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fertility and human reproduction

M Barandalla, S Colleoni, G Lazzari
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) potentially offer a unique in vitro model to study how an adverse environment during the early developmental stages post-fertilization can affect the physiology of the undifferentiated embryonic stem cells existing in the early embryo and predispose to long term effects on the offspring, according to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. A number of unfavourable conditions can affect the development of the early embryo inducing oxidative stress both in vivo, for instance in gestational diabetes and in vitro, when embryos are derived from Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)...
August 2016: Cell & Developmental Biology
Magdalena Pertynska-Marczewska, Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis
OBJECTIVE: The hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator, the pituitary gonadotropes, the ovaries, and the uterus play a crucial role in female fertility. A decline in reproductive performance represents a complex interplay of actions at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Recently, in the field of female reproductive aging attention is drawn to the carbonyl stress theory. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) contribute directly to protein damage, induce a chain of oxidative stress (OS) reactions, and increase inflammatory reactions...
October 3, 2016: Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society
C E Fedorka, K E Scoggin, E L Squires, B A Ball, M H T Troedsson
The seminal plasma protein, cysteine-rich secretory protein-3 (CRISP-3), has been correlated with increased fertility and first-cycle conception rates, and has been suggested to be involved in the modulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil and phagocytosis of spermatozoa during the inflammatory response to breeding in the horse. Previous research demonstrated that equine CRISP-3 is located in both the ampulla of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles. However, this was done with nonquantitative laboratory techniques...
September 21, 2016: Theriogenology
Katelyn M Mika, Vincent J Lynch
Variation in female reproductive traits, such as fertility, fecundity, and fecundability, is heritable in humans, but identifying and functionally characterizing genetic variants associated with these traits has been challenging. Here, we explore the functional significance and evolutionary history of a T/C polymorphism of SNP rs2071473, which we have previously shown is an eQTL for TAP2 and significantly associated with fecundability (time to pregnancy). We replicated the association between the rs2071473 genotype and TAP2 expression by using GTEx data and demonstrated that TAP2 is expressed by decidual stromal cells at the maternal-fetal interface...
September 24, 2016: American Journal of Human Genetics
J Floehr, E Dietzel, C Schmitz, A Chappell, W Jahnen-Dechent
STUDY QUESTION: Does antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated down-regulation of serum fetuin-B cause an infertility-like fetuin-B gene deficiency in female mice? SUMMARY ANSWER: Pharmacological fetuin-B down-regulation by ASO therapy results in reversible infertility in female mice. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Female fetuin-B deficient (Fetub(-/-)) mice are infertile owing to premature zona pellucida (ZP) hardening. Enzyme activity studies demonstrated that fetuin-B is a potent and highly specific inhibitor of the zona proteinase ovastacin, which cleaves ZP protein 2 (ZP2) and thus mediates definitive ZP hardening...
October 12, 2016: Molecular Human Reproduction
Inmaculada Moreno, Francisco M Codoñer, Felipe Vilella, Diana Valbuena, Juan F Martinez-Blanch, Jorge Jimenez-Almazán, Roberto Alonso, Pilar Alamá, Jose Remohí, Antonio Pellicer, Daniel Ramon, Carlos Simon
BACKGROUND: Bacterial cells in the human body account for 1-3% of total body weight and are at least equal in number to human cells. Recent research has focused on understanding how the different bacterial communities in the body (eg, gut, respiratory, skin, and vaginal microbiomes) predispose to health and disease. The microbiota of the reproductive tract has been inferred from the vaginal bacterial communities, and the uterus has been classically considered a sterile cavity. However, while the vaginal microbiota has been investigated in depth, there is a paucity of consistent data regarding the existence of an endometrial microbiota and its possible impact in reproductive function...
October 4, 2016: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Georgia Fernanda Gelmini, Cynthia Hernandes Costa, Fabiola da Silva Nardi, Pryscilla Fanini Wowk, Sibelle Botogosque Mattar, Alessandro Schuffner, Maria da Graça Bicalho, Valéria Maria Munhoz Sperandio Roxo
BACKGROUND: HLA-E products, class Ib human leukocyte antigens, act in the immunology of human reproduction as modulators of the maternal immune system during pregnancy. AIMS: To evaluate HLA-E role in the establishment of a viable pregnancy. MATERIALS & METHODS: HLA-E was genotyped by sequence-based typing (SBT) and analyzed for specific polymorphisms, comparing couples who underwent assisted reproduction treatment (ART) and fertile control couples...
October 7, 2016: American Journal of Reproductive Immunology: AJRI
Lis C Puga Molina, Nicolás A Pinto, Paulina Torres Rodríguez, Ana Romarowski, Alberto Vicens Sanchez, Pablo E Visconti, Alberto Darszon, Claudia L Treviño, Mariano G Buffone
Mammalian sperm require to spend a limited period of time in the female reproductive tract to become competent to fertilize in a process called capacitation. It is well established that HCO3(-) is essential for capacitation because it activates the atypical soluble adenylate cyclase ADCY10 leading to cAMP production, and promotes alkalinization of cytoplasm and membrane hyperpolarization. However, how HCO3(-) is transported into the sperm is not well understood. There is evidence that CFTR activity is involved in the human sperm capacitation but how this channel is integrated in the complex signaling cascades associated with this process remains largely unknown...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Cellular Physiology
Y-W Sha, L Ding, J-X Wu, S-B Lin, X Wang, Z-Y Ji, P Li
Spermatozoa morphology, an important parameter in a semen specimen's potential fertility evaluation, is a significant factor for in vitro fertilisation in assisted reproductive technology. Eleven sterile men with headless spermatozoa, a type of human teratozoospermia, are presented. Their ejaculates' headless spermatozoa percentages were high with rare normal spermatozoa forms. Additionally, abnormal morphology (e.g. round-headed or microcephalic spermatozoa) was also found. Spermatozoa motility was somewhat affected, potentially because of the missing mitochondrial sheath at the sperm tail base...
October 6, 2016: Andrologia
Nilay Kuşcu, Mariano Bizzarri, Arturo Bevilacqua
Myo-inositol (myo-Ins) has a physiological role in mammalian gametogenesis and embryonic development and a positive clinical impact on human medically assisted reproduction. We have previously shown that mouse embryo exposure to myo-Ins through preimplantation development in vitro increases proliferation activity and blastocyst production, representing an improvement in culture conditions. We have herein investigated biochemical mechanisms elicited by myo-Ins in preimplantation embryos and evaluated myo-Ins effects on postimplantation/postnatal development...
2016: International Journal of Endocrinology
Sophie Zadeh
This article responds to a debate article published in Human Reproduction earlier this year. In that article, the authors suggested that parents should be encouraged to disclose the use of donor gametes to their children given rapid and widespread advances in genetic testing and sequencing. However, there is an urgent need to engage with the assertion that in this context, telling children about their donor conception both safeguards and promotes their interests, particularly if such disclosure is motivated by parents' anxieties about accidental discovery...
October 3, 2016: Human Reproduction
Antonio Simone Laganà, Salvatore Giovanni Vitale, Paola Iaconianni, Simona Gatti, Francesco Padula
Male fertility significantly decreased in the last 50 years, as showed in several studies reporting a reduction of sperm counts per ml in the seminal fluid. Several "acute" pharmacological treatments, as antibiotics, could cause subclinical and temporary reduction of male fertility; conversely, long-term medical treatment may severely affect male fertility, although this effect could be considered transient in most of the cases. Thus, nowadays, several long-term pharmacological treatments may represent a clinical challenge...
October 2016: International Journal of Fertility & Sterility
Ida Marie Boisen, Lasse Bøllehuus Hansen, Li Juel Mortensen, Beate Lanske, Anders Juul, Martin Blomberg Jensen
Vitamin D is a versatile signaling molecule with an established role in the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. In recent years the spectrum of vitamin D target organs has expanded and a reproductive role is supported by the presence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the vitamin D metabolizing enzymes in the gonads, reproductive tract, and human spermatozoa. Interestingly, expression levels of VDR and the vitamin D inactivating enzyme CYP24A1 in human spermatozoa serve as positive predictive markers of semen quality and are higher expressed in spermatozoa from normal than infertile men...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sona Scsukova, Eva Rollerova, Alzbeta Bujnakova Mlynarcikova
A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to chemical substances designated as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) due to their ability to disturb endocrine (hormonal) activity in humans and animals, may contribute to problems with fertility, pregnancy, and other aspects of reproduction. The presence of EDCs has already been associated with reproductive malfunction in wildlife species, but it remains difficult to prove causal relationships between the presence of EDCs and specific reproductive problems in vivo, especially in females...
September 28, 2016: Reproductive Biology
Shi-Kai Jin, Wan-Xi Yang
In mammals, fertilization occurs via a comprehensive progression of events. Freshly ejaculated sperm have yet to acquire progressive motility or fertilization ability. They must first undergo a series of biochemical and physiological changes, collectively known as capacitation. Capacitation is a significant prerequisite to fertilization. During the process of capacitation, changes in membrane properties, intracellular ion concentration and the activities of enzymes, together with other protein modifications, induce multiple signaling events and pathways in defined media in vitro or in the female reproductive tract in vivo...
September 27, 2016: Oncotarget
Agata Miska-Schramm, Joanna Kapusta, Małgorzata Kruczek
Human impact on the environment is steadily increasing the amounts of aluminum in the ecosystems. This element accumulates in plants and water, potentially exposing herbivores to its harmful effect. In heavily polluted sites, a decrease in the density of small rodent populations has been observed. This decline may be caused by many factors, including decreased fertility. The aim of the presented research was to determine how aluminum, administered at concentrations similar to those recorded in industrial districts (Al I = 3 mg/l, Al II = 200 mg/l), affects the reproductive abilities of small rodents...
September 29, 2016: Biological Trace Element Research
Maggie Kirkman, Claire Stubber, Heather Rowe, Sara Holton, Chris Bayly, Lynne Jordan, John McBain, Kathleen McNamee, Vikki Sinnott, Jane Fisher
Unintended pregnancy can be difficult to identify and conceptualise. We aimed to understand how unintended pregnancies are constructed, explained and situated in a reproductive life. A total of 41 women and 7 men aged 20-50 years were interviewed in depth. Transcripts were analysed using iterative hermeneutic techniques informed by narrative theory. Of 34 participants who had been pregnant or had a partner in pregnancy, 12 women and 1 man described 23 'unintended' pregnancies, about half of which ended in abortion...
August 16, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Gábor L Kovács, Gergely Montskó, Zita Zrínyi, Nelli Farkas, Ákos Várnagy, József Bódis
Human reproduction is a relatively inefficient process and therefore the number of infertile couples is high. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have facilitated the birth of over five million children worldwide. ART, however, superimposes its own relative inefficiency on the preexisting inefficiency of normal reproduction. The efficiency (expressed as pregnancy rate) is generally not more than 30%. Modern reproductive medicine is gradually moving from multiple embryo transfer to the transfer of a single embryo, mainly because of obvious and unwanted side effects of multiple embryo transfer (e...
April 2016: EJIFCC
Violeta Calle-Guisado, Ana Hurtado de Llera, David Martin-Hidalgo, Jose Mijares, Maria C Gil, Ignacio S Alvarez, Maria J Bragado, Luis J Garcia-Marin
AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), a protein that regulates energy balance and metabolism, has recently been identified in boar spermatozoa where regulates key functional sperm processes essential for fertilization. This work's aims are AMPK identification, intracellular localization, and their role in human spermatozoa function. Semen was obtained from healthy human donors. Sperm AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK were analyzed by Western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence. High- and low-quality sperm populations were separated by a 40%-80% density gradient...
September 27, 2016: Asian Journal of Andrology
Gert Stulp, Rebecca Sear, Susan B Schaffnit, Melinda C Mills, Louise Barrett
Studies of the association between wealth and fertility in industrial populations have a rich history in the evolutionary literature, and they have been used to argue both for and against a behavioral ecological approach to explaining human variability. We consider that there are strong arguments in favor of measuring fertility (and proxies thereof) in industrial populations, not least because of the wide availability of large-scale secondary databases. Such data sources bring challenges as well as advantages, however...
September 26, 2016: Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective
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