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Molecular Reproduction and Development

Isabela Ramos
Oocytes are remarkable cells in the matter of accumulating macronutrients. Oviparous animals have evolved to produce germline cells that not only enter meiosis to generate a gamete, but also differentiate into a giant cell designed to support embryo growth. To accomplish that, an oocyte typically grows up to 5,000x its original size by accumulating macromolecules, which are collectively referred to as yolk. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
May 18, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Deborah Allouche-Fitoussi, Danit Bakhshi, Haim Breitbart
To fertilize the egg, sperm cells must reside in the female reproductive tract for several hours during which they undergo chemical and motility changes collectively called capacitation. During capacitation, the sperm develop a unique type of motility known as hyper-activated motility (HAM). The semen contains Zn2+ in millimolar concentrations, whereas in the female reproductive tract the concentration is around 1 µM. In this study, we characterize the role of Zn2+ in human sperm capacitation focusing on its effect on HAM...
May 11, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Denise Laskowski, Patrice Humblot, Marc-André Sirard, Ylva Sjunnesson, Naveed Jhamat, Renée Båge, Göran Andersson
Insulin functions as a regulator of metabolism and plays an important role in reproduction. Hyperinsulinemia is often observed in obesity and diabetes type 2 and is known to impair fertility, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are only partly understood. Metabolic programming through epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation during embryonic development can lead to health implications for the offspring later in life. Our aim was to study the potential effect of hyperinsulinemia on gene expression and DNA methylation of embryos by adding insulin (0...
May 10, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Shichao Liu, Gerelchimeg Bou, Jianchao Zhao, Shimeng Guo, Jia Guo, Xiaogang Weng, Zhi Yin, Zhonghua Liu
Upregulation of Cdx2 expression in outer cells is a key event responsible for cell lineage segregation between inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoderm (TE) in mouse morula stage embryos. In TE cells, polarization can regulate Hippo and ROCK signaling to induce the nuclear location of YAP, which has been demonstrated to further induce the expression of Cdx2. However, we found that CDX2 expression could not be detected in the outer cells of porcine morula stage embryos and could be found in only some TE cells at the early blastocyst stage...
May 2, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Casey C Read, Gabby Willhelm, Paul W Dyce
Gap junctional coupling between cumulus cells is required for oocytes to reach developmental competence. Multiple connexins, which form these gap junctions, have been found within the ovarian follicles of several species including bovine. The aim of this study was to determine the role of connexin 43 (CX43) and its relationship to embryo development, following in vitro fertilization (IVF). Cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs) were obtained from abattoir sourced, mixed breed, bovine ovaries. COCs were isolated from follicles ranging from 2-5mm in size, representing the preselected follicle pool...
April 26, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Luke D Wilson, Omoyemwen A Obakpolor, Autumn M Jones, Abigail L Richie, Bryce D Mieczkowski, Gabriel T Fall, Rosine W Hall, Jon N Rumbley, Tim L Kroft
Fertilization, the fusion of sperm and oocyte to form a zygote, is the first and arguably the most important cell-cell interaction event in an organism's life. Forward and reverse genetic approaches in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have identified many genes that are required for gametogenesis and fertilization, and thus are beginning to elucidate the molecular pathways that underlie these processes. We identified an allele of the spe-49 gene in an F2 mutagenesis screen for spermatogenesis defective (spe) mutants...
April 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Yu-Qian Wang, Su-Ren Chen, Yi-Xun Liu
Whether WNT signaling is necessary for spermatogenesis is controversial. Genetic knockout of the Wls gene, which is responsible for the secretion of various WNTs (Banziger et al. 2006), makes it possible to study the overall effect of WNT signaling (both canonical and noncanonical) and total WNTs in testes. Recently, we found that conditional knockout of WLS in Sertoli cells (using Amh-Cre) or in caput epididymis (using Lcn5-Cre) had no apparent influence on male fertility, whereas loss of WLS in germ cells (using Mvh-Cre or Stra8-Cre) disrupted spermatogenesis in an age-dependent manner via elevating reactive oxygen species and triggering germ cell apoptosis in mice (Chen et al...
April 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Aaron Loomis Berenson, Scott Everet Baird
In Caenorhabditis briggsae hermaphrodites, spermatogenesis begins in the L4 larval stage and persists into early adulthood. Oogenesis begins after spermatogenesis the sperm-to-oocyte transition is irreversible. The timing of this transition is thought to have evolved in response to selection to maximize intrinsic growth rate. Sperm-to-oocyte transitions occurred early in Cbr-met-2 and Cbr-fem-3 mutants. These early transitions resulted in reduced brood sizes but had little or no impact on intrinsic growth rate...
April 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
A M O'Doherty, Y M O'Brien, J A Browne, M Wingfield, L C O'Shea
A greater understanding of the key molecules associated with embryo development during human assisted reproduction is imperative for the development of advanced diagnostics. Previous studies have shown that follicular microRNAs (miRNAs) are reliable markers of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Leveraging the utility of miRNAs in PCOS, the aim of this study was to identify miRNAs in human granulosa cells that may be indicative of blastocyst development. Granulosa cells and oocytes were collected from the first follicle aspirated from patients undergoing oocyte retrieval for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)...
April 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Xiwei Jia, Mingcan Zhou, Zhihua Zou, Peng Lin, Yilei Wang, Ziping Zhang
The role of microRNA in reproductive regulation is attracting more and more attention. In this study, we obtained 9,643,114 and 15,498,999 raw reads from the ovary and testis library of important farmed mud crab Scylla paramamosain respectively. After data mining a total of 4,096,464 and 11,737,973 mappable small RNA sequences remained for analysis. By mapping to the reference genome and EST of Daphnia pulex and other crab, a total of 1,417 miRNAs were identified. On the basis of 1,417 miRNAs, 514 (36.3%) unique miRNAs co-expressed in gonad of female and male libraries, 336 (23...
April 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Gamal Badr, Hanem S Abdel-Tawab, Nancy K Ramadan, Samia F Ahmed, Mohamed H Mahmoud
Elevation of scrotal temperature is one of the most important causes of impaired spermatogenesis and male infertility, but the exact mechanism remains controversial. The present study investigated the impact of camel whey protein (CWP) on the mechanisms of heat stress (HS)-mediated testicular damage in male mice. Exposure to HS was associated with significant increase in the testicular tissues' oxidative stress. Mechanistically, exposure to HS resulted in upregulation of P53 and Nrf2 expressions; downregulation of Bcl2 and PPAR-γ expressions; and induction of testicular Leydig cell hyperplasia...
April 23, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
John L Fitzpatrick, Erica L Larson
Most people wouldn't look to the rolling green hills of central England as the place to get a crash course on the latest in sperm biology. Yet, for the past quarter of a century, sperm biologists from around the world have congregated in the picturesque Peak District (near Sheffield) for Biology of Spermatozoa (BoS) Meetings - the most recent of which representing the 14th such gathering. BoS meetings are relatively small, typically consisting of 60-80 delegates, and attract a cadre of sperm enthusiasts who return year after year...
April 23, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Te-Sha Tsai, Justin C St John
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deficient metaphase II porcine oocytes are less likely to fertilize and more likely to arrest during preimplantation development. However, they can be supplemented with autologous populations of mitochondria at the time of fertilization, which significantly increases mtDNA copy number by the 2-cell stage due to the modulation of DNA methylation at a CpG island of the gene encoding mtDNA-specific polymerase, POLG, and promotes preimplantation development. Although mitochondrial supplementation does not increase development rates or mtDNA copy number in oocytes with normal levels of mtDNA copy number, we tested whether this approach would also impact on chromosomal gene expression patterns in these oocytes at each stage of preimplantation development...
April 16, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Andreas Borchel, Frank Nilsen
The salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) is an important parasite of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). It is widely spread in aquaculture facilities and leads to economic losses every year. As it has developed resistances against many common treatments, new control methods must be established. Here we characterize a novel gene family of the salmon louse, consisting of two genes, which has not been described in other species before. We analyzed temporal expression patterns of both genes, the localization of mRNA and protein...
April 6, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Lichun Tang, Yanting Zeng, Xuewei Zhou, Hongzi Du, Chuang Li, Jianqiao Liu, Pumin Zhang
Ma et al. published data in Nature Journal using human zygotes that showed that double-strand breaks (DSBs) generated by CRISPR/Cas9 could be repaired by homology-directed repair (HDR) using the wild-type allele as a template, by inter-homologue recombination (Ma et al., 2017). This result received great attention from the scientific community, however, in a recent publication, researchers have raised some concerns about Ma's interpretation of their results (Egli et al., 2017). Our previous work showed that ssODN-mediated HDR could repair 75% of DSBs generated by CRISPR/Cas9 at G6PD mutant alleles (Tang et al...
April 6, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Shiori Nakazawa, Maki Shirae-Kurabayashi, Hitoshi Sawada
Peanut agglutinin (PNA) is an established marker of the mammalian acrosome. However, we observed that PNA specifically binds to a unique intracellular structure alongside the nucleus in ascidian sperm. Here, we characterize the PNA-binding structure in sperm of marine invertebrates. PNA bound to the region between the mitochondrion and nucleus in spermatozoa of ascidians, sea urchins, and an appendicularian. However, PNA-binding substances were not exposed by the calcium ionophore ionomycin in three ascidian species, indicating that it is a distinct structure from the acrosome...
March 25, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Kimberly Stephens, Richard A Cardullo, Catherine D Thaler
In most animals, sperm are stored in a quiescent state in the male reproductive tract and only initiate motility when released into either the female reproductive tract, or, in the case of broadcast spawners, the external environment. Male accessory gland secretions transferred into the female reproductive tract may provide factors that modulate sperm viability and storage, or aid in sperm competition, as well as activate sperm motility. In several insects, serine proteases have been implicated in activating sperm motility...
March 24, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Matthew Dean, Jack Rose
Glycogen synthesis by mink uterine epithelial cells is stimulated by estradiol (E2 ) during estrus, although the mechanism/s through which the steroid promotes glycogen accumulation are unknown. Our aim was to determine if insulin is required for E2 induced glycogen synthesis by an immortalized mink uterine epithelial cell line (GMMe). We show that the cells expressed the genes for glycogen metabolizing enzymes (hexokinase 1, glucose-6-phosphatase 3, glycogen synthase 1 and glycogen phosphorylase-muscle), receptors for insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 and E2 (Esr1)...
March 24, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Zer Vue, Gabriel Gonzalez, C Allison Stewart, Shyamin Mehra, Richard R Behringer
Endometrial or uterine glands secrete substances essential for uterine receptivity to the embryo, implantation, conceptus survival, and growth. Adenogenesis is the process of gland formation within the stroma of the uterus. In the mouse, uterine gland formation initiates at postnatal day (P) 5. Uterine gland morphology is poorly understood because it is primarily based on two-dimensional (2D) histology. To more fully describe uterine gland morphogenesis, we generated three-dimensional (3D) models of postnatal uterine glands from P0 to P21, based on volumetric imaging using light sheet microscopy...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
Laura Masala, Federica Ariu, Luisa Bogliolo, Emanuela Bellu, Sergio Ledda, Daniela Bebbere
Oocytes from prepubertal animals have a reduced ability to undergo embryo development and produce viable offspring. The present work used an ovine model consisting of oocytes derived from adult and prepubertal donors to assess the molecular status of oocytes and preimplantation embryos with different developmental competence. The lower potential of oocytes of young donors was confirmed in terms of in vitro developmental capabilities and kinetics. A panel of genes including maternal effect (DPPA3, GDF9, NMP2, ZAR1) and housekeeping genes (ACTB, RPL19, SDHA, YWHAZ, ATP1A1), genes involved in DNA methylation (DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B), genomic imprinting (IGF2R), pluripotency (NANOG, POU5F1) and cell cycle regulation (CCNB1, CDK1, MELK) was relatively quantified...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Reproduction and Development
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