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The global transition towards diets high in calories has contributed to 2.1 billion people becoming overweight, or obese, which damages male reproduction and harms offspring. Recently, more and more studies have shown that paternal exposure to stress closely affects the health of offspring in an intergenerational and transgenerational way. SET Domain Containing 2 (SETD2), a key epigenetic gene, is highly conserved among species, is a crucial methyltransferase for converting histone 3 lysine 36 dimethylation (H3K36me2) into histone 3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3), and plays an important regulator in the response to stress. In this study, we compared patterns of SETD2 expression and the H3K36me3 pattern in pre-implantation embryos derived from normal or obese mice induced by high diet. The results showed that SETD2 mRNA was significantly higher in the high-fat diet (HFD) group than the control diet (CD) group at the 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, and 16-cell stages, and at the morula and blastocyst stages. The relative levels of H3K36me3 in the HFD group at the 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, 16-cell, morula stage, and blastocyst stage were significantly higher than in the CD group. These results indicated that dietary changes in parental generation (F0) male mice fed a HFD were traceable in SETD2/H3K36me3 in embryos, and that a paternal high-fat diet brings about adverse effects for offspring that might be related to SETD2/H3K36me3, which throws new light on the effect of paternal obesity on offspring from an epigenetic perspective.
Many studies have focused on the optimization of the composition of embryo culture medium; however, there are few studies involving the effect of a culture medium changing procedure on the preimplantation development of embryos. In this study, three groups were designed: a non-renewal group, a renewal group and a half-renewal group. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), apoptotic index, blastocyst ratio and blastocyst total cell number were analyzed in each group. The results showed that the ROS level and the apoptotic index of blastocyst in the non-renewal group were significantly higher than in the renewal group and the half-renewal group (P < 0.05). The blastocyst ratio and blastocyst total cell number were significantly higher in the half-renewal group than that in non-renewal group and the renewal group (P < 0.05). These results demonstrated that the procedure of changing the culture medium influenced ROS level, apoptotic index, blastocyst ratio and total cell number of blastocysts. In addition, the result suggested that changing the culture medium may lead to a loss of important regulatory factors for embryos, while not changing the culture medium may lead to the accumulation of toxic substances. Half-renewal can alleviate the defects of both no renewal and renewal, and benefit embryo development. This study will be of high value as a reference for the optimization of embryo culture in vitro, and is very significant for assisted reproduction.
The low efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) greatly limits its application. Compared with the fertilized embryo, cloned embryos display abnormal epigenetic modification and other inferior developmental properties. In this study, small RNAs were isolated, and miR-34c and miR-125b were quantified by real-time PCR; results showed that these micro-RNAs were highly expressed in sperm. The test sample was divided into three groups: one was the fertilized group, one was the SCNT control group (NT-C group), and the third group consisted of SCNT embryos injected with sperm-borne small RNA (NT-T group). The level of tri-methylation of lysine 9 on histone H3 (H3K9me3) at the 8-cell stage was determined by immunofluorescence staining, and the cleavage ratio, blastocyst ratio, apoptotic cell index of the blastocyst and total cell number of blastocysts in each group were analyzed. Results showed that the H3K9me3 level was significantly higher in the NT-C group than in the fertilized group and the NT-T group. The apoptosis index of blastocysts in the NT-C group was significantly higher than that in the fertilized group and the NT-T group. The total cell number of SCNT embryos was significantly lower than that of fertilized embryos, and injecting sperm-borne small RNAs could significantly increase the total cell number of SCNT blastocysts. Our study not only demonstrates that sperm-borne small RNAs have an important role in embryo development, but also provides a new strategy for improving the efficiency of SCNT in rabbit.
Neospora caninum is the causative agent of bovine neosporosis. A N. caninum cytoplasmic dynein LC8 light chain (NcDYNLL) protein was characterized in this study. Cytoplasmic dyneins, including DYNLLs, belong to the microtubule minus-end-directed motor proteins and are involved in many cellular processes. Previous microarray studies revealed that NcDYNLL was downregulated in the non-pathogenic clone, Ncts-8, when compared with the wild-type NC1 isolate. The present study showed that DYNLLs from different species are highly conserved (>85% identity), and the NcDYNLL belongs to the DYNLL2 family. NcDYNLL2 and Toxoplasma gondii DYNLL2 have identical amino acid sequences, although they are slightly divergent at the genetic level (89% identity). NcDYNLL2 was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. NcDYNLL2 was identified in soluble and insoluble fractions of tachyzoite lysate. As expected, soluble NcDYNLL2 was lower in the Ncts-8 lysate when compared with that of NC1 isolate. NcDYNLL2 release by the tachyzoites was low; however, it was increased when tachyzoites were treated with either calcium ionophore or ethanol. The data indicate that NcDYNLL2 may be actively secreted at low levels, but the secretion was upregulated by agents that also augment microneme protein secretions. Immunostaining of NcDYNLL2 in isolated and intracellular Neospora tachyzoites showed a diffuse distribution pattern. Furthermore, rNcDYNLL2 was internalized by the host immune cells and stimulated tumour necrosis factor-α) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) production by murine dendritic cells. Taken together, these results suggest that NcDYNLL2 is a secretory protein that cross-regulates host immunity.
The mechanism for combustion synthesis (CS) of AlN was investigated in the present paper. A novel quenching technique was developed to retain the high-temperature structure formed in the sample during the combustion process. Based on the microstructural observation of the quenched specimen and thermodynamic analysis, a two-step reaction mechanism for CS AlN, i.e., vaporization of Al and subsequent reaction with N2, is proposed.
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