopic measurements of nonequilibrium properties to the underlying molecular-scale force kinetics. Our results show that force generation by myosin-V drives the cytoplasmic-skeleton out-of-equilibrium (at frequencies below 300 Hz) and actively softens the environment. In vivo myosin-V activity generates a force of $F \\sim 0.4$ pN, with a power-stroke of len...

  7. T-type Ca2+ current activity during oocyte growth and maturation in the ascidian Styela plicata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Gallo

    Full Text Available Voltage-dependent calcium currents play a fundamental role during oocyte maturation, mostly L-type calcium currents, whereas T-type calcium currents are involved in sperm physiology and cell growth. In this paper, using an electrophysiological and pharmacological approach, we demonstrated, for the first time in oocytes, that T-type calcium currents are present with functional consequences on the plasma membrane of growing immature oocytes of the ascidian Styela plicata. We classified three subtypes of immature oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage on the basis of their size, morphology and accessory cellular structures. These stages were clearly associated with an increased activity of T-type calcium currents and hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane. We also observed that T-type calcium currents oscillate in the post-fertilization embryonic stages, with minimal amplitude of the currents in the zygote and maximal at 8-cell stage. In addition, chemical inhibition of T-type calcium currents, obtained by applying specific antagonists, induced a significant reduction in the rate of cleavage and absence of larval formation. We suggest that calcium entry via T-type calcium channels may act as a potential pacemaker in regulating cytosolic calcium involved in fertilization and early developmental events.

  8. Comparative investigation on spindle behavior and MPF activity changes during oocyte maturation between gynogenetic and amphimictic crucian carp

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The spindle behavior and MPF activity changes in the progression of oocyte maturation were investigated and compared with cytological observation and kinase assay between gynogenetic silver crucian carp and amphimictic colored crucian carp.MPF activity was measured by using histone H1 as phosphorylation substrate.There were two similar oscillatory MPF kinase activity changes during oocyte maturation in two kinds of fishes with different reproductive modes,but there existed some subtle difference between them.The subtle difference was that the first peak of MPF kinase activity was kept to a longerlasting time in the gynogenetic silver crucian carp than in the amphimictic colored crucian carp.It was suggested that the difference may be related to the spindle behavior changes,such as tripolar spindle formation and spindle rearrangement in the gynogenetic crucian carp.

  9. Abnormally activated one-carbon metabolic pathway is associated with mtDNA hypermethylation and mitochondrial malfunction in the oocytes of polycystic gilt ovaries. (United States)

    Jia, Longfei; Li, Juan; He, Bin; Jia, Yimin; Niu, Yingjie; Wang, Chenfei; Zhao, Ruqian


    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is associated with hyperhomocysteinemia and polycystic ovaries (PCO) usually produce oocytes of poor quality. However, the intracellular mechanism linking hyperhomocysteinemia and oocyte quality remains elusive. In this study, the quality of the oocytes isolated from healthy and polycystic gilt ovaries was evaluated in vitro in association with one-carbon metabolism, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation, and mitochondrial function. PCO oocytes demonstrated impaired polar body extrusion, and significantly decreased cleavage and blastocyst rates. The mitochondrial distribution was disrupted in PCO oocytes, together with decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and deformed mitochondrial structure. The mtDNA copy number and the expression of mtDNA-encoded genes were significantly lower in PCO oocytes. Homocysteine concentration in follicular fluid was significantly higher in PCO group, which was associated with significantly up-regulated one-carbon metabolic enzymes betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) and the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1. Moreover, mtDNA sequences coding for 12S, 16S rRNA and ND4, as well as the D-loop region were significantly hypermethylated in PCO oocytes. These results indicate that an abnormal activation of one-carbon metabolism and hypermethylation of mtDNA may contribute, largely, to the mitochondrial malfunction and decreased quality of PCO-derived oocytes in gilts.

  10. The Fungal Sexual Pheromone Sirenin Activates the Human CatSper Channel Complex. (United States)

    Syeda, Shameem Sultana; Carlson, Erick J; Miller, Melissa R; Francis, Rawle; Clapham, David E; Lishko, Polina V; Hawkinson, Jon E; Hook, Derek; Georg, Gunda I


    The basal fungus Allomyces macrogynus (A. macrogynus) produces motile male gametes displaying well-studied chemotaxis toward their female counterparts. This chemotaxis is driven by sirenin, a sexual pheromone released by the female gametes. The pheromone evokes a large calcium influx in the motile gametes, which could proceed through the cation channel of sperm (CatSper) complex. Herein, we report the total synthesis of sirenin in 10 steps and 8% overall yield and show that the synthetic pheromone activates the CatSper channel complex, indicated by a concentration-dependent increase in intracellular calcium in human sperm. Sirenin activation of the CatSper channel was confirmed using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology with human sperm. Based on this proficient synthetic route and confirmed activation of CatSper, analogues of sirenin can be designed as blockers of the CatSper channel that could provide male contraceptive agents.

  11. Activity changes of the cat paraventricular hypothalamus during phasic respiratory events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard; Poe, G R; Rector, D M;


    We monitored the spatiotemporal organization of cellular activity in the medial paraventricular hypothalamus during spontaneously-occurring periods of increased inspiratory effort followed by prolonged respiratory pauses (sigh/apnea) in the freely-behaving cat. Paraventricular hypothalamic activity...

  12. Functions of FZR1 and CDC20, activators of the anaphase-promoting complex, during meiotic maturation of swine oocytes. (United States)

    Yamamuro, Tadashi; Kano, Kiyoshi; Naito, Kunihiko


    Cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) and fizzy/cell division cycle 20 related 1 (FZR1) are activators of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), which ubiquitinates M-phase regulating proteins, such as cyclin B and securin, and induces their degradation. In the present study, porcine CDC20 and FZR1 were cloned by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and their functions in the meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes were analyzed. FZR1 was readily detected in porcine immature oocytes by immunoblotting, but its levels decreased substantially during maturation. In contrast, CDC20 levels rose during oocyte maturation and were highest by the second meiotic metaphase. The inhibition of CDC20 expression by the injection of CDC20 antisense RNA induced the meiotic arrest at the first meiotic metaphase (M1) and the accumulation of a large amount of cyclin B. On the other hand, the inhibition of FZR1 expression accelerated cyclin B accumulation and the start of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), but did not affect the exit from M1. Conversely, the overexpression of FZR1 by the injection of FZR1 mRNA suppressed the cyclin B accumulation and retarded GVBD. Surprisingly, the injection of CDC20 mRNA into the immature oocytes could not increase CDC20 expression, but increased cyclin B accumulation and accelerated the meiotic progression. As CDC20 is a substrate of APC (FZR1), CDC20 might have competed with cyclin B and inhibited the FZR1 function. These results suggest that porcine FZR1 and CDC20 work on the maintenance of meiotic arrest at the first meiotic prophase and on the exit from M1, respectively, and that their functional phases are strictly distinguished during porcine oocyte maturation.

  13. Jumping the gun: Smoking constituent BaP causes premature primordial follicle activation and impairs oocyte fusibility through oxidative stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobinoff, A.P.; Pye, V. [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308 (Australia); Nixon, B.; Roman, S.D. [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308 (Australia); ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308 (Australia); McLaughlin, E.A., E-mail: [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308 (Australia); ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW2308 (Australia)


    Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is an ovotoxic constituent of cigarette smoke associated with pre-mature ovarian failure and decreased rates of conception in IVF patients. Although the overall effect of BaP on female fertility has been documented, the exact molecular mechanisms behind its ovotoxicity remain elusive. In this study we examined the effects of BaP exposure on the ovarian transcriptome, and observed the effects of in vivo exposure on oocyte dysfunction. Microarray analysis of BaP cultured neonatal ovaries revealed a complex mechanism of ovotoxicity involving a small cohort of genes associated with follicular growth, cell cycle progression, and cell death. Histomorphological and immunohistochemical analysis supported these results, with BaP exposure causing increased primordial follicle activation and developing follicle atresia in vitro and in vivo. Functional analysis of oocytes obtained from adult Swiss mice treated neonatally revealed significantly increased levels of mitochondrial ROS/lipid peroxidation, and severely reduced sperm-egg binding and fusion in both low (1.5 mg/kg/daily) and high (3 mg/kg/daily) dose treatments. Our results reveal a complex mechanism of BaP induced ovotoxicity involving developing follicle atresia and accelerated primordial follicle activation, and suggest short term neonatal BaP exposure causes mitochondrial leakage resulting in reduced oolemma fluidity and impaired fertilisation in adulthood. This study highlights BaP as a key compound which may be partially responsible for the documented effects of cigarette smoke on follicular development and sub-fertility. -- Highlights: ► BaP exposure up-regulates canonical pathways linked with follicular growth/atresia. ► BaP causes primordial follicle activation and developing follicle atresia. ► BaP causes oocyte mitochondrial ROS and lipid peroxidation, impairing fertilisation. ► Short term neonatal BaP exposure compromises adult oocyte quality.

  14. Time-lapse cinematography study of the germinal vesicle behaviour in mouse primary oocytes treated with activators of protein kinases A and C. (United States)

    Alexandre, H; Mulnard, J


    A passive erratic movement of the germinal vesicle (GV), already visible in small incompetent oocytes, is followed by an active scalloping of the nuclear membrane soon before GV breakdown (GVBD) in cultured competent oocytes. Maturation can be inhibited by activators of protein kinase A (PK-A) and protein kinase C (PK-C). Our time-lapse cinematography analysis allowed us to describe an unexpected behaviour of the GV when PK-C, but not PK-A, is activated: GV undergoes a displacement toward the cortex according to the same biological clock which triggers the programmed translocation of the spindle in control oocytes. It is concluded that, when oocytes become committed to undergo maturation, the cytoplasm acquires a PK-A-controlled "centrifugal displacement property" which is not restricted to the spindle.

  15. Clinical pregnancies and livebirths achieved by intracytoplasmic injection of round headed acrosomeless spermatozoa with and without oocyte activation in familial globozoospermia:case report

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Enver K.Dirican; Ahmet Isik; Kubilay Vicdan; Eran Sozen; Zekiye Suludere


    We report the successful outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment in two siblings with familial globozoospermia. After controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte pick-up, retrieved oocytes were mechanically activated before ICSI and a fertilization rate of 33.3% was achieved in the first case. The second couple underwent ICSI without oocyte activation and a 9.1% fertilization rate was obtained. The transfer of two grade Ⅰ embryos in the first couple and one grade Ⅰ embryo in the second couple resulted in clinical pregnancies with healthy livebirths. It was concluded that the main problem of cases with globozoospermia is a low fertilization rate, and even though ICSI and oocyte activation can increase this rate it is not necessarily needed to achieve a pregnancy.

  16. Function and interaction of maturation-promoting factor and mitogen-activated protein kinase during meiotic maturation and fertilization of oocyte

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUO Lijun; FAN Hengyu; CHEN Dayuan; SUN Qingyuan


    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) cascade and maturation-promoting factor (MPF) play very important roles during meiotic maturation and fertilization of oocyte. Interaction between MAP kinase and MPF influences meiotic maturation and fertilization of oocyte throughout the animal kingdom, including stimulation of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), suppression of DNA replication, control of meiotic chromosome segregation, maintenance of metaphase II arrest, and resumption and completion of second meiosis. This review focuses on the function and interaction of MAP kinase and MPF during meiotic maturation and fertilization of oocyte.

  17. Chemical activation in Rhinella arenarum oocytes: effect of dehydroleucodine (DhL) and its hydrogenated derivative (2H-DhL). (United States)

    Medina, M F; Bühler, M I; Sánchez-Toranzo, G


    Mature oocytes are arrested in metaphase II due to the presence of high levels of active maturation promoting factor (MPF). After fertilization, active MPF levels decline abruptly, enabling oocytes to complete meiosis II. One of the first and universal events of oocyte activation is an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ that would be responsible for MPF inactivation. Mature oocytes can also be activated by parthenogenetic activation. The aims of this work are to test the ability of dehydroleucodine (DhL) and its hydrogenated derivative 11,13-dihydro-dehydroleucodine (2H-DhL) to induce chemical activation in amphibian oocytes and to study the participation of calcium in the process. Results indicated that DhL and 2H-DhL induced oocyte activation in a dose-dependent manner. After 90 min of treatment, DhL 36 μM was able to induce 95% activation, while 2H-DhL 36 μM was less active, with only 40% activation. Our results suggest that DhL induced the inhibition of MPF activity, probably by an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Extracellular Ca2+ would not be significant, although Ca2+ release from intracellular stores is critical. In this sense, IP3Rs and RyRs were involved in the Ca2+ transient induced by lactones. In this species, RyRs appears to be the largest contributor to Ca2+ release in DhL-induced activation. Although more studies are needed on the mechanism of action through which these lactones induce oocyte activation in Rhinella arenarum, the results of this research provide interesting perspectives for the use of these lactones as chemical activators in in vitro fertilization and cloning.

  18. Predator cat odors activate sexual arousal pathways in brains of Toxoplasma gondii infected rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick K House

    Full Text Available Cat odors induce rapid, innate and stereotyped defensive behaviors in rats at first exposure, a presumed response to the evolutionary pressures of predation. Bizarrely, rats infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii approach the cat odors they typically avoid. Since the protozoan Toxoplasma requires the cat to sexually reproduce, this change in host behavior is thought to be a remarkable example of a parasite manipulating a mammalian host for its own benefit. Toxoplasma does not influence host response to non-feline predator odor nor does it alter behavior on olfactory, social, fear or anxiety tests, arguing for specific manipulation in the processing of cat odor. We report that Toxoplasma infection alters neural activity in limbic brain areas necessary for innate defensive behavior in response to cat odor. Moreover, Toxoplasma increases activity in nearby limbic regions of sexual attraction when the rat is exposed to cat urine, compelling evidence that Toxoplasma overwhelms the innate fear response by causing, in its stead, a type of sexual attraction to the normally aversive cat odor.

  19. Studies on Electrical Activation of Porcine Oocytes Matured in vitro and Embryo Culture Systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Zhong-hong; XING Feng-ying; LIU Guo-shi; ZENG Shen-ming; ZHU Shi-en; ZHANG Zhong-cheng; FU Peng-hui


    Conditions for electrical parthenogenetic activation of porcine oocytes matured in vitro and in vitro culture systems of porcine embryo were studied. The best results were achieved under the conditions of electrical field strength and the pulse duration at 130Vmm-1/80 μs, with a blastocyst development rate of (20.12 ± 8.18)% (P > 0.05). No significant difference was found between treatments of multiple pulses and a single pulse ( P > 0.05). Parthenogenetic embryos were cultured with different methods and air conditions for 7 days in vitro, blastocyst development rate of embryos with changed culture media [ (26.44 ± 8.35)% ] or changed media with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) [ (17.68 ± 5.39)% ] on the fifth day showing no significant difference from that of embryos without change of culture media [ (25.30 ± 7.55) %, P > 0.05 ], while cell numbers of blastocysts from embryos with changed culture media (15.78 ± 5.46 and 14.55 ± 4.81) were significantly lower than number of blastocysts from embryos without change of culture media (18.01 ± 6.79,P < 0.01 ). Blastocyst development rate and blastocyst cell number of embryos cultured in lower O2 (5 % CO2:7%O2:88%N2) also showed no significant difference from those in high O2 (5% CO2 in air) [ (20.78 ± 8.80) % and 17.00 ± 6.12 vs. (25.30 ± 7.55) % and 18.01 ± 6.79, P > 0.05 ]. It is concluded that change of culture media with the same new one or changing over to media with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) on the fifth day and low O2 environment are not necessary for porcine embryos development.

  20. Carrying-over effects of GVBD blocking on post-blocking meiotic progression of oocytes: species difference and the signaling pathway leading to MPF activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang-Zhong Jiao

    Full Text Available Efforts to improve the quality of in vitro matured oocytes by blocking germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD and allowing more time for ooplasmic maturation have achieved little due to a lack of knowledge on the molecular events during GVBD blocking. Such knowledge is also important for studies aimed at regulating gene expression in maturing oocytes prior to GVBD. We studied species difference and signaling pathways leading to the carrying-over effect of GVBD blocking on post-blocking meiotic progression (PBMP. Overall, GVBD-blocking with roscovitine decelerated PBMP of mouse oocytes but accelerated that of pig oocytes. During blocking culture, whereas cyclin B of pig oocytes increased continuously, that of mouse oocytes declined first and then increased slowly. In both species, (a whereas active CDC2A showed a dynamics similar to cyclin B, inactive CDC2A decreased continuously; (b when oocytes were blocked in blocking medium containing cycloheximide, PBMP was decelerated significantly while cyclin B and active CDC2A decreasing to the lowest level; (c whereas sodium vanadate in blocking medium reduced PBMP, epidermal growth factor (EGF in blocking medium accelerated PBMP significantly with no effect on cyclin B levels. In conclusion, the EGF signaling cascade accelerated PBMP by promoting the pre-MPF (M-phase-promoting factor to MPF conversion during GVBD blocking with roscovitine. The significant difference in PBMP observed between mouse and pig oocytes was caused by species difference in cyclin B dynamics during blocking culture as no species difference was observed in either pre-MPF to MPF conversion or the EGF signaling activity.

  1. The dormant and the fully competent oocyte

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøndahl, Marie Louise; Borup, Rehannah; Vikeså, Jonas;


    Oocytes become enclosed in primordial follicles during fetal life and remain dormant there until activation followed by growth and meiotic resumption. Current knowledge about the molecular pathways involved in oogenesis is incomplete. This study identifies the specific transcriptome of the human...... identified as well as functional and pathway enrichments associated with the oocytes from the two developmental hallmarks. A total of 729 genes were highly enriched in oocytes from primodial follicles and 1456 genes were highly enriched in MII oocytes (>10-fold, P...

  2. The role of Hv1 and CatSper channels in sperm activation. (United States)

    Lishko, Polina V; Kirichok, Yuriy


    Elevations of sperm intracellular pH and Ca(2+) regulate sperm motility, chemotaxis, capacitation and the acrosome reaction, and play a vital role in the ability of the sperm cell to reach and fertilise the egg. In human spermatozoa, the flagellar voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 is the main H(+) extrusion pathway that controls sperm intracellular pH, and the pH-dependent flagellar Ca²(+) channel CatSper is the main pathway for Ca²(+) entry as measured by the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Hv1 and CatSper channels are co-localized within the principal piece of the sperm flagellum. Hv1 is dedicated to proton extrusion from flagellum and is activated by membrane depolarisation, an alkaline extracellular environment, the endocannabinoid anandamide, and removal of extracellular zinc, a potent Hv1 blocker. The CatSper channel is strongly potentiated by intracellular alkalinisation. Since Hv1 and CatSper channels are located in the same subcellular domain, proton extrusion via Hv1 channels should induce intraflagellar alkalinisation and activate CatSper ion channels. Therefore the combined action of Hv1 and CatSper channels in human spermatozoa can induce elevation of both intracellular pH and Ca²(+) required for sperm activation in the female reproductive tract. Here, we discuss how Hv1 and CatSper channels regulate human sperm physiology and the differences in control of sperm intracellular pH and Ca²(+) between species.

  3. Recombinant hamster oviductin is biologically active and exerts positive effects on sperm functions and sperm-oocyte binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaojing Yang

    Full Text Available Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1 in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293 cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 μg/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function.

  4. Recombinant hamster oviductin is biologically active and exerts positive effects on sperm functions and sperm-oocyte binding. (United States)

    Yang, Xiaojing; Zhao, Yuewen; Yang, Xiaolong; Kan, Frederick W K


    Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1) in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP) of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 μg/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function.

  5. State-dependent cellular activity patterns of the cat paraventricular hypothalamus measured by reflectance imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard; Rector, D M; Poe, G R;


    Activity within the cat paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) during sleep and waking states was measured by quantifying intrinsic tissue reflectivity. A fiber optic probe consisting of a 1.0 mm coherent image conduit, surrounded by plastic fibers which conducted 660 nm source light, was attached...... to a charge-coupled device camera, and positioned over the PVH in five cats. Electrodes for assessing state variables, including electroencephalographic activity, eye movement, and somatic muscle tone were also placed. After surgical recovery, reflected light intensity was measured continuously at 2.5 Hz...

  6. Presence of membranous vesicles in cat seminal plasma: ultrastructural characteristics, protein profile and enzymatic activity. (United States)

    Polisca, A; Troisi, A; Minelli, A; Bellezza, I; Fontbonne, A; Zelli, R


    This study sought to verify the presence of membranous vesicles in cat seminal plasma by means of transmission electron microscopy and to identify protein profile and some of the enzymatic activities associated with these particles. The transmission electron microscopy observations showed the existence of different sized vesicular membranous structures of more or less spherical shape. These vesicles were surrounded by single-, double- or multiple-layered laminar membranes. The vesicle diameters ranged from 16.3 to 387.4 nm, with a mean of 116.5 ± 70.7 nm. Enzyme activity determinations showed the presence of dipeptilpeptidase IV, aminopeptidase, alkaline and acid phosphatase. To our knowledge, this is the first report that identifies and characterizes the membranous vesicles in cat seminal plasma. However, further studies are necessary to identify the exact site of production of these membranous vesicles in the cat male genital tract and to determine their specific roles in the reproductive events of this species.

  7. Effects of Ages of Donors and Conditions of Preserving Ovaries on Porcine Oocytes Maturation in vitro and Efficiency of Parthenogenetic Activation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XING Feng-ying; WU Zhong-hong; ZENG Shen-ming; LIU Guo-shi; ZHU Shi-en; ZHANG Zhong-cheng; CHEN Xue-jin


    Effects of different ages of donors and different conditions of preserving ovaries on porcine oocytes maturation in vitro and efficiency of parthenogenetic activation were studied. The experiments included: 1) effects of different temperatures (22, 30, 37, 38.5and 40℃) of preserving ovaries on porcine oocytes maturation in vitro and developmental potential; 2) effects of periods of preserving ovaries on porcine oocytes maturation in vitro and development in vitro; 3) effects of different ages of donors on porcine oocytes maturation in vitro and developmental potential. The results of the experiment showed:1) There were no statistical differences (p>0.05) of the parthenogenetic cleavage rate (79.64% vs 76.18%) and blastocyst rate (18.11% vs 33.82%) between oocytes from ovaries preserved at 38.5℃ and those preserved at 37℃. When the preserving temperature was increased to 40℃, the cleavage rate (21.68%) and the blastocyst rate (0) were great significantly lower than those at 37℃(p<0.01). The cleavage rate (80.79% vs 76.18%) and blastocyst rate (29.61% vs 33.82%) were not different between 30 and 37℃(p> 0.05). When the preserving temperature was decreased to 22℃, the rate of cleavage was not different,but the rate of blastocyst was significantly lower, compared with that at 37℃; 2) The cleavage and blastocyst rates of the porcine oocytes collected after slaughter 2 or 6h were not different (p>0.05); 3) The cleavage rate of oocytes from gilts and sows after maturation was not different, but the blastocyst rate of the sow group was significantly higher than that of gilt group (p< 0.05). The blastocyst cell number of sows and gilt showed no difference (p>0.05).

  8. Relationship between the number of cells surrounding oocytes and energy states of oocytes. (United States)

    Munakata, Yasuhisa; Ichinose, Tomoya; Ogawa, Kaori; Itami, Nobuhiko; Tasaki, Hidetaka; Shirasuna, Koumei; Kuwayama, Takehito; Iwata, Hisataka


    Lipid content, ATP content, and histone acetylation are thought to reflect the energy state of cells. In addition, the energy state closely associates with growth and developmental ability of oocytes. Oocyte growth is accompanied by active proliferation of the surrounding granulosa cells (GCs), and GCs play a key role in the provision of energy substrates to the oocytes. In the present study, we first examined the relationship among the average number of GCs per follicle, the average number of cumulus cells (CCs) per oocyte, and the average lipid content in oocytes that developed in vivo within individual donor gilts. Second, we validated the relationship between the number of cells surrounding oocytes and the energy states of oocytes by using an IVC system of oocyte granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) derived from early antral follicles. We collected cumulus cells and oocyte complexes (COCs) from antral follicles (3-5 mm in diameter) and found that average lipid content in oocytes significantly correlated with the average number of both GCs/follicle and CCs/oocyte (P cell number of OGCs, as well as the lipid content, ATP content, and acetylation level of H4K12 in oocytes grown in vitro. In addition, glucose consumption by OGCs was calculated from the sample media collected at Days 13 and 14. The lipid content of oocytes grown in vitro, significantly correlated with the number of cells surrounding the oocytes (P number of cells surrounding the oocytes (P number of cells surrounding the oocytes, and glucose uptake by OGCs is crucial for lipid content and ATP content, and H4K12 acetylation in oocytes.

  9. Maternal diet-induced obesity alters mitochondrial activity and redox status in mouse oocytes and zygotes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Igosheva

    Full Text Available The negative impact of obesity on reproductive success is well documented but the stages at which development of the conceptus is compromised and the mechanisms responsible for the developmental failure still remain unclear. Recent findings suggest that mitochondria may be a contributing factor. However to date no studies have directly addressed the consequences of maternal obesity on mitochondria in early embryogenesis.Using an established murine model of maternal diet induced obesity and a live cell dynamic fluorescence imaging techniques coupled with molecular biology we have investigated the underlying mechanisms of obesity-induced reduced fertility. Our study is the first to show that maternal obesity prior to conception is associated with altered mitochondria in mouse oocytes and zygotes. Specifically, maternal diet-induced obesity in mice led to an increase in mitochondrial potential, mitochondrial DNA content and biogenesis. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS was raised while glutathione was depleted and the redox state became more oxidised, suggestive of oxidative stress. These altered mitochondrial properties were associated with significant developmental impairment as shown by the increased number of obese mothers who failed to support blastocyst formation compared to lean dams. We propose that compromised oocyte and early embryo mitochondrial metabolism, resulting from excessive nutrient exposure prior to and during conception, may underlie poor reproductive outcomes frequently reported in obese women.

  10. Transducin-like enhancer of split-6 (TLE6) is a substrate of protein kinase A activity during mouse oocyte maturation. (United States)

    Duncan, Francesca E; Padilla-Banks, Elizabeth; Bernhardt, Miranda L; Ord, Teri S; Jefferson, Wendy N; Moss, Stuart B; Williams, Carmen J


    Fully grown oocytes in the ovary are arrested at prophase of meiosis I because of high levels of intraoocyte cAMP that maintain increased levels of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity. Following the luteinizing hormone surge at the time of ovulation, cAMP levels drop, resulting in a reduction in PKA activity that triggers meiotic resumption. Although much is known about the molecular mechanisms of how PKA activity fluctuations initiate the oocyte's reentry into meiosis, significantly less is known about the requirement for PKA activity in the oocyte after exit from the prophase I arrest. Here we show that although PKA activity decreases in the oocyte upon meiotic resumption, it increases throughout meiotic progression from the time of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) until the metaphase II (MII) arrest. Blocking this meiotic maturation-associated increase in PKA activity using the pharmacological inhibitor H89 resulted in altered kinetics of GVBD, defects in chromatin and spindle dynamics, and decreased ability of oocytes to reach MII. These effects appear to be largely PKA specific because inhibitors targeting other kinases did not have the same outcomes. To determine potential proteins that may require PKA phosphorylation during meiosis, we separated oocyte protein extracts on an SDS-PAGE gel, extracted regions of the gel that had corresponding immune reactivity towards an anti-PKA substrate antibody, and performed mass spectrometry and microsequencing. Using this approach, we identified transducin-like enhancer of split-6 (TLE6)-a maternal effect gene that is part of the subcortical maternal complex-as a putative PKA substrate. TLE6 localized to the oocyte cortex throughout meiosis in a manner that is spatially and temporally consistent with the localization of critical PKA subunits. Moreover, we demonstrated that TLE6 becomes phosphorylated in a narrow window following meiotic resumption, and H89 treatment can completely block this phosphorylation

  11. Comparison of pre- and postimplantation development following the application of three artificial activating stimuli in a mouse model with round-headed sperm cells deficient for oocyte activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vanden Meerschaut, Frauke; Nikiforaki, D.; De Roo, C.


    with fertile controls to assess their fertility. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE The percentage of oocytes showing calcium rises as well as the number of calcium rises per oscillating oocyte were significantly lower in the wobbler group when compared with the WT group (9.3 versus 96% and 2.1 calcium rises...... was significantly lower at weeks 2, 3 and 4 when compared with female pups originating from WT embryos. However, the latter difference was not observed at later time points, nor in the other artificial activating groups. All offspring mated successfully with fertile controls. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION...... No gross differences were found between strontium chloride, electrical pulses or ionomycin with respect to the pre- and post-implantation development in the wobbler mouse. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Fertilization failure following intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) occurs in 1–3% of the ICSI cycles...

  12. Supplementation with spermine during in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes improves early embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation and somatic cell nuclear transfer. (United States)

    Jin, J X; Lee, S; Khoirinaya, C; Oh, A; Kim, G A; Lee, B C


    Spermine plays an important role in protection from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells, but there are few studies on the effects of spermine on porcine oocyte maturation and subsequent embryo development. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of spermine on in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes and their developmental competence after parthenogenetic activation (PA) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). We evaluated nuclear maturation, intracellular glutathione (GSH), and ROS levels in oocytes, and their subsequent embryonic development, as well as gene expression in mature oocytes, cumulus cells, and PA blastocysts. After treatment with various concentrations of spermine in IVM culture medium, there was no significant difference in nuclear maturation rate. However, spermine treatment groups (10- 500 µM) showed significantly increased intracellular GSH levels and decreased ROS levels compared to the control ( cells ( < 0.05). was increased in spermine-treated oocytes. Levels of transcription for and were significantly increased in PA blastocysts. In conclusion, 10 µM spermine supplementation during IVM improved the development of porcine PA and SCNT embryos by increasing intracellular GSH, scavenging ROS levels, and regulating gene expression.

  13. Hippocampal activity during transient respiratory events in the freely behaving cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poe, G R; Kristensen, Morten Pilgaard; Rector, D M;


    We measured dorsal hippocampal activity accompanying sighs and apnea using reflectance imaging and electrophysiologic measures in freely behaving cats. Reflected 660-nm light from a 1-mm2 area of CA1 was captured during sighs and apnea at 25 Hz through a coherent image conduit coupled to a charge...

  14. Evaluación de respuesta ovárica y calidad de ovocitos en gatas tratadas con hormona folículo estimulante (FSH utilizando dos esquemas de administración Evaluation of ovarian response and oocyte quality in domestic cats treated with two administration schemes of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available El objetivo de este trabajo fue estudiar el efecto del tratamiento gonadotrófico con FSH sobre las características foliculares y ovocitarias de gatas adultas, y comparar dos esquemas de administración de FSH en términos del número de ovocitos potencialmente aptos para MIV. Usando veinte gatas adultas, aleatoriamente, se formaron tres grupos de tratamiento. Grupo SC (n=7 5 mg/ día de FSH por 4 días, vía subcutánea; Grupo IM (n=6 2 mg/día de FSH por 5 días, vía intramuscular y un Grupo Control (n=7. Las gatas fueron ovariectomizadas y se realizó recuento, medición de folículos y recuperación de ovocitos. Los folículos fueron agrupados en dos categorías: o = 2 mm (considerados como preovulatorios. El tratamiento gonadotrófico aumentó (P o = 2 mm, comparado con el grupo control, independiente del esquema de administración de FSH. El tratamiento gonadotrófico, también aumentó (P o = 2 mm versus folículosThe purpose of this work was to study the effects of FSH administration upon follicular and oocyte characteristics of female cats. Two FSH administration schemes were compared and their effects on the number of follicles and good grade oocytes for IVM obtained by follicular punction was determined. Twenty adults female cats were randomly distributed on 3 experimental groups: Group SC (n=7 recieved 5 mg/day of FSH for 4 days, subcutaneoulsy; Group IM (n=6 recieved 2 mg/day of FSH for 5 days, intramuscular and Control Group (n=7 which did not recieve any treatment. The ovaries were surgically removed from all female cats and follicles were counted and measured and the oocytes were recovered. Follicles were clasified according to their diameter on or = 2 mm (preovulatory. Gonadotrophine treatment increased the total number of follicles and follicles with > or = 2 mm diameter when compared to control group (P or = 2 mm than for follicles with < 2 mm diameter. It can be concluded that intramuscular or subcutaneus administration of

  15. Development of Bovine Embryos from Two Different Activated-time Oocytes for Parthenogenesis and Two Kinds of Nucleus Donors for Cloning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    @@ The aim of Experiment 1 was to compare the effect of two different activating time on parthenogenetic embryonic development. Oocytes which were aspirated, collected ,rinsed and then maturated in maturating microdrops (Sirard et al, Bio Reprod, 1988) for 22-23h.

  16. Jumping the gun: smoking constituent BaP causes premature primordial follicle activation and impairs oocyte fusibility through oxidative stress. (United States)

    Sobinoff, A P; Pye, V; Nixon, B; Roman, S D; McLaughlin, E A


    Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is an ovotoxic constituent of cigarette smoke associated with pre-mature ovarian failure and decreased rates of conception in IVF patients. Although the overall effect of BaP on female fertility has been documented, the exact molecular mechanisms behind its ovotoxicity remain elusive. In this study we examined the effects of BaP exposure on the ovarian transcriptome, and observed the effects of in vivo exposure on oocyte dysfunction. Microarray analysis of BaP cultured neonatal ovaries revealed a complex mechanism of ovotoxicity involving a small cohort of genes associated with follicular growth, cell cycle progression, and cell death. Histomorphological and immunohistochemical analysis supported these results, with BaP exposure causing increased primordial follicle activation and developing follicle atresia in vitro and in vivo. Functional analysis of oocytes obtained from adult Swiss mice treated neonatally revealed significantly increased levels of mitochondrial ROS/lipid peroxidation, and severely reduced sperm-egg binding and fusion in both low (1.5mg/kg/daily) and high (3mg/kg/daily) dose treatments. Our results reveal a complex mechanism of BaP induced ovotoxicity involving developing follicle atresia and accelerated primordial follicle activation, and suggest short term neonatal BaP exposure causes mitochondrial leakage resulting in reduced oolemma fluidity and impaired fertilisation in adulthood. This study highlights BaP as a key compound which may be partially responsible for the documented effects of cigarette smoke on follicular development and sub-fertility.

  17. Relationship between Potential Sperm Factors Involved in Oocyte Activation and Sperm DNA Fragmentation with Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection Clinical Outcomes (United States)

    Tavalaee, Marziyeh; Kiani-Esfahani, Abbas; Nasr-Esfahani, Mohammad Hossein


    Objective The present study aimed to simultaneously evaluate the association between expression of three potential factors [post-acrosomal sheath WW domain-binding protein (PAWP), phospholipase Cζ (PLCζ), and truncated form of the kit receptor (TR-KIT)] as candidates of oocyte activation with fertilization rate and early embryonic development. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, semen samples were collected from 35 intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) candidates and analyzed according to World Health Organization criteria (2010). Each sample was divided into two parts. The first part was processed for insemination by density-gradient centrifugation (DGC) and the second part was prepared for assessment of sperm morphology (Papanicolaou staining), DNA fragmentation [transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)], and three Sperm-borne oocyte-activating factor (s) (SOAFs)-PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT. Results Significant positive correlations existed between the percentages of PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT with fertilization rate. In addition, significant negative correlations existed between the percentage of DNA fragmentation with the percentages of PLCζ and PAWP. We did not find a relationship between percentages of PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT with embryo quality and pregnancy rate (P>0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between percentage of DNA fragmentation with fertilization and embryo quality. Conclusion Oocyte activation was associated with the studied sperm factors (PAWP, PLCζ, and TR-KIT). These factors might hold the potential to be considered as diagnostic factors in the assessment of semen samples to evaluate their potential to induce oocyte activation. In addition, we observed a significant association between DNA fragmentation with fertilization, as well as embryo quality and expression of PAWP and PLCζ, which indicated that men with high degrees of DNA fragmentation might require artificial oocyte activation. Whether such action

  18. Relationship between Potential Sperm Factors Involved in Oocyte Activation and Sperm DNA Fragmentation with Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection Clinical Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marziyeh Tavalaee


    Full Text Available Objective: The present study aimed to simultaneously evaluate the association between expression of three potential factors [post-acrosomal sheath WW domain-binding protein (PAWP, phospholipase Cζ (PLCζ, and truncated form of the kit receptor (TR-KIT] as candidates of oocyte activation with fertilization rate and early embryonic development. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, semen samples were collected from 35 intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI candidates and analyzed according to World Health Organization criteria (2010. Each sample was divided into two parts. The first part was processed for insemination by density-gradient centrifugation (DGC and the second part was prepared for assessment of sperm morphology (Papanicolaou staining, DNA fragmentation [transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL], and three Sperm-borne oocyte-activating factor (s (SOAFs-PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT. Results: Significant positive correlations existed between the percentages of PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT with fertilization rate. In addition, significant negative correlations existed between the percentage of DNA fragmentation with the percentages of PLCζ and PAWP. We did not find a relationship between percentages of PLCζ, PAWP, and TR-KIT with embryo quality and pregnancy rate (P>0.05. There was a significant negative correlation between percentage of DNA fragmentation with fertilization and embryo quality. Conclusion: Oocyte activation was associated with the studied sperm factors (PAWP, PLCζ, and TR-KIT. These factors might hold the potential to be considered as diagnostic factors in the assessment of semen samples to evaluate their potential to induce oocyte activation. In addition, we observed a significant association between DNA fragmentation with fertilization, as well as embryo quality and expression of PAWP and PLCζ, which indicated that men with high degrees of DNA fragmentation might require artificial oocyte activation. Whether

  19. Accurate stepping on a narrow path: mechanics, EMG, and motor cortex activity in the cat. (United States)

    Farrell, Brad J; Bulgakova, Margarita A; Sirota, Mikhail G; Prilutsky, Boris I; Beloozerova, Irina N


    How do cats manage to walk so graciously on top of narrow fences or windowsills high above the ground while apparently exerting little effort? In this study we investigated cat full-body mechanics and the activity of limb muscles and motor cortex during walking along a narrow 5-cm path on the ground. We tested the hypotheses that during narrow walking 1) lateral stability would be lower because of the decreased base-of-support area and 2) the motor cortex activity would increase stride-related modulation because of imposed demands on lateral stability and paw placement accuracy. We measured medio-lateral and rostro-caudal dynamic stability derived from the extrapolated center of mass position with respect to the boundaries of the support area. We found that cats were statically stable in the frontal plane during both unconstrained and narrow-path walking. During narrow-path walking, cats walked slightly slower with more adducted limbs, produced smaller lateral forces by hindlimbs, and had elevated muscle activities. Of 174 neurons recorded in cortical layer V, 87% of forelimb-related neurons (from 114) and 90% of hindlimb-related neurons (from 60) had activities during narrow-path walking distinct from unconstrained walking: more often they had a higher mean discharge rate, lower depth of stride-related modulation, and/or longer period of activation during the stride. These activity changes appeared to contribute to control of accurate paw placement in the medio-lateral direction, the width of the stride, rather than to lateral stability control, as the stability demands on narrow-path and unconstrained walking were similar.

  20. Mutations of the S4-S5 linker alter activation properties of HERG potassium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. (United States)

    Sanguinetti, M C; Xu, Q P


    1. The structural basis for the activation gate of voltage-dependent K+ channels is not known, but indirect evidence has implicated the S4-S5 linker, the cytoplasmic region between the fourth and fifth transmembrane domains of the channel subunit. We have studied the effects of mutations in the S4-S5 linker of HERG (human ether-á-go-go-related gene), a human delayed rectifier K+ channel, in Xenopus oocytes. 2. Mutation of acidic residues (D540, E544) in the S4-S5 linker of HERG channels to neutral (Ala) or basic (Lys) residues accelerated the rate of channel deactivation. Most mutations greatly accelerated the rate of activation. However, E544K HERG channels activated more slowly than wild-type HERG channels. 3. Mutation of residues in the S4-S5 linker had little or no effect on fast inactivation, consistent with independence of HERG channel activation and inactivation 4. In response to large hyperpolarizations, D540K HERG channels can reopen into a state that is distinct from the normal depolarization-induced open state. It is proposed that substitution of a negatively charged Asp with the positively charged Lys disrupts a subunit interaction that normally stabilizes the channel in a closed state at negative transmembrane potentials. 5. The results indicate that the S4-S5 linker is a crucial component of the activation gate of HERG channels.

  1. Saccade-related activity in areas 18 and 21a of cats freely viewing complex scenes. (United States)

    Moeller, Gudrun U; Kayser, Christoph; König, Peter


    Although saccadic eye movements can radically change the retinal image, perceptually their impact is surprisingly small. Here, we investigate possible neuronal correlates of saccadic suppression in cats freely viewing natural stimuli. By comparing changes attributable to saccadic events with passive stimulus changes, we find that during saccades: (i) evoked and induced activity is reduced in areas 18 and 21a by equal amounts, (ii) the variability of neuronal activity with stimulus category is abolished in both areas, and (iii) the high-power transient induced by stimulus change is not observed. These results present electrophysiological evidence for saccadic suppression at the level of primary and higher visual cortex under natural conditions.

  2. Antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities of different preparations from Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw). (United States)

    Caon, Thiago; Kaiser, Samuel; Feltrin, Clarissa; de Carvalho, Annelise; Sincero, Thaís Cristine Marques; Ortega, George González; Simões, Cláudia Maria Oliveira


    Uncaria tomentosa have been used to treat viral diseases such as herpes due to multiple pharmacological effects, but its therapeutic efficacy against this virus have not been reported yet. Thus, in vitro antiherpetic activity of hydroethanolic extract from barks, purified fractions of quinovic acid glycosides and oxindole alkaloids was evaluated by plaque reduction assay, including mechanistic studies (virucidal, attachment and penetration action). Once exposure to physical agents might lead to reactivation of the herpetic infection, antimutagenic effect (pre-, simultaneous and post-treatment protocols) was also evaluated by Comet assay. The antiherpetic activity from the samples under investigation seemed to be associated with the presence of polyphenols or their synergistic effect with oxindole alkaloids or quinovic acid glycosides, once both purified fractions did not present activity when evaluated alone. Inhibition of viral attachment in the host cells was the main mechanism of antiviral activity. Although both purified fractions displayed the lowest antimutagenic activity in pre and simultaneous treatment, they provided a similar effect to that of cat's claw hydroethanolic extract in post-treatment. Given that purified fractions may result in a reduced antiherpetic activity, the use of cat's claw hydroethanolic extract from barks should be prioritized in order to obtain a synergistic effect.

  3. Cat odor causes long-lasting contextual fear conditioning and increased pituitary-adrenal activation, without modifying anxiety. (United States)

    Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Daviu, Nuria; Rabasa, Cristina; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio


    A single exposure to a cat or cat odors has been reported by some groups to induce contextual and auditory fear conditioning and long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour, but there is no evidence for parallel changes in biological stress markers. In the present study we demonstrated in male rats that exposure to a novel environment containing a cloth impregnated with cat fur odor resulted in avoidance of the odor, lower levels of activity and higher pituitary-adrenal (PA) response as compared to those exposed to the novel environment containing a clean cloth, suggesting increased levels of stress in the former animals. When re-exposed 9 days later to the same environment with a clean cloth, previously cat fur exposed rats again showed avoidance of the cloth area and lower levels of activity, suggesting development of contextual fear conditioning, which again was associated with a higher PA activation. In contrast, unaltered both anxiety-like behaviour and PA responsiveness to an elevated plus-maze were found 7 days after cat odor exposure. It is concluded that: (i) PA activation is able to reflect both the stressful properties of cat fur odor and odor-induced contextual fear conditioning; (ii) development of cat odor-induced contextual fear conditioning is independent of the induction of long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour; and (iii) greater PA activation during exposure to the odor context is not explained by non-specific sensitization of the PA axis caused by previous exposure to cat fur odor.

  4. Age-related changes in rhythmic electrical activity in the cervical sympathetic trunk in rats and cats. (United States)

    Maslyukov, P M; Korzina, M B; Emanuilov, A I


    Baseline electrical activity in the cervical sympathetic trunk was studied in neonatal rats and cats and at ages 10, 20, and 30 days and two and six months, using spectral analysis. Rats from the neonatal period to the end of the first month of life and cats to 20 days of life showed increases at the amplitudes of electrical oscillations. From birth, all animals showed oscillations in the respiratory and cardiac rhythms. From day 20, frequencies with a cardiac component in rats dominated the power spectrum. The proportion of other frequencies, not associated with the cardiac or respiratory rhythms, was smaller. In cats, unlike the situation in rats, there were no age-related changes in the spectral composition of baseline electrical activity. High-frequency oscillations were recorded in cats from birth.

  5. Inhibition of midbrain-evoked tonic and rhythmic motor activity by cutaneous stimulation in decerebrate cats. (United States)

    Beyaert, C A; Haouzi, P; Marchal, F


    The effect of mechanical and electrical stimulation of cervical cutaneous afferents was analysed on both the centrally induced tonic and rhythmic activities in hindlimb antagonist muscle nerves of 16 decerebrate paralysed cats. Electrical stimulation of dorsal midbrain evoked in the nerve to the tibialis anterior muscle (TAn) either rhythmic discharges (n=14), associated with tonic discharges in ten cats, or only tonic discharges (n=4). Centrally induced activity in the ipsilateral nerve to gastrocnemius medialis (GMn) occurred in fewer cats (n=12) and displayed similar patterns as in TAn. Manual traction of the scruff of the neck reduced the TAn tonic and rhythmic discharges (n=6) by 73% (P<0.05) and 71% (P<0.05), respectively, and reduced only the tonic component of GMn discharges (by 41%, n=3). Electrical stimulation (impulses 0.1-0.5 ms, 50 Hz) of cervical nerves belonging to C5 or C6 dermatomes, the intensity (0.4-4 mA) of which induced minimal inhibition of both TAn and GMn discharges, reduced significantly the tonic component of TAn discharges (by 39%, n=4). At higher intensities of electrical cervical nerve stimulation (2-6 mA) inducing maximal inhibitory effect, both tonic and rhythmic activities in TAn and GMn were both significantly reduced by, respectively, 81% and 94% in TAn (n=7), and by 49% and 43% in GMn (n=7). Electrical cervical nerve stimulation consistently reduced the isolated tonic discharge in TAn by 66% (n=4, P<0.05) and in GMn by 23% (n=3) when present. Thus the tonic component was more sensitive to inhibition than the rhythmic component of hindlimb muscle nerve activity.

  6. Data on the concentrations of etoposide, PSC833, BAPTA-AM, and cycloheximide that do not compromise the vitality of mature mouse oocytes, parthenogencially activated and fertilized embryos. (United States)

    Martin, Jacinta H; Bromfield, Elizabeth G; Aitken, R John; Lord, Tessa; Nixon, Brett


    These data document the vitality of mature mouse oocytes (Metaphase II (MII)) and early stage embryos (zygotes) following exposure to the genotoxic chemotherapeutic agent, etoposide, in combination with PSC833, a selective inhibitor of permeability glycoprotein. They also illustrate the vitality of parthenogencially activated and fertilized embryos following incubation with the calcium chelator BAPTA-AM (1,2-Bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane- N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetrakis (acetoxymethyl ester)), cycloheximide (an antibiotic that is capable of inhibiting protein synthesis), and hydrogen peroxide (a potent reactive oxygen species). Finally, they present evidence that permeability glycoprotein is not represented in the proteome of mouse spermatozoa. Our interpretation and discussion of these data feature in the article "Identification of a key role for permeability glycoprotein in enhancing the cellular defense mechanisms of fertilized oocytes" (Martin et al., in press) [1].

  7. The Use of Functional Data Analysis to Evaluate Activity in a Spontaneous Model of Degenerative Joint Disease Associated Pain in Cats (United States)

    Gruen, Margaret E.; Alfaro-Córdoba, Marcela; Thomson, Andrea E.; Worth, Alicia C.; Staicu, Ana-Maria; Lascelles, B. Duncan X.


    Introduction and objectives Accelerometry is used as an objective measure of physical activity in humans and veterinary species. In cats, one important use of accelerometry is in the study of therapeutics designed to treat degenerative joint disease (DJD) associated pain, where it serves as the most widely applied objective outcome measure. These analyses have commonly used summary measures, calculating the mean activity per-minute over days and comparing between treatment periods. While this technique has been effective, information about the pattern of activity in cats is lost. In this study, functional data analysis was applied to activity data from client-owned cats with (n = 83) and without (n = 15) DJD. Functional data analysis retains information about the pattern of activity over the 24-hour day, providing insight into activity over time. We hypothesized that 1) cats without DJD would have higher activity counts and intensity of activity than cats with DJD; 2) that activity counts and intensity of activity in cats with DJD would be inversely correlated with total radiographic DJD burden and total orthopedic pain score; and 3) that activity counts and intensity would have a different pattern on weekends versus weekdays. Results and conclusions Results showed marked inter-cat variability in activity. Cats exhibited a bimodal pattern of activity with a sharp peak in the morning and broader peak in the evening. Results further showed that this pattern was different on weekends than weekdays, with the morning peak being shifted to the right (later). Cats with DJD showed different patterns of activity from cats without DJD, though activity and intensity were not always lower; instead both the peaks and troughs of activity were less extreme than those of the cats without DJD. Functional data analysis provides insight into the pattern of activity in cats, and an alternative method for analyzing accelerometry data that incorporates fluctuations in activity across

  8. Selection of Ovine Oocytes by Brilliant Cresyl Blue Staining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liqin Wang


    Full Text Available Sheep oocytes derived from the ovaries collected from the slaughterhouse are often used for research on in vitro embryo production, animal cloning, transgenesis, embryonic stem cells, and other embryo biotechnology aspects. Improving the in vitro culture efficiency of oocytes can provide more materials for similar studies. Generally, determination of oocyte quality is mostly based on the layers of cumulus cells and cytoplasm or cytoplasm uniformity and colors. This requires considerable experience to better identify oocyte quality because of the intense subjectivity involved (Gordon (2003, Madison et al. (1992 and De Loos et al. (1992. BCB staining is a function of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD activity, an enzyme synthesized in developing oocytes, which decreases in activity with maturation. Therefore, unstained oocytes (BCB− are high in G6PD activity, while the less mature oocytes stains are deep blue (BCB+ due to insuffcient G6PD activity to decolorize the BCB dye.

  9. Apoptosis in mammalian oocytes: a review. (United States)

    Tiwari, Meenakshi; Prasad, Shilpa; Tripathi, Anima; Pandey, Ashutosh N; Ali, Irfan; Singh, Arvind K; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K


    Apoptosis causes elimination of more than 99% of germ cells from cohort of ovary through follicular atresia. Less than 1% of germ cells, which are culminated in oocytes further undergo apoptosis during last phases of oogenesis and depletes ovarian reserve in most of the mammalian species including human. There are several players that induce apoptosis directly or indirectly in oocytes at various stages of meiotic cell cycle. Premature removal of encircling granulosa cells from immature oocytes, reduced levels of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate, increased levels of calcium (Ca(2+)) and oxidants, sustained reduced level of maturation promoting factor, depletion of survival factors, nutrients and cell cycle proteins, reduced meiotic competency, increased levels of proapoptotic as well as apoptotic factors lead to oocyte apoptosis. The BH3-only proteins also act as key regulators of apoptosis in oocyte within the ovary. Both intrinsic (mitochondria-mediated) as well as extrinsic (cell surface death receptor-mediated) pathways are involved in oocyte apoptosis. BID, a BH3-only protein act as a bridge between both apoptotic pathways and its cleavage activates cell death machinery of both the pathways inside the follicular microenvironment. Oocyte apoptosis leads to the depletion of ovarian reserve that directly affects reproductive outcome of various mammals including human. In this review article, we highlight some of the important players and describe the pathways involved during oocyte apoptosis in mammals.

  10. EEG-confirmed epileptic activity in a cat with VGKC-complex/LGI1 antibody-associated limbic encephalitis. (United States)

    Pakozdy, Akos; Glantschnigg, Ursula; Leschnik, Michael; Hechinger, Harald; Moloney, Teresa; Lang, Bethan; Halasz, Peter; Vincent, Angela


    A 5-year-old, female client-owned cat presented with acute onset of focal epileptic seizures with orofacial twitching and behavioural changes. Magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral temporal lobe hyperintensities and the EEG was consistent with ictal epileptic seizure activity. After antiepileptic and additional corticosteroid treatment, the cat recovered and by 10 months of follow-up was seizure-free without any problem. Retrospectively, antibodies to LGI1, a component of the voltage-gated potassium channel-complex, were identified. Feline focal seizures with orofacial involvement have been increasingly recognised in client-owned cats, and autoimmune limbic encephalitis was recently suggested as a possible aetiology. This is the first report of EEG, MRI and long-term follow-up of this condition in cats which is similar to human limbic encephalitis.

  11. Feeding frequency, but not dietary water content, affects voluntary physical activity in young lean adult female cats. (United States)

    de Godoy, M R C; Ochi, K; de Oliveira Mateus, L F; de Justino, A C C; Swanson, K S


    The objective of this study was to investigate whether increased dietary water content and feeding frequency increased voluntary physical activity of young, lean adult female cats. A replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with a 2 × 2 factorial treatment arrangement (feeding frequency and water content) was used. The 4 treatments consisted of 1 meal daily dry pet food without added water (1D; 12% moisture as is), 1 meal daily dry pet food with added water (1W; 70% total water content), 4 meals daily dry pet food without added water (4D; 12% moisture as is), and 4 meals daily dry pet food with added water (4W; 70% total water content). Eight healthy adult, lean, intact, young, female domestic shorthair cats were used in this experiment. Voluntary physical activity was evaluated using Actical activity monitors placed on collars and worn around the cats' necks for the last 7 d of each experimental period of 14 d. Food anticipatory activity (FAA) was calculated based on 2 h prior to feeding periods and expressed as a percentage of total daily voluntary physical activity. Increased feeding frequency (4 vs. 1 meal daily) resulted in greater average daily activity (P = 0.0147), activity during the light period (P = 0.0023), and light:dark activity ratio (P = 0.0002). In contrast, physical activity during the dark period was not altered by feeding frequency (P > 0.05). Cats fed 4 meals daily had increased afternoon FAA (P= 0.0029) compared with cats fed once daily. Dietary water content did not affect any measure of voluntary physical activity. Increased feeding frequency is an effective strategy to increase the voluntary physical activity of cats. Thus, it may assist in the prevention and management of obesity.

  12. Glutathione transferase activity and oocyte development in copepods exposed to toxic phytoplankton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kozlowsky-Suzuki, Betina; Koski, Marja; Hallberg, Eric;


    Organisms present a series of cellular mechanisms to avoid the effects of toxic compounds. Such mechanisms include the increase in activity of detoxification enzymes [e.g., 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST)I, which could explain the low retention of ingeste...

  13. Reduced oocyte activation and first cleavage rate after ICSI with spermatozoa from a sterile mouse chromosome mutant

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baart, E.B.; Heijden, van der G.W.; Hoeven, van der F.A.; Bakker, R.; Cooper, T.G.; Boer, de P.


    BACKGROUND: Male mice, heterozygous for two semi-identical reciprocal translocations T(1;13)70H and T(1;13)1Wa are usually sterile. We have investigated this oligoasthenoteratozoospermic mouse model using ICSI. METHODS: B6D2F1 oocytes were injected with epididymal or testicular sperm from fertile or

  14. Imbalance in SOD/CAT activities in rat skeletal muscles submitted to treadmill training exercise. (United States)

    Pinho, Ricardo A; Andrades, Michael E; Oliveira, Marcos R; Pirola, Aline C; Zago, Morgana S; Silveira, Paulo C L; Dal-Pizzol, Felipe; Moreira, José Cláudio F


    The association between physical exercise and oxidative damage in the skeletal musculature has been the focus of many studies in literature, but the balance between superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and its relation to oxidative damage is not well established. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between regular treadmill physical exercise, oxidative damage and antioxidant defenses in skeletal muscle of rats. Fifteen male Wistar rats (8-12 months) were randomly separated into two groups (trained n=9 and untrained n=6). Trained rats were treadmill-trained for 12 weeks in progressive exercise (velocity, time, and inclination). Training program consisted in a progressive exercise (10 m/min without inclination for 10 min/day). After 1 week the speed, time and inclination were gradually increased until 17 m/min at 10% for 50 min/day. After the training period animals were killed, and gastrocnemius and quadriceps were surgically removed to the determination of biochemical parameters. Lipid peroxidation, protein oxidative damage, catalase, superoxide dismutase and citrate synthase activities, and muscular glycogen content were measured in the isolated muscles. We demonstrated that there is a different modulation of CAT and SOD in skeletal muscle in trained rats when compared to untrained rats (increased SOD/CAT ratio). TBARS levels were significantly decreased and, in contrast, a significant increase in protein carbonylation was observed. These results suggest a non-described adaptation of skeletal muscle against exercise-induced oxidative stress.

  15. Long-term changes in sleep and electroencephalographic activity by chronic vagus nerve stimulation in cats. (United States)

    Valdés-Cruz, Alejandro; Magdaleno-Madrigal, Victor M; Martínez-Vargas, David; Fernández-Mas, Rodrigo; Almazán-Alvarado, Salvador


    We previously reported the effect of vagus nerve electrical stimulation (VNS) on sleep and behavior in cats. The aim of the present study is to analyze the long-term effects of VNS on the electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectrum and on the different stages of the sleep-wakefulness cycle in the freely moving cat. To achieve this, six male cats were implanted with electrodes on the left vagal nerve and submitted to 15 rounds of 23 h continuous sleep recordings in three categories: baseline (BL), VNS and post-stimulus recording (PSR). The following parameters were analyzed: EEG power spectrum, total time and number of sleep phases, ponto-geniculo-occipital (PGO) wave density of the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and the number of times the narcoleptic reflex was present (sudden transition from wakefulness to REM sleep). Significant changes were detected, such as an enhancement of slow-wave sleep (SWS) stage II; a power increase in the bands corresponding to sleep spindles (8-14 Hz) and delta waves (1-4 Hz) with VNS and PSR; an increase in the total time, number of stages, and density of PGO wave in REM sleep with VNS; a decrease of wakefulness in PSR, and the eventual appearance of the narcoleptic reflex with VNS. The results show that the effect of the VNS changes during different stages of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. In REM sleep, the effect was present only during VNS, while the SWS II was affected beyond VNS periods. This suggests that ponto-medullar and thalamic mechanisms of slow EEG activity may be due to plastic changes elicited by vagal stimulation.

  16. Influence of prolonged optic flow stimuli on spontaneous activities of cat PMLS neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Changes in neuronal spontaneous activities after prolonged optic flow stimulation (using the three basic flow modes: translation, radiation and rotation) were investigated by extracellular single-unit recording in cortical area PMLS of the cat. The results showed that the evoked responses decreased with the prolongation of visual stimuli, and the spontaneous activities usually dropped to a lower level after the stimuli were withdrawn. Generally, the reduction in spontaneous activities was larger after adaptation in the preferred direction than in the non-preferred direction. This difference was much pronounced to translation stimuli, but relatively insignificant to radiation and rotation. These points suggest that non-specific fatigue may act as the key factor in adaptation to simple translation, while some kinds of more complicated, direction-specific mechanism may be involved in adaptation to the complex optic flow patterns. In addition, PMLS may play an important role in perception and adaptation to complex motion and the relevant motion after-effects.

  17. Cytoplasmic streaming in Drosophila oocytes varies with kinesin activity and correlates with the microtubule cytoskeleton architecture. (United States)

    Ganguly, Sujoy; Williams, Lucy S; Palacios, Isabel M; Goldstein, Raymond E


    Cells can localize molecules asymmetrically through the combined action of cytoplasmic streaming, which circulates their fluid contents, and specific anchoring mechanisms. Streaming also contributes to the distribution of nutrients and organelles such as chloroplasts in plants, the asymmetric position of the meiotic spindle in mammalian embryos, and the developmental potential of the zygote, yet little is known quantitatively about the relationship between streaming and the motor activity which drives it. Here we use Particle Image Velocimetry to quantify the statistical properties of Kinesin-dependent streaming during mid-oogenesis in Drosophila. We find that streaming can be used to detect subtle changes in Kinesin activity and that the flows reflect the architecture of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Furthermore, based on characterization of the rheology of the cytoplasm in vivo, we establish estimates of the number of Kinesins required to drive the observed streaming. Using this in vivo data as the basis of a model for transport, we suggest that the disordered character of transport at mid-oogenesis, as revealed by streaming, is an important component of the localization dynamics of the body plan determinant oskar mRNA.

  18. Maternal factors required for oocyte developmental competence in mice: transcriptome analysis of non-surrounded nucleolus (NSN) and surrounded nucleolus (SN) oocytes. (United States)

    Ma, Jun-Yu; Li, Mo; Luo, Yi-Bo; Song, Shuhui; Tian, Dongmei; Yang, Jin; Zhang, Bing; Hou, Yi; Schatten, Heide; Liu, Zhonghua; Sun, Qing-Yuan


    During mouse antral follicle development, the oocyte chromatin gradually transforms from a less condensed state with no Hoechst-positive rim surrounding the nucleolus (NSN) to a fully condensed chromatin state with a Hoechst-positive rim surrounding the nucleolus (SN). Compared with SN oocytes, NSN oocytes display a higher gene transcription activity and a lower rate of meiosis resumption (G2/M transition), and they are mostly arrested at the two-cell stage after in vitro fertilization. To explore the differences between NSN and SN oocytes, and the maternal factors required for oocyte developmental competence, we compared the whole-transcriptome profiles between NSN and SN oocytes. First, we found that the NSN and SN oocytes were different in their metabolic pathways. In the phosphatidylinositol signaling pathway, the SN oocytes tend to produce diacylglycerol, whereas the NSN oocytes tend to produce phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate. For energy production, the SN oocytes and NSN oocytes differed in the gluconeogenesis and in the synthesis processes. Second, we also found that the key genes associated with oocyte meiosis and/or preimplantation embryo development were differently expressed in the NSN and SN oocytes. Our results illustrate that during the NSN-SN transition, the oocytes change their metabolic activities and accumulate maternal factors for further oocyte maturation and post-fertilization embryo development.

  19. High-resolution microscopy of active ribosomal genes and key members of the rRNA processing machinery inside nucleolus-like bodies of fully-grown mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Shishova, Kseniya V; Khodarovich, Yuriy M; Lavrentyeva, Elena A; Zatsepina, Olga V


    Nucleolus-like bodies (NLBs) of fully-grown (germinal vesicle, GV) mammalian oocytes are traditionally considered as morphologically distinct entities, which, unlike normal nucleoli, contain transcribed ribosomal genes (rDNA) solely at their surface. In the current study, we for the first time showed that active ribosomal genes are present not only on the surface but also inside NLBs of the NSN-type oocytes. The "internal" rRNA synthesis was evidenced by cytoplasmic microinjections of BrUTP as precursor and by fluorescence in situ hybridization with a probe to the short-lived 5'ETS segment of the 47S pre-rRNA. We further showed that in the NLB mass of NSN-oocytes, distribution of active rDNA, RNA polymerase I (UBF) and rRNA processing (fibrillarin) protein factors, U3 snoRNA, pre-rRNAs and 18S/28S rRNAs is remarkably similar to that in somatic nucleoli capable to make pre-ribosomes. Overall, these observations support the occurrence of rDNA transcription, rRNA processing and pre-ribosome assembly in the NSN-type NLBs and so that their functional similarity to normal nucleoli. Unlike the NSN-type NLBs, the NLBs of more mature SN-oocytes do not contain transcribed rRNA genes, U3 snoRNA, pre-rRNAs, 18S and 28S rRNAs. These results favor the idea that in a process of transformation of NSN-oocytes to SN-oocytes, NLBs cease to produce pre-ribosomes and, moreover, lose their rRNAs. We also concluded that a denaturing fixative 70% ethanol used in the study to fix oocytes could be more appropriate for light microscopy analysis of nucleolar RNAs and proteins in mammalian fully-grown oocytes than a commonly used cross-linking aldehyde fixative, formalin.

  20. [Mitochondrial and oocyte development]. (United States)

    Deng, Wei-Ping; Ren, Zhao-Rui


    Oocyte development and maturation is a complicated process. The nuclear maturation and cytoplasmic maturation must synchronize which can ensure normal oocyte fertilization and following development. Mitochondrial is the most important cellular organell in cytoplasm, and the variation of its distribution during oocyte maturation, the capacity of OXPHOS generating ATP as well as the content or copy number or transcription level of mitochondrial DNA play an important role in oocyte development and maturation. Therefore, the studies on the variation of mitochondrial distribution, function and mitochondrial DNA could enhance our understanding of the physiology of reproduction and provide new insight to solve the difficulties of assisted reproduction as well as cloning embryo technology.

  1. Differential neural activation of vascular alpha-adrenoceptors in oral tissues of cats. (United States)

    Koss, Michael C


    The aim of this study was to determine the relative contribution of alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenoceptors involved in sympathetic-evoked vasoconstrictor responses in tissues perfused by the lingual arterial circulation in pentobarbital anesthetized cats. Blood flow in the lingual artery was measured by ultrasonic flowmetry. Laser-Doppler flowmetry was utilized to measure oral tissue vasoconstrictor responses in the maxillary gingiva and from the surface of the tongue. Electrical stimulation of the preganglionic superior cervical sympathetic nerve resulted in frequency-dependent blood flow decreases at all three sites. These responses were stable over time and were uniformly antagonized by administration of phentolamine (0.3 - 3.0 mg kg(-1)). The selective alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist, prazosin (10 - 300 microg kg(-1)), attenuated vasoconstriction in the lingual artery and gingiva, but was ineffective in blocking vasoconstriction in the tongue. Subsequent administration of rauwolscine (300 microg kg(-1)) antagonized remaining vasoconstrictor responses. In contrast, rauwolscine (10 - 300 microg kg(-1)), given alone, blocked evoked vasoconstriction in the tongue, and was without effect on gingival or lingual artery vasoconstrictor responses. Subsequent administration of prazosin (300 microg kg(-1)) largely antagonized remaining neurally elicited responses. These results suggest that neural vasoconstrictor responses in some regional vascular beds in the cat oral cavity are mediated by both alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenoceptors. In contrast, tongue surface vasoconstrictor responses to sympathetic nerve activation appear to be mediated primarily by alpha(2)-adrenoceptors.

  2. Activity and tissue-specific expression of lipases and tumor-necrosis factor alpha in lean and obese cats.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoenig, M.; McGoldrick, J.B.; Beer, M. de; Demacker, P.N.M.; Ferguson, D.C.


    Post-heparin plasma activity of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hepatic lipase (HL), and fat and muscle activity of LPL were measured in neutered lean and obese cats. Lipoprotein lipase, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), and tumor necrosis factor a (TNF) mRNA were measured in muscle and fat tissue with r

  3. Abnormally activated one-carbon metabolic pathway is associated with mtDNA hypermethylation and mitochondrial malfunction in the oocytes of polycystic gilt ovaries


    Longfei Jia; Juan Li; Bin He; Yimin Jia; Yingjie Niu; Chenfei Wang; Ruqian Zhao


    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is associated with hyperhomocysteinemia and polycystic ovaries (PCO) usually produce oocytes of poor quality. However, the intracellular mechanism linking hyperhomocysteinemia and oocyte quality remains elusive. In this study, the quality of the oocytes isolated from healthy and polycystic gilt ovaries was evaluated in vitro in association with one-carbon metabolism, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation, and mitochondrial function. PCO oocytes demonstrated ...

  4. Human oocyte chromosome analysis: complicated cases and major pitfalls

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bernd Rosenbusch; Michael Schneider; Hans Wilhelm Michelmann


    Human oocytes that remained unfertilized in programmes of assisted reproduction have been analysed cytogenetically for more than 20 years to assess the incidence of aneuploidy in female gametes. However, the results obtained so far are not indisputable as a consequence of difficulties in evaluating oocyte chromosome preparations. Because of the lack of guidelines, we decided to summarize for the first time, the possible pitfalls in human oocyte chromosome analysis. Therefore, we screened the material from our previous studies and compiled representative, complicated cases with recommendations for their cytogenetic classification. We point out that maturity and size of the oocyte are important parameters and that fixation artefacts, as well as the particular structure of oocyte chromosomes, may predispose one to misinterpretations. Moreover, phenomena related to oocyte activation and fertilization are illustrated and explained. This compilation may help to avoid major problems in future studies and contribute to a more precise, and uniform assessment of human oocyte chromosomes.

  5. Predator Cat Odors Activate Sexual Arousal Pathways in Brains of Toxoplasma gondii Infected Rats


    House, Patrick K.; Ajai Vyas; Robert Sapolsky


    Cat odors induce rapid, innate and stereotyped defensive behaviors in rats at first exposure, a presumed response to the evolutionary pressures of predation. Bizarrely, rats infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii approach the cat odors they typically avoid. Since the protozoan Toxoplasma requires the cat to sexually reproduce, this change in host behavior is thought to be a remarkable example of a parasite manipulating a mammalian host for its own benefit. Toxoplasma does not infl...

  6. Influences of laryngeal afferent inputs on intralaryngeal muscle activity during vocalization in the cat. (United States)

    Shiba, K; Yoshida, K; Nakajima, Y; Konno, A


    The present study was undertaken to elucidate the possible role of the laryngeal afferent inputs in the regulation of intralaryngeal muscle activity during vocalization. We studied the influences of airflow and/or pressure applied to the larynx on intralaryngeal muscle activity during vocalization in ketamine-anesthetized cats. Vocalization was induced by airflow applied to the upper airway, which was isolated from the lower airway, during pontine call site stimulation. When the upper airway was open to the atmosphere through the nostrils and mouth, the airflow increased not only the vocal fold adductor and tensor activities but also the duration of these activities. The adductor and tensor activities were increased suddenly at a critical subglottic pressure level equivalent to the subglottic pressure threshold for vocalization. These effects were significantly reduced by sectioning of the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve or by lidocaine application to the laryngeal mucosa. Sustained pressure applied to the isolated upper airway, when the mouth and nostrils were occluded, did not affect adductor or tensor activities. These results indicate that the afferent inputs evoked by vocal fold stretching or vibration play an important role in the motor control of intralaryngeal and respiratory muscles during vocalization.

  7. PTK2b function during fertilization of the mouse oocyte

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Jinping [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); McGinnis, Lynda K. [Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); Carlton, Carol [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); Beggs, Hilary E. [Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, CA (United States); Kinsey, William H., E-mail: [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States)


    Highlights: • PTK2b is expressed in oocytes and is activated following fertilization. • PTK2b suppression in oocytes prevents fertilization, but not parthenogenetic activation. • PTK2b suppression prevents the oocyte from fusing with or incorporating bound sperm. • PTK2b suppressed oocytes that fail to fertilize do not exhibit calcium oscillations. - Abstract: Fertilization triggers rapid changes in intracellular free calcium that serve to activate multiple signaling events critical to the initiation of successful development. Among the pathways downstream of the fertilization-induced calcium transient is the calcium-calmodulin dependent protein tyrosine kinase PTK2b or PYK2 kinase. PTK2b plays an important role in fertilization of the zebrafish oocyte and the objective of the present study was to establish whether PTK2b also functions in mammalian fertilization. PTK2b was activated during the first few hours after fertilization of the mouse oocyte during the period when anaphase resumption was underway and prior to the pronuclear stage. Suppression of PTK2b kinase activity in oocytes blocked sperm incorporation and egg activation although sperm-oocyte binding was not affected. Oocytes that failed to incorporate sperm after inhibitor treatment showed no evidence of a calcium transient and no evidence of anaphase resumption suggesting that egg activation did not occur. The results indicate that PTK2b functions during the sperm-egg fusion process or during the physical incorporation of sperm into the egg cytoplasm and is therefore critical for successful development.

  8. Substantia nigra dopaminergic unit activity in behaving cats: effect of arousal on spontaneous discharge and sensory evoked activity. (United States)

    Strecker, R E; Jacobs, B L


    Single-unit activity of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra was recorded in freely moving cats during a variety of conditions designed to shed light on the hypotheses that these neurons are involved in the regulation of arousal-stress and/or selective attention. Both aversive and non-aversive arousing experimental conditions were used, including tail pinch, immersion of feet in ice-water, white noise, inaccessible food, feeding, grooming, inaccessible rats, and somatosensory stimulation. None of these conditions had an effect on tonic neuronal discharge rate. However, these neurons did exhibit brief excitatory and inhibitory responses to phasic auditory or visual stimuli presented when the cat was sitting quietly. These responses were dramatically attenuated if these stimuli were presented during the aforementioned conditions of behavioral arousal. This sharply contrasts with the inability of these same conditions to influence spontaneous discharge rate. The sensitivity of this neuronal sensory response to the concurrent behavioral condition supports the hypothesis that these neurons are involved in attentional processes or selective responding. The lack of responsiveness of these neurons to a variety of arousal/stress manipulations supports the hypothesis that dopaminergic neurons play a permissive, rather than an active, role in these processes.

  9. Direct Injection of CRISPR/Cas9-Related mRNA into Cytoplasm of Parthenogenetically Activated Porcine Oocytes Causes Frequent Mosaicism for Indel Mutations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Sato


    Full Text Available Some reports demonstrated successful genome editing in pigs by one-step zygote microinjection of mRNA of CRISPR/Cas9-related components. Given the relatively long gestation periods and the high cost of housing, the establishment of a single blastocyst-based assay for rapid optimization of the above system is required. As a proof-of-concept, we attempted to disrupt a gene (GGTA1 encoding the α-1,3-galactosyltransferase that synthesizes the α-Gal epitope using parthenogenetically activated porcine oocytes. The lack of α-Gal epitope expression can be monitored by staining with fluorescently labeled isolectin BS-I-B4 (IB4, which binds specifically to the α-Gal epitope. When oocytes were injected with guide RNA specific to GGTA1 together with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP and human Cas9 mRNAs, 65% (24/37 of the developing blastocysts exhibited green fluorescence, although almost all (96%, 23/24 showed a mosaic fluorescent pattern. Staining with IB4 revealed that the green fluorescent area often had a reduced binding activity to IB4. Of the 16 samples tested, six (five fluorescent and one non-fluorescent blastocysts had indel mutations, suggesting a correlation between EGFP expression and mutation induction. Furthermore, it is suggested that zygote microinjection of mRNAs might lead to the production of piglets with cells harboring various mutation types.

  10. Research on acupuncture points and cortical functional activation position in cats by infrared imaging detection (United States)

    Chen, Shuwang; Sha, Zhanyou; Wang, Shuhai; Wen, Huanming


    The research of the brain cognition is mainly to find out the activation position in brain according to the stimulation at present in the world. The research regards the animals as the experimental objects and explores the stimulation response on the cerebral cortex of acupuncture. It provides a new method, which can detect the activation position on the creatural cerebral cortex directly by middle-far infrared imaging. According to the theory of local temperature situation, the difference of cortical temperature maybe associate with the excitement of cortical nerve cells, the metabolism of local tissue and the local hemal circulation. Direct naked detection of temperature variety on cerebral cortex is applied by middle and far infrared imaging technology. So the activation position is ascertained. The effect of stimulation response is superior to other indirect methods. After removing the skulls on the head, full of cerebral cortex of a cat are exposed. By observing the infrared images and measuring the temperatures of the visual cerebral cortex during the process of acupuncturing, the points are used to judge the activation position. The variety in the cortical functional sections is corresponding to the result of the acupuncture points in terms of infrared images and temperatures. According to experimental results, we know that the variety of a cortical functional section is corresponding to a special acupuncture point exactly.

  11. Oocyte induction of EGF responsiveness in somatic cells is associated with the acquisition of porcine oocyte developmental competence. (United States)

    Ritter, Lesley J; Sugimura, Satoshi; Gilchrist, Robert B


    Oocytes progressively acquire the competence to support embryo development as oogenesis proceeds with ovarian folliculogenesis. The objectives of this study were to investigate oocyte-secreted factor (OSF) participation in the development of somatic cell epidermal growth factor (EGF) responsiveness associated with oocyte developmental competence. A well-established porcine model was employed using oocytes from small (4 mm) antral follicles, representing low vs moderate developmental competence, respectively. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were treated in vitro with inducers of oocyte maturation, and cumulus cell functions and oocyte developmental competence were assessed. COCs from small follicles responded to FSH but, unlike COCs from larger follicles, were incapable of responding to EGF family growth factors known to mediate oocyte maturation in vivo, exhibiting perturbed cumulus expansion and expression of associated transcripts (HAS2 and TNFAIP6). Low and moderate competence COCs expressed equivalent levels of EGF receptor (EGFR) mRNA; however, the former had less total EGFR protein leading to failed activation of phospho-EGFR and phospho-ERK1/2, despite equivalent total ERK1/2 protein levels. Native OSFs from moderate, but not from low, competence oocytes established EGF responsiveness in low competence COCs. Four candidate recombinant OSFs failed to mimic the actions of native OSFs in regulating cumulus expansion. Treatment with OSFs and EGF enhanced oocyte competence but only of the low competence COCs. These data suggest that developmental acquisition by the oocyte of capacity to regulate EGF responsiveness in the oocyte's somatic cells is a major milestone in the oocyte's developmental program and contributes to coordinated oocyte and somatic cell development.

  12. Surround modulation characteristics of local field potential and spiking activity in primary visual cortex of cat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available In primary visual cortex, spiking activity that evoked by stimulus confined in receptive field can be modulated by surround stimulus. This center-surround interaction is hypothesized to be the basis of visual feature integration and segregation. Spiking output has been extensively reported to be surround suppressive. However, less is known about the modulation properties of the local field potential (LFP, which generally reflects synaptic inputs. We simultaneously recorded spiking activity and LFP in the area 17 of anesthetized cats to examine and compare their modulation characteristics. When the stimulus went beyond the classical receptive field, LFP exhibited decreased power along the gamma band (30-100 Hz in most of our recording sites. Further investigation revealed that suppression of the LFP gamma mean power (gLFP depended on the angle between the center and surround orientations. The strongest suppression was induced when center and surround orientations were parallel. Moreover, the surround influence of the gLFP exhibited an asymmetric spatial organization. These results demonstrate that the gLFP has similar but not identical surround modulation properties, as compared to the spiking activity. The spatiotemporal integration of LFP implies that the oscillation and synchronization of local synaptic inputs may have important functions in surround modulation.

  13. Meiosis, egg activation, and nuclear envelope breakdown are differentially reliant on Ca2+, whereas germinal vesicle breakdown is Ca2+ independent in the mouse oocyte (United States)

    Tombes, R. M.; Simerly, C.; Borisy, G. G.; Schatten, G.


    During early development, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization is not only essential for fertilization, but has also been implicated during other meiotic and mitotic events, such as germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD). In this study, the roles of intracellular and extracellular Ca2+ were examined during meiotic maturation and reinitiation at parthenogenetic activation and during first mitosis in a single species using the same methodologies. Cumulus-free metaphase II mouse oocytes immediately resumed anaphase upon the induction of a large, transient Ca2+ elevation. This resumption of meiosis and associated events, such as cortical granule discharge, were not sensitive to extracellular Ca2+ removal, but were blocked by intracellular Ca2+ chelators. In contrast, meiosis I was dependent on external Ca2+; in its absence, the formation and function of the first meiotic spindle was delayed, the first polar body did not form and an interphase-like state was induced. GVBD was not dependent on external Ca2+ and showed no associated Ca2+ changes. NEBD at first mitosis in fertilized eggs, on the other hand, was frequently, but not always associated with a brief Ca2+ transient and was dependent on Ca2+ mobilization. We conclude that GVBD is Ca2+ independent, but that the dependence of NEBD on Ca2+ suggests regulation by more than one pathway. As cells develop from Ca(2+)-independent germinal vesicle oocytes to internal Ca(2+)-dependent pronuclear eggs, internal Ca2+ pools increase by approximately fourfold.

  14. The signaling pathways by which the Fas/FasL system accelerates oocyte aging. (United States)

    Zhu, Jiang; Lin, Fei-Hu; Zhang, Jie; Lin, Juan; Li, Hong; Li, You-Wei; Tan, Xiu-Wen; Tan, Jing-He


    In spite of great efforts, the mechanisms for postovulatory oocyte aging are not fully understood. Although our previous work showed that the FasL/Fas signaling facilitated oocyte aging, the intra-oocyte signaling pathways are unknown. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which oxidative stress facilitates oocyte aging and the causal relationship between Ca2+ rises and caspase-3 activation and between the cell cycle and apoptosis during oocyte aging need detailed investigations. Our aim was to address these issues by studying the intra-oocyte signaling pathways for Fas/FasL to accelerate oocyte aging. The results indicated that sFasL released by cumulus cells activated Fas on the oocyte by increasing reactive oxygen species via activating NADPH oxidase. The activated Fas triggered Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum by activating phospholipase C-γ pathway and cytochrome c pathway. The cytoplasmic Ca2+ rises activated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and caspase-3. While activated CaMKII increased oocyte susceptibility to activation by inactivating maturation-promoting factor (MPF) through cyclin B degradation, the activated caspase-3 facilitated further Ca2+releasing that activates more caspase-3 leading to oocyte fragmentation. Furthermore, caspase-3 activation and fragmentation were prevented in oocytes with a high MPF activity, suggesting that an oocyte must be in interphase to undergo apoptosis.

  15. That Fat Cat (United States)

    Lambert, Phyllis Gilchrist


    This activity began with a picture book, Nurit Karlin's "Fat Cat On a Mat" (HarperCollins; 1998). The author and her students started their project with a 5-inch circular template for the head of their cats. They reviewed shapes as they drew the head and then added the ears and nose, which were triangles. Details to the face were added when…

  16. Prejunctional inhibition of sympathetically evoked pupillary dilation in cats by activation of histamine H3 receptors. (United States)

    Koss, M C; Hey, J A


    Frequency-dependent pupillary dilations were evoked by electrical stimulation of the pre- or post-ganglionic cervical sympathetic nerve (sympatho-excitation) or the hypothalamus (parasympatho-inhibition) in sympathectomized anesthetized cats. Systemic administration of the selective histamine H3 receptor agonist (R)-alpha-methylhistamine (R alpha MeHA) produced a dose-dependent depression of mydriasis due to direct neural sympathetic activation but had no effect on responses elicited by parasympathetic withdrawal. The histamine H2 receptor agonist, dimaprit, was inactive. R alpha MeHA was much more effective in depressing sympathetic responses obtained at lower frequencies when compared to higher frequencies of stimulation. Responses evoked both pre- and postganglionically were inhibited by R alpha MeHA. This peripheral sympatho-inhibitory action of R alpha MeHA was antagonized by the histamine H3 receptor blocker thioperamide but not by intravenous pretreatment with the histamine H1 receptor antagonist chlorpheniramine. Histamine H2 receptor blockers cimetidine and ranitidine were also without effect. R alpha MeHA did not depress pupillary responses elicited by i.v. (-)-adrenaline. The results demonstrate that histamine H3 receptors modulate sympathetic activation of the iris at a site proximal to the iris dilator muscle. The predominant mechanism of action appears to the prejunctional inhibition of noradrenaline release from postganglionic sympathetic nerve endings. However, a concomitant ganglionic inhibitory action cannot be excluded.

  17. Activity-dependent regulation of 'on' and 'off' responses in cat visual cortical receptive fields. (United States)

    Debanne, D; Shulz, D E; Fregnac, Y


    1. A supervised learning procedure was applied to individual cat area 17 neurons to test the possible role of neuronal co-activity in controlling the plasticity of the spatial 'on-off' organization of visual cortical receptive fields (RFs). 2. Differential pairing between visual input evoked in a fixed position of the RF and preset levels of postsynaptic firing (imposed iontophoretically) were used alternately to boost the 'on' (or 'off') response to a 'high' level of firing (S+ pairing), and to reduce the opponent response (respectively 'off' or 'on') in the same position to a 'low' level (S- pairing). This associative procedure was repeated 50-100 times at a low temporal frequency (0.1-0.15 s-1). 3. Long-lasting modifications of the ratio of 'on-off' responses, measured in the paired position or integrated across the whole RF, were found in 44 % of the conditioned neurons (17/39), and in most cases this favoured the S+ paired characteristic. The amplitude change was on average half of that imposed during pairing. Comparable proportions of modified cells were obtained in 'simple' (13/27) and 'complex' (4/12) RFs, both in adult cats (4/11) and in kittens within the critical period (13/28). 4. The spatial selectivity of the pairing effects was studied by pseudorandomly stimulating both paired and spatially distinct unpaired positions within the RF. Most modifications were observed in the paired position (for 88 % of successful pairings). 5. In some cells (n = 13), a fixed delay pairing procedure was applied, in which the temporal phase of the onset of the current pulse was shifted by a few hundred milliseconds from the presentation or offset of the visual stimulus. Consecutive effects were observed in 4/13 cells, which retained the temporal pattern of activity imposed during pairing for 5-40 min. They were expressed in the paired region only. 6. The demonstration of long-lasting adaptive changes in the ratio of 'on' and 'off' responses, expressed in localized

  18. Stimulus-entrained oscillatory activity propagates as waves from area 18 to 17 in cat visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lian Zheng

    Full Text Available Previous studies in cat visual cortex reported that area 18 can actively drive neurons in area 17 through cortico-cortical projections. However, the dynamics of such cortico-cortical interaction remains unclear. Here we used multielectrode arrays to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of neuronal activity in cat visual cortex across the 17/18 border. We found that full-field contrast reversal gratings evoked oscillatory wave activity propagating from area 18 to 17. The wave direction was independent of the grating orientation, and could not be accounted for by the spatial distribution of receptive field latencies, suggesting that the waves are largely mediated by intrinsic connections in the cortex. Different from the evoked waves, spontaneous waves propagated along both directions across the 17/18 border. Together, our results suggest that visual stimulation may enhance the flow of information from area 18 to 17.

  19. Cat parasites


    Vošická, Kristýna


    The content of this bachelor thesis describes a different variety of cat parasites. This study discovers that the most infected group of the outdoor cats due to the fact that these animals are not provided with the same care as the household pets. Those cats are usually not vaccinated, not rid of worms, no one takes care of their fur and so they tend to become a host for the parasites. There are several kinds of parasites which attack cats. Among those belong the skin parasites like a cat fle...

  20. Oocyte development and fecundity type of the Brazilian Snapper Lutjanus alexandrei Moura & Lindeman, 2007 (Perciformes: Lutjanidae). (United States)

    Fernandes, C A F; Oliveira, P G V; Oliveira, C H B; Hazin, F H V; Travassos, P


    Lutjanid species exhibit multiple spawning behaviour during an extended spawning season in warm months, asynchronous oocyte development and indeterminate fecundity. Although early studies have contributed to knowledge of the reproductive cycle of many species within the group, they have not considered aspects about the number of cortical alveoli oocyte stage throughout maturity phases along spawning season. The latter aspect is also considered very important to confirm indeterminate fecundity hypothesis. In the present study, were analyzed 154 Brazilian snapper Lutjanus alexandrei female gonads obtained from artisanal fisheries in Pernambuco State (Brazil) between October 2010 and March 2011. Were measured oocyte size frequency distribution for maturity phases (developing, spawning capable and actively spawning), and oocyte development stage (unyolked oocytes, cortical alveoli, primary, secondary and tertiary vitellogenic oocytes and hydrated oocytes), and also the oocyte stage frequency during spawning season. The frequency of cortical alveoli oocyte stage was constantly found in the spawning period (>37%), showing slight variation throughout maturity phases. The absence of gap in the oocyte size frequency distribution between primary and secondary oocyte growth stages during spawning season is a strong indicator of continuous oocyte recruitment from reserve stocks. In addition, co-occurrence of tertiary vitellogenic oocytes, hydrated oocytes, post-ovulatory follicles and yellow-brown bodies in the histological sections of ovaries reinforce indeterminate fecundity hypothesis.

  1. The effect of reducing dietary energy density via the addition of water to a dry diet, on body weight, energy intake and physical activity in adult neutered cats. (United States)

    Alexander, Janet E; Colyer, Alison; Morris, Penelope J


    Increasingly domestic cats live in an overfeeding and underexercising environment where obesity is a major health concern. One strategy to aid healthy body weight maintenance is dietary energy dilution. Published data indicate that increasing dietary moisture content leads to a reduction in energy intake and increased activity. However, a number of different methodologies were employed in these studies and associated changes in physical activity have only been measured once. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of diets of three different moisture contents offered in excess of energy requirements, on body weight, energy intake and physical activity in adult neutered cats. Sixty-nine adult cats randomised into three groups, received 100 % of their daily individual maintenance energy requirements (IMER) of dry diet or dry diet hydrated to 40 or 80 % total moisture content (tmc). Baseline activity, intake, body weight and body composition were measured. Following this baseline phase, the cats received the same diets at 200 % of daily IMER and the measurements repeated over the next 28 d. When offered the diets at 200 % IMER, cats fed the dry diet significantly increased body weight and percentage of body fat (P  0·01). The levels of physical activity in cats offered the hydrated 80 % tmc diet were significantly (P healthy body weight maintenance in overfed cats.

  2. p,p′-DDE activates CatSper and compromises human sperm function at environmentally relevant concentrations


    Tavares, Renata S.; Mansell, Steven; Barratt, Christopher L. R.; Wilson, Stuart M.; Publicover, Stephen J.; Ramalho-Santos, João


    STUDY QUESTION Is the environmental endocrine disruptor p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) able to induce non-genomic changes in human sperm and consequently affect functional sperm parameters? SUMMARY ANSWER p,p′-DDE promoted Ca2+ flux into human sperm by activating CatSper channels even at doses found in human reproductive fluids, ultimately compromising sperm parameters important for fertilization. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY p,p′-DDE may promote non-genomic actions and interact di...

  3. Seasonal Changes in Testes Vascularisation in the Domestic Cat (Felis domesticus: Evaluation of Microvasculature, Angiogenic Activity, and Endothelial Cell Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graça Alexandre-Pires


    Full Text Available Some male seasonal breeders undergo testicular growth and regression throughout the year. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of seasonality on: (i microvasculature of cat testes; (ii angiogenic activity in testicular tissue in vitro; and (iii testicular endothelial cells expression throughout the year. Testicular vascular areas increased in March and April, June and July, being the highest in November and December. Testes tissue differently stimulated in vitro angiogenic activity, according to seasonality, being more evident in February, and November and December. Even though CD143 expression was higher in December, smaller peaks were present in April and July. As changes in angiogenesis may play a role on testes vascular growth and regression during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, data suggest that testicular vascularisation in cats is increased in three photoperiod windows of time, November/December, March/April and June/July. This increase in testicular vascularisation might be related to higher seasonal sexual activity in cats, which is in agreement with the fact that most queens give birth at the beginning of the year, between May and July, and in September.

  4. In vitro fertilization and sperm cryopreservation in the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) and sand cat (Felis margarita). (United States)

    Herrick, J R; Campbell, M; Levens, G; Moore, T; Benson, K; D'Agostino, J; West, G; Okeson, D M; Coke, R; Portacio, S C; Leiske, K; Kreider, C; Polumbo, P J; Swanson, W F


    Studies of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and sperm cryopreservation have been conducted in several small cat species, but virtually no data exist for black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) (BFCs) or sand cats (Felis margarita) (SCs). The objectives of this study were 1) to compare in vitro motility and acrosome status of fresh and cryopreserved (frozen in pellets on dry ice or in straws in liquid nitrogen vapor) BFC and SC spermatozoa cultured in feline-optimized culture medium (FOCM) or Ham F-10, 2) to assess ovarian responsiveness in BFCs and SCs following exogenous gonadotropin treatment and laparoscopic oocyte recovery, and 3) to evaluate the fertility of fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa from both species using homologous and heterologous (domestic cat oocytes) IVF in the two culture media. Motility and acrosomal integrity of fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa from BFCs and SCs were similar (P > 0.05) in both media during 6 h of culture. Although effects were more pronounced in SCs, cryopreservation in straws was superior (P 80% of recovered oocytes were of optimal (grade 1) quality. The BFC and SC spermatozoa fertilized 60.0%-79.4% of homologous and 37.7%-42.7% of heterologous oocytes in both culture media, with increased (P < 0.05) cleavage of homologous (SC) and heterologous (BFC and SC) oocytes in FOCM. These results provide the first information to date on the gamete biology of two imperiled cat species and further our capacity to apply reproductive technologies for their conservation.

  5. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content. (United States)

    Sandoval, M; Okuhama, N N; Zhang, X J; Condezo, L A; Lao, J; Angeles', F M; Musah, R A; Bobrowski, P; Miller, M J S


    Cat's claw is an herbal medicine from the Amazon that is used widely to treat inflammatory disorders. The purpose of this study was to characterize the antioxidative and antiinflammatory properties of cat's claw, Uncaria tomentosa (UT) and Uncaria guianensis (UG). Alkaloids and flavanols were determined using reversed-phase HPLC; scavenging of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrilhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl radicals, and lipid peroxidation by spectrophotometry; and TNFalpha production by ELISA. Anti-inflammatory activity was assessed in vitro by inhibition of TNFalpha and nitrite production from RAW 264.7 cells exposed to LPS (50 ng/ml) and in vivo using the indomethacin-induced gastritis model. Apoptosis was assessed using the TUNEL technique and TNFalpha mRNA by in situ RT-PCR. In each of the antioxidant assays tested, UG was more potent than UT (P UG. The IC50 value for inhibition of TNFalpha production was significantly (P < 0.01) higher for UT (14.1 ng/ml) vs UG (9.5 ng/ml), yet at concentrations that were considerable lower than that required for antioxidant activity. Non-alkaloid HPLC fractions from UT decreased LPS-induced TNFalpha and nitrite production in RAW 264.7 cells (P < 0.01) at a concentration range comparable to the parent botanical. Oral pretreatment for 3 d with UT protected against indomethacin-induced gastritis, and prevented TNFalpha mRNA expression and apoptosis. These results indicate that while both species of cat's claw provide effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, U. guianensis is more potent. In conclusion, the presence of oxindole or pentacyclic alkaloids did not influence the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cat's claw.

  6. Nuclear structures in Tribolium castaneum oocytes. (United States)

    Bogolyubov, Dmitry S; Batalova, Florina M; Kiselyov, Artyom M; Stepanova, Irina S


    The first ultrastructural and immunomorphological characteristics of the karyosphere (karyosome) and extrachromosomal nuclear bodies in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, are presented. The karyosphere forms early in the diplotene stage of meiotic prophase by the gathering of all oocyte chromosomes in a limited nuclear volume. Using the BrUTP assay, T. castaneum oocyte chromosomes united in the karyosphere maintain their transcriptional activity until the end of oocyte growth. Hyperphosphorylated RNA polymerase II and basal transcription factors (TFIID and TFIIH) were detected in the perichromatin region of the karyosphere. The T. castaneum karyosphere has an extrachromosomal capsule that separates chromosomes from the rest of the nucleoplasm. Certain structural proteins (F-actin, lamin B) were found in the capsule. Unexpectedly, the karyosphere capsule in T. castaneum oocytes was found to be enriched in TMG-capped snRNAs, which suggests that the capsule is not only a structural support for the karyosphere, but may be involved in biogenesis of snRNPs. We also identified the counterparts of 'universal' extrachromosomal nuclear domains, Cajal bodies (CBs) and interchromatin granule clusters (IGCs). Nuclear bodies containing IGC marker protein SC35 display some features unusual for typical IGCs. SC35 domains in T. castaneum oocytes are predominantly fibrillar complex bodies that do not contain trimethyl guanosine (TMG)-capped small nuclear (sn) RNAs. Microinjections of 2'-O-methyl (U)22 probes into the oocytes allowed revealing poly(A)+ RNAs in these nuclear domains. Several proteins related to mRNA export (heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein core protein A1, export adapters Y14 and Aly and export receptor NXF1) were also detected there. We believe that unusual SC35 nuclear domains of T. castaneum oocytes are possibly involved in mRNP but not snRNP biogenesis.

  7. Hippocampal EEG and motor activity in the cat: The role of eye movements and body acceleration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamp, A.; Arnolds, D.E.A.T.; Lopes da Silva, F.H.; Boeijinga, P.; Aitink, W.


    In cat the relation between various behaviours and the spectral properties of the hippocampal EEG was investigated. Both EEG and behaviour were quantified and results were evaluated statistically. Significant relationships were found between the properties of the hippocampal EEG and motor acts (walk

  8. Pacemaker activity in a sensory ending with multiple encoding sites : The cat muscle spindle primary ending

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banks, RW; Hulliger, M; Scheepstra, KA; Otten, E


    1. A combined physiological, histological and computer modelling study was carried out on muscle spindles of the cat tenuissimus muscle to examine whether there was any correlation between the functional interaction of putative encoding sites, operated separately by static and dynamic fusimotor neur

  9. Development of Domestic Cat Embryo Produced by Preserved Sperms




    The ability to mature and fertilize oocytes of endangered species may allow us to sustain genetic and global biodiversity. Epididymis sperms may be the last chance to ensure preservation of genetic materials after injury or death of a valuable animal. Studies have been conducted to determine wether both epididymis sperms and oocytes can be used to produce viable embryos and offspring. The purpose of this study was to determine how long cats sperms contained in epididymis were remain motile an...

  10. Metal Ion-dependent Heavy Chain Transfer Activity of TSG-6 Mediates Assembly of the Cumulus-Oocyte Matrix. (United States)

    Briggs, David C; Birchenough, Holly L; Ali, Tariq; Rugg, Marilyn S; Waltho, Jon P; Ievoli, Elena; Jowitt, Thomas A; Enghild, Jan J; Richter, Ralf P; Salustri, Antonietta; Milner, Caroline M; Day, Anthony J


    The matrix polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) has a critical role in the expansion of the cumulus cell-oocyte complex (COC), a process that is necessary for ovulation and fertilization in most mammals. Hyaluronan is organized into a cross-linked network by the cooperative action of three proteins, inter-α-inhibitor (IαI), pentraxin-3, and TNF-stimulated gene-6 (TSG-6), driving the expansion of the COC and providing the cumulus matrix with its required viscoelastic properties. Although it is known that matrix stabilization involves the TSG-6-mediated transfer of IαI heavy chains (HCs) onto hyaluronan (to form covalent HC·HA complexes that are cross-linked by pentraxin-3) and that this occurs via the formation of covalent HC·TSG-6 intermediates, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we have determined the tertiary structure of the CUB module from human TSG-6, identifying a calcium ion-binding site and chelating glutamic acid residue that mediate the formation of HC·TSG-6. This occurs via an initial metal ion-dependent, non-covalent, interaction between TSG-6 and HCs that also requires the presence of an HC-associated magnesium ion. In addition, we have found that the well characterized hyaluronan-binding site in the TSG-6 Link module is not used for recognition during transfer of HCs onto HA. Analysis of TSG-6 mutants (with impaired transferase and/or hyaluronan-binding functions) revealed that although the TSG-6-mediated formation of HC·HA complexes is essential for the expansion of mouse COCs in vitro, the hyaluronan-binding function of TSG-6 does not play a major role in the stabilization of the murine cumulus matrix.

  11. Intersegmental synchronization of spontaneous activity of dorsal horn neurons in the cat spinal cord. (United States)

    Manjarrez, E; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P


    Extracellular recordings of neuronal activity made in the lumbosacral spinal segments of the anesthetized cat have disclosed the existence of a set of neurons in Rexed's laminae III-VI that discharged in a highly synchronized manner during the occurrence of spontaneous negative cord dorsum potentials (nCDPs) and responded to stimulation of low-threshold cutaneous fibers (<1.5x T) with mono- and polysynaptic latencies. The cross-correlation between the spontaneous discharges of pairs of synchronic neurons was highest when they were close to each other, and decreased with increasing longitudinal separation. Simultaneous recordings of nCDPs from several segments in preparations with the peripheral nerves intact have disclosed the existence of synchronized spontaneous nCDPs in segments S1-L4. These potentials lasted between 25 and 70 ms and were usually larger in segments L7-L5, where they attained amplitudes between 50 and 150 micro V. The transection of the intact ipsilateral hindlimb cutaneous and muscle nerves, or the section of the dorsal columns between the L5 and L6, or between the L6 and L7 segments in preparations with already transected nerves, had very small effects on the intersegmental synchronization of the spontaneous nCDPs and on the power spectra of the cord dorsum potentials recorded in the lumbosacral enlargement. In contrast, sectioning the ipsilateral dorsal horn and the dorsolateral funiculus at these segmental levels strongly decoupled the spontaneous nCDPs generated rostrally from those generated caudally to the lesion and reduced the magnitude of the power spectra throughout the whole frequency range. These results indicate that the lumbosacral intersegmental synchronization between the spontaneous nCDPs does not require sensory inputs and is most likely mediated by intra- and intersegmental connections. It is suggested that the occurrence of spontaneous synchronized nCDPs is due to the activation of tightly coupled arrays of neurons, each

  12. Induction and inhibition of oocyte maturation by EDCs in zebrafish

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    Tokumoto Mika


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oocyte maturation in lower vertebrates is triggered by maturation-inducing hormone (MIH, which acts on unidentified receptors on the oocyte surface and induces the activation of maturation-promoting factor (MPF in the oocyte cytoplasm. We previously described the induction of oocyte maturation in fish by an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC, diethylstilbestrol (DES, a nonsteroidal estrogen. Methods In this study, stimulatory and inhibitory effects of EDCs and natural steroids on oocyte maturation were examined in zebrafish. For effective agents, some details about the mechanism in induction or inhibition of maturation were examined. Possible groups of DES interacting with the MIH receptor are discussed based on relative potency of steroids to induce maturation. Results Among agents tested, tamoxifen (TAM and its metabolite 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT showed stimulatory activity similar to DES. The time courses of the change in germinal vesicle breakdown and an intracellular molecular event (the synthesis of cyclin B induced by TAM were indistinguishable from those induced by MIH. In contrast, pentachlorophenol (PCP had a potent inhibitory effect on MIH-induced oocyte maturation. PCP inhibited not only MIH-induced maturation but also DES- and TAM-induced maturation. Methoxychlor also inhibited maturation when oocytes were pre-treated with this agent. Conclusion These results suggest that EDCs act as agonists or antagonists in the induction of oocyte maturation in fish.

  13. Hormonal control of mammalian oocyte meiosis at diplotene stage. (United States)

    Zhang, Meijia; Xia, Guoliang


    Mammalian oocytes grow and undergo meiosis within ovarian follicles. Fully grown oocytes are arrested at the first meiotic prophase by a mural granulosa origin "arrester" until a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary at the mid-cycle stimulates the immature oocyte to resume meiosis. Recent evidence indicates that natriuretic peptide precursor type C (NPPC) produced by mural granulosa cells stimulates the generation of cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cGMP) by cumulus cell natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPR2), which diffuses into oocyte via gap junctions and inhibits oocyte phosphodiesterase 3A (PDE3A) activity and cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) hydrolysis and maintains meiotic arrest with a high intraoocyte cAMP level. This cAMP is generated through the activity of the Gs G-protein by the G-protein-coupled receptor, GPR3 and GPR12, and adenylyl cyclases (ADCY) endogenous to the oocyte. Further studies suggest that endocrine hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), LH, 17β-estradiol (E2) and oocyte-derived paracrine factors (ODPFs), participate in oocyte meiosis possibly by the regulation of NPPC and/or NPR2. A detailed investigation of NPPC and NPR2 expression in follicle cells will elucidate the precise molecular mechanisms of gonadotropins, and control the arrest as well as resumption of meiosis.

  14. Chromatin dynamics at the hTERT promoter during transcriptional activation and repression by c-Myc and Mnt in Xenopus leavis oocytes. (United States)

    Wahlström, Therese; Belikov, Sergey; Arsenian Henriksson, Marie


    The transcription factors c-Myc and Mnt regulate gene expression through dimerization with Max and binding to E-boxes in target genes. While c-Myc activates gene expression via recruitment of histone modifying complexes, Mnt acts as a transcriptional repressor. Here, we used the Xenopus leavis oocyte system to address the effect of c-Myc and Mnt on transcription and chromatin remodeling over the E-box region in the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter. As expected we found elevated and decreased levels of hTERT transcription upon exogenously expressed c-Myc/Max and Mnt/Max, respectively. In addition, we confirmed binding of these heterodimers to both E-boxes already enriched with H3K9ac and H4K16ac. These chromatin marks were further enhanced upon c-Myc/Max binding followed by increased DNA accessibility in the E-box region. In contrast, Mnt/Max inhibited Myc-induced transcription and mediated repression through complete chromatin condensation and deacetylation of H3K9 and H4K16 across the E-box region. Importantly, Mnt was able to counteract c-Myc mediated activation even when expressed at low levels, suggesting Mnt to act as a strong repressor by closing the chromatin structure. Collectively our data demonstrate that the balance between c-Myc and Mnt activity determines the transcriptional outcome of the hTERT promoter by modulation of the chromatin architecture.

  15. Maintained inspiratory activity during proportional assist ventilation in surfactant-depleted cats early after surfactant instillation: phrenic nerve and pulmonary stretch receptor activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaller Peter


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inspiratory activity is a prerequisite for successful application of patient triggered ventilation such as proportional assist ventilation (PAV. It has recently been reported that surfactant instillation increases the activity of slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors (PSRs followed by a shorter inspiratory time (Sindelar et al, J Appl Physiol, 2005 [Epub ahead of print]. Changes in lung mechanics, as observed in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome and after surfactant treatment, might therefore influence the inspiratory activity when applying PAV early after surfactant treatment. Objective To investigate the regulation of breathing and ventilatory response in surfactant-depleted young cats during PAV and during continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP early after surfactant instillation in relation to phrenic nerve activity (PNA and the activity of PSRs. Methods Seven anesthetized, endotracheally intubated young cats were exposed to periods of CPAP and PAV with the same end-expiratory pressure (0.2–0.5 kPa before and after lung lavage and after surfactant instillation. PAV was set to compensate for 75% of the lung elastic recoil. Results Tidal volume and respiratory rate were higher with lower PaCO2 and higher PaO2 during PAV than during CPAP both before and after surfactant instillation (p Conclusion PSR activity and the control of breathing are maintained during PAV in surfactant-depleted cats early after surfactant instillation, with a higher ventilatory response and a lower breathing effort than during CPAP.

  16. Follicle-stimulating hormone accelerates mouse oocyte development in vivo. (United States)

    Demeestere, Isabelle; Streiff, Agathe K; Suzuki, João; Al-Khabouri, Shaima; Mahrous, Enas; Tan, Seang Lin; Clarke, Hugh J


    During folliculogenesis, oocytes grow and acquire developmental competence in a mutually dependent relationship with their adjacent somatic cells. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) plays an essential and well-established role in the differentiation of somatic follicular cells, but its function in the development of the oocyte has still not been elucidated. We report here that oocytes of Fshb(-/-) mice, which cannot produce FSH, grow at the same rate and reach the same size as those of wild-type mice. Consistent with this observation, the granulosa cells of Fshb(-/-) mice express the normal quantity of mRNA encoding Kit ligand, which has been implicated in oocyte growth. Oocytes of Fshb(-/-) mice also accumulate normal quantities of cyclin B1 and CDK1 proteins and mitochondrial DNA. Moreover, they acquire the ability to complete meiotic maturation in vitro and undergo transition from non-surrounded nucleolus to surrounded nucleolus. However, these events of late oocyte development are significantly delayed. Following in vitro maturation and fertilization, only a small number of embryos derived from oocytes of Fshb(-/-) mice reach the blastocyst stage. Administration of equine chorionic gonadotropin, which provides FSH activity, 48 h before in vitro maturation increases the number of blastocysts obtained subsequently. These results indicate that FSH is not absolutely required for oocyte development in vivo but that this process occurs more rapidly in its presence. We suggest that FSH may coordinate the development of the germline and somatic compartments of the follicle, ensuring that ovulation releases a developmentally competent egg.

  17. The effect of activation of central adrenergic receptors by clonidine on the excitability of the solitary tract neurons in cats. (United States)

    Lipski, J; Solnicka, E


    The effect of i.v. administered clonidine (10-15 mug/kg) on the evoked potential recorded in the dosal part of medulla oblongata, during carotid sinus nerve stimulation, was studied in chloralose-urethane anaesthetized cats. Clonidine influenced the amplitude and configuration of the evoked potential and the changes were parallel to the blood pressure depressor response. However, the blood pressure drops, evoked by i.v. infusion of papaverine, did not influence the potential. It is concluded that the synaptic transmission from the carotid sinus nerve to the second order neurons in the solatary tract area can be modulated by the clonidine-induced activation of central adrenergic receptors.

  18. Developmental competence of oocytes recovered from postmortem ovaries of the endangered Indian blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra). (United States)

    Sambasiva Rao, Brahmasani; Uma Mahesh, Yelisetti; Lakshmikantan, Uthanda Raman; Suman, Komjeti; Venu Charan, Katari; Shivaji, Sisinthy


    The ability to rescue gametes from endangered or wildlife species and to subsequently produce viable embryos holds tremendous potential as a means to increase the population size of endangered or wildlife species. The objective of this study was to assess the meiotic and developmental competence of oocytes recovered from postmortem ovaries of the Indian blackbuck. Oocytes collected from the ovaries of dead blackbucks were allowed to mature in vitro and then tested for developmental potential by activation with ionomycin followed by treatment with 6-dimethylaminopurine. The average number of oocytes recovered per ovary was 10.9, and recovery of the oocytes did not depend on the presence or absence of the corpus luteum, on the side, size and weight of the ovaries or on the type of oocytes recovered. The proportion of good quality oocytes showing cumulus expansion and extrusion of the first polar body were 79.3% and 46.1% when cultured with gonadotropins. In vitro maturation studies indicated that the proportion of oocytes that reached MII stage was significantly higher when good quality oocytes (68%) were used compared with fair quality oocytes (48%) when cultured in the presence of gonadotropins. Furthermore, fifty eight percent of the in vitro matured oocytes cleaved, and thirteen percent of the cleaved oocytes developed into blastocysts. These findings suggest that the oocytes recovered from postmortem ovaries of the blackbuck can be utilized for production of embryos.

  19. Functional characterization of the 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam at human GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hammer, Harriet; Ebert, Bjarke; Jensen, Henrik S.


    The 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam is indicated for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients 2 years of age or older in the United States, and for treatment of anxiety and various forms of epilepsy elsewhere. Clobazam has been reported to exhibit...... different in vivo adverse effects and addiction liability profile than the classic 1,4-benzodiazepines. In this study, it was investigated whether the in vitro pharmacological properties of clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam could explain some of these clinical differences....... The functional properties of the two 1,5-benzodiazepines were characterized at the human γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAAR) subtypes α1β2γ2S, α2β2γ2S, α3β2γ2S, α5β2γ2S and α6β2δ expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by use of two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology and compared to those exhibited...

  20. Cat Scan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    <正> A man takes his motionless dog to the vet."Doc,I think my dog is dead.”The vet looks the dog over, goes into a backroom,and comes out with a cat.He places the caton the table next to the dog.The cat walks aroundand sniffs at the dog.The dog does not move.The

  1. Oocyte cryopreservation in oncological patients. (United States)

    Porcu, Eleonora; Fabbri, Raffaella; Damiano, Giuseppe; Fratto, Rosita; Giunchi, Susanna; Venturoli, Stefano


    The use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in oncological patients may reduce their reproductive potential. Sperm cryopreservation has been already used in men affected by neoplastic disease. Oocyte cryopreservation might be an important solution for these patients at risk of losing ovarian function. A program of oocyte cryopreservation for oncological patients is also present in our center. From June 1996 to January 2000, 18 patients awaiting chemotherapy and radiotherapy for neoplastic disease were included in our oocyte cryopreservation program. Our experience documents that oocyte storage may be a concrete and pragmatic alternative for oncological patients. The duration of oocyte storage does not seem to interfere with oocyte survival as pregnancies occurred even after several years of gamete cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen.

  2. Diving into the oocyte pool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Stine G; Pors, Susanne E; Yding Andersen, Claus


    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The ovarian reserve comprises an enormous surplus of follicles. Despite this, some women produce insufficient numbers of oocytes by conventional fertility treatments. However, recent technical accomplishments may transform assisted reproductive technology (ART) in such a way...... for revitalizing deficient oocytes may transform ART, and potentially enhance both quantity and quality of fertilizable oocytes; hereby augmenting the pregnancy potential of women with poor reproductive performance....

  3. The relationship of mucosal bacteria to duodenal histopathology, cytokine mRNA, and clinical disease activity in cats with inflammatory bowel disease. (United States)

    Janeczko, S; Atwater, D; Bogel, E; Greiter-Wilke, A; Gerold, A; Baumgart, M; Bender, H; McDonough, P L; McDonough, S P; Goldstein, R E; Simpson, K W


    Feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the term applied to a group of poorly understood enteropathies that are considered a consequence of uncontrolled intestinal inflammation in response to a combination of elusive environmental, enteric microbial, and immunoregulatory factors in genetically susceptible cats. The present study sought to examine the relationship of mucosal bacteria to intestinal inflammation and clinical disease activity in cats with inflammatory bowel disease. Duodenal biopsies were collected from 27 cats: 17 undergoing diagnostic investigation of signs of gastrointestinal disease, and 10 healthy controls. Subjective duodenal histopathology ranged from normal (10), through mild (6), moderate (8), and severe (3) IBD. The number and spatial distribution of mucosal bacteria was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with probes to 16S rDNA. Mucosal inflammation was evaluated by objective histopathology and cytokine profiles of duodenal biopsies. The number of mucosa-associated Enterobacteriaceae was higher in cats with signs of gastrointestinal disease than healthy cats (Pcats. These data establish that the density and composition of the mucosal flora is related to the presence and severity of intestinal inflammation in cats and suggest that mucosal bacteria are involved in the etiopathogenesis of feline IBD.

  4. Investigation of DNA repair in human oocytes and preimplantation embryos


    Jaroudi, S.


    DNA repair genes are expressed in mammalian embryos and in human germinal vesicles, however, little is known about DNA repair in human preimplantation embryos. This project had three aims: 1) to produce a DNA repair profile of human MII oocytes and blastocysts using expression arrays and identify repair pathways that may be active before and after embryonic genome activation; 2) to design an in vitro functional assay that targeted mismatch repair and which could be applied to human oocytes...

  5. Hydrogen sulfide activates the carotid body chemoreceptors in cat, rabbit and rat ex vivo preparations. (United States)

    Jiao, Yingfu; Li, Qian; Sun, Biying; Zhang, Guohua; Rong, Weifang


    We and others previously reported experimental evidence suggesting an important role for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in oxygen sensing in murine carotid body chemoreceptors. More recent data implicated abnormal H2S-mediated chemoreceptor signaling in pathological conditions such as chronic heart failure and hypertension. However, the idea of H2S as a mediator of oxygen-sensing in chemoreceptors has been challenged. In particular, it was shown that exogenous H2S inhibited the release of neurotransmitters (ACh and ATP) from the cat carotid body, raising the possibility that there exists significant species difference in H2S-mediated signaling in chemoreceptors. This study was designed specifically to determine the effect of H2S on chemoreceptors in different species. We conducted multiunit extracellular recordings of the sinus nerve in the ex vivo carotid body preparation taken from the rat, the cat and the rabbit. As observed in the mouse carotid body, H2S donors (NaHS or Na2S) evoked qualitatively similar excitatory responses of the afferent sinus nerves of the species studied here. The excitatory effects of the H2S donors were concentration-dependent and reversible. The sinus nerve responses to H2S donors were prevented by blockade of the transmission between type I cells and the afferent terminals, as was the response to hypoxia. These results demonstrate that exogenous H2S exerts qualitatively similar excitatory effects on chemoreceptor afferents of different species. The role of endogenous H2S-mediated signaling in carotid body function in different species awaits further investigation.

  6. Vitrification of Bovine Oocytes by Open Pulled Straw

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Shi-en; ZENG Shen-ming; WU Tong-yi; MENG Qing-gang; ZHANG Zhong-cheng; CHEN Yong-fu


    Bovine oocytes cultured in vitro for 6 hours or 22 hours were cryopreserved in different vitrification solutions (EFS40, EFS50, EDFS30 or EDFS40) by the two-step method with OPS (open pulled straw).The best results were achieved by using EDFS30 to cryopreserve the oocytes either for in vitro fertilization or for chemical activation. The blastocyst rates were 12% and 17% in 6 hour and 22 hour cultures respectively following in vitro fertilization. If frozen-thawed oocytes were continued in culture up to 24 hours, and were activated by chemicals, the blastocyst rates were 22% and 24% in 6-hour and 22-hour groups respectively.There were no statistical differences between frozen and fresh oocytes (P > 0.05).

  7. B-cell activation in cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) by FIP-virus-induced B-cell differentiation/survival factors. (United States)

    Takano, Tomomi; Azuma, Natsuko; Hashida, Yoshikiyo; Satoh, Ryoichi; Hohdatsu, Tsutomu


    It has been suggested that antibody overproduction plays a role in the pathogenesis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). However, only a few studies on the B-cell activation mechanism after FIP virus (FIPV) infection have been reported. The present study shows that: (1) the ratio of peripheral blood sIg(+) CD21(-) B-cells was higher in cats with FIP than in SPF cats, (2) the albumin-to-globulin ratio has negative correlation with the ratio of peripheral blood sIg(+) CD21(-) B-cell, (3) cells strongly expressing mRNA of the plasma cell master gene, B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1), were increased in peripheral blood in cats with FIP, (4) mRNA expression of B-cell differentiation/survival factors, IL-6, CD40 ligand, and B-cell-activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF), was enhanced in macrophages in cats with FIP, and (5) mRNAs of these B-cell differentiation/survival factors were overexpressed in antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)-induced macrophages. These data suggest that virus-infected macrophages overproduce B-cell differentiation/survival factors, and these factors act on B-cells and promote B-cell differentiation into plasma cells in FIPV-infected cats.

  8. Cat and Dog Bites (United States)

    ... Prevention and Wellness Staying Healthy Pets and Animals Cat and Dog Bites Cat and Dog Bites Pets and AnimalsPrevention and WellnessStaying Healthy Share Cat and Dog Bites Cat and dog bites are ...

  9. Cat Scratch Disease (United States)

    Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an illness caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae. Almost half of all cats carry ... infection does not make cats sick. However, the scratch or bite of an infected cat can cause ...

  10. Reorganization of cytoskeletal proteins of mouse oocytes mediated by integrins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUE Limin; ZHANG Lei; HE Yaping; ZHANG Jinhu; ZHENG Jie; HE Yanfang; ZHENG Yu; ZHANG Jie; ZHANG Li


    To study whether integrins on cell membrane ligate with intracellular cytoskeletal proteins and mediate their reorganization in egg activation, female mice were used for superovulation. The zona-free oocytes were incubated separately with specific ligand of integrins,an active RGD peptide, in vitro for certain period of time. RGE peptide and mouse capacitated sperm were used as controls. Freshly ovulated oocytes and those treated with different factors were immunostained with FITC-labeled anti-actin antibody, then detected with confocal microscope. The results demonstrated that freshly ovulated mouse oocytes, oocytes incubated for 2 h in vitro and those treated with control RGE peptide for 15 min showed hardly visible fluorescene or only thin fluorescence in plasma membrane region. Oocytes coincubated with sperms for 15 min and those treated with active RGD peptide for 10 min, 30 min and 2 hours respectively had strong and thick fluorescence in the plasma membrane and cortical region of oocytes, and some of them showed asymmetrically fluorescent distribution. It is proved that integrins on membrane are ligated directly with cytoskeletal protein. Integrins binding with their ligands regulate reorganization of cytoskelal protein, which may be involved in transmembrane signaling in egg activation.

  11. Chromosome Cohesion Established by Rec8-Cohesin in Fetal Oocytes Is Maintained without Detectable Turnover in Oocytes Arrested for Months in Mice. (United States)

    Burkhardt, Sabrina; Borsos, Máté; Szydlowska, Anna; Godwin, Jonathan; Williams, Suzannah A; Cohen, Paula E; Hirota, Takayuki; Saitou, Mitinori; Tachibana-Konwalski, Kikuë


    Sister chromatid cohesion mediated by the cohesin complex is essential for chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis [1]. Rec8-containing cohesin, bound to Smc3/Smc1α or Smc3/Smc1β, maintains bivalent cohesion in mammalian meiosis [2-6]. In females, meiotic DNA replication and recombination occur in fetal oocytes. After birth, oocytes arrest at the prolonged dictyate stage until recruited to grow into mature oocytes that divide at ovulation. How cohesion is maintained in arrested oocytes remains a pivotal question relevant to maternal age-related aneuploidy. Hypothetically, cohesin turnover regenerates cohesion in oocytes. Evidence for post-replicative cohesion establishment mechanism exists, in yeast and invertebrates [7, 8]. In mouse fetal oocytes, cohesin loading factor Nipbl/Scc2 localizes to chromosome axes during recombination [9, 10]. Alternatively, cohesion is maintained without turnover. Consistent with this, cohesion maintenance does not require Smc1β transcription, but unlike Rec8, Smc1β is not required for establishing bivalent cohesion [11, 12]. Rec8 maintains cohesion without turnover during weeks of oocyte growth [3]. Whether the same applies to months or decades of arrest is unknown. Here, we test whether Rec8 activated in arrested mouse oocytes builds cohesion revealed by TEV cleavage and live-cell imaging. Rec8 establishes cohesion when activated during DNA replication in fetal oocytes using tamoxifen-inducible Cre. In contrast, no new cohesion is detected when Rec8 is activated in arrested oocytes by tamoxifen despite cohesin synthesis. We conclude that cohesion established in fetal oocytes is maintained for months without detectable turnover in dictyate-arrested oocytes. This implies that women's fertility depends on the longevity of cohesin proteins that established cohesion in utero.

  12. My Cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王悦; 李成梅


    The name of my cat is Naty. This year he is one year old. He isvery fat, but he is very nice. He has a big round white head. His mouth and nose are small. His eyes are interesting. In the day,they are small and black,but at night they are big and blue.

  13. Winter hibernation and UCHL1-p34cdc2 association in toad oocyte maturation competence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhichao Kuang

    Full Text Available Currently, it is believed that toad oocyte maturation is dependent on the physiological conditions of winter hibernation. Previous antibody-blocking experiments have demonstrated that toad ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (tUCHL1 is necessary for germinal vesicle breakdown during toad oocyte maturation. In this paper, we first supply evidence that tUCHL1 is highly evolutionarily conserved. Then, we exclude protein availability and ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase enzyme activity as factors in the response of oocytes to winter hibernation. In the context of MPF (maturation promoting factor controlling oocyte maturation and to further understand the role of UCHL1 in oocyte maturation, we performed adsorption and co-immunoprecipitation experiments using toad oocyte protein extracts and determined that tUCHL1 is associated with MPF in toad oocytes. Recombinant tUCHL1 absorbed p34(cdc2, a component of MPF, in obviously larger quantities from mature oocytes than from immature oocytes, and p13(suc1 was isolated from tUCHL1 with a dependence on the ATP regeneration system, suggesting that still other functions may be involved in their association that require phosphorylation. In oocytes from hibernation-interrupted toads, the p34(cdc2 protein level was significantly lower than in oocytes from toads in artificial hibernation, providing an explanation for the different quantities isolated by recombinant tUCHL1 pull-down and, more importantly, identifying a mechanism involved in the toad oocyte's dependence on a low environmental temperature during winter hibernation. Therefore, in toads, tUCHL1 binds p34(cdc2 and plays a role in oocyte maturation. However, neither tUCHL1 nor cyclin B1 respond to low temperatures to facilitate oocyte maturation competence during winter hibernation.

  14. Cd(2+) sensitivity and permeability of a low voltage-activated Ca(2+) channel with CatSper-like selectivity filter. (United States)

    Garza-López, Edgar; Chávez, Julio César; Santana-Calvo, Carmen; López-González, Ignacio; Nishigaki, Takuya


    CatSper is a sperm-specific Ca(2+) channel that plays an essential role in the male fertility. However, its biophysical properties have been poorly characterized mainly due to its deficient heterologous expression. As other voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (CaVs), CatSper possesses a conserved Ca(2+)-selective filter motif ([T/S]x[D/E]xW) in the pore region. Interestingly, CatSper conserves four aspartic acids (DDDD) as the negatively charged residues in this motif while high voltage-activated CaVs have four glutamic acids (EEEE) and low voltage-activated CaVs possess two glutamic acids and two aspartic acids (EEDD). Previous studies based on site-directed mutagenesis of L- and T-type channels showed that the number of D seems to have a negative correlation with their cadmium (Cd(2+)) sensitivity. These results suggest that CatSper (DDDD) would have low sensitivity to Cd(2+). To explore Cd(2+)-sensitivity and -permeability of CatSper, we performed two types of experiments: 1) Electrophysiological analysis of heterologously expressed human CaV3.1 channel and three pore mutants (DEDD, EDDD and DDDD), 2) Cd(2+) imaging of human spermatozoa with FluoZin-1. Electrophysiological studies showed a significant increase in Cd(2+) and manganese (Mn(2+)) currents through the CaV3.1 mutants as well as a reduction in the inhibitory effect of Cd(2+) on the Ca(2+) current. In fluorescence imaging with human sperm, we observed an increase in Cd(2+) influx potentiated by progesterone, a potent activator of CatSper. These results support our hypothesis, namely that Cd(2+)-sensitivity and -permeability are related to the absolute number of D in the Ca(2+)-selective filter independently to the type of the Cav channels.

  15. Developmental potential of prepubertal mouse oocytes is compromised due mainly to their impaired synthesis of glutathione.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang-Zhong Jiao

    Full Text Available Although oocytes from prepubertal animals are found less competent than oocytes from adults, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Using the mouse oocyte model, this paper has tested the hypothesis that the developmental potential of prepubertal oocytes is compromised due mainly to their impaired potential for glutathione synthesis. Oocytes from prepubertal and adult mice, primed with or without eCG, were matured in vitro and assessed for glutathione synthesis potential, oxidative stress, Ca(2+ reserves, fertilization and in vitro development potential. In unprimed mice, abilities for glutathione synthesis, activation, male pronuclear formation, blastocyst formation, cortical granule migration and polyspermic block were all compromised significantly in prepubertal compared to adult oocytes. Cysteamine and cystine supplementation to maturation medium significantly promoted oocyte glutathione synthesis and blastocyst development but difference due to maternal age remained. Whereas reactive oxygen species (ROS levels increased, Ca(2+ storage decreased significantly in prepubertal oocytes. Levels of both catalytic and modifier subunits of the γ-glutamylcysteine ligase were significantly lower in prepubertal than in adult oocytes. Maternal eCG priming improved all the parameters and eliminated the age difference. Together, the results have confirmed our hypothesis by showing that prepubertal oocytes have a decreased ability to synthesize glutathione leading to an impaired potential to reduce ROS and to form male pronuclei and blastocysts. The resulting oxidative stress decreases the intracellular Ca(2+ store resulting in impaired activation at fertilization, and damages the microfilament network, which affects cortical granule redistribution leading to polyspermy.

  16. Cryopreservation of unfertilized human oocytes. (United States)

    Stachecki, James J; Cohen, Jacques; Garrisi, John; Munné, Santiago; Burgess, Colleen; Willadsen, Steen M


    Previous investigations revealed that choline-based freezing media developed in our laboratory were superior to conventional sodium-based media for storing mouse oocytes. This paper examines the ability of the choline-based medium CJ2 and a modified form of this medium, CJ3, to cryopreserve unfertilized human oocytes. Oocytes that were consented for research and matured overnight, as well as freshly collected, donor, mature metaphase II (MII) oocytes, were cryopreserved using choline-based media and an optimized slow-cooling protocol. The results showed higher survival and fertilization rates when CJ3 supplemented with 0.2 mmol/l sucrose was used as compared with CJ2 supplemented with either 0.1 mmol/l or 0.2 mmol/l sucrose. Freshly collected oocytes were more difficult to cryopreserve than those matured in vitro. Modification of the base medium proved to be one of the key factors in obtaining survival rates over 90%. Fertilization rates, embryo development, and genetic analysis of embryos resulting from control and frozen-thawed oocytes are provided. There appears to be a high correlation between chromosomal anomalies and abnormal morphology in embryos from thawed oocytes.

  17. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 49-62



    Images Cat. 50 Cat. 51 Cat. 53 Cat. 54 Cat. 55 (a) Cat. 55 (b) Cat. 56 Cat. 57: 1 Cat. 57: 2 Cat. 57: 3 Cat. 57: 4 Cat. 59: 1 Cat. 59: 2 Cat. 59: 3 Cat. 59: 4 Cat. 60 Cat. 61 Cat. 62: 1 (a) Cat. 62: 1 (b) Cat. 62: 2 (a) Cat. 62: 2 (b)

  18. Food habits and temporal activity patterns of the Golden Jackal Canis aureus and the Jungle Cat Felis chaos in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Majumder


    Full Text Available The food habits and temporal activity patterns of the Golden Jackal Canis aureus and the Jungle Cat Felis chaus were studied between January 2008 and June 2009 in Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR, Madhya Pradesh. A total of 50 jackal scats and 85 jungle cat scats were collected where-ever encountered in the study area. Information on activity pattern was obtained using camera traps. Fifty-two pair self-triggered analog cameras were deployed in each 2 x 2 km² across the study area (> 250 km² close to animal trails which were set to work on a continuous 24 hour period. Rodents contributed maximum in the diet of these two species (65% golden jackal scats and 56% jungle cat scats. Eight thousand five hundred and sixty camera-trap nights revealed 189 jungle cat captures and 49 golden jackal captures. The activity of golden jackal had a more homogeneous distribution in time. Present study showed that although some degree of overlap is observed between the two sympatric species, an overall difference in dietary composition and activity patterns enabled them to coexist in PTR.

  19. In vitro embryo production and embryo transfer in domestic and non-domestic cats. (United States)

    Pope, C E; Gomez, M C; Dresser, B L


    Over a 5-year interval, multiple laparoscopic oocyte retrievals were done in fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), caracals (Caracal caracal) and domestic cats after ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins. From 21 retrievals in five fishing cats, 579 preovulatory oocytes (mean = 27.6) were recovered and 348 embryos were produced in vitro (mean = 16.6). A total of 452 preovulatory oocytes (mean = 25.1) were recovered from 18 of 24 retrievals in six caracals and 297 (mean = 16.6) embryos were produced. An additional 16 caracal embryos (19%) were produced after in vitro maturation of 83 oocytes, 59 of which came from six retrievals producing only immature oocytes. The presence of corpora lutea at oocyte retrieval occurred in each species (1) at a similar frequency (33%) and (2) more frequently during January through May (11 of 15 retrievals) than during the latter half of the year (4 of 30 retrievals). Of the 12 embryo transfer procedures done in fishing cats, one pregnancy (8%) was obtained and one live kitten born after the auto-transfer of 10 Day-6 embryos. In caracals, a total of 46 Day-4 or Day-5 embryos were auto-transferred to six recipients, one of which delivered two live kittens. Then, 109 caracal embryos were cryopreserved before thawing and transferring to nine recipients (mean = 12.1) on Days 5 or 6. From three pregnancies established (33%), a total of three kittens were born. Two to six gonadotropin treatments/oocyte retrievals were done in domestic cats during 1999 through 2003; an average of 24.9, 23.5, 22.0, 23.1, 23.5 and 40.9 oocytes (P > 0.05) were recovered at the first through the sixth treatment cycles from 138, 138, 97, 49, 22, and seven retrievals, respectively.

  20. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 26-48



    Images Cat. 26: 1 (a) Cat. 26: 1 (b) Cat. 26: 2 (a) Cat. 26: 2(b) Cat. 27: 1 (a) Cat. 27: 1 (b) Cat. 27: 2 (a) Cat. 27: 2 (b) Cat. 28 Cat. 29: 2 (a) Cat. 29: 2 (b) Cat. 30: 1 Cat. 30: 2 Cat. 30: 3 Cat. 33 Cat. 34: 1 Cat. 34: 2 Cat. 35: 1 Cat. 35: 2 Cat. 35: 3 Cat. 36 Cat. 37 Cat. 38: 1 Cat. 38: 2 Cat. 40 Cat. 42 Cat. 43 Cat. 44 Cat. 45: 1 Cat. 45: 2 Cat. 46 Cat. 47: 1 Cat. 47: 2 Cat. 47: 3 Cat. 48: 1 Cat. 48: 2 Cat. 48: 3

  1. Functional characterization of the 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam at human GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. (United States)

    Hammer, Harriet; Ebert, Bjarke; Jensen, Henrik Sindal; Jensen, Anders A


    The 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam is indicated for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients 2 years of age or older in the United States, and for treatment of anxiety and various forms of epilepsy elsewhere. Clobazam has been reported to exhibit different in vivo adverse effects and addiction liability profile than the classic 1,4-benzodiazepines. In this study, it was investigated whether the in vitro pharmacological properties of clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam could explain some of these clinical differences. The functional properties of the two 1,5-benzodiazepines were characterized at the human γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABA(A)R) subtypes α1β2γ(2S), α2β2γ(2S), α3β2γ(2S), α5β2γ(2S) and α6β2δ expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by use of two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology and compared to those exhibited by the 1,4-benzodiazepine clonazepam. All three compounds potentiated GABA EC20-evoked responses through the α(1,2,3,5)β2γ(2S) GABA(A)Rs in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner, with each displaying similar EC50 values at the four subtypes. Furthermore, the degrees of potentiation of the GABA EC20 currents through the four receptors mediated by saturating modulator concentrations did not differ substantially for any of the three benzodiazepines. The three compounds were substantially less potent (200-3900 fold) as positive allosteric modulators at the α6β2δ GABA(A)R than at the α(1,2,3,5)β2γ(2S) receptors. Interestingly, however, clobazam and especially N-desmethylclobazam were highly efficacious potentiators of α6β2δ receptor signaling. Although this activity component is unlikely to contribute to the in vivo effects of clobazam/N-desmethylclobazam, the 1,5-benzodiazepine could constitute an interesting lead for novel modulators targeting this low-affinity binding site in GABAARs. In conclusion, the non-selective modulation

  2. Functional characterization of the 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam at human GABA(A receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harriet Hammer

    Full Text Available The 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam is indicated for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients 2 years of age or older in the United States, and for treatment of anxiety and various forms of epilepsy elsewhere. Clobazam has been reported to exhibit different in vivo adverse effects and addiction liability profile than the classic 1,4-benzodiazepines. In this study, it was investigated whether the in vitro pharmacological properties of clobazam and its major active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam could explain some of these clinical differences. The functional properties of the two 1,5-benzodiazepines were characterized at the human γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABA(AR subtypes α1β2γ(2S, α2β2γ(2S, α3β2γ(2S, α5β2γ(2S and α6β2δ expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by use of two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology and compared to those exhibited by the 1,4-benzodiazepine clonazepam. All three compounds potentiated GABA EC20-evoked responses through the α(1,2,3,5β2γ(2S GABA(ARs in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner, with each displaying similar EC50 values at the four subtypes. Furthermore, the degrees of potentiation of the GABA EC20 currents through the four receptors mediated by saturating modulator concentrations did not differ substantially for any of the three benzodiazepines. The three compounds were substantially less potent (200-3900 fold as positive allosteric modulators at the α6β2δ GABA(AR than at the α(1,2,3,5β2γ(2S receptors. Interestingly, however, clobazam and especially N-desmethylclobazam were highly efficacious potentiators of α6β2δ receptor signaling. Although this activity component is unlikely to contribute to the in vivo effects of clobazam/N-desmethylclobazam, the 1,5-benzodiazepine could constitute an interesting lead for novel modulators targeting this low-affinity binding site in GABAARs. In conclusion, the non

  3. Cytoplasmic Streaming in the Drosophila Oocyte. (United States)

    Quinlan, Margot E


    Objects are commonly moved within the cell by either passive diffusion or active directed transport. A third possibility is advection, in which objects within the cytoplasm are moved with the flow of the cytoplasm. Bulk movement of the cytoplasm, or streaming, as required for advection, is more common in large cells than in small cells. For example, streaming is observed in elongated plant cells and the oocytes of several species. In the Drosophila oocyte, two stages of streaming are observed: relatively slow streaming during mid-oogenesis and streaming that is approximately ten times faster during late oogenesis. These flows are implicated in two processes: polarity establishment and mixing. In this review, I discuss the underlying mechanism of streaming, how slow and fast streaming are differentiated, and what we know about the physiological roles of the two types of streaming.

  4. black cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The black cat is a masterpiece of short fiction of Poe. He successfully solved the problem of creating of the horror effect by using scene description, symbol, repetition and first-person narrative methods. And created a complete and unified mysterious terror, achieved the effect of shocking. This paper aims to discuss the mystery in-depth and to enrich the research system in Poe’s novels.

  5. Nuclear replacement of in vitro-matured porcine oocytes by a serial centrifugation and fusion method. (United States)

    Maedomari, N; Kikuchi, K; Nagai, T; Fahrudin, M; Kaneko, H; Noguchi, J; Nakai, M; Ozawa, M; Somfai, T; Nguyen, L V; Ito, J; Kashiwazaki, N


    The objective of the present study was to establish a method for nuclear replacement in metaphase-II (M-II) stage porcine oocytes. Karyoplasts containing M-II chromosomes (K) and cytoplasts without chromosomes (C) were produced from in vitro-matured oocytes by a serial centrifugation method. The oocytes were then reconstructed by fusion of one karyoplast with 1, 2, 3 or 4 cytoplasts (K + 1C, K + 2C, K + 3C and K + 4C, respectively). Reconstructed oocytes, karyoplasts without fusion of any cytoplast (K) and zona-free M-II oocytes (control) were used for experiments. The rates of female pronucleus formation after parthenogenetic activation in all groups of reconstructed oocytes (58.2-77.4%) were not different from those of the K and control groups (58.2% and 66.0%, respectively). In vitro fertilization was carried out to assay the fertilization ability and subsequent embryonic development of the reconstructed oocytes. The cytoplast : karyoplast ratio did not affect the fertilization status (penetration and male pronuclear formation rates) of the oocytes. A significantly high monospermy rate was found in K oocytes (p fusion (Centri-Fusion) is an effective method for producing M-II chromosome transferred oocytes with normal fertilization ability and in vitro development. It is suggested that the number of cytoplasts fused with a karyoplast plays a critical role in embryonic development.

  6. The role of phosphatidylinositol signaling pathway in regulating serotonin-induced oocyte maturation in Mercenaria mercenaria

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Qing; ZHANG Tao


    Serotonin (5-HT) has been found to stimulate meiotic maturation of oocytes in many molluscs. During maturation, several signaling pathways are involved, especially the phosphatidylinositol and cAMP pathways. In order to examine the possible role of the phosphatidylinositol signaling pathway in regulating oocyte maturation in Mercenaria mercenaria, the effects of the activator/inhibitor of phospholipase (PLC) and protein kinase C (PKC) on serotonin-induced maturation were studied. Results show that high-concentrations of neomycin (inhibitor of PLC) blocked oocyte maturation, while 9, 10-dimethyl- 1, 2-benzanthracene (DMBA, activator of PLC) promoted oocyte maturation in the presence of serotonin. It was also found that in the presence of serotonin, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA,activator of PKC) inhibited oocyte maturation, while sphingosine (inhibitor of PKC) stimulated oocyte maturation. These results indicate that serotonin-induced oocyte maturation requires the activation of the phosphatidylinositol pathway. Decrease of PLC inhibited serotonin-induced oocyte maturation, whereas a decrease of PKC stimulated the maturation. Thus, our study indicates that serotonin promotes maturation of M. mercenaria oocytes through PLC stimulated increase in calcium ion concentration via inositol-1,4, 5-trisphosphate (IP3) but not PKC.

  7. Oocyte development, meiosis and aneuploidy. (United States)

    MacLennan, Marie; Crichton, James H; Playfoot, Christopher J; Adams, Ian R


    Meiosis is one of the defining events in gametogenesis. Male and female germ cells both undergo one round of meiotic cell division during their development in order to reduce the ploidy of the gametes, and thereby maintain the ploidy of the species after fertilisation. However, there are some aspects of meiosis in the female germline, such as the prolonged arrest in dictyate, that appear to predispose oocytes to missegregate their chromosomes and transmit aneuploidies to the next generation. These maternally-derived aneuploidies are particularly problematic in humans where they are major contributors to miscarriage, age-related infertility, and the high incidence of Down's syndrome in human conceptions. This review will discuss how events that occur in foetal oocyte development and during the oocytes' prolonged dictyate arrest can influence meiotic chromosome segregation and the incidence of aneuploidy in adult oocytes.

  8. IL-1β activates p44/42 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases via different pathways in cat esophageal smooth muscle cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tai Sang Lee; Hyun Ju Song; Ji Hoon Jeong; Young Sil Min; Chang Yell Shin; Uy Dong Sohn


    AIM: To examine the pathway related to the IL-1β-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP)kinases in cat esophageal smooth muscle cells.METHODS: Culture of the esophageal smooth muscle cells from cat was prepared. Specific inhibitors were treated before applying the IL-1β. Western blot analysis was performed to detect the expressions of COX, iNOS and MAP kinases.RESULTS: In the primary cultured cells, although IL-1βfailed to upregulate the COX and iNOS levels, the levels of the phosphorylated forms of p44/42 MAP kinase and p38 MAP klnase increased in both concentration- and time-dependent manner, of which the level of activation reached a maximum within 3 and 18 h, respectively.The pertussis toxin reduced the level of p44/42 MAP kinase phosphorylation. Tyrphostin 51 and genistein also inhibited this activation. Neomycin decreased the density of the p44/42 MAP kinase band to the basal level.Phosphokinase C (PKC) was found to play a mediating role in the IL-1β-induced p44/42 MAP kinase activity.In contrast, the activation of p38 MAP kinase was inhibited only by a pretreatment with forskolin, and was unaffected by the other compounds.CONCLUSION: Based on these results, IL-1β-Induced p44/42 MAP kinase activation is mediated by the Gi protein, tyrosine kinase, phospholipase C (PLC) and PKC. The pathway for p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation is different from that of p44/42 MAP kinase, suggesting that it plays a different role in the cellular response to IL-1β.

  9. Roles of MAP kinase signaling pathway in oocyte meiosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is a family of Ser/Thr protein kinases expressed widely in eukaryotic cells. MAPK is activated by a cascade of protein kinase phosphorylation and plays pivotal roles in regulating meiosis process in oocytes. As an important physical substrate of MAPK, p90rsk mediates numerous MAPK functions. MAPK was activated at G2/M transition during meiosis. Its activity reached the peak at MⅠ stage and maintained at this level until the time before the pronuclear formation after fertilization. There is complex interplay between MAPK and MPF in the meiosis regulation. Furthermore, other intracellular signal transducers, such as cAMP, protein kinase C and protein phosphotase, ect., also regulated the activity of MAPK at different stages during meiosis in oocytes. In the present article, the roles of MAPK signaling pathway in oocyte meiosis are reviewed and discussed.

  10. Mechanisms by which a lack of germinal vesicle (GV) material causes oocyte meiotic defects: a study using oocytes manipulated to replace GV with primary spermatocyte nuclei. (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Cui, Wei; Li, Qing; Wang, Tian-Yang; Sui, Hong-Shu; Wang, Jun-Zuo; Luo, Ming-Jiu; Tan, Jing-He


    Oocytes with germinal vesicles (GVs) replaced with somatic nuclei exhibit meiotic abnormalities. Although this suggests an exclusive role for GV material in meiosis, mechanisms by which a lack of GV material causes meiotic defects are unknown. Knowledge of these mechanisms will help us to understand meiotic control, nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions, and cellular reprogramming. This study showed that although oocytes with prometaphase I chromosomes replaced with primary spermatocyte nuclei (PSN) did not, oocytes with GV replaced with PSN (PSG oocytes) did display meiotic defects. Among the defects, insufficient chromosome condensation with chromosome bridges was associated with spindle abnormalities. Abnormal spindle migration, cortical nonpolarization, and the aberrant spindle caused randomly positioning of cleavage furrows, leading to large first polar bodies (PB1) and unequal allocation of chromosomes and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) between oocyte and PB1. Spindle assembly checkpoint was activated but did not stop the incorrect division. The unequal MAPK allocation resulted in differences in pronuclear formation and PB1 degeneration; oocytes receiving more MAPK were more capable of forming pronuclear rudiments, whereas PB1 receiving more MAPK degenerated sooner than those that received less. Because none of the PSG oocytes or the enucleated GV oocytes injected with sperm heads showed cortical polarization in spite of chromosome localization close to the oolemma and because the PSG oocytes receiving more MAPK could form only pronuclear rudiments and not normal pronuclei, we suggest that the GV material plays essential roles in polarization and pronuclear formation on top of those played by chromosomes or MAPK. In conclusion, using PSG oocytes as models, this study has revealed the primary pathways by which a lack of GV material cause meiotic defects, laying a foundation for future research on the role of GV material in oocyte meiotic control.

  11. Observations Regardin Oocyte in Vitro Maturation after Recovery from Slaughter House Females

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    Valeriu Carabă


    Full Text Available The oocytes viability must be taken as an important selection parameter for successful in vitro cultivation. The ovaries were collected from the slaughterhouse and maintained at 4°C for 7 days. Fallowing cumulus -oocytes complexes recovery the viability was tested using two staining methods. For the first experiment we used 27 cumulus - oocytes complexes, stained with Neutral red and for the second experiment we used 11 cumulus - oocytes complexes stained with Trypan blue. Fallowing staining with Neutral red 23 cumulus - oocytes complexes were assessed as viable (were stained in red – enzymatic activity within the cells and for the Trypan blue staining 11 cumulus - oocytes complexes were assessed as viable (remained unstained – integers cellular membranes.

  12. Casein kinase G may be the target of spermine during progesterone-induced oocyte maturation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Casein kinase G (CKG) with more than 2500-fold enrichraent was purified from Bufo bufo gargarizans ovaries. The catalytic activity of the enzyme was found to be associated with its 42 kD subunit, and its 26 kD subunit was found to be the major tsrget for the enzyme autophos phorylation. Each fuU-grown oocyte contained 1.9 units of CKG corresponding to an intracellular concentration of 93 nM. After injecting an amount of 0,38 units of the enzyme into the oocyte, approximately 50% of the progesterone-induoed maturation was inhibited. The inhibitory effect was enhanced in oocytes pretreated with spermine, which was consistent with the results that the enzyme was activated in vitro in the presence of spermine, The MPF-induced oocyte maturation was delayed and even prohibited in the kinase-microinjected oocytes. A 55 kD oocyte protein was identified as an suhstrate of CKG both in vivo and in vitro, and the enhancement of the 55 kD protein phosphory[ation was associated with kinase inhibition on maturation and on protein synthesis in kinase-microinjected oocytes. As the endogenous spermine level decreased in the course of progesteroneinduced oocyte maturation. 55 kD protein was dephosphorylated, Heparin, a specific inhibitor of CKG, potentiated the progesterone-induced oocyte maturation. Altogether the experimental reSults indicated Strongly that CKG may be the physiological target of spermine.

  13. Molecular cloning of the feline thymus and activation-regulated chemokine cDNA and its expression in lesional skin of cats with eosinophilic plaque. (United States)

    Maeda, Sadatoshi; Okayama, Taro; Ohmori, Keitaro; Masuda, Kenichi; Ohno, Koichi; Tsujimoto, Hajime


    Thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) is a member of CC chemokine and plays an essential role in recruitment of CC chemokine receptor 4 positive Th2 cells to allergic lesion. To investigate the association of TARC in allergic inflammation of cats, a TARC cDNA was cloned from feline thymus by RT-PCR with 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method. The feline TARC clone contained a full length open reading frame encoding 99 amino acids which shared 80.8%, 72.5%, 65.6% and 67.8% homology with dog, human, mouse and rat homologues, respectively. Expression of TARC mRNA was detected not only in thymus but also in spleen, lung, lymph node, kidney, small intestine, colon and skin of the normal cat tissues examined. Furthermore, it was found that TARC mRNA was strongly expressed in lesional skin of cats with eosinophilic plaque. The present results demonstrated that TARC might be involved in the pathogenesis of eosinophilic plaque in cats.

  14. Glycolytic enzyme activity is essential for domestic cat (Felis catus) and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) sperm motility and viability in a sugar-free medium. (United States)

    Terrell, Kimberly A; Wildt, David E; Anthony, Nicola M; Bavister, Barry D; Leibo, S P; Penfold, Linda M; Marker, Laurie L; Crosier, Adrienne E


    We have previously reported a lack of glucose uptake in domestic cat and cheetah spermatozoa, despite observing that these cells produce lactate at rates that correlate positively with sperm function. To elucidate the role of glycolysis in felid sperm energy production, we conducted a comparative study in the domestic cat and cheetah, with the hypothesis that sperm motility and viability are maintained in both species in the absence of glycolytic metabolism and are fueled by endogenous substrates. Washed ejaculates were incubated in chemically defined medium in the presence/absence of glucose and pyruvate. A second set of ejaculates was exposed to a chemical inhibitor of either lactate dehydrogenase (sodium oxamate) or glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (alpha-chlorohydrin). Sperm function (motility and acrosomal integrity) and lactate production were assessed, and a subset of spermatozoa was assayed for intracellular glycogen. In both the cat and cheetah, sperm function was maintained without exogenous substrates and following lactate dehydrogenase inhibition. Lactate production occurred in the absence of exogenous hexoses, but only if pyruvate was present. Intracellular glycogen was not detected in spermatozoa from either species. Unexpectedly, glycolytic inhibition by alpha-chlorohydrin resulted in an immediate decline in sperm motility, particularly in the domestic cat. Collectively, our findings reveal an essential role of the glycolytic pathway in felid spermatozoa that is unrelated to hexose metabolism or lactate formation. Instead, glycolytic enzyme activity could be required for the metabolism of endogenous lipid-derived glycerol, with fatty acid oxidation providing the primary energy source in felid spermatozoa.

  15. Diploid oocyte formation and tetraploid embryo development induced by cytochalasin B in bovine. (United States)

    Bai, Chunling; Liu, Hui; Liu, Ying; Wu, Xia; Cheng, Lei; Bou, Shorgan; Li, Guang-Peng


    Tetraploid embryos are a useful model for postimplantation development of polyploidy cells, and tetraploid cells are an advantage in studies for chimeras yielding offspring completely derived from embryo stem cells or induced pluripotent cells. This study was designed to investigate the effects of cytochalasin B (CB) on bovine oocyte meiosis, and to induce the formation of diploid oocytes and tetraploid embryos. The results showed that: (1) incubation of oocytes in CB at ≥2.0 μg/mL concentrations for 24 h significantly decreased oocyte maturation and the matured oocytes' haploid composition. Over 50% of the CB-treated oocytes did not expel PB1 (non-PB1), and most of the non-PB1 oocytes contained 2n (60) chromosomes. (2) Pretreatment of oocytes with CB at concentrations of 7.5 and 15 μg/mL for 10 h significantly decreased oocyte maturation. Posttreatment of oocytes with CB resulted in most of the oocytes containing 2n chromosomes. (3) The parthenogenetic blastocysts (25-28%) derived from the non-PB1 oocytes of posttreatment group was significantly higher than that from pretreatment, whole period treatment, and the control oocytes (12-16%). (4) Cytogenetic analysis of the embryos derived from CB-treated non-PB1 oocytes resulted in 74% of the one-cell stage embryos being 4n = 120 chromosomes, 82% of two-cell stage embryos contained 4n chromosomes in each blastomere, and 75% of the blastocysts were tetraploidy (4n = 120). (6) The stopped uncleaved one-cell embryos showed an amazing phenomenon of over 15% of them containing extra chromosomes, which suggested multiple DNA duplication occurred within 40 h after activation. In conclusion, CB inhibits PB1 extrusion, disfigures spindle structure, decreases oocyte maturation, and results in formation of diploid (2n or 4c) oocytes. The diploid oocytes resulted in a higher development of tetraploid embryos, which would be a unique approach for the production of tetraploid embryos in bovine.

  16. The Strathclyde Evaluation of Children's Active Travel (SE-CAT: study rationale and methods

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    McMinn David


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The school commute is a prime opportunity to increase children's physical activity levels. However, active commuting has decreased over the past 40 years. Strategies that increase walking to school are therefore needed. Travelling Green (TG is a school-based active travel resource aimed at increasing children's walking to school. The resource consists of a curriculum-based program of lessons and goal setting activities. A previous study found that children who received the TG intervention increased self-reported distance travelled to school by active modes and reduced the distance travelled by inactive modes. This study was limited by self-reported outcome measures, a small sample, and no follow-up measures. A more robust evaluation of TG is required to address these limitations. This paper describes the rationale and methods for such an evaluation of Travelling Green, and describes the piloting of various active commuting measures in primary school children. Methods/Design Measures of active commuting were piloted in a sample of 26 children (aged 8-9 years over one school week. These measures were subsequently used in an 18-month quasi-experimental design to evaluate the effect of TG on commuting behaviour. Participants were 166 children (60% male aged 8-9 years from 5 primary schools. Two schools (n = 79 children received TG in September/October 2009. Three schools (n = 87 children acted as a comparison group, and subsequently received TG at a later date. Physical activity was measured using Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. Personal and environmental determinants of active commuting were measured via parent and child questionnaires, as were factors related to the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the construct of habit. Measures were taken pre- and post-intervention and at 5 and 12 months follow-up. Discussion The piloted protocol was practical and feasible and piloted measures were reliable and valid. All study data, including

  17. Protein tyrosine kinase signaling in the mouse oocyte cortex during sperm-egg interactions and anaphase resumption. (United States)

    McGinnis, Lynda K; Luo, Jinping; Kinsey, William H


    Fertilization triggers activation of a series of pre-programmed signal transduction pathways in the oocyte that establish a block to polyspermy, induce meiotic resumption, and initiate zygotic development. Fusion between sperm and oocyte results in rapid changes in oocyte intracellular free-calcium levels, which in turn activate multiple protein kinase cascades in the ooplasm. The present study examined the possibility that sperm-oocyte interaction involves localized activation of oocyte protein tyrosine kinases, which could provide an alternative signaling mechanism to that triggered by the fertilizing sperm. Confocal immunofluorescence analysis with antibodies to phosphotyrosine and phosphorylated protein tyrosine kinases allowed detection of minute signaling events localized to the site of sperm-oocyte interaction that were not amenable to biochemical analysis. The results provide evidence for localized accumulation of phosphotyrosine at the site of sperm contact, binding, or fusion, which suggests active protein tyrosine kinase signaling prior to and during sperm incorporation. The PYK2 kinase was found to be concentrated and activated at the site of sperm-oocyte interaction, and likely participates in this response. Widespread activation of PYK2 and FAK kinases was subsequently observed within the oocyte cortex, indicating that sperm incorporation is followed by more global signaling via these kinases during meiotic resumption. The results demonstrate an alternate signaling pathway triggered in mammalian oocytes by sperm contact, binding, or fusion with the oocyte.

  18. Modulation of synaptic transmission from segmental afferents by spontaneous activity of dorsal horn spinal neurones in the cat. (United States)

    Manjarrez, E; Rojas-Piloni, J G; Jimenez, I; Rudomin, P


    We examined, in the anaesthetised cat, the influence of the neuronal ensembles producing spontaneous negative cord dorsum potentials (nCDPs) on segmental pathways mediating primary afferent depolarisation (PAD) of cutaneous and group I muscle afferents and on Ia monosynaptic activation of spinal motoneurones. The intraspinal distribution of the field potentials associated with the spontaneous nCDPs indicated that the neuronal ensembles involved in the generation of these potentials were located in the dorsal horn of lumbar segments, in the same region of termination of low-threshold cutaneous afferents. During the occurrence of spontaneous nCDPs, transmission from low-threshold cutaneous afferents to second order neurones in laminae III-VI, as well as transmission along pathways mediating PAD of cutaneous and Ib afferents, was facilitated. PAD of Ia afferents was instead inhibited. Monosynaptic reflexes of flexors and extensors were facilitated during the spontaneous nCDPs. The magnitude of the facilitation was proportional to the amplitude of the 'conditioning' spontaneous nCDPs. This led to a high positive correlation between amplitude fluctuations of spontaneous nCDPs and fluctuations of monosynaptic reflexes. Stimulation of low-threshold cutaneous afferents transiently reduced the probability of occurrence of spontaneous nCDPs as well as the fluctuations of monosynaptic reflexes. It is concluded that the spontaneous nCDPs were produced by the activation of a population of dorsal horn neurones that shared the same functional pathways and involved the same set of neurones as those responding monosynaptically to stimulation of large cutaneous afferents. The spontaneous activity of these neurones was probably the main cause of the fluctuations of the monosynaptic reflexes observed under anaesthesia and could provide a dynamic linkage between segmental sensory and motor pathways.

  19. Restoration of normal embryogenesis by mitochondrial supplementation in pig oocytes exhibiting mitochondrial DNA deficiency. (United States)

    Cagnone, Gael L M; Tsai, Te-Sha; Makanji, Yogeshwar; Matthews, Pamela; Gould, Jodee; Bonkowski, Michael S; Elgass, Kirstin D; Wong, Ashley S A; Wu, Lindsay E; McKenzie, Matthew; Sinclair, David A; St John, Justin C


    An increasing number of women fail to achieve pregnancy due to either failed fertilization or embryo arrest during preimplantation development. This often results from decreased oocyte quality. Indeed, reduced mitochondrial DNA copy number (mitochondrial DNA deficiency) may disrupt oocyte quality in some women. To overcome mitochondrial DNA deficiency, whilst maintaining genetic identity, we supplemented pig oocytes selected for mitochondrial DNA deficiency, reduced cytoplasmic maturation and lower developmental competence, with autologous populations of mitochondrial isolate at fertilization. Supplementation increased development to blastocyst, the final stage of preimplantation development, and promoted mitochondrial DNA replication prior to embryonic genome activation in mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes but not in oocytes with normal levels of mitochondrial DNA. Blastocysts exhibited transcriptome profiles more closely resembling those of blastocysts from developmentally competent oocytes. Furthermore, mitochondrial supplementation reduced gene expression patterns associated with metabolic disorders that were identified in blastocysts from mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes. These results demonstrate the importance of the oocyte's mitochondrial DNA investment in fertilization outcome and subsequent embryo development to mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes.

  20. Imbalance between the expression dosages of X-chromosome and autosomal genes in mammalian oocytes. (United States)

    Fukuda, Atsushi; Tanino, Motohiko; Matoba, Ryo; Umezawa, Akihiro; Akutsu, Hidenori


    Oocytes have unique characteristics compared with other cell types. In mouse and human oocytes, two X chromosomes are maintained in the active state. Previous microarray studies have shown that the balance of the expression state is maintained in haploid oocytes. Here, we investigated transcripts using RNA-sequence technology in mouse and human oocytes. The median expression ratio between X chromosome and autosomal genes (X:A) in immature mouse oocytes increased as the gene expression levels increased, reaching a value of 1. However, the ratio in mature oocytes was under 1 for all expression categories. Moreover, we observed a markedly low ratio resulting from the bimodal expression patterns of X-linked genes. The low X:A expression ratio in mature oocyte was independent of DNA methylation. While mature human oocytes exhibited a slightly low X:A expression ratio, this was the result of the skewed high frequency of lowly expressed X-linked genes rather than the bimodal state. We propose that this imbalance between the expression dosages of X-chromosome and autosomal genes is a feature of transcripts in mammalian oocytes lacking X-chromosome inactivation.

  1. Multichannel Detrended Fluctuation Analysis Reveals Synchronized Patterns of Spontaneous Spinal Activity in Anesthetized Cats


    Erika E Rodríguez; Enrique Hernández-Lemus; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A.; Ismael Jiménez; Pablo Rudomín


    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this stu...

  2. Localization of RNA transcription sites in insect oocytes using microinjections of 5-bromouridine 5'-triphosphate.

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    Dmitry Bogolyubov


    Full Text Available In the present study we used 5-bromouridine 5'-triphosphate (BrUTP microinjections to localize the transcription sites in oocytes of insects with different types of the ovarium structure: panoistic, meroistic polytrophic, and meroistic telotrophic. We found that in an insect with panoistic ovaries (Acheta domesticus, oocyte nuclei maintain their transcription activity during the long period of oocyte growth. In insects with meroistic ovaries (Tenebrio molitor and Panorpa communis, early oocyte chromosomes were found to be transcriptionally active, and some transcription activity still persist while the karyosphere, a compact structure formed by all condensed oocyte chromosomes, begins to develop. At the latest stages of karyosphere development, no anti-Br-RNA signal was registered in the karyosphere.

  3. Evolutionary conservation of the mature oocyte proteome

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    Tamar Lotan


    Significance: The current study provides the first proteomic profile of an oocyte of a cnidarian organism the starlet sea anemone N. vectensis and gives new insights on the ancient origin of an oocyte proteome template. The comparative analysis with a chordate oocyte suggests that the oocyte proteome predates the divergence of the cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. In addition, the data generated in the study will serve as a valuable resource for further developmental and evolutional studies.

  4. Effect of Collection Technique on Yield of Bovine Oocytes and the Development Potential of Oocytes from Different Grades of Oocytes

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    R.G Sianturi


    Full Text Available Oocyte collection technique is important to obtain a maximum number of oocytes to be employed on in vitro production of embryos. In this study, immature bovine oocytes were collected from slaughterhouse ovaries by two techniques: aspiration of 2- to 6-mm follicles and slicing. Following collection, oocyte qualities were classified into four categories (A, B, C, and D on the basis of cumulus attachment. Oocytes of each category were matured in vitro in CO2 incubator for 22-24 hours and cumulus expansion and maturation rates were observed. The total number of oocytes (group A+B+C+D and yield of good quality oocytes (only group A and B recovered per ovary by aspiration were 12.02 and 8.21, and by slicing were 29.38 and 19.65 (P<0.01, respectively. The total cumulus cells expansion rates of A, B, C and D oocytes were 97.1%, 88.3%, 6.0% and 20.6% respectively. Maturation rates for A, B and C categories of oocytes were 91.4%, 82.3% and 35.0% respectively while no matured oocyte was observed for group D oocytes. Maturation rates were significantly different between group A and C and also between B and C but not between A and B (P<0.05. In conclusion, slicing technique recovered more oocytes per ovary (2.4 times than that of aspiration and the best maturation rate was observed from category A oocytes which surrounded by more than 3 layers of cumulus cells. However oocytes of category A and B can be considered as good quality oocytes.

  5. Bidirectional communication between oocytes and ovarian follicular somatic cells is required for meiotic arrest of mammalian oocytes (United States)

    Wigglesworth, Karen; Lee, Kyung-Bon; O’Brien, Marilyn J.; Peng, Jia; Matzuk, Martin M.; Eppig, John J.


    Coordinated regulation of oocyte and ovarian follicular development is essential for fertility. In particular, the progression of meiosis, a germ cell-specific cell division that reduces the number of chromosomes from diploid to haploid, must be arrested until just before ovulation. Follicular somatic cells are well-known to impose this arrest, which is essential for oocyte–follicle developmental synchrony. Follicular somatic cells sustain meiotic arrest via the natriuretic peptide C/natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPPC/NPR2) system, and possibly also via high levels of the purine hypoxanthine in the follicular fluid. Upon activation by the ligand NPPC, NPR2, the predominant guanylyl cyclase in follicular somatic cells, produces cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which maintains meiotic arrest after transfer to the oocyte via gap junctions. Here we report that both the NPPC/NPR2 system and hypoxanthine require the activity of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), the rate-limiting enzyme required for the production of guanylyl metabolites and cGMP. Furthermore, oocyte-derived paracrine factors, particularly the growth differentiation factor 9–bone morphogenetic protein 15 heterodimer, promote expression of Impdh and Npr2 and elevate cGMP levels in cumulus cells. Thus, although the somatic compartment of ovarian follicles plays an essential role in the maintenance of oocyte meiotic arrest, as has been known for many years, this function of the somatic cells is surprisingly regulated by signals from the oocyte itself. PMID:23980176

  6. [Evoked activity of the cat hypothalamus and amygdala under food motivation and in emotional stress]. (United States)

    Pavlova, I V; Vanetsian, G L


    Amplitude-latency characteristics of auditory evoked potentials (EPs) recorded in bilateral points of the lateral hypothalamus and amygdala were studied under food motivation, in emotional stress (presentation of dogs) and tentative reactions. In the state of hunger, as compared with safety, the latencies of P1, N2 components of EP in hypothalamus, and P1, N2, N3 in amygdala were decreased and their amplitudes were changed. Changes in the left side of both structures were more pronounced. During presentation of dogs, decreases of latencies of all EP components including N1 occurred in hypothalamus and amygdala, changes in hypothalamic potentials were more pronounced on the right side, whereas in the amygdala--on the left side. During tentative responses to emotional-neutral stimuli, the latency of EP increased. It was concluded that sensory reactivity of hypothalamus and amygdala increased in motivational-emotional states. It was supposed that the side of dominance of structure may be related both to the factors of active or passive behavior during fear and the genesis of emotion (motivational or informational).

  7. Different fates of oocytes with DNA double-strand breaks in vitro and in vivo. (United States)

    Lin, Fei; Ma, Xue-Shan; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Wang, Zhong-Wei; Luo, Yi-Bo; Huang, Lin; Jiang, Zong-Zhe; Hu, Meng-Wen; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan


    In female mice, despite the presence of slight DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), fully grown oocytes are able to undergo meiosis resumption as indicated by germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD); however, severe DNA DSBs do reduce and delay entry into M phase through activation of the DNA damage checkpoint. But little is known about the effect of severe DNA DSBs on the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) during oocyte maturation. We showed that nearly no first polar body (PB1) was extruded at 12 h of in vitro maturation (IVM) in severe DNA DSBs oocytes, and the limited number of oocytes with PB1 were actually at telophase. However, about 60% of the severe DNA DSBs oocytes which underwent GVBD at 2 h of IVM released a PB1 at 18 h of IVM and these oocytes did reach the second metaphase (MII) stage. Chromosome spread at MI and MII stages showed that chromosomes fragmented after GVBD in severe DNA DSBs oocytes. The delayed PB1 extrusion was due to the disrupted attachment of microtubules to kinetochores and activation of the SAC. At the same time, misaligned chromosome fragments became obvious at the first metaphase (MI) in severe DNA DSBs oocytes. These data implied that the inactivation of SAC during the metaphase-anaphase transition of first meiosis was independent of chromosome integrity. Next, we induced DNA DSBs in vivo, and found that the number of superovulated oocytes per mouse was significantly reduced; moreover, this treatment increased the percentage of apoptotic oocytes. These results suggest that DNA DSBs oocytes undergo apoptosis in vivo.

  8. G beta gamma signaling reduces intracellular cAMP to promote meiotic progression in mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Gill, Arvind; Hammes, Stephen R


    In nearly every vertebrate species, elevated intracellular cAMP maintains oocytes in prophase I of meiosis. Prior to ovulation, gonadotropins trigger various intra-ovarian processes, including the breakdown of gap junctions, the activation of EGF receptors, and the secretion of steroids. These events in turn decrease intracellular cAMP levels in select oocytes to allow meiotic progression, or maturation, to resume. Studies suggest that cAMP levels are kept elevated in resting oocytes by constitutive G protein signaling, and that the drop in intracellular cAMP that accompanies maturation may be due in part to attenuation of this inhibitory G protein-mediated signaling. Interestingly, one of these G protein regulators of meiotic arrest is the Galpha(s) protein, which stimulates adenylyl cyclase to raise intracellular cAMP in two important animal models of oocyte development: Xenopus leavis frogs and mice. In addition to G(alpha)(s), constitutive Gbetagamma activity similarly stimulates adenylyl cyclase to raise cAMP and prevent maturation in Xenopus oocytes; however, the role of Gbetagamma in regulating meiosis in mouse oocytes has not been examined. Here we show that Gbetagamma does not contribute to the maintenance of murine oocyte meiotic arrest. In fact, contrary to observations in frog oocytes, Gbetagamma signaling in mouse oocytes reduces cAMP and promotes oocyte maturation, suggesting that Gbetagamma might in fact play a positive role in promoting oocyte maturation. These observations emphasize that, while many general concepts and components of meiotic regulation are conserved from frogs to mice, specific differences exist that may lead to important insights regarding ovarian development in vertebrates.

  9. Kif4 Is Essential for Mouse Oocyte Meiosis (United States)

    Camlin, Nicole J.; McLaughlin, Eileen A.; Holt, Janet E.


    Progression through the meiotic cell cycle must be strictly regulated in oocytes to generate viable embryos and offspring. During mitosis, the kinesin motor protein Kif4 is indispensable for chromosome condensation and separation, midzone formation and cytokinesis. Additionally, the bioactivity of Kif4 is dependent on phosphorylation via Aurora Kinase B and Cdk1, which regulate Kif4 function throughout mitosis. Here, we examine the role of Kif4 in mammalian oocyte meiosis. Kif4 localized in the cytoplasm throughout meiosis I and II, but was also observed to have a dynamic subcellular distribution, associating with both microtubules and kinetochores at different stages of development. Co-localization and proximity ligation assays revealed that the kinetochore proteins, CENP-C and Ndc80, are potential Kif4 interacting proteins. Functional analysis of Kif4 in oocytes via antisense knock-down demonstrated that this protein was not essential for meiosis I completion. However, Kif4 depleted oocytes displayed enlarged polar bodies and abnormal metaphase II spindles, indicating an essential role for this protein for correct asymmetric cell division in meiosis I. Further investigation of the phosphoregulation of meiotic Kif4 revealed that Aurora Kinase and Cdk activity is critical for Kif4 kinetochore localization and interaction with Ndc80 and CENP-C. Finally, Kif4 protein but not gene expression was found to be upregulated with age, suggesting a role for this protein in the decline of oocyte quality with age. PMID:28125646

  10. Human oocyte maturation in vitro. (United States)

    Coticchio, Giovanni; Dal-Canto, Mariabeatrice; Guglielmo, Maria-Cristina; Mignini-Renzini, Mario; Fadini, Rubens


    Oocytes from medium-sized antral follicles have already completed their growth phase and, if released from the follicular environment and cultured in vitro, are able to resume the meiotic process and mature. However, in vitro maturation (IVM) does not entirely support all the nuclear and cytoplasmic changes that occur physiologically as an effect of the ovulatory stimulus. Regardless, oocyte IVM is widely applied for the breeding of agriculturally important species. In assisted reproduction technology, IVM has been proposed as an alternative treatment to circumvent the drawbacks of standard ovarian stimulation regimens. Initially introduced to eliminate the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome afflicting women presenting with polycystic ovaries, subsequently IVM has been suggested to represent an additional approach suitable also for normovulatory patients. So far, in children born from IVM cycles, no doubts of an increased incidence of congenital abnormalities have been raised. Many more births would be achieved if novel IVM systems, currently dominated by empiricism, could be conceived according to more physiological criteria. Recent findings shedding new light on the control of meiotic progression, the support of cumulus cells to the oocyte cellular reorganization occurring during maturation, and the modulation of the stimulus that promotes oocyte maturation downstream the mid-cycle gonadotropin signal are likely to provide crucial hints for the development of more efficient IVM systems.

  11. Mural granulosa cell gene expression associated with oocyte developmental competence

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    Jiang Jin-Yi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ovarian follicle development is a complex process. Paracrine interactions between somatic and germ cells are critical for normal follicular development and oocyte maturation. Studies have suggested that the health and function of the granulosa and cumulus cells may be reflective of the health status of the enclosed oocyte. The objective of the present study is to assess, using an in vivo immature rat model, gene expression profile in granulosa cells, which may be linked to the developmental competence of the oocyte. We hypothesized that expression of specific genes in granulosa cells may be correlated with the developmental competence of the oocyte. Methods Immature rats were injected with eCG and 24 h thereafter with anti-eCG antibody to induce follicular atresia or with pre-immune serum to stimulate follicle development. A high percentage (30-50%, normal developmental competence, NDC of oocytes from eCG/pre-immune serum group developed to term after embryo transfer compared to those from eCG/anti-eCG (0%, poor developmental competence, PDC. Gene expression profiles of mural granulosa cells from the above oocyte-collected follicles were assessed by Affymetrix rat whole genome array. Results The result showed that twelve genes were up-regulated, while one gene was down-regulated more than 1.5 folds in the NDC group compared with those in the PDC group. Gene ontology classification showed that the up-regulated genes included lysyl oxidase (Lox and nerve growth factor receptor associated protein 1 (Ngfrap1, which are important in the regulation of protein-lysine 6-oxidase activity, and in apoptosis induction, respectively. The down-regulated genes included glycoprotein-4-beta galactosyltransferase 2 (Ggbt2, which is involved in the regulation of extracellular matrix organization and biogenesis. Conclusions The data in the present study demonstrate a close association between specific gene expression in mural granulosa cells and

  12. Developmental Competence of Vitrified-Warmed Bovine Oocytes at the Germinal-Vesicle Stage is Improved by Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate Modulators during In Vitro Maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenji Ezoe

    Full Text Available Cryopreservation of mature oocytes and embryos has provided numerous benefits in reproductive medicine. Although successful cryopreservation of germinal-vesicle stage (GV oocytes holds promise for further advances in reproductive biology and clinical embryology fields, reports regarding cryopreservation of immature oocytes are limited. Oocyte survival and maturation rates have improved since vitrification is being performed at the GV stage, but the subsequent developmental competence of GV oocytes is still low. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementation of the maturation medium with cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP modulators on the developmental competence of vitrified-warmed GV bovine oocytes. GV oocytes were vitrified-warmed and cultured to allow for oocyte maturation, and then parthenogenetically activated or fertilized in vitro. Our results indicate that addition of a cAMP modulator forskolin (FSK or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX to the maturation medium significantly improved the developmental competence of vitrified-warmed GV oocytes. We also demonstrated that vitrification of GV oocytes led to a decline in cAMP levels and maturation-promoting factor (MPF activity in the oocytes during the initial and final phases of maturation, respectively. Nevertheless, the addition of FSK or IBMX to the maturation medium significantly elevated cAMP levels and MPF activity during IVM. Taken together, our results suggest that the cryopreservation-associated meiotic and developmental abnormalities observed in GV oocytes may be ameliorated by an artificial increase in cAMP levels during maturation culture after warming.

  13. Translocation of classical PKC and cortical granule exocytosis of human oocyte in germinal vesicle and metaphase Ⅱ stage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xue-qing WU; Xiao ZHANG; Xiao-hong LI; Hui-hong CHENG; Yan-rong KUAI; Song WANG; Ying-lu GUO


    Aim: Protein kinase C (PKC) is as a family of serine/threonine kinases that can be activated by Ca2+, phospholipid and diacylglycerol. PKC plays an important role in oocyte maturation and activation. This study was undertaken to investigate classical PKC (cPKC) in human oocyte maturation and activation. Methods: Germinal vesicle (GV) and metaphase Ⅱ (MII) stage oocytes were collected from healthy women. The expression and distribution of cPKC were investigated by immunoflourescence. MII oocytes were treated with PKC activator or inhibitor and imaged using a laser confocal scanning microscope (LCSM). Results: In GV oocytes, PKC α,β1 and γ were localized to the germinal vesicles, with a weak expression in ooplasm. In MII oocytes, PKCα, β1 and γ were distributed evenly in ooplasm. After treatment with PKC activator, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), cPKC translocated to the periphery of oocyte, and cortical granules (CG) exocytosis was found. When the oocytes were treated with PKC inhibitor, staurosporine, no translocation of cPKC and CG exocytosis were found. Conclusion: PKCα, β1 and γ exist in human oocytes and activation of these subunits could induce CG exocytosis in MII stage.

  14. Recent Progress in Cryopreservation of Bovine Oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    In-Sul Hwang


    Full Text Available Principle of oocyte cryoinjury is first overviewed and then research history of cryopreservation using bovine oocytes is summarized for the last two decades with a few special references to recent progresses. Various types of cryodevices have been developed to accelerate the cooling rate and applied to the oocytes from large domestic species enriched with cytoplasmic lipid droplets. Two recent approaches include the qualitative improvement of IVM oocytes prior to the vitrification and the short-term recovery culture of vitrified-warmed oocytes prior to the subsequent IVF. Supplementation of L-carnitine to IVM medium of bovine oocytes has been reported to reduce the amount of cytoplasmic lipid droplets and improve the cryotolerance of the oocytes, but it is still controversial whether the positive effect of L-carnitine is reproducible. Incidence of multiple aster formation, a possible cause for low developmental potential of vitrified-warmed bovine oocytes, was inhibited by a short-term culture of the postwarm oocytes in the presence of Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK inhibitor. Use of an antioxidant α-tocopherol, instead of the ROCK inhibitor, also supported the revivability of the postwarm bovine oocytes. Further improvements of the vitrification procedure, combined with pre- and postvitrification chemical treatment, would overcome the high sensitivity of bovine oocytes to cryopreservation.

  15. Cold-induced changes in amphibian oocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angelier, N.; Moreau, N.A.; N' Da, E.A.; Lautredou, N.F. (Centre de Biologie Cellulaire, Ivry-sur-Seine (France))


    Female Pleurodeles waltl newts (Amphibia, urodele), usually raised at 20 degrees C, were submitted to low temperatures; oocytes responded to this cold stress by drastic changes both in lampbrush chromosome structure and in protein pattern. Preexisting lateral loops of lampbrush chromosomes were reduced in size and number, while cold-induced loops which were tremendously developed, occurred on defined bivalents of the oocyte at constant, reproducible sites. A comparison of protein patterns in control and stressed oocytes showed two main differences: in stressed oocytes, overall protein synthesis was reduced, except for a set of polypeptides, the cold-stress proteins; second, there was a striking inversion of the relative amount of beta- and gamma-actin found in the oocyte nucleus before and after cold stress. Whereas beta-actin was the predominant form in control oocytes, gamma-actin became the major form in stressed oocytes.

  16. Efferents and afferents in an intact muscle nerve: background activity and effects of sural nerve stimulation in the cat. (United States)

    Bessou, P; Joffroy, M; Pagès, B


    1. The background activity was observed in gamma and alpha efferent fibres and in group I and II fibres innervating the muscle gastrocnemius lateralis or medialis. The reflex effects of ipsilateral and contralateral sural nerve stimulations on the muscle efferents were analysed together with their consequences upon the afferents of the same muscle. The observations were made in the decerebrated cat without opening the neural loops between the muscle and the spinal cord.2. The multi-unit discharges of each category of fibres were obtained, on line, by an original electronic device (Joffroy, 1975, 1980) that sorted the action potentials from the whole electrical activity of a small branch of gastrocnemius lateralis or medialis nerve according to the direction and velocity of propagation of the potentials.3. The small nerve may be regarded as a representative sample of different functional groups of fibres conducting faster than 12 m.sec(-1) and supplying gastrocnemius muscles.4. Some gamma efferents were always tonically firing except when a transient flaccid state developed. Usually the alpha efferents were silent, probably because the muscle was fixed close to the minimal physiological length.5. Separate and selective stimulations of Abeta, Adelta and C fibres of ipsilateral and contralateral sural nerve showed that each group could induce the excitation of gamma neurones. The reciprocal inhibition period of alpha efferents during a flexor reflex was only once accompanied by a small decrease in gamma-firing.6. The reflex increase of over-all frequency of gamma efferents resulted from an increased firing rate of tonic gamma neurones and from the recruitment of gamma neurones previously silent. When the gamma efferents in the small nerve naturally occurred in two subgroups, the slower-conducting subgroup (mainly composed of tonic gamma axons) was activated before the faster-conducting subgroup (mostly composed by gamma axons with no background discharge). Some rare

  17. Aurora kinase A controls meiosis I progression in mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Saskova, Adela; Solc, Petr; Baran, Vladimir; Kubelka, Michal; Schultz, Richard M; Motlik, Jan


    Aurora kinase A (AURKA), which is a centrosome-localized serine/threonine kinase crucial for cell cycle control, is critically involved in centrosome maturation and spindle assembly in somatic cells. Active T288 phosphorylated AURKA localizes to the centrosome in the late G(2) and also spreads to the minus ends of mitotic spindle microtubules. AURKA activates centrosomal CDC25B and recruits cyclin B1 to centrosomes. We report here functions for AURKA in meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes, which is a model system to study the G(2) to M transition. Whereas AURKA is present throughout the entire GV-stage oocyte with a clear accumulation on microtubule organizing centers (MTOC), active AURKA becomes entirely localized to MTOCs shortly before germinal vesicle breakdown. In contrast to somatic cells in which active AURKA is present at the centrosomes and minus ends of microtubules, active AURKA is mainly located on MTOCs at metaphase I (MI) in oocytes. Inhibitor studies using Roscovitine (CDK1 inhibitor), LY-294002 (PI3K inhibitor) and SH-6 (PKB inhibitor) reveal that activation of AURKA localized on MTOCs is independent on PI3K-PKB and CDK1 signaling pathways and MOTC amplification is observed in roscovitine- and SH-6-treated oocytes that fail to undergo nuclear envelope breakdown. Moreover, microinjection of Aurka mRNA into GV-stage oocytes cultured in 3-isobutyl-1-methyl xanthine (IBMX)-containing medium to prevent maturation also results in MOTC amplification in the absence of CDK1 activation. Overexpression of AURKA also leads to formation of an abnormal MI spindle, whereas RNAi-mediated reduction of AURKA interferes with resumption of meiosis and spindle assembly. Results of these experiments indicate that AURKA is a critical MTOC-associated component involved in resumption of meiosis, MTOC multiplication, proper spindle formation and the metaphase I-metaphase II transition.

  18. Early programming of the oocyte epigenome temporally controls late prophase I transcription and chromatin remodelling. (United States)

    Navarro-Costa, Paulo; McCarthy, Alicia; Prudêncio, Pedro; Greer, Christina; Guilgur, Leonardo G; Becker, Jörg D; Secombe, Julie; Rangan, Prashanth; Martinho, Rui G


    Oocytes are arrested for long periods of time in the prophase of the first meiotic division (prophase I). As chromosome condensation poses significant constraints to gene expression, the mechanisms regulating transcriptional activity in the prophase I-arrested oocyte are still not entirely understood. We hypothesized that gene expression during the prophase I arrest is primarily epigenetically regulated. Here we comprehensively define the Drosophila female germ line epigenome throughout oogenesis and show that the oocyte has a unique, dynamic and remarkably diversified epigenome characterized by the presence of both euchromatic and heterochromatic marks. We observed that the perturbation of the oocyte's epigenome in early oogenesis, through depletion of the dKDM5 histone demethylase, results in the temporal deregulation of meiotic transcription and affects female fertility. Taken together, our results indicate that the early programming of the oocyte epigenome primes meiotic chromatin for subsequent functions in late prophase I.

  19. Application of oocyte cryopreservation technology in TALEN-mediated mouse genome editing. (United States)

    Nakagawa, Yoshiko; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Nakagata, Naomi; Yamasaki, Sho; Takeda, Naoki; Ohmuraya, Masaki; Yamamoto, Takashi


    Reproductive engineering techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and cryopreservation of embryos or spermatozoa, are essential for preservation, reproduction, and transportation of genetically engineered mice. However, it has not yet been elucidated whether these techniques can be applied for the generation of genome-edited mice using engineered nucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of frozen oocytes fertilized in vitro using frozen sperm for TALEN-mediated genome editing in mice. We examined side-by-side comparisons concerning sperm (fresh vs. frozen), fertilization method (mating vs. IVF), and fertilized oocytes (fresh vs. frozen) for the source of oocytes used for TALEN injection; we found that fertilized oocytes created under all tested conditions were applicable for TALEN-mediated mutagenesis. In addition, we investigated whether the ages in weeks of parental female mice can affect the efficiency of gene modification, by comparing 5-week-old and 8-12-week-old mice as the source of oocytes used for TALEN injection. The genome editing efficiency of an endogenous gene was consistently 95-100% when either 5-week-old or 8-12-week-old mice were used with or without freezing the oocytes. Thus, our report describes the availability of freeze-thawed oocytes and oocytes from female mice at various weeks of age for TALEN-mediated genome editing, thus boosting the convenience of such innovative gene targeting strategies.

  20. Superoxide dismutase and taurine supplementation improves in vitro blastocyst yield from poor-quality feline oocytes. (United States)

    Ochota, Małgorzata; Pasieka, Anna; Niżański, Wojciech


    Blastocyst production in vitro seems to be crucial part of assisted reproduction techniques in feline species. However, the results of cats' oocyte maturation and embryo development are still lower than those in other species. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the supplementation with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and taurine during maturation or culture would improve the blastocyst yield obtained from lower grades of oocytes, that are usually discarded, as not suitable for further in vitro purposes. To investigate the effect of antioxidants' addition, the good- and poor-quality oocytes, were cultured with the addition of 10-mmol taurine and 600 UI/mL SOD. The nuclear maturity, embryo development, and blastocyst quality were subsequently assessed. In control group, without antioxidant supplementation, significantly less poor-quality oocytes matured (42% vs. 62%) and more degenerated (35% vs. 20%), comparing to the experimental group supplemented with SOD and taurine. The amount of obtained blastocyst was much higher, when poor quality oocytes were supplemented with SOD and taurine (supplementation to IVM-4%; supplementation to IVC-5.5%; supplementation to IVM and IVC-5.9% of blastocyst), comparing to not supplemented control group (1.3%). The best blastocysts were obtained when poor oocytes had antioxidants added only during embryo culture (185 ± 13.4 blastomeres vs. 100 ± 1.5 in control). In the present study, we reported that the lower grades of oocytes can better mature and form significantly more blastocysts with better quality, when cultured with addition of SOD and taurine.

  1. Modulation of forelimb and hindlimb muscle activity during quadrupedal tied-belt and split-belt locomotion in intact cats. (United States)

    Frigon, A; Thibaudier, Y; Hurteau, M-F


    The modulation of the neural output to forelimb and hindlimb muscles when the left and right sides step at different speeds from one another in quadrupeds was assessed by obtaining electromyography (EMG) in seven intact adult cats during split-belt locomotion. To determine if changes in EMG during split-belt locomotion were modulated according to the speed of the belt the limb was stepping on, values were compared to those obtained during tied-belt locomotion (equal left-right speeds) at matched speeds. Cats were chronically implanted for EMG, which was obtained from six muscles: biceps brachii, triceps brachii, flexor carpi ulnaris, sartorius, vastus lateralis and medial gastrocnemius. During tied-belt locomotion, cats stepped from 0.4 to 1.0m/s in 0.1m/s increments whereas during split-belt locomotion, cats stepped with left-right speed differences of 0.1 to 0.4m/s in 0.1m/s increments. During tied-belt locomotion, EMG burst durations and mean EMG amplitudes of all muscles respectively decreased and increased with increasing speed. During split-belt locomotion, there was a clear differential modulation of the EMG patterns between flexors and extensors and between the slow and fast sides. Changes in the EMG pattern of some muscles could be explained by the speed of the belt the limb was stepping on, while in other muscles there were clear dissociations from tied-belt values at matched speeds. Therefore, results show that EMG patterns during split-belt locomotion are modulated to meet task requirements partly via signals related to the stepping speed of the homonymous limb and from the other limbs.

  2. Contractile properties of extraocular muscle in Siamese cat. (United States)

    Lennerstrand, G


    Siamese cats are albinos with poor visual resolution and severely impaired binocular vision. Eey muscle phyiology was studied in Siamese cats as a part of a more extensive project on eye muscle properties in cats with deficient binocular vision. Isometric contractions of the inferior oblique muscle were recorded in response to single and repetitive muscle nerve stimulation. Speed of contraction, measured as twitch contraction time, fusion frequency and rate of tetanic tension rise, was lower in Siamese than in normal cats. Eye muscles of Siamese cats fatiqued more easily to continuous activation than normal cat eye mucle. These functional changes have also been found in cats with binocular defects from monocular lid suture, but were much more marked in Siamese cats. It is suggested that the eye muscle changes represent muscular adaptations to genetically caused impairments of binocular vision and visual resolution in Siamese cats.

  3. [Controversy in ART: should we cryopreserve oocytes or embryos? Do prefer oocytes]. (United States)

    Boyer, P


    Since the beginning of IVF, cryopreservation concern spermatozoa or embryos due to the poor efficiency of oocyte freezing. To date, oocyte vitrification allows changing our practice privileging female gamete vitrification instead of human embryo freezing.

  4. Increased stress tolerance of matured pig oocytes after high hydrostatic presure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pribenszky, Cs; Du, Y; Molnár, M;


    treated with different pressure impulses in the range of 20-80 MPa (200-800 times greater than atmospheric pressure) for 30-120 min at 24 °C. For parthenogenetic activation a single dc of 12.5 kV/cm was used, to test shock tolerance of the treated vs. control oocytes and also compare their developmental...... electric (single dc of 1.25 kV/cm) and chemical treatment after warming. According to our investigations performed with a total of 1980 oocytes and 3-5 replicates, pressure treatment increased cleavage and blastocyst rates after activation and cleavage rates after vitrification followed by activation. Our...... results indicate that the sublethal pressure treatment may induce specific responses in oocytes increasing their resistance and developmental competence. The mechanism that may lie behind the observations is the sublethal stress-induced post-transcriptional activation of shock proteins in the oocytes...

  5. Epigenetic reprogramming of breast cancer cells with oocyte extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumari Rajendra


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer is a disease characterised by both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes is an early event in breast carcinogenesis and reversion of gene silencing by epigenetic reprogramming can provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for tumour initiation and progression. In this study we apply the reprogramming capacity of oocytes to cancer cells in order to study breast oncogenesis. Results We show that breast cancer cells can be directly reprogrammed by amphibian oocyte extracts. The reprogramming effect, after six hours of treatment, in the absence of DNA replication, includes DNA demethylation and removal of repressive histone marks at the promoters of tumour suppressor genes; also, expression of the silenced genes is re-activated in response to treatment. This activity is specific to oocytes as it is not elicited by extracts from ovulated eggs, and is present at very limited levels in extracts from mouse embryonic stem cells. Epigenetic reprogramming in oocyte extracts results in reduction of cancer cell growth under anchorage independent conditions and a reduction in tumour growth in mouse xenografts. Conclusions This study presents a new method to investigate tumour reversion by epigenetic reprogramming. After testing extracts from different sources, we found that axolotl oocyte extracts possess superior reprogramming ability, which reverses epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes and tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells in a mouse xenograft model. Therefore this system can be extremely valuable for dissecting the mechanisms involved in tumour suppressor gene silencing and identifying molecular activities capable of arresting tumour growth. These applications can ultimately shed light on the contribution of epigenetic alterations in breast cancer and advance the development of epigenetic therapies.

  6. Effects of Aroclor 1254 on in vivo oocyte maturation in the mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ShuZhen Liu

    Full Text Available Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs are stable, lipophilic compounds that accumulate in the environment and in the food chain. Though some studies provided evidence that PCBs had adverse effects on reproductive function, most of these results were from in vitro models. Therefore we investigated the effect of Aroclor 1254 (a commercial PCBs mixture treatments on in vivo maturation and developmental potential of mouse oocytes. In the present study, female ICR mice were treated with different doses (12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg of Aroclor 1254 (a commercial PCB mixture once every 72 hours by intraperitoneal injection for 9 days. After three treatments of Aroclor 1254, the mice were superovulated to collect oocytes one day after the last exposure. The effects of Aroclor 1254 on oocyte maturation, fertilization, and preimplantation embryonic development were investigated. Immunofluorescence-stained oocytes were observed under a confocal microscope to assess the effects of Aroclor 1254 on spindle morphology. Parthenogenic activation and the incidence of cumulus apoptosis in cumulus-oocyte complexes were observed as well. Oocytes exposed to different doses of Aroclor 1254 in vivo were associated with a significant decrease in outgrowth potential, abnormal spindle configurations, and the inhibition of parthenogenetic activation of ovulated oocytes. Furthermore, the incidence of apoptosis in cumulus cells was increased after exposed to Aroclor 1254. These results may provide reference for the treatment of reproductive diseases such as infertility or miscarriage caused by environmental contaminants.

  7. The mystery is solved-CatSper is the principal calcium channel activated by progesterone in human spermatozoa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher LR Barratt


    @@ Aremarkable advance in sperm physiology has recently been published in Nature.Two groups using patch clamping techniques on human sperm have solved a mystery about the sperm cell that has puzzled both andrologists and those involved in non-genomic cellular signalling for over 20 years.In these papers, Lishko1 and Strunker2 independently demonstrate that the universal characteristic effect of progesterone on sperm-a rapid influx of calcium-is via a sperm-specific channel CatSper.

  8. Towards a new understanding on the regulation of mammalian oocyte meiosis resumption. (United States)

    Sun, Qing-Yuan; Miao, Yi-Liang; Schatten, Heide


    Mammalian oocytes reach prophase of first meiosis around the time of birth, and remain at this stage for months or years, depending on the species. Only after puberty will the fully-grown oocytes begin to resume meiosis which is stimulated by gonadotropin surge. It has long been known that a high level of intra-oocyte cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) prevents oocyte meiosis resumption as indicated by germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). Recently, guanosine triphosphate-binding (G) protein-coupled receptors/G proteins/adenyl cyclase pathway endogenous to the oocyte as well as cAMP diffusion from the somatic compartment through gap junctions have been implicated in maintaining cAMP at levels that prevent oocytes from resuming meiosis. Another second messager molecule, guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP), has also recently been found to play important roles in maintaining oocyte meiosis arrest. cGMP in the follicular somatic cells diffuses into the oocyte and causes an increase in oocyte cAMP, presumably by acting on phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3). The cGMP level in the somatic compartment of the follicle decreases in response to luteinizing hormone (LH), and this change may be mediated through the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like factors and specific cGMP-phosphodiesterase subtype activity. It is well known that gonadotropic stimulation of meiotic resumption depends on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation in the somatic compartment of the follicle; recent studies show that LH, through cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) pathways, induces the synthesis of paracine factors such as EGF-like facors and meiosis activating sterol (MAS) to regulate oocyte GVBD via the MAPK pathway in follicle cells. A recent granulosa cell-specific knockout study has for the first time provided in vivo evidence for the important role of extracellular regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), two main forms of MAPK, and their downstream molecules in

  9. Loss of glycogen synthase kinase 3 isoforms during murine oocyte growth induces offspring cardiac dysfunction. (United States)

    Monteiro da Rocha, André; Ding, Jun; Slawny, Nicole; Wolf, Amber M; Smith, Gary D


    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is a constitutively active serine threonine kinase with 1) two isoforms (GSK3A and GSK3B) that have unique and overlapping functions, 2) multiple molecular intracellular mechanisms that involve phosphorylation of diverse substrates, and 3) implications in pathogenesis of many diseases. Insulin causes phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK3 and mammalian oocytes have a functional insulin-signaling pathway whereby prolonged elevated insulin during follicle/oocyte development causes GSK3 hyperphosphorylation, reduced GSK3 activity, and altered oocyte chromatin remodeling. Periconceptional diabetes and chronic hyperinsulinemia are associated with congenital malformations and onset of adult diseases of cardiovascular origin. Objectives were to produce transgenic mice with individual or concomitant loss of GSK3A and/or GSK3B and investigate the in vivo role of oocyte GSK3 on fertility, fetal development, and offspring health. Wild-type males bred to females with individual or concomitant loss of oocyte GSK3 isoforms did not have reduced fertility. However, concomitant loss of GSK3A and GSK3B in the oocyte significantly increased neonatal death rate due to congestive heart failure secondary to ventricular hyperplasia. Individual loss of oocyte GSK3A or GSK3B did not induce this lethal phenotype. In conclusion, absence of oocyte GSK3 in the periconceptional period does not alter fertility yet causes offspring cardiac hyperplasia, cardiovascular defects, and significant neonatal death. These results support a developmental mechanism by which periconceptional hyperinsulinemia associated with maternal metabolic syndrome, obesity, and/or diabetes can act on the oocyte and affect offspring cardiovascular development, function, and congenital heart malformation.

  10. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 1-10



    Images Cat. 1 Cat. 2 (a) Cat. 2 (b) Cat. 2 (c) Cat. 2 (d) Cat. 2 (e) Cat. 2 (f) Cat. 3: 1 (a) Cat. 3: 1 (b) Cat. 3: 2 (a) Cat. 3: 2 (b) Cat. 4: 1 Cat. 4: 2 Cat. 6: 1 (a) Cat. 6: 1 (b) Cat. 6: 2 (a) Cat. 6: 2 (b) Cat. 7: 1 (a) Cat. 7: 1 (b) Cat. 7: 2 (a) Cat. 7: 2 (b) Cat. 8: 1 Cat. 9: 1 Cat. 9: 2 Cat. 10: 1 Cat. 10: 2

  11. Mitochondrial fission factor Drp1 maintains oocyte quality via dynamic rearrangement of multiple organelles. (United States)

    Udagawa, Osamu; Ishihara, Takaya; Maeda, Maki; Matsunaga, Yui; Tsukamoto, Satoshi; Kawano, Natsuko; Miyado, Kenji; Shitara, Hiroshi; Yokota, Sadaki; Nomura, Masatoshi; Mihara, Katsuyoshi; Mizushima, Noboru; Ishihara, Naotada


    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that change their morphology by active fusion and fission in response to cellular signaling and differentiation. The in vivo role of mitochondrial fission in mammals has been examined by using tissue-specific knockout (KO) mice of the mitochondria fission-regulating GTPase Drp1, as well as analyzing a human patient harboring a point mutation in Drp1, showing that Drp1 is essential for embryonic and neonatal development and neuronal function. During oocyte maturation and aging, structures of various membrane organelles including mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are changed dynamically, and their organelle aggregation is related to germ cell formation and epigenetic regulation. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of organelle dynamics during the development and aging of oocytes have not been well understood. Here, we analyzed oocyte-specific mitochondrial fission factor Drp1-deficient mice and found that mitochondrial fission is essential for follicular maturation and ovulation in an age-dependent manner. Mitochondria were highly aggregated with other organelles, such as the ER and secretory vesicles, in KO oocyte, which resulted in impaired Ca(2+) signaling, intercellular communication via secretion, and meiotic resumption. We further found that oocytes from aged mice displayed reduced Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission and defective organelle morphogenesis, similar to Drp1 KO oocytes. On the basis of these findings, it appears that mitochondrial fission maintains the competency of oocytes via multiorganelle rearrangement.

  12. Lateral bias and temperament in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris). (United States)

    McDowell, Louise J; Wells, Deborah L; Hepper, Peter G; Dempster, Martin


    Research points to a relationship between lateralization and emotional functioning in humans and many species of animal. The present study explored the association between paw preferences and emotional functioning, specifically temperament, in a species thus far overlooked in this area, the domestic cat. Thirty left-pawed, 30 right-pawed, and 30 ambilateral pet cats were recruited following an assessment of their paw preferences using a food-reaching challenge. The animals' temperament was subsequently assessed using the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP). Cats' owners also completed a purpose-designed cat temperament (CAT) scale. Analysis revealed a significant relationship between lateral bias and FTP and CAT scale scores. Ambilateral cats had lower positive (FTP+) scores, and were perceived as less affectionate, obedient, friendly, and more aggressive, than left or right-pawed animals. Left and right pawed cats differed significantly on 1 trait on the CAT scale, namely playfulness. The strength of the cats' paw preferences was related to the animals' FTP and CAT scores. Cats with a greater strength of paw preference had higher FTP+ scores than those with a weaker strength of paw preference. Animals with stronger paw preferences were perceived as more confident, affectionate, active, and friendly than those with weaker paw preferences. Results suggest that motor laterality in the cat is strongly related to temperament and that the presence or absence of lateralization has greater implications for the expression of emotion in this species than the direction of the lateralized bias. (PsycINFO Database Record

  13. The effect of FF-MAS on porcine cumulus-oocyte complex maturation, fertilization and pronucleus formation in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Færge, Inger; Strejcek, Frantisek; Laurincik, Jozef


    Follicular fluid meiosis-activating sterol (FF-MAS) has been isolated from the follicular fluid (FF) of several species including man. FF-MAS increases the quality of in vitro oocyte maturation, and thus the developmental potential of oocytes exposed to FF-MAS during in vitro maturaion is improved...

  14. The innate antiviral immune system of the cat: molecular tools for the measurement of its state of activation. (United States)

    Robert-Tissot, Céline; Rüegger, Vera L; Cattori, Valentino; Meli, Marina L; Riond, Barbara; Gomes-Keller, Maria Alice; Vögtlin, Andrea; Wittig, Burghardt; Juhls, Christiane; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans


    The innate immune system plays a central role in host defence against viruses. While many studies portray mechanisms in early antiviral immune responses of humans and mice, much remains to be discovered about these mechanisms in the cat. With the objective of shedding light on early host-virus interactions in felids, we have developed 12 real-time TaqMan(®) qPCR systems for feline genes relevant to innate responses to viral infection, including those encoding for various IFNα and IFNω subtypes, IFNβ, intracellular antiviral factor Mx, NK cell stimulator IL-15 and effectors perforin and granzyme B, as well as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) 3 and 8. Using these newly developed assays and others previously described, we measured the relative expression of selected markers at early time points after viral infection in vitro and in vivo. Feline embryonic fibroblasts (FEA) inoculated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) indicated peak levels of IFNα, IFNβ and Mx expression already 6h after infection. In contrast, Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CrFK) cells inoculated with feline herpes virus (FHV) responded to infection with high levels of IFNα and IFNβ only after 24h, and no induction of Mx could be detected. In feline PBMCs challenged in vitro with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), maximal expression levels of IFNα, β and ω subtype genes as well as IL-15 and TLRs 3, 7 and 8 were measured between 12 and 24h after infection, whereas expression levels of proinflammatory cytokine gene IL-6 were consistently downregulated until 48h post inoculation. A marginal upregulation of granzyme B was also observed within 3h after infection. In an in vivo experiment, cats challenged with FIV exhibited a 2.4-fold increase in IFNα expression in blood 1 week post infection. We furthermore demonstrate the possibility of stimulating feline immune cells in vitro with various immune response modifiers (IRMs) already known for their immunostimulatory properties in mice and humans, namely

  15. In vitro antimicrobial activity of the leaf extract of Harungana madagascariensis Lam. Ex Poir. (Hypericaceae) against strains causing otitis externa in dogs and cats. (United States)

    Moulari, B; Pellequer, Y; Chaumont, J P; Guillaume, Y C; Millet, J


    Otitis externa in dogs and cats is always caused by a combination of yeasts and bacteria, among which the most important are Malassezia pachydermatis, Staphylococcus intermedius and Pseudomonas species. These organisms often develop resistance to classical antimicrobial agents. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activities of an ethyl acetate leaf extract of Harungana madagascariensis against the organisms cited, to carry out the phytochemical investigation of this extract and to determine its bioactive chemical class using dilution techniques, the bioautography method and the standard phytochemical method described by Harborne (1973). Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and anthracenic derivatives. The bioassay showed that the antimicrobial properties may be attributed to astilbin, a flavanone derivative identified on the basis of its spectroscopic data. The results suggest that the extract could be used in an antimicrobial preparation effective against the whole range of organisms incriminated in otitis externa in dogs and cats, with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 250 microg/ml.

  16. Low temperature induces oocytes p34cdc2 synthesis and accumulation—the acquisition of competence to resume meiosis in toad oocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Full grown oocytes derived from Bufo Bufo gargarizans rearing at high temperature environment (24℃), never underwent GVBD after progesterone treatment.No p34cdc2 Hl kinase activity was detected in the oocytes after progesterone stimulation or OA microinjection;Western blotting analysis showed that the level of p34cdc2 and p33 in the oocytes are significantly lower than those in the oocytes derived from the hibernating toads (below 10℃).35S-Met incorporation analysis showed that when the oocytes were incubated at 6℃,synthesis of about thirty defferent polypeptides was promoted or induced,including p34cdc2 and some other p13suc1-binding proteins.All these results indicated that a low temperature environment is essential for the oocytes of Bufo Bufo gargarizans to express and stord some cell cycle drivers and its regulators,and to gain the maturation competence.These results will also provide a nwe clue for explaining the molecular mechanisms why gametogenesis of some organisms depends on a relative low temperature and how to maintain the geographical distribution of some animals.


    Montserrat, Pallas Seijas


    Cryopreservation ofhuman oocytes to delay fertility also be an option for women who are going to be subjected to a cancer/autoimmune treatment. It allows for creating a bank of oocytes for donation in assisted reproduction centers. The legislation allows the use of cryopreserved oocytes throughout the reproductive life of women with what conservation could last up to 48-50 years. Oocyte vitrification is a ultrafast freezing method in which cryoprotectants are used to prevent the formation of ice crystals within the cell. Treatment for oocyte vitrification process is similar to IVF treatment, ending at the time of obtaining the ova. The eggs obtained in the laboratory are classified according to maturity and quality. The apartments will be cryopreserved by vitrification technique tanks and maintained in liquid nitrogen until used for reproductive purposes.

  18. Brain circuits for mating behavior in cats and brain activations and de-activations during sexual stimulation and ejaculation and orgasm in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holstege, Gert; Huynh, Hieu K.


    In cats, there exists a descending system that controls the posture necessary for mating behavior. A key role is played by the mesencephalic periaqueductal gray (PAG), which maintains strong specific projections to the nucleus retroambiguus located laterally in the most caudal medulla. The NRA, in t

  19. Identification of maturation and protein synthesis related proteins from porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seo Kang


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In vitro maturation (IVM of mammalian oocytes is divided into the GV (germinal vesicle stage, MI (metaphase I stage and MII (metaphase II stage stages, and only fully mature oocytes have acquired the ability to be fertilized and initiate zygotic development. These observations have been mostly based on morphological evaluations, but the molecular events governing these processes are not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to better understand the processes involved in the molecular regulation of IVM using 2-DE analysis followed by mass spectrometry to identify proteins that are differentially expressed during oocyte IVM. Result A total of 16 up-regulated and 12 down-regulated proteins were identified. To investigate the IVM process, we specifically focused on the proteins that were up-regulated during the MII stage when compared with the GV stage, which included PRDX 2, GST, SPSY, myomegalin, PED4D, PRKAB 1, and DTNA. These up-regulated proteins were functionally involved in redox regulation and the cAMP-dependent pathway, which are essential for the intracellular signaling involved in oocyte maturation. Interestingly, the PDE4D and its partner, myomegalin, during the MII stage was consistently confirmed up-regulation by western blot analyses. Conclusion These results could be used to better understand some aspects of the molecular mechanisms underlying porcine oocyte maturation. This study identified some regulatory proteins that may have important roles in the molecular events involved in porcine oocyte maturation, particularly with respect to the regulation of oocyte meiotic resumption, MII arrest and oocyte activation. In addition, this study may have beneficial applications not only to basic science with respect to the improvement of oocyte culture conditions but also to mammalian reproductive biotechnology with potential implications.

  20. Activation of histamine H3 receptors produces presynaptic inhibition of neurally evoked cat nictitating membrane responses in vivo. (United States)

    Koss, M C; Hey, J A


    This study was undertaken in order to determine the potential role of prejunctional histamine H3 receptors in an in vivo adrenergic model system. Frequency-dependent nictitating membrane responses were elicited by sympathetic nerve stimulation in anesthetized cats. Systemic administration of the selective histamine H3 receptor agonist, (R)-alpha-methylhistamine (R alpha MeHA) produced a dose-related depression of amplitude of the evoked nictitating membrane responses with a threshold of about 10 micrograms/kg and maximal effect (50% depression at the lowest frequency; 0.5 Hz) seen at 100-300 micrograms/kg. Responses obtained with low frequency stimulation were more sensitive to depression by R alpha MeHA than were responses evoked with higher frequencies of stimulation. Larger doses of R alpha MeHA given to the same animals, failed to produce additional inhibition. R alpha MeHA depressed the amplitude of nictitating membrane responses evoked by either pre- or postganglionic nerve stimulation to an equivalent degree. This depressant action of R alpha MeHA was antagonized by pretreatment with the specific histamine H3 antagonist, thioperamide (3 mg/kg), but not by combined pretreatment with histamine H1 and H2 blockers chlorpheniramine (300 micrograms/kg) and cimetidine (5 mg/kg). Intravenous administration of adrenaline (1-30 micrograms/kg) also produced graded nictitating membrane responses that were not altered by subsequent administration of R alpha MeHA. These results suggest that histamine H3 receptors are involved in the modulation of neurally evoked noradrenaline release in the cat nictitating membrane by an inhibitory presynaptic action.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. The domestic dog and cat as models for understanding the regulation of ovarian follicle development in vitro. (United States)

    Songsasen, N; Comizzoli, P; Nagashima, J; Fujihara, M; Wildt, D E


    The culture of ovarian follicles is an important tool for understanding the mechanisms controlling follicle development and differentiation of the oocyte. The benefit of recovering meiotically and developmentally competent oocytes from early stage follicles (primordial, primary, pre-antral and early antral) also would be significant, ranging from rescue of genomes from endangered species to preserving fertility in women facing cancer treatments. This research field is at an early stage of scientific discovery. To-date, live offspring from cultured primordial follicles that produced fertilizable oocytes has occurred only in the mouse. Progress in other more complex species has been limited because larger animals have longer durations of natural folliculogenesis, thereby requiring more culture time to generate fully grown follicles and oocytes. We believe the dog and cat are excellent models for understanding more about folliculogenesis in vitro. This review highlights what is known about this topic for these two species as well as future priorities. We have discovered that it is more challenging to maintain viability of primordial follicles within ovarian tissues in vitro in the dog than the cat. Nonetheless, it is possible to grow both isolated cat and dog pre-antral follicles in culture. Although the follicles of both species have the capacity to increase in size and produce steroids, only cat oocytes appear morphologically normal. The reason for this striking difference between these two species is an area of high research priority. While much more fundamental data are required, we envision advanced technology that will allow harvesting oocytes from the vast, unused follicle stores sequestered within carnivore ovaries. These gametes have utility for reproducing genetically valuable dogs and cats that are 'companions' or biomedical models for investigating human disorders as well as for salvaging the genomes of rare canid and felid species that die before

  2. Roles of protein kinase C in oocyte meiotic maturation and fertilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Protein kinase C (PKC) is a superfamily of Ser/Thr protein kinases that is distributed widely in eukaryotes. It plays key regulatory roles at multiple steps of oocyte meiotic maturation and fertilization. During the process of meiotic maturation, the activation of PKC in cumulus cells stimulates meiotic maturation, whereas the activation of PKC in oocytes results in the inhibition of germinal vesicle breakdown. PKC activity increases following the meiotic maturation, and decreases at the transition of metaphase/anaphase in meiosis I, so as to facilitate the release of the first polar body and the entry of meiosis II. In fertilization of mammalian oocytes, PKC may act as one of the downstream targets of Ca2+ to stimulate the cortical granule exocytosis, release the oocytes from MII arrest and to induce pronucleus formation. PKC is also involved in the regulation of maturation promoting factor (MPF) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Several PKC isoforms have been identified in mammalian oocytes, and there is evidence showing that classical PKCs may be the principal mediator of oocyte cortical reaction.

  3. A Catalogue of Anatomical Fugitive Sheets: Cat. 11-25



    Images Cat. 11 (a) Cat. 11 (b) Cat. 11 (c) Cat. 11 (d) Cat. 12: 1 (a) Cat. 12: 1 (b) Cat. 12: 2 (a) Cat. 12: 2 (b) Cat. 13 Cat. 14 (a) Cat. 14 (b) Cat. 14 (c) Cat. 15 (a) Cat. 15 (b) Cat. 17: 1 Cat. 17: 2 Cat. 18: 1 Cat. 18: 2 Cat. 19: 1 (a) Cat. 19: 1 (b) Cat. 19: 2 (a) Cat. 19: 2 (b) Cat. 20: 1 Cat. 20: 2 (a) Cat. 20: 2 (b) Cat. 21 (a) Cat. 21 (b) Cat. 21 (c) Cat. 21 (d) Cat. 21 (e) Cat. 22 Cat. 24: 1 and 2 Cat. 25: 1 Cat. 25: 2 Cat. 25: 3 Cat. 25: 4

  4. Cat scratch encephalopathy. (United States)

    Silver, B E; Bean, C S


    Cat scratch disease is usually benign, self-limited and without sequelae. Margileth has established four clinical criteria, three of which must be satisfied to make the diagnosis: 1) a history of animal exposure, usually kitten, with primary skin or ocular lesions; 2) regional chronic adenopathy without other apparent cause; 3) a positive cat scratch disease antigen skin test; and 4) lymph node biopsy demonstrating noncaseating granulomas and germinal center hyperplasia. Central nervous system involvement in cat scratch disease has been previously reported, although it is extremely uncommon. In a several-month period, we encountered two cases of cat scratch disease complicated by encephalopathy. The intents of this paper are twofold: 1) to briefly review the current literature on cat scratch disease, 2) to demonstrate that cat scratch disease complicated by encephalopathy presents acutely with seizures, posturing and coma and resolves rapidly with supportive care.

  5. An experimental study on cerebral paragonimiasis using cats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seon Kyu; Chang, Kee Hyun; Goo, Jin Mo; Han, Moon Hee; Shin, Yong Moon; Choo, Sung Wook; Yu, In Kyu [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Seung Yull; Kong, Yoon [Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    It is important to diagnosis paragonimiasis in early active because it can be dared by chemotherapy. However, it is difficult to make a correct diagnosis of cerebral paragonimiasis in the early active stage, and the radiographic findings of cerebral paragonimiasis have been rarely reported. Thus, this experimental study was designed to produce early active cerebral paragonimiasis and to demonstrate radiologic-pathologic correlations. In 8 cats, 7-8 metacercariae of Paragonimus Westermani were directly introduced into brain parenchyma of each cat's after trephination of the skull. In another 16 cats, the juvenile worms and the adult worms that had developed for varying periods (2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks) in the lunges of another cats were introduced into the brain parenchyma of each cat's with the same procedure described above. Follow -up MR images and chest radiographs were obtained at 2 days, 1 weeks, 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 8 weeks after inoculation. The autopsies and histopathological examinations of the cat's brain were undertaken in 22 cats. In 9 cats that were suspected with pulmonary lesion on chest radiograph, the soft tissue radiographs of inflated-fixed lungs were obtained. In one cat with inoculation of adult worm, acute suppurative inflammation of the brain parenchyma was demonstrated. But the other cats with inoculation of adult worm or juvenile worm and the cats with intentional of metacercaris did not reveal any evidence of acute cerebral paragonimiasis. More than half of the introduce metacercariae (5 out of 8 cats) were found in the lung parenchyma, while only 25% (4 out of 16 cats) of the adult worm inoculated cats were. Acute suppurative inflammation suggesting acute stage cerebral paragonimiasis was obtained in one case of adult worm inoculated cat. Most of the inoculated metacercariae and some of the juvenile worms or adult worms were migrated to the lungs.

  6. Effects of spinal and peripheral nerve lesions on the intersegmental synchronization of the spontaneous activity of dorsal horn neurons in the cat lumbosacral spinal cord. (United States)

    García, C A; Chávez, D; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P


    In the anesthetized and paralyzed cat, spontaneous negative cord dorsum potentials (nCDPs) appeared synchronously in the L3 to S1 segments, both ipsi- and contralaterally. The acute section of both the intact sural and the superficial peroneal nerve increased the variability of the spontaneous nCDPs without affecting their intersegmental coupling. On the other hand, the synchronization between the spontaneous nCDPs recorded in segments L5-L6 was strongly reduced following an interposed lesion of the left (ipsilateral) dorsolateral spinal quadrant and it was almost completely abolished by an additional lesion of the contralateral dorsolateral quadrant at the same level. Our observations support the existence of a system of spontaneously active dorsal horn neurons that is bilaterally distributed along the lumbosacral segments and affects, in a synchronized and organized manner, impulse transmission along many reflex pathways, including those mediating presynaptic inhibition.

  7. The DNA damage response in mammalian oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eCarroll


    Full Text Available DNA damage is one of the most common insults that challenge all cells. To cope, an elaborate molecular and cellular response has evolved to sense, respond to and correct the damage. This allows the maintenance of DNA fidelity essential for normal cell viability and the prevention of genomic instability that can lead to tumour formation. In the context of oocytes, the impact of DNA damage is not one of tumour formation but of the maintenance of fertility. Mammalian oocytes are particularly vulnerable to DNA damage because physiologically they may lie dormant in the ovary for many years (>40 in humans until they receive the stimulus to grow and acquire the competence to become fertilized. The implication of this is that in some organisms, such as humans, oocytes face the danger of cumulative genetic damage for decades. Thus, the ability to detect and repair DNA damage is essential to maintain the supply of oocytes necessary for reproduction. Therefore, failure to confront DNA damage in oocytes could cause serious anomalies in the embryo that may be propagated in the form of mutations to the next generation allowing the appearance of hereditary disease. Despite the potential impact of DNA damage on reproductive capacity and genetic fidelity of embryos, the mechanisms available to the oocyte for monitoring and repairing such insults have remained largely unexplored until recently. Here, we review the different aspects of the response to DNA damage in mammalian oocytes. Specifically, we address the oocyte DNA damage response from embryonic life to adulthood and throughout oocyte development.

  8. CAT Activity Changes of Several Gardening Plants under Formaldehyde Stress%甲醛胁迫条件下几种园艺植物过氧化氢酶活性变化的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘皓; 王立晖; 吕春晖; 安娜


    Formaldehyde is one of the main pollutants in indoor air. Long time inhalation of formaldehyde gas would cause conjunctivitis,asthma,bronchitis and allergic diseases. Previous researches indicate that in case of deliquescence by heat,interior decoration materials will release formaldehyde gas. This paper analyzes CAT activity changes of Epipremnum aureum,Chlorophytum,Sansevieria,ivy and aloe under the stress of saturated formaldehyde. In the experiment,the damage mechanism of formaldehyde on plants was explored through saturated formaldehyde fumigation treatment and con-tinuous tracking and determination of CAT activities and change laws under the stress of formaldehyde. The results showed that Epipremnum aureum and Chlorophytum reveal strong tolerance to formaldehyde with CAT activities maintaining a high level.%甲醛是室内空气的主要污染物之一,人体长时间吸入甲醛气体,可以引发结膜炎、咽喉炎、哮喘、支气管炎和变态反应性疾病。经过研究发现,室内装修材料遇热潮解时都会释放出甲醛气体。实验针对绿萝、吊兰、虎皮兰、常春藤和芦荟等植物,在饱和的甲醛胁迫条件下,分析植物 CAT 活性变化,探索甲醛对植物的伤害机理,进行饱和甲醛熏蒸处理,持续跟踪和测定甲醛胁迫下植物 CAT 活性及变化规律。结果表明,绿萝和吊兰对甲醛的耐受性较强,CAT 活性始终维持在较高水平。

  9. Artificial fertilization of oocytes and sperm activation in pacu: effects of the spermatozoa:oocyte ratio, water volume, and in natura semen preservation Fertilização artificial de ovócitos e ativação espermática em pacus: efeito da razão espermatozoide:ovócito, volume de água e preservação do sêmen in natura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Antônio Sanches


    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to investigate artificial fertilization and the duration of sperm motility in pacu with different insemination doses, water volume, and in natura semen preservation. It was carried out four experimentsfor evaluation of insemination doses (7x10³, 7x10(4, 7x10(5, 7x10(6, and 7x10(7 spermatozoa oocytes-1 on the artificial fertilization of oocytes; the effect of water volume (0.5, 15.0, 30.0, 45.0, and 60.0 mL water mL-1 of oocyte with insemination doses of 105,481 and 210,963 spermatozoa oocytes-1; the effect of semen dilutions (0.005, 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 µL semen mL-1 of water on sperm motility duration; and the effect of storage at 15ºC for 9h on sperm motility duration and sperm survival ratio. The highest results obtained were: insemination doses from 7x10³ to 7x10(7 spermatozoa oocytes-1; from 15 to 60mL water mL-1 of oocytes; semen dilution of 0.005 µL semen/mL water and 98.65% sperm survival until 2h45min 36s preservation time. Preservation at 15ºC for 9h does not influence sperm motility duration. The highest fertilization rates can be observed by using 0.27 to 270 µL semen mL-1 of oocytes with 15 at 60 mL water for activation.Objetivou-se foi avaliar a fertilização artificial e a duração da motilidade espermática em pacus com diferentes doses inseminantes, volumes de água e preservação do sêmen in natura. Foram realizados quatro experimentos para avaliação do efeito de doses inseminantes (7x10³, 7x10(4, 7x10(5, 7x10(6 e 7x10(7 espermatozoides ovócito-1 sobre a fertilização artificial dos ovócitos; do efeito do volume de água (0,5; 15,0; 30,0; 45,0 e 60,0 mL de água mL-1 de ovócitos com doses inseminantes de 105.481 e 210.963 espermatozoides ovócito-1; do efeito de diluição do sêmen (0,005; 0,05; 0,5 e 5,0 µL de sêmen mL-1 de água sobre a duração da motilidade espermática; e do efeito do armazenamento a 15 ºC por 9 h sobre a duração da motilidade espermática e o

  10. Human oocytes reprogram adult somatic nuclei of a type 1 diabetic to diploid pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Yamada, Mitsutoshi; Johannesson, Bjarki; Sagi, Ido; Burnett, Lisa Cole; Kort, Daniel H; Prosser, Robert W; Paull, Daniel; Nestor, Michael W; Freeby, Matthew; Greenberg, Ellen; Goland, Robin S; Leibel, Rudolph L; Solomon, Susan L; Benvenisty, Nissim; Sauer, Mark V; Egli, Dieter


    The transfer of somatic cell nuclei into oocytes can give rise to pluripotent stem cells that are consistently equivalent to embryonic stem cells, holding promise for autologous cell replacement therapy. Although methods to induce pluripotent stem cells from somatic cells by transcription factors are widely used in basic research, numerous differences between induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells have been reported, potentially affecting their clinical use. Because of the therapeutic potential of diploid embryonic stem-cell lines derived from adult cells of diseased human subjects, we have systematically investigated the parameters affecting efficiency of blastocyst development and stem-cell derivation. Here we show that improvements to the oocyte activation protocol, including the use of both kinase and translation inhibitors, and cell culture in the presence of histone deacetylase inhibitors, promote development to the blastocyst stage. Developmental efficiency varied between oocyte donors, and was inversely related to the number of days of hormonal stimulation required for oocyte maturation, whereas the daily dose of gonadotropin or the total number of metaphase II oocytes retrieved did not affect developmental outcome. Because the use of concentrated Sendai virus for cell fusion induced an increase in intracellular calcium concentration, causing premature oocyte activation, we used diluted Sendai virus in calcium-free medium. Using this modified nuclear transfer protocol, we derived diploid pluripotent stem-cell lines from somatic cells of a newborn and, for the first time, an adult, a female with type 1 diabetes.

  11. The envelopes of amphibian oocytes: physiological modifications in Bufo arenarum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sánchez Mercedes


    Full Text Available Abstract A characterization of the Amphibian Bufo arenarum oocyte envelope is presented. It was made in different functional conditions of the oocyte: 1 when it has been released into the coelomic cavity during ovulation (surrounded by the coelomic envelope, (CE, 2 after it has passed through the oviduct and is deposed (surrounded by the viteline envelope, (VE, and 3 after oocyte activation (surrounded by the fertilization envelope, (FE. The characterization was made by SDS-PAGE followed by staining for protein and glycoproteins. Labeled lectins were used to identify glycosidic residues both in separated components on nitrocellulose membranes or in intact oocytes and embryos. Proteolytic properties of the content of the cortical granules were also analyzed. After SDS-PAGE of CE and VE, a different protein pattern was observed. This is probably due to the activity of a protease present in the pars recta of the oviduct. Comparison of the SDS-PAGE pattern of VE and FE showed a different mobility for one of the glycoproteins, gp75. VE and FE proved to have different sugar residues in their oligosaccharide chains. Mannose residues are only present in gp120 of the three envelopes. N-acetyl-galactosamine residues are present in all of the components, except for gp69 in the FE. Galactose residues are present mainly in gp120 of FE. Lectin-binding assays indicate the presence of glucosamine, galactose and N-acetyl galactosamine residues and the absence (or non-availability of N-acetyl-glucosamine or fucose residues on the envelopes surface. The cortical granule product (CGP shows proteolytic activity on gp75 of the VE.

  12. Calcium and actin in the saga of awakening oocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santella, Luigia, E-mail:; Limatola, Nunzia; Chun, Jong T.


    The interaction of the spermatozoon with the egg at fertilization remains one of the most fascinating mysteries of life. Much of our scientific knowledge on fertilization comes from studies on sea urchin and starfish, which provide plenty of gametes. Large and transparent, these eggs have served as excellent model systems for studying egg activation and embryo development in seawater, a plain natural medium. Starfish oocytes allow the study of the cortical, cytoplasmic and nuclear changes during the meiotic maturation process, which can also be triggered in vitro by hormonal stimulation. These morphological and biochemical changes ensure successful fertilization of the eggs at the first metaphase. On the other hand, sea urchin eggs are fertilized after the completion of meiosis, and are particularly suitable for the study of sperm–egg interaction, early events of egg activation, and embryonic development, as a large number of mature eggs can be fertilized synchronously. Starfish and sea urchin eggs undergo abrupt changes in the cytoskeleton and ion fluxes in response to the fertilizing spermatozoon. The plasma membrane and cortex of an egg thus represent “excitable media” that quickly respond to the stimulus with the Ca{sup 2+} swings and structural changes. In this article, we review some of the key findings on the rapid dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton in the oocyte/egg cortex upon hormonal or sperm stimulation and their roles in the modulation of the Ca{sup 2+} signals and in the control of monospermic fertilization. - Highlights: • Besides microtubules, microfilaments may anchor the nucleus to oocyte surface. • The cortical Ca{sup 2+} flash and wave at fertilization mirror electrical membrane change. • Artificial egg activation lacks microvilli extension in the perivitelline space. • Calcium is necessary but not sufficient for cortical granules exocytosis. • Actin cytoskeleton modulates Ca{sup 2+} release at oocyte maturation

  13. Multiple requirements of PLK1 during mouse oocyte maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Solc

    Full Text Available Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1 orchestrates multiple events of cell division. Although PLK1 function has been intensively studied in centriole-containing and rapidly cycling somatic cells, much less is known about its function in the meiotic divisions of mammalian oocytes, which arrest for a long period of time in prophase before meiotic resumption and lack centrioles for spindle assembly. Here, using specific small molecule inhibition combined with live mouse oocyte imaging, we comprehensively characterize meiotic PLK1's functions. We show that PLK1 becomes activated at meiotic resumption on microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs and later at kinetochores. PLK1 is required for efficient meiotic resumption by promoting nuclear envelope breakdown. PLK1 is also needed to recruit centrosomal proteins to acentriolar MTOCs to promote normal spindle formation, as well as for stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Consequently, PLK1 inhibition leads to metaphase I arrest with misaligned chromosomes activating the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC. Unlike in mitosis, the metaphase I arrest is not bypassed by the inactivation of the SAC. We show that PLK1 is required for the full activation of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C by promoting the degradation of the APC/C inhibitor EMI1 and is therefore essential for entry into anaphase I. Moreover, our data suggest that PLK1 is required for proper chromosome segregation and the maintenance of chromosome condensation during the meiosis I-II transition, independently of the APC/C. Thus, our results define the meiotic roles of PLK1 in oocytes and reveal interesting differential requirements of PLK1 between mitosis and oocyte meiosis in mammals.

  14. The Role of Glucose Metabolism on Porcine Oocyte Cytoplasmic Maturation and Its Possible Mechanisms (United States)

    Kwon, Jeong-Woo; Jin, Yong-Xun; Park, Shun-Ha; Wang, Hai-Yang; Sun, Tian-Yi; Zhang, Jia-Bao; Kim, Nam-Hyung


    In the present study, we investigated the potential role of glucose and pyruvate in the cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes by investigating the effect of glucose and/or pyruvate supplementation, in the presence or absence of 10% porcine follicular fluid (PFF), on meiotic maturation and subsequent embryo development. In the absence of 10% PFF, without exogenous addition of glucose and pyruvate, the medium seemed unable to support maturation. In the presence of 10% PFF, the addition of 5.6 mM glucose and/or 2 mM pyruvate during in vitro maturation of cumulus enclosed oocytes increased MII oocyte and blastocyst rates. In contrast, oocytes denuded of cumulus cells were not able to take full advantage of the glucose in the medium, as only pyruvate was able to increase the MII rate and the subsequent early embryo developmental ability. Treatment of cumulus enclosed oocytes undergoing maturation with 200 μM dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a pentose phosphate pathway inhibitor, or 2 μM iodoacetate (IA), a glycolysis inhibitor, significantly reduced GHS, intra-oocyte ATP, maternal gene expression, and MPF activity levels. DHEA was also able to increase ROS and reduce the levels of NADPH. Moreover, blastocysts of the DHEA- or IA-treated groups presented higher apoptosis rates and markedly lower cell proliferation cell rates than those of the non-treated group. In conclusion, our results suggest that oocytes maturing in the presence of 10% PFF can make full use of energy sources through glucose metabolism only when they are accompanied by cumulus cells, and that pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and glycolysis promote porcine oocyte cytoplasmic maturation by supplying energy, regulating maternal gene expression, and controlling MPF activity. PMID:27997591

  15. Lesions of structures showing FOS expression to cat presentation: effects on responsivity to a Cat, Cat odor, and nonpredator threat. (United States)

    Blanchard, D Caroline; Canteras, Newton S; Markham, Chris M; Pentkowski, Nathan S; Blanchard, Robert J


    Exposure of rats to a cat elicits Fos activity in a number of brain areas or structures. Based on hodological relationships of these, Canteras has proposed a medial hypothalamic defense system, with input from several forebrain sites. Both electrolytic and neurotoxic lesions of the dorsal premammillary nucleus, which shows the strongest Fos response to cat exposure, produce striking decrements in a number of defensive behaviors to a cat or to cat odor stimuli, but do not have a major effect on either postshock freezing, or responsivity to the odor of a female in estrus. Neurotoxic lesions of the medial amygdala produce decrements in defensiveness to predator stimuli, particularly odor stimuli, that are consistent with a view of this structure as involved with allomonal cues. While dorsal hippocampal lesions had little effect on responsivity to predator stimuli, neurotoxic lesions of the ventral hippocampus reduced freezing and enhanced a variety of nondefensive behaviors to both cat odor and footshock, with similar reductions in defensiveness during context conditioning tests for cat odor, cat exposure and footshock. These results support the view that the dorsal premammillary nucleus is strongly and selectively involved in control of responsivity to predator stimuli. Structures with important input into the medial hypothalamic defense system appear also to be functionally involved with antipredator defensive behaviors, and these lesion studies may suggest specific hypotheses as to the particular defense functions of different areas.

  16. Modulation of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway influences porcine oocyte in vitro maturation. (United States)

    Alvarez, G M; Ferretti, E L; Gutnisky, C; Dalvit, G C; Cetica, P D


    Glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) activities were modulated in porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) during in vitro maturation (IVM) by the addition of inhibitors or stimulators of key enzymes of the pathways to elucidate their relative participation in oocyte maturation. The activities of glycolysis and PPP were evaluated by lactate production per COC and by the brilliant cresyl blue test, respectively. Glucose uptake per COC and the oocyte maturation rate were also evaluated. Lactate production, glucose uptake and the percentage of oocytes reaching metaphase II decreased in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of the pharmacological (NaF) or the physiological (ATP) inhibitors of glycolysis (p < 0.05). The addition of the physiological stimulator of glycolysis (AMP) caused no effect on lactate production, glucose uptake or the meiotic maturation rate. The pharmacological (6-AN) and the physiological (NADPH) inhibitors of PPP induced a dose-dependent decrease in the percentage of oocytes with high PPP activity and in the nuclear maturation rate (p < 0.05). The physiological stimulator of PPP (NADP) caused no effect on the percentage of oocytes with high PPP activity. The glycolytic and PPP activities of porcine COCs and maturational competence of oocytes seem to be closely related events. This study shows for the first time the regulatory effect of ATP and NADPH as physiological inhibitors of glycolysis and PPP in porcine COCs, respectively. Besides, these pathways seem to reach their maximum activities in porcine COCs during IVM because no further increases were achieved by the presence of AMP or NADP.

  17. Cat-scratch disease (United States)

    ... scratch or bite from a cat, your health care provider may suspect cat-scratch disease. A physical examination may also reveal an enlarged spleen . Sometimes, an infected lymph node may form a tunnel ( fistula ) through the skin and drain (leak fluid). This ...

  18. Hyperadrenocorticism in a cat. (United States)

    Zerbe, C A; Nachreiner, R F; Dunstan, R W; Dalley, J B


    A diabetic cat with hyperadrenocorticism had polydipsia, polyuria, ventral abdominal alopecia, thin dry skin, and a pendulous abdomen. Results of laboratory testing indicated persistent resting hypercortisolemia, hyperresponsiveness of the adrenal glands (increased cortisol concentration) to ACTH gel, and no suppression of cortisol concentrations after administration of dexamethasone at 0.01 or 1.0 mg/kg of body weight. Necropsy revealed a pituitary gland tumor, bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, hepatic neoplasia, and demodicosis. Adrenal gland function was concurrently assessed in 2 cats with diabetes mellitus. One cat had resting hypercortisolemia, and both had hyperresponsiveness to ACTH gel (increased cortisol concentration) at one hour. After administration of dexamethasone (0.01 and 1.0 mg/kg), the diabetic cats appeared to have normal suppression of cortisol concentrations. The effects of mitotane were investigated in 4 clinically normal cats. Adrenocortical suppression of cortisol production occurred in 2 of 4 cats after dosages of 25, 37, and 50 mg/kg. Three cats remained clinically normal throughout the study. One cat experienced vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia.

  19. Cat-Scratch Disease (United States)

    ... bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection. CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae . About 40% ...

  20. Cat scratch colon. (United States)

    Ruiz-Rebollo, M Lourdes; Velayos-Jiménez, Benito; Prieto de Paula, José María; Alvarez Quiñones, María; González Hernández, José Manuel


    Over the past few years, we have read several publications regarding the term "cat scratch colon." This neologism was developed to define some bright red linear markings seen in the colonic mucosa that resemble scratches made by a cat. We would like to communicate a recent case attended at our institution.

  1. Cat Scratch Colon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Lourdes Ruiz-Rebollo


    Full Text Available Over the past few years, we have read several publications regarding the term “cat scratch colon.” This neologism was developed to define some bright red linear markings seen in the colonic mucosa that resemble scratches made by a cat. We would like to communicate a recent case attended at our institution.

  2. State of cat genomics. (United States)

    O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren; Driscoll, Carlos; Pontius, Joan; Pecon-Slattery, Jill; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn


    Our knowledge of cat family biology was recently expanded to include a genomics perspective with the completion of a draft whole genome sequence of an Abyssinian cat. The utility of the new genome information has been demonstrated by applications ranging from disease gene discovery and comparative genomics to species conservation. Patterns of genomic organization among cats and inbred domestic cat breeds have illuminated our view of domestication, revealing linkage disequilibrium tracks consequent of breed formation, defining chromosome exchanges that punctuated major lineages of mammals and suggesting ancestral continental migration events that led to 37 modern species of Felidae. We review these recent advances here. As the genome resources develop, the cat is poised to make a major contribution to many areas in genetics and biology.

  3. Regulation of fatty acid oxidation in mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes during maturation and modulation by PPAR agonists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kylie R Dunning

    Full Text Available Fatty acid oxidation is an important energy source for the oocyte; however, little is known about how this metabolic pathway is regulated in cumulus-oocyte complexes. Analysis of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation showed that many are regulated by the luteinizing hormone surge during in vivo maturation, including acyl-CoA synthetases, carnitine transporters, acyl-CoA dehydrogenases and acetyl-CoA transferase, but that many are dysregulated when cumulus-oocyte complexes are matured under in vitro maturation conditions using follicle stimulating hormone and epidermal growth factor. Fatty acid oxidation, measured as production of ³H₂O from [³H]palmitic acid, occurs in mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes in response to the luteinizing hormone surge but is significantly reduced in cumulus-oocyte complexes matured in vitro. Thus we sought to determine whether fatty acid oxidation in cumulus-oocyte complexes could be modulated during in vitro maturation by lipid metabolism regulators, namely peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR agonists bezafibrate and rosiglitazone. Bezafibrate showed no effect with increasing dose, while rosiglitazone dose dependently inhibited fatty acid oxidation in cumulus-oocyte complexes during in vitro maturation. To determine the impact of rosiglitazone on oocyte developmental competence, cumulus-oocyte complexes were treated with rosiglitazone during in vitro maturation and gene expression, oocyte mitochondrial activity and embryo development following in vitro fertilization were assessed. Rosiglitazone restored Acsl1, Cpt1b and Acaa2 levels in cumulus-oocyte complexes and increased oocyte mitochondrial membrane potential yet resulted in significantly fewer embryos reaching the morula and hatching blastocyst stages. Thus fatty acid oxidation is increased in cumulus-oocyte complexes matured in vivo and deficient during in vitro maturation, a known model of poor oocyte quality. That rosiglitazone further

  4. Eosinophilic leukaemia in a cat. (United States)

    Sharifi, Hassan; Nassiri, Seyed Mahdi; Esmaelli, Hossein; Khoshnegah, Javad


    A 14-year-old female domestic shorthair cat was presented to Tehran University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a persistent fever, anorexia, intermittent vomiting, weight loss and weakness. The main clinical signs were pale mucous membranes, dehydration and splenomegaly. The complete blood count and serum biochemistry tests revealed non-regenerative anaemia, thrombocytopenia and increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for feline leukaemia virus was negative. Blood film and bone marrow examination revealed a large number of immature eosinophils with variable sizes and numbers of faintly azurophilic granules. Cytochemical staining of blood film demonstrated 70% positive cells for ALP activity. Four percent CD34 positive cells were detected by flow cytometry. As eosinophilic leukaemia is difficult to identify by light microscopy, well-defined diagnostic criteria and the use of flow cytometry and cytochemical staining can improve the ability to correctly diagnose this type of leukaemia in cats.

  5. The CATS Service: An Astrophysical Research Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O V Verkhodanov


    Full Text Available We describe the current status of CATS (astrophysical CATalogs Support system, a publicly accessible tool maintained at Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SAO RAS ( allowing one to search hundreds of catalogs of astronomical objects discovered all along the electromagnetic spectrum. Our emphasis is mainly on catalogs of radio continuum sources observed from 10 MHz to 245 GHz, and secondly on catalogs of objects such as radio and active stars, X-ray binaries, planetary nebulae, HII regions, supernova remnants, pulsars, nearby and radio galaxies, AGN and quasars. CATS also includes the catalogs from the largest extragalactic surveys with non-radio waves. In 2008 CATS comprised a total of about 109 records from over 400 catalogs in the radio, IR, optical and X-ray windows, including most source catalogs deriving from observations with the Russian radio telescope RATAN-600. CATS offers several search tools through different ways of access, e.g. via Web-interface and e-mail. Since its creation in 1997 CATS has managed about 105requests. Currently CATS is used by external users about 1500 times per day and since its opening to the public in 1997 has received about 4000 requests for its selection and matching tasks.

  6. Spatial dynamics of receptive fields in cat primary visual cortex related to the temporal structure of thalamocortical feedforward activity. Experiments and models. (United States)

    Suder, Katrin; Funke, Klaus; Zhao, Yongqiang; Kerscher, Nicolas; Wennekers, Thomas; Wörgötter, Florentin


    We investigated how changes in the temporal firing rate of thalamocortical activity affect the spatiotemporal structure of receptive field (RF) subunits in cat primary visual cortex. Spike activity of 67 neurons (48 simple, 19 complex cells) was extracellulary recorded from area 17/18 of anesthetized and paralyzed cats. A total of 107 subfields (on/off) were mapped by applying a reverse correlation technique to the activity elicited by bright and dark rectangles flashed for 300 ms in a 20x10 grid. We found that the width of the (suprathreshold) discharge fields shrank on average by 22% during this 300-ms-long stimulus presentation time. Fifty-eight subfields (54%) shrank by more than 20% of peak width and only ten (less than 10%) showed a slight increase over time. The main size reduction took place 40-60 ms after response onset, which corresponded to the transition from transient peak firing to tonic visual activity in thalamocortical relay cells (TC). The experimentally obtained RFs were then fitted with the aid of a neural field model of the primary visual pathway. Assuming a Gaussian-shaped spatial sensitivity profile across the RF subfield width, the model allowed us to estimate the subthreshold RF (depolarization field, D-field) from the minimal discharge field (MDF). The model allowed us to test to what degree the temporal dynamics of thalamocortical activity contributes to the spatiotemporal changes of cortical RFs. To this end, we performed the fitting procedure either with a pure feedforward model or with a field model that also included intracortical feedback. Spatial and temporal parameters obtained from fits of the experimental RFs matched closely to those achieved by simulating a pure feedforward system with the field model but were not compatible with additional intracortical feedback. Thus, our results show that dot stimulation, which optimally excites thalamocortical cells, leads to a shrinkage with respect to the size of the RF subfield at the

  7. Age-dependent radiosensitivity of mouse oocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, C.


    It has been shown that there are three distinct phases of radiosensitivity in oocytes of prepubertal mice: a period of rapidly increasing sensitivity between 0 and 4 days of age; a period of consistent, high sensitivity between 5 and 18 days of age; and a period of decreasing sensitivity from 19 to at least 21 days of age. Two distinct phases have been demonstrated for the rate of population decline of the oocytes of primary follicles: an initial period of rapid loss from 0 to 4 days of age; and a period of much slower loss from 5 through 23 days of age. Correlations have been drawn between the first two phases of radiosensitivity and morphological changes in the oocyte, and between the third phase of radiosensitivity and endocrinological changes in the maturing animal. The reaction of oocytes to radiation has been separated into two categories: immediate death (within 24 hours); and delayed death (over the entire lifespan of the animal). (auth)

  8. Oocyte Maturation Process and Affecting Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurdun Kuyucu


    Full Text Available Normal female fertility depends on normally occuring oogenesis and maturation progress. Oogenesis and folliculogenesis are different progresses but occure in a harmony and at the same time. Oogenesis includes the events that take place matur ovum produced from primordial germ cells. Although folliculogenesis includes the stages primordial, primary, secondary, matur (Graaf follicules in the influece of gonadotropines and local growth factors. During oocyte maturation meiosis is distrupted till the puberty. Under LH influence it starts again and first meiosis completes before ovulation. Oocyte maturation can be regarded as the process of coming metaphase II from prophase I of oocyte at the puberty and can be studied as nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. Meiosis is completed when fertilization occures and zygot is formed. In this article oogenesis, folliculogenesis and oocyte maturation process are summerized with related studies and reiews are revised. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2009; 18(4.000: 227-240

  9. Comparative study of aural microflora in healthy cats, allergic cats and cats with systemic disease. (United States)

    Pressanti, Charline; Drouet, Clémence; Cadiergues, Marie-Christine


    Twenty healthy cats (group 1) with clinically normal ears, 15 cats with systemic disease (group 2) and 15 allergic cats (group 3) were included in a prospective study. The experimental unit was the ear. A clinical score was established for each ear canal after otoscopic examination. Microbial population was assessed on cytological examination of smears performed with the cotton-tipped applicator smear technique. Fungal population was significantly more prominent in allergic cats (P cats compared with healthy cats (P cats than in healthy cats (P cats suffering from systemic disease (P cats with systemic disease than healthy cats. In cats from group 2, only fungal overgrowth was associated with otitis severity. In group 3, only bacterial overgrowth was associated with otitis severity.

  10. Permeability characteristics of human oocytes in the presence of the cryoprotectant dimethylsulphoxide. (United States)

    Paynter, S J; Cooper, A; Gregory, L; Fuller, B J; Shaw, R W


    Equilibration of oocytes with cryoprotectants is a prerequisite of low temperature storage. However, cryoprotectant exposure may induce damage via osmotic stress. Knowledge of cell membrane permeability characteristics and their temperature dependence would facilitate the design of cryopreservation protocols in which osmotic stress is minimized and the incidence of intracellular freezing is reduced. To obtain such data, the volume change of donated human oocytes following exposure to cryoprotectant was measured at a variety of temperatures. After removal of cumulus cells, each oocyte was placed in a 5 microl droplet of phosphate-buffered medium. The oocyte was held in position by suction generated using a fine pipette and perfused with 1 ml 1.5 mol/l dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) at 30, 24 or 10 degrees C. The volume of the oocyte before, during and after perfusion was recorded by videomicroscopy. Oocyte volume was calculated from radius measurements and the Kedem-Katchalsky (K-K) passive coupled transport coefficients, namely L(p) (hydraulic permeability), P(DMSO) (permeability to DMSO) and sigma (reflection coefficient) were derived. The resulting coefficients were L(p) = 1. 65 +/- 0.15, 0.70 +/- 0.06 and 0.28 +/- 0.04 microm/min.atm; P(DMSO) = 0.79 +/- 0.10, 0.25 +/- 0.04 and 0.06 +/- 0.01 microm/s and sigma = 0.97 +/- 0.01, 0.94 +/- 0.03 and 0.96 +/- 0.01 at 30, 24 and 10 degrees C respectively. The activation energy for L(p) was 14.70 and for P(DMSO) was 20.82 kcal/mol. The permeability parameters of human oocytes are higher than those of murine oocytes, suggesting that they require a shorter period of exposure to DMSO with concomitantly reduced toxic effects.

  11. Bovine cumulus-oocyte disconnection in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maddox-Hyttel, Poul


    Cumulus-oocyte complexes were obtained from cows by aspiration of small (1-6 mm in diameter) antral follicles after slaughter. Complexes with a compact multilayered cumulus investment were cultured and processed for transmission electron microscopy after different periods of culture including a 0...... frequency of gap junctions was maintained until 12-18 h of culture where the junctional contact was completely disrupted. This decrease in intercellular communication was parallelled by resumption of oocyte meiosis....

  12. Oocyte Cryopreservation in Human Assited Reproduction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J Konc; S Cseh; E Varga; R Kriston; K Kanyó


    Embryo cryopreservation(CP) has became a very important part of the clinical use of in vitro fertilization. Oocyte CP offers more advantages compared with embryo freezing with regard to less ethical, legal and moral problems. However, the efficiency of this procedure is still low, which prevents its clinical application in wide range. The aim of our paper is to review the basic principles, technical and safety aspects and current status of oocyte cryopreservation in human assisted reproduction.

  13. Metabolic Determinants of Mitochondrial Function in Oocytes. (United States)

    Seidler, Emily A; Moley, Kelle H


    Mitochondrial production of cellular energy is essential to oocyte function, zygote development and successful continuation of pregnancy. This review focuses on several key functions of healthy oocyte mitochondria and the effect of pathologic states such as aging, oxidative stress and apoptosis on these functions. The effect of these abnormal conditions is presented in terms of clinical presentations, specifically maternal obesity, diminished ovarian reserve and assisted reproductive technologies.

  14. Studies on the physiological function of spermine in the process of progesterone induced toad oocyte maturation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Spermidine or spermine but not putrescine inhibited progesterone induced Bufo bufo gargarizans oocyte maturation.The ID50 for spermine inhibition via intra -oocyte microinjection on maturation induced by progesterone was 6.8mM(100nl).Spermine could inhibit MPF induced toad oocyte maturation with a much higher ID50.A 55 kD protein was dephosphorylated during the process of progesterone induced oocyte maturation .Spermine selectively promoted the level of phosphorylation of this protein in both progesterone-stimulated and hormone-untreated oocytes.The extent of its dephosphorylation was fairly Correlated with the percentage of GVBD in the hormone stimulated oocytes.The level of endogenous spermine was reduced by 28% between the perod of 0.40 GVBD50 and 0.60 GVBD50,at which 55 kD protein was dephosphorylated.Spermine inhibited progesterone-stimulated protein synthesis in almost the same dose dependent manner as its inhititory effect on the hormone-induced maturation,The endogenous spermine regulated 55 kD protein dephosphorylation which may trigger the increase of protein dephosphorylation which may trigger the increase of protein synthesis and in turn promote the activation of MPF,It is possible that 55 kD protein may be one of the components of messenger ribonucleoprotein(mRNP) particles.

  15. Role of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) in porcine oocyte in vitro maturation. (United States)

    Lin, Zi-Li; Kim, Nam-Hyung


    Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is critical for the DNA damage response, cell cycle checkpoints, and apoptosis. Significant effort has focused on elucidating the relationship between ATM and other nuclear signal transducers; however, little is known about the connection between ATM and oocyte meiotic maturation. We investigated the function of ATM in porcine oocytes. ATM was expressed at all stages of oocyte maturation and localized predominantly in the nucleus. Furthermore, the ATM-specific inhibitor KU-55933 blocked porcine oocyte maturation, reducing the percentages of oocytes that underwent germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and first polar body extrusion. KU-55933 also decreased the expression of DNA damage-related genes (breast cancer 1, budding uninhibited by benzimidazoles 1, and P53) and reduced the mRNA and protein levels of AKT and other cell cycle-regulated genes that are predominantly expressed during G2/M phase, including bone morphogenetic protein 15, growth differentiation factor 9, cell division cycle protein 2, cyclinB1, and AKT. KU-55933 treatment decreased the developmental potential of blastocysts following parthenogenetic activation and increased the level of apoptosis. Together, these data suggested that ATM influenced the meiotic and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes, potentially by decreasing their sensitivity to DNA strand breaks, stimulating the AKT pathway, and/or altering the expression of other maternal genes.

  16. ERK3 is required for metaphase-anaphase transition in mouse oocyte meiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sen Li

    Full Text Available ERK3 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 3 is an atypical member of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinase family of serine/threonine kinases. Little is known about its function in mitosis, and even less about its roles in mammalian oocyte meiosis. In the present study, we examined the localization, expression and functions of ERK3 during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that ERK3 localized to the spindles from the pre-MI stage to the MII stage. ERK3 co-localized with α-tubulin on the spindle fibers and asters in oocytes after taxol treatment. Deletion of ERK3 by microinjection of ERK3 morpholino (ERK3 MO resulted in oocyte arrest at the MI stage with severely impaired spindles and misaligned chromosomes. Most importantly, the spindle assembly checkpoint protein BubR1 could be detected on kinetochores even in oocytes cultured for 10 h. Low temperature treatment experiments indicated that ERK3 deletion disrupted kinetochore-microtubule (K-MT attachments. Chromosome spreading experiments showed that knock-down of ERK3 prevented the segregation of homologous chromosomes. Our data suggest that ERK3 is crucial for spindle stability and required for the metaphase-anaphase transition in mouse oocyte maturation.

  17. Inhibition of Raf/MAPK signaling in Xenopus oocyte extracts by Raf-1-specific peptides. (United States)

    Radziwill, G; Steinhusen, U; Aitken, A; Moelling, K


    Raf-1 is an upstream element of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway which leads to cell proliferation and differentiation. In this study Raf-1 derived peptides comprising the conserved amino acid residues Arg89 and Ser259, involved in binding of activated Ras and 14-3-3 proteins, respectively, were shown to interfere with MAPK activation in extracts from immature Xenopus oocytes. Lipids prepared from oocyte extracts can stimulate MAPK in a Ras- and protein kinase C-independent manner. This lipid-induced MAPK activation is blocked by a Raf-1 derived peptide comprising Ser259.

  18. Giardia infection in cats. (United States)

    Janeczko, Stephanie; Griffin, Brenda


    The protozoon Giardia duodenalis is a common gastrointestinal parasite of cats. While most Giardia-infected cats are asymptomatic, acute small bowel diarrhea, occasionally with concomitant weight loss, may occur. Giardia poses a diagnostic challenge, but newer tests, including a commercially available ELISA kit, have improved clinicians' ability to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Several treatment options have been reported, and although none has been shown to be universally effective, most cases can be successfully managed with drug therapy, supportive measures, and environmental control. Current recommendations suggest that combination therapy with fenbendazole and metronidazole may be the safest, most effective treatment option for symptomatic cats.

  19. Changes in correlation between spontaneous activity of dorsal horn neurones lead to differential recruitment of inhibitory pathways in the cat spinal cord. (United States)

    Chávez, D; Rodríguez, E; Jiménez, I; Rudomin, P


    Simultaneous recordings of cord dorsum potentials along the lumbo-sacral spinal cord of the anaesthetized cat revealed the occurrence of spontaneous synchronous negative (n) and negative-positive (np) cord dorsum potentials (CDPs). The npCDPs, unlike the nCDPs, appeared preferentially associated with spontaneous negative dorsal root potentials (DRPs) resulting from primary afferent depolarization. Spontaneous npCDPs recorded in preparations with intact neuroaxis or after spinalization often showed a higher correlation than the nCDPs recorded from the same pair of segments. The acute section of the sural and superficial peroneal nerves further increased the correlation between paired sets of npCDPs and reduced the correlation between the nCDPs recorded from the same pair of segments. It is concluded that the spontaneous nCDPs and npCDPs are produced by the activation of interconnected sets of dorsal horn neurones located in Rexed's laminae III–IV and bilaterally distributed along the lumbo-sacral spinal cord. Under conditions of low synchronization in the activity of this network of neurones there would be a preferential activation of the intermediate nucleus interneurones mediating Ib non-reciprocal postsynaptic inhibition. Increased synchronization in the spontaneous activity of this ensemble of dorsal horn neurones would recruit the interneurones mediating primary afferent depolarization and presynaptic inhibition and, at the same time, reduce the activation of pathways mediating Ib postsynaptic inhibition. Central control of the synchronization in the spontaneous activity of dorsal horn neurones and its modulation by cutaneous inputs is envisaged as an effective mechanism for the selection of alternative inhibitory pathways during the execution of specific motor or sensory tasks.

  20. Computer-assisted oocyte morphometry before ICSI: correlation of oocyte measurements with fertilization and embryo development. (United States)

    Camargos, Maria das Graças R S; Lobach, Veronica N M; Pereira, Francisco A N; Lemos, Cláudia N C D; Reis, Fernando M; Camargos, Aroldo F


    The present study aimed to correlate morphometric parameters of the oocytes with the occurrence of fertilization following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In a prospective, controlled cohort design, women (n = 32) who were candidates for ICSI had oocytes (n = 258) collected and submitted to morphometric evaluation using the Cronus3 software program. The morphometric parameters obtained were oocyte diameter, perivitelline space width, zona pellucida thickness, and first polar body diameter. The median oocyte diameter was similar in cases in which fertilization occurred compared with those in which fertilization failed (75.2 and 75.9 μm, respectively; P = .218). The 2 groups also had similar measurements of perivitelline space, zona pellucida, and first polar body. However, the best quality zygotes identified by a morphological score resulted from oocytes with larger diameter (75.6 vs 74.0 μm; P < .01) and narrow perivitelline space (5.3 vs 7.1 μm; P < .01). Embryo development, as assessed by cleavage at second day of culture, was not significantly associated with oocyte morphometric parameters. These findings suggest that morphometric parameters of the oocytes do not correlate with the occurrence of fertilization following ICSI but may assist in selecting oocytes more likely to originate high-quality zygotes.

  1. Prooxidant Effects of Verbascoside, a Bioactive Compound from Olive Oil Mill Wastewater, on In Vitro Developmental Potential of Ovine Prepubertal Oocytes and Bioenergetic/Oxidative Stress Parameters of Fresh and Vitrified Oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. E. Dell'Aquila


    Full Text Available Verbascoside (VB is a bioactive polyphenol from olive oil mill wastewater with known antioxidant activity. Oxidative stress is an emerging problem in assisted reproductive technology (ART. Juvenile ART is a promising topic because, in farm animals, it reduces the generation gap and, in human reproductive medicine, it helps to overcome premature ovarian failure. The aim of this study was to test the effects of VB on the developmental competence of ovine prepubertal oocytes and the bioenergetic/oxidative stress status of fresh and vitrified oocytes. In fresh oocytes, VB exerted prooxidant short-term effects, that is, catalase activity increase and uncoupled increases of mitochondria and reactive oxygen species (ROS fluorescence signals, and long-term effects, that is, reduced blastocyst formation rate. In vitrified oocytes, VB increased ROS levels. Prooxidant VB effects in ovine prepubertal oocytes could be related to higher VB accumulation, which was found as almost one thousand times higher than that reported in other cell systems in previous studies. Also, long exposure times of oocytes to VB, throughout the duration of in vitro maturation culture, may have contributed to significant increase of oocyte oxidation. Further studies are needed to identify lower concentrations and/or shorter exposure times to figure out VB antioxidant effects in juvenile ARTs.

  2. Cd2+胁迫对文蛤鳃组织SOD、CAT活性及MDA含量的影响%Effects of Cd2 + on SOD activity CAT activity, and MDA content in the gill of Meretrix mere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张宜奎; 宋秀凯; 刘爱英; 任利华; 马建新


    为了解不同质量浓度的Cd2+对水生动物的超氧化物歧化酶(SOD)、过氧化氢酶(CAT)活性和脂质过氧化的影响,以文蛤为研究材料,采用室内模拟试验的方法,依据Cd2+对文蛤96h半致死质量浓度(LC50),设置4个Cd2+胁迫组,胁迫质量浓度分别为0.41 mg/L( 1/32LC50)、0.82 mg/L(1/16 LC50)、1.65 mg/L(1/8 LC50)、3.30 mg/L( 1/4LC50),并设置对照组,每组3个平行.研究不同质量浓度的Cd2+对文蛤鳃组织SOD、CAT活性和MDA含量的影响.结果表明:文蛤鳃组织SOD活性在0.41 mg/L和0.82 mg/L胁迫下,试验前期(0~48 h)呈现诱导效应,试验后期(48~96 h)呈现抑制效应,其余胁迫质量浓度在试验过程中均对文蛤鳃组织SOD活性呈现抑制效应;CAT活性在低质量浓度(0.41 mg/L)胁迫下出现阶段性抑制效应,接着呈现诱导-抑制过程,中高质量浓度在整个过程呈现诱导-抑制的过程;经过96h的胁迫试验,各胁迫组文蛤鳃组织中MDA含量显著上升(p<0.05),Cd2+对MDA的诱导作用显著且存在剂量-效应关系.%The article is intended to present findings on the effects of Cd2+ on the activities of SOD, CAT and content of MDA in the gill tissues of Meretrix meretrix. SOD and CAT are very important antioxi-dant enzymes which widely exist in nature and can remove excessive O2-free radical to prevent cellular damage. Some researches show that SOD and CAT are cooperative when removing O2-free radical. MDA is a kind of product of lipid per-oxidation, which indirectly reflect lipid per-oxidation in living organism. There were one control group and four exposed groups of Cd2+ which is 0.41 mg/L and 0.82 mg/L and 1.65 mg/L and 3.30 mg/L, respectively, according the values of 96 h half-lethal concentration (LC50) of Cd2+ on Meretrix meretrix . The effect of different Cd2 + concentrations on SOD activity, CAT activity, and content of MDA in the gill of Meretrix meretrix were investigated. The results showed that SOD activity was

  3. Antioxidant activity of Cat's whiskers flavonoid on some reactive oxygen and nitrogen species generating inflammatory cells is mediated by scavenging of free radicals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Asis Bala; Biswakanth Kar; Indrajit Karmakar; R.B.Suresh Kumar; Pallab Kanti Haldar


    AIM:To find out the effect of Cat's whiskers (Cleome gynandra L.,Capparidaceae) flavonoid (CWF) for the scavenging of free radicals in some inflammatory cells.METHODS:Mouse erythrocyte's hemoglobin,peritoneal macrophage,and peripheral blood lymphocytes were oxidized either by some of toxic chemicals (nitrite,carbon tetrachloride) or by enzymatic stimulation (glucoseoxidase) to produce oxidative damage to cells.The protective effect of the CWF was examined,and the biochemical mechanism of action was also investigated in terms of the scavenging of free radicals.RESULTS:CWF (1-20 μg·mL-1) decreased glucoseoxidase and nitrite induce oxidative damage in a concentration dependent manner in an in vitro model and inhibited the lysis of RBC [(28.64 ±13.03)% and (70.31 ± 1.80)%] when mice were treated with CWF (25 and 50 mg·kg-1).To assess the antioxidant potential of CWF in the lymphocytes and macrophages in living animals,the effect of CWF was measured on the elevated level of superoxide anions production in the cells.CWF scavenged the superoxide anion (O2-) production and inhibited the O2-induced destruction of protein and lipid biomolecules.CONCLUSION:The study has established that the CWF mediates its antioxidant activity in some chronic inflammatory cells via its free radical scavenging activity.

  4. Neem (Azadirachta indica L.) leaf extract deteriorates oocyte quality by inducing ROS-mediated apoptosis in mammals. (United States)

    Chaube, Shail K; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Tiwari, Meenakshi; Prasad, Shilpa; Tripathi, Anima; Pandey, Ajai K


    Neem (Azadirachta indica L.) leaf has been widely used in ayurvedic system of medicine for fertility regulation for a long time. The molecular mechanism by which neem leaf regulates female fertility remains poorly understood. Animal studies suggest that aqueous neem leaf extract (NLE) induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) - mediated granulosa cell apoptosis. Granulosa cell apoptosis deprives oocytes from nutrients, survival factors and cell cycle proteins required for the achievement of meiotic competency of follicular oocytes prior to ovulation. Under this situation, follicular oocyte becomes more susceptible towards apoptosis after ovulation. The increased level of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) inside the follicular fluid results in the transfer of H2O2 from follicular fluid to the oocyte. The increased level of H2O2 induces p53 activation and over expression of Bax protein that modulates mitochondrial membrane potential and trigger cytochrome c release. The increased cytosolic cytochrome c level induces caspase-9 and caspase-3 activities that trigger destruction of structural and specific proteins leading to DNA fragmentation and thereby oocyte apoptosis. Based on these animal studies, we propose that NLE induces generation of ROS and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis both in granulosa cells as well as in follicular oocyte. The induction of apoptosis deteriorates oocyte quality and thereby limits reproductive outcome in mammals.

  5. StreamCat (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The StreamCat Dataset provides summaries of natural and anthropogenic landscape features for ~2.65 million streams, and their associated catchments, within the...

  6. IndexCat (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — IndexCat provides access to the digitized version of the printed Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office; eTK for medieval Latin texts; and...

  7. Cat tongue Velcro (United States)

    Noel, Alexis; Martinez, Andrea; Jung, Hyewon; Tsai, Ting-Wen; Hu, David


    A cat's tongue is covered in an array of spines called papillae. These spines are thought to be used in grooming and rasping meat from bones of prey, although no mechanism has been given. We use high-speed video to film a cat removing cat food deeply wedged into a 3-D printed fur mat. We show that the spines on the tongue act as Velcro for particles. The tongue itself is highly elastic. As the cat presses it against a substrate, the tongue flattens and the spines separate. When the tongue is removed from the substrate the spines come together, wedging particles between them. This elasticity-driven entrapment permits the surface of the tongue to act as a carrier for hard to reach particles, and to increase the efficacy of grooming and feeding.

  8. Regulatory role of kit ligand-c-kit interaction and oocyte factors in steroidogenesis by rat granulosa cells. (United States)

    Miyoshi, Tomoko; Otsuka, Fumio; Nakamura, Eri; Inagaki, Kenichi; Ogura-Ochi, Kanako; Tsukamoto, Naoko; Takeda, Masaya; Makino, Hirofumi


    Although kit ligand (KL)-c-kit interaction is known to be critical for oogenesis and folliculogenesis, its role in ovarian steroidogenesis has yet to be elucidated. We studied the impact of KL-c-kit interaction in regulation of steroidogenesis using rat oocyte/granulosa cell co-culture. In the presence of oocytes, soluble KL suppressed FSH-induced estradiol production and aromatase mRNA expression without affecting FSH-induced progesterone production. The KL effect on steroidogenesis was interrupted by an anti-c-kit neutralizing antibody, suggesting that KL-c-kit interaction is involved in suppression of estrogen by granulosa cells through oocyte c-kit action. The cAMP-PKA pathway activity was not directly involved in the estrogen regulation by KL-c-kit action. It was of note that KL treatment increased the expression levels of oocyte-derived FGF-8, GDF-9 and BMP-6, while it reduced the expression levels of oocyte-derived BMP-15 in the oocyte-granulosa cell co-culture. Given the findings that FGF-8, but not GDF-9, BMP-6 or -15, suppressed FSH-induced estrogen production by granulosa cells, oocyte-derived FGF-8 is linked to suppression of FSH-induced estrogen production through the KL-c-kit interaction. Furthermore, the suppression of FSH-induced estrogen production by KL in the co-culture was reversed by a FGF receptor kinase inhibitor and the effect of the inhibitor was enhanced in combination with extracellular-domain protein of BMPRII, which interferes with BMP-15 and GDF-9 activities. Thus, the actions of endogenous oocyte factors including FGF-8 and BMP-15/GDF-9 were involved in the KL activity that inhibited FSH-induced estradiol production. Collectively, the results indicate that KL-c-kit interaction plays a role in estrogenic regulation through oocyte-granulosa cell communication.

  9. A stereotaxic method of anatomical localization by means of H{sub 2}{sup 15}O positron emission tomography applicable to the brain activation study in cats. Registration of images of cerebral blood flow to brain atlas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakiyama, Yojiro; Toyama, Hinako; Oda, Keiichi; Ishii, Shin-ichi; Ishiwata, Kiichi; Ishii, Kenji; Suzuki, Atsuko; Nakayama, Hitomi; Senda, Michio [Tokyo Metropolitan Inst. of Gerontology (Japan)


    In the neuronal activation study of normal animals, precise anatomical correlation, preferentially to a detailed brain atlas, is required for the activation foci co-registration. To obtain precise regional correlation between H{sub 2}{sup 15}O-PET images and the brain atlas, a method of stereotaxic image reorientation was applied to an activation study with vibrotactile stimulation. Cats anesthetized with halothane underwent repeated measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the resting condition and during vibration of the right forepaw. The image set was adjusted three-dimensionally to the atlas. The postmortem brain was sectioned according to the atlas planes. The activated areas were determined by the stimulus-minus-resting subtraction images, and the areas were projected to the atlas. The PET images of the cat brain were compatible both to the postmortem brain slices and to the brain atlas. The activation foci obtained from the subtraction images corresponded to the area around the coronal sulcus, which is electrophysiologically known as the primary sensory area as described in the atlas. There were precise regional correlations between the PET image and anatomy in a PET activation study of the cat by means of stereotaxic image reorientation. (author)

  10. Enhancing survival of mouse oocytes following chemotherapy or aging by targeting Bax and Rad51.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loro L Kujjo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Therapeutic approaches to preserve fertility in females undergoing cancer treatments are currently ineffective. This is partly due to limited knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that injured germ cells elicit to repair damage and survive or to abort repair and activate biochemical pathways leading to death. So far, we know that following spontaneously occurring or drug-induced DNA damage, the efficiency of DNA repair is a critical determinant of the cell's fate. The protein encoded by the Rad51 gene is one of several components recruited for homologous recombination-dependent DNA double-strand break repair in both somatic cells and germ cells. Recently, we showed that microinjection of recombinant Rad51 into AKR/J mouse oocytes decreased the extent of spontaneous DNA double-strand breaks, suppressed apoptosis, and restored the developmental competence in AKR/J embryos. Herein we characterized the nature of chemotherapy-induced lesions in oocytes, and the associated individual components of the DNA damage sensor and repair apparatus. For comparison, we also assessed parallel spontaneous changes in aging oocytes. METHODS: Data collected were derived from: analysis of apoptosis; immunodepletion; oocyte microinjections; immunocytochemistry; immunofluorescence; and CHIP-like assays. RESULTS: Our data show that: (i DNA damage in oocytes can be induced by both chemotherapy and spontaneously by the aging process; (ii oocytes possess the machinery and capability for repairing such DNA damage; (iii Rad51 is a critical player in the repair of both chemotherapy-induced and spontaneously-sustained DNA damage; and (iv in response to damage, oocytes exhibit an inverse functional relationship between presence of Bax and activity of Rad51. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results establish Rad51 and/or Bax as potential candidates that can be targeted for development of individualized chemotherapeutic interventions that are effective, but minimal in

  11. Concentration of D-dimers in healthy cats and sick cats with and without disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). (United States)

    Tholen, Inger; Weingart, Christiane; Kohn, Barbara


    The objective of this prospective study was to measure concentrations of D-dimers in 48 cats with various diseases and in 20 healthy cats to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity for D-dimers to diagnose disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The cats were classified as having DIC if an underlying disease and at least three of the following criteria were present: thrombocytopenia, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time or thrombin time, schistocytes and/or a reduced antithrombin activity. D-dimer concentrations were measured using a semi-quantitative latex agglutination (LA) test (Accuclot D-Dimer, Sigma Diagnostics). The D-dimer test was positive for 8/12 cats with DIC and for 16/36 sick cats without DIC. D-dimers were negative for all healthy control cats. The comparison of the sick cats with DIC and those without DIC revealed a specificity and sensitivity of the D-dimer test of 56% and 67%; a comparison of the results for healthy cats and cats with DIC revealed a specificity and sensitivity of 100% and 67%, respectively. The D-dimer LA test is only of limited value for the diagnosis of DIC in cats.

  12. 柴胡皂甙调节猫睡眠节律电活动机理的初探%Preliminary study on mechanism of saikosaponins in regulating sleep rhythmical electrical activities in cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙兵; 郝洪谦


    目的:探讨柴胡皂甙调节猫睡眠节律电活动的机理,揭示中药的药理学作用。方法:给猫侧脑室注射色氨酸羟化酶抑制剂对氯苯丙氨酸(PCPA)50μl(0.1mmol/L),以猫睡眠节律电活动为指标,用睡眠多导仪连续纪录 6h。结果:发现 PCPA 可造成猫睡眠剥夺状态。腹腔注射柴胡皂甙可对抗和翻转 PCPA 所致的睡眠剥夺。结论:柴胡皂甙的致眠作用,可能与脑内的 5-羟色氨(5-HT)的浓度变化有关,本实验为中草药的临床应用提供理论基础。%Objective:In order to study the mechanism on regulatory of saikosaponins on rhythmical electric activities of sleep in Cat. Methods: The effects of intracerebroventricular(ICV) injection of parachorophenylalainine(PCPA - inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase) 50μl(0.1mmol/L) on sleep(SWS Ⅰ, SWS Ⅱ and PS) were investigated in cat and by rhythmic electrical activities of sleep in cat were used as indicator. Results: Deprivation of sleep can be found in cat resulted by PCPA during six hours consecutive recording. But simultaneous peritoneal cavity injection of saikosaponins 1.5ml/kg in cat can antgaonize and turnover deprivation of sleep caused by PCPA. Conclusion:It is supposed that effects on sleep caused by saikosaponins may be relative with concentration changes of 5 - HT in the brain.

  13. Oocyte cryopreservation for donor egg banking. (United States)

    Cobo, Ana; Remohí, José; Chang, Ching-Chien; Nagy, Zsolt Peter


    Oocyte donation is an efficient alternative to using own oocytes in IVF treatment for different indications. Unfortunately, 'traditional' (fresh) egg donations are challenged with inefficiency, difficulties of synchronization, very long waiting periods and lack of quarantine measures. Given the recent improvements in the efficiency of oocyte cryopreservation, it is reasonable to examine if egg donation through oocyte cryopreservation has merits. The objective of the current manuscript is to review existing literature on this topic and to report on the most recent outcomes from two established donor cryobank centres. Reports on egg donation using slow freezing are scarce and though results are encouraging, outcomes are not yet comparable to a fresh egg donation treatment. Vitrification on the other hand appears to provide high survival rates (90%) of donor oocytes and comparable fertilization, embryo development, implantation and pregnancy rates to traditional (fresh) egg donation. Besides the excellent outcomes, the ease of use for both donors and recipients, higher efficiency, lower cost and avoiding the problem of synchronization are all features associated with the benefit of a donor egg cryobank and makes it likely that this approach becomes the future standard of care. Oocyte donation is one of the last resorts in IVF treatment for couples challenged with infertility problems. However, traditional (fresh) egg donation, as it is performed today, is not very efficient, as typically all eggs from one donor are given to only one recipient, it is arduous as it requires an excellent synchronization between the donor and recipient and there are months or years of waiting time. Because of the development of an efficient oocyte cryopreservation technique, it is now possible to cryo-store donor (as well as non-donor) eggs, maintaining their viability and allowing their use whenever there is demand. Therefore, creating a donor oocyte cryobank would carry many advantages

  14. Locomotor-activated neurons of the cat. II. Noradrenergic innervation and colocalization with NEα 1a or NEα 2b receptors in the thoraco-lumbar spinal cord. (United States)

    Noga, Brian R; Johnson, Dawn M G; Riesgo, Mirta I; Pinzon, Alberto


    Norepinephrine (NE) is a strong modulator and/or activator of spinal locomotor networks. Thus noradrenergic fibers likely contact neurons involved in generating locomotion. The aim of the present study was to investigate the noradrenergic innervation of functionally related, locomotor-activated neurons within the thoraco-lumbar spinal cord. This was accomplished by immunohistochemical colocalization of noradrenergic fibers using dopamine-β-hydroxylase or NEα(1A) and NEα(2B) receptors with cells expressing the c-fos gene activity-dependent marker Fos. Experiments were performed on paralyzed, precollicular-postmamillary decerebrate cats, in which locomotion was induced by electrical stimulation of the mesencephalic locomotor region. The majority of Fos labeled neurons, especially abundant in laminae VII and VIII throughout the thoraco-lumbar (T13-L7) region of locomotor animals, showed close contacts with multiple noradrenergic boutons. A small percentage (10-40%) of Fos neurons in the T7-L7 segments showed colocalization with NEα(1A) receptors. In contrast, NEα(2B) receptor immunoreactivity was observed in 70-90% of Fos cells, with no obvious rostrocaudal gradient. In comparison with results obtained from our previous study on the same animals, a significantly smaller proportion of Fos labeled neurons were innervated by noradrenergic than serotonergic fibers, with significant differences observed for laminae VII and VIII in some segments. In lamina VII of the lumbar segments, the degree of monoaminergic receptor subtype/Fos colocalization examined statistically generally fell into the following order: NEα(2B) = 5-HT(2A) ≥ 5-HT(7) = 5-HT(1A) > NEα(1A). These results suggest that noradrenergic modulation of locomotion involves NEα(1A)/NEα(2B) receptors on noradrenergic-innervated locomotor-activated neurons within laminae VII and VIII of thoraco-lumbar segments. Further study of the functional role of these receptors in locomotion is warranted.

  15. Apoptosis maintains oocyte quality in aging Caenorhabditis elegans females.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Andux


    Full Text Available In women, oocytes arrest development at the end of prophase of meiosis I and remain quiescent for years. Over time, the quality and quantity of these oocytes decreases, resulting in fewer pregnancies and an increased occurrence of birth defects. We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how oocyte quality is regulated during aging. To assay quality, we determine the fraction of oocytes that produce viable eggs after fertilization. Our results show that oocyte quality declines in aging nematodes, as in humans. This decline affects oocytes arrested in late prophase, waiting for a signal to mature, and also oocytes that develop later in life. Furthermore, mutations that block all cell deaths result in a severe, early decline in oocyte quality, and this effect increases with age. However, mutations that block only somatic cell deaths or DNA-damage-induced deaths do not lower oocyte quality. Two lines of evidence imply that most developmentally programmed germ cell deaths promote the proper allocation of resources among oocytes, rather than eliminate oocytes with damaged chromosomes. First, oocyte quality is lowered by mutations that do not prevent germ cell deaths but do block the engulfment and recycling of cell corpses. Second, the decrease in quality caused by apoptosis mutants is mirrored by a decrease in the size of many mature oocytes. We conclude that competition for resources is a serious problem in aging germ lines, and that apoptosis helps alleviate this problem.

  16. Ultrasonographic-guided retrieval of cumulus oocyte complexes after super-stimulation in dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius). (United States)

    Wani, N A; Skidmore, J A


    In Experiment 1, studies were conducted to apply the transvaginal ultrasound guided ovum pick-up (OPU) technique in dromedary camels after their ovarian super-stimulation and in vivo oocyte maturation. In Experiment 2, the developmental potential of two commonly used oocyte types, i.e., in vivo matured oocytes collected by OPU and abattoir derived in vitro-matured oocytes was compared after their chemical activation. In Experiment 3, developmental competence of oocytes collected from super-stimulated camels by OPU, matured either in vivo or in vitro, was compared after their chemical activation. Mature female dromedary camels super-stimulated with a combination of eCG and pFSH were given an injection of 20 microg of the GnRH analogue, buserelin 24, 26, or 28 h before the scheduled OPU. For collection of cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) the transducer was guided through the vulva into the cranial most portion of the vagina and 17-gauge, 55 cm single-lumen needle was placed in the needle guide of the ultrasound probe and advanced through the vaginal fornix and into the follicle. Follicular fluid was aspirated using a regulated vacuum pump into tubes containing embryo-flushing media. Aspirates were searched for COCs using a stereomicroscope, and they were then denuded of cumulus cells by hyaluronidase and repeated pipetting. The oocytes were classified as mature (with a visible polar body), immature (with no visible polar body), activated (with divided or fragmented ooplasm) and others (degenerated and abnormal). Overall an average of 12.12 +/- 7.9 COCs were aspirated per animal with an oocyte recovery rate from the aspirated follicles of about 77%. The majority (> 90%) of the collected COCs by OPU were with loose and expanded cumulus cells. The proportion of matured oocytes obtained at 28-29 h (91.2 +/- 4.1) and 26-27 h (82.1 +/- 3.4) were higher (P dromedary camels 26-28 h after GnRH administration. The developmental response, to chemical activation, of in vivo

  17. Identification of PDE9 as a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase in germinal vesicle oocytes: A proposed role in the resumption of meiosis (United States)

    Hanna, Carol B.; Yao, Shan; Wu, Xuemei; Jensen, Jeffrey T.


    Objective To identify a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) in non-human primate germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes and establish a proposed effect on oocyte maturation through preliminary experiments in mouse GV oocytes. Design Controlled non-human primate and rodent experiments. Setting Academic research institution. Animals Rhesus macaques and B6/129F1 mice. Interventions Rhesus macaques were stimulated with FSH to collect GV oocytes and cumulus for gene expression analysis. Female mice were stimulated with PMSG to collect GV oocytes. Main Outcome Measures PDE transcript expression in primate GV oocytes and cumulus cells. Fluorescence polarization (FP) measurements of PDE3A activity. Spontaneous resumption of meiosis in mouse GV oocytes. Results Five PDE transcripts were detected in Rhesus GV oocytes, only PDE9A was cGMP-specific. FP assays indicated cGMP has an inhibitory effect on PDE3A while the PDE9 inhibitor, BAY73-6691, did not. Similarly, BAY73-6691, had little effect on preventing spontaneous maturation in oocytes, but did augment the inhibitory effects of cGMP. Inclusion of 0µM (control), 10µM, 100µM, and 1 mM BAY73-6691 significantly increased the proportion of mouse oocytes maintaining GV arrest in the presence of the cGMP analog 8-Br-cGMP at: 100µM (8.8%, 11.4%, 18.8%, and 28%), 500µM (21.1%, 38.1%, 74.5%,and 66.5%), and 1 mM (57.8%, 74.5%, 93.9%, and 94.0%) respectively, when P<0.05. Conclusions PDE9 is a cGMP-specific hydrolyzing enzyme present in primate oocytes, and PDE9 antagonists augment the inhibitory effect of cGMP during spontaneous in vitro maturation of GV mouse oocytes. PMID:22704629

  18. Role of sensory-motor cortex activity in postnatal development of corticospinal axon terminals in the cat. (United States)

    Friel, Kathleen M; Martin, John H


    The initial pattern of corticospinal (CS) terminations, as axons grow into the spinal gray matter, bears little resemblance to the pattern later in development and in maturity. This is because of extensive axon pruning and local axon terminal growth during early postnatal development. Pruning is driven by activity-dependent competition between the CS systems on each side during postnatal weeks (PW) 3-7. It is not known whether CS axon terminal growth and final topography are activity dependent. We examined the activity dependence of CS axon terminal growth and topography at different postnatal times. We inactivated sensory-motor cortex by infusion of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) agonist muscimol and traced CS axons from the inactivated side. Inactivation between PW5 and PW7 produced permanent changes in projection topography, reduced local axon branching, and prevented development of dense clusters of presynaptic sites, which are normally characteristic of CS terminals. Inactivation at younger (PW3-5) and older (PW8-12) ages did not affect projection topography but impeded development of local axon branching and presynaptic site clusters. These effects were not due to increased cortical cell death during inactivation. Neural activity plays an important role in determining the morphology of CS terminals during the entire period of development, but, for the projection topography, the role of activity is exercised during a very brief period. This points to a complex, and possibly independent, regulation of termination topography and terminal morphology. Surprisingly, when a CS neuron's activity is blocked during early development, it does not recover lost connections later in development once activity resumes.

  19. Calcium ion currents mediating oocyte maturation events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tosti Elisabetta


    Full Text Available Abstract During maturation, the last phase of oogenesis, the oocyte undergoes several changes which prepare it to be ovulated and fertilized. Immature oocytes are arrested in the first meiotic process prophase, that is morphologically identified by a germinal vesicle. The removal of the first meiotic block marks the initiation of maturation. Although a large number of molecules are involved in complex sequences of events, there is evidence that a calcium increase plays a pivotal role in meiosis re-initiation. It is well established that, during this process, calcium is released from the intracellular stores, whereas less is known on the role of external calcium entering the cell through the plasma membrane ion channels. This review is focused on the functional role of calcium currents during oocyte maturation in all the species, from invertebrates to mammals. The emerging role of specific L-type calcium channels will be discussed.

  20. Rho-GTPase effector ROCK phosphorylates cofilin in actin-meditated cytokinesis during mouse oocyte meiosis. (United States)

    Duan, Xing; Liu, Jun; Dai, Xiao-Xin; Liu, Hong-Lin; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Shao-Chen


    During oocyte meiosis, a spindle forms in the central cytoplasm and migrates to the cortex. Subsequently, the oocyte extrudes a small body and forms a highly polarized egg; this process is regulated primarily by actin. ROCK is a Rho-GTPase effector that is involved in various cellular functions, such as stress fiber formation, cell migration, tumor cell invasion, and cell motility. In this study, we investigated possible roles for ROCK in mouse oocyte meiosis. ROCK was localized around spindles after germinal vesicle breakdown and was colocalized with cytoplasmic actin and mitochondria. Disrupting ROCK activity by RNAi or an inhibitor resulted in cell cycle progression and polar body extrusion failure. Time-lapse microscopy showed that this may have been due to spindle migration and cytokinesis defects, as chromosomes segregated but failed to extrude a polar body and then realigned. Actin expression at oocyte membranes and in cytoplasm was significantly decreased after these treatments. Actin caps were also disrupted, which was confirmed by a failure to form cortical granule-free domains. The mitochondrial distribution was also disrupted, which indicated that mitochondria were involved in the ROCK-mediated actin assembly. In addition, the phosphorylation levels of Cofilin, a downstream molecule of ROCK, decreased after disrupting ROCK activity. Thus, our results indicated that a ROCK-Cofilin-actin pathway regulated meiotic spindle migration and cytokinesis during mouse oocyte maturation.

  1. Role of ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 in antipolyspermy defense of mammalian oocytes. (United States)

    Susor, Andrej; Liskova, Lucie; Toralova, Tereza; Pavlok, Antonin; Pivonkova, Katerina; Karabinova, Pavla; Lopatarova, Miloslava; Sutovsky, Peter; Kubelka, Michal


    The ubiquitin-proteasome system regulates many cellular processes through rapid proteasomal degradation of ubiquitin-tagged proteins. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCHL1) is one of the most abundant proteins in mammalian oocytes. It has weak hydrolytic activity as a monomer and acts as a ubiquitin ligase in its dimeric or oligomeric form. Recently published data show that insufficiency in UCHL1 activity coincides with polyspermic fertilization; however, the mechanism by which UCHL1 contributes to this process remains unclear. Using UCHL1-specific inhibitors, we induced a high rate of polyspermy in bovine zygotes after in vitro fertilization. We also detected decreased levels in the monomeric ubiquitin and polyubiquitin pool. The presence of UCHL1 inhibitors in maturation medium enhanced formation of presumptive UCHL1 oligomers and subsequently increased abundance of K63-linked polyubiquitin chains in oocytes. We analyzed the dynamics of cortical granules (CGs) in UCHL1-inhibited oocytes; both migration of CGs toward the cortex during oocyte maturation and fertilization-induced extrusion of CGs were impaired. These alterations in CG dynamics coincided with high polyspermy incidence in in vitro-produced UCHL1-inhibited zygotes. These data indicate that antipolyspermy defense in bovine oocytes may rely on UCHL1-controlled functioning of CGs.

  2. Scrambled and fried: Cigarette smoke exposure causes antral follicle destruction and oocyte dysfunction through oxidative stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobinoff, A.P. [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Beckett, E.L.; Jarnicki, A.G. [Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Sutherland, J.M. [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); McCluskey, A. [Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Hansbro, P.M. [Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); McLaughlin, E.A., E-mail: [Reproductive Science Group, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia); Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (Australia)


    Cigarette smoke is a reproductive hazard associated with pre-mature reproductive senescence and reduced clinical pregnancy rates in female smokers. Despite an increased awareness of the adverse effects of cigarette smoke exposure on systemic health, many women remain unaware of the adverse effects of cigarette smoke on female fertility. This issue is compounded by our limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind cigarette smoke induced infertility. In this study we used a direct nasal exposure mouse model of cigarette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to characterise mechanisms of cigarette-smoke induced ovotoxicity. Cigarette smoke exposure caused increased levels of primordial follicle depletion, antral follicle oocyte apoptosis and oxidative stress in exposed ovaries, resulting in fewer follicles available for ovulation. Evidence of oxidative stress also persisted in ovulated oocytes which escaped destruction, with increased levels of mitochondrial ROS and lipid peroxidation resulting in reduced fertilisation potential. Microarray analysis of ovarian tissue correlated these insults with a complex mechanism of ovotoxicity involving genes associated with detoxification, inflammation, follicular activation, immune cell mediated apoptosis and membrane organisation. In particular, the phase I detoxifying enzyme cyp2e1 was found to be significantly up-regulated in developing oocytes; an enzyme known to cause molecular bioactivation resulting in oxidative stress. Our results provide a preliminary model of cigarette smoke induced sub-fertility through cyp2e1 bioactivation and oxidative stress, resulting in developing follicle depletion and oocyte dysfunction. - Highlights: • Cigarette smoke exposure targets developing follicle oocytes. • The antral follicle oocyte is a primary site of ovarian cigarette smoke metabolism. • Cyp2e1 is a major enzyme involved in ameliorating smoke-induced ovotoxicity. • Cigarette smoke causes oocyte

  3. High hydrostatic pressure: a new way to improve in vitro developmental competence of porcine matured oocytes after vitrification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Du, Y; Pribenszky, C S; Molnár, M


    The purpose of the present study was to improve cryotolerance using high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) pretreatment of porcine in vitro matured (IVM) oocytes, to facilitate their further developmental competence after parthenogenetic activation. A total of 1668 porcine IVM oocytes were used in our...

  4. Biochemical effects of glyphosate based herbicide, Excel Mera 71 on enzyme activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), lipid peroxidation (LPO), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and protein content on teleostean fishes. (United States)

    Samanta, Palas; Pal, Sandipan; Mukherjee, Aloke Kumar; Ghosh, Apurba Ratan


    Effects of glyphosate based herbicide, Excel Mera 71 at a dose of 17.20mg/l on enzyme activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), lipid peroxidation (LPO), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and protein content were measured in different tissues of two Indian air-breathing teleosts, Anabas testudineus (Bloch) and Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch) during an exposure period of 30 days under laboratory condition. AChE activity was significantly increased in all the investigated tissues of both fish species and maximum elevation was observed in brain of H. fossilis, while spinal cord of A. testudineus showed minimum increment. Fishes showed significant increase LPO levels in all the tissues; highest was observed in gill of A. testudineus but lowest LPO level was observed in muscle of H. fossilis. CAT was also enhanced in both the fishes, while GST activity in liver diminished substantially and minimum was observed in liver of A. testudineus. Total protein content showed decreased value in all the tissues, maximum reduction was observed in liver and minimum in brain of A. testudineus and H. fossilis respectively. The results indicated that Excel Mera 71 caused serious alterations in the enzyme activities resulting into severe deterioration of fish health; so, AChE, LPO, CAT and GST can be used as suitable indicators of herbicidal toxicity.

  5. [On true and apparent Michaelis constants in enzymology. II. Is the equation k(m)app = k(s) + k)cat)/k(1) true for enzyme-catalysed reactions with activator participation?]. (United States)

    Karakhim, S A


    The article is dedicated to analysis of equation which expresses apparent Michaelis constant K(m)app) of enzyme-catalysed reactions with activator participation by means of the substrate constant K(s) and rate constant of enzyme-substrate complex decomposition k(cat). It has been shown that although it is possible to record the mechanisms of such reactions as a scheme similar to Michaelis-Menten model and to derive equation of apparent Michaelis constant as K(m(app) = K(s) + k(cat)/k(1), but this approach cannot be used for investigation of all reactions with activator participation. The equation mentioned above is not obeyed in the general case, it may be true for some mechanisms only or under certain ratio of kinetic parameters of enzyme-catalysed reactions.

  6. Production of lion (Panthera leo) blastocysts after in vitro maturation of oocytes and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. (United States)

    Fernandez-Gonzalez, Lorena; Hribal, Romy; Stagegaard, Julia; Zahmel, Jennifer; Jewgenow, Katarina


    Assisted reproductive techniques are becoming widely applied to the breeding of endangered species, but establishing reliable protocols for the production of embryos in vitro is challenging because of the scarcity of sample material. In our study, we applied an assisted reproductive technique protocol for IVM and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), developed in the domestic cat, to oocytes retrieved from ovaries of four 2-year-old lionesses (Panthera leo) eight hours postmortem. In total, 68 cumulus-oocyte complexes of good quality were randomly distributed and cultured for 32 to 34 hours in two different maturation culture media, consisting of Medium 199 with Earle's salts, 3 mg/mL BSA, 0.1 mg/mL cysteine, 1.4 mg/mL sodium pyruvate, 0.6 mg/mL sodium lactate, 0.15 mg/mL l-glutamine, and 0.055 mg/mL gentamicin. Hormonal supplementation of IVM_1 was 0.02 IU/mL FSH and 0.05 IU/mL LH; IVM_2 consisted of 1.64 IU/mL FSH, 1.06 IU/mL LH, and 1 μg/mL 17ß-estradiol. Differences in hormonal supplementation did not produce significant differences in oocyte maturation rates, which were 39.4% in IVM_1 and 34.3% in IVM_2. Matured oocytes were microinjected with homologous frozen-thawed spermatozoa, and subsequent cleavage rates were 30.8% and 58.3%, respectively. Half of the embryos derived from oocytes matured in IVM_1 developed into blastocysts, whereas only 28.6% of embryos from oocytes matured in IVM_2 reached the blastocyst stage. Morula stages were present from Day 6 onward, and blastocyst stages from Day 9 on, indicating a slower developmental speed in comparison with domestic cats. This is the first report of in vitro-produced blastocysts using ICSI in the lion, and the results report that IVM and ICSI can be successfully performed with cumulus-oocyte complexes retrieved from ovaries after eight hours of shipping, obtaining competent embryos in culture.

  7. Weak Cat-Operads

    CERN Document Server

    Dosen, K


    An operad (this paper deals with non-symmetric operads) may be conceived as a partial algebra with a family of insertion operations, Gerstenhaber's circle-i products, which satisfy two kinds of associativity, one of them involving commutativity. A Cat-operad is an operad enriched over the category Cat of small categories, as a 2-category with small hom-categories is a category enriched over Cat. The notion of weak Cat-operad is to the notion of Cat-operad what the notion of bicategory is to the notion of 2-category. The equations of operads like associativity of insertions are replaced by isomorphisms in a category. The goal of this paper is to formulate conditions concerning these isomorphisms that ensure coherence, in the sense that all diagrams of canonical arrows commute. This is the sense in which the notions of monoidal category and bicategory are coherent. The coherence proof in the paper is much simplified by indexing the insertion operations in a context-independent way, and not in the usual manner. ...

  8. Toxoplasmosis in two cats with inflammatory intestinal disease. (United States)

    Peterson, J L; Willard, M D; Lees, G E; Lappin, M R; Dieringer, T; Floyd, E


    Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis, a chronic inflammatory intestinal disease, was diagnosed in 2 cats. In 1 cat, recurrence of clinical signs after initiating treatment was attributed to relapse of the inflammatory intestinal disease, but was found to be attributable to relapsing toxoplasmosis secondary to immunosuppressive drug therapy. Treatment with clindamycin resolved the recurrent toxoplasmosis. In the second cat, clinical signs of toxoplasmosis did not develop, but serologic testing yielded evidence of active toxoplasmosis. Treatment with clindamycin caused the titers to decrease. Relapsing toxoplasmosis may be responsible for apparent resistance to treatment in cats for inflammatory intestinal disease being treated with immunosuppressive drugs.

  9. Oocyte Pickup from Live Cows Through Laparoscopic Guided Aspiration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    In this experiment, the bovine follicular oocytes were aspirated from the ovaries of Chinese Holsteins with laparoscope made in China. The results were as following: for identifying the suitable negative aspiration pressure, six different pressures (50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300mmHg)were tested. The aspiration pressure of 100mmHg was the best. Its oocyte recovery rate was 37. 2%, and G I , G Ⅱ oocyte rate was 89. 5%. The heifers were picked up by laparoscope once or twice a week. Each heifer was collected with 2. 4 oocytes once a week or 4. 4 oocytes twice a week.Its oocyte recovery rate was 48. 0% and the G Ⅰ ,G Ⅱ oocyte rate was 93. 5%. In addition, 1.9 oocytes were collected from each cow once a week or 5.4 oocytes from each cow twice a week. Its oocyte recovery rate was 51.7% and the G Ⅰ , G Ⅱ oocyte rate was 85. 1%. It showed that it was possible to pick up bovine oocyte twice a week. Two cows were picked up twice a week for several weeks(53 times). 268 follicles were aspirated(5.1 follicles per cow per time), and 141 oocytes were recovered(2.7 oocytes per cow per time). The oocyte recovery rate was 52.5%, and the G Ⅰ , G Ⅱ oocyte rate was 85. 1%. It was advisable to pick up oocytes twice a week continuously. Some cows in estrous cycles were superovulated with PMSG(500IU). Each of them could be recovered 2.3 follicles and 1.1 oocytes, the others were superovulated with FSH(0. 7mg) , each of them could be aspirated with 4.4 follicles and 2.3 oocytes. It was obvious that the effect of OPU(oocyte pick up) by superovulation with FSH was much better than that with PMSG. The best time for OPU with laparoscope was at the beginning of cow's estrous cycles. At the first day of their estrus, each of them could be averagely aspirated with 8 follicles and 5.7 oocytes.

  10. Insulin alone can lead to a withdrawal of meiotic arrest in the carp oocyte

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Dasgupta; D Basu; L Ravi Kumar; S Bhattacharya


    Meiotic arrest of oocyte in an Indian carp, Labeo rohita Ham. has been found for the first time to be withdrawn by insulin only. Addition of insulin to oocytes in vitro caused germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), one of the first visual markers to determine initiation of the final maturational process. Under the influence of insulin the germinal vesicle (GV) of the oocyte migrated towards the animal pole, reached the micropyle and then dissolved (GVBD). By using different concentrations of insulin i.e., 0.063, 0.63, 6.3 and 12.6 M, optimum amount required was found to be 6.3 M. Induction of GVBD by insulin could be blocked by cycloheximide (Chx), a translation inhibitor, while actinomycin D (AcD) had no effect suggesting non-involvement of transcriptional activity in this process. Addition of the maturation-inducing steroid 17,20-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP) stimulated ( < 0.01) GVBD of carp oocytes and its combination with insulin showed an additive effect. Gonadotropin (GtH) caused GVBD but its effect was greatly augmented by insulin. Our results demonstrate that not only can insulin alone induce GVBD in carp oocytes, but it also augments the stimulatory effect of DHP or IGF-I or GtH on GVBD. This information will be important in hormonal manipulation during induced breeding of carp.

  11. The effects of proteasome inhibitor lactacystin on mouse oocyte meiosis and first cleavage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TAN Xin; PENG An; WANG Yongchao; TANG Zuoqing


    In order to study the effects of ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) on mouse oocyte meiosis and cleavage, oocytes undergoing maturation and parthenogenetic activation and 1-cell embryos were treated with lactacystin, a specific inhibitor of proteasome. The results indicared that the rate of GVBD was not influenced by the treatment, but polar body extrusion, parthenogenesis and first cleavage were inhibited. Immunofluorescent staining using anti β-tubulin antibody indicated that the continuous treatment of lactacystin from GV stage disorganized microtubules and spindle assembly. When metaphase stage oocytes were treated with the drug,the already formed spindle structure was not affected, but the oocytes were arrested at metaphases. The 1-cell embryos were arrested at interphase or metaphase of first mitosis when they were incubated in the drug. Proteasome regulatory subunit PA700 was located in the spindle region, as indicated by immunofluorescence. These results suggest that UPP has effects on the process of oocyte meiosis and early cleavage in many aspects, including normal organization of spindle at prophase and segregation of chromosomes at anaphase for normal meiosis.

  12. Rotation of Meiotic Spindle Is Controlled by Microfilaments in Mouse Oocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Da-YuanChen; Jin-SongLi; LiLian; LeiLei; Zhi-MingHan; Qing-YuanSun


    The completion of meiosis requires the spatial and temporal coordination of cytokinesis and karyokirlesis. During meiotic maturation, many events, such as formation, location, and rotation of the meiotic spindle as well as chromosomal movement,Polar body extrusion,and pronuclear migration,are dependent on regulation of the cytoskeleton system.To study functions of microfilaments in meiosis,we induced metaphase Ⅱ(MII)mouse oocytes to resume meiosis by in vitro fertilization or parthenogenetic activation,and we treated such oocytes with cytochalasin B(CB).The changes of the meiotic spindle,as visualized in preparations stained for β-tubulin and chromation,were observed by fluorescent confocal microscopy.The meiotic spindle of Mll oocytes was observed to be parallel to the plasmalemma.After meiosis had resumed,the spindle rotated to the vertical position so that the second polar body could be extruded into the perivitelline space.When meiosis resumed and oocytes were treated with 10μg/ml of CB,the spindle rotation was inhibited.Consequently,the oocyte formed an extra pronucleus instead of extruding a second polar body.These results indicate that spindle rotation is essential for polar body extrusion;it is the microfilaments that play a crucial role in regulating rotation of the meiotic spindle.

  13. The hippo pathway promotes Notch signaling in regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation, and oocyte polarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianzhong Yu

    Full Text Available Specification of the anterior-posterior axis in Drosophila oocytes requires proper communication between the germ-line cells and the somatically derived follicular epithelial cells. Multiple signaling pathways, including Notch, contribute to oocyte polarity formation by controlling the temporal and spatial pattern of follicle cell differentiation and proliferation. Here we show that the newly identified Hippo tumor-suppressor pathway plays a crucial role in the posterior follicle cells in the regulation of oocyte polarity. Disruption of the Hippo pathway, including major components Hippo, Salvador, and Warts, results in aberrant follicle-cell differentiation and proliferation and dramatic disruption of the oocyte anterior-posterior axis. These phenotypes are related to defective Notch signaling in follicle cells, because misexpression of a constitutively active form of Notch alleviates the oocyte polarity defects. We also find that follicle cells defective in Hippo signaling accumulate the Notch receptor and display defects in endocytosis markers. Our findings suggest that the interaction between Hippo and classic developmental pathways such as Notch is critical to spatial and temporal regulation of differentiation and proliferation and is essential for development of the body axes in Drosophila.

  14. Regulation of the formin Cappuccino is critical for polarity of Drosophila oocytes. (United States)

    Bor, Batbileg; Bois, Justin S; Quinlan, Margot E


    The Drosophila formin Cappuccino (Capu) creates an actin mesh-like structure that traverses the oocyte during midoogenesis. This mesh is thought to prevent premature onset of fast cytoplasmic streaming which normally happens during late-oogenesis. Proper cytoskeletal organization and cytoplasmic streaming are crucial for localization of polarity determinants such as osk, grk, bcd, and nanos mRNAs. Capu mutants disrupt these events, leading to female sterility. Capu is regulated by another nucleator, Spire, as well as by autoinhibition in vitro. Studies in vivo confirm that Spire modulates Capu's function in oocytes; however, how autoinhibition contributes is still unclear. To study the role of autoinhibition in flies, we expressed a Capu construct that is missing the Capu Inhibitory Domain, CapuΔN. Consistent with a gain of activity due to loss of autoinhibition, the actin mesh was denser in CapuΔN oocytes. Further, cytoplasmic streaming was delayed and fertility levels decreased. Localization of osk mRNA in early stages, and bcd and nanos in late stages, were disrupted in CapuΔN-expressing oocytes. Finally, evidence that these phenotypes were due to a loss of autoinhibition comes from coexpression of the N-terminal half of Capu with CapuΔN, which suppressed the defects in actin, cytoplasmic streaming and fertility. From these results, we conclude that Capu can be autoinhibited during Drosophila oocyte development.

  15. Microtubule-microtubule sliding by kinesin-1 is essential for normal cytoplasmic streaming in Drosophila oocytes. (United States)

    Lu, Wen; Winding, Michael; Lakonishok, Margot; Wildonger, Jill; Gelfand, Vladimir I


    Cytoplasmic streaming in Drosophila oocytes is a microtubule-based bulk cytoplasmic movement. Streaming efficiently circulates and localizes mRNAs and proteins deposited by the nurse cells across the oocyte. This movement is driven by kinesin-1, a major microtubule motor. Recently, we have shown that kinesin-1 heavy chain (KHC) can transport one microtubule on another microtubule, thus driving microtubule-microtubule sliding in multiple cell types. To study the role of microtubule sliding in oocyte cytoplasmic streaming, we used a Khc mutant that is deficient in microtubule sliding but able to transport a majority of cargoes. We demonstrated that streaming is reduced by genomic replacement of wild-type Khc with this sliding-deficient mutant. Streaming can be fully rescued by wild-type KHC and partially rescued by a chimeric motor that cannot move organelles but is active in microtubule sliding. Consistent with these data, we identified two populations of microtubules in fast-streaming oocytes: a network of stable microtubules anchored to the actin cortex and free cytoplasmic microtubules that moved in the ooplasm. We further demonstrated that the reduced streaming in sliding-deficient oocytes resulted in posterior determination defects. Together, we propose that kinesin-1 slides free cytoplasmic microtubules against cortically immobilized microtubules, generating forces that contribute to cytoplasmic streaming and are essential for the refinement of posterior determinants.

  16. Cryopreservation of hamster oocytes: effects of vitrification or freezing on human sperm penetration of zona-free hamster oocytes. (United States)

    Critser, J K; Arneson, B W; Aaker, D V; Ball, G D


    Three experiments were conducted for evaluation of the efficacy of conventional freezing or vitrification of hamster oocytes for use in a human sperm penetration assay (hSPA). In experiment 1, oocytes were cryopreserved and evaluated for survival on the basis of morphologic criteria. Survival of vitrified oocytes and that of frozen oocytes were not different, whereas all cryopreserved groups had lower survival than noncryopreserved controls. In experiment 2, oocytes were conventionally frozen or vitrified and evaluated in an hSPA. Vitrified oocytes had a lower frequency of sperm penetration than frozen oocytes, and all cryopreserved groups had lower penetration rates than untreated controls. In experiment 3, oocytes were exposed to the cryoprotectant used to vitrify (VS1) or freeze (DMSO) but not cooled prior to evaluation in an hSPA. Exposure to DMSO but not VS1 reduced hSPA values. It is concluded from these experiments that while all cryopreserved oocytes do not survive, at current stages of development conventionally frozen oocytes perform better than vitrified oocytes in the hSPA and losses associated with conventional freezing procedures may be related to cryoprotectant exposure, whereas vitrification losses are more probably due to events associated with rapid cooling and/or warming of the oocytes.

  17. Age-Associated Lipidome Changes in Metaphase II Mouse Oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyuck Jun Mok

    Full Text Available The quality of mammalian oocytes declines with age, which negatively affects fertilization and developmental potential. The aging process often accompanies damages to macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, and lipids. To investigate if aged oocytes display an altered lipidome compared to young oocytes, we performed a global lipidomic analysis between oocytes from 4-week-old and 42 to 50-week-old mice. Increased oxidative stress is often considered as one of the main causes of cellular aging. Thus, we set up a group of 4-week-old oocytes treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, a commonly used oxidative stressor, to compare if similar lipid species are altered between aged and oxidative-stressed oocytes. Between young and aged oocytes, we identified 26 decreased and 6 increased lipids in aged oocytes; and between young and H2O2-treated oocytes, we identified 35 decreased and 26 increased lipids in H2O2-treated oocytes. The decreased lipid species in these two comparisons were overlapped, whereas the increased lipid species were distinct. Multiple phospholipid classes, phosphatidic acid (PA, phosphatidylinositol (PI, phosphatidylserine (PS, and lysophosphatidylserine (LPS significantly decreased both in H2O2-treated and aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is similarly affected under these conditions. In contrast, a dramatic increase in diacylglycerol (DG was only noted in H2O2-treated oocytes, indicating that the acute effect of H2O2-caused oxidative stress is distinct from aging-associated lipidome alteration. In H2O2-treated oocytes, the expression of lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 increased along with increases in phosphatidylcholine. Overall, our data reveal that several classes of phospholipids are affected in aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is associated with maintaining fertilization and developmental potential of mouse oocytes.

  18. Marked antitumor activity of cat's whiskers tea (Orthosiphon stamineus extract in orthotopic model of human colon tumor in nude mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Foaud Saleih R Al-Suede


    Full Text Available Orthosiphon stamineus is used to treat kidney ailments including angiogenesis-dependent diseases. O. stamineus has shown to possess strong anti-angiogenic activity. In present study, an orthotopic nude mouse model of colon cancer was employed to study the factors that influence suppression of tumor by standardized 50% ethanol extract of O. stamineus leaves (EOS. Human colorectal cancer cells (HCT116 were surgically injected into the cecal wall of mice. Two different oral doses (100 and 200 mg/kg/day were given for 5 weeks. EOS suppressed 61.62±3.7% and 82.8±1.5% tumor growth at 100 and 200 mg/kg, respectively. Tumor histology revealed significant reduction in vascularization. Anti-angiogenic efficacy of EOS was investigated in human endothelial cells (HUVEC. In vitro, EOS inhibited migration and tube formation of HUVECs. HPLC data showed high content of rosmarinic acid in EOS. This work supports previous anti-tumor works on the plant in which suppression of VEGFR phosphorylation is thought to be involved.

  19. Development of rat oocytes following intracytoplasmic injection of sperm heads isolated from testicular and epididymal spermatozoa. (United States)

    Said, S; Han, M-S; Niwa, K


    The possibility of obtaining normal development of rat oocytes following intracytoplasmic injection of rat sperm heads, obtained by sonicating spermatozoa from testes and epididymides, was evaluated. Irrespective of the source of spermatozoa, sperm heads were successfully injected into approximately 45% of oocytes used; after 9-12h of culture, approximately 55% of injected oocytes still had normal morphology. Of the oocytes injected with testicular sperm heads 45% were activated, with a female pronucleus and a second polar body, but significantly more oocytes (approximately 68%) injected with caput and cauda epididymal sperm heads were activated. Male pronuclear formation was observed in 67-84% of the activated oocytes, with no difference in the proportions among the different sources of sperm heads. When zygotes showing two pronuclei and a second polar body at 10h after injection were cultured in conditions that support development of 1-cell embryos produced in vivo, no embryos derived from testicular sperm heads developed to blastocysts after 120 h of culture. Development of embryos derived from cauda sperm heads was significantly higher at all points of assessment, while embryos from caput sperm showed an intermediate degree of development, compared with embryos from testicular spermatozoa. However, similar proportions (2-4%) of 1-cell embryos derived from all three groups of sperm heads developed into normal offspring after transfer to foster mothers; of the limited number of offspring tested, all were fertile. These results demonstrate that sperm heads from all sources tested are similar in their ability to contribute to full development of normal, fertile offspring.

  20. [Cajal bodies in insect oocytes. II. New data on the molecular composition of cajal bodies in oocytes of the house cricket Acheta domesticus with special reference to interactions between cajal bodies and interchromatin granule clusters]. (United States)

    Stepanova, I S; Bogoliubov, D S; Parfenov, V N


    Cajal bodies (CBs) in oocytes of the house cricket Acheta domesticus are large, perfectly spherical nuclear organelles with a complex internal structure. These consist of a fibrillar coilin-containing matrix and a central cavity with a prominent fibrogranular body inside; the latter has been referred to as an "internal" interchromatin granule cluster (IGC). Within the matrix of CBs we detected transcriptional co-activators CBP/p300 and TATA-box binding protein (TBP). No RNA polymerase II was revealed in CBs of both normal and actynomycin D treated oocytes. In the nucleoplasm of A. domesticus oocytes, besides CBs, free IGCs were observed. In oocytes treated with actynomycin D, the amount of "free" IGCs in the nucleoplasm increase significantly, granular and fibrillar components of IGCs were seen segregated, and RNA polymerase II and CBP/p300 were found to be accumulated in fibrillar zones of IGCs.

  1. 接种摩西球囊霉对盐胁迫条件下盐地碱蓬叶片SOD和CAT活性的影响%Effects of Inoculation of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Glomus mosseae on SOD and CAT Activity in Suaeda salsa Seedlings under Salt Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李涛; 段迪; 杨青; 王宝山


    [Objective] Under salt stress condition, effects of inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Clomus mosseae on SOD and CAT activity in Suaeda salsa seedlings under salt stress were studied. [Method] There were 2 NaCl levels, namely 0 and 400 mmol/L and each NaCl contained 2 treat-ments, one is inoculated by Glomus mosseae and the other is control. The growths of Suaeda salsa, SOD and CAT activities as well as MDA content in leav-es was determined. [Result] Under salt stress condition, Glomus mosseae could increase the growths of Suaeda salsa, SOD and CAT activities in leaves and decreased MDA content in leaves. [Conclusion] It preliminarily demonstrated that Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) Fungi could increase salt resistance of Suaecla salsa by increasing the activities of SOD and CAT as well as alleviating membrane injury.

  2. Effects of Cultivation Conditions on the Activity of POD, SOD and CAT in the Leaf of Pinellia ternate Breit%栽培条件对半夏叶片POD、SOD、CAT活性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    章艳玲; 程纪伦; 李关荣


    To screen out a cultivation condition that can increase the Activity of POD, SOD and CAT in the leaf of Pinellia ternate Breit, measurements of POD, SOD and CAT activity in the leaf of Pinellia ternate Breit cultivated under different treatment were done with gaiacol, NBT and Ultraviolet spectrophotometry. The results showrd that the difference in leaf POD activity of Pinellia ternate Breit cultivated in the two media was insignificant; but different amount of fertilizers had very significant difference on POD activity, with 1/2MS+K+ P (KH2PO4100 mg/L) being the highest; the difference in leaf SOD and CAT activity of Pinellia ternate Breit cultivated in the two media was significant, activity of the two enzymes in perlite was very significantly higher than that in soil; different amount of fertilizers had some influence on SOD and CAT activity too, with 1/2MS+ K + P (KH2PO4100 mg/L) being the highest in SOD activity. The best cultivation that can enhance the POD, SOD, CAT activity in the leaf of Pinellia ternate Breit was fertilizing with 1/2MS+K+P (KH2PO4 100 mg/L) in perlite.%为了筛选能提高半夏叶片POD、SOD、CAT活性的栽培条件,用愈创木酚法、NBT光化还原抑制法和紫外分光光度法分别测定了不同基质不同施肥条件下半夏叶片中过氧化物酶(POD)、超氧化物歧化酶(SOD)和过氧化氢酶(CAT)的活性.结果表明:半夏叶片POD酶活性受基质影响不明显,但不同施肥处理对其活性影响极显著,其中施用1/2MS+K+P(KH2PO4 100 mg/L)的处理半夏叶片POD酶的活性最强;半夏叶片中SOD和CAT酶的活性受不同基质的影响比较明显,其中以珍珠岩为基质栽培的半夏叶片中2种酶的活性均显著高于以土壤为基质栽培的半夏;不同施肥处理对这两种酶的活性也有影响,其中施用1/2MS+K+P(KH2PO4 100 mg/L)的处理半夏叶片SOD酶的活性最强.栽培半夏以珍珠岩为基质、施用1/2MS+K+P(KH2PO4 100 mg/L)的处理对于提高半夏叶片中POD、SOD、CAT

  3. First Babies from Cryopreserved Oocytes in Hungary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Konc J; Kanyo K; Varga E; Kriston R; Cseh S


    Objective To evaluate the value of oocyte cryopreservation (CP) in our clinical ICSIprogram.Methods Freezing procedure with medium containing 1.5 mol/L propanediol (PrOH)+ 0.3 mol/L succrose and traditional slow-freezingprotocol were used. Thawed oocytes were fertilized with ICSI (4-6 h after thawing), and fertilization was assessed 12-16 h later. Laser assisted hatching was performed on all transferred embryos and embryo transfer was carried out 48-72 h after ICSI.Results Eighty-five eggs were thawed and survival rate of 75.3% (64/85) was obtained.Sixty-four oocytes were inseminated with ICSI, 47fertilized (47/64; 73.4%) and a cleavage rate of 85% (40/47) was obtained. Embryo transfers were performed in 18patients, and 4 (19%) resulted in clinical pregnancies. One of the pregnancies encountered first trimester abortion. Implantation rate were 17.2% (5/29) per embryo and 5. 8% (5/85) per egg thawed. In all cases, chorion biopsy was performed resulting46 XY kariotype.Conclusion Our results provide further evidence of that although egg freezing cannot currently claim to be a routine procedure in human IVF, there will certainly be a place for oocyte CP in reproductive medicine in the future.

  4. [Karyosphere capsule in Tribolium castaneum oocytes]. (United States)

    Batalova, F M; Bogoliubov, D S


    Structure and composition of the karyosphere (karyosome) capsule were studied in the oocytes of a laboratory insect, Tribolium castaneum, with the use of electron microscopy and immunoelectron cytochemistry. Basing on the study of nuclear structure dynamics, we distinguished 8 stages that characterize the period of oocyte growth. At the diplotene stage, T. castaneum oocyte chromosomes conjoin early into a compact karyosphere, but a significant chromatin condensation does not occur. The process of karyosphere formation is accompanied by the development of an extensive extrachromosome capsule surrounding chromatin. The capsule consists of a material of different morphological types. Significant molecular components of the T. castaneum karyosphere capsule are represented by the proteins of nuclear matrix including F-actin and lamin B. Besides the structural proteins, the Sm proteins of small nuclear (sn) RNPs and mature 2,2,7-trimethyl guanosine (TMG) 5'-capped snRNAs are revealed immunocytochemically in the karyosphere capsule. The obtained data can form a basis for further expansion of ideas on the functions of the karyosphere capsule as a specialized extrachromosomal nuclear domain of the oocytes. We believe that the T. castaneum karyosphere capsule plays not only a structural role, but may be involved directly in the processes related to gene expression.

  5. Tooth resorption in cats: contribution of vitamin D and inflammation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vrieling, H.E.


    Tooth resorption in cats Tooth resorption affecting several teeth is a painful disease with a prevalence of up to 75% in household cats and is often accompanied by periodontitis. Tooth resorption is caused by an increased number and activity of tooth-resorbing odontoclasts, cells that share function

  6. The RNA-binding protein, ZFP36L2, influences ovulation and oocyte maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B Ball

    Full Text Available ZFP36L2 protein destabilizes AU-rich element-containing transcripts and has been implicated in female fertility. In the C57BL/6NTac mouse, a mutation in Zfp36l2 that results in the decreased expression of a form of ZFP36L2 in which the 29 N-terminal amino acid residues have been deleted, ΔN-ZFP36L2, leads to fertilized eggs that arrest at the two-cell stage. Interestingly, homozygous ΔN-Zfp36l2 females in the C57BL/6NTac strain release 40% fewer eggs than the WT littermates (Ramos et al., 2004, suggesting an additional defect in ovulation and/or oocyte maturation. Curiously, the same ΔN-Zfp36l2 mutation into the SV129 strain resulted in anovulation, prompting us to investigate a potential problem in ovulation and oocyte maturation. Remarkably, only 20% of ΔN-Zfp36l2 oocytes in the 129S6/SvEvTac strain matured ex vivo, suggesting a defect on the oocyte meiotic maturation process. Treatment of ΔN-Zfp36l2 oocytes with a PKA inhibitor partially rescued the meiotic arrested oocytes. Furthermore, cAMP levels were increased in ΔN-Zfp36l2 oocytes, linking the cAMP/PKA pathway and ΔN-Zfp36l2 with meiotic arrest. Since ovulation and oocyte maturation are both triggered by LHR signaling, the downstream pathway was investigated. Adenylyl cyclase activity was increased in ΔN-Zfp36l2 ovaries only upon LH stimulation. Moreover, we discovered that ZFP36L2 interacts with the 3'UTR of LHR mRNA and that decreased expression levels of Zfp36l2 correlates with higher levels of LHR mRNA in synchronized ovaries. Furthermore, overexpression of ZFP36L2 decreases the endogenous expression of LHR mRNA in a cell line. Therefore, we propose that lack of the physiological down regulation of LHR mRNA levels by ZFP36L2 in the ovaries is associated with anovulation and oocyte meiotic arrest.

  7. La "cultura de la vida": desplazamientos estratégicos del activismo católico conservador frente a los derechos sexuales y reproductivos The "culture of life": strategic displacement of conservative catholic activism against sexual and reproductive rights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Marco Vaggione


    Full Text Available El artículo considera las principales dimensiones del activismo católico conservador sobre la sexualidad a partir del análisis de la Encíclica Evangelium Vitae (1995. El análisis se focaliza en tres dimensiones: la oposición entre cultura de la vida y cultura de la muerte como el enmarque político; los desplazamientos del activismo católico conservador para intervenir en los principales debates públicos; las principales estrategias propuestas para evitar la sanción o la vigencia de los derechos sexuales y reproductivos. A través de estos ejes, se contribuye a la comprensión de las rearticulaciones en las formas de intervención de la Iglesia Católica como una parte constitutiva de la política sexual contemporánea.The article considers the main dimensions of the conservative Catholic activism on sexuality by considering the encyclical Evangelium Vitae (1995. The analysis focuses on three dimensions: the opposition between culture of life and culture of death as the political framing; the displacement of conservative catholic activism in order to intervene in public debates; the main strategies to avoid sexual and reproductive rights. Through these dimensions, the article contributes to the understanding of the Catholic Church as a crucial player in contemporary sexual politics.

  8. Capu and Spire assemble a cytoplasmic actin mesh that maintains microtubule organization in the Drosophila oocyte. (United States)

    Dahlgaard, Katja; Raposo, Alexandre A S F; Niccoli, Teresa; St Johnston, Daniel


    Mutants in the actin nucleators Cappuccino and Spire disrupt the polarized microtubule network in the Drosophila oocyte that defines the anterior-posterior axis, suggesting that microtubule organization depends on actin. Here, we show that Cappuccino and Spire organize an isotropic mesh of actin filaments in the oocyte cytoplasm. capu and spire mutants lack this mesh, whereas overexpressed truncated Cappuccino stabilizes the mesh in the presence of Latrunculin A and partially rescues spire mutants. Spire overexpression cannot rescue capu mutants, but prevents actin mesh disassembly at stage 10B and blocks late cytoplasmic streaming. We also show that the actin mesh regulates microtubules indirectly, by inhibiting kinesin-dependent cytoplasmic flows. Thus, the Capu pathway controls alternative states of the oocyte cytoplasm: when active, it assembles an actin mesh that suppresses kinesin motility to maintain a polarized microtubule cytoskeleton. When inactive, unrestrained kinesin movement generates flows that wash microtubules to the cortex.

  9. Effects of MEK inhibitor U0126 on meiotic progression in mouse oocytes:microtuble organization, asymmetric division and metaphase Ⅱ arrest

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    In this study we used U0126, a potent and specific inhibitor of MEK, to study the roles of MEK/ERK/p90rsk signaling pathway in the meiotic cell cycle of mouse oocytes. The phosphorylation of MAP kinase and p90rsk in the oocytes treated with 1.5 μMU0126 was the same as that in oocytes cultured in drug-free medium. With 1.5 μM U0126 treatment, the spindles appeared normal as they formed in oocytes, but failed to maintain its structure.Instead, the spindle lost one pole or elongated extraordinarily. After further culture, some oocytes extruded gigantic polar bodies (>30 μm) that later divided into two small ones. Some oocytes underwent symmetric division and produced two equal-size daughter cells in which normal spindles formed. In oocytes with different division patterns,MAP kinase was normally phosphorylated. When the concentration of U0126 was increased to 15 mM, the phosphorylation of both MAPK and p90rsk were inhibited, while symmetric division was decreased. When incubating in medium containing 15 μM U0126 for 14 h, oocytes were activated, but part of them failed to emit polar bodies. MII oocytes were also activated by 15 μM U0126, at the same time the dephosphorylation of MAP kinase and p90rsk was observed. Our results indicate that 1) MEK plays important but not indispensable roles in microtubule organization;2) MEK keeps normal meiotic spindle morphology, targets peripheral spindle positioning and regulates asymmetric division by activating some unknown substrates other than MAP kinase/p90rsk; and 3) activation of MEK/ERK/p90rsk cascade maintains MII arrest in mouse oocytes.

  10. Expression of the CTCF gene in bovine oocytes and preimplantation embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Álvaro F.L. Rios


    Full Text Available The CCCTC - binding factor (CTCF is a protein involved in repression, activation, hormone-inducible gene silencing, functional reading of imprinted genes and X-chromosome inactivation. We analyzed CTCF gene expression in bovine peripheral blood, oocytes and in different cellular stages (2-4 cells, 8-16 cells, 16-32 cells, morulae, and blastocysts of in vitro fertilized embryos. This is the first report of CTCF expression in oocytes and preimplantation bovine embryos and has implications for the production of embryonic stem cells and the development of novel medical technologies for humans.

  11. Screening for plant transporter function by expressing a normalized Arabidopsis full-length cDNA library in Xenopus oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halkier Barbara A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have developed a functional genomics approach based on expression cloning in Xenopus oocytes to identify plant transporter function. We utilized the full-length cDNA databases to generate a normalized library consisting of 239 full-length Arabidopsis thaliana transporter cDNAs. The genes were arranged into a 96-well format and optimized for expression in Xenopus oocytes by cloning each coding sequence into a Xenopus expression vector. Results Injection of 96 in vitro transcribed cRNAs from the library in pools of columns and rows into oocytes and subsequent screening for glucose uptake activity identified three glucose transporters. One of these, AtSTP13, had not previously been experimentally characterized. Conclusion Expression of the library in Xenopus oocytes, combined with uptake assays, has great potential in assignment of plant transporter function and for identifying membrane transporters for the many plant metabolites where a transporter has not yet been identified.

  12. In vitro maturation alters gene expression in bovine oocytes. (United States)

    Adona, Paulo R; Leal, Cláudia L V; Biase, Fernando H; De Bem, Tiago H; Mesquita, Lígia G; Meirelles, Flávio V; Ferraz, André L; Furlan, Luiz R; Monzani, Paulo S; Guemra, Samuel


    Gene expression profiling of in vivo- and in vitro-matured bovine oocytes can identify transcripts related to the developmental potential of oocytes. Nonetheless, the effects of in vitro culturing oocytes are yet to be fully understood. We tested the effects of in vitro maturation on the transcript profile of oocytes collected from Bos taurus indicus cows. We quantified the expression of 1488 genes in in vivo- and in vitro-matured oocytes. Of these, 51 genes were up-regulated, whereas 56 were down-regulated (≥2-fold) in in vivo-matured oocytes in comparison with in vitro-matured oocytes. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of nine genes confirmed the microarray results of differential expression between in vivo- and in vitro-matured oocytes (EZR, EPN1, PSEN2, FST, IGFBP3, RBBP4, STAT3, FDPS and IRS1). We interrogated the results for enrichment of Gene Ontology categories and overlap with protein-protein interactions. The results revealed that the genes altered by in vitro maturation are mostly related to the regulation of oocyte metabolism. Additionally, analysis of protein-protein interactions uncovered two regulatory networks affected by the in vitro culture system. We propose that the differentially expressed genes are candidates for biomarkers of oocyte competence. In vitro oocyte maturation can affect the abundance of specific transcripts and are likely to deplete the developmental competence.

  13. Cat Scratch Disease (For Parents) (United States)

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Cat Scratch Disease KidsHealth > For Parents > Cat Scratch Disease A A A What's in this ... Doctor en español Enfermedad por arañazo de gato Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that a ...

  14. A tortoiseshell male cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, A. S.; Berg, Lise Charlotte; Almstrup, Kristian


    . Immunostaining using anti-vimentin and anti-VASA (DDX4) showed that only Sertoli cells and no germ cells were observed in the testicular tubules. As no sign of spermatogenesis was detected, we conclude that this is a classic case of a sterile, male tortoiseshell cat with a 39,XXY chromosome complement. © 2013 S...

  15. Vibrational Schroedinger Cats (United States)

    Kis, Z.; Janszky, J.; Vinogradov, An. V.; Kobayashi, T.


    The optical Schroedinger cat states are simple realizations of quantum states having nonclassical features. It is shown that vibrational analogues of such states can be realized in an experiment of double pulse excitation of vibrionic transitions. To track the evolution of the vibrational wave packet we derive a non-unitary time evolution operator so that calculations are made in a quasi Heisenberg picture.

  16. The Fishing Cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙雅飞; 乐伟国


    @@ 一、故事内容 A cat goes fishing every day. He wants to eat fish, but he can't catch any fish. One day, he goes to the river as usual. Suddenly, a fish comes out. He catches the fish and putsthe fish in the basket. He's very happy, but he forgest to put the lid on the basket.

  17. 4991W93 inhibits release of calcitonin gene-related peptide in the cat but only at doses with 5HT(1B/1D) receptor agonist activity?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knight, Y E; Edvinsson, L; Goadsby, P J


    )-mediated effects, that was developed as an anti-migraine drug, and thus was suitable to test whether higher doses of such conformationally restricted triptan analogues could inhibit trigeminal-evoked CGRP release. The superior sagittal sinus (SSS) was stimulated in 14 anaesthetised cats and external jugular vein...

  18. The Chemistry of Cat Litter: Activities for High School Students to Evaluate a Commercial Product's Properties and Claims Using the Tools of Chemistry (United States)

    Celestino, Teresa; Marchetti, Fabio


    Educating future scientists and citizens is more effective if students are guided to correctly apply what they learned in school to their daily lives. This experience-based work is focused on the study of a well-known commercial product: cat litter. This material offers different starting points for a critical examination. Questions related to…

  19. The CATS Service: an Astrophysical Research Tool

    CERN Document Server

    Verkhodanov, O V; Andernach, H; Chernenkov, V N


    We describe the current status of CATS (astrophysical CATalogs Support system), a publicly accessible tool maintained at Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SAO RAS) ( allowing one to search hundreds of catalogs of astronomical objects discovered all along the electromagnetic spectrum. Our emphasis is mainly on catalogs of radio continuum sources observed from 10 MHz to 245 GHz, and secondly on catalogs of objects such as radio and active stars, X-ray binaries, planetary nebulae, HII regions, supernova remnants, pulsars, nearby and radio galaxies, AGN and quasars. CATS also includes the catalogs from the largest extragalactic surveys with non-radio waves. In 2008 CATS comprised a total of about 10e9 records from over 400 catalogs in the radio, IR, optical and X-ray windows, including most source catalogs deriving from observations with the Russian radio telescope RATAN-600. CATS offers several search tools through different ways of access, e.g. via web inte...

  20. Expression of regulatory T cell (Treg) activation markers in endometrial tissues from early and late pregnancy in the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cat. (United States)

    Lockett, N N; Scott, V L; Boudreaux, C E; Clay, B T; Pruett, S B; Ryan, P L; Coats, K S


    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) support pregnancy maintenance by suppressing placental inflammation, while diminished Treg function may accompany reproductive failure. Experimental FIV infection frequently results in vertical transmission and increased pregnancy failure in the cat. The mechanism of reproductive compromise is unknown. We hypothesized that FIV infection alters endometrial Treg population dynamics and function, potentiating vertical transmission and reproductive failure. RNA collected from early and late gestation reproductive tissue and fetuses from FIV infected and control cats was probed for expression of FIV gag and Treg markers CD25, FOXP3, and CTLA4, using real time reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR. Frequent placental and fetal infection and reproductive failure were detected at early and late pregnancy. Expression of FOXP3 and CTLA4 was higher in early gestation tissues from control cats. FIV infection significantly reduced expression of FOXP3 and CTLA4 at early, but not late pregnancy. At late pregnancy, CTLA4 was expressed to higher levels in infected tissues. The number of tissues with decreased co-expression of FOXP3 and CTLA4 was significant in infected cats at early pregnancy. No significant changes in CD25 expression occurred between FIV-infected and control animals at early or late pregnancy. Differences in Treg marker expression were not significant between viable and non-viable pregnancies in infected cats. The detection of Treg markers in these feline tissues provides the first evidence of feline endometrial Tregs and suggests that such cells diminish as pregnancy progresses. These cells may be depleted or rendered less functional by viral infection, but understanding their role in pregnancy requires further study.

  1. Spindle assembly checkpoint signalling is uncoupled from chromosomal position in mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Gui, Liming; Homer, Hayden


    The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) averts aneuploidy by coordinating proper bipolar chromosomal attachment with anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C)-mediated securin and cyclin B1 destruction required for anaphase onset. The generation of a Mad2-based signal at kinetochores is central to current models of SAC-based APC/C inhibition. During mitosis, kinetochores of polar-displaced chromosomes, which are at greatest risk of mis-segregating, recruit the highest levels of Mad2, thereby ensuring that SAC activation is proportionate to aneuploidy risk. Paradoxically, although an SAC operates in mammalian oocytes, meiosis I (MI) is notoriously error prone and polar-displaced chromosomes do not prevent anaphase onset. Here we find that Mad2 is not preferentially recruited to the kinetochores of polar chromosomes of wild-type mouse oocytes, in which polar chromosomes are rare, or of oocytes depleted of the kinesin-7 motor CENP-E, in which polar chromosomes are more abundant. Furthermore, in CENP-E-depleted oocytes, although polar chromosomal displacement intensified during MI and the capacity to form stable end-on attachments was severely compromised, all kinetochores nevertheless became devoid of Mad2. Thus, it is possible that the ability of the SAC to robustly discriminate chromosomal position might be compromised by the propensity of oocyte kinetochores to become saturated with unproductive attachments, thereby predisposing to aneuploidy. Our data also reveal novel functions for CENP-E in oocytes: first, CENP-E stabilises BubR1, thereby impacting MI progression; and second, CENP-E mediates bi-orientation by promoting kinetochore reorientation and preventing chromosomal drift towards the poles.

  2. Genetic testing in domestic cats. (United States)

    Lyons, Leslie A


    Varieties of genetic tests are currently available for the domestic cat that support veterinary health care, breed management, species identification, and forensic investigations. Approximately thirty-five genes contain over fifty mutations that cause feline health problems or alterations in the cat's appearance. Specific genes, such as sweet and drug receptors, have been knocked-out of Felidae during evolution and can be used along with mtDNA markers for species identification. Both STR and SNP panels differentiate cat race, breed, and individual identity, as well as gender-specific markers to determine sex of an individual. Cat genetic tests are common offerings for commercial laboratories, allowing both the veterinary clinician and the private owner to obtain DNA test results. This article will review the genetic tests for the domestic cat, and their various applications in different fields of science. Highlighted are genetic tests specific to the individual cat, which are a part of the cat's genome.

  3. Rejuvenation of meiotic cohesion in oocytes during prophase I is required for chiasma maintenance and accurate chromosome segregation. (United States)

    Weng, Katherine A; Jeffreys, Charlotte A; Bickel, Sharon E


    Chromosome segregation errors in human oocytes are the leading cause of birth defects, and the risk of aneuploid pregnancy increases dramatically as women age. Accurate segregation demands that sister chromatid cohesion remain intact for decades in human oocytes, and gradual loss of the original cohesive linkages established in fetal oocytes is proposed to be a major cause of age-dependent segregation errors. Here we demonstrate that maintenance of meiotic cohesion in Drosophila oocytes during prophase I requires an active rejuvenation program, and provide mechanistic insight into the molecular events that underlie rejuvenation. Gal4/UAS inducible knockdown of the cohesion establishment factor Eco after meiotic S phase, but before oocyte maturation, causes premature loss of meiotic cohesion, resulting in destabilization of chiasmata and subsequent missegregation of recombinant homologs. Reduction of individual cohesin subunits or the cohesin loader Nipped B during prophase I leads to similar defects. These data indicate that loading of newly synthesized replacement cohesin rings by Nipped B and establishment of new cohesive linkages by the acetyltransferase Eco must occur during prophase I to maintain cohesion in oocytes. Moreover, we show that rejuvenation of meiotic cohesion does not depend on the programmed induction of meiotic double strand breaks that occurs during early prophase I, and is therefore mechanistically distinct from the DNA damage cohesion re-establishment pathway identified in G2 vegetative yeast cells. Our work provides the first evidence that new cohesive linkages are established in Drosophila oocytes after meiotic S phase, and that these are required for accurate chromosome segregation. If such a pathway also operates in human oocytes, meiotic cohesion defects may become pronounced in a woman's thirties, not because the original cohesive linkages finally give out, but because the rejuvenation program can no longer supply new cohesive linkages

  4. Meiotic arrest in vitro by phosphodiesterase 3-inhibitor enhances maturation capacity of human oocytes and allows subsequent embryonic development. (United States)

    Nogueira, D; Ron-El, R; Friedler, S; Schachter, M; Raziel, A; Cortvrindt, R; Smitz, J


    Controlling nuclear maturation during oocyte culture might improve nuclear-cytoplasmic maturation synchrony. We aimed to evaluate the quality of in vitro-matured, germinal vesicle (GV)-stage human oocytes following a prematuration culture (PMC) with a meiotic arrester, phosphodiesterase 3-inhibitor (PDE3-I). Follicles (diameter, 6-12 mm) were retrieved 34-36 h post-hCG administration from informed, consenting patients who had undergone controlled ovarian stimulation. Cumulus-enclosed oocytes (CEOs) presenting moderate expansion or full compaction were placed in PMC with the PDE3-I, Org9935, for 24 or 48 h. Subsequently, oocytes were removed from PMC, denuded of cumulus cells, matured in vitro, and fertilized, and the resulting embryos were cultured. In the presence of PDE3-I, approximately 98% of the oocytes were arrested at the GV stage. Following PDE3-I removal, oocytes acquired a higher maturation rate than oocytes that were immediately denuded of cumulus cells after retrieval and in vitro matured (67% vs. 46%, P = 0.01). In controls, immature CEOs retrieved with moderate expansion reached higher maturation rates compared to fully compacted CEOs, but in PMC groups, high values of maturation were achieved for both morphological classes of CEOs. No effect of PMC on fertilization was observed. A 24-h PMC period proved to be the most effective in preserving embryonic integrity. Similar proportions of nuclear abnormalities were observed in embryos of all in vitro groups. In summary, PMC with the specific PDE3-I had a beneficial effect on human CEOs by enhancing maturation, benefiting mainly the fully compacted CEOs. This resulted in an increased yield of mature oocytes available for insemination without compromising embryonic development. These results suggest that applying an inhibitor to control the rate of nuclear maturity by regulating intraoocyte PDE3 activity may allow the synchronization of nuclear and ooplasmic maturation.

  5. Fertilization and Embryo Development of Fresh and Cryopreserved Sibling Oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert F. Casper


    Full Text Available Background: Oocyte cryopreservation is potentially the best way to preserve female fertility forunmarried women or young girls at risk of losing ovarian function. The aim of this study was tocompare fertilization and embryo development in frozen-thawed oocytes to their fresh siblings inwomen undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF and embryo transfer (ET.Materials and Methods: Eleven infertile women undergoing infertility treatment, between theages of 24 to 37 years (mean ± SD = 31.6 ± 3.5, were included in this study. Mature oocytesfrom each patient were randomized into cryopreserved and fresh groups prior to intracytoplasmicsperm injection (ICSI. One hundred and thirty nine oocytes were retrieved, of which 105 were atmetaphase II (MII. Forty- five fresh MII oocytes were kept in culture whereas their sibling 60 MIIoocytes were cryopreserved using a slow cooling protocol. The frozen oocytes remained in LN2for 2 hours before thawing. ICSI was performed 1-2 hours after thawing for frozen oocytes and 4-5hours after retrieval for fresh oocytes. Fertilization and embryo development were compared.Results: Following thawing, 31 oocytes (51.6 % survived and 22 fertilized (79% while 32 freshoocytes fertilized upon ICSI (71%. The mean ± SE scores for embryos developing from frozenthawedoocytes were significantly lower at 48 and 72 hours post-ICSI than for embryos resultingfrom fresh oocytes (p<0.05.Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that oocyte freezing resulted in acceptable survival ratesfollowing cryopreservation, and similar fertilization rates following ICSI as compared to the freshsibling oocytes. However the number of blastomeres and the embryo quality on day three wassuperior in embryos from fresh oocytes when compared to the frozen oocytes.

  6. A peroxisome proliferator response elements regulatory system in xenopus oocytes and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YAN Jin; FAN Chun-lei; WO Xing-de; GAO Li-ping


    Background Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) is a kind of ligand-activated transcription factors binding to peroxisome proliferator response element (PPRE), a specific recognition site. It is thought to play a critical role in glucose and lipid metabolism and in inflammation control. The aim of this study was to establish a new cellular model for the quick screening of lipid-lowering drugs, which may be effective as PPAR-γ ligands on the PPRE-mediated pathway regulatory system. Methods Two plasmids were constructed: pXOE-PPARγ, in which the human PPARγ gene was in the downstream of TFⅢA gene promoter, and pLXRN-PPRE-d2EGFP, in which the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene was subcloned into PPRE. The xenopus oocytes were injected with these two plamids, and consequently treated with prostaglandin E1, pioglitazone, and different kinds of lipid-lowering drugs. After 3 days, the oocytes were observed under a fluorescence microscope. To confirm the drug action,we injected pXOE-PPARγ plasmid into the oocytes, which then treated with prostaglandin E1and Hawthorn flavonoids. The mass of expressed lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in the cells was determined by enzyme labeling linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).Conclusions It is possible to establish a PPRE regulatory EGFP reporter system in xenopus oocytes to monitor the activity of PPARγ ligand. Hawthorn flavonoids can increase the expression of gene downsteam of PPRE by effect on the PPRE pathway regulatory system.

  7. LSD1 is essential for oocyte meiotic progression by regulating CDC25B expression in mice. (United States)

    Kim, Jeesun; Singh, Anup Kumar; Takata, Yoko; Lin, Kevin; Shen, Jianjun; Lu, Yue; Kerenyi, Marc A; Orkin, Stuart H; Chen, Taiping


    Mammalian oocytes are arrested at prophase I until puberty when hormonal signals induce the resumption of meiosis I and progression to meiosis II. Meiotic progression is controlled by CDK1 activity and is accompanied by dynamic epigenetic changes. Although the signalling pathways regulating CDK1 activity are well defined, the functional significance of epigenetic changes remains largely unknown. Here we show that LSD1, a lysine demethylase, regulates histone H3 lysine 4 di-methylation (H3K4me2) in mouse oocytes and is essential for meiotic progression. Conditional deletion of Lsd1 in growing oocytes results in precocious resumption of meiosis and spindle and chromosomal abnormalities. Consequently, most Lsd1-null oocytes fail to complete meiosis I and undergo apoptosis. Mechanistically, upregulation of CDC25B, a phosphatase that activates CDK1, is responsible for precocious meiotic resumption and also contributes to subsequent spindle and chromosomal defects. Our findings uncover a functional link between LSD1 and the major signalling pathway governing meiotic progression.

  8. Prevention of maternal aging-associated oocyte aneuploidy and meiotic spindle defects in mice by dietary and genetic strategies. (United States)

    Selesniemi, Kaisa; Lee, Ho-Joon; Muhlhauser, Ailene; Tilly, Jonathan L


    Increased meiotic spindle abnormalities and aneuploidy in oocytes of women of advanced maternal ages lead to elevated rates of infertility, miscarriage, and trisomic conceptions. Despite the significance of the problem, strategies to sustain oocyte quality with age have remained elusive. Here we report that adult female mice maintained under 40% caloric restriction (CR) did not exhibit aging-related increases in oocyte aneuploidy, chromosomal misalignment on the metaphase plate, meiotic spindle abnormalities, or mitochondrial dysfunction (aggregation, impaired ATP production), all of which occurred in oocytes of age-matched ad libitum-fed controls. The effects of CR on oocyte quality in aging females were reproduced by deletion of the metabolic regulator, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). Thus, CR during adulthood or loss of PGC-1α function maintains female germline chromosomal stability and its proper segregation during meiosis, such that ovulated oocytes of aged female mice previously maintained on CR or lacking PGC-1α are comparable to those of young females during prime reproductive life.

  9. Cat scratch disease. (United States)

    Bozhkov, V; Madjov, R; Plachkov, I; Arnaudov, P; Chernopolsky, P; Krasnaliev, I


    Approximately 24,000 people are infected with cat scratch disease (CSD) every year. CSD is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, a gram-negative bacteria most often transmitted to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected cat or kitten. Although CSD is often a benign and self-limiting condition, it can affect any major organ system in the body, manifesting in different ways and sometimes leading to lifelong sequelae. It is a disease that is often overlooked in primary care because of the wide range of symptom presentation and relative rarity of serious complications. It is important for health care providers to recognize patients at risk for CSD, know what laboratory testing and treatments are available, and be aware of complications that may arise from this disease in the future.

  10. The Cheshire Cat revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Vento, V


    The concept of effective field theory leads in a natural way to a construction principle for phenomenological sensible models known under the name of the Cheshire Cat Principle. We review its formulation in the chiral bag scenario and discuss its realization for the flavor singlet axial charge. Quantum effects inside the chiral bag induce a color anomaly which requires a compensating surface term to prevent breakdown of color gauge invariance. The presence of this surface term allows one to derive in a gauge-invariant way a chiral-bag version of the Shore-Veneziano two-component formula for the flavor-singlet axial charge of the proton. We show that one can obtain a striking Cheshire-Cat phenomenon with a negligibly small singlet axial charge.

  11. Oocyte Maturation Process and Affecting Factors


    Yurdun Kuyucu; Ozgul Tap


    Normal female fertility depends on normally occuring oogenesis and maturation progress. Oogenesis and folliculogenesis are different progresses but occure in a harmony and at the same time. Oogenesis includes the events that take place matur ovum produced from primordial germ cells. Although folliculogenesis includes the stages primordial, primary, secondary, matur (Graaf) follicules in the influece of gonadotropines and local growth factors. During oocyte maturation meiosis is distrupted til...

  12. Mineral metabolism in cats


    Pineda Martos, Carmen María


    The present Doctoral Thesis wa metabolism in the feline species. Through a series of studies, the relationship between calcium metabolism and the main hormones involved in it has been determined metabolism during the juvenile stage of growing cats effects linked to feeding calculolytic diets on feline mineral metabolism. The first part of the work was aimed the quantification of intact (I-PTH) and whole PTH) and to characterize the dynamics of PTH secretion, including ...

  13. Evaluation of Mouse Oocyte In Vitro Maturation Developmental Competency in Dynamic Culture Systems by Design and Construction of A Lab on A Chip Device and Its Comparison with Conventional Culture System (United States)

    Sadeghzadeh Oskouei, Behnaz; Pashaiasl, Maryam; Heidari, Mohammad Hasan; Salehi, Mohammad; Veladi, Hadi; Ghaderi Pakdel, Firuz; Shahabi, Parviz; Novin, Marefat Ghaffari


    Objective In conventional assisted reproductive technology (ART), oocytes are cultured in static microdrops within Petri dishes that contain vast amounts of media. However, the in vivo environment is dynamic. This study assesses in vitro oocyte maturation through the use of a new microfluidic device. We evaluate oocyte fertilization to the blastocyct stage and their glutathione (GSH) contents in each experimental group. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, we established a dynamic culture condition. Immature oocytes were harvested from ovaries of Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice. Oocytes were randomly placed in static (passive) and dynamic (active) in vitro maturation (IVM) culture medium for 24 hours. In vitro matured oocytes underwent fertilization, after which we placed the pronucleus (PN) stage embryos in microdrops and followed their developmental stages to blastocyst formation after 3 days. GSH content of the in vitro matured oocytes was assessed by monochlorobimane (MCB) staining. Results We observed significantly higher percentages of mature metaphase II oocytes (MII) in the passive and active dynamic culture systems (DCS) compared to the static group (P<0.01). There were significantly less mean numbers of germinal vesicle (GV) and degenerated oocytes in the passive and active dynamic groups compared to the static group (P<0.01). Fertilization and blastocyst formation rate in the dynamic systems were statistically significant compared to the static cultures (P<0.01). There was significantly higher GSH content in dynamically matured oocytes compared to statically matured oocytes (P<0.01). Conclusion Dynamic culture for in vitro oocyte maturation improves their developmental competency in comparison with static culture conditions. PMID:27540525

  14. Evaluation of Mouse Oocyte In Vitro Maturation Developmental Competency in Dynamic Culture Systems by Design and Construction of A Lab on A Chip Device and Its Comparison with Conventional Culture System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behnaz Sadeghzadeh Oskouei


    Full Text Available Objective In conventional assisted reproductive technology (ART, oocytes are cultured in static microdrops within Petri dishes that contain vast amounts of media. However, the in vivo environment is dynamic. This study assesses in vitro oocyte maturation through the use of a new microfluidic device. We evaluate oocyte fertilization to the blastocyct stage and their glutathione (GSH contents in each experimental group. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, we established a dynamic culture condition. Immature oocytes were harvested from ovaries of Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI mice. Oocytes were randomly placed in static (passive and dynamic (active in vitro maturation (IVM culture medium for 24 hours. In vitro matured oocytes underwent fertilization, after which we placed the pronucleus (PN stage embryos in microdrops and followed their developmental stages to blastocyst formation after 3 days. GSH content of the in vitro matured oocytes was assessed by monochlorobimane (MCB staining. Results We observed significantly higher percentages of mature metaphase II oocytes (MII in the passive and active dynamic culture systems (DCS compared to the static group (P<0.01. There were significantly less mean numbers of germinal vesicle (GV and degenerated oocytes in the passive and active dynamic groups compared to the static group (P<0.01. Fertilization and blastocyst formation rate in the dynamic systems were statistically significant compared to the static cultures (P<0.01. There was significantly higher GSH content in dynamically matured oocytes compared to statically matured oocytes (P<0.01. Conclusion Dynamic culture for in vitro oocyte maturation improves their developmental competency in comparison with static culture conditions.

  15. Dynamic changes of connexin-43, gap junctional protein, in outer layers of cumulus cells are regulated by PKC and PI 3-kinase during meiotic resumption in porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Shimada, M; Maeda, T; Terada, T


    Mammalian oocytes are surrounded by numerous layers of cumulus cells, and the loss of gap junctional communication in the outer layers of cumulus cells induces meiotic resumption in oocytes. In this study, we investigated the dynamic changes in the gap junctional protein connexin-43 in cumulus cells during the meiotic resumption of porcine oocytes. The amount of connexin-43 in all layers of cumulus cells recovered from cumulus-oocyte complexes was increased after 4-h cultivation. However, at 12-h cultivation, the positive signal for connexin-43 immunoreactivity was markedly reduced in the outer layers of cumulus cells. When these reductions of connexin-43 were blocked by protein kinase C (PKC) or phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase inhibitor, networks of filamentous bivalents (i.e., advanced chromosomal status) were undetectable in the germinal vesicle of the oocyte. After 28-h cultivation, when the majority of oocytes were reaching the metaphase I (MI) stage, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells was phosphorylated, regardless of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation. These results suggest that the initiation of meiotic resumption, namely, the formation of networks of filamentous bivalents in germinal vesicle, is associated with the reduction of gap junctional protein connexin-43 in the outer layers of cumulus cells via the PKC and/or PI 3-kinase pathway. Moreover, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells is phosphorylated during meiotic progression beyond the MI stage, regardless of MAP kinase activation in cumulus cells surrounding the oocyte.

  16. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2006 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2006 through 12/31/2006. This dataset represents all data...

  17. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2003 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2003 through 12/31/2003. This dataset represents all data...

  18. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2005 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2005 through 12/31/2005. This dataset represents all data...

  19. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2011 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2011 through 12/31/2011. This dataset represents all data...

  20. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2007 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2007 through 12/31/2007. This dataset represents all data...

  1. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2001 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2001 through 12/31/2001. This dataset represents all data...

  2. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2010 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2010 through 12/31/2010. This dataset represents all data...

  3. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2002 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2002 through 12/31/2002. This dataset represents all data...

  4. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2004 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2004 through 12/31/2004. This dataset represents all data...

  5. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2008 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2008 through 12/31/2008. This dataset represents all data...

  6. NLRB CATS Final C-Case Data in XML - 2009 (United States)

    National Labor Relations Board — NLRB C-Case (Unfair Labor Practice) data from CATS (Case Activity Tracking System) for the period of 01/01/2009 through 12/31/2009. This dataset represents all data...

  7. Functional and Structural Effects of Amyloid-β Aggregate on Xenopus laevis Oocytes (United States)

    Parodi, Jorge; la Paz, Lenin Ochoa-de; Miledi, Ricardo; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo


    Xenopus laevis oocytes exposed to amyloid-β aggregate generated oscillatory electric activity (blips) that was recorded by two-microelectrode voltage-clamp. The cells exhibited a series of “spontaneous” blips ranging in amplitude from 3.8 ± 0.9 nA at the beginning of the recordings to 6.8 ± 1.7 nA after 15 min of exposure to 1 μM aggregate. These blips were similar in amplitude to those induced by the channel-forming antimicrobial agents amphotericin B (7.8 ± 1.2 nA) and gramicidin (6.3 ± 1.1 nA). The amyloid aggregate-induced currents were abolished when extracellular Ca2+ was removed from the bathing solution, suggesting a central role for this cation in generating the spontaneous electric activity. The amyloid aggregate also affected the Ca2+-dependent Cl− currents of oocytes, as shown by increased amplitude of the transient-outward chloride current (Tout) and the serum-activated, oscillatory Cl− currents. Electron microcopy revealed that amyloid aggregate induced the dissociation of the follicular cells that surround the oocyte, thus leading to a failure in the electro-chemical communication between these cells. This was also evidenced by the suppression of the oscillatory Ca2+-dependent ATP-currents, which require proper coupling between oocytes and the follicular cell layer. These observations, made using the X. laevis oocytes as a versatile experimental model, may help to understand the effects of amyloid aggregate on cellular communication. PMID:23104436

  8. Effects of sorbitol on porcine oocyte maturation and embryo development in vitro. (United States)

    Lin, Tao; Zhang, Jin Yu; Diao, Yun Fei; Kang, Jung Won; Jin, Dong-Il


    In the present study, a porcine system was supplemented with sorbitol during in vitro maturation (IVM) or in vitro culture (IVC), and the effects of sorbitol on oocyte maturation and embryonic development following parthenogenetic activation were assessed. Porcine immature oocytes were treated with different concentrations of sorbitol during IVM, and the resultant metaphase II stage oocytes were activated and cultured in porcine zygote medium-3 (PZM-3) for 7 days. No significant difference was observed in cumulus expansion and the nuclear maturation between the control and sorbitol-treated groups, with the exception of the 100 mM group, which showed significantly decreased nuclear maturation and cumulus expansion. There was no significant difference in the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels between oocytes matured with 10 or 20 mM sorbitol and control groups, but 50 and 100 mM groups had significantly higher ROS levels than other groups. The 20 mM group showed significant increases in intracellular glutathione and subsequent blastocyst formation rates following parthenogenetic activation compared with the other groups. During IVC, supplementation with sorbitol significantly reduced blastocyst formation and increased the apoptotic index compared with the control. The apoptotic index of blastocysts from the sorbitol-treated group for entire culture period was significantly higher than those of the partially sorbitol-exposed groups. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that the addition of a low concentration of sorbitol (20 mM) during IVM of porcine oocytes benefits subsequent blastocyst development and improves embryo quality, whereas sorbitol supplement during IVC has a negative effect on blastocyst formation.

  9. Muscarinic receptor heterogeneity in follicle-enclosed Xenopus oocytes (United States)

    Arellano, Rogelio O; Garay, Edith; Miledi, Ricardo


    Ionic current responses elicited by acetylcholine (ACh) in follicle-enclosed Xenopus oocytes (follicles) were studied using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. ACh generated a fast chloride current (Fin) and inhibited K+ currents gated by cAMP (IK,cAMP) following receptor activation by adenosine, follicle-stimulating hormone or noradrenaline. These previously described cholinergic responses were confirmed to be of the muscarinic type, and were independently generated among follicles from different frogs.Inhibition of IK,cAMP was about 100 times more sensitive to ACh than Fin activation; the half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) were 6.6 ± 0.4 and 784 ± 4 nm, respectively.Both responses were blocked by several muscarinic receptor antagonists. Using the respective EC50 concentrations of ACh as standard, the antagonist 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide blocked the two effects with very different potencies. Fin was blocked with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2.4 ± 0.07 nm, whilst the IC50 for IK,cAMP inhibition was 5.9 ± 0.2 μm.Oxotremorine, a muscarinic agonist, preferentially stimulated IK,cAMP inhibition (EC50= 15.8 ± 1.4 μm), whilst Fin was only weakly activated. In contrast, oxotremorine inhibited Fin generated by ACh with an IC50 of 2.3 ± 0.7 μm.Fin elicited via purinergic receptor stimulation was not affected by oxotremorine, indicating that the inhibition produced was specific to the muscarinic receptor, and suggesting that muscarinic actions do not exert a strong effect on follicular cell-oocyte coupling.Using reverse transcription-PCR, transcripts of a previously cloned muscarinic receptor from Xenopus (XlmR) were amplified from the RNA of both the isolated follicular cells and the oocyte. The pharmacological and molecular characteristics suggest that XlmR is involved in IK,cAMP inhibition.In conclusion, follicular cells possess two different muscarinic receptors, one resembling the M2 (or M4) subtype

  10. Cryopreservation of in vitro matured oocytes after ex vivo oocyte retrieval from gynecologic cancer patients undergoing radical surgery (United States)

    Park, Chan Woo; Lee, Sun Hee; Yang, Kwang Moon; Lee, In Ho; Lim, Kyung Teak; Lee, Ki Heon


    Objective The aim of this study was to report a case series of in vitro matured (IVM) oocyte freezing in gynecologic cancer patients undergoing radical surgery under time constraints as an option for fertility preservation (FP). Methods Case series report. University-based in vitro fertilization center. Six gynecologic cancer patients who were scheduled to undergo radical surgery the next day were referred for FP. The patients had endometrial (n=2), ovarian (n=3), and double primary endometrial and ovarian (n=1) cancer. Ex vivo retrieval of immature oocytes from macroscopically normal ovarian tissue was followed by mature oocyte freezing after IVM or embryo freezing with intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Results A total of 53 oocytes were retrieved from five patients, with a mean of 10.6 oocytes per patient. After IVM, a total of 36 mature oocytes were obtained, demonstrating a 67.9% maturation rate. With regard to the ovarian cancer patients, seven IVM oocytes were frozen from patient 3, who had stage IC cancer, whereas one IVM oocyte was frozen from patient 4, who had stage IV cancer despite being of a similar age. With regard to the endometrial cancer patients, 15 IVM oocytes from patient 1 were frozen. Five embryos were frozen after the fertilization of IVM oocytes from patient 6. Conclusion Immature oocytes can be successfully retrieved ex vivo from macroscopically normal ovarian tissue before radical surgery. IVM oocyte freezing provides a possible FP option in patients with advanced-stage endometrial or ovarian cancer without the risk of cancer cell spillage or time delays. PMID:27358831

  11. A review of over three decades of research on cat-human and human-cat interactions and relationships. (United States)

    Turner, Dennis C


    This review article covers research conducted over the last three decades on cat-human and human-cat interactions and relationships, especially from an ethological point of view. It includes findings on cat-cat and cat-human communication, cat personalities and cat-owner personalities, the effects of cats on humans, and problems caused by cats.

  12. CAT — EDRN Public Portal (United States)

    The CAT gene product, catalase, occurs in the peroxisome of almost all respiring organismÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢s cells. Catalase is a heme enzyme that converts the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen, diminishing the toxic effects of hydrogen peroxide on the cell. Catalase promotes growth of cells including T-cells, B-cells, myeloid leukemia cells, melanoma cells, mastocytoma cells and normal and transformed fibroblast cells. Polymorphisms in this gene have been associated with decreases in catalase activity but, to date, acatalasemia is the only disease known to be caused by this gene.

  13. TRPM7-like channels are functionally expressed in oocytes and modulate post-fertilization embryo development in mouse (United States)

    Carvacho, Ingrid; Ardestani, Goli; Lee, Hoi Chang; McGarvey, Kaitlyn; Fissore, Rafael A.; Lykke-Hartmann, Karin


    The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels are a family of cationic ion channels widely distributed in mammalian tissues. In general, the global genetic disruption of individual TRP channels result in phenotypes associated with impairment of a particular tissue and/or organ function. An exception is the genetic ablation of the TRP channel TRPM7, which results in early embryonic lethality. Nevertheless, the function of TRPM7 in oocytes, eggs and pre-implantation embryos remains unknown. Here, we described an outward rectifying non-selective current mediated by a TRP ion channel in immature oocytes (germinal vesicle stage), matured oocytes (metaphase II eggs) and 2-cell stage embryos. The current is activated by specific agonists and inhibited by distinct blockers consistent with the functional expression of TRPM7 channels. We demonstrated that the TRPM7-like channels are homo-tetramers and their activation mediates calcium influx in oocytes and eggs, which is fundamental to support fertilization and egg activation. Lastly, we showed that pharmacological inhibition of the channel function delays pre-implantation embryo development and reduces progression to the blastocyst stage. Our data demonstrate functional expression of TRPM7-like channels in mouse oocytes, eggs and embryos that may play an essential role in the initiation of embryo development. PMID:27681336

  14. KIF20A regulates porcine oocyte maturation and early embryo development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Zhang

    Full Text Available KIF20A (Kinesin-like family member 20A, also called mitotic kinesin-like proteins 2 (MKLP2, is a mammalian mitotic kinesin-like motor protein of the Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs, which was originally involved in Golgi apparatus dynamics and thought to essential for cell cycle regulation during successful cytokinesis. In the present study, we investigated whether KIF20A has roles on porcine oocyte meiotic maturation and subsequent early embryo development. By immunofluorescence staining, KIF20A was found to exhibit a dynamic localization pattern during meiosis. KIF20A was restricted to centromeres after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD, transferred to the midbody at telophase I (TI, and again associated with centromeres at metaphase II (MII. Inhibition of endogenous KIF20A via a specific inhibitor, Paprotrain, resulted in failure of polar body extrusion. Further cell cycle analysis showed that the percentage of oocytes that arrested at early metaphase I (MI stage increased after KIF20A activity inhibition; however, the proportion of oocytes at anaphase/telophase I (ATI and MII stages decreased significantly. Our results also showed that KIF20A inhibition did not affect spindle morphology. In addition, KIF20A was localized at the nucleus of early embryos, and KIF20A inhibition resulted in failure of early parthenogenetic embryo development. These results demonstrated that KIF20A is critical for porcine oocyte meiotic maturation and subsequent early embryo development.

  15. Oxidative stress in follicular fluid of young women with low response compared with fertile oocyte donors. (United States)

    Nuñez-Calonge, Rocío; Cortés, Susana; Gutierrez Gonzalez, Luis Miguel; Kireev, Roman; Vara, Elena; Ortega, Leonor; Caballero, Pedro; Rancan, Lisa; Tresguerres, Jesús


    The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of oxidative stress markers, antioxidant enzymes and cytokines in the follicular fluid of young women with low response in ovarian stimulation cycles compared with high responders and fertile oocyte donors of the same age, to assess the impact of oxidative stress on ovarian reserve. The activity of follicular fluid antioxidant enzymes glutathione transferase, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase was significantly lower in young women with reduced ovarian reserve compared with that in high responders and oocyte donors. Follicular fluid concentrations of oxidative stress marker malondialdehyde combined with 4-hydroxyalkenals and nitric oxide were higher in low responders than in high responders and oocyte donors. Significant differences between low responders and donors in concentrations of IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor were observed, with higher concentrations in low responders. However, IL-10 concentration was lower in low responders than in high responders and donors. No significant differences were found in follicular fluid concentrations of tumour necrosis factor alpha between the three groups. These results demonstrate that different concentrations of oxidative stress markers, oxidant enzymes and cytokines in low responders compared with high responders and oocyte donors may negatively impact ovarian response.

  16. MLL2 Is Required in Oocytes for Bulk Histone 3 Lysine 4 Trimethylation and Transcriptional Silencing (United States)

    Andreu-Vieyra, Claudia V.; Chen, Ruihong; Agno, Julio E.; Glaser, Stefan; Anastassiadis, Konstantinos; Stewart, A. Francis; Matzuk, Martin M.


    During gametogenesis and pre-implantation development, the mammalian epigenome is reprogrammed to establish pluripotency in the epiblast. Here we show that the histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferase, MLL2, controls most of the promoter-specific chromatin modification, H3K4me3, during oogenesis and early development. Using conditional knockout mutagenesis and a hypomorph model, we show that Mll2 deficiency in oocytes results in anovulation and oocyte death, with increased transcription of p53, apoptotic factors, and Iap elements. MLL2 is required for (1) bulk H3K4me3 but not H3K4me1, indicating that MLL2 controls most promoters but monomethylation is regulated by a different H3K4 methyltransferase; (2) the global transcriptional silencing that preceeds resumption of meiosis but not for the concomitant nuclear reorganization into the surrounded nucleolus (SN) chromatin configuration; (3) oocyte survival; and (4) normal zygotic genome activation. These results reveal that MLL2 is autonomously required in oocytes for fertility and imply that MLL2 contributes to the epigenetic reprogramming that takes place before fertilization. We propose that once this task has been accomplished, MLL2 is not required until gastrulation and that other methyltransferases are responsible for bulk H3K4me3, thereby revealing an unexpected epigenetic control switch amongst the H3K4 methyltransferases during development. PMID:20808952

  17. MLL2 is required in oocytes for bulk histone 3 lysine 4 trimethylation and transcriptional silencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia V Andreu-Vieyra

    Full Text Available During gametogenesis and pre-implantation development, the mammalian epigenome is reprogrammed to establish pluripotency in the epiblast. Here we show that the histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4 methyltransferase, MLL2, controls most of the promoter-specific chromatin modification, H3K4me3, during oogenesis and early development. Using conditional knockout mutagenesis and a hypomorph model, we show that Mll2 deficiency in oocytes results in anovulation and oocyte death, with increased transcription of p53, apoptotic factors, and Iap elements. MLL2 is required for (1 bulk H3K4me3 but not H3K4me1, indicating that MLL2 controls most promoters but monomethylation is regulated by a different H3K4 methyltransferase; (2 the global transcriptional silencing that preceeds resumption of meiosis but not for the concomitant nuclear reorganization into the surrounded nucleolus (SN chromatin configuration; (3 oocyte survival; and (4 normal zygotic genome activation. These results reveal that MLL2 is autonomously required in oocytes for fertility and imply that MLL2 contributes to the epigenetic reprogramming that takes place before fertilization. We propose that once this task has been accomplished, MLL2 is not required until gastrulation and that other methyltransferases are responsible for bulk H3K4me3, thereby revealing an unexpected epigenetic control switch amongst the H3K4 methyltransferases during development.

  18. Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels in Xenopus oocytes (United States)

    Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo; Miledi, Ricardo


    Injection of Caenorhabditis elegans polyA RNA into Xenopus laevis oocytes led to the expression of neurotransmitter receptors that generated some unique responses, including ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors as well as receptors that coupled to G proteins, such as those to octopamine, norepinephrine, and angiotensin, which activated the oocyte’s own phosphatidylinositol system and calcium-gated chloride channels. The oocytes also expressed chloride-conducting glutamate receptors, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, and voltage-operated calcium channels. Unexpectedly, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), dopamine, GABA, and kainate did not generate ionic currents, suggesting that the corresponding receptors were not expressed or were not functional in the oocytes. The use of X. laevis oocytes for expressing worm RNA demonstrates that there are many molecular components whose role remains to be clarified in the nematode. Among them are the nature of the endogenous agonists for the octopamine and angiotensin receptors and the subunits that compose the ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors and the norepinephrine receptors that couple to the phosphoinositide cascade. PMID:16549772

  19. Meiosis in oocytes: predisposition to aneuploidy and its increased incidence with age. (United States)

    Jones, Keith T


    Mammalian oocytes begin meiosis in the fetal ovary, but only complete it when fertilized in the adult reproductive tract. This review examines the cell biology of this protracted process: from entry of primordial germ cells into meiosis to conception. The defining feature of meiosis is two consecutive cell divisions (meiosis I and II) and two cell cycle arrests: at the germinal vesicle (GV), dictyate stage of prophase I and at metaphase II. These arrests are spanned by three key events, the focus of this review: (i) passage from mitosis to GV arrest during fetal life, regulated by retinoic acid; (ii) passage through meiosis I and (iii) completion of meiosis II following fertilization, both meiotic divisions being regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK1) activity. Meiosis I in human oocytes is associated with an age-related high rate of chromosomal mis-segregation, such as trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome), resulting in aneuploid conceptuses. Although aneuploidy is likely to be multifactorial, oocytes from older women may be predisposed to be becoming aneuploid as a consequence of an age-long decline in the cohesive ties holding chromosomes together. Such loss goes undetected by the oocyte during meiosis I either because its ability to respond and block division also deteriorates with age, or as a consequence of being inherently unable to respond to the types of segregation defects induced by cohesion loss.

  20. Contraceptive vaccines for the humane control of community cat populations. (United States)

    Levy, Julie K


    Free-roaming unowned stray and feral cats exist throughout the world, creating concerns regarding their welfare as well as their impact on the environment and on public health. Millions of healthy cats are culled each year in an attempt to control their numbers. Surgical sterilization followed by return to the environment is an effective non-lethal population control method but is limited in scope because of expense and logistical impediments. Immunocontraception has the potential to be a more practical and cost-effective method of control. This is a review of current research in immunocontraception in domestic cats. Functional characteristics of an ideal immunocontraceptive for community cats would include a wide margin of safety for target animals and the environment, rapid onset and long duration of activity following a single treatment in males and females of all ages, and sex hormone inhibition. In addition, product characteristics should include stability and ease of use under field conditions, efficient manufacturing process, and low cost to the user. Two reproductive antigens, zona pellucida and GnRH, have been identified as possible targets for fertility control in cats. Zona pellucida, which is used successfully in multiple wildlife species, has achieved little success in cats. In contrast, immunization against GnRH has resulted in long-term contraception in both male and female cats following a single dose. GnRH is an ideal contraceptive target because it regulates pituitary and gonadal hormone responses in both males and females, thus suppressing nuisance behaviors associated with sex hormones in addition to preventing pregnancy. The responsiveness of cats to fertility control via GnRH suppression should encourage researchers and cat control stakeholders to continue efforts to optimize vaccines that induce multiyear contraception following a single dose in a high proportion of treated cats.

  1. Molecular detection of Rickettsia typhi in cats and fleas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Mercedes Nogueras

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rickettsiatyphi is the etiological agent of murine typhus (MT, a disease transmitted by two cycles: rat-flea-rat, and peridomestic cycle. Murine typhus is often misdiagnosed and underreported. A correct diagnosis is important because MT can cause severe illness and death. Our previous seroprevalence results pointed to presence of human R. typhi infection in our region; however, no clinical case has been reported. Although cats have been related to MT, no naturally infected cat has been described. The aim of the study is to confirm the existence of R. typhi in our location analyzing its presence in cats and fleas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 221 cats and 80 fleas were collected from Veterinary clinics, shelters, and the street (2001-2009. Variables surveyed were: date of collection, age, sex, municipality, living place, outdoor activities, demographic area, healthy status, contact with animals, and ectoparasite infestation. IgG against R. typhi were evaluated by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Molecular detection in cats and fleas was performed by real-time PCR. Cultures were performed in those cats with positive molecular detection. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS. A p < 0.05 was considered significant. Thirty-five (15.8% cats were seropositive. There were no significant associations among seropositivity and any variables. R. typhi was detected in 5 blood and 2 cultures. High titres and molecular detection were observed in stray cats and pets, as well as in spring and winter. All fleas were Ctenocephalides felis. R. typhi was detected in 44 fleas (55%, from shelters and pets. Co-infection with R. felis was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Although no clinical case has been described in this area, the presence of R. typhi in cats and fleas is demonstrated. Moreover, a considerable percentage of those animals lived in households. To our knowledge, this is the first time R. typhi is detected in naturally infected cats.

  2. In vitro acute exposure to DEHP affects oocyte meiotic maturation, energy and oxidative stress parameters in a large animal model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Ambruosi

    Full Text Available Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental contaminants because of their use in plastics and other common consumer products. Di-(2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP is the most abundant phthalate and it impairs fertility by acting as an endocrine disruptor. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of in vitro acute exposure to DEHP on oocyte maturation, energy and oxidative status in the horse, a large animal model. Cumulus cell (CC apoptosis and oxidative status were also investigated. Cumulus-oocyte complexes from the ovaries of slaughtered mares were cultured in vitro in presence of 0.12, 12 and 1200 µM DEHP. After in vitro maturation (IVM, CCs were removed and evaluated for apoptosis (cytological assessment and TUNEL and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS levels. Oocytes were evaluated for nuclear chromatin configuration. Matured (Metaphase II stage; MII oocytes were further evaluated for cytoplasmic energy and oxidative parameters. DEHP significantly inhibited oocyte maturation when added at low doses (0.12 µM; P<0.05. This effect was related to increased CC apoptosis (P<0.001 and reduced ROS levels (P<0.0001. At higher doses (12 and 1200 µM, DEHP induced apoptosis (P<0.0001 and ROS increase (P<0.0001 in CCs without affecting oocyte maturation. In DEHP-exposed MII oocytes, mitochondrial distribution patterns, apparent energy status (MitoTracker fluorescence intensity, intracellular ROS localization and levels, mt/ROS colocalization and total SOD activity did not vary, whereas increased ATP content (P<0.05, possibly of glycolytic origin, was found. Co-treatment with N-Acetyl-Cysteine reversed apoptosis and efficiently scavenged excessive ROS in DEHP-treated CCs without enhancing oocyte maturation. In conclusion, acute in vitro exposure to DEHP inhibits equine oocyte maturation without altering ooplasmic energy and oxidative stress parameters in matured oocytes which retain the potential to be fertilized and develop into

  3. Cloning of Porcine Pituitary Tumor Transforming Gene 1 and Its Expression in Porcine Oocytes and Embryos (United States)

    Liu, Shuai; Nong, Suqun; Ma, Qingyan; Chen, Baojian; Liu, Mingjun; Pan, Tianbiao; Liao, D. Joshua


    The maternal-to-embryonic transition (MET) is a complex process that occurs during early mammalian embryogenesis and is characterized by activation of the zygotic genome, initiation of embryonic transcription, and replacement of maternal mRNA with embryonic mRNA. The objective of this study was to reveal the temporal expression and localization patterns of PTTG1 during early porcine embryonic development and to establish a relationship between PTTG1 and the MET. To achieve this goal, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to clone porcine PTTG1. Subsequently, germinal vesicle (GV)- and metaphase II (MII)-stage oocytes, zygotes, 2-, 4-, and 8-cell-stage embryos, morulas, and blastocysts were produced in vitro and their gene expression was analyzed. The results revealed that the coding sequence of porcine PTTG1 is 609-bp in length and that it encodes a 202-aa polypeptide. Using qRT-PCR, PTTG1 mRNA expression was observed to be maintained at high levels in GV- and MII-stage oocytes. The transcript levels in oocytes were also significantly higher than those in embryos from the zygote to blastocyst stages. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that porcine PTTG1 was primarily localized to the cytoplasm and partially localized to the nucleus. Furthermore, the PTTG1 protein levels in MII-stage oocytes and zygotes were significantly higher than those in embryos from the 2-cell to blastocyst stage. After fertilization, the level of this protein began to decrease gradually until the blastocyst stage. The results of our study suggest that porcine PTTG1 is a new candidate maternal effect gene (MEG) that may participate in the processes of oocyte maturation and zygotic genome activation during porcine embryogenesis. PMID:27058238

  4. Anti-Mullerian hormone : a marker for oocyte quantity, oocyte quality and embryo quality?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fong, S. Lie; Baart, E. B.; Martini, E.; Schipper, I.; Visser, J. A.; Themmen, A. P. N.; de Jong, F. H.; Fauser, B. J. C. M.; Laven, J. S. E.


    Serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) concentrations decline with increasing age and constitute a Sensitive marker for ovarian ageing. In addition, basal serum AMH concentrations predict ovarian response during IVF cycles. Concomitantly, oocyte quantity and embryo quality decrease with advancing age. H

  5. Nucleolus-like bodies of fully-grown mouse oocytes contain key nucleolar proteins but are impoverished for rRNA. (United States)

    Shishova, Kseniya V; Lavrentyeva, Elena A; Dobrucki, Jurek W; Zatsepina, Olga V


    It is well known that fully-grown mammalian oocytes, rather than typical nucleoli, contain prominent but structurally homogenous bodies called "nucleolus-like bodies" (NLBs). NLBs accumulate a vast amount of material, but their biochemical composition and functions remain uncertain. To clarify the composition of the NLB material in mouse GV oocytes, we devised an assay to detect internal oocyte proteins with fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC) and applied the fluorescent RNA-binding dye acridine orange to examine whether NLBs contain RNA. Our results unequivocally show that, similarly to typical nucleoli, proteins and RNA are major constituents of transcriptionally active (or non-surrounded) NLBs as well as of transcriptionally silent (or surrounded) NLBs. We also show, by exposing fixed oocytes to a mild proteinase K treatment, that the NLB mass in oocytes of both types contains nucleolar proteins that are involved in all major steps of ribosome biogenesis, including rDNA transcription (UBF), early rRNA processing (fibrillarin), and late rRNA processing (NPM1/nucleophosmin/B23, nucleolin/C23), but none of the nuclear proteins tested, including SC35, NOBOX, topoisomerase II beta, HP1α, and H3. The ribosomal RPL26 protein was detected within the NLBs of NSN-type oocytes but is virtually absent from NLBs of SN-type oocytes. Taking into account that the major class of nucleolar RNA is ribosomal RNA (rRNA), we applied fluorescence in situ hybridization with oligonucleotide probes targeting 18S and 28S rRNAs. The results show that, in contrast to active nucleoli, NLBs of fully-grown oocytes are impoverished for the rRNAs, which is consistent with the absence of transcribed ribosomal genes in the NLB mass. Overall, the results of this study suggest that NLBs of fully-grown mammalian oocytes serve for storing major nucleolar proteins but not rRNA.

  6. Effects of stressors on the behavior and physiology of domestic cats. (United States)

    Stella, Judi; Croney, Candace; Buffington, Tony


    Feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) is a chronic pain syndrome of domestic cats. Cats with FIC have chronic, recurrent lower urinary tract signs (LUTS) and other comorbid disorders that are exacerbated by stressors. The aim of this study was to evaluate behavioral and physiological responses of healthy cats and cats diagnosed with FIC after exposure to a five day stressor. Ten healthy cats and 18 cats with FIC were housed at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center (OSUVMC) vivarium. All cats were housed in enriched cages for at least one year prior to the experiment. Cats had daily play time and socialization outside of the cage, food treats and auditory enrichment. The daily husbandry schedule was maintained at a consistent time of day and cats were cared for by two familiar caretakers. During the test days, cats were exposed to multiple unpredictable stressors which included exposure to multiple unfamiliar caretakers, an inconsistent husbandry schedule, and discontinuation of play time, socialization, food treats, and auditory enrichment. Sickness behaviors (SB), including vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia or decreased food and water intake, fever, lethargy, somnolence, enhanced pain-like behaviors, decreased general activity, body care activities (grooming), and social interactions, were recorded daily. Blood samples were collected in the morning, before and after the stress period, for measurement of serum cortisol concentration, leukocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, neutrophil: lymphocyte (N:L) ratio and mRNA for the cytokines interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Overall, the short term stressors led to a significant increase in SB in both healthy cats and cats with FIC, whereas lymphopenia and N:L changes occurred only in FIC cats. Daily monitoring of cats for SB may be a noninvasive and reliable way to assess stress responses and overall welfare of cats housed in cages.

  7. A single bivalent efficiently inhibits cyclin B1 degradation and polar body extrusion in mouse oocytes indicating robust SAC during female meiosis I.

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    Steffen Hoffmann

    Full Text Available The Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC inhibits anaphase until microtubule-to-kinetochore attachments are formed, thus securing correct chromosome separation and preventing aneuploidy. Whereas in mitosis even a single unattached chromosome keeps the SAC active, the high incidence of aneuploidy related to maternal meiotic errors raises a concern about the lower efficiency of SAC in oocytes. Recently it was suggested that in mouse oocytes, contrary to somatic cells, not a single chromosome but a critical mass of chromosomes triggers efficient SAC pointing to the necessity of evaluating the robustness of SAC in oocytes. Two types of errors in chromosome segregation upon meiosis I related to SAC were envisaged: (1 SAC escape, when kinetochores emit SAC-activating signal unable to stop anaphase I; and (2 SAC deceive, when kinetochores do not emit the signal. Using micromanipulations and live imaging of the first polar body extrusion, as well as the dynamics of cyclin B1 degradation, here we show that in mouse oocytes a single bivalent keeps the SAC active. This is the first direct evaluation of SAC efficiency in mouse oocytes, which provides strong evidence that the robustness of SAC in mammalian oocytes is comparable to other cell types. Our data do not contradict the hypothesis of the critical mass of chromosomes necessary for SAC activation, but suggest that the same rule may govern SAC activity also in other cell types. We postulate that the innate susceptibility of oocytes to errors in chromosome segregation during the first meiotic division may not be caused by lower efficiency of SAC itself, but could be linked to high critical chromosome mass necessary to keep SAC active in oocyte of large size.

  8. ServCat Document Selection Guidelines (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The ServCat document selection guidelines were developed for selecting appropriate documents to upload into ServCat. When beginning to upload documents into ServCat,...

  9. Effects of acetazolamide and anordiol on osmotic water permeability in AQPI-cRNA injected Xenopus oocyte

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BingMA; YangXIANG; Sheng-meiMU; TaoLI; He-mingYU; Xue-junLI


    AIM: To study the effects of acetazolamide and anordiol on osmotic water permeability in aquaporin 1 (AQP1)-cRNA injected Xenopus oocyte and their mechanisms. METHODS: AQP1 gene constructed in pBluescript was transcripted into cRNA in vitro and then the cRNA was injected in Xenopus oocytes. The effects of acetazolamide and anordiol on the water transport function of AQP1 were observed by assaying the osmotic swelling of oocytes.In addition, their effects on protein expression of AQP1 were quantitatively investigated by Western blotting method.RESULTS: After incubation for 15 min or 72 h, acetazolamide, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, equally reduced the water permeability of AQPI-cRNA injected oocyte in a dose-dependent manner. After incubation for 72 h, anordiol,an antiestrogen with partial estrogenic activity, reduced the osmotic water permeability dose dependently as well;however, no discernable action was observed after incubation with anordiol for 15 min. The Western blotting analysis showed that acetazolamide did not influence the protein expression of AQP1. However, after incubation for 72 h with anordiol (10 μmol/L), the quantity of AQP1 in the oocyte membrane was decreased dramatically(P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Both acetazolamide and anordiol inhibited the osmotic water permeability of AQP1-cRNA injected oocyte, but their mechanisms were different. Acetazolamide functionally inhibited the osmotic water permeability of AQP1, whereas anordiol primarily decreased the amount of AQP1 protein in the oocyte membrane.

  10. Biomolecule screening for efficient attachment of biofunctionalized microparticles to the zona pellucida of mammalian oocytes and embryos. (United States)

    Novo, Sergio; Ibáñez, Elena; Barrios, Leonardo; Castell, Onofre; Nogués, Carme


    Individual tagging of oocytes and embryos through the attachment of micrometer-sized polysilicon barcodes to their zona pellucida (ZP) is a promising approach to ensure their correct identification and traceability in human assisted reproduction and in animal production programs. To provide barcodes with the capacity of binding to the ZP, they must be first biofunctionalized with a biomolecule capable of binding to the ZP of both oocytes and embryos. The aim of this work was to select, among an anti-ZP2 antibody and the two lectins wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and phytohemagglutinin-L, the most optimal biomolecule for the eventual biofunctionalization of barcodes, using mouse oocytes and embryos and commercially available microspheres as a model. Despite the anti-ZP2 antibody showed the highest number of binding sites onto the ZP surface, as determined by field emission scanning electron microscopy, the binding of anti-ZP2-biofunctionalized microspheres to the ZP of cultured oocytes and embryos was less robust and less stable than the binding of lectin-biofunctionalized ones. WGA proved to be, among the three candidates tested, the most appropriate biomolecule to biofunctionalize microparticles with the aim to attach them to the ZP of both oocytes and embryos and to maintain them attached through oocyte activation (zona reaction) and in vitro culture up to the blastocyst stage. As saccharides recognized by WGA are highly abundant in the ZP of most mammalian species, WGA-biofuncionalized microparticles would be able to attach to the ZP of oocytes/embryos of species other than the mouse, such as humans and farm animals.

  11. How to control the synchronization of oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation in the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycles%超排卵周期如何控制卵母细胞胞核与胞质的同步成熟

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王玢; 孙海翔


    Complete maturation of oocyte includes both nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. At present, expulsion of the first polar body is known as the marker of oocyte nuclear maturation. Expansions of granulose cells and oocyte-corona-cumulus complex synchronize with the maturation of oocyte nuclei following the maturation of oocyte in the natural cycle. However, the expansion of oocyte-corona-cumulus complex and nuclear maturation are not synchronized due to disturbance of exogenous gonadotropins in controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) cycles. The status of expansion of oocyte-corona-cumulus complex can not be used to estimate the maturation of oocyte maturation in COH cycles. The morphology characteristics of oocyte, migration of cortical granules and relative factors such as GDF9 , BMP15 etc. can not monitor cytoplasmic maturation fast and directly. In COH cycles, fertilization rate, cleavage rate, pregnancy rate and implantation rate display a rising trend along with the increased proportion of matured oocytes. The rate of available embryos from the oocytes with large follicular diameter is higher than that from the oocytes with small follicular diameter. Oocyte maturation rate and fertilization rate decrease but the fragments in embryos increase along with the reduction of follicular diameter. However, the diameter of dominant follicle does not reflect overall situation of follicular development in ovary. A group of follicles on behalf of the development synchronization of total follicles are named as "object follicles" in progress of COH. The "object follicles" determine the trigger time of hCG. In vitro investigations of mouse embryos also confirm that cultured oocyte in vitro for some time after hCG injection plays an important role in the maturation of oocyte nuclei and cytoplasm, where higher proportion and quicker speed of pronuclei development can be acquired after fertilization or artificial activation. High-quality embryo rate and pregnancy rate increase

  12. The effect of follicular fluid hormones on oocyte recovery after ovarian stimulation: FSH level predicts oocyte recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaudo Paolo F


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ovarian stimulation for assisted reproductive technology (ART overcomes the physiologic process to develop a single dominant follicle. However, following stimulation, egg recovery rates are not 100%. The objective of this study is to determine if the follicular fluid hormonal environment is associated with oocyte recovery. Methods This is a prospective study involving patients undergoing ART by standard ovarian stimulation protocols at an urban academic medical center. A total of 143 follicular fluid aspirates were collected from 80 patients. Concentrations of FSH, hCG, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone and prolactin were determined. A multivariable regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between the follicular fluid hormones and oocyte recovery. Results Intrafollicular FSH was significantly associated with oocyte recovery after adjustment for hCG (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR = 1.21, 95%CI 1.03–1.42. The hCG concentration alone, in the range tested, did not impact the odds of oocyte recovery (AOR = 0.99, 95%CI 0.93–1.07. Estradiol was significantly associated with oocyte recovery (AOR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.96–0.99. After adjustment for progesterone, the strength of association between FSH and oocyte recovery increased (AOR = 1.84, 95%CI 1.45–2.34. Conclusion The relationship between FSH and oocyte recovery is significant and appears to work through mechanisms independent of the sex hormones. FSH may be important for the physiologic event of separation of the cumulus-oocyte complex from the follicle wall, thereby influencing oocyte recovery. Current methods for inducing the final stages of oocyte maturation, with hCG administration alone, may not be optimal. Modifications of treatment protocols utilizing additional FSH may enhance oocyte recovery.

  13. Oocyte-to-embryo transition: kinase cabal plots regime change. (United States)

    Greenstein, David; Lee, Laura A


    The transition from oocyte to embryo is among the most enthralling events in developmental biology. Recent studies of this transition in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed how conserved kinases administer the destruction of key oocyte meiotic regulators to create an embryo.

  14. Perinatal outcomes in 375 children born after oocyte donation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malchau, Sara S; Loft, Anne; Larsen, Elisabeth C;


    To describe perinatal outcomes in children born after oocyte donation (OD) compared with in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and spontaneous conception (SC).......To describe perinatal outcomes in children born after oocyte donation (OD) compared with in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and spontaneous conception (SC)....

  15. Oxidative stress and ageing of the post-ovulatory oocyte. (United States)

    Lord, Tessa; Aitken, R John


    With extended periods of time following ovulation, the metaphase II stage oocyte experiences deterioration in quality referred to as post-ovulatory oocyte ageing. Post-ovulatory ageing occurs both in vivo and in vitro and has been associated with reduced fertilization rates, poor embryo quality, post-implantation errors and abnormalities in the offspring. Although the physiological consequences of post-ovulatory oocyte ageing have largely been established, the molecular mechanisms controlling this process are not well defined. This review analyses the relationships between biochemical changes exhibited by the ageing oocyte and the symptoms associated with the ageing phenotype. We also discuss molecular events that are potentially involved in orchestrating post-ovulatory ageing with a particular focus on the role of oxidative stress. We propose that oxidative stress may act as the initiator for a cascade of events that create the aged oocyte phenotype. Specifically, oxidative stress has the capacity to cause a decline in levels of critical cell cycle factors such as maturation-promoting factor, impair calcium homoeostasis, induce mitochondrial dysfunction and directly damage multiple intracellular components of the oocyte such as lipids, proteins and DNA. Finally, this review addresses current strategies for delaying post-ovulatory oocyte ageing with a particular focus on the potential use of compounds such as caffeine or selected antioxidants in the development of more refined media for the preservation of oocyte integrity during IVF procedures.

  16. Ultrastructure and mitochondrial numbers in pre- and postpubertal pig oocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Hanne Skovsgaard; Callesen, Henrik; Løvendahl, Peter


    , but no differences were observed in mitochondrial densities between groups. Mature postpubertal oocytes adhered to the following characteristics: presence of metaphase II, lack of contact between cumulus cells and oocyte, absence of rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes, peripheral location of cortical...

  17. Search for the genes involved in oocyte maturation and early embryo development in the hen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blesbois Elisabeth


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The initial stages of development depend on mRNA and proteins accumulated in the oocyte, and during these stages, certain genes are essential for fertilization, first cleavage and embryonic genome activation. The aim of this study was first to search for avian oocyte-specific genes using an in silico and a microarray approaches, then to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of the expression of some of these genes during follicular maturation and early embryogenesis. Results The in silico approach allowed us to identify 18 chicken homologs of mouse potential oocyte genes found by digital differential display. Using the chicken Affymetrix microarray, we identified 461 genes overexpressed in granulosa cells (GCs and 250 genes overexpressed in the germinal disc (GD of the hen oocyte. Six genes were identified using both in silico and microarray approaches. Based on GO annotations, GC and GD genes were differentially involved in biological processes, reflecting different physiological destinations of these two cell layers. Finally we studied the spatial and temporal dynamics of the expression of 21 chicken genes. According to their expression patterns all these genes are involved in different stages of final follicular maturation and/or early embryogenesis in the chicken. Among them, 8 genes (btg4, chkmos, wee, zpA, dazL, cvh, zar1 and ktfn were preferentially expressed in the maturing occyte and cvh, zar1 and ktfn were also highly expressed in the early embryo. Conclusion We showed that in silico and Affymetrix microarray approaches were relevant and complementary in order to find new avian genes potentially involved in oocyte maturation and/or early embryo development, and allowed the discovery of new potential chicken mature oocyte and chicken granulosa cell markers for future studies. Moreover, detailed study of the expression of some of these genes revealed promising candidates for maternal effect genes in the

  18. College Students and Their Cats (United States)

    Weinstein, Lawrence; Alexander, Ralph


    Twenty-two Siamese and 32 mixed breed cats' personalities were rated by their respective college student owners and compared. Further, the owners' self rated personality traits were correlated with the pets'; significant Siamese and Mixed differences and correlations were obtained. These are the first data to examine breed of cat on a personality…


    The Contract Administrative Tracking System (CATS) was developed in response to an ORD NHEERL, Mid-Continent Ecology Division (MED)-recognized need for an automated tracking and retrieval system for Cost Reimbursable Level of Effort (CR/LOE) Contracts. CATS is an Oracle-based app...

  20. Oral masses in two cats. (United States)

    Bock, P; Hach, V; Baumgärtner, W


    Incisional biopsies from the oral cavity of 2 adult cats were submitted for histological investigation. Cat No. 1 showed a solitary well-circumscribed neoplasm in the left mandible. Cat No. 2 demonstrated a diffusely infiltrating neoplasm in the left maxilla. Both tumors consisted of medium-size epithelial cells embedded in a fibrovascular stroma. The mitotic index was 0 to 1 mitosis per high-power field. The epithelial cells showed an irregular arrangement forming nests or streams in cat No. 1, whereas a palisading growth was noted in cat No. 2. Both tumors, especially that of cat No. 1, showed multifocal accumulations of amyloid as confirmed by Congo red staining and a distinct green birefringence under polarized light, which lacked cytokeratin immunoreactivity as well as and AL and AA amyloid immunoreactivity. In addition, the amyloid in cat No. 2 was positive for the odontogenic ameloblast-associated protein, formerly termed APin. In sum, both cats suffered from an amyloid-producing odontogenic tumor, but their tumors varied with respect to morphology and type of amyloid produced.

  1. Lumbosacral agenesis in a cat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabrielle C Hybki


    Full Text Available Case summary Lumbosacral agenesis is a rare congenital condition reported in children. We report a 17-week-old female domestic shorthair cat with lumbosacral agenesis on whole-body radiographs. The cat was euthanized shortly thereafter presentation. A necropsy was not permitted. Relevance and novel information This is the first reported feline case of lumbosacral agenesis.

  2. Molecular Cloning and Expression Analysis of a Catalase Gene (NnCAT) from Nelumbo nucifera. (United States)

    Dong, Chen; Zheng, Xingfei; Diao, Ying; Wang, Youwei; Zhou, Mingquan; Hu, Zhongli


    Rapid amplification cDNA end (RACE) assay was established to achieve the complete cDNA sequence of a catalase gene (NnCAT) from Nelumbo nucifera. The obtained full-length cDNA was 1666 bp in size and contained a 1476-bp open reading frame. The 3D structural model of NnCAT was constructed by homology modeling. The putative NnCAT possessed all the main characteristic amino acid residues and motifs of catalase (CAT) protein family, and the phylogenetic analysis revealed that NnCAT grouped together with high plants. Moreover, recombinant NnCAT showed the CAT activity (758 U/mg) at room temperature, holding high activity during temperature range of 20-50 °C, then the optimal pH of recombinant protein was assessed from pH 4 to pH 11. Additionally, real-time PCR assay demonstrated that NnCAT mRNA was expressed in various tissues of N. nucifera, with the highest expression in young leaf and lowest level in the root, and mRNA level of NnCAT was significantly augmented in response to short-time mechanical wounding. Different expression pattern of NnCAT gene suggested that NnCAT probably played a defensive role in the initial stages of oxidative stress, regulating the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by extracellular stimuli such as short-time mechanical wounding.

  3. Head movement during walking in the cat. (United States)

    Zubair, Humza N; Beloozerova, Irina N; Sun, Hai; Marlinski, Vladimir


    Knowledge of how the head moves during locomotion is essential for understanding how locomotion is controlled by sensory systems of the head. We have analyzed head movements of the cat walking along a straight flat pathway in the darkness and light. We found that cats' head left-right translations, and roll and yaw rotations oscillated once per stride, while fore-aft and vertical translations, and pitch rotations oscillated twice. The head reached its highest vertical positions during second half of each forelimb swing, following maxima of the shoulder/trunk by 20-90°. Nose-up rotation followed head upward translation by another 40-90° delay. The peak-to-peak amplitude of vertical translation was ∼1.5cm and amplitude of pitch rotation was ∼3°. Amplitudes of lateral translation and roll rotation were ∼1cm and 1.5-3°, respectively. Overall, cats' heads were neutral in roll and 10-30° nose-down, maintaining horizontal semicircular canals and utriculi within 10° of the earth horizontal. The head longitudinal velocity was 0.5-1m/s, maximal upward and downward linear velocities were ∼0.05 and ∼0.1m/s, respectively, and maximal lateral velocity was ∼0.05m/s. Maximal velocities of head pitch rotation were 20-50°/s. During walking in light, cats stood 0.3-0.5cm taller and held their head 0.5-2cm higher than in darkness. Forward acceleration was 25-100% higher and peak-to-peak amplitude of head pitch oscillations was ∼20°/s larger. We concluded that, during walking, the head of the cat is held actively. Reflexes appear to play only a partial role in determining head movement, and vision might further diminish their role.

  4. Steroid metabolism in vitro during final oocyte maturation in white croaker Micropogonias furnieri (Pisces: Scianidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. García-Alonso

    Full Text Available Final oocyte maturation (FOM is a process involving a complex set of genetical, biochemical, and morphological mechanisms. FOM involves the shift of a post-vitellogenic follicle to a pre-ovulated oocyte, which is necessary for fertilization by spermatozoan to occur. This process is regulated by a maturation-inducing steroid (MIS at the follicular level. In other species of scienids fish the MIS, a hydroxilated derivatives of progestagen 17, 20beta, 21-trihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (20beta-S, was identified. Although Micropogonias furnieri is the second fishery resource of Uruguay, basic knowledge about its endocrine process is very scarce. The aim of this work was to investigate what steroids are synthesized in vitro by the oocyte follicle of M. furnieri during the maturation process. Fragments of ovary (1 g in three stages: post-vitellogenic (PV, maturing (Mtg, and mature (M were incubated with 1 mug.g-1 of tritiated progesterone (P at 30, 60, and 180 min. After extraction with ethanol and dichloromethane, steroid metabolites were purified by TLC and rpHPLC. Two progesterone derivatives with identical chromatographic properties of 20beta-S and 17,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20beta-P were purified. In other Teleost fish these steroids are biologically activ as MIS. The 17,20beta-P was clearly detected in Mtg and M stages and confirmed by enzymatic oxidation with enzyme 20beta-HSD. The 20beta-S was strongly detected in all Mtg oocytes. The results do not corroborate 20beta-S as a major hormone synthesized in the ovary in FOM as occurs in other scienid fish. A differential steroid synthesis in the advanced oocyte stages suggests that the 20beta-S is acting as a MIS in M. furnieri.

  5. Auditory lateralization of conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations in cats. (United States)

    Siniscalchi, Marcello; Laddago, Serena; Quaranta, Angelo


    Auditory lateralization in response to both conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations (dog vocalizations) was observed in 16 tabby cats (Felis catus). Six different vocalizations were used: cat "purring," "meowing" and "growling" and dog typical vocalizations of "disturbance," "isolation" and "play." The head-orienting paradigm showed that cats turned their head with the right ear leading (left hemisphere activation) in response to their typical-species vocalization ("meow" and "purring"); on the other hand, a clear bias in the use of the left ear (right hemisphere activation) was observed in response to vocalizations eliciting intense emotion (dogs' vocalizations of "disturbance" and "isolation"). Overall these findings suggest that auditory sensory domain seems to be lateralized also in cat species, stressing the role of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication and of the right hemisphere in processing threatening and alarming stimuli.

  6. CAT-generation of ideals

    CERN Document Server

    Ueckerdt, Torsten


    We consider the problem of generating all ideals of a poset. It is a long standing open problem, whether or not the ideals of any poset can be generated in constant amortized time, CAT for short. We refine the tree traversal, a method introduced by Pruesse and Ruskey in 1993, to obtain a CAT-generator for two large classes of posets: posets of interval dimension at most two and so called locally planar posets. This includes all posets for which a CAT-generator was known before. Posets of interval dimension at most two generalize both, interval orders and 2-dimensional posets. Locally planar posets generalize for example posets with a planar cover graph. We apply our results to CAT-generate all $c$-orientations of a planar graph. As a special case this is a CAT-generator for many combinatorial objects like domino and lozenge tilings, planar spanning trees, planar bipartite perfect matchings, Schnyder woods, and others.

  7. Functional Topography of the Fully Grown Human Oocyte (United States)

    Monti, Manuela; Calligaro, Alberto; Behr, Barry; Pera, Renee Rejo; Redi, Carlo Alberto; Wossidlo, Mark


    In vivo maturation (IVM) of human oocytes is a technique used to increase the number of usable oocytes for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and represents a necessity for women with different ovarian pathologies. During IVM the oocytes progress from the germinal vesicle stage (GV) through the metaphase II and during this journey both nuclear and cytoplasmic rearrangements must be obtained to increase the probability to get viable and healthy zygotes/embryos after IVF. As the successful clinical outcomes of this technique are a reality, we wanted to investigate the causes behind oocytes maturation arrest. For obvious ethical reasons, we were able to analyze only few human immature oocytes discarded and donated to research by transmission electron microscopy showing that, as in the mouse, they have different chromatin and cytoplasmic organizations both essential for further embryo development.

  8. Organisation of Xenopus oocyte and egg cortices. (United States)

    Chang, P; Pérez-Mongiovi, D; Houliston, E


    The division of the Xenopus oocyte cortex into structurally and functionally distinct "animal" and "vegetal" regions during oogenesis provides the basis of the organisation of the early embryo. The vegetal region of the cortex accumulates specific maternal mRNAs that specify the development of the endoderm and mesoderm, as well as functionally-defined "determinants" of dorso-anterior development, and recognisable "germ plasm" determinants that segregate into primary germ cells. These localised elements on the vegetal cortex underlie both the primary animal-vegetal polarity of the egg and the organisation of the developing embryo. The animal cortex meanwhile becomes specialised for the events associated with fertilisation: sperm entry, calcium release into the cytoplasm, cortical granule exocytosis, and polarised cortical contraction. Cortical and subcortical reorganisations associated with meiotic maturation, fertilisation, cortical rotation, and the first mitotic cleavage divisions redistribute the vegetal cortical determinants, contributing to the specification of dorso-anterior axis and segregation of the germ line. In this article we consider what is known about the changing organisation of the oocyte and egg cortex in relation to the mechanisms of determinant localisation, anchorage, and redistribution, and show novel ultrastructural views of cortices isolated at different stages and processed by the rapid-freeze deep-etch method. Cortical organisation involves interactions between the different cytoskeletal filament systems and internal membranes. Associated proteins and cytoplasmic signals probably modulate these interactions in stage-specific ways, leaving much to be understood.

  9. Oocyte donation in patients without ovarian function. (United States)

    Devroey, P; Wisanto, A; Camus, M; Van Waesberghe, L; Bourgain, C; Liebaers, I; Van Steirteghem, A C


    The clinical, hormonal and cytogenetic findings in 36 women with primary ovarian failure, referred for oocyte or embryo donations are reported. Fifteen women were suffering from ovarian dysgenesis and 11 from premature menopause. Six of these 26 patients showed X-chromosome abnormalities. One patient had a Noonan syndrome. The remaining 10 had surgical menopause. The mean duration of their infertility was 6.5 +/- 3.2 years (+/- SD). All patients had elevated serum gonadotrophins within the menopausal range. Hypothalamic, pituitary and thyroid function were found to be intact. In one of the 15 ovarian biopsies on the patients with chromosomal competent ovarian failure, primordial follicles were found. Hysterosalpingograms revealed a normal uterine cavity in all patients. In view of oocyte donation, careful evaluation of the obstetric risk was mandatory in the six patients with X-chromosome aberrations and in the patient with the Noonan syndrome, because of their short stature and possible concomitant cardiovascular and renal disease. After substitution therapy with oestradiol valerate and natural progesterone, 13 pregnancies were established, seven patients delivered (one set of twins), eight healthy children were born, three pregnancies aborted and three pregnancies are progressing normally.

  10. The role of para-aminophenol in acetaminophen-induced methemoglobinemia in dogs and cats. (United States)

    McConkey, S E; Grant, D M; Cribb, A E


    Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose in most species is associated with hepatotoxicity because of the metabolite N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine (NAPQI). In dogs and cats, APAP overdose primarily causes methemoglobinemia and hemolysis. Although NAPQI has been proposed as the responsible intermediate in dogs and cats, it lacks chemical or pharmacokinetic characteristics that favor methemoglobin formation. We hypothesized that para-aminophenol (PAP) rather than NAPQI induces methemoglobinemia and that deficient arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity in dogs and cats contributes to this species-dependent methemoglobinemia. Erythrocytes from dogs, cats, mice, and rats were exposed in vitro to APAP, NAPQI, and PAP. Only PAP induced methemoglobin and it induced more methemoglobin formation in dog and cat than rat and mouse erythrocytes. PAP also induced more methemoglobin in erythrocytes from Nat1/Nat2 knockout mice than wildtype (WT) mouse erythrocytes (P dog and cat erythrocytes (P dogs and cats contributes to this species-dependent toxicity.

  11. Functional study of the effect of phosphatase inhibitors on KCNQ4 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tzu-rong SU; Cay-huyen CHEN; Shih-jen HUANG; Chun-yi LEE; Mao-chang SU; Gwan-hong CHEN; Shuan-yow LI; Jiann-jou YANG; Min-jon LIN


    Aim: KCNQ4 channels play an important part in adjusting the function of cochlear outer hair cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ser/thr phosphatase inhibitors on human KCNQ4 channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Methods: Synthetic cRNA encoding human KCNQ4 channels was injected into Xenopus oocytes. We used a two-electrode voltage clamp to measure the ion currents in the oocytes. Results: Wild-type KCNQ4 expressed in Xenopus oocytes showed the typical properties of slow activation kinetics and low threshold activation. The outward K~+ current was almost completely blocked by a KCNQ4 blocker, linopirdine (0.25 mmol/L). BIMI (a PKC inhibitor) prevented the effects of PMA (a PKC activator) on the KCNQ4 current, indicating that PKC may be involved in the regulation of KCNQ4 expressed in the Xenopus oocyte system. Treatment with the ser/thr phosphatase inhibitors, cyclosporine (2 μmoVL), calyculin A (2 μmol/L) or okadaic acid (1 μmol/L), caused a significant positive shift in V_(1/2) and a decrease in the conductance of KCNQ4 chan-nels. The V_(1/2) was shifted from-14.6±0.5 to-6.4±0.4 mV by cyclosporine, -18.8±0.5 to-9.2±0.4 mV by calyculin A, and-14.1±0.5 to -0.7±0.6 mV by okadaic acid. Moreover, the effects of these phosphatase inhibitors (okadaic acid or calyculin A) on the induction of a positive shift of V_(1/2) were augmented by further addition of PMA. Conclusion: These results indicate that ser/thr phosphatase inhibitors can induce a shift to more positive potentials of the activation curve of the KCNQ4 current. It is highly likely that the phosphatase functions to balance the phosphorylated state of substrate protein and thus has an important role in the regulation of human KCNQ4 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

  12. Novel Cl- currents elicited by follicle stimulating hormone and acetylcholine in follicle-enclosed Xenopus oocytes (United States)


    Voltage-clamp techniques were used to study the membrane currents elicited by follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and acetylcholine (ACh) in follicle-enclosed oocytes of Xenopus laevis (follicles). Both agonists caused complex responses that were more evident when the follicles were in hypotonic Ringer solution (HR; 190.4 mosM). In this medium, currents activated by FSH regularly showed three phases whereas currents activated by ACh displayed three to six phases. At a holding potential of -60 mV, FSH, and ACh responses involved combinations of inward and outward currents. Both FSH and ACh responses included a slow smooth inward component that was associated with an increase in membrane conductance, mainly to Cl- (S(in)). This current was strongly dependent on the osmolarity of the external solution: an increase in osmolarity of the HR solution of 18-20 mosM caused a 50% decrease in S(in). In contrast, a fast and transient Cl- current (F(in)) specifically elicited by ACh was not dependent on osmolarity. Both, F(in) and S(in) currents required the presence of follicular cells, since defolliculation using three different methods abolished all the response to FSH and at least four components of the ACh responses. The membrane channels carrying F(in) and oscillatory Cl- currents elicited by stimulation of ACh or serum receptors, were much more permeable to I- and Br- than Cl-, whereas S(in) channels were equally permeable to these anions. Unlike the oscillatory Cl- currents generated in the oocyte itself, S(in) and F(in) currents in follicle-enclosed oocytes were not abolished by chelation of intracellular Ca2+, either with EGTA or BAPTA, which suggests that intracellular Ca2+ does not play a critical role in the activation of these currents. Our experiments show that S(in) and F(in) currents are quite distinct from the previously characterized oscillatory Cl- responses of oocytes. Moreover, the results strongly suggest that the FSH and ACh receptors, the Cl- channels

  13. Development of Domestic Cat Embryo Produced by Preserved Sperms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The ability to mature and fertilize oocytes of endangered species may allow us to sustain genetic and global biodiversity. Epididymis sperms may be the last chance to ensure preservation of genetic materials after injury or death of a valuable animal. Studies have been conducted to determine wether both epididymis sperms and oocytes can be used to produce viable embryos and offspring. The purpose of this study was to determine how long cats sperms contained in epididymis were remain motile and had intact membranes when preserved at 4 oC, and to determine whether such those preserved sperms are able to fertilize oocytes. Epididymis was preserved immediately in phosphate buffer saline at 4 oC for 1, 3, and 6 days. The observation of sperm quality and viability after preservation was performed by vital staining acrosom and Hoechst-Propidium Iodine. Biological functions of sperms were evaluated by in vitro culture technique for fertilization, micro fertilization and embryonic development rate in CR1aa medium. The results showed that average motility of sperms collected from ductus deferens, cauda and corpus epididymis decreased not significantly (P > 0.05 from 0, 1, 3, and 6 days of preservation times (from 83.0%, 80.2%, 79.0%; 80.9%, 75.0%, 75.5%; 52.0%, 63.2%, 55.0% to 34.6%, 34.6%, 33.3%, respectively. The general results showed that sperms from epididymis preserved for 1, 3, and 6 days can be used for IVF. The rate of embryonal cleavage produced by IVF technique using sperms collected from epididymis preserved for 1-, 3- and 6-days were 33.3, 26.7, and 20.0%, respectively and significantly different (P < 0.05 from that of controll (50.0%. In conclusion, sperms contained in epididyimis preserved at 4 oC in PBS (Phospate Buffer Saline for 1-6 days can be used to IVF and in vitro production of cat embryos.

  14. Toxoplasmosis : Beware of Cats !!!

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubina Kumari Baithalu


    Full Text Available Anthropozoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii causes widespread human and animal diseases, mostly involving central nervous system. Human acquires toxoplasmosis from cats, from consuming raw or undercooked meat and from vertical transmission to the fetus through placenta from mother during pregnancy. Socio-epidemiological as well as unique environmental factors also plays a significant role in transmission of this infection. Preventive measures should be taken into account the importance of culture, tradition, and beliefs of people in various communities more than solving poverty and giving health education. Therefore the focus of this article is to create public awareness regarding sense of responsibility of looking after pets to prevent such an important zoonotic disease. [Vet. World 2010; 3(5.000: 247-249

  15. Selective disruption of aurora C kinase reveals distinct functions from aurora B kinase during meiosis in mouse oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Z Balboula


    Full Text Available Aurora B kinase (AURKB is the catalytic subunit of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC, an essential regulator of chromosome segregation. In mitosis, the CPC is required to regulate kinetochore microtubule (K-MT attachments, the spindle assembly checkpoint, and cytokinesis. Germ cells express an AURKB homolog, AURKC, which can also function in the CPC. Separation of AURKB and AURKC function during meiosis in oocytes by conventional approaches has not been successful. Therefore, the meiotic function of AURKC is still not fully understood. Here, we describe an ATP-binding-pocket-AURKC mutant, that when expressed in mouse oocytes specifically perturbs AURKC-CPC and not AURKB-CPC function. Using this mutant we show for the first time that AURKC has functions that do not overlap with AURKB. These functions include regulating localized CPC activity and regulating chromosome alignment and K-MT attachments at metaphase of meiosis I (Met I. We find that AURKC-CPC is not the sole CPC complex that regulates the spindle assembly checkpoint in meiosis, and as a result most AURKC-perturbed oocytes arrest at Met I. A small subset of oocytes do proceed through cytokinesis normally, suggesting that AURKC-CPC is not the sole CPC complex during telophase I. But, the resulting eggs are aneuploid, indicating that AURKC is a critical regulator of meiotic chromosome segregation in female gametes. Taken together, these data suggest that mammalian oocytes contain AURKC to efficiently execute meiosis I and ensure high-quality eggs necessary for sexual reproduction.

  16. The Use of Refuges by Communally Housed Cats (United States)

    Sicuto de Oliveira, Adriana; Terçariol, César Augusto Sangaletti; Genaro, Gelson


    Simple Summary Captive domestic cats frequently suffer from the lack of physical space and opportunities to perform species-typical behaviors, such as climbing or hiding. Environmental enrichment is a technique that helps transform the space available to animals into a more appropriate habitat. In this study, we tested horizontal and vertical refuge boxes as environmental enrichment for cats living communally in a cat rescue shelter. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats’ welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. Abstract The increase of domestic animals kept in shelters highlights the need to ensure animal welfare. Environmental enrichment can improve animal welfare in many ways, such as encouraging captive animals to use all the space available to them. The effects of physical environmental enrichment on the spatial distribution and behavioral repertoire of 35 neutered domestic cats housed communally were analyzed. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats’ welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. The frequencies of active and especially inactive behaviors also increased in the enriched condition. In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m). However, the entry frequency was higher in refuges at 0.0 m. Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level. We suggest it enhances the welfare of cats in communally housed shelters. This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics

  17. Avaliação da ação extensionista em universidades católicas e comunitárias Evaluation of extension activities in catholic and communitarian universities

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    Fabiana Marques Pereira Bartnik


    Full Text Available O presente artigo tem por objetivo compreender e analisar como as Universidades Católicas e Comunitárias estudadas realizam a avaliação de suas ações extensionistas. Entendemos que a avaliação do compromisso social da Ação Extensionista constitui um avanço na medida em que propicia a valorização e institucionalização da Extensão. Os resultados obtidos mostraram que em sua maioria, a avaliação da Ação Extensionista nestas Instituições é realizada de maneira informal e não concebida como um instrumento pedagógico que deveria avaliar os efeitos concretos dessas ações que se estendem à sociedade. Apesar disso, observa-se uma Extensão transformando-se em prática acadêmica interligada ao ensino e à pesquisa e significadas de aspectos que caracterizam as Instituições enquanto Católica e Comunitária.The purpose of the present article is to understand and analyze how the Catholic and Communitarian Universities perform the evaluation of their extension activities. The authors believe that the evaluation of the social commitment of these activities constitutes an advance since it values and institutionalizes Extension. The results obtained show that, in the majority of the institutions, the evaluation of the extension activities is performed informally and is not conceived as a pedagogical instrument that should evaluate the effects of these actions upon society. Nevertheless, one can observe that the Extension activities are being transformed into an academic practice in connection with education and research, with aspects that characterize the institutions as catholic and communitarian.

  18. Transmembrane Signal Transduction in Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization: Focusing on Xenopus laevis as a Model Animal

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    Ken-ichi Sato


    Full Text Available Fertilization is a cell biological phenomenon of crucial importance for the birth of new life in a variety of multicellular and sexual reproduction species such as algae, animal and plants. Fertilization involves a sequence of events, in which the female gamete “egg” and the male gamete “spermatozoon (sperm” develop, acquire their functions, meet and fuse with each other, to initiate embryonic and zygotic development. Here, it will be briefly reviewed how oocyte cytoplasmic components are orchestrated to undergo hormone-induced oocyte maturation and sperm-induced activation of development. I then review how sperm-egg membrane interaction/fusion and activation of development in the fertilized egg are accomplished and regulated through egg coat- or egg plasma membrane-associated components, highlighting recent findings and future directions in the studies using Xenopus laevis as a model experimental animal.

  19. Effects of Crocin Supplementation during In Vitro Maturation of Mouse Oocytes on Glutathione Synthesis and Cytoplasmic Maturation (United States)

    Mokhber Maleki, Elham; Eimani, Hussein; Bigdeli, Mohammad Reza; Golkar Narenji, Afsane; Abedi, Reyhane


    Background Crocin is an active ingredient of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and its antioxidant properties have been previously investigated. This carotenoid scavenges free radicals and stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis; consequently, it may protect cells against oxidative stress. The aim of this research is to protect oocytes from oxidative stress by the addition of a natural source antioxidant. Materials and Methods In the present in vitro experimental study, we collected cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) from mouse ovaries of euthanized, 6-8 week-old female Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice. Oocytes were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM) in the presence of either crocin (5 or 10 μg/ml), 5 mM buthionine-[S-R]- sulfoximine (BSO), or the combination of crocin plus BSO. Oocytes that matured in vitro in a medium without crocin or BSO supplements were considered as controls. Following 16-18 hours of IVM, matured oocytes (n=631) were fertilized by capacitated sperm from NMRI male mice, and cultured in vitro for up to 96 hours to assess preimplantation embryonic development. The levels of GSH in metaphase II (MII) oocytes after IVM (n=240) were also assessed by the 5, 5-dithio-bis (2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB)-GSH reductase recycling assay. Results Supplementation of IVM media with 10 µg/ml crocin significantly (P<0.05) increased nuclear maturation, preimplantation development and GSH concentrations compared with the control group. Maturation of oocytes in IVM medium supplemented with BSO alone or the combination of 5 µg/ml crocin and BSO drastically decreased GSH concentrations and subsequently resulted in low rates of maturation, fertilization and blastocyst development. However, the combination of 10 µg/ml crocin with 5 mM BSO increased the level of nuclear maturation which was comparable to the control group. Conclusion Supplementation of IVM media with crocin can improve nuclear maturation rates and subsequent developmental potential of mouse

  20. Effects of Crocin Supplementation during In Vitro Maturation of Mouse Oocytes on Glutathione Synthesis and Cytoplasmic Maturation

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    Elham Mokhber Maleki


    Full Text Available Background: Crocin is an active ingredient of saffron (Crocus sativus L. and its antioxidant properties have been previously investigated. This carotenoid scavenges free radicals and stimulates glutathione (GSH synthesis; consequently, it may protect cells against oxidative stress. The aim of this research is to protect oocytes from oxidative stress by the addition of a natural source antioxidant. Materials and Methods: In the present in vitro experimental study, we collected cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs from mouse ovaries of euthanized, 6-8 week-old female Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI mice. Oocytes were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM in the presence of either crocin (5 or 10 μg/ml, 5 mM buthionine-[S-R]- sulfoximine (BSO, or the combination of crocin plus BSO. Oocytes that matured in vitro in a medium without crocin or BSO supplements were considered as controls. Following 16-18 hours of IVM, matured oocytes (n=631 were fertilized by capacitated sperm from NMRI male mice, and cultured in vitro for up to 96 hours to assess preimplantation embryonic development. The levels of GSH in metaphase II (MII oocytes after IVM (n=240 were also assessed by the 5, 5-dithio-bis (2-nitrobenzoic acid (DTNB-GSH reductase recycling assay. Results: Supplementation of IVM media with 10 μg/ml crocin significantly (P<0.05 increased nuclear maturation, preimplantation development and GSH concentrations compared with the control group. Maturation of oocytes in IVM medium supplemented with BSO alone or the combination of 5 μg/ml crocin and BSO drastically decreased GSH concentrations and subsequently resulted in low rates of maturation, fertilization and blastocyst development. However, the combination of 10 μg/ml crocin with 5 mM BSO increased the level of nuclear maturation which was comparable to the control group. Conclusion: Supplementation of IVM media with crocin can improve nuclear maturation rates and subsequent developmental potential

  1. The TRIM-NHL protein LIN-41 and the OMA RNA-binding proteins antagonistically control the prophase-to-metaphase transition and growth of Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes. (United States)

    Spike, Caroline A; Coetzee, Donna; Eichten, Carly; Wang, Xin; Hansen, Dave; Greenstein, David


    In many animals, oocytes enter meiosis early in their development but arrest in meiotic prophase I. Oocyte growth, which occurs during this arrest period, enables the acquisition of meiotic competence and the capacity to produce healthy progeny. Meiotic resumption, or meiotic maturation, involves the transition to metaphase I (M phase) and is regulated by intercellular signaling and cyclin-dependent kinase activation. Premature meiotic maturation would be predicted to diminish fertility as the timing of this event, which normally occurs after oocyte growth is complete, is crucial. In the accompanying article in this issue, we identify the highly conserved TRIM-NHL protein LIN-41 as a translational repressor that copurifies with OMA-1 and OMA-2, RNA-binding proteins redundantly required for normal oocyte growth and meiotic maturation. In this article, we show that LIN-41 enables the production of high-quality oocytes and plays an essential role in controlling and coordinating oocyte growth and meiotic maturation. lin-41 null mutants display a striking defect that is specific to oogenesis: pachytene-stage cells cellularize prematurely and fail to progress to diplotene. Instead, these cells activate CDK-1, enter M phase, assemble spindles, and attempt to segregate chromosomes. Translational derepression of the CDK-1 activator CDC-25.3 appears to contribute to premature M-phase entry in lin-41 mutant oocytes. Genetic and phenotypic analyses indicate that LIN-41 and OMA-1/2 exhibit an antagonistic relationship, and we suggest that translational regulation by these proteins could be important for controlling and coordinating oocyte growth and meiotic maturation.

  2. Development of porcine embryos reconstituted with somatic cells and enucleated metaphase I and II oocytes matured in a protein-free medium

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    Gibbons John R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many cloned animals have been created by transfer of differentiated cells at G0/G1 or M phase of the cell cycle into enucleated M II oocytes having high maturation/meiosis/mitosis-promoting factor activity. Because maturation/meiosis/mitosis-promoting factor activity during oocyte maturation is maximal at both M I and M II, M I oocytes may reprogram differentiated cell nuclei as well. The present study was conducted to examine the developmental ability in vitro of porcine embryos reconstructed by transferring somatic cells (ear fibroblasts into enucleated M I or M II oocytes. Results Analysis of the cell cycle stages revealed that 91.2 ± 0.2% of confluent cells were at the G0/G1 phase and 54.1 ± 4.4% of nocodazole-treated cells were at the G2/M phase, respectively. At 6 h after activation, nuclear swelling was observed in 50.0-88.9% and 34.4-39.5% of embryos reconstituted with confluent cells and nocodazole-treated cells regardless of the recipient oocytes, respectively. The incidence of both a swollen nucleus and polar body was low (6.3-10.5% for all nocodazole-treated donor cell regardless of the recipient oocyte. When embryos reconstituted with confluent cells and M I oocytes were cultured, 2 (1.5% blastocysts were obtained and this was significantly (P Conclusions Porcine M I oocytes have a potential to develop into blastocysts after nuclear transfer of somatic cells.

  3. Applying embryo cryopreservation technologies to the production of domestic and black-footed cats. (United States)

    Pope, C E; Gómez, M C; Galiguis, J; Dresser, B l


    Our objectives were (i) compare in vitro development of early cleavage stage domestic cat embryos after cryopreservation by minimal volume vitrification vs a standard slow, controlled-rate method, (ii) determine viability of vitrified domestic cat embryos by oviductal transfer into synchronous recipients and (iii) evaluate in vivo survival of black-footed cat (BFC, Felis nigripes) embryos after intra- and inter-species transfer. In vitro-derived (IVM/IVF) cat embryos were used to evaluate in vitro development after controlled-rate cryopreservation vs vitrification vs controls. Blastocyst development was similar in both groups of cryopreserved embryos (22-26%), but it was lower (p pregnancies--three of six (50%) and one of two (50%) that received embryos from in vivo- and in vitro-matured oocytes, respectively. Three male and two female kittens weighing from 51 to 124 g (mean = 88 g) were delivered on days 61-65 of gestation. In BFC, four intra-species embryo transfer procedures were carried out--two recipients received fresh day 2 embryos (n = 5, 8) and two recipients received embryos that had been cryopreserved on day 1 (n = 6) or 2 (n = 8). A 2-year-old recipient of cryopreserved embryos established pregnancy and delivered two live male kittens. Subsequently, five cryopreserved BFC embryos were transferred to a domestic cat recipient. On day 29, the recipient was determined to be pregnant and delivered naturally a live, healthy female BFC kitten on day 66. In summary, in vivo survival of vitrified domestic cat embryos was shown by the births of kittens after transfer into recipients. Also, we demonstrated that sperm and embryo cryopreservation could be combined with intra- and inter-species embryo transfer and integrated into the array of assisted reproductive techniques used successfully for propagation of a rare and vulnerable felid species, the black-footed cat.

  4. Application of Oocyte Cryopreservation Technology in TALEN-Mediated Mouse Genome Editing


    Nakagawa, Yoshiko; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Nakagata, Naomi; Yamasaki, Sho; Takeda, Naoki; Ohmuraya, Masaki; Yamamoto, Takashi


    Reproductive engineering techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and cryopreservation of embryos or spermatozoa, are essential for preservation, reproduction, and transportation of genetically engineered mice. However, it has not yet been elucidated whether these techniques can be applied for the generation of genome-edited mice using engineered nucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of frozen oocytes fertilized...

  5. CDC25A phosphatase controls meiosis I progression in mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Solc, Petr; Saskova, Adela; Baran, Vladimir; Kubelka, Michal; Schultz, Richard M; Motlik, Jan


    CDK1 is a pivotal regulator of resumption of meiosis and meiotic maturation of oocytes. CDC25A/B/C are dual-specificity phosphatases and activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Although CDC25C is not essential for either mitotic or meiotic cell cycle regulation, CDC25B is essential for CDK1 activation during resumption of meiosis. Cdc25a -/- mice are embryonic lethal and therefore a role for CDC25A in meiosis is unknown. We report that activation of CDK1 results in a maturation-associated decrease in the amount of CDC25A protein, but not Cdc25a mRNA, such that little CDC25A is present by metaphase I. In addition, expression of exogenous CDC25A overcomes cAMP-mediated maintenance of meiotic arrest. Microinjection of Gfp-Cdc25a and Gpf-Cdc25b mRNAs constructs reveals that CDC25A is exclusively localized to the nucleus prior to nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD). In contrast, CDC25B localizes to cytoplasm in GV-intact oocytes and translocates to the nucleus shortly before NEBD. Over-expressing GFP-CDC25A, which compensates for the normal maturation-associated decrease in CDC25A, blocks meiotic maturation at MI. This MI block is characterized by defects in chromosome congression and spindle formation and a transient reduction in both CDK1 and MAPK activities. Lastly, RNAi-mediated reduction of CDC25A results in fewer oocytes resuming meiosis and reaching MII. These data demonstrate that CDC25A behaves differently during female meiosis than during mitosis, and moreover, that CDC25A has a function in resumption of meiosis, MI spindle formation and the MI-MII transition. Thus, both CDC25A and CDC25B are critical for meiotic maturation of oocytes.

  6. A protocol for embryonic stem cell derivation by somatic cell nuclear transfer into human oocytes




    Authors: Dieter Egli & Gloryn Chia ### Abstract Here we describe detailed methods that allowed us to derive embryonic stem cell lines by nuclear transfer of fibroblasts from a newborn and from a type 1 diabetic adult. The protocol is based on the insight that 1) agents for cell fusion can act as potent mediators of oocyte activation by compromising maintaining plasma membrane integrity; minimizing the concentration at which they are used, and at least transiently remove calcium f...

  7. Capu and Spire Assemble a Cytoplasmic Actin Mesh that Maintains Microtubule Organization in the Drosophila Oocyte (United States)

    Dahlgaard, Katja; Raposo, Alexandre A.S.F.; Niccoli, Teresa; St Johnston, Daniel


    Summary Mutants in the actin nucleators Cappuccino and Spire disrupt the polarized microtubule network in the Drosophila oocyte that defines the anterior-posterior axis, suggesting that microtubule organization depends on actin. Here, we show that Cappuccino and Spire organize an isotropic mesh of actin filaments in the oocyte cytoplasm. capu and spire mutants lack this mesh, whereas overexpressed truncated Cappuccino stabilizes the mesh in the presence of Latrunculin A and partially rescues spire mutants. Spire overexpression cannot rescue capu mutants, but prevents actin mesh disassembly at stage 10B and blocks late cytoplasmic streaming. We also show that the actin mesh regulates microtubules indirectly, by inhibiting kinesin-dependent cytoplasmic flows. Thus, the Capu pathway controls alternative states of the oocyte cytoplasm: when active, it assembles an actin mesh that suppresses kinesin motility to maintain a polarized microtubule cytoskeleton. When inactive, unrestrained kinesin movement generates flows that wash microtubules to the cortex. PMID:17925229

  8. Pemphigus foliaceus in a cat. (United States)

    Kofod, H


    The author's cat started to develop the signs of pemphigus foliaceus one month after he returned home after six months absence. The initial signs included dry coughing and difficulty with purring and swallowing, followed by typical changes of the skin. The cat was treated by a combination of chrysotherapy and systemic glucocorticoid injections, and remained free of clinical signs for one and a half years. The cat then relapsed and showed the initial signs except that coughing was not observed. It was treated as before but after a second relapse and the same treatment it slowly developed a general weakness and was euthanased.

  9. Mitochondrial dynamics and their intracellular traffic in porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Yamochi, T; Hashimoto, S; Amo, A; Goto, H; Yamanaka, M; Inoue, M; Nakaoka, Y; Morimoto, Y


    Meiotic maturation of oocytes requires a variety of ATP-dependent reactions, such as germinal vesicle breakdown, spindle formation, and rearrangement of plasma membrane structure, which is required for fertilization. Mitochondria are accordingly expected be localized to subcellular sites of energy utilization. Although microtubule-dependent cellular traffic for mitochondria has been studied extensively in cultured neuronal (and some other somatic) cells, the molecular mechanism of their dynamics in mammalian oocytes at different stages of maturation remains obscure. The present work describes dynamic aspects of mitochondria in porcine oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage. After incubation of oocytes with MitoTracker Orange followed by centrifugation, mitochondria-enriched ooplasm was obtained using a glass needle and transferred into a recipient oocyte. The intracellular distribution of the fluorescent mitochondria was then observed over time using a laser scanning confocal microscopy equipped with an incubator. Kinetic analysis revealed that fluorescent mitochondria moved from central to subcortical areas of oocytes and were dispersed along plasma membranes. Such movement of mitochondria was inhibited by either cytochalasin B or cytochalasin D but not by colcemid, suggesting the involvement of microfilaments. This method of visualizing mitochondrial dynamics in live cells permits study of the pathophysiology of cytoskeleton-dependent intracellular traffic of mitochondria and associated energy metabolism during meiotic maturation of oocytes.

  10. Developmental competence of oocytes after ICSI in the rhesus monkey. (United States)

    Nusser, K D; Mitalipov, S; Widmann, A; Gerami-Naini, B; Yeoman, R R; Wolf, D P


    Oocyte quantity and quality are critical to assisted reproductive technology (ART), yet few assessments beyond counting metaphase II (MII) oocytes exist. In this study, 30 +/- 2 oocytes per cycle were recovered from rhesus monkeys subjected to follicular stimulation with human gonadotrophins, of which 15 +/- 1 were MII. Oocyte quality was investigated by monitoring the developmental potential of oocytes subjected to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Despite uniform fertilization rates (71 +/- 4%), progression of embryos to blastocysts varied when expressed as a monthly average, from 20 to 85%, with lows from February to April and again in October, which could be attributed to developmental failure of a significant number of oocyte cohorts (14 of 55). Blastocyst rates, after elimination of failed cohorts, were uniform over time (59 +/- 4%). Neither culture conditions, the number of follicular stimulations, nor the individual sperm or oocyte donor were associated specifically with developmental failure, suggesting that intrinsic differences between stimulation cycles account for the observed variation in developmental potential. The in-vivo developmental competence of ICSI-produced embryos grown to blastocysts in vitro was also assessed. Two ongoing pregnancies and the birth of a normal female, 'Blastulina', represent landmarks in efforts to expand the use of ART in the rhesus monkey.

  11. Strategies to support human oocyte development in vitro. (United States)

    Telfer, Evelyn E; McLaughlin, Marie


    Many young cancer patients are now being given the option to store ovarian cortical biopsies before undergoing potentially damaging chemo- or radiotherapy. This tissue mainly contains large numbers of immature primordial follicles. Currently the only option to restore fertility using this tissue is by transplantation which may not be a viable option for all patients. Greater options to realise the potential of this tissue to restore fertility could be achieved by the development of in vitro systems that support oocyte development. The ability to develop human oocytes from the most immature stages of follicles (primordial) through to maturation and fertilisation in vitro would revolutionise fertility preservation practice. This has been achieved in mouse where in vitro grown (IVG) oocytes from primordial follicles have resulted in the production of live offspring. However, developing IVG systems to support complete development of human oocytes has been more difficult because of differences in scale of timing and size. Our lab has been working on a multi-step culture system to support growth and development of bo-vine and human oocytes from primordial through to fully grown, using fresh and cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue. This review outlines the approaches being taken to obtain complete in vitro development of human oocytes and strategies for assessing the health and viability of IVG oocytes.

  12. Nicotinamide impairs entry into and exit from meiosis I in mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Riepsamen, Angelique; Wu, Lindsay; Lau, Laurin; Listijono, Dave; Ledger, William; Sinclair, David; Homer, Hayden


    Following exit from meiosis I, mammalian oocytes immediately enter meiosis II without an intervening interphase, accompanied by rapid reassembly of a bipolar spindle that maintains condensed chromosomes in a metaphase configuration (metaphase II arrest). Here we study the effect of nicotinamide (NAM), a non-competitive pan-sirtuin inhibitor, during meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes. Sirtuins are a family of seven NAD+-dependent deacetylases (Sirt1-7), which are involved in multiple cellular processes and are emerging as important regulators in oocytes and embryos. We found that NAM significantly delayed entry into meiosis I associated with delayed accumulation of the Cdk1 co-activator, cyclin B1. GVBD was also inhibited by the Sirt2-specific inhibitor, AGK2, and in a very similar pattern to NAM, supporting the notion that as in somatic cells, NAM inhibits sirtuins in oocytes. NAM did not affect subsequent spindle assembly, chromosome alignment or the timing of first polar body extrusion (PBE). Unexpectedly, however, in the majority of oocytes with a polar body, chromatin was decondensed and a nuclear structure was present. An identical phenotype was observed when flavopiridol was used to induce Cdk1 inactivation during late meiosis I prior to PBE, but not if Cdk1 was inactivated after PBE when metaphase II arrest was already established, altogether indicating that NAM impaired establishment rather than maintenance of metaphase II arrest. During meiosis I exit in NAM-treated medium, we found that cyclin B1 levels were lower and inhibitory Cdk1 phosphorylation was increased compared with controls. Although activation of the anaphase-promoting complex-Cdc20 (APC-Cdc20) occurred on-time in NAM-treated oocytes, Cdc20 levels were higher in very late meiosis I, pointing to exaggerated APC-Cdc20-mediated proteolysis as a reason for lower cyclin B1 levels. Collectively, therefore, our data indicate that by disrupting Cdk1 regulation, NAM impairs entry into meiosis I and

  13. MicroRNA Expression during Bovine Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization

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    Graham C. Gilchrist


    Full Text Available Successful fertilization and subsequent embryo development rely on complex molecular processes starting with the development of oocyte competence through maturation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that function as gene regulators in many biological systems, including the oocyte and embryo. In order to further explore the roles of miRNAs in oocyte maturation, we employed small RNA sequencing as a screening tool to identify and characterize miRNA populations present in pools of bovine germinal vesicle (GV oocytes, metaphase II (MII oocytes, and presumptive zygotes (PZ. Each stage contained a defined miRNA population, some of which showed stable expression while others showed progressive changes between stages that were subsequently confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR. Bta-miR-155, bta-miR-222, bta-miR-21, bta-let-7d, bta-let-7i, and bta-miR-190a were among the statistically significant differentially expressed miRNAs (p < 0.05. To determine whether changes in specific primary miRNA (pri-miRNA transcripts were responsible for the observed miRNA changes, we evaluated pri-miR-155, -222 and let-7d expression. Pri-miR-155 and -222 were not detected in GV oocytes but pri-miR-155 was present in MII oocytes, indicating transcription during maturation. In contrast, levels of pri-let-7d decreased during maturation, suggesting that the observed increase in let-7d expression was likely due to processing of the primary transcript. This study demonstrates that both dynamic and stable populations of miRNAs are present in bovine oocytes and zygotes and extend previous studies supporting the importance of the small RNA landscape in the maturing bovine oocyte and early embryo.

  14. Vitrification devices affect structural and molecular status of in vitro matured ovine oocytes. (United States)

    Succu, S; Leoni, G G; Bebbere, D; Berlinguer, F; Mossa, F; Bogliolo, L; Madeddu, M; Ledda, S; Naitana, S


    We evaluated the effect of three different cryodevices on membrane integrity, tubulin polymerization, maturation promoting factor (MPF) activity and developmental competence of in vitro matured (IVM) ovine oocytes. IVM oocytes were exposed during 3 min to 7.5% DMSO and 7.5% ethylene glycol (EG) in TCM199 and 25 sec to 0.5 M sucrose, 16.5% DMSO and 16.5% EG, loaded in open pulled straws (OPS), cryoloops (CL) or cryotops (CT) and immersed into liquid nitrogen. Untreated (CTR) or exposed to vitrification solutions but not cryopreserved (EXP) oocytes were used as controls. After warming, double fluorescent staining evidenced a lower membrane integrity in vitrified groups compared to the controls (P CT and controls (P CT groups. MPF activity was lower in treated compared to CTR and CT showed the lowest value (P CT. Parthenogenetic activation was higher in treated compared to CTR and CT evidenced the highest value. Our results indicate that cryodevice influences not only the ability to survive cryopreservation but is also associated with molecular alterations which affect developmental competence.

  15. Studies of the effect of ionomycin on the KCNQ4 channel expressed in Xenopus oocytes. (United States)

    Su, Ching-Chyuan; Li, Shuan-Yow; Yang, Jiann-Jou; Su, Mao-Chang; Lin, Min-Jon


    The effect of ionomycin on the human KCNQ4 channels expressed in Xenopus leavis oocytes was investigated. KCNQ4 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes were measured using two-electrode voltage clamp. The activation of KCNQ4 current had slow activation kinetics and low threshold (approximately -50 mV). The expressed current of KCNQ4 showed the half-maximal activation (V(1/2)) was -17.8 mV and blocked almost completely by KCNQ4 channel blockers, linopirdine (300 microM) or bepridil (200 microM). The significant increase of KCNQ4 outward current induced by ionomycin (calcium salt) is about 1.7-fold of control current amplitude at +60 mV and shifted V(1/2) by approximately -8 mV (from -17.8 to -26.0 mV). This effect of ionomycin could be reversed by the further addition of BAPTA-AM (0.3 mM), a membrane-permeable calcium chelator. Furthermore, the increased effect of ionomycin on KCNQ4 current is abolished by pretreatment of linopirdine or bepridil. In contrast, direct cytoplasmic injection of calcium medium (up to 1 mM calcium, 50 nl) did not mimic the effect of ionomycin. In conclusion, the effect of ionomycin on enhancement of KCNQ4 current is independent of intracellular calcium mobilization and possibly acts on intramembrane hydrophobic site of KCNQ4 protein expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

  16. Oocytes Polar Body Detection for Automatic Enucleation

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    Di Chen


    Full Text Available Enucleation is a crucial step in cloning. In order to achieve automatic blind enucleation, we should detect the polar body of the oocyte automatically. The conventional polar body detection approaches have low success rate or low efficiency. We propose a polar body detection method based on machine learning in this paper. On one hand, the improved Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG algorithm is employed to extract features of polar body images, which will increase success rate. On the other hand, a position prediction method is put forward to narrow the search range of polar body, which will improve efficiency. Experiment results show that the success rate is 96% for various types of polar bodies. Furthermore, the method is applied to an enucleation experiment and improves the degree of automatic enucleation.

  17. Casein kinase 1 alpha regulates chromosome congression and separation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development. (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Lu, Angeleem; Zhou, Hong-Xia; Sun, Ran; Zhao, Jie; Zhou, Cheng-Jie; Shen, Jiang-Peng; Wu, Sha-Na; Liang, Cheng-Guang


    Casein kinase I alpha (CK1α) is a member of serine/threonine protein kinase, generally present in all eukaryotes. In mammals, CK1α regulates the transition from interphase to metaphase in mitosis. However, little is known about its role in meiosis. Here we examined Ck1α mRNA and protein expression, as well as its subcellular localization in mouse oocytes from germinal vesicle to the late 1-cell stage. Our results showed that the expression level of CK1α was increased in metaphase. Immunostaining results showed that CK1α colocalized with condensed chromosomes during oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development. We used the loss-of-function approach by employing CK1α specific morpholino injection to block the function of CK1α. This functional blocking leads to failure of polar body 1 (PB1) extrusion, chromosome misalignment and MII plate incrassation. We further found that D4476, a specific and efficient CK1 inhibitor, decreased the rate of PB1 extrusion. Moreover, D4476 resulted in giant polar body extrusion, oocyte pro-MI arrest, chromosome congression failure and impairment of embryo developmental potential. In addition, we employed pyrvinium pamoate (PP), an allosteric activator of CK1α, to enhance CK1α activity in oocytes. Supplementation of PP induced oocyte meiotic maturation failure, severe congression abnormalities and misalignment of chromosomes. Taken together, our study for the first time demonstrates that CK1α is required for chromosome alignment and segregation during oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development.

  18. Casein kinase 1 alpha regulates chromosome congression and separation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wang

    Full Text Available Casein kinase I alpha (CK1α is a member of serine/threonine protein kinase, generally present in all eukaryotes. In mammals, CK1α regulates the transition from interphase to metaphase in mitosis. However, little is known about its role in meiosis. Here we examined Ck1α mRNA and protein expression, as well as its subcellular localization in mouse oocytes from germinal vesicle to the late 1-cell stage. Our results showed that the expression level of CK1α was increased in metaphase. Immunostaining results showed that CK1α colocalized with condensed chromosomes during oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development. We used the loss-of-function approach by employing CK1α specific morpholino injection to block the function of CK1α. This functional blocking leads to failure of polar body 1 (PB1 extrusion, chromosome misalignment and MII plate incrassation. We further found that D4476, a specific and efficient CK1 inhibitor, decreased the rate of PB1 extrusion. Moreover, D4476 resulted in giant polar body extrusion, oocyte pro-MI arrest, chromosome congression failure and impairment of embryo developmental potential. In addition, we employed pyrvinium pamoate (PP, an allosteric activator of CK1α, to enhance CK1α activity in oocytes. Supplementation of PP induced oocyte meiotic maturation failure, severe congression abnormalities and misalignment of chromosomes. Taken together, our study for the first time demonstrates that CK1α is required for chromosome alignment and segregation during oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo development.

  19. Relationship between respiration rate and weight of loach oocytes. (United States)

    Ozernyuk, N D; Zotin, A I


    It is shown that the constant k in the equation QO2 equals apk and the constant b in the equation qo2 equals aP-b change during the oogenesis of the loach. Hence, the growth of oocytes differs considerably from the growth of animals, where the constants k and b do not change with increase in weight. It is suggested that the relationship between the respiration rate and weight of the oocytes is due to the change in the amount of mitochondria in the oocytes.

  20. Survival of oocytes recovered from vitrified sheep ovarian tissues. (United States)

    Al-aghbari, A M; Menino, A R


    The objective of this work was to develop an effective vitrification technique for cryopreserving oocytes in sheep ovarian tissues. Ovaries were surgically recovered from 15 pubertal ewes and the ovarian cortex was cut into sections. Ovarian tissues were placed in equilibration medium consisting of 4% (v/v) ethylene glycol (EG) and 20% (v/v) FBS in TCM-199 on ice for 30 min and transferred to vitrification solution (35% EG, 5% polyvinylpyrrolidone, 0.4M trehalose and 20% FBS in TCM-199) for 5 min. Ovarian tissues were vitrified by dropping the tissue on the surface of a steel cube cooled by liquid nitrogen. Cumulus-enclosed oocyte complexes (COC) were also collected and vitrified following the procedure used for ovarian tissues. After 2-3 weeks of storage in liquid nitrogen, ovarian tissues and COC were thawed at 37 degrees C in 0.3M trehalose and COC in ovarian tissues were mechanically and enzymatically isolated. Vitrified COC and freshly collected COC were washed twice in maturation medium (TCM-199 supplemented with 0.255 mM pyruvate and 10% heat-treated estrus cow serum) and cultured in 50 microl drops of maturation medium under paraffin oil for 23-25h at 39 degrees C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO(2) in air. After culture, cumulus cells were removed by hyaluronidase treatment and vortexing and oocytes were fixed and stained. No significant differences were observed between vitrified oocytes, oocytes recovered from vitrified ovarian tissues and non-vitrified control oocytes in the percentage of oocytes with acceptable staining per total number of oocytes fixed or with visible chromatin per total number of oocytes with acceptable staining. However, fewer (P0.05) were observed due to treatment in the percentages of oocytes developing to metaphase II. These results demonstrate that sheep oocytes can be successfully cryopreserved by vitrification of ovarian tissues and exhibit in vitro maturation rates similar to that of vitrified and non-vitrified oocytes.

  1. 基于APD的“猫眼”目标主动探测系统信噪比分析%SNR analysis of “cat eye” target active laser detection system based on APD

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张瑜; 刘秉琦; 周斌; 武东生


    信噪比是表征激光主动探测系统性能的重要指标,通过分析雪崩光电二极管(APD)的噪声来源和离焦“猫眼”目标回波功率,建立了APD探测器的信噪比模型,分析了离焦量、目标距离、激光发散角对APD探测器信噪比的影响,并进行了数值模拟分析,结果表明:离焦量的增大会引起“猫眼”目标回波功率变小,进而使APD探测器信噪比减小;“猫眼”目标距离和激光发散角的增大同样使“猫眼”目标回波功率变小,降低了APD探测器的信噪比.这为激光主动探测系统的设计和性能评价提供了必要的依据.%Signal to noise ratio(SNR)is an important characteristic of active laser detection system. The signal-noise ratio model of APD is established by analyzing the noise sources of APD and the reflected power of "cat eye" target with focal shift. The influence factors such as focal shift,detection distance and laser divergence angle to the SNR are analyzed. Then the effects are simulated through numerical computation. The results demonstrate that the reflected power of a "cat eye" target will attenuate as the focal shift increases which consequently result in the decrease of SNR. The SNR of APD will also decrease with the increasing of the distance of "cat eye" target and laser divergent angle. The study will lay the foundation for the design and performance evaluation of active laser detection systems based on APD.

  2. Spindle formation, chromosome segregation and the spindle checkpoint in mammalian oocytes and susceptibility to meiotic error. (United States)

    Vogt, E; Kirsch-Volders, M; Parry, J; Eichenlaub-Ritter, U


    The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) monitors attachment to microtubules and tension on chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis. It represents a surveillance mechanism that halts cells in M-phase in the presence of unattached chromosomes, associated with accumulation of checkpoint components, in particular, Mad2, at the kinetochores. A complex between the anaphase promoting factor/cylosome (APC/C), its accessory protein Cdc20 and proteins of the SAC renders APC/C inactive, usually until all chromosomes are properly assembled at the spindle equator (chromosome congression) and under tension from spindle fibres. Upon release from the SAC the APC/C can target proteins like cyclin B and securin for degradation by the proteasome. Securin degradation causes activation of separase proteolytic enzyme, and in mitosis cleavage of cohesin proteins at the centromeres and arms of sister chromatids. In meiosis I only the cohesin proteins at the sister chromatid arms are cleaved. This requires meiosis specific components and tight regulation by kinase and phosphatase activities. There is no S-phase between meiotic divisions. Second meiosis resembles mitosis. Mammalian oocytes arrest constitutively at metaphase II in presence of aligned chromosomes, which is due to the activity of the cytostatic factor (CSF). The SAC has been identified in spermatogenesis and oogenesis, but gender-differences may contribute to sex-specific differential responses to aneugens. The age-related reduction in expression of components of the SAC in mammalian oocytes may act synergistically with spindle and other cell organelles' dysfunction, and a partial loss of cohesion between sister chromatids to predispose oocytes to errors in chromosome segregation. This might affect dose-response to aneugens. In view of the tendency to have children at advanced maternal ages it appears relevant to pursue studies on consequences of ageing on the susceptibility of human oocytes to the induction of meiotic error by

  3. TACC3 Is Important for Correct Progression of Meiosis in Bovine Oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdi Mahdipour

    Full Text Available Transforming acidic coiled-coil (TACC proteins are key players during mitosis via stabilization of the spindle. The roles of TACCs during meiosis are however less clear. We used bovine oocytes to study the expression and function of TACC3 during meiosis. TACC3 mRNA was detected in bovine oocytes during meiosis using qRT-PCR, and while it was also expressed in cleavage stage embryos, its expression was down-regulated at the morula and blastocyst stages. Immunofluorescence was used to demonstrate that TACC3 co-localized with tubulin in the metaphase I and II spindles. However, TACC3 was not detected at anaphase or telophase of the first meiotic division. Aurora A, which is known to phosphorylate and activate TACC3 in mitotic cells, showed a similar pattern of gene expression to that of TACC3 in meiotic oocytes and preimplantation embryos. Aurora A protein was however only very transiently associated to the meiotic spindle. Pharmaceutical inhibition of Aurora A activity inhibited TACC3 phosphorylation but did not prevent TACC3 appearance in the spindle. Inhibiting Aurora A activity did however lead to abnormal meiotic spindle formation and impaired maturation of bovine oocytes. Similar results were obtained by knock-down of TACC3 expression using siRNA injection. These results suggest that TACC3 is important for stabilizing the meiotic spindle, but phosphorylation of TACC3 by Aurora A is not required for its recruitment to the meiotic spindle although phosphorylation of TACC3 by other kinases cannot be excluded.

  4. Phosphofructokinase and malate dehydrogenase participate in the in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Breininger, E; Vecchi Galenda, B E; Alvarez, G M; Gutnisky, C; Cetica, P D


    Oocyte maturation depends on the metabolic activity of cumulus-oocyte complex (COC) that performs nutritive and regulatory functions during this process. In this work, the enzymes [phosphofructokinase (PFK) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH)] were tested to elucidate the metabolic profile of porcine COCs during the in vitro maturation (IVM). Enzymatic activity was expressed in U/COC and U/mg protein (specific activity) as mean ± SEM. In vitro maturation was performed with 2-oxoglutarate (5, 10 and 20 mm) or hydroxymalonate (30, 60 and 100 mm) inhibitors of PFK and MDH, respectively. The PFK and MDH activities (U) remained constant during maturation. For PFK, the U were (2.48 ± 0.23) 10(-5) and (2.54 ± 0.32) 10(-5) , and for MDH, the U were (4.72 ± 0.42) 10(-5) and (4.38 ± 0.25) 10(-5) for immature and in vitro matured COCs, respectively. The specific activities were significantly lower after IVM, for PFK (4.29 ± 0.48) 10(-3) and (0.94 ± 0.12) 10(-3) , and for MDH (9.08 ± 0.93) 10(-3) and (1.89 ± 0.10) 10(-3) for immature and in vitro matured COCs, respectively. In vitro maturation percentages and enzymatic activity diminished with 20 mm 2-oxoglutarate or 60 mm hydroxymalonate (p < 0.05). Viability was not affected by any concentration of the inhibitors evaluated. The U remained unchanged during IVM; however, the increase in the total protein content per COC provoked a decrease in the specific activity of both enzymes. Phosphofructokinase and MDH necessary for oocyte IVM would be already present in the immature oocyte. The presence of inhibitors of these enzymes impairs the meiotic maturation. Therefore, the participation of these enzymes in the energy metabolism of the porcine oocyte during IVM is confirmed in this study.

  5. Fundamentals of ServCat (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This training manual for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Catalog (ServCat) provides detailed instructions on searching for records, creating records, and managing...

  6. NRPC ServCat priorities (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document lists the Natural Resource Program Center’s priority ServCat documents. It is recommended that these documents- which include annual narrative reports,...

  7. Food hypersensitivity in a cat. (United States)

    Medleau, L; Latimer, K S; Duncan, J R


    Food hypersensitivity was diagnosed in a 4-year-old Siamese cat. Clinical signs included intense erythema, with alopecia, excoriations, erosions, and crusts involving the ventral portion of the abdomen, inguinal region, medial aspect of each thigh, and cranial and lateral aspects of all 4 limbs. The cat was intensely pruritic. Histologically, there was cutaneous mast cell hyperplasia and diffuse infiltration of eosinophils in the dermis. Blood eosinophilia also was found. Clinical signs resolved after exclusive feeding of a hypoallergenic diet.

  8. Mouse Oocytes Enable LH-Induced Maturation of the Cumulus-Oocyte Complex via Promoting EGF Receptor-Dependent Signaling (United States)

    Su, You-Qiang; Sugiura, Koji; Li, Qinglei; Wigglesworth, Karen; Matzuk, Martin M.; Eppig, John J.


    LH triggers the maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex (COC), which is followed by ovulation. These ovarian follicular responses to LH are mediated by epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factors produced by granulosa cells and require the participation of oocyte-derived paracrine factors. However, it is not clear how oocytes coordinate with the EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling to achieve COC maturation. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that oocytes promote the expression of EGFR by cumulus cells, thus enabling them to respond to the LH-induced EGF-like peptides. Egfr mRNA and protein expression were dramatically reduced in cumulus cells of mutant mice deficient in the production of the oocyte-derived paracrine factors growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15). Moreover, microsurgical removal of oocytes from wild-type COCs dramatically reduced expression of Egfr mRNA and protein, and these levels were restored by either coculture with oocytes or treatment with recombinant GDF9 or GDF9 plus recombinant BMP15. Blocking Sma- and Mad-related protein (SMAD)2/3 phosphorylation in vitro inhibited Egfr expression in wild-type COCs and in GDF9-treated wild-type cumulus cells, and conditional deletion of Smad2 and Smad3 genes in granulosa cells in vivo resulted in the reduction of Egfr mRNA in cumulus cells. These results indicate that oocytes promote expression of Egfr in cumulus cells, and a SMAD2/3-dependent pathway is involved in this process. At least two oocyte-derived growth factors, GDF9 and BMP15, are required for EGFR expression by cumulus cells. PMID:20382892

  9. Schrodinger's cat: much ado about nothing

    CERN Document Server

    Ionicioiu, Radu


    In this note I briefly discuss the Schrodinger's cat Gedankenexperiment. By analysing the information flow in the system I show that no entanglement exists between the atom and the cat. The atom and the cat are connected only through a classical information channel (detector clicks $\\rightarrow$ poison is released $\\rightarrow$ cat is dead). No amount of local operations and classical communication can entangle the atom and the cat. Consequently, the paradox disappears.

  10. Complete kinetochore tracking reveals error-prone homologous chromosome biorientation in mammalian oocytes. (United States)

    Kitajima, Tomoya S; Ohsugi, Miho; Ellenberg, Jan


    Chromosomes must establish stable biorientation prior to anaphase to achieve faithful segregation during cell division. The detailed process by which chromosomes are bioriented and how biorientation is coordinated with spindle assembly and chromosome congression remain unclear. Here, we provide complete 3D kinetochore-tracking datasets throughout cell division by high-resolution imaging of meiosis I in live mouse oocytes. We show that in acentrosomal oocytes, chromosome congression forms an intermediate chromosome configuration, the prometaphase belt, which precedes biorientation. Chromosomes then invade the elongating spindle center to form the metaphase plate and start biorienting. Close to 90% of all chromosomes undergo one or more rounds of error correction of their kinetochore-microtubule attachments before achieving correct biorientation. This process depends on Aurora kinase activity. Our analysis reveals the error-prone nature of homologous chromosome biorientation, providing a possible explanation for the high incidence of aneuploid eggs observed in mammals, including humans.

  11. Functional expression and characterization of plant ABC transporters in Xenopus laevis oocytes for transport engineering purposes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Deyang; Veres, Dorottya; Belew, Zeinu Mussa


    suitable in transport engineering approaches, although their size and high number of introns make them notoriously difficult to clone. Here, we report a novel in planta “exon engineering” strategy for cloning of full-length coding sequence of ABC transporters followed by methods for biochemical......Transport engineering in bioengineering is aimed at efficient export of the final product to reduce toxicity and feedback inhibition and to increase yield. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters with their highly diverse substrate specificity and role in cellular efflux are potentially...... characterization of ABC exporters in Xenopus oocytes. Although the Xenopus oocyte expression system is particularly suitable for expression of membrane proteins and powerful in screening for novel transporter activity, only few examples of successful expression of ABC transporter has been reported. This raises...

  12. Dynamic changes of the Golgi apparatus during bovine in vitro oocyte maturation. (United States)

    Racedo, S E; Rawe, V Y; Niemann, H


    For successful fertilization by the male gamete, oocyte cytoplasmic organelles such as the Golgi apparatus have to undergo specific changes: the entire process is known as cytoplasmic maturation. The goal of this study was to unravel the dynamics of the Golgi apparatus in bovine oocytes at critical stages of in vitro maturation, i.e. germinal vesicle (GV), GV breakdown (GVBD), metaphase I (MI) and metaphase II, and to investigate the role of various molecules critically involved therein. The cytoplasmic distribution of proteins was assessed by immunocytochemistry and laser confocal microscopy. We applied specific inhibitors, including nocodazole to unravel the functional role of the microtubular elements; sodium orthovanadate, which primarily inhibits cytoplasmic dynein ATPase activity; monastrol which inhibits the kinesin EG5; and roscovitine to inhibit the kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 2A (CDC2A). Prior to GVBD, the Golgi apparatus was translocated from the centre of the cytoplasm to the cortical area in the periphery, where it underwent fragmentation. A second translocation was observed between GVBD and MI stages, when the Golgi apparatus was moved from the cortex to the centre of the cytoplasm. Incubation with the specific inhibitors revealed that microtubules played an active role in the final localization at GVBD, while CDC2A was essential for Golgi fragmentation at GVBD stage. This partitioning was a precondition for the second movement. In conclusion, for the first time we show basic mechanisms critically involved in the regulation of the dynamic changes of Golgi apparatus during meiosis of the bovine oocyte.

  13. The fertilization—induced Ca2+ oscillation in mouse oocytes is cytoplasmic maturation dependent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Mature eggs (at metaphase II stage) produce a series of Ca2+ oscillation at fertilization.To define whether the fertilization-induced Ca2+ oscillation is restrict to the metaphase II eggs and cell cycle dependent,mouse oocytes at prophase I (arrested at germinal vesicle stage),metaphase I,metaphase II,as well as the pronuclear embryos at interphase of the first mitotic division derived from fertilization of parthenogenetic activation were inseminated after removal of zona pellucida,The results show that the fertilization-induced Ca2+ oscillation is not specific to metaphase II eggs.This is supported by the fact that immature oocytes generated the Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization regardless of their nuclear progression from prophase I to metaphase I (in vitro matured) stage.More interestingly,it was first found that pronuclear embryos at interphase derived from parthenogenetic activation showed Ca2+ oscillations in response to fertilization while the zygotes at interphase did not after reinsemination or intracytoplasmic injection of sperm extracts which induce Ca2+ oscillations in MII eggs.This suggests that the ability of oocytes to generate Ca2+ oscillation in response to sperm penetration is not regulated in a cell cycle dependent manner but dependent on the cytoplasmic maturation.

  14. Phosphorylated ERK5/BMK1 transiently accumulates within division spindles in mouse oocytes and preimplantation embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria A. Ciemerych


    Full Text Available MAP kinases of the ERK family play important roles in oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryo development. The role of the signaling pathway involving ERK5 MAP kinase during meiotic and mitotic M-phase of the cell cycle is not well known. Here, we studied the localization of the phosphorylated, and thus potentially activated, form of ERK5 in mouse maturing oocytes and mitotically dividing early embryos. We show that phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, i.e. likely activation/inactivation of ERK5, correlates with M-phase progression. Phosphorylated form of ERK5 accumulates in division spindle of both meiotic and mitotic cells, and precisely co-localizes with spindle microtubules at metaphase. This localization changes drastically in the anaphase, when phospho-ERK5 completely disappears from microtubules and transits to the cytoplasmic granular, vesicle-like structures. In telophase oocytes it becomes incorporated into the midbody. Dynamic changes in the localization of phospho-ERK5 suggests that it may play an important role both in meiotic and mitotic division. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2011, Vol. 49, No. 3, 528–534

  15. Energy, ageing, fidelity and sex: oocyte mitochondrial DNA as a protected genetic template. (United States)

    de Paula, Wilson B M; Lucas, Cathy H; Agip, Ahmed-Noor A; Vizcay-Barrena, Gema; Allen, John F


    Oxidative phosphorylation couples ATP synthesis to respiratory electron transport. In eukaryotes, this coupling occurs in mitochondria, which carry DNA. Respiratory electron transport in the presence of molecular oxygen generates free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are mutagenic. In animals, mutational damage to mitochondrial DNA therefore accumulates within the lifespan of the individual. Fertilization generally requires motility of one gamete, and motility requires ATP. It has been proposed that oxidative phosphorylation is nevertheless absent in the special case of quiescent, template mitochondria, that these remain sequestered in oocytes and female germ lines and that oocyte mitochondrial DNA is thus protected from damage, but evidence to support that view has hitherto been lacking. Here we show that female gametes of Aurelia aurita, the common jellyfish, do not transcribe mitochondrial DNA, lack electron transport, and produce no free radicals. In contrast, male gametes actively transcribe mitochondrial genes for respiratory chain components and produce ROS. Electron microscopy shows that this functional division of labour between sperm and egg is accompanied by contrasting mitochondrial morphology. We suggest that mitochondrial anisogamy underlies division of any animal species into two sexes with complementary roles in sexual reproduction. We predict that quiescent oocyte mitochondria contain DNA as an unexpressed template that avoids mutational accumulation by being transmitted through the female germ line. The active descendants of oocyte mitochondria perform oxidative phosphorylation in somatic cells and in male gametes of each new generation, and the mutations that they accumulated are not inherited. We propose that the avoidance of ROS-dependent mutation is the evolutionary pressure underlying maternal mitochondrial inheritance and the developmental origin of the female germ line.

  16. Non-canonical Cajal bodies form in the nucleus of late stage avian oocytes lacking functional nucleolus. (United States)

    Khodyuchenko, Tatiana; Gaginskaya, Elena; Krasikova, Alla


    In the somatic cell nucleus, there are several universal domains such as nucleolus, SC35-domains, Cajal bodies (CBs) and histone locus bodies (HLBs). Among them, CBs were described more than 100 years ago; however, we still do not have a final understanding of their nature and biological significance. The giant nucleus of avian and amphibian growing oocytes represents an advantageous model for analysis of functions and biogenesis of various nuclear domains. Nevertheless, in large-sized avian oocytes that contain transcriptionally active lampbrush chromosomes, CB-like organelles have not been identified yet. Here we demonstrate that in the pigeon (Columba livia) oocyte nucleus, characterized by absence of any functional nucleoli, extrachromosomal spherical bodies contain TMG-capped spliceosomal snRNAs, core proteins of Sm snRNPs and the protein coilin typical for CBs, but not splicing factor SC35 nor the histone pre-mRNA 3'-end processing factor symplekin. The results establish that coilin-rich nuclear organelles in pigeon late-stage oocyte are not the equivalents of HLBs but belong to a group of CBs. At the same time, they do not contain the snoRNP/scaRNP protein fibrillarin involved in 2'-O-methylation of snoRNAs and snRNAs. Thus, the nucleus of late-stage pigeon oocytes houses CB-like organelles that have an unusual molecular composition and are implicated in the snRNP biogenesis pathway. These data demonstrate that snRNP-rich non-canonical CBs can form in the absence of nucleolus. We argue that pigeon oocytes represent a new promising model to investigate CB modular organization, functions and formation mechanism.

  17. Overexpression of SETβ, a protein localizing to centromeres, causes precocious separation of chromatids during the first meiosis of mouse oocytes. (United States)

    Qi, Shu-Tao; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Ouyang, Ying-Chun; Zhang, Qing-Hua; Hu, Meng-Wen; Huang, Xin; Ge, Zhaojia; Guo, Lei; Wang, Ya-Peng; Hou, Yi; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan


    Chromosome segregation in mammalian oocyte meiosis is an error-prone process, and any mistake in this process may result in aneuploidy, which is the main cause of infertility, abortion and many genetic diseases. It is now well known that shugoshin and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) play important roles in the protection of centromeric cohesion during the first meiosis. PP2A can antagonize the phosphorylation of rec8, a member of the cohesin complex, at the centromeres and thus prevent cleavage of rec8 and so maintain the cohesion of chromatids. SETβ is a protein that physically interacts with shugoshin and inhibits PP2A activity. We thus hypothesized that SETβ might regulate cohesion protection and chromosome segregation during oocyte meiotic maturation. Here we report for the first time the expression, subcellular localization and functions of SETβ during mouse oocyte meiosis. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the expression level of SETβ was stable from the germinal vesicle stage to the MII stage of oocyte meiosis. Immunofluorescence analysis showed SETβ accumulation in the nucleus at the germinal vesicle stage, whereas it was targeted mainly to the inner centromere area and faintly localized to the interchromatid axes from germinal vesicle breakdown to MI stages. At the MII stage, SETβ still localized to the inner centromere area, but could relocalize to kinetochores in a process perhaps dependent on the tension on the centromeres. SETβ partly colocalized with PP2A at the inner centromere area. Overexpression of SETβ in mouse oocytes caused precocious separation of sister chromatids, but depletion of SETβ by RNAi showed little effects on the meiotic maturation process. Taken together, our results suggest that SETβ, even though it localizes to centromeres, might not be essential for chromosome separation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation, although its forced overexpression causes premature chromatid separation.

  18. Detection of vitellogenin incorporation into zebrafish oocytes by FITC fluorescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yokoi Hayato


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large volumes of lymph can be collected from the eye-sacs of bubble-eye goldfish. We attempted to induce vitellogenin (Vtg in the eye-sac lymph of bubble-eye goldfish and develop a method for visualizing Vtg incorporation by zebrafish oocytes using FITC-labeling. Methods Estrogen efficiently induced Vtg in the eye-sac lymph of goldfish. After FITC-labeled Vtg was prepared, it was injected into mature female zebrafish. Results Incorporation of FITC-labeled Vtg by zebrafish oocytes was detected in in vivo and in vitro experiments. The embryos obtained from zebrafish females injected with FITC-labeled Vtg emitted FITC fluorescence from the yolk sac and developed normally. Conclusion This method for achieving Vtg incorporation by zebrafish oocytes could be useful in experiments related to the development and endocrinology of zebrafish oocytes.

  19. Cryopreservation of Oocytes and Embryos in Human Assisted Reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konc J


    Full Text Available Cryopreservation has become an integral component of assisted reproductive technology. The ability to cryopreserve, thaw, and establish pregnancies with supernumerary preimplantation embryos has become an important tool in fertility treatment. Human oocyte cryopreservation has practical application in preserving fertility for individuals prior to cancer treatments. While the efficiency of oocyte and embryo freezing technology has increased over time, there is still room for improvement, since even under ideal circumstances the clinical pregnancy rate from frozen embryo transfer is approximately two-thirds of that from the fresh transfer of embryos. Thus, studies connected with cryopreservation of human oocytes and embryos are very important to the expansion of effective clinical services. This review gives a summary of the theoretical and technical aspects of oocyte and embryo cryopreservation.

  20. [Analysis of the Localization of Fibrillarin and Sites of Pre-rRNA Synthesis in the Nucleolus-Like Bodies of Mouse GV Oocytes after Mild Treatment with Proteinase K]. (United States)

    Shishova, K V; Khodarovich, Yu M; Lavrentyeva, E A; Zatsepina, O V


    Postnatal development of mammalian oocytes is accompanied by functional and structural remodeling of the nucleolar apparatus: the final stage of this process is the formation of large objects (up to 10 μm in diameter) termed nucleolus-like bodies (NLBs) in preovulatory GV oocytes. N LB material was shown to be essential for early embryonic development, but its composition is still uncharacterized. In the present study, the protein-binding dye fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC) was used to show that proteins characterized by a high local concentration are essential NLB components in mouse GV oocytes. One of these proteins was able to be identified for the first time using a mild treatment of oocytes with proteinase K; the protein identified was fibrillarin, a factor of early pre-rRNA processing. Fibrillarin is present in the inner NLB mass of all oocytes capable of synthesizing rRNA; however, it is not colocalized with BrUTP microinjected into oocytes in order to identify transcribed ribosomal genes, in contrast to the "surface" fibrillarin. These observations imply the accumulation of nucleolar proteins not involved in ribosome biogenesis inside the NLB. All NLBs present in an individual nucleus of an NSN-type GV oocyte contain fibrillarin and are associated with active ribosomal genes. The results obtained in the present work demonstrate that proteinase K treatment of GV mouse oocytes allows for: (1) identification of "cryptic" proteins inside the densely packed NLB material and (2) the enhancement of oocyte image quality during BrUTP-based identification of rRNA synthesis sites but (3) not for the detection of active ribosomal genes in the inner mass of the NLB. The fluorescent dye FITC can be recommended for assessment of intracellular protein localization in the oocytes of all mammalian species.

  1. Kinetochore microtubule establishment is defective in oocytes from aged mice


    Shomper, Maria; Lappa, Christina; FitzHarris, Greg


    Errors in chromosome segregation in mammalian oocytes increase in number with advancing maternal age, and are a major cause of pregnancy loss. Why chromosome segregation errors are more common in oocytes from older females remains poorly understood. In mitosis, accurate chromosome segregation is enabled by attachment of kinetochores to microtubules from appropriate spindle poles, and erroneous attachments increase the likelihood of mis-segregation. Whether attachment errors are responsible fo...

  2. RASD1 Knockdown Results in Failure of Oocyte Maturation


    Youngeun Lee; Kyeoung-Hwa Kim; Hyemin Yoon; Ok-Hee Lee; Eunyoung Kim; Miseon Park; Hoon Jang; Kwonho Hong; Hyuk Song; Jung Jae Ko; Woo Sik Lee; Kyung-Ah Lee; Eun Mi Chang; Youngsok Choi


    Background: Ras dexamethasone-induced protein (RASD1) is a member of Ras superfamily of small GTPases. RASD1 regulates various signaling pathways involved in iron homeostasis, growth hormone secretion, and circadian rhythm. However, RASD1 function in oocyte remains unknown. Methods: Using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and quantitative real-time RT-PCR, RASD1 expression in mouse ovary and RASD1 role in oocyte maturation-related gene expression, spindle formation, and chromosome ali...

  3. In vivo induction of oocyte maturation and ovulation in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshinobu Tokumoto

    Full Text Available The maturation of fish oocytes is a well-characterized system induced by progestins via non-genomic actions. In a previous study, we demonstrated that diethylstilbestrol (DES, a non-steroidal estrogen, induces fish oocyte maturation via the membrane progestin receptor (mPR. Here, we attempted to evaluate the effect of DES as an environmental endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC upon fish oocyte maturation using live zebrafish. DES triggered oocyte maturation within several hours in vivo when administrated directly into the surrounding water. The natural teleost maturation-inducing hormone, 17alpha, 20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20beta-DHP also induced oocyte maturation in vivo. Steroids such as testosterone, progesterone or 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone were also effective in vivo. Further studies indicated that externally applied 17,20beta-DHP even induced ovulation. In contrast to 17,20beta -DHP, DES induced maturation but not ovulation. Theoretically this assay system provides a means to distinguish pathways involved in the induction of ovulation, which are known to be induced by genomic actions from the pathway normally involved in the induction of oocyte maturation, a typical non-genomic action-dependent pathway. In summary, we have demonstrated the effect of EDCs on fish oocyte maturation in vivo. To address the effects, we have explored a conceptually new approach to distinguish between the genomic and non-genomic actions induced by steroids. The assay can be applied to screens of progestin-like effects upon oocyte maturation and ovulation for small molecules of pharmacological agents or EDCs.

  4. Chromosomal and cytoplasmic context determines predisposition to maternal age-related aneuploidy: brief overview and update on MCAK in mammalian oocytes. (United States)

    Eichenlaub-Ritter, Ursula; Staubach, Nora; Trapphoff, Tom


    It has been known for more than half a century that the risk of conceiving a child with trisomy increases with advanced maternal age. However, the origin of the high susceptibility to nondisjunction of whole chromosomes and precocious separation of sister chromatids, leading to aneuploidy in aged oocytes and embryos derived from them, cannot be traced back to a single disturbance and mechanism. Instead, analysis of recombination patterns of meiotic chromosomes of spread oocytes from embryonal ovary, and of origins and exchange patterns of extra chromosomes in trisomies, as well as morphological and molecular studies of oocytes and somatic cells from young and aged females, show chromosome-specific risk patterns and cellular aberrations related to the chronological age of the female. In addition, analysis of the function of meiotic- and cell-cycle-regulating genes in oogenesis, and the study of the spindle and chromosomal status of maturing oocytes, suggest that several events contribute synergistically to errors in chromosome segregation in aged oocytes in a chromosome-specific fashion. For instance, loss of cohesion may differentially predispose chromosomes with distal or pericentromeric chiasmata to nondisjunction. Studies on expression in young and aged oocytes from human or model organisms, like the mouse, indicate that the presence and functionality/activity of gene products involved in cell-cycle regulation, spindle formation and organelle integrity may be altered in aged oocytes, thus contributing to a high risk of error in chromosome segregation in meiosis I and II. Genes that are often altered in aged mouse oocytes include MCAK (mitotic-centromere-associated protein), a microtubule depolymerase, and AURKB (Aurora kinase B), a protein of the chromosomal passenger complex that has many targets and can also phosphorylate and regulate MCAK localization and activity. Therefore we explored the role of MCAK in maturing mouse oocytes by immunofluorescence

  5. Cat Ownership Perception and Caretaking Explored in an Internet Survey of People Associated with Cats.

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    Sarah Zito

    Full Text Available People who feed cats that they do not perceive they own (sometimes called semi-owners are thought to make a considerable contribution to unwanted cat numbers because the cats they support are generally not sterilized. Understanding people's perception of cat ownership and the psychology underlying cat semi-ownership could inform approaches to mitigate the negative effects of cat semi-ownership. The primary aims of this study were to investigate cat ownership perception and to examine its association with human-cat interactions and caretaking behaviours. A secondary aim was to evaluate a definition of cat semi-ownership (including an association time of ≥1 month and frequent feeding, revised from a previous definition proposed in the literature to distinguish cat semi-ownership from casual interactions with unowned cats. Cat owners and semi-owners displayed similar types of interactions and caretaking behaviours. Nevertheless, caretaking behaviours were more commonly displayed towards owned cats than semi-owned cats, and semi-owned cats were more likely to have produced kittens (p<0.01. All interactions and caretaking behaviours were more likely to be displayed towards cats in semi-ownership relationships compared to casual interaction relationships. Determinants of cat ownership perception were identified (p<0.05 and included association time, attachment, perceived cat friendliness and health, and feelings about unowned cats, including the acceptability of feeding unowned cats. Encouraging semi-owners to have the cats they care for sterilized may assist in reducing the number of unwanted kittens and could be a valuable alternative to trying to prevent semi-ownership entirely. Highly accessible semi-owner "gatekeepers" could help to deliver education messages and facilitate the provision of cat sterilization services to semi-owners. This research enabled semi-ownership to be distinguished from casual interaction relationships and can assist

  6. Frequency of aneuploidy related to age in porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Hornak, Miroslav; Jeseta, Michal; Musilova, Petra; Pavlok, Antonin; Kubelka, Michal; Motlik, Jan; Rubes, Jiri; Anger, Martin


    It is generally accepted that mammalian oocytes are frequently suffering from chromosome segregation errors during meiosis I, which have severe consequences, including pregnancy loss, developmental disorders and mental retardation. In a search for physiologically more relevant model than rodent oocytes to study this phenomenon, we have employed comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), combined with whole genome amplification (WGA), to study the frequency of aneuploidy in porcine oocytes, including rare cells obtained from aged animals. Using this method, we were able to analyze segregation pattern of each individual chromosome during meiosis I. In contrast to the previous reports where conventional methods, such as chromosome spreads or FISH, were used to estimate frequency of aneuploidy, our results presented here show, that the frequency of this phenomenon was overestimated in porcine oocytes. Surprisingly, despite the results from human and mouse showing an increase in the frequency of aneuploidy with advanced maternal age, our results obtained by the most accurate method currently available for scoring the aneuploidy in oocytes indicated no increase in the frequency of aneuploidy even in oocytes from animals, whose age was close to the life expectancy of the breed.

  7. Frequency of aneuploidy related to age in porcine oocytes.

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    Miroslav Hornak

    Full Text Available It is generally accepted that mammalian oocytes are frequently suffering from chromosome segregation errors during meiosis I, which have severe consequences, including pregnancy loss, developmental disorders and mental retardation. In a search for physiologically more relevant model than rodent oocytes to study this phenomenon, we have employed comparative genomic hybridization (CGH, combined with whole genome amplification (WGA, to study the frequency of aneuploidy in porcine oocytes, including rare cells obtained from aged animals. Using this method, we were able to analyze segregation pattern of each individual chromosome during meiosis I. In contrast to the previous reports where conventional methods, such as chromosome spreads or FISH, were used to estimate frequency of aneuploidy, our results presented here show, that the frequency of this phenomenon was overestimated in porcine oocytes. Surprisingly, despite the results from human and mouse showing an increase in the frequency of aneuploidy with advanced maternal age, our results obtained by the most accurate method currently available for scoring the aneuploidy in oocytes indicated no increase in the frequency of aneuploidy even in oocytes from animals, whose age was close to the life expectancy of the breed.

  8. Resveratrol protects mouse oocytes from methylglyoxal-induced oxidative damage. (United States)

    Liu, Yu; He, Xiao-Qin; Huang, Xin; Ding, Lu; Xu, Lin; Shen, Yu-Ting; Zhang, Fei; Zhu, Mao-Bi; Xu, Bai-Hui; Qi, Zhong-Quan; Wang, Hai-Long


    Methylglyoxal, a reactive dicarbonyl compound, is mainly formed from glycolysis. Methylglyoxal can lead to the dysfunction of mitochondria, the depletion of cellular anti-oxidation enzymes and the formation of advanced glycation ends. Previous studies showed that the accumulation of methylglyoxal and advanced glycation ends can impair the oocyte maturation and reduce the oocyte quality in aged and diabetic females. In this study, we showed that resveratrol, a kind of phytoalexin found in the skin of grapes, red wine and other botanical extracts, can alleviate the adverse effects caused by methylglyoxal, such as inhibition of oocyte maturation and disruption of spindle assembly. Besides, methylglyoxal-treated oocytes displayed more DNA double strands breaks and this can also be decreased by treatment of resveratrol. Further investigation of these processes revealed that methylglyoxal may affect the oocyte quality by resulting in excessive reactive oxygen species production, aberrant mitochondrial distribution and high level lipid peroxidation, and resveratrol can block these cytotoxic changes. Collectively, our results showed that resveratrol can protect the oocytes from methylglyoxal-induced cytotoxicity and this was mainly through the correction of the abnormity of cellular reactive oxygen species metabolism.

  9. Presence and integration of HBV DNA in mouse oocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tian-Hua Huang; Qing-Jian Zhang; Qing-Dong Xie; Li-Ping Zeng; Xi-Fan Zeng


    AIM: Hepatitis B is a worldwide public health problem. To explore the feasibility of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vertical transmission via oocytes, the presence and integration of HBV DNA in mouse oocytes were studied. METHODS: Genomic DNA was isolated and metaphases were prepared, respectively from mouse oocytes cocultured with pBR322-HBV DNA plasmids. PCR, Southern blot, dot hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were performed to explore the existence and integration of HBV DNA in oocytes.RESULTS: PCR detected positive bands in the tested samples, and then Southern blot revealed clear hybridization signals in PCR products. Final washing solutions were collected for dot hybridization and no signal for HBV DNA was observed, which excluded the possibility that contamination of washing solutions gave rise to positive results of PCR and Southern blot. FISH demonstrated that 36 of 1 000 metaphases presented positive signals. CONCLUSION: HBV DNA sequences are able to pass through the zona and oolemma to enter into oocytes and tointegrate into their chromosomes. HBV DNA sequences might be brought into embryo via oocytes as vectors when they are fertilized with normal spermatozoa.

  10. The Influence of Seasons on Oocyte Parameters in ICSI Cycles

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    Seddigheh Esmaeilzadeh


    Full Text Available Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of seasonal variability on the assisted reproductive technique (ART success rate.Materials and methods: This study was a descriptive – analytical survey performed on 91 infertile women undergoing  intracytoplasmic sperm injection – embryo transfer (ICSI-ET in different seasons. The patients aged less than 35 years old and had normal LH/FSH ratio. All patients entered long protocol down regulation treatment cycle and the picked up oocytes were transferred to GIII medium in the infertility laboratory. The cumulus characteristics, oocyte parameters including number of the retrieved oocytes, morphological characteristics, fertilization and degeneration rate and number of cleaved embryos were recorded. Data were analyzed by SPSS software.  Results: The number of embryos was significantly higher in autumn. Abnormal morphological parameters (color, size, zona thickness and the degeneration rate were significantly higher in spring. The number of retrieved oocytes, MI, MII oocytes and fertilization rate had no significant seasonal variations.Conclusion: The results of this study showed a significant seasonal variation in morphological parameters of the oocytes, degeneration rate and the number of formed embryos.

  11. Non-meiotic chromosome instability in human immature oocytes. (United States)

    Daina, Gemma; Ramos, Laia; Rius, Mariona; Obradors, Albert; Del Rey, Javier; Giralt, Magda; Campillo, Mercedes; Velilla, Esther; Pujol, Aïda; Martinez-Pasarell, Olga; Benet, Jordi; Navarro, Joaquima


    Aneuploidy has been a major issue in human gametes and is closely related to fertility problems, as it is known to be present in cleavage stage embryos and gestational losses. Pre-meiotic chromosome abnormalities in women have been previously described. The aim of this study is to assess the whole-chromosome complement in immature oocytes to find those abnormalities caused by mitotic instability. For this purpose, a total of 157 oocytes at the germinal vesicle or metaphase I stage, and discarded from IVF cycles, were analysed by CGH. Fifty-six women, between 18 and 45 years old (mean 32.5 years), including 32 IVF patients (25-45 years of age) and 24 IVF oocyte donors (18-33 years of age), were included in the study. A total of 25/157 (15.9%) of the oocytes analysed, obtained from three IVF clinics, contained chromosome abnormalities, including both aneuploidy (24/157) and structural aberrations (9/157). Independently of the maternal age, the incidence of abnormal oocytes which originated before meiosis is 15.9%, and these imbalances were found in 33.9% of the females studied. This work sheds light on the relevance of mitotic instability responsible for the generation of the abnormalities present in human oocytes.

  12. Human oocytes. Error-prone chromosome-mediated spindle assembly favors chromosome segregation defects in human oocytes. (United States)

    Holubcová, Zuzana; Blayney, Martyn; Elder, Kay; Schuh, Melina


    Aneuploidy in human eggs is the leading cause of pregnancy loss and several genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. Most aneuploidy results from chromosome segregation errors during the meiotic divisions of an oocyte, the egg's progenitor cell. The basis for particularly error-prone chromosome segregation in human oocytes is not known. We analyzed meiosis in more than 100 live human oocytes and identified an error-prone chromosome-mediated spindle assembly mechanism as a major contributor to chromosome segregation defects. Human oocytes assembled a meiotic spindle independently of either centrosomes or other microtubule organizing centers. Instead, spindle assembly was mediated by chromosomes and the small guanosine triphosphatase Ran in a process requiring ~16 hours. This unusually long spindle assembly period was marked by intrinsic spindle instability and abnormal kinetochore-microtubule attachments, which favor chromosome segregation errors and provide a possible explanation for high rates of aneuploidy in human eggs.

  13. Differentiation of human menstrual blood-derived endometrial mesenchymal stem cells into oocyte-like cells. (United States)

    Lai, Dongmei; Guo, Ying; Zhang, Qiuwan; Chen, Yifei; Xiang, Charlie


    Human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (EnSCs) derived from menstrual blood are a unique stem cell source. Evidence suggests that EnSCs exhibit a multi-lineage potential and have attracted extensive attention in regenerative medicine. However, the potential of EnSCs to differentiate into germline cells in vitro remains unclear. In this study, EnSCs were induced to differentiate into germ cells in a differentiation medium supplemented with 20% human follicular fluid. Our results demonstrated that EnSCs derived from human menstrual blood form oocyte-like cells and express germ cell markers. The induced cell aggregates contained not only oocyte-like structures but also cells expressing follicle stimulating hormone receptor and luteotropic hormone receptor, and produced estrogen and progesterone regulated by gonodatropin, suggesting that granulosa-like and theca-like cells were also induced. We further found that granulosa cells promote the development of oocyte-like cells and activate the induction of blastocyst-like structures derived from EnSCs. In conclusion, EnSCs may potentially represent an in vitro system for the investigation of human folliculogenesis.

  14. DHEA-mediated inhibition of the pentose phosphate pathway alters oocyte lipid metabolism in mice. (United States)

    Jimenez, Patricia T; Frolova, Antonina I; Chi, Maggie M; Grindler, Natalia M; Willcockson, Alexandra R; Reynolds, Kasey A; Zhao, Quihong; Moley, Kelle H


    Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hyperandrogenism have altered hormone levels and suffer from ovarian dysfunction leading to subfertility. We have attempted to generate a model of hyperandrogenism by feeding mice chow supplemented with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an androgen precursor that is often elevated in women with PCOS. Treated mice had polycystic ovaries, low ovulation rates, disrupted estrous cycles, and altered hormone levels. Because DHEA is an inhibitor of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway, we tested the hypothesis that oocytes from DHEA-exposed mice would have metabolic disruptions. Citrate levels, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, and lipid content in denuded oocytes from these mice were significantly lower than controls, suggesting abnormal tricarboxylic acid and pentose phosphate pathway metabolism. The lipid and citrate effects were reversible by supplementation with nicotinic acid, a precursor for reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. These findings suggest that elevations in systemic DHEA can have a negative impact on oocyte metabolism and may contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes in women with hyperandrogenism and PCOS.

  15. Hypoxia transiently sequesters mps1 and polo to collagenase-sensitive filaments in Drosophila prometaphase oocytes.

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    William D Gilliland

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The protein kinases Mps1 and Polo, which are required for proper cell cycle regulation in meiosis and mitosis, localize to numerous ooplasmic filaments during prometaphase in Drosophila oocytes. These filaments first appear throughout the oocyte at the end of prophase and are disassembled after egg activation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We showed here that Mps1 and Polo proteins undergo dynamic and reversible localization to static ooplasmic filaments as part of an oocyte-specific response to hypoxia. The observation that Mps1- and Polo-associated filaments reappear in the same locations through multiple cycles of oxygen deprivation demonstrates that underlying structural components of the filaments must still be present during normoxic conditions. Using immuno-electron microscopy, we observed triple-helical binding of Mps1 to numerous electron-dense filaments, with the gold label wrapped around the outside of the filaments like a garland. In addition, we showed that in live oocytes the relocalization of Mps1 and Polo to filaments is sensitive to injection of collagenase, suggesting that the structural components of the filaments are composed of collagen-like fibrils. However, the collagen-like genes we have been able to test so far (vkg and CG42453 did not appear to be associated with the filaments, demonstrating that the collagenase-sensitive component of the filaments is one of a number of other Drosophila proteins bearing a collagenase cleavage site. Finally, as hypoxia is known to cause Mps1 protein to accumulate at kinetochores in syncytial embryos, we also show that GFP-Polo accumulates at both kinetochores and centrosomes in hypoxic syncytial embryos. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings identify both a novel cellular structure (the ooplasmic filaments as well as a new localization pattern for Mps1 and Polo and demonstrate that hypoxia affects Polo localization in Drosophila.

  16. Action of the pyrethroid insecticide cypermethrin on rat brain IIa sodium channels expressed in xenopus oocytes. (United States)

    Smith, T J; Soderlund, D M


    Pyrethroid insecticides bind to a unique site on voltage-dependent sodium channels and prolong sodium currents, leading to repetitive bursts of action potentials or use-dependent nerve block. To further characterize the site and mode of action of pyrethroids on sodium channels, we injected synthetic mRNA encoding the rat brain IIa sodium channel alpha subunit, either alone or in combination with synthetic mRNA encoding the rat sodium channel beta1 subunit, into oocytes of the frog Xenopus laevis and assessed the actions of the pyrethroid insecticide [1R,cis,alphaS]-cypermethrin on expressed sodium currents by two-electrode voltage clamp. In oocytes expressing only the rat brain IIa alpha subunit, cypermethrin produced a slowly-decaying sodium tail current following a depolarizing pulse. In parallel experiments using oocytes expressing the rat brain IIa alpha subunit in combination with the rat beta1 subunit, cypermethrin produced qualitatively similar tail currents following a depolarizing pulse and also induced a sustained component of the sodium current measured during a step depolarization of the oocyte membrane. The voltage dependence of activation and steady-state inactivation of the cypermethrin-dependent sustained current were identical to those of the peak transient sodium current measured in the absence of cypermethrin. Concentration-response curves obtained using normalized tail current amplitude as an index of the extent of sodium channel modification by cypermethrin revealed that coexpression of the rat brain IIa alpha subunit with the rat beta1 subunit increased the apparent affinity of the sodium channel binding site for cypermethrin by more than 20-fold. These results confirm that the pyrethroid binding site is intrinsic to the sodium channel alpha subunit and demonstrate that coexpression of the rat brain IIa alpha subunit with the rat beta1 subunit alters the apparent affinity of this site for pyrethroids.

  17. Energy requirements of adult cats. (United States)

    Bermingham, Emma N; Thomas, David G; Morris, Penelope J; Hawthorne, Amanda J


    A meta-analysis was carried out in order to establish the energy requirements of adult cats. Publications that identified cat body weight (BW) were used to generate allometric relationships between energy requirements and BW of healthy adult cats, using log-log linear regression. Energy requirements were expressed in kcal/kg BW to be consistent with those reported by the National Research Council. Mean maintenance energy requirements were 55.1 (se 1.2) kcal/kg BW (115 treatment groups). Three allometric equations were identified to predict the energy requirements for maintenance of BW in the cat based on BW: light (53.7 kcal/kg BW- 1.061), normal (46.8 kcal/kg BW- 1.115) and heavy (131.8 kcal/kg BW- 0 .366). When reported on lean mass, the allometric equation revealed maintenance requirements were 58.4 kcal/kg lean mass- 1.140 (adjusted R2 0.694; thirty-six treatment groups). The present review suggests that values for maintenance energy requirements based on BW alone may not be an accurate prediction and more detailed information on the age, sex and neuter status, BW and composition would enhance the ability to interpret the maintenance energy requirements of cats.

  18. Feline spermatozoa from fresh and cryopreserved testicular tissues have comparable ability to fertilize matured oocytes and sustain the embryo development after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. (United States)

    Buarpung, S; Tharasanit, T; Comizzoli, P; Techakumphu, M


    Cryopreservation of testicular tissue associated with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a critical tool that still needs to be explored for preserving the fertility of endangered species. Using the domestic cat as a model for wild felids, the study aimed at determining the effect of different cryoprotectants and freezing techniques (two-step freezing vs. controlled slow freezing) on the sperm quality (membrane and DNA integrity). Then, spermatozoa were extracted from frozen-thawed testicular tissues and used for ICSI to assess early gamete activation or developmental competence in vitro. The percentage of spermatozoa with intact plasma membrane was not different (P > 0.05) among nonfrozen control, glycerol-, and ethylene glycol-frozen tissues (63.2 ± 2%, 58.2 ± 2.6%, 53.3 ± 2.3%, respectively). However, these percentages were significantly lower (P sperm membrane integrity (55.0 ± 2.7%) when compared with other freezing techniques. The incidence of DNA fragmentation was found to be low (0.2%-1.1%) in all freezing protocols. After ICSI with frozen testicular spermatozoa, male and female gametes were asynchronously activated and the percentages of normal fertilization at 6, 12, and 18 hours were 11.2%, 20.6%, and 22.1%, respectively. Metaphase II-arrested oocytes containing or not a decondensed sperm head were predominantly found after ICSI with frozen testicular spermatozoa. Although two-pronucleus formation could be observed as soon as 6 hours post ICSI (10%), the rate increased dramatically after 12 and 18 hours post ICSI (17.2% and 19.5%, respectively). ICSI using frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa yielded cleavage (32.7%), morula (6.5%), and blastocyst (4.4%) percentages similar to nonfrozen control (P > 0.05). It is concluded that conventional freezing technique with glycerol as a principle cryoprotectant is simplified and applicable for cat testicular tissue cryopreservation. We also demonstrate for the first time that feline spermatozoa

  19. In vitro maturation, fertilization, embryo development & clinical outcome of human metaphase-I oocytes retrieved from stimulated intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles

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    Cristina Álvarez


    Full Text Available Background & objectives: The major cause of fertilisation failure after ICSI is failure of the oocyte to initiate the biochemical processes necessary for activation. This inability could be ascribed to cytoplasmic immaturity of those gametes even if they had reached nuclear maturity. The activation of a mature oocyte is characterised by release from metaphase II (MII arrest and extrusion of the second polar body, followed by pro-nuclear formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of in vitro matured (IVM metaphase I (MI oocytes subjected to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI at different time intervals after extrusion of the first polar body (1PB in in vitro fertilization (IVF cycles. Methods: A total of 8030 oocytes were collected from 1400 ICSI cycles, 5504 MII at the time of cumulus retrieval. Four hundred eight metaphase II (MII (27.1% matured to MII after in vitro culture for 2-26 h and 5389 sibling MII in the moment of oocyte denudation were injected. On the other hand, 49 ICSI cycles containing only MI oocytes at retrieval were injected at three different time intervals after reaching the MII. The intervals were as follows: 2-6 h (n=10, 8-11 h (n=4 and 23-26 h (n=10. Fertilization and development potential were evaluated in both studies. Results: Fertilization, embryo cleavage and quality were significantly lower in IVM MI compared to MII at time of denudation. Pregnancy rate was higher in group MII. Pregnancy was achieved in three embryo transfers when ICSI was performed within 2-6 h (group I and 8-11 h (group II after PB extrusion. One pregnancy was obtained in group I and a healthy neonate was born. Interpretation & conclusions: Immature oocytes from women whose ovaries have been stimulated could be matured, fertilized by ICSI, cleaved in vitro and to give rise to a live birth. However, the developmental competence of embryos derived from immature oocytes is reduced, compared with sibling in vivo matured oocytes

  20. [The effect of prostatilen on the contractile activity of the smooth-muscle cells of the blood vessels and bladder in cats]. (United States)

    al-Shchukri, S Kh; Barabanov, S V; Barabanova, V V; Bobkov, Iu A; Gorbachev, A G; Parastaeva, M M


    Prostatilene enhanced the functional activity of the bladder and blood vessels' smooth muscle cells. A possibility of activation of the smooth muscle cells contractility with prostatilene by a pharmaco-mechanical association, is discussed.

  1. Cat Ownership Perception and Caretaking Explored in an Internet Survey of People Associated with Cats. (United States)

    Zito, Sarah; Vankan, Dianne; Bennett, Pauleen; Paterson, Mandy; Phillips, Clive J C


    People who feed cats that they do not perceive they own (sometimes called semi-owners) are thought to make a considerable contribution to unwanted cat numbers because the cats they support are generally not sterilized. Understanding people's perception of cat ownership and the psychology underlying cat semi-ownership could inform approaches to mitigate the negative effects of cat semi-ownership. The primary aims of this study were to investigate cat ownership perception and to examine its association with human-cat interactions and caretaking behaviours. A secondary aim was to evaluate a definition of cat semi-ownership (including an association time of ≥1 month and frequent feeding), revised from a previous definition proposed in the literature to distinguish cat semi-ownership from casual interactions with unowned cats. Cat owners and semi-owners displayed similar types of interactions and caretaking behaviours. Nevertheless, caretaking behaviours were more commonly displayed towards owned cats than semi-owned cats, and semi-owned cats were more likely to have produced kittens (pcats in semi-ownership relationships compared to casual interaction relationships. Determinants of cat ownership perception were identified (pcat friendliness and health, and feelings about unowned cats, including the acceptability of feeding unowned cats. Encouraging semi-owners to have the cats they care for sterilized may assist in reducing the number of unwanted kittens and could be a valuable alternative to trying to prevent semi-ownership entirely. Highly accessible semi-owner "gatekeepers" could help to deliver education messages and facilitate the provision of cat sterilization services to semi-owners. This research enabled semi-ownership to be distinguished from casual interaction relationships and can assist welfare and government agencies to identify cat semi-owners in order to develop strategies to address this source of unwanted cats.

  2. Kinetochore microtubule establishment is defective in oocytes from aged mice. (United States)

    Shomper, Maria; Lappa, Christina; FitzHarris, Greg


    Errors in chromosome segregation in mammalian oocytes increase in number with advancing maternal age, and are a major cause of pregnancy loss. Why chromosome segregation errors are more common in oocytes from older females remains poorly understood. In mitosis, accurate chromosome segregation is enabled by attachment of kinetochores to microtubules from appropriate spindle poles, and erroneous attachments increase the likelihood of mis-segregation. Whether attachment errors are responsible for age-related oocyte aneuploidy is unknown. Here we report that oocytes from naturally aged mice exhibit substantially increased chromosome misalignment, and fewer kinetochore pairs that make stable end-on attachments to the appropriate spindle poles compared with younger oocytes. The profile of mis-attachments exhibited is consistent with the types of chromosome segregation error observed in aged oocytes. Loss of chromosome cohesion, which is a feature of oocytes from older females, causes altered kinetochore geometry in meiosis-I. However, this has only a minor impact upon MT attachment, indicating that cohesion loss is not the primary cause of aneuploidy in meiosis-I. In meiosis-II, on the other hand, age-related cohesion loss plays a direct role in errors, since prematurely individualized sister chromatids misalign and misattach to spindle MTs. Thus, whereas cohesion loss leading to precocious sister chromatid separation is a direct cause of errors in meiosis-II, cohesion loss plays a more minor role in the etiology of aneuploidy in meiosis-I. Our data introduce altered MT-kinetochore interactions as a lesion that explains aneuploidy in meiosis-I in older females.

  3. AKT (protein kinase B) is implicated in meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes. (United States)

    Kalous, Jaroslav; Kubelka, Michal; Solc, Petr; Susor, Andrej; Motlík, Jan


    The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of the serine/threonine protein kinase AKT (also called protein kinase B) in the control of meiosis of porcine denuded oocytes (DOs) matured in vitro. Western blot analysis revealed that the two principal AKT phosphorylation sites, Ser473 and Thr308, are phosphorylated at different stages of meiosis. In freshly isolated germinal vesicle (GV)-stage DOs, Ser473 was already phosphorylated. After the onset of oocyte maturation, the intensity of the Ser473 phosphorylation increased, however, which declined sharply when DOs underwent GV breakdown (GVBD) and remained at low levels in metaphase I- and II-stage (MI- and MII-stage). In contrast, phosphorylation of Thr308 was increased by the time of GVBD and reached maximum at MI-stage. A peak of AKT activity was noticed around GVBD and activity of AKT declined at MI-stage. To assess the role of AKT during meiosis, porcine DOs were cultured in 50 microM SH-6, a specific inhibitor of AKT. In SH-6-treated DOs, GVBD was not inhibited; on the contrary, a significant acceleration of meiosis resumption was observed. The dynamics of the Ser473 phosphorylation was not affected; however, phosphorylation of Thr308 was reduced, AKT activity was diminished at the time of GVBD, and meiotic progression was arrested in early MI-stage. Moreover, the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and MAP kinase declined when SH-6-treated DOs underwent GVBD, indicating that AKT activity is involved in the regulation of CDK1 and MAP kinase. These results suggest that activity of AKT is not essential for induction of GVBD in porcine oocytes but plays a substantial role during progression of meiosis to MI/MII-stage.

  4. Mucopolysaccharidosis VI in a Siamese/short-haired European cat. (United States)

    Macrì, B; Marino, F; Mazzullo, G; Trusso, A; De Maria, R; Amedeo, S; Divari, S; Castagnaro, M


    A 3-year-old Siamese/short-haired European cat was referred for clinical disease characterized by dwarfism, facial dysmorphia, paralysis, small and curled ears, corneal clouding and large areas of alopecia. X-ray examination showed multiple bone dysplasia. On the basis of clinical features a form of mucopolysaccharidosis was suspected. The cat, killed at the owner's request, presented several severe skeletal deformities such as long caudal limbs, enlarged thorax with sunken breastbone, vertebral ankylosis in many spinal segments and visceral involvement. Histologically, the cat showed diffuse vacuolization and enlargement of cells in cartilage, bone and visceral organs. Ultrastructurally, membrane-bound vacuoles were filled with fibrillar and fluffy-material or concentrically whorled lamellae. Arylsulphatase B activity was 3.24 nm/mg/h in the affected cat and 30.6 in a normal age-matched control (NC). The L-iduronidase activity was slightly increased. Quantitation of total glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) revealed a 4.5-fold increase in the affected cat as compared with NC, while electrophoretic run of specific GAGs [chondroitin sulphate (CA); hyaluronan (HA); heparan sulphate (HS); dermatan sulphate (DS); keratan sulphate (KS)] performed on a cellulose acetate sheet, showed a striking increase in the DS band. On densitometric analysis of the electrophoretic run stained with Alcian Blue 8GX, the absorption of DS was eight-fold increased as compared with NC. The clinical and morphological features, and the biochemical findings, were consistent with the diagnosis of feline mucopolysaccharidosis VI.

  5. EUROmediCAT signal detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luteijn, Johannes Michiel; Morris, Joan K; Garne, Ester


    AIMS: Information about medication safety in pregnancy is inadequate. We aimed to develop a signal detection methodology to routinely identify unusual associations between medications and congenital anomalies using data collected by 15 European congenital anomaly registries. METHODS: EUROmediCAT......). CONCLUSIONS: Medication exposure data in the EUROmediCAT central database can be analyzed systematically to determine a manageable set of associations for validation and then testing in independent datasets. Detection of teratogens depends on frequency of exposure, level of risk and teratogenic specificity....

  6. An olfactory input to the hippocampus of the cat: Field potential analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Habets, A.M.M.C.; Lopes Da Silva, F.H.; Mollevanger, W.J.


    Hippocampal responses to electrical stimulation of the prepyriform cortex in the cat were studied both in acute experiments under halothane anesthesia and in awake cats with chronically indwelling electrodes. Analysis of field potentials and unit activity indicated the extent to which different hipp

  7. Degenerative mucinotic mural folliculitis in cats. (United States)

    Gross, T L; Olivry, T; Vitale, C B; Power, H T


    A novel form of mural folliculitis is described in seven cats. Clinically, all cats exhibited generalized alopecia with scaling or crusting that was more pronounced over the head, neck, and shoulders. The face and muzzle of all cats was unusually thickened. Six of seven cats were progressively lethargic but did not demonstrate any other consistent systemic abnormalities. Histologically, there was severe mixed inflammation of the wall of the follicular isthmus in all cats, accompanied by some follicular destruction in five cats. Sebaceous glands were not affected. All cats had variable, but often striking, follicular mucin deposition, as well as epidermal hyperkeratosis and crusting. The cause of the severe mural folliculitis was not identified, and all cats responded poorly to immunomodulating therapy. Follicular mucinosis may be a nonspecific finding, likely reflective of the follicular lymphocytic milieu, and does not always herald follicular lymphoma.

  8. Cerebral cysticercosis in a cat : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Schwan


    Full Text Available The metacestode of Taenia solium, Cysticercus cellulosae, was recovered from the brain of a cat showing central nervous clinical signs ante mortem. This is the first record of cerebral cysticercosis in a cat in South Africa.