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We compare the efficiency of mechanical or enzymatic methods, and their combination, for the isolation of ovarian preantral follicles (PFs) from collared peccaries. The ovaries from six females were subjected to the different methods investigated here. For the enzymatic method, ovary fragments were exposed to collagenase type IV in TCM-HEPES medium; the mechanical procedure was based on ovarian cortex dissociation by using a scalpel blade. The residual solution obtained after the mechanical isolation was subjected to the enzymatic procedure. The number of isolated PFs was quantified and classified as primordial, primary, or secondary; their viability was assessed using trypan blue dye assay. To confirm the results, PFs derived from the most efficient method were evaluated for integrity using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subjected to a 24 h in vitro culture for subsequent evaluation of viability by using fluorescent probes. A higher number of PFs (P < 0.05) was obtained from the enzymatic method (961.7 ± 132.9) in comparison with the mechanical method (434.3 ± 88.9), but no difference was observed between the two methods and their combination (743.2 ± 92.8). The trypan blue assay showed that the enzymatic method (98.7 ± 0.6%) provided the highest percentage of viable follicles (P < 0.05). Furthermore, SEM confirmed the ultrastructural integrity of the surface architecture of peccary PFs isolated by the enzymatic procedure; epifluorescence microscopy was used to confirm their viability (86.0%). In conclusion, we suggest that the enzymatic method investigated here is useful for the isolation of viable ovarian PFs from collared peccaries.
The dietary inclusion of feed additives to improve the carcass characteristics of the final product is of great importance for the pork production chain. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of the association of ractopamine (RAC) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the performance traits of finishing pigs during the last 26 days prior to slaughter. In total, 810 commercial hybrid barrows were used. Animals were distributed among treatments according to a randomised block design in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three RAC levels (0, 5 or 10 ppm) and three CLA levels (0, 0.3 or 0.6%). Pigs fed the diet with 5 ppm RAC had higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) (2.83 kg; P < 0.05) when compared with those fed 10 ppm RAC and the control diet (2.75 and 2.74 kg, respectively). Lower ADFI values (P < 0.01) were observed with the diets containing CLA compared with the control diet with no CLA (2.73 and 2.75 v. 2.85 kg/day, respectively). The average daily weight gain of pigs fed 5 and 10 ppm RAC was +148 and +173 g/dayhigher (P < 0.001), respectively, than those fed the control diet. Dietary RAC levels influenced (P < 0.001) feed conversion ratio (FCR), which was reduced as RAC levels increased, with the pigs fed 10, 5 and 0 ppm RAC presenting FCR values of 2.57, 2.71 and 3.05, respectively. FCR also improved (P < 0.05) with the inclusion of 0.6% CLA relative to the control diet (2.70 v. 2.84, respectively). There was a significant interaction between CLA × RAC levels (P < 0.01) for final BW, loin eye area (LEA) (P < 0.05) and backfat thickness (BT) (P < 0.05). The treatments containing 10 ppm RAC + 0.6% or 0.3% CLA increased LEA and reduced BT. In conclusion, the level of 10 ppm inclusion of RAC increased the overall performance parameters of pigs and therefore improved production efficiency. The combined use of RAC and CLA promoted a lower feed conversion ratio as well as better quantitative carcass traits, as demonstrated by the higher LEA and lower BT. The dietary inclusion of CLA at 0.3% improved feed efficiency, however, without affecting LEA or BT yields.
To assess iodine status and its effects on maternal thyroid function throughout pregnancy.
In the present prospective cohort study, three urinary samples were requested for urinary iodine concentration (UIC) determinations in both the first and third gestational trimesters. Serum thyrotropin (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) were analysed in both trimesters and thyroid antibodies were assessed once.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
First-trimester pregnant women (n 243), of whom 100 were re-evaluated during the third trimester.
Iodine sufficiency was found in the studied population (median UIC=216·7 µg/l). The first- and third-trimester median UIC was 221·0 and 208·0 µg/l, respectively. TSH levels (mean (sd)) were higher in the third trimester (1·08 (0·67) v. 1·67 (0·86) mIU/l; P<0·001), while FT4 levels decreased significantly (1·18 (0·16) v. 0·88 (0·12) ng/dl; P<0·001), regardless the presence of iodine deficiency (UIC<150 µg/l) or circulating thyroid antibodies. UIC correlated (β; 95% CI) independently and negatively with age (–0·43; –0·71, –0·17) and positively with multiparity (0·15; 0·02, 0·28) and BMI (0·25; 0·00, 0·50). Furthermore, median UIC per pregnant woman tended to correlate positively with TSH (0·07; –0·01, 0·14). Women with median UIC≥250 µg/l and at least one sample ≥500 µg/l throughout pregnancy had a higher risk of subclinical hypothyroidism (OR=6·6; 95% CI 1·2, 37·4).
In this cohort with adequate iodine status during pregnancy, excessive UIC was associated with an increased risk of subclinical hypothyroidism.
The present study aimed to evaluate the mechanisms modulated by dietary arginine supplementation to sows during lactation regarding antioxidant capacity and vascularization of mammary glands. At 109 days of gestation, animals were transferred to individual farrowing crates equipped with manual feeders and automatic drinker bowls. Environmental temperature and humidity inside the farrowing rooms were registered every 15 min. At farrowing, sows were assigned in a completely randomized design to a control diet (CON) or the CON diet supplemented with 1.0% L-arginine (ARG). A total of three gilts and two sows were fed the CON diet, whereas three gilts and three sows were fed ARG diets. Sows were fed a fixed amount of 6.0 kg/day, subdivided equally in four delivery times (0700, 1000, 1300 and 1600 h) for 21 days. At weaning, sows were slaughtered and mammary tissue samples and blood from the pudendal vein were collected. Data were analyzed considering each sow as an experimental unit. Differences were considered at P<0.05. L-arginine fed sows presented lower messenger RNA (mRNA) expression for prolactin receptor (P=0.002), angiopoietin1 (P=0.03) and receptor tyrosine kinase (P=0.01); higher mRNA expression for prostaglandin synthase 1 (P=0.01); a trend of decrease for glucocorticoid receptor (P=0.06) and IGF receptor 1 (P=0.07); and a trend (P=0.05) for an increased glutathione peroxidase mRNA expression. The angiopoietin2:angiopoietin1 mRNA ratio tended to increase (P=0.07) in ARG fed sows. L-arginine fed sows had greater (P=0.04) volumetric proportion of blood vessels and a trend of enhance (P=0.07) in the number of blood vessels per mm2. These findings show that 1.0% ARG supplementation to sows activates proliferative mechanisms, may improve mammary tissues’ angiogenesis and tended to increase mRNA expression of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes in mammary gland of sows.
A new genus and species of the planktonic shrimp family Luciferidae, Sume marcosi n. gen. n. sp., is described and illustrated from material collected in calcareous shale of the late Early Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) Romualdo Formation, Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil. The material is very well preserved, including the antennae, stalked eyes, second and third maxillipeds, pleopods, and uropods, and represents the first described fossil of the family Luciferidae.
Norovirus (NoV) is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE). In this study, we investigated the genetic diversity of NoV strains identified in children under 5 years of age with AGE in four provinces of Angola. Faecal samples from 343 children were screened for NoV by an in house real-time PCR assay and genotyping was performed by partial capsid gene sequencing. NoV was detected in 17.4% (58/334) of the samples, with high detection rates in children <6 months old (19%) and in children aged 12–24 months (23%). Genotype diversity was large, as demonstrated by the 11 identified genotypes. GII.4 was the predominant genotype (20% of all NoV-positive samples), followed by GII.6 (15%), GI.3 (12%), GII.7 (10%) and by other genotypes to a lesser extent. Two GII.4 variants, New Orleans 2009 and Sydney 2012, were detected and several genetic clusters were observed for genotypes GI.3, GII.6 and GII.7. The present study shows high detection rates and genetic diversity of circulating NoV genotypes in paediatric AGE samples from Angola. This information emphasises the importance of continuous assessment of NoV burden and evolution in the target population.
Leishmaniases is a tropical disease caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania for which the current treatment is expensive, besides increasing reports of parasite resistance. This study investigated the anti-Leishmania amazonensis activity of the essential oil from Aloysia gratissima (AgEO) and guaiol, the major sesquiterpene constituent in the oil. Our results showed that AgEO killed promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes at an IC50 of 25 and 0·16 µg mL−1, respectively, while guaiol killed amastigotes at an IC50 of 0·01 µg mL−1. Both AgEO and guaiol were safe for macrophages up to 100 µg mL−1, as evaluated by the dehydrogenase activity, membrane integrity and phagocytic capacity. AgEO and guaiol did not induce nitrite oxide (NO) in resting macrophages and inhibited the production of NO in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages. The ultrastructural analysis suggested that AgEO and guaiol act directly on parasites, affecting promastigotes kinetoplast, mitochondrial matrix and plasma membrane. Together, these results pointed out that AgEO and guaiol could be promising candidates to develop anti-Leishmania drugs.
This study aims to investigate the effect 5-azacytidine (5-Aza) during induction of pluripotency in bovine fibroblasts and to evaluate the effects of BMP2, BMP4 or follicular fluid in the differentiation of reprogrammed fibroblasts in primordial germ cells and oocytes. It also analysis the mRNA levels for OCT4, NANOG, REX, SOX2, VASA, DAZL, cKIT, SCP3, ZPA and GDF9 after culturing 5-Aza treated fibroblasts in the different tested medium. Dermal fibroblasts were cultured and exposed to 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 μM of 5-Aza for 18 h, 36 h or 72 h. Then, the cells were cultured in DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10 ng/ml BMP2, 10 ng/ml BMP4 or 5% follicular fluid. After culture, morphological characteristics, viability and gene expression were evaluated by qPCR. Treatment of skin fibroblasts with 2.0 μM 5-Aza for 72 h significantly increased expression of mRNAs for SOX2, OCT4, NANOG and REX. The culture in medium supplemented with BMP2, BMP4 or follicular fluid for 7 or 14 days induced formation of oocyte-like cells, as well as the expression of markers for germ cells and oocyte. In conclusion, treatment of bovine skin-derived fibroblasts with 2.0 μM 5-Aza for 72 h induces the expression of pluripotency factors. Culturing these cells in differentiation medium supplemented with BMP2, BMP4 or follicular fluid induces morphological changes and promotes expression of markers for germ cells, meiosis and oocyte.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different concentrations of BMP4 on activation, development and mRNA expression of GDF9, BMP15, PCNA, Bax and Bcl2 in cultured bovine follicles enclosed in ovarian tissues. Ovarian tissue fragments were cultured for 6 days in α-MEM+ alone or supplemented with different concentrations of BMP4 (10, 50 or 100 ng/ml). Classical histology was performed to analyze follicle growth and morphology, while real-time PCR was used to analyze mRNA levels in fresh and cultured tissues. After 6 days, the culture of ovarian tissue in α-MEM+ alone or supplemented with 10, 50 or 100 ng/ml BMP4 promoted follicular activation. The different concentrations of BMP4 maintained the percentage of normal follicles similar to results of the control. The presence of 100 ng/ml BMP-4 in culture medium increased oocyte and follicular diameters of primary and secondary follicles when compared with those follicles from uncultured control or cultured in α-MEM+ alone (P < 0.05). The tissues cultured in the presence of increasing concentrations of BMP4 had an increase in mRNA expression of the tested genes, but despite this the differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, 100 ng/ml BMP4 promotes an increase in diameters of follicles and oocytes of primary and secondary follicles after 6 days of in vitro culture.
We present a brief report on the B, V, R, I, and Hα CCD surface photometry of the southern SABab galaxy IC 4214. We obtained isophote maps, luminosity profiles, and basic geometric and photometric parameters in BV RI, and mapped the distribution of the gas through continuum subtracted Hα emission line images.
Blue jack mackerel, Trachurus picturatus, is a carangid fish which constitutes an important commercial resource in the north-east Atlantic. Its metazoan parasite community from Portuguese mainland waters was investigated here for the first time. Nine parasite taxa were found, most of which are common parasites of Trachurus spp. The parasite community was broadly similar to that of the Atlantic horse mackerel, T. trachurus, from the same region, but two digenean species were detected in blue jack mackerel, Monascus filiformis and Tergestia sp., which did not occur in horse mackerel from this region. A comparison with the two previous studies of T. picturatus parasite communities shows that continental-shelf regions are characterized by higher prevalences of digenean trematodes and an absence of trypanorhynch cestodes, in contrast with oceanic regions.
Objectives: The Carpentier-Edwards pericardial (CEP) prostheses are the type of bioprostheses most used worldwide. Although they were designed to minimize the rate of valve deterioration and reoperation, their clinical superiority over other prostheses models still lacks confirmation. The objective of this study was to evaluate its effectiveness.
Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis in the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and Lilacs databases. Operative mortality, overall mortality and reoperation rates after heart valve surgery were compared between the use of CEP and other cardiac prostheses. Two independent reviewers screened studies for inclusion and extracted the data. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. The GRADE criterion was used to assess the evidence quality.
Results: A total of twenty-eight studies were selected, including 19,615 individuals. The studies presented a high heterogeneity and low quality of evidence what limited the reliability of the results. The pooled data from the selected studies did not demonstrate significant differences between CEP and porcine, pericardial or stentless prostheses regarding operative mortality, overall mortality and reoperation rates. However, the pooled data from 3 observational trials pointed out a higher risk for reoperation after valve replacement using CEP prostheses against mechanical prostheses (OR 4.92 [95 percent confidence interval 2.43–9.96]).
Conclusions: The current data present in the literature still does not support a clinical advantage for the use of CEP prostheses over other bioprostheses. The quality of the studies in the literature is limited and further studies are needed to address if CEP prostheses will have a clinical advantage over other prostheses.
Spatial distribution studies in pest management identify the locations where pest attacks on crops are most severe, enabling us to understand and predict the movement of such pests. Studies on the spatial distribution of two mite species, however, are rather scarce. The mites Polyphagotarsonemus latus and Tetranychus bastosi are the major pests affecting physic nut plantations (Jatropha curcas). Therefore, the objective of this study was to measure the spatial distributions of P. latus and T. bastosi in the physic nut plantations. Mite densities were monitored over 2 years in two different plantations. Sample locations were georeferenced. The experimental data were analyzed using geostatistical analyses. The total mite density was found to be higher when only one species was present (T. bastosi). When both the mite species were found in the same plantation, their peak densities occurred at different times. These mites, however, exhibited uniform spatial distribution when found at extreme densities (low or high). However, the mites showed an aggregated distribution in intermediate densities. Mite spatial distribution models were isotropic. Mite colonization commenced at the periphery of the areas under study, whereas the high-density patches extended until they reached 30 m in diameter. This has not been reported for J. curcas plants before.
Lyme disease is an uncommon tick-borne multisystemic infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The most common clinical manifestation is erythema migrans. In this report, a very unusual presentation of this condition is described, in which sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss was the sole presenting symptom.
Case report and review of English-language literature.
A patient presented with sensorineural hearing loss, with no other symptoms or signs. Acute Lyme infection was detected by laboratory tests. Magnetic resonance imaging showed signs of labyrinthitis of the same inner ear. After hyperbaric oxygen and systemic antibiotic treatment, the patient showed total hearing recovery, and magnetic resonance imaging showed complete resolution of the labyrinthitis.
To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of Lyme disease presenting only with sensorineural hearing loss. Borreliosis should be considered as an aetiological factor in sensorineural hearing loss. Adequate treatment may provide total recovery and prevent more severe forms of Lyme disease.
The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family consists of several growth factor proteins that belong to the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily. BMPs bind to type I and type II serine–threonine kinase receptors, and transduce signals through the Smad signalling pathway. BMPs have been identified in mammalian ovaries, and functional studies have shown that they are involved in the regulation of oogenesis and folliculogenesis. This review summarizes the role of the BMP system during formation, growth and maturation of ovarian follicles in mammals.
As the standard enucleation method in mammalian nuclear transfer is invasive and damaging to cytoplast spatial organization, alternative procedures have been developed over recent years. Among these techniques, chemically induced enucleation (IE) is especially interesting because it does not employ ultraviolet light and reduces the amount of cytoplasm eliminated during the procedure. The objective of this study was to optimize the culture conditions with demecolcine of pre-activated bovine oocytes for chemically IE, and to evaluate nuclear and microtubule organization in cytoplasts obtained by this technique and their viability. In the first experiment, a negative effect on oocyte activation was verified when demecolcine was added at the beginning of the process, reducing activation rates by approximately 30%. This effect was not observed when demecolcine was added to the medium after 1.5 h of activation. In the second experiment, although a reduction in the number of microtubules was observed in most oocytes, these structures did not disappear completely during assessment. Approximately 50% of treated oocytes presented microtubule reduction at the end of the evaluation period, while 23% of oocytes were observed to exhibit the complete disappearance of these structures and 28% exhibited visible microtubules. These findings indicated the lack of immediate microtubule repolymerization after culture in demecolcine-free medium, a fact that may negatively influence embryonic development. However, cleavage rates of 63.6–70.0% and blastocyst yield of 15.5–24.2% were obtained in the final experiment, without significant differences between techniques, indicating that chemically induced enucleation produces normal embryos.
This study aims to investigate the effects of jacalin and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on activation and survival of goat primordial follicles, as well as on gene expression in cultured ovarian tissue. Ovarian fragments were cultured for 6 days in minimum essential medium (MEM) supplemented with jacalin (10, 25, 50 or 100 μg/ml – Experiment 1) or in MEM supplemented with jacalin (50 μg/ml), FSH (50 ng/ml) or both (Experiment 2). Non-cultured and cultured tissues were processed for histological and ultrastructural analysis. Cultured tissues from Experiment 2 were also stored to evaluate the expression of BMP-15, KL (Kit ligand), c-kit, GDF-9 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results of Experiment 1 showed that, compared with tissue that was cultured in control medium, the presence of 50 μg/ml of jacalin increased both the percentages of developing follicles and viability. In Experiment 2, after 6 days, higher percentages of normal follicles were observed in tissue cultured in presence of FSH, jacalin or both, but no synergistic interaction between FSH and jacalin was observed. These substances had no significant effect on the levels of mRNA for BMP-15 and KL, but FSH increased significantly the levels of mRNA for PCNA and c-kit. On the other hand, jacalin reduced the levels of mRNA for GDF-9. In conclusion, jacalin and FSH are able to improve primordial follicle activation and survival after 6 days of culture. Furthermore, presence of FSH increases the expression of mRNA for PCNA and c-kit, but jacalin resulted in lower GDF-9 mRNA expression.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature and different levels of available phosphorus (aP) on the expression of nine genes encoding electron transport chain proteins in the Longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of pigs. Two trials were carried out using 48 high-lean growth pigs from two different growth phases: from 15 to 30 kg (phase 1) and from 30 to 60 kg (phase 2). Pigs from growth phase 1 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.107%, 0.321% or 0.535%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (24°C and RH at 76%) or to a heat stress (34°C and RH at 70%) environment. Pigs from growth phase 2 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.116%, 0.306% or 0.496%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (22ºC and RH at 77%) or to a heat stress (32ºC and RH at 73%) environment. Heat stress decreased (P<0.001) average daily feed intake at both growth phases. At 24°C, pigs in phase 1 fed the 0.321% aP diet had greater average daily gain and feed conversion (P<0.05) than those fed the 0.107% or 0.535% while, at 34°C pigs fed the 0.535% aP had the best performance (P<0.05). Pigs from phase 2 fed the 0.306% aP had best performance in both thermal environments. Gene expression profile was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Irrespective of growing phase, the expression of six genes was lower (P<0.05) at high temperature than at thermoneutrality. The lower expression of these genes under high temperatures evidences the effects of heat stress by decreasing oxidative metabolism, through adaptive physiological mechanisms in order to reduce heat production. In pigs from phase 1, six genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in the thermoneutral and one gene in the heat stress. In pigs from phase 2, two genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in both thermal environments. These data revealed strong evidence that phosphorus and thermal environments are key factors to regulate oxidative phosphorylation with direct implications on animal performance.
The role of activin-A in follicular development and on the mRNA expression levels of different genes in goat secondary follicles was evaluated. Goat secondary follicles (≥150 μm) were cultured for 18 days under control conditions or with the addition of either 50 or 100 ng/ml activin-A (Experiment 1). The mRNA levels for the genes that code for activin-A, ActR-IA, ActR-IB, ActR-IIA, ActR-IIB, follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSH-R) and P450 aromatase were measured in each condition (Experiment 2). We observed that after 6 days of culture, the antrum formation rate was higher in cultures with added activin-A than in the cultured control (P < 0.05). The addition of 50 ng/ml activin-A increased the follicular growth rate in the final third of the culture (days 12–18), resulting in a higher percentage of meiosis resumption (P < 0.05). On day 6, the addition of activin-A (50 ng/ml) increased the levels of ActR-IA mRNA compared with the cultured control (P < 0.05). After 18 days, the addition of 50 ng/ml activin-A significantly increased the levels of its own mRNA compared with the non-cultured control. Moreover, this treatment reduced the mRNA levels of P450 aromatase in comparison with the cultured control (P < 0.05). Higher levels of P450 aromatase mRNA were found for both activin-A treatments compared with the non-cultured control (P < 0.05). No difference in estradiol levels was detected among any of the tested treatments. In conclusion, the addition of activin-A to culture medium stimulated early antrum formation as well as an increase in the daily follicular growth rate and the percentage of meiosis resumption.