WorldWideScience

Sample records for mechanisms regulating reproduction

  1. [Advances in the study of neuroendocrinological regulation of kisspeptin in fish reproduction].

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    Zhuo, Qi

    2013-10-01

    Kisspeptin, a key factor in the neuroendocrinological regulation of animal reproduction, is a peptide product encoded by kiss genes, which act as the natural ligand of GPR54. Over the last decade, multiple functional molecular forms of kisspeptin have been found in vertebrate species. In fish, the major molecular structural form is kisspeptin-10. The kisspeptin/GPR54 system has multiple important functions in reproduction. This review provides an overview of our current knowledge on kisspeptin and its role in regulating fish reproductive, including the distribution and location of kisspeptin neurons in the brain, the molecular polymorphism of fish kisspeptin, functional diversity, the molecular mechanism of fish reproductive regulation, and the molecular evolution of kisspeptin as well as the co-regulation of fish reproduction by kisspeptin and other functional molecules. Perspectives on the future of kisspeptin regulation in fish reproduction are also highlighted.

  2. Public and private regulation of reproductive technologies.

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    Byk, C

    1995-01-01

    Human reproduction is interrelated with privacy. However, in most countries where new reproductive technologies are used public regulations have been passed to provide a legal framework for such technologies. This interference in private life can be justified by the need to control medical intervention in the human reproductive process. But in order to find a balance between public regulations and other social regulations, this article analyses the impact private regulation may have on issues raised by reproductive technologies. It also addresses the issue of the influence of private bodies on the drafting of public regulations.

  3. DEP and AFO regulate reproductive habit in rice.

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    Kejian Wang

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Sexual reproduction is essential for the life cycle of most angiosperms. However, pseudovivipary is an important reproductive strategy in some grasses. In this mode of reproduction, asexual propagules are produced in place of sexual reproductive structures. However, the molecular mechanism of pseudovivipary still remains a mystery. In this work, we found three naturally occurring mutants in rice, namely, phoenix (pho, degenerative palea (dep, and abnormal floral organs (afo. Genetic analysis of them indicated that the stable pseudovivipary mutant pho was a double mutant containing both a Mendelian mutation in DEP and a non-Mendelian mutation in AFO. Further map-based cloning and microarray analysis revealed that dep mutant was caused by a genetic alteration in OsMADS15 while afo was caused by an epigenetic mutation in OsMADS1. Thus, OsMADS1 and OsMADS15 are both required to ensure sexual reproduction in rice and mutations of them lead to the switch of reproductive habit from sexual to asexual in rice. For the first time, our results reveal two regulators for sexual and asexual reproduction modes in flowering plants. In addition, our findings also make it possible to manipulate the reproductive strategy of plants, at least in rice.

  4. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

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    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    Animals utilize photoperiodic changes as a calendar to regulate seasonal reproduction. Birds have highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanisms and functional genomics analysis in quail uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating avian seasonal reproduction. Birds detect light with deep brain photoreceptors. Long day (LD) stimulus induces secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. PT-derived TSH locally activates thyroid hormone (TH) in the hypothalamus, which induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and hence gonadotropin secretion. However, during winter, low temperatures increase serum TH for adaptive thermogenesis, which accelerates germ cell apoptosis by activating the genes involved in metamorphosis. Therefore, TH has a dual role in the regulation of seasonal reproduction. Studies using TSH receptor knockout mice confirmed the involvement of PT-derived TSH in mammalian seasonal reproduction. In addition, studies in mice revealed that the tissue-specific glycosylation of TSH diversifies its function in the circulation to avoid crosstalk. In contrast to birds and mammals, one of the molecular machineries necessary for the seasonal reproduction of fish are localized in the saccus vasculosus from the photoreceptor to the neuroendocrine output. Thus, comparative analysis is a powerful tool to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental properties in various organisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Chronobiology of reproduction in garter snakes: neuroendocrine mechanisms and geographic variation.

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    Lutterschmidt, Deborah I

    2012-05-01

    The majority of studies on reproductive neuroendocrinology in snakes have focused on one particular snake population in Manitoba, Canada, the red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis). Although traditionally these studies have emphasized its unusual temporal dissociation between mating behavior and peak gonadal activity, current evidence suggests that reproductive regulation in this population may be more similar to the norm than previously thought. Like other ectotherms, temperature plays a critical role in activating reproductive behavior in red-sided garter snakes. Diel melatonin and corticosterone rhythms appear to be important in transducing temperature cues, and it is clear that both hormones regulate courtship behavior during spring. Current evidence also suggests that sex steroid hormones are in fact central to reproductive regulation in males, although the timing of their action occurs during winter dormancy. Whether this is also true for female T. sirtalis parietalis requires further study, but it should be noted that patterns of sex steroid hormones are sexually dimorphic during winter dormancy, as are melatonin rhythms during spring emergence. While continuing to advance our understanding of reproductive regulation in this extremely well-studied population is prudent, future comparative studies are critical for understanding if and how reproductive regulatory mechanisms differ across environments, populations, and phylogenies. For example, melatonin and corticosterone responses to environmental cues vary significantly among populations of T. sirtalis in a common garden, as do male courtship behavior and androgen concentrations. These data support the hypothesis that neuroendocrine-mediated responses to environmental cues underlie phenotypic plasticity in reproductive life history traits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Reproduction-Related Sound Production of Grasshoppers Regulated by Internal State and Actual Sensory Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Ralf; Kunst, Michael; Wirmer, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The interplay of neural and hormonal mechanisms activated by entero- and extero-receptors biases the selection of actions by decision making neuronal circuits. The reproductive behavior of acoustically communicating grasshoppers, which is regulated by short-term neural and longer-term hormonal mechanisms, has frequently been used to study the cellular and physiological processes that select particular actions from the species-specific repertoire of behaviors. Various grasshoppers communicate with species- and situation-specific songs in order to attract and court mating partners, to signal reproductive readiness, or to fend off competitors. Selection and coordination of type, intensity, and timing of sound signals is mediated by the central complex, a highly structured brain neuropil known to integrate multimodal pre-processed sensory information by a large number of chemical messengers. In addition, reproductive activity including sound production critically depends on maturation, previous mating experience, and oviposition cycles. In this regard, juvenile hormone released from the corpora allata has been identified as a decisive hormonal signal necessary to establish reproductive motivation in grasshopper females. Both regulatory systems, the central complex mediating short-term regulation and the corpora allata mediating longer-term regulation of reproduction-related sound production mutually influence each other’s activity in order to generate a coherent state of excitation that promotes or suppresses reproductive behavior in respective appropriate or inappropriate situations. This review summarizes our current knowledge about extrinsic and intrinsic factors that influence grasshopper reproductive motivation, their representation in the nervous system and their integrative processing that mediates the initiation or suppression of reproductive behaviors. PMID:22737107

  7. Reproduction-related sound production of grasshoppers regulated by internal state and actual sensory environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf eHeinrich

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The interplay of neural and hormonal mechanisms activated by entero- and exteroreceptors biases the selection of actions by decision making neuronal circuits. The reproductive behaviour of acoustically communicating grasshoppers, which is regulated by short-term neural and longer-term hormonal mechanisms, has frequently been used to study the cellular and physiological processes that select particular actions from the species-specific repertoire of behaviours. Various grasshoppers communicate with species- and situation-specific songs in order to attract and court mating partners, to signal reproductive readiness or to fend off competitors. Selection and coordination of type, intensity and timing of sound signals is mediated by the central complex, a highly structured brain neuropil known to integrate multimodal pre-processed sensory information by a large number of chemical messengers. In addition, reproductive activity including sound production critically depends on maturation, previous mating experience and oviposition cycles. In this regard, juvenile hormone released from the corpora allata has been identified as a decisive hormonal signal necessary to establish reproductive motivation in grasshopper females. Both regulatory systems, the central complex mediating short-term regulation and the corpora allata mediating longer-term regulation of reproduction related sound production mutually influence each other’s activity in order to generate a coherent state of excitation that promotes or suppresses reproductive behaviour in respective appropriate or inappropriate situations.This review summarizes our current knowledge about extrinsic and intrinsic factors that influence grasshopper reproductive motivation, their representation in the nervous system and their integrative processing that mediates the initiation or suppression of reproductive behaviors.

  8. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans vitellogenesis by DAF-2/IIS through separable transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms.

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    DePina, Ana S; Iser, Wendy B; Park, Sung-Soo; Maudsley, Stuart; Wilson, Mark A; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2011-07-12

    Evolutionary theories of aging propose that longevity evolves as a competition between reproduction and somatic maintenance for a finite pool of resources. Reproduction is thought to shorten lifespan by depleting resources from processes promoting somatic maintenance. Maternal yolk production, vitellogenesis, represents a significant maternal cost for reproduction and is suppressed under genetic and environmental conditions that extend lifespan. However, little is known about the pathways regulating vitellogenesis in response to prolongevity cues. In order to identify mechanisms that suppress vitellogenesis under prolongevity conditions, we studied factors regulating vitellogenesis in C. elegans nematodes. In C. elegans, vitellogenesis is depressed in the absence of insulin-like signaling (IIS). We found that the C. elegans daf-2/IIS pathway regulates vitellogenesis through two mechanisms. vit-2 transcript levels in daf-2 mutants were indirectly regulated through a germline-dependent signal, and could be rescued by introduction of daf-2(+) sperm. However, yolk protein (YP) levels in daf-2 mutants were also regulated by germline-independent posttranscriptional mechanisms. C. elegans vitellogenesis is regulated transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally in response to environmental and reproductive cues. The daf-2 pathway suppressed vitellogenesis through transcriptional mechanisms reflecting reproductive phenotypes, as well as distinct posttranscriptional mechanisms. This study reveals that pleiotropic effects of IIS pathway mutations can converge on a common downstream target, vitellogenesis, as a mechanism to modulate longevity.

  9. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans vitellogenesis by DAF-2/IIS through separable transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms

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    Wilson Mark A

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theories of aging propose that longevity evolves as a competition between reproduction and somatic maintenance for a finite pool of resources. Reproduction is thought to shorten lifespan by depleting resources from processes promoting somatic maintenance. Maternal yolk production, vitellogenesis, represents a significant maternal cost for reproduction and is suppressed under genetic and environmental conditions that extend lifespan. However, little is known about the pathways regulating vitellogenesis in response to prolongevity cues. Results In order to identify mechanisms that suppress vitellogenesis under prolongevity conditions, we studied factors regulating vitellogenesis in C. elegans nematodes. In C. elegans, vitellogenesis is depressed in the absence of insulin-like signaling (IIS. We found that the C. elegans daf-2/IIS pathway regulates vitellogenesis through two mechanisms. vit-2 transcript levels in daf-2 mutants were indirectly regulated through a germline-dependent signal, and could be rescued by introduction of daf-2(+ sperm. However, yolk protein (YP levels in daf-2 mutants were also regulated by germline-independent posttranscriptional mechanisms. Conclusions C. elegans vitellogenesis is regulated transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally in response to environmental and reproductive cues. The daf-2 pathway suppressed vitellogenesis through transcriptional mechanisms reflecting reproductive phenotypes, as well as distinct posttranscriptional mechanisms. This study reveals that pleiotropic effects of IIS pathway mutations can converge on a common downstream target, vitellogenesis, as a mechanism to modulate longevity.

  10. ROLE OF SEROTONIN IN FISH REPRODUCTION

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    Parvathy ePrasad

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The neuroendocrine mechanism regulates reproduction through the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG axis which is evolutionarily conserved in vertebrates. The HPG axis is regulated by a variety of internal as well as external factors. Serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter, is involved in a wide range of reproductive functions. In mammals, serotonin regulates sexual behaviours, gonadotropin release and gonadotropin-release hormone (GnRH secretion. However, the serotonin system in teleost may play unique role in the control of reproduction as the mechanism of reproductive control in teleosts is not always the same as in the mammalian models. In fish, the serotonin system is also regulated by natural environmental factors as well as chemical substances. In particular, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs are commonly detected as pharmaceutical contaminants in the natural environment. Those factors may influence fish reproductive functions via the serotonin system. This review summarizes the functional significance of serotonin in the teleosts reproduction.

  11. Ghrelin: an emerging player in the regulation of reproduction in non-mammalian vertebrates.

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    Unniappan, Suraj

    2010-07-01

    The endocrine regulation of vertebrate reproduction is achieved by the coordinated actions of multiple endocrine factors mainly produced from the brain, pituitary, and gonads. In addition to these, several other tissues including the fat and gut produce factors that have reproductive effects. Ghrelin is one such gut/brain hormone with species-specific effects in the regulation of mammalian reproduction. Recent studies have shown that ghrelin and ghrelin receptor mRNAs, and protein are expressed in the ovary and testis of mammals, indicating a direct effect for ghrelin in the control of reproduction. Ghrelin regulates mammalian reproduction by modulating hormone secretion from the brain and pituitary, and by acting directly on the gonads to influence reproductive tissue development and steroid hormone release. Based on the studies reported so far, ghrelin seems to have a predominantly inhibitory role on mammalian reproduction. The presence of ghrelin and ghrelin receptor has been found in the brain, pituitary and gonads of several non-mammalian vertebrates. In contrast to mammals, ghrelin seems to have a stimulatory role in the regulation of non-mammalian reproduction. The main objective of this review is to do a perspective analysis of the comparative aspects of ghrelin regulation of reproduction. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. An epigenetic signal encoded protection mechanism is activated by graphene oxide to inhibit its induced reproductive toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Wang, Dayong

    2016-02-01

    Although many studies have suggested the adverse effects of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), the self-protection mechanisms for organisms against ENMs toxicity are still largely unclear. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system, our results suggest the toxicity of graphene oxide in reducing reproductive capacity by inducing damage on gonad development. The observed reproductive toxicity of GO on gonad development was due to the combinational effect of germline apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, and DNA damage activation might act as an inducer for this combinational effect. For the underlying molecular mechanism of reproductive toxicity of GO, we raised a signaling cascade of HUS-1/CLK-2-CEP-1-EGL-1-CED-4-CED-3 to explain the roles of core apoptosis signaling pathway and DNA damage checkpoints. Moreover, we identified a miRNA regulation mechanism activated by GO to suppress its induced reproductive toxicity. A mir-360 regulation mechanism was activated by GO to suppress its induced DNA damage-apoptosis signaling cascade through affecting component of CEP-1. Our identified epigenetic signal encoded protection mechanism activated by GO suggests a novel self-protection mechanism for organisms against the ENMs toxicity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Regulation of reproduction by the circadian rhythms.

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    Zhang, Wen-Xiang; Chen, Si-Yu; Liu, Chang

    2016-12-25

    Mammals synchronize their circadian activity primarily to the cycles of light and darkness in the environment. Circadian rhythm is controlled by the central clock in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the peripheral clocks in various tissues. More importantly, the central clock can integrate photic/nonphotic signals to generate rhythmic outputs, and then drive the slave oscillators in peripheral tissues through neuroendocrine and behavioral signals. Human reproductive activities, as some other physiological functions, are controlled by the biological clocks. Accumulating lines of epidemiological and genetic evidence indicate that disruption of circadian clock can be directly involved in multiple pathological processes, including infertility. In this review, we mainly discuss the presence of a circadian clock in reproductive tissues and its roles in follicles development, ovulation, spermatogenesis, fertilization and embryo implantation, etc. As the increased shift work and assisted reproductive technologies possibly disrupt circadian rhythmicity to impact reproduction, the importance of circadian rhythms should be highlighted in the regulation of reproductive process.

  14. Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a hypothalamic regulator of energy homeostasis and reproduction.

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    Lawrence, Catherine; Fraley, Gregory S

    2011-01-01

    Galanin-like peptide (GALP) was discovered in 1999 in the porcine hypothalamus and was found to be a 60 amino acid neuropeptide. GALP shares sequence homology to galanin (1-13) in position 9-21 and can bind to, as well as activate, the three galanin receptor subtypes (GalR1-3). GALP-expressing cells are limited, and are mainly found in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) and the posterior pituitary. GALP-positive neurons in the ARC project to several brain regions where they appear to make contact with multiple neuromodulators. These neuromodulators are involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction, anatomical evidence that suggests a role for GALP in these physiological functions. In support of this idea, GALP gene expression is regulated by several factors that reflect metabolic state including the metabolic hormones leptin and insulin, thyroid hormones, and blood glucose. Considerable evidence now exists to support the hypothesis that GALP has a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction; and, that GALP's role may be independent of the known galanin receptors. In this review, we (1) provide an overview of the distribution of GALP, and discuss the potential relationship between GALP and other neuromodulators of energy homeostasis and reproduction, (2) discuss the metabolic factors that regulate GALP expression, (3) review the evidence for the role of GALP in energy homeostasis and reproduction, (4) discuss the potential downstream mediators and mechanisms underlying GALP's effects, and (5) discuss the possibility that GALP may mediate its effects via an as yet unidentified GALP-specific receptor. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Recrudescence mechanisms and gene expression profile of the reproductive tracts from chickens during the molting period.

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    Wooyoung Jeong

    Full Text Available The reproductive system of chickens undergoes dynamic morphological and functional tissue remodeling during the molting period. The present study identified global gene expression profiles following oviductal tissue regression and regeneration in laying hens in which molting was induced by feeding high levels of zinc in the diet. During the molting and recrudescence processes, progressive morphological and physiological changes included regression and re-growth of reproductive organs and fluctuations in concentrations of testosterone, progesterone, estradiol and corticosterone in blood. The cDNA microarray analysis of oviductal tissues revealed the biological significance of gene expression-based modulation in oviductal tissue during its remodeling. Based on the gene expression profiles, expression patterns of selected genes such as, TF, ANGPTL3, p20K, PTN, AvBD11 and SERPINB3 exhibited similar patterns in expression with gradual decreases during regression of the oviduct and sequential increases during resurrection of the functional oviduct. Also, miR-1689* inhibited expression of Sp1, while miR-17-3p, miR-22* and miR-1764 inhibited expression of STAT1. Similarly, chicken miR-1562 and miR-138 reduced the expression of ANGPTL3 and p20K, respectively. These results suggest that these differentially regulated genes are closely correlated with the molecular mechanism(s for development and tissue remodeling of the avian female reproductive tract, and that miRNA-mediated regulation of key genes likely contributes to remodeling of the avian reproductive tract by controlling expression of those genes post-transcriptionally. The discovered global gene profiles provide new molecular candidates responsible for regulating morphological and functional recrudescence of the avian reproductive tract, and provide novel insights into understanding the remodeling process at the genomic and epigenomic levels.

  16. [Mechanisms of electromagnetic radiation damaging male reproduction].

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    Xue, Lei; Chen, Hao-Yu; Wang, Shui-Ming

    2012-08-01

    More and more evidence from over 50 years of researches on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on male reproduction show that a certain dose of electromagnetic radiation obviously damages male reproduction, particularly the structure and function of spermatogenic cells. The mechanisms of the injury may be associated with energy dysmetabolism, lipid peroxidation, abnormal expressions of apoptosis-related genes and proteins, and DNA damage.

  17. Local density regulates migratory songbird reproductive success through effects on double-brooding and nest predation.

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    Woodworth, Bradley K; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Newman, Amy E M; Norris, D Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the density-dependent processes that regulate animal populations is key to understanding, predicting, and conserving populations. In migratory birds, density-dependence is most often studied during the breeding season, yet we still lack a robust understanding of the reproductive traits through which density influences individual reproductive success. We used 27-yr of detailed, individual-level productivity data from an island-breeding population of Savannah sparrows Passerculus sandwichensis to evaluate effects of local and total annual population density on female reproductive success. Local density (number of neighbors within 50 m of a female's nest) had stronger effects on the number of young fledged than did total annual population density. Females nesting in areas of high local density were more likely to suffer nest predation and less likely to initiate and fledge a second clutch, which led to fewer young fledged in a season. Fledging fewer young subsequently decreased the likelihood of a female recruiting offspring into the breeding population in a subsequent year. Collectively, these results provide insight into the scale and reproductive mechanisms mediating density-dependent reproductive success and fitness in songbirds. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. [The function of ERα in male reproductive system].

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    Dong, Yu-Hang; Wei, Jin-Hua; Li, Zhen

    2014-12-01

    Estrogen receptors (ERs), including two sub-types ERα and ERβ, belong to the steroid hormone superfamily of nuclear receptors. ERα distributes in the male reproductive system and plays a crucial role in the regulation of male reproduction through estrogen-dependent and -independent ways. In this article, we mainly reviewed the molecular structure, mode of action and location of ERα in the male reproductive system, and explored the mechanism of ERα in regulating the male reproductive system by analyzing different animal models of disrupted ERα.

  19. Leptin Regulation of Gonadotrope Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptors As a Metabolic Checkpoint and Gateway to Reproductive Competence

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    Angela K. Odle

    2018-01-01

    -transcriptional control of the gonadotrope. We discuss possible mechanisms, including miRNA regulation and the involvement of the RNA binding protein, Musashi. We also demonstrate how this regulation may be vital for the dynamic remodeling of gonadotropes in the cycling female. Finally, we propose that the leptin receptivity of both the hypothalamus and the pituitary are vital for the body’s ability to delay or slow reproduction during periods of low nutrition.

  20. Deconstructing mammalian reproduction: using knockouts to define fertility pathways.

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    Roy, Angshumoy; Matzuk, Martin M

    2006-02-01

    Reproduction is the sine qua non for the propagation of species and continuation of life. It is a complex biological process that is regulated by multiple factors during the reproductive life of an organism. Over the past decade, the molecular mechanisms regulating reproduction in mammals have been rapidly unraveled by the study of a vast number of mouse gene knockouts with impaired fertility. The use of reverse genetics to generate null mutants in mice through targeted disruption of specific genes has enabled researchers to identify essential regulators of spermatogenesis and oogenesis in vivo and model human disorders affecting reproduction. This review focuses on the merits, utility, and the variations of the knockout technology in studies of reproduction in mammals.

  1. Gene pathways that delay Caenorhabditis elegans reproductive senescence.

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    Meng C Wang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive senescence is a hallmark of aging. The molecular mechanisms regulating reproductive senescence and its association with the aging of somatic cells remain poorly understood. From a full genome RNA interference (RNAi screen, we identified 32 Caenorhabditis elegans gene inactivations that delay reproductive senescence and extend reproductive lifespan. We found that many of these gene inactivations interact with insulin/IGF-1 and/or TGF-β endocrine signaling pathways to regulate reproductive senescence, except nhx-2 and sgk-1 that modulate sodium reabsorption. Of these 32 gene inactivations, we also found that 19 increase reproductive lifespan through their effects on oocyte activities, 8 of them coordinate oocyte and sperm functions to extend reproductive lifespan, and 5 of them can induce sperm humoral response to promote reproductive longevity. Furthermore, we examined the effects of these reproductive aging regulators on somatic aging. We found that 5 of these gene inactivations prolong organismal lifespan, and 20 of them increase healthy life expectancy of an organism without altering total life span. These studies provide a systemic view on the genetic regulation of reproductive senescence and its intersection with organism longevity. The majority of these newly identified genes are conserved, and may provide new insights into age-associated reproductive senescence during human aging.

  2. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

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    Boris Yagound

    Full Text Available Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps, the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation

  3. Timing reproduction in teleost fish: cues and mechanisms

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    Juntti, Scott A; Fernald, Russell D

    2016-01-01

    Fish comprise half of extant vertebrate species and use a rich variety of reproductive strategies that have yielded insights into the basic mechanisms that evolved for sex. To maximize the chances of fertilization and survival of offspring, fish species time reproduction to occur at optimal times. For years, ethologists have performed painstaking experiments to identify sensory inputs and behavioral outputs of the brain during mating. Here we review known mechanisms that generate sexual behavior, focusing on the factors that govern the timing of these displays. The development of new technologies, including high-throughput sequencing and genome engineering, have the potential to provide novel insights into how the vertebrate brain consummates mating at the appropriate time. PMID:26952366

  4. Vinclozolin Exposure in Utero Induces Postpubertal Prostatitis and Reduces Sperm Production via a Reversible Hormone-Regulated Mechanism

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    Cowin, Prue A.; Gold, Elspeth; Aleksova, Jasna; O'Bryan, Moira K.; Foster, Paul M. D.; Scott, Hamish S.; Risbridger, Gail P.

    2010-01-01

    Vinclozolin is an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that binds with high affinity to the androgen receptor (AR) and blocks the action of gonadal hormones on male reproductive organs. An alternative mechanism of action of Vinclozolin involves transgenerational effects on the male reproductive tract. We previously reported in utero Vinclozolin exposure-induced prostatitis (prostate inflammation) in postpubertal rats concurrent with down-regulation of AR and increased nuclear factor-κB activat...

  5. Insulin: its role in the central control of reproduction.

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    Sliwowska, Joanna H; Fergani, Chrysanthi; Gawałek, Monika; Skowronska, Bogda; Fichna, Piotr; Lehman, Michael N

    2014-06-22

    Insulin has long been recognized as a key regulator of energy homeostasis via its actions at the level of the brain, but in addition, plays a role in regulating neural control of reproduction. In this review, we consider and compare evidence from animal models demonstrating a role for insulin for physiological control of reproduction by effects on GnRH/LH secretion. We also review the role that insulin plays in prenatal programming of adult reproduction, and consider specific candidate neurons in the adult hypothalamus by which insulin may act to regulate reproductive function. Finally, we review clinical evidence of the role that insulin may play in adult human fertility and reproductive disorders. Overall, while insulin appears to have a significant impact on reproductive neuroendocrine function, there are many unanswered questions regarding its precise sites and mechanisms of action, and their impact on developing and adult reproductive neuroendocrine function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Corino de Andrade disease: mechanisms and impact on reproduction

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    Lopes, Rita A; Coelho, Teresa; Barros, Alberto; Sousa, Mário

    2017-01-01

    Familial amyloid polyneuropathy was first described by Corino de Andrade in 1952 in Northern Portugal. It is a fatal autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progression of neurologic symptoms, beginning early in the reproductive life. The Transthyretin gene mutation originates a mutated protein that precipitates in the connective tissue as amyloid deposits. This disease is presently named Transthyretin-related hereditary amyloidosis. We performed an extensive review on this disease based on searches in Medical databases and in paper references. In this review, we briefly summarize the epidemiology and the mechanisms involved on amyloid deposition; we detailed how to evaluate the mechanisms implicated on the development of the major signs and symptoms associated with reproductive dysfunction; and we discuss the mechanisms involved in secondary sexual dysfunction after psychological treatments. Treatment of the disease is directed towards relieving specific symptoms in association with liver transplant, and molecular and genetic therapeutics. Although the current clinical trials indicate symptoms relief, no data on the reproductive function was reported. Thus, preimplantation genetic diagnosis is presently the only available technique that eradicates the disease as it avoids the birth of new patients. PMID:28609277

  7. Patterns of globalized reproduction: Egg cells regulation in Israel and Austria.

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    Shalev, Carmel; Werner-Felmayer, Gabriele

    2012-04-18

    Since the successful introduction of in vitro fertilization in 1978, medically assisted reproduction (MAR) has proliferated in multiple clinical innovations. Consequently, egg cells have become an object of demand for both infertility treatment and stem cell research, and this raises complex legal, ethical, social and economic issues.In this paper we compare how the procurement and use of human egg cells is regulated in two countries: Israel and Austria. Israel is known for its scientific leadership, generous public funding, high utilization and liberal regulation of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Austria lies at the other extreme of the regulatory spectrum in terms of restrictions on reproductive interventions.In both countries, however, there is a constant increase in the use of the technology, and recent legal developments make egg cells more accessible. Also, in both countries the scarcity of egg cells in concert with the rising demand for donations has led to the emergence of cross-border markets and global 'reproductive tourism' practices. In Israel, in particular, a scandal known as the 'eggs affair' was followed by regulation that allowed egg cell donations from outside the country under certain conditions.Cross-border markets are developed by medical entrepreneurs, driven by global economic gaps, made possible by trans-national regulatory lacunae and find expression as consumer demand. The transnational practice of egg cell donations indicates the emergence of a global public health issue, but there is a general lack of medical and epidemiological data on its efficacy and safety. We conclude that there is need for harmonisation of domestic laws and formulation of new instruments for international governance.

  8. Patterns of globalized reproduction: Egg cells regulation in Israel and Austria

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    Shalev Carmel

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Since the successful introduction of in vitro fertilization in 1978, medically assisted reproduction (MAR has proliferated in multiple clinical innovations. Consequently, egg cells have become an object of demand for both infertility treatment and stem cell research, and this raises complex legal, ethical, social and economic issues. In this paper we compare how the procurement and use of human egg cells is regulated in two countries: Israel and Austria. Israel is known for its scientific leadership, generous public funding, high utilization and liberal regulation of assisted reproductive technology (ART. Austria lies at the other extreme of the regulatory spectrum in terms of restrictions on reproductive interventions. In both countries, however, there is a constant increase in the use of the technology, and recent legal developments make egg cells more accessible. Also, in both countries the scarcity of egg cells in concert with the rising demand for donations has led to the emergence of cross-border markets and global 'reproductive tourism' practices. In Israel, in particular, a scandal known as the 'eggs affair' was followed by regulation that allowed egg cell donations from outside the country under certain conditions. Cross-border markets are developed by medical entrepreneurs, driven by global economic gaps, made possible by trans-national regulatory lacunae and find expression as consumer demand. The transnational practice of egg cell donations indicates the emergence of a global public health issue, but there is a general lack of medical and epidemiological data on its efficacy and safety. We conclude that there is need for harmonisation of domestic laws and formulation of new instruments for international governance.

  9. Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, R.J.; Freeman, D. Carl; McArthur, E.D.; Kim, Y.-O.; Redman, R.S.

    2009-01-01

    The growth and development of rice (Oryzae sativa) seedlings was shown to be regulated epigenetically by a fungal endophyte. In contrast to un-inoculated (nonsymbiotic) plants, endophyte colonized (symbiotic) plants preferentially allocated resources into root growth until root hairs were well established. During that time symbiotic roots expanded at five times the rate observed in nonsymbiotic plants. Endophytes also influenced sexual reproduction of mature big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plants. Two spatially distinct big sagebrush subspecies and their hybrids were symbiotic with unique fungal endophytes, despite being separated by only 380 m distance and 60 m elevation. A double reciprocal transplant experiment of parental and hybrid plants, and soils across the hybrid zone showed that fungal endophytes interact with the soils and different plant genotypes to confer enhanced plant reproduction in soil native to the endophyte and reduced reproduction in soil alien to the endophyte. Moreover, the most prevalent endophyte of the hybrid zone reduced the fitness of both parental subspecies. Because these endophytes are passed to the next generation of plants on seed coats, this interaction provides a selective advantage, habitat specificity, and the means of restricting gene flow, thereby making the hybrid zone stable, narrow and potentially leading to speciation. ?? 2009 Landes Bioscience.

  10. Social regulation of male reproductive plasticity in an African cichlid fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruska, Karen P; Fernald, Russell D

    2013-12-01

    Social interactions with the outcome of a position in a dominance hierarchy can have profound effects on reproductive behavior and physiology, requiring animals to integrate environmental information with their internal physiological state; but how is salient information from the animal's dynamic social environment transformed into adaptive behavioral, physiological, and molecular-level changes? The African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, is ideally suited to understand socially controlled reproductive plasticity because activity of the male reproductive (brain-pituitary-gonad) axis is tightly linked to social status. Males form hierarchies in which a small percentage of brightly colored dominant individuals have an active reproductive axis, defend territories, and spawn with females, while the remaining males are subordinate, drably colored, do not hold a territory, and have a suppressed reproductive system with minimal opportunities for spawning. These social phenotypes are plastic and quickly reversible, meaning that individual males may switch between dominant and subordinate status multiple times within a lifetime. Here, we review the rapid and remarkable plasticity that occurs along the entire reproductive axis when males rise in social rank, a transition that has important implications for the operational sex ratio of the population. When males rise in rank, transformations occur in the brain, pituitary, circulation, and testes over short time-scales (minutes to days). Changes are evident in overt behavior, as well as modifications at the physiological, cellular, and molecular levels that regulate reproductive capacity. Widespread changes triggered by a switch in rank highlight the significance of external social information in shaping internal physiology and reproductive competence.

  11. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2013 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  12. Melanocortin 4 receptor is not required for estrogenic regulations on energy homeostasis and reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain estrogen receptor-a (ERa) is essential for estrogenic regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction. We previously showed that ERa expressed by pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons mediates estrogen's effects on food intake, body weight, negative regulation of hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal...

  13. Sex-specific inhibition and stimulation of worker-reproductive transition in a termite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qian; Haynes, Kenneth F.; Hampton, Jordan D.; Zhou, Xuguo

    2017-10-01

    In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to the environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex specificity remains inconclusive. In the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, we tested the hypothesis that neotenic reproductives regulate worker-reproductive transition in a sex-specific manner. With this R. flavipes system, we demonstrate a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions. Neotenics inhibit workers of the same sex from differentiating into additional reproductives but stimulate workers of the opposite sex to undergo this transition. Furthermore, this process is not affected by the presence of soldiers. Our results highlight the reproductive plasticity of termites in response to social cues and provide insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labor in a hemimetabolous social insect.

  14. Reproductive hacking. A male seminal protein acts through intact reproductive pathways in female Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinstein, C Dustin; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through "hacking" a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones.

  15. Goldfish neurokinin B: Cloning, tissue distribution, and potential role in regulating reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin; Zhou, Wenyi; Li, Shuisheng; Liu, Yun; Ye, Gang; Liu, Xiaochun; Peng, Chun; Zhang, Yong; Lin, Haoran

    2015-09-15

    Neurokinin B (NKB) is a member of the tackykinin (TAC) family known to play a critical role in the neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction in mammals. However, its biological functions in teleosts are less clear. The aim of this study was to determine the role of NKB in fish reproduction using goldfish as a model. Two transcripts, TAC3a and TAC3b, which encode several NKBs, including NKBa-13, NKBa-10, NKBb-13, and NKBb-11, were cloned. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that NKBa-10 and NKBb-11 are closely related to mammalian NKB, while NKB-13s are more conserved in teleosts. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses in various tissues showed that TAC3a and TAC3b mRNAs were mainly expressed in the brain. In situ hybridization further detected TAC3a and TAC3b mRNAs in several regions of the brain known to be involved in the regulation of reproduction and metabolism, as well as in the neurohypophysis of the pituitary. To investigate the potential role of NKBs in reproduction, goldfish were injected intraperitoneally with synthetic NKBa-13, -10, NKBb-13, or -11 peptides and the mRNA levels of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and pituitary gonadotropin subunits were measured. NKBa-13, -10, or NKBb-13, but not -11, significantly increased hypothalamic salmon GnRH and pituitary FSHβ and LHβ mRNA levels in both female and male goldfish. Finally, ovariectomy increased, while estradiol replacement reduced, TAC3a mRNA levels without affecting TAC3b expression in the hypothalamus. These data suggest that NKBa-13, -10, and NKBb-13 play a role in mediating the estrogen negative feedback regulation of gonadotropins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Information theory and the neuropeptidergic regulation of seasonal reproduction in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Tyler J; Ball, Gregory F

    2011-08-22

    Seasonal breeding in the temperate zone is a dramatic example of a naturally occurring change in physiology and behaviour. Cues that predict periods of environmental amelioration favourable for breeding must be processed by the brain so that the appropriate responses in reproductive physiology can be implemented. The neural integration of several environmental cues converges on discrete hypothalamic neurons in order to regulate reproductive physiology. Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-1 (GnRH1) and Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons in avian and mammalian species, respectively, show marked variation in expression that is positively associated with breeding state. We applied the constancy/contingency model of predictability to investigate how GnRH1 and Kiss1 integrate different environmental cues to regulate reproduction. We show that variation in GnRH1 from a highly seasonal avian species exhibits a predictive change that is primarily based on contingency information. Opportunistic species have low measures of predictability and exhibit a greater contribution of constancy information that is sex-dependent. In hamsters, Kiss1 exhibited a predictive change in expression that was predominantly contingency information and is anatomically localized. The model applied here provides a framework for studies geared towards determining the impact of variation in climate patterns to reproductive success in vertebrate species.

  17. Progressive effects of silver nanoparticles on hormonal regulation of reproduction in male rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dziendzikowska, K.; Krawczyńska, A.; Oczkowski, M.; Królikowski, T.; Brzóska, K.; Lankoff, A.; Dziendzikowski, M.; Stępkowski, T.; Kruszewski, M.

    2016-01-01

    The growing use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in various applications, including consumer, agriculture and medicine products, has raised many concerns about the potential risks of nanoparticles (NPs) to human health and the environment. An increasing body of evidence suggests that AgNPs may have adverse effects of humans, thus the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of AgNPs on the male reproductive system. Silver particles (20 nm AgNPs (groups Ag I and Ag II) and 200 nm Ag sub-micron particles (SPs) (group Ag III)) were administered intravenously to male Wistar rats at a dose of 5 (groups Ag I and Ag III) or 10 (group Ag II) mg/kg of body weight. The biological material was sampled 24 h, 7 days and 28 days after injection. The obtained results revealed that the AgNPs had altered the luteinising hormone concentration in the plasma and the sex hormone concentration in the plasma and testes. Plasma and intratesticular levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone were significantly decreased both 7 and 28 days after treatment. No change in the prolactin and sex hormone-binding globulin concentration was observed. Exposure of the animals to AgNPs resulted in a considerable decrease in 5α-reductase type 1 and the aromatase protein level in the testis. Additionally, expression analysis of genes involved in steroidogenesis and the steroids metabolism revealed significant down-regulation of Star, Cyp11a1, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b3 and Srd5a1 mRNAs in AgNPs/AgSPs-exposed animals. The present study demonstrates the potential adverse effect on the hormonal regulation of the male reproductive function following AgNP/AgSP administration, in particular alterations of the sex steroid balance and expression of genes involved in steroidogenesis and the steroids metabolism. - Highlights: • Assessment of the toxic effects of AgNPs/AgSPs on the regulation of male reproductive function • AgNP −/AgSP-induced alterations of sex steroid status in male Wistar rats.

  18. Progressive effects of silver nanoparticles on hormonal regulation of reproduction in male rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dziendzikowska, K., E-mail: k.dziendzikowska@gmail.com [Division of Nutrition Physiology, Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Science, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159C, 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Krawczyńska, A. [Laboratory of Molecular Biology, The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences, Instytucka 3, 05-110 Jabłonna (Poland); Oczkowski, M.; Królikowski, T. [Division of Nutrition Physiology, Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Science, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159C, 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Brzóska, K. [Centre for Radiobiology and Biological Dosimetry, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Dorodna 16, 03-195 Warsaw (Poland); Lankoff, A. [Centre for Radiobiology and Biological Dosimetry, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Dorodna 16, 03-195 Warsaw (Poland); Department of Radiobiology and Immunology, Institute of Biology, Jan Kochanowski University, Świetokrzyska 15, 25-406 Kielce (Poland); Dziendzikowski, M. [Airworthiness Division, Air Force Institute of Technology, Ks. Boleslawa 6, 01-494 Warsaw (Poland); Stępkowski, T. [Centre for Radiobiology and Biological Dosimetry, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Dorodna 16, 03-195 Warsaw (Poland); Kruszewski, M. [Department of Medical Biology and Translational Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Information Technology and Management, Sucharskiego 2, 35-225 Rzeszów (Poland); Department of Molecular Biology and Translational Research, Institute of Rural Health, Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090 Lublin (Poland); and others

    2016-12-15

    The growing use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in various applications, including consumer, agriculture and medicine products, has raised many concerns about the potential risks of nanoparticles (NPs) to human health and the environment. An increasing body of evidence suggests that AgNPs may have adverse effects of humans, thus the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of AgNPs on the male reproductive system. Silver particles (20 nm AgNPs (groups Ag I and Ag II) and 200 nm Ag sub-micron particles (SPs) (group Ag III)) were administered intravenously to male Wistar rats at a dose of 5 (groups Ag I and Ag III) or 10 (group Ag II) mg/kg of body weight. The biological material was sampled 24 h, 7 days and 28 days after injection. The obtained results revealed that the AgNPs had altered the luteinising hormone concentration in the plasma and the sex hormone concentration in the plasma and testes. Plasma and intratesticular levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone were significantly decreased both 7 and 28 days after treatment. No change in the prolactin and sex hormone-binding globulin concentration was observed. Exposure of the animals to AgNPs resulted in a considerable decrease in 5α-reductase type 1 and the aromatase protein level in the testis. Additionally, expression analysis of genes involved in steroidogenesis and the steroids metabolism revealed significant down-regulation of Star, Cyp11a1, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b3 and Srd5a1 mRNAs in AgNPs/AgSPs-exposed animals. The present study demonstrates the potential adverse effect on the hormonal regulation of the male reproductive function following AgNP/AgSP administration, in particular alterations of the sex steroid balance and expression of genes involved in steroidogenesis and the steroids metabolism. - Highlights: • Assessment of the toxic effects of AgNPs/AgSPs on the regulation of male reproductive function • AgNP −/AgSP-induced alterations of sex steroid status in male Wistar rats.

  19. Central Pathways Integrating Metabolism and Reproduction in Teleosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahjahan, Md.; Kitahashi, Takashi; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2014-01-01

    Energy balance plays an important role in the control of reproduction. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms connecting the two systems are not well understood especially in teleosts. The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in the regulation of both energy balance and reproduction, and contains a number of neuropeptides, including gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), orexin, neuropeptide-Y, ghrelin, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, melanin-concentrating hormone, cholecystokinin, 26RFamide, nesfatin, kisspeptin, and gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone. These neuropeptides are involved in the control of energy balance and reproduction either directly or indirectly. On the other hand, synthesis and release of these hypothalamic neuropeptides are regulated by metabolic signals from the gut and the adipose tissue. Furthermore, neurons producing these neuropeptides interact with each other, providing neuronal basis of the link between energy balance and reproduction. This review summarizes the advances made in our understanding of the physiological roles of the hypothalamic neuropeptides in energy balance and reproduction in teleosts, and discusses how they interact with GnRH, kisspeptin, and pituitary gonadotropins to control reproduction in teleosts. PMID:24723910

  20. Male reproductive health and yoga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pallav Sengupta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Now-a-days reproductive health problems along with infertility in male is very often observed. Various Assisted Reproductive Technologies have been introduced to solve the problem, but common people cannot afford the cost of such procedures. Various ayurvedic and other alternative medicines, along with regular yoga practice are proven to be not only effective to enhance the reproductive health in men to produce a successful pregnancy, but also to regulate sexual desire in men who practice celibacy. Yoga is reported to reduce stress and anxiety, improve autonomic functions by triggering neurohormonal mechanisms by the suppression of sympathetic activity, and even, today, several reports suggested regular yoga practice from childhood is beneficial for reproductive health. In this regard the present review is aimed to provide all the necessary information regarding the effectiveness of yoga practice to have a better reproductive health and to prevent infertility.

  1. Phenotypic selection and regulation of reproduction in different environments in wild barley

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volis, S.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Mendlinger, S.; Ward, D.

    2004-01-01

    Plasticity of the phenotypic architecture of wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, was studied in response to water and nutrient stress. Direct and indirect selection on several vegetative and reproductive traits was estimated and path analysis used to reveal how regulating pathways via maternal

  2. The regulation of reproductive neuroendocrine function by insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Andrew; Divall, Sara; Wu, Sheng

    2014-10-01

    The mammalian reproductive hormone axis regulates gonadal steroid hormone levels and gonadal function essential for reproduction. The neuroendocrine control of the axis integrates signals from a wide array of inputs. The regulatory pathways important for mediating these inputs have been the subject of numerous studies. One class of proteins that have been shown to mediate metabolic and growth signals to the CNS includes Insulin and IGF-1. These proteins are structurally related and can exert endocrine and growth factor like action via related receptor tyrosine kinases. The role that insulin and IGF-1 play in controlling the hypothalamus and pituitary and their role in regulating puberty and nutritional control of reproduction has been studied extensively. This review summarizes the in vitro and in vivo models that have been used to study these neuroendocrine structures and the influence of these growth factors on neuroendocrine control of reproduction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Non-photoperiodic regulation of reproductive physiology in the flexibly breeding pine siskin (Spinus pinus)

    OpenAIRE

    Watts, Heather E.; Hahn, Thomas P.

    2012-01-01

    In order to time reproduction to coincide with favorable conditions, animals use environmental cues to up- and down-regulate the reproductive axis appropriately. Although photoperiodic cues are one of the best studied of such environmental cues, animals also attend to others such as temperature, food availability, rainfall and social cues. Such non-photic cues are expected to be particularly important for tropical species and temperate-zone species that exhibit flexible or opportunistic breed...

  4. Reproductive toxicity of a mixture of regulated drinking-water disinfection by-products in a multigenerational rat bioassay

    Science.gov (United States)

    BACKGROUND:Trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloaretic acids (HAAs) are regulated disinfection by-products (DBPs); their joint reproductive toxicity in drinking water is unknown.OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate a drinking water mixture of the four regulated THMs and five regulated HAAs ...

  5. Reproductive endocrine-disrupting effects of triclosan: Population exposure, present evidence and potential mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Cai-Feng; Tian, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Triclosan has been used as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent for over 40 years worldwide. Increasing reports indicate frequent detection and broad exposure to triclosan in the natural environment and the human body. Current laboratory studies in various species provide strong evidence for its disrupting effects on the endocrine system, especially reproductive hormones. Multiple modes of action have been suggested, including disrupting hormone metabolism, displacing hormones from hormone receptors and disrupting steroidogenic enzyme activity. Although epidemiological studies on its effects in humans are mostly negative but conflicting, which is typical of much of the early evidence on the toxicity of EDCs, overall, the evidence suggests that triclosan is an EDC. This article reviews human exposure to triclosan, describes the current evidence regarding its reproductive endocrine-disrupting effects, and discusses potential mechanisms to provide insights for further study on its endocrine-disrupting effects in humans. - Highlights: • Triclosan is widely detected in human urine, blood and breast milk. • Laboratory studies suggest reproductive endocrine-disrupting effects of triclosan. • Laboratory studies suggest estrogenic properties of triclosan. • There are three potential mechanisms regarding the estrogenic effect of triclosan. • Prospective epidemiological studies on vulnerable populations are needed. - This review summarizes current evidence on human exposure to triclosan, and its reproductive endocrine-disrupting effects and potential mechanisms.

  6. REPRODUCTIVE SEASONALITY OF SHEEP IN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Arroyo

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to discuss and analyze the available information concerning the seasonal breeding behavior of sheep in Mexico, this review was conducted. We analyzed the neuroendocrine basis that modulate the annual reproductive cycle in sheep and then discussed the degree of reproductive seasonality in Creole sheep wool, breeds originating in high latitudes and hair sheep, mainly in Pelibuey ewes. The Creole sheep wool show continuous annual reproductive activity and short seasonal anestrous. The females of northern origin, express seasonal reproductive activity, similar to that observed in individuals geographically located at latitudes above 35º. Pelibuey sheep show variable annual reproductive behavior with reduced anestrus or lack thereof.  It is suggested that the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating seasonal anestrus in ewes, are active in the sheep of northern origin that live in Mexico, in a manner contrary is not activated in Creole and hair sheep.

  7. RFRP neurons - the doorway to understanding seasonal reproduction in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jo Beldring Henningsen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal control of reproduction is critical for the perpetuation of species living in temperate zones that display major changes in climatic environment and availability of food resources. In mammals, seasonal cues are mainly provided by the annual change in the 24h light/dark ratio (i.e. photoperiod, which is translated into the nocturnal production of the pineal hormone melatonin. The annual rhythm in this melatonin signal acts as a synchronizer ensuring that breeding occurs when environmental conditions favor survival of the offspring. Although specific mechanisms might vary among seasonal species, the hypothalamic RF (Arg-Phe amide-related peptides (RFRP-1 and -3 are believed to play a critical role in the central control of seasonal reproduction and in all seasonal species investigated, the RFRP system is persistently inhibited in short photoperiod. Central chronic administration of RFRP-3 in short day-adapted male Syrian hamsters fully reactivates the reproductive axis despite photoinhibitory conditions, which highlights the importance of the seasonal changes in RFRP expression for proper regulation of the reproductive axis. The acute effects of RFRP peptides, however, depend on species, photoperiod and recent studies point towards a different role of RFRP in regulating female reproductive activity. In this review we summarize the recent advances made to understand the role and underlying mechanisms of RFRP in the seasonal control of reproduction, primarily focusing on mammalian species.

  8. Reproduction in eusocial bees (Apidae: Apini, Meliponini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chinh, T.X.

    2004-01-01

    This thesis presents some key aspects of the regulation and the mechanisms of colony reproduction in honeybees and stingless bees. Special attention is paid to key questions about how the production of males, gynes and swarms takes place, and what intranidal and extranidal factors are related to

  9. Physical activity and its effects on reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redman, Leanne M

    2006-05-01

    The reproductive system is tightly coupled with energy balance, and thereby changes in the status of energy balance through changes in physical activity can impact on the reproductive system. In light of the new physical activity for health recommendations, it is therefore important to understand the inherent effects, both positive and negative, of physical activity on the reproductive system. At both extremes of the energy spectrum, disorders of chronic energy excess and energy deficiency are characterized by a wide range of reproductive disorders, including menstrual irregularity, anovulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility in women, and erectile dysfunction and altered spermatogenesis in men. Although laboratory research indicates that individuals may be able to prevent or reverse reproductive disruptions, either by increasing energy expenditure in cases of energy excess or by dietary reform in cases of energy deficits, there is an acute need for applied research to confirm this idea and to identify mechanisms by which the availability of energy per se regulates reproductive function in humans.

  10. Morals or markets? Regulating assisted reproductive technologies as morality or economic policies in the states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidt-Forsythe, Erin

    2017-01-01

    The availability of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in the medical marketplace complicates our understanding of reproductive public policy in the United States. Political debates over ARTs often are based on fundamental moral principles of life, reproduction, and kinship, similar to other reproductive policies in the United States. However, ARTs are an important moneymaking private enterprise for the U.S. biotechnology industry. This project investigates how the U.S. states regulate these unique and challenging technologies as either moral policies or economic policies. This study employs ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to estimate the significance of morality and economic policy variables on ART policies at the state level, noting associations between state-level political, economic, and gender variables on restrictive and permissive state-level ART policies. Economic variables (reflecting the biotechnology industry) and advocacy for access to ART on behalf of infertility patients increase the chances of states passing policies that enable consumer use of ARTs. Additionally, individual ART policies are distinct from one another in the ways that morality variables increase the chances of ART regulations. Surprisingly, the role of religious adherence among state residents varied in positive and negative relationships with individual policy passage. In general, these results support the hypothesis that ART laws are associated with economic as well as moral concerns of the states-ARTs lie at the intersection of issues of life and reproduction and of scientific innovation and health. What is most striking about these results is that they do not follow patterns seen in the legislation of abortion, contraception, and sexuality in general-those reproductive policies that are considered "morality policy." Similarly, economic variables are not consistently significant in the expected direction.

  11. Demographic mechanisms of inbreeding adjustment through extra-pair reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M; Duthie, A Bradley; Wolak, Matthew E; Arcese, Peter

    2015-07-01

    One hypothesis explaining extra-pair reproduction is that socially monogamous females mate with extra-pair males to adjust the coefficient of inbreeding (f) of extra-pair offspring (EPO) relative to that of within-pair offspring (WPO) they would produce with their socially paired male. Such adjustment of offspring f requires non-random extra-pair reproduction with respect to relatedness, which is in turn often assumed to require some mechanism of explicit pre-copulatory or post-copulatory kin discrimination. We propose three demographic processes that could potentially cause mean f to differ between individual females' EPO and WPO given random extra-pair reproduction with available males without necessarily requiring explicit kin discrimination. Specifically, such a difference could arise if social pairings formed non-randomly with respect to relatedness or persisted non-randomly with respect to relatedness, or if the distribution of relatedness between females and their sets of potential mates changed during the period through which social pairings persisted. We used comprehensive pedigree and pairing data from free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to quantify these three processes and hence investigate how individual females could adjust mean offspring f through instantaneously random extra-pair reproduction. Female song sparrows tended to form social pairings with unrelated or distantly related males slightly less frequently than expected given random pairing within the defined set of available males. Furthermore, social pairings between more closely related mates tended to be more likely to persist across years than social pairings between less closely related mates. However, these effects were small and the mean relatedness between females and their sets of potential extra-pair males did not change substantially across the years through which social pairings persisted. Our framework and analyses illustrate how demographic and social structuring within

  12. Thyroid hormone actions on male reproductive system of teleost fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovo-Neto, Aldo; da Silva Rodrigues, Maira; Habibi, Hamid R; Nóbrega, Rafael Henrique

    2018-04-17

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play important roles in the regulation of many biological processes of vertebrates, such as growth, metabolism, morphogenesis and reproduction. An increasing number of studies have been focused on the involvement of THs in the male reproductive system of vertebrates, in particular of fish. Therefore, this mini-review aims to summarize the main findings on THs role in male reproductive system of fish, focusing on sex differentiation, testicular development and spermatogenesis. The existing data in the literature have demonstrated that THs exert their roles at the different levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. In general a positive correlation has been shown between THs and fish reproductive status; where THs are associated with testicular development, growth and maturation. Recently, the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of THs in spermatogenesis have been unraveled in zebrafish testis. THs promote germ cell proliferation and differentiation by increasing a stimulatory growth factor of spermatogenesis produced by Sertoli cells. In addition, THs enhanced the gonadotropin-induced androgen release in zebrafish testis. Next to their functions in the adult testis, THs are involved in the gonadal sex differentiation through modulating sex-related gene expression, and testicular development via regulation of Sertoli cell proliferation. In conclusion, this mini-review showed that THs modulate the male reproductive system during the different life stages of fish. The physiological and molecular mechanisms showed a link between the thyroid and reproduction, suggesting a possibly co-evolution and interdependence of these two systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Photoperiod- and Triiodothyronine-dependent Regulation of Reproductive Neuropeptides, Proinflammatory Cytokines, and Peripheral Physiology in Siberian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Ruth; Delibegovic, Mirela; Stevenson, Tyler J

    2016-06-01

    Seasonal trade-offs in reproduction and immunity are ubiquitous in nature. The mechanisms that govern transitions across seasonal physiological states appear to involve reciprocal switches in the local synthesis of thyroid hormone. In long-day (LD) summer-like conditions, increased hypothalamic triiodothyronine (T3) stimulates gonadal development. Alternatively, short-day (SD) winter-like conditions increase peripheral leukocytes and enhance multiple aspects of immune function. These data indicate that the localized effects of T3 in the hypothalamus and leukocytes are photoperiod dependent. We tested the hypothesis that increased peripheral T3 in SD conditions would increase aspects of reproductive physiology and inhibit immune function, whereas T3 injections in LD conditions would facilitate aspects of immune function (i.e., leukocytes). In addition, we also examined whether T3 regulates hypothalamic neuropeptide expression as well as hypothalamic and splenic proinflammatory cytokine expression. Adult male Siberian hamsters were maintained in LD (15L:9D) or transferred to SD (9L:15D) for 8 weeks. A subset of LD and SD hamsters was treated daily with 5 µg T3 for 2 weeks. LD and SD controls were injected with saline. Daily T3 administration in SD hamsters (SD+T3) resulted in a rapid and substantial decrease in peripheral leukocyte concentrations and stimulated gonadal development. T3 treatment in LD (LD+T3) had no effect on testicular volumes but significantly increased leukocyte concentrations. Molecular analyses revealed that T3 stimulated interleukin 1β messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in the spleen and inhibited RFamide Related Peptide-3 mRNA expression in the hypothalamus. Moreover, there was a photoperiod-dependent decrease in splenic tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA expression. These findings reveal that T3 has tissue-specific and photoperiod-dependent regulation of seasonal rhythms in reproduction and immune function. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Hybridization experiments indicate incomplete reproductive isolating mechanism between Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itagaki, T; Ichinomiya, M; Fukuda, K; Fusyuku, S; Carmona, C

    2011-09-01

    Experiments on hybridization between Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica were carried out to clarify whether a reproductive isolating mechanism appears between the two Fasciola species. Molecular evidence for hybridization was based on the DNA sequence of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region in nuclear ribosomal DNA, which differs between the species. The results suggested that there were not pre-mating but post-mating isolating mechanisms between the two species. However, viable adults of the hybrids F1 and F2 were produced from both parental F. hepatica and F. gigantica. The hybrids inherited phenotypic characteristics such as ratio of body length and width and infectivity to rats from parental Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. These findings suggest that reproductive isolation is incomplete between Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. Adults of the hybrids F1 and F2 were completely different in mode of reproduction from aspermic Fasciola forms that occur in Asia and seem to be offspring originated from hybridization between F. hepatica and F. gigantica and to reproduce parthenogenetically.

  15. Tributyltin impaired reproductive success in female zebrafish through disrupting oogenesis, reproductive behaviors and serotonin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Wei-Yang; Li, Ying-Wen; Chen, Qi-Liang; Liu, Zhi-Hao

    2018-07-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), an organotin acting as aromatase (Cyp19a1) inhibitor, has been found to disrupt gametogenesis and reproductive behaviors in several fish species. However, few studies addressing the mechanisms underlying the impaired gametogenesis and reproduction have been reported. In this study, female adults of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were continuously exposed to two nominal concentrations of TBT (100 and 500 ng/L, actual concentrations: 90.8 ± 1.3 ng/L and 470.3 ± 2.7 ng/L, respectively) for 28 days. After exposures, TBT decreased the total egg number, reduced the hatchability and elevated the mortality of the larvae. Decreased gonadosomatic index (GSI) and altered percentages of follicles in different developmental stages (increased early-stage follicles and reduced mid/late-stage follicles) were also observed in the ovary of TBT-treated fish. TBT also lowered the plasma level of 17β-estradiol and suppressed the expressions of cyp19a1a in the ovary. In treated fish, up-regulated expressions of aldhla2, sycp3 and dmc1 were present in the ovary, indicating an enhanced level of meiosis. The mRNA level of vtg1 was dramatically suppressed in the liver of TBT-treated fish, suggesting an insufficient synthesis of Vtg protein, consistent with the decreased percentage of mid/late-stage follicles in the ovaries. Moreover, TBT significantly suppressed the reproductive behaviors of the female fish (duration of both sexes simultaneously in spawning area, the frequency of meeting and the visit in spawning area) and down-regulated the mRNA levels of genes involved in the regulation of reproductive behaviors (cyp19a1b, gnrh-3 and kiss 2) in the brain. In addition, TBT significantly suppressed the expressions of serotonin-related genes, such as tph2 (encoding serotonin synthase), pet1 (marker of serotonin neuron) and kiss 1 (the modulator of serotonin synthesis), suggesting that TBT might disrupt the non-reproductive behaviors of zebrafish. The present

  16. Walter Benjamin in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Aura in Education--A Rereading of "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peim, Nick

    2007-01-01

    This paper considers a key text in the field of Cultural Studies for its relevance to questions about the identity of knowledge in education. The concept of "aura" arises as being of special significance in "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" as a way of understanding the change that occurs to art when mass reproduction becomes…

  17. Epigenetics of reproductive infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Laxmidhar; Parbin, Sabnam; Pradhan, Nibedita; Kausar, Chahat; Patra, Samir K

    2017-06-01

    Infertility is a complex pathophysiological condition. It may caused by specific or multiple physical and physiological factors, including abnormalities in homeostasis, hormonal imbalances and genetic alterations. In recent times various studies implicated that, aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are associated with reproductive infertility. There might be transgenerational effects associated with epigenetic modifications of gametes and studies suggest the importance of alterations in epigenetic modification at early and late stages of gametogenesis. To determine the causes of infertility it is necessary to understand the altered epigenetic modifications of associated gene and mechanisms involved therein. This review is devoted to elucidate the recent mechanistic advances in regulation of genes by epigenetic modification and emphasizes their possible role related to reproductive infertility. It includes environmental, nutritional, hormonal and physiological factors and influence of internal structural architecture of chromatin nucleosomes affecting DNA and histone modifications in both male and female gametes, early embryogenesis and offspring. Finally, we would like to emphasize that research on human infertility by gene knock out of epigenetic modifiers genes must be relied upon animal models.

  18. Obesity and the reproductive system disorders: epigenetics as a potential bridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crujeiras, Ana B; Casanueva, Felipe F

    2015-01-01

    Obesity and overweight are significantly involved in several reproductive pathologies contributing to infertility in men and women. In addition, several cancers of the reproductive system, such as endometrial, ovarian, breast, testicular and prostate cancers, are strongly influenced by obesity. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the association between obesity and reproductive disorders remain unclear. Our proposal is to review the current scientific evidence regarding the effect of obesity-related factors as the core of the collective mechanisms directly and indirectly involved in the relationship between obesity and reproductive disorders, with a special and original focus on the effect of the obesity state microenvironment on the epigenetic profile as a reversible mechanistic link between obesity and the reproductive disorders. A PubMed search was performed using keywords related to obesity and adipose-related factors and epigenetics and associated with keywords related to reproduction. Full-text articles and abstracts in the English language published prior to 31 December 2013 were reviewed. The obesity state notably contributes to a reproductive dysfunction in both men and women, ranging from infertility to oncological outcomes. Several epidemiological and experimental studies demonstrate that factors secreted by the adipose tissue and gut in an obesity state can directly induce reproductive disturbances. Relevantly, these same factors are able to alter the epigenetic regulation of genes, a dynamic and reversible mechanism by which the organism responds to environmental pressures critical to the reproductive function. This review outlines the evidence showing that the association between the reproductive pathologies and obesity is not inevitable but is potentially preventable and reversible. The epigenetic marks related to obesity could constitute a therapeutic target for the reproductive disorders associated with obesity. © The Author 2014

  19. HR38, an ortholog of NR4A family nuclear receptors, mediates 20-hydroxyecdysone regulation of carbohydrate metabolism during mosquito reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Dujuan; Zhang, Yang; Smykal, Vlastimil; Ling, Lin; Raikhel, Alexander S

    2018-05-01

    The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the principal vector for many dangerous human viral diseases. Carbohydrate metabolism (CM) is essential for supplying the energy necessary for host seeking, blood digestion and rapid egg development of this vector insect. The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and the ecdysone receptor (EcR) are important regulators of CM, coordinating it with female reproductive events. We report here that the NR4A nuclear receptor AHR38 plays a critical role in mediating these actions of 20E and EcR. AHR38 RNA interference (RNAi) depletion in female mosquitoes blocked the transcriptional activation of CM genes encoding phosphoglucomutase (PGM) and trehalose-6-phophate synthase (TPS); it caused an increase of glycogen accumulation and a decrease of the circulating sugar trehalose. This treatment also resulted in a dramatic reduction in fecundity. Considering that these phenotypes resulting from AHR38 RNAi depletion are similar to those of EcR RNAi, we investigated a possible connection between these transcription factors in CM regulation. EcR RNAi inhibits the AHR38 gene expression. Moreover, the 20E-induced EcR complex directly activates AHR38 by binding to the ecdysone response element (EcRE) in the upstream regulatory region of this gene. The present work has implicated AHR38 in the 20E-mediated control of CM and provided new insight into mechanisms of 20E regulation of metabolism during female mosquito reproduction. © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Possible Involvement of Photoperiodic Regulation in Reproductive Endocrine System of Female Olive Flounder Paralichthys olivaceus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Chul; Lee, Chi Hoon; Hur, Sung Pyu; Kim, Byeong Hoon; Park, Jun Young; Lee, Young Don

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of female olive flounder. To investigate the influence on brain-pituitary axis in endocrine system by regulating photoperiod, compared expression level of Kisspeptin and sbGnRH mRNA in brain and FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA in pituitary before and after spawning. Photoperiod was treated natural photoperiod and long photoperiod (15L:9D) conditions from Aug. 2013 to Jun. 2014. Continuous long photoperiod treatment from Aug. (post-spawning phase) was inhibited gonadal development of female olive flounder. In natural photoperiod group, the Kiss2 expression level a significant declined in Mar. (spawning period). And also, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels were increasing at this period. However, in long photoperiod group, hypothalamic Kiss2, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels did not show any significant fluctuation. These results suggest that expression of hypothalamic Kiss2, GtH and GH in the pituitary would change in response to photoperiod and their possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of the BPG axis.

  1. Endocrine control of epigenetic mechanisms in male reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ankolkar, Mandar; Balasinor, N H

    2016-01-01

    Endocrine control of reproduction is very well known and has been echoed by many research groups. However, recent developments point to the ability of toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) to alter epigenetic information of the gametes which gets transferred to the developing embryo and affects the immediate reproductive outcome or even persists transgenerationally. These epigenetic aberrations contribute to the ensuing pathophysiology of reproductive disorders. Investigations of the female in cases of poor reproductive outcome have been the main strategy towards diagnosis. However, despite the male partner contributing half of his genome to the progeny, thorough investigations in the male have been ignored. Environmental pollutants are all pervading and are encountered in our day-to-day life. Many of these pollutants have potential to disrupt the endocrine system. Here, we discuss how the male gametes (spermatozoa) are susceptible to a myriad of epigenetic insults inflicted by exposure to endocrine disruptors and how important is the contribution of the epigenetic marks of the spermatozoa in healthy reproduction. We advocate that sperm epigenetics should be considered as a significant contributor to reproductive health and should be researched further and be subsequently included in routine diagnostic workup in cases of poor reproductive outcome.

  2. Legal regulation of assisted reproduction treatment in Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svitnev, Konstantin

    2010-06-01

    Russia remains one of the countries with a most favourable approach towards human reproduction in Europe, allowing almost everybody wanting to have a child of their own through assisted reproduction treatment to fulfill their dream. The legal situation around assisted reproduction treatment in Russia is very favourable; surrogacy, gamete and embryo donation are permitted, even on a commercial level. Gestational surrogacy is an option for heterosexual couples and single women, although a court decision might be needed to register a 'surrogate' child born to a couple who are not officially married or a single woman. However, it is not explicitly allowed nor prohibited for single men. Copyright 2010 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Activins in reproductive biology and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijayarathna, R; de Kretser, D M

    2016-04-01

    reproductive aging. In the male, activin A is an autocrine and paracrine modulator of germ cell development and Sertoli cell proliferation. Disruption of normal activin signalling is characteristic of many tumours affecting reproductive organs, including endometrial carcinoma, cervical cancer, testicular and ovarian cancer as well as prostate cancer. While activin A and B aid the progression of many tumours of the reproductive organs, activin C acts as a tumour suppressor. Activins are important in embryonic induction, morphogenesis of branched glandular organs, development of limbs and nervous system, craniofacial and dental development and morphogenesis of the Wolffian duct. The field of activin biology has advanced considerably since its initial discovery as an FSH stimulating agent. Now, activin is well known as a growth factor and cytokine that regulates many aspects of reproductive biology, developmental biology and also inflammation and immunological mechanisms. Current research provides evidence for novel roles of activins in maintaining the structure and function of reproductive and other organ systems. The fact that activin A is elevated both locally as well as systemically in major disorders of the reproductive system makes it an important biomarker. Given the established role of activin A as a pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic agent, studies of its involvement in disorders of reproduction resulting from these processes should be examined. Follistatin, as a key regulator of the biological actions of activin, should be evaluated as a therapeutic agent in conditions where activin A overexpression is established as a contributing factor. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Mechanisms of CFTR Functional Variants That Impair Regulated Bicarbonate Permeation and Increase Risk for Pancreatitis but Not for Cystic Fibrosis

    OpenAIRE

    LaRusch, Jessica; Jung, Jinsei; General, Ignacio J.; Lewis, Michele D.; Park, Hyun Woo; Brand, Randall E.; Gelrud, Andres; Anderson, Michelle A.; Banks, Peter A.; Conwell, Darwin; Lawrence, Christopher; Romagnuolo, Joseph; Baillie, John; Alkaade, Samer; Cote, Gregory

    2014-01-01

    CFTR is a dynamically regulated anion channel. Intracellular WNK1-SPAK activation causes CFTR to change permeability and conductance characteristics from a chloride-preferring to bicarbonate-preferring channel through unknown mechanisms. Two severe CFTR mutations (CFTRsev ) cause complete loss of CFTR function and result in cystic fibrosis (CF), a severe genetic disorder affecting sweat glands, nasal sinuses, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, and male reproductive system. We hypothesize tha...

  5. Functional study of Cordyceps sinensis and cordycepin in male reproduction: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Chia Chen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cordyceps sinensis has various biological and pharmacological functions, and it has been claimed as a tonic supplement for sexual and reproductive dysfunctions for a long time in oriental society. In this article, the in vitro and in vivo effects of C. sinensis and cordycepin on mouse Leydig cell steroidogenesis are briefly described, the stimulatory mechanisms are summarized, and the recent findings related to the alternative substances regulating male reproductive functions are also discussed.

  6. Neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin secretion in seasonally breeding birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takayoshi eUbuka

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Seasonally breeding birds detect environmental signals, such as light, temperature, food availability and presence of mates to time reproduction. Hypothalamic neurons integrate external and internal signals, and regulate reproduction by releasing neurohormones to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland synthesizes and releases gonadotropins which in turn act on the gonads to stimulate gametogenesis and sex steroid secretion. Accordingly, how gonadotropin secretion is controlled by the hypothalamus is key to our understanding of the mechanisms of seasonal reproduction. A hypothalamic neuropeptide, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, activates reproduction by stimulating gonadotropin synthesis and release. Another hypothalamic neuropeptide, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH, inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release directly by acting on the pituitary gland or indirectly by decreasing the activity of GnRH neurons. Therefore, the next step to understand seasonal reproduction is to investigate how the activities of GnRH and GnIH neurons in the hypothalamus and their receptors in the pituitary gland are regulated by external and internal signals. It is possible that locally-produced triiodothyronine resulting from the action of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase on thyroxine stimulates the release of gonadotropins, perhaps by action on GnRH neurons. The function of GnRH neurons is also regulated by transcription of the GnRH gene. Melatonin, a nocturnal hormone, stimulates the synthesis and release of GnIH and GnIH may therefore regulate a daily rhythm of gonadotropin secretion. GnIH may also temporally suppress gonadotropin secretion when environmental conditions are unfavorable. Environmental and social milieus fluctuate seasonally in the wild. Accordingly, complex interactions of various neuronal and hormonal systems need to be considered if we are to understand the mechanisms underlying seasonal reproduction.

  7. Fulicin regulates the female reproductive organs of the snail, Achatina fulica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisawa, Y; Masuda, K; Minakata, H

    2000-08-01

    Fulicin is a D-amino acid-containing neuropeptide that has been thought to control male copulatory behavior in the land snail, Achatina fulica. In the present study, we demonstrated that the vagina and the oviduct of Achatina were densely innervated by fulicin-like immunoreactive neuronal fibers. We confirmed that fulicin was actually present in the vagina by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, fulicin showed a profound excitatory effect on contractions of the vagina and the oviduct. These results suggest that fulicin controls female egg-laying behavior as an excitatory neuropeptide regulating the female reproductive organs of the snail.

  8. Vinclozolin exposure in utero induces postpubertal prostatitis and reduces sperm production via a reversible hormone-regulated mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowin, Prue A; Gold, Elspeth; Aleksova, Jasna; O'Bryan, Moira K; Foster, Paul M D; Scott, Hamish S; Risbridger, Gail P

    2010-02-01

    Vinclozolin is an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that binds with high affinity to the androgen receptor (AR) and blocks the action of gonadal hormones on male reproductive organs. An alternative mechanism of action of Vinclozolin involves transgenerational effects on the male reproductive tract. We previously reported in utero Vinclozolin exposure-induced prostatitis (prostate inflammation) in postpubertal rats concurrent with down-regulation of AR and increased nuclear factor-kappaB activation. We postulated the male reproductive abnormalities induced by in utero Vinclozolin exposure could be reversed by testosterone supplementation, in contrast to the permanent modifications involving DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) described by others. To test this hypothesis, we administered high-dose testosterone at puberty to Vinclozolin-treated rats and determined the effect on anogenital distance (AGD); testicular germ cell apoptosis, concentration of elongated spermatids, and the onset of prostatitis. Concurrently we examined Dnmt1, -3A, -3B, and -3L mRNA expression. Consistent with previous reports, in utero exposure to Vinclozolin significantly reduced AGD, increased testicular germ cell apoptosis 3-fold, reduced elongated spermatid number by 40%, and induced postpubertal prostatitis in 100% of exposed males. Administration of high-dose testosterone (25 mg/kg) at puberty normalized AGD, reduced germ cell apoptosis, and restored elongated spermatid number. Testosterone restored AR and nuclear factor-kappaB expression in the prostate and abolished Vinclozolin-induced prostatitis. Altered Dnmt expression was evident with in utero Vinclozolin exposure and was not normalized after testosterone treatment. These data demonstrate in utero Vinclozolin-induced male reproductive tract abnormalities are AR mediated and reversible and involve a mechanism independent of Dnmt expression.

  9. Regulation of Lysosomal Function by the DAF-16 Forkhead Transcription Factor Couples Reproduction to Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxi, Kunal; Ghavidel, Ata; Waddell, Brandon; Harkness, Troy A; de Carvalho, Carlos E

    2017-09-01

    Aging in eukaryotes is accompanied by widespread deterioration of the somatic tissue. Yet, abolishing germ cells delays the age-dependent somatic decline in Caenorhabditis elegans In adult worms lacking germ cells, the activation of the DAF-9/DAF-12 steroid signaling pathway in the gonad recruits DAF-16 activity in the intestine to promote longevity-associated phenotypes. However, the impact of this pathway on the fitness of normally reproducing animals is less clear. Here, we explore the link between progeny production and somatic aging and identify the loss of lysosomal acidity-a critical regulator of the proteolytic output of these organelles-as a novel biomarker of aging in C. elegans The increase in lysosomal pH in older worms is not a passive consequence of aging, but instead is timed with the cessation of reproduction, and correlates with the reduction in proteostasis in early adult life. Our results further implicate the steroid signaling pathway and DAF-16 in dynamically regulating lysosomal pH in the intestine of wild-type worms in response to the reproductive cycle. In the intestine of reproducing worms, DAF-16 promotes acidic lysosomes by upregulating the expression of v-ATPase genes. These findings support a model in which protein clearance in the soma is linked to reproduction in the gonad via the active regulation of lysosomal acidification. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  10. Full in vitro fertilization laboratory mechanization: toward robotic assisted reproduction?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meseguer, Marcos; Krühne, Ulrich; Laursen, Steen

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To describe the current efforts made to standardize different steps of assisted reproductive technology processes by the introduction of new technologies for the nonsubjective sperm selection process, oocyte denudation by mechanical removal of cumulus cells, oocyte positioning, sperm...... of embryo manipulation; 5) time-lapse, proteomic, and metabolic scoring of the developing embryo, allowing multiple and optimized selection of the embryos. The technologies described in this review have not yet reported reliable clinical proofs. Conclusion(s): We already have available some...

  11. Kisspeptin and energy balance in reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bond, Julie-Ann P; Smith, Jeremy T

    2014-03-01

    Kisspeptin is vital for the neuroendocrine regulation of GNRH secretion. Kisspeptin neurons are now recognized as a central pathway responsible for conveying key homeostatic information to GNRH neurons. This pathway is likely to mediate the well-established link between energy balance and reproductive function. Thus, in states of severely altered energy balance (either negative or positive), fertility is compromised, as is Kiss1 expression in the arcuate nucleus. A number of metabolic modulators have been proposed as regulators of kisspeptin neurons including leptin, ghrelin, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Whether these regulate kisspeptin neurons directly or indirectly will be discussed. Moreover, whether the stimulatory role of leptin on reproduction is mediated by kisspeptin directly will be questioned. Furthermore, in addition to being expressed in GNRH neurons, the kisspeptin receptor (Kiss1r) is also expressed in other areas of the brain, as well as in the periphery, suggesting alternative roles for kisspeptin signaling outside of reproduction. Interestingly, kisspeptin neurons are anatomically linked to, and can directly excite, anorexigenic POMC neurons and indirectly inhibit orexigenic NPY neurons. Thus, kisspeptin may have a direct role in regulating energy balance. Although data from Kiss1r knockout and WT mice found no differences in body weight, recent data indicate that kisspeptin may still play a role in food intake and glucose homeostasis. Thus, in addition to regulating reproduction, and mediating the effect of energy balance on reproductive function, kisspeptin signaling may also be a direct regulator of metabolism.

  12. Androgens and the male reproductive tract: an overview of classical roles and current perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrão, Marilia T C C; Silva, Erick J R; Avellar, Maria Christina W

    2009-11-01

    Androgens are steroid hormones that play key roles in the development and maintenance of male phenotype and reproductive function. These hormones also affect the function of several non-reproductive organs, such as bone and skeletal muscle. Endogenous androgens exert most of their effects by genomic mechanisms, which involve hormone binding to the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-activated transcription factor, resulting in the modulation of gene expression. AR-induced non-genomic mechanisms have also been reported. A large number of steroidal and non-steroidal AR-ligands have been developed for therapeutic use, including the treatment of male hypogonadism (AR agonists) and prostate diseases (AR antagonists), among other pathological conditions. Here, the AR gene and protein structure, mechanism of action and AR gene homologous regulation were reviewed. The AR expression pattern, its in vivo regulation and physiological relevance in the developing and adult testis and epididymis, which are sites of sperm production and maturation, respectively, were also presented.

  13. Metabolic fuel and clinical implications for female reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mircea, Carmen N; Lujan, Marla E; Pierson, Roger A

    2007-11-01

    Reproduction is a physiologically costly process that consumes significant amounts of energy. The physiological mechanisms controlling energy balance are closely linked to fertility. This close relationship ensures that pregnancy and lactation occur only in favourable conditions with respect to energy. The primary metabolic cue that modulates reproduction is the availability of oxidizable fuel. An organism's metabolic status is transmitted to the brain through metabolic fuel detectors. There are many of these detectors at both the peripheral (e.g., leptin, insulin, ghrelin) and central (e.g., neuropeptide Y, melanocortin, orexins) levels. When oxidizable fuel is scarce, the detectors function to inhibit the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone, thereby altering steroidogenesis, reproductive cyclicity, and sexual behaviour. Infertility can also result when resources are abundant but food intake fails to compensate for increased energy demands. Examples of these conditions in women include anorexia nervosa and exercise-induced amenorrhea. Infertility associated with obesity appears to be less related to an effect of oxidizable fuel on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Impaired insulin sensitivity may play a role in the etiology of these conditions, but their specific etiology remains unresolved. Research into the metabolic regulation of reproductive function has implications for elucidating mechanisms of impaired pubertal development, nutritional amenorrhea, and obesity-related infertility. A better understanding of these etiologies has far-reaching implications for the prevention and management of reproductive dysfunction and its associated comorbidities.

  14. Role of leptin in female reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Pérez, Antonio; Sánchez-Jiménez, Flora; Maymó, Julieta; Dueñas, José L; Varone, Cecilia; Sánchez-Margalet, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive function is dependent on energy resources. The role of weight, body composition, fat distribution and the effect of diet have been largely investigated in experimental female animals as well as in women. Any alteration in diet and/or weight may induce abnormalities in timing of sexual maturation and fertility. However, the cellular mechanisms involved in the fine coordination of energy balance and reproduction are largely unknown. The brain and hypothalamic structures receive endocrine and/or metabolic signals providing information on the nutritional status and the degree of fat stores. Adipose tissue acts both as a store of energy and as an active endocrine organ, secreting a large number of biologically important molecules termed adipokines. Adipokines have been shown to be involved in regulation of the reproductive functions. The first adipokine described was leptin. Extensive research over the last 10 years has shown that leptin is not only an adipose tissue-derived messenger of the amount of energy stores to the brain, but also a crucial hormone/cytokine for a number of diverse physiological processes, such as inflammation, angiogenesis, hematopoiesis, immune function, and most importantly, reproduction. Leptin plays an integral role in the normal physiology of the reproductive system with complex interactions at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis. In addition, leptin is also produced by placenta, where it plays an important autocrine function. Observational studies have demonstrated that states of leptin excess, deficiency, or resistance can be associated with abnormal reproductive function. This review focuses on the leptin action in female reproduction.

  15. Comparative reproduction mechanisms of three species of Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Oziegbe

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ocimum species have a combination of reproductive system which varies with the locality and cultivar. We have studied here the reproductive mechanisms of five variants of three Ocimum species in Nigeria, namely: Ocimum canum Sims., O. basilicum L., and O. americanum L. Flowers from each variant were subjected to open and bagged pollination treatments of hand self-pollination, spontaneous self-pollination and emasculation. All open treatments of the five Ocimum variants produced more fruit and seed than the corresponding bagged treatments. The two O. canum variants and O. basilicum ‘b1’ produced high fruit and seed set in the open and bagged treatments of spontaneous self-pollination. Ocimum basilicum ‘b2’ and O. americanum produced higher fruit and seed set in the self-pollination open treatment but significantly lower fruit and seed set in the bagged treatment. Fewer fruit and seeds were produced in the emasculated open treatments but none in the emasculated bagged treatments of the five Ocimum variants. The floral foragers comprising of bees, wasps and butterflies visited the Ocimum species to collect pollen or nectar in the open treatments. The two O. canum variants and O. basilicum ‘b1’ variant reproduced mainly through autogamy but O. basilicum ‘b2’ and O. americanum showed mixed reproduction of autogamy and outcrosssing. Insect visitation to the flowers enhanced pollination resulting in higher fruit and seed set in all the Ocimum species studied.

  16. Kisspeptin Antagonists Reveal Kisspeptin 1 and Kisspeptin 2 Differential Regulation of Reproduction in the Teleost, Morone saxatilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmora, Nilli; Stubblefield, John David; Wong, Ten-Tsao; Levavi-Sivan, Berta; Millar, Robert Peter; Zohar, Yonathan

    2015-09-01

    The importance of kisspeptin in regulating vertebrate reproduction has been well established, but the exact mechanism continues to unfold. Unlike mammals, many lower vertebrates possess a dual kisspeptin system, Kiss1 and Kiss2. To decipher the roles of the kisspeptins in fish, we identified two potential kisspeptin antagonists, pep 234 and pep 359, by screening analogs for their ability to inactivate striped bass Kiss1 and Kiss2 receptors expressed in COS7 cells. Pep 234 (a mammalian KISS1 antagonist) antagonizes Kiss1r signaling activated by Kiss1 and Kiss2, and pep 359 (a novel analog) antagonizes Kiss2 activation of both receptors. In vitro studies using brain slices demonstrated that only Kiss2 can upregulate the expression of the hypophysiotropic gnrh1, which was subsequently diminished by pep 234 and pep 359. In primary pituitary cell cultures, the two antagonists revealed a complex network of putative endogenous and exogenous regulation by kisspeptin. While both kisspeptins stimulate Fsh expression and secretion, Kiss2 predominately induces Lh secretion. Pep 234 and 359 treatment of spawning males hindered sperm production. This effect was accompanied with decreased brain gnrh1 and gnrh2 mRNA levels and peptide content in the pituitary, and increased levels of pituitary Lh, probably due to attenuation of Lh release. Strikingly, the mRNA levels of arginine-vasotocin, the neurons of which in the preoptic area coexpress kiss2r, were dramatically reduced by the antagonists. Our results demonstrate differential actions of Kiss1 and Kiss2 systems along the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and interactions with other neuropeptides, and further reinforce the importance of kisspeptin in the execution of spawning. © 2015 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  17. TGF-beta Sma/Mab signaling mutations uncouple reproductive aging from somatic aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shijing Luo

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Female reproductive cessation is one of the earliest age-related declines humans experience, occurring in mid-adulthood. Similarly, Caenorhabditis elegans' reproductive span is short relative to its total life span, with reproduction ceasing about a third into its 15-20 day adulthood. All of the known mutations and treatments that extend C. elegans' reproductive period also regulate longevity, suggesting that reproductive span is normally linked to life span. C. elegans has two canonical TGF-beta signaling pathways. We recently found that the TGF-beta Dauer pathway regulates longevity through the Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling (IIS pathway; here we show that this pathway has a moderate effect on reproductive span. By contrast, TGF-beta Sma/Mab signaling mutants exhibit a substantially extended reproductive period, more than doubling reproductive span in some cases. Sma/Mab mutations extend reproductive span disproportionately to life span and act independently of known regulators of somatic aging, such as Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling and Dietary Restriction. This is the first discovery of a pathway that regulates reproductive span independently of longevity and the first identification of the TGF-beta Sma/Mab pathway as a regulator of reproductive aging. Our results suggest that longevity and reproductive span regulation can be uncoupled, although they appear to normally be linked through regulatory pathways.

  18. 32 CFR 2700.43 - Reproduction controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 6 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Reproduction controls. 2700.43 Section 2700.43... SECURITY INFORMATION REGULATIONS Safeguarding § 2700.43 Reproduction controls. OMSN and SLNO shall maintain records to show the number and distribution of all OMSN originated classified documents. Reproduction of...

  19. Regulation of mRNA Translation Is a Novel Mechanism for Phthalate Toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Ling

    Full Text Available Phthalates are a group of plasticizers that are widely used in many consumer products and medical devices, thus generating a huge burden to human health. Phthalates have been known to cause a number of developmental and reproductive disorders functioning as endocrine modulators. They are also involved in carcinogenesis with mechanisms less understood. To further understand the molecular mechanisms of phthalate toxicity, in this study we reported a new effect of phthalates on mRNA translation/protein synthesis, a key regulatory step of gene expression. Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP was found to directly inhibit mRNA translation in vitro but showed a complicated pattern of affecting mRNA translation in cells. In human kidney embryonic cell (HEK-293T, BBP increased cap-dependent mRNA translation at lower concentrations but showed inhibitory effect at higher concentrations. Cap-independent translation was not affected. On the other hand, mono (2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP as a major metabolite of another important phthalate di (2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP inhibited both can-dependent and -independent mRNA translation in vivo. In contrast, BBP and MEHP exhibited an overall promoting effect on mRNA translation in cancer cells. Mechanistic studies identified that the level and phosphorylation of eIF4E-BP (eIF4E binding protein and the amount of eIF4GI in eIF4F complex were altered in accordance with the effect of BBP on translation. BBP was also identified to directly bind to eIF4E, providing a further mechanism underlying the regulation of mRNA by phthalate. At the cellular level BBP inhibited normal cell growth but slightly promoted cancer cells (HT29 growth. Overall, this study provides the first evidence that phthalates can directly regulate mRNA translation as a novel mechanism to mediate their biological toxicities.

  20. Reproductive toxicity: Male and female reproductive systems as targets for chemical injury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattison, D.R.; Plowchalk, D.R.; Meadows, M.J.; Al-Juburi, A.Z.; Gandy, J.; Malek, A. (Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock (USA))

    1990-03-01

    On the basis of current knowledge of reproductive biology and toxicology, it is apparent that chemicals affecting reproduction may elicit their effects at a number of sites in both the male and the female reproductive system. This multiplicity of targets is attributable to the dynamic nature of the reproductive system, in which the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is controlled by precise positive and negative feedback mechanisms among its components. Interference by a xenobiotic at any level in either the male or the female reproductive system may ultimately impair hypothalamic or pituitary function. Normal gonadal processes such as spermatogenesis or oogenesis, ejaculation or ovulation, hormone production by Leydig or granulosa cells, and the structure or function of the accessory reproductive structures (e.g., epididymis, fallopian tube) also appear vulnerable to xenobiotics. The reproductive system is a complex one that requires local and circulating hormones for control. This brief review illustrates a system for characterizing the mechanism of action of reproductive toxicants, as well as for defining the sites available for disruption of reproduction. Unfortunately, at present, data addressing the actual vulnerability of reproduction are sorely lacking. However, when experiments have been conducted and combined with epidemiologic data or clinical observation, it has been possible to demonstrate impairment of reproductive processes by xenobiotics. The role of environmental exposure to xenobiotics in the increase in infertility that has been observed remains to be defined. 87 references.

  1. Regulation of the activins-follistatins-inhibins axis by energy status: Impact on reproductive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perakakis, Nikolaos; Upadhyay, Jagriti; Ghaly, Wael; Chen, Joyce; Chrysafi, Pavlina; Anastasilakis, Athanasios D; Mantzoros, Christos S

    2018-05-09

    We have previously demonstrated that the adipose tissue derived hormone leptin controls reproductive function by regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in response to energy deficiency. Here, we evaluate the activins-follistatins-inhibins (AFI) axis during acute (short-term fasting in healthy people) and chronic energy deficiency (women with hypothalamic amenorrhea due to strenuous exercise [HA]) and investigate their relation to leptin and reproductive function in healthy subjects and subjects with HA. The AFI axis was investigated in: a) A double-blinded study in healthy subjects having three randomly assigned admissions, each time for four days: in the isocaloric fed state, complete fasting with placebo treatment, complete fasting with leptin replacement, b) A case-control study comparing women with HA vs healthy controls, c) An open-label interventional study investigating leptin treatment in women with HA over a period of up to three months, d) A randomized interventional trial investigating leptin treatment vs placebo in women with HA for nine months. The circulating levels of activin A, activin B, follistatin and follistatin-like 3 change robustly in response to acute and chronic energy deficiency. Leptin replacement in acute energy deprivation does not affect the levels of these hormones suggesting an independent regulation by these two hormonal pathways. In chronic energy deficiency, leptin replacement restores only activin B levels, which are in turn associated with an increase in the number of dominant follicles. We demonstrate for the first time that the AFI axis is affected both by acute and chronic energy deficiency. Partial restoration of a component of the axis, i.e. activin B only, through leptin replacement is associated with improved reproductive function in women with HA. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Heather B.

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an evolutionarily conserved master system deeply involved in the central and local control of reproductive functions in both sexes. The tone of these lipid mediators—deeply modulated by the activity of biosynthetic and hydrolyzing machineries—regulates reproductive functions from gonadotropin discharge and steroid biosynthesis to the formation of high quality gametes and successful pregnancy. This review provides an overview on ECS and reproduction and focuses on the insights in the regulation of endocannabinoid production by steroids, in the regulation of male reproductive activity, and in placentation and parturition. Taken all together, evidences emerge that the activity of the ECS is crucial for procreation and may represent a target for the therapeutic exploitation of infertility. PMID:24550985

  3. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaria Meccariello

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS is an evolutionarily conserved master system deeply involved in the central and local control of reproductive functions in both sexes. The tone of these lipid mediators—deeply modulated by the activity of biosynthetic and hydrolyzing machineries—regulates reproductive functions from gonadotropin discharge and steroid biosynthesis to the formation of high quality gametes and successful pregnancy. This review provides an overview on ECS and reproduction and focuses on the insights in the regulation of endocannabinoid production by steroids, in the regulation of male reproductive activity, and in placentation and parturition. Taken all together, evidences emerge that the activity of the ECS is crucial for procreation and may represent a target for the therapeutic exploitation of infertility.

  4. Periodic regulation of expression of genes for kisspeptin, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone and their receptors in the grass puffer: Implications in seasonal, daily and lunar rhythms of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Hironori; Shahjahan, Md; Kitahashi, Takashi

    2018-04-03

    The seasonal, daily and lunar control of reproduction involves photoperiodic, circadian and lunar changes in the activity of kisspeptin, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. These changes are brought through complex networks of light-, time- and non-photic signal-dependent control mechanisms, which are mostly unknown at present. The grass puffer, Takifugu alboplumbeus, a semilunar spawner, provides a unique and excellent animal model to assess this question because its spawning is synchronized with seasonal, daily and lunar cycles. In the diencephalon, the genes for kisspeptin, GnIH and their receptors showed similar expression patterns with clear seasonal and daily oscillations, suggesting that they are regulated by common mechanisms involving melatonin, circadian clock and water temperature. For implications in semilunar-synchronized spawning rhythm, melatonin receptor genes showed ultradian oscillations in expression with the period of 14.0-15.4 h in the pineal gland. This unique ultradian rhythm might be driven by circatidal clock. The possible circatidal clock and circadian clock in the pineal gland may cooperate to drive circasemilunar rhythm to regulate the expression of the kisspeptin, GnIH and their receptor genes. On the other hand, high temperature (over 28 °C) conditions, under which the expression of the kisspeptin and its receptor genes is markedly suppressed, may provide an environmental signal that terminates reproduction at the end of breeding period. Taken together, the periodic regulation of the kisspeptin, GnIH and their receptor genes by melatonin, circadian clock and water temperature may be important in the precisely-timed spawning of the grass puffer. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons by glucose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roland, Alison V.; Moenter, Suzanne M.

    2011-01-01

    Reproduction is influenced by energy balance, but the physiological pathways mediating their relationship have not been fully elucidated. As the central regulators of fertility, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons integrate numerous physiological signals, including metabolic cues. Circulating glucose levels regulate GnRH release and may in part mediate the effects of negative energy balance on fertility. Existing evidence suggests that neural pathways originating in the hindbrain, as well as in the hypothalamic feeding nuclei, transmit information concerning glucose availability to GnRH neurons. Here we review recent evidence suggesting that GnRH neurons may directly sense changes in glucose availability by a mechanism involving adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). These findings expand our understanding of how metabolic signaling in the brain regulates reproduction. PMID:21855365

  6. The role of leptin in nutritional status and reproductive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisler, D H; Daniel, J A; Morrison, C D

    1999-01-01

    Infertility associated with suboptimal nutrition is a major concern among livestock producers. Undernourished prepubertal animals will not enter puberty until they are well fed; similarly, adult, normally cyclic females will stop cycling when faced with extreme undernutrition. Work in our laboratory has focused on how body fat (or adiposity) of an animal can communicate to the brain and regulate reproductive competence. In 1994, the discovery in rodents of the obese (ob) gene product leptin, secreted as a hormone from adipocytes, provided a unique opportunity to understand and hence regulate whole body compositional changes. There is now evidence that similar mechanisms are functioning in livestock species in which food intake, body composition, and reproductive performance are of considerable economic importance. Leptin has been reported to be a potent regulator of food intake and reproduction in rodents. There is evidence indicating that at least some of the effects of leptin occur through receptor-mediated regulation of the hypothalamic protein neuropeptide Y (NPY). NPY is a potent stimulator of food intake, is present at high concentrations in feed-restricted cattle and ewes, and is an inhibitor of LH secretion in these livestock species. In our investigations in sheep, we have cloned a partial cDNA corresponding to the ovine long-form leptin receptor, presumably the only fully active form, and have localized the long-form leptin receptor in the ventromedial and arcuate nuclei of the hypothalamus. Leptin receptor mRNA expression was colocalized with NPY mRNA-containing cell bodies in those regions. We have also determined that hypothalamic leptin receptor expression is greater in feed-restricted ewes than in well-fed ewes. These observations provide a foundation for future investigations into the nutritional modulators of reproduction in livestock.

  7. Leptin and Reproduction: Past Milestones, Present Undertakings and Future Endeavors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chehab, Farid F.

    2014-01-01

    The association between leptin and reproduction originated with the leptin-mediated correction of sterility in ob/ob mice and initiation of reproductive function in normal female mice. The uncovering of a central leptin pathway regulating food intake prompted the dissection of neuroendocrine mechanisms involving leptin in the metabolic control of reproduction. The absence of leptin receptors on GnRH neurons incited a search for intermediary neurons situated between leptin responsive and GnRH neurons. This review addresses the most significant findings that have furthered our understanding of recent progress in this new field. The role of leptin in puberty was impacted by the discovery of neurons that co-express kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin and that could act as leptin intermediates. Furthermore, the identification of first-order leptin-responsive neurons in the premammilary ventral nucleus and other brain regions opens new avenues to explore their relationship to GnRH neurons. Central to these advances is the unveiling that AgRP/NPY neurons project onto GnRH and kisspeptin neurons, allowing a crosstalk between food intake and reproduction. Finally, whereas puberty is a state of leptin sensitivity, mid-gestation represents a state of leptin resistance aimed at building energy stores to sustain pregnancy and lactation. Mechanisms underlying leptin resistance in pregnancy have lagged, however the establishment of this natural state is significant. Reproduction and energy balance are tightly controlled and backed up by redundant mechanisms that are critical for the survival of our species. It will be the goal of the next decade to shed new light on these complex and essential pathways. PMID:25118207

  8. The regulation of cellular apoptosis by the ROS-triggered PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway plays a vital role in bisphenol A-induced male reproductive toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yin, Li [Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038 (China); Dai, Yanlin [Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038 (China); Medical Laboratory Technology Department, Chuxiong Medical College, Yunnan 675005 (China); Cui, Zhihong; Jiang, Xiao; Liu, Wenbin; Han, Fei; Lin, Ao; Cao, Jia [Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038 (China); Liu, Jinyi, E-mail: jinyiliutmmu@163.com [Institute of Toxicology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038 (China)

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane, BPA) is ubiquitous in the environment, wildlife, and humans. Evidence from past studies suggests that BPA is associated with decreased semen quality. However, the molecular basis for the adverse effect of BPA on male reproductive toxicity remains unclear. We evaluated the effect of BPA on mouse spermatocytes GC-2 cells and adult mice, and we explored the potential mechanism of its action. The results showed that BPA inhibited cell proliferation and increased the apoptosis rate. The testes from BPA-treated mice showed fewer spermatogenic cells and sperm in the seminiferous tubules. In addition, BPA caused reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Previous study has verified that mitochondrion was the organelle affected by the BPA-triggered ROS accumulation. We found that BPA induced damage to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in addition to mitochondria, and most ER stress-related proteins were activated in cellular and animal models. Knocking down of the PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway, one of the ER stress pathways, partially recovered the BPA-induced cell apoptosis. In addition, an ROS scavenger attenuated the expression of the PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway-related proteins. Taken together, these data suggested that the ROS regulated PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway played a vital role in BPA-induced male reproductive toxicity. - Highlights: • BPA exposure caused the damage of the endoplasmic reticulum. • BPA exposure activated ER stress related proteins in male reproductive system. • ROS regulated PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway played a vital role in BPA-induced toxicity.

  9. Brain serotonin, psychoactive drugs, and effects on reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayala, María Elena

    2009-12-01

    Serotonin, a biogenic amine, is present in significant amounts in many structures of the CNS. It is involved in regulation of a wide variety of physiological functions, such as sensory and motor functions, memory, mood, and secretion of hormones including reproductive hormones. It has also been implicated in the etiology of a range of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, along with other conditions such as obesity and migraine. While some drugs that affect serotonin, such as fenfluramine and fluoxetine, have been successfully used in treatment of a range of psychiatric diseases, others, such as the amphetamine analogues MDMA and METH, are potent psychostimulant drugs of abuse. Alterations in serotonergic neurons caused by many of these drugs are well characterized; however, little is known about the reproductive consequences of such alterations. This review evaluates the effects of drugs such as MDMA, pCA, fenfluramine, and fluoxetine on serotonergic transmission in the brain, examines the relationships of these drug effects with the neuroendocrine mechanisms modulating reproductive events such as gonadotropin secretion, ovulation, spermatogenesis, and sexual behavior in animal models, and discusses possible reproductive implications of these drugs in humans.

  10. Serotonin Regulates the Feeding and Reproductive Behaviors of Pratylenchus penetrans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Ziduan; Boas, Stephanie; Schroeder, Nathan E

    2017-07-01

    The success of all plant-parasitic nematodes is dependent on the completion of several complex behaviors. The lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans is an economically important parasite of a diverse range of plant hosts. Unlike the cyst and root-knot nematodes, P. penetrans moves both within and outside of the host roots and can feed from both locations. Adult females of P. penetrans require insemination by actively moving males for reproduction and can lay eggs both within and outside of the host roots. We do not have a complete understanding of the molecular basis for these behaviors. One candidate modulator of these behaviors is the neurotransmitter serotonin. Previous research demonstrated an effect of exogenously applied serotonin on the feeding and male mating behaviors of cyst and root-knot nematodes. However, there are no data on the role of exogenous serotonin on lesion nematodes. Similarly, there are no data on the presence and function of endogenous serotonin in any plant-parasitic nematode. Here, we establish that exogenous serotonin applied to P. penetrans regulates both feeding and sex-specific behaviors. Furthermore, using immunohistochemistry and pharmacological assays, our data suggest that P. penetrans utilizes endogenous serotonin to regulate both feeding and sex-specific behaviors.

  11. Intermittent fasting dietary restriction regimen negatively influences reproduction in young rats: a study of hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal axis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushil Kumar

    Full Text Available Nutritional infertility is very common in societies where women fail to eat enough to match their energy expenditure and such females often present as clinical cases of anorexia nervosa. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that link energy balance and central regulation of reproduction are still not well understood. Peripheral hormones such as estradiol, testosterone and leptin, as well as neuropeptides like kisspeptin and neuropeptides Y (NPY play a potential role in regulation of reproduction and energy balance with their primary target converging on the hypothalamic median eminence-arcuate region. The present study was aimed to explore the effects of negative energy state resulting from intermittent fasting dietary restriction (IF-DR regimen on complete hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal axis in Wistar strain young female and male rats. Significant changes in body weight, blood glucose, estrous cyclicity and serum estradiol, testosterone and LH level indicated the negative role of IF-DR regimen on reproduction in these young animals. Further, it was elucidated whether serum level of metabolic hormone, leptin plays a mechanistic role in suppressing hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal (HPG axis via energy regulators, kisspeptin and NPY in rats on IF-DR regimen. We also studied the effect of IF-DR regimen on structural remodeling of GnRH axon terminals in median eminence region of hypothalamus along with the glial cell marker, GFAP and neuronal plasticity marker, PSA-NCAM using immunostaining, Western blotting and RT-PCR. Together these data suggest that IF-DR regimen negatively influences reproduction in young animals due to its adverse effects on complete hypothalamus-hypophysial-gonadal axis and may explain underlying mechanism(s to understand the clinical basis of nutritional infertility.

  12. Intermittent fasting dietary restriction regimen negatively influences reproduction in young rats: a study of hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sushil; Kaur, Gurcharan

    2013-01-01

    Nutritional infertility is very common in societies where women fail to eat enough to match their energy expenditure and such females often present as clinical cases of anorexia nervosa. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that link energy balance and central regulation of reproduction are still not well understood. Peripheral hormones such as estradiol, testosterone and leptin, as well as neuropeptides like kisspeptin and neuropeptides Y (NPY) play a potential role in regulation of reproduction and energy balance with their primary target converging on the hypothalamic median eminence-arcuate region. The present study was aimed to explore the effects of negative energy state resulting from intermittent fasting dietary restriction (IF-DR) regimen on complete hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal axis in Wistar strain young female and male rats. Significant changes in body weight, blood glucose, estrous cyclicity and serum estradiol, testosterone and LH level indicated the negative role of IF-DR regimen on reproduction in these young animals. Further, it was elucidated whether serum level of metabolic hormone, leptin plays a mechanistic role in suppressing hypothalamo-hypophysial-gonadal (HPG) axis via energy regulators, kisspeptin and NPY in rats on IF-DR regimen. We also studied the effect of IF-DR regimen on structural remodeling of GnRH axon terminals in median eminence region of hypothalamus along with the glial cell marker, GFAP and neuronal plasticity marker, PSA-NCAM using immunostaining, Western blotting and RT-PCR. Together these data suggest that IF-DR regimen negatively influences reproduction in young animals due to its adverse effects on complete hypothalamus-hypophysial-gonadal axis and may explain underlying mechanism(s) to understand the clinical basis of nutritional infertility.

  13. Cell Size Influences the Reproductive Potential and Total Lifespan of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yeast as Revealed by the Analysis of Polyploid Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Zadrag-Tecza

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The total lifespan of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae may be divided into two phases: the reproductive phase, during which the cell undergoes mitosis cycles to produce successive buds, and the postreproductive phase, which extends from the last division to cell death. These phases may be regulated by a common mechanism or by distinct ones. In this paper, we proposed a more comprehensive approach to reveal the mechanisms that regulate both reproductive potential and total lifespan in cell size context. Our study was based on yeast cells, whose size was determined by increased genome copy number, ranging from haploid to tetraploid. Such experiments enabled us to test the hypertrophy hypothesis, which postulates that excessive size achieved by the cell—the hypertrophy state—is the reason preventing the cell from further proliferation. This hypothesis defines the reproductive potential value as the difference between the maximal size that a cell can reach and the threshold value, which allows a cell to undergo its first cell cycle and the rate of the cell size to increase per generation. Here, we showed that cell size has an important impact on not only the reproductive potential but also the total lifespan of this cell. Moreover, the maximal cell size value, which limits its reproduction capacity, can be regulated by different factors and differs depending on the strain ploidy. The achievement of excessive size by the cell (hypertrophic state may lead to two distinct phenomena: the cessation of reproduction without “mother” cell death and the cessation of reproduction with cell death by bursting, which has not been shown before.

  14. Evidence of reproductive disruption associated with neuroendocrine changes induced by UV–B filters, phtalates and nonylphenol during sexual maturation in rats of both gender

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponzo, Osvaldo J.; Silvia, Carbone

    2013-01-01

    Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are exogenous substances or xenoestrogens natural or synthetic, capable of interacting with different systems and altering their normal hormonal regulation, being the reproductive system one of the most affected. EDs produce their effects not only by acting on nuclear steroid receptors, but also on membrane receptors, steroidal and non-steroidal synthetic enzymatic pathways and/or metabolism. The incorporation to the body depend on each EDs, which are liposoluble and easily deposited in the tissue; thus ensuring a prolonged accumulation and release, even when the exposure is not continuous. In addition to cross the placenta, EDs may act in the offspring during the reproductive system formation and maturation key stages and its regulatory mechanisms. The effects of EDs can be multiple, but most acts mediating estrogenic and/or antiandrogenic effect. Three groups of EDs are widely used: in plastics (phtalates), sunscreens (cinnamate and methylbenzylcamphor), and detergents (nonylphenol). In this paper we review the effects of the exposure to these environmental chemicals on the reproductive system and the possible mechanisms by which they occur, focusing in the hypothalamic–pituitary neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate the reproductive system

  15. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals-Mechanisms of action on male reproductive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorkiewicz, Iwona; Zaręba, Kamil; Wołczyński, Sławomir; Czerniecki, Jan

    2017-07-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous compounds that can cause disturbances in the endocrine system and have multiple harmful effects on health by targeting different organs and systems in the human body. Mass industrial production and widespread use of EDCs have resulted in worldwide contamination. Accumulating evidence suggest that human exposure to EDCs is related to the impairment of male reproductive function and can interrupt other hormonally regulated metabolic processes, particularly if exposure occurs during early development. Investigation of studies absent in previous reviews and meta-analysis of adverse effects of EDCs on functioning of the male reproductive system is the core of this work. Four main modes of action of EDCs on male fertility have been summarized in this review. First, studies describing estrogen- pathway disturbing chemicals are investigated. Second, androgen-signaling pathway alterations and influence on androgen sensitive tissues are examined. Third, evaluation of steroidogenesis dysfunction is discussed by focusing on the steroid hormone biosynthesis pathway, which is targeted by EDCs. Last, the reportedly destructive role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on sperm function is discussed. Spermatogenesis is a remarkably complex process, hence multiple studies point out various dysfunctions depending on the development state at which the exposure occurred. Collected data show the need to account for critical windows of exposure such as fetal, perinatal and pubertal periods as well as effects of mixtures of several compounds in future research.

  16. [Phenotypic plasticity and its regulation of tillers prolonged reproductive growth of Puccinellia tenuiflora population on alkalized meadow in Songnen Plains of China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ju; Yang, Yun-Fei

    2007-04-01

    Puccinellia tenuiflora is a salt-tolerant plant of grass family. By the method of random sampling, big samples of reproductive tillers of P. tenuiflora population on the alkalized meadow in the Songnen Plains of China were collected at early heading, heading, flowering, and milky stages, respectively, and the plasticity of their quantitative characters was analyzed. The results showed that except some fluctuations at flowering stage, the tiller height, tiller biomass, spike length and spike biomass of the reproductive tillers at other three growth stages increased significantly every five days with the increasing time of reproductive growth. At each growth stage, tiller height had a significant positive correlation with spike biomass, but a negative correlation with reproductive allocation. With the time of reproductive growth prolonged, the increasing rate of spike biomass at early heading, flowering and milky stages increased in power function with the increase of tiller height. The reproductive allocation decreased linearly by 43.2% and 44.31% at early heading and heading stages, respectively when the reproductive growth time increased ten days, and by 130% at milky stage when the time increased five days. The regulation of the tiller phenotypic plasticity of P. tenuiflora population at its reproductive growth stage followed definite patterns.

  17. [Explore microcosmic connection between autophagy mechanism and follicular development based on "kidney governing reproduction" theory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Jun; Wu, Ke-Ming; Gao, Ran-Ran

    2018-03-01

    In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) that "kidney storing essence and governing reproduction", reproductive essence is an important part of the kidney essence and acts as the original material of offspring embryos. Sperm, oocyte and zygote should be all included in the range of reproductive essence. Ovum is the essence of reproduction from inborn. The follicles maturation depends on the quality of oocyte and the vigor of kidney essence. Meanwhile, discharge of mature ovum relies on the stimulation and promotion by kidney Qi. Autophagy almost exists in different cells stages and all various of mammalian cells. Many studies have found that autophagy not only participates in the formation of follicles, but also in every phase of the follicles development, and is involved in the occurrence and development of ovarian diseases. Recently, more and more scholars believe that autophagy is a new field to explore the microcosmic relationship between autophagy and TCM. Kidney-nourishing TCM could promote follicular growth and improve variety clinical symptoms by inhibiting the apoptosis of ovarian granulosa cells and reducing follicular atresia. Meanwhile, apoptosis of ovarian granulosa cells is closely related to autophagy of ovarian granulosa cells. In order to provide some theoretical foundation for kidney-nourishing therapy's promoting effect on follicular growth and improving effect on ovarian function, also to further explore the molecular mechanism of kidney-nourishing medicine in promoting follicular development, this paper would explain the microcosmic relationship between autophagy and follicular development based on the theory of "kidney governing reproduction". All of these would be of great significance to prevent and intervene the diseases of reproductive system timely and effectively. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  18. The current state of research in the field of reproductive behavior of spouses’ regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria M. Danina

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The article provides an overview of the socio-demographic, socio-economic and psychological approaches to the study of reproductive behavior of spouses carried out over the last 30 years. Two categories of concepts that explain the determination of decisions on childbearing are regarded: rational-pragmatic and hedonistic. The trends in the development of this field of knowledge are as follows: 1 overcoming economical-oriented logic in explaining the factors and determinants of the decision making process; 2 individual psychological factors study in addition to the traditional socio-psychological analysis of the determination of childbirth; 3 the transition from studying the context of decisions about childbirth to the analysis of their role and place in the context of the person biography. The analysis of the concepts and empirical studies helps not only to reveal a massive shift of professional interest from economic and demographic factors to psychological ones, but also to have a better understanding of socio-cultural and psychological and value determined roots of that shift. Nowadays, in contrast to biological patterns and established traditions, a personal or family decision about bearing a child is becoming more and more conscious. Particular attention is paid to the concept of mental regulation of reproductive behavior that is developed at the intersection of psychology of reproductive behavior, psychology of parenthood and individual psychology. The supportive argument is that new objects of study are considered, such as voluntarily childless families, parents at risk, same-sex families.

  19. 48 CFR 2452.208-71 - Reproduction of reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 true Reproduction of reports... 2452.208-71 Reproduction of reports. As prescribed in 2437.110(b), insert the following clause in... other written materials. Reproduction of Reports (APR 1984) In accordance with Title I of the Government...

  20. Avian reproductive physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, G.F.; Gibbons, Edward F.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Demarest, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Knowledge of the many physiological factors associated with egg production , fertility, incubation, and brooding in nondomestic birds is limited. Science knows even less about reproduction in most of the 238 endangered or threatened birds. This discussion uses studies of nondomestic and, when necessary, domestic birds to describe physiological control of reproduction. Studies of the few nondomestic avian species show large variation in physiological control of reproduction. Aviculturists, in order to successfully propagate an endangered bird, must understand the bird's reproductive peculiarities. First, investigators can do studies with carefully chosen surrogate species, but eventually they need to confirm the results in the target endangered bird. Studies of reproduction in nondomestic birds increased in the last decade. Still, scientists need to do more comparative studies to understand the mechanisms that control reproduction in birds. New technologies are making it possible to study reproductive physiology of nondomestic species in less limiting ways. These technologies include telemetry to collect information without inducing stress on captives (Howey et al., 1987; Klugman, 1987), new tests for most of the humoral factors associated with reproduction, and the skill to collect small samples and manipulate birds without disrupting the physiological mechanisms (Bercovitz et al., 1985). Managers are using knowledge from these studies to improve propagation in zoological parks, private and public propagation facilities, and research institutions. Researchers need to study the control of ovulation, egg formation, and oviposition in the species of nondomestic birds that lay very few eggs in a season, hold eggs in the oviduct for longer intervals, or differ in other ways from the more thoroughly studied domestic birds. Other techniques that would enhance propagation for nondomestlc birds include tissue culture of cloned embryonic cells, cryopreservation of embryos

  1. Adverse Effect of Antifouling Compounds on the Reproductive Mechanisms of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Gallo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na+ currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed.

  2. Adverse Effect of Antifouling Compounds on the Reproductive Mechanisms of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2013-01-01

    Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT) and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na+) currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i) the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii) the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed. PMID:24065165

  3. Adverse effect of antifouling compounds on the reproductive mechanisms of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2013-09-20

    Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT) and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na⁺) currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i) the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii) the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed.

  4. The regulation of science and the Charter of Rights: would a ban on non-reproductive human cloning unjustifiably violate freedom of expression?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingsley, Barbara; Caulfield, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    Non-Reproductive Human Cloning (NRHC) allows researchers to develop and clone cells, including non-reproductive cells, and to research the etiology and transmission of disease. The ability to clone specific stem cells may also allow researchers to clone cells with genetic defects and analyze those cells with more precisions. Despite those potential benefits, Parliament has banned such cloning due to a myriad of social and ethical concerns. In May 2002, the Canadian Government introduced Bill C-13 on assisted human reproductive technologies. Bill C-13 deals with both the scientific and the clinical use of human reproductive materials, and it prohibits a number of other activities, including NRHC. Although the Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled on whether scientific experiments area form of expression, academic support exists for this notion. The authors go through the legal analysis that would be required to find that scientific experiments are expression, focusing in part on whether NRHC could be considered violent and thus fall outside the protection of section 2(b). The latter question is complicated by the ongoing policy debate over whether an "embryonic cell" is property of human life. The authors then consider whether a ban on NRHC could be justified under section 1 of the Charter. They conclude that both the breadth of the legislative purpose and the proportionality of the measure are problematic. Proportionality is a specific concern because the ban could be viewed as an outright denial of scientific freedom of expression. Although consistent with current jurisprudence on freedom of expression, this paper runs against the flow of government policy in the areas of regulation and prohibition of non-reproductive human cloning. As there has been no Charter litigation to date on whether scientific research is a form of expression, the authors introduce a new way of looking at the legality of the regulation of new reproductive technologies.

  5. 15 CFR 762.5 - Reproduction of original records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Reproduction of original records. 762... RECORDKEEPING § 762.5 Reproduction of original records. (a) The regulated person may maintain reproductions instead of the original records provided all of the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are met...

  6. Melatonin and male reproductive health: relevance of darkness and antioxidant properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C S; Rato, L; Martins, A D; Alves, M G; Oliveira, P F

    2015-01-01

    The pineal hormone melatonin controls several physiological functions that reach far beyond the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Moreover, it can be produced in extra-pineal organs such as reproductive organs. The role of melatonin in the mammalian seasonal and circadian rhythm is well known. Nevertheless, its overall effect in male reproductive physiology remains largely unknown. Melatonin is a very powerful endogenous antioxidant that can also be exogenously taken safely. Interestingly, its antioxidant properties have been consistently reported to improve the male reproductive dysfunctions associated with pathological conditions and also with the exposure to toxicants. Nevertheless, the exact molecular mechanisms by which melatonin exerts its action in the male reproductive system remain a matter of debate. Herein, we propose to present an up-to-date overview of the melatonin effects in the male reproductive health and debate future directions to disclose possible sites of melatonin action in male reproductive system. We will discuss not only the role of melatonin during darkness and sleep but also the importance of the antioxidant properties of this hormone to male fertility. Since melatonin readily crosses the physiological barriers, such as the blood-testis barrier, and has a very low toxicity, it appears as an excellent candidate in the prevention and/or treatment of the multiple male reproductive dysfunctions associated with various pathologies.

  7. Prolactin and Male Fertility: The Long and Short Feedback Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. Gill-Sharma

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last 20 years, a pituitary-hypothalamus tissue culture system with intact neural and portal connections has been developed in our lab and used to understand the feedback mechanisms that regulate the secretions of adenohypophyseal hormones and fertility of male rats. In the last decade, several in vivo rat models have also been developed in our lab with a view to substantiate the in vitro findings, in order to delineate the role of pituitary hormones in the regulation of fertility of male rats. These studies have relied on both surgical and pharmacological interventions to modulate the secretions of gonadotropins and testosterone. The interrelationship between the circadian release of reproductive hormones has also been ascertained in normal men. Our studies suggest that testosterone regulates the secretion of prolactin through a long feedback mechanism, which appears to have been conserved from rats to humans. These studies have filled in a major lacuna pertaining to the role of prolactin in male reproductive physiology by demonstrating the interdependence between testosterone and prolactin. Systemic levels of prolactin play a deterministic role in the mechanism of chromatin condensation during spermiogenesis.

  8. Reproduction Symposium: developmental programming of reproductive and metabolic health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmanabhan, V; Veiga-Lopez, A

    2014-08-01

    Inappropriate programming of the reproductive system by developmental exposure to excess steroid hormones is of concern. Sheep are well suited for investigating developmental origin of reproductive and metabolic disorders. The developmental time line of female sheep (approximately 5 mo gestation and approximately 7 mo to puberty) is ideal for conducting sequential studies of the progression of metabolic and/or reproductive disruption from the developmental insult to manifestation of adult consequences. Major benefits of using sheep include knowledge of established critical periods to target adult defects, a rich understanding of reproductive neuroendocrine regulation, availability of noninvasive approaches to monitor follicular dynamics, established surgical approaches to obtain hypophyseal portal blood for measurement of hypothalamic hormones, and the ability to perform studies in natural setting thereby keeping behavioral interactions intact. Of importance is the ability to chronically instrument fetus and mother for determining early endocrine perturbations. Prenatal exposure of the female to excess testosterone (T) leads to an array of adult reproductive disorders that include LH excess, functional hyperandrogenism, neuroendocrine defects, multifollicular ovarian morphology, and corpus luteum dysfunction culminating in early reproductive failure. At the neuroendocrine level, all 3 feedback systems are compromised. At the pituitary level, gonadotrope (LH secretion) sensitivity to GnRH is increased. Multifollicular ovarian morphology stems from persistence of follicles as well as enhanced follicular recruitment. These defects culminate in progressive loss of cyclicity and reduced fecundity. Prenatal T excess also leads to fetal growth retardation, an early marker of adult reproductive and metabolic diseases, insulin resistance, hypertension, and behavioral deficits. Collectively, the reproductive and metabolic deficits of prenatal T-treated sheep provide proof of

  9. Floral biology and reproductive mechanisms of the Ocimum canum Sims (Lamiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudio Lúcio Fernandes Amaral

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The Ocimum genus (Lamiaceae presents essential oils used in the pharmaceutical, perfume, cosmetics and culinary industries. The aim of this paper was to study the fl oral biology and breeding mechanisms of Ocimum canum Sims. in relation to improved plant breeding. Ocimum canum has inflorescences with white, protandrous and hermaphoditic flowers. The osmophores are located at the anthers and stigma. Anthesis occurs between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The main fl oral visitors were bees of the Apis and Augochloropsis genuses. Ocimum canum presents a breeding system with a predominance of outcrossing that possibly demonstrates the wide reproductive flexibility of this species.

  10. Female-Specific Glucose Sensitivity of GnRH1 Neurons Leads to Sexually Dimorphic Inhibition of Reproduction in Medaka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasebe, Masaharu; Kanda, Shinji; Oka, Yoshitaka

    2016-11-01

    Close interaction exists between energy-consuming reproduction and nutritional status. However, there are differences in costs and priority for reproduction among species and even between sexes, which leads to diversification of interactions between reproduction and nutritional status. Despite such diversified interactions among species and sexes, most of the analysis of the nutritional status-dependent regulation of reproduction has been limited to an endothermic vertebrate, mammalian species of either sex. Therefore, the mechanisms underlying the diversified interactions remain elusive. In the present study, we demonstrated the effects of malnutritional status on reproduction at both organismal and cellular levels in an ectothermic vertebrate, a teleost medaka of both sexes. First, we analyzed the effects of malnutrition by fasting on gonadosomatic index, number of spawned/fertilized eggs, and courtship behavior. Fasting strongly suppressed reproduction in females but, surprisingly, not in males. Next, we analyzed the effects of fasting on firing activity of hypothalamic GnRH1 neurons, which form the final common pathway for the control of reproduction. An electrophysiological analysis showed that low glucose, which is induced by fasting, directly suppresses the firing activity of GnRH1 neurons specifically in females through intracellular ATP-sensitive potassium channels and AMP-activated protein kinase pathways. Based on the fact that such suppressions occurred only in females, we conclude that nutritional status-dependent, glucose-sensing in GnRH1 neurons may contribute to the most fitted reproductive regulation for each sex.

  11. Resource allocation to reproduction in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooijman, Sebastiaan A L M; Lika, Konstadia

    2014-11-01

    The standard Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model assumes that a fraction κ of mobilised reserve is allocated to somatic maintenance plus growth, while the rest is allocated to maturity maintenance plus maturation (in embryos and juveniles) or reproduction (in adults). All DEB parameters have been estimated for 276 animal species from most large phyla and all chordate classes. The goodness of fit is generally excellent. We compared the estimated values of κ with those that would maximise reproduction in fully grown adults with abundant food. Only 13% of these species show a reproduction rate close to the maximum possible (assuming that κ can be controlled), another 4% have κ lower than the optimal value, and 83% have κ higher than the optimal value. Strong empirical support hence exists for the conclusion that reproduction is generally not maximised. We also compared the parameters of the wild chicken with those of races selected for meat and egg production and found that the latter indeed maximise reproduction in terms of κ, while surface-specific assimilation was not affected by selection. We suggest that small values of κ relate to the down-regulation of maximum body size, and large values to the down-regulation of reproduction. We briefly discuss the ecological context for these findings. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. Mechanism of economic regulation of land relations

    OpenAIRE

    Mykhaylo Stupen'; Svitlana Rogach; Ivan Riy

    2015-01-01

    In the article the mechanism of economic regulation of land relations is revealed. The main functions of the economic evaluation of land resources are: registration of land resources and environment; choices of resources and conditions usage. The author proves that the proper economic regulation needs governmental support which is to preserve the land as a natural resource.

  13. Diabetes-induced hyperglycemia impairs male reproductive function: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maresch, Constanze C; Stute, Dina C; Alves, Marco G; Oliveira, Pedro F; de Kretser, David M; Linn, Thomas

    2018-01-01

    Hyperglycemia can result from a loss of pancreatic beta-cells or a decline in their function leading to decreased insulin secretion or may arise from insulin resistance and variable degrees of inadequate insulin secretion resulting in diabetes and related comorbidities. To date several reviews have addressed the issue of diabetes-related male infertility but most have focused on how metabolic syndrome causes the decline in male fertility. However, a comprehensive overview as to how diabetes-induced hyperglycemia impairs male fertility is missing. Impaired regulation of glucose and the resultant hyperglycemia are major threats to the health of individuals in modern societies especially given the rapidly rising prevalence affecting an increasing number of men in their reproductive years. Consequently, diabetes-induced hyperglycemia is likely to contribute to a decline in global birth rates especially in those societies with a high diabetic prevalence. This systematic review addresses and summarizes the impact of hyperglycemia on male reproductive health with a particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that influence the testis and other parts of the male reproductive tract. A systematic search of the literature published in the MEDLINE-Pubmed database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) and Cochrane Library (http://www.cochranelibrary.com) was performed, as well as hand searching reference lists, from the earliest available online indexing year until May 2017, using diabetes- and male fertility-related keywords in combination with other search phrases relevant to the topic of hyperglycemia. Inclusion criteria were: clinical studies on type 1 diabetic (T1D) men and studies on T1D animal models with a focus on reproductive parameters. Case reports/series, observational studies and clinical trials were included. Studies on patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) or animal models of T2D were excluded to distinguish hyperglycemia from other metabolic effects. A total

  14. Kisspeptin and the seasonal control of reproduction in hamsters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonneaux, Valérie; Ansel, Laura; Revel, Florent G

    2008-01-01

    -expressing neurons, which were recently shown to be implicated in the regulation of GnRH release. Hamsters are seasonal rodents which are sexually active in long photoperiod and quiescent in short photoperiod. The photoperiodic information is transmitted to the reproductive system by melatonin, a pineal...... hormone whose secretion is adjusted to night length. The photoperiodic variation in circulating melatonin has been shown to synchronize reproductive activity with seasons, but the mechanisms involved in this effect of melatonin were so far unknown. Recently we have observed that Kiss1 mRNA level...... in the arcuate nucleus of the Syrian hamster is lower in short photoperiod, when animals are sexually quiescent. Notably, intracerebroventricular infusion of Kiss1 gene product, kisspeptin, in hamsters kept in short photoperiod is able to override the inhibitory photoperiod and to reactivate sexual activity...

  15. A transcriptomics investigation into pine reproductive organ development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Shihui; Yuan, Huwei; Sun, Xinrui; Porth, Ilga; Li, Yue; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Li, Wei

    2016-02-01

    The development of reproductive structures in gymnosperms is still poorly studied because of a lack of genomic information and useful genetic tools. The hermaphroditic reproductive structure derived from unisexual gymnosperms is an even less studied aspect of seed plant evolution. To extend our understanding of the molecular mechanism of hermaphroditism and the determination of sexual identity of conifer reproductive structures in general, unisexual and bisexual cones from Pinus tabuliformis were profiled for gene expression using 60K microarrays. Expression patterns of genes during progression of sexual cone development were analysed using RNA-seq. The results showed that, overall, the transcriptomes of male structures in bisexual cones were more similar to those of female cones. However, the expression of several MADS-box genes in the bisexual cones was similar to that of male cones at the more juvenile developmental stage, while despite these expression shifts, male structures of bisexual cones and normal male cones were histologically indistinguishable and cone development was continuous. This study represents a starting point for in-depth analysis of the molecular regulation of cone development and also the origin of hermaphroditism in pine. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Reproductive bribing and policing as evolutionary mechanisms for the suppression of within-group selfishness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeve, H K; Keller, L

    1997-07-01

    We show that a new, simple, and robust general mechanism for the social suppression of within-group selfishness follows from Hamilton's rule applied in a multilevel selection approach to asymmetrical, two-person groups: If it pays a group member to behave selfishly (i.e., increase its share of the group's reproduction, at the expense of group productivity), then its partner will virtually always be favored to provide a reproductive "bribe" sufficient to remove the incentive for the selfish behavior. The magnitude of the bribe will vary directly with the number of offspring (or other close kin) potentially gained by the selfish individual and inversely with both the relatedness r between the interactants and the loss in group productivity because of selfishness. This bribe principle greatly extends the scope for cooperation within groups. Reproductive bribing is more likely to be favored over social policing for dominants rather than subordinates and as intragroup relatedness increases. Finally, analysis of the difference between the group optimum for an individual's behavior and the individual's inclusive fitness optimum reveals a paradoxical feedback loop by which bribing and policing, while nullifying particular selfish acts, automatically widen the separation of individual and group optima for other behaviors (i.e., resolution of one conflict intensifies others).

  17. Chance, choice, and the future of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, W B

    1983-11-01

    The evolution of reproduction has been characterized by the development of complex biological and behavioral mechanisms that serve to regulate chance events. Human reproduction has been characterized by the increasing importance of individual choice. Some contemporary manifestations of this broad trend are the high incidence of contraceptive and "proceptive" behavior among couples in Western, industrialized nations. The former behavior willingly attempts to prevent conception while the latter actively attempts to induce conception (such as concentrating intercourse around the time of ovulation). Both patterns of behavior indicate that a choice is being made. A 3-year study of 1000 women revealed proceptive behavior as the most important factor predicting occurance of conception among married couples in the United States. The general strategeis people follow while making childbearing decisions: termination, sequencing, and pre-planning form a continuum following the historical trend toward greater reproductive control. In the terminating strategy, a couple makes no decision about child bearing until the number of children they have become enough or too much. In the sequencing strategy, decisions to have children are made 1 child at a time until a satisfactory limit is reached. In the pre-planning strategy, a plan is worked out ahead of time and is subsequently carried out. As new reproductive technology is introduced and as progressive change is made in society's reproductive related values and beliefs, choice will continue to dominate chance as the highly likely trend for the future of reproduction. Surrogate maternity is just 1 example of this trend. However, these new options, which culminate in the theory and practice of "progensis," (still in its infancy), as well as offering a rich opportunity, can also incur psychological burdens on a couple. Thus, as with any kind of freedom, these developments will require care, caution and responsibility.

  18. A role for glucocorticoids in stress-impaired reproduction: beyond the hypothalamus and pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whirledge, Shannon; Cidlowski, John A

    2013-12-01

    In addition to the well-characterized role of the sex steroid receptors in regulating fertility and reproduction, reproductive events are also mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in response to an individual's environment. Glucocorticoid secretion in response to stress contributes to the well-characterized suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis through central actions in the hypothalamus and pituitary. However, both animal and in vitro studies indicate that other components of the reproductive system are also regulated by glucocorticoids. Furthermore, in the absence of stress, it appears that homeostatic glucocorticoid signaling plays a significant role in reproduction and fertility in all tissues comprising the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Indeed, as central regulators of the immune response, glucocorticoids are uniquely poised to integrate an individual's infectious, inflammatory, stress, nutritional, and metabolic status through glucocorticoid receptor signaling in target tissues. Endocrine signaling between tissues regulating the immune and stress response and those determining reproductive status provides an evolutionary advantage, facilitating the trade-off between reproductive investment and offspring fitness. This review focuses on the actions of glucocorticoids in tissues important for fertility and reproduction, highlighting recent studies that show glucocorticoid signaling plays a significant role throughout the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and characterizing these effects as permissive or inhibitory in terms of facilitating reproductive success.

  19. VARIATIONS IN REPRODUCTIVE TOXICANT IDENTIFICATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simmons, F

    2008-05-13

    Reproductive toxicants are a very important class of compounds. They present unique hazards to those of child bearing ages, perform their 'dirty work' using a wide variety of mechanisms on a number of different organs, and are regulatorily important. Because of all of this, properly identifying reproductive toxicants is important, but fraught with difficulty. In this paper we will describe types or reproductive toxicants, their importance, and both mistakes and good practices that people who are not experts in reproductive toxicology may use in their attempts to identify them. Additionally, this paper will focus on chemical reproductive toxicants and will not address biological agents that could affect reproductive toxicity although many principles outlined here could be applied to that endeavor.

  20. Corticosterone mediated costs of reproduction link current to future breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael; Williams, Tony D

    2013-11-01

    Life-history theory predicts that costs are associated with reproduction. One possible mediator of costs involves the secretion of glucocorticoid hormones, which in birds can be measured in feathers grown during the breeding period. Glucocorticoids mediate physiological responses to unpredictable environmental or other stressors, but they can also function as metabolic regulators during more predictable events such as reproduction. Here we show that corticosterone ("Cort") in feathers grown during the breeding season reflects reproductive effort in two Antarctic seabird species (giant petrels, Macronectes spp.). In females of both species, but not males, feather Cort ("fCort") was nearly 1.5-fold higher in successful than failed breeders (those that lost their eggs/chicks), suggesting a cost of successful reproduction, i.e., high fCort levels in females reflect the elevated plasma Cort levels required to support high metabolic demands of chick-rearing. Successful breeding also led to delayed moult prior to winter migration. The fCort levels and pre-migration moult score that we measured at the end of current breeding were predictive of subsequent reproductive effort in the following year. Birds with high fCort and a delayed initiation of moult were much more likely to defer breeding in the following year. Cort levels and the timing of moult thus provide a potential mechanism for the tradeoff between current and future reproduction. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Variations upon a theme: Australian lizards provide insights into the endocrine control of vertebrate reproductive cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Susan M

    2017-04-01

    Australian lizards exhibit a broad array of different reproductive strategies and provide an extraordinary diversity and range of models with which to address fundamental problems in reproductive biology. Studies on lizards have frequently led to new insights into hormonal regulatory pathways or mechanisms of control, but we have detailed knowledge of the reproductive cycle in only a small percentage of known species. This review provides an overview and synthesis of current knowledge of the hormonal control of reproductive cycles in Australian lizards. Agamid lizards have provided useful models with which to test hypotheses about the hormonal regulation of the expression of reproductive behaviors, while research on viviparous skinks is providing insights into the evolution of the endocrine control of gestation. However, in order to better understand the potential risks that environmental factors such as climate change and endocrine disrupting chemicals pose to our fauna, better knowledge is required of the fundamental characteristics of the reproductive cycle in a broader range of lizard species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mindful Emotion Regulation: Exploring the Neurocognitive Mechanisms behind Mindfulness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Grecucci

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to review some of the psychological and neural mechanisms behind mindfulness practice in order to explore the unique factors that account for its positive impact on emotional regulation and health. After reviewing the mechanisms of mindfulness and its effects on clinical populations we will consider how the practice of mindfulness contributes to the regulation of emotions. We argue that mindfulness has achieved effective outcomes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and other psychopathologies through the contribution of mindfulness to emotional regulation. We consider the unique factors that mindfulness meditation brings to the process of emotion regulation that may account for its effectiveness. We review experimental evidence that points towards the unique effects of mindfulness specifically operating over and above the regulatory effects of cognitive reappraisal mechanisms. A neuroanatomical circuit that leads to mindful emotion regulation is also suggested. This paper thereby aims to contribute to proposed models of mindfulness for research and theory building by proposing a specific model for the unique psychological and neural processes involved in mindful detachment that account for the effects of mindfulness over and above the effects accounted for by other well-established emotional regulation processes such as cognitive reappraisal.

  3. Aromatase in the brain: not just for reproduction anymore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Segura, L M

    2008-06-01

    Aromatase, the enzyme that synthesises oestrogens from androgen precursors, is expressed in the brain, where it has been classically associated with the regulation of neuroendocrine events and behaviours linked with reproduction. Recent findings, however, have revealed new unexpected roles for brain aromatase, indicating that the enzyme regulates synaptic activity, synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis and the response of neural tissue to injury, and may contribute to control nonreproductive behaviours, mood and cognition. Therefore, the function of brain aromatase is not restricted to the regulation of reproduction as previously thought.

  4. Induction of Gonadotropins for Reproductive Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elza Ibrahim Auerkari

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Much of the recent research on gonadotropin – related control processes of reproduction and reproductive maturation has concentrated on the neuronal and molecular biology of gonadotropin release. The reproductive development of healthy mammals requires appropriate fetal develompment and migration of the neural network controlling and including the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH – producing neurons that are needed to regulate GnRH and luteinizing hormone (LH release. GnRH is also necessary for the development of the gonadotropin – producing pituitary gland. The fetal gonads respon to GnRH – induced LH production by producing the gonadal steroids required for further reproductive differentiation. Pubertal maturation is characterised by increases in LH levels, representing the corresponding pulsatile release of GnRH. This GnRH pulse generator appears to be an intrinsic property of the arcuate nucleus at the medial basal hypothalamus. The generator activity can be mediated by the neurotransmitter aspartate which activates neurons of the hypothalamus, inducing acuate releases of GnRH and hence initiates puberty. A major factor in human reproductive maturation is the decrease in the age of puberty, caused by improvement of nutritional conditions due to the socio – economic development. This implies that the pubertal activation of GnRH secretion depends on metabolic conditions. Of the substances that mediate the metabolic condition to the neuronal network regulating GnRH secretion, the role of the neuropeptide Y (NPY appears instrumental : for healthy mammals less food means more NPY, and accumulated NPY makes food to become sex. NPY does this by regulating the appropriate hypothalamic functions including the neuroendocrine control of gonadotropin release.

  5. Mechanisms regulating skin immunity and inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasparakis, Manolis; Haase, Ingo; Nestle, Frank O

    2014-05-01

    Immune responses in the skin are important for host defence against pathogenic microorganisms. However, dysregulated immune reactions can cause chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Extensive crosstalk between the different cellular and microbial components of the skin regulates local immune responses to ensure efficient host defence, to maintain and restore homeostasis, and to prevent chronic disease. In this Review, we discuss recent findings that highlight the complex regulatory networks that control skin immunity, and we provide new paradigms for the mechanisms that regulate skin immune responses in host defence and in chronic inflammation.

  6. An Ultrasensitive Mechanism Regulates Influenza Virus-Induced Inflammation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason E Shoemaker

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Influenza viruses present major challenges to public health, evident by the 2009 influenza pandemic. Highly pathogenic influenza virus infections generally coincide with early, high levels of inflammatory cytokines that some studies have suggested may be regulated in a strain-dependent manner. However, a comprehensive characterization of the complex dynamics of the inflammatory response induced by virulent influenza strains is lacking. Here, we applied gene co-expression and nonlinear regression analysis to time-course, microarray data developed from influenza-infected mouse lung to create mathematical models of the host inflammatory response. We found that the dynamics of inflammation-associated gene expression are regulated by an ultrasensitive-like mechanism in which low levels of virus induce minimal gene expression but expression is strongly induced once a threshold virus titer is exceeded. Cytokine assays confirmed that the production of several key inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 6 and monocyte chemotactic protein 1, exhibit ultrasensitive behavior. A systematic exploration of the pathways regulating the inflammatory-associated gene response suggests that the molecular origins of this ultrasensitive response mechanism lie within the branch of the Toll-like receptor pathway that regulates STAT1 phosphorylation. This study provides the first evidence of an ultrasensitive mechanism regulating influenza virus-induced inflammation in whole lungs and provides insight into how different virus strains can induce distinct temporal inflammation response profiles. The approach developed here should facilitate the construction of gene regulatory models of other infectious diseases.

  7. Neuroendocrine regulation of appetitive ingestive behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Keen-Rhinehart, Erin; Ondek, Katelynn; Schneider, Jill E.

    2013-01-01

    Food availability in nature is often irregular, and famine is commonplace. Increased motivation to engage in ingestive behaviors increases the chance of survival, providing additional potential opportunities for reproduction. Because of the advantages conferred by entraining ingestive behavior to environmental conditions, neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating the motivation to acquire and ingest food have evolved to be responsive to exogenous (i.e., food stored for future consumption) and endo...

  8. Mechanisms of CFTR functional variants that impair regulated bicarbonate permeation and increase risk for pancreatitis but not for cystic fibrosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica LaRusch

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available CFTR is a dynamically regulated anion channel. Intracellular WNK1-SPAK activation causes CFTR to change permeability and conductance characteristics from a chloride-preferring to bicarbonate-preferring channel through unknown mechanisms. Two severe CFTR mutations (CFTRsev cause complete loss of CFTR function and result in cystic fibrosis (CF, a severe genetic disorder affecting sweat glands, nasal sinuses, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, and male reproductive system. We hypothesize that those CFTR mutations that disrupt the WNK1-SPAK activation mechanisms cause a selective, bicarbonate defect in channel function (CFTRBD affecting organs that utilize CFTR for bicarbonate secretion (e.g. the pancreas, nasal sinus, vas deferens but do not cause typical CF. To understand the structural and functional requirements of the CFTR bicarbonate-preferring channel, we (a screened 984 well-phenotyped pancreatitis cases for candidate CFTRBD mutations from among 81 previously described CFTR variants; (b conducted electrophysiology studies on clones of variants found in pancreatitis but not CF; (c computationally constructed a new, complete structural model of CFTR for molecular dynamics simulation of wild-type and mutant variants; and (d tested the newly defined CFTRBD variants for disease in non-pancreas organs utilizing CFTR for bicarbonate secretion. Nine variants (CFTR R74Q, R75Q, R117H, R170H, L967S, L997F, D1152H, S1235R, and D1270N not associated with typical CF were associated with pancreatitis (OR 1.5, p = 0.002. Clones expressed in HEK 293T cells had normal chloride but not bicarbonate permeability and conductance with WNK1-SPAK activation. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest physical restriction of the CFTR channel and altered dynamic channel regulation. Comparing pancreatitis patients and controls, CFTRBD increased risk for rhinosinusitis (OR 2.3, p<0.005 and male infertility (OR 395, p<<0.0001. WNK1-SPAK pathway-activated increases in

  9. Mechanisms of CFTR functional variants that impair regulated bicarbonate permeation and increase risk for pancreatitis but not for cystic fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRusch, Jessica; Jung, Jinsei; General, Ignacio J; Lewis, Michele D; Park, Hyun Woo; Brand, Randall E; Gelrud, Andres; Anderson, Michelle A; Banks, Peter A; Conwell, Darwin; Lawrence, Christopher; Romagnuolo, Joseph; Baillie, John; Alkaade, Samer; Cote, Gregory; Gardner, Timothy B; Amann, Stephen T; Slivka, Adam; Sandhu, Bimaljit; Aloe, Amy; Kienholz, Michelle L; Yadav, Dhiraj; Barmada, M Michael; Bahar, Ivet; Lee, Min Goo; Whitcomb, David C

    2014-07-01

    CFTR is a dynamically regulated anion channel. Intracellular WNK1-SPAK activation causes CFTR to change permeability and conductance characteristics from a chloride-preferring to bicarbonate-preferring channel through unknown mechanisms. Two severe CFTR mutations (CFTRsev) cause complete loss of CFTR function and result in cystic fibrosis (CF), a severe genetic disorder affecting sweat glands, nasal sinuses, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, and male reproductive system. We hypothesize that those CFTR mutations that disrupt the WNK1-SPAK activation mechanisms cause a selective, bicarbonate defect in channel function (CFTRBD) affecting organs that utilize CFTR for bicarbonate secretion (e.g. the pancreas, nasal sinus, vas deferens) but do not cause typical CF. To understand the structural and functional requirements of the CFTR bicarbonate-preferring channel, we (a) screened 984 well-phenotyped pancreatitis cases for candidate CFTRBD mutations from among 81 previously described CFTR variants; (b) conducted electrophysiology studies on clones of variants found in pancreatitis but not CF; (c) computationally constructed a new, complete structural model of CFTR for molecular dynamics simulation of wild-type and mutant variants; and (d) tested the newly defined CFTRBD variants for disease in non-pancreas organs utilizing CFTR for bicarbonate secretion. Nine variants (CFTR R74Q, R75Q, R117H, R170H, L967S, L997F, D1152H, S1235R, and D1270N) not associated with typical CF were associated with pancreatitis (OR 1.5, p = 0.002). Clones expressed in HEK 293T cells had normal chloride but not bicarbonate permeability and conductance with WNK1-SPAK activation. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest physical restriction of the CFTR channel and altered dynamic channel regulation. Comparing pancreatitis patients and controls, CFTRBD increased risk for rhinosinusitis (OR 2.3, p<0.005) and male infertility (OR 395, p<0.0001). WNK1-SPAK pathway-activated increases in CFTR

  10. 20 years of leptin: leptin and reproduction: past milestones, present undertakings, and future endeavors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chehab, Farid F

    2014-10-01

    The association between leptin and reproduction originated with the leptin-mediated correction of sterility in ob/ob mice and initiation of reproductive function in normal female mice. The uncovering of a central leptin pathway regulating food intake prompted the dissection of neuroendocrine mechanisms involving leptin in the metabolic control of reproduction. The absence of leptin receptors on GnRH neurons incited a search for intermediary neurons situated between leptin-responsive and GnRH neurons. This review addresses the most significant findings that have furthered our understanding of recent progress in this new field. The role of leptin in puberty was impacted by the discovery of neurons that co-express kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin and these could act as leptin intermediates. Furthermore, the identification of first-order leptin-responsive neurons in the premammilary ventral nucleus and other brain regions opens new avenues to explore their relationship to GnRH neurons. Central to these advances is the unveiling that agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y neurons project onto GnRH and kisspeptin neurons, allowing for a crosstalk between food intake and reproduction. Finally, while puberty is a state of leptin sensitivity, mid-gestation represents a state of leptin resistance aimed at building energy stores to sustain pregnancy and lactation. The mechanisms underlying leptin resistance in pregnancy have lagged; however, the establishment of this natural state is significant. Reproduction and energy balance are tightly controlled and backed up by redundant mechanisms that are critical for the survival of our species. It will be the goal of the following decade to shed new light on these complex and essential pathways. © 2014 Society for Endocrinology.

  11. Stress and Female Reproductive System: Disruption of Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone/Opiate Balance by Sympathetic Nerve Traffic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farideh Zafari Zangeneh

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays stress is an integral part of everyday living and the physiological and behavioral consequences of exposure to stressful situations have been extensively studied for decades. The stress response is a necessary mechanism but disrupts homeostatic process and it is sub served by a complex system located in both the central nervous system (CNS and the periphery. Stressor-induced activation of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS results in a series of neural and endocrine adaptations known as the "stress response" or "stress cascade." The stress cascade is responsible for allowing the body to make the necessary physiological and metabolic changes required to cope with the demands of a homeostatic challenge. Normal activation of the HPA axis is essential for reproduction, growth, metabolic homeostasis, and responses to stress and they are critical for adapting to changes in the external environment. The regulation of gonadal function in men and women is under the control of the HPA. This regulation is complex and sex steroids are important regulators of GnRH and gonadotropin release through classical feedback mechanisms in the hypothalamus and the pituitary. The present overview focuses on the neuroendocrine infrastructure of the adaptive response to stress and its effects on the female reproductive system. 

  12. The role of the kisspeptin system in regulation of the reproductive endocrine axis and territorial behavior in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Greives, Timothy; Hopkins, Gareth R; French, Susannah S

    2017-03-01

    The neuropeptide kisspeptin and its receptor are essential for activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and regulating reproduction. While the role of kisspeptin in regulating the HPG axis in mammals has been well established, little is known about the functional ability of kisspeptins to activate the HPG axis and associated behavior in non-mammalian species. Here we experimentally examined the effects of kisspeptin on downstream release of testosterone and associated aggression and display behaviors in the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana). We found that exogenous treatment with kisspeptin resulted in an increase in circulating testosterone levels, castration blocked the kisspeptin-induced increase in testosterone, and testosterone levels in kisspeptin-treated animals were positively related to frequency of aggressive behaviors. This evidence provides a clear link between kisspeptin, testosterone, and aggressive behavior in lizards. Thus, it is likely that kisspeptin plays an important role more broadly in non-mammalian systems in the regulation of reproductive physiology and related behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterization and differential expression of three GnRH forms during reproductive development in cultured turbot Schophthalmus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chunyan; Xu, Shihong; Feng, Chengcheng; Liu, Yifan; Yang, Yang; Wang, Yanfeng; Xiao, Yongshuang; Song, Zongcheng; Liu, Qinghua; Li, Jun

    2017-10-01

    Turbots (Schophthalmus maximus), one of the most important economic marine flatfish species, fail to undergo final spawning and spermiation naturally under artificial farming conditions. In vertebrates, reproduction is regulated by the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis (BPG-axis), and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) is one of its key components. Therefore, to better understand the physiology of reproduction in the turbot, three of the genes encoding GnRH subtypes—sbGnRH, cGnRH-II and sGnRH—were cloned and sequenced by isolating the cDNA sequences. The localizations and patterns of expression of their mRNAs were also evaluated during seasonal gonadal development. All three mRNAs were expressed abundantly in the brain; sbGnRH and sGnRH mRNAs were also detected in the gonads and pituitary gland, and sbGnRH expression was much higher than that of sGnRH, indicating the critical role of sbGnRH in regulating the BPG-axis. Moreover, the brain expression patterns of sbGnRH and sGnRH mRNAs showed an increased trend during gonadal development, peaking in mature stages. This indicated the direct regulation of gonadal development by the GnRH system. In addition, cGnRH-II mRNA expression showed no significant variations, suggesting that cGnRH-II is not critically involved in the control of reproduction. Further, the mRNA abundances of the three GnRH forms in the breeding season were significantly higher than those in immature and post-breeding stages in all analyzed brain areas. Therefore, we propose that sbGnRH is the most important hormone for the regulation of reproduction in turbot via the BPG-axis. These results will help in better understanding the reproductive endocrine mechanisms of turbots and lay the groundwork for additional studies aimed at comparing the reproductive physiology of wild individuals with those raised under artificial conditions.

  14. Leptin and its potential interest in assisted reproduction cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catteau, A; Caillon, H; Barrière, P; Denis, M G; Masson, D; Fréour, T

    2016-04-01

    Leptin, an adipose hormone, has been shown to control energy homeostasis and food intake, and exert many actions on female reproductive function. Consequently, this adipokine is a pivotal factor in studies conducted on animal models and humans to decipher the mechanisms behind the infertility often observed in obese women. A systematic PubMed search was conducted on all articles, published up to January 2015 and related to leptin and its actions on energy balance and reproduction, using the following key words: leptin, reproduction, infertility, IVF and controlled ovarian stimulation. The available literature was reviewed in order to provide an overview of the current knowledge on the physiological roles of leptin, its involvement in female reproductive function and its potential interest as a prognostic marker in IVF cycles. Animal and human studies show that leptin communicates nutritional status to the central nervous system and emerging evidence has demonstrated that leptin is involved in the control of reproductive functions by acting both directly on the ovaries and indirectly on the central nervous system. With respect to the clinical use of leptin as a biomarker in IVF cycles, a systematic review of the literature suggested its potential interest as a predictor of IVF outcome, as high serum and/or follicular fluid leptin concentrations have correlated negatively with cycle outcome. However, these preliminary results remain to be confirmed. Leptin regulates energy balance and female reproductive function, mainly through its action on hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian function, whose molecular and cellular aspects are progressively being deciphered. Preliminary studies evaluating leptin as a biomarker in human IVF seem promising but need further confirmation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Legal aspects of auxillary reproductive technologies in infertility treatment

    OpenAIRE

    V.Yu. Albitskiy; N.D. Odinayeva; V.O. Mansimova

    2011-01-01

    The article presents several aspects of legal regulation of auxillary reproductive technologies in treatment of infertility in Russia and other countries.Key words: auxillary reproductive technologies, method of extracorporeal fertilization, newborn, premature newborn, multiple pregnancy, embryo, infertility, law.

  16. Role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the regulation of reproduction: study based on catfish model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subhedar, Nishikant; Gaikwad, Archana; Biju, K C; Saha, Subhash

    2005-04-01

    Significance of NPY in the regulation of GnRH-LH axis was evaluated. Considerable NPY immunoreactivity was seen in the components like olfactory system, basal telencephalon, preoptic and tuberal areas, and the pituitary gland that serve as neuroanatomical substrates for processing reproductive information. Close anatomical association as well as colocalizations of NPY and GnRH were seen in the olfactory receptor neurons, olfactory nerve fibers and their terminals in the glomeruli, ganglion cells of nervus terminalis, medial olfactory tracts, fibers in the ventral telencephalon and pituitary. In the pituitary, NPY fibers seem to innervate the GnRH as well as LH cells. Intracranial administration of NPY resulted in significant increase in the GnRH immunoreactivity in all the components of the olfactory system. In the pituitary, NPY augmented the population of GnRH fibers and LH cells. HPLC analysis showed that salmon GnRH content in the olfactory organ, bulb, preoptic area+telencephalon and pituitary was also significantly increased following NPY treatment. NPY may play a role in positive regulation of GnRH throughout the neuraxis and also up-regulate the LH cells in the pituitary.

  17. Early Family Relationships Predict Children’s Emotion Regulation and Defense Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jallu Lindblom

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Early family relationships have been suggested to influence the development of children’s affect regulation, involving both emotion regulation and defense mechanisms. However, we lack research on the specific family predictors for these two forms of affect regulation, which have been conceptualized to differ in their functions and accessibility to consciousness. Accordingly, we examine how the (a quality and (b timing of family relationships during infancy predict child’s later emotion regulation and defense mechanisms. Parents (N = 703 reported autonomy and intimacy in marital and parenting relationships at the child’s ages of 2 and 12 months, and the child’s use of emotion regulation and immature and neurotic defenses at 7 to 8 years. As hypothesized, the results showed that functional early family relationships predicted children’s efficient emotion regulation, whereas dysfunctional relationships predicted reliance on defense mechanisms in middle childhood. Further, results showed a timing effect for neurotic defenses, partially confirming our hypothesis of early infancy being an especially important period for the development of defense mechanisms. The findings are discussed from the viewpoints of attachment and family dynamics, emotional self-awareness, and sense of security.

  18. Canada's Assisted Human Reproductive Act: is it scientific censorship, or a reasoned approach to the regulation of rapidly emerging reproductive technologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Colin

    2004-01-01

    After more than a decade of study, discussion and debate, the Canadian House of Commons and Senate have approved the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Building on the earlier Bill C-47, which died on the order paper in 1997, the Act bans human cloning for reproductive or therapeutic purposes, payment for surrogacy arrangements, and trading in human reproductive materials or their use without informed consent. In addition, the Act significantly restricts research using human reproductive materials. This article compares the Act to legislative regimes in other nations with advanced human reproductive science. It concludes that while the Act has many laudable goals, it is flawed in that it tries to cover too much legislative ground. As a result it unreasonable impairs the ability of Canadian scientists to compete in areas such as stem cell research, and area that is expected to yield significant new approaches to treating human disease.

  19. Broad support for regulating the clinical implementation of future reproductive techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriks, S; Vliegenthart, R; Repping, S; Dancet, E A F

    2018-01-01

    the disposal of human embryos. Regulation for out-of-pocket costs and the burden of treatment received little support. The majority of gynaecologists and the general public, but not the patients, requested regulation for the risk of minor congenital abnormalities, the success rates and the naturalness of treatments. Nevertheless, the majority of patients did consider the former two potential negative consequences important. The majority of all groups preferred a national bioethics committee as the regulatory body. This committee should consult with advisors from various backgrounds and should consider the broader context of potential consequences of the stem cell-based fertility treatments. This empirical study focuses on only three stakeholder groups. This study reports on the perspective of the majority and this is not per definition the morally right perspective. The transferability of our findings to other cultures and other techniques remains unclear. A national bioethics committee, consulting with advisors from various backgrounds, should regulate the clinical implementation of future stem cell-based fertility treatments. Whether this broad support for regulation applies to novel techniques from other fields of medicine should be examined. The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. None of the authors has any conflict of interest to declare. Not applicable. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  20. The regulation of seasonal flowering in the Rosaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurokura, Takeshi; Mimida, Naozumi; Battey, Nicholas H; Hytönen, Timo

    2013-11-01

    Molecular mechanisms regulating the flowering process have been extensively studied in model annual plants; in perennials, however, understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling flowering has just started to emerge. Here we review the current state of flowering research in perennial plants of the rose family (Rosaceae), which is one of the most economically important families of horticultural plants. Strawberry (Fragaria spp.), raspberry (Rubus spp.), rose (Rosa spp.), and apple (Malus spp.) are used to illustrate how photoperiod and temperature control seasonal flowering in rosaceous crops. We highlight recent molecular studies which have revealed homologues of terminal flower1 (TFL1) to be major regulators of both the juvenile to adult, and the vegetative to reproductive transitions in various rosaceous species. Additionally, recent advances in understanding of the regulation of TFL1 are discussed.

  1. Legal aspects of auxillary reproductive technologies in infertility treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.Yu. Albitskiy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The article presents several aspects of legal regulation of auxillary reproductive technologies in treatment of infertility in Russia and other countries.Key words: auxillary reproductive technologies, method of extracorporeal fertilization, newborn, premature newborn, multiple pregnancy, embryo, infertility, law.

  2. Reproduction impairment and endocrine disruption in female zebrafish after long-term exposure to MC-LR: A life cycle assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou, Jie; Li, Li; Wu, Ning; Su, Yujing; Lin, Wang; Li, Guangyu; Gu, Zemao

    2016-01-01

    Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) has been found to cause reproductive and developmental impairments as well as to disrupt sex hormone homeostasis of fish during acute and sub-chronic toxic experiments. However, fish in natural environments are continuously exposed to MC-LR throughout their entire life cycle as opposed to short-term exposure. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the mechanism by which MC-LR harms female fish reproduction and development within natural water bodies is through interference of the reproductive endocrine system. In the present study, zebrafish hatchlings (5 d post-fertilization) were exposed to 0, 0.3, 3 and 30 μg/L MC-LR for 90 d until reaching sexual maturity. Female zebrafish were selected, and the changes in growth and developmental indicators, ovarian ultrastructure as well as the levels of gonadal steroid hormones and vitellogenin (VTG) were examined along with the transcription of related genes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal–liver axis (HPGL-axis). The results showed for the first time, a life cycle exposure to MC-LR caused growth inhibition, decreased ovary weight and ovarian ultra-pathological lesions. Decreased ovarian testosterone levels indicated that MC-LR disrupted sex steroid hormone balance. Significantly up-regulated transcription of brain FSHβ and LHβ along with ovarian ERα, FSHR and LHR suggested positive feedback regulation in the HPGL-axis was induced as a compensatory mechanism for MC-LR damage. It was also noted that ovarian VTG content and hepatic ERα and VTG1 expression were all down-regulated, which might be responsible for reduced vitellus storage noted in our histological observations. Our findings indicate that a life cycle exposure to MC-LR impairs the development and reproduction of female zebrafish by disrupting the transcription of related HPGL-axis genes, suggesting that MC-LR has potential adverse effects on fish reproduction and thus population dynamics in MCs-contaminated aquatic

  3. Gonadotropin Inhibitory Hormone Down-Regulates the Brain-Pituitary Reproductive Axis of Male European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paullada-Salmerón, José A; Cowan, Mairi; Aliaga-Guerrero, María; Morano, Francesca; Zanuy, Silvia; Muñoz-Cueto, José A

    2016-06-01

    Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release from the pituitary of birds and mammals. However, the physiological role of orthologous GnIH peptides on the reproductive axis of fish is still uncertain, and their actions on the main neuroendocrine systems controlling reproduction (i.e., GnRHs, kisspeptins) have received little attention. In a recent study performed in the European sea bass, we cloned a cDNA encoding a precursor polypeptide that contained C-terminal MPMRFamide (sbGnIH-1) and MPQRFamide (sbGnIH-2) peptide sequences, developed a specific antiserum against sbGnIH-2, and characterized its central and pituitary GnIH projections in this species. In this study, we analyzed the effects of intracerebroventricular injection of sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 on brain and pituitary expression of reproductive hormone genes (gnrh1, gnrh2, gnrh3, kiss1, kiss2, gnih, lhbeta, fshbeta), and their receptors (gnrhr II-1a, gnrhr II-2b, kiss1r, kiss2r, and gnihr) as well as on plasma Fsh and Lh levels. In addition, we determined the effects of GnIH on pituitary somatotropin (Gh) expression. The results obtained revealed the inhibitory role of sbGnIH-2 on brain gnrh2, kiss1, kiss2, kiss1r, gnih, and gnihr transcripts and on pituitary fshbeta, lhbeta, gh, and gnrhr-II-1a expression, whereas sbGnIH-1 only down-regulated brain gnrh1 expression. However, at different doses, central administration of both sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 decreased Lh plasma levels. Our work represents the first study reporting the effects of centrally administered GnIH in fish and provides evidence of the differential actions of sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 on the reproductive axis of sea bass, the main inhibitory role being exerted by the sbGnIH-2 peptide. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  4. Reproduction impairment and endocrine disruption in female zebrafish after long-term exposure to MC-LR: A life cycle assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Jie; Li, Li; Wu, Ning; Su, Yujing; Lin, Wang; Li, Guangyu; Gu, Zemao

    2016-01-01

    Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) has been found to cause reproductive and developmental impairments as well as to disrupt sex hormone homeostasis of fish during acute and sub-chronic toxic experiments. However, fish in natural environments are continuously exposed to MC-LR throughout their entire life cycle as opposed to short-term exposure. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the mechanism by which MC-LR harms female fish reproduction and development within natural water bodies is through interference of the reproductive endocrine system. In the present study, zebrafish hatchlings (5 d post-fertilization) were exposed to 0, 0.3, 3 and 30 μg/L MC-LR for 90 d until reaching sexual maturity. Female zebrafish were selected, and the changes in growth and developmental indicators, ovarian ultrastructure as well as the levels of gonadal steroid hormones and vitellogenin (VTG) were examined along with the transcription of related genes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-liver axis (HPGL-axis). The results showed for the first time, a life cycle exposure to MC-LR caused growth inhibition, decreased ovary weight and ovarian ultra-pathological lesions. Decreased ovarian testosterone levels indicated that MC-LR disrupted sex steroid hormone balance. Significantly up-regulated transcription of brain FSHβ and LHβ along with ovarian ERα, FSHR and LHR suggested positive feedback regulation in the HPGL-axis was induced as a compensatory mechanism for MC-LR damage. It was also noted that ovarian VTG content and hepatic ERα and VTG1 expression were all down-regulated, which might be responsible for reduced vitellus storage noted in our histological observations. Our findings indicate that a life cycle exposure to MC-LR impairs the development and reproduction of female zebrafish by disrupting the transcription of related HPGL-axis genes, suggesting that MC-LR has potential adverse effects on fish reproduction and thus population dynamics in MCs-contaminated aquatic environment

  5. 19 CFR 122.5 - Reproduction of Customs forms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Reproduction of Customs forms. 122.5 Section 122.5 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS General Definitions and Provisions § 122.5 Reproduction of Customs forms...

  6. Gene-environment interaction and male reproductive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsson, Jonatan; Bonde, Jens Peter; Giwercman, Yvonne L

    2010-01-01

    As genetic factors can hardly explain the changes taking place during short time spans, environmental and lifestyle-related factors have been suggested as the causes of time-related deterioration of male reproductive function. However, considering the strong heterogeneity of male fecundity between...... and within populations, genetic variants might be important determinants of the individual susceptibility to the adverse effects of environment or lifestyle. Although the possible mechanisms of such interplay in relation to the reproductive system are largely unknown, some recent studies have indicated...... that specific genotypes may confer a larger risk of male reproductive disorders following certain exposures. This paper presents a critical review of animal and human evidence on how genes may modify environmental effects on male reproductive function. Some examples have been found that support this mechanism...

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Hee Yu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of obesity has been rapidly increasing worldwide over the last several decades and has become a major health problem in developed countries. The brain, especially the hypothalamus, plays a key role in the control of food intake by sensing metabolic signals from peripheral organs and modulating feeding behaviors. To accomplish these important roles, the hypothalamus communicates with other brain areas such as the brainstem and reward-related limbic pathways. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and pancreatic β-cell-derived insulin inform adiposity to the hypothalamus. Gut hormones such as cholecystokinin, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and oxyntomodulin transfer satiety signals to the brain and ghrelin relays hunger signals. The endocannabinoid system and nutrients are also involved in the physiological regulation of food intake. In this article, we briefly review physiological mechanisms of appetite regulation.

  8. (Revised The role of melatonin as a hormone and an antioxidant in the control of fish reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Saumen Kumar Maitra

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Reproduction in most fish is seasonal or periodic and the spawning occurs in an appropriate season to ensure maximum survival of the offspring. The sequence of reproductive events in an annual cycle is largely under the control of a species-specific endogenous timing system, which essentially relies on a well-equipped physiological response mechanism to changing environmental cues. The duration of solar light or photoperiod is one of the most predictable environmental signals used by a large number of animals including fish to coordinate their seasonal breeding. In vertebrates, the pineal gland is the major photo-neuroendocrine part of the brain that rhythmically synthesizes and releases melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine into the circulation in synchronization with the environmental light-dark cycle. Past few decades witnessed an enormous progress in understanding the mechanisms by which melatonin regulates seasonal reproduction in fish and in other vertebrates. Most studies emphasized hormonal actions of melatonin through its high-affinity, pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein (guanine nucleotide binding protein coupled receptors on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad (HPG axis of fish. However, the discovery that melatonin due to its lipophilic nature can easily cross the plasma membrane of all cells and may act as a potent scavenger of free radicals and stimulant of different antioxidants added a new dimension to the idea explaining mechanisms of melatonin actions in the regulation of ovarian functions. The basic concept on the actions of melatonin as an antioxidant emerged from mammalian studies. Recently, however, some new studies clearly suggested that melatonin, apart from playing the role of a hormone, may also be associated with the reduction in oxidative stress to augment ovarian functions during spawning. This review thus aims to bring together the current knowledge on the role of melatonin as a hormone as well as an antioxidant in

  9. Learning from Cross-Border Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millbank, Jenni; Karpin, Isabel; Stuhmcke, Anita

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Drawing upon the preliminary findings of an Australian empirical project on cross-border reproduction (CBR), this article argues that regulators and policymakers could learn from the experiences of those who travel overseas in order to access fertility treatment and surrogacy. It makes four principal observations. First, the distinction between so-called ‘altruistic’ and ‘commercial’ gamete donation and surrogacy is increasingly unsustainable and is not experienced as meaningful by many participants in CBR. Secondly, the status of the law in CBR is profoundly equivocal; for participants it is often there and not there at the same time. Thirdly, self-sourced information, from the internet and more specifically social media such as Facebook, is now the principal source of information and peer support for reproductive travellers. Fourthly, and relatedly, domestic reproductive services providers are often sidestepped. If one of the goals of regulation is to minimise the risk of harm to participants, it is not clear that it is currently achieving this aim, and this article argues that any reforms will only work if they are more responsive to the reality of CBR. PMID:28073821

  10. Learning from Cross-Border Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Emily; Millbank, Jenni; Karpin, Isabel; Stuhmcke, Anita

    2017-02-01

    Drawing upon the preliminary findings of an Australian empirical project on cross-border reproduction (CBR), this article argues that regulators and policymakers could learn from the experiences of those who travel overseas in order to access fertility treatment and surrogacy. It makes four principal observations. First, the distinction between so-called 'altruistic' and 'commercial' gamete donation and surrogacy is increasingly unsustainable and is not experienced as meaningful by many participants in CBR. Secondly, the status of the law in CBR is profoundly equivocal; for participants it is often there and not there at the same time. Thirdly, self-sourced information, from the internet and more specifically social media such as Facebook, is now the principal source of information and peer support for reproductive travellers. Fourthly, and relatedly, domestic reproductive services providers are often sidestepped. If one of the goals of regulation is to minimise the risk of harm to participants, it is not clear that it is currently achieving this aim, and this article argues that any reforms will only work if they are more responsive to the reality of CBR. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  11. Integrative Control of Energy Balance and Reproduction in Females

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia-Garcia, R. M.

    2012-01-01

    There is a strong association between nutrition and reproduction. Chronic dietary energy deficits as well as energy surpluses can impair reproductive capacity. Metabolic status impacts reproductive function at systemic level, modulating the hypothalamic GnRH neuronal network and/or the pituitary gonadotropin secretion through several hormones and neuropeptides, and at the ovarian level, acting through the regulation of follicle growth and steroidogenesis by means of the growth hormone-IGF-ins...

  12. The role of IGFs and leptin in nutrition-reproduction interactions and their potential application as indicators of nutritional adequacy and predictors of reproductive performance in dairy cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanche, Dominique

    2002-01-01

    Full text: The interaction between nutrition and reproductive activity has been described in both wild and farm animals. The lactating cow is one of the very best examples of this interaction. During lactation, the length of time spent in negative energy balance around parturition seems to be an important factor controlling the delay to return to breeding after parturition. The mechanism by which nutrition regulates the reproductive system is not fully understood in lactating dairy cows or indeed in any other situation in ruminants or mammals in general. However, to be effective, a nutritional signal should ultimately act on at least one of the 3 regulatory sites in the reproductive axis - the brain, the pituitary gland and the gonads. Nutrition is likely to involve metabolic signals that could act directly on one of these targets or it could interfere with other regulatory mechanisms such as the feedback by gonadal steroids on gonadotrophin secretion. In this presentation, we will use examples from laboratory rodents and ruminants, and from dairy cattle where they are available, to examine how IGF-1 and leptin, amongst several other blood metabolites and metabolic hormones, could be part of the link between nutrition and reproduction in the postpartum dairy cow. A number of studies have proposed a role for IGF-1 in the control of postpartum anoestrus and the framework of the current hypothesis will be presented. The role of leptin is still not clear for ruminants in general, but especially in cattle, because leptin was only recently discovered (about 6 years ago) and because a reliable radioimmunoassay for bovine leptin only became available since 1999. The possibilities and restrictions of a role for leptin in the control of reproduction by nutrition will be discussed. To conclude, we will examine the use of these two hormones as potential indicators of the adequacy of nutritional status for reproductive function and we will introduce insulin as another

  13. Identification of ligands for DAF-12 that govern dauer formation and reproduction in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motola, Daniel L; Cummins, Carolyn L; Rottiers, Veerle; Sharma, Kamalesh K; Li, Tingting; Li, Yong; Suino-Powell, Kelly; Xu, H Eric; Auchus, Richard J; Antebi, Adam; Mangelsdorf, David J

    2006-03-24

    In response to environmental and dietary cues, the C. elegans orphan nuclear receptor, DAF-12, regulates dauer diapause, reproductive development, fat metabolism, and life span. Despite strong evidence for hormonal control, the identification of the DAF-12 ligand has remained elusive. In this work, we identified two distinct 3-keto-cholestenoic acid metabolites of DAF-9, a cytochrome P450 involved in hormone production, that function as ligands for DAF-12. At nanomolar concentrations, these steroidal ligands (called dafachronic acids) bind and transactivate DAF-12 and rescue the hormone deficiency of daf-9 mutants. Interestingly, DAF-9 has a biochemical activity similar to mammalian CYP27A1 catalyzing addition of a terminal acid to the side chain of sterol metabolites. Together, these results define the first steroid hormones in nematodes as ligands for an invertebrate orphan nuclear receptor and demonstrate that steroidal regulation of reproduction, from biology to molecular mechanism, is conserved from worms to humans.

  14. Molecular basis for the reproductive division of labour in a lower termite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehli Michael

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polyphenism, the expression of different phenotypes with the same genetic background, is well known for social insects. The substantial physiological and morphological differences among the castes generally are the result of differential gene expression. In lower termites, workers are developmentally flexible to become neotenic replacement reproductives via a single moult after the death of the founding reproductives. Thus, both castes (neotenics and workers are expected to differ mainly in the expression of genes linked to reproductive division of labour, which constitutes the fundamental basis of insect societies. Results Representational difference analysis of cDNAs was used to study differential gene expression between neotenics and workers in the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus (Kalotermitidae. We identified and, at least partially cloned five novel genes that were highly expressed in female neotenics. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of all five genes in different castes (neotenics, founding reproductives, winged sexuals and workers of both sexes confirmed the differential expression patterns. In addition, the relative expression of these genes was determined in three body parts of female neotenics (head, thorax, and abdomen using quantitative real-time PCR. Conclusion The identified genes could be involved in the control and regulation of reproductive division of labour. Interestingly, this study revealed an expression pattern partly similar to social Hymenoptera indicating both common and species-specific regulatory mechanisms in hemimetabolous and holometabolous social insects.

  15. 49 CFR 390.35 - Certificates, reports, and records: Falsification, reproduction, or alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., reproduction, or alteration. 390.35 Section 390.35 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to Transportation... § 390.35 Certificates, reports, and records: Falsification, reproduction, or alteration. No motor... requirement of this subchapter or part 325 of subchapter A; or (c) A reproduction, for fraudulent purposes, of...

  16. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brents, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system.

  17. Lessons from reproductive immunology for other fields of immunology and clinical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markert, Udo R; Fitzgerald, Justine S; Seyfarth, Lydia; Heinzelmann, Joana; Varosi, Frauke; Voigt, Sandra; Schleussner, Ekkehard; Seewald, Hans-Joachim

    2005-01-01

    Reproduction is indispensable to evolution and, thus, life. Nonetheless, it overcomes common rules known to established life. Immunology of reproduction, and especially the tolerance of two genetically distinct organisms and their fruitful symbiosis, is one of the most imposing paradox of life. Mechanisms, which are physiologically used for induction of said tolerance, are frequently abused by pathogens or tumors intending to escape the host's immune response. Understanding the regulation of immune responses in pregnancy and the invasion of allogeneic fetus-derived trophoblast cells into the decidua may lead to new therapeutic concepts. In transplantation, knowledge concerning local physiological immunotolerance may be useful for the development of new therapies, which do not require a general immune suppression of the patient. In immunological disorders, such as autoimmune diseases or allergies, immune deviations occur which are either prevented during pregnancy or have parallels to pregnancy. Vice versa, lessons from other fields of immunology may also offer new notions for the comprehension of reproductive immunology and may lead to new therapies for the treatment of pregnancy-related problems.

  18. Mechanical homeostasis regulating adipose tissue volume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svedman Paul

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The total body adipose tissue volume is regulated by hormonal, nutritional, paracrine, neuronal and genetic control signals, as well as components of cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions. There are no known locally acting homeostatic mechanisms by which growing adipose tissue might adapt its volume. Presentation of the hypothesis Mechanosensitivity has been demonstrated by mesenchymal cells in tissue culture. Adipocyte differentiation has been shown to be inhibited by stretching in vitro, and a pathway for the response has been elucidated. In humans, intermittent stretching of skin for reconstructional purposes leads to thinning of adipose tissue and thickening of epidermis – findings matching those observed in vitro in response to mechanical stimuli. Furthermore, protracted suspension of one leg increases the intermuscular adipose tissue volume of the limb. These findings may indicate a local homeostatic adipose tissue volume-regulating mechanism based on movement-induced reduction of adipocyte differentiation. This function might, during evolution, have been of importance in confined spaces, where overgrowth of adipose tissue could lead to functional disturbance, as for instance in the turtle. In humans, adipose tissue near muscle might in particular be affected, for instance intermuscularly, extraperitoneally and epicardially. Mechanical homeostasis might also contribute to protracted maintainment of soft tissue shape in the face and neck region. Testing of the hypothesis Assessment of messenger RNA-expression of human adipocytes following activity in adjacent muscle is planned, and study of biochemical and volumetric adipose tissue changes in man are proposed. Implications of the hypothesis The interpretation of metabolic disturbances by means of adipose tissue might be influenced. Possible applications in the head and neck were discussed.

  19. Regulation Mechanism of HBV cccDNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Jun

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Covalently closed circular (ccc DNA of hepatitis B virus (HBV existed in the nuclei of HBV infected hepatocytes with a half-life time of 14.3 years in a mathematic model. Viral protein feedback regulation in HBV life cycle to maintain vital viral replication is an important mechanism. Interleukin-6, epithelial growth factor, heme oxygenase-1, histones, and hepatocyte nuclear factors are demonstrated as the key regulators for HBV life cycle. CpG island structure and methylation status are involved in the regulation of HBV DNA replication. Nucleos(tide analogues are widely used in the clinical practice for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B patients, although no evidence indicating a direct inhibiton of HBV cccDNA. In the future, along with the study of HBV life cycle, new drugs including RNA interference technique, will pave the way to eliminate the HBV cccDNA from infected hepatocytes resulting final cure of chronic hepatitis B.

  20. Prolactin is related to individual differences in parental behavior and reproductive success in a biparental passerine, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

    Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Ethics and regulation of inter-country medically assisted reproduction: a call for action

    OpenAIRE

    Shalev, Carmel; Moreno, Adi; Eyal, Hedva; Leibel, Michal; Schuz, Rhona; Eldar-Geva, Talia

    2016-01-01

    The proliferation of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) for the treatment of infertility has brought benefit to many individuals around the world. But infertility and its treatment continue to be a cause of suffering, and over the past decade, there has been a steady growth in a new global market of inter-country medically assisted reproduction (IMAR) involving ?third-party? individuals acting as surrogate mothers and gamete donors in reproductive collaborations for the benefit of other in...

  2. The role of focal adhesion kinase in the regulation of cellular mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mierke, Claudia Tanja

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of mechanical properties is necessary for cell invasion into connective tissue or intra- and extravasation through the endothelium of blood or lymph vessels. Cell invasion is important for the regulation of many healthy processes such as immune response reactions and wound healing. In addition, cell invasion plays a role in disease-related processes such as tumor metastasis and autoimmune responses. Until now the role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in regulating mechanical properties of cells and its impact on cell invasion efficiency is still not well known. Thus, this review focuses on mechanical properties regulated by FAK in comparison to the mechano-regulating protein vinculin. Moreover, it points out the connection between cancer cell invasion and metastasis and FAK by showing that FAK regulates cellular mechanical properties required for cellular motility. Furthermore, it sheds light on the indirect interaction of FAK with vinculin by binding to paxillin, which then impairs the binding of paxillin to vinculin. In addition, this review emphasizes whether FAK fulfills regulatory functions similar to vinculin. In particular, it discusses the differences and the similarities between FAK and vinculin in regulating the biomechanical properties of cells. Finally, this paper highlights that both focal adhesion proteins, vinculin and FAK, synergize their functions to regulate the mechanical properties of cells such as stiffness and contractile forces. Subsequently, these mechanical properties determine cellular invasiveness into tissues and provide a source sink for future drug developments to inhibit excessive cell invasion and hence, metastases formation. (paper)

  3. The role of focal adhesion kinase in the regulation of cellular mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierke, Claudia Tanja

    2013-12-01

    The regulation of mechanical properties is necessary for cell invasion into connective tissue or intra- and extravasation through the endothelium of blood or lymph vessels. Cell invasion is important for the regulation of many healthy processes such as immune response reactions and wound healing. In addition, cell invasion plays a role in disease-related processes such as tumor metastasis and autoimmune responses. Until now the role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in regulating mechanical properties of cells and its impact on cell invasion efficiency is still not well known. Thus, this review focuses on mechanical properties regulated by FAK in comparison to the mechano-regulating protein vinculin. Moreover, it points out the connection between cancer cell invasion and metastasis and FAK by showing that FAK regulates cellular mechanical properties required for cellular motility. Furthermore, it sheds light on the indirect interaction of FAK with vinculin by binding to paxillin, which then impairs the binding of paxillin to vinculin. In addition, this review emphasizes whether FAK fulfills regulatory functions similar to vinculin. In particular, it discusses the differences and the similarities between FAK and vinculin in regulating the biomechanical properties of cells. Finally, this paper highlights that both focal adhesion proteins, vinculin and FAK, synergize their functions to regulate the mechanical properties of cells such as stiffness and contractile forces. Subsequently, these mechanical properties determine cellular invasiveness into tissues and provide a source sink for future drug developments to inhibit excessive cell invasion and hence, metastases formation.

  4. Reduced reproductive success of hatchery coho salmon in the wild: insights into most likely mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thériault, Véronique; Moyer, Gregory R; Jackson, Laura S; Blouin, Michael S; Banks, Michael A

    2011-05-01

    Supplementation of wild salmonids with captive-bred fish is a common practice for both commercial and conservation purposes. However, evidence for lower fitness of captive-reared fish relative to wild fish has accumulated in recent years, diminishing the apparent effectiveness of supplementation as a management tool. To date, the mechanism(s) responsible for these fitness declines remain unknown. In this study, we showed with molecular parentage analysis that hatchery coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) had lower reproductive success than wild fish once they reproduced in the wild. This effect was more pronounced in males than in same-aged females. Hatchery spawned fish that were released as unfed fry (age 0), as well as hatchery fish raised for one year in the hatchery (released as smolts, age 1), both experienced lower lifetime reproductive success (RS) than wild fish. However, the subset of hatchery males that returned as 2-year olds (jacks) did not exhibit the same fitness decrease as males that returned as 3-year olds. Thus, we report three lines of evidence pointing to the absence of sexual selection in the hatchery as a contributing mechanism for fitness declines of hatchery fish in the wild: (i) hatchery fish released as unfed fry that survived to adulthood still had low RS relative to wild fish, (ii) age-3 male hatchery fish consistently showed a lower relative RS than female hatchery fish (suggesting a role for sexual selection), and (iii) age-2 jacks, which use a sneaker mating strategy, did not show the same declines as 3-year olds, which compete differently for females (again, implicating sexual selection). © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Gene-environment interaction and male reproductive function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Jonatan; Bonde, Jens Peter; Giwercman, Yvonne L.; Rylander, Lars; Giwercman, Aleksander

    2010-01-01

    As genetic factors can hardly explain the changes taking place during short time spans, environmental and lifestyle-related factors have been suggested as the causes of time-related deterioration of male reproductive function. However, considering the strong heterogeneity of male fecundity between and within populations, genetic variants might be important determinants of the individual susceptibility to the adverse effects of environment or lifestyle. Although the possible mechanisms of such interplay in relation to the reproductive system are largely unknown, some recent studies have indicated that specific genotypes may confer a larger risk of male reproductive disorders following certain exposures. This paper presents a critical review of animal and human evidence on how genes may modify environmental effects on male reproductive function. Some examples have been found that support this mechanism, but the number of studies is still limited. This type of interaction studies may improve our understanding of normal physiology and help us to identify the risk factors to male reproductive malfunction. We also shortly discuss other aspects of gene-environment interaction specifically associated with the issue of reproduction, namely environmental and lifestyle factors as the cause of sperm DNA damage. It remains to be investigated to what extent such genetic changes, by natural conception or through the use of assisted reproductive techniques, are transmitted to the next generation, thereby causing increased morbidity in the offspring. PMID:20348940

  6. External and internal controls of lunar-related reproductive rhythms in fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemura, A; Rahman, M S; Park, Y J

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive activities of many fish species are, to some extent, entrained to cues from the moon. During the spawning season, synchronous spawning is repeated at intervals of c. 1 month (lunar spawning cycle) and 2 weeks (semi-lunar spawning cycle) or daily according to tidal changes (tidal spawning cycle). In species showing lunar-related spawning cycles, oocytes in the ovary develop towards and mature around a specific moon phase for lunar spawners, around spring tides for semi-lunar spawners and at daytime high tides for tidal spawners. The production of sex steroid hormones also changes in accordance with synchronous oocyte development. Since the production of the steroid hormones with lunar-related reproductive periodicity is regulated by gonadotropins, it is considered that the higher parts of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis play important roles in the perception and regulation of lunar-related periodicity. It is likely that fishes perceive cues from the moon by sensory organs; however, it is still unknown how lunar cues are transduced as an endogenous rhythm exerting lunar-related spawning rhythmicity. Recent research has revealed that melatonin fluctuated according to the brightness at night, magnetic fields and the tidal cycle. In addition, cyclic changes in hydrostatic pressure had an effect on monoamine contents in the brain. These factors may be indirectly related to the exertion of lunar-related periodicity. Molecular approaches have revealed that mRNA expressions of light-sensitive clock genes change with moonlight, suggesting that brightness at night plays a role in phase-shifting or resetting of biological clocks. Some species may have evolved biological clocks in relation to lunar cycles, although it is still not known how lunar periodicities are endogenously regulated in fishes. This review demonstrates that lunar-related periodicity is utilized and incorporated by ecological and physiological mechanisms governing the reproductive success

  7. Gap junction connexins in female reproductive organs: implications for women's reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhager, Elke; Kidder, Gerald M

    2015-01-01

    Connexins comprise a family of ~20 proteins that form intercellular membrane channels (gap junction channels) providing a direct route for metabolites and signalling molecules to pass between cells. This review provides a critical analysis of the evidence for essential roles of individual connexins in female reproductive function, highlighting implications for women's reproductive health. No systematic review has been carried out. Published literature from the past 35 years was surveyed for research related to connexin involvement in development and function of the female reproductive system. Because of the demonstrated utility of genetic manipulation for elucidating connexin functions in various organs, much of the cited information comes from research with genetically modified mice. In some cases, a distinction is drawn between connexin functions clearly related to the formation of gap junction channels and those possibly linked to non-channel roles. Based on work with mice, several connexins are known to be required for female reproductive functions. Loss of connexin43 (CX43) causes an oocyte deficiency, and follicles lacking or expressing less CX43 in granulosa cells exhibit reduced growth, impairing fertility. CX43 is also expressed in human cumulus cells and, in the context of IVF, has been correlated with pregnancy outcome, suggesting that this connexin may be a determinant of oocyte and embryo quality in women. Loss of CX37, which exclusively connects oocytes with granulosa cells in the mouse, caused oocytes to cease growing without acquiring meiotic competence. Blocking of CX26 channels in the uterine epithelium disrupted implantation whereas loss or reduction of CX43 expression in the uterine stroma impaired decidualization and vascularization in mouse and human. Several connexins are important in placentation and, in the human, CX43 is a key regulator of the fusogenic pathway from the cytotrophoblast to the syncytiotrophoblast, ensuring placental growth

  8. Sexual but not reproductive: exploring the junction and disjunction of sexual and reproductive rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, A M

    2000-01-01

    Although the term "sexual rights" has gained widespread currency, its concrete scope and content have not yet been fully defined. The need for definition is critical not only for promoting governmental accountability but also for ensuring that sexual rights can be claimed by diverse persons around the world. Ironically, the concept of "sexual and reproductive rights" poses a challenge to this effort; practices and people not traditionally addressed by reproductive rights work must be explicitly named and protected. This article considers how international norms have contributed to a gendered regulation of sexuality and of contemporary theories of "socially constructed sexuality," and it proposes a focus on the conditions that contribute to the ability to choose and on the links between sexuality, conduct, identity, social structures, and reproduction. Given the probable politically charged responses, global coalition-building is needed.

  9. Cryptococcus neoformans sexual reproduction is controlled by a quorum sensing peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Xiuyun; He, Guang-Jun; Hu, Pengjie; Chen, Lei; Tao, Changyu; Cui, Ying-Lu; Shen, Lan; Ke, Weixin; Xu, Haijiao; Zhao, Youbao; Xu, Qijiang; Bai, Fengyan; Wu, Bian; Yang, Ence; Lin, Xiaorong; Wang, Linqi

    2018-06-01

    Bacterial quorum sensing is a well-characterized communication system that governs a large variety of collective behaviours. By comparison, quorum sensing regulation in eukaryotic microbes remains poorly understood, especially its functional role in eukaryote-specific behaviours, such as sexual reproduction. Cryptococcus neoformans is a prevalent fungal pathogen that has two defined sexual cycles (bisexual and unisexual) and is a model organism for studying sexual reproduction in fungi. Here, we show that the quorum sensing peptide Qsp1 serves as an important signalling molecule for both forms of sexual reproduction. Qsp1 orchestrates various differentiation and molecular processes, including meiosis, the hallmark of sexual reproduction. It activates bisexual mating, at least in part through the control of pheromone, a signal necessary for bisexual activation. Notably, Qsp1 also plays a major role in the intercellular regulation of unisexual initiation and coordination, in which pheromone is not strictly required. Through a multi-layered genetic screening approach, we identified the atypical zinc finger regulator Cqs2 as an important component of the Qsp1 signalling cascade during both bisexual and unisexual reproduction. The absence of Cqs2 eliminates the Qsp1-stimulated mating response. Together, these findings extend the range of behaviours governed by quorum sensing to sexual development and meiosis.

  10. Paralogous SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) genes differentially regulate leaf initiation and reproductive phase change in petunia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jill C; Jorgensen, Stacy A; Orozco, Rebecca; Hileman, Lena C

    2016-02-01

    Duplicated petunia clade-VI SPL genes differentially promote the timing of inflorescence and flower development, and leaf initiation rate. The timing of plant reproduction relative to favorable environmental conditions is a critical component of plant fitness, and is often associated with variation in plant architecture and habit. Recent studies have shown that overexpression of the microRNA miR156 in distantly related annual species results in plants with perennial characteristics, including late flowering, weak apical dominance, and abundant leaf production. These phenotypes are largely mediated through the negative regulation of a subset of genes belonging to the SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) family of transcription factors. In order to determine how and to what extent paralogous SPL genes have partitioned their roles in plant growth and development, we functionally characterized petunia clade-VI SPL genes under different environmental conditions. Our results demonstrate that PhSBP1and PhSBP2 differentially promote discrete stages of the reproductive transition, and that PhSBP1, and possibly PhCNR, accelerates leaf initiation rate. In contrast to the closest homologs in annual Arabidopsis thaliana and Mimulus guttatus, PhSBP1 and PhSBP2 transcription is not mediated by the gibberellic acid pathway, but is positively correlated with photoperiod and developmental age. The developmental functions of clade-VI SPL genes have, thus, evolved following both gene duplication and speciation within the core eudicots, likely through differential regulation and incomplete sub-functionalization.

  11. Behavioural reproductive isolation and speciation in Drosophila

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In the genus Drosophila, the phenomenon of behavioural reproductive isolation, which is an important type of premating (prezygotic) reproductive isolating mechanisms, has been extensively studied and interesting data have been documented. In many cases incomplete sexual isolation has been observed and the pattern ...

  12. Reproductive tradeoffs and yolk steroids in female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Crews, D; Fivizzani, A; Elf, P

    2006-11-01

    Life history theory predicts tradeoffs among reproductive traits, but the physiological mechanisms underlying such tradeoffs remain unclear. Here we examine reproductive tradeoffs and their association with yolk steroids in an oviparous lizard. Female leopard geckos lay two eggs in a clutch, produce multiple clutches in a breeding season, and reproduce for several years. We detected a significant tradeoff between egg size and the number of clutches laid by females during their first two breeding seasons. Total reproductive effort was strongly condition-dependent in the first season, but much less so in the second season. Although these and other tradeoffs were unmistakable, they were not associated with levels of androstenedione, oestradiol, or testosterone in egg yolk. Female condition and egg size, however, were inversely related to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in egg yolk. Finally, steroid levels in egg yolk were not directly related to steroid levels in the maternal circulation when follicles were developing, indicating that steroid transfer to eggs is regulated. These findings suggest that maternal allocation of DHT could mitigate tradeoffs that lead to poor offspring quality (i.e. poor female condition) and small offspring size (i.e. small egg size).

  13. Handling the Misalignment of Interests in Assisted Reproductive Technology Practices

    OpenAIRE

    Pierson, Anne

    2010-01-01

    One of the major problems we see in the use of reproductive technology at this time is that there is very little regulation of embryo transfer practices that lead to multigestational pregnancies. While the FDA must approve assisted reproductive technology (ART) devices and drugs that stimulate ovulation, it has no jurisdiction over the practice of medicine, how these drugs and devices are used on the ground, often in off-label procedures. The only current regulation of these practices is at...

  14. Estrogens regulate the expression of NHERF1 in normal colon during the reproductive cycle of Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuello-Carrión, F Darío; Troncoso, Mariana; Guiñazu, Elina; Valdez, Susana R; Fanelli, Mariel A; Ciocca, Daniel R; Kreimann, Erica L

    2010-12-01

    In breast cancer cell lines, the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulator factor 1 (NHERF1) gene is regulated at the transcriptional level by estrogens, the protein expression levels correlate with the presence of estrogen receptors and the effect is blocked by anti-estrogens. However, there is limited information regarding the regulation of NHERF1 by estrogens in normal colon tissue. The NHERF1 protein has an important role in the maintenance of the intestine ultrastructure. NHERF1-deficient mice showed defects in the intestinal microvilli as well as molecular alterations in brush border membrane proteins. Here, we have studied the expression of NHERF1 in normal rat colon and uterus during the reproductive cycle of Wistar rats. We found that NHERF1 expression in rat colon during the estral cycle is modified by estrogen levels: higher expression of NHERF1 was observed during the proestrous and estrous stages and lower expression in diestrous 1 when estrogen levels decreased. In uterus, NHERF1 was expressed in the apical region of the luminal epithelium and glands in all stages of the estral cycle, and in both colon and uterus, the expression was independent of the proliferation status. Our results show that NHERF1 expression is regulated by estrogens in colon during the rat estral cycle.

  15. MicroRNA regulation of immune events at conception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Sarah A; Zhang, Bihong; Chan, Honyueng; Sharkey, David J; Barry, Simon C; Fullston, Tod; Schjenken, John E

    2017-09-01

    The reproductive tract environment at conception programs the developmental trajectory of the embryo, sets the course of pregnancy, and impacts offspring phenotype and health. Despite the fundamental importance of this stage of reproduction, the rate-limiting regulatory mechanisms operating locally to control fertility and fecundity are incompletely understood. Emerging studies highlight roles for microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating reproductive and developmental processes and in modulating the quality and strength of the female immune response. Since endometrial receptivity and robust placentation require specific adaptation of the immune response, we hypothesize that miRNAs participate in establishing pregnancy through effects on key gene networks in immune cells. Our recent studies investigated miRNAs that are induced in the peri-conception environment, focusing on miRNAs that have immune-regulatory roles-particularly miR-223, miR-155, and miR-146a. Genetic mouse models deficient in individual miRNAs are proving informative in defining roles for these miRNAs in the generation and stabilization of regulatory T cells (Treg cells) that confer adaptive immune tolerance. Overlapping and redundant functions between miRNAs that target multiple genes, combined with multiple miRNAs targeting individual genes, indicate complex and sensitive regulatory networks. Although to date most data on miRNA regulation of reproductive events are from mice, conserved functions of miRNAs across species imply similar biological pathways operate in all mammals. Understanding the regulation and roles of miRNAs in the peri-conception immune response will advance our knowledge of how environmental determinants act at conception, and could have practical applications for animal breeding as well as human fertility. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Adipokines and the Female Reproductive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime Reverchon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that adipose tissue can influence puberty, sexual maturation, and fertility in different species. Adipose tissue secretes molecules called adipokines which most likely have an endocrine effect on reproductive function. It has been revealed over the last few years that adipokines are functionally implicated at all levels of the reproductive axis including the gonad and hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Many studies have shown the presence and the role of the adipokines and their receptors in the female reproductive tract of different species. These adipokines regulate ovarian steroidogenesis, oocyte maturation, and embryo development. They are also present in the uterus and placenta where they could create a favorable environment for embryonic implantation and play a key role in maternal-fetal metabolism communication and gestation. Reproductive functions are strongly dependent on energy balance, and thereby metabolic abnormalities can lead to the development of some pathophysiologies such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS. Adipokines could be a link between reproduction and energy metabolism and could partly explain some infertility related to obesity or PCOS.

  17. Advantages of using the CRISPR/Cas9 system of genome editing to investigate male reproductive mechanisms using mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Samantha A M; Aitken, R John; Ikawa, Masahito

    2015-01-01

    Gene disruption technology has long been beneficial for the study of male reproductive biology. However, because of the time and cost involved, this technology was not a viable method except in specialist laboratories. The advent of the CRISPR/Cas9 system of gene disruption has ushered in a new era of genetic investigation. Now, it is possible to generate gene-disrupted mouse models in very little time and at very little cost. This Highlight article discusses the application of this technology to study the genetics of male fertility and looks at some of the future uses of this system that could be used to reveal the essential and nonessential genetic components of male reproductive mechanisms.

  18. Chonopeltis australis (Crustacea) male reproductive system morphology; sperm transfer and review of reproduction in Branchiura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neethling, Lourelle Alicia Martins; Avenant-Oldewage, Annemariè

    2015-02-01

    The morphology of the male reproductive system as well as sperm transfer in Branchiura has been described for Dolops ranarum and Argulus japonicus. In this study, the reproductive system and accessory structures are described for male Chonopeltis australis using histology, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. For the first time, we describe sperm transfer by means of a spermatophore in this genus. The internal and external morphology and mechanism of sperm transfer is compared with other Branchiura, where it has been described. The morphology of the reproductive system of C. australis is similar to that of D. ranarum while the accessory structures and the spermatophore produced are similar to that of A. japonicus. A revision of the definition of Branchiura with respect to reproduction is provided. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Genetics of reproduction and regulation of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert E; Rueppell, Olav; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees form complex societies with a division of labor for reproduction, nutrition, nest construction and maintenance, and defense. How does it evolve? Tasks performed by worker honeybees are distributed in time and space. There is no central control over behavior and there is no central genome on which selection can act and effect adaptive change. For 22 years, we have been addressing these questions by selecting on a single social trait associated with nutrition: the amount of surplus pollen (a source of protein) that is stored in the combs of the nest. Forty-two generations of selection have revealed changes at biological levels extending from the society down to the level of the gene. We show how we constructed this vertical understanding of social evolution using behavioral and anatomical analyses, physiology, genetic mapping, and gene knockdowns. We map out the phenotypic and genetic architectures of food storage and foraging behavior and show how they are linked through broad epistasis and pleiotropy affecting a reproductive regulatory network that influences foraging behavior. This is remarkable because worker honeybees have reduced reproductive organs and are normally sterile; however, the reproductive regulatory network has been co-opted for behavioral division of labor.

  20. The devil we know: the implications of bill C-38 for assisted human reproduction in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattapan, Alana; Cohen, Sara R

    2013-07-01

    In June 2012, the Canadian House of Commons passed the so-called omnibus budget bill, making several important changes to the governance of assisted reproduction in Canada. The bill (Bill C-38) was widely criticized for its unwieldy size and rapid passage through Parliament, preventing adequate parliamentary debate and public scrutiny. Given the substantive nature of the amendments to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act made by Bill C-38, and the lack of relevant discussion about these changes both before and following its passage, this commentary is intended to identify how Bill C-38 may alter the governance of reproductive technologies in Canada. In this commentary, we address some of the more significant changes made by Bill C-38 to the regulation of reproductive medicine in Canada. We identify the benefits and challenges of closing Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, noting that doing so eliminates a much-needed forum for stakeholder consultation in this field. Further, we explore the implications of moving the regulation of donor semen from the Food and Drugs Act to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; these include increased liability for physicians, and opportunities to expand the existing regulations to account for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer Canadians using donor gametes and recent advances in reproductive technologies. Overall, we argue that although the implementation of a policy framework in this field remains highly dependent on yet-to-be written regulations, the changes to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act enabled by Bill C-38 may significantly alter how Canadians interact with reproductive technologies.

  1. Neonatal outcome following new assisted reproductive technology regulations in Turkey - a nationwide multicenter point prevalence study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kultursay, Nilgun; Yalaz, Mehmet; Koroglu, Ozge Altun

    2015-01-01

    In March 2010, a new legislation about assisted reproductive technology (ART) activities, favoring single embryo transfer, was introduced in Turkey. Consequences of new regulations on neonatal outcome have not been evaluated in multicenter studies yet. In this study, our aim was to evaluate neonatal outcome of infants from medically assisted reproduction (MAR) pregnancies in the post-legislation era. A point prevalence study was conducted at 51 centers in Turkey on 1 April 2013. Data about fertility treatments and neonatal characteristics were evaluated for "live births" (Group 1) and "patients being cared in the NICU" (Group 2). Seventeen (4%) of 420 infants in group 1, and 89 (8.1%) of 1094 infants in group 2 were born after MAR pregnancies. The ratio of multiple births in MAR pregnancies was still very high as 47.1% for group 1, 69.1% for group 2 infants. MAR babies constituted 9.9% of infants in Level 3 NICUs and 7.6% infants in Level 2 NICUs. MAR was associated with increased risk of multiple births and prematurity. After the new legislation, multiple birth rates are still high in MAR pregnancies, resulting in unfavorable neonatal outcomes. Efforts to decrease multiple birth rates should be encouraged.

  2. Role and mechanism of arsenic in regulating angiogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-Zhi Liu

    Full Text Available Arsenic is a wide spread carcinogen associated with several kinds of cancers including skin, lung, bladder, and liver cancers. Lung is one of the major targets of arsenic exposure. Angiogenesis is the pivotal process during carcinogenesis and chronic pulmonary diseases, but the role and mechanism of arsenic in regulating angiogenesis remain to be elucidated. In this study we show that short time exposure of arsenic induces angiogenesis in both human immortalized lung epithelial cells BEAS-2B and adenocarcinoma cells A549. To study the molecular mechanism of arsenic-inducing angiogenesis, we find that arsenic induces reactive oxygen species (ROS generation, which activates AKT and ERK1/2 signaling pathways and increases the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF. Inhibition of ROS production suppresses angiogenesis by decreasing AKT and ERK activation and HIF-1 expression. Inhibition of ROS, AKT and ERK1/2 signaling pathways is sufficient to attenuate arsenic-inducing angiogenesis. HIF-1 and VEGF are downstream effectors of AKT and ERK1/2 that are required for arsenic-inducing angiogenesis. These results shed light on the mechanism of arsenic in regulating angiogenesis, and are helpful to develop mechanism-based intervention to prevent arsenic-induced carcinogenesis and angiogenesis in the future.

  3. Adverse effects of perinatal nicotine exposure on reproductive outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Michael K; Barra, Nicole G; Alfaidy, Nadia; Hardy, Daniel B; Holloway, Alison C

    2015-12-01

    Nicotine exposure during pregnancy through cigarette smoking, nicotine replacement therapies or e-cigarette use continues to be a widespread public health problem, impacting both fetal and postnatal health. Yet, at this time, there remains limited data regarding the safety and efficacy in using these nicotine products during pregnancy. Notably, reports assessing the effect of nicotine exposure on postnatal health outcomes in humans, including reproductive health, are severely lacking. Our current understanding regarding the consequences of nicotine exposure during pregnancy is limited to a few animal studies, which do not comprehensively address the underlying cellular mechanisms involved. This paper aims to critically review the current knowledge from human and animal studies regarding the direct and indirect effects (e.g. obesity) of maternal nicotine exposure, regardless of its source, on reproductive outcomes in pregnancy and postnatal life. Furthermore, this review highlights several key cellular mechanisms involved in these adverse reproductive deficits including oxidative stress, inflammation, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. By understanding the interplay of the cellular mechanisms involved, further strategies could be developed to prevent the reproductive abnormalities resulting from exposure to nicotine in utero and influence informed clinical guidelines for pregnant women. © 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  4. ATP-binding cassette transporters in reproduction: a new frontier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloise, E.; Ortiga-Carvalho, T.M.; Reis, F.M.; Lye, S.J.; Gibb, W.; Matthews, S.G.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND The transmembrane ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters actively efflux an array of clinically relevant compounds across biological barriers, and modulate biodistribution of many physiological and pharmacological factors. To date, over 48 ABC transporters have been identified and shown to be directly and indirectly involved in peri-implantation events and fetal/placental development. They efflux cholesterol, steroid hormones, vitamins, cytokines, chemokines, prostaglandins, diverse xenobiotics and environmental toxins, playing a critical role in regulating drug disposition, immunological responses and lipid trafficking, as well as preventing fetal accumulation of drugs and environmental toxins. METHODS This review examines ABC transporters as important mediators of placental barrier functions and key reproductive processes. Expression, localization and function of all identified ABC transporters were systematically reviewed using PubMed and Google Scholar websites to identify relevant studies examining ABC transporters in reproductive tissues in physiological and pathophysiological states. Only reports written in English were incorporated with no restriction on year of publication. While a major focus has been placed on the human, extensive evidence from animal studies is utilized to describe current understanding of the regulation and function of ABC transporters relevant to human reproduction. RESULTS ABC transporters are modulators of steroidogenesis, fertilization, implantation, nutrient transport and immunological responses, and function as ‘gatekeepers’ at various barrier sites (i.e. blood-testes barrier and placenta) against potentially harmful xenobiotic factors, including drugs and environmental toxins. These roles appear to be species dependent and change as a function of gestation and development. The best-described ABC transporters in reproductive tissues (primarily in the placenta) are the multidrug transporters p-glycoprotein and

  5. The signaling lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate regulates mechanical pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Rose Z; Hoffman, Benjamin U; Morita, Takeshi; Campos, Stephanie M; Lumpkin, Ellen A; Brem, Rachel B

    2018-01-01

    Somatosensory neurons mediate responses to diverse mechanical stimuli, from innocuous touch to noxious pain. While recent studies have identified distinct populations of A mechanonociceptors (AMs) that are required for mechanical pain, the molecular underpinnings of mechanonociception remain unknown. Here, we show that the bioactive lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and S1P Receptor 3 (S1PR3) are critical regulators of acute mechanonociception. Genetic or pharmacological ablation of S1PR3, or blockade of S1P production, significantly impaired the behavioral response to noxious mechanical stimuli, with no effect on responses to innocuous touch or thermal stimuli. These effects are mediated by fast-conducting A mechanonociceptors, which displayed a significant decrease in mechanosensitivity in S1PR3 mutant mice. We show that S1PR3 signaling tunes mechanonociceptor excitability via modulation of KCNQ2/3 channels. Our findings define a new role for S1PR3 in regulating neuronal excitability and establish the importance of S1P/S1PR3 signaling in the setting of mechanical pain thresholds. PMID:29561262

  6. Leptin and reproduction: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moschos, Stergios; Chan, Jean L; Mantzoros, Christos S

    2002-03-01

    To review recent advances in understanding the role of leptin in the physiology and pathophysiology of reproduction, with a focus on relevant clinical situations. A MEDLINE computer search was performed to identify relevant articles. Leptin, an adipocyte hormone important in regulating energy homeostasis, interacts with the reproductive axis at multiple sites, with stimulatory effects at the hypothalamus and pituitary and inhibitory actions at the gonads. More recently, leptin has been shown to play a role in other target reproductive organs, such as the endometrium, placenta, and mammary gland, with corresponding influences on important physiologic processes such as menstruation, pregnancy, and lactation. As a marker of whether nutritional stores are adequate, leptin may act in concert with gonadotropins and the growth hormone axis to initiate the complex process of puberty. Conditions in which nutritional status is suboptimal, such as eating disorders, exercise-induced amenorrhea, and functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, are associated with low serum leptin levels; and conditions with excess energy stores or metabolic disturbances, such as obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome, often have elevated serum or follicular fluid leptin levels, raising the possibility that relative leptin deficiency or resistance may be at least partly responsible for the reproductive abnormalities that occur with these conditions. Leptin may act as the critical link between adipose tissue and the reproductive system, indicating whether adequate energy reserves are present for normal reproductive function. Future interventional studies involving leptin administration are expected to further clarify this role of leptin and may provide new therapeutic options for the reproductive dysfunction associated with states of relative leptin deficiency or resistance.

  7. Advances in reproductive science for wild carnivore conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comizzoli, P; Crosier, A E; Songsasen, N; Gunther, M Szykman; Howard, J G; Wildt, D E

    2009-07-01

    Knowledge about reproduction is critical for predicting the viability of wildlife populations in nature and for managing breeding programmes in captivity. Intensive species-based studies are the priority, because reproductive mechanisms are extraordinarily diverse, even within the same taxonomic family. Carnivores deserve more attention as such species are highly vulnerable to environmental change and human persecution. The present review provides contemporary illustrations of how reproductive science is contributing to understand unique reproductive mechanisms that are both of fundamental and applied interest. In the case of the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) free-living in South Africa, non-invasive faecal corticosteroid assessments have yielded new insights about the impact of animal relocation and reintroduction on adaptive responses, reproductive fitness and survival. For the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), advances have been made in characterizing and comparing reproductive traits in free-ranging vs captive individuals. For the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), recent studies have focused on the cryosensitivity of sperm and the ability to develop a field-friendly sperm cryo-method. The by-product has been a large-scale frozen repository of sperm from wild-caught cheetahs useful for infusing new genes into ex situ populations. Finally, rigorous, multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional reproductive studies of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), including the use of artificial insemination, have contributed to the remarkable recovery and restoration of this species, once on the brink of extinction. In summary, advances in reproductive science are not necessarily related to 'assisted breeding'. However, understanding the unique ways of carnivore reproduction greatly contributes to species management and conservation.

  8. Innovative non-animal testing strategies for reproductive toxicology: the contribution of Italian partners within the EU project ReProTect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Lorenzetti

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive toxicity, with its many targets and mechanisms, is a complex area of toxicology; thus, the screening and identification of reproductive toxicants is a main scientific challenge for the safety assessment of chemicals, including the European Regulation on Chemicals (REACH. Regulatory agencies recommend the implementation of the 3Rs principle (refinement, reduction, replacement as well as of intelligent testing strategies, through the development of in vitro methods and the use of mechanistic information in the hazard identification and characterization steps of the risk assessment process. The EU Integrated Project ReProTect (6th Framework Programme implemented an array of in vitro tests to study different building blocks of the mammalian reproductive cycle: methodological developments and results on male and female germ cells, prostate and placenta are presented.

  9. A hybrid computational method for the discovery of novel reproduction-related genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Chu, Chen; Kong, Xiangyin; Huang, Guohua; Huang, Tao; Cai, Yu-Dong

    2015-01-01

    Uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying reproduction is of great importance to infertility treatment and to the generation of healthy offspring. In this study, we discovered novel reproduction-related genes with a hybrid computational method, integrating three different types of method, which offered new clues for further reproduction research. This method was first executed on a weighted graph, constructed based on known protein-protein interactions, to search the shortest paths connecting any two known reproduction-related genes. Genes occurring in these paths were deemed to have a special relationship with reproduction. These newly discovered genes were filtered with a randomization test. Then, the remaining genes were further selected according to their associations with known reproduction-related genes measured by protein-protein interaction score and alignment score obtained by BLAST. The in-depth analysis of the high confidence novel reproduction genes revealed hidden mechanisms of reproduction and provided guidelines for further experimental validations.

  10. The role of brain peptides in the reproduction of blue gourami males (Trichogaster trichopterus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Gal; Degani, Gad

    2013-10-01

    In all vertebrates, reproduction and growth are closely linked and both are controlled by complex hormonal interactions at the brain-pituitary level. In this study, we focused on the reciprocal interactions between brain peptides that regulate growth and reproductive functions in a teleostei fish (blue gourami Trichogaster trichopterus). An increase in gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) gene expression was detected during ontogeny, and this peptide increased growth hormone (GH) and β follicle-stimulating hormone (βFSH) gene expression in pituitary cell culture. However, although no change in gonadotropin-releasing hormone 2 (GnRH2) gene expression during the reproductive cycle or sexual behavior was detected, a stimulatory effect of this peptide on β gonadotropins (βGtH) gene expression was observed. In addition, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide 38 (PACAP-38) inhibited GnRH-analog-induced βFSH gene expression, and co-treatment of cells with GnRH-analog and PACAP-38 inhibited GnRH-analog-stimulatory and PACAP-38-inhibitory effects on GH gene expression. These findings together with previous studies were used to create a model summarizing the mechanism of brain peptides (GnRH, PACAP and its related peptide) and the relationship to reproduction and growth through pituitary hormone gene expression during ontogenesis and reproductive stages in blue gourami. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Effect Mechanism of Penstock on Stability and Regulation Quality of Turbine Regulating System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wencheng Guo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper studies the effect mechanism of water inertia and head loss of penstock on stability and regulation quality of turbine regulating system with surge tank or not and proposes the construction method of equivalent model of regulating system. Firstly, the complete linear mathematical model of regulating system is established. Then, the free oscillation equation and time response of the frequency that describe stability and regulation quality, respectively, are obtained. Finally, the effects of penstock are analysed by using stability region and response curves. The results indicate that the stability and regulation quality of system without surge tank are determined by time response of frequency which only depends on water hammer wave in penstock, while, for system with surge tank, the time response of frequency depending on water hammer wave in penstock and water-level fluctuation in surge tank jointly determines the stability and regulation quality. Water inertia of penstock mainly affects the stability and time response of frequency of system without surge tank as well as the stability and head wave of time response of frequency with surge tank. Head loss of penstock mainly affects the stability and tail wave of time response of frequency with surge tank.

  12. Molecular biological mechanism II. Molecular mechanisms of cell cycle regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, T.

    2000-01-01

    The cell cycle in eukaryotes is regulated by central cell cycle controlling protein kinase complexes. These protein kinase complexes consist of a catalytic subunit from the cyclin-dependent protein kinase family (CDK), and a regulatory subunit from the cyclin family. Cyclins are characterised by their periodic cell cycle related synthesis and destruction. Each cell cycle phase is characterised by a specific set of CDKs and cyclins. The activity of CDK/cyclin complexes is mainly regulated on four levels. It is controlled by specific phosphorylation steps, the synthesis and destruction of cyclins, the binding of specific inhibitor proteins, and by active control of their intracellular localisation. At several critical points within the cell cycle, named checkpoints, the integrity of the cellular genome is monitored. If damage to the genome or an unfinished prior cell cycle phase is detected, the cell cycle progression is stopped. These cell cycle blocks are of great importance to secure survival of cells. Their primary importance is to prevent the manifestation and heritable passage of a mutated genome to daughter cells. Damage sensing, DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis are closely linked cellular defence mechanisms to secure genome integrity. Disregulation in one of these defence mechanisms are potentially correlated with an increased cancer risk and therefore in at least some cases with an increased radiation sensitivity. (orig.) [de

  13. Mechanisms Down-Regulating Sprouty1, a Growth Inhibitor in Prostate Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kwabi-Addo, Bernard

    2006-01-01

    .... I have demonstrated that Sprouty1 is down-regulated in human prostate cancer (PCa). The purpose of the present study is to characterize the molecular mechanisms regulating Sprouty1 expression in the human PCa. Results...

  14. Osmosensory mechanisms in cellular and systemic volume regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Stine Helene Falsig; Kapus, András; Hoffmann, Else K

    2011-01-01

    Perturbations of cellular and systemic osmolarity severely challenge the function of all organisms and are consequently regulated very tightly. Here we outline current evidence on how cells sense volume perturbations, with particular focus on mechanisms relevant to the kidneys and to extracellular...

  15. Jinggangmycin-suppressed reproduction in the small brown planthopper (SBPH), Laodelphax striatellus (Fallen), is mediated by glucose dehydrogenase (GDH).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jun; Wu, You; You, Lin-Lin; Xu, Bin; Ge, Lin-Quan; Yang, Guo-Qing; Wu, Jin-Cai

    2017-06-01

    The small brown planthopper (SBPH), Laodelphax striatellus (Fallen), is a serious pest insect of rice, wheat, and maize in China. SBPH not only sucks plant sap but also transmits plant disease viruses, causing serious damage. These viruses include rice striped virus disease (RSV disease), black streaked dwarf, and maize rough disease virus. SBPH outbreaks are related to the overuse of pesticides in China. Some pesticides, such as triazophos, stimulate the reproduction of SBPH, but an antibiotic fungicide jinggangmycin (JGM) suppresses its reproduction. However, mechanisms of decreased reproduction of SBPH induced by JGM remain unclear. The present findings show that JGM suppressed reproduction of SBPH (↓approximately 35.7%) and resulted in the down-regulated expression of glucose dehydrogenase (GDH). GDH-silenced control females (control+dsGDH) show that the number of eggs laid was reduced by 48.6% compared to control females. Biochemical tests show that the total lipid and fatty acid contents in JGM-treated and control+dsGDH females decreased significantly. Thus, we propose that the suppression of reproduction in SBPH induced by JGM is mediated by GDH via metabolic pathways. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Fundamental roles of reactive oxygen species and protective mechanisms in the female reproductive system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okada Futoshi

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Controlled oxidation, such as disulfide bond formation in sperm nuclei and during ovulation, plays a fundamental role in mammalian reproduction. Excess oxidation, however, causes oxidative stress, resulting in the dysfunction of the reproductive process. Antioxidation reactions that reduce the levels of reactive oxygen species are of prime importance in reproductive systems in maintaining the quality of gametes and support reproduction. While anti-oxidative enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and peroxidase, play a central role in eliminating oxidative stress, reduction-oxidation (redox systems, comprised of mainly glutathione and thioredoxin, function to reduce the levels of oxidized molecules. Aldo-keto reductase, using NADPH as an electron donor, detoxifies carbonyl compounds resulting from the oxidation of lipids and proteins. Thus, many antioxidative and redox enzyme genes are expressed and aggressively protect gametes and embryos in reproductive systems.

  17. Gene-environment interaction and male reproductive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsson, Jonatan; Bonde, Jens Peter; Giwercman, Yvonne L

    2010-01-01

    As genetic factors can hardly explain the changes taking place during short time spans, environmental and lifestyle-related factors have been suggested as the causes of time-related deterioration of male reproductive function. However, considering the strong heterogeneity of male fecundity between...... that specific genotypes may confer a larger risk of male reproductive disorders following certain exposures. This paper presents a critical review of animal and human evidence on how genes may modify environmental effects on male reproductive function. Some examples have been found that support this mechanism...... of reproduction, namely environmental and lifestyle factors as the cause of sperm DNA damage. It remains to be investigated to what extent such genetic changes, by natural conception or through the use of assisted reproductive techniques, are transmitted to the next generation, thereby causing increased morbidity...

  18. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Cafazzo

    Full Text Available Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves.

  19. Advance in the Study of the Mechanisms Regulated by Sphingosine-1-Phosphate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Fei; Kong, Xiangqian; Luo, Cheng

    2010-09-01

    Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid messenger in the cells that regulate gene expression and NF-KB signal pathway through unknown mechanisms. Recently, Cheng Luo, associate professor of DDDC in Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, whose project was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, joined in a research team led by Professor Sarah Spiegel of Virginia Commonwealth University. The team continuously made significant breakthroughs in understanding the regulation mechanism of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate. In September 2009, in a paper published on SCIENCE magazine (Science 2009, 325: 1254-7), they firstly demonstrated that S1P is a physiologically important regulator of histone deacetylases (HDACs), HDACs are direct intracellular targets of S1P. Furthermore, they identified the mechanism that S1P regulates gene expression through regulating the activity of HDACs. In June 24th, 2010, in another paper to be published on NATURE magazine (Nature 2010, June 24th, advance online publication) which reports the regulation of NF-KB signaling pathway by S1P. They demonstrate that S1P is the missing cofactor for TRAF2 (tumour-necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2) and indicate a new paradigm for the regulation of lysine-63-linked poly-ubiquitination. The study also highlight the key role of SphK1 and its product S1P in TNF-α signalling and the canonical NF-KB activation pathway, and then play crucial role in inflammatory, antiapoptotic and immune processes. The identification of new mechanisms by which S1P regulates gene expression and TNF and NF-KB signaling pathway will light up the road to develop novel inhibitors that might be useful for treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.

  20. Queen conch (Strombus gigas testis regresses during the reproductive season at nearshore sites in the Florida Keys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Spade

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Queen conch (Strombus gigas reproduction is inhibited in nearshore areas of the Florida Keys, relative to the offshore environment where conchs reproduce successfully. Nearshore reproductive failure is possibly a result of exposure to environmental factors, including heavy metals, which are likely to accumulate close to shore. Metals such as Cu and Zn are detrimental to reproduction in many mollusks. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Histology shows gonadal atrophy in nearshore conchs as compared to reproductively healthy offshore conchs. In order to determine molecular mechanisms leading to tissue changes and reproductive failure, a microarray was developed. A normalized cDNA library for queen conch was constructed and sequenced using the 454 Life Sciences GS-FLX pyrosequencer, producing 27,723 assembled contigs and 7,740 annotated transcript sequences. The resulting sequences were used to design the microarray. Microarray analysis of conch testis indicated differential regulation of 255 genes (p<0.01 in nearshore conch, relative to offshore. Changes in expression for three of four transcripts of interest were confirmed using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis indicated changes in biological processes: respiratory chain (GO:0015992, spermatogenesis (GO:0007283, small GTPase-mediated signal transduction (GO:0007264, and others. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis indicated that Zn and possibly Cu were elevated in some nearshore conch tissues. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Congruence between testis histology and microarray data suggests that nearshore conch testes regress during the reproductive season, while offshore conch testes develop normally. Possible mechanisms underlying the testis regression observed in queen conch in the nearshore Florida Keys include a disruption of small GTPase (Ras-mediated signaling in testis development. Additionally, elevated tissue

  1. Regulating (for the benefit of) future persons: a different perspective on the FDA's jurisdiction to regulate human reproductive cloning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javitt, Gail H; Hudson, Kathy

    2003-01-01

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the position that human reproductive cloning falls within its regulatory jurisdiction. This position has been subject to criticism on both procedural and substantive grounds. Some have contended that the FDA has failed to follow administrative law principles in asserting its jurisdiction, while others claim the FDA is ill suited to the task of addressing the ethical and social implications of human cloning. This Article argues, that, notwithstanding these criticisms, the FDA could plausibly assert jurisdiction over human cloning as a form of human gene therapy, an area in which the FDA is already regarded as having primary regulatory authority. Such an assertion would require that the FDA's jurisdiction extend to products affecting future persons, i.e., those not yet born. This Article demonstrates, for the first time, that such jurisdiction was implicit in the enactment of the 1962 Kefauver-Harris Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and that the FDA has historically relied on such authority in promulgating regulations for drugs and devices.

  2. Endocrinology of human female sexuality, mating, and reproductive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motta-Mena, Natalie V; Puts, David A

    2017-05-01

    Hormones orchestrate and coordinate human female sexual development, sexuality, and reproduction in relation to three types of phenotypic changes: life history transitions such as puberty and childbirth, responses to contextual factors such as caloric intake and stress, and cyclical patterns such as the ovulatory cycle. Here, we review the endocrinology underlying women's reproductive phenotypes, including sexual orientation and gender identity, mate preferences, competition for mates, sex drive, and maternal behavior. We highlight distinctive aspects of women's sexuality such as the possession of sexual ornaments, relatively cryptic fertile windows, extended sexual behavior across the ovulatory cycle, and a period of midlife reproductive senescence-and we focus on how hormonal mechanisms were shaped by selection to produce adaptive outcomes. We conclude with suggestions for future research to elucidate how hormonal mechanisms subserve women's reproductive phenotypes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Age-specific reproductive success in a long-lived bird: do older parents resist stress better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelier, Frederic; Moe, Børge; Weimerskirch, Henri; Chastel, Olivier

    2007-11-01

    In many vertebrates, reproductive performance increases with advancing age but mechanisms involved in such a pattern remain poorly studied. One potential mechanism may be the hormonal stress response, which shifts energy investment away from reproduction and redirects it towards survival. In birds, this stress response is achieved through a release of corticosterone and is also accompanied by a decrease in circulating prolactin, a hormone involved widely in regulating parental cares. It has been predicted that, when the value of the current reproduction is high relative to the value of future reproduction and survival, as it is expected to be in older adults, the stress response should be attenuated to ensure that reproduction is not inhibited. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the corticosterone and prolactin responses of known-age (8-36 years old) incubating snow petrels (Pagadroma nivea) to a standardized capture/handling stress protocol. We also investigated whether an attenuation of the stress responses will correlate with a lower occurrence of egg neglect, a frequently observed behaviour in snow petrels. The probability of successfully fledging a chick increased from 6 years to 12 years before stabilizing after 12 years of age. Corticosterone response to stress was unaffected by age. Prolactin response to stress, however, was influenced clearly by age: in both sexes older breeders had higher stress-induced prolactin levels than younger ones. This was due to an increasing attenuation of the prolactin response to stress with advancing age in females, and in males this was due to a probably higher intrinsic capacity of older males to secrete prolactin. Moreover, higher stress-induced prolactin levels were correlated with a lower probability of neglecting the egg. In young breeders, the combination of a robust corticosterone increase with a lower ability to maintain prolactin secretion during acute stress is probably one of the functional causes of their

  4. Sexual polyploidization in plants--cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-05-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. © 2013 Ghent University. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Exercise and reproductive dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, E C; Brzyski, R G

    1999-01-01

    To provide an overview of our current understanding of exercise-induced reproductive dysfunction and an approach to its evaluation and management. A MEDLINE search was performed to review all articles with title words related to menstrual dysfunction, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, exercise, and athletic activities from 1966 to 1998. The pathophysiology, proposed mechanisms, clinical manifestations, evaluation, and management of exercise-associated reproductive dysfunction were compiled. Exercise-induced menstrual irregularity appears to be multifactorial in origin and remains a diagnosis of exclusion. The underlying mechanisms are mainly speculative. Clinical manifestations range from luteal phase deficiency to anovulation, amenorrhea, and even delayed menarche. Evaluation should include a thorough history and a complete physical plus pelvic examination. Most cases are reversible with dietary and exercise modifications. Hormonal replacement in cases of a prolonged hypoestrogenic state with evidence of increased bone loss is recommended, although the long-term consequences of prolonged hormonal deficiency are ill-defined.

  6. Is Boric Acid Toxic to Reproduction in Humans? Assessment of the Animal Reproductive Toxicity Data and Epidemiological Study Results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duydu, Yalçın; Başaran, Nurşen; Ustündağ, Aylin; Aydın, Sevtap; Undeğer, Ulkü; Ataman, Osman Yavuz; Aydos, Kaan; Düker, Yalçın; Ickstadt, Katja; Waltrup, Brita Schulze; Golka, Klaus; Bolt, Hermann Maximilian

    2016-01-01

    Boric acid and sodium borates are classified as toxic to reproduction in the CLP Regulation under "Category 1B" with the hazard statement of "H360FD". This classification is based on the reprotoxic effects of boric acid and sodium borates in animal experiments at high doses. However, boron mediated reprotoxic effects have not been proven in epidemiological studies so far. The epidemiological study performed in Bandırma boric acid production plant is the most comprehensive published study in this field with 204 voluntarily participated male workers. Sperm quality parameters (sperm morphology, concentration and motility parameters), FSH, LH and testosterone levels were determined in all participated employees as the reproductive toxicity biomarkers of males. However, boron mediated unfavorable effects on reproduction in male workers have not been determined even in the workers under very high daily boron exposure (0.21 mg B/kg-bw/day) conditions. The NOAEL for rat reproductive toxicity is equivalent to a blood boron level of 2020 ng/g. This level is higher than the mean blood boron concentration (223.89 ± 69.49 ng/g) of the high exposure group workers in Bandırma boric acid production plant (Turkey) by a factor of 9. Accordingly, classifying boric acid and sodium borates under "Category 1B" as "presumed reproductive human toxicant in the CLP regulation seems scientifically not reasonable. The results of the epidemiological studies (including the study performed in China) support for a down-classification of boric acid from the category 1B, H360FD to category 2, H361d, (suspected of damaging the unborn child).

  7. Rethinking reproductive "tourism" as reproductive "exile".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inhorn, Marcia C; Patrizio, Pasquale

    2009-09-01

    Whereas reproductive "tourism" implies leisure travel, reproductive "exile" bespeaks the numerous difficulties and constraints faced by infertile patients who are "forced" to travel globally for assisted reproduction. Given this reality, it is time to rethink the language of "reproductive tourism," replacing it with more accurate and patient-centered terms.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narasimamurthy, Rajesh; Virshup, David M

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep-wake cycle, feeding-fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Virshup

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  10. Allocation to reproduction and relative reproductive costs in two species of dioecious Anacardiaceae with contrasting phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Shuhei; Sakimoto, Michinori

    2008-06-01

    The cost of reproduction in dioecious plants is often female-biased. However, several studies have reported no difference in costs of reproduction between the sexes. In this study, the relative reproductive allocation and costs at the shoot and whole-plant levels were examined in woody dioecious Rhus javanica and R. trichocarpa, in order to examine differences between types of phenophase (i.e. physiological stage of development). Male and female Rhus javanica and R. trichocarpa were sampled and the reproductive and vegetative allocation of the shoot were estimated by harvesting reproductive current-year shoots during flowering and fruiting. Measurements were made of the number of reproductive and total current-year shoots per whole plant, and of the basal area increment (BAI). The numbers of reproductive and total current-year shoots per 1-year-old shoot were counted in order to examine the costs in the following year at the shoot level. A female-biased annual reproductive allocation was found; however, the ratio of reproductive current-year shoots per tree and the BAI did not differ between sexes in Rhus javanica and R. trichocarpa. The percentage of 1-year-old shoots with at least one reproductive current-year shoot was significantly male-biased in R. trichocarpa, but not in R. javanica, indicating that there was a relative cost at the shoot level only in R. trichocarpa. The female-biased leaf mass per shoot, an indicator of compensation for costs, was only found in R. javanica. Relative reproductive costs at the shoot level were detected in Rhus trichocarpa, which has simultaneous leafing and flowering, but not in R. javanica, which has leafing followed by flowering. However, the costs for the whole-plant level were diminished in both species. The results suggest that the phenophase type may produce the different costs for R. javanica and R. trichocarpa through the development of a compensation mechanism.

  11. Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA Signaling in Human and Ruminant Reproductive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Izabela Wocławek-Potocka

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA through activating its G protein-coupled receptors (LPAR 1–6 exerts diverse cellular effects that in turn influence several physiological processes including reproductive function of the female. Studies in various species of animals and also in humans have identified important roles for the receptor-mediated LPA signaling in multiple aspects of human and animal reproductive tract function. These aspects range from ovarian and uterine function, estrous cycle regulation, early embryo development, embryo implantation, decidualization to pregnancy maintenance and parturition. LPA signaling can also have pathological consequences, influencing aspects of endometriosis and reproductive tissue associated tumors. The review describes recent progress in LPA signaling research relevant to human and ruminant reproduction, pointing at the cow as a relevant model to study LPA influence on the human reproductive performance.

  12. Age-related changes in somatic condition and reproduction in the Eurasian beaver: Resource history influences onset of reproductive senescence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruairidh D Campbell

    Full Text Available Using 15 years of data from a stable population of wild Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber, we examine how annual and lifetime access to food resources affect individual age-related changes in reproduction and somatic condition. We found an age-related decline in annual maternal reproductive output, after a peak at age 5-6. Rainfall, an established negative proxy of annual resource availability for beavers, was consistently associated with lower reproductive output for females of all ages. In contrast, breeding territory quality, as a measure of local resource history over reproductive lifetimes, caused differences in individual patterns of reproductive senescence; animals from lower quality territories senesced when younger. Litter size was unrelated to maternal age, although adult body weight increased with age. In terms of resource effects, in poorer years but not in better years, older mothers produced larger offspring than did younger mothers, giving support to the constraint theory. Overall, our findings exemplify state-dependent life-history strategies, supporting an effect of resources on reproductive senescence, where cumulative differences in resource access, and not just reproductive strategy, mediate long-term reproductive trade-offs, consistent with the disposable soma and reproductive restraint theories. We propose that flexible life-history schedules could play a role in the dynamics of populations exhibiting reproductive skew, with earlier breeding opportunities leading to an earlier senescence schedule through resource dependent mechanisms.

  13. Neuroendocrine control by kisspeptins: role in metabolic regulation of fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Victor M; Tena-Sempere, Manuel

    2011-09-13

    The neurohormonal control of reproduction involves a hierarchical network of central and peripheral signals in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Development and function of this neuroendocrine system is the result of a lifelong delicate balance between endogenous regulators and environmental cues, including nutritional and metabolic factors. Kisspeptins are the peptide products of KISS1, which operate via the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54 (also known as Kiss1R). These peptides have emerged as essential upstream regulators of neurons secreting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the major hypothalamic node for the stimulatory control of the HPG axis. They are potent elicitors of gonadotropin secretion in various species and physiological settings. Moreover, Kiss1 neurons in the hypothalamus participate in crucial features of reproductive maturation and function, such as brain-level sex differentiation, puberty onset and the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin secretion and ovulation. Cotransmitters of Kiss1 neurons, such as neurokinin B, with roles in controlling the HPG axis have been identified by genetic, neuroanatomical and physiological studies. In addition, a putative role has been proposed for Kiss1 neurons in transmitting metabolic information to GnRH neurons, although the precise mechanisms are as yet unclear. In this Review, we present the major reproductive features of kisspeptins, especially their interplay with neurokinin B and potential roles in the metabolic control of puberty and fertility, and suggest new avenues for research.

  14. How to address the ethics of reproductive travel to developing countries: a comparison of national self-sufficiency and regulated market approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, G K D; Martin, Dominique

    2012-04-01

    One of the areas of concern raised by cross-border reproductive travel regards the treatment of women who are solicited to provide their ova or surrogacy services to foreign consumers. This is particularly troublesome in the context of developing countries where endemic poverty and low standards for both medical care and informed consent may place these women at risk of exploitation and harm. We explore two contrasting proposals for policy development regarding the industry, both of which seek to promote ethical outcomes and social justice: While one proposal advocates efforts to minimize cross-border demand for female reproductive resources through the pursuit of national self-sufficiency, the other defends cross-border trade as a means for meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. Despite the conflicting objectives of the proposed strategies, the paper identifies common values and points of agreement between the two, including the importance of regulations to safeguard those providing ova or surrogacy services. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Research progress on the role of melatonin and its receptors in animal reproduction: A comprehensive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talpur, H S; Chandio, I B; Brohi, R D; Worku, T; Rehman, Z; Bhattarai, D; Ullah, F; JiaJia, L; Yang, L

    2018-04-16

    Melatonin and its receptors play a crucial role in the regulation of the animal reproductive process, primarily in follicular development. However, the role that melatonin performs in regulating hormones related with reproduction remains unclear. Melatonin and its receptors are present both in female and male animals' organs, such as ovaries, heart, brain and liver. Melatonin regulates ovarian actions and is a key mediator of reproductive actions. Melatonin has numerous effects on animal reproduction, such as protection of gametes and embryos, response to clock genes, immune-neuroendocrine, reconciliation of seasonal variations in immune function, and silence or blockage of genes. The growth ratio of reproductive illnesses in animals has raised a remarkable concern for the government, animal caretakers and farm managers. In order to resolve this challenging issue, it is very necessary to conduct state-of-the-art research on melatonin and its receptors because melatonin has considerable physiognomies. This review article presents a current contemporary research conducted by numerous researchers from the entire world on the role of melatonin and its receptors in animal reproduction, from the year 1985 to the year 2017. Furthermore, this review shows scientific research challenges related to melatonin receptors and their explanations based on the findings of 172 numerous research articles, and also represents significant proficiencies of melatonin in order to show enthusiastic study direction for animal reproduction researchers. © 2018 The Authors. Reproduction in Domestic Animals Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Reproduction in the Genetic Age: A Proposed Scheme for the Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies

    OpenAIRE

    Lindstrom, Laura J.

    2002-01-01

    In the last several years, there have been a number of advances in the area of assisted (or advanced) reproductive technology (ART) that are so fantastic that they strain the credulity of even those well-versed in medicine and science. Moreover, the potential medical, legal, psychological, and social repercussions of the applications of these technologies cause most people who hear about their use to worry somewhat about the ramifications. In fact, part of the general fear of these technologi...

  17. Effects of environment on buffalo reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. G. Vale

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available It has been long recognized that the environment has an important role to play in the regulation of the mammalian reproductive function. Environmental cues, such as changing day-light or increase temperature, are know to trigger off growth or regression of the reproductive organs in a whole variety of species and nutrition and stress can influence the onset of breeding and affect the fertility. Although the domestic buffalo (Bubalus bubalis has been since long time considered as a short-day-breeder polyestral seasonal animal, indeed in the tropical areas near of equator line they are polyestral continuous. It would seem that photoperiod has a marked influence in buffalo reproduction in determinate areas of the world, however in some tropical areas like in Brazil, mainly in the Amazon valley and areas nearest of the equator the light seems to have a minimal effect or no effect on the reproductive cues however the nutrition and heat stress measured throughout temperature/ humidity indexes (THI play an important role in the reproductive functions of buffaloes and it is suggested that THI >75 has a negative effect on reproductive performances of buffaloes. The calving season is regulated by the availability of native pasture in the floodplain or in areas of artificial pasture On the other hand when buffaloes are raised in the southwest and southern regions (parallels 14 to 33 South they show a typical seasonal pattern when the calving season are concentrated between de February to July. The body condition score (BCS seems to affect directly the fertility of female buffaloes since females that calve with a BCS < 2.5 show delayed postpartum ovulation, weak estrus symptoms and more service per conception rate. Seasonal anestrus is a normal phenomenon in the out breeding season that occur in areas near, upon or down of the Cancer and Capricorn lines, respectively, however the anoestrus can be overcame by the use of hormone to synchronize heat and

  18. Seminal Fluid-Mediated Inflammation in Physiology and Pathology of the Female Reproductive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthonio O. Adefuye

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Inflammation is a multifaceted process involving a host of resident and recruited immune cells that eliminate the insult or injury and initiate tissue repair. In the female reproductive tract (FMRT, inflammation-mediated alterations in epithelial, vascular, and immune functions are important components of complex physiological processes and many local and systemic pathologies. It is well established that intracoital and postcoital function of seminal fluid (SF goes beyond nutritive support for the spermatozoa cells. SF, in particular, the inflammatory bioactive lipids, and prostaglandins present in vast quantities in SF, have a role in localized immune modulation and regulation of pathways that can exacerbate inflammation in the FMRT. In sexually active women SF-mediated inflammation has been implicated in physiologic processes such as ovulation, implantation, and parturition while also enhancing tumorigenesis and susceptibility to infection. This review highlights the molecular mechanism by which SF regulates inflammatory pathways in the FMRT and how alterations in these pathways contribute to physiology and pathology of the female reproductive function. In addition, based on findings from TaqMan® 96-Well Plate Arrays, on neoplastic cervical cells treated with SF, we discuss new findings on the role of SF as a potent driver of inflammatory and tumorigenic pathways in the cervix.

  19. Kisspeptins and RFRP-3 act in concert to synchronize rodent reproduction with seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie eSimonneaux

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal mammals use the photoperiodic variation in the nocturnal production of the pineal hormone melatonin to synchronize their reproductive activity with seasons. In rodents, the short day profile of melatonin secretion has long been proven to inhibit reproductive activity. Lately, we demonstrated that melatonin regulates the expression of the hypothalamic peptides kisspeptins (Kp and RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3, recently discovered as potent regulators of GnRH neuron activity. In the male Syrian hamster, Kp expression in the arcuate nucleus is down-regulated by melatonin independently of the inhibitory feedback of testosterone. A central or peripheral administration of Kp induces an increase in pituitary gonadotropins and gonadal hormone secretion, but most importantly a chronic infusion of the peptide reactivates the photoinhibited reproductive axis of Syrian hamsters kept in short day conditions. RFRP-3 expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus is also strongly inhibited by melatonin in a short day photoperiod. Although RFRP-3 is usually considered as an inhibitory component of the gonadotropic axis, a central acute administration of RFRP-3 in the male Syrian hamster induces a marked increase in gonadotropin secretion and testosterone production. Furthermore, a chronic central infusion of RFRP-3 in short day-adapted hamsters reactivates the reproductive axis, in the same manner as Kp. Both Kp and RFRP-3 neurons project onto GnRH neurons and both neuropeptides regulate GnRH neuron activity. In addition, central RFRP-3 infusion was associated with a significant increase in arcuate Kp expression. However, the actual sites of action of both peptides in the Syrian hamster brain are still unknown. Altogether our findings indicate that Kp and RFRP neurons are pivotal relays for the seasonal regulation of reproduction, and also suggest that RFRP neurons might be the primary target of the melatoninergic message.

  20. Nutrient restriction induces failure of reproductive function and molecular changes in hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis in postpubertal gilts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Dongsheng; Zhuo, Yong; Che, Lianqiang; Lin, Yan; Fang, Zhengfeng; Wu, De

    2014-07-01

    People on a diet to lose weight may be at risk of reproductive failure. To investigate the effects of nutrient restriction on reproductive function and the underlying mechanism, changes of reproductive traits, hormone secretions and gene expressions in hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis were examined in postpubertal gilts at anestrus induced by nutrient restriction. Gilts having experienced two estrus cycles were fed a normal (CON, 2.86 kg/d) or nutrient restricted (NR, 1 kg/d) food regimens to expect anestrus. NR gilts experienced another three estrus cycles, but did not express estrus symptoms at the anticipated fourth estrus. Blood samples were collected at 5 days' interval for consecutive three times for measurement of hormone concentrations at the 23th day of the fourth estrus cycle. Individual progesterone concentrations of NR gilts from three consecutive blood samples were below 1.0 ng/mL versus 2.0 ng/mL in CON gilts, which was considered anestrus. NR gilts had impaired development of reproductive tract characterized by absence of large follicles (diameter ≥ 6 mm), decreased number of corepus lutea and atrophy of uterus and ovary tissues. Circulating concentrations of IGF-I, kisspeptin, estradiol, progesterone and leptin were significantly lower in NR gilts than that in CON gilts. Nutrient restriction down-regulated gene expressions of kiss-1, G-protein coupled protein 54, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, estrogen receptor α, progesterone receptor, leptin receptor, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone and insulin-like growth factor I in hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis of gilts. Collectively, nutrient restriction resulted in impairment of reproductive function and changes of hormone secretions and gene expressions in hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, which shed light on the underlying mechanism by which nutrient restriction influenced reproductive function.

  1. Nanotechnology in reproductive medicine: emerging applications of nanomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkalina, Natalia; Charalambous, Charis; Jones, Celine; Coward, Kevin

    2014-07-01

    In the last decade, nanotechnology has been extensively introduced for biomedical applications, including bio-detection, drug delivery and diagnostic imaging, particularly in the field of cancer diagnostics and treatment. However, there is a growing trend towards the expansion of nanobiotechnological tools in a number of non-cancer applications. In this review, we discuss the emerging uses of nanotechnology in reproductive medicine and reproductive biology. For the first time, we summarise the available evidence regarding the use of nanomaterials as experimental tools for the detection and treatment of malignant and benign reproductive conditions. We also present an overview of potential applications for nanomaterials in reproductive biology, discuss the benefits and concerns associated with their use in a highly delicate system of reproductive tissues and gametes, and address the feasibility of this innovative and potentially controversial approach in the clinical setting and for investigative research into the mechanisms underlying reproductive diseases. This unique review paper focuses on the emerging use of nanotechnology in reproductive medicine and reproductive biology, highlighting the role of nanomaterials in the detection and treatment of various reproductive conditions, keeping in mind the benefits and potential concerns associated with nanomaterial use in the delicate system of reproductive tissue and gametes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR): a central regulator of male fertility?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Tito T; Oliveira, Pedro F; Sousa, Mário; Cheng, C Yan; Alves, Marco G

    2017-06-01

    Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of cellular metabolic phenotype and is involved in virtually all aspects of cellular function. It integrates not only nutrient and energy-sensing pathways but also actin cytoskeleton organization, in response to environmental cues including growth factors and cellular energy levels. These events are pivotal for spermatogenesis and determine the reproductive potential of males. Yet, the molecular mechanisms by which mTOR signaling acts in male reproductive system remain a matter of debate. Here, we review the current knowledge on physiological and molecular events mediated by mTOR in testis and testicular cells. In recent years, mTOR inhibition has been explored as a prime strategy to develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity, and metabolic disorders. However, the physiological consequences of mTOR dysregulation and inhibition to male reproductive potential are still not fully understood. Compelling evidence suggests that mTOR is an arising regulator of male fertility and better understanding of this atypical protein kinase coordinated action in testis will provide insightful information concerning its biological significance in other tissues/organs. We also discuss why a new generation of mTOR inhibitors aiming to be used in clinical practice may also need to include an integrative view on the effects in male reproductive system.

  3. Mechanisms involved in regulation of osteoclastic differentiation by mechanical stress-loaded osteoblasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaneuji, Takeshi; Ariyoshi, Wataru; Okinaga, Toshinori; Toshinaga, Akihiro; Takahashi, Tetsu; Nishihara, Tatsuji

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Effect of compressive force on osteoblasts were examined. → Compressive force induced OPG expression and suppressed osteoclastogenesis. → This enhancement of OPG is dependent on Wnt/Ca2+ signal pathway. -- Abstract: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model. Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in three-dimensional (3D) gels and cultured with continuous compressive force (0-10.0 g/cm 2 ) for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL). Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of IκBα, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93. These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway.

  4. Mechanisms involved in regulation of osteoclastic differentiation by mechanical stress-loaded osteoblasts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneuji, Takeshi [Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Ariyoshi, Wataru; Okinaga, Toshinori; Toshinaga, Akihiro [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Takahashi, Tetsu [Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Nishihara, Tatsuji, E-mail: tatsujin@kyu-dent.ac.jp [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan)

    2011-04-29

    Highlights: {yields} Effect of compressive force on osteoblasts were examined. {yields} Compressive force induced OPG expression and suppressed osteoclastogenesis. {yields} This enhancement of OPG is dependent on Wnt/Ca2+ signal pathway. -- Abstract: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model. Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in three-dimensional (3D) gels and cultured with continuous compressive force (0-10.0 g/cm{sup 2}) for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-{kappa}B ligand (RANKL). Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of I{kappa}B{alpha}, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca{sup 2+} pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93. These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-{kappa}B) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt

  5. Marketing of Assisted Human Reproduction and the Indian State

    OpenAIRE

    Shree Mulay; Emily Gibson

    2006-01-01

    Shree Mulay and Emily Gibson examine the factors responsible for the phenomenal growth of the private fee-for-service health sector in India and the industry related to Assisted Human Reproduction, its negative effect on the public health sector as well as the feeble attempts by the Indian state to regulate this industry, and its implications for women's reproductive rights and health. Development (2006) 49, 84–93. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1100311

  6. Gene expression during Drosophila melanogaster egg development before and after reproductive diapause

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baker Dean A

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the importance of egg development to the female life cycle in Drosophila, global patterns of gene expression have not been examined in detail, primarily due to the difficulty in isolating synchronised developmental stages in sufficient quantities for gene expression profiling. Entry into vitellogenesis is a key stage of oogenesis and by forcing females into reproductive diapause we are able to arrest oogenesis at the pre-vitellogenic stages. Releasing females from diapause allows collection of relatively synchronous developing egg populations and an investigation of some of the transcriptional dynamics apparent before and after reproductive diapause. Results Focusing on gender-biased transcription, we identified mechanisms of egg development suppressed during reproductive dormancy as well as other molecular changes unique to the diapausing female. A microarray based analysis generated a set of 3565 transcripts with at least 2-fold greater expression in females as compared to control males, 1392 such changes were biased during reproductive dormancy. In addition, we also detect 1922 up-regulated transcriptional changes after entry into vitellogenesis, which were classified into discrete blocks of co-expression. We discuss some of the regulatory aspects apparent after re-initiation of egg development, exploring the underlying functions, maternal contribution and evolutionary conservation of co-expression patterns involved in egg production. Conclusion Although much of the work we present is descriptive, fundamental aspects of egg development and gender-biased transcription can be derived from our time-series experiment. We believe that our dataset will facilitate further exploration of the developmental and evolutionary characteristics of oogenesis as well as the nature of reproductive arrest in Drosophila.

  7. Reproduction in the endangered African wild dog: basic physiology, reproductive suppression and possible benefits of artificial insemination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Berghe, F; Paris, D B B P; Van Soom, A; Rijsselaere, T; Van der Weyde, L; Bertschinger, H J; Paris, M C J

    2012-07-01

    The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is an endangered exotic canid with less than 5500 animals remaining in the wild. Despite numerous strategies to conserve this species, numbers of free-living animals are in decline. It is a highly social species with a complex pack structure: separate male and female dominant hierarchies with, typically, participation of subdominant adults in the rearing of the dominant breeding pairs' pups. Basic reproductive knowledge is largely missing in this species, with only limited information available on the profile of reproductive hormones, based on non-invasive endocrine monitoring. The dominant or alpha male and female are reproductively active and the subdominants are generally reproductively suppressed. However, the occasional production of litters by subdominant females and evidence of multiple paternity within litters suggests that fertility of subordinates is not completely inhibited. In this respect, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge about the mechanisms governing reproduction and reproductive suppression in African wild dogs, particularly the influence of dominance and pack structure on both male and female fertility. Given concerns over the long-term survival of this species, further research in this area is essential to provide valuable information for their captive breeding and conservation. Reproductive information can also be applied to the development of Assisted Reproductive Techniques for this species; the utility of which in African wild dog conservation is also discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Regulation of Floral Stem Cell Termination in Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshiro eIto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In Arabidopsis, floral stem cells are maintained only at the initial stages of flower development, and they are terminated at a specific time to ensure proper development of the reproductive organs. Floral stem cell termination is a dynamic and multi-step process involving many transcription factors, chromatin remodeling factors and signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms involved in floral stem cell maintenance and termination, highlighting the interplay between transcriptional regulation and epigenetic machinery in the control of specific floral developmental genes. In addition, we discuss additional factors involved in floral stem cell regulation, with the goal of untangling the complexity of the floral stem cell regulatory network.

  9. External and internal modulators of sheep reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blache, Dominique; Bickell, Samantha L

    2011-12-01

    Several factors such as season, genetics, social interaction and metabolic status control or modulate the reproductive capacity of sheep. In addition to these well-studied factors in sheep, the influence of emotional reactivity on the reproductive success of sheep has started to be investigated over the last two decades. In this paper, after briefly reviewing the impact of classical factors affecting reproduction in sheep, we define emotional reactivity and the expression of its inter-individual variability, named temperament. Then, following a description of the protocol to measure temperament in sheep and discussion on the heritability of temperament traits, we illustrate how this selection affects the reproductive biology of sheep. We will be mainly using results obtained from a unique flock of sheep selected for low or high emotional reactivity. In conclusion, we propose that energy partitioning could be one of the mechanisms by which selection for temperament in sheep affects the different steps of the reproductive cycle.

  10. Understanding Female Receiver Psychology in Reproductive Contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Kathleen S

    2017-10-01

    Mate choice decision-making requires four components: sensory, cognitive, motivation, and salience. During the breeding season, the neural mechanisms underlying these components act in concert to radically transform the way a female perceives the social cues around her as well as the way in which cognitive and motivational processes influence her decision to respond to courting males. The role of each of these four components in mate choice responses will be discussed here as well as the brain regions involved in regulating each component. These components are not independent, modular systems. Instead, they are dependent on one another. This review will discuss the many ways in which these components interact and affect one another. The interaction of these components, however, ultimately leads back to a few key neuromodulators that thread motivation, sensory, salience, and cognitive components into a set of inter-dependent processes. These neuromodulators are estrogens and catecholamines. This review will highlight the need to understand estrogens in reproductive contexts not just as simply a 'sexual motivation modulator' or catecholamines as 'cognitive regulators' but as neuromodulators that work together to fully transform a non-breeding female into a completely reproductive female displaying: heightened sexual interest in courting males, greater arousal and selective attention toward courtship signals, improved signal detection and discrimination abilities, enhanced contextual signal memory, and increased motivation to respond to signals assigned incentive salience. The aim of this review is to build a foundation in which to understand the brain regions associated with cognitive, sensory, motivational, and signal salience not as independently acting systems but as a set of interacting processes that function together in a context-appropriate manner. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative

  11. Are hotshots always hot? A longitudinal study of hormones, behavior, and reproductive success in male marine iguanas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitousek, Maren N; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Nelson, Karin N; Wikelski, Martin

    2008-07-01

    Polygynous lek-mating systems are characterized by high reproductive skew, with a small number of males gaining a disproportionate share of copulations. In lekking species, where female choice drives male mating success and patterns of reproductive skew, female preferences for 'good genes' should lead to preferred males having high reproductive success in all years. Here we investigate whether these 'hotshot' males have steroid hormone patterns that are consistent over time (between two mating seasons), and whether hormone levels consistently predict display behavior. We test these questions in the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), a lekking vertebrate with high male reproductive skew. We found that male mating success and testosterone levels were not consistent across years. The most successful males showed an inverse relationship in copulation success between years. Similarly, territorial males that had high testosterone in one year had low levels in the next. Across years, testosterone was strongly associated with head-bob display, suggesting that this steroid plays a key role in mate attraction. These results suggest that female marine iguanas are not choosing the same 'hotshot' males in every year, but instead base their reproductive decisions on male behavioral traits that are hormonally mediated and variable across years. By using testosterone to regulate their costly display behaviors male marine iguanas appear to have a mechanism that allows them to adjust their reproductive effort depending on extrinsic and/or intrinsic factors.

  12. The heart as a self-regulating system: integration of homeodynamic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kresh, J Y; Armour, J A

    1997-04-01

    In the past the study of mechanical and electrical properties of the heart has been disjointed with minimal overlap and unification. The fact remains that these features are tightly coupled and central to the functioning heart. The maintenance of adequate cardiac output relies upon the highly integrated autoregulatory mechanisms and modulation of cardiac myocyte function. Regional ventricular mechanics and energetics are dependent upon muscle fiber stress-strain rate, the passive properties of myocardial collagen matrix, adequate vascular perfusion, transcapillary transport and electrical activation pattern. Intramural hydraulic "loading" is regulated by coronary arterial and venous dynamics. All of these components are under the constant influence of intrinsic cardiac and extracardiac autonomic neurons, as well as circulating hormones. A brief overview of the putative regulation of these various components is presented in this paper.

  13. Sense and nonsense in metabolic control of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jill E; Klingerman, Candice M; Abdulhay, Amir

    2012-01-01

    An exciting synergistic interaction occurs among researchers working at the interface of reproductive biology and energy homeostasis. Reproductive biologists benefit from the theories, experimental designs, and methodologies used by experts on energy homeostasis while they bring context and meaning to the study of energy homeostasis. There is a growing recognition that identification of candidate genes for obesity is little more than meaningless reductionism unless those genes and their expression are placed in a developmental, environmental, and evolutionary context. Reproductive biology provides this context because metabolic energy is the most important factor that controls reproductive success and gonadal hormones affect energy intake, storage, and expenditure. Reproductive hormone secretion changes during development, and reproductive success is key to evolutionary adaptation, the process that most likely molded the mechanisms that control energy balance. It is likely that by viewing energy intake, storage, and expenditure in the context of reproductive success, we will gain insight into human obesity, eating disorders, diabetes, and other pathologies related to fuel homeostasis. This review emphasizes the metabolic hypothesis: a sensory system monitors the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels and orchestrates behavioral motivation to optimize reproductive success in environments where energy availability fluctuates or is unpredictable.

  14. Mechanisms of Progranulin Action and Regulation in Genitourinary Cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Ryuta; Lu, Kuojung G; Xu, Shi-Qiong; Buraschi, Simone; Belfiore, Antonino; Iozzo, Renato V; Morrione, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    The growth factor progranulin has emerged in recent years as a critical regulator of transformation in several cancer models, including breast cancer, glioblastomas, leukemias, and hepatocellular carcinomas. Several laboratories, including ours, have also demonstrated an important role of progranulin in several genitourinary cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, cervical, prostate, and bladder tumors, where progranulin acts as an autocrine growth factor thereby modulating motility and invasion of transformed cells. In this review, we will focus on the mechanisms of action and regulation of progranulin signaling in genitourinary cancers with a special emphasis on prostate and bladder tumors.

  15. Unravelling orders in a borderless Europe? Cross-border reproductive care and the paradoxes of assisted reproductive technology policy in Germany and Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracie L. Wilson

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines assisted reproduction policy and practices in Germany and Poland. Germany is among the most restrictive countries in the European Union (EU with respect to assisted reproductive technologies. In contrast, Poland only recently passed legislation regulating assisted reproductive technologies. Before this, most practices were unregulated, despite vocal opposition to all forms of IVF from conservative Roman Catholic activists. Germany and Poland differ significantly regarding the cultural narratives and historical experience that impact attitudes toward reproduction. In Germany, discussions on assisted reproduction often invoke concerns about medical intervention in ethically complex matters, due – in part – to the country’s National Socialist past. My objectives in this article centre on examining assisted reproduction contexts in each of these two countries, with attention to the framing of debates on reproduction, the anxieties that inform them, and the resulting paradoxes. I consider the unintended consequences of domestic policy and their importance regarding cross-border reproductive care (CBRC. Within the borderless EU, the widespread practice of CBRC demonstrates the ineffectiveness of national policies. Moreover, this shift in location can impact practices and trends found in other accessible, but less restrictive countries. Of particular concern are the relocation of risk to ‘bioavailable’ populations in less affluent countries and the reification of cultural and socio-economic hierarchies.

  16. Changing reproductive effort within a semelparous reproductive episode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, P William; Simons, Andrew M

    2014-08-01

    • Life-history theory predicts a trade-off between current and future reproduction for iteroparous organisms-as individuals age, the expected value of future reproduction declines, and thus reproductive effort is expected to be higher in later clutches than in earlier. In contrast, models explaining the evolution of semelparity treat semelparous reproduction as instantaneous, with no scope for intraindividual variation. However, semelparous reproduction is also extended, but over shorter time scales; whether there are similar age- or stage-specific changes in reproductive effort within a semelparous episode is unclear. In this study, we assessed whether semelparous individuals increase reproductive effort as residual reproductive value declines by comparing the reproductive phenotype of flowers at five different floral positions along a main inflorescence.• Using the herbaceous monocarp Lobelia inflata, we conducted a longitudinal study of 409 individuals including both laboratory and field populations over three seasons. We recorded six reproductive traits-including the length of three phenological intervals as well as fruit size, seed size, and seed number-for all plants across floral positions produced throughout the reproductive episode.• We found that while the rate of flower initiation did not change, flowers at distal (late) floral positions developed more quickly and contained larger seed than flowers at basal (early) floral positions did.• Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that, like iteroparous organisms, L. inflata increases reproductive effort in response to low residual reproductive value. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  17. New Reproductive Conception Technologies: Bioethics and Controversies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Tamanini

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This article concerns some of the multiple ethical-bioethical and gender issues in the field of new reproductive and contraceptive technologies. The literature presented points to the plurality of possible situations and approaches in a multidimensional and controversial field. It presents some ethical-bioethical principals of biomedical action found in the study of heterosexual couples who use assisted reproduction. and of medical specialists in human reproduction in southern Brazil. It presents the ethical-bioethical presumptions that sanction medical behavior and the continuity of the so-called impregnation treatments, and analyzes the mechanisms used to raise the expectations of couples who lack confidence or success.

  18. 2014-2017. How medically assisted reproduction changed in Italy. A short comparative synthesis with European countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malvasi, A; Signore, F; Napoletano, S; Bruti, V; Sestili, C; Di Luca, N M

    2017-01-01

    More than ten years after law n. 40 of February 19, 2004 became effective, regulation on medically assisted reproduction has dramatically changed outlook. The authors report on the steps that led to these changes through Courts' rulings, the Supreme Court's verdicts and the European Court of Human Rights' decisions, as well as ministerial regulations and guidelines concerning medically assisted reproduction. The aforementioned jurisprudential evolution was set to reach a new balance between the embryo's right to its own dignity and the woman's right to health and freedom of self-determination in reproduction. No court ruling denies that embryos have also to be safeguarded. In fact, there are still numerous prohibitions, including using embryos for experimental purposes. Judges aim primarily at avoiding that embryos' rights overcome the right to parenthood. The authors review the legislation of the various European countries: some have adopted a legislation to regulate medically assisted reproduction, while others have developed in this field some recommendations or guidelines. This is why they call for enactment of a European law governing the implementation/operational methods of medically assisted reproduction in order to avoid the scourge of procreative tourism to countries that have a more permissive law.

  19. A link between hypothyroidism, obesity and male reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiceles, Veronica; da Fonte Ramos, Cristiane

    2016-01-01

    Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the serum levels of thyroid hormones are below that necessary to carry out physiological functions in the body. Hypothyroidism is related to obesity as an increase in body weight gain is seen in hypothyroid patients. Moreover, an inverse correlation between free thyroxine values and body mass index has been reported. Leptin, a polypeptide hormone produced by adipocytes, was originally thought to be an antiobesity hormone due its anorexic effects on hypothalamic appetite regulation. However, nowadays it is known that leptin conveys information about the nutritional status to the brain being considered a crucial endocrine factor for regulating several physiological processes including reproduction. Since the identification of thyroid hormone and leptin receptors on the testes, these hormones are being recognized as having important roles in male reproductive functions. A clear link exists among thyroid hormones, leptin and reproduction. Both hormones can negatively affect spermatogenesis and consequently may cause male infertility. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the overall prevalence of primary infertility ranging from 8 to 15%. The fact that 30% of couples' inability to conceive is related to a male factor and that the longer hypothyroidism persisted, the greater the damage to the testes, strongly suggest that more studies attempting to clarify both hormones actions directly in the testes need to be conducted specially in cases of congenital hypothyroidism. Therefore, the goal of this review is to highlight the relationship of such hormones in the reproductive system.

  20. The role of retinoic acid receptors and their cognate ligands in reproduction in a context of triorganotin based endocrine disrupting chemicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macejova Dana

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Retinoic acid (RA, an active form of vitamin A, regulates the embryonic development, male and female reproduction and induces important effects on the cell development, proliferation, and differentiation. These effects are mediated by the retinoid (RAR and rexinoid nuclear receptors (RXR, which are considered to be a ligand-activated, DNA-binding, trans-acting, and transcription-modulating proteins, involved in a general molecular mechanism responsible for the transcriptional responses in target genes. Organotin compounds are typical environmental contaminants and suspected endocrine disrupting substances. They may affect processes of reproductive system in mammals, predominantly via nuclear receptor signaling pathways. Triorganotins, such as tributyltin chloride (TBTCl and triphenyltin chloride (TPTCl, are capable to bind to RXR molecules, and thus represent potent agonists of RXR subtypes of nuclear receptors not sharing any structural characteristics with endogenous ligands of nuclear receptors. Th is article summarizes selected effects of biologically active retinoids and rexinoids on both male and female reproduction and also deals with the effects of organotin compounds evoking endocrine disrupting actions in reproduction.

  1. Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chianese, Rosanna; Troisi, Jacopo; Richards, Sean; Scafuro, Marika; Fasano, Silvia; Guida, Maurizio; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2018-02-21

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin to produce a multitude of consumer products, food and drink containers, and medical devices. BPA is similar to estradiol in structure and thus interferes in steroid signalling with different outcomes on reproductive health depending on doses, life stage, mode, and timing of exposure. In this respect, it has an emerging and controversial role as a "reproductive toxicant" capable of inducing short and long-term effects including the modulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification (i.e. methylation of CpG islands, histone modifications and production of non-coding RNA) with direct and trans-generational effects on exposed organisms and their offspring, respectively. This review provides an overview about BPA effects on reproductive health and aims to summarize the epigenetic effects of BPA in male and female reproduction. BPA exerts epigenetic effects in both male and female reproduction. In males, BPA affects spermatogenesis and sperm quality and possible trans-generational effects on the reproductive ability of the offspring. In females, BPA affects ovary, embryo development, and gamete quality for successful in vivo and in vitro fertilization (IVF). The exact mechanisms of BPA-mediated effects in reproduction are not fully understood; however, the environmental exposure to BPA - especially in fetal and neonatal period - deserves attention to preserve the reproductive ability in both sexes and to reduce the epigenetic risk for the offspring. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  2. Insulin-like growth factor-I as a possible hormonal mediator of nutritional regulation of reproduction in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulu, Victor Chisha; Nakao, Toshihiko; Sawamukai, Yutaka

    2002-08-01

    The current review aims to establish insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) as the factor that signals nutritional status to the reproductive axis, and show that assessment of IGF-I in blood early postpartum during the negative energy balance (NEB) period could be used to predict both nutritional and reproductive status in dairy cattle. The review also explores the effect of nutritional status on circulating IGF-I concentrations and the endocrine role of IGF-I on the reproductive axis. IGF-I plays an important role in gonadotropin-induced folliculogenesis, ovarian steroidogenesis and corpus luteum (CL) function. It also modulates pituitary and hypothalamus function. IGF-I clearly has an endocrine role on the reproductive axis. Severe under nutrition significantly reduces plasma IGF-I concentrations. During the critical period of NEB in high yielding dairy cattle early postpartum, IGF-I concentrations are low in blood and its levels are positively correlated to energy status and reproductive function during this period. Changes in circulating IGF-I immediately postpartum may help predict both nutritional and reproductive status in dairy cattle. IGF-I is therefore one of the long sought factors that signal nutritional status to the reproductive axis.

  3. Responses to stress of Caenorhabditis elegans populations with different reproductive strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alda Alvarez, O.; Jager, T.; Kooijman, S.A.L.M.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Hermaphroditic and gonochoric reproduction are essentially different reproductive strategies that may lead to diverging population responses to adverse environmental conditions. Each strategy implies different physiological mechanisms, which affect life-history traits and represent different ways of

  4. Responses to stress of Caenorhabditis elegans populations with different reproductive strategies.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alda Alvarez, O.; Jager, D.T.; Kooijman, S.A.L.M.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    1. Hermaphroditic and gonochoric reproduction are essentially different reproductive strategies that may lead to diverging population responses to adverse environmental conditions. Each strategy implies different physiological mechanisms, which affect life-history traits and represent different ways

  5. Brokerage in Cross-Border Mobility: Social Mechanisms and the (ReProduction of Social Inequalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Faist

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Brokerage is an essential yet understudied function in social life. In one of the classics in the field of sociology, Georg Simmel differentiated three types of the “third” which help to analyse brokerage: the disinterested mediator or arbitrator, tertius gaudens and divide et impera. Studies that conceptualise traffickers and smugglers as brokers are extremely rare. Scholars lack a typology which can serve as a basis for comparative research. To advance scholarship on brokerage this article seeks to develop a conceptual-typological matrix by setting out to explore three questions: Why does brokerage exist? What kind of social mechanism is brokerage? What are the implications of brokerage for social inequalities and equalities? The analysis concludes with the consequences of different types of brokerage for the (reproduction of social inequalities.

  6. Cuticular hydrocarbons correlate with queen reproductive status in native and invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, Mayr)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Mireia; Lenoir, Alain; Ivon Paris, Carolina; Boulay, Raphaël; Gómez, Crisanto

    2018-01-01

    In insect societies, chemical communication plays an important role in colony reproduction and individual social status. Many studies have indicated that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are the main chemical compounds encoding reproductive status. However, these studies have largely focused on queenless or monogynous species whose workers are capable of egg laying and have mainly explored the mechanisms underlying queen-worker or worker-worker reproductive conflicts. Less is known about what occurs in highly polygynous ant species with permanently sterile workers. Here, we used the Argentine ant as a model to examine the role of CHCs in communicating reproductive information in such insect societies. The Argentine ant is unicolonial, highly polygynous, and polydomous. We identified several CHCs whose presence and levels were correlated with queen age, reproductive status, and fertility. Our results also provide new insights into queen executions in the Argentine ant, a distinctive feature displayed by this species in its introduced range. Each spring, just before new sexuals appear, workers eliminate up to 90% of the mated queens in their colonies. We discovered that queens that survived execution had different CHC profiles from queens present before and during execution. More specifically, levels of some CHCs were higher in the survivors, suggesting that workers could eliminate queens based on their chemical profiles. In addition, queen CHC profiles differed based on season and species range (native vs. introduced). Overall, the results of this study provide new evidence that CHCs serve as queen signals and do more than just regulate worker reproduction. PMID:29470506

  7. Bovine reproduction in tropical environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez Lopez, J.

    2001-01-01

    In this document it has met relating data to the reproduction of bovine and their handling for the man that it can serve as norms to judge reproductive efficiency but always view in the aspect of the nutritious, climatic circumstances and of handling under which met. Under the previous description one can say that the fertility is the resultant of the interaction among the inheritance, the means and the handling, they vary in particular for each region and property. The fertility can be good, regulate or bad in the measure in that the factors that intervene. The environmental effect on the reproductive processes of the cow represents 80 percent of the variation factors and they include climate, effect of the light, effect of the temperature, effect of the nutritious contribution, effect of psychological factors: the loss of the tendency to the seasonal reproduction is in fact an answer from the animals to its association with the man. The influence of the environment and the feeding of the animals are more intense in the females than in the males, being evidenced that the reproduction control is under the influence hormonal joint with the nutrition. An appropriate nutrition is prerequisite for the beginning of the sexual maturation with an appropriate weight and corporal condition. It is also described the effect and the relationship of the energy contribution about the fertility, the restart of the ovarian activity, its cause of the continuation of the interval childbirth-conception, silent ovulation, organic ancestry and interval among childbirths

  8. Reproductive biology of Amasonia obovata Gleason (Laminaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Schvinn,Thays de Assis; Miranda,Anderson Fernandes de; Silva,Celice Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    Floral mechanisms that ensure seed production via autogamy are more likely to occur in species growing in environments where pollination is scarce. Amasonia obovata was studied in the State of Mato Grosso-Brazil, from 2009 to 2012, to analyze the morphological and reproductive characteristics, aside from investigating the association of the reproductive success with the pollinator frequency and identity. The flowering and fruiting of A. obovata was concentrated in a period of five months duri...

  9. Immotile Active Matter: Activity from Death and Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalziqi, Arben; Yanni, David; Thomas, Jacob; Ng, Siu Lung; Vivek, Skanda; Hammer, Brian K.; Yunker, Peter J.

    2018-01-01

    Unlike equilibrium atomic solids, biofilms—soft solids composed of bacterial cells—do not experience significant thermal fluctuations at the constituent level. However, living cells stochastically reproduce and die, provoking a mechanical response. We investigate the mechanical consequences of cellular death and reproduction by measuring surface-height fluctuations of biofilms containing two mutually antagonistic strains of Vibrio cholerae that kill one another on contact via the type VI secretion system. While studies of active matter typically focus on activity via constituent mobility, here, activity is mediated by reproduction and death events in otherwise immobilized cells. Biofilm surface topography is measured in the nearly homeostatic limit via white light interferometry. Although biofilms are far from equilibrium systems, measured surface-height fluctuation spectra resemble the spectra of thermal permeable membranes but with an activity-mediated effective temperature, as predicted by Risler, Peilloux, and Prost [Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 258104 (2015), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.258104]. By comparing the activity of killer strains of V. cholerae with that of genetically modified strains that cannot kill each other and validating with individual-based simulations, we demonstrate that extracted effective temperatures increase with the amount of death and reproduction and that death and reproduction can fluidize biofilms. Together, these observations demonstrate the unique physical consequences of activity mediated by death and reproduction events.

  10. Access to essential medicines for sexual and reproductive health care: the role of the pharmaceutical industry and international regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottingham, Jane; Berer, Marge

    2011-11-01

    The range of medicines and technologies that are essential for sexual and reproductive health care is well established, but access to them is far from universally assured, particularly in less developed countries. This paper shows how the pharmaceutical industry plays a major role in the lack of access to essential medicines for sexual and reproductive health care, by a) investing in products for profit-making reasons despite their negative health impact (e.g. hormone replacement therapy), b) marketing new essential medicines at prices beyond the reach of countries that most need them (e.g. HPV vaccines), and c) failing to invest in the development of new products (e.g. microbicides and medical abortion pills). Small companies, some of them non-profit-making, struggle to fill some of that demand (e.g. for female condoms). International patent protection contributes to high prices of medicines, and while international agreements such as compulsory licensing under TRIPS and the Medicines Patent Pool allow for mechanisms to enable poorer countries to get access to essential medicines, the obstacles created by "big pharma" are daunting. All these barriers have fostered a market in sub-standard medicines (e.g. fake medical abortion pills sold over the internet). An agenda driven by sexual and reproductive health needs, based on the right to health, must focus on universal access to essential medicines at prices developing countries can afford. We call for greater public investment in essential medicines, expanded production of affordable generic drugs, and the development of broad strategic plans, that include affordable medicines and technologies, for addressing identified public health problems, such as cervical cancer. Copyright © 2011 Reproductive Health Matters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Genome-wide identification of physically clustered genes suggests chromatin-level co-regulation in male reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimegård, Johan; Kundu, Snehangshu; Pendle, Ali; Irish, Vivian F; Shaw, Peter; Nakayama, Naomi; Sundström, Jens F; Emanuelsson, Olof

    2017-04-07

    Co-expression of physically linked genes occurs surprisingly frequently in eukaryotes. Such chromosomal clustering may confer a selective advantage as it enables coordinated gene regulation at the chromatin level. We studied the chromosomal organization of genes involved in male reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana. We developed an in-silico tool to identify physical clusters of co-regulated genes from gene expression data. We identified 17 clusters (96 genes) involved in stamen development and acting downstream of the transcriptional activator MS1 (MALE STERILITY 1), which contains a PHD domain associated with chromatin re-organization. The clusters exhibited little gene homology or promoter element similarity, and largely overlapped with reported repressive histone marks. Experiments on a subset of the clusters suggested a link between expression activation and chromatin conformation: qRT-PCR and mRNA in situ hybridization showed that the clustered genes were up-regulated within 48 h after MS1 induction; out of 14 chromatin-remodeling mutants studied, expression of clustered genes was consistently down-regulated only in hta9/hta11, previously associated with metabolic cluster activation; DNA fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed that transcriptional activation of the clustered genes was correlated with open chromatin conformation. Stamen development thus appears to involve transcriptional activation of physically clustered genes through chromatin de-condensation. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  12. Associations of stream geomorphic conditions and prevalence of alternative reproductive tactics among sockeye salmon populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFilippo, L. B.; Schindler, D.E.; Carter, J.L.; Walsworth, Timothy E.; Cline, T. J.; Larson, Wesley; Buehrens, T.

    2018-01-01

    In many species, males may exhibit alternative life histories to circumvent the costs of intrasexual competition and female courtship. While the evolution and underlying genetic and physiological mechanisms behind alternative reproductive tactics are well studied, there has been less consideration of the ecological factors that regulate their prevalence. Here, we examine six decades of age composition records from thirty‐six populations of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) to quantify associations between spawning habitat characteristics and the prevalence of precocious sneakers known as ‘jacks’. Jack prevalence was independent of neutral genetic structure among stream populations, but varied among habitat types and as a function of continuous geomorphic characteristics. Jacks were more common in streams relative to beaches and rivers, and their prevalence was negatively associated with stream width, depth, elevation, slope and area, but positively related to bank cover. Behavioural observations showed that jacks made greater use of banks, wood and shallows than guard males, indicating that their reproductive success depends on the availability of such refuges. Our results emphasize the role of the physical habitat in shaping reproductive tactic frequencies among populations, likely through local adaptation in response to variable fitness expectations under different geomorphic conditions.

  13. Survival and reproductive rate of mites in relation to resistance of their barn swallow hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P

    2000-08-01

    Parasite resistance may act via a number of different mechanisms that regulate or control the survival and the reproductive rate of parasites. Observations and experiments were used to test for effects of host resistance on parasite survival and rate of reproduction. Natural levels of infestation of barn swallow Hirundo rustica nests by the tropical fowl mite Ornithonyssus bursa were positively related to brood size, inversely related to the length of the outermost tail feathers of male nest owners (a secondary sexual character) and affected by time of reproduction by the host. A mite inoculation experiment, in which 50 adult mites were introduced into nests during the laying period of the host, was used to test for differential survival and reproduction of mites as a function of host resistance. The relationship between survival and reproduction of parasites, male tail length and host resistance was investigated. There was a negative relationship between mite numbers per nest after fledging of nestlings and male tail length. This relationship was mainly caused by a reduction in the number of mites in the first and second nymph stage with increasing tail length of male hosts, implying a reduction in rate of reproduction of mites. The proportion of mites that had recently fed was inversely related to tail length of male hosts. The proportion of nymph stages was positively related to the proportion of mites that had recently had a blood meal. Parasite resistance of barn swallows to the tropical fowl mite thus appeared to act through increased mortality rate of adult and nymph stages of mites, and through reduced reproductive rates of mites on resistant hosts. This is the first study demonstating a direct relationship between fitness components of a parasite and the expression of a secondary sexual character of a host.

  14. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  15. Molecular mechanisms of platelet P2Y(12) receptor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Margaret R; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J

    2013-02-01

    Platelets are critical for haemostasis, however inappropriate activation can lead to the development of arterial thrombosis, which can result in heart attack and stroke. ADP is a key platelet agonist that exerts its actions via stimulation of two surface GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). Similar to most GPCRs, P2Y receptor activity is tightly regulated by a number of complex mechanisms including receptor desensitization, internalization and recycling. In the present article, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor regulation, with particular emphasis on the structural motifs within the P2Y(12) receptor, which are required to maintain regulatory protein interaction. The implications of these findings for platelet responsiveness are also discussed.

  16. REPRODUCTIVE SEASONALITY AND ITS CONTROL IN SPANISH SHEEP AND GOATS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelia Gómez Brunet

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Sheep and goat breeds from subtropical, middle and high latitudes show seasonal changes in reproductive activity. In general, the breeding season starts in autumn and ends in winter, with anoestrus in spring/summer. An endogenous circannual rhythm driven and synchronised by the annual photoperiod cycle regulates the onset and offset of the breeding season. However, the timing and duration of the breeding season can be affected by interactions between the photoperiod and factors such as breed, geographical origin, nutritional and lactational status, social interactions, and the season of parturition. Seasonality in reproduction is naturally accompanied by variation in the availability and price of meat, milk and cheese over the year, affecting the economy of farmers, consumers and the food industry alike. The control of reproduction outside the normal breeding season by inducing and synchronizing oestrus and ovulation plus the use of artificial insemination and/or natural mating would help ensure the year-round availability of products. This review describes the seasonal variation in the sexual activity of ovine and caprine species with special regard to local Spanish sheep and goats breeds, examines how the photoperiod regulates their annual reproductive cycle, and discusses a number of strategies that can be used to induce and synchronise ovulation outside the natural breeding season.

  17. Male Reproductive Cancers and Infertility: A Mutual Relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Tvrda

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive dysfunction and malignancies related to the male gender represent a serious health concern, whose incidence has significantly risen over the past years. Prior to treatment, testicular or prostate cancer patients often display poor semen characteristics similar to subfertile or infertile patients. This fact is underscored by cases where the malignancy is often diagnosed in males who undergo a general fertility screening. This review aims to examine the associations between male infertility and reproductive cancers focusing on common etiologies and biological mechanisms underlining these pathologies. Furthermore, we discuss compelling epidemiological data hypothesizing that male reproductive failure may act as a precursor of future andrological malignancies, including testicular or prostate cancer, thus providing a stimulus for a more specific research in male reproductive health and emphasizing the importance of this relation for physicians taking care of male patients with a reproductive disease.

  18. Coordination of size-control, reproduction and generational memory in freshwater planarians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xingbo; Kaj, Kelson J.; Schwab, David J.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2017-06-01

    Uncovering the mechanisms that control size, growth, and division rates of organisms reproducing through binary division means understanding basic principles of their life cycle. Recent work has focused on how division rates are regulated in bacteria and yeast, but this question has not yet been addressed in more complex, multicellular organisms. We have, over the course of several years, assembled a unique large-scale data set on the growth and asexual reproduction of two freshwater planarian species, Dugesia japonica and Girardia tigrina, which reproduce by transverse fission and succeeding regeneration of head and tail pieces into new planarians. We show that generation-dependent memory effects in planarian reproduction need to be taken into account to accurately capture the experimental data. To achieve this, we developed a new additive model that mixes multiple size control strategies based on planarian size, growth, and time between divisions. Our model quantifies the proportions of each strategy in the mixed dynamics, revealing the ability of the two planarian species to utilize different strategies in a coordinated manner for size control. Additionally, we found that head and tail offspring of both species employ different mechanisms to monitor and trigger their reproduction cycles. Thus, we find a diversity of strategies not only between species but between heads and tails within species. Our additive model provides two advantages over existing 2D models that fit a multivariable splitting rate function to the data for size control: firstly, it can be fit to relatively small data sets and can thus be applied to systems where available data is limited. Secondly, it enables new biological insights because it explicitly shows the contributions of different size control strategies for each offspring type.

  19. Neural mechanisms of emotional regulation and decision making

    OpenAIRE

    Gospic, Katarina

    2011-01-01

    Emotions influence our perception and decision making. It is of great importance to understand the neurophysiology behind these processes as they influence human core functions. Moreover, knowledge within this field is required in order to develop new medical therapies for pathological conditions that involve dysregulation of emotions. In this thesis the neural mechanisms of emotional regulation and decision making were investigated using different pharmacological manipul...

  20. Mechanism for automatic regulation of combustion. Regolazione automatica della combustione

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borelli, L.; Tagliaferro, B.; Cossalter, V.; Da Lio, M. (Padua Univ. (Italy))

    1993-09-01

    The article describes an original application of a mechanism for the automatic regulation of burners. The aim is to maintain a constant air-fuel ratio even with variations occurring in ambient temperature and fuel supply. To obtain the correct mixture, the air damper is opened with a double mechanism by an ambient temperature transducer and by a screw for the setting up of the rate of fuel supply.

  1. Vascular remodeling: A redox-modulated mechanism of vessel caliber regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Leonardo Y; Laurindo, Francisco R M

    2017-08-01

    Vascular remodeling, i.e. whole-vessel structural reshaping, determines lumen caliber in (patho)physiology. Here we review mechanisms underlying vessel remodeling, with emphasis in redox regulation. First, we discuss confusing terminology and focus on strictu sensu remodeling. Second, we propose a mechanobiological remodeling paradigm based on the concept of tensional homeostasis as a setpoint regulator. We first focus on shear-mediated models as prototypes of remodeling closely dominated by highly redox-sensitive endothelial function. More detailed discussions focus on mechanosensors, integrins, extracellular matrix, cytoskeleton and inflammatory pathways as potential of mechanisms potentially coupling tensional homeostasis to redox regulation. Further discussion of remodeling associated with atherosclerosis and injury repair highlights important aspects of redox vascular responses. While neointima formation has not shown consistent responsiveness to antioxidants, vessel remodeling has been more clearly responsive, indicating that despite the multilevel redox signaling pathways, there is a coordinated response of the whole vessel. Among mechanisms that may orchestrate redox pathways, we discuss roles of superoxide dismutase activity and extracellular protein disulfide isomerase. We then discuss redox modulation of aneurysms, a special case of expansive remodeling. We propose that the redox modulation of vascular remodeling may reflect (1) remodeling pathophysiology is dominated by a particularly redox-sensitive cell type, e.g., endothelial cells (2) redox pathways are temporospatially coordinated at an organ level across distinct cellular and acellular structures or (3) the tensional homeostasis setpoint is closely connected to redox signaling. The mechanobiological/redox model discussed here can be a basis for improved understanding of remodeling and helps clarifying mechanisms underlying prevalent hard-to-treat diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All

  2. Mechanisms of Progranulin Action and Regulation in Genitourinary Cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuta Tanimoto

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The growth factor progranulin has emerged in recent years as a critical regulator of transformation in several cancer models, including breast cancer, glioblastomas, leukemias and hepatocellular carcinomas. Several laboratories, including ours, have also demonstrated an important role of progranulin in several genitourinary cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, cervical, prostate and bladder tumors, where progranulin acts as an autocrine growth factor thereby modulating motility and invasion of transformed cells.In this review we will focus on the mechanisms of action and regulation of progranulin signaling in genitourinary cancers with a special emphasis on prostate and bladder tumors.

  3. Roles of autophagy in male reproductive development in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru eHanamata

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy, a major catabolic pathway in eukaryotic cells, is essential in development, maintenance of cellular homeostasis, immunity and programmed cell death (PCD in multicellular organisms. In plant cells, autophagy plays roles in recycling of proteins and metabolites including lipids, and is involved in many physiological processes such as abiotic and biotic stress responses. However, its roles during reproductive development had remained poorly understood. Quantitative live cell imaging techniques for the autophagic flux and genetic studies in several plant species have recently revealed significant roles of autophagy in developmental processes, regulation of PCD and lipid metabolism. We here review the novel roles of autophagic fluxes in plant cells, and discuss their possible significance in PCD and metabolic regulation, with particular focus on male reproductive development during the pollen maturation.

  4. Provision of assisted reproductive technology for single women in China: a new challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ling Jing

    2004-01-01

    Following the enactment of the Jilin Regulation, single women, for the first time, are allowed to access assisted reproductive services in China. This paper is intended to analyze the arguments over whether single women are entitled to access assisted reproductive services, in relation to Chinese legal, ethical and social characteristics.

  5. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijayan K. Pillai

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between.This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women's reproductive health in developing countries. The empowerment strategy for improving reproductive health is theoretically situated on a number of background factors such as economic and social development.Cross-national socioeconomic and demographic data from a number of international organizations on 142 developing countries are used to test a model of reproductive rights and reproductive health.The findings suggest that both economic and democratic development have significant positive effects on levels of gender equality. The level of social development plays a prominent role in promoting reproductive rights. It is found that reproductive rights channel the influences of social structural factors and gender equality on reproductive health.

  6. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Vijayan K; Gupta, Rashmi

    2011-01-01

    Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between. This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women's reproductive health in developing countries. The empowerment strategy for improving reproductive health is theoretically situated on a number of background factors such as economic and social development. Cross-national socioeconomic and demographic data from a number of international organizations on 142 developing countries are used to test a model of reproductive rights and reproductive health. The findings suggest that both economic and democratic development have significant positive effects on levels of gender equality. The level of social development plays a prominent role in promoting reproductive rights. It is found that reproductive rights channel the influences of social structural factors and gender equality on reproductive health.

  7. Unisexual reproduction in Huntiella moniliformis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A M; Godlonton, T; van der Nest, M A; Wilken, P M; Wingfield, M J; Wingfield, B D

    2015-07-01

    Sexual reproduction in fungi is controlled by genes present at the mating type (MAT) locus, which typically harbors transcription factors that influence the expression of many sex-related genes. The MAT locus exists as two alternative idiomorphs in ascomycetous fungi and sexual reproduction is initiated when genes from both idiomorphs are expressed. Thus, the gene content of this locus determines whether a fungus is heterothallic (self-sterile) or homothallic (self-fertile). Recently, a unique sub-class of homothallism has been described in fungi, where individuals possessing a single MAT idiomorph can reproduce sexually in the absence of a partner. Using various mycological, molecular and bioinformatic techniques, we investigated the sexual strategies and characterized the MAT loci in two tree wound-infecting fungi, Huntiella moniliformis and Huntiella omanensis. H. omanensis was shown to exhibit a typically heterothallic sexual reproductive cycle, with isolates possessing either the MAT1-1 or MAT1-2 idiomorph. This was in contrast to the homothallism via unisexual reproduction that was shown in H. moniliformis, where only the MAT1-2-1 gene was present in sexually reproducing cultures. While the evolutionary benefit and mechanisms underpinning a unisexual mating strategy remain unknown, it could have evolved to minimize the costs, while retaining the benefits, of normal sexual reproduction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodley, Sarah

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Amphibians are often thought of as relatively simple animals especially when compared to mammals. Yet the chemosignaling systems used by amphibians are varied and complex. Amphibian chemosignals are particularly important in reproduction, in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Chemosignaling is most evident in salamanders and newts, but increasing evidence indicates that chemical communication facilitates reproduction in frogs and toads as well. Reproductive hormones shape the production, dissemination, detection, and responsiveness to chemosignals. A large variety of chemosignals have been identified, ranging from simple, invariant chemosignals to complex, variable blends of chemosignals. Although some chemosignals elicit straightforward responses, others have relatively subtle effects. Review of amphibian chemosignaling reveals a number of issues to be resolved, including: 1) the significance of the complex, individually variable blends of courtship chemosignals found in some salamanders, 2) the behavioral and/or physiological functions of chemosignals found in anuran "breeding glands", 3) the ligands for amphibian V2Rs, especially V2Rs expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, and 4) the mechanism whereby transdermal delivery of chemosignals influences behavior. To date, only a handful of the more than 7000 species of amphibians has been examined. Further study of amphibians should provide additional insight to the role of chemosignals in reproduction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Reproductive neuroendocrine pathways of social behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishwar eParhar

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Social behaviors are key components of reproduction because they are essential for successful fertilization. Social behaviors such as courtship, mating, and aggression are strongly associated with sex steroids, such as testosterone, estradiol and progesterone. Secretion of sex steroids from the gonads is regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG axis in vertebrates. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH is a pivotal hypothalamic neuropeptide that stimulates gonadotropin release from the pituitary. In recent years, the role of neuropeptides containing the C-terminal Arg-Phe-NH2 (RFamide peptides has been emphasized in vertebrate reproduction. In particular, two key RFamide peptides, kisspeptin and gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH, emerged as critical accelerator and suppressor of gonadotropin secretion. Kisspeptin stimulates GnRH release by directly acting on GnRH neurons, whereas GnIH inhibits gonadotropin release by inhibiting kisspeptin or GnRH neurons or pituitary gonadotropes. These neuropeptides can regulate social behavior by regulating the HPG axis. However, distribution of neuronal fibers of GnRH, kisspeptin and GnIH neurons are not limited within the hypothalamus, and the existence of extra-hypothalamic neuronal fibers suggests direct control of social behavior within the brain. It has traditionally been shown that central administration of GnRH can stimulate female sexual behavior in rats. Recently, it was shown that Kiss1, one of the paralogs of kisspeptin peptide family, regulates fear responses in zebrafish and GnIH inhibits socio-sexual behavior in birds. Here we highlight recent findings regarding the role of GnRH, kisspeptin and GnIH in the regulation of social behaviors in fish, birds and mammals and discuss their importance in future biological and biomedical research.

  10. Neuroendocrine regulation of appetitive ingestive behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin eKeen-Rhinehart

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Food availability in nature is often irregular, and famine is commonplace. Increased motivation to engage in ingestive behaviors increases the chance of survival, providing additional potential opportunities for reproduction. Because of the advantages conferred by entraining ingestive behavior to environmental conditions, neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating the motivation to acquire and ingest food have evolved to be responsive to exogenous (i.e. food stored for future consumption and endogenous (i.e. body fat stores fuel availability. Motivated behaviors like eating occur in two phases. The appetitive phase brings animals into contact with food (e.g. foraging, food hoarding, and the more reflexive consummatory phase results in ingestion (e.g., chewing, swallowing. Quantifiable appetitive behaviors are part of many the natural ingestive behavioral repertoire of species such as hamsters and humans. This review summarizes current knowledge about neuroendocrine regulators of ingestive behavior, with an emphasis appetitive behavior. We will discuss hormonal regulators of appetitive ingestive behaviors, including the orexigenic hormone ghrelin, which potently stimulates foraging and food hoarding in Siberian hamsters. This section includes a discussion of the hormone leptin, its relation to endogenous fat stores, and its role in food deprivation-induced increases in appetitive ingestive behaviors. Next, we discuss how hormonal regulators interact with neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of ingestive behaviors, such as NPY, AgRP and alpha-MSH, to regulate ingestive behavior. Finally, we discuss the potential impact that perinatal nutrient availability can have on the neuroendocrine regulation of ingestive behavior. Understanding the hormonal mechanisms that connect metabolic fuel availability to central appetite regulatory circuits should provide a better understanding of the neuroendocrine regulation of the motivation to engage in ingestive

  11. Toward a gender-sensitive assisted reproduction policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donchin, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The recent case of the UK woman who lost her legal struggle to be impregnated with her own frozen embryos, raises critical issues about the meaning of reproductive autonomy and the scope of regulatory practices. I revisit this case within the context of contemporary debate about the moral and legal dimensions of assisted reproduction. I argue that the gender neutral context that frames discussion of regulatory practices is unjust unless it gives appropriate consideration to the different positions women and men occupy in relation to reproductive processes and their options for autonomous choice. First, I consider relevant legal rulings, media debate, and scholarly commentary. Then I discuss the concept of reproductive autonomy imbedded in this debate. I argue that this concept conflates informed consent and reproductive autonomy, thereby providing an excessively narrow reading of autonomy that fails to give due regard to relations among individuals or the social, political and economic environment that shapes their options. I contrast this notion of autonomy with feminist formulations that seek to preserve respect for the agency of individuals without severing them from the conditions of their embodiment, their surrounding social relationships, or the political contexts that shape their options. Taking these considerations into account I weigh the advantages of regulation over the commercial market arrangement that prevails in some countries and suggest general guidelines for a regulatory policy that would more equitably resolve conflicting claims to reproductive autonomy.

  12. Environmental Hexachlorobenzene exposure and human male reproductive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Specht, Ina Olmer; Bonde, Jens Peter Ellekilde; Toft, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a persistent environmental fungicide that may disrupt androgen regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between HCB levels and biomarkers of male reproductive function. 589 Spouses of pregnant women from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine were enroll...

  13. The special programme of research in human reproduction: forty years of activities to achieve reproductive health for all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benagiano, Giuseppe; d'Arcangues, Catherine; Harris Requejo, Jennifer; Schafer, Alessandra; Say, Lale; Merialdi, Mario

    2012-01-01

    The Special Programme of Research in Human Reproduction (HRP), co-sponsored by the UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, and the World Bank, is celebrating 40 years of activities with an expansion of its mandate and new co-sponsors. When it began, in 1972, the main focus was on evaluating the acceptability, effectiveness, and safety of existing fertility-regulating methods, as well as developing new, improved modalities for family planning. In 1994, HRP not only made major contributions to the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); it also broadened its scope of work to include other aspects of health dealing with sexuality and reproduction, adding a specific perspective on gender issues and human rights. In 2002, HRP's mandate was once again broadened to include sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS and in 2003 it was further expanded to research activities on preventing violence against women and its many dire health consequences. Today, the work of the Programme includes research on: the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, women, and men; maternal and perinatal health; reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS); family planning; infertility; unsafe abortion; sexual health; screening for cancer of the cervix in developing countries, and gender and reproductive rights. Additional activities by the Programme have included: fostering international cooperation in the field of human reproduction; the elaboration of WHO's first Global Reproductive Health Strategy; work leading to the inclusion of ICPD's goal 'reproductive health for all by 2015' into the Millennium Development Goal framework; the promotion of critical interagency statements on the public health, legal, and human rights implications of female genital mutilation and gender-biased sex selection. Finally, HRP has been involved in the creation of guidelines and tools, such as the 'Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use

  14. Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blount, Jonathan D; Vitikainen, Emma I K; Stott, Iain; Cant, Michael A

    2016-05-01

    Life-history theory assumes that reproduction and lifespan are constrained by trade-offs which prevent their simultaneous increase. Recently, there has been considerable interest in the possibility that this cost of reproduction is mediated by oxidative stress. However, empirical tests of this theory have yielded equivocal support. We carried out a meta-analysis to examine associations between reproduction and oxidative damage across markers and tissues. We show that oxidative damage is positively associated with reproductive effort across females of various species. Yet paradoxically, categorical comparisons of breeders versus non-breeders reveal that transition to the reproductive state is associated with a step-change reduction in oxidative damage in certain tissues and markers. Developing offspring may be particularly sensitive to harm caused by oxidative damage in mothers. Therefore, such reductions could potentially function to shield reproducing mothers, gametes and developing offspring from oxidative insults that inevitably increase as a consequence of reproductive effort. According to this perspective, we hypothesise that the cost of reproduction is mediated by dual impacts of maternally-derived oxidative damage on mothers and offspring, and that mothers may be selected to diminish such damage. Such oxidative shielding may explain why many existing studies have concluded that reproduction has little or no oxidative cost. Future advance in life-history theory therefore needs to take account of potential transgenerational impacts of the mechanisms underlying life-history trade-offs. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. AGC kinases, mechanisms of regulation ‎and innovative drug development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroux, Alejandro E; Schulze, Jörg O; Biondi, Ricardo M

    2018-02-01

    The group of AGC kinases consists of 63 evolutionarily related serine/threonine protein kinases comprising PDK1, PKB/Akt, SGK, PKC, PRK/PKN, MSK, RSK, S6K, PKA, PKG, DMPK, MRCK, ROCK, NDR, LATS, CRIK, MAST, GRK, Sgk494, and YANK, while two other families, Aurora and PLK, are the most closely related to the group. Eight of these families are physiologically activated downstream of growth factor signalling, while other AGC kinases are downstream effectors of a wide range of signals. The different AGC kinase families share aspects of their mechanisms of inhibition and activation. In the present review, we update the knowledge of the mechanisms of regulation of different AGC kinases. The conformation of the catalytic domain of many AGC kinases is regulated allosterically through the modulation of the conformation of a regulatory site on the small lobe of the kinase domain, the PIF-pocket. The PIF-pocket acts like an ON-OFF switch in AGC kinases with different modes of regulation, i.e. PDK1, PKB/Akt, LATS and Aurora kinases. In this review, we make emphasis on how the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of regulation can guide the discovery and development of small allosteric modulators. Molecular probes stabilizing the PIF-pocket in the active conformation are activators, while compounds stabilizing the disrupted site are allosteric inhibitors. One challenge for the rational development of allosteric modulators is the lack of complete structural information of the inhibited forms of full-length AGC kinases. On the other hand, we suggest that the available information derived from molecular biology and biochemical studies can already guide screening strategies for the identification of innovative mode of action molecular probes and the development of selective allosteric drugs for the treatment of human diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanism of allosteric regulation of β2-adrenergic receptor by cholesterol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manna, Moutusi; Niemelä, Miia; Tynkkynen, Joona

    2016-01-01

    ) - a prototypical G protein-coupled receptor - is modulated by cholesterol in an allosteric fashion. Extensive atomistic simulations show that cholesterol regulates b2AR by limiting its conformational variability. The mechanism of action is based on the binding of cholesterol at specific high-affinity sites located...... near the transmembrane helices 5-7 of the receptor. The alternative mechanism, where the β2AR conformation would be modulated by membrane-mediated interactions, plays only a minor role. Cholesterol analogues also bind to cholesterol binding sites and impede the structural flexibility of β2AR, however...... cholesterol generates the strongest effect. The results highlight the capacity of lipids to regulate the conformation of membrane receptors through specific interactions....

  17. Responsiveness of pituitary to galanin throughout the reproductive cycle of male European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, P; Velez, Z; Sousa, C; Santos, S; Andrade, A; Alvarado, M V; Felip, A; Zanuy, S; Canário, A V M

    2017-09-01

    The neuropeptide galanin (Gal) is a putative factor regulating puberty onset and reproduction through its actions on the pituitary. The present study investigated the pituitary responsiveness to galanin and the patterns of galanin receptors (Galrs) expression throughout the reproductive cycle of two years old male European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), an important aquaculture species. Quantitative analysis of pituitary and hypothalamus transcript expression of four galr subtypes revealed differential regulation according to the testicular developmental stage, with an overall decrease in expression from the immature stage to the mid-recrudescence stage. Incubation of pituitary cells with mammalian 1-29Gal peptide induced significant changes in cAMP concentration, with sensitivities that varied according to the testicular development stages. Furthermore 1-29Gal was able to stimulate both follicle stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) release from pituitary cell suspensions. The magnitude of the effects and effective concentrations varied according to reproductive stage, with generalized induction of Fsh and Lh release in animals sampled in January (full spermiation). The differential expression of galrs in pituitary and hypothalamus across the reproductive season, together with the differential effects of Gal on gonadotropins release in vitro strongly suggests the involvement of the galaninergic system in the regulation the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis of male sea bass. This is to our knowledge the first clear evidence for the involvement of galanin in the regulation of reproduction in non-mammalian vertebrates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Ethics and regulation of inter-country medically assisted reproduction: a call for action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Carmel; Moreno, Adi; Eyal, Hedva; Leibel, Michal; Schuz, Rhona; Eldar-Geva, Talia

    2016-01-01

    The proliferation of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) for the treatment of infertility has brought benefit to many individuals around the world. But infertility and its treatment continue to be a cause of suffering, and over the past decade, there has been a steady growth in a new global market of inter-country medically assisted reproduction (IMAR) involving 'third-party' individuals acting as surrogate mothers and gamete donors in reproductive collaborations for the benefit of other individuals and couples who wish to have children. At the same time there is evidence of a double standard of care for third-party women involved in IMAR, violations of human rights of children and women, and extreme abuses that are tantamount to reproductive trafficking. This paper is the report of an inter-disciplinary working group of experts who convened in Israel to discuss the complex issues of IMAR. In Israel too IMAR practices have grown rapidly in recent years, mainly because of restrictions on access to domestic surrogacy for same sex couples and a chronically insufficient supply of egg cells for the treatment of couples and singles in need. Drawing upon local expertise, the paper describes documented practices that are harmful, suggests principles of good practice based on an ethic of care, and calls for action at the international, national and professional levels to establish a human rights based system of international governance for IMAR based on three regulatory models: public health monitoring, inter-country adoption, and trafficking in human beings, organs and tissues.

  19. Targeted Mutagenesis of the Hypophysiotropic Gnrh3 in Zebrafish (Danio rerio Reveals No Effects on Reproductive Performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Smith Spicer

    Full Text Available Gnrh is the major neuropeptide regulator of vertebrate reproduction, triggering a cascade of events in the pituitary-gonadal axis that result in reproductive competence. Previous research in mice and humans has demonstrated that Gnrh/GNRH null mutations result in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and infertility. The goal of this study was to eliminate gnrh3 (the hypophysiotropic Gnrh form function in zebrafish (Danio rerio to determine how ontogeny and reproductive performance are affected, as well as factors downstream of Gnrh3 along the reproductive axis. Using the TALEN technology, we developed a gnrh3-/- zebrafish line that harbors a 62 bp deletion in the gnrh3 gene. Our gnrh3-/- zebrafish line represents the first targeted and heritable mutation of a Gnrh isoform in any organism. Using immunohistochemistry, we verified that gnrh3-/- fish do not possess Gnrh3 peptide in any regions of the brain. However, other than changes in mRNA levels of pituitary gonadotropin genes (fshb, lhb, and cga during early development, which are corrected by adulthood, there were no changes in ontogeny and reproduction in gnrh3-/- fish. The gnrh3-/- zebrafish are fertile, displaying normal gametogenesis and reproductive performance in males and females. Together with our previous results that Gnrh3 cell ablation causes infertility, these results indicate that a compensatory mechanism is being activated, which is probably primed early on upon Gnrh3 neuron differentiation and possibly confined to Gnrh3 neurons. Potential compensation factors and sensitive windows of time for compensation during development and puberty should be explored.

  20. The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Bertram C.

    2000-01-01

    Argues that Web has become a major art medium. Investigates ways artists and appreciators of art are using the Web. Discusses the reproduction of art: from hand to mechanical to digital reproduction, focusing on the work of Walter Benjamin. Lists other sites where one can find art on the Web. (SR)

  1. Sequencing, de novo assembly and characterization of the spotted scat Scatophagus argus (Linnaeus 1766) transcriptome for discovery of reproduction related genes and SSRs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wei; Chen, Huapu; Cui, Xuefan; Zhang, Kewei; Jiang, Dongneng; Deng, Siping; Zhu, Chunhua; Li, Guangli

    2017-09-01

    Spotted scat (Scatophagus argus) is an economically important farmed fish, particularly in East and Southeast Asia. Because there has been little research on reproductive development and regulation in this species, the lack of a mature artificial reproduction technology remains a barrier for the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry. More genetic and genomic background knowledge is urgently needed for an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanism of reproductive process and identification of functional genes related to sexual differentiation, gonad maturation and gametogenesis. For these reasons, we performed transcriptomic analysis on spotted scat using a multiple tissue sample mixing strategy. The Illumina RNA sequencing generated 118 510 486 raw reads. After trimming, de novo assembly was performed and yielded 99 888 unigenes with an average length of 905.75 bp. A total of 45 015 unigenes were successfully annotated to the Nr, Swiss-Prot, KOG and KEGG databases. Additionally, 23 783 and 27 183 annotated unigenes were assigned to 56 Gene Ontology (GO) functional groups and 228 KEGG pathways, respectively. Subsequently, 2 474 transcripts associated with reproduction were selected using GO term and KEGG pathway assignments, and a number of reproduction-related genes involved in sex differentiation, gonad development and gametogenesis were identified. Furthermore, 22 279 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were discovered and characterized. The comprehensive transcript dataset described here greatly increases the genetic information available for spotted scat and contributes valuable sequence resources for functional gene mining and analysis. Candidate transcripts involved in reproduction would make good starting points for future studies on reproductive mechanisms, and the putative sex differentiation-related genes will be helpful for sex-determining gene identification and sex-specific marker isolation. Lastly, the SSRs can serve as marker

  2. Roles of Transcriptional and Translational Control Mechanisms in Regulation of Ribosomal Protein Synthesis in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgos, Hector L; O'Connor, Kevin; Sanchez-Vazquez, Patricia; Gourse, Richard L

    2017-11-01

    Bacterial ribosome biogenesis is tightly regulated to match nutritional conditions and to prevent formation of defective ribosomal particles. In Escherichia coli , most ribosomal protein (r-protein) synthesis is coordinated with rRNA synthesis by a translational feedback mechanism: when r-proteins exceed rRNAs, specific r-proteins bind to their own mRNAs and inhibit expression of the operon. It was recently discovered that the second messenger nucleotide guanosine tetra and pentaphosphate (ppGpp), which directly regulates rRNA promoters, is also capable of regulating many r-protein promoters. To examine the relative contributions of the translational and transcriptional control mechanisms to the regulation of r-protein synthesis, we devised a reporter system that enabled us to genetically separate the cis -acting sequences responsible for the two mechanisms and to quantify their relative contributions to regulation under the same conditions. We show that the synthesis of r-proteins from the S20 and S10 operons is regulated by ppGpp following shifts in nutritional conditions, but most of the effect of ppGpp required the 5' region of the r-protein mRNA containing the target site for translational feedback regulation and not the promoter. These results suggest that most regulation of the S20 and S10 operons by ppGpp following nutritional shifts is indirect and occurs in response to changes in rRNA synthesis. In contrast, we found that the promoters for the S20 operon were regulated during outgrowth, likely in response to increasing nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) levels. Thus, r-protein synthesis is dynamic, with different mechanisms acting at different times. IMPORTANCE Bacterial cells have evolved complex and seemingly redundant strategies to regulate many high-energy-consuming processes. In E. coli , synthesis of ribosomal components is tightly regulated with respect to nutritional conditions by mechanisms that act at both the transcription and translation steps. In

  3. Identification of differentially expressed reproductive and metabolic proteins in the female abalone (Haliotis laevigata) gonad following artificial induction of spawning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Porras, Omar; Botwright, Natasha A; Reverter, Antonio; Cook, Mathew T; Harris, James O; Wijffels, Gene; Colgrave, Michelle L

    2017-12-01

    Inefficient control of temperate abalone spawning prevents pair-wise breeding and production of abalone with highly marketable traits. Traditionally, abalone farmers have used a combination of UV irradiation and application of temperature gradients to the tank water to artificially induce spawning. Proteins are known to regulate crucial processes such as respiration, muscle contraction, feeding, growth and reproduction. Spawning as a pre-requisite of abalone reproduction is likely to be regulated, in part, by endogenous proteins. A first step in elucidating the mechanisms that regulate spawning is to identify which proteins are directly involved during spawning. The present study examined protein expression following traditional spawning induction in the Haliotis laevigata female. Gonads were collected from abalone in the following physiological states: (1) spawning; (2) post-spawning; and (3) failed-to-spawn. Differential protein abundance was initially assessed using two-dimensional difference in-gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry for protein identification. A number of reproductive proteins such as vitellogenin, vitelline envelope zona pellucida domain 29 and prohibitin, and metabolic proteins such as thioredoxin peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and heat shock proteins were identified. Differences in protein abundance levels between physiological states were further assessed using scheduled multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry. Positive associations were observed between the abundance of specific proteins, such as heat shock cognate 70 and peroxiredoxin 6, and the propensity or failure to spawn in abalone. These findings have contributed to better understand both the effects of oxidative and heat stress over abalone physiology and their influence on abalone spawning. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of melatonin and prolactin in reproduction: review of literature

    OpenAIRE

    Tenorio, Fernanda das Chagas Angelo Mendes; Simões, Manuel de Jesus; Teixeira, Valéria Wanderley; Teixeira, Álvaro Aguiar Coelho

    2015-01-01

    Summary The pineal gland is responsible for producing a hormone called melatonin (MEL), and is accepted as the gland that regulates reproduction in mammals. Prolactin (PRL) also exhibits reproductive activity in animals in response to photoperiod. It is known that the concentrations of PRL are high in the summer and reduced during winter, the opposite of what is seen with melatonin in these seasons. In placental mammals, both prolactin and melatonin affect implantation, which is considered a ...

  5. Linkage of reproductive sciences: from 'quick fix' to 'integrated' conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildt, D E; Ellis, S; Howard, J G

    2001-01-01

    Our laboratory has experienced four phases in understanding how the reproductive sciences contribute to genuine conservation of biodiversity. The first is the 'quick fix phase' in which the erroneous assumption is made that extant knowledge and techniques are readily adaptable to an unstudied wild animal to produce offspring rapidly. The second is the 'species-specificity phase' in which it is recognized that every species has evolved unique reproductive mechanisms that must be mastered before propagation can be enhanced. The third is the 'applicability phase' in which one grasps that all the new knowledge and technology are of minimal relevance without the cooperation of wildlife managers. The final phase is 'integration', the realization that reproduction is only one component in an abundantly complex conservation puzzle that requires interweaving many scientific disciplines with elaborate biopolitical, economic and habitat variables. These phases are illustrated using 20 years of experience with wildlife species, including the cheetah, black-footed ferret and giant panda. We conclude that the foremost value of the reproductive sciences for conserving endangered species is the discipline's powerful laboratory tools for understanding species-specific reproductive mechanisms. Such scholarly information, when applied holistically, can be used to improve management by natural or, occasionally, assisted breeding. Genuine conservation is achieved only when the reproductive knowledge and technologies are integrated into multidisciplinary programmes that preserve species integrity ex situ and preferably in situ.

  6. Life strategies of semi-desert plants: mechanisms of dispersal and reproduction in the thermomediterranean shrubland community Anabasio-Euzomodendretum bourgaeani

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hensen, Isabell

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study describes mechanisms of dispersal and reproduction in the thermomediterranean shrubland community Anabasio hispanicae-Euzomodendretum bourgaeani. The life strategy analysis based on sociological releves was carried out in Tabernas Desert (Province Almería. The biological significance of the occurring life strategies is represented by the mean group quantity fraction (GM. The dominant life strategy subdivisión of Anabasio-Euzomodendretum bourgaeani is that of Perennial stayers with short-range dispersal, with sexual reproduction. Reproduction takes place mainly by seeds; clonal reproduction does not appear to have any significance for the colonization of this semi-desert habitat. The community is characterized by a low dispersal capacity, achieved by several mechanisms for avoiding dispersal. A high percentage of the species that mature and fructify shortly before or during the hot and rainless summer, stores at least a subset of seeds in an aerial diaspore bank to assure that dispersal and germination coincide with an advantageous soil water supply. Additionally, immediate seed germination is frequently inhibited by high temperature.El presente trabajo describe los mecanismos de dispersión y reproducción en la comunidad de matorral termomediterráneo Anabasio hispanicae-Euzomodendretum bourgaeani. El análisis de las estrategias de vida se basa en inventarios fitosociológicos realizados en el desierto de Tabernas (provincia de Almería. La importancia biológica de las estrategias de vida es expresada por el cociente medio de la cantidad del grupo (GM. La estrategia de vida predominante es el subgrupo de los perennes con dispersión a corta distancia, con reproducción sexual. Las especies se reproducen principalmente por semillas y la reproducción clonal no parece tener importancia para la colonización del habitat semidesértico. La comunidad está caracterizada por una baja capacidad de dispersión que se consigue por

  7. Effects of fluctuating temperature and food availability on reproduction and lifespan

    OpenAIRE

    Schwartz, Tonia S.; Pearson, Phillip; Dawson, John; Allison, David B.; Gohlke, Julia M.

    2016-01-01

    Experimental studies on energetics and aging often remove two major factors that in part regulate the energy budget in a normal healthy individual: reproduction and fluctuating environmental conditions that challenge homeostasis. Here we use the cyclical parthenogenetic Daphnia pulex to evaluate the role of a fluctuating thermal environment on both reproduction and lifespan across six food concentrations. We test the hypotheses that (1) caloric restriction extends lifespan; (2) maximal reprod...

  8. Prenatal exposure to diesel exhaust particles and effect on the male reproductive system in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmingsen, Jette Gjerke; Hougaard, Karin Sørig; Talsness, Chris

    2009-01-01

    In utero exposure to diesel exhaust particles may reduce sperm production in adulthood. We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to diesel exhaust particles on the male reproductive system and assessed endocrine disruption and regulation of aquaporin expression as possible mechanisms...... of action. Dams inhaled 20 mg/m(3) of diesel exhaust particle standard reference material 2975 (SRM2975) or clean air for 1h/day on day 7-19 during pregnancy. Male offspring were killed on day 170 after birth. The dams that had inhaled SRM2975 delivered offspring, which in adulthood had reduced daily sperm...

  9. Regulation of gene expression and pain states by epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Géranton, Sandrine M; Tochiki, Keri K

    2015-01-01

    The induction of inflammatory or neuropathic pain states is known to involve molecular activity in the spinal superficial dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia, including intracellular signaling events which lead to changes in gene expression. These changes ultimately cause alterations in macromolecular synthesis, synaptic transmission, and structural architecture which support central sensitization, a process required for the establishment of long-term pain states. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for long-term synaptic plasticity and modulation of gene expression. This is because epigenetic modifications are known to regulate gene transcription by aiding the physical relaxation or condensation of chromatin. These processes are therefore potential regulators of the molecular changes underlying permanent pain states. A handful of studies have emerged in the field of pain epigenetics; however, the field is still very much in its infancy. This chapter draws upon other specialities which have extensively investigated epigenetic mechanisms, such as learning and memory and oncology. After defining epigenetics as well as the recent field of "neuroepigenetics" and the main molecular mechanisms involved, this chapter describes the role of these mechanisms in the synaptic plasticity seen in learning and memory, and address those epigenetic mechanisms that have been linked with the development of acute and prolonged pain states. Finally, the idea that long-lasting epigenetic modifications could contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain states by supporting maladaptive molecular changes is discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of dietary omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid ratios on reproduction in the young breeder rooster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Yun; Ding, Yu; Liu, Juan; Tian, Ye; Yang, Yanzhou; Guan, Shuluan; Zhang, Cheng

    2015-03-21

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are necessary for the body's metabolism, growth and development. Although PUFAs play an important role in the regulation of reproduction, their role in testis development in the rooster is unknown. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of omega-3/omega-6 (n-3/n-6, PUFAs) ratios on reproductive performance in young breeder roosters. Plasma levels of reproductive hormones, testis development, and reproductive hormone receptor and StAR mRNA expression were also assessed. Although PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15) had no significant effect on the testis index (P > 0.05), the spermatogonial development and germ cell layers were increased. Moreover, serum levels of hormones (GnRH, FSH, LH and T) on day 35 were also significantly increased by PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15). To investigate whether PUFAs regulate the expression of hormone receptors and StAR, real time-PCR was used to measure GnRHR, FSHR, LHR and StAR mRNA levels. PUFAs significantly increased the mRNA levels of all of these genes. These results indicate that PUFAs enhance the reproductive performance of young roosters by increasing hormone secretion and function, the latter by up-regulating receptor expression. These findings provide a sound basis for a balanced n-3/n-6 PUFA ratio being beneficial to young rooster reproduction.

  11. DMPD: Mechanism of age-associated up-regulation in macrophage PGE2 synthesis. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 15331118 Mechanism of age-associated up-regulation in macrophage PGE2 synthesis. Wu...e-associated up-regulation in macrophage PGE2 synthesis. PubmedID 15331118 Title Mechanism of age-associated... up-regulation in macrophage PGE2 synthesis. Authors Wu D, Meydani SN. Publicatio

  12. Zika Virus in the Male Reproductive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liesel Stassen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses are resurging across the globe. Zika virus (ZIKV has caused significant concern in recent years because it can lead to congenital malformations in babies and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. Unlike other arboviruses, ZIKV can be sexually transmitted and may persist in the male reproductive tract. There is limited information regarding the impact of ZIKV on male reproductive health and fertility. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie persistent ZIKV infections in men is critical to developing effective vaccines and therapies. Mouse and macaque models have begun to unravel the pathogenesis of ZIKV infection in the male reproductive tract, with the testes and prostate gland implicated as potential reservoirs for persistent ZIKV infection. Here, we summarize current knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of ZIKV in the male reproductive tract, the development of animal models to study ZIKV infection at this site, and prospects for vaccines and therapeutics against persistent ZIKV infection.

  13. Oosorption in response to poor food: complexity in the trade-off between reproduction and survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Patricia J; Attisano, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Plasticity in reproductive physiology is one avenue by which environmental signals, such as poor quality food, can be coordinated with adaptive responses. Insects have the ability to resorb oocytes that are not oviposited. Oosorption is proposed to be an adaptive mechanism to optimize fitness in hostile environments, recouping resources that might otherwise be lost, and reinvesting them into future reproductive potential. We tested the hypothesis that oosorption is an evolved mechanism by which females can reallocate resources from current reproductive effort to survival and future reproduction, when conditions for reproduction are poor, by examining the reproductive physiology and life-history outcome under poor quality food in populations of the milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) that have adapted to live on sunflower seed. Females fed a diet of pumpkin seeds, known to be a poor host food, had higher levels of ovarian apoptosis (oosorption), lower reproductive output, but no reduction in life span under poor nutrition, as predicted under the oosorption hypothesis. However, the schedule of reproduction was surprising given the “wait to reproduce” assumption of oosorption as early fecundity was unaffected. PMID:22393481

  14. COUP-TFII mediates progesterone regulation of uterine implantation by controlling ER activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isao Kurihara

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Progesterone and estrogen are critical regulators of uterine receptivity. To facilitate uterine remodeling for embryo attachment, estrogen activity in the uterine epithelia is attenuated by progesterone; however, the molecular mechanism by which this occurs is poorly defined. COUP-TFII (chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor II; also known as NR2F2, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, is highly expressed in the uterine stroma and its expression is regulated by the progesterone-Indian hedgehog-Patched signaling axis that emanates from the epithelium. To further assess COUP-TFII uterine function, a conditional COUP-TFII knockout mouse was generated. This mutant mouse is infertile due to implantation failure, in which both embryo attachment and uterine decidualization are impaired. Using this animal model, we have identified a novel genetic pathway in which BMP2 lies downstream of COUP-TFII. Epithelial progesterone-induced Indian hedgehog regulates stromal COUP-TFII, which in turn controls BMP2 to allow decidualization to manifest in vivo. Interestingly, enhanced epithelial estrogen activity, which impedes maturation of the receptive uterus, was clearly observed in the absence of stromal-derived COUP-TFII. This finding is consistent with the notion that progesterone exerts its control of implantation through uterine epithelial-stromal cross-talk and reveals that stromal-derived COUP-TFII is an essential mediator of this complex cross-communication pathway. This finding also provides a new signaling paradigm for steroid hormone regulation in female reproductive biology, with attendant implications for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie dysregulation of hormonal signaling in such human reproductive disorders as endometriosis and endometrial cancer.

  15. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries

    OpenAIRE

    Pillai, Vijayan Kumara; Gupta, Rashmi

    2011-01-01

    Background: Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between. Objective: This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women’s reproductive health in develo...

  16. Reproductive Rights and Women’s Freedom. Remarks on the Feminist Debate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Fanlo Cortés

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This article seeks to contribute to the issue of reproductive rights, assuming for the analysis the perspective of the contemporary Western feminist debate. Notwithstanding the variety of approaches and positions that find expression in the scope of such a debate, emphasis is given to the convergent interest of the most recent feminist bioethical discussion in the subject of legal regulation that the States predict, both in relation to the use of certain Reproductive technologies, and the exercise of other reproductive rights, as well as the value premises that underpin these policies and their effects on the lives of women. Finally, in the light of the recent transformations of the modalities of public control over reproductive choices, some challenges will be identified that fall on contemporary feminisms.

  17. Corticosteroid receptor expression in a teleost fish that displays alternative male reproductive tactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arterbery, Adam S; Deitcher, David L; Bass, Andrew H

    2010-01-01

    Corticosteroid signaling mechanisms mediate a wide range of adaptive physiological responses, including those essential to reproduction. Here, we investigated the presence and relative abundance of corticosteroid receptors during the breeding season in the plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus), a species that has two male reproductive morphs. Only type I "singing" males acoustically court females and aggressively defend a nest site, whereas type II "sneaker" males steal fertilizations from nesting type I males. Cloning and sequencing first identified glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors in midshipman that exhibited high sequence identity with other vertebrate GRs and MRs. Absolute-quantitative real-time PCR then revealed higher levels of GR in the central nervous system (CNS) of type II males than type I males and females, while GR levels in the sound-producing, vocal muscle and the liver were higher in type I males than type II males and females. MR expression was also greater in the CNS of type II males than type I males or females, but the differences were more modest in magnitude. Lastly, plasma levels of cortisol, the main glucocorticoid in teleosts, were 2- to 3-fold greater in type II males compared to type I males. Together, the results suggest a link between corticosteroid regulation and physiological and behavioral variation in a teleost fish that displays male alternative reproductive tactics.

  18. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Glenn J.; Leite, Cleo A. C.; Sanders, Colin E.; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V.; Abe, Augusto S.; Milsom, William K.

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as “true endotherms”: the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy. PMID:26844295

  19. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Glenn J; Leite, Cleo A C; Sanders, Colin E; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Milsom, William K

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as "true endotherms": the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy.

  20. Roles of RFRP-3 in the daily and seasonal regulation of reproductive activity in female Syrian hamsters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsen, Jo B.; Ancel, Caroline; Mikkelsen, Jens D.

    2017-01-01

    In females, reproductive activity relies on proper integration of daily and environmental changes as well as cyclic sex-steroid feedback. This study sought to investigate the role of the hypothalamic Arg-Phe amide-related peptide (RFRP)-3 in the daily and seasonal control of reproductive activity...... alongside kisspeptin neurons, are essential for proper synchronization of reproductive activity with the time of the day, the stage of the estrous cycle, and the seasonal changes in photoperiod....

  1. Endocrine disruptors in female reproductive tract development and carcinogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Liang

    2009-01-01

    Growing concerns over endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and their effects on human fetal development and adult health have promoted research into the underlying molecular mechanisms of endocrine disruption. Gene targeting technology has allowed insight into the genetic pathways governing reproductive tract development and how exposure to EDCs during a critical developmental window can alter reproductive tract development, potentially forming the basis for adult diseases. This review prima...

  2. Evaluation of potential mechanisms of atrazine-induced reproductive impairment in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Cathy; Papoulias, Diana M.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2016-01-01

    Atrazine has been implicated in reproductive dysfunction of exposed organisms, and previous studies documented decreased egg production in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) during 30-d to 38-d exposures to 0.5 µg/L, 5 µg/L, and 50 µg/L atrazine. The authors evaluated possible mechanisms underlying the reduction in egg production. Gene expression in steroidogenesis pathways and the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonad axis of male and female fish was measured. Atrazine did not significantly induce gonad aromatase (cyp19a1a) expression. An atrazine-induced shift in the number of females in an active reproductive state was observed. Expression of the egg maturation genes vitellogenin 1 (vtg1) and zona pellucida glycoprotein 3.1 (zp3.1) in medaka females was correlated and had a bimodal distribution. In both species, females with low vtg1 or zp3.1 expression also had low expression of steroidogenesis genes in the gonad, estrogen receptor in the liver, and gonadotropins in the brain. In the medaka, the number of females per tank that had high expression of zp3.1 was significantly correlated with egg production per tank. The number of medaka females with low expression of zp3.1 increased significantly with atrazine exposure. Thus, the decline in egg production observed in response to atrazine exposure may be the result of a coordinated downregulation of genes required for reproduction in a subset of females.

  3. Male Snakes Allocate Time and Energy according to Individual Energetic Status: Body Condition, Steroid Hormones, and Reproductive Behavior in Timber Rattlesnakes, Crotalus horridus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Craig M; Beaupre, Steven J

    2015-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that organisms will hedge current reproductive investment against potential costs in terms of survivorship and future fecundity. However, little is known regarding the endocrine mechanisms underlying bet-hedging strategies in free-ranging male vertebrates. We examined the relationships among individual energetic status, steroid hormones, mate search, and reproductive behavior in free-ranging male timber rattlesnakes. Snakes were monitored over four active seasons in order to test two hypotheses: (1) males adjust the amount of time and energy allocated toward reproduction according to the level of individual energy stores, and (2) observed condition-dependent reproductive allocation is associated with circulating concentrations of steroid hormones (testosterone and corticosterone) thought to regulate reproductive behaviors in vertebrates. A positive relationship between body condition and testosterone was observed in both the field and the laboratory. Male mate search effort was positively correlated with both body condition and testosterone. Body condition and testosterone concentrations were negatively related to time allocated toward foraging during the breeding season. A strong effect of year was observed in the analysis of testosterone and search effort, suggesting that multiple environmental factors impact hormone production and reproductive investment. Corticosterone was not related to any measured variable. Therefore, our results did not indicate a clear role of corticosterone in mediating observed relationships between energetic status and behavior. Observed relationships are consistent with the hypothesis that males allocate time and energy toward reproduction according to individual energetic status and that testosterone plays a role in mediating the trade-off between current reproductive investment and residual reproductive value.

  4. Neuroendocrine regulation of appetitive ingestive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keen-Rhinehart, Erin; Ondek, Katelynn; Schneider, Jill E

    2013-11-15

    Food availability in nature is often irregular, and famine is commonplace. Increased motivation to engage in ingestive behaviors increases the chance of survival, providing additional potential opportunities for reproduction. Because of the advantages conferred by entraining ingestive behavior to environmental conditions, neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating the motivation to acquire and ingest food have evolved to be responsive to exogenous (i.e., food stored for future consumption) and endogenous (i.e., body fat stores) fuel availability. Motivated behaviors like eating occur in two phases. The appetitive phase brings animals into contact with food (e.g., foraging, food hoarding), and the more reflexive consummatory phase results in ingestion (e.g., chewing, swallowing). Quantifiable appetitive behaviors are part of the natural ingestive behavioral repertoire of species such as hamsters and humans. This review summarizes current knowledge about neuroendocrine regulators of ingestive behavior, with an emphasis appetitive behavior. We will discuss hormonal regulators of appetitive ingestive behaviors, including the orexigenic hormone ghrelin, which potently stimulates foraging and food hoarding in Siberian hamsters. This section includes a discussion of the hormone leptin, its relation to endogenous fat stores, and its role in food deprivation-induced increases in appetitive ingestive behaviors. Next, we discuss how hormonal regulators interact with neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of ingestive behaviors, such as neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AgRP) and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), to regulate ingestive behavior. Finally, we discuss the potential impact that perinatal nutrient availability can have on the neuroendocrine regulation of ingestive behavior. Understanding the hormonal mechanisms that connect metabolic fuel availability to central appetite regulatory circuits should provide a better understanding of the

  5. Associations of stream geomorphic conditions and prevalence of alternative reproductive tactics among sockeye salmon populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFilippo, L B; Schindler, D E; Carter, J L; Walsworth, T E; Cline, T J; Larson, W A; Buehrens, T

    2018-02-01

    In many species, males may exhibit alternative life histories to circumvent the costs of intrasexual competition and female courtship. While the evolution and underlying genetic and physiological mechanisms behind alternative reproductive tactics are well studied, there has been less consideration of the ecological factors that regulate their prevalence. Here, we examine six decades of age composition records from thirty-six populations of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) to quantify associations between spawning habitat characteristics and the prevalence of precocious sneakers known as 'jacks'. Jack prevalence was independent of neutral genetic structure among stream populations, but varied among habitat types and as a function of continuous geomorphic characteristics. Jacks were more common in streams relative to beaches and rivers, and their prevalence was negatively associated with stream width, depth, elevation, slope and area, but positively related to bank cover. Behavioural observations showed that jacks made greater use of banks, wood and shallows than guard males, indicating that their reproductive success depends on the availability of such refuges. Our results emphasize the role of the physical habitat in shaping reproductive tactic frequencies among populations, likely through local adaptation in response to variable fitness expectations under different geomorphic conditions. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. Similarities between Reproductive and Immune Pistil Transcriptomes of Arabidopsis Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondragón-Palomino, Mariana; John-Arputharaj, Ajay; Pallmann, Maria; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    Independent lines of evidence suggest that members from ancient and polymorphic gene families such as defensins and receptor-like kinases mediate intercellular communication during both the immune response and reproduction. Here, we report a large-scale analysis to investigate the extent of overlap between these processes by comparing differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the pistil transcriptomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Arabidopsis halleri during self-pollination and interspecific pollination and during infection with Fusarium graminearum In both Arabidopsis species, the largest number of DEGs was identified in infected pistils, where genes encoding regulators of cell division and development were most frequently down-regulated. Comparison of DEGs between infection and various pollination conditions showed that up to 79% of down-regulated genes are shared between conditions and include especially defensin-like genes. Interspecific pollination of A. thaliana significantly up-regulated thionins and defensins. The significant overrepresentation of similar groups of DEGs in the transcriptomes of reproductive and immune responses of the pistil makes it a prime system in which to study the consequences of plant-pathogen interactions on fertility and the evolution of intercellular communication in pollination. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  7. AGAMOUS controls GIANT KILLER, a multifunctional chromatin modifier in reproductive organ patterning and differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kian-Hong Ng

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The Arabidopsis homeotic protein AGAMOUS (AG, a MADS domain transcription factor, specifies reproductive organ identity during flower development. Using a binding assay and expression analysis, we identified a direct target of AG, GIANT KILLER (GIK, which fine-tunes the expression of multiple genes downstream of AG. The GIK protein contains an AT-hook DNA binding motif that is widely found in chromosomal proteins and that binds to nuclear matrix attachment regions of DNA elements. Overexpression and loss of function of GIK cause wide-ranging defects in patterning and differentiation of reproductive organs. GIK directly regulates the expression of several key transcriptional regulators, including ETTIN/AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 3 (ETT/ARF3 that patterns the gynoecium, by binding to the matrix attachment regions of target promoters. Overexpression of GIK causes a swift and dynamic change in repressive histone modification in the ETT promoter. We propose that GIK acts as a molecular node downstream of the homeotic protein AG, regulating patterning and differentiation of reproductive organs through chromatin organization.

  8. Neural Mechanisms of Reproduction in Females as a Predisposing Factor for Drug Addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedges, Valerie L.; Staffend, Nancy A.; Meisel, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing awareness that adolescent females differ from males in their response to drugs of abuse and consequently in their vulnerability to addiction. One possible component of this vulnerability to drug addiction is the neurobiological impact that reproductive physiology and behaviors have on the mesolimbic dopamine system, a key neural pathway mediating drug addiction. In this review, we examine animal models that address the impact of ovarian cyclicity, sexual affiliation, sexual behavior, and maternal care on the long-term plasticity of the mesolimbic dopamine system. The thesis is that this plasticity in synaptic neurotransmission stemming from an individual’s normal life history contributes to the pathological impact of drugs of abuse on the neurobiology of this system. Hormones released during reproductive cycles have only transient effects on these dopamine systems, whereas reproductive behaviors produce a persistent sensitization of dopamine release and postsynaptic neuronal responsiveness. Puberty itself may not represent a neurobiological risk factor for drug abuse, but attendant behavioral experiences may have a negative impact on females engaging in drug use. PMID:20176045

  9. Evaluation of Possible Proximate Mechanisms Underlying the Kinship Theory of Intragenomic Conflict in Social Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, David A; Yi, Soojin V; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-12-01

    Kinship theory provides a universal framework in which to understand the evolution of altruism, but there are many molecular and genetic mechanisms that can generate altruistic behaviors. Interestingly, kinship theory specifically predicts intragenomic conflict between maternally-derived alleles (matrigenes) and paternally-derived alleles (patrigenes) over the generation of altruistic behavior in cases where the interests of the matrigenes and patrigenes are not aligned. Under these conditions, individual differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior are predicted to arise from differential expression of the matrigenes and patrigenes (parent-specific gene expression or PSGE) that regulate selfish versus altruistic behaviors. As one of the leading theories to describe PSGE and genomic imprinting, kinship theory has been used to generate predictions to describe the reproductive division of labor in social insect colonies, which represents an excellent model system to test the hypotheses of kinship theory and examine the underlying mechanisms driving it. Recent studies have confirmed the predicted differences in the influence of matrigenes and patrigenes on reproductive division of labor in social insects, and demonstrated that these differences are associated with differences in PSGE of key genes involved in regulating reproductive physiology, providing further support for kinship theory. However, the mechanisms mediating PSGE in social insects, and how PSGE leads to differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior, remain to be determined. Here, we review the available supporting evidence for three possible epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, piRNAs, and histone modification) that may generate PSGE in social insects, and discuss how these may lead to variation in social behavior. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email

  10. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma

    OpenAIRE

    Hammel, J. U.; Herzen, J.; Beckmann, F.; Nickel, M.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation ...

  11. Structure of the transcriptional regulator LmrR and its mechanism of multidrug recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Madoori, Pramod Kumar; Agustiandari, Herfita; Driessen, Arnold J. M.; Thunnissen, Andy-Mark W. H.

    2009-01-01

    LmrR is a PadR-related transcriptional repressor that regulates the production of LmrCD, a major multidrug ABC transporter in Lactococcus lactis. Transcriptional regulation is presumed to follow a drug-sensitive induction mechanism involving the direct binding of transporter ligands to LmrR. Here,

  12. Signal transduction mechanisms of K+-Cl- cotransport regulation and relationship to disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adragna, N C; Ferrell, C M; Zhang, J; Di Fulvio, M; Temprana, C F; Sharma, A; Fyffe, R E W; Cool, D R; Lauf, P K

    2006-01-01

    The K+-Cl- cotransport (COT) regulatory pathways recently uncovered in our laboratory and their implication in disease state are reviewed. Three mechanisms of K+-Cl- COT regulation can be identified in vascular cells: (1) the Li+-sensitive pathway, (2) the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-sensitive pathway and (3) the nitric oxide (NO)-dependent pathway. Ion fluxes, Western blotting, semi-quantitative RT-PCR, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy were used. Li+, used in the treatment of manic depression, stimulates volume-sensitive K+-Cl- COT of low K+ sheep red blood cells at cellular concentrations 3 mM, causes cell swelling, and appears to regulate K+-Cl- COT through a protein kinase C-dependent pathway. PDGF, a potent serum mitogen for vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), regulates membrane transport and is involved in atherosclerosis. PDGF stimulates VSM K+-Cl- COT in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, both acutely and chronically, through the PDGF receptor. The acute effect occurs at the post-translational level whereas the chronic effect may involve regulation through gene expression. Regulation by PDGF involves the signalling molecules phosphoinositides 3-kinase and protein phosphatase-1. Finally, the NO/cGMP/protein kinase G pathway, involved in vasodilation and hence cardiovascular disease, regulates K+-Cl- COT in VSMCs at the mRNA expression and transport levels. A complex and diverse array of mechanisms and effectors regulate K+-Cl- COT and thus cell volume homeostasis, setting the stage for abnormalities at the genetic and/or regulatory level thus effecting or being affected by various pathological conditions.

  13. Correlated seed failure as an environmental veto to synchronize reproduction of masting plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdziewicz, Michał; Steele, Michael A; Marino, Shealyn; Crone, Elizabeth E

    2018-07-01

    Variable, synchronized seed production, called masting, is a widespread reproductive strategy in plants. Resource dynamics, pollination success, and, as described here, environmental veto are possible proximate mechanisms driving masting. We explored the environmental veto hypothesis, which assumes that reproductive synchrony is driven by external factors preventing reproduction in some years, by extending the resource budget model of masting with correlated reproductive failure. We ran this model across its parameter space to explore how key parameters interact to drive seeding dynamics. Next, we parameterized the model based on 16 yr of seed production data for populations of red (Quercus rubra) and white (Quercus alba) oaks. We used these empirical models to simulate seeding dynamics, and compared simulated time series with patterns observed in the field. Simulations showed that resource dynamics and reproduction failure can produce masting even in the absence of pollen coupling. In concordance with this, in both oaks, among-year variation in resource gain and correlated reproductive failure were necessary and sufficient to reproduce masting, whereas pollen coupling, although present, was not necessary. Reproductive failure caused by environmental veto may drive large-scale synchronization without density-dependent pollen limitation. Reproduction-inhibiting weather events are prevalent in ecosystems, making described mechanisms likely to operate in many systems. © 2018 The Authors New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Male Reproductive Toxicology: Environmental Exposures vs Reproductive Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Like the lecture this chapter begins with an overview of male reproductive biology and transitions into male reproductive toxicology. It ends with a brief discussion of the strengths and weaknesses in male reproductive toxicology and epidemiology today. This chapter is highly il...

  15. Reproductive neuropeptides that stimulate spawning in the Sydney Rock Oyster (Saccostrea glomerata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    In, Vu Van; Ntalamagka, Nikoleta; O'Connor, Wayne; Wang, Tianfang; Powell, Daniel; Cummins, Scott F; Elizur, Abigail

    2016-08-01

    The Sydney Rock Oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, is a socioeconomically important species in Australia, yet little is known about the molecular mechanism that regulates its reproduction. To address this gap, we have performed a combination of high throughput transcriptomic and peptidomic analysis, to identify genes and neuropeptides that are expressed in the key regulatory tissues of S. glomerata; the visceral ganglia and gonads. Neuropeptides are known to encompass a diverse class of peptide messengers that play functional roles in many aspects of an animal's life, including reproduction. Approximately 28 neuropeptide genes were identified, primarily within the visceral ganglia transcriptome, that encode precursor proteins containing numerous neuropeptides; some were confirmed through mass spectral peptidomics analysis of the visceral ganglia. Of those, 28 bioactive neuropeptides were synthesized, and then tested for their capacity to induce gonad development and spawning in S. glomerata. Egg laying hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, APGWamide, buccalin, CCAP and LFRFamide were neuropeptides found to trigger spawning in ripe animals. Additional testing of APGWa and buccalin demonstrated their capacity to advance conditioning and gonadal maturation. In summary, our analysis of S. glomerata has identified neuropeptides that can influence the reproductive cycle of this species, specifically by accelerating gonadal maturation and triggering spawning. Other molluscan neuropeptides identified in this study will enable further research into understanding the neuroendocrinology of oysters, which may benefit their cultivation. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  17. Chronic Stress and Limbic-Hypothalamopituitary-Adrenal Axis (LHPA Response in Female Reproductive system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farideh Zafari Zangeneh

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA axis is a critical adaptive system that maximizes survival potential in the face of physical or psychological challenge. The principal end products of the HPA axis, glucocorticoid hormones, act on multiple organ systems, including the brain, to maintain homeostatic balance. The brain is a target of stress, and the hippocampus is the first brain region, besides the hypothalamus, to be recognized as a target of glucocorticoids. These anatomical areas in brain are limbic system, and in particular the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and amigdal that have multiple control points in regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA axis. The studies show the prefrontal cortex (PFC plays an important role in the regulation of stress-induced hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA activity and regulation of gonadal function in men and women is under the control of the HPA. This regulation is complex and sex steroids are important regulators of GnRH and gonadotropin release through classic feedback mechanisms in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Chronic stress can have a deleterious effect on the reproductive axis that, for females, is manifested in reduced pulsatile gonadotropin secretion and increased incidence of ovulatory abnormalities and infertility. The limbic–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (LHPA axis suggests a functional role for gonadal steroids in the regulation of a female’s response to stress.

  18. Female reproductive disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crain, D Andrew; Janssen, Sarah J; Edwards, Thea M

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive disrupti......To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive...... disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on female reproductive health....

  19. A generalized allosteric mechanism for cis-regulated cyclic nucleotide binding domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandr P Kornev

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyclic nucleotides (cAMP and cGMP regulate multiple intracellular processes and are thus of a great general interest for molecular and structural biologists. To study the allosteric mechanism of different cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB domains, we compared cAMP-bound and cAMP-free structures (PKA, Epac, and two ionic channels using a new bioinformatics method: local spatial pattern alignment. Our analysis highlights four major conserved structural motifs: 1 the phosphate binding cassette (PBC, which binds the cAMP ribose-phosphate, 2 the "hinge," a flexible helix, which contacts the PBC, 3 the beta(2,3 loop, which provides precise positioning of an invariant arginine from the PBC, and 4 a conserved structural element consisting of an N-terminal helix, an eight residue loop and the A-helix (N3A-motif. The PBC and the hinge were included in the previously reported allosteric model, whereas the definition of the beta(2,3 loop and the N3A-motif as conserved elements is novel. The N3A-motif is found in all cis-regulated CNB domains, and we present a model for an allosteric mechanism in these domains. Catabolite gene activator protein (CAP represents a trans-regulated CNB domain family: it does not contain the N3A-motif, and its long range allosteric interactions are substantially different from the cis-regulated CNB domains.

  20. The effect of natural whey proteins on mechanisms of blood pressure regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halina Car

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Whey is a rich natural source of peptides and amino acids. It has been reported in numerous studies that biological active peptides isolated from cow’s milk whey may affect blood pressure regulation. Studies on animals and humans have shown that α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin obtained from enzymatically hydrolysed whey inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE, while lactorphins lower blood pressure by normalizing endothelial function or by opioid receptors dependent mechanism. Whey proteins or their bioactive fragments decrease total cholesterol, LDL fraction and triglycerides, thus reducing the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this review is to discuss the effects of whey proteins on the mechanisms of blood pressure regulation.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    OpenAIRE

    David M. Virshup; Rajesh Narasimamurthy

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entr...

  2. Assessment of mechanisms of metal-induced reproductive toxicity in aquatic species as a biomarker of exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, M.; George, W.; Sikka, S.; Kamath, B.; Preslan, J.; Agrawal, K.; Rege, A.

    1993-01-01

    This project is designed to identify heavy metals and organic contaminants of concern which could impact on the biota in the Louisiana wetlands by assessment of uptake and bioaccumulation of contaminants and their effects on reproductive processes as biomarkers of exposure. Heavy metals (lead, cadmium, cobalt, and mercury) have been demonstrated to have toxic effects on reproduction in mammals and several aquatic species. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is an persistent environmental contaminant which has been measured in human serum, fat, semen, and follicular fluid. HCB has been shown to be a reproductive toxin in rats and primates. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are prevalent chlorinated hydrocarbons currently contaminating our environment. PCBs resist degradation and are insoluble in water; however, they bioaccumulate in aquatic species. Disturbances of the reproductive systems are not only sensitive indicators of toxicity but threatens the propagation of a species

  3. Connecting metabolism and reproduction: roles of central energy sensors and key molecular mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roa, Juan; Tena-Sempere, Manuel

    2014-11-01

    It is well established that pubertal activation of the reproductive axis and maintenance of fertility are critically dependent on the magnitude of body energy reserves and the metabolic state of the organism. Hence, conditions of impaired energy homeostasis often result in deregulation of puberty and reproduction, whereas gonadal dysfunction can be associated with the worsening of the metabolic profile and, eventually, changes in body weight. While much progress has taken place in our knowledge about the neuroendocrine mechanisms linking metabolism and reproduction, our understanding of how such dynamic interplay happens is still incomplete. As paradigmatic example, much has been learned in the last two decades on the reproductive roles of key metabolic hormones (such as leptin, insulin and ghrelin), their brain targets and the major transmitters and neuropeptides involved. Yet, the molecular mechanisms whereby metabolic information is translated and engages into the reproductive circuits remain largely unsolved. In this work, we will summarize recent developments in the characterization of the putative central roles of key cellular energy sensors, such as mTOR, in this phenomenon, and will relate these with other molecular mechanisms likely contributing to the brain coupling of energy balance and fertility. In doing so, we aim to provide an updated view of an area that, despite still underdeveloped, may be critically important to fully understand how reproduction and metabolism are tightly connected in health and disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. RFRP neurons are critical gatekeepers for the photoperiodic control of reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie eSimonneaux

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Seasonally-breeding mammals rely on the photoperiodic signal to restrict their fertility to a certain time of the year. The photoperiodic information is translated in the brain via the pineal hormone melatonin, and it is now well established that it is the variation in the duration of the nocturnal peak of melatonin which synchronises reproduction with the seasons. The Syrian hamster is a long day breeder, and sexual activity is therefore promoted by exposure to a long day photoperiod and inhibited by exposure to a short day photoperiod. Interestingly, in this species electrolytic lesion of the mediobasal hypothalamus abolishes the short day-induced gonadal regression. We have shown that the expression of a recently discovered neuronal population, namely RFamide-related peptide (rfrp neurons, present in the mediobasal hypothalamus, is strongly down-regulated by melatonin in short day conditions, but not altered by circulating levels of sex steroids. The role of rfrp and its product RFRP-3 in the regulation of reproductive activity has been extensively studied in mammals, and our recent findings indicate that this peptide is a potent stimulator of the reproductive axis in the Syrian hamster. It induces a marked increase in GnRH neuron activity and gonadotrophin secretion, and it is able to rescue reproductive activity in short day sexually inactive hamsters. Little is known about the localisation of the RFRP-3 receptor, GPR147, in the rodent brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that RFRP-3 could be acting via two intermediates, the GnRH neurons in the preoptic area and the Kiss1 neurons in the arcuate nucleus, but future studies should aim at describing the localisation of Gpr147 in the Syrian hamster brain. Altogether our data indicate that the rfrp neuronal population within the mediobasal hypothalamus might be a serious candidate in mediating the photoperiodic effects of melatonin on the regulation of the reproductive axis.

  5. Molecular characterization of kiss2 and differential regulation of reproduction-related genes by sex steroids in the hypothalamus of half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Liu, Quan; Liu, Xuezhou; Xu, Yongjiang; Song, Xuesong; Shi, Bao

    2017-11-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss) plays a critical role in mediating gonadal steroid feedback to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in mammals. However, little information regarding the regulation of kisspeptin gene by sex steroids is available in teleosts. In this study, we examined the direct actions of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) on hypothalamic expression of kisspeptin and other key factors involved in reproductive function of half-smooth tongue sole. As a first step, a partial-length cDNA of kiss2 was identified from the brain of tongue sole and kiss2 transcript levels were shown to be widely expressed in various tissues, notably in the ovary. Then, the actions of sex steroids on kiss2 and other reproduction-related genes were evaluated using a primary hypothalamus culture system. Our results showed that neither kiss2 nor its receptor kiss2r mRNA levels were significantly altered by sex steroids. Moreover, sex steroids did not modify hypothalamic expression of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (gnih) and its receptor gnihr mRNAs, either. However, E2 markedly stimulated both gnrh2 and gnrh3 mRNAs levels. Overall, this study provides insights into the role of sex steroids in the reproductive function of Pleuronectiform teleosts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Experimental evidence of population differences in reproductive investment conditional on environmental stochasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauthey, Zoé [INRA, UMR 1224, Ecologie Comportementale et Biologie des Populations de Poissons, Aquapôle, quartier Ibarron, 64310 Saint-Pée sur Nivelle (France); Univ Pau & Pays Adour, UMR 1224, Ecologie Comportementale et Biologie des Populations de Poissons, UFR Sciences et Techniques de la Côte Basque, Allée du parc Montaury, 64600 Anglet (France); Panserat, Stéphane [INRA, UR 107, Nutrition Metabolism Aquaculture, Aquapôle, 64310 Saint Pée sur Nivelle (France); Elosegi, Arturo [Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48080 Bilbao (Spain); Herman, Alexandre [INRA, UR 107, Nutrition Metabolism Aquaculture, Aquapôle, 64310 Saint Pée sur Nivelle (France); Tentelier, Cédric [INRA, UMR 1224, Ecologie Comportementale et Biologie des Populations de Poissons, Aquapôle, quartier Ibarron, 64310 Saint-Pée sur Nivelle (France); Univ Pau & Pays Adour, UMR 1224, Ecologie Comportementale et Biologie des Populations de Poissons, UFR Sciences et Techniques de la Côte Basque, Allée du parc Montaury, 64600 Anglet (France); and others

    2016-01-15

    Environmental stochasticity is expected to shape life histories of species, wherein organisms subjected to strong environmental variation should display adaptive response by being able to tune their reproductive investment. For riverine ecosystems, climate models forecast an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts. The speed and the mechanisms by which organisms may adapt their reproductive investment are therefore of primary importance to understand how species will cope with such radical environmental changes. In the present study, we sampled spawners from two different populations of wild brown trout, originating from two environments with contrasting levels of flow stochasticity. We placed them in sympatry within an experimental channel during reproductive season. In one modality, water flow was maintained constant, whereas in another modality, water flow was highly variable. Reproductive investment of all individuals was monitored using weight and energetic plasma metabolite variation throughout the reproductive season. Only the populations originating from the most variable environment showed a plastic response to experimental manipulation of water flow, the females being able to reduce their weight variation (from 19.2% to 13.1%) and metabolites variations (from 84.2% to 18.6% for triglycerides for instance) under variable flow conditions. These results imply that mechanisms to cope with environmental stochasticity can differ between populations of the same species, where some populations can be plastic whereas other cannot. - Highlights: • We place two populations of brown trout under contrasting water flow for reproduction. • Energetic metabolite variation is used as a cue of reproductive investment. • In constant flow, both populations show the same reproductive investment. • In variable flow, only one of the populations modifies its reproductive investment. • Divergent evolution of reproductive

  7. Experimental evidence of population differences in reproductive investment conditional on environmental stochasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gauthey, Zoé; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Herman, Alexandre; Tentelier, Cédric

    2016-01-01

    Environmental stochasticity is expected to shape life histories of species, wherein organisms subjected to strong environmental variation should display adaptive response by being able to tune their reproductive investment. For riverine ecosystems, climate models forecast an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts. The speed and the mechanisms by which organisms may adapt their reproductive investment are therefore of primary importance to understand how species will cope with such radical environmental changes. In the present study, we sampled spawners from two different populations of wild brown trout, originating from two environments with contrasting levels of flow stochasticity. We placed them in sympatry within an experimental channel during reproductive season. In one modality, water flow was maintained constant, whereas in another modality, water flow was highly variable. Reproductive investment of all individuals was monitored using weight and energetic plasma metabolite variation throughout the reproductive season. Only the populations originating from the most variable environment showed a plastic response to experimental manipulation of water flow, the females being able to reduce their weight variation (from 19.2% to 13.1%) and metabolites variations (from 84.2% to 18.6% for triglycerides for instance) under variable flow conditions. These results imply that mechanisms to cope with environmental stochasticity can differ between populations of the same species, where some populations can be plastic whereas other cannot. - Highlights: • We place two populations of brown trout under contrasting water flow for reproduction. • Energetic metabolite variation is used as a cue of reproductive investment. • In constant flow, both populations show the same reproductive investment. • In variable flow, only one of the populations modifies its reproductive investment. • Divergent evolution of reproductive

  8. Sexual and reproductive function in spinal cord injury and spinal surgery patients

    OpenAIRE

    Theodore H. Albright; Zachary Grabel; J. Mason DePasse; Mark A. Palumbo; Alan H. Daniels

    2015-01-01

    Sexual and reproductive health is important quality of life outcomes, which can have a major impact on patient satisfaction. Spinal pathology arising from trauma, deformity, and degenerative disease processes may be detrimental to sexual and reproductive function. Furthermore, spine surgery may impact sexual and reproductive function due to post-surgical mechanical, neurologic, and psychological factors. The aim of this paper is to provide a concise evidence-based review on the impact that sp...

  9. Effects of fluctuating temperature and food availability on reproduction and lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Pearson, Phillip; Dawson, John; Allison, David B; Gohlke, Julia M

    2016-12-15

    Experimental studies on energetics and aging often remove two major factors that in part regulate the energy budget in a normal healthy individual: reproduction and fluctuating environmental conditions that challenge homeostasis. Here we use the cyclical parthenogenetic Daphnia pulex to evaluate the role of a fluctuating thermal environment on both reproduction and lifespan across six food concentrations. We test the hypotheses that (1) caloric restriction extends lifespan; (2) maximal reproduction will come with a cost of shortened lifespan; and (3) at a given food concentration, relative to a metabolically equivalent constant temperature environment a diel fluctuating thermal environment will alter the allocation of energy to reproduction and lifespan to maintain homeostasis. We did not identify a level of food concentration that extended lifespan in response to caloric restriction, and we found no cost of reproduction in terms of lifespan. Rather, the individuals at the highest food levels generally had the highest reproductive output and the longest lifespans, the individuals at the intermediate food level decreased reproduction and maintained lifespan, and the individuals at the three lower food concentrations had a decrease in reproduction and lifespan as would be predicted with increasing levels of starvation. Fluctuating temperature had no effect on lifespan at any food concentration, but delayed time to reproductive maturity and decreased early reproductive output at all food concentrations. This suggests that a fluctuating temperature regimen activates molecular pathways that alter energy allocation. The costs of fluctuating temperature on reproduction were not consistent across the lifespan. Statistical interactions for age of peak reproduction and lifetime fecundity suggest that senescence of the reproductive system may vary between temperature regimens at the different food concentrations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanisms regulating brain docosahexaenoic acid uptake: what is the recent evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouinard-Watkins, Raphaël; Lacombe, R J Scott; Bazinet, Richard P

    2018-03-01

    To summarize recent advances pertaining to the mechanisms regulating brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) uptake. DHA is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid highly enriched in neuronal membranes and it is implicated in several important neurological processes. However, DHA synthesis is extremely limited within the brain. There are two main plasma pools that supply the brain with DHA: the nonesterified pool and the lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPtdCho) pool. Quantitatively, plasma nonesterified-DHA (NE-DHA) is the main contributor to brain DHA. Fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1) in addition to fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5) are key players that regulate brain uptake of NE-DHA. However, the plasma half-life of lysoPtdCho-DHA and its brain partition coefficient are higher than those of NE-DHA after intravenous administration. The mechanisms regulating brain DHA uptake are more complicated than once believed, but recent advances provide some clarity notably by suggesting that FATP1 and FABP5 are key contributors to cellular uptake of DHA at the blood-brain barrier. Elucidating how DHA enters the brain is important as we might be able to identify methods to better deliver DHA to the brain as a potential therapeutic.

  11. Mechanically stimulated bone cells secrete paracrine factors that regulate osteoprogenitor recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brady, Robert T.; O'Brien, Fergal J.; Hoey, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Bone formation requires the recruitment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitors. A potent stimulus driving this process is mechanical loading, yet the signalling mechanisms underpinning this are incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the mechanically-stimulated osteocyte and osteoblast secretome in coordinating progenitor contributions to bone formation. Initially osteocytes (MLO-Y4) and osteoblasts (MC3T3) were mechanically stimulated for 24hrs and secreted factors within the conditioned media were collected and used to evaluate mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) and osteoblast recruitment, proliferation and osteogenesis. Paracrine factors secreted by mechanically stimulated osteocytes significantly enhanced MSC migration, proliferation and osteogenesis and furthermore significantly increased osteoblast migration and proliferation when compared to factors secreted by statically cultured osteocytes. Secondly, paracrine factors secreted by mechanically stimulated osteoblasts significantly enhanced MSC migration but surprisingly, in contrast to the osteocyte secretome, inhibited MSC proliferation when compared to factors secreted by statically cultured osteoblasts. A similar trend was observed in osteoblasts. This study provides new information on mechanically driven signalling mechanisms in bone and highlights a contrasting secretome between cells at different stages in the bone lineage, furthering our understanding of loading-induced bone formation and indirect biophysical regulation of osteoprogenitors. - Highlights: • Physically stimulated osteocytes secrete factors that regulate osteoprogenitors. • These factors enhance recruitment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. • Physically stimulated osteoblasts secrete factors that also regulate progenitors. • These factors enhance recruitment but inhibit proliferation of osteoprogenitors. • This study highlights a contrasting

  12. Mechanically stimulated bone cells secrete paracrine factors that regulate osteoprogenitor recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brady, Robert T. [Tissue Engineering Research Group, Dept. of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Ireland); Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research Centre (AMBER), Trinity College Dublin & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Ireland); Dept. of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Limerick (Ireland); O' Brien, Fergal J. [Tissue Engineering Research Group, Dept. of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Ireland); Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research Centre (AMBER), Trinity College Dublin & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Ireland); Hoey, David A., E-mail: david.hoey@ul.ie [Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); Dept. of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Limerick (Ireland); The Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Limerick (Ireland); Materials & Surface Science Institute, University of Limerick (Ireland)

    2015-03-27

    Bone formation requires the recruitment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitors. A potent stimulus driving this process is mechanical loading, yet the signalling mechanisms underpinning this are incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the mechanically-stimulated osteocyte and osteoblast secretome in coordinating progenitor contributions to bone formation. Initially osteocytes (MLO-Y4) and osteoblasts (MC3T3) were mechanically stimulated for 24hrs and secreted factors within the conditioned media were collected and used to evaluate mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) and osteoblast recruitment, proliferation and osteogenesis. Paracrine factors secreted by mechanically stimulated osteocytes significantly enhanced MSC migration, proliferation and osteogenesis and furthermore significantly increased osteoblast migration and proliferation when compared to factors secreted by statically cultured osteocytes. Secondly, paracrine factors secreted by mechanically stimulated osteoblasts significantly enhanced MSC migration but surprisingly, in contrast to the osteocyte secretome, inhibited MSC proliferation when compared to factors secreted by statically cultured osteoblasts. A similar trend was observed in osteoblasts. This study provides new information on mechanically driven signalling mechanisms in bone and highlights a contrasting secretome between cells at different stages in the bone lineage, furthering our understanding of loading-induced bone formation and indirect biophysical regulation of osteoprogenitors. - Highlights: • Physically stimulated osteocytes secrete factors that regulate osteoprogenitors. • These factors enhance recruitment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. • Physically stimulated osteoblasts secrete factors that also regulate progenitors. • These factors enhance recruitment but inhibit proliferation of osteoprogenitors. • This study highlights a contrasting

  13. Reproductive Rights or Reproductive Justice? Lessons from Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Lynn

    2015-06-11

    Argentine sexual and reproductive rights activists insist on using the language and framework of "human rights," even when many reproductive rights activists in the US and elsewhere now prefer the framework of "reproductive justice." Reflecting on conversations with Argentine feminist anthropologists, social scientists, and reproductive rights activists, this paper analyzes why the Argentine movement to legalize abortion relies on the contested concept of human rights. Its conclusion that "women's rights are human rights" is a powerful claim in post-dictatorship politics where abortion is not yet legal and the full scope of women's rights has yet to be included in the government's human rights agenda. Argentine feminist human rights activists have long been attentive to the ways that social class, gender, migration, and racism intersect with reproduction. Because their government respects and responds to a human rights framework, however, they have not felt it necessary--as U.S. feminists have--to invent a new notion of reproductive justice in order to be heard. Given the increasing popularity of reproductive justice in health and human rights, the Argentine case shows that rights-based claims can still be politically useful when a State values the concept of human rights. Copyright 2015 Morgan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

  14. Environmental chemicals and their effects on female reproductive health: Searching for molecular mechanisms and effect biomarkers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Hanna Katarina Lilith

    Incorrect developmental programming of the female reproductive tract can lead to compromised reproductive fitness later in life. It has been suggested that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in utero can disrupt ovarian programming in humans, which is supported by several animal st...

  15. Myomas and Adenomyosis: Impact on Reproductive Outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlahos, Nikos F; Theodoridis, Theodoros D; Partsinevelos, George A

    2017-01-01

    Among uterine structural abnormalities, myomas and adenomyosis represent two distinct, though frequently coexistent entities, with a remarkable prevalence in women of reproductive age. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the impact of each of them on reproductive outcome. In respect to myomas, current evidence implies that submucosal ones have an adverse effect on conception and early pregnancy. A similar effect yet is not quite clear and has been suggested for intramural myomas. Still, it seems reasonable that intramural myomas greater than 4 cm in diameter may negatively impair reproductive outcome. On the contrary, subserosal myomas do not seem to have a significant impact, if any, on reproduction. The presence of submucosal and/or large intramural myomas has also been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. In particular increased risk for miscarriage, fetal malpresentation, placenta previa, preterm birth, placenta abruption, postpartum hemorrhage, and cesarean section has been reported. With regard to adenomyosis, besides the tentative coexistence of adenomyosis and infertility, to date a causal relationship among these conditions has not been fully confirmed. Preterm birth and preterm premature rupture of membranes, uterine rupture, postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony, and ectopic pregnancy have all been reported in association with adenomyosis. Further research on the impact of adenomyosis on reproductive outcome is welcome.

  16. Association between AA-NAT gene polymorphism and reproductive performance in sheep

    OpenAIRE

    Ding-ping,Bai; Cheng-jiang,Yu; Yu-lin,Chen

    2012-01-01

    Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) is critical enzyme in Melatonin (MLT) biosynthesis for MLT regulating the animal seasonal breeding. In this study, DNA sequencing methods were applied to detect the polymorphisms of the AA-NAT gene in 179 Chinese sheep belonging to two non-seasonal reproduction breeds and two seasonal reproduction breeds. One mutation at exon 3 (NM_001009461:c.486A > G) was firstly described at the sheep AA-NAT locus. Hence, we described the SmaI PCR-RFLP m...

  17. Reproduction of Economic Interests as a Nonlinear Dynamical System

    OpenAIRE

    Smiesova Viktoria L.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the article is to define the system characteristics of reproduction of economic interests of actors, substantiate the possibility of its evolutionary and revolutionary development and the nonlinearity of its development in dynamics. The article justifies the main characteristics of the system of reproduction of economic interests. It is proved that in this system stability and variability are complementarily combined as integrated mechanisms of its development in statics and dynami...

  18. Sertraline-induced reproductive toxicity in male rats: evaluation of possible underlying mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozlem Atli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to clarify the toxic effects of sertraline (SRT on the reproductive system of male rats and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Rats were treated orally with SRT at doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg kg−1 for 28 consecutive days. At the end of the treatment period, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm morphology were investigated by computer-assisted sperm analysis system whereas sperm DNA damage was detected by comet assay. The oxidative status of the testes was investigated, and a histopathological examination was conducted. Serum testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH, and luteinizing hormone (LH levels were measured to determine the effects of SRT on the spermatogenesis process. One-way ANOVA, post-hoc Dunnett′s T3 test for the sperm comet assay, and post-hoc Tukey′s test for the others were performed for statistical analysis. The results showed that SRT caused an increase in sperm DNA damage and induced histopathological lesions in all groups treated with SRT. There was abnormal sperm morphology and increased malondialdehyde (MDA in the 10 mg kg−1 treatment group. More dramatic changes were observed in the 20 mg kg−1 treatment group. Decreased sperm count was accompanied by a significant increase in abnormal sperm morphology, DNA damage, and degeneration in cellular-tubular structures. Serum LH and testosterone levels were elevated in the 20 mg kg−1 treatment group. Decreased glutathione (GSH and increased MDA were signs of enhanced oxidative stress (OS. In conclusion, SRT induced testicular toxicity in a dose-dependent manner and OS is suggested as a crucial mechanism.

  19. Neurogenetics of female reproductive behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laturney, Meghan; Billeter, Jean-Christophe

    2014-01-01

    We follow an adult Drosophila melanogaster female through the major reproductive decisions she makes during her lifetime, including habitat selection, precopulatory mate choice, postcopulatory physiological changes, polyandry, and egg-laying site selection. In the process, we review the molecular and neuronal mechanisms allowing females to integrate signals from both environmental and social sources to produce those behavioral outputs. We pay attention to how an understanding of D. melanogaster female reproductive behaviors contributes to a wider understanding of evolutionary processes such as pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection as well as sexual conflict. Within each section, we attempt to connect the theories that pertain to the evolution of female reproductive behaviors with the molecular and neurobiological data that support these theories. We draw attention to the fact that the evolutionary and mechanistic basis of female reproductive behaviors, even in a species as extensively studied as D. melanogaster, remains poorly understood. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Effect of electromagnetic waves on human reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wdowiak, Artur; Mazurek, Paweł A; Wdowiak, Anita; Bojar, Iwona

    2017-03-31

    Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitting from the natural environment, as well as from the use of industrial and everyday appliances, constantly influence the human body. The effect of this type of energy on living tissues may exert various effects on their functioning, although the mechanisms conditioning this phenomenon have not been fully explained. It may be expected that the interactions between electromagnetic radiation and the living organism would depend on the amount and parameters of the transmitted energy and type of tissue exposed. Electromagnetic waves exert an influence on human reproduction by affecting the male and female reproductive systems, the developing embryo, and subsequently, the foetus. Knowledge concerning this problem is still being expanded; however, all the conditionings of human reproduction still remain unknown. The study presents the current state of knowledge concerning the problem, based on the latest scientific reports.

  1. Full in vitro fertilization laboratory mechanization: toward robotic assisted reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meseguer, Marcos; Kruhne, Ulrich; Laursen, Steen

    2012-06-01

    To describe the current efforts made to standardize different steps of assisted reproductive technology processes by the introduction of new technologies for the nonsubjective sperm selection process, oocyte denudation by mechanical removal of cumulus cells, oocyte positioning, sperm motility screening, fertilization, embryo culture, media replacement by microfluidics, and monitoring of embryo development by time-lapse photography, embryo secretions, and/or O(2) consumption. These technologies could be integrated in a unique and fully automated device. Pubmed database and research and development data from authors. University-affiliated private center. None. None. None. Several technologies would be useful for: 1) selection of sperm based on viability; 2) manipulation and removal of the cumulus cells' narrow channel regions combined with microfluidics; 3) advances in oocyte positioning precision through the use of joystick-controlled micromanipulators; 4) microfluidics allowing the gradual change of a culture medium, which might result in better embryo development as well as reduce the amount of embryo manipulation; 5) time-lapse, proteomic, and metabolic scoring of the developing embryo, allowing multiple and optimized selection of the embryos. The technologies described in this review have not yet reported reliable clinical proofs. We already have available some of the technologies described, but we envisage an integrated device, i.e., an IVF lab-on-a-chip, by which oocyte and sperm would be processed to achieve a perfect embryo ready to be delivered into the uterus. With such a device, sample preparation, chemical or biologic reactions, and data collection would be integrated. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Triorganotin as a compound with potential reproductive toxicity in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.S. Delgado Filho

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Organotin compounds are typical environmental contaminants and suspected endocrine-disrupting substances, which cause irreversible sexual abnormality in female mollusks, called "imposex". However, little is known about the capability of triorganotin compounds, such as tributyltin and triphenyltin, to cause disorders in the sexual development and reproductive functions of mammals, including humans and rodents. Moreover, these compounds can act as potential competitive inhibitors of aromatase enzyme and other steroidogenic enzymes, affecting the reproductive capacity of male and female mammals. In this review, we discuss the cellular, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms by which triorganotin compounds induce adverse effects in the mammalian reproductive function.

  3. Natural hybridization and reproductive isolation between two Primula speciesFA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanping Xie; Xingfu Zhu; Yongpeng Ma; Jianli Zhao; Li Li; Qingjun Li

    2017-01-01

    Natural hybridization frequently occurs in plants and can facilitate gene flow between species,possibly resulting in species refusion.However,various reproductive barriers block the formation of hybrids and maintain species integrity.Here,we conducted a field survey to examine natural hybridization and reproductive isolation (RI) between sympatric populations of Primula secundiflora and P.poissonii using ten nuclear simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci.Although introgressive hybridization occurred,species boundaries between P.secundiflora and P.poissonii were maintained through nearly complete reproductive isolation.These interfertile species provide an excellent model for studying the RI mechanisms and evolutionary forces that maintain species boundaries.

  4. A contextual model of self-regulation change mechanisms among individuals with addictive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, Corey R; Witkiewitz, Katie

    2017-11-01

    Numerous behavioral treatments for addictive disorders include components explicitly aimed at targeting self-regulation (e.g., coping and emotion regulation). We first provide a summary of key findings to date among studies that have examined self-regulation as a mechanism of behavior change (MOBC) in behavioral treatments for addictive disorders. Based on our review, we conclude that the role of self-regulation as a MOBC across behavioral treatments for addictive disorders is not well-characterized and findings are inconsistent across studies. For example, our review indicates that there is still inconsistent evidence that coping is a unique MOBC in cognitive-behavioral approaches for addictive behaviors. We propose that there has been slow progress in understanding self-regulation as a MOBC in addiction treatment because of a lack of attention to contextual factors. Accordingly, in the second half of this paper, we propose a contextual model of self-regulation change mechanisms, which emphasizes that the role of various facets of self-regulation as MOBC may depend on contextual factors in the immediate situational context (e.g., fluctuating internal and external cues) and in the broader context in which an individual is embedded (e.g., major life stressors, environmental conditions, dispositions). Additionally, we provide specific recommendations to guide future research for understanding both between-person and within-person self-regulation MOBC in addiction treatment. In particular, we provide key recommendations for how to capitalize on intensive longitudinal measurement methods (e.g., ecological momentary assessment) when bringing a contextual perspective to the study of self-regulation as MOBC in various addiction treatments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Links between nutrition and reproduction in cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marie, M.

    1999-01-01

    Situations in which nutrition modulates reproductive function, and targets involved, are identified, particularly in relation to initiation of cyclicity (at puberty, during the post-partum period or after induction of ovulation), fertility and induction of ovulation. The usefulness and pertinence of measurements of body weight variations, body condition score, nutritional balance or blood metabolites (glucose, ketone bodies, free fatty acids, cholesterol, urea and amino acids) to evaluate nutritional status in this context is considered. Leptin could play a central role in causal mechanisms linking nutrition and reproduction, in conjunction with somatotropic axis, insulin, opioids, and neuropeptide Y. (author)

  6. Reproduction alters oxidative status when it is traded-off against longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, Michaël; Geiger, Rina E; Reim, Elisabeth; Zielke, Luisa; Fischer, Klaus

    2015-07-01

    Oxidative stress has been proposed to mediate one of the most important aspects of life-history evolution: the trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance. However, empirical studies have cast doubt on the generality of this intriguing notion. Here, we hypothesize that reproduction alters oxidative status only when a trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance occurs. Accordingly, in female Bicyclus anynana butterflies, we found that reproduction affected oxidative markers only under challenging thermal conditions that made the trade-off between reproduction and longevity emerge. Interestingly, under such conditions, butterflies favored longevity over reproduction, suggesting that self-maintenance mechanisms were activated. Accordingly, butterflies reproducing under challenging thermal conditions exhibited enhanced antioxidant defenses and stable oxidative damage. Altogether, our results indicate that a trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance is indeed a necessary condition for reproduction to alter oxidative status, and that the effects of such a trade-off on oxidative status depend on whether priority is given to self-maintenance or reproduction. Assessing the existence of the trade-off between self-maintenance and reproduction, and whether self-maintenance is prioritized relative to reproduction is therefore crucial for understanding variation in oxidative status in reproducing animals, which may clarify the general implication of oxidative stress in the resolution of life-history trade-offs. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. The role of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in growth and reproduction in female brown house snakes (Lamprophis fuliginosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparkman, A M; Byars, D; Ford, N B; Bronikowski, A M

    2010-09-15

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a peptide hormone critically involved in the regulation of key life-history traits such as growth and reproduction. Its structure and function are well-characterized among diverse mammal, fish, and bird species; however, little is known regarding the activities of IGF-1 in non-avian reptiles, particularly snakes and lizards. Nevertheless, several unique characteristics of reptiles, such as high metabolic flexibility and remarkable diversity in life-history strategy, suggest that they are of great interest in the study of endocrinological mechanisms underlying the regulation and evolution of life-history traits. Here we test for a relationship between IGF-1 and individual feeding rate, growth rate and reproductive stage in lab-reared female offspring of wild-caught oviparous house snakes, Lamprophis fuliginosus. We confirm a positive correlation between IGF-1 and both feeding and growth rates in sexually immature snakes, similar to that reported in other taxa. We also show a family effect on IGF-1, suggesting that IGF-1 levels may be heritable in these snakes, and serve as an important target of selection to produce divergent life-history strategies. Furthermore, we provide evidence that suggests that IGF-1 may peak rapidly after first mating, and subsequently decline prior to egg-laying, a phenomenon not previously reported in other taxa. These findings suggest that further comparative study of IGF-1 in snakes may reveal both the extent to which IGF-1 function is conserved across major taxonomic groups, as well as novel and intriguing roles for IGF-1 in the regulation of reproductive activities. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Christophe Simon

    Full Text Available Some bacterial symbionts alter their hosts reproduction through various mechanisms that enhance their transmission in the host population. In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum harbors several facultative symbionts influencing several aspects of host ecology. Aphids reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis whereby clonal and sexual reproduction alternate within the annual life cycle. Many species, including the pea aphid, also show variation in their reproductive mode at the population level, with some lineages reproducing by cyclical parthenogenesis and others by permanent parthenogenesis. While the role of facultative symbionts has been well studied during the parthenogenetic phase of their aphid hosts, very little is known on their possible influence during the sexual phase. Here we investigated whether facultative symbionts modulate the capacity to produce sexual forms in various genetic backgrounds of the pea aphid with controlled symbiont composition and also in different aphid genotypes from natural populations with previously characterized infection status and reproductive mode. We found that most facultative symbionts exhibited detrimental effects on their hosts fitness under sex-inducing conditions in comparison with the reference lines. We also showed that the loss of sexual phase in permanently parthenogenetic lineages of A. pisum was not explained by facultative symbionts. Finally, we demonstrated that Spiroplasma infection annihilated the production of males in the host progeny by inducing a male-killing phenotype, an unexpected result for organisms such as aphids that reproduce primarily through clonal reproduction.

  9. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; Boutin, Sébastien; Tsuchida, Tsutomu; Koga, Ryuichi; Le Gallic, Jean-François; Frantz, Adrien; Outreman, Yannick; Fukatsu, Takema

    2011-01-01

    Some bacterial symbionts alter their hosts reproduction through various mechanisms that enhance their transmission in the host population. In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum harbors several facultative symbionts influencing several aspects of host ecology. Aphids reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis whereby clonal and sexual reproduction alternate within the annual life cycle. Many species, including the pea aphid, also show variation in their reproductive mode at the population level, with some lineages reproducing by cyclical parthenogenesis and others by permanent parthenogenesis. While the role of facultative symbionts has been well studied during the parthenogenetic phase of their aphid hosts, very little is known on their possible influence during the sexual phase. Here we investigated whether facultative symbionts modulate the capacity to produce sexual forms in various genetic backgrounds of the pea aphid with controlled symbiont composition and also in different aphid genotypes from natural populations with previously characterized infection status and reproductive mode. We found that most facultative symbionts exhibited detrimental effects on their hosts fitness under sex-inducing conditions in comparison with the reference lines. We also showed that the loss of sexual phase in permanently parthenogenetic lineages of A. pisum was not explained by facultative symbionts. Finally, we demonstrated that Spiroplasma infection annihilated the production of males in the host progeny by inducing a male-killing phenotype, an unexpected result for organisms such as aphids that reproduce primarily through clonal reproduction.

  10. Vitamin A in Reproduction and Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Clagett-Dame

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The requirement for vitamin A in reproduction was first recognized in the early 1900’s, and its importance in the eyes of developing embryos was realized shortly after. A greater understanding of the large number of developmental processes that require vitamin A emerged first from nutritional deficiency studies in rat embryos, and later from genetic studies in mice. It is now generally believed that all-trans retinoic acid (RA is the form of vitamin A that supports both male and female reproduction as well as embryonic development. This conclusion is based on the ability to reverse most reproductive and developmental blocks found in vitamin A deficiency induced either by nutritional or genetic means with RA, and the ability to recapitulate the majority of embryonic defects in retinoic acid receptor compound null mutants. The activity of the catabolic CYP26 enzymes in determining what tissues have access to RA has emerged as a key regulatory mechanism, and helps to explain why exogenous RA can rescue many vitamin A deficiency defects. In severely vitamin A-deficient (VAD female rats, reproduction fails prior to implantation, whereas in VAD pregnant rats given small amounts of carotene or supported on limiting quantities of RA early in organogenesis, embryos form but show a collection of defects called the vitamin A deficiency syndrome or late vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is also essential for the maintenance of the male genital tract and spermatogenesis. Recent studies show that vitamin A participates in a signaling mechanism to initiate meiosis in the female gonad during embryogenesis, and in the male gonad postnatally. Both nutritional and genetic approaches are being used to elucidate the vitamin A-dependent pathways upon which these processes depend.

  11. Deterioration of male reproductive functions in hyperprolactinaemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Kooy (Adriaan)

    1990-01-01

    textabstractSince the early seventies, chronic hyperPRLaemia due to hypothalamic-pituitary disorders, drug abuse, hypothyroidism or other causes, has been recognized as a cause of reproductive dysfunctions in both women and men. Possible mechanisms by which PRL exerts its effects on male

  12. A Role for Glucocorticoids in Stress-Impaired Reproduction: Beyond the Hypothalamus and Pituitary

    OpenAIRE

    Whirledge, Shannon; Cidlowski, John A.

    2013-01-01

    In addition to the well-characterized role of the sex steroid receptors in regulating fertility and reproduction, reproductive events are also mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in response to an individual's environment. Glucocorticoid secretion in response to stress contributes to the well-characterized suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis through central actions in the hypothalamus and pituitary. However, both animal and in vitro studies indicate that oth...

  13. Developmental programming of reproductive and metabolic health1,2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmanabhan, V.; Veiga-Lopez, A.

    2014-01-01

    The inappropriate programming of the reproductive system by developmental exposure to excess steroid hormones is of concern. Sheep are well suited for investigating developmental origin of reproductive and metabolic disorders. The developmental time line of female sheep (~5 mo gestation and ~7 mo to puberty) is ideal for conducting sequential studies of the progression of metabolic and (or) reproductive disruption from the developmental insult to manifestation of adult consequences. Major benefits of using sheep include knowledge of established critical periods to target adult defects, a rich understanding of reproductive neuroendocrine regulation, availability of non-invasive approaches to monitor follicular dynamics, established surgical approaches to obtain hypophyseal portal blood for measurement of hypothalamic hormones, and the ability to perform studies in natural setting keeping behavioral interactions intact. Of importance is the ability to chronically instrument fetus and mother for determining early endocrine perturbations. Prenatal exposure of the female to excess testosterone (T) leads to an array of adult reproductive disorders that include LH excess, functional hyperandrogenism, neuroendocrine defects, multifollicular ovarian morphology, and corpus luteum dysfunction culminating in early reproductive failure. At the neuroendocrine level all three feedback systems are compromised. At the pituitary level, gonadotrope (LH secretion) sensitivity to GnRH is increased. Multifollicular ovarian morphology stems from persistence of follicles, as well as enhanced follicular recruitment. These defects culminate in progressive loss of cyclicity and reduced fecundity. Prenatal T excess also leads to fetal growth retardation, an early marker of adult reproductive/metabolic diseases, insulin resistance, hypertension and behavioral deficits. Collectively, the reproductive and metabolic deficits of prenatal T-treated sheep provide proof of concept for the

  14. Preventing Cartilage Degeneration in Warfighters by Elucidating Novel Mechanisms Regulating Osteocyte-Mediated Perilacunar Bone Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    hypothesis using mouse models and human PTOA tissue. We aim to determine: 1) the extent to which mechanical loading regulates PLR in a TGFβ- dependent manner ...the major goals of the project? Major Goals Aim 1: Determine the extent to which mechanical loading regulates PLR in a TGFβ- dependent manner . Aim...dependent manner . Overview: We conducted all of the analyses proposed in Aim 1. As described below, these studies convincingly demonstrate that PLR

  15. Impact of stress on female reproductive health disorders: Possible beneficial effects of shatavari (Asparagus racemosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ajai K; Gupta, Anumegha; Tiwari, Meenakshi; Prasad, Shilpa; Pandey, Ashutosh N; Yadav, Pramod K; Sharma, Alka; Sahu, Kankshi; Asrafuzzaman, Syed; Vengayil, Doyil T; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K

    2018-07-01

    Stress is deeply rooted in the society and women are frequently exposed to psychological, physical and physiological stressors. Psychological stress disturbs reproductive health by inducing generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thereby oxidative stress (OS). The increased OS may affect physiology of ovary, oocyte quality and cause female reproductive health disorders. To overcome stress-mediated reproductive health disorders in women, shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is frequently recommended in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Although shatavari is one of the major health tonics and most popular rasayana drugs to treat reproductive ailments of women, underlying mechanism of shatavari action at the level of ovary remains poorly understood. Based on the existing studies, we propose that shatavari may improve female reproductive health complications including hormonal imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), follicular growth and development, oocyte quality and infertility possibly by reducing OS level and increasing antioxidants level in the body. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanism of shatavari actions at the level of ovary and oocyte that directly impacts the reproductive health of women. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Genes underlying reproductive division of labor in termites, with comparisons to social Hymenoptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith eKorb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available All social insects are characterized by a reproductive division of labor. Within a colony only a few individuals reproduce (queens and in termites, also a king while the large majority (workers and soldiers forgo reproduction, at least temporarily. The evolution of such reproductive altruism can ultimately be explained by inclusive fitness theory. Here, I will review the proximate genetic mechanisms underlying this altruism in termites. As social cockroaches they evolved eusociality independently from the social Hymenoptera, which makes them interesting test cases to look for common underlying mechanisms of eusociality and lineage specific idiosyncrasies. First, I will provide a summary of the genes and their function that have been identified to underlie reproductive division of labor - so called 'queen genes,' - in the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus, an emerging model to study termite social evolution. Second, I outline how widespread these queen genes are across the termite phylogeny, using also evidence from recent genome analyses. I will provide hypotheses about the evolutionary origin of these queen genes, aiming to link proximate mechanisms with ultimate functions. Finally, I will draw comparisons to social Hymenoptera to indicate potential common underpinnings that warrant further testing.

  17. Novel insights into host responses and reproductive pathophysiology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome caused by PRRSV-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, John C S; Ladinig, Andrea; Novakovic, Predrag; Detmer, Susan E; Wilkinson, Jamie M; Yang, Tianfu; Lunney, Joan K; Plastow, Graham S

    2017-09-01

    A large challenge experiment using North American porcine reproductive and respiratory virus (PRRSV-2) provided new insights into the pathophysiology of reproductive PRRS. Deep phenotyping of dams and fetuses identified maternal and fetal predictors of PRRS severity and resilience. PRRSV infection resulted in dramatic decreases in all leukocyte subsets by 2days post inoculation. Apoptosis in the interface region was positively related to endometrial vasculitis, viral load in endometrium and fetal thymus, and odds of meconium staining. Viral load at the maternal-fetal interface was a strong predictor of viral load in fetal thymus and odds of fetal death. However, interferon-alpha suppression, a consequence of PRRSV infection, was protective against fetal death. Although the prevalence of fetal lesions was low, their presence in fetal organs and umbilical cord was strongly associated with fetal compromise. Fetal death and viral load clustered in litters suggesting inter-fetal transmission starting from a limited number of index fetuses. Factors associated with index fetal infection are unclear, but large fetuses appear at greater risk. Disease progression in fetuses was associated with an up-regulation of genes associated with inflammation, innate immunity, and cell death signaling, and down-regulation of genes associated with cell cycle and lymphocyte quality. A number of maternal transcriptomic responses were associated with PRRS resilience including higher basal gene expression correlated with platelet function, interferon and pro-inflammatory responses. Twenty-one genomic regions across 10 chromosomes were associated with important traits including fetal viral load, fetal death and viability suggesting that selection for reproductive PRRS resilience may be possible. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The Growth Hormone Receptor: Mechanism of Receptor Activation, Cell Signaling, and Physiological Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhad Dehkhoda

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The growth hormone receptor (GHR, although most well known for regulating growth, has many other important biological functions including regulating metabolism and controlling physiological processes related to the hepatobiliary, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems. In addition, growth hormone signaling is an important regulator of aging and plays a significant role in cancer development. Growth hormone activates the Janus kinase (JAK–signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT signaling pathway, and recent studies have provided a new understanding of the mechanism of JAK2 activation by growth hormone binding to its receptor. JAK2 activation is required for growth hormone-mediated activation of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5, and the negative regulation of JAK–STAT signaling comprises an important step in the control of this signaling pathway. The GHR also activates the Src family kinase signaling pathway independent of JAK2. This review covers the molecular mechanisms of GHR activation and signal transduction as well as the physiological consequences of growth hormone signaling.

  19. The Role of Adaptation in Body Load-Regulating Mechanisms During Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruttley, Tara; Holt, Christopher; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Body loading is a fundamental parameter that modulates motor output during locomotion, and is especially important for controlling the generation of stepping patterns, dynamic balance, and termination of locomotion. Load receptors that regulate and control posture and stance in locomotion include the Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles at the hip, knee, and ankle joints, and the Ruffini endings and the Pacinian corpuscles in the soles of the feet. Increased body weight support (BWS) during locomotion results in an immediate reorganization of locomotor control, such as a reduction in stance and double support duration and decreased hip, ankle, and knee angles during the gait cycle. Previous studies on the effect during exposure to increased BWS while walking showed a reduction in lower limb joint angles and gait cycle timing that represents a reorganization of locomotor control. Until now, no studies have investigated how locomotor control responds after a period of exposure to adaptive modification in the body load sensing system. The goal of this research was to determine the adaptive properties of body load-regulating mechanisms in locomotor control during locomotion. We hypothesized that body load-regulating mechanisms contribute to locomotor control, and adaptive changes in these load-regulating mechanisms require reorganization to maintain forward locomotion. Head-torso coordination, lower limb movement patterns, and gait cycle timing were evaluated before and after a 30-minute adaptation session during which subjects walked on a treadmill at 5.4 km/hr with 40% body weight support (BWS). Before and after the adaptation period, head-torso and lower limb 3D kinematic data were obtained while performing a goal directed task during locomotion with 0% BWS using a video-based motion analysis system, and gait cycle timing parameters were collected by foot switches positioned under the heel and toe of the subjects shoes. Subjects showed adaptive modification in

  20. Arabidopsis thaliana MLO genes are expressed in discrete domains during reproductive development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Thomas C; Jones, Daniel S; Dino, Arianna J; Cejda, Nicholas I; Yuan, Jing; Willoughby, Andrew C; Kessler, Sharon A

    2017-12-01

    MLOs in Plant Reproduction. The MILDEW RESISTANCE LOCUS-O (MLO) protein family, comprised of 15 members, plays roles in diverse cell-cell communication processes such as powdery mildew susceptibility, root thigmomorphogenesis, and pollen tube reception. The NORTIA (NTA, AtMLO7) gene is expressed in the synergid cells of the female gametophyte where it functions in intercellular communication with the pollen tube. Discrepancies between previously published promoter::GUS and promoter::gene-GUS constructs expression patterns led us to explore the regulation of NTA expression. Here we found via NTA pro ::gNTA-GUS truncations that sequences within the NTA gene negatively regulate its expression in the stomata and carpel walls. This led to the hypothesis that other MLO family members may also have additional regulatory sequences within the gene. MLO pro ::gMLO-GUS constructs were examined for each family member focusing specifically on flowers in order to determine whether other MLOs could play a role in reproductive cell-cell communication. Notably, several MLOs were expressed in the pollen, in the stigma, in the pollinated style, and in the synergids and central cell. These findings indicate that other MLOs in addition to NTA could play a role in reproduction. Previous studies on the MLO family showed that phylogenetically related MLOs had redundant functions in powdery mildew infection and root thigmomorphogenesis; however, MLO expression in reproductive tissues did not strictly follow phylogenetic relationships, indicating that MLOs from different evolutionary origins may have been recruited for function in sexual reproduction.

  1. MECHANISMS OF STATE REGULATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerii Marenichenko

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Subject of research is the mechanisms of state regulation of small and medium businesses in Ukraine. The purpose of the research is effective mechanisms development of state regulation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs. Methodology. The article uses general and special methods of investigation: empirical research methods (observation, comparison; methods used empirically and theoretically study (abstraction, analysis and synthesis; methods of theoretical research (ascent from the abstract to the concrete, systemic and structural approach. The article highlighted the priority areas of activity in Ukraine, such as agriculture, IT-sector and tourism. In particular, we have analyzed data of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine and international surveys such as Enabling the Business of Agriculture, DOU, Deloitte (Global Survey of R&D Incentives 2015, International SOS and Control Risks, WTTC, UPS, Consulting integrated, Organic Monitor and other. We determined that agriculture must use consistent increasing areas under food crops; introduction of modern technology and innovation; gradual increase in the level of mechanization of agricultural production. Scientific research preparation and training of local staff employed in the agriculture and food industry must become the main aspects of quality development. The article defines that IT market requires quality of the state regulation in readiness for a permanent dialogue with government and comprehensive support for sector as a strategic development of the country; development strategy and projects for development of the sector; effective fight against corruption at all levels. The relevance of government regulation in the development of green international tourism is determined. Modern historical and cultural features of Ukraine can allow providing a range of services for international tourism community. There is analyzed an impact of export orientation for small and medium business in the

  2. Loss of sexual reproduction and dwarfing in a small metazoan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claus-Peter Stelzer

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Asexuality has major theoretical advantages over sexual reproduction, yet newly formed asexual lineages rarely endure. The success, or failure, of such lineages is affected by their mechanism of origin, because it determines their initial genetic makeup and variability. Most previously described mechanisms imply that asexual lineages are randomly frozen subsamples of a sexual population.We found that transitions to obligate parthenogenesis (OP in the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus, a small freshwater invertebrate which normally reproduces by cyclical parthenogenesis, were controlled by a simple Mendelian inheritance. Pedigree analysis suggested that obligate parthenogens were homozygous for a recessive allele, which caused inability to respond to the chemical signals that normally induce sexual reproduction in this species. Alternative mechanisms, such as ploidy changes, could be ruled out on the basis of flow cytometric measurements and genetic marker analysis. Interestingly, obligate parthenogens were also dwarfs (approximately 50% smaller than cyclical parthenogens, indicating pleiotropy or linkage with genes that strongly affect body size. We found no adverse effects of OP on survival or fecundity.This mechanism of inheritance implies that genes causing OP may evolve within sexual populations and remain undetected in the heterozygous state long before they get frequent enough to actually cause a transition to asexual reproduction. In this process, genetic variation at other loci might become linked to OP genes, leading to non-random associations between asexuality and other phenotypic traits.

  3. Female reproductive disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crain, D Andrew; Janssen, Sarah J; Edwards, Thea M

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive...... disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on female reproductive health....

  4. Reproductive activity and welfare of rabbit does

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Castellini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the relationships between reproductive performance and welfare of the rabbit does. In the last 10 years the profitability of rabbit farms has increased mainly due to improvements in management and genetic selection but several problems mainly related to animal welfare have also occurred. The mortality and rates of female replacement per year are very high and the replaced females often show poor body condition and low performance. The effect of kindling order, litter size, genetic strain, weaning age and reproduction rhythm on the reproductive performance and welfare of females and some mechanisms implicated in these effects are discussed. Modern rabbit does produce a lot of milk which have a high energetic value which leads to a mobilization of body fat which results in an energy deficit. In the current reproductive rhythms, there is an extensive overlap between lactation and gestation. The resulting energetic and hormonal antagonism reduces the fertility rate and lifespan of the doe. Strategies to improve the fertility, lifespan and welfare of does are discussed. An approach which combines various strategies seems to be required to meet these objectives. Since the factors involved in this productive system are fixed (genetic strain, environment the most powerful way to improve doe welfare is to choose a reproductive rhythm that is adapted to the physiology of the does.

  5. Reproductive isolation of sympatric forms of the understorey palm Geonoma macrostachys in western Amazonia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borchsenius, Finn; Lozada, Tannya; Knudsen, Jette T.

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of a mechanism for attaining reproductive isolation between two diverging populations is a key step in the speciation process. We studied phenotypic variation, genetic differentiation, spatial distribution and reproductive ecology in two sympatric forms of the understorey palm Geonoma...

  6. A framework for modelling gene regulation which accommodates non-equilibrium mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahsendorf, Tobias; Wong, Felix; Eils, Roland; Gunawardena, Jeremy

    2014-12-05

    Gene regulation has, for the most part, been quantitatively analysed by assuming that regulatory mechanisms operate at thermodynamic equilibrium. This formalism was originally developed to analyse the binding and unbinding of transcription factors from naked DNA in eubacteria. Although widely used, it has made it difficult to understand the role of energy-dissipating, epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, nucleosome remodelling and post-translational modification of histones and co-regulators, which act together with transcription factors to regulate gene expression in eukaryotes. Here, we introduce a graph-based framework that can accommodate non-equilibrium mechanisms. A gene-regulatory system is described as a graph, which specifies the DNA microstates (vertices), the transitions between microstates (edges) and the transition rates (edge labels). The graph yields a stochastic master equation for how microstate probabilities change over time. We show that this framework has broad scope by providing new insights into three very different ad hoc models, of steroid-hormone responsive genes, of inherently bounded chromatin domains and of the yeast PHO5 gene. We find, moreover, surprising complexity in the regulation of PHO5, which has not yet been experimentally explored, and we show that this complexity is an inherent feature of being away from equilibrium. At equilibrium, microstate probabilities do not depend on how a microstate is reached but, away from equilibrium, each path to a microstate can contribute to its steady-state probability. Systems that are far from equilibrium thereby become dependent on history and the resulting complexity is a fundamental challenge. To begin addressing this, we introduce a graph-based concept of independence, which can be applied to sub-systems that are far from equilibrium, and prove that history-dependent complexity can be circumvented when sub-systems operate independently. As epigenomic data become increasingly

  7. Training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and assisted reproductive technologies: options and worldwide needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ziegler, Dominique; de Ziegler, Nathalie; Sean, Sokteang; Bajouh, Osama; Meldrum, David R

    2015-07-01

    Standardized, high-quality training in reproductive endocrinology, infertility, and assisted reproductive technologies (REI-ART) faces challenges owing to the high-tech nature of ART and the important country-to-country differences in clinical practice and regulations overseeing training. Moreover, while the training capacity of the classical by-fellowship training platforms is shrinking, an increasing demand for REI-ART specialists is coming from emerging countries. To meet this expanding need for REI-ART specialists, we propose a novel by-network model linking a reference training center to satellite practical training sites. Simulation should be used more extensively to achieve competency before initiating live clinical experience, analogous to the highly effective training systems that have been used in aviation for decades. Large ART databases that exist because of obligations to report ART activity and results constitute unique yet so far untapped sources for developing by-scenario simulation training models. Online training materials incorporating these state-of-the-art information technology tools could be developed as a means of fulfilling training needs worldwide. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Reproductive technology: in Britain, the debate after the Warnock Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Raanan

    1987-06-01

    Gillon contributes an article on Great Britain to the Hastings Center Report series on reproductive technologies outside the United States. In 1984 the Warnock Committee's report represented the first attempt by a national government to formulate a policy on reproductive issues such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, and research on human embryos. Reaction to the Warnock report has focused on its recommendations to ban commercial surrogacy and to allow experimentation on embryos up to 14 days after fertilization. Legislation on surrogacy was passed in 1985, while bills banning embryo research failed in 1986. A 1986 government consultation paper called for discussion of other aspects of the Warnock report, including its recommendation that a statutory licensing authority to regulate reproductive technologies be established. Gillon predicts that no new legislation will be enacted under the present government.

  9. Mechanical forces regulate the interactions of fibronectin and collagen I in extracellular matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubow, Kristopher E; Vukmirovic, Radmila; Zhe, Lin; Klotzsch, Enrico; Smith, Michael L; Gourdon, Delphine; Luna, Sheila; Vogel, Viola

    2015-08-14

    Despite the crucial role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in directing cell fate in healthy and diseased tissues--particularly in development, wound healing, tissue regeneration and cancer--the mechanisms that direct the assembly and regulate hierarchical architectures of ECM are poorly understood. Collagen I matrix assembly in vivo requires active fibronectin (Fn) fibrillogenesis by cells. Here we exploit Fn-FRET probes as mechanical strain sensors and demonstrate that collagen I fibres preferentially co-localize with more-relaxed Fn fibrils in the ECM of fibroblasts in cell culture. Fibre stretch-assay studies reveal that collagen I's Fn-binding domain is responsible for the mechano-regulated interaction. Furthermore, we show that Fn-collagen interactions are reciprocal: relaxed Fn fibrils act as multivalent templates for collagen assembly, but once assembled, collagen fibres shield Fn fibres from being stretched by cellular traction forces. Thus, in addition to the well-recognized, force-regulated, cell-matrix interactions, forces also tune the interactions between different structural ECM components.

  10. A conserved non-reproductive GnRH system in chordates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takehiro G Kusakabe

    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH is a neuroendocrine peptide that plays a central role in the vertebrate hypothalamo-pituitary axis. The roles of GnRH in the control of vertebrate reproductive functions have been established, while its non-reproductive function has been suggested but less well understood. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis has in its non-reproductive larval stage a prominent GnRH system spanning the entire length of the nervous system. Tunicate GnRH receptors are phylogenetically closest to vertebrate GnRH receptors, yet functional analysis of the receptors revealed that these simple chordates have evolved a unique GnRH system with multiple ligands and receptor heterodimerization enabling complex regulation. One of the gnrh genes is conspicuously expressed in the motor ganglion and nerve cord, which are homologous structures to the hindbrain and spinal cord of vertebrates. Correspondingly, GnRH receptor genes were found to be expressed in the tail muscle and notochord of embryos, both of which are phylotypic axial structures along the nerve cord. Our findings suggest a novel non-reproductive role of GnRH in tunicates. Furthermore, we present evidence that GnRH-producing cells are present in the hindbrain and spinal cord of the medaka, Oryzias latipes, thereby suggesting the deep evolutionary origin of a non-reproductive GnRH system in chordates.

  11. Mechanisms involved in reproductive damage caused by gossypol in rats and protective effects of vitamin E

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    Andréia T Santana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Gossypol is a chemical present in the seeds of cotton plants (Gossypium sp. that reduces fertility in farm animals. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and may help to protect cells and tissues against the deleterious effects of free radicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mechanisms of reproductive toxicity of gossypol in rats and the protective effects of vitamin E. Forty Wistar rats were used, divided into four experimental groups (n = 10: DMSO/ saline + corn oil; DMSO/saline + vitamin E; gossypol + corn oil; and gossypol + vitamin E. RESULTS: Fertility was significantly reduced in male rats treated with gossypol in that a significant decrease in epididy-mal sperm count was observed (P 0.05. The levels of reduced glutathione and pyridine nucleotides in testis homogen-ate were significantly reduced by gossypol (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively and this reduction was accompanied by increased levels of oxidized glutathione (P < 0.05. Vitamin E showed a preventive effect on the changes in the levels of these substances. Gossypol significantly increased the levels of malondialdehyde (P < 0.01, a lipid peroxida-tion indicator, whereas treatment with vitamin E inhibited the action of the gossypol. Vitamin E prevented a decrease in mitochondrial ATP induced by gossypol (P < 0.05. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that the reproductive dysfunction caused by gossypol may be related to oxidative stress and mitochondrial bioenergetic damage and that treatment with vitamin E can prevent the infertility caused by the toxin.

  12. Co-Transcriptional Folding and Regulation Mechanisms of Riboswitches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sha Gong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Riboswitches are genetic control elements within non-coding regions of mRNA. These self-regulatory elements have been found to sense a range of small metabolites, ions, and other physical signals to exert regulatory control of transcription, translation, and splicing. To date, more than a dozen riboswitch classes have been characterized that vary widely in size and secondary structure. Extensive experiments and theoretical studies have made great strides in understanding the general structures, genetic mechanisms, and regulatory activities of individual riboswitches. As the ligand-dependent co-transcriptional folding and unfolding dynamics of riboswitches are the key determinant of gene expression, it is important to investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of riboswitches both in the presence and absence of metabolites under the transcription. This review will provide a brief summary of the studies about the regulation mechanisms of the pbuE, SMK, yitJ, and metF riboswitches based on the ligand-dependent co-transcriptional folding of the riboswitches.

  13. Possible influence of vitamin D on male reproduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boisen, Ida Marie; Hansen, Lasse Bøllehuus; Mortensen, Li Juel

    2017-01-01

    Vitamin D is a versatile signaling molecule with an established role in the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. In recent years the spectrum of vitamin D target organs has expanded and a reproductive role is supported by the presence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the vitamin D...... studies have supported the notion of a positive association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) level and semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. However, it remains to be determined whether this association reflects a causal effect. The VDR is ubiquitously expressed and activated vitamin...... steroid production in infertile men. In this review known and possible future implications of vitamin D in human male reproduction function will be discussed....

  14. Manifestations of Immune Privilege in the Human Reproductive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary F Clark

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Like other mucosal surfaces (e.g., the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, the human female reproductive tract acts as an initial barrier to foreign antigens. In this role, the epithelial surface and subepithelial immune cells must balance protection against pathogenic insults against harmful inflammatory reactions and acceptance of particular foreign antigens. Two common examples of these acceptable foreign antigens are the fetal allograft and human semen/sperm. Both are purposely deposited into the female genital tract and appropriate immunologic response to these non-self antigens is essential to the survival of the species. In light of the weight of this task, it is not surprising that multiple, redundant and overlapping mechanisms are involved. For instance, cells at the immunologic interface between self (female reproductive tract epithelium and non-self (placental trophoblast cells or human sperm express glycosylation patterns that mimic those on many metastatic cancer cells and successful pathogens. The cytokine/chemokine milieu at this interface is altered through endocrine and immunologic mechanisms to favor tolerance of non-self. The foreign cells themselves also play an integral role in their own immunologic acceptance, since sperm and placental trophoblast cells are unusual and unique in their antigen presenting molecule expression patterns. Here, we will discuss these and other mechanisms that allow the human female reproductive tract to perform this delicate and indispensible balancing act.

  15. A palmitoylation switch mechanism regulates Rac1 function and membrane organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Lérida, Inmaculada; Sánchez-Perales, Sara; Calvo, María; Rentero, Carles; Zheng, Yi; Enrich, Carlos; Del Pozo, Miguel A

    2012-01-01

    The small GTPase Rac1 plays important roles in many processes, including cytoskeletal reorganization, cell migration, cell-cycle progression and gene expression. The initiation of Rac1 signalling requires at least two mechanisms: GTP loading via the guanosine triphosphate (GTP)/guanosine diphosphate (GDP) cycle, and targeting to cholesterol-rich liquid-ordered plasma membrane microdomains. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing this specific compartmentalization. We show that Rac1 can incorporate palmitate at cysteine 178 and that this post-translational modification targets Rac1 for stabilization at actin cytoskeleton-linked ordered membrane regions. Palmitoylation of Rac1 requires its prior prenylation and the intact C-terminal polybasic region and is regulated by the triproline-rich motif. Non-palmitoylated Rac1 shows decreased GTP loading and lower association with detergent-resistant (liquid-ordered) membranes (DRMs). Cells expressing no Rac1 or a palmitoylation-deficient mutant have an increased content of disordered membrane domains, and markers of ordered membranes isolated from Rac1-deficient cells do not correctly partition in DRMs. Importantly, cells lacking Rac1 palmitoylation show spreading and migration defects. These data identify palmitoylation as a mechanism for Rac1 function in actin cytoskeleton remodelling by controlling its membrane partitioning, which in turn regulates membrane organization. PMID:22157745

  16. MECHANISMS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: Nutrition as a mediator of oxidative stress in metabolic and reproductive disorders in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamanti-Kandarakis, Evanthia; Papalou, Olga; Kandaraki, Eleni A; Kassi, Georgia

    2017-02-01

    Nutrition can generate oxidative stress and trigger a cascade of molecular events that can disrupt oxidative and hormonal balance. Nutrient ingestion promotes a major inflammatory and oxidative response at the cellular level in the postprandial state, altering the metabolic state of tissues. A domino of unfavorable metabolic changes is orchestrated in the main metabolic organs, including adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver and pancreas, where subclinical inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, mitochondrial deregulation and impaired insulin response and secretion take place. Simultaneously, in reproductive tissues, nutrition-induced oxidative stress can potentially violate delicate oxidative balance that is mandatory to secure normal reproductive function. Taken all the above into account, nutrition and its accompanying postprandial oxidative stress, in the unique context of female hormonal background, can potentially compromise normal metabolic and reproductive functions in women and may act as an active mediator of various metabolic and reproductive disorders. © 2017 European Society of Endocrinology.

  17. Bicarbonate-regulated adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is a sensor that regulates pH-dependent V-ATPase recycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor-Soler, Nuria; Beaulieu, Valerie; Litvin, Tatiana N; Da Silva, Nicolas; Chen, Yanqiu; Brown, Dennis; Buck, Jochen; Levin, Lonny R; Breton, Sylvie

    2003-12-05

    Modulation of environmental pH is critical for the function of many biological systems. However, the molecular identity of the pH sensor and its interaction with downstream effector proteins remain poorly understood. Using the male reproductive tract as a model system in which luminal acidification is critical for sperm maturation and storage, we now report a novel pathway for pH regulation linking the bicarbonate activated soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) to the vacuolar H+ATPase (V-ATPase). Clear cells of the epididymis and vas deferens contain abundant V-ATPase in their apical pole and are responsible for acidifying the lumen. Proton secretion is regulated via active recycling of V-ATPase. Here we demonstrate that this recycling is regulated by luminal pH and bicarbonate. sAC is highly expressed in clear cells, and apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase is triggered by a sAC-dependent rise in cAMP in response to alkaline luminal pH. As sAC is expressed in other acid/base transporting epithelia, including kidney and choroid plexus, this cAMP-dependent signal transduction pathway may be a widespread mechanism that allows cells to sense and modulate extracellular pH.

  18. Growth and male reproduction improvement of non-thermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma treatment on chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao Zhang, Jiao; Luong Huynh, Do; Chandimali, Nisansala; Kang, Tae Yoon; Kim, Nameun; Mok, Young Sun; Kwon, Taeho; Jeong, Dong Kee

    2018-05-01

    This study investigated whether plasma treatment of fertilized eggs before hatching could affect the growth and reproduction of chickens. Three point five-day-incubated fertilized eggs exposed to non-thermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma at 2.81 W of power for 2 min resulted in the highest growth in chickens. Plasma growth-promoting effect was regulated by the reactive oxygen species homeostasis and the improvement of energy metabolism via increasing serum hormones and adenosine triphosphate levels which were resulted from the regulation of genes involved in antioxidant defense, hormone biosynthesis and energetic metabolism. Interestingly, plasma-treated male chickens conspicuously grew faster than females. Further, aspects of male reproductive system (testosterone level and sperm quality) were improved by the plasma treatment but female reproduction (estradiol and progesterone levels, egg-laying rate and egg weight) had no significant changes. Unfortunately, offspring whose parents were the optimal plasma-treated chickens did not show any difference on growth characteristics and failed to inherit excellent growth features from their parents. Our results suggest a new method to improve the growth rate and male reproductive capacity in poultry but it is only effective in the plasma direct-treated generation.

  19. Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Leaf Color Regulation Mechanism in Chimera Hosta "Gold Standard" Leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Juanjuan; Zhang, Jinzheng; Zhao, Qi; Liu, Yuelu; Chen, Sixue; Guo, Hongliang; Shi, Lei; Dai, Shaojun

    2016-03-08

    Leaf color change of variegated leaves from chimera species is regulated by fine-tuned molecular mechanisms. Hosta "Gold Standard" is a typical chimera Hosta species with golden-green variegated leaves, which is an ideal material to investigate the molecular mechanisms of leaf variegation. In this study, the margin and center regions of young and mature leaves from Hosta "Gold Standard", as well as the leaves from plants after excess nitrogen fertilization were studied using physiological and comparative proteomic approaches. We identified 31 differentially expressed proteins in various regions and development stages of variegated leaves. Some of them may be related to the leaf color regulation in Hosta "Gold Standard". For example, cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GS1), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), and chloroplastic elongation factor G (cpEF-G) were involved in pigment-related nitrogen synthesis as well as protein synthesis and processing. By integrating the proteomics data with physiological results, we revealed the metabolic patterns of nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis, energy supply, as well as chloroplast protein synthesis, import and processing in various leaf regions at different development stages. Additionally, chloroplast-localized proteoforms involved in nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis and protein processing implied that post-translational modifications were crucial for leaf color regulation. These results provide new clues toward understanding the mechanisms of leaf color regulation in variegated leaves.

  20. Little evidence for intralocus sexual conflict over the optimal intake of nutrients for life span and reproduction in the black field cricket Teleogryllus commodus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapkin, James; Archer, C Ruth; Grant, Charles E; Jensen, Kim; House, Clarissa M; Wilson, Alastair J; Hunt, John

    2017-09-01

    There is often large divergence in the effects of key nutrients on life span (LS) and reproduction in the sexes, yet nutrient intake is regulated in the same way in males and females given dietary choice. This suggests that the sexes are constrained from feeding to their sex-specific nutritional optima for these traits. Here, we examine the potential for intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) over optimal protein and carbohydrate intake for LS and reproduction to constrain the evolution of sex-specific nutrient regulation in the field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. We show clear sex differences in the effects of protein and carbohydrate intake on LS and reproduction and strong positive genetic correlations between the sexes for the regulated intake of these nutrients. However, the between-sex additive genetic covariance matrix had very little effect on the predicted evolutionary response of nutrient regulation in the sexes. Thus, IASC appears unlikely to act as an evolutionary constraint on sex-specific nutrient regulation in T. commodus. This finding is supported by clear sexual dimorphism in the regulated intake of these nutrients under dietary choice. However, nutrient regulation did not coincide with the nutritional optima for LS or reproduction in either sex, suggesting that IASC is not completely resolved in T. commodus. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Mechanisms Underlying the Regulation of Innate and Adaptive Immunity by Vitamin D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ran; Christakos, Sylvia

    2015-09-24

    Non-classical actions of vitamin D were first suggested over 30 years ago when receptors for the active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), were detected in various tissues and cells that are not associated with the regulation of calcium homeostasis, including activated human inflammatory cells. The question that remained was the biological significance of the presence of vitamin D receptors in the different tissues and cells and, with regard to the immune system, whether or not vitamin D plays a role in the normal immune response and in modifying immune mediated diseases. In this article findings indicating that vitamin D is a key factor regulating both innate and adaptive immunity are reviewed with a focus on the molecular mechanisms involved. In addition, the physiological significance of vitamin D action, as suggested by in vivo studies in mouse models is discussed. Together, the findings indicate the importance of 1,25(OH)2D3 as a regulator of key components of the immune system. An understanding of the mechanisms involved will lead to potential therapeutic applications for the treatment of immune mediated diseases.

  2. Knockout of the Gnrh genes in zebrafish: effects on reproduction and potential compensation by reproductive and feeding-related neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvel, Miranda; Spicer, Olivia Smith; Wong, Ten-Tsao; Zmora, Nilli; Zohar, Yonathan

    2018-04-04

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is known as a pivotal upstream regulator of reproduction in vertebrates. However, reproduction is not compromised in the hypophysiotropic Gnrh3 knockout line in zebrafish (gnrh3-/-). In order to determine if Gnrh2, the only other Gnrh isoform in zebrafish brains, is compensating for the loss of Gnrh3, we generated a double Gnrh knockout zebrafish line. Surprisingly, the loss of both Gnrh isoforms resulted in no major impact on reproduction, indicating that a compensatory response, outside of the Gnrh system, was evoked. A plethora of factors acting along the reproductive hypothalamus-pituitary axis were evaluated as possible compensators based on neuroanatomical and differential gene expression studies. In addition, we also examined the involvement of feeding factors in the brain as potential compensators for Gnrh2, which has known anorexigenic effects. We found that the double knockout fish exhibited upregulation of several genes in the brain, specifically gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (gnih), secretogranin 2 (scg2), tachykinin 3a (tac3a), and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide 1 (pacap1), and downregulation of agouti-related peptide 1 (agrp1), indicating the compensation occurs outside of Gnrh cells and therefore is a non-cell autonomous response to the loss of Gnrh. While the differential expression of gnih and agrp1 in the double knockout line was confined to the periventricular nucleus and hypothalamus, respectively, the upregulation of scg2 corresponded with a broader neuronal redistribution in the lateral hypothalamus and hindbrain. In conclusion, our results demonstrate the existence of a redundant reproductive regulatory system that comes into play when Gnrh2 and Gnrh3 are lost.

  3. The community-level effects of women's education on reproductive behaviour in rural Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kofi D. Benefo

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Using survey and census data for rural Ghana collected in the 1980s, this study examines the ability of women's education to increase interest in fertility regulation and contraception among all women, regardless of their individual and household features. The study finds that, net of her own characteristics, a woman's interest in limiting fertility and using modern contraception increase with the percent of educated women in her community. These results suggest that female education has a greater capacity to introduce novel reproductive ideas and behaviors into rural areas of Africa and thereby transform the demographic landscape in the region than is currently believed. There is also evidence that female education may undermine existing methods of regulating fertility. Other community characteristics that increase women's interest in regulating fertility and contraceptive use in this setting include access to transportation and proximity to urban areas. However, these are not as powerful as women's education in transforming reproductive behavior.

  4. Vitamin D metabolism, sex hormones, and male reproductive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blomberg Jensen, Martin

    2012-08-01

    The spectrum of vitamin D (VD)-mediated effects has expanded in recent years, and VD is now recognized as a versatile signaling molecule rather than being solely a regulator of bone health and calcium homeostasis. One of the recently identified target areas of VD is male reproductive function. The VD receptor (VDR) and the VD metabolizing enzyme expression studies documented the presence of this system in the testes, mature spermatozoa, and ejaculatory tract, suggesting that both systemic and local VD metabolism may influence male reproductive function. However, it is still debated which cell is the main VD target in the testis and to what extent VD is important for sex hormone production and function of spermatozoa. This review summarizes descriptive studies on testicular VD metabolism and spatial distribution of VDR and the VD metabolizing enzymes in the mammalian testes and discusses mechanistic and association studies conducted in animals and humans. The reviewed evidence suggests some effects of VD on estrogen and testosterone biosynthesis and implicates involvement of both systemic and local VD metabolism in the regulation of male fertility potential.

  5. Effects of dietary soybean isoflavones (SI) on reproduction in the young breeder rooster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heng, Dai; Zhang, Tao; Tian, Ye; Yu, Shangyu; Liu, Wenbo; Xu, Kaili; Liu, Juan; Ding, Yu; Zhu, Baochang; Yang, Yanzhou; Zhang, Cheng

    2017-02-01

    Soybean isoflavones (SIs) are phytoestrogens that competitive with estrogens in body. Although SIs play an important role in reproduction, their role in testicular development in roosters is unknown. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of SIs on testicular development and serum reproductive hormone profiles in young breeder roosters (70-133days old). Gene expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD), which are related to testosterone synthesis, in rooster testis were also evaluated after treatment with different SI doses. Although SIs had no significant effect on body weight, 5mg/kg SIs significantly increased the testis index and serum levels of reproductive hormones (gonadotropin releasing hormone, follicle- stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone).To further investigate whether SIs regulate hormone synthesis via StAR, p450scc, 3β-HSD, real time-PCR was performed to measure the mRNA levels of the corresponding genes. The results showed that 5mg/kg of SIs significantly increased StAR mRNA levels. However, there were no significant effects on p450scc or 3β-HSD mRNA levels. Moreover, the spermatogonial development and the number of germ cell layers were increased by treatment with 5mg/kg of SIs. These results suggest that SIs promote testicular growth by increasing reproductive hormone secretion, which is closely related to StAR expression, to positively regulate reproduction in young roosters. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Sex steroid hormone determination of the maternal brain: effects beyond reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsley, C H; Meyer, E; Rafferty, K A

    2012-10-01

    Herein we discuss the effects of hormones on reproduction, but with a focus on the ripples that emanate from the main effects. That is, the role of hormones in reproductive events is both well-known and well accepted; less studied and understood are effects that appear to be ancillary to the primary objectives of the hormonal effects, which support, complement and extend their primary effects. We present evidence for how the hormonal stimulation of pregnancy constructs the maternal brain; makes it more efficient; enhances cognition; regulates stress responsiveness; modifies sensory systems (we discuss mainly olfaction); neurogenesis; and learning. Thus, steroid and other hormones and neuropeptides restructure the nervous system, particularly of females, to produce and regulate maternal behavior as well as behaviors and physiological systems that contribute to and support what is arguably the primary function of the hormones: survival and effective nurturance of the female's metabolic and genetic investment.

  7. Mechanical regulation of stem-cell differentiation by the stretch-activated Piezo channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Li; Si, Guangwei; Huang, Jiuhong; Samuel, Aravinthan D T; Perrimon, Norbert

    2018-03-01

    Somatic stem cells constantly adjust their self-renewal and lineage commitment by integrating various environmental cues to maintain tissue homeostasis. Although numerous chemical and biological signals have been identified that regulate stem-cell behaviour, whether stem cells can directly sense mechanical signals in vivo remains unclear. Here we show that mechanical stress regulates stem-cell differentiation in the adult Drosophila midgut through the stretch-activated ion channel Piezo. We find that Piezo is specifically expressed in previously unidentified enteroendocrine precursor cells, which have reduced proliferation ability and are destined to become enteroendocrine cells. Loss of Piezo activity reduces the generation of enteroendocrine cells in the adult midgut. In addition, ectopic expression of Piezo in all stem cells triggers both cell proliferation and enteroendocrine cell differentiation. Both the Piezo mutant and overexpression phenotypes can be rescued by manipulation of cytosolic Ca 2+ levels, and increases in cytosolic Ca 2+ resemble the Piezo overexpression phenotype, suggesting that Piezo functions through Ca 2+ signalling. Further studies suggest that Ca 2+ signalling promotes stem-cell proliferation and differentiation through separate pathways. Finally, Piezo is required for both mechanical activation of stem cells in a gut expansion assay and the increase of cytosolic Ca 2+ in response to direct mechanical stimulus in a gut compression assay. Thus, our study demonstrates the existence of a specific group of stem cells in the fly midgut that can directly sense mechanical signals through Piezo.

  8. Cancer susceptibility and reproductive trade-offs: a model of the evolution of cancer defences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boddy, Amy M; Kokko, Hanna; Breden, Felix; Wilkinson, Gerald S; Aktipis, C Athena

    2015-07-19

    The factors influencing cancer susceptibility and why it varies across species are major open questions in the field of cancer biology. One underexplored source of variation in cancer susceptibility may arise from trade-offs between reproductive competitiveness (e.g. sexually selected traits, earlier reproduction and higher fertility) and cancer defence. We build a model that contrasts the probabilistic onset of cancer with other, extrinsic causes of mortality and use it to predict that intense reproductive competition will lower cancer defences and increase cancer incidence. We explore the trade-off between cancer defences and intraspecific competition across different extrinsic mortality conditions and different levels of trade-off intensity, and find the largest effect of competition on cancer in species where low extrinsic mortality combines with strong trade-offs. In such species, selection to delay cancer and selection to outcompete conspecifics are both strong, and the latter conflicts with the former. We discuss evidence for the assumed trade-off between reproductive competitiveness and cancer susceptibility. Sexually selected traits such as ornaments or large body size require high levels of cell proliferation and appear to be associated with greater cancer susceptibility. Similar associations exist for female traits such as continuous egg-laying in domestic hens and earlier reproductive maturity. Trade-offs between reproduction and cancer defences may be instantiated by a variety of mechanisms, including higher levels of growth factors and hormones, less efficient cell-cycle control and less DNA repair, or simply a larger number of cell divisions (relevant when reproductive success requires large body size or rapid reproductive cycles). These mechanisms can affect intra- and interspecific variation in cancer susceptibility arising from rapid cell proliferation during reproductive maturation, intrasexual competition and reproduction. © 2015 The Author

  9. Vitamin D (soltriol), light, and reproduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stumpf, W.E.; Denny, M.E.

    1989-01-01

    Evidence from autoradiographic studies with 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 (vitamin D, soltriol) labeled with tritium and from the literature indicates that the steroid hormone soltriol regulates and modulates reproductive processes in the female, as it does in the male. Nuclear receptors for soltriol have been discovered in the uterus, oviduct, ovary, mammary gland, placenta, and fetal membranes, as well as in the pituitary and hypothalamus. Soltriol is recognized as a transducer and hormonal messenger of sunlight, acting as a somatotropic activator and modulator of vital processes for the seasonal and estival adaptation of growth, development, and procreation. Its influence on calcium equilibrium is just one of its many functions to serve this goal. This article reviews experimental, clinical, and epidemiologic evidence that suggests the involvement of soltriol in the control of reproductive processes, noting its importance for the onset of puberty, fertility, pregnancy, lactation, and probably sexual behavior. Cooperative actions between soltriol and other steroid hormones, especially estradiol, are pointed out.107 references

  10. Improving reproductive health in rural China through participatory planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Joan; Liu, Yunguo; Fang, Jing

    2012-01-01

    China's new health reform initiative aims to provide quality accessible health care to all, including remote rural populations, by 2020. Public health insurance coverage for the rural poor has increased, but rural women have fared worse because of lower status and lack of voice in shaping the services they need. Use of prenatal care, safe delivery and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) services is inadequate and service seeking for health problems remains lower for men. We present findings from a study of gender and health equity in rural China from 2002 to 2008 and offer recommendations from over a decade of applied research on reproductive health in rural China. Three studies, conducted in poor counties between 1994 and 2008, identified problems in access and pilot tested interventions and mechanisms to increase women's participation in health planning. They were done in conjunction with a World Bank programme and the global Gender and Health Equity Network (GHEN). Reproductive health service-seeking improved and the study interventions increased local government commitment to providing such services through new health insurance mechanisms. Findings from the studies were summarised into recommendations on gender and health for inclusion in new health reform efforts.

  11. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    OpenAIRE

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In th...

  12. A review of reproductive toxicity of microcystins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Liang; Chen, Jun; Zhang, Xuezhen; Xie, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Reproductive toxicity of MCs on mammals, fishes, amphibians, and birds is reviewed. • PP1/2A inhibition and oxidative stress are important toxic mechanisms of MCs. • Reproductive toxicity of MCs may be closely related to endocrine-disrupting effects. • The trans-generational toxicity of microcystins is a matter of concern. • Data concerning female reproductive and sex-specific effects of MCs are lacking. - Abstract: Animal studies provide strong evidence of positive associations between microcystins (MCs) exposure and reproductive toxicity, representing a threat to human reproductive health and the biodiversity of wild life. This paper reviews current knowledge of the reproductive toxicity of MCs, with regard to mammals, fishes, amphibians, and birds, mostly in males. Toxicity of MCs is primarily governed by the inhibition of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A) and disturbance of cellular phosphorylation balance. MCs exposure is related to excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress, leading to cytoskeleton disruption, mitochondria dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and DNA damage. MCs induce cell apoptosis mediated by the mitochondrial and ROS and ER pathways. Through PP1/2A inhibition and oxidative stress, MCs lead to differential expression/activity of transcriptional factors and proteins involved in the pathways of cellular differentiation, proliferation, and tumor promotion. MC-induced DNA damage is also involved in carcinogenicity. Apart from a direct effect on testes and ovaries, MCs indirectly affect sex hormones by damaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis and liver. Parental exposure to MCs may result in hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity of offspring. We also summarize the current research gaps which should be addressed by further studies.

  13. A review of reproductive toxicity of microcystins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Liang, E-mail: chan91@yeah.net [Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Chen, Jun, E-mail: chenjun@ihb.ac.cn [Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China); Zhang, Xuezhen, E-mail: xuezhen@mail.hzau.edu.cn [College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430070 (China); Xie, Ping, E-mail: xieping@ihb.ac.cn [Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China)

    2016-01-15

    Highlights: • Reproductive toxicity of MCs on mammals, fishes, amphibians, and birds is reviewed. • PP1/2A inhibition and oxidative stress are important toxic mechanisms of MCs. • Reproductive toxicity of MCs may be closely related to endocrine-disrupting effects. • The trans-generational toxicity of microcystins is a matter of concern. • Data concerning female reproductive and sex-specific effects of MCs are lacking. - Abstract: Animal studies provide strong evidence of positive associations between microcystins (MCs) exposure and reproductive toxicity, representing a threat to human reproductive health and the biodiversity of wild life. This paper reviews current knowledge of the reproductive toxicity of MCs, with regard to mammals, fishes, amphibians, and birds, mostly in males. Toxicity of MCs is primarily governed by the inhibition of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A) and disturbance of cellular phosphorylation balance. MCs exposure is related to excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress, leading to cytoskeleton disruption, mitochondria dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and DNA damage. MCs induce cell apoptosis mediated by the mitochondrial and ROS and ER pathways. Through PP1/2A inhibition and oxidative stress, MCs lead to differential expression/activity of transcriptional factors and proteins involved in the pathways of cellular differentiation, proliferation, and tumor promotion. MC-induced DNA damage is also involved in carcinogenicity. Apart from a direct effect on testes and ovaries, MCs indirectly affect sex hormones by damaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis and liver. Parental exposure to MCs may result in hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity of offspring. We also summarize the current research gaps which should be addressed by further studies.

  14. EFFECTS OF PHYTOESTROGENS ON MAMMALIAN REPRODUCTIVE PHYSIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Socorro Retana-Márquez

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Global consumption of phytoestrogens and their effects have increased both in animals and humans due to the augmented use of legumes in animal diets as well as the increase in vegetarian diets in some human populations. Even though the general opinion and that of clinicians toward phytoestrogens is generally positive, many phytoestrogens are now recognized as endocrine disruptor compounds, capable of interfering with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for reproduction. The effects of phytoestrogens mainly depend on the type, amount and plant species ingested. These compounds are found widely in a variety of plants and fodder, and can have adverse effects mainly on the reproductive tract in most animal species. Many phytoestrogens can act as estrogenic agonists or antagonists, and their effects can vary from infertility to an estrogenic over-response, thus increasing secretions in the reproductive tract and disrupting animal behavior. Presently, there is still a lack of knowledge on this subject, and the effects on reproductive parameters of estrogenic forage in animal production systems are unknown. Therefore, it is necessary to continue research in order to elucidate the effects of phytoestrogens, the doses at which effects are seen, the species, the disruptive or beneficial effects, as well as the mechanisms of action involved. This review focuses on the effects of phytoestrogens in the reproductive physiology of livestock and human, as well as the knowledge obtained from research in animal models.

  15. 'Not so wrong that we are prepared to threaten the entire service': the regulation of reproductive technologies in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitt, M

    2001-01-01

    In the UK human embryo research and infertility treatments are regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), a national statutory body set up in 1991. Clinics are required by law to be licensed by the HFEA and open to inspection. In 1999 there were 107 clinics licensed to carry out IVF and/or donor insemination. There are regional variations in National Health Service funding and seventy-five percent of those treated pay for most of their treatment, usually to avoid long waiting lists or because they do not meet the eligibility criteria set by their local health authority. Having described the code of practice laid down by the HFEA the paper discusses the implications of new reproductive technologies from a social science perspective, focusing on three topics which continue to be debated by the media, the regulatory authorities, health professionals and 'lay' people. First, age limits and other criteria for assisted reproduction which raise the question 'who should be allowed to reproduce?' Second, donor anonymity and the question of payment for donors. Finally, the screening and selection of embryos for implantation and the recurring theme in the media of 'designer babies'. The HFEA can be seen to fulfill its intended role, mediating between the infertility professionals, patients and the wider general public. It seeks to allay public fears while supporting professionals by avoiding restrictions on research and treatment and by consulting with the public as to when extensions to research will be acceptable.

  16. Human Leukocyte Antigen-G Within the Male Reproductive System: Implications for Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2015-01-01

    In sexual reproduction in humans, a man has a clear interest in ensuring that the immune system of his female partner accepts the semi-allogenic fetus. Increasing attention has been given to soluble immunomodulatory molecules in the seminal fluid as one mechanism of ensuring this, possibly by "priming" the woman's immune system before conception and at conception. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of the immunoregulatory and tolerance-inducible human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G in the male reproductive organs. The expression of HLA-G in the blastocyst and by extravillous trophoblast cells in the placenta during pregnancy has been well described. Highly variable amounts of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) in seminal plasma from different men have been reported, and the concentration of sHLA-G is associated with HLA-G genotype. A first pilot study indicates that the level of sHLA-G in seminal plasma may even be associated with the chance of pregnancy in couples, where the male partner has reduced semen quality. More studies are needed to verify these preliminary findings.

  17. Influences of pea morphology and interacting factors on pea aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchman, N; Cuddington, K

    2009-08-01

    It has been claimed that plant architecture can alter aphid reproductive rates, but the mechanism driving this effect has not been identified. We studied interactions between plant architecture, aphid density, environmental conditions, and nutrient availability on the reproduction of pea aphids [Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)] using four near-isogenic peas (Pisum sativum L.) that differ in morphology. Manipulations of aphid density (1, 5, and 10 adults per plant) allowed us to examine any effects of plant morphology on crowding and consequently reproduction. Pea morphology per se did not alter pea aphid crowding, as measured by mean nearest neighbor distance, and there was no effect on reproduction. In addition, reproduction increased with increasing adult density, indicating positive density dependence. In a separate experiment, peas were fertilized to determine whether differences between nutrient availability of the four different morphologies might drive any observed differences in aphid reproduction. Although plant nitrogen content was altered by fertilization treatments, this did not have an impact on aphid reproduction. Greenhouse experiments, however, suggested that pea morphology can interact with environmental conditions to reduce aphid reproduction under some conditions. We conclude that plant morphology only influences aphid reproduction when environmental conditions are less than optimal.

  18. Conservative nature of oestradiol signalling pathways in the brain lobes of octopus vulgaris involved in reproduction, learning and motor coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisa, E; Paolucci, M; Di Cosmo, A

    2012-02-01

    Oestradiol plays crucial roles in the mammalian brain by modulating reproductive behaviour, neural plasticity and pain perception. The cephalopod Octopus vulgaris is considered, along with its relatives, to be the most behaviourally advanced invertebrate, although the neurophysiological basis of its behaviours, including pain perception, remain largely unknown. In the present study, using a combination of molecular and imaging techniques, we found that oestradiol up-regulated O. vulgaris gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (Oct-GnRH) and O. vulgaris oestrogen receptor (Oct-ER) mRNA levels in the olfactory lobes; in turn, Oct-ER mRNA was regulated by NMDA in lobes involved in learning and motor coordination. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis revealed that oestradiol binds Oct-ER causing conformational modifications and nuclear translocation consistent with the classical genomic mechanism of the oestrogen receptor. Moreover, oestradiol triggered a calcium influx and cyclic AMP response element binding protein phosphorylation via membrane receptors, providing evidence for a rapid nongenomic action of oestradiol in O. vulgaris. In the present study, we demonstrate, for the first time, the physiological role of oestradiol in the brain lobes of O. vulgaris involved in reproduction, learning and motor coordination. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K.

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

  20. Patient monitoring in Polish assisted reproductive technology centres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Krawczak

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2014, the Polish non-governmental patient association ‘Our Stork’ (Nasz Bocian introduced the ‘Patient monitoring in ART centres’ research project to gather previously unrecorded information on the situation of infertile people and the provision of assisted reproductive treatment in Poland. When the research project began, assisted reproductive treatment centres were unregulated by the state, a situation that had existed for more than 28 years following the birth of the first Polish test-tube baby in 1987. Patients signed civil contracts, remaining unprotected in terms of safety of treatment and recognition of their rights, and their presumed social position was described by doctors as ‘disciplined patients’ – a reflection of what Michele Foucault described as biopolitics. The research project comprised patient questionnaires (responses from 722 patients provided the basis for the document ‘Patient Recommendations in Infertility Treatment’, analysis of civil contracts and their accuracy in the context of patients’ legal rights in Poland, and in-depth interviews with assisted reproductive treatment centres’ owners, doctors, midwives, and patients to explore patient care. The data reveal that there is a lack of patient-centred care among doctors and medical staff in Poland and that following the passing into law of the 2015 Infertility Act, which introduced state regulation of assisted reproductive treatment centres, the situation for patients worsened.

  1. Distinct mechanisms regulate Lck spatial organization in activated T cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha eKapoor-Kaushik

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Phosphorylation of the T cell receptor (TCR by the kinase Lck is the first detectable signaling event upon antigen engagement. The distribution of Lck within the plasma membrane, its conformational state, kinase activity and protein interactions all contribute to determine how efficiently Lck phosphorylates the engaged TCR. Here we used cross-correlation raster image spectroscopy (ccRICS and photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM to identify two mechanisms of Lck clustering: an intrinsic mechanism of Lck clustering induced by locking Lck in its open conformation, and an extrinsic mechanism of clustering controlled by the phosphorylation of tyrosine 192, which regulates the affinity of Lck SH2 domain. Both mechanisms of clustering were differently affected by the absence of the kinase Zap70 or the adaptor Lat. We further observed that the adaptor TSAd bound to and promoted the diffusion of Lck when it is phosphorylated on tyrosine 192. Our data suggest that while Lck open conformation drives aggregation and clustering, the spatial organization of Lck is further controlled by signaling events downstream of TCR phosphorylation.

  2. The New Rich and Their Unplanned Births: Stratified Reproduction under China's Birth-planning Policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lihong

    2017-12-01

    This article explores the creation and ramifications of a stratified reproductive system under China's state control of reproduction. Within this system, an emerging group of "new rich" are able to circumvent birth regulations and have unplanned births because of their financial capabilities and social networks. While China's birth-planning policy is meant to be enforced equally for all couples, the unequal access to wealth and bureaucratic power as a result of China's widening social polarization has created disparate reproductive rights and experiences. This article identifies three ways in which reproductive privileges are created. It further explores how a stratified reproductive system under state population control reinforces social polarization. While many socially marginalized couples are unable to register their unplanned children for citizenship status and social benefits, the new rich are able to legitimate their births and transfer their privilege and status to their children, thus reproducing a new generation of elites. © 2016 by the American Anthropological Association.

  3. Cultural differences and similarities in beliefs, practices, and neural mechanisms of emotion regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yang; Telzer, Eva H

    2017-01-01

    The current research examined whether culture shapes the beliefs, practices, and neural basis of emotion regulation. Twenty-nine American and Chinese participants reported their implicit theory of emotion and frequency of reappraisal use. They also underwent an fMRI scan while completing an emotion regulation task. Chinese (vs. American) participants reported more frequent use of reappraisal, which was mediated by their higher incremental theory of emotion (i.e., believing that emotion is changeable through effort). Although there were some cultural similarities in neural activation during emotion regulation, Chinese participants showed less ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activation than American participants when regulating negative emotions. Lower VLPFC activation was associated with higher incremental theory of emotion and more frequent use of cognitive reappraisal. Findings suggest that culture may shape how individuals perceive and engage in emotion regulation, and ultimately, the neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Male Reproductive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... With the Male Reproductive System Print en español Sistema reproductor masculino Reproduction All living things reproduce. Reproduction — ... of Use Notice of Nondiscrimination Visit the Nemours Web site. Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for ...

  5. Mechanisms of Hypoxic Up-Regulation of Versican Gene Expression in Macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fattah Sotoodehnejadnematalahi

    Full Text Available Hypoxia is a hallmark of many pathological tissues. Macrophages accumulate in hypoxic sites and up-regulate a range of hypoxia-inducible genes. The matrix proteoglycan versican has been identified as one such gene, but the mechanisms responsible for hypoxic induction are not fully characterised. Here we investigate the up-regulation of versican by hypoxia in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM, and, intriguingly, show that versican mRNA is up-regulated much more highly (>600 fold by long term hypoxia (5 days than by 1 day of hypoxia (48 fold. We report that versican mRNA decay rates are not affected by hypoxia, demonstrating that hypoxic induction of versican mRNA is mediated by increased transcription. Deletion analysis of the promoter identified two regions required for high level promoter activity of luciferase reporter constructs in human macrophages. The hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-1 has previously been implicated as a key potential regulator of versican expression in hypoxia, however our data suggest that HIF-1 up-regulation is unlikely to be principally responsible for the high levels of induction observed in HMDM. Treatment of HMDM with two distinct specific inhibitors of Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K, LY290042 and wortmannin, significantly reduced induction of versican mRNA by hypoxia and provides evidence of a role for PI3K in hypoxic up-regulation of versican expression.

  6. Assisted reproduction with gametes and embryos: what research is needed and fundable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidel, George E

    2016-01-01

    Principles for selecting future research projects include interests of investigators, fundability, potential applications, ethical considerations, being able to formulate testable hypotheses and choosing the best models, including selection of the most appropriate species. The following 10 areas of assisted reproduction seem especially appropriate for further research: efficacious capacitation of bovine spermatozoa in vitro; improved in vitro bovine oocyte maturation; decreasing variability and increasing efficacy of bovine superovulation; improved fertility of sexed semen; improving equine IVF; improving cryopreservation of rooster spermatozoa; understanding differences between males in success of sperm cryopreservation and reasons for success in competitive fertilisation; mechanisms of reprogramming somatic cell nuclei after nuclear transfer; regulation of differentiation of ovarian primordial follicles; and means by which spermatozoa maintain fertility during storage in the epididymis. Issues are species specific for several of these topics, in most cases because the biology is species specific.

  7. Mechanisms and regulation of DNA replication initiation in eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Matthew W; Botchan, Michael R; Berger, James M

    2017-04-01

    Cellular DNA replication is initiated through the action of multiprotein complexes that recognize replication start sites in the chromosome (termed origins) and facilitate duplex DNA melting within these regions. In a typical cell cycle, initiation occurs only once per origin and each round of replication is tightly coupled to cell division. To avoid aberrant origin firing and re-replication, eukaryotes tightly regulate two events in the initiation process: loading of the replicative helicase, MCM2-7, onto chromatin by the origin recognition complex (ORC), and subsequent activation of the helicase by its incorporation into a complex known as the CMG. Recent work has begun to reveal the details of an orchestrated and sequential exchange of initiation factors on DNA that give rise to a replication-competent complex, the replisome. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms that underpin eukaryotic DNA replication initiation - from selecting replication start sites to replicative helicase loading and activation - and describe how these events are often distinctly regulated across different eukaryotic model organisms.

  8. Transcriptomic information from Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) ovary and eyestalk, and expression patterns for genes putatively involved in the reproductive process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura-López, Claudia; Galindo-Torres, Pavel E; Arcos, Fabiola G; Galindo-Sánchez, Clara; Racotta, Ilie S; Escobedo-Fregoso, Cristina; Llera-Herrera, Raúl; Ibarra, Ana M

    2017-05-15

    The increased use of massive sequencing technologies has enabled the identification of several genes known to be involved in different mechanisms associated with reproduction that so far have only been studied in vertebrates and other model invertebrate species. In order to further investigate the genes involved in Litopenaeus vannamei reproduction, cDNA and SSH libraries derived from female eyestalk and gonad were produced, allowing the identification of expressed sequences tags (ESTs) that potentially have a role in the regulation of gonadal maturation. In the present study, different transcripts involved in reproduction were identified and a number of them were characterized as full-length. These transcripts were evaluated in males and females in order to establish their tissue expression profiles during developmental stages (juvenile, subadult and adult), and in the case of females, their possible association with gonad maturation was assessed through expression analysis of vitellogenin. The results indicated that the expression of vitellogenin receptor (vtgr) and minichromosome maintenance (mcm) family members in the female gonad suggest an important role during previtellogenesis. Additionally, the expression profiles of genes such as famet, igfbp and gpcr in brain tissues suggest an interaction between the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway (IIS) and methyl farnesoate (MF) biosynthesis for control of reproduction. Furthermore, the specific expression pattern of farnesoic acid O-methyltransferase suggests that final synthesis of MF is carried out in different target tissues, where it is regulated by esterase enzymes under a tissue-specific hormonal control. Finally, the presence of a vertebrate type steroid receptor in hepatopancreas and intestine besides being highly expressed in female gonads, suggest a role of that receptor during sexual maturation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Different aspects of reproduction strategies in crayfish: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yazicioglu B.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Study of the reproductive strategy of crayfish species is of great importance in the current astacological world. Crayfish are among the largest freshwater invertebrates, and as keystone species, they are able to regulate the structure of the benthic fauna in the freshwaters, demonstrating different ecological strategies and life spans ranging up to 20+ years. In order to bring together the various pieces of information related to this issue, this overview of published scientific reports was conducted. The majority of crayfish species studied show sexual dimorphism, with approximately equal numbers of males and females. However, over some decades numerous observations have been made for a few species that may have different modes of reproduction, such as hermaphroditism or intersex (e.g. Cherax quadricarinatus, Samastacus spinifrons, Parastacus virilastacus and Pacifastacus leniusculus and parthenogenesis (only Procambarus fallax f. virginalis. A recent study showed a new case of parthenogenesis as apomictic parthenogenesis (only Orconectes limosus. In addition, there are many investigations into the reproduction biology of crayfish, including using eyestalk ablation or androgenic gland ablation under various lab conditions and hybridization under natural conditions (e.g. Astacus astacus X Astacus leptodactylus, Orconectes rusticus X Orconectes propinquus. There are also some chemical factors which could possibly affect the reproduction system of crayfish in the wild.

  10. Socially regulated reproductive development: analysis of GnRH-1 and kisspeptin neuronal systems in cooperatively breeding naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shuzhi; Holmes, Melissa M; Forger, Nancy G; Goldman, Bruce D; Lovern, Matthew B; Caraty, Alain; Kalló, Imre; Faulkes, Christopher G; Coen, Clive W

    2013-09-01

    In naked mole-rat (NMR) colonies, breeding is monopolized by the queen and her consorts. Subordinates experience gonadal development if separated from the queen. To elucidate the neuroendocrine factors underlying reproductive suppression/development in NMRs, we quantified plasma gonadal steroids and GnRH-1- and kisspeptin-immunoreactive (ir) neurons in subordinate adults and in those allowed to develop into breeders, with or without subsequent gonadectomy. In males and females, respectively, plasma testosterone and progesterone are higher in breeders than in subordinates. No such distinction occurs for plasma estradiol; its presence after gonadectomy and its positive correlation with adrenal estradiol suggest an adrenal source. Numbers of GnRH-1-ir cell bodies do not differ between gonad-intact breeders and subordinates within or between the sexes. As in phylogenetically related guinea pigs, kisspeptin-ir processes pervade the internal and external zones of the median eminence. Their distribution is consistent with actions on GnRH-1 neurons at perikaryal and/or terminal levels. In previously investigated species, numbers of kisspeptin-ir cell bodies vary from substantial to negligible according to sex and/or reproductive state. NMRs are exceptional: irrespective of sex, reproductive state, or presence of gonads, substantial numbers of kisspeptin-ir cell bodies are detected in the rostral periventricular region of the third ventricle (RP3V) and in the anterior periventricular (PVa), arcuate, and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei. Nevertheless, the greater number in the RP3V/PVa of female breeders compared with female subordinates or male breeders suggests that emergence from a hypogonadotrophic state in females may involve kisspeptin-related mechanisms similar to those underlying puberty or seasonal breeding in other species. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Seasonal variation in human reproduction: environmental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronson, F H

    1995-06-01

    Almost all human populations exhibit seasonal variation in births, owing mostly to seasonal variation in the frequency of conception. This review focuses on the degree to which environmental factors like nutrition, temperature and photoperiod contribute to these seasonal patterns by acting directly on the reproductive axis. The reproductive strategy of humans is basically that of the apes: Humans have the capacity to reproduce continuously, albeit slowly, unless inhibited by environmental influences. Two, and perhaps three, environmental factors probably act routinely as seasonal inhibitors in some human populations. First, it seems likely that ovulation is regulated seasonally in populations experiencing seasonal variation in food availability. More specifically, it seems likely that inadequate food intake or the increased energy expenditure required to obtain food, or both, can delay menarche, suppress the frequency of ovulation in the nonlactating adult, and prolong lactational amenorrhea in these populations on a seasonal basis. This action is most easily seen in tropical subsistence societies where food availability often varies greatly owing to seasonal variation in rainfall; hence births in these populations often correlate with rainfall. Second, it seems likely that seasonally high temperatures suppress spermatogenesis enough to influence the incidence of fertilization in hotter latitudes, but possibly only in males wearing clothing that diminishes scrotal cooling. Since most of our knowledge about this phenomenon comes from temperate latitudes, the sensitivity of spermatogenesis in both human and nonhuman primates to heat in the tropics needs further study. It is quite possible that high temperatures suppress ovulation and early embryo survival seasonally in some of these same populations. Since we know less than desired about the effect of heat stress on ovulation and early pregnancy in nonhuman mammals, and nothing at all about it in humans or any of the

  12. The cost of reproduction in women: Reproductive effort and oxidative stress in premenopausal and postmenopausal American women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziomkiewicz, Anna; Frumkin, Amara; Zhang, Yawei; Sancilio, Amelia; Bribiescas, Richard G

    2018-01-01

    Life history theory predicts a trade-off between female investment in reproduction and somatic maintenance, which can result in accelerated senescence. Oxidative stress has been shown to be a causal physiological mechanism for accelerated aging and a possible contributor to this trade-off. We aimed to test the hypothesis for the existence of significant associations between measures of reproductive effort and the level of oxidative stress biomarkers in premenopausal and postmenopausal American women. Serum samples and questionnaire data were collected from 63 premenopausal and postmenopausal women (mean age 53.4 years), controls in the Connecticut Thyroid Health Study, between May 2010 and December 2013. Samples were analyzed for levels of 8-OHdG and Cu/Zn-SOD using immunoassay method. Levels of oxidative damage (8-OHdG) but not oxidative defense (Cu/Zn-SOD) were negatively associated with parity and number of sons in premenopausal women (r = -0.52 for parity, r = -0.52 for number of sons, P reproductive effort, women's BMI, age, and menopausal status explained around 15% of variance in level of 8-OHdG. No association between reproductive effort characteristics and oxidative damage was found for postmenopausal women. We found no evidence of a trade-off between somatic maintenance as measured by 8-OHdG and reproductive effort in women from this American population. On the contrary, higher gravidity and parity in premenopausal women was associated with lower damage to cellular DNA caused by oxidative stress. These results highlight the importance of population variation and environmental conditions when testing the occurrence of life-history trade-offs. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Dietary choice for a balanced nutrient intake increases the mean and reduces the variance in the reproductive performance of male and female cockroaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunning, Harriet; Bassett, Lee; Clowser, Christina; Rapkin, James; Jensen, Kim; House, Clarissa M; Archer, Catharine R; Hunt, John

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection may cause dietary requirements for reproduction to diverge across the sexes and promote the evolution of different foraging strategies in males and females. However, our understanding of how the sexes regulate their nutrition and the effects that this has on sex-specific fitness is limited. We quantified how protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intakes affect reproductive traits in male (pheromone expression) and female (clutch size and gestation time) cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea). We then determined how the sexes regulate their intake of nutrients when restricted to a single diet and when given dietary choice and how this affected expression of these important reproductive traits. Pheromone levels that improve male attractiveness, female clutch size and gestation time all peaked at a high daily intake of P:C in a 1:8 ratio. This is surprising because female insects typically require more P than males to maximize reproduction. The relatively low P requirement of females may reflect the action of cockroach endosymbionts that help recycle stored nitrogen for protein synthesis. When constrained to a single diet, both sexes prioritized regulating their daily intake of P over C, although this prioritization was stronger in females than males. When given the choice between diets, both sexes actively regulated their intake of nutrients at a 1:4.8 P:C ratio. The P:C ratio did not overlap exactly with the intake of nutrients that optimized reproductive trait expression. Despite this, cockroaches of both sexes that were given dietary choice generally improved the mean and reduced the variance in all reproductive traits we measured relative to animals fed a single diet from the diet choice pair. This pattern was not as strong when compared to the single best diet in our geometric array, suggesting that the relationship between nutrient balancing and reproduction is complex in this species.

  14. Nickel nanoparticles exposure and reproductive toxicity in healthy adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Lu; Tang, Meng; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Dayong; Hu, Ke; Lu, Weiqi; Wei, Chao; Liang, Geyu; Pu, Yuepu

    2014-11-17

    Nickel is associated with reproductive toxicity. However, the reproductive toxicity of nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) is unclear. Our goal was to determine the association between nickel nanoparticle exposure and reproductive toxicity. According to the one-generation reproductive toxicity standard, rats were exposed to nickel nanoparticles by gavage and we selected indicators including sex hormone levels, sperm motility, histopathology, and reproductive outcome etc. Experimental results showed nickel nanoparticles increased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and lowered etradiol (E2) serum levels at a dose of 15 and 45 mg/kg in female rats. Ovarian lymphocytosis, vascular dilatation and congestion, inflammatory cell infiltration, and increase in apoptotic cells were found in ovary tissues in exposure groups. For male rats, the weights decreased gradually, the ratio of epididymis weight over body weight increased, the motility of rat sperm changed, and the levels of FSH and testosterone (T) diminished. Pathological results showed the shedding of epithelial cells of raw seminiferous tubule, disordered arrangement of cells in the tube, and the appearance of cell apoptosis and death in the exposure group. At the same time, Ni NPs resulted in a change of the reproductive index and the offspring development of rats. Further research is needed to elucidate exposure to human populations and mechanism of actions.

  15. Parasite dispersal risk tolerance is mediated by its reproductive value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Maxcy P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2017-10-01

    Parasite dispersal theory draws heavily upon epidemiological SIR models in which host status (susceptible (S), infected (I), or recovered (R)) is used to study parasite dispersal evolution. In contrast to these extrinsically host-centric drivers, in this study we focus on an intrinsic driver, the parasite's reproductive value (predicted future offspring) as a regulator of the extent to which the individual will engage in risky dispersal behaviour. As a model system we use the honeybee Apis mellifera and its ectoparasite, the mite Varroa destructor . Mite reproduction happens exclusively inside cells of bee brood, and newly emerged fecund mites may parasitize either a homocolonial brood cell (low risk dispersal) or emigrate to a new bee colony via phoretic attachment to mature forager bees (high risk dispersal). In an empirical bioassay, prepartum mites (high reproductive value) and postpartum mites (low reproductive value) were offered a choice of newly emerged homocolonial worker bees (low risk), homocolonial pollen forager bees (high risk), or heterocolonial pollen foragers (high risk). A preference for newly emerged bees was earlier and more strongly sustained among prepartum mites. This suggests comparatively greater dispersal risk tolerance among postpartum mites with lower reproductive value. A dangerous bid for dispersal may be adaptive if the individual has already successfully reproduced and the rewards for successful dispersal are sufficiently large.

  16. PHEROMONAL MODULATION OF REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN MAMMALS

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    Matthieu Keller

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Social olfactory signals, often known as pheromones, are powerful regulators of reproductive function. These chemosignals can be detected by two olfactory systems, namely the main or the accessory olfactory systems. While initially anatomically segregated, both systems converge functionally as they can detect and process overlapping sets of chemosignals. This convergence also takes place at the level of their central projections in the hypothalamus. It is probably at this level that future investigations will be needed. Indeed, if the physiology of both olfactory system and reproductive function are now quite well characterized, the interrelation between both systems is unclear. Among the many cell populations that can serve as targets or relays for the pheromonal information in the hypothalamus are GnRH cells or the recently discovered Kispeptin population which have been showed to be activated after pheromonal activation. However, many works will be needed before having a definitive picture.

  17. Genome-wide association study on reproductive traits in Jinghai Yellow Chicken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, G X; Fan, Q C; Wang, J Y; Zhang, T; Xue, Q; Shi, H Q

    2015-12-01

    To identify molecular markers and candidate genes associated with reproductive traits, a genome-wide analysis was performed in Jinghai Yellow Chickens to analyze body weight at first oviposition (BWF), age at first oviposition (AFE), weight of the egg at first oviposition (FEW), egg weight at the age of 300 days (EW300), number of eggs produced by 300 days of age (EN300), egg hatchability (HA) and multiple selection index for egg production (MSI). The results showed that seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with reproductive traits (Preproductive traits were identified (Preproductive traits will greatly advance the understanding of the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms underlying reproductive traits and may have practical significance in breeding programs for the improvements of reproductive traits in the Jinghai Yellow Chicken. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Developmental regulation of aromatase activity in the rat hypothalamus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lephart, E.D.

    1989-01-01

    The brain of all mammalian species studied thus far contain an enzymatic activity (aromatase) that catalyzes the conversion of androgens to estrogens. The activity is highest during prenatal development and contributes to the establishment of sex differences which determine adult gonadotropin secretion patterns and reproductive behavior. The studies presented in this dissertation represent a systematic effort to elucidate the mechanism(s) that control the initiation of and contribute to maintaining rat hypothalamic aromatase activity during pre- and postnatal development. Aromatase enzyme activity was measured by the 3 H 2 O release assay or by traditional estrogen product isolation. Brain aromatase mRNA was detected by hybridization to a cDNA encoding rat aromatase cytochrome P-450. In both males and females the time of puberty was associated with a decline in hypothalamic aromatase activity. This decline may represent a factor underlying the peri-pubertal decrease in the sensitivity to gonadal steroid feedback that accompanies completion of puberty. The results also indicate that androgens regulate brain aromatase levels during both the prepubertal and peri-pubertal stages of sexual development and that this regulation is transiently lost in young adults. Utilizing a hypothalamic organotypic culture system, aromatase activity in vitro was maintained for as long as two days. The results of studies of a variety of hormonal and metabolic regulators suggest that prenatal aromatase activity is regulated by factor(s) that function independently from the classical cyclic AMP and protein kinase C trans-membrane signaling pathways

  19. Sexual and reproductive function in spinal cord injury and spinal surgery patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodore H. Albright

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sexual and reproductive health is important quality of life outcomes, which can have a major impact on patient satisfaction. Spinal pathology arising from trauma, deformity, and degenerative disease processes may be detrimental to sexual and reproductive function. Furthermore, spine surgery may impact sexual and reproductive function due to post-surgical mechanical, neurologic, and psychological factors. The aim of this paper is to provide a concise evidence-based review on the impact that spine surgery and pathology can have on sexual and reproductive function. A review of published literature regarding sexual and reproductive function in spinal injury and spinal surgery patients was performed. We have found that sexual and reproductive dysfunction can occur due to numerous etiological factors associated with spinal pathology. Numerous treatment options are available for those patients, depending on the degree of dysfunction. Spine surgeons and non-operative healthcare providers should be aware of the issues surrounding sexual and reproductive function as related to spine pathology and spine surgery. It is important for spine surgeons to educate their patients on the operative risks that spine surgery encompasses with regard to sexual dysfunction, although current data examining these topics largely consists of level IV data.

  20. Staying cool when things get hot: Emotion regulation modulates neural mechanisms of memory encoding

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    Jasmeet P Hayes

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available During times of emotional stress, individuals often engage in emotion regulation to reduce the experiential and physiological impact of negative emotions. Interestingly, emotion regulation strategies also influence memory encoding of the event. Cognitive reappraisal is associated with enhanced memory while expressive suppression is associated with impaired explicit memory of the emotional event. However, the mechanism by which these emotion regulation strategies affect memory is unclear. We used event-related fMRI to investigate the neural mechanisms that give rise to memory formation during emotion regulation. Twenty-five participants viewed negative pictures while alternately engaging in cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression, or passive viewing. As part of the subsequent memory design, participants returned to the laboratory two weeks later for a surprise memory test. Behavioral results showed a reduction in negative affect and a retention advantage for reappraised stimuli relative to the other conditions. Imaging results showed that successful encoding during reappraisal was uniquely associated with greater co-activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus, amygdala and hippocampus, suggesting a possible role for elaborative encoding of negative memories. This study provides neurobehavioral evidence that engaging in cognitive reappraisal is advantageous to both affective and mnemonic processes.

  1. Reproduction of Economic Interests as a Nonlinear Dynamical System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smiesova Viktoria L.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the article is to define the system characteristics of reproduction of economic interests of actors, substantiate the possibility of its evolutionary and revolutionary development and the nonlinearity of its development in dynamics. The article justifies the main characteristics of the system of reproduction of economic interests. It is proved that in this system stability and variability are complementarily combined as integrated mechanisms of its development in statics and dynamics, assurance of its self-organization and self-restoration, quantitative and qualitative transformation. In its static state, there prevail characteristics of steadiness and leaning towards stability and constancy. In the dynamic state, the main characteristic is variability of the system of reproduction of economic interests, which determines / reacts to the processes of transformation and development of its constituent subsystems, potential opportunities, preferences and economic behavior of actors (changes in the endogenous environment, institutions and establishments, constraints and stabilizers (changes in the exogenous environment. The model of dynamic development of the system for reproduction of economic interests is proposed, the phases of its evolutionary and revolutionary development are substantiated.

  2. The Mechanisms of Virulence Regulation by Small Noncoding RNAs in Low GC Gram-Positive Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Pitman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of small noncoding regulatory RNAs (sRNAs in bacteria has grown tremendously recently, giving new insights into gene regulation. The implementation of computational analysis and RNA sequencing has provided new tools to discover and analyze potential sRNAs. Small regulatory RNAs that act by base-pairing to target mRNAs have been found to be ubiquitous and are the most abundant class of post-transcriptional regulators in bacteria. The majority of sRNA studies has been limited to E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria. However, examples of sRNAs in gram-positive bacteria are still plentiful although the detailed gene regulation mechanisms behind them are not as well understood. Strict virulence control is critical for a pathogen’s survival and many sRNAs have been found to be involved in that process. This review outlines the targets and currently known mechanisms of trans-acting sRNAs involved in virulence regulation in various gram-positive pathogens. In addition, their shared characteristics such as CU interaction motifs, the role of Hfq, and involvement in two-component regulators, riboswitches, quorum sensing, or toxin/antitoxin systems are described.

  3. The 3rd international conference on reproductive immunology in Shanghai: September 27-29, 2013. Shanghai, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, MeiRong; Piao, HaiLan; Li, DaJin

    2014-03-01

    After the first and second international conferences on reproductive immunology held by Dr. DaJin Li in Shanghai, the related investigators all over the world hope to get together to share their latest findings with each other. Drs. DaJin Li and MeiRong Du sponsored and organized the third international conference on reproductive immunology at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital affiliated with Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in the autumn of 2013. This congress brought together more than 100 International and National investigators representing a wide range of scientific disciplines. All the investigators actively work on reproductive immunology using human or large and small animal models. A range of reproductive immunological topics including the maternal-fetal immune regulation, reproductive tract mucosal immunology, immunocontraception, and pregnancy complications were highlighted and discussed in this conference. This conference supplied a good platform for the international reproductive immunologists to exchange their latest study progression and discuss the development direction of reproductive immunology in the near future. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Mechanosensitive neurons on the internal reproductive tract contribute to egg-laying-induced acetic acid attraction in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, Bin; Liu, Ying; Guntur, Ananya R.; Stern, Ulrich; Yang, Chung-Hui

    2014-01-01

    Selecting a suitable site to deposit their eggs is an important reproductive need of Drosophila females. While their choosiness towards egg-laying sites is well documented, the specific neural mechanism that activates females’ search for attractive egg-laying sites is not known. Here we show that distention/contraction of females’ internal reproductive tract triggered by egg-delivery through the tract plays a critical role in activating such search. We found that females start to exhibit acetic acid attraction prior to depositing each egg but no attraction when they are not laying eggs. Artificially distending the reproductive tract triggers acetic acid attraction in non-egg-laying females whereas silencing the mechanosensitive neurons we identified that can sense the contractile status of the tract eliminates such attraction. Our work uncovers the circuit basis of an important reproductive need of Drosophila females and provides a simple model to dissect the neural mechanism that underlies a reproductive need-induced behavioral modification. PMID:25373900

  5. Mechanisms of the Regulation of the Intestinal Na+/H+ Exchanger NHE3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peijian He

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A major of Na+ absorptive process in the proximal part of intestine and kidney is electroneutral exchange of Na+ and H+ by Na+/H+ exchanger type 3 (NHE3. During the past decade, significant advance has been achieved in the mechanisms of NHE3 regulation. A bulk of the current knowledge on Na+/H+ exchanger regulation is based on heterologous expression of mammalian Na+/H+ exchangers in Na+/H+ exchanger deficient fibroblasts, renal epithelial, and intestinal epithelial cells. Based on the reductionist's approach, an understanding of NHE3 regulation has been greatly advanced. More recently, confirmations of in vitro studies have been made using animals deficient in one or more proteins but in some cases unexpected findings have emerged. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of recent progress in the regulation and functions of NHE3 present in the luminal membrane of the intestinal tract.

  6. Reproductive Disorders in Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Selleri, Paolo

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of snakes is one of the challenging aspects of herpetology medicine. Due to the complexity of reproduction, several disorders may present before, during, or after this process. This article describes the physical examination, and radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings associated with reproductive disorders in snakes. Surgical techniques used to resolve reproductive disorders in snakes are described. Finally, common reproductive disorders in snakes are individually discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. A MATHEMATICAL MODEL FOR THE KINETICS OF THE MALE REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this presentation a model for the hormonal regulation of the reproductive endocrine system in the adult male rat will be discussed. The model includes a description of the kinetics of the androgenic hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, as well as the receptor-mediate...

  8. Reproductive Effects of Two Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers on the Rotifer Brachionus plicatilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jing; Wang, You; Zhou, Bin; Sun, Kai-Ming; Tang, Xuexi

    2016-08-01

    The effects of two polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on the reproduction of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis were investigated. Results showed that sexual maturation was promoted by tetra-brominated diphenyl ether-47 (BDE-47) and deca-brominated diphenyl ether-209 (BDE-209), whereas fecundity was inhibited by BDE-47, but promoted by BDE-209. Additionally, both PBDEs affected the expression of two genes, vasa and nanos mRNA, related to rotifer reproduction. This suggests a possible regulatory molecular mechanism at the transcriptional level. Our research extends the current knowledge of the ecotoxicological mechanism induced by PBDEs and provides further essential information for assessing the risks of PBDE contamination in marine ecosystems.

  9. Toll-like receptors and their role in animal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannaki, T R; Shanmugam, M; Verma, P C

    2011-05-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are evolutionarily conserved innate immune receptors that recognize pathogen specific molecular pattern (PAMPs) in an efficient, non-self-reactive manner and initiate specific immune signaling that culminates in triggering antigen-specific adaptive responses. Different TLR genes in domestic animal species have been characterized and accumulating evidence from recent studies indicates an extended role for TLR signaling in reproductive physiology. In females, TLRs have been implicated in the regulation of ovulation, fertilization, gestation and parturition, as well as in pathological conditions such as endometritis and mastitis. In males, TLRs play a role in steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis. Use of TLR agonists has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of certain reproductive tract infections. Moreover, gene polymorphisms in TLRs have been associated with mastitis providing evidence that TLRs can potentially be exploited as markers in future breeding programs. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive treatise on role of TLRs in male and female reproductive physiology and associated pathology in domestic livestock. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Hormone levels predict individual differences in reproductive success in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Quetting, Michael; Hau, Michaela

    2011-08-22

    Hormones mediate major physiological and behavioural components of the reproductive phenotype of individuals. To understand basic evolutionary processes in the hormonal regulation of reproductive traits, we need to know whether, and during which reproductive phases, individual variation in hormone concentrations relates to fitness in natural populations. We related circulating concentrations of prolactin and corticosterone to parental behaviour and reproductive success during both the pre-breeding and the chick-rearing stages in both individuals of pairs of free-living house sparrows, Passer domesticus. Prolactin and baseline corticosterone concentrations in pre-breeding females, and prolactin concentrations in pre-breeding males, predicted total number of fledglings. When the strong effect of lay date on total fledgling number was corrected for, only pre-breeding baseline corticosterone, but not prolactin, was negatively correlated with the reproductive success of females. During the breeding season, nestling provisioning rates of both sexes were negatively correlated with stress-induced corticosterone levels. Lastly, individuals of both sexes with low baseline corticosterone before and high baseline corticosterone during breeding raised the most offspring, suggesting that either the plasticity of this trait contributes to reproductive success or that high parental effort leads to increased hormone concentrations. Thus hormone concentrations both before and during breeding, as well as their seasonal dynamics, predict reproductive success, suggesting that individual variation in absolute concentrations and in plasticity is functionally significant, and, if heritable, may be a target of selection.

  11. The Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms in the Regulation of Gene Expression in the Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cholewa-Waclaw, Justyna; Bird, Adrian; von Schimmelmann, Melanie; Schaefer, Anne; Yu, Huimei; Song, Hongjun; Madabhushi, Ram; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2016-11-09

    Neuroepigenetics is a newly emerging field in neurobiology that addresses the epigenetic mechanism of gene expression regulation in various postmitotic neurons, both over time and in response to environmental stimuli. In addition to its fundamental contribution to our understanding of basic neuronal physiology, alterations in these neuroepigenetic mechanisms have been recently linked to numerous neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. This article provides a selective review of the role of DNA and histone modifications in neuronal signal-induced gene expression regulation, plasticity, and survival and how targeting these mechanisms could advance the development of future therapies. In addition, we discuss a recent discovery on how double-strand breaks of genomic DNA mediate the rapid induction of activity-dependent gene expression in neurons. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3611427-08$15.00/0.

  12. An Ethical Analysis of Assisted Reproduction Providers' Websites in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irshad, Ayesha; Werner-Felmayer, Gabriele

    2016-07-01

    Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and reproductive genetic technologies (RGTs) are intertwined and coevolving. These technologies are increasingly used to fulfill socially and culturally framed requests, for example, "family balancing," or to enable postmenopausal women or homosexual couples to have genetically linked children. The areas of ART and RGT are replete with ethical issues, because different social practices and legal regulations, as well as economic inequalities within and among countries, create vulnerable groups and, therefore, the potential for exploitation. This article provides an overview of the ART and RGT landscape in Pakistan and analyzes the available online content addressing Pakistani citizens and international clients. We explored the topic in view of socioeconomic challenges in Pakistan, particularly deeply rooted poverty, lack of education, gender discrimination, and absence of regulation. As online information given by ART and RGT providers is readily available and could easily raise false hopes, make use of discriminatory statements with regard to women, and promote gender selection to meet sociocultural expectations, it should be subjected to quality control.

  13. Reproductive medicine and the law: egg donation in Germany, Spain and other European countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo Casabona, Carlos María; Paslack, Rainer; Simon, Jörgen W

    2013-01-01

    This paper analyzes the key legal issues raised by Reproductive Medicine practiced in Europe, with special attention to the rules prevailing in countries such as Germany and Spain. Thus, the paper involves a detailed study of the regulation in force in those countries, comparing their solutions with the rules adopted in other EU countries. It also highlights the high risk of com-modification in oocyte donation. In light of this, the differences between the laws of EU countries -some of them, very restrictive with prohibitions or requirements for recipient women and others more permissive with the use of reproductive technologies- can lead to a "reproductive tourism" between countries, as indeed is happening nowadays.

  14. Telomeres, age and reproduction in a long-lived reptile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginie Plot

    Full Text Available A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs. This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate

  15. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony.

  16. RecA: Regulation and Mechanism of a Molecular Search Engine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jason C; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C

    2016-06-01

    Homologous recombination maintains genomic integrity by repairing broken chromosomes. The broken chromosome is partially resected to produce single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) that is used to search for homologous double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). This homology driven 'search and rescue' is catalyzed by a class of DNA strand exchange proteins that are defined in relation to Escherichia coli RecA, which forms a filament on ssDNA. Here, we review the regulation of RecA filament assembly and the mechanism by which RecA quickly and efficiently searches for and identifies a unique homologous sequence among a vast excess of heterologous DNA. Given that RecA is the prototypic DNA strand exchange protein, its behavior affords insight into the actions of eukaryotic RAD51 orthologs and their regulators, BRCA2 and other tumor suppressors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), a new pest in North America: reproductive mechanisms as possible targets of control strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Jeffrey L.; Fong, Peter; Croll, Roger P.; Nichols, Susan J.; Wall, Darcie

    1992-01-01

    The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has spread rapidly in temperate fresh waters of North America since its introduction into the Great Lakes in 1985 or 1986. It attaches to hard substrates, forming layers, occluding water intakes, encrusting and killing native mussels, filtering algae in competition with other planktivores, and possibly interfering with fish spawning. It reproduces prolifically, suggesting that an approach to its control may be by controlling its reproduction. Previous literature suggests that spawning in bivalves is regulated by both environmental and internal chemical cues. A suggested sequence is that phytoplankton chemicals initially trigger spawning; chemicals associated with gametes provide a species-specific pheromonal positive feedback for spawning; and the response to environmental chemicals is mediated internally by serotonin (5-HT). The role of 5-HT in zebra mussels is under investigation. Both males and females can be induced to spawn by either injection or external application of 5-HT. The response can also be activated by 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin, an agonist at 5-HT1A receptors. HPLC analysis has detected 5-HT as the major biogenic amine in both male and female gonads. 5-HT immunocytochemistry demonstrates nerves containing serotonergic fibers innervating gonads of both males and females, with prominent varicosities surrounding the follicles in both sexes. A role of 5-HT in mediating spawning responses in zebra mussels is thus strongly supported. These studies have shown that reproductive behavior of zebra mussels can be modified by outside chemicals, a property that may be exploited for purposes of control.

  18. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garabedian, James E. [North Carolina State University

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  19. TGF-β signaling in insects regulates metamorphosis via juvenile hormone biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishimaru, Yoshiyasu; Tomonari, Sayuri; Matsuoka, Yuji; Watanabe, Takahito; Miyawaki, Katsuyuki; Bando, Tetsuya; Tomioka, Kenji; Ohuchi, Hideyo; Noji, Sumihare; Mito, Taro

    2016-05-17

    Although butterflies undergo a dramatic morphological transformation from larva to adult via a pupal stage (holometamorphosis), crickets undergo a metamorphosis from nymph to adult without formation of a pupa (hemimetamorphosis). Despite these differences, both processes are regulated by common mechanisms that involve 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and juvenile hormone (JH). JH regulates many aspects of insect physiology, such as development, reproduction, diapause, and metamorphosis. Consequently, strict regulation of JH levels is crucial throughout an insect's life cycle. However, it remains unclear how JH synthesis is regulated. Here, we report that in the corpora allata of the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, Myoglianin (Gb'Myo), a homolog of Drosophila Myoglianin/vertebrate GDF8/11, is involved in the down-regulation of JH production by suppressing the expression of a gene encoding JH acid O-methyltransferase, Gb'jhamt In contrast, JH production is up-regulated by Decapentaplegic (Gb'Dpp) and Glass-bottom boat/60A (Gb'Gbb) signaling that occurs as part of the transcriptional activation of Gb'jhamt Gb'Myo defines the nature of each developmental transition by regulating JH titer and the interactions between JH and 20E. When Gb'myo expression is suppressed, the activation of Gb'jhamt expression and secretion of 20E induce molting, thereby leading to the next instar before the last nymphal instar. Conversely, high Gb'myo expression induces metamorphosis during the last nymphal instar through the cessation of JH synthesis. Gb'myo also regulates final insect size. Because Myo/GDF8/11 and Dpp/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)2/4-Gbb/BMP5-8 are conserved in both invertebrates and vertebrates, the present findings provide common regulatory mechanisms for endocrine control of animal development.

  20. Critical analysis of mechanisms of incentive regulation operators of electricity and natural gas networks and infrastructures. Final report. Public version, 23 November 2015

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2015-01-01

    As the first mechanisms of incentive regulation of electricity and gas network operators have been introduced by the French Commission for Energy Regulation (CRE) since 2008 (the report recalls the main objectives of these mechanisms and their consequences), this report proposes a critical analysis of such mechanisms related to investments and to exploitation expenses of operators and which have been implemented in Germany, Spain, Ireland and in the United Kingdom. For each country, the report proposes a detailed description of these mechanisms for the electric power sector and the gas sector (general overview of the regulation framework, objectives, determination of the authorised income, shift processing, specific incentive mechanisms, modalities of management by the regulator), and a feedback of the different concerned actors (operators and regulators). The last part proposes a description of the status of the French regulation, and an analysis of transposition of the four foreign regulations, and states some propositions for evolutions (objectives, overview of recommended evolutions, focus on three types of regulation evolution: processing of arbitral charges, processing of other incited capital charges, processing of arbitral charges)

  1. Neuropeptides linking the control of appetite with reproductive function in domestic animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    The occurrence of puberty and maintenance of normal reproductive cycles are regulated by secretion of gonadotropin hormones from the pituitary gland, which is dependent upon the pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. It is well established that secretion of...

  2. The infra-value of human rights in the context of assisted regulation in México.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esparza-Pérez, Rosa Verónica

    Infertility represents a problem in the context of reproductive health; to treat it were developed the techniques of assisted human reproduction, despite medical advances, the practice of techniques is subject to medical, legal and ethical dysfunctions. In Mexico, since the late 1980s assisted reproduction clinics were set up in public and private sector hospitals; however, they do not yet have a legal framework to regulate them in a specific way, which causes human rights violations that could be avoided with adequate regulation. This article advances the need to provide Mexico with such regulation as a means of guaranteeing both human rights and the rights of physicians and other health workers involved in these techniques. Copyright: © 2017 SecretarÍa de Salud.

  3. Characterizing the reproductive transcriptomic correlates of acute dehydration in males in the desert-adapted rodent, Peromyscus eremicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordonowy, Lauren; MacManes, Matthew

    2017-06-23

    The understanding of genomic and physiological mechanisms related to how organisms living in extreme environments survive and reproduce is an outstanding question facing evolutionary and organismal biologists. One interesting example of adaptation is related to the survival of mammals in deserts, where extreme water limitation is common. Research on desert rodent adaptations has focused predominantly on adaptations related to surviving dehydration, while potential reproductive physiology adaptations for acute and chronic dehydration have been relatively neglected. This study aims to explore the reproductive consequences of acute dehydration by utilizing RNAseq data in the desert-specialized cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus). We exposed 22 male cactus mice to either acute dehydration or control (fully hydrated) treatment conditions, quasimapped testes-derived reads to a cactus mouse testes transcriptome, and then evaluated patterns of differential transcript and gene expression. Following statistical evaluation with multiple analytical pipelines, nine genes were consistently differentially expressed between the hydrated and dehydrated mice. We hypothesized that male cactus mice would exhibit minimal reproductive responses to dehydration; therefore, this low number of differentially expressed genes between treatments aligns with current perceptions of this species' extreme desert specialization. However, these differentially expressed genes include Insulin-like 3 (Insl3), a regulator of male fertility and testes descent, as well as the solute carriers Slc45a3 and Slc38a5, which are membrane transport proteins that may facilitate osmoregulation. These results suggest that in male cactus mice, acute dehydration may be linked to reproductive modulation via Insl3, but not through gene expression differences in the subset of other a priori tested reproductive hormones. Although water availability is a reproductive cue in desert-rodents exposed to chronic drought

  4. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 are not required for GnRH neuron development and normal female reproductive axis function in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierman, Margaret E; Xu, Mei; Pierce, A; Bliesner, B; Bliss, S P; Roberson, M S

    2012-01-01

    Selective deletion of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and ERK2 in the pituitary gonadotrope and ovarian granulosa cells disrupts female reproductive axis function. Thus, we asked if ERK1 and ERK2 are critical for GnRH neuron ontogeny or the central control of female reproductive function. GnRH-Cre-recombinase (Cre+) expressing mice were crossed with mice with a global deletion of ERK1 and a floxed ERK2 allele (Erk1-/Erk2fl/fl) to selectively delete ERK2 in GnRH neurons. Cre-recombinase mRNA was selectively expressed in the brain of Cre+ mice. GnRH neuron number and location were determined during embryogenesis and in the adult. GnRH neuron counts at E15 did not differ between experimental and control groups (1,198 ± 65 and 1,160 ± 80 respectively, p = NS). In adults, numbers of GnRH neurons in the GnRHCre+Erk1-/Erk2- mice (741 ± 157) were similar to those in controls (756 ± 7), without alteration in their distribution across the forebrain. ERK1 and 2 deficiency did not alter the timing of vaginal opening, age at first estrus, or estrous cyclicity. Although ERK1 and 2 are components of a dominant signaling pathway in GnRH neuronal cells that modulates survival and control of GnRH gene expression, other signaling pathways compensate for their deletion in vivo to allow GnRH neuron survival and targeting and normal onset of female sexual maturation and reproductive function. In contrast to effects at the pituitary and the ovary, ERK1 and ERK2 are dispensable at the level of the GnRH neuron. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Fertility signaling - the proximate mechanism of worker policing in a clonal ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Anne; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Jones, Graeme R.

    2005-01-01

    In eusocial insects, the ability to regulate reproduction relies on cues that signal the presence of fertile individuals. We investigated the variation of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) with reproductive status in Platythyrea punctata, an ant, in which all workers are capable of producing daughters...... to old reproductives, but not when it was similar to that of nonreproductives. CHCs appear to signal the fertility of individuals and induce policing behavior towards surplus reproductive workers....

  6. The Prospects of Modernization of the Mechanism for Budgetary Regulation of the Socio-Economic Development of Lviv City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pidkhomnyi Oleg M.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The socio-economic development of country and its individual territories depends on the efficiency of both accumulation and allocation of financial resources, which is determined by the effectiveness of budget process. Therefore the purpose of the article is theoretical and practical substantiation of prospects for modernization of the mechanism for budgetary regulation of the socio-economic development on the example of Lviv. Features and the main instruments of budgetary regulation of the socio-economic development of the city were researched. The efficiency of allocation and accumulation of budgetary funds, including through tax policy and the inter-budget transfers, was analyzed. Tendencies of changes of indicators of the socio-economic condition of Lviv and influence on them of three main elements of the budget regulation mechanism have been determined. Shortcomings of the existing mechanism for budgetary regulation of socio-economic development of the city have been defined, prospective directions of its modernization have been suggested.

  7. Genetic control of dairy cow reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    The decline in dairy cow reproductive performance compromised the productivity and profitability of dairy production worldwide. The phenotypic performance of lactating cows with similar proportions of Holstein genes, similar genetic merit for milk production traits, but either good (Fert+) or poor (Fert-) genetic merit for fertility traits managed in a standardised environment was compared. The objective of this study was to elucidate the physiological mechanisms contributing to suboptimal re...

  8. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System

    OpenAIRE

    Brents, Lisa K.

    2016-01-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormo...

  9. Nickel Nanoparticles Exposure and Reproductive Toxicity in Healthy Adult Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Kong

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Nickel is associated with reproductive toxicity. However, the reproductive toxicity of nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs is unclear. Our goal was to determine the association between nickel nanoparticle exposure and reproductive toxicity. According to the one-generation reproductive toxicity standard, rats were exposed to nickel nanoparticles by gavage and we selected indicators including sex hormone levels, sperm motility, histopathology, and reproductive outcome etc. Experimental results showed nickel nanoparticles increased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH, and lowered etradiol (E2 serum levels at a dose of 15 and 45 mg/kg in female rats. Ovarian lymphocytosis, vascular dilatation and congestion, inflammatory cell infiltration, and increase in apoptotic cells were found in ovary tissues in exposure groups. For male rats, the weights decreased gradually, the ratio of epididymis weight over body weight increased, the motility of rat sperm changed, and the levels of FSH and testosterone (T diminished. Pathological results showed the shedding of epithelial cells of raw seminiferous tubule, disordered arrangement of cells in the tube, and the appearance of cell apoptosis and death in the exposure group. At the same time, Ni NPs resulted in a change of the reproductive index and the offspring development of rats. Further research is needed to elucidate exposure to human populations and mechanism of actions.

  10. Voice and Handgrip Strength Predict Reproductive Success in a Group of Indigenous African Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Sorokowski, Piotr; Mberira, Mara; Bartels, Astrid; Gallup, Gordon G.

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of Darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of Darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis. PMID:22870251

  11. Circuits regulating pleasure and happiness:the evolution of reward-seeking and misery-fleeing behavioral mechanisms in vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton J.M. Loonen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The very first free-moving animals in the oceans over 540 million years ago must have been able to obtain food, territory and shelter, as well as reproduce. Therefore, they would have needed regulatory mechanisms to induce movements enabling achievement of these prerequisites for survival. It can be useful to consider these mechanisms in primitive chordates, which represent our earliest ancestors, to develop hypotheses addressing how these essential parts of human behavior are regulated and relate to more sophisticated behavioral manifestations such as mood. An animal comparable to lampreys was the earliest known vertebrate with a modern forebrain consisting of old and new cortical parts. Lampreys have a separate dorsal pallium, the forerunner of the most recently developed part of the cerebral cortex. In addition, the lamprey extrapyramidal system, which regulates movement, is modern. However, in lampreys and their putative forerunners, the hagfishes, the striatum, which is the input part of this extrapyramidal system, probably corresponds to the human centromedial amygdala, which in higher vertebrates is part of a system mediating fear and anxiety. Both animals have well-developed nuclear habenulae, which are involved in several critical behaviors; in lampreys this system regulates the reward system that reinforces appetitive-seeking behavior or the avoidance system that reinforces flight behavior resulting from negative inputs. Lampreys also have a distinct glutamatergic nucleus, the so-called habenula-projection globus pallidus, which receives input from glutamatergic and GABAergic signals and gives output to the lateral habenula. Via this route, this nucleus influences midbrain monoaminergic nuclei and regulates the food acquisition system. These various structures involved in motor regulation in the lampreys may be conserved in humans and include two complementary mechanisms for reward reinforcement and avoidance behaviors. The first

  12. Circuits regulating pleasure and happiness: the evolution of reward-seeking and misery-fleeing behavioral mechanisms in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loonen, Anton J M; Ivanova, Svetlana A

    2015-01-01

    The very first free-moving animals in the oceans over 540 million years ago must have been able to obtain food, territory, and shelter, as well as reproduce. Therefore, they would have needed regulatory mechanisms to induce movements enabling achievement of these prerequisites for survival. It can be useful to consider these mechanisms in primitive chordates, which represent our earliest ancestors, to develop hypotheses addressing how these essential parts of human behavior are regulated and relate to more sophisticated behavioral manifestations such as mood. An animal comparable to lampreys was the earliest known vertebrate with a modern forebrain consisting of old and new cortical parts. Lampreys have a separate dorsal pallium, the forerunner of the most recently developed part of the cerebral cortex. In addition, the lamprey extrapyramidal system (EPS), which regulates movement, is modern. However, in lampreys and their putative forerunners, the hagfishes, the striatum, which is the input part of this EPS, probably corresponds to the human centromedial amygdala, which in higher vertebrates is part of a system mediating fear and anxiety. Both animals have well-developed nuclear habenulae, which are involved in several critical behaviors; in lampreys this system regulates the reward system that reinforces appetitive-seeking behavior or the avoidance system that reinforces flight behavior resulting from negative inputs. Lampreys also have a distinct glutamatergic nucleus, the so-called habenula-projection globus pallidus, which receives input from glutamatergic and GABAergic signals and gives output to the lateral habenula. Via this route, this nucleus influences midbrain monoaminergic nuclei and regulates the food acquisition system. These various structures involved in motor regulation in the lampreys may be conserved in humans and include two complementary mechanisms for reward reinforcement and avoidance behaviors. The first system is associated with

  13. Fake it till you make it: Policymaking and assisted human reproduction in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baylis, Françoise; Downie, Jocelyn; Snow, Dave

    2014-06-01

    The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) came into effect in 2004. The AHR Act stipulates in s.12 that no reimbursement of expenditures incurred in the course of donating gametes, maintaining or transporting in vitro embryos, or providing surrogacy services is permitted, except in accordance with the regulations and with receipts. Ten years later, Health Canada still has not drafted the regulations governing reimbursement. Section 12 is therefore still not in force. Health Canada and others have asserted that there is a Health Canada policy on reimbursement and that reimbursement with receipts is legally permissible. We dispute the existence of such a policy and its legitimacy (if it exists). We also challenge the decision by Health Canada not to produce regulations and thereby make it possible for Parliament to bring s.12 into force. This intentional lack of action is worrisome on at least two fronts. First, it sidesteps the processes required for regulations and thereby ducks the Parliamentary oversight very deliberately built into the AHR Act. Second, it leaves Canadians who provide and who access assisted human reproduction uncertain about what is and is not permitted, and therefore fearful of, or at risk of, prosecution. We conclude that Health Canada should take the steps necessary to put regulations in front of Parliament so that Parliament will then be able to pass regulations and bring s.12 into force. Canadians should demand no less.

  14. Vitamin D and male reproductive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanzo, Pablo R; Knoblovits, Pablo

    2016-12-01

    Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent worldwide condition and affects people of all ages. The most important role of vitamin D is the regulation of intestinal calcium absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus to maintain muscle and bone homeostasis. Furthermore, in recent years it has been discovered that the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is widely distributed in many organs and tissues where vitamin D can perform other actions that include the modulation of the immune response, insulin secretion, anti-proliferative effect on cells of vascular smooth muscle, modulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and regulates cell growth in several organs. The VDR is widely distributed in the male reproductive system. Vitamin D induces changes in the spermatozoa's calcium and cholesterol content and in protein phosphorylation to tyrosine/threonine residues. These changes could be involved in sperm capacitation. Vitamin D seems to regulate aromatase expression in different tissues. Studies analyzing seasonal variations of sex steroids in male populations yield conflicting results. This is probably due to the wide heterogeneity of the populations included according to age, systemic diseases and obesity.

  15. Impact of heavy metals on the female reproductive system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Rzymski

    2015-05-01

    Environmental deterioration can lead to the elevated risk of human exposure to heavy metals, and consequently, health implications including disturbances in reproduction. It is therefore important to continue the investigations on metal-induced mechanisms of fertility impairment on the genetic, epigenetic and biochemical level.

  16. Plasticity of Signaling by Spinal Estrogen Receptor α, κ-Opioid Receptor, and Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors over the Rat Reproductive Cycle Regulates Spinal Endomorphin 2 Antinociception: Relevance of Endogenous-Biased Agonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Nai-Jiang; Murugaiyan, Vijaya; Storman, Emiliya M; Schnell, Stephen A; Kumar, Arjun; Wessendorf, Martin W; Gintzler, Alan R

    2017-11-15

    We previously showed that intrathecal application of endomorphin 2 [EM2; the highly specific endogenous μ-opioid receptor (MOR) ligand] induces antinociception that varies with stage of the rat estrous cycle: minimal during diestrus and prominent during proestrus. Earlier studies, however, did not identify proestrus-activated signaling strategies that enable spinal EM2 antinociception. We now report that in female rats, increased spinal dynorphin release and κ-opioid receptor (KOR) signaling, as well as the emergence of glutamate-activated metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR 1 ) signaling, are critical to the transition from an EM2 nonresponsive state (during diestrus) to an analgesically responsive state (during proestrus). Differential signaling by mGluR 1 , depending on its activation by membrane estrogen receptor α (mERα; during diestrus) versus glutamate (during proestrus), concomitant with the ebb and flow of spinal dynorphin/KOR signaling, functions as a switch, preventing or promoting, respectively, spinal EM2 antinociception. Importantly, EM2 and glutamate-containing varicosities appose spinal neurons that express MOR along with mGluRs and mERα, suggesting that signaling mechanisms regulating analgesic effectiveness of intrathecally applied EM2 also pertain to endogenous EM2. Regulation of spinal EM2 antinociception by both the nature of the endogenous mGluR 1 activator (i.e., endogenous biased agonism at mGluR 1 ) and changes in spinal dynorphin/KOR signaling represent a novel mechanism for modulating analgesic responsiveness to endogenous EM2 (and perhaps other opioids). This points the way for developing noncanonical pharmacological approaches to pain management by harnessing endogenous opioids for pain relief. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The current prescription opioid abuse epidemic underscores the urgency to develop alternative pharmacotherapies for managing pain. We find that the magnitude of spinal endomorphin 2 (EM2) antinociception not only

  17. Striking a balance: conscientious objection and reproductive health care from the Colombian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabal, Luisa; Olaya, Monica Arango; Robledo, Valentina Montoya

    2014-12-11

    Conscientious Objection or conscientious refusal (CO) in access to reproductive health care is at the center of current legal debates worldwide. In countries such as the US and the UK, constitutional dilemmas surrounding CO in the context of reproductive health services reveal inadequate policy frameworks for balancing CO rights with women's rights to access contraception and abortion. The Colombian Constitutional Court's holistic jurisprudence regarding CO standards has applied international human rights norms so as to not only protect women's reproductive rights as fundamental rights, but to also introduce clear limits for the exercise of CO in health care settings. This paper reviews Latin American lines of regulation in Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico City to argue that the Colombian Court's jurisprudence offers a strong guidance for future comprehensive policy approaches that aim to effectively balance tensions between CO and women's reproductive rights. Copyright © 2014 Cabal, Olaya, Robledo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

  18. Food supplementation and testosterone interact to influence reproductive behavior and immune function in Sceloporus graciosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Mayté; French, Susannah S; Demas, Gregory E; Martins, Emília P

    2010-02-01

    The energetic resources in an organism's environment are essential for executing a wide range of life-history functions, including immunity and reproduction. Most energetic budgets, however, are limited, which can lead to trade-offs among competing functions. Increasing reproductive effort tends to decrease immunity in many cases, and increasing total energy via supplemental feedings can eliminate this effect. Testosterone (T), an important regulator of reproduction, and food availability are thus both potential factors regulating life-history processes, yet they are often tested in isolation of each other. In this study, we considered the effect of both food availability and elevated T on immune function and reproductive behavior in sagebrush lizards, Sceloporus graciosus, to assess how T and energy availability affect these trade-offs. We experimentally manipulated diet (via supplemental feedings) and T (via dermal patches) in males from a natural population. We determined innate immune response by calculating the bacterial killing capability of collected plasma exposed to Escherichia coli ex vivo. We measured reproductive behavior by counting the number of courtship displays produced in a 20-min sampling period. We observed an interactive effect of food availability and T-patch on immune function, with food supplementation increasing immunity in T-patch lizards. Additionally, T increased courtship displays in control food lizards. Lizards with supplemental food had higher circulating T than controls. Collectively, this study shows that the energetic state of the animal plays a critical role in modulating the interactions among T, behavior and immunity in sagebrush lizards and likely other species. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Agonist-induced down-regulation of endogenous protein kinase c α through an endolysosomal mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lum, Michelle A; Pundt, Krista E; Paluch, Benjamin E; Black, Adrian R; Black, Jennifer D

    2013-05-03

    Protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes undergo down-regulation upon sustained stimulation. Previous studies have pointed to the existence of both proteasome-dependent and -independent pathways of PKCα processing. Here we demonstrate that these down-regulation pathways are engaged in different subcellular compartments; proteasomal degradation occurs mainly at the plasma membrane, whereas non-proteasomal processing occurs in the perinuclear region. Using cholesterol depletion, pharmacological inhibitors, RNA interference, and dominant-negative mutants, we define the mechanisms involved in perinuclear accumulation of PKCα and identify the non-proteasomal mechanism mediating its degradation. We show that intracellular accumulation of PKCα involves at least two clathrin-independent, cholesterol/lipid raft-mediated pathways that do not require ubiquitination of the protein; one is dynamin-dependent and likely involves caveolae, whereas the other is dynamin- and small GTPase-independent. Internalized PKCα traffics through endosomes and is delivered to the lysosome for degradation. Supportive evidence includes (a) detection of the enzyme in EEA1-positive early endosomes, Rab7-positive late endosomes/multivesicular bodies, and LAMP1-positive lysosomes and (b) inhibition of its down-regulation by lysosome-disrupting agents and leupeptin. Only limited dephosphorylation of PKCα occurs during trafficking, with fully mature enzyme being the main target for lysosomal degradation. These studies define a novel and widespread mechanism of desensitization of PKCα signaling that involves endocytic trafficking and lysosome-mediated degradation of the mature, fully phosphorylated protein.

  20. The Italian regulation on Assisted Reproductive Technologies facing the European Court of Human Rights: the case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penasa, Simone

    2012-01-01

    This article will describe the current legal framework on Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) regulation in Italy, taking into account recent case-law derived from the implementation of the Law 40 of 2004 on ART. Special attention will be devoted to the case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy, recently decided by the Tenth Session of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In that decision, the European Court declared the incompatibility of the ban to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis introduced by the abovementioned Italian law on ART. The case will be analysed from a dual perspective. On the one hand, it will be considered in the light of the ECtHR case-law, in order to derive systematic aspects of continuity or discontinuity between the former and the latter2. On the other hand, the case will be considered in the light of its concrete and prospective impact on the Italian legal approach to ART regulation, considering especially the direct and indirect influence of the case: e.g., its possible utilisation by Italian judges when they are called upon to implement Law 40.