Uterine microbial disease affects half of all dairy cattle after parturition, causing infertility by disrupting uterine and ovarian function. Infection with Escherichia coli , Arcanobacterium pyogenes , and bovine herpesvirus 4 causes endometrial tissue damage. Toll-like receptors on endometrial cells detect pathogen-associated molecules such as bacterial DNA, lipids, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), leading to secretion of cytokines, chemokines, and antimicrobial peptides. Chemokines attract neutrophils and macrophages to eliminate the bacteria, although persistence of neutrophils is associated with subclinical endometritis and infertility. Cows with uterine infections are less likely to ovulate because they have slower growth of the postpartum dominant follicle in the ovary, lower peripheral plasma estradiol concentrations, and perturbation of hypothalamic and pituitary function. The follicular fluid of animals with endometritis contains LPS, which is detected by the TLR4/CD14/LY96 (MD2) receptor complex on granulosa cells, leading to lower aromatase expression and reduced estradiol secretion. If cows with uterine disease ovulate, the peripheral plasma concentrations of progesterone are lower than those in normal animals. However, luteal phases are often extended in animals with uterine disease, probably because infection switches the endometrial epithelial secretion of prostaglandins from the F series to the E series by a phospholipase A2-mediated mechanism, which would disrupt luteolysis. The regulation of endometrial immunity depends on steroid hormones, somatotrophins, and local regulatory proteins. Advances in knowledge about infection and immunity in the female genital tract should be exploited to develop new therapeutics for uterine disease.
In this study, we performed small RNA library sequencing using human placental tissues to identify placenta-specific miRNAs. We also tested the hypothesis that human chorionic villi could secrete miRNAs extracellularly via exosomes, which in turn enter into maternal circulation. By small RNA library sequencing, most placenta-specific miRNAs (e.g., MIR517A ) were linked to a miRNA cluster on chromosome 19. The miRNA cluster genes were differentially expressed in placental development. Subsequent validation by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization revealed that villous trophoblasts express placenta-specific miRNAs. The analysis of small RNA libraries from the blood plasma showed that the placenta-specific miRNAs are abundant in the plasma of pregnant women. By real-time PCR, we confirmed the rapid clearance of the placenta-specific miRNAs from the plasma after delivery, indicating that such miRNAs enter into maternal circulation. By using the trophoblast cell line BeWo in culture, we demonstrated that miRNAs are indeed extracellularly released via exosomes. Taken together, our findings suggest that miRNAs are exported from the human placental syncytiotrophoblast into maternal circulation, where they could target maternal tissues. Finally, to address the biological functions of placenta-specific miRNAs, we performed a proteome analysis of BeWo cells transfected with MIR517A . Bioinformatic analysis suggests that this miRNA is possibly involved in tumor necrosis factor-mediated signaling. Our data provide important insights into miRNA biology of the human placenta.
Human endometrium is a highly regenerative tissue undergoing more than 400 cycles of growth, differentiation, and shedding during a woman's reproductive years. Endometrial regeneration is likely mediated by adult stem/progenitor cells. This study investigated key stem cell properties of individual clonogenic epithelial and stromal cells obtained from human endometrium. Single-cell suspensions of endometrial epithelial or stromal cells were obtained from hysterectomy tissues from 15 women experiencing normal menstrual cycles, and were cultured at clonal density (10 cells/cm 2 ) or limiting dilution. The adult stem cell propertiesâself-renewal, high proliferative potential, and differentiation of single epithelial and stromal cellsâwere assessed by harvesting individual colonies and undertaking serial clonal culture, serial passaging, and culture in differentiation-induction media, respectively. Lineage differentiation markers were examined by RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and flow cytometry. Rare single human endometrial EpCAM + epithelial cells and EpCAM â stromal cells demonstrated self-renewal by serially cloning >3 times and underwent >30 population doublings over 4 mo in culture. Clonally derived epithelial cells differentiated into cytokeratin + gland-like structures in three dimensional culture. Single stromal cells were multipotent, as their progeny differentiated into smooth muscle cells, adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. Stromal clones expressed mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) markers ITGB1 (CD29), CD44, NT5E (CD73), THY1 (CD90), ENG (CD105), PDGFRB (CD140B), MCAM (CD146) but not endothelial or hemopoietic markers PECAM1 (CD31), CD34, PTPRC (CD45). Adult human endometrium contains rare epithelial progenitors and MSCs, likely responsible for its immense regenerative capacity, which may also have critical roles in the development of endometriosis and endometrial cancer. Human endometrium may provide a readily available source of MSCs for cell-based therapies.
This brief review summarizes new findings related to the reported beneficial effects of melatonin on reproductive physiology beyond its now well-known role in determining the sexual status in both long-day and short-day seasonally breeding mammals. Of particular note are those reproductive processes that have been shown to benefit from the ability of melatonin to function in the reduction of oxidative stress. In the few species that have been tested, brightly colored secondary sexual characteristics that serve as a sexual attractant reportedly are enhanced by melatonin administration. This is of potential importance inasmuch as the brightness of ornamental pigmentation is also associated with animals that are of the highest genetic quality. Free radical damage is commonplace during pregnancy and has negative effects on the mother, placenta, and fetus. Because of its ability to readily pass through the placenta, melatonin easily protects the fetus from oxidative damage, as well as the maternal tissues and ...
DNA damage in human spermatozoa has been associated with a range of adverse clinical outcomes, including infertility, abortion, and disease in the offspring. We have advanced a two-step hypothesis to explain this damage involving impaired chromatin remodeling during spermiogenesis followed by a free radical attack to induce DNA strand breakage. The objective of the present study was to test this hypothesis by determining whether impaired chromatin protamination is correlated with oxidative base damage and DNA fragmentation in human spermatozoa. DNA fragmentation, chromatin protamination, mitochondrial membrane potential, and formation of the oxidative base adduct, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG), were monitored by flow cytometry/fluorescence microscopy. Impairment of DNA protamination during late spermatogenesis was highly correlated (P < 0.001) with DNA damage in human spermatozoa. The disruption of chromatin remodeling also was associated with a significant elevation in the levels of 8OHdG (P < 0.001), and the latter was itself highly correlated with DNA fragmentation (P < 0.001). The significance of oxidative stress in 8OHdG formation was demonstrated experimentally using H2O2/Fe2+ and by the correlation observed between this base adduct and superoxide generation (P < 0.001). That 8OHdG formation was inversely associated with mitochondrial membrane potential (P < 0.001) suggested a possible role for these organelles in the creation of oxidative stress. These results clearly highlight the importance of oxidative stress in the induction of sperm DNA damage and carry significant implications for the clinical management of this condition.
The postovulatory rise in circulating progesterone (P4) concentrations is associated with increased pregnancy success in beef and dairy cattle. Our study objective was to determine how elevated P4 alters endometrial gene expression to advance conceptus development. Synchronized heifers were inseminated (Day 0) and randomly assigned to pregnant high P4 or to pregnant normal P4. All high P4 groups received a P4-release intravaginal device on Day 3 after insemination that increased P4 concentrations up to Day 7 ( P < 0.05). Tissue was collected on Day 5, 7, 13, or 16 of pregnancy, and endometrial gene expression was analyzed using the bovine Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA) microarrays. Microarray analyses demonstrated that the largest number of P4-regulated genes coincided with the day when the P4 profiles were different for the longest period. Genes with the largest fold change increase (such as DGAT2 and MSTN [also known as GDF8 ]) were associated with triglyceride synthesis and glucose transport, which can be utilized as an energy source for the developing embryo. Temporal changes occurred at different stages of early pregnancy, with the greatest difference occurring between well-separated stages of conceptus development. Validation of a number of genes by quantitative real-time PCR indicated that P4 supplementation advances endometrial gene expression by altering the time ( FABP , DGAT2 , and MSTN ) or duration ( CRYGS ) of expression pattern for genes that contribute to the composition of histotroph.
T regulatory (Treg) cells are implicated in maternal immune tolerance of the conceptus at implantation; however, the antigenic and regulatory signals controlling Treg cells in early pregnancy are undefined. To examine the role of male seminal fluid in tolerance induction, the effect of exposure to seminal fluid at mating on responsiveness to paternal alloantigens was examined using paternal tumor cell grafts and by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) challenge on Day 3.5 postcoitum. Exposure to seminal fluid inhibited rejection of paternal tumor cells, independently of fertilization and embryo development, while seminal fluid from major histocompatability complex (MHC)-dissimilar males was less effective. Similarly, mating with intact males suppressed the DTH response to paternal alloantigens in an MHC-specific fashion. Excision of the seminal vesicle glands diminished the tolerance-inducing activity of seminal fluid. Mating with intact males caused an increase in CD4 + CD25 + cells expressing FOXP3 in the para-aortic lymph nodes draining the uterus, beyond the estrus-associated peak in cycling mice. The increase in CD4 + CD25 + cells was abrogated when males were vasectomized or seminal vesicles were excised. Collectively, these data provide evidence that exposure to seminal fluid at mating promotes a state of functional tolerance to paternal alloantigens that may facilitate maternal acceptance of the conceptus at implantation, and the effects of seminal fluid are likely to be mediated by expansion of the Treg cell pool. Both seminal plasma and sperm components of the seminal fluid are necessary to confer full tolerance and elicit the Treg cell response, potentially through provision of immune-deviating cytokines and antigens, respectively.
It is well established that cAMP signaling is an important regulator of the oocyte meiotic cell cycle. Conversely, the function of cGMP during oocyte maturation is less clear. Herein, we evaluated the expression of cGMP-hydrolyzing phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in the somatic and germ cell compartments of the mouse ovarian follicle and demonstrate that PDE5 is preferentially expressed in somatic cells. Cyclic GMP is a potent inhibitor of cAMP hydrolysis from oocyte extracts, with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 97 nM. Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulation of cultured preovulatory follicles results in a marked decrease in cGMP content, and a nadir is reached in 1.5 h; similarly, oocyte cGMP levels decrease after gonadotropin stimulation in vivo. The LH-dependent decrease in cGMP requires activation of the epidermal growth factor network. Treatment of follicles with a PDE5 inhibitor increases cGMP in the follicle well above unstimulated levels. Although LH causes a decrease in cGMP in follicles preincubated with PDE5 inhibitors, the levels of this nucleotide remain above unstimulated levels. Under these conditions of elevated cGMP, LH stimulation does not cause oocyte maturation after 5 h of incubation. Microinjection of a cGMP-specific PDE into oocytes causes meiotic maturation of wild-type oocytes, suggesting that an intraoocyte pool of cGMP is involved in the maintenance of meiotic arrest. This effect is absent in PDE3A-deficient oocytes. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that cGMP and cAMP signaling cooperate in maintaining meiotic arrest via regulation of PDE3A and that a decrease in cGMP in the somatic compartment is one of the signals contributing to meiotic maturation.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) miniature pig was developed specifically for xenotransplantation and has been extensively used as a large-animal model in many other biomedical experiments. However, the cloning efficiency of this pig is very low (<0.2%), and this has been an obstacle to the promising application of these inbred swine genetics for biomedical research. It has been demonstrated that increased histone acetylation in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, by applying a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor such as trichostatin A (TSA), significantly enhances the developmental competence in several species. However, some researchers also reported that TSA treatment had various detrimental effects on the in vitro and in vivo development of the SCNT embryos. Herein, we report that treatment with 500 nM 6-(1,3-dioxo-1H, 3H-benzo[de]isoquinolin-2-yl)-hexanoic acid hydroxyamide (termed scriptaid ), a novel HDAC inhibitor, significantly enhanced the development of SCNT embryos to the blastocyst stage when NIH inbred fetal fibroblast cells (FFCs) were used as donors compared with the untreated group (21% vs. 9%, P < 0.05). Scriptaid treatment resulted in eight pregnancies from 10 embryo transfers (ETs) and 14 healthy NIH miniature pigs from eight litters, while no viable piglets (only three mummies) were obtained from nine ETs in the untreated group. Thus, scriptaid dramatically increased the cloning efficiency when using inbred genetics from 0.0% to 1.3%. In contrast, scriptaid treatment decreased the blastocyst rate in in vitro fertilization embryos (from 37% to 26%, P < 0.05). In conclusion, the extremely low cloning efficiency in the NIH miniature pig may be caused by its inbred genetic background and can be improved by alteration of genomic histone acetylation patterns.
Abstract The G protein-coupled receptor Gpr30 (Gper) was recently claimed to bind to estradiol and to activate cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways in response to estradiol. However, there are conflicting data regarding the role of Gpr30 as an estrogen receptor (ER): several laboratories were unable to demonstrate estradiol binding to GPR30 or estradiol-activated signal transduction in Gpr30-expressing cells. To clarify the potential role of Gpr30 as an ER, we generated Gpr30-deficient mice. Although Gpr30 was expressed in all reproductive organs, histopathological analysis did not reveal any abnormalities in these organs in Gpr30-deficient mice. Mutant male and female mice were as fertile as their wild-type littermates, indicating normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Moreover, we analyzed estrogenic responses in two major estradiol target organs, the uterus and the mammary gland. For that purpose, we examined different readout paradigms such as morphological measures, cellular ...
Spermatogenesis is a temperature-dependent process, and increases in scrotal temperature can disrupt its progression. We previously showed that heat stress causes DNA damage in germ cells, an increase in germ cell death (as seen on TUNEL staining), and subfertility. The present study evaluated the stress response in mouse testes following a single mild transient scrotal heat exposure (40Â°C or 42Â°C for 30 min). We investigated markers of three types of stress response, namely, hypoxia, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Heat stress caused an increase in expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha ( Hif1a ) mRNA expression and translocation of HIF1A protein to the germ cell nucleus, consistent with hypoxic stress. Increased expression of heme oxygenase 1 ( Hmox1 ) and the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) and glutathione S-transferase alpha (GSTA) was consistent with a robust oxidative stress response. Germ cell death was associated with an increase in expression of the effector caspase cleaved caspase 3 and a decrease in expression of the protein inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase (ICAD). Reduced expression of ICAD contributes to increased activity of caspase-activated DNase and is consistent with the increased rates of DNA fragmentation that have been detected previously using TUNEL staining. These studies confirmed that transient mild testicular hyperthermia results in temperature-dependent germ cell death and demonstrated that elevated temperature results in a complex stress response, including induction of genes associated with oxidative stress and hypoxia.
Developmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds is hypothesized to adversely affect female reproductive physiology by interfering with the organization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Here, we compared the effects of neonatal exposure to two environmentally relevant doses of the plastics component bisphenol-A (BPA; 50 Î¼g/kg and 50 mg/kg) with the ESR1 (formerly known as ERalpha)-selective agonist 4,4â²,4â³-(4-propyl-[ 1 H]pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol (PPT; 1 mg/kg) on the development of the female rat hypothalamus and ovary. An oil vehicle and estradiol benzoate (EB; 25 Î¼g) were used as negative and positive controls. Exposure to EB, PPT, or the low dose of BPA advanced pubertal onset. A total of 67% of females exposed to the high BPA dose were acyclic by 15 wk after vaginal opening compared with 14% of those exposed to the low BPA dose, all of the EB- and PPT-treated females, and none of the control animals. Ovaries from the EB-treated females were undersized and showed no evidence of folliculogenesis, whereas ovaries from the PPT-treated females were characterized by large antral-like follicles, which did not appear to support ovulation. Severity of deficits within the BPA-treated groups increased with dose and included large antral-like follicles and lower numbers of corpora lutea. Sexual receptivity, examined after ovariectomy and hormone replacement, was normal in all groups except those neonatally exposed to EB. FOS induction in hypothalamic gonadotropic (GnRH) neurons after hormone priming was impaired in the EB- and PPT-treated groups but neither of the BPA-treated groups. Our data suggest that BPA disrupts ovarian development but not the ability of GnRH neurons to respond to steroid-positive feedback.
The zebrafish has become an important vertebrate model for basic and biomedical research, including the research field of the biology of reproduction. However, very few morphological and stereological data are available regarding zebrafish testis structure and spermatogenesis. In this careful histomorphometric evaluation of the testis, we studied spermatogonial cells using molecular markers, determined the combined duration of meiotic and spermiogenic phases, and examined the formation of the Sertoli cell barrier (tight junctions). We found at least nine spermatogonial generations and propose a morphology-based nomenclature for spermatogonial generations that is compatible with the one used in higher vertebrates. The number of germ cells per cyst increased dramatically (1 to â¼1360 cells) from undifferentiated spermatogonia type A to early spermatids. The combined duration of meiotic and spermiogenic phases is approximately 6 days, one of the shorter periods among the teleost fish investigated to date. The number of Sertoli cells per cyst increased 9-fold during the maturational cycle of spermatogenic cysts and stabilized in the meiotic phase at a ratio of approximately 100 early spermatids per Sertoli cell (Sertoli cell efficiency). Similarly to mammals, Sertoli cell proliferation ceased in the meiotic phase, coinciding with the formation of tight junctions between Sertoli cells. Hence, the events taking place during puberty in the germinal epithelium of mammals seem to recapitulate the âlife historyâ of each individual spermatogenic cyst in zebrafish.
Ethanol is a classic teratogen capable of inducing a wide range of developmental abnormalities. Studies in animal models suggest that differences in timing and dosage underlie this variability, with three particularly important developmental periods: preconception, preimplantation, and gastrulation. These periods of teratogenesis correlate with peak periods of epigenetic reprogramming which, together with the evidence that ethanol interferes with one-carbon metabolism, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNA, suggests an important role for epigenetic mechanisms in the etiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). In addition to a number of testable hypotheses, an epigenetic model suggests that the concept of a âfetal alcohol spectrumâ should be expanded to include âpreconceptional effects.â This proposal has important public health implications, highlighting the urgency of research into the epigenetic basis of FASDs.
In vitro ovarian follicle cultures may provide fertility-preserving options to women facing premature infertility due to cancer therapies. An encapsulated three-dimensional (3-D) culture system utilizing biomaterials to maintain cell-cell communication and support follicle development to produce a mature oocyte has been developed for the mouse. We tested whether this encapsulated 3-D system would also support development of nonhuman primate preantral follicles, for which in vitro growth has not been reported. Three questions were investigated: Does the cycle stage at which the follicles are isolated affect follicle development? Does the rigidity of the hydrogel influence follicle survival and growth? Do follicles require luteinizing hormone (LH), in addition to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), for steroidogenesis? Secondary follicles were isolated from adult rhesus monkeys, encapsulated within alginate hydrogels, and cultured individually for â¤30 days. Follicles isolated from the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle had a higher survival rate ( P < 0.05) than those isolated from the luteal phase; however, this difference may also be attributed to differing sizes of follicles isolated during the different stages. Follicles survived and grew in two hydrogel conditions (0.5% and 0.25% alginate). Follicle diameters increased to a greater extent ( P < 0.05) in the presence of FSH alone than in FSH plus LH. Regardless of gonadotropin treatment, follicles produced estradiol, androstenedione, and progesterone by 14â30 days in vitro. Thus, an alginate hydrogel maintains the 3-D structure of individual secondary macaque follicles, permits follicle growth, and supports steroidogenesis for â¤30 days in vitro. This study documents the first use of the alginate system to maintain primate tissue architecture, and findings suggest that encapsulated 3-D culture will be successful in supporting the in vitro development of human follicles.
The eutopic endometrium in women with endometriosis demonstrates diminished endometrial receptivity and altered gene expression. It is unknown if the endometrium being defective gives rise to a predisposition toward endometriosis and infertility or, alternatively, if endometriosis causes the altered endometrial receptivity. Here we created experimental endometriosis in mice and examined the expression of several markers of endometrial receptivity in the eutopic endometrium. Methylation of Hoxa10 was also evaluated as a potential mechanism responsible for altered gene expression. Expression of each gene was measured using quantitative real-time RT-PCR at 14 wk after induction of endometriosis. Expression of Hoxa10 and Hoxa11 , which are necessary for endometrial receptivity, were decreased in the endometriosis group. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 ( Igfbp1 ) mRNA was decreased in the endometriosis group. However, there was no change in Integrin beta 3 ( Itgb3 ) mRNA expression. Total progesterone receptor ( Pgr-AB ) was increased in the endometriosis group and the ratio of Pgr-B to Pgr-AB was increased, indicating a shift from Pgr-A to Pgr-B expression. Basic transcription element-binding protein-1 ( Bteb1 ), official symbol and name Klf9 , Kruppel-like factor 9, which functionally interacts with Pgr in endometrium, was also decreased in the endometriosis group. In addition, hypermethylation of Hoxa10 in the endometriosis group was shown by methylation-specific PCR and confirmed by bisulfite sequencing. These findings demonstrate that normal endometrium, when placed in an ectopic location to create experimental endometriosis, led to characteristic changes in gene expression in eutopic endometrium. These data suggest the existence of a signal conduction pathway from endometriosis that alters endometrial gene expression through altered Pgr signaling and epigenetic programming.
The major limitation to the development of embryo production in cattle is the strong between-animal variability in ovulatory response to FSH-induced superovulation, mainly due to differences in ovarian activity at the time of treatment. This study aimed to establish whether anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) was an endocrine marker of follicular populations in the cow, as in human, and a possible predictor of the ovarian response to superovulation. Anti-Mullerian hormone concentrations in plasma varied 10-fold between cows before treatment and were found to be highly correlated with the numbers of 3- to 7-mm antral follicles detected by ovarian ultrasonography before treatment (r = 0.79, P < 0.001) and the numbers of ovulations after treatment (r = 0.64, P < 0.01). Between-animal differences in AMH concentrations were found to be unchanged after a 3-mo delay (r = 0.87, P < 0.01), indicating that AMH endocrine levels were characteristic of each animal on a long-term period. The population of healthy 3- to 7-mm follicles was the main target of superovulatory treatments, contained the highest AMH concentrations and AMH mRNA levels compared with larger follicles, and contributed importantly to AMH endocrine levels. In conclusion, AMH was found to be a reliable endocrine marker of the population of small antral gonadotropin-responsive follicles in the cow. Moreover, AMH concentrations in the plasma of individuals were indicative of their ability to respond to superovulatory treatments.
Boar spermatozoa are very susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS), but ROS involvement in damage and/or capacitation is unclear. The impact of exposing fresh boar spermatozoa to an ROS-generating system (xanthine/xanthine oxidase; XA/XO) on sperm ROS content, membrane lipid peroxidation, phospholipase (PL) A activity, and motility, viability, and capacitation was contrasted to ROS content and sperm function after cryopreservation. Exposing boar sperm (n = 4â5 ejaculates) to the ROS-generating system for 30 min rapidly increased hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) and lipid peroxidation in all sperm, increased PLA in dead sperm, and did not affect intracellular O 2 Ëâ (flow cytometry of sperm labeled with 2â²,7â²-dichlorodihydrofluorscein diacetate, BODIPY 581/591 C11, bis-BODIPY-FL C11, hydroethidine, respectively; counterstained for viability). Sperm viability remained high, but sperm became immotile. Cryopreservation decreased sperm motility, viability, and intracellular O 2 Ëâ significantly, but did not affect H 2 O 2 . As expected, more sperm incubated in capacitating media than Beltsville thawing solution buffer underwent acrosome reactions and protein tyrosine phosphorylation (four proteins, 58â174 kDa); which proteins were tyrosine phosphorylated was pH dependent. Pre-exposing sperm to the ROS-generating system increased the percentage of sperm that underwent acrosome reactions after incubation in capacitating conditions ( P < 0.025), and decreased capacitation-dependent increases in two tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins ( P â¤ 0.035). In summary, H 2 O 2 is the major free radical mediating direct ROS effects, but not cryopreservation changes, on boar sperm. Boar sperm motility, acrosome integrity, and lipid peroxidation are more sensitive indicators of oxidative stress than viability and PLA activity. ROS may stimulate the acrosome reaction in boar sperm through membrane lipid peroxidation and PLA activation.
Interferon gamma (IFNG) is a proinflammatory cytokine secreted in the uterus during early pregnancy. It is abundantly produced by uterine natural killer cells in maternal endometrium but also by trophoblasts in some species. In normal pregnancies of mice, IFNG plays critical roles that include initiation of endometrial vasculature remodeling, angiogenesis at implantation sites, and maintenance of the decidual (maternal) component of the placenta. In livestock and in humans, deviations in these processes are thought to contribute to serious gestational complications, such as fetal loss or preeclampsia. Interferon gamma has broader roles in activation of innate and adaptive immune responses to viruses and tumors, in part through upregulating transcription of genes involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and antigen processing/presentation. Despite this, rodent and human trophoblast cells show dampened responses to IFNG that reflect the resistance of these cells to IFNG-mediated activation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transplantation antigen expression. Lack of MHC class II antigens on trophoblasts is thought to facilitate survival of the semiallogeneic conceptus in the presence of maternal lymphocytes. This review describes the dynamic roles of IFNG in successful pregnancy and briefly summarizes data on IFNG in gestational pathologies.
In the present study, it was hypothesized that disruption of imprinting control in the H19 / Igf2 domain may be a mechanism of ethanol-induced growth retardationâa key clinical feature of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). To test this prediction, genomic bisulphite sequencing was carried out on 473 bp of the H19 imprinting control region in DNA obtained from midgestation F(1) hybrid mouse embryos (C57BL/6 Ã Mus musculus castaneus ) exposed to ethanol during preimplantation development. Although ethanol-exposed placentae and embryos were severely growth retarded in comparison with saline-treated controls, DNA methylation at paternal and maternal alleles was unaffected in embryos. However, paternal alleles were significantly less methylated in ethanol-treated placentae in comparison with saline-treated controls. Partial correlations suggested that the relationship between ethanol and placental weight partly depended on DNA methylation at a CCCTC-binding factor site on the paternal allele in placentae, suggesting a novel mechanism of ethanol-induced growth retardation. In contrast, partial correlations suggested that embryo growth retardation was independent of placental growth retardation. Relaxation of allele-specific DNA methylation in control placentae in comparison with control embryos was also observed, consistent with a model of imprinting in which 1) regulation of allele-specific DNA methylation in the placenta depends on a stochastic interplay between silencer and enhancer chromatin assembly factors and 2) imprinting control mechanisms in the embryo are more robust to environmental perturbations.