Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that undergo constant fusion/fission as well as activities orchestrated by large dynamin-related GTPases. These dynamic mitochondrial processes influence mitochondrial morphology, size and function. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of mitochondrial fission inhibitor, mdivi-1, on developmental competence and mitochondrial function of porcine embryos and primary cells. Presumptive porcine embryos were cultured in PZM-3 medium supplemented with mdivi-1 (0, 10 and 50 μM) for 6 days. Porcine fibroblast cells were cultured in growth medium with mdivi-1 (0 and 50 μM) for 2 days. Our results showed that the rate of blastocyst production and cell growth in the mdivi-1 (50 μM) treated group was lower than that of the control group (P < 0.05). Moreover, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in the mdivi-1 (50 μM) treated group was increased relative to the control group (P < 0.05). Subsequent evaluation revealed that the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the apoptotic index were increased by mdivi-1 (50 μM) treatment (P < 0.05). Finally, the expression of mitochondrial fission-related protein (Drp 1) was lower in the embryos and cells in the mdivi-1-treated group than the control group. Taken together, these results indicate that mdivi-1 treatment may inhibit developmental competence and mitochondrial function in porcine embryos and primary cells.
Pretreatment of somatic cells with undifferentiated cell extracts, such as embryonic stem cells and mammalian oocytes, is an attractive alternative method for reprogramming control. The properties of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are similar to those of embryonic stem cells; however, no studies have reported somatic cell nuclear reprogramming using iPSC extracts. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of porcine iPSC extracts treatment on porcine ear fibroblasts and early development of porcine cloned embryos produced from porcine ear skin fibroblasts pretreated with the porcine iPSC extracts. The ChariotTM reagent system was used to deliver the iPSC extracts into cultured porcine ear skin fibroblasts. The iPSC extracts-treated cells (iPSC-treated cells) were cultured for 3 days and used for analyzing histone modification and somatic cell nuclear transfer. Compared to the results for nontreated cells, the trimethylation status of histone H3 lysine residue 9 (H3K9) in the iPSC-treated cells significantly decreased. The expression of Jmjd2b, the H3K9 trimethylation-specific demethylase gene, significantly increased in the iPSC-treated cells; conversely, the expression of the proapoptotic genes, Bax and p53, significantly decreased. When the iPSC-treated cells were transferred into enucleated porcine oocytes, no differences were observed in blastocyst development and total cell number in blastocysts compared with the results for control cells. However, H3K9 trimethylation of pronuclear-stage-cloned embryos significantly decreased in the iPSC-treated cells. Additionally, Bax and p53 gene expression in the blastocysts was significantly lower in iPSC-treated cells than in control cells. To our knowledge, this study is the first to show that an extracts of porcine iPSCs can affect histone modification and gene expression in porcine ear skin fibroblasts and cloned embryos.
The present study aimed to establish an efficient system for bovine embryo production by in vitro fertilization (IVF) that can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates in any bull without optimization of the sperm concentration in IVF medium. We examined the effects of a PHE mixture (20 μM D-penicillamine, 10 μM hypotaurine and 1 μM epinephrine), theophylline (2.5 mM), and sperm concentration (1, 2 or 5 × 106 cells/ml) on fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates. High cleavage rates (78.3 to 92.4%) and blastocyst developmental rates (31.9 to 62.0%) at day 7 were obtained in the presence of PHE and theophylline in IVF medium with a sperm concentration of 2 × 106 cells/ml using sperm from 9 bulls. In addition, the synergistic effect of PHE and theophylline on normal fertilization (2 pronuclei) was clarified at 12 h after IVF with a sperm concentration of 1 × 106 cells/ml. Moreover, high linearity, high flagellar beat cross frequency, and low amplitude of lateral head of motile sperm were found by computer-assisted sperm analysis. In conclusion, the combination of the PHE mixture and theophylline synergistically accelerates sperm motility and sperm penetration of bovine oocytes. Theophylline activates sperm motility with increasing intracellular cAMP. However, PHE prevents an excessive increase of cAMP and maintains sperm motility without hyperactivation. When the combination of PHE and theophylline is added to IVF medium at a sperm concentration of 2 × 106 cells/ml, we can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst development in any bull.
The embryo culture technique has been improving, but the detailed demands for energy substrates such as glucose, fructose, pyruvate and lactate of preimplantation embryos are still unclear. In the present study, the demands of pig preimplantation embryos at each different developmental stage were investigated by use of parthenogenetic diploids as a model of pig preimplantation embryos. Pig parthenogenetic diploids showed different use of glucose and fructose before and after the 4-cell stage. Although glucose supported the development of pig embryos throughout the preimplantation stages and even maintained the expansion and hatching of blastocysts, it suppressed development to the blastocyst stage when glucose coexisted with pyruvate and lactate from 4 h after activation, but not after 48 h (early 4-cell stage). Since ketohexokinase that metabolizes fructose was not expressed in 2-cell and 4-cell diploids, a medium that included only fructose as a major energy substrate did not support early cleavage of pig diploids beyond the 4-cell stage, and almost no diploids developed to the morula stage just as in a medium without carbohydrates. These results may explain the different suppressive effects on pig preimplantation development between glucose and fructose when pyruvate and lactate were present in a medium. In addition, 4-cell diploids that had been cultured in a medium with pyruvate and lactate developed to the expanded blastocyst stage without any carbohydrates as a major energy substrate. These results show that the demands for carbohydrates are different depending on the developmental stage in pig preimplantation embryos.
The present study was conducted to evaluate whether supplementation of semen extender with glutathione (GSH) can maintain the quality of frozen-thawed canine spermatozoa. Eighteen ejaculates were obtained from 5 dogs and placed in extender (20% egg yolk, Tris, citric acid, lactose, raffinose, antibiotics and 6.5% glycerol) containing 0 (control), 2.5, 5, 7.5 or 10 mM GSH. The samples were cooled to 4 C and then frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor. Motility parameters of the sperm were evaluated at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 12 and 24 h after thawing. Sperm motility was higher in the 5 mM GSH group than in the control or 2.5 and 10 mM GSH groups; this effect was observed at 1 to 24 h after thawing (P < 0.05). The 5 mM GSH group had a higher sperm viability index at 12 and 24 h after thawing compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). Acrosome integrity, evaluated at 4 h after thawing, was greater in two of the GSH-treated groups (5 and 10 mM) compared with the control. Lipid peroxidation (LP) levels immediately after thawing were lower in the 5 and 10 mM GSH groups compared with the control, while those at 12 h after thawing did not differ significantly. Frozen-thawed semen in the 5 mM GSH group was used for transcervical insemination of 4 bitches, resulting in delivery of 5 puppies from 2 bitches. These results indicate that supplementation of semen extender with 5 mM GSH was effective in improving motility, longevity and acrosomal integrity and inhibiting LP levels in post-thaw canine spermatozoa, without any adverse impacts on full-term development after transcervical insemination.
Many genes participate in the process of ovarian germ cell development, while the combined action mechanisms of these molecular regulators still need clarification. The present study was focused on determination of differentially expressed genes and gene functions at four critical time points in chicken ovarian development. Comparative transcriptional profiling of ovaries from embryonic day 5.5 (E5.5), E12.5, E15.5 and E18.5 was performed using an Affymetrix GeneChip chicken genome microarray. Differential expression patterns for genes specifically depleted and enriched in each stage were identified. The results showed that most of the up- and downregulated genes were involved in the metabolism of retinoic acid (RA) and synthesis of hormones. Among them, a higher number of up- and downregulated genes in the E15.5 ovary were identified as being involved in steroid biosynthesis and retinol metabolism, respectively. To validate gene changes, expressions of twelve candidate genes related to germ cell development were examined by real-time PCR and found to be consistent with the of GeneChip data. Moreover, the immunostaining results suggested that ovarian development during different stages was regulated by different genes. Furthermore, a Raldh2 knockdown chicken model was produced to investigate the fundamental role of Raldh2 in meiosis initiation. It was found that meiosis occurred abnormally in Raldh2 knockdown ovaries, but the inhibitory effect on meiosis was reversed by the addition of exogenous RA. This study offers insights into the profile of gene expression and mechanisms regulating ovarian development, especially the notable role of Raldh2 in meiosis initiation in the chicken.
To investigate the effect of endocrine disruption of 4-nitro-3-phenylphenol (PNMPP) on immature male Wistar-Imamichi rats, the rat pituitary was exposed to PNMPP (10–5–10–9 M) for 24 h with or without gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in experiment I. In addition, the Leydig cells (10–5–10–9 M) were exposed to PNMPP for 24 h with or without human chronic gonadotropin (hCG) in experiment II. Our results showed that the PNMPP at 10–5–10–7 M suppressed follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) productions from GnRH-stimulated pituitary cells. At the same time, PNMPP 10–5–10–7 M induced an increase in testosterone production from the Leydig cells treated with or without hCG. Based on our results, it can be concluded that that PNMPP might have both androgen agonist action by decreasing FSH and LH production in the pituitary and anti-androgenic action by increasing testosterone production in the Leydig cell.
Mucin 1 (Muc1) is an integral transmembrane mucin glycoprotein expressed on the apical surface of most epithelia. It is considered to be a barrier to the regulation of embryo implantation by inhibiting attachment of the embryo to the endometrium. Therefore, loss of Muc1 on the surface of uterine epithelial cells is necessary for embryo implantation. Studies have demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in enhancing embryo implantation in mammals. In this study, we investigated the regulatory role of two miRNAs (let-7a and let-7b) on the expression of Muc1 in mouse uteri during implantation. Western blotting indicated that Muc1 expression was highest on day1 of pregnancy and constantly decreased thereafter until day 4. In contrast to Muc1 expression, increased expression of let-7a and let-7b was evident on day 4 of pregnancy as measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR). We demonstrated direct binding of let-7a and let-7b to the 3’untranslated region of muc1. Furthermore, Muc1 expression was suppressed after transfection of mouse uterine epithelial cells isolated from day 1 of pregnancy with let-7a and let-7b. In summary, the present study provides evidence that Muc1 is a direct target of let-7a and let-7b. Additionally, the current study suggests that miRNAs are novel targets which can be used to facilitate a successful pregnancy and repair implantation failure.
Different interventions are being tested for restoration of the youthfulness of adult mouse-derived fibroblasts. However, fundamental issues, such as the decline of adult mouse-derived fibroblast activity with age, remain unresolved. Therefore, in this study, we examined whether treatment with collagen complexes has beneficial effects on the rejuvenation or reprogramming of adult mouse-derived fibroblasts. Further, we investigated the mechanisms of rejuvenation of adult mouse-derived fibroblasts during treatment with total collagen complexes. We isolated total collagen complexes from the tails of young mice and cultured adult mouse-derived fibroblasts with or without the collagen complexes. When compared with fibroblasts cultured without collagen complexes, adult-derived fibroblasts cultured with collagen complexes over five consecutive passages showed a more youthful state, expanded at a higher rate, and exhibited reduced spontaneous cell death. The fibroblasts cultured in the presence of collagen complexes also showed extensive demethylation in the promoter regions of cell cycle-related genes such as PCNA, increased proliferation, and decreased senescence. In addition, the efficiency of reprogramming of fibroblasts to become induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells was significantly higher in young- and adult-derived fibroblasts cultured with collagen complexes than in adult-derived fibroblasts cultured alone. Furthermore, mechanistic evidence shows that genes involved in anti-proliferative pathways, including Ink4a/Arf locus genes and p53, were downregulated in fibroblasts exposed to collagen complexes. Interestingly, our results suggest that the rejuvenation process was mediated via the α2β1 integrin-dependent Bmi-1 pathway. Thus, collagen complexes both stimulate proliferation and inhibit cell death and growth arrest in fibroblasts, which appears to be a promising approach for improving the efficiency of reprogramming.
Precise regulation of cell type-specific gene expression profiles precedes the profound morphological reorganization of somatic cell layers during folliculogenesis, ovulation and luteinization. Cell culture models are essential to the study of corresponding molecular mechanisms of gene regulation. In a recent study, it was shown that an increased cell plating density can largely change gene expression profiles of cultured bovine granulosa cells. In our present study, we comparatively analyzed cell plating density effects on cultured bovine and buffalo granulosa cells. Cells were isolated from small- to medium-sized follicles (2–6 mm) and cultured under serum-free conditions at different plating densities. The abundance of selected marker transcripts and associated miRNA candidates was determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. We found in both species that the abundance of CYP19A1, CCNE1 and PCNA transcripts was remarkably lower at a high plating density, whereas VNN2 and RGS2 transcripts significantly increased. In contrast, putative regulators of CYP19A1, miR-378, miR-106a and let-7f were significantly higher in both species or only in buffalo, respectively. Also miR-15a, a regulator of CCNE1, was upregulated in both species. Thus, increased plating density induced similar changes of mRNA and miRNA expression in granulosa cells from buffalo and cattle. From these data, we conclude that specific miRNA species might be involved in the observed density-induced gene regulation.
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