Journal of Reproduction and Development
Online ISSN : 1348-4400
Print ISSN : 0916-8818
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Showing 1-12 articles out of 12 articles from the selected issue
SRD Young Investigator Award 2017
  • Hiroyuki WATANABE
    Type: SRD Young Investigator Award 2017
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 371-376
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 07, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has become critical for the treatment of severe male infertility. The principal feature of ICSI is the direct injection of spermatozoon into an oocyte, which facilitates the production of fertilized embryos regardless of semen characteristics, such as sperm concentration and motility. However, the chromosomal integrity of ICSI zygotes is degraded compared to that of zygotes obtained via in vitro fertilization. This chromosomal damage may occur due to the injection of non-capacitated, acrosome-intact spermatozoa, which never enter the oocytes under natural fertilization. Furthermore, it is possible that the in vitro incubation and pre-treatment of spermatozoa during ICSI results in DNA damage. Chromosomal aberrations in embryos induce early pregnancy losses. However, these issues may be overcome by embryo production using gametes with guaranteed chromosomal integrity. Because conventional chromosome analysis requires fixing cells to obtain the chromosome spreads, embryos cannot be produced using the nucleus that has been analyzed. On the other hand, genome cloning using androgenic or gynogenic embryos provides an additional nucleus for chromosome analysis following embryo production. Thus, this review aims to highlight the hazardous nature of chromosomal aberrations in sperm during ICSI and to introduce a method for the prezygotic examination for chromosomal aberrations.

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Original Article
  • Ayano YAMADA, Mitsuhiro SAKASE, Moriyuki FUKUSHIMA, Hiroshi HARAYAMA
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 377-384
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 27, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Progressive movement of spermatozoa has conventionally been regarded as a good indicator of motility. However, bull spermatozoa exhibit two types of progressive movement: progressive/planar movement without rotation and progressive/helical movement with rotation. The aim of this study was to reconsider the evaluation criteria of bull ejaculated sperm motility in the context of rotation. Here, we compared the movement patterns of ejaculated spermatozoa with relatively high and low protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated signaling activities, because sperm motility is positively regulated by PKA-mediated signaling activities. We prepared sperm samples with high and low PKA-mediated signaling activities by suspending spermatozoa in media containing either the stimulator (NaHCO3) or inhibitor (KH-7) of adenylyl cyclase 10, and we then investigated movement patterns and relative velocities using a microscopic high-speed camera and recording system. In the control medium without NaHCO3 and KH-7, most spermatozoa exhibited round/planar movement without rotation and asymmetrical bends in the principal pieces. NaHCO3 significantly promoted changes in movement patterns from round/planar movement to progressive/planar movement (without rotation) as well as symmetrization of flagellar bends and increased relative velocities. KH-7 significantly increased spermatozoa exhibiting progressive/helical movement (with rotation), decreased relative velocities, and symmetrized flagellar bends with a reduction in their size. These indicate that progressive/planar movement (without rotation) and fast movement characterize the movement patterns of bull ejaculated spermatozoa with high PKA-mediated signaling activities. A sign of reduced PKA-mediated signaling activity is not only slow movement but also helical movement (with rotation). Thus, it is beneficial to add a new parameter of “rotation” to the evaluation criteria of bull ejaculated sperm motility.

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  • Kelly A. CAMPEN, Chelsea R. ABBOTT, Louisa A. RISPOLI, Rebecca R. PAYT ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 385-392
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 25, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The intimate association of cumulus cells with one another and with the oocyte is important for regulating oocyte meiotic arrest and resumption. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of heat stress on cumulus cell communication and functions that may be related to accelerated oocyte meiosis during early maturation. Bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes underwent in vitro maturation for up to 6 h at thermoneutral control (38.5°C) or elevated (40.0, 41.0 or 42.0°C) temperatures. Gap junction communication between the cumulus cells and the oocyte was assessed using the fluorescent dye calcein after 4 h of in vitro maturation. Dye transfer was reduced in cumulus-oocyte complexes matured at 41.0°C or 42.0°C; transfer at 40.0°C was similar to control (P < 0.0001). Subsequent staining of oocytes with Hoechst revealed that oocytes matured at 41.0 or 42.0°C contained chromatin at more advanced stages of condensation. Maturation of cumulus-oocyte complexes at elevated temperatures reduced levels of active 5’ adenosine monophosphate activated kinase (P = 0.03). Heat stress exposure had no effect on active extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 in oocytes (P = 0.67), associated cumulus cells (P = 0.60) or intact cumulus-oocyte complexes (P = 0.44). Heat-induced increases in progesterone production by cumulus-oocyte complexes were detected during the first 6 h of maturation (P = 0.001). Heat-induced alterations in gap junction communication and other cumulus-cell functions likely cooperate to accelerate bovine oocyte meiotic progression.

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  • Luca PALAZZESE, Jaime GOSÁLVEZ, Debora A. ANZALONE, Pasqualino LOI, Jo ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 393-400
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 05, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Sperm freeze-drying is a revolutionary technique, which has been gaining prominence in recent years. The first related significant result was Wakayama and Yanagimachi’s demonstration in 1998 of the birth of healthy mouse offspring by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), using epididymal freeze-dried spermatozoa. Mouse, rat, and hamster models were the first small mammals born from lyophilized epididymal spermatozoa, whereas most other studies in this field used ejaculated spermatozoa. In this work, we applied this technique to ram epididymal spermatozoa, checking the correlation between DNA integrity and embryo development following ICSI. To do this, epididymal sperm from four rams was lyophilized in a trehalose, glucose, KCl, HEPES, and Trolox media. To evaluate DNA damage and fragmentation after rehydration, samples were processed for Sperm Chromatin Dispersion test (SCD), Two-Tailed Comet Assay, and were used for ICSI. Ram #2 had a higher rate of spermatozoa with intact DNA compared with rams #1, #3, and #4 (28% vs. 3.8%, 2.8%, and 5%, respectively) and the lowest rate of Single-Strand Breaks (SSBs) (70% vs. 95.9%, 92.6%, and 93% respectively). Ram #3 had a higher level of Double-Strand Breaks (DSBs) compared to Ram #1 (4.6% vs. 0.33%, respectively). Embryo development to the blastocyst stage following ICSI was only reached from rams whose sperm had higher level of intact DNA – Rams #2 and #4 (6%, 5/147 and 6.3%, 4/64, respectively). Definitively, the impact of sperm DNA damage on embryonic development depends on the balance between sperm DNA fragmentation extent, fragmentation type (SSBs or DSBs), and the oocyte’s repair capacity.

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    Dry biobanking has many advantages over the current paradigm of storing cryopreserved cells under liquid nitrogen. During drying, however, the cells become damaged. The highly condensed spermatozoa DNA has been shown in many desiccation studies to generally maintain its integrity. Using ram freeze-dried epididymal spermatozoa as a model, Palazzese et al. were the first to evaluate both single- and double-strand DNA breaks (SSBs and DSBs, respectively), showing that drying causes minimal DSBs but extensive SSBs (Palazzese L et al., 2018. DNA fragmentation in epididymal freeze-dried ram spermatozoa impairs embryo development, pp. 393–400). Furthermore, the authors also demonstrated that spermatozoa capable of directing embryo development to the blastocyst stage in vitro originated from rams with the least DNA damage Overall, the impact of sperm DNA damage on embryonic development depends on a balance between the extent of sperm DNA fragmentation, fragmentation type, and the oocyte’s repair capacity.

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  • Mitsuhiro SAKASE, Keita KITAGAWA, Masahiko KIBUSHI, Noritoshi KAWATE, ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 401-407
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 06, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This study was conducted to clarify the relationships of plasma concentrations of insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3), testosterone, inhibin, and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) with scrotal circumference and testicular weight in Japanese Black beef bull calves (n = 20), from birth to pre-puberty. Monthly blood sampling (0 to 7 months) and scrotal circumference measurements (0 to 7 months) were performed. Testicular weight was recorded immediately after castration at 7 months. Plasma INSL3, testosterone, inhibin, and IGF-I concentrations were measured either by enzyme immunoassay or time-resolved fluorescence immunoassay. The correlation coefficients of these hormonal concentrations with scrotal circumference were significant (P < 0.0001) and it was higher for INSL3 (r = 0.647) than for testosterone (r = 0.597), IGF-I (r = 0.400), and inhibin (r = –0.453). Calves with heavier testes (> 60 g) at castration (7 months) had higher (P < 0.05) plasma INSL3 (from 3 to 7 months) and inhibin (from 1 to 4 months) concentrations than those with lighter testes (< 60 g). The calves with heavier testes at castration had larger (P < 0.05) scrotal circumference than those with lighter testes from 3 to 7 months. In conclusion, blood INSL3 concentrations may be the best functional indicator among the hormones analyzed for determining total testicular volume during pre-puberty in bull calves. In addition, inhibin and INSL3 concentrations in early calfhood may be functional predictors for testicular weight at pre-puberty.

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  • Lanjie LEI, Feng HAN, Qiuyan CUI, Weifang LIAO, Hui LIU, Gaopeng GUAN, ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 409-416
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 12, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) is a component of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signaling cascade, which plays an important role in mouse hypothalamic and ovarian functions. The present study was conducted to investigate the role of IRS2 in steroidogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle and proliferation in mouse granulosa cells (GCs). Flow cytometry and CCK8 assay showed that IRS2 knockdown inhibited cell proliferation, reduced cell viability, and increased apoptosis in GCs. The study also revealed that the expression of Cyclin A1, Cyclin B1 and Bcl2 was downregulated, while the expression of Bax, Cyclin D1 and Cyclin D2 was upregulated. ELISA analysis showed that IRS2 knockdown decreased the concentrations of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4), which was further validated by the decreased expression of Star, Cyp11a1, and Cyp19a1. Moreover, IRS2 knockdown altered the expression of Has2 and Ptgs2, which are essential for folliculogenesis. In addition, we found that IRS2-mediated cell viability and hormone secretion are dependent on the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Collectively, this study demonstrated that IRS2 plays an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation and steroidogenesis in mouse GCs via the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

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  • Saishu YOSHIDA, Ken FUJIWARA, Takashi INOUE, Erika SASAKI, Yoshie KAME ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 417-422
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 21, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Studies on mouse and rat pituitaries reported that Sox2-expressing cells play roles as stem/progenitor cells in the adult pituitary gland. The presence of cells with stem cell-like properties in the pituitary adenoma and SOX2-positive cells has been demonstrated in the human pituitary. However, considering the difficulty in fully examining the stem/progenitor cell properties in the human pituitary, in the present study, we analyzed the SOX2-positive cells in the pituitary of the adult common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), which is used as a non-human primate model. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that localization pattern of SOX2-positive cells in the common marmoset pituitary was similar to that observed in the rodent pituitary, i.e., in the two types of niches (marginal cell layer and parenchymal-niche) and as scattered single cells in the parenchyma of the anterior lobe. Furthermore, most of the SOX2-positive cells express S100 and were located in the center or interior of LAMININ-positive micro-lobular structures. Collectively, the present study reveals properties of SOX2-positive cells in the common marmoset pituitary and suggests that the common marmoset proves to be a useful tool for analyzing pituitary stem/progenitor cells in a non-human primate model.

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  • Md Hasanur ALAM, Jibak LEE, Takashi MIYANO
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 423-431
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 21, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The role of oocytes in follicular antrum formation is not well understood. We examined the effect of oocyte-derived growth factors, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the formation of antrum-like structures by cultured bovine oocyte-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs). OGCs containing growing oocytes (105‒115 µm in diameter) were collected from early antral follicles (1.2‒1.8 mm) and used to prepare oocytectomized complexes (OXCs) and granulosa cell complexes (GCs). The mRNAs of GDF9 and BMP15 were expressed in the oocytes, but not in the granulosa cells. The complexes were cultured for five days with or without GDF9 and BMP15 either alone or in combination. The OGCs maintained their complex integrity and developed antrum-like structure, whereas OXCs and GCs neither maintained their integrity nor developed any antrum-like structure without growth factors. GDF9 or BMP15 alone increased the integrity of these complexes and induced antrum-like structures in OXCs and GCs. Moreover, the combination of GDF9 and BMP15 was more potent for both phenomena in all types of complexes. In OXCs and GCs cultured without GDF9 and BMP15 or with BMP15 alone, outgrowing granulosa cells differentiated into fibroblast-like cells. The combination of GDF9 and BMP15 suppressed the appearance of fibroblast-like cells in OXCs and GCs during incubation. Instead, the granulosa cells appeared rhomboid and pebble-like in shape, similar to those in OGCs cultured without supplementation of GDF9 and BMP15. These results suggest that oocytes maintain complex integrity by preventing granulosa cell differentiation and participate in follicular antrum formation via GDF9 and BMP15.

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  • Blanca ALGARRA, Verónica MAILLO, Manuel AVILÉS, Alfonso GUTIÉRREZ-ADÁN ...
    Type: Original Article
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 433-443
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 06, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Previously, our group demonstrated that recombinant porcine oviductin (pOVGP1) binds to the zona pellucida (ZP) of in vitro-matured (IVM) porcine oocytes with a positive effect on in vitro fertilization (IVF). The fact that pOVGP1 was detected inside IVM oocytes suggested that this protein had a biological role during embryo development. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of pOVGP1 on bovine in vitro embryo development. We applied 10 or 50 µg/ml of pOVGP1 during IVF, embryonic in vitro culture (IVC), or both, to evaluate cleavage and embryo development. Blastocyst quality was assessed by analyzing the expression of important developmental genes and the survival rates after vitrification/warming. pOVGP1 was detected in the ZP, perivitelline space, and plasma membrane of blastocysts. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in cleavage or blastocyst yield when 10 or 50 µg/ml of pOVGP1 was used during IVF or IVC. However, when 50 µg/ml pOVGP1 was used during IVF + IVC, the number of blastocysts obtained was half that obtained with the control and 10 µg/ml pOVGP1 groups. The survival rates after vitrification/warming of expanded blastocysts cultured with pOVGP1 showed no significant differences between groups (P > 0.05). The use of pOVGP1 during IVF, IVC, or both, increased the relative abundance of mRNA of DSC2, ATF4, AQP3, and DNMT3A, the marker-genes of embryo quality. In conclusion, the use of pOVGP1 during bovine embryo in vitro culture does not affect embryo developmental rates but produces embryos of better quality in terms of the relative abundance of specific genes.

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Technology Report
  • Lauro GONZÁLEZ-FERNÁNDEZ, Beatriz MACÍAS-GARCÍA, Violeta CALLE-GUISADO ...
    Type: Technology Report
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 445-449
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 10, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    We aimed to test whether the calmodulin (CaM) inhibitors, calmidazolium (CZ) and N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7), can be used to assess lipid disorder by flow cytometry using Merocyanine 540 (M540). Boar spermatozoa were incubated in non-capacitating conditions for 10 min at room temperature with 1 μM CZ, 200 μM W-7, or 1 mM 8-bromoadenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP). Then, sperm were 1) directly evaluated, 2) centrifuged and washed prior to evaluation, or 3) diluted with PBS prior to evaluation. Direct evaluation showed an increase in high M540 fluorescence in spermatozoa treated with the inhibitors (4.7 ± 1.8 [control] vs. 70.4 ± 4.0 [CZ] and 71.4 ± 4.2 [W-7], mean % ± SD, P < 0.001); washing decreased the percentage of sperm showing high M540 fluorescence for W-7 (4.8 ± 2.2, mean % ± SD) but not for CZ (69.4 ± 3.9, mean % ± SD, P < 0.001), and dilution showed an increase in high M540 fluorescence for both CZ and W-7; 8-Br-cAMP did not induce a rise in sperm showing high M540 fluorescence. Therefore, special care must be taken when M540 is used in spermatozoa with CaM inhibitors.

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  • Kenichiro SAKAGUCHI, Atsushi IDETA, Yojiro YANAGAWA, Masashi NAGANO, S ...
    Type: Technology Report
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 451-455
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 16, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Here, we describe a simplified procedure for embryo production in the Japanese black cow that uses a single caudal epidural injection of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). First, we compared the efficiency of superovulation for in vivo embryo production between conventional multiple FSH treatment (control, n = 10) and single epidural administration (epidural, n = 5). The number of transferable blastocysts was similar between control and epidural groups (4.7 ± 3.5 and 9.0 ± 6.0, respectively). Next, we compared in vitro embryo production by ovum pick-up and in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF) between control (n = 12) and epidural groups (n = 12). The rate of development to transferable blastocysts was higher in the epidural group than in the control (23.3 vs. 10.5%, P < 0.001). In conclusion, a single epidural administration of FSH can induce follicular development comparable to that of the conventional superovulation protocol and may improve the productivity of OPU-IVF.

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  • Van Khanh NGUYEN, Huong Thi Thu VU, Huong Thi NGUYEN, Huu Xuan QUAN, L ...
    Type: Technology Report
    2018 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 457-462
    Published: 2018
    Released: October 12, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 10, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    We compared the efficacy of the microdrop and minimum volume cooling (MVC) methods for the vitrification of in vitro-produced porcine zygotes and blastocysts after equilibration in low concentrations of cryoprotectant agents. Zygotes and blastocysts were equilibrated in 2% (v/v) ethylene glycol and 2% (v/v) propylene glycol for 13–15 min. Then, they were vitrified in a medium comprised of 17.5% ethylene glycol, 17.5% propylene glycol, 0.3 M sucrose, and 50 mg/ml polyvinylpyrrolidone either by either dropping them directly into liquid nitrogen (microdrop method) or placing them on Cryotop sheets in a minimum volume of medium and plunging into liquid nitrogen (MVC method). Both zygotes and blastocysts were successfully vitrified. For the vitrification of zygotes, the MVC and microdrop methods were equally effective; however, for blastocyst vitrification, MVC was superior. For both methods, the vitrification of zygotes produced higher-quality embryos than the vitrification of blastocysts.

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