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The oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has emerged as an important tool for producing transgenic animals and deriving transgenic embryonic stem cells. The process of SCNT involves fusion of in vitro matured oocytes with somatic cells to make embryos that are transgenic when the nuclear donor somatic cells carry ‘foreign’ DNA and are clones when all the donor cells are genetically identical. However, in canines, it is difficult to obtain enough mature oocytes for successful SCNT due to the very low efficiency of in vitro oocyte maturation in this species that hinders canine transgenic cloning. One solution is to use oocytes from a different species or even a different genus, such as bovine oocytes, that can be matured easily in vitro. Accordingly, the aim of this study was: (1) to establish a canine fetal fibroblast line transfected with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene; and (2) to investigate in vitro embryonic development of canine cloned embryos derived from transgenic and non-transgenic cell lines using bovine in vitro matured oocytes. Canine fetal fibroblasts were transfected with constructs containing the GFP and puromycin resistance genes using FuGENE 6®. Viability levels of these cells were determined by the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay. Interspecies SCNT (iSCNT) embryos from normal or transfected cells were produced and cultured in vitro. The MTT measurement of GFP-transfected fetal fibroblasts (mean OD = 0.25) was not significantly different from non-transfected fetal fibroblasts (mean OD = 0.35). There was no difference between transgenic iSCNT versus non-transgenic iSCNT embryos in terms of fusion rates (73.1% and 75.7%, respectively), cleavage rates (69.7% vs. 73.8%) and development to the 8–16-cell stage (40.1% vs. 42.7%). Embryos derived from the transfected cells completely expressed GFP at the 2-cell, 4-cell, and 8–16-cell stages without mosaicism. In summary, our results demonstrated that, following successful isolation of canine transgenic cells, iSCNT embryos developed to early pre-implantation stages in vitro, showing stable GFP expression. These canine–bovine iSCNT embryos can be used for further in vitro analysis of canine transgenic cells and will contribute to the production of various transgenic dogs for use as specific human disease models.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling via tyrosine kinase B receptors may play an important role in ovarian development and function. It has been reported that metformin elevates the activity of Tyrosine kinase receptors and may amplify BDNF signalling. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of BDNF during in vitro maturation (IVM) and/or in vitro culture (IVC) (Experiment 1), and to evaluate the collaborative effect of BDNF and metformin treatment on the developmental competence of bovine in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, BDNF, which was added to our previously established IVM systems, significantly increased the proportions of MII oocytes at both 10 ng/ml (86.7%) and 100 ng/ml (85.4%) compared with the control (64.0%). However, there was no statistically significant difference in blastocyst development between the control or BDNF-supplemented groups. In Experiment 2, in order to investigate the effect of BDNF (10 ng/ml) and/or metformin (10−5 M) per se, TCM-199 without serum and hormones was used as the control IVM medium. The BDNF (48.3%) and BDNF plus metformin (56.5%) significantly enhanced the proportions of MII oocytes compared with the control (34.4%). Although, BDNF or metformin alone had no effect in embryo development, BDNF plus metformin significantly improved early embryo development to the 8–16-cell stage compared with the control (16.5 vs. 5.5%). In conclusion, the combination of BDNF and metformin may have a collaborative effect during the IVM period. These results could further contribute to the establishment of a more efficient bovine in vitro embryo production system.
Cycle synchronization of donor cells in the G0/G1 stage is a crucial step for successful somatic cell nuclear transfer. In the present report, we evaluated the effects of contact inhibition, serum starvation and the reagents – dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO), roscovitine and cycloheximide (CHX) – on synchronization of canine fibroblasts at the G0/G1 stage. Ear fibroblast cells were collected from a beagle dog, placed into culture and used for analysis at passages three to eight. The population doubling time was 36.5 h. The proportion of G0/G1 cells was significantly increased by contact inhibition (77.1%) as compared with cycling cells (70.1%); however, extending the duration of culture did not induce further synchronization. After 24 h of serum starvation, cells were effectively synchronized at G0/G1 (77.1%). Although synchronization was further increased gradually after 24 h and even showed significant difference after 72 h (82.8%) of starvation, the proportion of dead cells also significantly increased after 24 h. The percentage of cells at the G0/G1 phase was increased (as compared with controls) after 72 h treatment with DMSO (76.1%) and after 48 h treatment with CHX (73.0%) or roscovitine (72.5%). However, the rate of cell death was increased after 24 and 72 h of treatment with DMSO and CHX, respectively. Thus, we recommend the use of roscovitine for cell cycle synchronization of canine ear fibroblasts as a preparatory step for SCNT.
The prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains causing bloodstream infection (BSI) has not been studied in Korea.
We sought to determine the prevalence of CA-MRSA strains among isolates recovered from patients with MRSA BSIs and to explore epidemiological changes in Korea. We also sought to evaluate clinical characteristics relevant to the development of healthcare-associated BSIs.
We prospectively collected consecutive MRSA isolates from patients with BSI at 4 hospitals from July 1 through November 30, 2007, and we also included MRSA isolates recovered from culture of blood samples collected during a previous year (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) at a different hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to CA-MRSA strains with those of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains.
There were 76 cases of MRSA BSI, of which 4 (5.3%) were community-associated and 72 (94.7%) were healthcare-associated. Among the 72 HA-MRSA BSIs, 18 (25%) were community onset, and 54 (75%) were hospital onset. PFGE type D-ST72–spa B-SCCmec type IVA MRSA, the predominant genotype of CA-MRSA in Korea, accounted for 19 (25%) of all 76 MRSA BSIs, including 17 (23.6%) of 72 HA-MRSA BSIs and 11 (20.8%) of 53 hospital-onset HA-MRSA BSIs. Patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to CA-MRSA strains carrying SCCmec type IVA tended to have fewer healthcare-associated risk factors, compared with patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to HA-MRSA strains carrying other SCCmec types. The presence of a central venous catheter or other invasive device was the only independent factor differentiating patients infected with hospital-associated genotype strains from patients infected with other strains. Clinical outcomes were similar between both groups.
CA-MRSA strains are emerging as a major cause of BSI in healthcare settings in Korea. This changing epidemiology of MRSA poses a challenge to public health and infection control in hospital settings.
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