The placenta is a unique pregnancy-related tissue and plays a key role in occurrence of unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (URPL). Abnormal placentation might play a key role in occurrence of URPL. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the human placental proteome between URPL placentas and normal placental matched for gestational week. Total placental proteins were extracted, and the two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) technique was used for separation of the placental proteomes. Protein spots differentially expressed between URPL and normal placentas were selected and identified by the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF/TOF) technique after being digested in the gel. Moreover, quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot techniques were used to confirm the differential expression mass results for some differentially expressed proteins. The results indicated that at least 19 protein spots were differentially expressed between URPL and normal placentas (P < 0.05), and twelve of them were successfully identified. While only two proteins were downregulated (calumenin and enolase 1), the remaining ten spots (actin gamma 1 propeptide, cathepsin D prepropeptide, heat shock protein gp96, tubulin beta, tubulin alpha 1, glutathione S-transferase, vitamin D binding protein, prohibitin, actin beta, apolipoprotein A-I) showed increased expression in URPL cases in comparison with normal placentas. Real-time PCR also confirmed the downregulation of calumenin and upregulation of prohibitin and apolipoprotein A-I at the mRNA levels. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed that alteration in the expression of proteins involved in proliferation and migration of endothelial cells as well as control of coagulation by these cells might play an important role in the pathogenesis of URPL.
Fetal bovine serum (FBS) has been widely used as a supplement in the maturation medium of bovine oocytes in vitro. However, serum contains many undefined factors and is potentially infectious to humans and animals. As a serum replacement, we evaluated the feasibility of using the silk protein, sericin, derived from the cocoons of silkworm. To examine the rates of oocyte maturation and fertilization, cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in TCM-199 supplemented with 0.01%, 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.15% sericin or 5% FBS. The sizes of the perivitelline space that might relate to polyspermy, the expressions of Has2 and CD44 mRNA, the amount of hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid: HA) contained in the oocytes and the rates of blastocyst formation following insemination were then compared between the oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin and 5% FBS, because the polyspermy rates in oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly lower than in those cultured with 5% FBS. After in vitro maturation (IVM), the mean size of the perivitelline space was significantly greater in oocytes cultured with sericin than in those cultured with FBS, although the rates of nuclear maturation, fertilization and blastocyst formation of oocytes under both IVM conditions were not significantly different. The expression of HAS2 and CD44 mRNA and the amount of HA in the denuded oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly greater than in those cultured with FBS. These results indicate the feasibility of sericin as an alternative protein supplement for IVM in bovine oocytes.
Exposure of mice to a high dose of estrogens including diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the neonatal period modifies the developmental plan of the genital tract, which leads to various permanent changes in physiology, morphology and gene expression. These changes include development of an abnormal vaginal epithelium lined with hyperplastic mucinous cells accompanied by Tff1 gene expression in mice. Here, the influence of vitamin D on the direct effect of estrogen on the developing mouse vagina was examined. The mid-vagina of neonatal mice was cultured in a serum-free medium containing estradiol-17β (E2) and various concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D) ex vivo and then was transplanted under the renal capsule of ovariectomized host mice for 35 days. Exposure to E2 alone caused the vaginal tissue to develop estrogen-independent epithelial hyperplasia and to express TFF1 mRNA, while addition of a low nanomolar amount of 1,25(OH)2D added at the same time as E2 to the culture medium attenuated the effects of estrogen. Expression of vitamin D receptor was also evident in the neonatal mouse vagina. Interestingly, addition of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, a pro-activated form of vitamin D, at the micromolar level was found to be potent in disrupting the developmental effects of E2, while cholecalciferol was not at least at the dose examined. Correspondingly, expression of Cyp27B1, a kidney-specific 25-hydroxyvitamin D hydroxylase, was evident in the neonatal mouse vagina when examined by RT-PCR. In addition, simultaneous administration of 1,25(OH)2D successfully attenuated DES-induced ovary-independent hyperplasia in the vagina in neonatal mice in vivo. Thus, manipulation of vitamin D influenced the harmful effects of estrogens on mouse vaginal development.
In postpartum dairy cows, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) derived from gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli causes uterine inflammation and leads to ovarian dysfunction. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of LPS on steroid production in bovine theca cells at different stages of follicular development. Theca cells isolated from pre- and post-selection follicles (PRFs, <8.5 mm in diameter, and POFs, >8.5 mm in diameter, respectively) of bovine ovaries were exposed to LPS under luteinizing hormone (LH) conditions, estradiol (E2) conditions or both conditions in vitro. Bovine theca cells expressed the LPS receptor gene complex: Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), CD14 and MD2. LPS suppressed progesterone (P4) and androstenedione (A4) production with downregulation of steroidogenic enzyme transcripts when theca cells were stimulated with LH. By contrast, LPS did not affect P4 or A4 production when theca cells were stimulated with E2. P4 and A4 production in theca cells from PRFs was suppressed by LPS as early as at 48 h of culture, whereas the effect of LPS on theca cells from POFs was observed at 96 h of culture. The results demonstrate that LPS inhibits steroid production in theca cells under LH conditions. Moreover, theca cells from POFs showed a slower response to LPS compared with that of theca cells from PRFs, which might imply a distinct effect of LPS on follicles at different developmental stages. These findings suggest a possible mechanism of ovarian dysfunction and subsequent infertility in cows with endometritis.
Homeobox transcription factors are known to play crucial roles in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. During molecular cloning with the Yeast One-Hybrid System using a 5’-upstream region of the porcine Fshβ as a bait sequence, we have cloned a cDNA encoding a partial sequence of the retina-derived POU domain factor 1 (RPF1) from the porcine pituitary cDNA library and confirmed its specific binding to the bait sequence. In situ hybridization was performed to examine localization of Rpf1 and showed that this gene is expressed in the stem/progenitor cells of the rat pituitary primordium as well as the diencephalon and retina. In addition, real-time PCR demonstrated that Rpf1 transcripts are abundant in early embryonic periods but that this is followed by a decrease during pituitary development, indicating that this factor plays a role in differentiating cells of the pituitary. The transcriptional activity of RPF1 for genes of Prop1, Prrx1 and Prrx2, which were characterized as genes participating in the pituitary stem/progenitor cells by our group, was then examined with full-length cDNA obtained from the rat pituitary. RPF1 showed regulatory activity for Prop1 and Prrx2, but not for Prrx1. These results indicate the involvement of this retina-derived factor in pituitary development.
The pituitary is an important endocrine tissue of the vertebrate that produces and secretes many hormones. Accumulating data suggest that several types of cells compose the pituitary, and there is growing interest in elucidating the origin of these cell types and their roles in pituitary organogenesis. Therein, the histogenous cell line is an extremely valuable experimental tool for investigating the function of derived tissue. In this study, we compared gene expression profiles by microarray analysis and real-time PCR for murine pituitary tumor-derived non-hormone-producing cell lines TtT/GF, Tpit/F1 and Tpit/E. Several genes are characteristically expressed in each cell line: Abcg2, Nestin, Prrx1, Prrx2, CD34, Eng, Cspg4 (Ng2), S100β and nNos in TtT/GF; Cxcl12, Raldh1, Msx1 and Twist1 in Tpit/F1; and Cxadr, Sox9, Cdh1, EpCAM and Krt8 in Tpit/E. Ultimately, we came to the following conclusions: TtT/GF cells show the most differentiated state, and may have some properties of the pituitary vascular endothelial cell and/or pericyte. Tpit/F1 cells show the epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes with stemness still in a transiting state. Tpit/E cells have a phenotype of epithelial cells and are the most immature cells in the progression of differentiation or in the initial endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Thus, these three cell lines must be useful model cell lines for investigating pituitary stem/progenitor cells as well as organogenesis.
Paired-related transcription factors, PRRX1 and PRRX2, which are present in mesenchymal tissues and participate in mesenchymal cell differentiation, were recently found in the stem/progenitor cells of the pituitary gland of ectodermal origin. To clarify the role of PRRX1 and PRRX2 in the pituitary gland, the present study first aimed to identify transcription factors that regulate Prrx1 and Prrx2 expression. A promoter assay for the upstream regions of both genes was performed by co-transfection of the expression vector of several transcription factors, many of which are frequently found in the pituitary stem/progenitor cells. The results for the promoter activity of both genes showed expression in a cell type-dependent manner. Comprehensive comparison of transcriptional activity of several transcription factors was performed with CHO cells, which do not show Prrx1 and Prrx2 expression, and the results revealed the presence of common and distinct factors for both genes. Among them, KLF6 showed specific and remarkable stimulation of Prrx2 expression. In vitro experiments using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay and siRNA interference revealed a potential ability for regulation of Prrx2 expression by KLF6. Finally, immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of KLF6 in the SOX2/PRRX2 double-positive stem/progenitor cells of the postnatal pituitary gland. Thus, the finding of KLF6 might provide a novel clue to clarify the maintenance of stem/progenitor cells of the postnatal pituitary gland.
Puberty is associated with an increase in gonadotropin secretion as a result of an increase in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. Kisspeptin is considered to play a key role in puberty onset in many mammalian species, including rodents, ruminants and primates. The present study aimed to determine if changes in hypothalamic expression of the KISS1 gene, encoding kisspeptin, are associated with the onset of puberty in pigs. The animals (n=4 in each group) were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 months old, as prepubertal stages, and at 5 months old, as the peripubertal stage, following each blood sampling. KISS1 gene expressions in coronal sections of brains were visualized by in situ hybridization. Plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) was measured by radioimmunoassay. KISS1 mRNA signals were observed in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) at all ages examined without any significant difference in the number of KISS1-expressing cells, indicating that the KISS1 gene is constantly expressed in the ARC throughout pubertal development in pigs. The plasma LH concentration was the highest in 0-month-old piglets and significantly decreased in the 1- and 2 month-old groups (P<0.05), suggesting a developing negative feedback mechanism affecting gonadotropin release during the prepubertal period. Considering the potent stimulating effect of kisspeptin on gonadotropin release in prepubertal pigs, kisspeptin secretion rather than kisspeptin synthesis may be responsible for the onset of puberty in pigs.
Intracellular calcium homeostasis is essential for proper cell function. We investigated the effects of heat shock on the development of and the intracellular Ca2+ levels in bovine preimplantation embryos in vitro and the effects of calcitonin (CT), a receptor-mediated Ca2+ regulator, on heat shock-induced events. Heat shock (40.5 C for 10 h between 20 and 30 h postinsemination) of in vitro-produced bovine embryos did not affect the cleavage rate; however, it significantly decreased the rates of development to the 5- to 8-cell and blastocyst stages as compared with those of the control cultured for the entire period at 38.5 C (P < 0.05). The relative intracellular Ca2+ levels at the 1-cell stage (5 h after the start of heat shock), as assessed by Fluo-8 AM, a fluorescent probe for Ca2+, indicated that heat shock significantly lowered the Ca2+ level as compared with the control level. Semiquantitative reverse transcription PCR and western blot analyses revealed the expression of CT receptor in bovine preimplantation embryos. The addition of CT (10 nM) to the culture medium ameliorated the heat shock-induced impairment of embryonic development beyond the 5- to 8-cell stage. The Ca2+ level in the heat-shocked embryos cultured with CT was similar to that of the control embryos, suggesting that heat shock lowers the Ca2+ level in fertilized embryos in vitro and that a lower Ca2+ level is implicated in heat shock-induced impairment of embryonic development. Intracellular Ca2+-mobilizing agents, e.g., CT, may effectively circumvent the detrimental effects of heat shock on early embryonic development.
Triple-knockout mice generated by the one-step CRISPR/Cas9 system were examined for the effects of multiple gene modifications on each phenotype and individual gene function. Sixty embryos were transferred, and 9 pups were obtained; all 9 pups had mutations on 3 loci, and 7 pups showed mutations in all-alleles. F0 mice showed knockout phenotypes or no protein expression of target genes simultaneously, and these mutations were normally inherited in the next generation.