The aim of this study was to develop a serum-free culture system that could support high levels of cleavage and blastocyst formation from sheep zygotes developed in vitro. To this end, we investigated the effects on sheep zygote development of amino acids, ammonium, vitamins, and culture of embryos in groups in Synthetic Oviduct Fluid (SOF) medium supplemented with BSA (32 mg/ml). The inclusion of amino acids in the culture medium had no effect on the percentage of embryos arrested at the 8-16-cell stage when embryos were cultured singly in the same drop of medium for 6 days (43% in SOF; 41% in SOF+amino acids). However, in medium containing all Eagle's amino acids, replacing the culture medium every 48 h to alleviate ammonium toxicity significantly decreased the number of arrested embryos (6%; p < 0.05) and significantly increased blastocyst cell number (52 cells in SOF; 105 cells in SOF+amino acids; p < 0.01) and the number of embryos developing to the blastocyst stage (29% in SOF; 67% in SOF+amino acids; p < 0.05). When the medium was renewed every 48 h, nonessential amino acids and glutamine also significantly decreased the number of arrested embryos (p < 0.05). Culturing embryos singly or in groups in SOF medium with all Eagle's amino acids that was renewed every 48 h resulted in significant increases in blastocyst hatching and mean cell number (47%, 31%, and 79%; 105, 136, and 173 cells for embryos cultured singly, in groups of 2, and in groups of 4, respectively). After culture in groups of 4, blastocyst cell numbers were equivalent to in vivo-developed controls (160 cells) and significantly greater than those developed in serum (103 cells; p < 0.01). Analysis of blastocyst metabolism, expressed on a per-cell basis, revealed that amino acids did not affect either glucose uptake or lactate production, whereas the addition of amino acids and vitamins resulted in a significant increase in both parameters (p < 0.01). A similar response was observed in serum-derived blastocysts. Ammonium production by sheep blastocysts after culture in the presence of amino acids was significantly greater than that produced by mouse blastocysts, indirect evidence that ruminant embryos utilize amino acids to a greater extent than do rodent embryos.
The effect of aging on the number of non-growing follicles (NGF) and early-growing follicles (EGF) was studied in humans through use of a database obtained by pooling two subsets of ovarian pairs (2 x 43 pairs) collected in two distinct populations. A previously suggested model of exponential regression of NGF counts in relation to the subject's age was tested but did not adequately fit the observed data points. This lack of fit is attributable mainly to the existence of a significant relation between a woman's age and the corresponding NGF count decay rate. Consequently, various regression models were tested. Two different periods of decay rate were observed for each population of small follicles. The first corresponds to younger ages with a decay rate that is slow for both types of follicles, although faster for NGF than for EGF. The second period corresponds to older ages with an accelerated decay rate that appears similar for NGF and EGF. The changing points were found at 38.0 +/- 2.4 and 39.0 +/- 1.9 yr (mean +/- SD) for NGF and EGF, respectively. Extrapolation of the fitted model suggested the presence of approximately 402,000 healthy NGF per ovary at birth and a total exhaustion of the follicular stock at around 74 yr of age. These results support the view that depletion of the NGF pool is caused mainly by atresia in younger women but mainly by entrance of NGF into the growing pool in older women. The mechanisms triggering accelerated entrance into the growth phase of NGF are discussed in relation to the previously reported increase in FSH plasma levels that starts in the late thirties, approximately, and precedes the menopausal period by several years.
We have recently reported the use of sequential simplex optimization methods to design a medium (SOM) that overcomes the block to development beyond two cells which occurs in vitro in embryos from an outbred strain of mouse. We have examined this medium and several others for their ability to foster development of CF1 female x B6D2F1 male mouse embryos through the blastocyst stage. A modification of medium SOM, designated KSOM, with an increased concentration of K+ (2.5 mM), also supports growth beyond the two-cell block; compared to other media tested it produces a higher rate of compaction (100%), provides a larger yield of blastocysts (88%), and stimulates an increased rate of cell division of the trophoblast cells. The total cell number of KSOM-cultured blastocysts (44 +/- 12; n = 30) indicates that 5-6 cell divisions are possible when embryos are cultured for 96 h from pronuclear zygotes. This is a significant improvement in performance over that of other defined media for the culture of zygotes to blastocysts.
Noninvasive fecal assays were used to study steroid metabolism and ovarian activity in several felid species. Using the domestic cat (Felis catus) as model, the excretory products of injected [14C]estradiol (E2) and [14C]progesterone (P4) were determined. Within 2 days, 97.0 +/- 0.6% and 96.7 +/- 0.5% of recovered E2 and P4 radioactivity, respectively, was found in feces. E2 was excreted as unconjugated estradiol and estrone (40%) and as a non-enzyme-hydrolyzable conjugate (60%). P4 was excreted primarily as non-enzyme-hydrolyzable, conjugated metabolites (78%) and as unconjugated pregnenolone epimers. A simple method for extracting fecal steroid metabolites optimized extraction efficiencies of the E2 and P4 excretion products (90.1 +/- 0.8% and 87.2 +/- 1.4%, respectively). Analysis of HPLC fractions of extracted fecal samples from the radiolabel-injected domestic cats revealed that E2 immunoreactivity coincided primarily with the unconjugated metabolized [14C]E2 peak, whereas progestogen immunoreactivity coincided with a single conjugated epimer and multiple unconjugated pregnenolone epimers. After HPLC separation, similar immunoreactive E2 and P4 metabolite profiles were observed in the leopard cat (F. bengalensis), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), and snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Longitudinal analyses demonstrated that changes in fecal E2 and P4 metabolite concentrations reflected natural or artificially induced ovarian activity. For example, severalfold increases in E2 excretion were associated with overt estrus or exogenous gonadotropin treatment, and elevated fecal P4 metabolite concentrations occurred during pregnant and nonpregnant (pseudopregnant) luteal phases. Although overall concentrations were similar, the duration of elevated fecal P4 metabolites during pseudopregnancy was approximately half that observed during pregnancy. In summary, steroid metabolism mechanisms appear to be conserved among these physically diverse, taxonomically related species. Results indicate that this hormone-monitoring approach will be extremely useful for elucidating the hormonal regulatory mechanism associated with the reproductive cycle, pregnancy, and parturition of intractable and endangered felid species.
The effect of aging on the number of non-growing follicles (NGF) and early-growing follicles (EGF) was studied in humans through use of a database obtained by pooling two subsets of ovarian pairs (2 x 43 pairs) collected in two distinct populations. A previously suggested model of exponential regression of NGF counts in relation to the subject's age was tested but did not adequately fit the observed data points. This lack of fit is attributable mainly to the existence of a significant relation between a woman's age and the corresponding NGF count decay rate. Consequently, various regression models were tested. Two different periods of decay rate were observed for each population of small follicles. The first corresponds to younger ages with a decay rate that is slow for both types of follicles, although faster for NGF than for EGF. The second period corresponds to older ages with an accelerated decay rate that appears similar for NGF and EGF. The changing points were found at 38.0 +/- 2.4 and 39.0 +/- 1.9 yr (mean +/- SD) for NGF and EGF, respectively. Extrapolation of the fitted model suggested the presence of approximately 402000 healthy NGF per ovary at birth and a total exhaustion of the follicular stock at around 74 yr of age. These results support the view that depletion of the NGF pool is caused mainly by atresia in younger women but mainly by entrance of NGF into the growing pool in older women. The mechanisms triggering accelerated entrance into the growth phase of NGF are discussed in relation to the previously reported increase in FSH plasma levels that starts in the late thirties, approximately, and precedes the menopausal period by several years.
In the human, mosaicism may occur before implantation; but, to determine when it first occurs, it is necessary to study the chromosomal complement of all blastomeres. Full karyotypes of blastomeres from 2- to 8-cell human embryos by conventional karyotyping of metaphase spreads are difficult to obtain. The aim of this study was to assess the stage at which mosaicism occurred in preimplantation human embryos through use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with multiple probes. All or most blastomeres from 2- to 12-cell human embryos were analyzed by FISH using probes for gonosomes and chromosome 18. FISH was performed on blastomeres from 117 morphologically normal monospermic embryos that were not transferred after preimplantation diagnosis because of their risk of carrying X-linked disease; 20 (17.1%) of these embryos were mosaic. Another group of 163 arrested or morphologically abnormal monospermic embryos were also analyzed by FISH; 47 (28.8%) of these embryos were mosaic. In addition, 37 dispermic embryos were analyzed, and 28 (75.7%) of these were found to be mosaic. Mosaicism first occurred at the second cleavage division when the monospermic embryo was mostly diploid and at the first cleavage division when the embryo was mostly haploid, polyploid, or dispermic.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; also known as vascular permeability factor) is a secreted angiogenic growth factor. It is highly specific for endothelial cells, and its receptor, the fms-like tyrosine kinase (flt), has been localized only to endothelial cells in vivo. Here we describe the expression of mRNA encoding flt in human trophoblast as revealed by in situ hybridization. This mRNA is highly expressed in the cytotrophoblast shell and columns and also highly expressed by the extravillous trophoblast (EVT) in the maternal decidua both in the first trimester and at term. The trophoblast-like choriocarcinoma cell line BeWo also expresses this receptor and the related receptor, kinase domain-containing receptor (KDR), which is also a receptor for VEGF. Treatment of the cell line BeWo with VEGF165 stimulated 3H-thymidine incorporation and tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP (mitogen-activated protein) kinase in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. This study is the first demonstration of the presence of flt on non-endothelial cells in vivo and suggests a role for VEGF in the growth and differentiation of cytotrophoblast at implantation.
Although surgical induction of cryptorchidism in the rat is known to cause infertility due to disruption of spermatogenesis, the exact cellular mechanism responsible for the degenerative changes in cryptorchid testes is unclear. Using a sensitive autoradiographic method for the detection of apoptotic DNA fragmentation, we have investigated the effect of experimentally induced cryptorchidism on apoptotic cell death in testes of immature rats. Bilateral or unilateral cryptorchidism decreased the weight of affected testes within 4 days; these decreases (24-27%) became significant (P 15 kb), whereas DNA cleavage into low molecular weight ladders characteristic of apoptosis was increased by induction of bilateral cryptorchidism in a time-dependent manner, i.e., 2.0-, 2.8-, and 4.2-fold (p < 0.05) at 2, 4, and 7 days after operation, respectively. In unilaterally cryptorchid animals, sham-operated testes also contained predominantly high molecular weight DNA, whereas induction of cryptorchidism of the contralateral testes increased DNA cleavage into low molecular weight fragments 3.0-, 2.8-, and 3.9-fold (p < 0.05) at 2, 4, and 7 days after the operation, respectively. In situ analysis of DNA fragmentation in testes of unilaterally cryptorchid rats at 7 days after the operation indicated that germ cells, mainly primary spermatocytes were affected and that the percentage of seminiferous tubules containing labeled cells increased in the operated testis as compared to the contralateral control in the same animal.
Fertilization of the immature, prophase I-arrested mouse oocyte produces multiple Ca2+ transients similar to those of the mature, metaphase II egg; however, the first Ca2+ transient is much lower in amplitude and shorter in duration. In contrast to prophase I-arrested oocytes, maturing oocytes fertilized after germinal vesicle breakdown have first Ca2+ transients similar to those of mature fertilized eggs. Immature, prophase-arrested oocytes release less Ca2+ in response to injection of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) than eggs. At high concentrations, the sulfhydryl reagent, thimerosal (200 microM), causes Ca2+ oscillations in eggs and produces similar oscillations in oocytes. A lower concentration of thimerosal (25 microM) does not cause Ca2+ oscillations, but does sensitize IP3-induced Ca2+ release in both eggs and oocytes, since IP3-induced Ca2+ release is enhanced in the presence of 25 microM thimerosal. Incubation of oocytes in 25 microM thimerosal before injection of 2.2 microM IP3 causes oocytes to release as much Ca2+ as is released in eggs injected with 2.2 microM IP3. These results indicate that immature mouse oocytes possess intracellular stores of releasable Ca2+ similar in size to Ca2+ stores in eggs; however, these stores are less sensitive to IP3. Development of the IP3-induced Ca2+ release mechanism may be an important component of maturation; at fertilization of the egg, Ca2+ must be elevated to levels sufficient to activate further development and establish a block to polyspermy. Mouse oocytes appear to develop an increased sensitivity to IP3 during the course of oocyte maturation.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate effects of cooling and rewarming on the meiotic spindle apparatus of bovine oocytes. In experiment 1, in vitro-matured bovine oocytes were either maintained at 39 degrees C or cooled abruptly to 4 degrees C or approximately 25 degrees C. Immunohistochemical and DNA staining for visualization of microtubules and chromosomes, respectively, revealed an anastral, barrel-shaped spindle in bovine oocytes. Exposure to 4 degrees C for 10-20 min caused complete disappearance of the spindle. Some chromosome dispersion occurred after 60 min at 4 degrees C. After exposure to approximately 25 degrees C for 30 min, 90% of oocytes appeared abnormal, having either an abnormal spindle or no spindle. In experiment 2, oocytes cooled to either approximately 25 degrees C or 4 degrees C for 30 min were rewarmed directly or in steps for 15 or 60 min. Spindles did not return to normal in most oocytes regardless of cooling temperature or rewarming scheme. Step-wise rewarming was no more beneficial than direct rewarming. More of the oocytes rewarmed directly contained dispersed chromosomes as time at 39 degrees C increased.
The lipid content of porcine 1-cell stage embryos was reduced (delipated) through the use of micromanipulation to remove the lipid layer formed after centrifugation. Of 94 delipated embryos chilled to 4 degrees C for 1 h at the 1-cell or 2- to 4-cell stage, 60 (64%) cleaved in culture with development to the morula-blastocyst stage, whereas all of the control embryos lysed within 24 h. Significantly more embryos developed beyond the 8-cell stage when they were chilled at the 2- to 4-cell stage compared with chilling at the 1-cell stage (44%, 20 of 45 vs. 18%, 9 of 49). Fewer embryos developed after chilling if they were only partially rather than fully delipated. Developmental rates of partially delipated embryos to the 8-cell and blastocyst stages were 33% (13 of 40) and 8% (3 of 40), rates significantly (p or = blastocyst: 40%, 19 of 48 vs. 57%, 17 of 30). These data demonstrate that the sensitivity of porcine embryos to chilling is related to their high lipid content and that they can become tolerant to chilling if their lipid content is reduced.
Many factors are implicated in the development of prostatic growth: androgens, growth factors, and stromo-epithelial interaction. This study examines the role of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system control of different aspects of rat prostate growth and atrophy. Unilateral sympathectomy leads to decreases in ventral prostate weight, DNA, and protein content in the lesioned side. Unilateral parasympathectomy leads to increases in ventral prostate weight, DNA, and protein content in the intact side. The separate effects of sympathectomy and parasympathectomy are maintained across a diverse combination of neural manipulations. Significant re-innervation does not occur by 60 days after manipulation as assessed by tissue norepinephrine levels. There appears to be a differential effect of the autonomic nervous system on growth and maintenance of the ventral prostate. The mechanism of contralateral hyperplasia and ipsilateral atrophy has potential significance in understanding human abnormal prostate growth.
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a cytokine that induces macrophage differentiation in the murine M1 myeloid leukemia cell line, is essential for blastocyst implantation in mice. However, its expression and the role it plays in the human uterus are unknown. To clarify these issues, we examined LIF gene expression in the human uterus by Northern blot hybridization and by a quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method. Analysis of LIF mRNA showed two hybridization bands, with estimated mRNA sizes of about 4.0-kb pairs and 1.8-kb pairs. LIF mRNA was detected at high levels in endometrial tissue and decidua, but at low levels in the chorionic villus in first trimester and term placenta. In the secretory phase, the endometrial tissue showed higher LIF expression than in the proliferative phase (9.5-fold; p < 0.01). The endometrial tissues were separated into a stroma-enriched fraction (SF) and an epithelium-enriched fraction (EF), and the LIF mRNA levels in each fraction were examined by quantitative RT-PCR. These levels were higher in the EF than in the SF (3.3-fold; p < 0.05). These findings suggest that, in humans, LIF plays a role in uterine function during the menstrual cycle, as well as during pregnancy.
Apoptosis is a type of physiologic cell death that occurs in many tissues and be regulated by peptide growth factors. Recent studies indicate that apoptosis occurs in the ovary during follicular atresia in several animal species, including the rat, pig, chicken, baboon, and rabbit. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate, through in situ identification of apoptotic cells in intact ovarian sections, the sites in which apoptosis occurs in the rat ovary in different functional states. We evaluated the presence of apoptosis in three models: immature rats, eCG-treated rats and adult cycling rats. Paraffin ovarian sections were pretreated with proteinase K and then end-labeled with biotinylated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) by incubation with the enzyme terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TDT). They were then stained through use of avidin-conjugated peroxidase with 3,3'-diaminobenzidine as the substrate. Healthy antral and preantral follicles had no staining. The nuclei of granulosa cells of preantral and antral atretic follicles were positively stained in all the animal groups. Scattered theca cells were also stained. Stromal cells were consistently negative. Positive controls were sections pretreated with DNase I; these displayed intense staining of all nuclei. Negative controls, in which either terminal TDT or its biotinylated substrate was omitted, were appropriately negative. This study represents a systematic analysis of apoptosis in the rat ovary at different functional stages and supports the hypothesis that apoptosis is involved in the process of follicular atresia.
Studies on the role of specific molecules in the human fertilization process and additional assessments of potential applications for these proteins are hampered by the limited amount of available biological material. However, this drawback might be circumvented by the recent cloning of several gamete-specific genes, which opens possibilities for the production of recombinant proteins. By use of cDNA and genomic DNA fragments of the human ZP3 gene, which encodes a major constituent of the zona pellucida surrounding the oocyte, a 2.7-kb minigene was constructed containing the natural third and fourth introns of the gene and a truncated intron between exons 2 and 3. This ZP3 DNA was transfected to Chinese hamster ovary cells, and a single-cell clone producing the recombinant ZP3 protein (recZP3) was generated. Western blot analysis of culture medium from these cells showed that recZP3 has a molecular mass +/- 5 kDa smaller than that of natural ZP3. Under reducing conditions, it migrates at an apparent molecular mass of 55-60 kDa. RecZP3 induced the sperm acrosome reaction and promoted fusion of human spermatozoa with zona-free hamster oocytes, indicating that the recombinant protein is biologically active. RecZP3 provides an attractive tool for studying the initial stage of the human fertilization process. Furthermore, it might have clinical applications in the development of diagnostic tests for male infertility and serve as target antigen in the design of contraceptive vaccines.
We have examined the expression and function of heat shock transcription factor 2 (HSF2) in spermatogenic cells of mouse testis. The results of in situ RNA hybridization analysis, RNA filter hybridization, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis indicate that HSF2 mRNA expression in testis is subject to developmental and cell type-dependent, as well as stage-dependent, regulation. Localized expression of HSF2 mRNA in testis first appears between Day 14 and Day 21 of postnatal development. In adult testis, HSF2 mRNA is found at highest levels in spermatocytes and round spermatids. Immunocytochemical staining and gel mobility shift analysis demonstrate that HSF2 protein is localized to the nuclei of spermatocytes and round spermatids and that this transcription factor exists in testis in a constitutively active DNA-binding state. We further demonstrate that the constitutive HSF2 DNA-binding activity present in testis is able to interact with promoter sequences of the hsp70.2 gene, a testis-specific member of the hsp70 gene family. Taken together, our results show that the expression and functional properties of HSF2 are regulated in spermatogenic cell types of the mouse testis, supporting a role for this transcription factor as a regulator of hsp gene expression during spermatogenesis.
Experiments were conducted to elucidate the status of glutathione present in the oxidized (GSSG), reduced (GSH), and protein-mixed disulfide (GSSprotein) forms in preimplantation mouse embryos during development and after treatment with tertiary-butyl hydroperoxide (tBH) to cause oxidative stress. Glutathione was measured at picomolar levels by fluorimetric HPLC after derivatization of extracted embryonic samples with dansyl chloride. GSH content decreased approximately 10-fold from that in the unfertilized oocyte to 0.12 pmol/blastocyst, representing an estimated change in concentration from 7 to 0.7 mM. GSH levels were lower in embryos cultured in vitro than in embryos that developed in vivo. Addition of GSH to the culture medium improved in vitro development of mouse embryos, but surprisingly the addition of glutathione monoethyl ester did not. Addition of low levels of the oxidant tBH (13.2 microM) to culture medium decreased the percentage of two-cell and blastocyst stage embryos that exhibited further development. After 15-min exposure to 13.2 microM tBH, GSH levels were markedly decreased in the two-cell stage embryo (75%), but only slightly decreased (25%) in the blastocyst. The loss of GSH was accounted for by increases in GSSG and GSSprotein, indicating that the embryo was undergoing oxidative stress. These data indicate that preimplantation embryos are very sensitive to conditions that can cause oxidative stress and show also that their glutathione status changes dramatically during development.
The relationship between ovarian follicular steroidogenesis and insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) activity was evaluated during the follicular phase of the bovine estrous cycle. In experiment 1, follicles were collected from cyclic cows (n = 11) slaughtered at 48 h after administration of prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF; 35 mg i.m.). In experiment 2, cows were injected twice daily with saline (control) or FSH (FSH cows; total dosage = 42 mg) from Day 2 to Day 6 (estrus = Day 0) and with PGF (35 mg i.m.) on Day 7; follicles were collected from control cows (n = 20) slaughtered at 0, 24, 48, or 72 h and from FSH cows (n = 8) at 0 and 48 h after PGF. Follicular fluid was assayed for estradiol (E2), androstenedione (A4), progesterone (P4), and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) by RIA and for IGFBP activity by ligand blotting and densitometry. Intensities of the 34-kDa (IGFBP-2), 29-27-kDa, and 22-kDa IGFBP bands in follicular fluid were nondetectable or were lower (p or = 8 mm) E-active (E-A; E2 > 50 ng/ml and > P4) follicles than in large E-inactive (E-I), medium (5-7 mm), or small (< 5 mm) follicles. IGFBP-3 (44-40-kDa doublet) was unaffected by follicle stage in experiment 1, but IGFBP-3 was lower (p < 0.01) in follicular fluid of E-A vs. E-I large follicles in experiment 2. Profiles of IGFBP activity were similar in follicular fluid of small, medium, and E-I large follicles. In experiment 2, E2 concentrations in large E-A follicles increased (p < 0.01) from 0 to 48 h after the PGF injection for control cows but decreased (p < 0.01) for FSH cows, whereas follicular fluid IGFBP-2 binding activity decreased from 0 to 48 h after PGF in controls and increased in FSH cows (treatment x time, p < 0.05). IGFBP-3 binding was unaffected by FSH treatment or time after administration of PGF. Profiles of IGFBP activity in homogenates of granulosa or theca cells were similar to follicular fluid profiles except for the absence of IGFBP-3 binding activity. The disappearance of binding activities for IGFBP-2 and smaller-molecular-mass IGFBPs in E-A follicles suggests a possible regulatory role for IGFBPs in follicular maturation and on aromatase activity.
To evaluate the kinetics of luteal growth, bovine CL were obtained from four stages (stage I, Days 1-4; stage II, Days 5-10; stage III, Days 11-17; stage IV, Days 18-21) of the estrous cycle, and luteal fresh weight as well as DNA, protein, and progesterone contents was determined. To evaluate the relative rate of cell proliferation, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA; a specific marker for cell proliferation) was immunolocalized in paraffin-embedded luteal tissue sections. To evaluate the relative rate of cell death, nucleosomal fragmentation of DNA (a specific marker for apoptosis) was detected by agarose gel electrophoresis and also by histochemical localization in paraffin-embedded luteal tissue sections. Luteal fresh weight and DNA, protein, and progesterone contents increased (p < 0.01) from stage I to stage II, were similar between stages II and III, and then decreased (p < 0.01) from stage III to stage IV. The ratio of protein to DNA (an index of average cell size) was similar for stages I, II, and III and then decreased (p < 0.01) at stage IV. For stage I (corpora hemorrhagica), most proliferating (PCNA-positive) cells were located in or around the core of the tissue infoldings (presumably thecal-derived areas), whereas relatively few proliferating cells were located at the periphery of the tissue infoldings (presumably granulosa-derived areas). For stages II, III, and IV, the majority of proliferating cells appeared to be small cells (i.e., small parenchymal cells, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells). The labeling index (LI; percentage of cells that were PCNA-positive) was greatest at stage I (20.3 +/- 1.1%); it then decreased (p < 0.01) by stage II and was similar at stages II, III, and IV (3.4 +/- 1.1%). Apoptosis, as determined by evaluation of nucleosomal DNA fragmentation by agarose gel electrophoresis and in situ localization, was detectable only at stage IV. These data demonstrate that luteal growth from stage I to stage II resulted from cell proliferation as shown by a high LI at stage I, accompanied by increased luteal DNA content but no change in average cell size, and by similar protein: DNA ratios. Luteal regression from stage III to stage IV was primarily associated with cell deletion and decreased cell size as shown by a decrease in luteal DNA content and the appearance of apoptosis along with a decrease in the luteal protein: DNA ratio.
A 120-kDa oviduct-specific glycoprotein is synthesized and secreted into the oviductal lumen during estrogen dominance in the human. The objective of this investigation was to clone, sequence, and characterize the cDNA to this core protein. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends was used to clone a contiguous 3' CDNA end and 5' cDNA end. The total length of the cDNA was determined to be 2.2 kb by sequence analysis and exhibited a 92% sequence identity with the comparable overlapping baboon cDNA (1.2 kb). A high degree of homology was found to the N-terminal sequence of hamster oviductin and the partial sequence of a homologous baboon and bovine oviduct glycoprotein. Northern blots revealed a single mRNA species of 2.4 kb. Using RNA from various tissues of an estrogen-treated baboon, we found that the mRNA for the oviductal glycoprotein was present only in the oviduct. Hybridization was detected to an mRNA of similar size from oviductal tissue of the baboon, hamster, and mouse and to an mRNA of slightly smaller size in the rabbit, cow, and cat but not to any mRNA species from rat oviductal RNA. Slot-blot analysis showed that the message was present in significantly greater (p < 0.05) concentrations in RNA from oviductal tissue from the late follicular stage than from the early follicular, early or late luteal, or postpartum stages. In conclusion, we have isolated the complete cDNA for a human oviductal glycoprotein. The presence of significantly greater amounts of the mRNA during the late follicular phase of the menstrual cycle is consistent with the proposed estrogen control. The mRNA for the oviductal glycoprotein is present only in the oviduct of an estrogen-treated baboon, and a cross-hybridizing RNA is found in oviductal RNA from various mammals.