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Intact human sperm DNA is an essential prerequisite for successful fertilization and embryo development. Abnormal sperm DNA fragmentation is a independent factor for male infertility. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Peijingsu, a health product, on the DNA integrity of human sperm. Peijingsu was administered for 15 days to 22 patients who had an abnormal sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI). The DFIs before and after treatment were compared and analyzed using paired t-test. DFIs decreased significantly (P = 0.0008) after treatment, therefore it was concluded that Peijingsu effectively improved sperm DNA integrity in infertile patients who had an abnormal sperm DFI.
Sex selection through sperm sorting offers advantages in regards selection pressure in high-producing livestock. However, the sex-sorting process results in sperm membrane and DNA damage that ultimately decrease fertility. We hypothesized that given the role of protamines in DNA packaging, protamine deficiency could account, at least partially, for the DNA damage observed following sperm sex sorting. To test this, we compared protamine status between unsexed and sexed spermatozoa from two bulls using the fluorochrome chromomycin A3 (CMA3) and flow cytometry. Then, we assessed embryo development following in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the same sperm treatments. Overall, sperm protamination was not different between sexed and unsexed semen. However, one of the two bulls displayed higher rates of protamine deficiency for both unsexed and sexed semen (P < 0.05). Moreover, unsexed semen from this bull yielded lower blastocyst (P < 0.05) and blastocyst hatching rates than unsexed sperm from the other bull. CMA3-positive staining was negatively correlated with cleavage (R2 85.1, P = 0.003) and blastocyst hatching (R2 87.6, P = 0.006) rates in unsexed semen. In conclusion, while the sex-sorting process had no effect on sperm protamine content, we observed a bull effect for sperm protamination, which correlated to embryo development rates following IVF.
Our study aimed to establish the response of Salminus franciscanus to hypophysation and describe the main morphological events of its embryonic process. Wild fish were captured in São Francisco River and selected broodstock (females: 66.4 ± 11.1 cm and 4.04 ± 2.32 kg; males: 58.3 ± 10.2 cm and 3.62 ± 1.12 kg) were kept at 26.1 ± 0.6°C for induction of final maturation/gamete release via the hypophysation technique. In females, two doses (0.8 and 5.6 mg/kg body weight) of crude pituitary extract of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) were administered with a 14 h interval. For males, a single dose (2.7 mg/kg body weight) of crude pituitary extract was applied at the same time as the females’ second dose. Oocytes and sperm were manually stripped 8 h after a females’ second hormonal dose. Fertilization was carried out using the dry method. Eggs were kept in funnel-type 60 L incubators at 24.3 ± 0.3°C and were analyzed and photographed every 10 min. After hormonal induction, 60% of females and 100% of males reacted positively and no broodstock mortality was recorded. The females released an average of 385.2 ± 78.4 g of oocytes and the fertilization rate observed was 50.4 ± 12.3%. The blastopore closure occurred at 7.5 h, somite formation at 12 h and hatching at 20 h post-fertilization. In general, the results of this study improve the understanding of the reproductive biology of dourado and confirm its potential for fish farming in the neotropical region.
This study aimed to evaluate to what extent the different interval times between trophectoderm (TE) biopsy and vitrification influence the clinical outcomes in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) cycles. Patients who underwent frozen embryo transfer (FET) after PGT between 2015 and 2019 were recruited. In total, 297 cycles with single day 5 euploid blastocyst transfer were included. These cycles were divided into three groups according to the interval times: <1 h group, 1–2 h group, and ≥2 h group. Blastocyst survival, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, and ongoing pregnancy rates were compared. The results showed that, in PGT-SR cycles, survival rate in the ≥2 h group (96.72%) was significantly lower than in the <1 h group (100%, P = 0.047). The clinical pregnancy rate in the ≥2 h group was 55.93%, significantly lower than in the <1 h group (74.26%, P = 0.017). The ongoing pregnancy rates in the 1–2 h group and the ≥2 h group were 48.28% and 47.46%, respectively, significantly lower than that in the <1 h group (67.33%, P < 0.05). The miscarriage rate in the 1–2 h group was 18.42%, significantly higher than that in the <1 h group (5.33%, P = 0.027). In PGT-A cycles, the clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the <1 h group were 67.44% and 53.49%, respectively, higher than that in the 1–2 h group (52.94%, 47.06%, P > 0.05) and the ≥2 h group (52.63%, 36.84%, P > 0.05). In conclusion, vitrification of blastocysts beyond 1 h after biopsy significantly influences embryo survival and clinical outcomes and is therefore not recommended.
Recovery of more than one oocyte from a single follicle during laparoscopic egg collection has been reported sporadically and accepted as confirmation of the presence of polyovular or binovular follicles in the human ovary at reproductive age. Most of these reports include conjoined oocytes that share common or fused zona pellucida, and are generally accepted as evidence for true polyovularity due to its certain characteristics. In this study, we report one case of a conjoined oocyte and another case of the recovery of two separate oocytes in a cumulus cell complex and details of their early embryonic development. To our knowledge, this report of the recovery of two separate oocytes without zonal contact is the first in the literature. We reviewed the relevant literature to evaluate information regarding the origin, incidence and significance of polyovularity in reproductive health.
To study the role of orexin A in the reproductive regulation of Mongolian sheep, ovine ovarian granulosa cells were cultured in vitro. The cells were divided into groups after luteinization, the experimental group was given orexin A and the transcriptome was sequenced together with that of the control group. The different genes related to reproduction were screened out. qRT-PCR, western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to verify the selected genes and detect the effect on progesterone secretion. In total, 123 differentially expressed genes were obtained by sequencing. Six genes with high expression related to reproduction (PRRT2, ABCG1, SOX4, TBX3, ID1 and ATP8) were screened. The results of qRT-PCR were consistent with those of sequencing; western blot and ELISA were used to verify the protein levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and its related PRRT2 and ABCG1, and to detect their effect on progesterone secretion. Validation results were consistent with those of qRT-PCR and sequencing. The experimental group was given orexin A and compared with the control group. Expression of PRRT2 protein was significantly increased (P < 0.05), ABCG1 protein expression was significantly decreased (P < 0.05), StAR expression was significantly increased (P < 0.05), and progesterone secretion was significantly increased (P < 0.05). The results showed that orexin A promoted the expression of StAR by upregulating PRRT2 and downregulating ABCG1, therefore affecting secretion of progesterone. Gene expression characteristics of orexin A affecting progesterone secretion were preliminarily explored; this study provides a theoretical basis for further study on signalling pathways and reproductive regulation in Mongolian sheep.
This study was conducted to examine whether glucose in maturation medium containing reduced NaCl could improve oocyte maturation and embryonic development in pigs. The base medium was bovine serum albumin-free porcine zygote medium (PZM)-3 containing 10% (v/v) pig follicular fluid (FPZM) or 0.1% (w/v) polyvinyl alcohol (PPZM). Using each medium, the effects of NaCl concentrations (108 and 61.6 mM) and 5.56 mM glucose supplementation (designated as PZM108N, PZM108G, PZM61N, and PZM61G, respectively) were examined using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. When oocytes were matured in FPZM, glucose supplementation improved nuclear maturation compared with no supplementation, regardless of the NaCl concentrations. FPZM61G showed a higher blastocyst formation compared with FPZM108N and FPZM108G after parthenogenesis (PA). Blastocyst formations of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos derived from FPZM61N and FPZM61G were higher compared with those of oocytes from FPZM108N. When oocytes were matured in PPZM, glucose added to PPZM108 and PPZM61 increased nuclear maturation compared with no supplementation. However, glucose added to PPZM108 did not alter embryonic development after PA. Additionally, oocytes matured in PPZM61G showed a higher blastocyst formation compared with those from PPZM61N. In SCNT, blastocyst formation was not influenced by glucose supplementation of PPZM108, but was increased by maturation in glucose-supplemented PPZM61. In embryonic development of in vitro fertilization (IVF), oocytes matured in medium with reduced NaCl and glucose showed significantly higher blastocyst formation compared with those matured in PPZM108G. Our results demonstrated that glucose in maturation medium containing 61.6 mM NaCl increased oocyte maturation and embryonic development after PA, SCNT, and IVF.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of eugenol on growth, viability, antrum formation and mRNA expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) and peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) in bovine secondary follicles cultured in vitro. To this end, bovine ovaries were collected from a local slaughterhouse and in the laboratory the follicles were isolated from the ovarian cortex. The follicles were then cultured in TCM-199+ alone or supplemented with different concentrations of eugenol (0.5, 5.0 and 50.0 μM). Follicular diameters and antrum formation were evaluated on days 0, 6, 12 and 18. Viability analysis was performed using calcein and ethidium homodimer. Real-time PCR was used to quantify mRNA levels for SOD, CAT, GPX1 and PRDX6 in cultured follicles. Follicular diameters and mRNA levels in follicles cultured in vitro were compared using analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests, while follicular survival and antrum formation were compared using the chi-squared test (P < 0.05). The results showed that secondary follicles cultured with eugenol maintained similar morphology and viability to follicles cultured in the control group. A progressive increase in follicular diameter was observed between days 0 and 12 for all treatments, except for follicles cultured with 50 µM eugenol. Eugenol (5.0 and 50.0 μM) increased mRNA levels for GPX1 in cultured follicles, but 0.5 μM eugenol reduced mRNA levels for SOD. The addition of eugenol did not influence mRNA expression for CAT and PRDX6. In conclusion, eugenol supplementation reduces mRNA levels for SOD and increases mRNA levels of GPX1 in bovine secondary follicles cultured in vitro.
Dicliptera verticillata is a medicinal plant traditionally used in western Cameroon to cure female infertility. This experiment was designed to assess the effects of the aqueous extract of Dicliptera verticillata (AEDv) on fertility and gestation in female rats. Oral increasing doses of AEDv were administered to immature female rats over 20 d. After this time, some animals were mated with fertile males and some fertility parameters were assayed; the other animals were euthanized for preliminary toxicity parameters analysis. The effects of AEDv on the different stages of gestation were assayed on selected animals previously controlled for estrous cycle regularity and mated. AEDv led to an increase in serum, uterine and ovarian proteins as well as in ovarian and uterine weights (P < 0.05) in immature female rats. Hepatic proteins significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in high dose-treated animals (50 and 100 mg/kg) compared with controls. The number of implantation sites and the fertility rate were significantly lower (P < 0.05), while the antifertility activity increased significantly (P < 0.05) in treated rats compared with controls. When administered from the 1st to the 5th day of pregnancy, AEDv led to a decrease of more than 60% in the implantation rate in high dose-treated rats (50, 100, and 400 mg/kg). From the 6th to the 9th day, the implantation, gestation rates and the number of fetuses decreased significantly in all treated groups. From the 11th to the 20th day, a 50% resorption and decrease in gestation rate were reported in 50 mg/kg dose-treated animals. AEDv possesses weak contraceptive and abortifacient effects during pregnancy.
This study was conducted to monitor the cellular and molecular changes of buffalo cumulus–oocytes complexes (COCs) cultured under high or low oxygen levels. Morphologically good quality COCs (n = 1627) were screened using brilliant cresyl blue (BCB) staining and placed into three groups (BCB+, BCB− and control). All groups of COCs were cultured under low (5%) or high (20%) oxygen tensions. Intracellular and molecular changes including oocyte ultrastructure, lipid contents, mitochondrial activity and transcript abundance of genes regulating different pathways were analyzed in the matured oocyte groups. The results revealed that oxygen tension did not affect cumulus expansion rates, however the BCB+ group had a higher (P ≤ 0.05) expansion rate compared with the BCB− group. BCB− oocytes recorded the lowest meiotic progression rate (P ≤ 0.05) under high oxygen levels that was linked with an increased level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) compared with the BCB+ oocytes. Ultrastructure examination indicated that BCB+ oocytes had a higher rate of cortical granules migration compared with BCB− under low oxygen tension. In parallel, our results indicated the upregulation of NFE2L2 in groups of oocytes cultured under high oxygen tension that was coupled with reduced mitochondrial activity. In contrast, the expression levels of MAPK14 and CPT2 genes were increased (P ≤ 0.05) in groups of oocytes cultured under low compared with high oxygen tension that was subsequently associated with increased mitochondrial activity. In conclusion, data from the present investigation indicated that low oxygen tension is a favourable condition for maintaining the mitochondrial activity required for nuclear maturation of buffalo oocytes. However, low-quality oocytes (BCB−) responded negatively to high oxygen tension by reducing the expression of gene-regulating metabolic activity (CPT2). This action was an attempt by BCB− oocytes to reduce the increased levels of endogenously produced ROS that was coupled with decreased expression of the gene controlling meiotic progression (MAPK14) in addition to nuclear maturation rate.
The reproductive performances of livestock play an essential role in the economic management of the farm. The improvement of semen quantity and quality through the use of food supplements that lack substances which are forbidden in animal feeding, or that may have detrimental effects, is an important goal. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant that has been used for centuries in the Andes for nutrition and fertility enhancement in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of food supplementation of stallions with maca during the breeding season on spermatozoa parameters such as DNA fragmentation and shape, which are two predictive indexes of spermatozoa functionality. For this purpose, ejaculate volume, semen gel-free volume, sperm concentration and motility, total sperm count, sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm head parameters (length, width, perimeter, area, shape factor, roughness) were measured in four stallions. Maca food supplementation in stallions during breeding reduced the percentage of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA, increased significantly sperm concentration and exerted an elongation of the spermatozoa head, a condition that is believed to improve spermatozoa functionality, suggesting that food supplementation of maca could be useful in horse breeding during the breeding season.