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Effect of increased scrotal temperature on sperm production in normal men  

Microsoft Academic Search

Objective: To determine whether application of polyester-lined athletic supports to bring the testes closer to the abdomen increases scrotal temperature and decreases sperm production.Design: Prospective clinical study.Setting: University academic medical center.Patient(s): Twenty-one healthy male volunteers.Intervention(s): The study consisted of a pretreatment period of 6 weeks, a treatment phase of 52 weeks, and a recovery phase until return to normal sperm

Christina Wang; Veronica McDonald; Andrew Leung; Laura Superlano; Nancy Berman; Laura Hull; Ronald S. Swerdloff



Females become infertile as the stored sperm's oxygen radicals increase  

PubMed Central

Predicting infertility is central to reproductive biology, medicine and evolutionary biology. In-vitro studies suggest that oxidative sperm damage causes infertility. Oxidative sperm damage can be reduced via two fundamental pathways: the removal of oxygen radicals by antioxidants, or the interference with cell metabolism to reduce the formation of oxygen radicals. Oxidative damage protection of spermatozoa should evolve frequently, especially during female sperm storage. However, in-vivo evidence linking oxidative protection and fertility is rare. We show that the intra-sperm production rate of oxygen radicals and the sperm metabolic rate were reduced in female bedbugs, Cimex lectularius, compared to males, and females laid fertile eggs. Females became infertile when sperm oxygen radicals and sperm metabolic rate increased to male levels. Our results link female fitness to sublethal sperm damage, imply adaptive benefits of interfering with sperm metabolism and offer the hypothesis that polyandry may serve to replace low-quality sperm.

Reinhardt, Klaus; Ribou, Anne-Cecile



Saccharin consumption increases sperm DNA fragmentation and apoptosis in mice  

PubMed Central

Background: Saccharin is an artificial non-caloric sweetener that used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, medicines, and toothpaste, but our bodies cannot metabolize it. Sodium saccharin is considered as an important factor in tumor promotion in male rats but not in humans. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of saccharin consumption on sperm parameters and apoptosis in adult mice. Materials and Methods: Totally 14 adult male mice were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 served as control fed on basal diet and group 2 or experimental animals received distilled water containing saccharin (0.2% w/v) for 35 days. After that, the left cauda epididymis of each mouse was cut and placed in Ham’s F10. Swimmed-out spermatozoa were used to analyze count, motility, morphology (Pap-staining) and viability (eosin-Y staining). Sperm DNA integrity, as an indicator of apoptosis, was assessed by SCD (sperm chromatin dispersion) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TUNEL) assay. Results: Following saccharin consumption, we had a reduction in sperm motility with respect to control animals (p=0.000). In addition, the sperm count diminished (17.70±1.11 in controls vs. 12.80±2.79 in case group, p=0.003) and the rate of sperm normal morphology decreased from 77.00±6.40 in control animals into 63.85±6.81 in saccharin-treated mice (p=0.001). Also, we saw a statistically significant increase in rates of sperm DNA damage and apoptosis in experimental group when compared to control one (p=0.001, p=0.002 respectively). Conclusion: Saccharin consumption may have negative effects on sperm parameters, and increases the rate of sperm DNA fragmentation and apoptosis in mice. PMID:25031574

Rahimipour, Marzieh; Talebi, Ali Reza; Anvari, Morteza; Abbasi Sarcheshmeh, Abolghasem; Omidi, Marjan



Phenotypic engineering of sperm-production rate confirms evolutionary predictions of sperm competition theory  

PubMed Central

Sperm production is a key male reproductive trait and an important parameter in sperm competition theory. Under sperm competition, paternity success is predicted to depend strongly on male allocation to sperm production. Furthermore, because sperm production is inherently costly, individuals should economize in sperm expenditure, and conditional adjustment of the copulation frequency according to their sperm availability may be expected. However, experimental studies showing effects of sperm production on mating behaviour and paternity success have so far been scarce, mainly because sperm production is difficult to manipulate directly in animals. Here, we used phenotypic engineering to manipulate sperm-production rate, by employing dose-dependent RNA interference (RNAi) of a spermatogenesis-specific gene, macbol1, in the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We demonstrate (i) that our novel dose-dependent RNAi approach allows us to induce high variability in sperm-production rate; (ii) that a reduced sperm-production rate is associated with a decreased copulation frequency, suggesting conditional adjustment of mating behaviour; and (iii) that both sperm production and copulation frequency are important determinants of paternity success in a competitive situation, as predicted by sperm competition theory. Our study clearly documents the potential of phenotypic engineering via dose-dependent RNAi to test quantitative predictions of evolutionary theory. PMID:23446521

Sekii, Kiyono; Vizoso, Dita B.; Kuales, Georg; De Mulder, Katrien; Ladurner, Peter; Scharer, Lukas



Lack of sperm production and sperm storage by arctic-nesting shorebirds during spring migration  

Microsoft Academic Search

Birds nesting at high latitudes may copulate during migration to arrive on the nesting grounds ready to breed. We surveyed 12 species of shorebirds during spring migration to determine whether (1) males produced abundant sperm and (2) females harboured functional sperm storage tubules (SSTs). Sperm production by males on migration was rare. Only four of seven species (9.8% of 41

James W. Rivers; James V. Briskie



Tritrichomonas fetus extracellular products decrease progressive motility of bull sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

Tritrichomonas fetus causes infertility and abortion in cattle; however, there is scarce information regarding the susceptibility of bovine sperm to this parasite. The objective of this study was to analyze in vitro the interaction between T. fetus and bovine sperm and to evaluate the effect of extracellular products secreted by the parasite on these reproductive cells. Sperm from five fertile

C. M. Ribeiro; M. B. Falleiros; S. D. Bicudo; J. P. Araujo Júnior; M. A. Golim; F. C. Silva Filho; C. R. Padovani; J. R. Modolo



Guaifenesin and increased sperm motility: a preliminary case report  

PubMed Central

Background A review of the literature and an extensive Medline search revealed that this is the first case report of the use of guaifenesin to increase sperm motility. Case A 32-year-old male presented for an infertility evaluation. He reported an inability to conceive with his wife after 18 months of unprotected intercourse. A semen analysis was performed that included spermatozoa count, liquefaction, morphology, motility, viscosity and volume. Initial results of the semen analysis demonstrated low sperm count and motility. The provider offered treatment with guaifenesin 600 mg extended release tablets twice daily. Two months after guaifenesin therapy the semen analysis was repeated that demonstrated marked improvement in both total sperm count and motility. Conclusion Evidence for the effectiveness of guaifenesin is almost entirely anecdotal. Given the mechanism of action of guaifenesin, it is not clear from this case why the patient demonstrated such a large improvement in both sperm count and motility. Additional studies of the effects of guaifenesin on male fertility could yield information of the medication’s effect on men with normal or decreased total sperm counts. PMID:21403786

Means, Gary; Berry-Caban, Cristobal S; Hammermeuller, Kurt



Sperm Pretreatment with Dithiothreitol Increases Male Pronucleus Formation Rates After Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in Swamp Buffalo Oocytes  

PubMed Central

Abstract Failure of male pronucleus formation has hampered the success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in swamp buffalo. The aim of the present study was to improve male pronucleus formation by pretreating sperm with various chemicals before ICSI. In Experiments1 and 2, sperm were treated according to one of the following protocols: (1) 0.1% Triton-X 100 (TX) for 1 min, (2) 10 µM calcium ionophore (CaI) for 20 min, (3) freezing and thawing (FT) without any cryoprotectant, or (4) no treatment (control). These sperm treatment groups then either did or did not receive additional sperm treatment with 5 mM dithiothreitol (DTT) for 20 min. Acrosomal integrity (Experiment 1) and DNA fragmentation (Experiment 2) were evaluated in the sperm before ICSI. In Experiment 3, oocytes matured in vitro were subjected to ICSI using pretreated sperm as described above and then were cultured either with or without activation. The TX- and CaI-treated sperm caused an increase in the number of acrosome-loss sperm, whereas the FT treatment and control increased the proportion of acrosome-reacted sperm (P<0.05). The DNA fragmentation did not differ among treatments (P>0.05). At 18 h post-ICSI, pronucleus (PN) formation was found only in activated oocytes. The majority of the activated ICSI oocytes contained intact sperm heads. Normal fertilization was observed in the CaI and FT treatment groups and control group when sperm were treated with DTT before ICSI. In conclusion, DTT treatment of sperm with reacted acrosomes before ICSI together with activation of the ICSI oocytes is important for successful male pronucleus formation. PMID:23132520

CHANKITISAKUL, Vibuntita; AM-IN, Nutthee; THARASANIT, Theerawat; SOMFAI, Tamas; NAGAI, Takashi; TECHAKUMPHU, Mongkol



Testicular biochemicals, sperm reserves and daily sperm production of West African dwarf bucks fed varied levels of dietary aflatoxin.  


An experiment was conducted with twenty West African dwarf (WAD) bucks (5-6 months old) to assess reproductive potentials of growing WAD bucks to varied dietary aflatoxin of 0 ?g/kg, 50 ?g/kg, 100 ?g/kg and 150 ?g/kg containing in diets 1 (control) 2, 3 and 4 respectively, for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the 12th week, the reproductive tracts of bucks were excised and homogenised in physiological saline for assessment of glucose, total protein and testosterone concentration, gonadal and extra gonadal sperm reserves. Results showed that gonadal and extra-gonadal sperm reserves of goats fed control diet (2.71×10(9) and 3.07×10(9) spermatozoa respectively) were superior (p<0.05) to those fed 50 ?g/kg, 100 ?g/kg and 15 0?g/kg [(1.59×10(9) and 2.33×10(9)), (1.09×10(9) and 2.45×10(9)) and (1.00×10(9) and 1.41×10(9)) spermatozoa respectively]. Daily sperm production of bucks fed the control diet was significantly (p<0.05) higher (7.60×10(8) spermatozoa/testis) than those fed 50 ?g/kg (4.47×10(8)), 100 ?g/kg (3.07×10(8)) and 150 ?g/kg (2.80×10(8) spermatozoa/testis). Sperm production efficiency also follows the same trend as daily sperm production. Glucose and total protein concentration in the testes declined significantly as the aflatoxin level increases in the diets. Testosterone level was significantly lower in goats fed 100 ?g/kg than others. The study suggest that exposure of male goats to dietary aflatoxin up to 50 ?g/kg diet will reduced testicular biochemical and testosterone with resultant depression in sperm storage capability and daily sperm production in the animals. PMID:24929896

Ewuola, E O; Jimoh, O A; Bello, A D; Bolarinwa, A O



Under-nutrition reduces spermatogenic efficiency and sperm velocity, and increases sperm DNA damage in sexually mature male sheep.  


We tested whether the quality of spermatozoa from mature male sheep would be affected during nutrition-induced changes in testicular mass. Merino rams were fed for 65 days with diets that increased, maintained or decreased body and testis mass (n=8 per group). In semen collected on Days 56 and 63, underfed rams had less sperms per ejaculate than well-fed rams (P<0.05) and a lower sperm velocity (computer-assisted semen analysis) than well-fed or maintenance-fed rams (P<0.05). Sperm chromatin structure assay revealed more sperm DNA damage in underfed rams than in well-fed rams (P<0.05). The amount of sperm DNA damage was inversely correlated with change in scrotal circumference (r=-0.6, P<0.05), the percentages of progressive motile sperm (r=-0.8; P<0.01) and motile sperm (r=-0.6, P<0.05), and the numbers of sperms per gram of testis (r=-0.55, P<0.05). In testicular tissue collected on Day 65, underfed rams had fewer sperm per gram of testis than rams in the other two groups (P<0.001). We conclude that, in adult rams, underfeeding reduces spermatogenic efficiency and that this response is associated with a reduction in spermatozoal quality. PMID:25086661

Guan, Yongjuan; Malecki, Irek A; Hawken, Penelope A R; Linden, Matthew D; Martin, Graeme B



Parenteral paradichlorobenzene exposure reduces sperm production, alters sperm morphology and exhibits an androgenic effect in rats and mice.  


Rats and mice (8 animals per species per group) were injected subcutaneously or intraperitoneally with paradichlorobenzene (PDCB) at doses of 0, 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg/day, 4-5 days a week, for 8 weeks (for rats) and either 2 or 6 weeks (for mice). Prostate and seminal vesicle weights were significantly increased in PDCB-treated rats but not in mice. Major histopathologic injuries were not found in testis and epididymis of both species. Daily sperm production was depressed in both species in a dose-response manner. Serum testosterone levels were not significantly changed in both species. Sperm morphology was evaluated in rats intraperitoneally administered PDCB at a dose of 800 mg/kg. Abnormal sperms with reduced hook, bent neck, coiled flagellum, bent flagellum and bent flagellum tip were significantly increased in treated rats. In Hershberger assay, PDCB administration increased weights of ventral prostate gland, seminal vesicle, levator ani/bulbocavernosus muscle and glans penis in castrated rats, and also weights of ventral prostate gland and glans penis in castrated mice. PDCB and 2,5-dichlorophenol (the major metabolite) did not bind androgen receptor (AR) up to 10 mM. In conclusion, PDCB affects sperm production and morphology but is somewhat androgenic independently from AR binding in rats and mice. PMID:20932873

Takahashi, Osamu; Ohashi, Norio; Nakae, Dai; Ogata, Akio



Sperm Competition Selects for Sperm Quantity and Quality in the Australian Maluridae  

PubMed Central

When ejaculates from rival males compete for fertilization, there is strong selection for sperm traits that enhance fertilization success. Sperm quantity is one such trait, and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between sperm competition and both testes size and the number of sperm available for copulations. Sperm competition is also thought to favor increases in sperm quality and changes in testicular morphology that lead to increased sperm production. However, in contrast to sperm quantity, these hypotheses have received considerably less empirical support and remain somewhat controversial. In a comparative study using the Australian Maluridae (fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, grasswrens), we tested whether increasing levels of sperm competition were associated with increases in both sperm quantity and quality, as well as an increase in the relative amount of seminiferous tubule tissue contained within the testes. After controlling for phylogeny, we found positive associations between sperm competition and sperm numbers, both in sperm reserves and in ejaculate samples. Additionally, as sperm competition level increased, the proportion of testicular spermatogenic tissue also increased, suggesting that sperm competition selects for greater sperm production per unit of testicular tissue. Finally, we also found that sperm competition level was positively associated with multiple sperm quality traits, including the proportion of motile sperm in ejaculates and the proportion of both viable and morphologically normal sperm in sperm reserves. These results suggest multiple ejaculate traits, as well as aspects of testicular morphology, have evolved in response to sperm competition in the Australian Maluridae. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the importance of post-copulatory sexual selection as an evolutionary force shaping macroevolutionary differences in sperm phenotype. PMID:21283577

Rowe, Melissah; Pruett-Jones, Stephen



Male crickets increase sperm number in relation to competition and female size  

Microsoft Academic Search

There is evidence to suggest that males of various species can respond to the threat of sperm competition by varying the\\u000a amount of sperm transferred during copulation. We tested this in two species of cricket, Acheta domesticus and Gryllodes supplicans (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) by varying the apparent threat of intermale competition experimentally. The results showed that males\\u000a of both species increased

A. R. Gage; C. J. Barnard



Disruption of Maternal DNA Repair Increases Sperm-DerivedChromosomal Aberrations  

SciTech Connect

The final weeks of male germ cell differentiation occur in aDNA repair-deficient environment and normal development depends on theability of the egg to repair DNA damage in the fertilizing sperm. Geneticdisruption of maternal DNA double-strand break repair pathways in micesignificantly increased the frequency of zygotes with chromosomalstructural aberrations after paternal exposure to ionizing radiation.These findings demonstrate that radiation-induced DNA sperm lesions arerepaired after fertilization by maternal factors and suggest that geneticvariation in maternal DNA repair can modulate the risk of early pregnancylosses and of children with chromosomal aberrations of paternalorigin.

Marchetti, Francesco; Essers, Jeroun; Kanaar, Roland; Wyrobek,Andrew J.



Sperm-mediated gene transfer: effect on bovine in vitro embryo production.  


The technique of sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT) can be used to delivery exogenous DNA into the oocyte. However, it has low repeatability and produces inconsistent results. In order to optimize this technique, it is necessary to study the mechanism by which DNA enters the sperm cell and integrates in the sperm genome. Furthermore, studies must focus in the maintenance of sperm cell viability and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate different SMGT protocols of sperm electroporation or capacitation (CaI) aiming to maintain sperm viability in the production of bovine embryos in vitro. Frozen-thawed semen was divided in two experimental groups (electroporation or CaI) and one control group (non-treated cells). For the electroporation method, five different voltages (100, 500, 750, 1000 or 1500 V) with 25 ?F capacitance were used. For CaI treatment, combinations of two CaI concentrations (250 nM or 500 nM), two incubation periods of sperm cells with CaI (1 or 5 min) and two incubation periods that mimicked time of sperm cell interaction with exogenous DNA molecules (1 or 2 h) were evaluated. According to our data, electroporation and CaI treatments do not prevent sperm penetration and oocyte fertilization and can be an alternative method to achieve satisfactory DNA delivery in SMGT protocols. PMID:22805109

Simões, Renata; Nicacio, Alessandra Corallo; Binelli, Mario; de Paula-Lopes, Fabiola Freitas; Milazzotto, Marcella Pecora; Visintin, José Antonio; D'Ávila Assumpção, Mayra Elena Ortiz



Current status of plant products reported to inhibit sperm.  


This report reviews research on plant-derived agents that prevent sperm production if taken orally by the male or that incapacitate or kill sperm on contact if used vaginally by the female. It would be of great value to develop fertility inhibitors that are totally selective for reproductive systems and enzymes, and there is a possibility that a plant-derived drug may have this effect. Plants that have been studied for their fertility inhibiting effects in the male include: Aristolochia indica L. (Aristolochiaceae); Azadirachta indica A. Juss (Meliaceae); Balanites roxburghii Planch. (Zygophyllaceae); Calotropis procera (Ait) R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae); Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae); Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don (Apocynaceae); Dieffenbachia seguine (Jacquin) Schott. (Araceae); Ecaballium elaterium A. Richard (Cucurbitaceae); Gossypium species (Malvaceae); Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Malvaceae); Hippophae salicifolia D. Don (Elaeagnaceae); Leucaena glauca (L.) Benth. (Leguminosae); Lonicera ciliosa Poir. (Caprifoliaceae); Lupinus termis Forsk. (Leguminosae); Malvaviscus conzattii Greenm. (Malvaceae); Momordica charantia L. (Curcurbitaceae); Ocimum sanctum L. (Labiatae); Prunus emarginata Walp. (Rosaceae); and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae). A large number of plants have been randomly selected and screened for spermicidal activity "in vitro" and several seem promising. Those species found to be active and the nature of the active principle(s), when known, are presented in a table as are plant-derived chemical substances of known or partially known structure reported to be spermicidal "in vitro." Plants warrant systematic study as potential sources of sperm-agglutinating compounds. Of 1600 Indian plants tested, 90 showed positive semen coagulating properties. There seems to be a lack of correlation among experimental results obtained by different groups of investigators, between data obtained "in vitro" and "in vivo," and between experimental results and information found in folklore. Factors complicating the adequate assessment of plants affecting male fertility are inadequate numbers of vehicle-treated controls, poor experimental design, problems related to insolubility of crude plant extracts, variation in routes of administration, diversity in reproductive function and control among various laboratory species, and problems in identifying plant names consistently. PMID:12179631

Farnsworth, N R; Waller, D P



Gamete evolution and sperm numbers: sperm competition versus sperm limitation.  


Both gamete competition and gamete limitation can generate anisogamy from ancestral isogamy, and both sperm competition (SC) and sperm limitation (SL) can increase sperm numbers. Here, we compare the marginal benefits due to these two components at any given population level of sperm production using the risk and intensity models in sperm economics. We show quite generally for the intensity model (where N males compete for each set of eggs) that however severe the degree of SL, if there is at least one competitor for fertilization (N - 1 ? 1), the marginal gains through SC exceed those for SL, provided that the relationship between the probability of fertilization (F) and increasing sperm numbers (x) is a concave function. In the risk model, as fertility F increases from 0 to 1.0, the threshold SC risk (the probability q that two males compete for fertilization) for SC to be the dominant force drops from 1.0 to 0. The gamete competition and gamete limitation theories for the evolution of anisogamy rely on very similar considerations: our results imply that gamete limitation could dominate only if ancestral reproduction took place in highly isolated, small spawning groups. PMID:25100694

Parker, Geoff A; Lehtonen, Jussi



Production of female bovine embryos with sex-sorted sperm using intracytoplasmic sperm injection: efficiency and in vitro developmental competence.  


The production of embryos with a preselected sex sperm is important in the livestock industry. In this study, we examined the efficiency of producing female embryos by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with flow cytometry sorted (ssICSI) and unsorted (usICSI) bovine sperm, and their developmental competence in vitro. For comparison, bovine embryos were also produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) with sorted (ssIVF) and unsorted (usIVF) bovine sperm. The semen used in this study was from a bull selected for its high fertility and blastocyst developmental competence among four bulls. We first examined and compared pronuclear (PN) formation and cleavage rates of the produced embryos among the treatment groups. Our results demonstrated that PN formation rates (judged by two pronucleus [2PN]) and cleavage rates in ssIVF group (23.1% and 43.6%) were lower than those in the usIVF (71.1% and 71.6%), usICSI (73.1% and 92.8%) and ssICSI (75% and 79.1%) groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Moreover, the blastocyst formation rate in the ssIVF group was less than those in the usIVF, usICSI, and ssICSI groups (2.7% vs. 30.2%, 28.7% and 24.7%, respectively; P < 0.05). Importantly, we reported that the blastocyst formation rate in the ssICSI group was similar to that in the usICSI group, which indicated that ICSI can rescue the damage introduced to sperm by flow cytometry-mediated sex-sorting. Of note, we achieved a blastocyst formation rate in the ssICSI group to be comparable with the usIVF group. We then examined embryo quality by counting the number of normal and apoptotic cells in blastocysts. It was found that, despite the fact that blastocyst formation rate in the ssIVF group was significantly lower than those in the usIVF, usICSI and ssICSI groups, there was no difference in total and apoptotic cell numbers among these groups (P > 0.05). Finally, karyotyping analysis demonstrated that the proportion of female embryos in the ssICSI and ssIVF groups was 100%, whereas it was 58.8% and 57.8% in the usIVF and usICSI groups, respectively. In conclusion, ICSI with flow cytometry sorted bovine sperm provides an alternative approach to produce embryos with predetermined sex. PMID:24360289

Jo, Hyun-Tae; Bang, Jae-Il; Kim, Seong-Su; Choi, Byung-Hyun; Jin, Jong-In; Kim, Heyng-Lyool; Jung, In-Suk; Suh, Tae-Kwang; Ghanem, Nasser; Wang, Zhongde; Kong, Il-Keun



Adaptive plasticity of mammalian sperm production in response to social experience  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition theory predicts that males should invest prudently in ejaculates according to levels of female promiscuity. Males may therefore be sensitive to cues in their social environment associated with sexual competition, and tailor investment in sperm production accordingly. We tested this idea experimentally for the first time, to our knowledge, in a mammal by comparing reproductive traits of male house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) that had experienced contrasting encounter regimes with potential sexual competitors. We found that daily sperm production and numbers of sperm in the caput epididymis were significantly higher in subjects that had experienced a high encounter rate of social cues from three other males compared to those that had experienced a low encounter rate of social cues from just one other male. Epididymal sperm counts were negatively correlated with the frequency of scent-marking behaviour across all males in our study, suggesting that investment in ejaculate production may be traded off against traits that function in gaining copulations, although there was no difference in overall levels of scent marking between treatment groups. We conclude that social experience-mediated phenotypic plasticity in mammalian spermatogenesis is likely to be adaptive under sperm competition, enabling males to balance the energetic costs and paternity-enhancing benefits of ejaculate production, and is a potentially widespread explanation for intraspecific variation in ejaculate expenditure. PMID:18986975

Ramm, Steven A.; Stockley, Paula



Increasing Public Library Productivity.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Suggests ways of improving productivity for public libraries faced with increased accountability, dwindling revenues, and continuing inflation. Techniques described include work simplification, work analysis, improved management, and employee motivation. (RAA)

Samuelson, Howard



Plastic responses of male Drosophila melanogaster to the level of sperm competition increase male reproductive fitness  

PubMed Central

Evolutionary and plastic responses by males to the level of sperm competition (SC) are reported across widespread taxa, but direct tests of the consequences for male reproductive success in a competitive context are lacking. We varied male perception of SC to examine the effect on male competitive reproductive success and to test whether the outcomes were as predicted by theory. Exposure to rival males prior to mating increased a male's ejaculate investment (measured as mating duration); by contrast, exposure to rival males in the mating arena decreased mating duration. The results therefore suggested that SC intensity is important in shaping male responses to SC in this system, although the patterns were not strictly in accord with existing theory. We then tested whether males that responded to the level of SC had higher reproductive fitness in a competitive context. We found that males kept with rivals prior to mating again mated for longer; furthermore, they achieved significantly higher paternity share regardless of whether they were the first or second males to mate with a female. The plastic strategies employed by males therefore resulted in significantly increased reproductive success in a competitive context, even following subsequent rematings in which the majority of sperm were displaced. PMID:19324834

Bretman, Amanda; Fricke, Claudia; Chapman, Tracey



Sperm competition, male prudence, and sperm-limited females (2002)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm are produced in astronomical numbers compared with eggs, and there is good evidence that sperm competition is the force behind the evolution of many tiny sperm. However, sperm production inevitably has costs. Recent research shows that male ejaculate expenditure is dynamic in both time and space, and that males are sensitive to risks of sperm competition and can vary

Nina Wedell; Matthew Gage; Geoffrey Parker


Anopheles arabiensis sperm production after genetic manipulation, dieldrin treatment, and irradiation.  


The use of the sterile insect technique relies on the release of sterilized mass-reared male insects which, before field releases, endure several unnatural treatments. In the case of Anopheles arabiensis (Patton) sterile insect technique program in Sudan, the genetic background of the original strain was first changed to create a genetic sexing strain that is based on a dieldrin-resistant mutation. Secondly, the eggs of the genetic sexing strain require treatment with dieldrin to allow complete elimination of female L1 larvae to enable the release of males only. Finally, male mosquitoes receive an irradiation dose of 70 Gy as pupae for sterilization. The effects of these treatments on sperm production were tested separately and in combination. Irradiation alone significantly decreased the initial sperm number and prevented new sperm production. However, the dieldrin treatment, aimed at eliminating females, appears to have an unexpected radioprotectant effect. PMID:23540119

Damiens, D; Vreysen, M J B; Gilles, J R L



Gamete therapeutics: recombinant protein adsorption by sperm for increasing fertility via artificial insemination.  


A decrease in fertility can have a negative economic impact, both locally and over a broader geographical scope, and this is especially the case with regard to the cattle industry. Therefore, much interest exists in evaluating proteins that might be able to increase the fertility of sperm. Heparin binding proteins (HBPs), specifically the fertility associated antigen (FAA) and the Type-2 tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-2), act to favor the capacitation and acrosome reaction and perhaps even modulate the immune system's response toward the sperm. The objective of this research was to determine the effect on fertility of adding recombinant FAA (rFAA) and recombinant TIMP-2 (rTIMP-2) to bovine semen before cryopreservation for use in an artificial insemination (AI) program in a tropical environment. For this experiment, 100 crossbred (Bos taurus x Bos indicus) heifers were selected based on their estrus cycle, body condition score (BCS), of 4 to 6 on a scale of 1 to 9, and adequate anatomical conformation evaluated by pelvic and genital (normal) measurements. Heifers were synchronized using estradiol benzoate (EB), Celosil® (PGF2?) (Shering-Plough) and a controlled internal drug release (CIDR) device was inserted that contained progesterone. Inseminations were performed in two groups at random, 50 animals per group. The control group was inseminated with conventional semen. The treatment group was inseminated with semen containing rFAA (25 µg/mL) and rTIMP-2 (25 µg/mL). In the control group a 16% pregnancy rate was obtained versus a 40% pregnancy rate for the HBP treatment group, resulting in a significant difference (P?=?0.0037). Given the results herein, one may conclude that the HBPs can increase fertility and could be an option for cattle in tropical conditions; however, one needs to consider the environment, nutrition, and the genetic interaction affecting the final result in whatever reproductive program that is implemented. PMID:23762288

Alvarez-Gallardo, Horacio; Kjelland, Michael E; Moreno, Juan F; Welsh, Thomas H; Randel, Ronald D; Lammoglia, Miguel A; Pérez-Martínez, Mario; Lara-Sagahón, Alma V; Esperón-Sumano, A Enrique; Romo, Salvador



Offsetting effects of Wolbachia infection and heat shock on sperm production in Drosophila simulans: analyses of fecundity, fertility and accessory gland proteins.  

PubMed Central

Infection in Drosophila simulans with the endocellular symbiont Wolbachia pipientis results in egg lethality caused by failure to properly initiate diploid development (cytoplasmic incompatibility, CI). The relationship between Wolbachia infection and reproductive factors influencing male fitness has not been well examined. Here we compare infected and uninfected strains of D. simulans for (1) sperm production, (2) male fertility, and (3) the transfer and processing of two accessory gland proteins, Acp26Aa or Acp36De. Infected males produced significantly fewer sperm cysts than uninfected males over the first 10 days of adult life, and infected males, under varied mating conditions, had lower fertility compared to uninfected males. This fertility effect was due to neither differences between infected and uninfected males in the transfer and subsequent processing of accessory gland proteins by females nor to the presence of Wolbachia in mature sperm. We found that heat shock, which is known to decrease CI expression, increases sperm production to a greater extent in infected compared to uninfected males, suggesting a possible link between sperm production and heat shock. Given these results, the roles Wolbachia and heat shock play in mediating male gamete production may be important parameters for understanding the dynamics of infection in natural populations. PMID:10790392

Snook, R R; Cleland, S Y; Wolfner, M F; Karr, T L




EPA Science Inventory

The rat is the preferred species for reproductive toxicity testing. The inclusion of measures of rat sperm quality, such as motility and morphology, into reproductive test protocols often increases the sensitivity of the test to detect effects, and provides the toxicologist and ...


Establishment of a normal medakafish spermatogonial cell line capable of sperm production in vitro  

PubMed Central

Spermatogonia are the male germ stem cells that continuously produce sperm for the next generation. Spermatogenesis is a complicated process that proceeds through mitotic phase of stem cell renewal and differentiation, meiotic phase, and postmeiotic phase of spermiogenesis. Full recapitulation of spermatogenesis in vitro has been impossible, as generation of normal spermatogonial stem cell lines without immortalization and production of motile sperm from these cells after long-term culture have not been achieved. Here we report the derivation of a normal spermatogonial cell line from a mature medakafish testis without immortalization. After 140 passages during 2 years of culture, this cell line retains stable but growth factor-dependent proliferation, a diploid karyotype, and the phenotype and gene expression pattern of spermatogonial stem cells. Furthermore, we show that this cell line can undergo meiosis and spermiogenesis to generate motile sperm. Therefore, the ability of continuous proliferation and sperm production in culture is an intrinsic property of medaka spermatogonial stem cells, and immortalization apparently is not necessary to derive male germ cell cultures. Our findings and cell line will offer a unique opportunity to study and recapitulate spermatogenesis in vitro and to develop approaches for germ-line transmission. PMID:15141090

Hong, Yunhan; Liu, Tongming; Zhao, Haobin; Xu, Hongyan; Wang, Weijia; Liu, Rong; Chen, Tiansheng; Deng, Jiaorong; Gui, Jianfang



Toxic effects induced by mycotoxin fumonisin B1 on equine spermatozoa: assessment of viability, sperm chromatin structure stability, ROS production and motility.  


Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species that exerts its toxic effect through interference with the sphingolipid pathway by inhibiting ceramide synthase. A FB1-dependent sperm toxicity was reported in boars. No information on FB1-related reproductive toxicity in stallions, the most sensitive animal species, has been reported. The aim of the present study was to assess the in vitro toxicity of FB1 on fresh and frozen-thawed equine spermatozoa by analyzing sperm viability, chromatin stability (SCSA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by flow cytometry and sperm motility by CASA system. Fumonisin B1 did not affect viability of fresh spermatozoa after 2h exposure up to 25 ?M. Damage on sperm chromatin structure was observed only in one frozen sample after exposure up to 2.5 x 10?? ?M FB1 without associated increase of ROS. Increase of ROS, at FB1 levels up to 2.5 x 10?? ?M, was found on another frozen-thawed sperm sample, may be as a consequence of seminal plasma removal. At 7.5 and 15 ?M, FB1 induced reduction of total and progressive motility. PMID:20541003

Minervini, Fiorenza; Lacalandra, Giovanni M; Filannino, Angela; Garbetta, Antonella; Nicassio, Michele; Dell'aquila, Maria Elena; Visconti, Angelo



Sperm production and quality in brill Scophthalmus rhombus L.: relation to circulating sex steroid levels.  


The aims of the present study were to characterize sperm quality and to quantify seasonal changes in sexual hormone (testosterone [T], 11-ketotestosterone [11-KT] and 17,20?-dihydroxypregn-4-en-3-one [17,20?-P]) levels in male brill (Scophthalmus rhombus) plasma, as well as to test a more intensive sampling strategy to establish relationships between sex steroid levels and sperm production parameters. Sperm concentration ranged from 0.5 to 3.1 × 10(9) spermatozoa mL(-1), and changes in sperm quality parameters depending on sampling date were observed. Plasma sexual steroid levels remained high and changed in parallel during the spawning season and afterwards decreased to very low levels in summer. The analysis of annual changes of 11-KT and T ratios suggests that 11-KT can be the main circulating androgen for stimulating spermatogenesis in S. rhombus and that T could be involved in the beginning of spermatogenesis through the positive feedback on brain-pituitary-gonad axis. Finally, daily 11-KT and T levels showed similar patterns of variation in males sampled, whereas 17,20?-P amounts showed somewhat opposite trends. These differences could be related with the different role of androgens and progestin during the spermatogenesis. PMID:22806610

Hachero-Cruzado, Ismael; Forniés, Asunción; Herrera, Marcelino; Mancera, Juan Miguel; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo



Increasing Productivity of Welding  

E-print Network

been solid steel electrode wires, 1/16" and smaller, which is normally used for gas metal arc welding and the flux-cored electrode wire. The chart shows that these are increasing at a fairly steady rate with the small solid electrode wire... the entire operation is manual; "Semiautomatic Welding", wherein the arc is maintained by the machine which also feeds the filler metal, but the travel and direction is done by the welder. The third method is "Machine Welding" or mechanized welding, where...

Uhrig, J. J.



Male capacity as related to sperm production, pregnancy initiation, and sperm competition in deer mice ( Peromyscus maniculatus )  

Microsoft Academic Search

Limitations on male capacity may be important to the evolution of mating strategies and behavior. Sperm counts in successive ejaculates of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) decreased progressively through six ejaculations and remained depressed the following day. Males were as effective in inseminating females in cycling estrus with their second two ejaculates as with their first two and as effective in

Donald A. Dewsbury; D. Kim Sawrey



Treatment of GnRHa-implanted Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) with 11-ketoandrostenedione stimulates spermatogenesis and increases sperm motility.  


The effect of 11-ketoandrostenedione (OA) on plasma concentrations of sexual steroids and spermatogenesis of Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) implanted with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) was investigated. Males were treated with saline (control) or with GnRHa implants (50 mug kg(-1)) in the presence or absence of OA (2 or 7 mg kg(-1)) during twenty eight days. Treatment with GnRHa alone slightly stimulated spermatogenesis and milt production with respect to controls, and this was associated with a transient elevation of plasma 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) at day seven and an increase of 5beta-reduced metabolite(s) of 17,20beta-dihydroxy-pregn-4-en-3-one (17,20betaP) at day twenty eight. However, treatment with GnRHa+OA increased plasma concentrations of 11-KT and free+sulphated 5beta-reduced metabolites of 17,20betaP at days seven, fourteen and twenty one. After twenty eight days, the testis of GnRHa+OA-treated fish showed a lower number of spermatogonia B and spermatocytes I, and a higher number of spermatids, than fish treated with GnRHa alone. In addition, the motility of spermatozoa produced by GnRHa+OA males was enhanced by 2-fold with respect to controls or GnRHa males. These results suggest that treatment of Senegalese sole with GnRHa+OA stimulates spermatogenesis resulting in more motile sperm. Such effects could be mediated by an increased synthesis of 11-KT and/or 17,20betaP in the testis but further studies will be required to elucidate the specific mechanism involved. PMID:17360211

Agulleiro, Maria J; Scott, Alexander P; Duncan, Neil; Mylonas, Constantinos C; Cerdà, Joan



Sperm competition and the evolution of sperm design in mammals  

PubMed Central

Background The influence of sperm competition upon sperm size has been a controversial issue during the last 20 years which remains unresolved for mammals. The hypothesis that, when ejaculates compete with rival males, an increase in sperm size would make sperm more competitive because it would increase sperm swimming speed, has generated contradictory results from both theoretical and empirical studies. In addition, the debate has extended to which sperm components should increase in size: the midpiece to accommodate more mitochondria and produce more energy to fuel motility, or the principal piece to generate greater propulsion forces. Results In this study we examined the influence of sperm competition upon sperm design in mammals using a much larger data set (226 species) than in previous analyses, and we corrected for phylogenetic effects by using a more complete and resolved phylogeny, and more robust phylogenetic control methods. Our results show that, as sperm competition increases, all sperm components increase in an integrated manner and sperm heads become more elongated. The increase in sperm length was found to be associated with enhanced swimming velocity, an adaptive trait under sperm competition. Conclusions We conclude that sperm competition has played an important role in the evolution of sperm design in mammals, and discuss why previous studies have failed to detect it. PMID:21232104



Schedule to inject in vitro matured oocytes may increase pregnancy after intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  


To ascertain the value of using immature oocytes in an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) program, the authors designed a schedule, at 5 p.m. on day 1 (the day of oocyte retrieval) and at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on day 2, to recognize and inject the in vitro matured (IVM) oocytes. For the 1,166 oocytes retrieved in 107 ICSI cycles, 128 (11.0%) were at the stage of metaphase I (MI) and 113 (9.7%) at germinal vesicle. Routine ICSI for metaphase 11 oocytes was performed at 2 p.m. on day 1 (initial ICSI). In culture medium of human tubal fluid with 15% maternal serum, 85.1% (205/241) immature oocytes progressed to maturation in which 16.4% (21/128) of MI oocytes matured at 5 p.m. of day 1. The rate of normal fertilization for IVM oocytes (58.5%) was not significantly different from that of initial ICSI (64.0%). One patient received a transfer of two fertilized IVM oocytes alone that were injected at 5 p.m. of day 1, maturing from the MI stage, and achieved a normal pregnancy. The fertilized IVM oocytes were replaced along with the embryos from initial ICSI for 40 cycles that led to 14 (35%) clinical pregnancies. In 43 fertilized IVM oocytes donated for research, we observed that cleavage (95.3%) to the 2- to 4-cell stage was not distinct from that of initial ICSI (94.6%); however, the percentage of embryos of grade I and II morphology was significantly smaller (24.4% vs. 62.5%). Only five (11.6%) developed to blastocysts in vitro. Twenty-one fertilized IVM oocytes were frozen for future transfer. A schedule to inject IVM oocytes in ICSI cycles may generate more accessible embryos for fresh transfer or cryopreservation to increase the chance of pregnancy, although the embryo quality was relatively poor. PMID:10864367

Chen, S U; Chen, H F; Lien, Y R; Ho, H N; Chang, H C; Yang, Y S



Good internal communication increases productivity  

Microsoft Academic Search

Internal communication has become an important factor in today's business world. The increased use of electronic media can, despite their obvious advantages, cause communication problems, i.e. information overload. By avoiding communication problems, the productivity of a company can be increased. The relation between internal communication and productivity has been subject of a number of surveys. Although different survey approaches have

Isabel Opitz; Michael B. Hinner



The Effect of Ambient Air Pollution on Sperm Quality  

PubMed Central

Background Research has suggested an association with ambient air pollution and sperm quality. Objectives We investigated the effect of exposure to ozone (O3) and particulate matter < 2.5 ?m in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) on sperm quality. Methods We reexamined a previous cohort study of water disinfection by-products to evaluate sperm quality in 228 presumed fertile men with different air pollution profiles. Outcomes included sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate (count), and morphology, as well as DNA integrity and chromatin maturity. Exposures to O3 and PM2.5 were evaluated for the 90–day period before sampling. We used multivariable linear regression, which included different levels of adjustment (i.e., without and with season and temperature) to assess the relationship between exposure to air pollutants during key periods of sperm development and adverse sperm outcomes. Results Sperm concentration and count were not associated with exposure to PM2.5, but there was evidence of an association (but not statistically significant) with O3 concentration and decreased sperm concentration and count. Additionally, a significant increase in the percentage of sperm cells with cytoplasmic drop [? = 2.64; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21–5.06] and abnormal head (? = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.03–0.92) was associated with PM2.5 concentration in the base model. However, these associations, along with all other sperm outcomes, were not significantly associated with either pollutant after controlling for season and temperature. Overall, although we found both protective and adverse effects, there was generally no consistent pattern of increased abnormal sperm quality with elevated exposure to O3 or PM2.5. Conclusions Exposures to O3 or PM2.5 at levels below the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards were not associated with statistically significant decrements in sperm outcomes in this cohort of fertile men. However, some results suggested effects on sperm concentration, count, and morphology. PMID:20123611

Hansen, Craig; Luben, Thomas J.; Sacks, Jason D.; Olshan, Andrew; Jeffay, Susan; Strader, Lillian; Perreault, Sally D.



Effect of heparin on cleavage rates and embryo production with four bovine sperm preparation protocols  

Microsoft Academic Search

Heparin is often added to fertilization media to induce sperm capacitation. However, recent observations from the bovine IVF industry have indicated that heparin may not be necessary to induce sperm capacitation when cryopreserved bovine sperm are separated through Percoll gradients. The objective of these studies was to determine if the addition of heparin to fertilization media was required following separation

J. O. B Mendes; P. D Burns; J. F De La Torre-Sanchez; G. E Seidel



Methods for evaluating the effects of environmental chemicals on human sperm production.  

PubMed Central

Sperm tests provide a direct and effective way of identifying chemical agents that induce spermatogenic damage in man. Four human sperm tests are available: sperm count, motility, morphology (seminal cytology) and the Y-body test. These sperm tests have numerous advantages over other approaches for assessing spermatogenic damage, and they have already been used to assess the effects of at least 85 different occupational, environmental, and drug-related chemical exposures. When carefully controlled, seminal cytology appears to be statistically more sensitive than the other human sperm tests and should be considered an integral part of semen analysis when assessing induced spermatogenic damage. Human sperm studies have complex requirements and, before sampling, careful consideration should be given to exposure details, group size and makeup, as well as animal and human data that indicate spermatogenic effects. Several study designs are possible and should include questionnaires covering medical and reproductive histories as well as known confounding factors. Animal sperm tests, such as the mouse morphology test, may be used to identify the toxic components of a complex mixture. Animal tests may also help assess the chemical effects on fertility and reproductive outcome in cases when human data are incomplete. Further efforts are needed in these areas to develop improved human sperm tests sensitive to induced spermatogenic damage, to develop improved animal models of induced spermatogenic damage, to understand the relationships among sperm changes, fertility, and reproductive outcome, and to develop sperm tests with express mutational end points. PMID:6825635

Wyrobek, A J



Production of diabetic offspring using cryopreserved epididymal sperm by in vitro fertilization and intrafallopian insemination techniques in transgenic pigs.  


Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a useful technique for creating pig strains that model human diseases. However, production of numerous cloned disease model pigs by SCNT for large-scale experiments is impractical due to its complexity and inefficiency. In the present study, we aimed to establish an efficient procedure for proliferating the diabetes model pig carrying the mutant human hepatocyte nuclear factor-1? gene. A founder diabetes transgenic cloned pig was generated by SCNT and treated with insulin to allow for normal growth to maturity, at which point epididymal sperm could be collected for cryopreservation. In vitro fertilization and intrafallopian insemination using the cryopreserved epididymal sperm resulted in diabetes model transgenic offspring. These results suggest that artificial reproductive technology using cryopreserved epididymal sperm could be a practical option for proliferation of genetically modified disease model pigs. PMID:23979397

Umeyama, Kazuhiro; Honda, Kasumi; Matsunari, Hitomi; Nakano, Kazuaki; Hidaka, Tatsuro; Sekiguchi, Keito; Mochizuki, Hironori; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro; Fujiwara, Tsukasa; Watanabe, Masahito; Nagaya, Masaki; Nagashima, Hiroshi




Microsoft Academic Search

SUMMARY Postweaning growth and pubertal traits were studied in Hereford, Angus, Red Poll, Brown Swiss, Hereford-Angus crossbred (HXA) and Angus-Hereford crossbred (AX H) bulls from 7 through 13 months of age. Pubertal factors characterized included body weight, testicular size, hormone concentrations, sexual aggressive- ness and sperm production. Puberty was de- fined as the age at which a bull first produced

D. D. Lunstra; J. J. Ford; S. E. Echternkamp



Effect of temperature and humidity on sperm production in Duroc boars under different housing systems in Thailand  

Microsoft Academic Search

The aim of this study was to investigate the variation in temperature and humidity during a 12-month period in boar stables in Thailand with either conventional open air system (CONV) or evaporative cooling system (EVAP), as well as the effect of season, temperature, humidity, age of the boar, and semen collection interval on sperm production in Duroc boars kept in

A. Suriyasomboon; N. Lundeheim; A. Kunavongkrit; S. Einarsson



[How to increase food production?].  


Pressure of population on cultivable land, serious soil erosion, and low productivity due to scarcity of inputs have hampered efforts to provide an adequate diet for the population of Rwanda. Until the present, production has increased about as rapidly as population, but Rwanda is not totally self-sufficient in food, future climatic conditions may be less favorable than those of the past, technical and resource constraints are likely to increase, and little new land will be available for cultivation. Between 1970-80, hectares devoted to bananas and beans have increased considerably, but the marginal nature of much new land has seriously lowered productivity. Sweet potatoes are more extensively grown but their productivity is limited, and productivity of manioc has stagnated despite efforts to increase it. Peas are less frequently cultivated because the fallow land on they they are grown has almost disappeared due to population pressure. Agriculture in Rwanda has always been associated with herding, but population pressure is eliminating pastureland. Firewood for cooking is also becoming more scarce and reforestation is not proceeding rapidly enough to fill projected demand. Between 1978-80 and the year 2000, preliminary goals are to increase production in tons from 2,005,900 to 3,375,000 for bananas, from 177,400 to 330,000 for beans, from 15,200 to 45,500 for ground nuts, from 4000 to 25,000 for soybeans, from 174,800 to 288,000 for sorghum, from 81,300 to 250,000 for maize, from 3700 to 45,000 for rice, from 837,100 to 2,148,000 for sweet potatoes, from 506,600 to 1,200,000 for manioc, and from 216,000 to 600,000 for potatoes. Reaching these goals will require doubling of overall productivity per hectare. Different strategies will be required for increasing the yields of the principal crops. Priority should be given to developing strains of beans that will grow well in the poor soils, dry or cold regions, and acidic soils where they are usually planted in Rwanda. Beans requiring less labor-intensive cultivation and able to grow in association with other crops or under banana trees are needed. The new varieties should be resistent to disease and pests. Bananas, with an annual production of over 2 million tons, are the most important crop in Rwanda, but 80-90% is used for beer, an important indicator of family wealth and symbolic object in social relations. The average yield of bananas declined by 19% between 1970-80. 3 very productive varieties of table bananas have been introduced recently, but research is needed in different ecologic regions of Rwanda focusing on cultivation of bananas in association with other crops, improved varieties of bananas, and better cultivation methods. Research should also be directed toward developing the best varieties of high, medium, and low altitude sorghum, the traditional cereal crop, of maize and of sweet potatoes, the 2nd most important crop, as well as toward identifying the best cultivation methods for each. PMID:12267714

Gahamanyi, L



In vitro fertilization in inbred BALB/c mice I: isotonic osmolarity and increased calcium-enhanced sperm penetration through the zona pellucida and male pronuclear formation.  


To optimize IVF conditions for BALB/c mice, which are known to have poor in vitro fertilizability, the requirements for sperm-ova interaction were studied by use of modified simplex optimization medium (mKSOM) as a basic medium. Modified human tubal fluid (mHTF) was used for sperm preincubation and acted as a positive control. When the two media were compared, neither capacitation nor fertilization was supported in mKSOM. Increasing the calcium concentration in mKSOM to 5 mM or more during sperm: ova coincubation improved zona penetration but not male pronuclear (MPN) formation to the same level as those cells incubated in mHTF. When medium osmolarity was varied from 230-305 mOsmol by NaCl at 5 mM CaCl2, MPN formation improved at 280 mOsmol or higher osmolarity to the same level as that found when using mHTF. When NaCl equivalent to 25-75 mOsmol was substituted with trehalose, no significant reduction in fertilization was observed. Substitution of NaCl equivalent to 75 mOsmol with other osmotic reagents (sucrose, choline chloride and sorbitol) resulted in similar levels of fertilization as found with mHTF, except for sorbitol, which reduced fertilization significantly caused by its detrimental effect on sperm viability. At isotonic osmolarity (305 mOsmol), maximum fertilization was observed at 5 mM CaCl2; lower or higher concentrations of CaCl2 resulted in reduced fertilization. Calcium and osmolarity, therefore, are important for sperm : ova interaction in BALB/c mice and the increases in calcium to 5 mM and osmolarity to 305 mOsmol are optimal for BALB/c sperm to penetrate through the zona and to form MPN. PMID:18578944

Kito, Seiji; Ohta, Yuki



Sperm competition in Odonata (Insecta): the evolution of female sperm storage and rivals' sperm displacement  

Microsoft Academic Search

Odonates (dragonflies) are well known for the ability of the males to displace sperm stored in the female's sperm- storage organs during copulation. By this means, copulating males are able to increase their fertilization success. This ability has been used as an example to illustrate a conflict of interests between the sexes in which males have evolved sperm-displacement mechanisms whilst

E. Uh ´ õa; A. Cordero River; E. U. E. T. Forestal



A Quality Assurance Initiative for Commercial-Scale Production in High-Throughput Cryopreservation of Blue Catfish Sperm  

PubMed Central

Cryopreservation of fish sperm has been studied for decades at a laboratory (research) scale. However, high-throughput cryopreservation of fish sperm has recently been developed to enable industrial-scale production. This study treated blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) sperm high-throughput cryopreservation as a manufacturing production line and initiated quality assurance plan development. The main objectives were to identify: 1) the main production quality characteristics; 2) the process features for quality assurance; 3) the internal quality characteristics and their specification designs; 4) the quality control and process capability evaluation methods, and 5) the directions for further improvements and applications. The essential product quality characteristics were identified as fertility-related characteristics. Specification design which established the tolerance levels according to demand and process constraints was performed based on these quality characteristics. Meanwhile, to ensure integrity throughout the process, internal quality characteristics (characteristics at each quality control point within process) that could affect fertility-related quality characteristics were defined with specifications. Due to the process feature of 100% inspection (quality inspection of every fish), a specific calculation method, use of cumulative sum (CUSUM) control charts, was applied to monitor each quality characteristic. An index of overall process evaluation, process capacity, was analyzed based on in-control process and the designed specifications, which further integrates the quality assurance plan. With the established quality assurance plan, the process could operate stably and quality of products would be reliable. PMID:23872356

Hu, E; Liao, T. W.; Tiersch, T. R.



An Extract of Pomegranate Fruit and Galangal Rhizome Increases the Numbers of Motile Sperm: A Prospective, Randomised, Controlled, Double-Blinded Trial  

PubMed Central

Pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum) and galangal (Alpinia galanga) have separately been shown to stimulate spermatogenesis and to increase sperm counts and motility in rodents. Within traditional medicine, pomegranate fruit has long been used to increase fertility, however studies on the effect on spermatogenesis in humans have never been published. With this study we investigated whether oral intake of tablets containing standardised amounts of extract of pomegranate fruit and powder of greater galangal rhizome (Punalpin) would increase the total number of motile spermatozoa. The study was designed as a prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial. Enrolment was based on the mean total number of motile spermatozoa of two ejaculates. The participants delivered an ejaculate after 4–8 days of tablet intake and two ejaculates just before they stopped taking the tablets. Seventy adult men with a semen quality not meeting the standards for commercial application at Nordic Cryobank, but without azoospermia, were included in the study. Participants were randomized to take tablets containing extract of pomegranate fruit (standardised with respect to punicalagin A+B, punicalin and ellagic acid) and freeze-dried rhizome of greater galangal (standardised with respect to 1?S-1?-acetoxychavicol acetate) or placebo on a daily basis for three months. Sixty-six participants completed the intervention (active treatment: n?=?34; placebo: n?=?32). After the intervention the total number of motile spermatozoa was increased in participants treated with plant extracts compared with the placebo group (p?=?0.026). After three months of active treatment, the average total number of motile sperm increased by 62% (from 23.4 to 37.8 millions), while for the placebo group, the number of motile sperm increased by 20%. Sperm morphology was not affected by the treatment. Our findings may help subfertile men to gain an improved amount of motile ejaculated sperm by taking tablets containing preparations of pomegranate fruit extract and rhizome of greater galangal. Trial Registration NCT01357044 PMID:25275520

Fedder, Maja D. K.; Jakobsen, Henrik B.; Giversen, Ina; Christensen, Lars P.; Parner, Erik T.; Fedder, Jens



Seasonal changes of testicular weight, sperm production, serum testosterone, and in vitro testosterone release in Korean ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus karpowi).  


To study the biology of reproduction of male Korean ring-necked pheasants kept under natural conditions of temperature and photoperiod, testicular weight, serum testosterone concentrations, testosterone release from the luteinizing hormone (LH)-stimulated testis in vitro and sperm production were measured. Significant changes associated with seasonal cycles were found. Testis weight decreased dramatically in August, remained low until February, rapidly increased from March to high levels to June, and decreased subsequently. Serum testosterone concentrations remained little from August until February, but increased sharply in March to reach the highest levels in April. Thereafter, the concentrations decreased significantly from June. The testosterone release was low from August to February, increased abruptly in March to reach the highest levels in May, and showed rapid decrease thereafter. Sperm production decreased to nondetectable levels from August to February, increased markedly in March, reached a peak in May, and sharply decreased thereafter. Thus, the pheasants breed from late March to late June. These results indicate that the Korean ring-necked pheasant, under natural conditions, exhibits characteristics of a seasonal cycle in reproduction. PMID:11258450

Kim, I S; Yang, H H



Accelerated aging of reproductive capacity in male rat offspring of protein-restricted mothers is associated with increased testicular and sperm oxidative stress.  


Maternal protein restriction (MPR) in pregnancy causes life course organ dysfunction, but few studies link the developmental origins of disease hypothesis to early aging. Suboptimal developmental nutrition increases oxidative stress (OS) and male infertility, damaging sperm function. We hypothesized that MPR in pregnancy accelerates age-related changes in testicular and sperm function related to both maternal diet and increased testicular OS in rat offspring. We studied male rats whose pregnant mothers ate either control (C, 20 % casein) or restricted (R, 10 % casein) isocaloric diet. After birth, mothers and offspring ate C diet. Testes were retrieved at 19 days gestation and across the life course (postnatal day (PND) 21, 36, 110, and 850) to measure OS markers, antioxidant enzymes, serum FSH, LH, and testosterone, and PND 110 sperm OS and quality. Fertility rate was evaluated at PND 110, 450, and 850. Offspring showed age- and MPR-related changes in testosterone, testicular OS markers and antioxidant enzymes and fertility, and maternal diet-related OS and sperm antioxidant enzyme changes. Developmental programming is considered a key factor in predisposing to chronic disease. Our data show that programming also plays an important role in aging trajectory. This interaction is a little studied area in aging biology that merits more investigation. PMID:25354645

Rodríguez-González, Guadalupe L; Reyes-Castro, Luis A; Vega, Claudia C; Boeck, Lourdes; Ibáñez, Carlos; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Larrea, Fernando; Zambrano, Elena



Soluble products of Escherichia coli induce mitochondrial dysfunction-related sperm membrane lipid peroxidation which is prevented by lactobacilli.  


Unidentified soluble factors secreted by E. coli, a frequently isolated microorganism in genitourinary infections, have been reported to inhibit mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), motility and vitality of human spermatozoa. Here we explore the mechanisms involved in the adverse impact of E. coli on sperm motility, focusing mainly on sperm mitochondrial function and possible membrane damage induced by mitochondrial-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, as lactobacilli, which dominate the vaginal ecosystem of healthy women, have been shown to exert anti-oxidant protective effects on spermatozoa, we also evaluated whether soluble products from these microorganisms could protect spermatozoa against the effects of E. coli. We assessed motility (by computer-aided semen analysis), ??m (with JC-1 dye by flow cytometry), mitochondrial ROS generation (with MitoSOX red dye by flow cytometry) and membrane lipid-peroxidation (with the fluorophore BODIPY C11 by flow cytometry) of sperm suspensions exposed to E. coli in the presence and in the absence of a combination of 3 selected strains of lactobacilli (L. brevis, L. salivarius, L. plantarum). A Transwell system was used to avoid direct contact between spermatozoa and microorganisms. Soluble products of E. coli induced ??m loss, mitochondrial generation of ROS and membrane lipid-peroxidation, resulting in motility loss. Soluble factors of lactobacilli prevented membrane lipid-peroxidation of E. coli-exposed spermatozoa, thus preserving their motility. In conclusion, sperm motility loss by soluble products of E. coli reflects a mitochondrial dysfunction-related membrane lipid-peroxidation. Lactobacilli could protect spermatozoa in the presence of vaginal disorders, by preventing ROS-induced membrane damage. PMID:24358256

Barbonetti, Arcangelo; Vassallo, Maria Rosaria Caterina; Cinque, Benedetta; Filipponi, Silvia; Mastromarino, Paola; Cifone, Maria Grazia; Francavilla, Sandro; Francavilla, Felice



Soluble Products of Escherichia coli Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction-Related Sperm Membrane Lipid Peroxidation Which Is Prevented by Lactobacilli  

PubMed Central

Unidentified soluble factors secreted by E. coli, a frequently isolated microorganism in genitourinary infections, have been reported to inhibit mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), motility and vitality of human spermatozoa. Here we explore the mechanisms involved in the adverse impact of E. coli on sperm motility, focusing mainly on sperm mitochondrial function and possible membrane damage induced by mitochondrial-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, as lactobacilli, which dominate the vaginal ecosystem of healthy women, have been shown to exert anti-oxidant protective effects on spermatozoa, we also evaluated whether soluble products from these microorganisms could protect spermatozoa against the effects of E. coli. We assessed motility (by computer-aided semen analysis), ??m (with JC-1 dye by flow cytometry), mitochondrial ROS generation (with MitoSOX red dye by flow cytometry) and membrane lipid-peroxidation (with the fluorophore BODIPY C11 by flow cytometry) of sperm suspensions exposed to E. coli in the presence and in the absence of a combination of 3 selected strains of lactobacilli (L. brevis, L. salivarius, L. plantarum). A Transwell system was used to avoid direct contact between spermatozoa and microorganisms. Soluble products of E. coli induced ??m loss, mitochondrial generation of ROS and membrane lipid-peroxidation, resulting in motility loss. Soluble factors of lactobacilli prevented membrane lipid-peroxidation of E. coli-exposed spermatozoa, thus preserving their motility. In conclusion, sperm motility loss by soluble products of E. coli reflects a mitochondrial dysfunction-related membrane lipid-peroxidation. Lactobacilli could protect spermatozoa in the presence of vaginal disorders, by preventing ROS-induced membrane damage. PMID:24358256

Barbonetti, Arcangelo; Vassallo, Maria Rosaria Caterina; Cinque, Benedetta; Filipponi, Silvia; Mastromarino, Paola; Cifone, Maria Grazia; Francavilla, Sandro; Francavilla, Felice



Overexpression of human sperm protein 17 increases migration and decreases the chemosensitivity of human epithelial ovarian cancer cells  

PubMed Central

Background Most deaths from ovarian cancer are due to metastases that are resistant to conventional therapies. But the factors that regulate the metastatic process and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer are poorly understood. In the current study, we investigated the aberrant expression of human sperm protein 17 (HSp17) in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells and tried to analyze its influences on the cell behaviors like migration and chemoresistance. Methods Immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry were used to identify HSp17 in paraffin embedded ovarian malignant tumor specimens and peritoneal metastatic malignant cells. Then we examined the effect of HSp17 overexpression on the proliferation, migration, and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer cells to carboplatin and cisplatin in a human ovarian carcinoma cell line, HO8910. Results We found that HSp17 was aberrantly expressed in 43% (30/70) of the patients with primary epithelial ovarian carcinomas, and in all of the metastatic cancer cells of ascites from 8 patients. The Sp17 expression was also detected in the metastatic lesions the same as in ovarian lesions. None of the 7 non-epithelial tumors primarily developed in the ovaries was immunopositive for HSp17. Overexpression of HSp17 increased the migration but decreased the chemosensitivity of ovarian carcinoma cells to carboplatin and cisplatin. Conclusion HSp17 is aberrantly expressed in a significant proportion of epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Our results strongly suggest that HSp17 plays a role in metastatic disease and resistance of epithelial ovarian carcinoma to chemotherapy. PMID:19744347



In vitro production of cattlexbuffalo hybrid embryos using cattle oocytes and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) epididymal sperm.  


Interspecies hybridization of bovids occurs between domestic cattle and at least three other species; American bison (Bison bison), yak (Bos grunniens) and banteng (Bos banteng). Birth of a cattlexbuffalo (Bubalus bubalis) hybrid has reportedly occurred in Russia and in China, but these reports were not authenticated. Such hybrids could be important in improving livestock production and management of diseases that impede production in tropical Africa. This study investigated hybridization between cattle and its closest African wild bovid relative, the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer). In an attempt to produce cattlexbuffalo hybrid embryos in vitro, matured cattle oocytes were subjected to a standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure with either homologous cattle (n=1166 oocytes) or heterologous African buffalo (n=1202 oocytes) frozen-thawed epididymal sperm. After IVF, 67.2% of the oocytes inseminated with the homologous cattle sperm cleaved. In contrast, fertilization with buffalo sperm resulted in only a 4.6% cleavage rate. The cleavage intervals were also slower in hybrid embryos than in the IVF-derived cattle embryos. Of the cleaved homologous cattle embryos 52.2% progressed to the morula stage compared with 12.7% for the buffalo hybrid embryos. No hybrid embryos developed beyond the early morula stage, while 40.1% of the cleaved cattlexcattle embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. Transfer of buffalo hybrid IVF embryos to domestic cattle surrogates resulted in no pregnancies at 60 days post-transfer. This study indicates that interspecies fertilization of cattle oocytes with African buffalo epididymal sperm can occur in vitro, and that a barrier to hybridization occurs in the early stages of embryonic development. Chromosomal disparity is likely the cause of the fertilization abnormalities, abnormal development and subsequent arrest impairing the formation of hybrid embryos beyond the early morula stage. Transfer of the buffalo hybrid embryos did not rescue the embryos from development arrest. PMID:19118889

Owiny, O D; Barry, D M; Agaba, M; Godke, R A



Lipid Peroxidation and Nitric Oxide Levels in Male Smokers' Spermatozoa and their Relation with Sperm Motility  

PubMed Central

Background Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized from L-arginine by a family of enzymes known as nitric oxide synthases. Low concentrations of NO is essential in biology and physiology of spermatozoa, but high amounts of NO is toxic and has negative effects on sperm functions. Moreover, sperm membrane contains high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are highly susceptible to oxidative damage that interferes with fertilization ability. Therefore, we investigated the correlation between levels of sperm malondialdehyde (MDA) and NO with sperm motility in male smokers. Methods Semen samples were collected from normozoospermic smoker (n=64) and nonsmoker (n=83) men. The content of sperm lipid peroxidation was determined by measuring malondialdehyde (MDA). The sperm NO were also measured using Griess reagent. Data was analyzed by SPSS, (version 15.0), using independent t-test and Pearson analysis. Results The mean MDA and NO concentrations in the sperm of normozoospermic male smokers were significantly higher than the control group or normozoospermic nonsmokers, (p <0.001). A significant negative relationship was noted between sperm motility and sperm MDA levels (r=?0.32, p=0.01); and sperm motility and sperm NO concentration (for nitrite, r=?0.34, p=0.006 and for nitrate, r=?0.38, p=0.002). Conclusion It was concluded that the increase in MDA and NO production in sperm can influence sperm motility in normozoospermic smokers. Therefore, it seems that cigarette smoking may affect the fertility of male smokers via increasing the amount of sperm MDA/lipid peroxidation and NO concentrations. PMID:23926529

Ghaffari, Mohammad Ali; Rostami, Morad



Daily sperm production and evaluation of morphological reproductive parameters of Murrah buffaloes in an extensive breeding system  

PubMed Central

The development of male sexual maturity varies among buffaloes. The Murrah buffalo is considered the most important and efficient milk and fat producer, but aspects of its reproductive biology are still unknown. The present study aimed to evaluate the daily sperm production (DSP) and spermatogenesis in developing Murrah buffalo bulls by evaluation of the seminiferous tubules, testicular morphometry and using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The testes of Murrah buffalo bulls at 18 mo was immature and at 24 mo could still be considered an average-efficiency breed based on their DSP. At 24 mo, the DSP rate was 0.97 billion sperm per testis and 13 million sperm per gram of testis. However, the animals had superior morphometric parameters compared with those of other livestock animals, except for the seminiferous tubule volume and diameter, which were inferior. In conclusion, our data support former views that the testes of the Murrah breed does not reach sexual maturity before 2 y of age and that important developmental steps occur later than Murrah crossbreeds from Brazil. PMID:22670218

da Luz, Patricia A.C.; Andrighetto, Cristiana; Santos, Paulo R.S.; Jorge, Andre; Constantino, Maria Vitoria P.; Pereira, Flavia T.V.; Mess, Andrea; Neto, Antonio C. Assis



Competition drives cooperation among closely related sperm of deer mice.  


Among the extraordinary adaptations driven by sperm competition is the cooperative behaviour of spermatozoa. By forming cooperative groups, sperm can increase their swimming velocity and thereby gain an advantage in intermale sperm competition. Accordingly, selection should favour cooperation of the most closely related sperm to maximize fitness. Here we show that sperm of deer mice (genus Peromyscus) form motile aggregations, then we use this system to test predictions of sperm cooperation. We find that sperm aggregate more often with conspecific than heterospecific sperm, suggesting that individual sperm can discriminate on the basis of genetic relatedness. Next, we provide evidence that the cooperative behaviour of closely related sperm is driven by sperm competition. In a monogamous species lacking sperm competition, Peromyscus polionotus, sperm indiscriminately group with unrelated conspecific sperm. In contrast, in the highly promiscuous deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, sperm are significantly more likely to aggregate with those obtained from the same male than with sperm from an unrelated conspecific donor. Even when we test sperm from sibling males, we continue to see preferential aggregations of related sperm in P. maniculatus. These results suggest that sperm from promiscuous deer mice discriminate among relatives and thereby cooperate with the most closely related sperm, an adaptation likely to have been driven by sperm competition. PMID:20090679

Fisher, Heidi S; Hoekstra, Hopi E



Sperm preparation for ART  

PubMed Central

The onset of clinical assisted reproduction, a quarter of a century ago, required the isolation of motile spermatozoa. As the indication of assisted reproduction shifted from mere gynaecological indications to andrological indications during the years, this urged andrological research to understand the physiology of male germ cell better and develop more sophisticated techniques to separate functional spermatozoa from those that are immotile, have poor morphology or are not capable to fertilize oocytes. Initially, starting from simple washing of spermatozoa, separation techniques, based on different principles like migration, filtration or density gradient centrifugation evolved. The most simple and cheapest is the conventional swim-up procedure. A more sophisticated and most gentle migration method is migration-sedimentation. However, its yield is relatively small and the technique is therefore normally only limited to ejaculates with a high number of motile spermatozoa. Recently, however, the method was also successfully used to isolate spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Sperm separation methods that yield a higher number of motile spermatozoa are glass wool filtration or density gradient centrifugation with different media. Since Percoll® as a density medium was removed from the market in 1996 for clinical use in the human because of its risk of contamination with endotoxins, other media like IxaPrep®, Nycodenz, SilSelect®, PureSperm® or Isolate® were developed in order to replace Percoll®. Today, an array of different methods is available and the selection depends on the quality of the ejaculates, which also includes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by spermatozoa and leukocytes. Ejaculates with ROS production should not be separated by means of conventional swim-up, as this can severely damage the spermatozoa. In order to protect the male germ cells from the influence of ROS and to stimulate their motility to increase the yield, a number of substances can be added to the ejaculate or the separation medium. Caffeine, pentoxifylline and 2-deoxyadenosine are substances that were used to stimulate motility. Recent approaches to stimulate spermatozoa include bicarbonate, metal chelators or platelet-activating factor (PAF). While the use of PAF already resulted in pregnancies in intrauterine insemination, the suitability of the other substances for the clinical use still needs to be tested. Finally, the isolation of functional spermatozoa from highly viscous ejaculates is a special challenge and can be performed enzymatically to liquefy the ejaculate. The older method, by which the ejaculate is forcefully aspirated through a narrow-gauge needle, should be abandoned as it can severely damage spermatozoa, thus resulting in immotile sperm. PMID:14617368

Henkel, Ralf R; Schill, Wolf-Bernhard



Sperm competition: linking form to function  

PubMed Central

Background Using information from physics, biomechanics and evolutionary biology, we explore the implications of physical constraints on sperm performance, and review empirical evidence for links between sperm length and sperm competition (where two or more males compete to fertilise a female's eggs). A common theme in the literature on sperm competition is that selection for increased sperm performance in polyandrous species will favour the evolution of longer, and therefore faster swimming, sperm. This argument is based on the common assumption that sperm swimming velocity is directly related to sperm length, due to the increased thrust produced by longer flagella. Results We critically evaluate the evidence for links between sperm morphology and swimming speed, and draw on cross-disciplinary studies to show that the assumption that velocity is directly related to sperm length will rarely be satisfied in the microscopic world in which sperm operate. Conclusion We show that increased sperm length is unlikely to be driven by selection for increased swimming speed, and that the relative lengths of a sperm's constituent parts, rather than their absolute lengths, are likely to be the target of selection. All else being equal, we suggest that a simple measure of the ratio of head to tail length should be used to assess the possible link between morphology and speed. However, this is most likely to be the case for external fertilizers in which females have relatively limited opportunity to influence a sperm's motility. PMID:19032741



Effects of intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion in American black bears (Ursus americanus).  


Eight adult American black bears were used to evaluate the effects of chemical castration by intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion. Treatment did not affect testicular dimensions and did not result in decreased resting or GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion. Multifocal hyperchoic areas in the testicular parenchyma were observed on ultrasound examination, and white foci were observed on gross pathology examination after zinc gluconate treatment. Histologically, there were normal seminiferous tubules containing either round or elongated spermatids, along with abnormal tubules in all bears after treatment. Vacuolation of the seminiferous epithelium, sloughing of germ cells into the tubules' lumen, presence of multinuclear giant cells, and reduced height of the seminiferous epithelium with missing generations of germ cells were commonly observed. The most severe testicular changes were multifocal and included fibrosis, complete degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium with shrinkage of the tubule, and sperm stasis. Epididymal sperm reserve was 982.74 ± 654.16 × 10(6) sperm (mean ± SEM) and motile sperm were observed in the epididymis of all but one of the bears. In conclusion, although intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment in black bears resulted in testicular degenerative changes detected by ultrasound and histology examinations, sperm production was not completely ablated. We inferred that normal fertility might have been compromised, but treatment unlikely resulted in sterility. PMID:21356548

Brito, Leonardo F C; Sertich, Patricia L; Rives, William; Knobbe, Marc; Del Piero, Fabio; Stull, Gordon B



Sperm Cells Induce Distinct Cytokine Response in Peripheral Mononuclear Cells from Infertile Women with Serum Anti-Sperm Antibodies  

PubMed Central

Background and Aims Anti-sperm antibodies in can markedly reduce the likelihood of natural conception. The etiology of this anti-sperm immunity in human females is unknown. We compared the cytokine response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from infertile patients with or without anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) and fertile women. Methodology/Principal Findings We cultivated the PBMCs together with sperm antigens (whole cells or cell lysate), and screened the supernatants for 40 cytokines by antibody array. When stimulated with whole sperm cells, the PBMCs from patients with ASA produce less IL-3, IL-11, IL-13, ICAM-1, GCSF and more IL-2, IL-4 and IL-12p70 as compared to healthy women. PBMCs from patients with ASA produce typically less IL-13, IL-7, IL-17 and MIG, and more MIP-1? and IL-8, as compared to PBMCs from patients without ASA. In response to sperm cell lysate, PBMCs from infertile women without ASA respond initially by increase in production of growth factors (GCSF, GM-CSF and PDGF-BB) followed by increase in chemokines (e.g. IL-8, MCP-1 and MIP-1?). Conclusions Cellular immune responses to sperm antigens, measured by production of cytokines, differ among infertile women with ASA, infertile women without ASA and healthy women. This difference could play an important role in the initial steps of the infertility pathogenesis. PMID:22952917

Kverka, Miloslav; Ulcova-Gallova, Zdenka; Bartova, Jirina; Cibulka, Jan; Bibkova, Katarina; Micanova, Zdenka; Tlaskalova-Hogenova, Helena



The effects of four insect growth-regulating (IGR) insecticides on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colony development, queen rearing and drone sperm production.  


This study assessed the effects of exposure to IGRs on the long-term development of the honeybee colony, viability of queens and sperm production in drones and integrated the data into a honeybee population model. Colonies treated with diflubenzuron resulted in a short-term reduction in the numbers of adult bees and brood. Colonies treated with fenoxycarb declined during the season earlier and started the season slower. The number of queens that successfully mated and laid eggs was affected in the fenoxycarb treatment group but there were no significant differences in the drone sperm counts between the colonies. An existing honeybee population model was modified to include exposure to IGRs. In the model, fenoxycarb reduced the winter size of the colony, with the greatest effects following a June or an August application. Assuming a 'larvae per nurse bee' ratio of 1.5 for brood rearing capability, the reduction in winter size of a colony following a fenoxycarb application was at its worst about 8%. However, even if only those bees reared within 2 weeks of the IGR being applied are subject to premature ageing, this might significantly reduce the size of over-wintering colonies, and increase the chance of the bee population dwindling and dying in late winter or early spring. PMID:16160749

Thompson, Helen M; Wilkins, Selwyn; Battersby, Alastair H; Waite, Ruth J; Wilkinson, David



[Sperm DNA damage and assisted reproductive technology].  


With the introduction of assisted reproductive technology (ART), sperm assessment has developed progressively, from conventional semen routine tests to novel cellular and molecular measures. Sperm DNA damage is a new marker of male fertility, whose genetic mechanism involves abnormal package and segregation of chromatin, oxidative stress, abnormal cell apoptosis, etc. Sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) is one of the common techniques to measure sperm DNA damage. Sperm DNA damage might be associated with the pregnancy outcome of ART, recurrent spontaneous abortion and potential genetic risk of ICSI offspring. Some treatment strategies might reduce the percentage of sperm DNA damage and increase the success rate of ART, including oral administration of antioxygen drugs, ICSI with testis sperm, sperm freezing and preservation, removing of etiological factors, traditional Chinese medicine, and so on. This review focuses on the mechanism and detection of sperm DNA damage, its association with reproductive outcomes, and relevant treatment strategies in assisted reproductive technology. PMID:18488344

Xu, Zhi-Peng; Sun, Hai-Xiang; Zhang, Ning-Yuan



Sperm competition games: optimal sperm allocation in response to the size of competing ejaculates  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition theory predicts that when males are certain of sperm competition, they should decrease sperm investment in matings with an increasing number of competing ejaculates. How males should allocate sperm when competing with differently sized ejaculates, however, has not yet been examined. Here, we report the outcomes of two models assuming variation in males' sperm reserves and males being faced with different amounts of competing sperm. In the first ‘spawning model’, two males compete instantaneously and both are able to assess the sperm competitive ability of each other. In the second ‘sperm storage model’, males are sequentially confronted with situations involving different levels of sperm competition, for instance different amounts of sperm already stored by the female mating partner. In both of the models, we found that optimal sperm allocation will strongly depend on the size of the male's sperm reserve. Males should always invest maximally in competition with other males that are equally strong competitors. That is, for males with small sperm reserves, our model predicts a negative correlation between sperm allocation and sperm competition intensity, whereas for males with large sperm reserves, this correlation is predicted to be positive. PMID:17148249

Engqvist, Leif; Reinhold, Klaus



Effect of Astaxanthin on Human Sperm Capacitation  

PubMed Central

In order to be able to fertilize oocytes, human sperm must undergo a series of morphological and structural alterations, known as capacitation. It has been shown that the production of endogenous sperm reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a key role in causing cells to undergo a massive acrosome reaction (AR). Astaxanthin (Asta), a photo-protective red pigment belonging to the carotenoid family, is recognized as having anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties and is present in many dietary supplements. This study evaluates the effect of Asta in a capacitating buffer which induces low ROS production and low percentages of acrosome-reacted cells (ARC). Sperm cells were incubated in the presence or absence of increasing concentrations of Asta or diamide (Diam) and analyzed for their ROS production, Tyr-phosphorylation (Tyr-P) pattern and percentages of ARC and non-viable cells (NVC). Results show that Asta ameliorated both sperm head Tyr-P and ARC values without affecting the ROS generation curve, whereas Diam succeeded in enhancing the Tyr-P level but only of the flagellum without increasing ARC values. It is suggested that Asta can be inserted in the membrane and therefore create capacitation-like membrane alteration which allow Tyr-P of the head. Once this has occurred, AR can take place and involves a higher numbers of cells. PMID:23736766

Dona, Gabriella; Kozuh, Ivana; Brunati, Anna Maria; Andrisani, Alessandra; Ambrosini, Guido; Bonanni, Guglielmo; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Armanini, Decio; Clari, Giulio; Bordin, Luciana



Sperm epigenomics: challenges and opportunities  

PubMed Central

Sperm is a highly differentiated cell type whose function is to deliver a haploid genome to the oocyte. The sperm “epigenomes” were traditionally considered to be insignificant – the sperm is transcriptionally inactive, its genome is packaged in sperm-specific protamine toroids instead of nucleosomes, and its DNA methylation profile is erased immediately post-fertilization. Yet, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of reported cases of apparent epigenetic inheritance through the male germline, suggesting that the sperm epigenome may transmit information between generations. At the same time, technical advances have made the genome-wide profiling of different layers of the sperm epigenome feasible. As a result, a large number of datasets have been recently generated and analyzed with the aim to better understand what non-genetic material is contained within the sperm and whether it has any function post-fertilization. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the sperm epigenomes as well as the challenges in analysing them and the opportunities in understanding the potential non-genetic carriers of information in sperm. PMID:25278962

Casas, Eduard; Vavouri, Tanya



Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians  

PubMed Central

Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness. PMID:22672478



Increased Fertilization Rates after In Vitro Culture of Frozen-Thawed Testicular Immotile Sperm in Nonobstructive Azoospermic Patients  

PubMed Central

Objective. To optimise the use of freeze/thaw testicular immotile spermatozoa from nonobstructive azoospermia patients and to analyse the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) of such spermatozoa. Methods. Testicular specimens were retrieved and cryopreserved from forty patients with nonobstructive azoospermia and underwent one cycle with thawed spermatozoa (Group I) that led to pregnancy in sixteen cases. Twenty-four patients of group I underwent treatment with the same batch of thawed spermatozoa (Group II). For the first ICSI attempt, injection was performed when motile spermatozoa were found. In group II, injection was performed when maximum motility was reached. We compared mean of fertilization rate, embryo quality, clinical pregnancy rate and embryo implantation rate. Results. The mean percentage of motility was significantly higher in the group II than in the group I (18, 6 versus 8, 2). Group I showed a significant decrease in fertilization rates when compared with cryopreserved testicular spermatozoa in group II (54% versus 72%, P < 0.05). No difference was noted between the cleavage rate, embryo quality, clinical pregnancy rates and implantation rates among group II and I. Conclusion. Fecundation rate can be significantly improved after in-vitro culture and sperm selection of frozen-thawed immotile testicular spermatozoa in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia. PMID:22567413

Nunez-Calonge, R.; Cortes, S.; Gago, M.; Lopez, P.; Caballero-Peregrin, P.



The Effects of Sperm Concentration, Sperm:Egg Ratio, and Gamete Age on Fertilization Success in Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acarzthaster plan@ in the Laboratory  

Microsoft Academic Search

Laboratory experiments varying gamete con- centrations and gamete age demonstrated significant re- ductions in fertilization success of the starfish Acanthaster planci (L.) with decreasing sperm concentration and in- creasing age of both eggs and sperm. The effect of aging in sperm was faster than that of eggs, and the speed of sperm aging increased with increasing dilution of sperm. Fertilization



Accessory sperm as an indication of fertilizing ability of rabbit spermatozoa frozen in egg yolk-acetamide with detergent.  


Many factors besides initial semen quality affect fertilization rates as sperm interact with the environment of the female reproductive tract. One of these factors is sperm transport, which can be evaluated by accessory sperm counts. Dutch rabbits were used to test the effects on sperm transport, fertilization, and production of young when sodium and triethanolamine lauryl sulfate (STLS) detergent was added to a medium for sperm cryopreservation. When STLS was added in 10 concentrations ranging from 0% to 2.0% (vol/vol) to an egg yolk-acetamide semen extender, optimal post-thaw motility of rabbit sperm occurred when 0.2% to 0.7% STLS was included. However, when 0%, 0.2%, and 0.7% STLS was included to cryopreserve sperm used for insemination, the fertilization rates were 95%, 68%, and 75%, and the corresponding mean numbers of accessory sperm per embryo were 13.1, 1.7, and 0.4 (P < .05). In another experiment, increasing the acetamide concentration from 0.75 M to 1.25 M decreased fertilization rates from 66% to 35%, and was associated with 4.5 and 0.6 accessory sperm per embryo (P < .05). In the final experiment, 48 does inseminated with sperm cryopreserved with 0%, 0.35%, and 0.70% STLS were allowed to produce young. Corresponding pregnancy rates were 56%, 56%, and 31% (P < .05), and litter sizes were 5.6, 4.1, and 4.2 (P > .05). In these studies, low concentrations of STLS improved motility of frozen-thawed sperm, but fertilization and pregnancy rates were reduced. Sperm transport was correspondingly reduced, and the accessory sperm count provided a reliable measure of the effect of STLS on fertility in contrast to the assessment of the percentage of motile sperm. PMID:11330646

Arriola, J; Foote, R H



Identification and validation of mouse sperm proteins correlated with epididymal maturation  

PubMed Central

Sperm need to mature in the epididymis to become capable of fertilization. To understand the molecular mechanisms of mouse sperm maturation, we conducted a proteomic analysis using saturation dye labeling to identify proteins of caput and cauda epididymal sperm that exhibited differences in amounts or positions on two-dimensional gels. Of eight caput epididymal sperm-differential proteins, three were molecular chaperones and three were structural proteins. Of nine cauda epididymal sperm-differential proteins, six were enzymes of energy metabolism. To validate these proteins as markers of epididymal maturation, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses were performed. During epididymal transit, heat shock protein 2 was eliminated with the cytoplasmic droplet and smooth muscle ?-actin exhibited reduced fluorescence from the anterior acrosome while the signal intensity of aldolase A increased, especially in the principal piece. Besides these changes, we observed protein spots, such as glutathione S-transferase mu 5 and the E2 component of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, shifting to more basic isoelectric points, suggesting post-translational changes such dephosphorylation occur during epididymal maturation. We conclude that most caput epididymal sperm-differential proteins contribute to the functional modification of sperm structures and that many cauda epididymal sperm-differential proteins are involved in ATP production that promotes sperm functions such as motility. PMID:21805633

Ijiri, Takashi W.; Merdiushev, Tanya; Cao, Wenlei; Gerton, George L.



Effects of intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion in American black bears ( Ursus americanus)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Eight adult American black bears were used to evaluate the effects of chemical castration by intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion. Treatment did not affect testicular dimensions and did not result in decreased resting or GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion. Multifocal hyperchoic areas in the testicular parenchyma were observed on ultrasound examination, and white

Leonardo F. C. Brito; Patricia L. Sertich; William Rives; Marc Knobbe; Fabio Del Piero; Gordon B. Stull



Preventive maintenance, the key to increased productivity  

SciTech Connect

In order to increase availability of equipment and therefore increase productivity, a new Preventive Maintenance Program was developed at Martin County Coal Corporation. Over the course of the first two years of the program, software and the method of compiling input information was developed. As soon as the program was in motion an increase in equipment availability was realized. As the program progressed, overburden removal and coal production began an upward trend while maintenance cost began to drop.

Bradbury, P.; Beatty, B.



Decoding mechanisms of loss of fertilization ability of cryopreserved mouse sperm  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Cryopreservation of mouse sperm is an important technology for management of biomedical research resources. Dramatic progress has been made recently in the development of protocols that combat mouse-strain specific reduction of IVF after cryopreservation. Equal emphasis, however, has not been placed on investigating the biological mechanisms underlying these improvements to IVF. This dissertation broadly investigates the basic question of how mouse-strain specific reduction of IVF occurs after cryopreservation, and how recently developed protocols prevent this process. My research investigated the effects of antioxidants, the cholesterol-acceptor CD, reduced calcium media, and TYH capacitation media on sperm function and oxidative stress after cryopreservation in a variety of mouse strains. I found that reduced IVF was associated with loss of capacitation-dependent sperm function in three strains, B6/J, B6/N, and 129X1, and CD improved sperm function and IVF in all three strains. These findings suggest that cryopreservation inhibits cholesterol efflux resulting in reduced IVF of many mouse strains. I also found that cryopreservation induces uniquely high production of mitochondrial H2O2 by B6/J sperm. H2O2 present in other cellular compartments of B6/J sperm was not elevated compared to other strains. High levels of mitochondrial H2O2 were associated with lipid peroxidation of the sperm head and inability to acrosome react. Antioxidants reduced mitochondrial H2O2 production, decreased sperm head lipid peroxidation, and improved acrosome reaction. The cryopreservation-induced increase in mitochondrial H2O2 production of B6/J and B6129XF1 sperm was associated with elevation of intracellular calcium after cryopreservation and dependent on mitochondrial metabolic substrates. Reducing intracellular calcium levels or removing mitochondrial metabolic substrates decreased mitochondrial H2O2 production and increased IVF rates of cryopreserved B6/J sperm. Many of the strains I tested exhibited increased H2O2 production after cryopreservation, but cryopreservation-induced H2O2 only interfered with IVF of B6/J sperm. This dissertation describes two means to improve IVF of cryopreserved sperm, mitigation of oxidative stress in B6/J sperm and improvement of capacitation-dependent sperm function for several mouse strains.

Gray, Jeffrey Earl


Fracturing high-permeability reservoirs increases productivity  

SciTech Connect

Hydraulic fracturing of high-permeability reservoirs has increased long-term hydrocarbon production and reduced sand production in many areas of the world. A key element is the reduction of near well bore drawdown during production. Drawdown, the difference between reservoir and production pressures, is the driving force for flow into the well bore. As drawdown increases because of higher production rates or depletion, formation instability may cause fines and sand to migrate into the well bore region. A greater well bore radius reduces both radial velocity and drawdown. Fracturing beyond the well bore region effectively bypasses the damaged zone, increasing the effective radius of the well bore and enabling higher flow rates with lower drawdown pressures. In essence, the reservoir energy is used more efficiently because the conductive proppant bed bypasses the near well bore restrictions. The paper discusses candidate well selection; proppant selection; sand control; minifrac procedures; spurt losses; fracture design; equipment; case histories in West Africa and offshore Louisiana.

Dusterhoft, R.G. (Halliburton Energy Services, Duncan, OK (United States)); Chapman, B.J. (Halliburton Energy Services, New Orleans, LA (United States))



Sperm Digestion and Reciprocal Sperm Transfer Can Drive Hermaphrodite Sex Allocation to Equality  

Microsoft Academic Search

abstract:,The intensity of sperm,competition,determines,how much,reproductive,effort should be invested in sperm. One impor- tant factor affecting sperm,competition,in internally fertilizing or- ganisms is the mating frequency of females, since it determines the extent of competition,between,ejaculates. In simultaneous,her- maphrodites, energy spent on sperm has to be traded off against energy expended on ova production. By extending an existing model, we consider how,the number,of

Jaco M. Greeff; Nico K. Michiels



Adiponectin Lowers Glucose Production by Increasing SOGA  

PubMed Central

Adiponectin is a hormone that lowers glucose production by increasing liver insulin sensitivity. Insulin blocks the generation of biochemical intermediates for glucose production by inhibiting autophagy. However, autophagy is stimulated by an essential mediator of adiponectin action, AMPK. This deadlock led to our hypothesis that adiponectin inhibits autophagy through a novel mediator. Mass spectrometry revealed a novel protein that we call suppressor of glucose by autophagy (SOGA) in adiponectin-treated hepatoma cells. Adiponectin increased SOGA in hepatocytes, and siRNA knockdown of SOGA blocked adiponectin inhibition of glucose production. Furthermore, knockdown of SOGA increased late autophagosome and lysosome staining and the secretion of valine, an amino acid that cannot be synthesized or metabolized by liver cells, suggesting that SOGA inhibits autophagy. SOGA decreased in response to AICAR, an activator of AMPK, and LY294002, an inhibitor of the insulin signaling intermediate, PI3K. AICAR reduction of SOGA was blocked by adiponectin; however, adiponectin did not increase SOGA during PI3K inhibition, suggesting that adiponectin increases SOGA through the insulin signaling pathway. SOGA contains an internal signal peptide that enables the secretion of a circulating fragment of SOGA, providing a surrogate marker for intracellular SOGA levels. Circulating SOGA increased in parallel with adiponectin and insulin activity in both humans and mice. These results suggest that adiponectin-mediated increases in SOGA contribute to the inhibition of glucose production. PMID:20813965

Cowerd, Rachael B.; Asmar, Melissa M.; Alderman, J. McKee; Alderman, Elizabeth A.; Garland, Alaina L.; Busby, Walker H.; Bodnar, Wanda M.; Rusyn, Ivan; Medoff, Benjamin D.; Tisch, Roland; Mayer-Davis, Elizabeth; Swenberg, James A.; Zeisel, Steven H.; Combs, Terry P.



Increasing productivity through Total Reuse Management (TRM)  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Total Reuse Management (TRM) is a new concept currently being promoted by the NASA Langley Software Engineering and Ada Lab (SEAL). It uses concepts similar to those promoted in Total Quality Management (TQM). Both technical and management personnel are continually encouraged to think in terms of reuse. Reuse is not something that is aimed for after a product is completed, but rather it is built into the product from inception through development. Lowering software development costs, reducing risk, and increasing code reliability are the more prominent goals of TRM. Procedures and methods used to adopt and apply TRM are described. Reuse is frequently thought of as only being applicable to code. However, reuse can apply to all products and all phases of the software life cycle. These products include management and quality assurance plans, designs, and testing procedures. Specific examples of successfully reused products are given and future goals are discussed.

Schuler, M. P.



The effects of male age on sperm DNA damage in healthy non-smokers  

SciTech Connect

The trend for men to have children at older ages raises concerns that advancing age may increase the production of genetically defective sperm, increasing the risks of transmitting germ-line mutations. We investigated the associations between male age and sperm DNA damage and the influence of several lifestyle factors in a healthy non-clinical group of 80 non-smokers (age: 22-80) with no known fertility problems using the sperm Comet analyses. The average percent of DNA that migrated out of the sperm nucleus under alkaline electrophoresis increased with age (0.18% per year, p=0.006); but there was no age association for damage measured under neutral conditions (p=0.7). Men who consumed >3 cups coffee per day had {approx}20% higher % tail DNA under neutral but not alkaline conditions compared to men who consumed no caffeine (p=0.005). Our findings indicate that (a) older men have increased sperm DNA damage associated with alkali-labile sites or single-strand DNA breaks, and (b) independent of age, men with substantial daily caffeine consumption have increased sperm DNA damage associated with double-strand DNA breaks. DNA damage in sperm can be converted to chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations after fertilization increasing the risks for developmental defects and genetic diseases among offspring.

Schmid, T; Eskenazi, B; Baumgartner, A; Marchetti, F; Young, S; Weldon, R; Anderson, D; Wyrobek, A



Exploring Increased Productivity Through Employee Engagement  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies billions of dollars annually in lowered productivity, a cost which has been compounded by the difficult economic situations in the country. The potential for increasing productivity through increased employee engagement was examined in this study. Using personal engagement theory and the theory of planned behavior, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how the experiences of salaried aerospace employees affected productivity and the financial performance of an organization. Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 20 aerospace employees whose responses were codified and analyzed to identify themes. The analysis indicated that (a) the lived experiences of employees influenced employee engagement, (b) employee engagement affects organizational commitment and performance, and (c) trust and respect and leadership are essential components to keep employees engaged. Eighty percent of the participants indicated that as employee engagement increases so too does organizational performance. The implications for positive social change include new insights for leaders seeking to increase productivity and financial performance, and to support employee engagement for maintaining sustainability, retaining talent, increasing profits, and improving the economy.

Richards, Wayne K., Jr.


Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA): capabilities and potential developments.  


Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems have evolved over approximately 40 years, through advances in devices to capture the image from a microscope, huge increases in computational power concurrent with amazing reduction in size of computers, new computer languages, and updated/expanded software algorithms. Remarkably, basic concepts for identifying sperm and their motion patterns are little changed. Older and slower systems remain in use. Most major spermatology laboratories and semen processing facilities have a CASA system, but the extent of reliance thereon ranges widely. This review describes capabilities and limitations of present CASA technology used with boar, bull, and stallion sperm, followed by possible future developments. Each marketed system is different. Modern CASA systems can automatically view multiple fields in a shallow specimen chamber to capture strobe-like images of 500 to >2000 sperm, at 50 or 60 frames per second, in clear or complex extenders, and in <2 minutes, store information for ? 30 frames and provide summary data for each spermatozoon and the population. A few systems evaluate sperm morphology concurrent with motion. CASA cannot accurately predict 'fertility' that will be obtained with a semen sample or subject. However, when carefully validated, current CASA systems provide information important for quality assurance of semen planned for marketing, and for the understanding of the diversity of sperm responses to changes in the microenvironment in research. The four take-home messages from this review are: (1) animal species, extender or medium, specimen chamber, intensity of illumination, imaging hardware and software, instrument settings, technician, etc., all affect accuracy and precision of output values; (2) semen production facilities probably do not need a substantially different CASA system whereas biology laboratories would benefit from systems capable of imaging and tracking sperm in deep chambers for a flexible period of time; (3) software should enable grouping of individual sperm based on one or more attributes so outputs reflect subpopulations or clusters of similar sperm with unique properties; means or medians for the total population are insufficient; and (4) a field-use, portable CASA system for measuring one motion and two or three morphology attributes of individual sperm is needed for field theriogenologists or andrologists working with human sperm outside urban centers; appropriate hardware to capture images and process data apparently are available. PMID:24274405

Amann, Rupert P; Waberski, Dagmar



Increasing the availability of national mapping products.  

USGS Publications Warehouse

A discussion of the means employed by the US Geological Survey to facilitate map usage, covering aspects of project Map Accessibility Program including special rolled and folded map packaging, new market testing, parks and campgrounds program, expanded map dealer program, new booklet-type State sales index and catalog and new USGS map reference code. The USGS is seen as the producer of a tremendous nation-wide inventory of topographic and related map products available in unprecedented types, formats and scales, and as endeavouring to increase access to its products. The new USGS map reference code is appended. -J.C.Stone

Roney, J.I.; Ogilvie, B.C.



Artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID): heterogeneity in sperm banking facilities in a single country (Belgium)  

PubMed Central

Due to the high inflow of foreign patients seeking cross-border reproductive care in Belgium and the increased number of lesbian couples and single women who call for artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID), Belgian sperm banks nowadays face a shortage in donor sperm. However, since there is no central registration system for sperm donors in Belgium, no figures are currently available supporting this statement. Therefore a study was performed to obtain a detailed overview of the sperm banking facilities in Belgium. Questionnaires were sent to all Belgian centres for assisted reproduction with laboratory facilities (n?=?18) to report on their sperm banking methods. The results showed that 82% of the centres rely partially or completely on foreign donor sperm. Moreover, four of the thirteen centres that have their own sperm bank use imported donor sperm in >?95% AID cycles. Our results show that in 63% of the Belgian AID cycles imported Danish donor sperm is being used. Donor recruitment is mainly performed through the centre’s website (61%) or by distributing flyers in the centre (46%) and 9 to 180 potential donors have been recruited per centre in 2013. Eventually, 15 to 50% of these candidate donors were accepted. Different criteria for donor acceptance are handled by the centres: donor age limits range from 18-25 to 36-46 years old, and thresholds for sperm normality differ considerably. We can conclude that a wide variation in methods associated with sperm banking is observed in Belgian centres. PMID:25009728

Thijssen, A.; Dhont, N.; Vandormael, E.; Cox, A.; Klerkx, E.; Creemers, E.; Ombelet, W.



Effect of Density Gradient Centrifugation on Quality and Recovery Rate of Equine Sperm  

E-print Network

gradient volume (height) on stallion sperm quality and recovery rate in sperm pellets following centrifugation. In all three experiments, equine semen was initially centrifuged to increase sperm concentration. In Experiment 1, one-mL aliquots were layered...

Edmond, Ann J.



Body condition influences sperm energetics in lake whitefish ( Coregonus clupeaformis )  

Microsoft Academic Search

Theoretical models predict that individual males will increase their investment in ejaculates when there is a risk of sperm competition. Because the production of ejaculates is assumed to be energetically costly, only those males in good physical condition should be capable of producing ejaculates of high quality. We studied ejaculate investment (relative testis size, controlling for body size) as well

Gary Burness; Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde; Robert Montgomerie



Increased productivity in flight with voice commanding  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Automatic Speech Recognition technology has matured to the point where it can provide a viable means of increasing productivity by naturalizing the man-machine interface. With ever increasing workloads being placed on astronauts, speech recognition may provide an alternative means of system controlling that would reduce the task burden. Voice commanding, allowing hands-free operation, can be especially effective during operations requiring simultaneous system control. A flight experiment is under development to demonstrate the operational effectiveness of voice control by commanding the Space Shuttle's Closed Circuit Television (CCIV) system. This experiment will help direct future applications of voice entry to space operations.

Jordan, W. T.



Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance.  


Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk. PMID:23363633

Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B



Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance  

PubMed Central

Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk. PMID:23363633

Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B.



Effects of genetic captive-breeding protocols on sperm quality and fertility in the white-footed mouse.  


Mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis) from a captive-breeding program were used to test the effects of three genetic breeding protocols (minimizing mean kinship [MK], random breeding, and selection for docility [DOC]) and inbreeding levels on sperm traits and fertility. Earlier, in generation 8, one DOC replicate went extinct because of poor reproductive success. By generation 10, spermatozoa from DOC mice had more acrosome and midpiece abnormalities, which were shown to be strong determinants of fertility, as well as lower sperm production and resistance to osmotic stress. In addition, determinants of fertility, including male and female components, were assessed in a comprehensive manner. Results showed that the probability (P) of siring litters is determined by sperm number, sperm viability, and midpiece and acrosome abnormalities; that the P of siring one versus two litters is determined by tail abnormalities; and that the total number of offspring is influenced by female size and proportion of normal sperm, showing the relative importance of different sperm traits on fertility. On average, males with 20% normal sperm sired one pup per litter, and males with 70% normal sperm sired eight pups per litter. Interestingly, the proportion of normal sperm was affected by docility but not by relatively low inbreeding. However, inbreeding depression in sperm motility was detected. In the MK group, inbreeding depression not only affected sperm motility but also fertility: An increase in the coefficient of inbreeding (f) of 0.03 reduced sperm motility by 30% and translated into an offspring reduction of three pups in second litters. A genetic load of 48 fecundity equivalents was calculated. PMID:20519695

Malo, Aurelio F; Martinez-Pastor, Felipe; Alaks, Glen; Dubach, Jean; Lacy, Robert C



Biofuels versus food production: Does biofuels production increase food prices?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Rapidly growing fossil energy consumption in the transport sector in the last two centuries caused problems such as increasing greenhouse gas emissions, growing energy dependency and supply insecurity. One approach to solve these problems could be to increase the use of biofuels.Preferred feedstocks for current 1st generation biofuels production are corn, wheat, sugarcane, soybean, rapeseed and sunflowers. The major problem

Amela Ajanovic



How nematode sperm crawl  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm of the nematode, Ascaris suum, crawl using lamellipodial protrusion, adhesion and retraction, a process analogous to the amoeboid motility of other eukaryotic cells. However, rather than employing an actin cytoskeleton to generate locomotion, nematode sperm use the major sperm protein (MSP). Moreover, nematode sperm lack detectable molecular motors or the battery of actin-binding proteins that characterize actin-based motility. The

Dean Bottino; Alexander Mogilner; Tom Roberts; Murray Stewart; George Oster


Sperm competitiveness in frogs: slow and steady wins the race  

PubMed Central

When sperm compete to fertilize available ova, selection is expected to favour ejaculate traits that contribute to a male's fertilization success. While there is much evidence to show that selection favours increased numbers of sperm, only a handful of empirical studies have examined how variation in sperm form and function contributes to competitive fertilization success. Here, we examine selection acting on sperm form and function in the externally fertilizing myobatrachid frog, Crinia georgiana. Using in vitro fertilization techniques and controlling for variation in the number of sperm contributed by males in competitive situations, we show that males with a greater proportion of motile sperm, and motile sperm with slower swimming velocities, have an advantage when competing for fertilizations. Sperm morphology and the degree of genetic similarity between putative sires and the female had no influence on competitive fertilization success. These unusual patterns of selection might explain why frog sperm typically exhibit relatively slow swimming speeds and sustained longevity. PMID:19710059

Dziminski, Martin A.; Roberts, J. Dale; Beveridge, Maxine; Simmons, Leigh W.



Sperm Trajectories Form Chiral Ribbons  

PubMed Central

We report the discovery of an entirely new three-dimensional (3D) swimming pattern observed in human and horse sperms. This motion is in the form of ‘chiral ribbons’, where the planar swing of the sperm head occurs on an osculating plane creating in some cases a helical ribbon and in some others a twisted ribbon. The latter, i.e., the twisted ribbon trajectory, also defines a minimal surface, exhibiting zero mean curvature for all the points on its surface. These chiral ribbon swimming patterns cannot be represented or understood by already known patterns of sperms or other micro-swimmers. The discovery of these unique patterns is enabled by holographic on-chip imaging of >33,700?sperm trajectories at >90–140?frames/sec, which revealed that only ~1.7% of human sperms exhibit chiral ribbons, whereas it increases to ~27.3% for horse sperms. These results might shed more light onto the statistics and biophysics of various micro-swimmers' 3D motion. PMID:23588811

Su, Ting-Wei; Choi, Inkyum; Feng, Jiawen; Huang, Kalvin; McLeod, Euan; Ozcan, Aydogan



Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation.  


Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual. In mammals, fertilization involves a number of sequential steps, including sperm migration through the female genital tract, sperm penetration through the cumulus mass, sperm adhesion and binding to the zona pellucida, acrosome exocytosis, sperm penetration through the zona and fusion of the sperm and egg plasma membranes. However, freshly ejaculated sperm are not capable of fertilizing an oocyte. They must first undergo a series of biochemical and physiological changes, collectively known as capacitation, before acquiring fertilizing capabilities. Several molecules are required for successful capacitation and in vitro fertilization; these include bicarbonate, serum albumin (normally bovine serum albumin, BSA) and Ca(2+). Bicarbonate activates the sperm protein soluble adenylyl cyclase (SACY), which results in increased levels of cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activation. The response to bicarbonate is fast and cAMP levels increase within 60 s followed by an increase in PKA activity. Several studies with an anti-phospho-PKA substrate antibody have demonstrated a rapid increase in protein phosphorylation in human, mouse and boar sperm. The target proteins of PKA are not known and the precise role of BSA during capacitation is unclear. Most of the studies provide support for the idea that BSA acts by removing cholesterol from the sperm. The loss of cholesterol has been suggested to affect the bilayer of the sperm plasma membrane making it more fusogenic. The relationship between cholesterol loss and the activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway is also unclear. During early stages of capacitation, Ca(2+) might be involved in the stimulation of SACY, although definitive proof is lacking. Protein tyrosine phosphorylation is another landmark of capacitation but occurs during the late stages of capacitation on a different time-scale from cAMP/PKA activation. Additionally, the tyrosine kinases present in sperm are not well characterized. Although protein phosphorylation depends upon the balanced action of protein kinases and protein phosphatase, we have even less information regarding the role of protein phosphatases during sperm capacitation. Over the last few years, several reports have pointed out that the ubiquitin-proteasome system might play a role during sperm capacitation, acrosome reaction and/or sperm-egg fusion. In the present review, we summarize the information regarding the role of protein kinases, phosphatases and the proteasome during sperm capacitation. Where appropriate, we give examples of the way that these molecules interact and regulate each other's activities. PMID:22427115

Signorelli, Janetti; Diaz, Emilce S; Morales, Patricio



Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens  

PubMed Central

In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm cells, and this sperm must remain viable throughout the years of storage. Queens should also be under strong selection to use stored sperm prudently when fertilizing eggs. We used the leaf-cutter ant Atta colombica to investigate the dynamics of sperm use during egg fertilization. We show that queens are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm expenditure and infer that our observed averages of sperm number, sperm robustness and sperm use are consistent with sperm depletion being a significant cause of mortality of mature colonies of Atta leaf-cutter ants. PMID:19710057

den Boer, Susanne P. A.; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stephanie; Aron, Serge; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.



The sperm chromatin dispersion test: a simple method for the determination of sperm DNA fragmentation.  


Sperm DNA fragmentation is being increasingly recognized as an important cause of infertility. We herein describe the Sperm Chromatin Dispersion (SCD) test, a novel assay for sperm DNA fragmentation in semen. The SCD test is based on the principle that sperm with fragmented DNA fail to produce the characteristic halo of dispersed DNA loops that is observed in sperm with non-fragmented DNA, following acid denaturation and removal of nuclear proteins. This was confirmed by the analysis of DNA fragmentation using the specific DNA Breakage Detection-Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (DBD-FISH) assay, which allows the detection of DNA breaks in lysed sperm nuclei. Sperm suspensions either prepared from semen or isolated from semen by gradient centrifugation were embedded in an agarose microgel on slides and treated with 0.08 N HCl and lysing solutions containing 0.8 M dithiothreitol (DTT), 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and 2 M NaCl. Then, the slides were sequentially stained with DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and/or the Diff-Quik reagent, and the percentages of sperm with nondispersed and dispersed chromatin loops were monitored by fluorescence and brightfield microscopy, respectively. The results indicate that all sperm with nondispersed chromatin displayed DNA fragmentation, as measured by DBD-FISH. Conversely, all sperm with dispersed chromatin had very low to undetectable DBD-FISH labeling. SCD test values were significantly higher in patients being screened for infertility than in normozoospermic sperm donors who had participated in a donor insemination program. The coefficient of variation obtained using 2 different observers, either by digital image analysis (DIA) or by brightfield microscopy scoring, was less than 3%. In conclusion, the SCD test is a simple, accurate, highly reproducible, and inexpensive method for the analysis of sperm DNA fragmentation in semen and processed sperm. Therefore, the SCD test could potentially be used as a routine test for the screening of sperm DNA fragmentation in the andrology laboratory. PMID:12514084

Fernández, Jose Luis; Muriel, Lourdes; Rivero, Maria Teresa; Goyanes, Vicente; Vazquez, Rosana; Alvarez, Juan G



Seasonal occurrence of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) around Kelvin Seamount in the Sargasso Sea in relation to oceanographic processes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are widely distributed in all oceans, but they are clumped geographically, generally in areas associated with high primary and secondary productivity. The warm, clear waters of the Sargasso Sea are traditionally thought to be low in productivity, however recent surveys have found large numbers of sperm whales there. The New England Seamount Chain bisects the north-western portion of the Sargasso Sea, and might influence the mesoscale eddies associated with the Gulf Stream; creating areas of higher productivity within the Sargasso Sea. We investigated the seasonal occurrence of sperm whales over Kelvin Seamount (part of the New England Seamount Chain) and how it is influenced by oceanographic variables. An autonomous recording device was deployed over Kelvin Seamount from May to June 2006 and November 2006 to June 2007. A total of 6505 hourly two-minute recordings were examined for the presence of sperm whale echolocation clicks. Sperm whales were more prevalent around Kelvin in the spring (April to June: mean=51% of recordings contained clicks) compared to the winter (November to March: mean=16% of recordings contained clicks). Sperm whale prevalence at Kelvin was related to chlorophyll-a concentration four weeks previous, eddy kinetic energy and month. The mesoscale activity associated with the Gulf Stream and the Gulf Stream's interaction with the New England Seamount Chain likely play an important role in sperm whale occurrence in this area, by increasing productivity and perhaps concentration of cephalopod species.

Wong, Sarah N. P.; Whitehead, Hal



Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal  

PubMed Central

Background When females mate with multiple partners, sperm from rival males compete to fertilise the ova. Studies of experimental evolution have proven the selective action of sperm competition on male reproductive traits. However, while reproductive traits may evolve in response to sperm competition, this does not necessarily provide evidence that sperm competitive ability responds to selection. Indeed, a study of Drosophila failed to observe divergence in sperm competitive ability of males in lines selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Results Adopting the naturally polygamous house mouse (Mus domesticus) as our vertebrate model, we performed an experimental evolution study and observed genetic divergence in sperm quality; males from the polygamous selection lines produced ejaculates with increased sperm numbers and greater sperm motility compared to males from the monogamous lines. Here, after 12 generations of experimental evolution, we conducted competitive matings between males from lineages evolving under sperm competition and males from lineages subject to relaxed selection. We reduced variation in paternity arising from embryo mortality by genotyping embryos in utero at 14 days gestation. Our microsatellite data revealed a significant paternity bias toward males that evolved under the selective regime of sperm competition. Conclusion We provide evidence that the sperm competitiveness phenotype can respond to selection, and show that improved sperm quality translates to greater competitive fertilisation success in house mice. PMID:21251249



Female choice of young sperm in a genetically monogamous bird.  


When females copulate with multiple males the potential exists for female sperm choice. Females may increase the probability of being fertilized by preferred males by selectively retaining their sperm while ejecting the sperm of unfavoured males. An alternative criterion to male quality for female sperm choice may be sperm age because old sperm degrade and can lead to zygote death or unhealthy offspring. Here, we report that in a genetically monogamous bird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, females eject their mates' sperm according to when the copulations were performed. Following copulations that were performed approximately two weeks before egg laying, females ejected inseminations at high frequencies while retaining inseminations that occurred soon before laying. Females that suffered hatching failure had ejected sperm from early copulations less than half as frequently as females whose entire clutches hatched. Furthermore, chicks that hatched from eggs fertilized by old sperm were in poor condition relative to those fertilized by young sperm. These findings support the 'young sperm' hypothesis, which predicts that females choose fresh sperm to avoid reproductive failure and are the first to show intra-male sperm choice by females. PMID:15252964

Wagner, Richard H; Helfenstein, Fabrice; Danchin, Etienne



Identification of increased amounts of eppin protein complex components in sperm cells of diabetic and obese individuals by difference gel electrophoresis.  


Metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus and obesity may compromise the fertility of men and women. To unveil disease-associated proteomic changes potentially affecting male fertility, the proteomes of sperm cells from type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, non-diabetic obese and clinically healthy individuals were comparatively analyzed by difference gel electrophoresis. The adaptation of a general protein extraction procedure to the solubilization of proteins from sperm cells allowed for the resolution of 3187 fluorescent spots in the difference gel electrophoresis image of the master gel, which contained the entirety of solubilized sperm proteins. Comparison of the pathological and reference proteomes by applying an average abundance ratio setting of 1.6 and a p ? 0.05 criterion resulted in the identification of 79 fluorescent spots containing proteins that were present at significantly changed levels in the sperm cells. Biometric evaluation of the fluorescence data followed by mass spectrometric protein identification revealed altered levels of 12, 71, and 13 protein species in the proteomes of the type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, and non-diabetic obese patients, respectively, with considerably enhanced amounts of the same set of one molecular form of semenogelin-1, one form of clusterin, and two forms of lactotransferrin in each group of pathologic samples. Remarkably, ?-galactosidase-1-like protein was the only protein that was detected at decreased levels in all three pathologic situations. The former three proteins are part of the eppin (epididymal proteinase inhibitor) protein complex, which is thought to fulfill fertilization-related functions, such as ejaculate sperm protection, motility regulation and gain of competence for acrosome reaction, whereas the putative role of the latter protein to function as a glycosyl hydrolase during sperm maturation remains to be explored at the protein/enzyme level. The strikingly similar differences detected in the three groups of pathological sperm proteomes reflect a disease-associated enhanced formation of predominantly proteolytically modified forms of three eppin protein complex components, possibly as a response to enduring hyperglycemia and enhanced oxidative stress. PMID:21525168

Paasch, Uwe; Heidenreich, Falk; Pursche, Theresia; Kuhlisch, Eberhard; Kettner, Karina; Grunewald, Sonja; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Dittmar, Gunnar; Glander, Hans-Jürgen; Hoflack, Bernard; Kriegel, Thomas M



Contraceptive vaccines targeting sperm.  


Overpopulation is a global problem of significant magnitude, with grave implications for the future. Development of new contraceptives is necessary, as existing forms of birth control are unavailable, impractical and/or too expensive for many individuals due to sociological, financial or educational limitations. Immunocontraception and, in particular, the targeting of antibodies to sperm-specific antigens implicated in sperm-egg binding and fertilisation offers an attractive approach to control fertility. Sperm-specific antibodies may impair fertility by inhibiting sperm motility, by reducing penetration of the cervical mucus by sperm, or by interfering in sperm capacitation or the acrosome reaction; alternatively, antisperm antibodies may invoke the complement cascade, resulting in sperm lysis. The antibodies raised against sperm-specific antigens have proved to be extremely effective at reducing sperm-egg interactions in vitro; fertility trials in subhuman primates will eventually be needed to prove the effectiveness of the sperm antigens in terms of contraceptive efficacy before trials in humans can be justified. In addition, existing and emerging strategies (such as sperm proteomics, the determination of molecular and structural details of sperm proteins, and the modelling of protein-ligand interactions using X-ray and/or NMR structures to name a few) are expected to provide the experimental foundation for the design of small molecule inhibitors with antifertility effects. The technology underpinning vaccine development is constantly being developed and the introduction of DNA/RNA vaccines is certain to impact upon the field of immunocontraception. PMID:15833075

Suri, Anil



Sexual selection, germline mutation rate and sperm competition  

PubMed Central

Background An important component of sexual selection arises because females obtain viability benefits for their offspring from their mate choice. Females choosing extra-pair fertilization generally favor males with exaggerated secondary sexual characters, and extra-pair paternity increases the variance in male reproductive success. Furthermore, females are assumed to benefit from 'good genes' from extra-pair sires. How additive genetic variance in such viability genes is maintained despite strong directional selection remains an evolutionary enigma. We propose that sexual selection is associated with elevated mutation rates, changing the balance between mutation and selection, thereby increasing variance in fitness and hence the benefits to be obtained from good genes sexual selection. Two hypotheses may account for such elevated mutation: (1) Increased sperm production associated with sperm competition may increase mutation rate. (2) Mutator alleles increase mutation rates that are revealed by the expression of condition-dependent secondary sexual characters used by choosy females during their mate choice. M Petrie has independently developed the idea that mutator alleles may account for the maintenance of genetic variation in viability despite strong directional selection. Results A comparative study of birds revealed a positive correlation between mutation rate at minisatellite loci and extra-pair paternity, but not between mutation rate and relative testes mass which is a measure of relative sperm production. Minisatellite mutation rates were not related to longevity, suggesting a meiotic rather than a mitotic origin of mutations. Conclusion We found evidence of increased mutation rate in species with more intense sexual selection. Increased mutation was not associated with increased sperm production, and we suggest that species with intense sexual selection may maintain elevated mutation rates because sexual selection continuously benefits viability alleles expressed in condition-dependent characters. Sexual selection may increase mutational input, which in turn feeds back on sexual selection because of increased variance in viability traits. PMID:12702218

M?ller, AP; Cuervo, JJ



Turbidity as a method of preparing sperm dilutions in the echinoid sperm/egg bioassay  

SciTech Connect

The use of turbidimeter for preparing sperm dilutions used in the echinoid sperm/egg bioassay was evaluated. Regression analyses of the relationship between sperm density and turbidity for the sea urchins Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus indicated that although there were slope differences for each species, each coefficient of determination was highly significant. For Dendraster excentricus, triplicate hemacytometer counts over a range of turbidities as well as repeated preparations of a single sperm turbidity indicated similar variability for each. The use of the turbidimeter has time-saving advantages over conventional hemacytometer methods without sacrificing precision. Sperm dilutions can be prepared rapidly, minimizing seawater sperm preactivation before test initiation, and may therefore contribute to increased test precision.

Hall, T.J.; Haley, R.K.; Battan, K.J. (National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, Anacortes, WA (United States))



Sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA®).  


The SCSA(®) is the pioneering assay for the detection of damaged sperm DNA and altered proteins in sperm nuclei via flow cytometry of acridine orange (AO) stained sperm. The SCSA(®) is considered to be the most precise and repeatable test providing very unique, dual parameter data (red vs. green fluorescence) on a 1,024 × 1,024 channel scale, not only on DNA fragmentation but also on abnormal sperm characterized by lack of normal exchange of histones to protamines. Raw semen/sperm aliquots or purified sperm can be flash frozen, placed in a box with dry ice and shipped by overnight courier to an experienced SCSA(®) lab. The samples are individually thawed, prepared, and analyzed in ?10 min. Of significance, data on 5,000 individual sperm are recorded on a 1,024 × 1,024 dot plot of green (native DNA) and red (broken DNA) fluorescence. Repeat measurements have virtually identical dot plot patterns demonstrating that the low pH treatment that opens up the DNA strands at the sites of breaks and staining by acridine orange (AO) are highly precise and repeatable (CVs of 1-3%) and the same between fresh and frozen samples. SCSAsoft(®) software transforms the X-Y data to total DNA stainability versus red/red + green fluoresence (DFI) providing a more accurate determination of % DFI as well as the more sensitive value of standard deviation of DFI (SD DFI) as demonstrated by animal fertility and dose-response toxicology studies. The current established clinical threshold is 25% DFI for placing a man into a statistical probability of the following: (a) longer time to natural pregnancy, (b) low odds of IUI pregnancy, (c) more miscarriages, or (d) no pregnancy. Changes in lifestyle as well as medical intervention can lower the %DFI to increase the probability of natural pregnancy. Couples of men with >25% DFI are counseled to try ICSI and when in the >50% range may consider TESE/ICSI. The SCSA(®) simultaneously determines the % of sperm with high DNA stainability (%HDS) related to retained nuclear histones consistent with immature sperm; high HDS values are predictive of pregnancy failure.The SCSA(®) is considered to be the most technician friendly, time- and cost-efficient, precise and repeatable DNA fragmentation assay, with the most data and the only fragmentation assay with an accepted clinical threshold for placing a man at risk for infertility. SCSA(®) data are more predictive of male factor infertility than classical semen analyses. PMID:22992911

Evenson, Donald P



Detection of structural and numerical chomosomal abnormalities by ACM-FISH analysis in sperm of oligozoospermic infertility patients  

SciTech Connect

Modern reproductive technologies are enabling the treatment of infertile men with severe disturbances of spermatogenesis. The possibility of elevated frequencies of genetically and chromosomally defective sperm has become an issue of concern with the increased usage of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which can enable men with severely impaired sperm production to father children. Several papers have been published about aneuploidy in oligozoospermic patients, but relatively little is known about chromosome structural aberrations in the sperm of these patients. We examined sperm from infertile, oligozoospermic individuals for structural and numerical chromosomal abnormalities using a multicolor ACM FISH assay that utilizes DNA probes specific for three regions of chromosome 1 to detect human sperm that carry numerical chromosomal abnormalities plus two categories of structural aberrations: duplications and deletions of 1pter and 1cen, and chromosomal breaks within the 1cen-1q12 region. There was a significant increase in the average frequencies of sperm with duplications and deletions in the infertility patients compared with the healthy concurrent controls. There was also a significantly elevated level of breaks within the 1cen-1q12 region. There was no evidence for an increase in chromosome-1 disomy, or in diploidy. Our data reveal that oligozoospermia is associated with chromosomal structural abnormalities suggesting that, oligozoospermic men carry a higher burden of transmissible, chromosome damage. The findings raise the possibility of elevated levels of transmissible chromosomal defects following ICSI treatment.

Schmid, T E; Brinkworth, M H; Hill, F; Sloter, E; Kamischke, A; Marchetti, F; Nieschlag, E; Wyrobek, A J



Sperm competition and sperm midpiece size: no consistent pattern in passerine birds  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is thought to be a major force driving the evolution of sperm shape and function. However, previous studies investigating the relationship between the risk of sperm competition and sperm morphometry revealed inconclusive results and marked differences between taxonomic groups. In a comparative study of two families of passerines (Fringillidae and Sylviidae) and also across species belonging to different passerine families, we investigated the relative importance of the phylogenetic background on the relationship between sperm morphometry and the risk of sperm competition. The risk of sperm competition was inferred from relative testis mass as an indicator of investment in sperm production. We found: (i) a significant positive association between both midpiece length and flagellum length and relative testis mass in the Fringillidae, (ii) a significant negative association between sperm trait dimensions and relative testis mass in the Sylviidae, and (iii) no association across all species. Despite the striking difference in the patterns shown by the Sylviidae and the Fringillidae, the relationship between midpiece length and flagellum length was positive in both families and across all species with positive allometry. Reasons for the differences and similarities between passerine families are discussed. PMID:17476777

Immler, Simone; Birkhead, Tim R



Ovarian fluid of receptive females enhances sperm velocity.  


The females of several internal fertilizers are able to store sperm for a long time, reducing the risk of sperm limitation. However, it also means that males can attempt to mate outside females' receptive period, potentially increasing the level of sperm competition and exacerbating sexual conflict over mating. The guppy (Poecilia reticulata), an internally fertilizing fish, is a model system of such competition and conflict. Female guppies accept courtship and mate consensually only during receptive periods of the ovarian cycle but receive approximately one (mostly forced) mating attempt per minute both during and outside their sexually receptive phase. In addition, females can store viable sperm for months. We expected that guppy females would disfavour sperm received during their unreceptive period, possibly by modulating the quality and/or quantity of the components present in the ovarian fluid (OF) over the breeding cycle. Ovarian fluid has been shown to affect sperm velocity, a determinant of sperm competition success in this and other fishes. We found that in vitro sperm velocity is slower in OF collected from unreceptive females than in OF from receptive females. Visual stimulation with a potential partner prior to collection did not significantly affect in vitro sperm velocity. These results suggest that sperm received by unreceptive females may be disfavoured as sperm velocity likely affects the migration process and the number of sperm that reach storage sites. PMID:22430815

Gasparini, Clelia; Andreatta, Gabriele; Pilastro, Andrea



Rapid adjustments of sperm characteristics in relation to social status  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition models predict that males typically mating in disfavoured roles should be selected to compensate for their disadvantage by investing more into sperm. We studied the effect of rapid changes in social status on ejaculate investments during experimental trials with an externally fertilizing teleost—the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). We document that males becoming dominant produce less sperm with lower velocity, but have higher sex steroid concentrations than subordinate males. These differences in sperm characteristics seem mainly to result from a decreased investment in sperm among fish that become dominant compared to pre-trial levels. Moreover, these adjustments of sperm production and sperm velocity seem not to be traded against sperm longevity. Our results support theoretical models of sperm competition, as males forced to mate in disfavoured roles seem to invest more into ejaculate quality than males in favoured roles. Additionally, we are the first to report that males, in a species with status-dependent shifts in reproductive tactics, have evolved rapid tactic specific adjustments of sperm production and sperm velocity corresponding to what could be predicted from their reproductive roles. PMID:16543175

Rudolfsen, Geir; Figenschou, Lars; Folstad, Ivar; Tveiten, Helge; Figenschou, Marie



Laboratory studies of cryopreservation of sperm and trochophore larvae of the eastern oyster.  


The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is the most important cultured oyster species of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Cryopreservation of gametes and larvae of aquatic organisms has increased in importance in recent years. However, studies on the cryopreservation of sperm and larvae of mollusks have focused on the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. The present study was conducted to improve cryopreservation of sperm and trochophore larvae and to assess fertilizing ability and male-to-male variation of thawed sperm of the eastern oyster. Sperm were diluted in 12 cryoprotectant solutions composed of Hanks' balanced salt solution without calcium and 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25% (v/v) propylene glycol with or without 0.25 M sucrose. Trochophore larvae were suspended in artificial seawater and 10 or 15% propylene glycol (v/v). Sperm or trochophore larvae were placed in 5-mL macrotubes and allowed to equilibrate for 15 min. The macrotubes were cooled in a controlled-rate freezer at a rate of 2.5 degrees C per min until reaching a final temperature of -30 degrees C and were plunged into liquid nitrogen. After storage for 2 weeks, the samples were thawed in a water bath at 70 degrees C for 15 s. Overall, for cryopreservation of sperm and larvae, best results were obtained using 10 or 15% propylene glycol. Thawed sperm presented significant male-to-male variation in fertilizing ability. Survival of thawed larvae decreased as the concentration of larvae per macrotube increased. The procedures developed in this study for sperm and larvae are suitable for production of seedstock in commercial oyster hatcheries. PMID:11888215

Paniagua-Chavez, C G; Tiersch, T R



In vitro embryo production in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) using sexed sperm and oocytes from ovum pick up.  


The objective was to explore the use of sexed sperm and OPU-derived oocytes in an IVP system to produce sex-preselected bubaline embryos. Oocytes were recovered from 20 fertile Murrah and Nili-Ravi buffalo cows by repeated (twice weekly) ultrasound-guided transvaginal ovum pick up (OPU), or by aspiration of abbatoir-derived bubaline ovaries, and subjected to IVF, using frozen-thawed sexed or unsexed bubaline semen. On average, 4.6 oocytes were retrieved per buffalo per session (70.9% were Grades A or B). Following IVF with sexed sperm, oocytes derived from OPU had similar developmental competence as those from abattoir-derived ovaries, in terms of cleavage rate (57.6 vs. 50.4%, P=0.357) and blastocyst development rate (16.0 vs. 23.9%, P=0.237). Furthermore, using frozen-thawed sexed versus unsexed semen did not affect rates of cleavage (50.5 vs. 50.9%, P=0.978) or blastocyst development (15.3 vs. 19.1%, P=0.291) after IVF using OPU-derived oocytes. Of the embryos produced in an OPU-IVP system, 9 of 34 sexed fresh embryos (26.5%) and 5 of 43 sexed frozen embryos (11.6%) transferred to recipients established pregnancies, whereas 7 of 26 unsexed fresh embryos (26.9%) and 6 out of 39 unsexed frozen embryos (15.4%) transferred to recipients established pregnancies. Eleven sex-preselected buffalo calves (10 females and one male) and 10 sexed buffalo calves (six females and four males) were born following embryo transfer. In the present study, OPU, sperm sexing technology, IVP, and embryo transfer, were used to produce sex-preselected buffalo calves. This study provided proof of concept for further research and wider field application of these technologies in buffalo. PMID:18336893

Liang, X W; Lu, Y Q; Chen, M T; Zhang, X F; Lu, S S; Zhang, M; Pang, C Y; Huang, F X; Lu, K H



Age-dependent changes in sperm production, semen quality, and testicular volume in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes).  


The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), which was extirpated from its native North American prairie habitat during the 1980s, is being reintroduced to the wild because of a successful captive-breeding program. To enhance propagation, the reproductive biology of this endangered species is being studied intensively. The typical life span of the black-footed ferret is approximately 7 yr. Female fecundity declines after 3 yr of age, but the influence of age on male reproduction is unknown. In this study, testis volume, seminal traits, sperm morphology, and serum testosterone were compared in 116 males from 1 to 7 yr of age living in captivity. Results demonstrated that testes volume during the peak breeding season was similar (P > 0.05) among males 1 to 5 yr of age, reduced (P < 0.05) among males 6 yr of age, and further reduced (P < 0.05) among males 7 yr of age. Motile sperm/ejaculate was similar in males 1 to 6 yr of age but diminished (P < 0.05) in those 7 yr of age. Males at 6 and 7 yr of age produced fewer (P < 0.05) structurally normal sperm than younger counterparts; however, serum testosterone concentrations were not reduced (P > 0.05) in older males. Histological comparison of testicular/epididymal tissue from 5- and 7-yr-old black-footed ferrets confirmed that the interval between these two ages may represent a transitional period to reproductive senescence. In summary, functional reproductive capacity of male black-footed ferrets exceeds that of females by at least 2 yr. Testes and seminal quality are indistinguishable among males 1 to 5 yr of age, with progressive reproductive aging occurring thereafter. PMID:10859258

Wolf, K N; Wildt, D E; Vargas, A; Marinari, P E; Kreeger, J S; Ottinger, M A; Howard, J G



Optimizing production of in vivo-matured oocytes from superstimulated Holstein cows for in vitro production of embryos using X-sorted sperm.  


The present study aimed to establish an efficient system for the production of female embryos from dairy cows by in vitro fertilization (IVF) using X-sorted sperm and in vivo-matured oocytes collected by ovum pick up (OPU). Nonlactating Holstein cows (n = 36) were administered a controlled intravaginal progesterone-releasing (controlled internal drug release) device (d 0), underwent dominant follicle ablation (DFA) or ovulation by administration of 100 ?g of GnRH on d 5, and were superstimulated with FSH and PGF2?, following standard procedures. Controlled internal drug release devices were removed on the evening of d 8 or on the morning of d 9, depending on the experiment. For LH surge induction, 200 ?g of GnRH was administered on the morning of d 10 (0 h). In experiment 1, the peak (48.1%) of ovulating follicles was detected at 29 to 32 h after GnRH injection (0 h), and the range in the timing of the initiation of ovulation was less by timing from GnRH administration (30.0 ± 2.8h) rather than by timing the onset of estrus (32.7 ± 4.7h). Only 0.9% of total ovulated follicles were recorded before 26 h after GnRH injection. Therefore, OPU was carried out at 26 h and IVF occurred at 30 h after GnRH in experiments 2 and 3. In experiment 2, 83.3 ± 10.8% of oocytes with expanded cumulus cells had extruded the first polar body at 30 h after GnRH injection. The aim of experiment 3 was to compare the effect of either DFA or GnRH-induced LH surge before superstimulation on the efficiency of embryo production by IVF following superstimulation. Progesterone concentrations from d 10 to 12 in the DFA group were lower than those in the GnRH group. A greater proportion of recovered oocytes with expanded cumulus cells from ? 8-mm follicles was observed in the DFA group than in the GnRH group (95.9 and 77.4%, respectively). Blastocyst rates in the DFA and GnRH groups (58.0 and 52.8%, respectively) did not differ from those of oocytes collected from nonstimulated OPU and matured in vitro (49.9%). However, the proportion of high-quality blastocysts was higher in the DFA group compared with the GnRH group (54.9 vs. 21.5%). Our results demonstrate that high rates of good-quality blastocysts can be produced by IVF with X-sorted frozen sperm using in vivo-matured oocytes collected by OPU from cows after DFA and superstimulation combined with ovulation induction. PMID:24290822

Matoba, S; Yoshioka, H; Matsuda, H; Sugimura, S; Aikawa, Y; Ohtake, M; Hashiyada, Y; Seta, T; Nakagawa, K; Lonergan, P; Imai, K



Sensors Increase Productivity in Harsh Environments  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

California's San Juan Capistrano-based Endevco Corporation licensed three patents covering high-temperature, harsh-environment silicon carbide (Si-C) pressure sensors from Glenn Research Center. The company is exploring their use in government markets, as well as in commercial markets, including commercial jet testing, deep well drilling applications where pressure and temperature increase with drilling depth, and in automobile combustion chambers.



The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive environment  

E-print Network

Sperm cooperation has evolved in a variety of taxa and is often considered a response to sperm competition, yet the benefit of this form of collective movement remains unclear. Here we use fine-scale imaging and a minimal mathematical model to study sperm aggregation in the rodent genus $Peromyscus$. We demonstrate that as the number of sperm cells in an aggregate increase, the group moves with more persistent linearity but without increasing speed; this benefit, however, is offset in larger aggregates as the geometry of the group forces sperm to swim against one another. The result is a non-monotonic relationship between aggregate size and average velocity with both a theoretically predicted and empirically observed optimum of 6-7 sperm/aggregate. To understand the role of sexual selection in driving these sperm group dynamics, we compared two sister-species with divergent mating systems and find that sperm of $P.\\,maniculatus$ (highly promiscuous), which have evolved under intense competition, form optimal-sized aggregates more often than sperm of $P.\\,polionotus$ (strictly monogamous), which lack competition. Our combined mathematical and experimental study of coordinated sperm movement reveals the importance of geometry, motion and group size on sperm velocity and suggests how these physical variables interact with evolutionary selective pressures to regulate cooperation in competitive environments.

H. S. Fisher; L. Giomi; H. E. Hoekstra; L. Mahadevan



Changes in Solea senegalensis sperm quality throughout the year.  


Some of the Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) broodstock reproductive constraints are related to sperm quality. Although they present two defined spawning season (spring and autumn), males gave semen during all the year thus an exhaustive annual sperm analysis is important to determine the seasonal changes in semen quality. Sampling was performed monthly during one year, analyzing different cellular parameters to better understand sperm quality limitations obstructing sole mass production. The percentage of progressive motile cells and their linear velocity showed a decrease from March (beginning of the first spawning season) to July (when the highest temperatures were observed), followed by a slight increase in August and October (second spawning season). DNA fragmentation values showed highest values between the two spawning seasons and decreased to the end of the year. The percentage of apoptotic cells was lowest in March (beginning of the first spawning season) and the highest in November. The percentage of cells resistant to seawater exposure presented two peaks related with both spawning seasons. There was a tendency for the semen to attain a quality peak between the beginning and the middle of the first spawning season (March-May), followed by a pronounced decrease, achieving the lowest values during the months with the highest temperature. Also, the different males present in the broodstocks reach their sperm quality peak at different times, which will result in an unequal contribution for the next generation. PMID:21571455

Beirão, J; Soares, F; Herráez, M P; Dinis, M T; Cabrita, E



ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY -ORIGINAL PAPER Increasing donor ecosystem productivity decreases terrestrial  

E-print Network

ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY - ORIGINAL PAPER Increasing donor ecosystem productivity decreases terrestrial Abstract Because nutrient enrichment can increase ecosystem productivity, it may enhance resource flows to adjacent ecosystems as organisms cross ecosystem bound- aries and subsidize predators in recipient

Rosemond, Amy Daum


Observation of sperm-head vacuoles and sperm morphology under light microscope  

PubMed Central

Objective The presence of sperm-head vacuoles has been suspected to be deleterious to the outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is difficult to accurately distinguish morphologically abnormal sperm with vacuoles under a light microscope. This study was performed to analyze the result of the observation of sperm-head vacuoles using Papanicolaou staining under a light microscope and whether the male partner's age affects these vacuoles. Methods Sperm morphology with vacuoles was evaluated using Papanicolaou staining and observed under a light microscope (400×) in 980 men. The normal morphology was divided into three categories (group A, <4% of normal morphology; group B, 4%-14% of normal morphology; and group C, >14% of normal morphology). The criteria for the sperm-head vacuoles were those given in the World Health Organization manual. For the analysis of the age factor, the participants were divided into the following groups: 26-30 years, 31-35 years, 36-40 years, 41-45 years, and 46-50 years. Results The percentage of sperm-head vacuoles increased with normal sperm morphology (group A vs. groups B, C) (p<0.05). In the case of the age factor, a statistically significant difference was not observed across any of the age groups. Conclusion A majority of the sperm-head vacuoles showed a statistically significant difference among normal morphology groups. Therefore, we should consider the probability of the percentage of sperm-head vacuoles not increasing with age but with abnormal sperm morphology. A further study is required to clarify the effect of the sperm-head vacuoles on ART outcomes.

Park, Sol; Ko, Duck Sung; Park, Dong Wook; Yang, Kwang Moon



Increasing Efficiency in Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production  

SciTech Connect

Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production promises to be a renewable, clean, and efficient way of storing the sun's energy for use in hydrogen-powered fuel cells. We use p-type Ga.51In.49P semiconductor (henceforth as GaInP2) to absorb solar energy and produce a photocurrent. When the semiconductor is immersed in water, the photocurrent can break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. However, before the GaInP2 can produce hydrogen and oxygen, the conduction band and the Fermi level of the semiconductor must overlap the water redox potentials. In an unmodified system, the conduction band and Fermi level of GaInP2 do not overlap the water redox potentials. When light shines on the semiconductor, electrons build up on the surface, shifting the bandedges and Fermi level further away from overlap of the water redox potentials. We report on surface treatments with metallated porphyrins and transition metals that suppress bandedge migration and allow bandedge overlap to occur. Coating ruthenium octaethylporphyrin carbonyl (RuOEP CO) on the GaInP2 surface shifted bandedges in the positive direction by 270 mV on average, allowing the bandedges to frequently overlap the water redox potentials. Coating the GaInP2 surface with RuCl3 catalyzed charge transfer from the semiconductor to the water, lessening bandedge migration under light irradiation. Future work will focus on the long-term surface stability of these new treatments and quantitative applications of porphyrins.

Warren, S.; Turner, J.



Early Eocene climate warming increased petroleum production  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

From the late Paleocene, about 58 million years ago, to the early Eocene, about 51 million years ago, Earth's surface temperatures warmed by about 5°-10°C. Also in the early Eocene, there was an increase of carbon-13-depleted carbon in the oceans that cannot be accounted for by changes in carbon cycling at the surface. To better understand the source of that carbon, Kroeger and Funnell modeled the thermal evolution of four sedimentary basins in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The authors show that the rising surface temperatures of the early Eocene eventually led to warming of the sedimentary beds deep beneath the surface. Petroleum can be produced at only a certain range of temperatures; rising temperatures at greater depths would bring more potential source rocks into temperature conditions under which oil and gas can be produced and released.

Balcerak, Ernie



Elevated frequencies of hyperhaploid sperm were detected in a man with a history of multiple aneuploid pregnancies  

SciTech Connect

The goal of this research is to determine the heritable risk associated with elevations in the proportion of hyperhaploid human sperm. A case family presented with a history of four aneuploid pregnancies: two with autosomal trisomies (47,+ 22 and 47, +15) which were non-viable and two children with sex chromosomal aneuploidies (47, XYY and Klinefelter syndrome, 47, XXY). The father consumed {approximately}{1/2} pack of cigarettes and 1 alcoholic drink per day. He had no notable occupational or environmental exposures. Paternal origin of extra X chromosomes in the boy with Klinefelter syndrome was confirmed by DNA analyses of blood using polymorphic X-linked microsatellite markers. The inheritance pattern was established by {ge}2 informative loci using PCR products analyzed on an automatic DNA sequencer. Multi-probe sperm FISH was employed to determine the proportion of sperm with aneuploidies involving chromosome 21, X, and Y. Sperm aneuploidy frequencies of hyper-haploid sperm; XY ({approximately}6 fold, p < 0.001), 21-21 ({approximately}6 fold, p< 0.001), XX and YY ({approximately}2 fold, p<0.02). These findings suggest that elevated proportions of aneuploid sperm may be associated with an increased risk of fathering an aneuploid offspring. These findings are also relevant for future studies of heritable risk for men with elevations in sperm aneuploidy after exposures to therapeutic or environmental agents.

Chuu, Y.J.; Wyrobek, A.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Kidd, S. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)] [and others



Increasing Labour Productivity in Agriculture and Its Implications  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In order to profit from the economic growth in their society farmers can (1) increase the yields of their crops and animals, (2) switch to the production of high value products for which there is an increasing demand in the market, (3) increase the labour productivity on their farm, (4) find non-farm sources of income for some or all of their…

van den Ban, Anne



Second Forum on Energy & Water Sustainability: Increasing Resource Productivity  

E-print Network

Second Forum on Energy & Water Sustainability: Increasing Resource Productivity April 10, 2009 2) Technological solutions to increase energy productivity 3) Energy-water co-benefits of increasing resource productivity 4) Case Studies of combined energy-water conservation projects 5) Private Sector

Keller, Arturo A.


Oxidative Stress in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Sperm  

PubMed Central

Laboratories around the world have produced tens of thousands of mutant and transgenic zebrafish lines. As with mice, maintaining all of these valuable zebrafish genotypes is expensive, risky, and beyond the capacity of even the largest stock centers. Because reducing oxidative stress has become an important aspect of reducing the variability in mouse sperm cryopreservation, we examined whether antioxidants might improve cryopreservation of zebrafish sperm. Four experiments were conducted in this study. First, we used the xanthine-xanthine oxidase (X-XO) system to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). The X-XO system was capable of producing a stress reaction in zebrafish sperm reducing its sperm motility in a concentration dependent manner (P<0.05). Second, we examined X-XO and the impact of antioxidants on sperm viability, ROS and motility. Catalase (CAT) mitigated stress and maintained viability and sperm motility (P>0.05), whereas superoxide dismutase (SOD) and vitamin E did not (P<0.05). Third, we evaluated ROS in zebrafish spermatozoa during cryopreservation and its effect on viability and motility. Methanol (8%) reduced viability and sperm motility (P<0.05), but the addition of CAT mitigated these effects (P>0.05), producing a mean 2.0 to 2.9-fold increase in post-thaw motility. Fourth, we examined the effect of additional cryoprotectants and CAT on fresh sperm motility. Cryoprotectants, 8% methanol and 10% dimethylacetamide (DMA), reduced the motility over the control value (P<0.5), whereas 10% dimethylformamide (DMF) with or without CAT did not (P>0.05). Zebrafish sperm protocols should be modified to improve the reliability of the cryopreservation process, perhaps using a different cryoprotectant. Regardless, the simple addition of CAT to present-day procedures will significantly improve this process, assuring increased and less variable fertilization success and allowing resource managers to dependably plan how many straws are needed to safely cryopreserve a genetic line. PMID:22724013

Hagedorn, Mary; McCarthy, Megan; Carter, Virginia L.; Meyers, Stuart A.



Male mammals respond to a risk of sperm competition conveyed by odours of conspecific males.  


Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males and the sperm of those males compete within the female's reproductive tract to fertilize her eggs. The frequent occurrence of sperm competition has forced males of many species to develop different strategies to overcome the sperm of competing males. A prevalent strategy is for males to increase their sperm investment (total number of sperm allocated by a male to a particular female) after detecting a risk of sperm competition. It has been shown that the proportion of sperm that one male contributes to the sperm pool of a female is correlated with the proportion of offspring sired by that male. Therefore, by increasing his sperm investment a male may bias a potential sperm competition in his favour. Here we show that male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm investment when they mate in the presence of another male's odours. Such an increase in sperm investment does not occur by augmenting the frequency of ejaculations, but by increasing the amount of sperm in a similar number of ejaculations. PMID:15386011

Delbarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H



Male mammals respond to a risk of sperm competition conveyed by odours of conspecific males  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males and the sperm of those males compete within the female's reproductive tract to fertilize her eggs. The frequent occurrence of sperm competition has forced males of many species to develop different strategies to overcome the sperm of competing males. A prevalent strategy is for males to increase their sperm investment (total number of sperm allocated by a male to a particular female) after detecting a risk of sperm competition. It has been shown that the proportion of sperm that one male contributes to the sperm pool of a female is correlated with the proportion of offspring sired by that male. Therefore, by increasing his sperm investment a male may bias a potential sperm competition in his favour. Here we show that male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm investment when they mate in the presence of another male's odours. Such an increase in sperm investment does not occur by augmenting the frequency of ejaculations, but by increasing the amount of sperm in a similar number of ejaculations.

delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.



Human sperm chromosome analysis after subzonal sperm insemination of hamster oocytes  

SciTech Connect

Sperm microinjection techniques, subzonal sperm insemination (SUZI) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), have achieved a wide spread clinical application for the treatment of male infertility. To date, only one study has focused on sperm karyotypes after microinjection. Martin et al. reported a very high incidence of abnormal human sperm complements after ICSI into hamster oocytes. In the present study, are reported the first human sperm karyotypes after SUZI of hamster oocytes. Spermatozoa from two control donors were treated by calcium ionophore A23187 and injected under the zona of hamster eggs. The microinjected eggs were then cultured for cytogenetic analysis of the pronuclei. Out of 47 analyzed sperm chromosome metaphases, 5 (10.6%) were abnormal, 4 (8.5%) were hypohaploid and 1 (2.1%) had a structural abnormality. The sex ratio was not significantly different from the expected 1:1 ratio. Rates of chromosomal abnormalities in microinjected spermatozoa were similar to those observed in spermatozoa inseminated with zona free eggs, suggesting that SUZI procedure per se does not increase sperm chromosomal abnormalities.

Cozzi, J. [Medical School of Grenoble (France)



Microscale integrated sperm sorter.  


This chapter describes the design and fabrication of a passively driven microfluidic sperm sorter using soft lithographic microfabrication techniques. This self-contained device can separate motile sperm from nonmotile sperm and other cellular debris. The sorting system is small (coin sized) and structurally simple. It comprises two inlets; two outlets; a sorting channel; and arrays of horizontally oriented reservoirs that function as passively driven, constant-flow-rate pumps. Sperm with higher motility are sorted out from the rest of the semen samples based on their ability to swim through interfaces between adjacent laminar streams into separate streamlines, whereas the nonmotile sperm and debris remain in their initial streamlines. The device, which we call a microscale integrated sperm sorter, does not rely on any external power sources or controllers and incorporates all sample loading and sorting functions necessary to prepare high-quality sperm for in vitro fertilization. This self-contained, inexpensive, and portable device may also be useful for developing convenient sperm motility assays that can be used at the point of care or at home. PMID:16508075

Chung, Yaokuang; Zhu, Xiaoyue; Gu, Wei; Smith, Gary D; Takayama, Shuichi



Positive feedback between increasing atmospheric CO2 and ecosystem productivity  

Microsoft Academic Search

Increasing atmospheric CO2 will likely affect both the hydrologic cycle and ecosystem productivity. Current assumptions that increasing CO2 will lead to increased ecosystem productivity and plant water use efficiency (WUE) are driving optimistic predictions of higher crop yields as well as greater availability of freshwater resources due to a decrease in evapotranspiration. The plant physiological response that drives these effects

I. Gelfand; S. K. Hamilton; G. P. Robertson



Current status of freeze-drying technology to preserve domestic animals sperm.  


In recent years, there has been an increased interest in new preservation techniques that facilitate sperm storage and distribution, with freeze-drying (FD) having been proposed as an alternative method for sperm preservation and maintenance of genetic resources in different animal species. FD is a method in which frozen material is dried by sublimation of ice, thereby involving a direct transition from a solid (ice) to a vapour (gas) phase. One of the main advantages of FD is that nitrogen and dry ice are no longer required for the storage and shipment of frozen sperm, which can be stored at room temperature or 4°C, thereby resulting in enormous reductions in storage and shipping costs. Unlike sperm cryopreserved after gradual freezing, the sperm membrane may be further damaged by both snap-freezing and drying stresses during the FD procedure. As mammalian spermatozoa lose their motility, viability and, at least partially, their DNA integrity when freeze-dried, they must be microinjected into an oocyte by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Although the efficiency of ICSI is limited when freeze-dried spermatozoa are used, embryos and live offspring can be produced. DNA fragmentation in freeze-dried spermatozoa is one of the main causes of failure of embryonic development and successful pregnancy. In this regard, it has been suggested that endonucleases are among the leading causes of DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa along with oxidative stress caused by the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Many factors influence the FD process, and it is not clear how FD affects specific components of sperm from different animal species. As such, a sound understanding of the FD process would result in increased production of embryos and/or live offspring. The aim of this review was to study the various stages and techniques used in the FD process and to further evaluate the results obtained. PMID:25277435

Gil, L; Olaciregui, M; Luño, V; Malo, C; González, N; Martínez, F



Methods of increasing hydrocarbon production from subterranean formations  

SciTech Connect

Methods of increasing hydrocarbon production from subterranean hydrocarbon-containing formations are provided. The formations are contacted with cationic perfluoro compounds. The formula for these compounds is given.

Penny, G.S.; Briscoe, J.E.



Sperm competition in bats.  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and sperm length. In addition to male competition, I examined the effects of female reproductive biology on characteristics of spermatogenesis. Comparative studies indicate that relative testis mass is positively related to sperm competition risk in a wide range of taxa. Social group size may also influence the level of sperm competition, and one of the costs of living in groups may be decreased confidence of paternity. I used comparative analysis of independent contrast (CAIC) to control for phylogeny. Using two possible phylogenies and two measures of social group size, I found a significant positive relationship between social group size and testis mass. There was no relationship between testis mass and the dimension of the female reproductive tract or oestrus duration. Sperm length was not significantly related to body mass or group size, nor was it related to oestrus duration. PMID:9107054

Hosken, D J



Family of sperm associated antigens: relevance in sperm-egg interaction and immunocontraception.  


Overpopulation is a global problem of significant magnitude, with grave implications for the future. Development of new contraceptives is necessary, since current forms of birth control are unavailable, impractical and/or too expensive to many individuals due to sociological, financial, or educational limitations. A novel contraceptive strategy that is receiving considerable attention is that of immunocontraception. The targeting of antibodies to gamete-specific antigens implicated in sperm function, sperm-egg binding and fertilization offers an attractive approach to the growing global problem of over population. The sermatozoon has proteins that are unique, cell specific, immunogenic and accessible to antibodies. Immunological interaction with such molecules can cause block of sperm binding to the oocyte and thus fertilization. Modern biotechnologies (such as sperm proteomics, the determination of molecular and structural details of sperm proteins, and the modelling of protein-ligand interaction using X-ray and/or NMR structures to name a few) are trying to make intervention into the domain of human reproduction possible through the development of a variety of new methods and products to control fertility. The present article highlights the various sperm associated antigens involved in various aspects of sperm-egg interaction. PMID:17566289

Suri, A



Quantifying Energy Savings from Lean Manufacturing Productivity Increases  

E-print Network

practice. As such, accepted methods used to calculate energy savings from productivity improvements are not prevalent. This paper will first review several existing energy efficiency programs that promote manufacturing productivity increases...: Northeast Utilities’ PRIME Program and the DOE Industrial Assessment Centers. In conjunction, this paper will review the methods used to quantify energy savings for each program. Additionally, the relationship between productivity improvements...

Seryak, J.; Epstein, G.; D'Antonio, M.



Sperm quantity and quality effects on fertilization success in a highly promiscuous passerine, the tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm competition is widespread among animal taxa and considered a major force in sperm evolution. Recent comparative studies\\u000a have indicated that sperm competition selects for high sperm production capacity and long and fast-swimming spermatozoa across\\u000a species. Here, we examine the role of sperm quantity and quality for fertilization success of individual males in a Canadian\\u000a population of tree swallows Tachycineta

Terje Laskemoen; Oddmund Kleven; Frode Fossøy; Raleigh J. Robertson; Geir Rudolfsen; Jan T. Lifjeld



Practical problems in the posthumous retrieval of sperm.  


This communication discusses the practical problems that arise during the collection and processing of sperm that have been retrieved posthumously. It is based on a small group, namely the last six men from whom we carried out posthumous retrieval. The reason for each retrieval, the method of that retrieval, the assessment of the sperm retrieved, the subsequent viability of the sperm and their storage method are discussed. The many ethical and legal problems that arise both before and after posthumous sperm retrieval are huge in their complexity. Therefore, they will not be discussed here and this communication will be limited to the practical aspects of posthumous sperm retrieval. The purpose of this communication is to make some suggestions that will facilitate such collections. The whole subject of posthumous sperm collection is gaining increasing clinical importance and has begun to interest the media as demonstrated by the recent national coverage in an Australian newspaper. PMID:25341926

Jequier, Anne M; Zhang, Melissa




EPA Science Inventory

Stable variants of sperm aneuploidy among healthy men show associations between germinal and somatic aneuploidy The purpose of this study was to identify healthy men who reproducibly produced increased frequencies of sperm with numerical chromosomal abnormalities and to d...


China's success in increasing per capita food production.  


China has to feed 20% of the global population with only about 5% of the planet's water resources and 7% of its arable land. With such limited natural conditions, however, China's grain production has increased from about 200 kg per capita in 1949 to about 400 kg in the early 1990s. Hunger as a social problem has largely disappeared after being prevalent in China for several thousand years with the rise and decline of dynasties. This achievement has been accompanied by a 2.5-fold increase in the population and a 4.5-fold increase in total grain production. Although total cropped land has increased slightly in some areas, land used for cropping has decreased from 0.18 hectare per capita in the 1950s to less than 0.1 hectare per capita today. Apparently, yield increase or improved land productivity is the major contributor to the increase of food production per capita. What are the major reasons for the unprecedented achievement in China's food production? Political decisions, good or bad, on land distribution and ownership changes, have caused unusual fluctuation in grain production. Technical progress, however, has maintained a long-term increasing trend. The semi-dwarf cultivars of rice and wheat, the use of heterosis in rice and maize, and the alleviation of salinized soil stress in the major grain-producing areas have all played significant roles in increasing China's food production capability. PMID:21551079

Zhang, Jianhua



Sperm Quality Control  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

New research from the University of Missouri-Columbia suggests how defective sperm are tagged for destruction. This 57 second audio recording from Science Update originally aired on Monday, February 11, 2008.

Science Update (AAAS;)



Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)  


... injection (ICSI) can be done along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help fertilize the egg. During ... regardless of the condition of the sperm. • In vitro matured eggs are being used. • Previously frozen eggs ...


Effect of Phaleria macrocarpa on Sperm Characteristics in Adult Rats  

PubMed Central

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Phaleria macrocarpa (PM) on male fertility by assessing its effect on the sperm characteristics which included the sperm count, motility, viability and morphology. Methods: Eighteen male rats were equally divided into three groups. Each group of rats was orally supplemented for 7 weeks either with PM aqueous extract (240 mg/kg), distilled water (0 mg/kg) or testosterone hormone, Andriol® Testocaps™ (4 mg/kg) respectively. On the last day of supplementation period, the rats were sacrificed and sperm was obtained from cauda epididymis via orchidectomy. The sperm count, motility, viability and morphology were determined. Results: PM aqueous extract significantly increased (p<0.05) the percentage of sperm viability. However, there was no significant effect of PM on the percentage of both sperm motility and morphology. The mean of body weight declined significantly in rats supplemented with PM aqueous extract compared to control groups (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results showed that PM significantly increased sperm viability without changing the sperm motility and morphology. Hence, this study suggests that PM offers an alternative way to improve male fertility by improving the sperm quality. PMID:24312859

Parhizkar, Saadat; Yusoff, Maryam Jamielah; Dollah, Mohammad Aziz



Human Sperm Tail Proteome Suggests New Endogenous Metabolic Pathways*  

PubMed Central

Proteomic studies are contributing greatly to our understanding of the sperm cell, and more detailed descriptions are expected to clarify additional cellular and molecular sperm attributes. The aim of this study was to characterize the subcellular proteome of the human sperm tail and, hopefully, identify less concentrated proteins (not found in whole cell proteome studies). Specifically, we were interested in characterizing the sperm metabolic proteome and gaining new insights into the sperm metabolism issue. Sperm were isolated from normozoospermic semen samples and depleted of any contaminating leukocytes. Tail fractions were obtained by means of sonication followed by sucrose-gradient ultracentrifugation, and their purity was confirmed via various techniques. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry of isolated sperm tail peptides resulted in the identification of 1049 proteins, more than half of which had not been previously described in human sperm. The categorization of proteins according to their function revealed two main groups: proteins related to metabolism and energy production (26%), and proteins related to sperm tail structure and motility (11%). Interestingly, a great proportion of the metabolic proteome (24%) comprised enzymes involved in lipid metabolism, including enzymes for mitochondrial beta-oxidation. Unexpectedly, we also identified various peroxisomal proteins, some of which are known to be involved in the oxidation of very long chain fatty acids. Analysis of our data using Reactome suggests that both mitochondrial and peroxisomal pathways might indeed be active in sperm, and that the use of fatty acids as fuel might be more preponderant than previously thought. In addition, incubation of sperm with the fatty acid oxidation inhibitor etomoxir resulted in a significant decrease in sperm motility. Contradicting a common concept in the literature, we suggest that the male gamete might have the capacity to obtain energy from endogenous pools, and thus to adapt to putative exogenous fluctuations. PMID:23161514

Amaral, Alexandra; Castillo, Judit; Estanyol, Josep Maria; Ballesca, Jose Luis; Ramalho-Santos, Joao; Oliva, Rafael



Impaired sperm chromatin integrity in obese mice.  


An increased global prevalence of obesity coincides with an apparent decline in male sperm quality and a possible association between these pathologies has been suggested. In this study, we examined the effects of obesity on sperm chromatin integrity using two mouse models of obesity. In one group of mice, obesity was induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) (diet-induced obesity; DIO model), whereas in the other group, leptin deficiency was used to study the effects of obesity independently of the influence of dietary factors. Sperm chromatin integrity is recognized as an important measure of male infertility, and was analysed by the sperm chromatin structure assay. We found increased sperm DNA fragmentation in both groups of obese mice compared to lean mice, whereas the percentage of immature spermatozoa was not increased by obesity. The DIO model reflects the human condition more closely than the leptin-deficient model and was therefore selected for examination of the transcriptional response of a selection of marker genes in the testis by quantitative real-time PCR. The analysis of transcript levels of the selected testicular marker genes showed moderate, but significant, up-regulation of the Cyp2e1, Cyp19a1, Tnf and Pparg genes in DIO mice compared to lean mice. In conclusion, a clear positive correlation between body mass index and sperm DNA fragmentation was found in two mouse models of obesity. However, the variability in sperm DNA fragmentation within the two groups of obese animals was high. The observed changes in the transcript level of the marker genes suggest that there may be a local response in testicular cells to the HFD regimen with a potential impact on intratesticular signalling and spermatogenesis. PMID:24459046

Duale, N; Steffensen, I-L; Andersen, J; Brevik, A; Brunborg, G; Lindeman, B



Fenitrothion induced oxidative stress and morphological alterations of sperm and testes in male sprague-dawley rats  

PubMed Central

OBJECTIVE: Fenitrothion residue is found primarily in soil, water and food products and can lead to a variety of toxic effects on the immune, hepatobiliary and hematological systems. However, the effects of fenitrothion on the male reproductive system remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of fenitrothion on the sperm and testes of male Sprague-Dawley rats. METHODS: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion was administered orally by gavages for 28 consecutive days. Blood sample was obtained by cardiac puncture and dissection of the testes and cauda epididymis was performed to obtain sperm. The effects of fenitrothion on the body and organ weight, biochemical and oxidative stress, sperm characteristics, histology and ultrastructural changes in the testes were evaluated. RESULTS: Fenitrothion significantly decreased the body weight gain and weight of the epididymis compared with the control group. Fenitrothion also decreased plasma cholinesterase activity compared with the control group. Fenitrothion altered the sperm characteristics, such as sperm concentration, sperm viability and normal sperm morphology, compared with the control group. Oxidative stress markers, such as malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, total glutathione and glutathione S-transferase, were significantly increased and superoxide dismutase activity was significantly decreased in the fenitrothion-treated group compared with the control group. The histopathological and ultrastructural examination of the testes of the fenitrothion-treated group revealed alterations corresponding with the biochemical changes compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion caused deleterious effects on the sperm and testes of Sprague-Dawley rats. PMID:23420164

Taib, Izatus Shima; Budin, Siti Balkis; Ghazali, Ahmad Rohi; Jayusman, Putri Ayu; Louis, Santhana Raj; Mohamed, Jamaludin



Impact of adrenalectomy and dexamethasone treatment on testicular morphology and sperm parameters in rats: insights into the adrenal control of male reproduction.  


Here we investigated the hypothesis that normal levels of glucocorticoids, a class of adrenal steroid hormones, are required for normal testicular and epididymal functions. We examined the effects of the manipulation of glucocorticoid plasma levels by bilateral adrenalectomy (1, 2, 7 and 15 days) alone or in combination with daily treatment with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX; 5 ?g/kg, i.p., 6 days) on the morphology of the testis and sperm parameters in rats. We showed that adrenalectomy led to a reduction in testicular sperm count and daily sperm production starting 2 days after surgery and a differential decrease in sperm count in the epididymis, according to the region and time post-adrenalectomy analysed. In parallel, testes from 7-day adrenalectomized (ADX) rats displayed a higher frequency of damaged seminiferous tubules and the presence of elongated spermatids retained in the basal epithelial compartment in stages IX-XVII, which is indicative of defective spermiation. The alkaline comet assay revealed a late effect of adrenalectomy on epididymal sperm DNA fragmentation, which was increased only 15 days after surgery. DEX treatment prevented the changes in testicular and epididymal sperm count observed in 7-day ADX rats, but failed to protect the testis from ADX-induced morphological abnormalities. Thus, our results indicated that glucocorticoids may be involved in events related to the maintenance of spermatogenesis and sperm maturation during adulthood. These findings provide new insights into the importance of adrenal steroids to male fertility. PMID:24925687

Silva, E J R; Vendramini, V; Restelli, A; Bertolla, R P; Kempinas, W G; Avellar, M C W



Influence of Glucagon on Bovine Sperm Glycolysis  

Microsoft Academic Search

Glueagon, added to washed bovine sperm, increased the uptake of fructose or glucose by the cells. Glucagon did not increase fruetolysis by hexokinase or insulin, but increased the fructolytie rate of the insulin-hexokinase combination. With respect to glucose uptake glucagon acted similarly, but it also enhanced uptake in the presence of hexokinase. When fructose and glucose were present together, only

J. F. Masken; R. P. Martin; M. L. Hopwood



Increased polyamines may downregulate interleukin 2 production in rheumatoid arthritis.  

PubMed Central

Polyamines downregulate immune reactivity. RA is associated with decreased IL 2 production. In this study, we present evidence to suggest that excessive polyamines can contribute to the IL 2 deficiency in RA. Blocking polyamine production with inhibitors of ornithine decarboxylase results in increased IL 2 production by RA PBMC. Moreover, polyamine oxidase (PAO) inhibitors and catalase also increase IL 2 production by RA PBMC. This effect of PAO inhibition is monocyte mediated. After 3 d in culture, RA PBMC produce three times more IL 2 than do normal PBMC. This rise is prevented by exogenous spermidine but only in the presence of monocytes. The concentration of polyamines in RA PBMC and synovial fluid MNC is 2-20-fold higher than in normal cells. Thus, polyamines and their oxidation products downregulate IL 2 production by RA PBMC and may account for the decreased T cell effector function seen in this disease. PMID:2784801

Flescher, E; Bowlin, T L; Ballester, A; Houk, R; Talal, N



Immune Activation Reduces Sperm Quality in the Great Tit  

PubMed Central

Mounting an immune response against pathogens incurs costs to organisms by its effects on important life-history traits, such as reproductive investment and survival. As shown recently, immune activation produces large amounts of reactive species and is suggested to induce oxidative stress. Sperm are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which can negatively impact sperm function and ultimately male fertilizing efficiency. Here we address the question as to whether mounting an immune response affects sperm quality through the damaging effects of oxidative stress. It has been demonstrated recently in birds that carotenoid-based ornaments can be reliable signals of a male's ability to protect sperm from oxidative damage. In a full-factorial design, we immune-challenged great tit males while simultaneously increasing their vitamin E availability, and assessed the effect on sperm quality and oxidative damage. We conducted this experiment in a natural population and tested the males' response to the experimental treatment in relation to their carotenoid-based breast coloration, a condition-dependent trait. Immune activation induced a steeper decline in sperm swimming velocity, thus highlighting the potential costs of an induced immune response on sperm competitive ability and fertilizing efficiency. We found sperm oxidative damage to be negatively correlated with sperm swimming velocity. However, blood resistance to a free-radical attack (a measure of somatic antioxidant capacity) as well as plasma and sperm levels of oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation) remained unaffected, thus suggesting that the observed effect did not arise through oxidative stress. Towards the end of their breeding cycle, swimming velocity of sperm of more intensely colored males was higher, which has important implications for the evolution of mate choice and multiple mating in females because females may accrue both direct and indirect benefits by mating with males having better quality sperm. PMID:21765955

Losdat, Sylvain; Richner, Heinz; Blount, Jonathan D.; Helfenstein, Fabrice



Organize Your Workload to Increase your Productivity, Reduce your  

E-print Network

ADVANCEing Faculty January 2011 #12;Keep track of your to-do list Organize your workload Plan for upcomingOrganize Your Workload to Increase your Productivity, Reduce your Stress, and Maintain your Sanity

Selmic, Sandra


Recent primary production increases in arctic lakes Neal Michelutti,1  

E-print Network

production. In a survey of six arctic lakes on Baffin Island (Nunavut, Canada), pronounced increases the hamlet of Clyde River on east-central Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, Nunavut ($70°N, 70°W). The region has

Wolfe, Alexander P.


Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes.  


Sperm competition, the contest among ejaculates from rival males to fertilize ova of a female, is a common and powerful evolutionary force influencing ejaculate traits. During competitive interactions between ejaculates, longer and faster spermatozoa are expected to have an edge; however, to date, there has been mixed support for this key prediction from sperm competition theory. Here, we use the spectacular radiation of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika to examine sperm characteristics in 29 closely related species. We provide phylogenetically robust evidence that species experiencing greater levels of sperm competition have faster-swimming sperm. We also show that sperm competition selects for increases in the number, size, and longevity of spermatozoa in the ejaculate of a male, and, contrary to expectations from theory, we find no evidence of trade-offs among sperm traits in an interspecific analysis. Also, sperm swimming speed is positively correlated with sperm length among, but not within, species. These different responses to sperm competition at intra- and interspecific levels provide a simple, powerful explanation for equivocal results from previous studies. Using phylogenetic analyses, we also reconstructed the probable evolutionary route of trait evolution in this taxon, and show that, in response to increases in the magnitude of sperm competition, the evolution of sperm traits in this clade began with the evolution of faster (thus, more competitive) sperm. PMID:19164576

Fitzpatrick, John L; Montgomerie, Robert; Desjardins, Julie K; Stiver, Kelly A; Kolm, Niclas; Balshine, Sigal



Meson production decreases with increasing proton beam emittance, but  

E-print Network

Meson production decreases with increasing proton beam emittance, but careful optimization keeps and transverse emittance = 5 m- rad, compared to the case of zero emittance beams. The optimized meson production a Ga-jet target is then about 88% of that for a Hg-jet target. INFLUENCE OF PROTON BEAM EMITTANCES

McDonald, Kirk


Optimizing Production of Hydroquinone Achieves Increased Yield and Energy Efficiency  

E-print Network

Optimizing Production of Hydroquinone Achieves Increased Yield and Energy Efficiency Stephanie Goss Chemicals Development Division May 19, 2010 Presentation overview ? Project background ? Project definition ? Implementation of campaign... ? Large division (Chemicals Manufacturing) permitted labor sharing 2009 Campaign strategy operation ? Targeted maximum production rate (100% of capacity) with two extended shutdowns ? Spring shutdown ? 10 weeks ? Fall shutdown ? 3 weeks ? Performed...

Gross, S.


An investigation of productivity increases from hydraulic fracturing treatments  

E-print Network

AN INVESTIGATION OF PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TREATMENTS A Thesis b7 Robert Joe Boriskie Submitted to the Graduate School of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in partial fulfillment of the requirements... for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE August, 1963 Major Subject: Petroleum Engineering AN INVESTIGATION OF PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TREATMENTS A Thesis Robert Joe Boriskie Approved as to style and content by: Chairman of Committee...

Boriskie, Robert Joe



Sperm glucose transport and metabolism in diabetic individuals.  


Individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) present marked reduction in sperm quality and higher DNA damage in spermatozoa, evidencing that this metabolic disorder impairs male fertility. These effects are related to defective testicular metabolic pathways and signaling, resulting in altered sperm metabolism. Spermatozoa metabolize several substrates to ensure energy supplies and any alteration in this feature compromise sperm quality. For ATP production, spermatozoa require substrate availability and the involvement of specific hexose membrane carriers. DM is known to modulate the spermatozoa substrate consumption and/or production due to altered glycolytic behavior. In fact, glucose uptake and metabolism is highly deregulated in diabetic individuals. Herein, we present an overview of the implications of DM in sperm glucose uptake and metabolism. The understanding of these processes is essential to identify key mechanisms associated with DM-related male (in)fertility. Moreover, it may contribute to the development of therapeutics to counteract the dysfunction induced by DM in sperm metabolism. PMID:25128846

Dias, Tânia R; Alves, Marco G; Silva, Branca M; Oliveira, Pedro F



Sperm from pheromone primed brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) produce more larvae.  


Male goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to female hormonal pheromones express increased milt volumes and their sperm fertilize more eggs than sperm from unprimed males. Ovulated salmonid females also release odours that increase volumes of strippable milt in males. It is, however, not known if the priming pheromones affect the ability of sperm to fertilize eggs in salmonids. In this study, we compare the proportion of larvae produced from in vitro fertilization tests between primed brown trout (Salmo trutta) males exposed to a mix of female urine and ovarian fluids, and control males exposed only to 0.9 % sodium chloride. We also investigate priming effects on milt yield and sperm motility. Fertilization tests with sperm from single males, as well as sperm from two males (i.e., sperm competition), were performed. Primed males generated more larvae in both the single male and competition fertilization tests. No differences between treatments in milt yield and sperm motility could be established. PMID:22976196

Hellström, Gustav; Prestegaard, Tore; Dannewitz, Johan; Olsén, K Håkan



Tree species diversity increases fine root productivity through increased soil volume filling  

E-print Network

Tree species diversity increases fine root productivity through increased soil volume filling Brian Forestry Centre, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 10380, Stn Sainte-Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada; 4 Department, Australia Summary 1. Although fine roots (

Minnesota, University of


Semiautomatic cold wire feeder systems increase GTA productivity  

SciTech Connect

Often, the focus of attempts to increase GTA welding productivity is on studies to determine if justification exists for additional workstations, or for the investment in new fully automated dedicated welding fixtures. Often less costly and simpler solutions can bring about the necessary means to increase production rates and reduce operating costs. For short-run production applications, it is almost impossible to justify the substantial investment in a dedicated automatic fixture. Now, low cost GTA cold wire feeder systems are within the reach of even small shops. The paper views how cold wire equipment has been applied in several GTAW applications to improve results.

Richardson, M. (CK Worldwide, Inc., Auburn, WA (United States))



Sperm specific proteins-potential candidate molecules for fertility control  

Microsoft Academic Search

The increase in population growth rate warrants the development of additional contraceptive methods that are widely acceptable, free from side effects and less expensive. Immunocontraception, and in particular the targeting of antibodies to gamete-specific antigens implicated in sperm egg binding and fertilization, offers an attractive approach to control fertility. The development of a contraceptive vaccine based on sperm antigen represents

Anil Suri; Aruna Asaf; Ali Marg



Assessment of sperm competition by European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus  

Microsoft Academic Search

We investigated male assessment of sperm competition in the bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus, a freshwater fish that spawns on the gills of living unionid mussels. Field experiments showed males increased their inspection rate of mussels into which a testis solution containing sperm had been experimentally released. Males avoided leading females to mussels that contained high numbers of embryos, but did not

Carl Smith; Martin Reichard; Pavel Jurajda



Sperm cryopreservation of a live-bearing fish, Xiphophorus couchianus: male-to-male variation in post-thaw motility and production of F(1) hybrid offspring.  


Fishes of the genus Xiphophorus are well-studied biomedical research models, and some species, such as X. couchianus, are currently listed as endangered in the wild. Sperm cryopreservation in these live-bearing fishes has begun recently. Thus far, live young have been produced with cryopreserved sperm only in one species (Xiphophorus helleri). In this study, the goal was to develop a practical protocol for sperm cryopreservation of Xiphophorus couchianus, and to produce live young with cryopreserved sperm. Sperm were collected by crushing of testis in Hanks' balanced salt solution at an osmolality of 500 mOsmol/kg (HBSS500), and were cryopreserved with 14% glycerol (v/v) as cryoprotectant at a cooling rate of 20 degrees C/min from 5 to -80 degrees C in 250-microL French straws. For artificial insemination, samples were thawed at 40 degrees C for 5 s in a water bath, washed once using fresh HBSS500 by centrifuging at 1000 g for 5 min at 4 degrees C, concentrated into approximately 5 microL, and injected into virgin females of Xiphophorus maculatus. The inseminated females were monitored for 90 days for subsequent discharge of live young. Results from 2006 and 2007 showed considerable male-to-male variation in post-thaw motility (from 1 to 70%). Offspring were produced by cryopreserved sperm in two tanks (of three) at 36 and 66 days after insemination in 2007. Paternity was confirmed via phenotypes (body color) and genotypes (microsatellite genetic marker) of the hybrid offspring. Overall, a practical protocol for sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination is provided to preserve X. couchianus, which is an important biomedical research model, and also currently listed as an endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. PMID:19027087

Yang, Huiping; Hazlewood, Leona; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R



Breeding Technologies to Increase Crop Production in a Changing World  

Microsoft Academic Search

To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Plant breeders need to focus on traits with the greatest potential to increase yield. Hence, new technologies must be developed to accelerate breeding through improving genotyping

Mark Tester; Peter Langridge



Sperm competition as a mechanism of female choice in the field cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus  

Microsoft Academic Search

While traditionally viewed as an extension of intermale competition, mechanisms of sperm competition may be used by multiply mating females for mate choice. In the field cricket G. bimaculatus sperm were shown to mix in the spermatheca. The proportion of offspring sired by the second male increased with spermatophore attachment duration and, therefore, the number of sperm transferred. There was

L. W. Simmons



Andrology Lab Corner* The Clinical Implementation of Sperm Chromosome Aneuploidy Testing: Pitfalls and Promises  

Microsoft Academic Search

Severe male infertility has been shown to be associated with improper meiotic recombination and elevated sperm chromosome aneuploidy. Elevated sperm aneuploidy increases the risk of embryo lethality or fetal anomalies. Although difficulties in interpreting aneuploidy data still exist, advances in fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) technology have facilitated the study of sperm from patients with severe spermatogenesis defects, which has



Male sperm storage compromises sperm motility in guppies.  


Sperm senescence can have important evolutionary implications due to its deleterious effects on sperm quality and offspring performance. Consequently, it has been argued that polyandry (female multiple mating) may facilitate the selection of younger, and therefore competitively superior, sperm when ejaculates from multiple males compete for fertilization. Surprisingly, however, unequivocal evidence that sperm ageing influences traits that underlie sperm competitiveness is lacking. Here, we used a paired experimental design that compares sperm quality between 'old' and 'young' ejaculates from individual male guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We show that older sperm exhibit significant reductions in sperm velocity compared with younger sperm from the same males. We found no evidence that the brightness of the male's orange (carotenoid) spots, which are thought to signal resistance to oxidative stress (and thus age-related declines in sperm fitness), signals a male's ability to withstand the deleterious effects of sperm ageing. Instead, polyandry may be a more effective strategy for females to minimize the likelihood of being fertilized by aged sperm. PMID:25392314

Gasparini, Clelia; Kelley, Jennifer L; Evans, Jonathan P



Cigarette smoke affects posttranslational modifications and inhibits capacitation-induced changes in human sperm proteins.  


Sperm are highly dependent on posttranslational modifications of proteins. Massive phosphorylation on tyrosine residue is required for sperm capacitation. Sumoylation has also been recently implicated in spermatogenesis and sperm functions. Cigarette smoke is known to cause oxidative stress in different tissues, and several studies suggest that it causes oxidative stress in sperm. Whether tobacco affects posttranslational modifications in human sperm is currently unknown. In this study, we show that a short exposure of human sperm to physiological concentrations of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) causes the partial de-sumoylation of many sperm proteins. Furthermore, the presence of a low concentration of CSE in the human tubal fluid during an induction of in vitro capacitation inhibits the capacitation-associated increase in protein phosphorylation. Collectively, changes in posttranslational modifications may be one of the mechanisms through which exposure to tobacco can negatively affect sperm functions and cause fertility problems. PMID:24345728

Shrivastava, Vibha; Marmor, Hannah; Chernyak, Sholom; Goldstein, Marc; Feliciano, Miriam; Vigodner, Margarita



Reducing product development cycle times without increasing risk  

Microsoft Academic Search

Both market forces and the regulatory climate are causing companies to seek ways to accelerate the product development process.\\u000a Unfortunately, shortening development times usually increases the risk level that a company is forced to live with. Historically,\\u000a R&D has exercised the role of risk manager in corporations by testing prospective products extensively over long times and\\u000a under varied conditions to

F. Louis Floyd



Laboratory processing and intracytoplasmic sperm injection using epididymal and testicular spermatozoa: what can be done to improve outcomes?  

PubMed Central

There are two main reasons why sperm may be absent from semen. Obstructive azoospermia is the result of a blockage in the male reproductive tract; in this case, sperm are produced in the testicle but are trapped in the epididymis. Non-obstructive azoospermia is the result of severely impaired or non-existent sperm production. There are three different sperm-harvesting procedures that obstructive azoospermic males can undergo, namely MESA (microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration), PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration), and TESA (testicular sperm aspiration). These three procedures are performed by fine-gauge needle aspiration of epididymal fluid that is examined by an embryologist. Additionally, one technique, called TESE (testicular sperm extraction), is offered for males with non-obstructive azoospermia. In this procedure, a urologist extracts a piece of tissue from the testis. Then, an embryologist minces the tissue and uses a microscope to locate sperm. Finding sperm in the testicular tissue can be a laborious 2- to 3-hour process depending on the degree of sperm production and the etiology of testicular failure. Sperm are freed from within the seminiferous tubules and then dissected from the surrounding testicular tissue. It is specifically these situations that require advanced reproductive techniques, such as ICSI, to establish a pregnancy. This review describes eight different lab processing techniques that an embryologist can use to harvest sperm. Additionally, sperm cryopreservation, which allows patients to undergo multiple ICSI cycles without the need for additional surgeries, will also be discussed. PMID:23503962

Popal, Wana; Nagy, Zsolt P



Effects of viscosity on sperm motility studied with optical tweezers  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study is to analyze human sperm motility and energetics in media with different viscosities. Multiple experiments were performed to collect motility parameters using customized computer tracking software that measures the curvilinear velocity (VCL) and the minimum laser power (Pesc) necessary to hold an individual sperm in an optical trap. The Pesc was measured by using a 1064 nm Nd:YVO4 continuous wave laser that optically traps motile sperm at a power of 450 mW in the focused trap spot. The VCL was measured frame by frame before trapping. In order to study sperm energetics under different viscous conditions sperm were labeled with the fluorescent dye DiOC6(3) to measure membrane potentials of mitochondria in the sperm midpiece. Fluorescence intensity was measured before and during trapping. The results demonstrate a decrease in VCL but an increase in Pesc with increasing viscosity. Fluorescent intensity is the same regardless of the viscosity level indicating no change in sperm energetics. The results suggest that, under the conditions tested, viscosity physically affects the mechanical properties of sperm motility rather than the chemical pathways associated with energetics.

Hyun, Nicholas; Chandsawangbhuwana, Charlie; Zhu, Qingyuan; Shi, Linda Z.; Yang-Wong, Collin; Berns, Michael W.



The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive environment  

E-print Network

Sperm cooperation has evolved in a variety of taxa and is often considered a response to sperm competition, yet the benefit of this form of collective movement remains unclear. Here we use fine-scale imaging and a minimal mathematical model to study sperm aggregation in the rodent genus $Peromyscus$. We demonstrate that as the number of sperm cells in an aggregate increase, the group moves with more persistent linearity but without increasing speed; this benefit, however, is offset in larger aggregates as the geometry of the group forces sperm to swim against one another. The result is a non-monotonic relationship between aggregate size and average velocity with both a theoretically predicted and empirically observed optimum of 6-7 sperm/aggregate. To understand the role of sexual selection in driving these sperm group dynamics, we compared two sister-species with divergent mating systems and find that sperm of $P.\\,maniculatus$ (highly promiscuous), which have evolved under intense competition, form optimal-...

Fisher, H S; Hoekstra, H E; Mahadevan, L



Comprehensive mapping of the bull sperm surface proteome.  


While the mechanisms that underpin maturation, capacitation, and sperm-egg interactions remain elusive it is known that these essential fertilisation events are driven by the protein complement of the sperm surface. Understanding these processes is critical to the regulation of animal reproduction, but few studies have attempted to define the full repertoire of sperm surface proteins in animals of agricultural importance. Recent developments in proteomics technologies, subcellular fractionation, and optimised solubilisation strategies have enhanced the potential for the comprehensive characterisation of the sperm surface proteome. Here we report the identification of 419 proteins from a mature bull sperm plasma membrane fraction. Protein domain enrichment analyses indicate that 67% of all the proteins identified may be membrane associated. A large number of the proteins identified are conserved between mammalian species and are reported to play key roles in sperm-egg communication, capacitation and fertility. The major functional pathways identified were related to protein catabolism (26S proteasome complex), chaperonin-containing TCP-1 (CCT) complex and fundamental metabolic processes such as glycolysis and energy production. We have also identified 118 predicted transmembrane proteins, some of which are implicated in cell adhesion, acrosomal exocytosis, vesicle transport and immunity and fertilisation events, while others have not been reported in mammalian LC-MS-derived sperm proteomes to date. Comparative proteomics and functional network analyses of these proteins expand our system's level of understanding of the bull sperm proteome and provide important clues toward finding the essential conserved function of these proteins. PMID:23081703

Byrne, Keren; Leahy, Tamara; McCulloch, Russell; Colgrave, Michelle L; Holland, Michael K



In vitro production of cattle × buffalo hybrid embryos using cattle oocytes and African buffalo ( Syncerus caffer caffer) epididymal sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

Interspecies hybridization of bovids occurs between domestic cattle and at least three other species; American bison (Bison bison), yak (Bos grunniens) and banteng (Bos banteng). Birth of a cattle×buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) hybrid has reportedly occurred in Russia and in China, but these reports were not authenticated. Such hybrids could be important in improving livestock production and management of diseases that

O. D. Owiny; D. M. Barry; M. Agaba; R. A. Godke



Increased Zinc Tolerance in Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke Is Not Due to Increased Production of Phytochelatins.  

PubMed Central

The concentration of acid-soluble thiols other than reduced glutathione (SH - GSH) increases in the roots of zinc-sensitive and zinc-tolerant Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke after exposure to zinc for 1 to 3 d. The concentration of SH - GSH in the roots is higher in the sensitive plants than in the tolerant ones, both at equal external zinc concentrations and at zinc concentrations causing the same level of root-length growth inhibition. High performance liquid chromatography analyses show that the increase in the concentration of SH - GSH is not only due to the production of phytochelatins, but is also due to an increase in the concentration of cysteine and the production of nonidentified thiols. The cysteine concentration increases equally in the roots of sensitive and tolerant plants. The accumulation of phytochelatins is higher in the roots of the sensitive plants, whereas the chain length distribution of phytochelatins is the same in sensitive and tolerant plants. It is concluded that increased zinc tolerance in S. vulgaris is not due to increased production of phytochelatins. PMID:12232023

Harmens, H.; Den Hartog, P. R.; Bookum, WMT.; Verkleij, JAC.



Calnexin Overexpression Increases Manganese Peroxidase Production in Aspergillus niger  

PubMed Central

Heme-containing peroxidases from white rot basidiomycetes, in contrast to most proteins of fungal origin, are poorly produced in industrial filamentous fungal strains. Factors limiting peroxidase production are believed to operate at the posttranslational level. In particular, insufficient availability of the prosthetic group which is required for peroxidase biosynthesis has been proposed to be an important bottleneck. In this work, we analyzed the role of two components of the secretion pathway, the chaperones calnexin and binding protein (BiP), in the production of a fungal peroxidase. Expression of the Phanerochaete chrysosporium manganese peroxidase (MnP) in Aspergillus niger resulted in an increase in the expression level of the clxA and bipA genes. In a heme-supplemented medium, where MnP was shown to be overproduced to higher levels, induction of clxA and bipA was also higher. Overexpression of these two chaperones in an MnP-producing strain was analyzed for its effect on MnP production. Whereas bipA overexpression seriously reduced MnP production, overexpression of calnexin resulted in a four- to fivefold increase in the extracellular MnP levels. However, when additional heme was provided in the culture medium, calnexin overexpression had no synergistic effect on MnP production. The possible function of these two chaperones in MnP maturation and production is discussed. PMID:11823227

Conesa, Ana; Jeenes, David; Archer, David B.; van den Hondel, Cees A. M. J. J.; Punt, Peter J.



The Increasing Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This article explores published literature to demonstrate the dominance of teams over solo authors in the production of knowledge.Teams of two or more people are increasingly producing more of the research, and the research they generate is more highly cited, in a wide variety of endeavors from science to the arts.

Wuchty, Stefan



Pretreatment of beet molasses to increase pullulan production  

Microsoft Academic Search

Pretreatment of beet molasses with cation exchange resin, sulphuric acid, tricalcium phosphate, potassium ferrocyanide, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and disodium salt (EDTA) to increase the production of pullulan was investigated. Among the above techniques used for the removal of heavy metals, sulphuric acid treatment gave better results regarding polysaccharide concentration, polysaccharide yield, and sugar utilization. Aureobasidium pullulans grown on beet molasses

T. Roukas



Breeding Technologies to Increase Crop Production in a Changing World  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Crop improvement through breeding brings immense value relative to investment and offers an effective approach to improving food security.

Mark Tester (University of Adelaide;); Peter Langridge (University of Adelaide;)



To Increase Oyster Production in the Northeastern United States  

E-print Network

To Increase Oyster Production in the Northeastern United States CLYDE L. MacKENZIE, Jr of American oysters, Crassostrea virginica, per year (USDC, 1980), a quantity which is only about one the landed value of oysters was $34 million (USDC, 1980). De- spite their value, much of the oyster industry


Sequential male mate choice under sperm competition risk  

PubMed Central

Male eagerness to mate is a central paradigm of sexual selection theory. However, limited sperm supplies mean that male sexual restraint might sometimes be favored under promiscuous mating. Here, we demonstrate dynamic plasticity in male mating effort when females are encountered sequentially under varying sperm competition risk. Rather than showing consistent eagerness to mate, male house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) instead tailor their mating effort according to likely reproductive payoffs. They are significantly less likely to mate when sperm competition is certain and potential reproductive payoffs low, but dramatically increase investment if they do choose to mate under such circumstances. By contrast, male mice are significantly more likely to mate in situations simulating extra-territorial copulations, where future risk of competition is high but so too are potential reproductive rewards. Differential mating propensity appears to be the primary mechanism by which male house mice allocate sperm adaptively under sperm competition risk because we find no evidence for facultative adjustment of sperm numbers per ejaculate or ejaculation frequency in response to female-related cues. We conclude that sequential male mate choice under sperm competition risk could be a widespread but often unappreciated mechanism of strategic sperm allocation. PMID:24822023



Long Polyglutamine Tracts in the Androgen Receptor Are Associated with Reduced TransActivation, Impaired Sperm Production, and Male Infertility  

Microsoft Academic Search

The X-linked androgen receptor (AR) gene contains two polymor- phic trinucleotide repeat segments that code for polyglutamine and polyglycine tracts in the N-terminal trans-activation domain of the AR protein. Changes in the lengths of these polymorphic repeat seg- ments have been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, an androgen-dependent tumor. Expansion of the polyglutamine tract causes a rare neuromuscular




Short-term variation in sperm competition causes sperm-mediated epigenetic effects on early offspring performance in the zebrafish.  


The inheritance of non-genetic factors is increasingly seen to play a major role in ecology and evolution. While the causes and consequences of epigenetic effects transmitted from the mother to the offspring have received ample attention, much less is known about how variation in the condition of the father affects the offspring. Here, we manipulated the intensity of sperm competition experienced by male zebrafish Danio rerio to investigate the potential for sperm-mediated epigenetic effects over a relatively short period of time. We found that the rapid responses of males to varying intensity of sperm competition not only affected sperm traits as shown previously, but also the performance of the resulting offspring. We observed that males exposed to high intensity of sperm competition produced faster swimming and more motile sperm, and sired offspring that hatched over a narrower time frame but exhibited a lower survival rate than males exposed to low intensity of sperm competition. Our results provide striking evidence for short-term paternal effects and the possible fitness consequences of such sperm-mediated non-genetic factors not only for the resulting offspring but also for the female. PMID:24789902

Zajitschek, Susanne; Hotzy, Cosima; Zajitschek, Felix; Immler, Simone



Increased elastin production in experimental granulomatous lung disease.  

PubMed Central

In the normal, healthy lung, elastin production is restricted to periods of development and growth. However, elastin expression in the adult lung has been observed in some forms of pulmonary injury, including pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we report that elastin production is significantly increased within precise interstitial compartments of the lung in an experimental model of granulomatous lung disease. An increase in the number and volume of elastic fibers within the alveolar walls was apparent on histological examination of Verhoeff-van Gieson-stained sections of silicotic rat lungs. Quantitation of mature elastin cross-links indicated that silicosis was accompanied by a 17-fold increase in lung elastin content when compared with values from saline-treated controls. In situ hybridization for tropoelastin mRNA revealed that elastin production was absent from granulomatous lesions yet was prominent at nonfibrotic alveolar septal tips, where a high density of elastic fibers is seen in the normal lung. Immunohistochemistry indicated tropoelastin was being expressed by alpha-smooth muscle actin-containing cells. Transforming growth factor-beta was immunolocalized to granulomatous regions of the silicotic lung but was absent from regions showing increased tropoelastin expression. These data indicate that the reinitiation of tropoelastin gene expression is associated with granulomatous lung disease, and this expression leads to the aberrant accumulation of mature elastin in the lung. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:7573374

Mariani, T. J.; Crouch, E.; Roby, J. D.; Starcher, B.; Pierce, R. A.



Methods of sperm preparation for assisted reproduction.  


Because seminal plasma contains factors which inhibit the fertilising ability of spermatozoa, it is essential that spermatozoa be separated from it quickly and efficiently. Four basic approaches for this exist: (1) simple dilution and washing; (2) sperm migration (either direct from liquefied semen, from a suspension of washed spermatozoa or from a washed sperm pellet); (3) selective washing procedures (mainly Percoll and Nycodenz density gradients); and (4) adherence methods for the elimination of debris and dead spermatozoa (glass wool, glass beads and Sephadex columns). While the success of a sperm preparation method is often assessed by its yield of motile spermatozoa, it is also vital that sperm preparations for clinical use should be free of any microbiological contaminants present in semen. Other relevant considerations in choosing a method include its technical complexity as well as its material, apparatus and time costs. Any possible exposure of spermatozoa during preparation to deleterious influences that may cause iatrogenic sperm dysfunction must obviously be avoided at all costs. Consequently, methods involving centrifugal washing steps prior to the selection of motile spermatozoa should be discontinued. Direct swim-up from semen remains the simplest way to obtain populations of highly motile spermatozoa and, dependent upon the absolute yield required, can be a very rapid procedure with normal semen samples. Abnormal samples, especially those with increased viscosity, may benefit from a prior filtration on a glass bead or Sephadex column. The initial motile sperm preparation should be washed once (perhaps twice) to minimise seminal plasma contamination of the final preparation. Several rapid, simple discontinuous Percoll gradients giving excellent yields are available.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1309121

Mortimer, D; Mortimer, S T



Hepatitis B Virus S Protein Enhances Sperm Apoptosis and Reduces Sperm Fertilizing Capacity In Vitro  

PubMed Central

Objective Studying the impact of Hepatitis B virus S protein (HBs) on early apoptotic events in human spermatozoa and sperm fertilizing capacity. Methodology/Principal Findings Spermatozoa were exposed to HBs (0, 25, 50, 100 µg/ml) for 3 h, and then fluo-4 AM calcium assay, Calcein/Co2+ assay, protein extraction and ELISA, ADP/ATP ratio assay, sperm motility and hyperactivation and sperm-zona pellucida (ZP) binding and ZP-induced acrosome reaction (ZPIAR) tests were performed. The results showed that in the spermatozoa, with increasing concentration of HBs, (1) average cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) rose; (2) fluorescence intensity of Cal-AM declined; (3) average levels of cytochrome c decreased in mitochondrial fraction and increased in cytosolic fraction; (4) ADP/ATP ratios rose; (5) average rates of total motility and mean hyperactivation declined; (6) average rate of ZPIAR declined. In the above groups the effects of HBs exhibited dose dependency. However, there was no significant difference in the number of sperms bound to ZP between the control and all test groups. Conclusion HBs could induce early events in the apoptotic cascade in human spermatozoa, such as elevation of [Ca2+]i, opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP), release of cytochrome c (cyt c) and increase of ADP/ATP ratio, but exerted a negative impact on sperm fertilizing capacity. PMID:23874723

Huang, JiHua; Zhong, Ying; Fang, XiaoWu; Xie, QingDong; Kang, XiangJin; Wu, RiRan; Li, FangZheng; Xu, XiaoQin; Lu, Hui; Xu, Lan; Huang, TianHua



Variation in Apical Hook Length Reflects the Intensity of Sperm Competition in Murine Rodents  

PubMed Central

Background Post-copulatory sexual selection has been shown to shape morphology of male gametes. Both directional and stabilizing selection on sperm phenotype have been documented in vertebrates in response to sexual promiscuity. Methodology Here we investigated the degree of variance in apical hook length and tail length in six taxa of murine rodents. Conclusions Tail sperm length and apical hook length were positively associated with relative testis mass, our proxy for levels of sperm competition, thus indicating directional post-copulatory selection on sperm phenotypes. Moreover, our study shows that increased levels of sperm competition lead to the reduction of variance in the hook length, indicating stabilizing selection. Hence, the higher risk of sperm competition affects increasing hook length together with decreasing variance in the hook length. Species-specific post-copulatory sexual selection likely optimizes sperm morphology. PMID:23844198

Sandera, Martin; Albrecht, Tomas; Stopka, Pavel



Characterization of Schwanniomyces castellii mutants with increased productivity of amylases  

Microsoft Academic Search

The production of a-amylase activity in the yeast Schwanniomyces castellii strain 1402 is repressed in the presence of the non-metabolizable glucose analogue, 2-deoxy-glucose. Selection for resistance to 2-deoxy-glucose after treatment with ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) or UV light has yielded mutants displaing increased a-amylase activities. One such mutant, S. castellii strain 1436, was found to exhibit constitutive a-amylase activity in

A. M. Sills; P. S. J. Zygora; G. G. Stewart



Methods of increasing hydrocarbon production from subterranean formations  

SciTech Connect

A method is described of increasing the production of hydrocarbons from a hydrocarbon-containing subterranean carbonate-containing formation comprising introducing into the subterranean formation an anionic perfluoro substituted compound in a liquid carrier fluid whereby the compound is absorbed onto surfaces of the formation to reduce wetting of the surfaces by either hydrocarbons or water, the anionic perfluoro substituted compound being selected from individual compounds and mixtures thereof.

Penny, G.S.; Gardner, T.R.



TRPM8, a Versatile Channel in Human Sperm  

PubMed Central

Background The transient receptor potential channel (TRP) family includes more than 30 proteins; they participate in various Ca2+ dependent processes. TRPs are functionally diverse involving thermal, chemical and mechanical transducers which modulate the concentration of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). Ca2+ triggers and/or regulates principal sperm functions during fertilization such as motility, capacitation and the acrosome reaction. Nevertheless, the presence of the TRPM subfamily in sperm has not been explored. Principal Findings Here we document with RT-PCR, western blot and immunocitochemistry analysis the presence of TRPM8 in human sperm. We also examined the participation of this channel in sperm function using specific agonists (menthol and temperature) and antagonists (BCTC and capsazepine). Computer-aided sperm analysis revealed that menthol did not significantly alter human sperm motility. In contrast, menthol induced the acrosome reaction in human sperm. This induction was inhibited about 70% by capsazepine (20 µM) and 80% by BCTC (1.6 µM). Activation of TRPM8 either by temperature or menthol induced [Ca2+]i increases in human sperm measured by fluorescence in populations or individual sperm cells, effect that was also inhibited by capsazepine (20 µM) and BCTC (1.6 µM). However, the progesterone and ZP3-induced acrosome reaction was not inhibited by capsazepine or BCTC, suggesting that TRPM8 activation triggers this process by a different signaling pathway. Conclusions This is the first report dealing with the presence of a thermo sensitive channel (TRPM8) in human sperm. This channel could be involved in cell signaling events such as thermotaxis or chemotaxis. PMID:19582168

Ocampo, Ana Y.; Serrano, Carmen J.; Castellano, Laura E.; Hernandez-Gonzalez, Enrique O.; Chirinos, Mayel; Larrea, Fernando; Beltran, Carmen; Trevino, Claudia L.



Zymomonas mobilis mutants with an increased rate of alcohol production  

SciTech Connect

Two new derivatives of Zymomonas mobilis CP4 were isolated from enrichment cultures after 18 months of serial transfer. These new strains were selected for the ability to grow and produce ethanol rapidly on transfer into fresh broth containing ethanol and allyl alcohol. Ethanol production by these strains was examined in batch fermentations under three sets of conditions. Both new derivatives were found to be superior to the parent strain CP4 with respect to the speed and completeness of glucose conversion to ethanol. The best of these, strain YO2, produced 9.5% ethanol (by weight; 11.9% by volume) after 17.4 h compared with 31.8 h for the parent strain CP4. The addition of 1 mM magnesium sulfate improved ethanol production in all three strains. Two factors contributed to the decrease in fermentation time required by the mutants: more rapid growth with minimal lag on subculturing and the retention of higher rates of ethanol production as fermentation proceeded. Alcohol dehydrogenase isozymes were altered in both new strains and no longer catalyzed the oxidation of allyl alcohol into the toxic product acrolein. This loss of allyl alcohol-oxidizing capacity is proposed as a primary factor contributing to increased allyl alcohol resistance, although it is likely that other mutations affecting glycolysis also contribute to the improvement in ethanol production.

Osman, Y.A.; Ingram, L.O.



Protective effect of royal jelly on the sperm parameters and testosterone level and lipid peroxidation in adult mice treated with oxymetholone  

PubMed Central

Objectives : The aim of the present study was to evaluate protective effect of royal jelly on sperm parameters, testosterone level, and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in mice. Materials and Methods: Thirty-two adult male NMRI mice weighing 30±2 g were used. All the animals were divided into 4 groups. Control group: received saline 0.1 ml/mouse/day orally for 30 days. Royal jelly group (RJ): received royal jelly at dose of 100 mg/kg daily for 30 days orally. Oxymetholone group: the received Oxymetholone (OX) at dose of 5 mg/kg daily for 30 days orally. Royal jelly+Oxymetholone group: received royal jelly at dose of 100 mg/kg/day orally concomitant with OX administration. Sperm count, sperm motility, viability, maturity, and DNA integrity were analyzed. Furthermore, serum testosterone and MDA concentrations were determined. Results: In Oxymetholone group, sperm count, motility as well as testosterone concentration reduced significantly (p<0.05), while significant (p<0.05) increases in immature sperm, sperm with DNA damaged, and MDA concentration were announced in Oxymetholone group in comparison with control group and Royal jelly+Oxymetholone group. RJ caused partially amelioration in all of the above- mentioned parameters in Royal Jelly+Oxymetholone group. Conclusion: In conclusion, RJ may be used in combination with OX to improve OX-induced oxidative stress and male infertility. PMID:25050300

Zahmatkesh, Ensieh; Najafi, Gholamreza; Nejati, Vahid; Heidari, Reza



Relationship between bull field fertility and in vitro embryo production using sperm preparation methods with and without somatic cell co-culture.  


Experiments were designed to compare rates of embryonic development following oocyte exposure to cryopreserved spermatozoa from bulls of varying proven fertility, utilizing 3 different sperm preparation methods prior to oocyte introduction. These included 1) sperm co-culture with bovine oviductal epithelial cells (BOEC); 2) sperm co-culture with buffalo rat liver cells (BRLC); or 3) control culture in a routine, cell-free culture system. Semen from 9 bulls was classified by lifetime 60- to 90-d nonreturn rates as having either (mean +/- SEM) high (n=3) 73.2 +/- 3a, medium (n=3) 70.3 +/- 2b or low (n=3) 65.8 +/- 3c field fertility ((ac)p< 0.01; (bc)p< 0.05). There was no difference in embryo cleavage rates for spermatozoa from the high (58 +/- 18%), medium (57 +/-23%) or low (57 +/- 18%) fertility groups. Development to morula or beyond of oocytes fertilized with high (53 +/- 30%) or low (58 +/- 27%) fertility semen tended (P<0.10) to be higher than of those fertilized with medium fertility (33 +/- 28%) semen. This lack of relationship between in vivo fertility and in vitro embryo outcome was consistent across all sperm preparation methods. Therefore, pooled data were used to evaluate the effect of sperm preparation on embryo outcome. There was no difference in embryo cleavage rates between BOEC monolayers (51 +/- 22%), BRLC monolayers (60 +/- 20%) and the cell-free controls (60 +/- 17%). Subsequent embryonic development to compact morula and beyond was higher (P<0.01) with the BRLC monolayer treatment (61 +/- 28%) than with the BOEC monolayers (42 +/- 33%) or control culture (39 +/- 24%). In conclusion, these studies suggest that there is no predictive relationship between bull field fertility (in the ranges evaluated here) and in vitro embryo cleavage or development rates. However, oocytes inseminated with sperm cells co-cultured on BRLC monolayers develop to the morula stage or beyond at a higher rate than oocytes inseminated with spermatozoa from the BOEC or cell-free system. PMID:10729028

Schneider, C S; Ellington, J E; Wright, R W



Changes in extracellular osmolality initiate sperm motility in freshwater teleost rosy barb Puntius conchonius.  


The objective was to investigate the effects of extracellular osmolality and membrane osmotic-sensitive channels on the initiation of sperm motility and to explore mechanisms of sperm initiation in rosy barb (Puntius conchonius). We found that (1) sperm were immotile in seminal plasma and remained quiescent in electrolyte or nonelectrolyte solutions isotonic to seminal plasma; (2) sperm movement was initiated when the sperm were exposed to hypo-osmotic electrolyte or hypo-osmotic nonelectrolyte solutions, and that the responsiveness of sperm to changes in the extracellular osmolalities (100, 200, 250, 270, and 300 mOsm/kg) differed among sperm cells (P<0.05); (3) sperm movement could be initiated and terminated repeatedly by decreasing and increasing the osmolality (in increments of 100 and 300 mOsm/kg) of a nonelectrolyte mannitol solution, respectively (P<0.05); (4) gadolinium (20, 40, and 80 microM) inhibited the initiation of sperm motility and abolished the sperm activation caused by the hypo-osmotic media treatment in dose- and time-dependent manners (P<0.05); and (5) sperm activation in a hypo-osmotic medium and inhibition in an isotonic solution were associated with swelling and shrinkage of the sperm sleeves, respectively. Therefore, we concluded that osmolality was a critical physiologic signal in regulating the initiation and termination of sperm motility in freshwater teleost rosy barb. Furthermore, we inferred that rosy barb sperm were hypo-osmotic-dependent conformers, and the osmotic-sensitive channel could be involved in the mechanism of sperm initiation. PMID:19576625

Hu, J; Zhang, Y; Zhou, R; Zhang, Y



Proteins Involved in Motility and Sperm-Egg Interaction Evolve More Rapidly in Mouse Spermatozoa  

PubMed Central

Proteomic studies of spermatozoa have identified a large catalog of integral sperm proteins. Rapid evolution of these proteins may underlie adaptive changes of sperm traits involved in different events leading to fertilization, although the selective forces underlying such rapid evolution are not well understood. A variety of selective forces may differentially affect several steps ending in fertilization, thus resulting in a compartmentalized adaptation of sperm proteins. Here we analyzed the evolution of genes associated to various events in the sperm’s life, from sperm formation to sperm-egg interaction. Evolutionary analyses were performed on gene sequences from 17 mouse strains whose genomes have been sequenced. Four of these are derived from wild Mus musculus, M. domesticus, M. castaneus and M. spretus. We found a higher proportion of genes exhibiting a signature of positive selection among those related to sperm motility and sperm-egg interaction. Furthermore, sperm proteins involved in sperm-egg interaction exhibited accelerated evolution in comparison to those involved in other events. Thus, we identified a large set of candidate proteins for future comparative analyses of genotype-phenotype associations in spermatozoa of species subjected to different sexual selection pressures. Adaptive evolution of proteins involved in motility could be driven by sperm competition, since this selective force is known to increase the proportion of motile sperm and their swimming velocity. On the other hand, sperm proteins involved in gamete interaction could be coevolving with their egg partners through episodes of sexual selection or sexual conflict resulting in species-specific sperm-egg interactions and barriers preventing interspecies fertilization. PMID:24608277

Vicens, Alberto; Lüke, Lena; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.



Sperm storage mediated by cryptic female choice for nuptial gifts.  


Polyandrous females are expected to discriminate among males through postcopulatory cryptic mate choice. Yet, there is surprisingly little unequivocal evidence for female-mediated cryptic sperm choice. In species in which nuptial gifts facilitate mating, females may gain indirect benefits through preferential storage of sperm from gift-giving males if the gift signals male quality. We tested this hypothesis in the spider Pisaura mirabilis by quantifying the number of sperm stored in response to copulation with males with or without a nuptial gift, while experimentally controlling copulation duration. We further assessed the effect of gift presence and copulation duration on egg-hatching success in matings with uninterrupted copulations with gift-giving males. We show that females mated to gift-giving males stored more sperm and experienced 17% higher egg-hatching success, compared with those mated to no-gift males, despite matched copulation durations. Uninterrupted copulations resulted in both increased sperm storage and egg-hatching success. Our study confirms the prediction that the nuptial gift as a male signal is under positive sexual selection by females through cryptic sperm storage. In addition, the gift facilitates longer copulations and increased sperm transfer providing two different types of advantage to gift-giving in males. PMID:24266042

Albo, Maria J; Bilde, Trine; Uhl, Gabriele



Mammalian Sperm Fertility Related Proteins  

PubMed Central

Infertility is an important aspect of human and animal reproduction and still presents with much etiological ambiguity. As fifty percent of infertility is related to the male partner, molecular investigations on sperm and seminal plasma can lead to new knowledge on male infertility. Several comparisons between fertile and infertile human and other species sperm proteome have shown the existence of potential fertility markers. These proteins have been categorized into energy related, structural and other functional proteins which play a major role in sperm motility, capacitation and sperm-oocyte binding. The data from these studies show the impact of sperm proteome studies on identifying different valuable markers for fertility screening. In this article, we review recent development in unraveling sperm fertility related proteins. PMID:24151436

Ashrafzadeh, Ali; Karsani, Saiful Anuar; Nathan, Sheila



Identification of peroxiredoxin-5 in bovine cauda epididymal sperm.  


Developing spermatozoa require a series of posttesticular modifications within the luminal environment of the epididymis to achieve maturation; this involves several surface modifications including changes in plasma membrane lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and alterations in the outer acrosomal membrane. Epididymal maturation can therefore allow sperm to gain forward motility and fertilization capabilities. The objective of this study was to identify maturation-dependent protein(s) and to investigate their role with the production of functionally competent spermatozoa. Lectin blot analyses of caput and cauda sperm plasma membrane fractions identified a 17.5 kDa wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-binding polypeptide present in the cauda sperm plasma membrane not in the caput sperm plasma membrane. Among the several WGA-stained bands, the presence of a 17.5 kDa WGA-binding polypeptide band was detected only in cauda epididymal fluid not in caput epididymal fluid suggesting that the 17.5 kDa WGA-binding polypeptide is secreted from the cauda epididymis and binds to the cauda sperm plasma membrane during epididymal transit. Proteomic identification of the 17.5 kDa polypeptide yielded 13 peptides that matched the sequence of peroxiredoxin-5 (PRDX5) protein (Bos Taurus). We propose that bovine cauda sperm PRDX5 acts as an antioxidant enzyme in the epididymal environment, which is crucial in protecting the viable sperm population against the damage caused by endogeneous or exogeneous peroxide. PMID:24186847

Nagdas, Subir K; Buchanan, Teresa; Raychoudhury, Samir



Sperm storage in male elasmobranchs: a description and survey.  


Two basic types of spermatozoan aggregates, spermatophores and spermatozeugmata, found in 14 different species of sharks, one species of skate, and one species of chimaera (holocephalan), were investigated using light and scanning electron microscopy. Spermatophores, aggregates (usually 1,000-6,000 microns in diameter and larger) of randomly clumped sperm embedded in and surrounded by an eosinophilic matrix, were found in Alopias superciliosus, Odontaspis taurus, Carcharodon carcharias, Isurus oxyrinchus, and Lamna nasus. Three types of spermatozeugmata, sperm structures without a surrounding capsule or matrix, are described. The first, clumps of 60-200 sperm unbound in a supporting matrix, are found in Squalus acanthias and Hydrolagus colliei. In the second type, single-layered spheres are formed of sperm clumps with the sperm heads bound in a common supporting matrix. These are found in Carcharhinus limbatus and Carcharhinus plumbeus. The third type of spermatozeugmata are large multilayered, compound structures formed by the accretion of several single-layered aggregates. These multilayered structures characteristically are found in Carcharhinus falciformis, C. limbatus, Carcharhinus obscurus, C. plumbeus, Carcharhinus porosus, Prionace glauca, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, and Sphyrna lewini. Sperm aggregates of all types are stored between the septa and in the lumen of the terminal ampulla of the epididymis. In their various forms they are the final product of the mature male elasmobranch reproductive tract. In a male with mature claspers, the presence of sperm aggregates is a more reliable indicator of maturity and sexual activity than is clasper condition alone. PMID:8169955

Pratt, H L; Tanaka, S



Picomolar gradients of progesterone select functional human sperm even in subfertile samples.  


More than 1 million infertility treatments are practiced around the world per year, but only 30% of the couples succeed in taking a baby home. Reproductive technology depends in part on sperm quality, which influences not only fertilization but also embryo development and implantation. In order to provide a better quality sperm subpopulation, innovative sperm selection techniques based on physiological sperm features are needed. Spermatozoa at an optimum state may be selected by following an increasing concentration gradient of picomolar progesterone, a steroid secreted by the cumulus cells at the time of ovulation. In this study we developed a method to recruit spermatozoa at the best functional state, based on sperm guidance toward progesterone. The sperm selection assay (SSA) consists of a device with two wells connected by a tube. One well was filled with the sperm suspension and the other with picomolar progesterone, which diffused inside the connecting tube as a gradient. The sperm quality after the SSA was analyzed in normal and subfertile semen samples. Several sperm parameters indicative of sperm physiological state were determined before and after the SSA: capacitation, DNA integrity and oxidative stress. After the SSA, the mean level of capacitated spermatozoa increased three times in normal and in subfertile samples. The level of sperm with intact DNA was significantly increased, while sperm oxidative stress was decreased after sperm selection. Interestingly, the exposure to a progesterone gradient stimulated the completion of capacitation in some spermatozoa that could not do it by themselves. Thus, the SSA supplies a sperm population enriched with spermatozoa at an optimum physiological state that may improve the assisted reproductive technology outcome. PMID:23729411

Gatica, L V; Guidobaldi, H A; Montesinos, M M; Teves, M E; Moreno, A I; Uñates, D R; Molina, R I; Giojalas, L C



Sperm Chromatin and Environmental Factors  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a Available experimental and human data show that a number of lifestyle- and environment-related exposures may have negative\\u000a effects on sperm DNA integrity. The extent of the sperm DNA damage seems to differ between different studies. Such a discrepancy\\u000a may partly be due to the use of ­several methods for assessment of sperm DNA integrity, techniques that do not measure exactly

Aleksander Giwercman


Increased production of nutriments by genetically engineered crops.  


Plants are the basis of human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. We describe here three examples for which these techniques have been employed. We introduced the first enzyme involved in fructan synthesis, the sucrose sucrose fructosyltransferase (isolated from Jerusalem artichoke), into sugar beet. The transgenic sugar beet showed a dramatic change in the nature of the accumulated sugar, 90% of the sucrose being converted into fructan. The use of transgenic sugar beet for the production and isolation of fructans will result in a more efficient plant production system of fructans and should promote their use in human food. The second example shows how the over-expression of the key enzyme of flavonoid biosynthesis could increase anti-oxidant levels in tomato. Introduction of a highly expressed chalcone isomerase led to a seventyfold increase of the amount of quercetin glucoside, which is a strong anti-oxidant in tomato. We were also able to modify the essential amino acid content of potato in order to increase its nutritional value. The introduction of a feedback insensitive bacterial gene involved in biosynthesis of aspartate family amino acids led to a sixfold increase of the lysine content. Because the use of a bacterial gene could appear to be controversial, we also introduced a mutated form of the plant key enzyme of lysine biosynthesis (dihydrodipicolinate synthase) in potato. This modification led to a 15 times increase of the lysine content of potato. This increase of the essential amino acid lysine influences the nutritional value of potato, which normally has low levels of several essential amino acids. These three examples show how the metabolism of primary constituents of the plant cell such as sugar or amino acids, but also of secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, can be modified by genetic engineering. Producing fructan, a soluble fiber, increasing the level of flavonoids, an antioxidant, in tomato or increasing the level of essential amino acids in potato are all clear examples of plant genetic modifications with possible positive effects on human nutrition. PMID:12071305

Sévenier, Robert; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Bino, Raoul; Koops, Andries J



Cryopreservation of epididymal stallion sperm.  


Any event that makes semen collection or mating impossible, such as death, castration, or injury, may terminate a stallion's breeding career. Fortunately, stallion sperm which are capable of fertilization can be harvested from the epididymis, and frozen for future use. However, the fertility of frozen-thawed epididymal sperm has been found to be lower than that of ejaculated sperm. Therefore, this study aimed to optimize the fertility of frozen epididymal stallion sperm by investigating the effects of different cryoprotectants and freezing protocols on sperm quality. Dimethylformamide was tested alone or combination with pasteurized egg yolk as substitute of fresh egg yolk. In addition, the effect of the pre-freeze stabilization on sperm quality was analyzed. Heterospermic samples obtained from stallion epididymis were collected and cryopreserved in lactose-egg-yolk extender or in the same extender with varying content of cryoprotectant and content of egg yolk, stabilized and no-stabilized. Sperm motility, viability, hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST) and acrosome integrity were evaluated post-thawing. No improvement was observed on the replacement of fresh yolk by pasteurized egg yolk, whereas the results suggest that dimethylformamide is a cryoprotectant suitable for cryopreservation of equine epididymal semen, even better than glycerol. In addition, we found that the stabilization before freezing on epididymal stallion sperm, can improve sperm quality parameters. PMID:24412395

Olaciregui, M; Gil, L; Montón, A; Luño, V; Jerez, R A; Martí, J I



Method of increasing hydrocarbon production by remedial well treatment  

SciTech Connect

This patent describes a method for increasing the production of hydrocarbons from a hydrocarbon-containing subterranean formation having impaired permeability as a result of formation invasion by aqueous fluids comprising contacting the formation with a penetrating solvent capable of disrupting at least a portion of any aqueous layer present on solid surfaces within the formation and a cationic perfluoro compound whereby the compound is absorbed onto the solid surfaces of the formation the cationic perfluoro compound being selected from the group consisting of a compound or mixtures of compounds.

Penny, G.S.; Briscoe, J.E.



Improvement of Stand Jig Sealer and Its Increased Production Capacity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This paper has the objective to prove that improvement of Stand Jig Sealer can lead to the cycle time target as part of Improvement efforts and its Productivity. Prior researches through prior journals both classics journal such as Quesnay (1766) and Solow (1957) and updated journal such as Reikard (2011) researches, are mentioned and elaborated. Precisely, the research is narrowed down and specified into automotive industry and eventually the software related of SPSS and Structural Equation Modeling ( SEM ). The analysis and its method are conducted through the calculation working time. The mentioned calculation are reinforced with the hypothesis test using SPSS Version 19 and involve parameters of production efficiency, productivity calculation, and the calculation of financial investments. The results obtained are augmented achievement of cycle time target ? 80 seconds posterior to improvement stand jig sealer. The result from calculation of SPSS-19 version comprise the following aspects: the one-sided hypothesis test is rejection of Ho:??80 seconds, the correlation rs=0.84, regression y = 0.159+0.642x, validity R table = 0.4438, reliability value of Cronbach's alpha = 0.885>0.70, independence (Chi Square) Asymp. Sig=0.028<0.05, 95% efficiency, increase productivity 11%, financial analysis (NPV 2,340,596>0, PI 2.04>1, IRR 45.56%>i=12.68%, PP=1.86). The Mentioned calculation results support the hypothesis and ultimately align with the objective of this paper to prove that improvement of Stand Jig Sealer and its relation toward the cycle time target. Precisely, the improvement of production capacity of PT. Astra Daihatsu Motor.

Soebandrija, K. E. N.; Astuti, S. W. D.



Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in small ruminants.  


Small ruminants are an important component of the global production systems of meat and wool, and their reproductive biology is well known. However, the incorporation of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) in the production systems of small ruminants is not as well developed as for other domestic species. Normally, production systems that incorporate ARTs are restricted to artificial insemination or in vivo embryo transfer. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is one of the ARTs techniques reported for small ruminants and consists of the injection of spermatozoa inside an oocyte, bypassing the natural process of sperm-oocyte interaction. In goats and sheep, there are few live births by ICSI reported, with no reports from other species of small ruminants. Currently, there has not been intensive research about ICSI in small ruminants. However, ICSI has potentially important applications in animal production systems, primarily its use with semen of valued animals, with epididymal sperm, in the fertilization of prepubertal or cryopreserved oocytes. Other applications include more advanced techniques, such as transgenic-ICSI or its combination with spermatogonial transplantation. In this article, we review the "state of the art" of this technique in small ruminants including its historical development, research needs for its improvement and future applications. PMID:22871330

López-Saucedo, J; Paramio-Nieto, M T; Fierro, R; Piña-Aguilar, R E



Clastogenic Factors as Potential Biomarkers of Increased Superoxide Production  

PubMed Central

The formation of clastogenic factors (CF) and their damaging effects are mediated by superoxide, since superoxide dismutase is regularly protective. CF are produced via superoxide and stimulate the production of superoxide by monocytes and neutrophils. This results in a selfsustaining and longlasting process of clastogenesis, which may exceed the DNA repair system and ultimately lead to cancer (Emerit, 1994). An increased cancer risk is indeed observed in conditions accompanied by CF formation. These include irradiated persons, patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, HIV-infected persons and the chromosomal breakage syndromes ataxia telangiectasia, Bloom’s syndrome and Fanconi’s anemia. Biochemical analysis has identified lipid peroxidation products, arachidonic acid metabolites, nucleotides of inosine and cytokines, in particular tumor necrosis factor alpha, as the clastogenic and also superoxide stimulating components of CF. Due to their chromosome damaging effects, these oxidants can be detected with classical cytogenetic techniques. Their synergistic action renders the CF-test particularly sensitive for the detection of a pro-oxidant state. Correlations were observed between CF and other biomarkers of oxidative stress such as decreases in total plasma thiols or increases in TBARS or chemiluminescence. Correlations between CF and disease activity, between CF and radiation exposure, suggest the study of CF for monitoring these conditions. CF may also be useful as biochemical markers and intermediate endpoints for the evaluation of promising antioxidant drugs. CF formation represents a link between chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis. Prophylactic use of superoxide scavengers as anticarcinogens is therefore suggested. PMID:19662223

Emerit, Ingrid



Impaired swimming behaviour and morphology of sperm from barn swallows Hirundo rustica in Chernobyl.  


We investigated the motility and morphology of live sperm from barn swallows Hirundo rustica breeding in radioactively contaminated areas around Chernobyl and control areas in Ukraine in order to test the hypothesis that swimming behaviour and morphology of sperm was impaired by radioactive contamination. We obtained sperm samples from 98% of sampled birds, thus avoiding sampling bias due to the fraction of males not producing sperm samples. Analyses of within- and between-sample repeatability revealed significant and intermediate to large estimates for all sperm parameters. There were significant differences between the Chernobyl area and the control area for two of 11 sperm behaviour parameters, and significant interactions between area and year for six of these parameters. The proportion of sperm with abnormal morphology was elevated in barn swallows from Chernobyl. A principal component (PC) analysis revealed four significant axes that explained 88% of the variance in sperm behaviour parameters. One of these principal components differed between areas, and three components showed significant year by area interactions. PC2 representing the frequency of slow sperm increased with increasing radiation in one year, but not another. PC3 representing sperm with high linearity, small amplitude of lateral head displacement and low track velocity decreased with increasing background radiation level. PC4 reflecting a large proportion of static sperm with high beat cross frequency increased with increasing background radiation level. Sperm behaviour as reflected by principal components was predictable among years from information on level of radiation, and it was predictable among sites in different years. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that sperm behaviour and morphology have been affected by radiation due to the Chernobyl accident. PMID:18218334

Møller, A P; Mousseau, T A; Lynn, C; Lynnn, C; Ostermiller, S; Rudolfsen, G



Sperm reflux and its role in multiple mating in males of a butterfly Polygonia c-aureum Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

The relationship between sperm quantity in the duplex and that in the vasa deferentia was examined in the Asian comma butterfly, Polygonia c-aureum. In virgin males, the number of eupyrene sperm bundles in the duplex increased linearly with age, whereas that in the vasa deferentia was consistently small. However, numerous sperm were found in the vasa deferentia of males immediately

Satoshi Hiroyoshi; Jun Mitsuhashi



Protective Effect of Ethyl Pyruvate on Epididymal Sperm Characteristics, Oxidative Stress and Testosterone Level in Methotrexate Treated Mice  

PubMed Central

Background Methotrexate (MTX) is an anti-metabolite drug widely used in treatment of neoplastic disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. The ester derivative, ethyl pyruvate (EP) is stable in solution and should function as an antioxidant and energy precursor. This study was conducted to evaluate the protective role of EP on sperm parameters, testosterone level and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in mice treated with MTX. Methods 32 adult male NMRI mice weighing 26±2 g were divided into 4 groups. Group 1 received 0.1 ml/mice/day of distilled water intraperitoneally for 30 days (ip). Group 2 was treated with methotrexate at a dose of 20 mg/kg once a week (ip) for 30 days. Group 3 was treated with ethyl pyruvate at a dose of 40 mg/kg/daily (ip) for 30 days. Group 4 was treated with methotrexate (20 mg/kg) once a week simultaneously with ethyl pyruvate 40 mg/kg for 30 days. The results were analyzed by oneway ANOVA. A p<0.05 was considered to be significant. Results The results showed significant (p<0.05) decrease in sperm count and sperm motility as well as testosterone concentration while sperm with damaged DNA and MDA concentration in mice treated with MTX in comparison with control and MX+EP groups increased significantly (p<0.05). Instead, MTX+EP group caused partial amelioration in all parameters mentioned above. Conclusion Based on the present study, it can be concluded that MTX induced toxicity in sperm parameters and serum level of testosterone and increased MDA level. EP with its antioxidant properties could be administrated during treatment with MTX due to its protective effects on sperm parameters, plasma testosterone levels and lipid peroxidation. PMID:24551573

Atashfaraz, Elham; Farokhi, Farah; Najafi, Gholamreza



Sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears (Ursus americanus).  


The objective of this study was to describe sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears. Electroejaculation was successful in 53.8% (7/13) of the attempts, but urine contamination was common. Epididymal sperm samples were also obtained from five bears. Sperm had a paddle-like head shape and the ultrastructure was similar to that of most other mammals. The most striking particularity of black bear sperm ultrastructure was a tightening of the nucleus in the equatorial region. Although the differences were not significant in all bears, the overall decrease in sperm nucleus dimensions during transport from the caput epididymis to the cauda suggested increasing compaction of the nucleus during maturation. For ejaculated sperm, nucleus length, width, and base width were 4.9, 3.7, and 1.8 ?m, respectively, whereas sperm head length, width, and base width were 6.6, 4.8, and 2.3 ?m, and midpiece, tail (including midpiece), and total sperm lengths were 9.8, 68.8, and 75.3 ?m. Evaluation of sperm cytoplasmic droplets in the epididymis revealed that proximal droplets start migrating toward a distal position in the caput epididymis and that the process was mostly completed by the time sperm reached the cauda epididymis. The proportion of morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate was 35.6%; the most prevalent sperm defects were distal cytoplasmic droplets and bent/coiled tails. The morphology of abnormal sperm and the underlying ultrastructural defects were similar to that in other large domestic animals thus suggesting similar underlying pathogenesis of specific sperm defects and similar effects on fertility. PMID:20708230

Brito, L F C; Sertich, P L; Stull, G B; Rives, W; Knobbe, M



Sperm Chromatin Dispersion Test: Technical Aspects and Clinical Applications  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a Sperm DNA damage has been connected, among other things, with an increased incidence of miscarriage and enhanced risk of disease\\u000a in the offspring. However, its occurrence is multifaceted and many of the variable consequences it has for fertility are as\\u000a yet not fully understood. Tests that assess sperm quality should identify not only the ability of spermatozoa to reach the

Jaime Gosálvez; Carmen López-Fernández; José Luís Fernández


The Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus  

E-print Network

bluish-gray, slate gray, iron gray, purplish brown, grayish- brown, or blackish-brown. The sperm whale Durban, South Africa, in water over 3,193 m (10,476 feet) deep. The whales made dives lasting 82 and 83 the offshore waters. Berzin (1971) re- ported that sperm whales are re- stricted to waters deeper than 300 m (1


Zn2+ Increases Siderophore Production in Azotobacter vinelandii  

PubMed Central

When Azotobacter vinelandii was grown in the presence of low levels of iron, the addition of 20 or 40 ?M ZnSO4 caused earlier production of the catechol siderophores and a dramatic increase in the amount of azotobactin. The level of cellular iron was not significantly lowered in Zn2+ -grown cells, which suggested that Zn2+ was not causing more severe, or earlier, iron limitation. Also, Zn2+ did not appear to affect production of the high-molecular-weight outer membrane iron-repressible proteins that presumably function as ferrisiderophore receptors. Spectrophotometric examination of ion binding to the siderophores revealed that while the siderophores appeared to bind Zn2+, only in the case of azotochelin was iron unable to completely overcome any Zn2+ -induced changes in the absorption spectra. This appeared to rule out direct competition of Zn2+ with iron for binding to the siderophores. 55Fe uptake was depressed both in Zn2+ -grown cells and in Zn2+ -free cells to which Zn2+ was added during the uptake assay, except with azotobactin, with which the level of 55Fe uptake by Zn2+ -grown cells was close to control levels. These results suggested two possible sites where Zn2+ could be acting, one involving the biosynthesis of siderophores and possibly the genetic regulation of the iron assimilation system and the other involving an internal point common to iron assimilation by both high- and low-affinity iron uptake. Images PMID:16347766

Huyer, Marianne; Page, William J.



A novel sorting technology allows for highly efficient selection of sperm without chromatin damage.  


Sperm chromatin damage has been associated with male infertility, increased risk for spontaneous abortion, and poor embryo development. Available methods for detecting chromatin damage render the sperm no longer suitable for clinical use. Early apoptotic events resulting in chromatin damage are associated with increased permeability of the cell membrane to large ions. We propose the use of a large fluorescent organic cation, proprietary fluorochrome (PF-1), for fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) for negative selection of sperm without chromatin damage. Sperm with chromatin damage are PF-1 positive. Performance of cell sorting by PF-1 was verified with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) after FACS on PF-1(+) and PF-1(-) subpopulations. Whereas 19.5% of PF-1 positive sperm were TUNEL positive only 1.5% sperm in the PF-1(-) fraction were TUNEL positive (p?sperm sorting may decrease or most likely eliminate all of TUNEL positive sperm without adverse effects on viability, providing a new therapeutic avenue for men with a high percentage of TUNEL positive sperm. Further research is needed to determine if the reduction in TUNEL positive sperm using PF-1 will improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. PMID:23560816

Funaro, Michael G; Kim, Howard H; Mazel, Svetlana; Bolyakov, Alexander; Goldstein, Marc; Schlegel, Peter N; Paduch, Darius A



Non-viral transfection of goat germline stem cells by nucleofection results in production of transgenic sperm after germ cell transplantation.  


Germline stem cells (GSCs) can be used for large animal transgenesis, in which GSCs that are genetically manipulated in vitro are transplanted into a recipient testis to generate donor-derived transgenic sperm. The objectives of this study were to explore a non-viral approach for transgene delivery into goat GSCs and to investigate the efficiency of nucleofection in producing transgenic sperm. Four recipient goats received fractionated irradiation at 8 weeks of age to deplete endogenous GSCs. Germ cell transplantations were performed 8-9 weeks post-irradiation. Donor cells were collected from testes of 9-week-old goats, enriched for GSCs by Staput velocity sedimentation, and transfected by nucleofection with a transgene construct harboring the human growth hormone gene under the control of the goat beta-casein promoter (GBC) and a chicken beta-globin insulator (CBGI) sequence upstream of the promoter. For each recipient, transfected cells from 10 nucleofection reactions were pooled, mixed with non-transfected cells to a total of 1.5?×?10(8) cells in 3?ml, and transplanted into one testis (n?=?4 recipients) by ultrasound-guided cannulation of the rete testis. The second testis of each recipient was removed. Semen was collected, starting at 9 months after transplantation, for a period of over a year (a total of 62 ejaculates from four recipients). Nested genomic PCR for hGH and CBGI sequences demonstrated that 31.3%?±?12.6% of ejaculates were positive for both hGH and CBGI. This study provides proof-of-concept that non-viral transfection (nucleofection) of primary goat germ cells followed by germ cell transplantation results in transgene transmission to sperm in recipient goats. PMID:22231935

Zeng, W; Tang, L; Bondareva, A; Luo, J; Megee, S O; Modelski, M; Blash, S; Melican, D T; Destrempes, M M; Overton, S A; Gavin, W G; Ayres, S; Echelard, Y; Dobrinski, I



Sperm transport through the rete testis in anesthetized rats: role of the testicular capsule and effect of gonadotropins and prostaglandins  

SciTech Connect

An intact testicular capsule was not necessary for flow of rete testis fluid in anesthetized rats fitted with efferent duct cannulae. Flow was unaffected by i.v. injections of FSH, LH or prolactin, or by intratesticular injections of prostaglandin E/sub 1/, E/sub 2/ or A/sub 1/. However, small increases in intratesticular pressure resulting from injection of 2 to 20 saline resulted in transient (3 to 7 min) increases in flow rate, while PGF/sub 2..cap alpha../ increased rete testis fluid flow 2 to 3-fold over a 20 to 40 min period. PGF/sub 2..cap alpha../ effect was reduced or eliminated when the testicular capsule was cut open. Sperm concentration in the rete fluid was unaffected by any of the treatments mentioned above, suggesting that spermiation was unaffected. In hypophysectomized rats given replacement androgens for 8 weeks (2.5 to 25 mg testosterone propionate/day), sperm concentration in rete fluid was similar to normal, although rate of fluid flow, and therefore sperm output rates, were significantly reduced. These data suggest a link between testicular fluid production and sperm release in the rat.

Free, M.J.; Jaffe, R.A.; Morford, D.E.



Enhanced membrane protein expression by engineering increased intracellular membrane production  

PubMed Central

Background Membrane protein research is frequently hampered by the low natural abundance of these proteins in cells and typically relies on recombinant gene expression. Different expression systems, like mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria and yeast are being used, but very few research efforts have been directed towards specific host cell customization for enhanced expression of membrane proteins. Here we show that by increasing the intracellular membrane production by interfering with a key enzymatic step of lipid synthesis, enhanced expression of membrane proteins in yeast is achieved. Results We engineered the oleotrophic yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, by deleting the phosphatidic acid phosphatase, PAH1, which led to massive proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. For all eight tested representatives of different integral membrane protein families, we obtained enhanced protein accumulation levels and in some cases enhanced proteolytic integrity in the ?pah1 strain. We analysed the adenosine A2AR G-protein coupled receptor case in more detail and found that concomitant induction of the unfolded protein response in the ?pah1 strain enhanced the specific ligand binding activity of the receptor. These data indicate an improved quality control mechanism for membrane proteins accumulating in yeast cells with proliferated ER. Conclusions We conclude that redirecting the metabolic flux of fatty acids away from triacylglycerol- and sterylester-storage towards membrane phospholipid synthesis by PAH1 gene inactivation, provides a valuable approach to enhance eukaryotic membrane protein production. Complementary to this improvement in membrane protein quantity, UPR co-induction further enhances the quality of the membrane protein in terms of its proper folding and biological activity. Importantly, since these pathways are conserved in all eukaryotes, it will be of interest to investigate similar engineering approaches in other cell types of biotechnological interest, such as insect cells and mammalian cells. PMID:24321035



Hyperoxia increases hepatic arginase expression and ornithine production in mice  

SciTech Connect

Hyperoxic exposure affects the levels and activities of some hepatic proteins. We tested the hypothesis that hyperoxic exposure would result in greater hepatic .NO concentrations. C3H/HeN mice were exposed to >95% O{sub 2} for 72 or 96 h and compared to room air-breathing controls. In contrast to our working hypothesis, exposure to >95% O{sub 2} for 96 h decreased hepatic nitrite/nitrate NO {sub X} concentrations (10.9 {+-} 2.2 nmol/g liver versus 19.3 {+-} 2.4 nmol/g liver in room air, P < 0.05). The hepatic levels of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and inducible NOS (iNOS) proteins were not different among the groups. The arginases, which convert L-arginine to urea and L-ornithine, may affect hepatic NOS activities by decreasing L-arginine bioavailability. Hepatic ornithine concentrations were greater in hyperoxic animals than in controls (318 {+-} 18 nmol/g liver in room air, and 539 {+-} 64, and 475 {+-} 40 at 72 and 96 h of hyperoxia, respectively, P < 0.01). Hepatic arginase I protein levels were greater in hyperoxic animals than in controls. Hepatic carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS) protein levels and activities were not different among groups. These results indicate that increases in hepatic levels of arginase I in mice exposed to hyperoxia may diminish .NO production, as reflected by lower liver levels of NO {sub X}. The resultant greater hepatic ornithine concentrations may represent a mechanism to facilitate tissue repair, by favoring the production of polyamines and/or proline.

Malleske, Daniel T. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Rogers, Lynette K. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Velluci, Sean M. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Young, Tamara L. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Park, Min S. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Long, Donald W. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Welty, Stephen E. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Smith, Charles V. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States); Nelin, Leif D. [Center for Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (United States)]. E-mail:



Organic fertilization leads to increased peach root production and lifespan.  


We evaluated the effects of mineral and organic fertilizers on peach root dynamics in the growing season from 2003 to 2006 in a nectarine (Prunus persica L.) orchard, planted in 2001 and located in the Po valley, northeastern Italy. Very few studies have conducted long-term investigations of root dynamics of fruit crops. Our main objective was to determine whether organic fertilizers affect root dynamics differently than mineral fertilizers. The experiment was a completely randomized block design with four replicates of three treatments: unfertilized, mineral fertilized and composted with municipal waste. Mineral fertilizers included P (100 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) and K (200 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) applied only at planting and N (70-130 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) split into two applications, one at 40 days after full bloom (60%) and the other in September (40%) each year. The compost fertilization represented a yearly rate of 10 metric tons (t) dry weight ha(-1), which approximates (in kg ha(-1) year(-1)) 240 N, 100 P and 200 K, split similarly to that described for the mineral fertilization of N. Both root growth and survival were evaluated at 20-day intervals during the growing season by the minirhizotron technique. Compost increased the production of new roots compared with the other treatments (P < 0.01). Roots were mainly produced at a depth of 41-80 cm and from March to May and in late summer. An analysis of covariance indicated no significant effect of soil nitrate on root production (P = 0.47). The root lifespan was longer in compost-treated trees than in mineral-fertilized or unfertilized trees (P < 0.01) and it was strongly affected by time of birth; roots born later in the summer lived longer than those born in the spring. Across years and treatments, the average root lifespan was positively correlated with soil nitrate (r = 0.60; P < 0.001). Variation in root lifespan with method of fertilization could be accounted for by variation in soil nitrate concentration as indicated by no effect of fertilizer treatment on root lifespan when soil nitrate was included as a covariate. These results reveal how shifting from mineral to organic fertilizers may shift both soil properties and nutrient availability, leading to changes in both root production and lifespan. PMID:20921024

Baldi, E; Toselli, M; Eissenstat, D M; Marangoni, B



Sperm and Egg Donation Liana Mller  

E-print Network

Sperm and Egg Donation Liana Müller #12;2 Introduction Biotechnology provides women and men who with the possibility to transmit the genetic information of at least one of the parents through sperm or egg donation sperm donation and prohibits egg donation. The question of sperm and egg donation is solely an ethical

Müller, Ralf R.


Fertilization Is Not a New Beginning: The Relationship between Sperm Longevity and Offspring Performance  

PubMed Central

Sperm are the most diverse cell type known: varying not only among- and within- species, but also among- and within-ejaculates of a single male. Recently, the causes and consequences of variability in sperm phenotypes have received much attention, but the importance of within-ejaculate variability remains largely unknown. Correlative evidence suggests that reduced within-ejaculate variation in sperm phenotype increases a male’s fertilization success in competitive conditions; but the transgenerational consequences of within-ejaculate variation in sperm phenotype remain relatively unexplored. Here we examine the relationship between sperm longevity and offspring performance in a marine invertebrate with external fertilization, Styela plicata. Offspring sired by longer-lived sperm had higher performance compared to offspring sired by freshly-extracted sperm of the same ejaculate, both in the laboratory and the field. This indicates that within-ejaculate differences in sperm longevity can influence offspring fitness – a source of variability in offspring phenotypes that has not previously been considered. Links between sperm phenotype and offspring performance may constrain responses to selection on either sperm or offspring traits, with broad ecological and evolutionary implications. PMID:23155458

Crean, Angela J.; Dwyer, John M.; Marshall, Dustin J.



Identification of sperm subpopulations with defined motility characteristics in ejaculates from Florida goats.  


The aims of this study were to test the presence of discrete sperm subpopulations in Florida goat ejaculates using a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system and to establish the relationship between the distribution of the subpopulations found and individual buck, total motility, and sperm concentration. Clustering methods and discriminant analysis were applied to identify motile sperm subpopulations within the semen samples. Principal component analysis revealed that three principal components represented more than the 88% of the variance. After the cluster analysis was performed four motile sperm subpopulations were identified. Subpopulation 1 consisted of rapid and linear sperm (39.84%), Subpopulation 2 consisted of slow but linear spermatozoa (33.23%), Subpopulation 3 consisted of rapid, high ALH but non-linear spermatozoa (14.63%), and Subpopulation 4 consisted of slow and non-linear spermatozoa (12.31%). There were significant differences in the distribution of the four subpopulations (P < 0.001) as well as in the percentage of total motility and the overall sperm concentration (P < 0.05) in fresh ejaculates among the four bucks tested. In conclusion, four well-defined motile sperm subpopulations were identified in Florida goat ejaculates. The relationship between the distribution of the sperm subpopulations and individual buck, total motility, and sperm concentration shows that the spermatozoa of each have different motility patterns. Therefore, the study of discrete subpopulations of motile spermatozoa could lead to a substantial increase in information acquired during caprine semen analysis. PMID:20673991

Dorado, J; Molina, I; Muñoz-Serrano, A; Hidalgo, M



Murine SPAM1 is secreted by the estrous uterus and oviduct in a form that can bind to sperm during capacitation: acquisition enhances hyaluronic acid-binding ability and cumulus dispersal efficiency  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm uptake of epididymal sperm adhesion molecule 1 (SPAM1) in vitro has recently been shown to be a marker of sperm maturation, since acquisition of this surface hyaluronidase increases cumulus dispersal efficiency. Here, we demonstrate that this glycosyl phosphatidylinositol-linked sperm antigen, previously shown to be expressed during estrous in the female reproductive tract, is secreted in the uterine and oviductal

Genevieve S Griffiths; Kimberly A Miller; Deni S Galileo; Patricia A Martin-DeLeon



Does product development success increase as disruptive technologies are evaluated?  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper reviews new product development projects published previously and examines how companies define their next generation of products and develop them while watching the market for potential disruptive technologies and take precautions for those with potential to influence the market place. The study includes a quantification methodology of the product development capabilities of the companies discussed in the case

T. U. Daim; Y. Daim



Sperm reflux and its role in multiple mating in males of a butterfly Polygonia c-aureum Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae).  


The relationship between sperm quantity in the duplex and that in the vasa deferentia was examined in the Asian comma butterfly, Polygonia c-aureum. In virgin males, the number of eupyrene sperm bundles in the duplex increased linearly with age, whereas that in the vasa deferentia was consistently small. However, numerous sperm were found in the vasa deferentia of males immediately after mating. The number of eupyrene sperm bundles in the vasa deferentia after mating significantly increased with age and with increasing the time interval between matings. From these and other results, it was suggested that some sperm in the duplex were moved back to the vasa deferentia during mating, and that such sperm reflux provides a means to save sperm for multiple mating. PMID:12770378

Hiroyoshi, S; Mitsuhashi, J



GMOs: Prospects for Productivity Increases in Developing Countries  

Microsoft Academic Search

There are two mechanisms by which modern genetically modified organism (GMO) products can affect productivity in developing countries. The first is the ‘Genes for Rent’ mechanism where a recipient country agrees with a GMO company to incorporate a GMO product (e.g., a Bt gene in cotton varieties) and pay a technology fee. The second is the ‘Transgenic Breeding’ mechanism in

Robert E. Evenson



Senescent males carry premutagenic lesions in sperm.  


As organisms age, DNA of somatic cells deteriorates, but it is believed that germ cells are protected from DNA-damaging agents. In recent years, this vision has been challenged by studies on humans indicating that genomic instability in germ cells increases with age. However, nothing is known about germ line senescence in wild animals. Here, we examine DNA damage in sperm of a wild vertebrate, the blue-footed booby Sula nebouxii. One of the major types of premutagenic DNA damage generated by oxidative stress (a proximal cause of ageing) is loss of single bases resulting in apurinic/apyrimidinic sites (AP sites). We examined AP sites in the sperm of known-age males sampled during courtship on Isla Isabel, Mexico. We show that damage to the DNA of sperm increases with age of male blue-footed boobies. Moreover, we found that sexual attractiveness (foot colour) declines with age and is correlated with germ line damage of senescent males. By choosing attractive males, females might reduce the probability of their progeny bearing damaged DNA. This study reports the first evidence of senescence in the germ line of a wild vertebrate and future studies should investigate whether this burden of senescence is sidestepped by potential sexual partners. PMID:21332857

Velando, A; Noguera, J C; Drummond, H; Torres, R



The sperm donor programme over 11 years at Newcastle Fertility Centre.  


The UK national sperm donor shortage is well known. We aimed to analyse the trends in various aspects of the sperm donor programme at Newcastle Fertility Centre (NFC) between 2000 and 2010. A retrospective review of the assisted conception treatments with donor sperm was performed. A decline in the numbers of donors recruited alongside a declining trend in the number of patients treated with donor sperm and donor insemination (DI) treatment cycles carried out was apparent. There was an accompanying rising trend in donor IVF cycles and in same-sex couples and single women coming for treatment. The transfer of sperm to local peripheral centres ceased during this time and an increasing number of patients imported sperm from overseas commercial sperm banks. A waiting list for treatment was set up in 2007 with a gradual increase in waiting time to 18 months in 2010. Overall, there was a significant change in the sperm donor programme at NFC with fewer donors recruited, fewer patients receiving treatment, increasing sperm import and longer waiting times for treatment over the study period. PMID:23905905

Gudipati, Madhavi; Pearce, Kim; Prakash, Alka; Redhead, Gillian; Hemingway, Victoria; McEleny, Kevin; Stewart, Jane



Shorter sperm confer higher competitive fertilization success.  


Spermatozoa exhibit taxonomically widespread patterns of divergent morphological evolution. However, the adaptive significance of variation in sperm morphology remains unclear. In this study we examine the role of natural variation in sperm length on fertilization success in the dung beetle Onthophagus taurus. We conducted sperm competition trials between males that differed in the length of their sperm and determined the paternity of resulting offspring using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. We also quantified variation in the size and shape of the female's sperm storage organ to determine whether female morphology influenced the competitiveness of different sperm morphologies. We found that fertilization success was biased toward males with relatively shorter sperm, but that selection on sperm length was dependent on female tract morphology; selection was directional for reduced sperm length across most of the spermathecal size range, but stabilizing in females with the smallest spermathecae. Our data provide empirical support for the theory that sperm competition should favor the evolution of numerous tiny sperm. Moreover, because sperm length is both heritable and genetically correlated with condition, our results are consistent with a process by which females can accrue genetic benefits for their offspring from the incitement of sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice, as proposed by the "sexy sperm" and "good sperm" models for the evolution of polyandry. PMID:17439614

García-González, Francisco; Simmons, Leigh W



Seasonal variations in seminal plasma and sperm characteristics of wild-caught and cultivated Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua.  


The objective was to investigate changes, throughout the spawning season, in body size attributes and quantitative semen characteristics of wild-caught and cultivated Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L. Sperm velocity increased significantly throughout the spawning season of cod from both origins. Curvilinear velocity (VCL; 30 sec post-activation) increased from 78.9+/-6.5 to 128.2+/-6.5 microm/sec (mean+/-SEM) between the beginning and end of the spawning season, respectively, for wild-caught cod, whereas for cultivated fish, it increased from 26.6+/-2.4 to 48.9+/-3.1 microm/sec between January and March. Spermatocrit did not undergo a significant seasonal change in wild-caught cod but did thicken for cultivated cod (24.6+/-4.2% in January to 40.5+/-4.4% in April; P<0.01). Sperm head area, perimeter, length, and width declined significantly at the end of the spawning season of cod from both origins (all P values<0.01). Seminal plasma osmolality and Na(+) ion concentration followed a dome-shaped function through the spawning season for both wild-caught and cultivated cod (P<0.05). For cultivated cod, seminal plasma pH was significantly lower at the start of the spawning season (P<0.001), whereas Ca(2+) increased then decreased (P<0.05). Body size attributes, spermatocrit, and seminal plasma constituents had significant relationships with sperm activity variables. These relationships varied as a function of time post-activation, month, and fish origin. Our findings may be used to (i) assess spermiation stage without killing males; (ii) optimize semen collection for hatchery production; (iii) characterize the potential impact of farming on sperm quality; and (iv) improve success of sperm cryopreservation and short-term storage. PMID:20047755

Butts, I A E; Litvak, M K; Trippel, E A



Chlorobenzylidine–herring sperm DNA interaction: binding mode and thermodynamic studies  

Microsoft Academic Search

The interaction of chlorobenzylidine with herring sperm DNA has been investigated by fluorescence, absorption, DNA melting experiment and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). When bound to DNA, chlorobenzylidine shows hypochromism and red shift in absorption spectra, fluorescence quenching and polarization increasing in fluorescence spectra and increasing in DNA melting temperature. These spectral characteristics strongly support intercalation of chlorobenzylidine into herring sperm

Wenying Zhong; Jun-Sheng Yu; Yingqiu Liang



Viewing Death on Television Increases the Appeal of Advertised Products  

Microsoft Academic Search

References to death abound in many television programs accessible to most people. Terror Management Theory (TMT) postulates that existential anxiety, which death reminders activate, may reinforce materialistic tendencies. The current paper explores the effect of a death reminder in television shows on the desirability of advertised products. Consistent with TMT's predictions, in two studies participants show greater desire for products,

Ilan Dar-Nimrod



Relative testis size and sperm morphometry across mammals: no evidence for an association between sperm competition and sperm length.  

PubMed Central

Understanding why there is extensive variation in sperm form and function across taxa has been a challenge because sperm are specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. This comparative study collates published data to determine whether the evolution of sperm morphometry (sperm total length and separate component dimensions) is associated with sperm competition (when different males' sperm mix and compete for a female's ova) across 83 mammalian species. We use relative testes mass as an indicator of the intensity of sperm competition across taxa: relative investment into testes is widely accepted to predict the level of sperm competition that a species or population endures. Although we found evidence for positive associations between relative testes mass (controlling for allometry) and sperm morphometry across 83 mammalian species, these relationships were phylogenetically dependent. When we appropriately controlled for phylogenetic association using multiple regression within a phylogenetic framework, there was no relationship between relative testes mass and sperm length across mammals. Furthermore, we found no evidence for associations between relative testes mass and sperm head, mid-piece or flagellar lengths, nor was there a relationship with mid-piece or mitochondrial volumes. Results, therefore, indicate that sperm competition does not select for longer or shorter sperm across mammals, and alternative forces selecting on sperm form and function are discussed. PMID:12769463

Gage, Matthew J G; Freckleton, Robert P




EPA Science Inventory

Current test strategies for assessing male reproductive toxicity may be inadequate for estimating risk in humans. High levels of sperm production and existence of large epididymal sperm reserves in most test species may impede the detection of spermatoxicity at low doses. The cur...


Methamidophos alters sperm function and DNA at different stages of spermatogenesis in mice.  


Methamidophos (MET) is a highly toxic organophosphate (OP) pesticide that is widely used in developing countries. MET has male reproductive effects, including decreased fertility. We evaluated MET effects on sperm quality, fertilization and DNA integrity, exploring the sensitivity of different stages of spermatogenesis. Adult male mice received MET (3.75 or 5mg/kg-bw/ip/day/4days) and were euthanized 1, 28 or 45days post-treatment (dpt) to evaluate MET's effects on epididymal maturation, meiosis or mitosis, respectively. Spermatozoa were obtained from the cauda epididymis-vas deferens and were evaluated for sperm quality, acrosome reaction (AR; Coomassie staining), mitochondrial membrane potential (by JC-1), DNA damage (comet assay), oxidative damage (malondialdehyde (MDA) production), in vitro fertilization and protein phosphorylation (immunodetection), and erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. At 1-dpt, MET inhibited AChE (43-57%) and increased abnormal cells (6%). While at 28- and 45-dpt, sperm motility and viability were significantly reduced with an increasing MET dose, and abnormal morphology increased at 5mg/kg/day/4days. MDA and mitochondrial activity were not affected at any dose or time. DNA damage (OTM and %DNA) was observed at 5mg/kg/day/4days in a time-dependent manner, whereas both parameters were altered in cells from mice exposed to 3.75mg/kg/day/4days only at 28-dpt. Depending on the time of collection, initial-, spontaneous- and induced-AR were altered at 5mg/kg/day/4days, and the fertilization capacity also decreased. Sperm phosphorylation (at serine and tyrosine residues) was observed at all time points. Data suggest that meiosis and mitosis are the more sensitive stages of spermatogenesis for MET reproductive toxicity compared to epididymal maturation. PMID:24998973

Urióstegui-Acosta, Mayrut; Hernández-Ochoa, Isabel; Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Manuel; Piña-Guzmán, Belem; Rafael-Vázquez, Leticia; Solís-Heredia, M J; Martínez-Aguilar, Gerardo; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet



Sperm competition and the evolution of male reproductive anatomy in rodents  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is a pervasive selective force in evolution, shaping reproductive anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Here, we present comparative evidence that varying sperm competition levels account for variation in the male reproductive anatomy of rodents, the largest and most diverse mammalian order. We focus on the sperm-producing testes and the accessory reproductive glands, which produce the seminal fluid fraction of the ejaculate. We demonstrate a positive association between relative testis size and the prevalence of within-litter multiple paternity, consistent with previous analyses in which relative testis size has been found to correlate with sperm competition levels inferred from social organization and mating systems. We further demonstrate an association between sperm competition level and the relative size of at least two accessory reproductive glands: the seminal vesicles and anterior prostate. The size of the major product of these glands—the copulatory plug—is also found to vary with sperm competition level. Our findings thus suggest that selection for larger plugs under sperm competition may explain variation in accessory gland size, and highlight the need to consider both sperm and non-sperm components of the male ejaculate in the context of post-copulatory sexual selection. PMID:16024351

Ramm, Steven A; Parker, Geoffrey A; Stockley, Paula



The micronutrient supplements, zinc sulphate and folic acid, did not ameliorate sperm functional parameters in oligoasthenoteratozoospermic men.  


We investigated the effects of folic acid and zinc sulphate supplementation on the improvement of sperm function in subfertile oligoasthenoteratozoospermic (OAT) men. Eighty-three OAT men participated in a 16-week intervention randomised, double-blind clinical trial with daily treatment of folic acid (5 mg day(-1) ) and zinc sulphate (220 mg day(-1) ), or placebo. Before and after treatment, semen and blood samples were obtained for determining sperm concentration, motility, and morphology, sperm viability, sperm mitochondrial function, sperm chromatin status using toluidine blue, aniline blue, acridine orange and chromomycin A3 staining; and semen and blood folate, zinc, B12 , total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. Sperm concentration (×10(6)  ml(-1) ) increased in subfertile men receiving the combined treatment of folic acid and zinc sulphate and also in the group receiving only folic acid treatment; however, it was not statistically significant (P = 0.056 and P = 0.05, respectively). Sperm chromatin integrity (%) increased significantly in subfertile men receiving only zinc sulphate treatment (P = 0.048). However, this improvement in sperm quality was not significant after adjusting placebo effect. This study showed that zinc sulphate and folic acid supplementation did not ameliorate sperm quality in infertile men with severely compromised sperm parameters, OAT. Male infertility is a multifactorial disorder, and also nutritional factors play an important role in results of administration of supplementation on sperm parameters. However, these results should be confirmed by multiple studies in larger populations of OAT men. PMID:24147895

Raigani, M; Yaghmaei, B; Amirjannti, N; Lakpour, N; Akhondi, M M; Zeraati, H; Hajihosseinal, M; Sadeghi, M R



The relationship between paternal age, sex ratios, and aneuploidy frequencies in human sperm, as assessed by multicolor FISH  

SciTech Connect

We studied the frequencies of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, diploidy and disomy for chromosomes 1, 12, X, and Y in sperm from 10 normal men aged 21 - 52 years, to determine whether there was any relationship between donor age and any of these variables. Multicolor FISH was used to control for lack of probe hybridization and to distinguish diploid sperm from disomic sperm. A minimum of 10,000 sperm per donor was evaluated for each chromosome, for a total of 225,846 sperm studied. Sperm were considered disomic if two fluorescent signals were separated by a minimal distance of one signal domain. The mean frequencies of X- and Y-bearing sperm were 50.1% and 49.0%, respectively; not significantly different from 50%. There was no correlation between paternal age and {open_quotes}sex ratio {close_quotes} in sperm. Similarly, there was no association between the frequency of diploid sperm (mean, .16%; range, .06%-.42%) and donor age. For disomy frequencies, there was no relationship between donor age and disomy 12 (mean, .16%; range, .10%-.25%), XX (mean, .07%; range, .03%-.17%), and XY sperm (mean, .16%; range, .08%-.24%). There was a significant increase in the frequency of YY sperm (P = .04; mean, .18%; range, .10%-.43%) and disomy 1 sperm (P = .01; mean, .11%; range, .05%-.18%) with donor age. In summary, our results do not support a correlation between paternal age and sex ratio or diploidy. A relationship between paternal age and disomy was observed for disomy 1 and YY sperm but not for disomy 12, XX or XY sperm. 37 refs., 3 tabs.

Martin, R.H.; Spriggs, E. [Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)]|[Alberta Children`s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta (Canada); Ko, E. [Alberta Children`s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta (Canada)] [and others



ISO 9000. Guidelines to increased costs and reduced product quality  

SciTech Connect

Many US companies are considering being registered to the provisions of ISO 9000, International Standards for Quality Management. One important problem with the document is that ISO 9000 is not focused on control of product quality. The quality assurance rules established in ISO 9000 have been used in the US for more than 25 years with disastrous financial consequences and little, if any, improvement in quality and safety. These rules are so reliant on documentation and strict compliance that ensuring products comply with specifications has become a secondary issues. That is not what was intended, but it is the result. ISO 9000 program can work effectively only when the top executive responsible for engineering or production takes full responsibility for interpretation and implementation of the quality assurance program. 3 refs., 1 tab.

Reedy, R.F. (Reedy Associates, Inc., Los Gatos, CA (United States))



Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health  

E-print Network

Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit Agriculture, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States of America, 4 Department of Economics, Iowa, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production

Sims, Gerald K.


Increased entropy production in diaphragm muscle of PPAR ? knockout mice  

Microsoft Academic Search

Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPAR?) regulates fatty acid ?-oxidation (FAO) and plays a central role in the metabolic and energetic homeostasis of striated muscles. The thermodynamic consequences of the absence of PPAR? were investigated in diaphragm muscle of PPAR? knockout mice (KO). Statistical mechanics provides a powerful tool for determining entropy production, which quantifies irreversible chemical processes generated by

Y. Lecarpentier; X. Krokidis; P. Martin; T. Pineau; J.-L. Hébert; J. Quillard; M. Cortes-Morichetti; C. Coirault



Feasibility of salvaging genetic potential of post-mortem fawns: production of sperm in testis tissue xenografts from immature donor white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in recipient mice.  


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of testis tissue xenografting from immature deer. Testis tissue was collected post-mortem from a 2-mo-old white-tailed deer fawn (Odocoileus virginianus) and small fragments of the tissue were grafted under the back skin of immunodeficient recipient mice (n = 7 mice; 8 fragments/mouse). Single xenograft samples were removed from representative recipient mice every 2 mo from grafting for up to 14 mo post-grafting. The retrieved xenografts were evaluated for seminiferous tubular density (per mm(2)) and tubular diameter, as well as for seminiferous tubular morphology and identification of the most advanced germ cell type present in each tubule cross section. Overall, 63% of the grafted testis fragments were recovered as xenografts. Testis tissue xenografts showed a gradual testicular development starting with tubular expansion by 2 mo, presence of spermatocytes by 6 mo post-grafting, round and elongated spermatids by 8 mo, followed by fully-formed sperm by 12 mo post-grafting. The timing of complete spermatogenesis generally corresponded to the reported timing of sexual maturation in white-tailed deer. This study demonstrated, for the first time, that testis tissue xenografting from immature deer donors into recipient mice can successfully result in testicular maturation and development of spermatogenesis in the grafts up to the stage of sperm production. These results may therefore provide a model for salvaging genetic material from immature male white-tailed deer that die before reaching sexual maturity. PMID:23084760

Abbasi, Sepideh; Honaramooz, Ali



No Experimental Evidence for Sneaking in a West African Cichlid Fish with Extremely Long Sperm  

PubMed Central

Alternative reproductive tactics are widespread in fishes, increasing the potential for sperm competition. Sperm competition has enormous impact on both variation in sperm numbers and sperm size. In cichlids, the sperm competition risk is very divergent and longer sperm are usually interpreted as adaptation to sperm competition. Here we examined whether sneaking tactics exist in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a socially monogamous cichlid with biparental brood care from West Africa. The small testis indicates low gonadal investment which is typical for genetically monogamous species. In contrast, sperm length with up to 85??m is extraordinarily long. We examined the reproductive behaviour of ten groups with a male-biased sex ratio under semi-natural conditions via continuous video recording. We recorded spawning site preferences and correlates of reproductive success and conducted paternity tests using microsatellites. Safe breeding sites that could be successfully defended were preferred. All offspring could be assigned to their parents and no multiple paternities were detected. Body size of spawning pairs predicted their spawning probability and offspring hatching rate suggesting benefits from mating with large individuals. Our study suggests low risk of sperm competition under the given conditions in P. taeniatus and thus first evidence for genetic monogamy in a substrate breeding cichlid. PMID:24386589

Langen, Kathrin; Thunken, Timo; Bakker, Theo C. M.



Optical tweezers and non-ratiometric fluorescent-dye-based studies of respiration in sperm mitochondria  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study is to investigate how the mitochondrial membrane potential affects sperm motility using laser tweezers and a non-ratiometric fluorescent probe, DiOC6(3). A 1064 nm Nd:YVO4 continuous wave laser was used to trap motile sperm at a power of 450 mW in the trap spot. Using customized tracking software, the curvilinear velocity (VCL) and the escape force from the laser tweezers were measured. Human (Homo sapiens), dog (Canis lupis familiaris) and drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) sperm were treated with DiOC6(3) to measure the membrane potential in the mitochondria-rich sperm midpieces. Sperm from all three species exhibited an increase in fluorescence when treated with the DiOC6(3). When a cyanide inhibitor (CCCP) of aerobic respiration was applied, sperm of all three species exhibited a reduction in fluorescence to pre-dye levels. With respect to VCL and escape force, the CCCP had no effect on dog or human sperm, suggesting a major reliance upon anaerobic respiration (glycolysis) for ATP in these two species. Based on the preliminary study on drill sperm, CCCP caused a drop in the VCL, suggesting potential reliance on both glycolysis and aerobic respiration for motility. The results demonstrate that optical trapping in combination with DiOC6(3) is an effective way to study sperm motility and energetics.

Chen, Timothy; Shi, Linda Z.; Zhu, Qingyuan; Chandsawangbhuwana, Charlie; Berns, Michael W.



Successful Long-Term Preservation of Rat Sperm by Freeze-Drying  

PubMed Central

Background Freeze-drying sperm has been developed as a new preservation method where liquid nitrogen is no longer necessary. An advantage of freeze-drying sperm is that it can be stored at 4°C and transported at room temperature. Although the successful freeze-drying of sperm has been reported in a number of animals, the possibility of long-term preservation using this method has not yet been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings Offspring were obtained from oocytes fertilized with rat epididymal sperm freeze-dried using a solution containing 10 mM Tris and 1 mM EDTA adjusted to pH 8.0. Tolerance of testicular sperm to freeze-drying was increased by pre-treatment with diamide. Offspring with normal fertility were obtained from oocytes fertilized with freeze-dried epididymal sperm stored at 4°C for 5 years. Conclusions and Significance Sperm with –SS– cross-linking in the thiol-disulfide of their protamine were highly tolerant to freeze-drying, and the fertility of freeze-dried sperm was maintained for 5 years without deterioration. This is the first report to demonstrate the successful freeze-drying of sperm using a new and simple method for long-term preservation. PMID:22496889

Kaneko, Takehito; Serikawa, Tadao



Sperm Competition in Humans: Mate Guarding Behavior Negatively Correlates with Ejaculate Quality  

PubMed Central

In species where females mate with multiple males, the sperm from these males must compete to fertilise available ova. Sexual selection from sperm competition is expected to favor opposing adaptations in males that function either in the avoidance of sperm competition (by guarding females from rival males) or in the engagement in sperm competition (by increased expenditure on the ejaculate). The extent to which males may adjust the relative use of these opposing tactics has been relatively neglected. Where males can successfully avoid sperm competition from rivals, one might expect a decrease in their expenditure on tactics for the engagement in sperm competition and vice versa. In this study, we examine the relationship between mate guarding and ejaculate quality using humans as an empirical model. We found that men who performed fewer mate guarding behaviors produced higher quality ejaculates, having a greater concentration of sperm, a higher percentage of motile sperm and sperm that swam faster and less erratically. These effects were found independent of lifestyle factors or factors related to male quality. Our findings suggest that male expenditure on mate guarding and on the ejaculate may represent alternative routes to paternity assurance in humans. PMID:25250582

Leivers, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Simmons, Leigh W.



Physiological hypercortisolemia increases proteolysis, glutamine, and alanine production  

SciTech Connect

Physiological elevations of plasma cortisol levels, as are encountered in stress and severe trauma, were produced in six normal subjects by infusing them with hydrocortisone for 64 h. Amino acid kinetics were measured in the postabsorptive state using three 4-h infusions of L-(1-{sup 13}C)leucine, L-phenyl({sup 2}H{sub 5})phenylalanine, L-(2-{sup 15}N)glutamine, and L-(1-{sup 13}C)alanine tracers (1) before, (2) at 12 h, and (3) at 60 h of cortisol infusion. Before and throughout the study, the subjects ate a normal diet of adequate protein and energy intake. The cortisol infusion raised plasma cortisol levels significantly from 10 {plus minus} 1 to 32 {plus minus} 4 {mu}g/dl, leucine flux from 83 {plus minus} 3 to 97 {plus minus} 3 {mu}mol{center dot}kg{sup {minus}1}{center dot}h{sup {minus}1}, and phenylalanine flux from 34 {plus minus} 1 to 39 {plus minus} 1 (SE) {mu}mol{center dot}kg{sup {minus}1}{center dot}h{sup {minus}1} after 12 h of cortisol infusion. These increases were maintained until the cortisol infusion was terminated. These nearly identical 15% increases in two different essential amino acid appearance rates are reflective of increased whole body protein breakdown. Glutamine flux rose by 12 h of cortisol infusion and remained elevated at the same level at 64 h. The increase in flux was primarily due to a 55% increase in glutamine de novo synthesis. Alanine flux increased with acute hypercortisolemia and increased further at 60 h of cortisol infusion, a result primarily of increased alanine de novo synthesis. Insulin, alanine, and lactate plasma levels responded similarly with significant rises between the acute and chronic periods of cortisol infusion. Thus hypercortisolemia increases both protein breakdown and the turnover of important nonessential amino acids for periods of up to 64 h.

Darmaun, D.; Matthews, D.E.; Bier, D.M. (Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (USA) Cornell Univ. Medical College, New York, NY (USA))



Viewing Death on Television Increases the Appeal of Advertised Products  

PubMed Central

References to death abound in many television programs accessible to most people. Terror Management Theory (TMT) postulates that existential anxiety, which death reminders activate, may reinforce materialistic tendencies. The current paper explores the effect of a death reminder in television shows on the desirability of advertised products. Consistent with TMT's predictions, in two studies participants show greater desire for products, which were advertised immediately following clips from programs that featured a death scene, compared with programs that did not. Cognitive accessibility of death predicted the appeal difference while changes in affect or interest in the show did not. The findings are discussed in light on affective and existential theories which make opposite predictions. Implications and future directions are considered. PMID:22468421




Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health  

PubMed Central

Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003–2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems. PMID:23071739

Davis, Adam S.; Hill, Jason D.; Chase, Craig A.; Johanns, Ann M.; Liebman, Matt



Increase of hybridoma productivity using an original dialysis culture system  

Microsoft Academic Search

Hybridoma cell growth and monoclonal antibody production were investigated with a laboratory-made system in which cells were grown in dialysis tubing (MW cut-off 25 kD). The dialysis system contained 10 ml of cell suspension and was immersed in 200 ml of culture medium which when replaced or was at 4-day intervals. With this system, monoclonal antibody concentrations similar to those

Béatrice Mathiot; Angelo Perani; Dominique Dumas; Michel Maugras; Jacques Didelon; Jean-François Stoltz



Sulfate addition increases methylmercury production in an experimental wetland.  


Atmospheric mercury is the dominant Hg source to fish in northern Minnesota and elsewhere. However, atmospherically derived Hg must be methylated prior to accumulating in fish. Sulfate-reducing bacteria are thought to be the primary methylators of Hg in the environment. Previous laboratory and field mesocosm studies have demonstrated an increase in methylmercury (MeHg) levels in sediment and peatland porewaters following additions of sulfate. In the current ecosystem-scale study, sulfate was added to half of an experimental wetland at the Marcell Experimental Forest located in northeastern Minnesota, increasing annual sulfate load by approximately four times relative to the control half of the wetland. Sulfate was added on four separate occasions during 2002 and delivered via a sprinkler system constructed on the southeast half (1.0 ha) of the S6 experimental wetland. MeHg levels were monitored in porewater and in outflow from the wetland. Prior to the first sulfate addition, MeHg concentrations (filtered, 0.7 microm) were not statistically different between the control (0.47 +/- 0.10 ng L(-1), n = 12; mean +/- one standard error) and experimental 0.52 +/- 0.05 ng L(-1), n = 18) halves. Following the first addition in May 2002, MeHg porewater concentrations increased to 1.63 +/- 0.27 ng L(-1) two weeks after the addition, a 3-fold increase. Subsequent additions in July and September 2002 did not raise porewater MeHg, but the applied sulfate was not observed in porewaters 24 h after addition. MeHg concentrations in outflow from the wetland also increased leading to an estimated 2.4x increase of MeHg flux from the wetland. Our results demonstrate enhanced methylation and increased MeHg concentrations within the wetland and in outflow from the wetland suggesting that decreasing sulfate deposition rates would lower MeHg export from wetlands. PMID:16830545

Jeremiason, Jeff D; Engstrom, Daniel R; Swain, Edward B; Nater, Edward A; Johnson, Brian M; Almendinger, James E; Monson, Bruce A; Kolka, Randy K



Endoplasmic reticulum protein 29 (ERp29), a protein related to sperm maturation is involved in sperm-oocyte fusion in mouse  

PubMed Central

Background Sperm-oocyte fusion is a critical step in fertilization, which requires a series of proteins from both spermatozoa and oocyte to mediate membrane adhesion and subsequent fusion. A rat spermatozoa membrane protein is endoplasmic reticulum protein 29 (ERp29), which significantly increases on the sperm surface as well as in the cytoplasm of epididymal epithelia from caput to cauda as the sperm undergo epididymal maturation. Moreover, ERp29 facilitates viral infection via mediating membrane penetration. We determined if in addition to promoting sperm maturation ERp29 may also play a role in facilitating gamete fusion during the fertilization process. Methods Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and Western blot analysis were employed to probe for ERp29 protein in BALB/c mouse epididymal and acrosome-reacted spermatozoa. We prepared rabbit polyclonal antibodies against mouse recombinant ERp29 (rERp29) to characterize: 1) fertilization rate (FR); 2) fertilization index (FI); 3) sperm motility and 4) acrosome reaction (AR). Results Confocal microscopy indicated that ERp29 was partially localized at the sperm head of the epididymal caput as well as over the whole head and part of the principal piece of the tail region from the epididymal cauda. However, when the acrosome reacted, ERp29 remained in the equatorial and post-acrosomal regions of the sperm head, which is the initial site of sperm-oocyte membrane fusion. Such localization changes were confirmed based on the results of Western blot analysis. Furthermore, the antibodies against mouse rERp29 inhibited the spermatozoa from penetrating into the zona pellucida (ZP)-free oocytes. The functional blocking antibodies reduced both mouse sperm-oocyte FR and FI at concentrations of 100 and 200 micro g/ml compared with pre-immunized rabbit IgG or with anti-mouse recombinant bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI, a sperm surface protein unrelated to sperm-oocyte fusion) antibodies (100 micro g/ml), but they had no effect on sperm motility and AR. Conclusion This study demonstrates that ERp29 on mouse spermatozoa membrane changes during epididymal transit and AR. Accordingly, in mice this protein may be one of the important factors involved in sperm fertilization by facilitating sperm-oocyte membrane fusion. PMID:20132541



Sperm characteristics and motility in Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Sauvage, 1878) and Pangasius djambal Bleeker, 1846 (Pangasiidae, Siluriformes)  

E-print Network

1 Sperm characteristics and motility in Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Sauvage, 1878) and Pangasius presents data on sperm characteristics and motility of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus and Pangasius djambal of P. hypophthalmus and P. djambal were injected with 0.3 mL kg-1 Ovaprim in order to increase

Villefranche sur mer


Generation of Live Piglets for the First Time Using Sperm Retrieved from Immature Testicular Tissue Cryopreserved and Grafted into Nude Mice  

PubMed Central

Cryopreservation of immature testicular tissues is essential for increasing the possibilities of offspring generation by testicular xenografting for agricultural or medical purposes. However, successful production of offspring from the sperm involved has never been reported previously. In the present study, therefore, using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), we examined whether xenogeneic sperm obtained from immature pig testicular tissue after cryopreservation would have the capacity to produce live piglets. Testicular fragments from 9- to 11-day-old piglets were vitrified after 10- or 20-min immersion in vitrification solution containing ethylene glycol (EG), polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) and trehalose as cryoprotectants, and then stored in liquid nitrogen for more than 140 days. Thirty nude mice were assigned to each immersion-time group. Testicular fragments were transplanted under the back skin of castrated mice immediately after warming and removal of the cryoprotectants. Blood and testicular grafts were then recovered from the recipient mice on days 60, 120, 180 and 230?350 (day 0?=? grafting). Histological assessment of the testicular grafts and analyses of inhibin and testosterone production revealed no significant differences between the two immersion-time groups, indicating equal growth activity of the cryopreserved tissues. A single sperm obtained from a mouse in each group on day 230?350 was injected into an in vitro-matured porcine oocyte, and then the ICSI oocytes were transferred to the oviducts of estrus-synchronized recipient gilts. One out of 4 gilts that had received oocytes fertilized using sperm from the 10-min immersion group delivered 2 live piglets, and one of another 4 gilts from the 20-min group delivered 4 live piglets. Thus, we have successfully generated porcine offspring utilizing sperm from immature testicular tissues after cryopreservation and transplantation into nude mice. The present model using pigs will be applicable to many large animals, since pigs are phylogenetically distant from the murine recipients. PMID:23923039

Nakai, Michiko; Somfai, Tamas; Noguchi, Junko; Tanihara, Fuminori; Ito, Junya; Kashiwazaki, Naomi



Increase in the productivity of blast-furnace stoves  

SciTech Connect

The Novolipetsk combine proposed sending a cold blast through a special 150-mm-diameter pipe passing through an igniter opening into the combustion chamber. To evaluate the efficiency the stove performance in which some of the cold blast was directed to the combustion chamber was compared against that of unmodified stoves. This blast-delivery system was found to increase consumption of blast-furnace gas during the first stage, reduce time required to bring the dome up to prescribed temperatures, shorten the stove-heating period, and increase blast-heating temperature by 10-15/degree/.

Solomentsev, S.L.; Chernobrivets, B.F.; Sigmund, V.K.; Basukinskii, S.M.; Beremblyum, G.B.; Nakhaev, P.E.; Serpevskii, S.L.



Environmental toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation as detected by the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA[reg])  

SciTech Connect

Studies over the past two decades have clearly shown that reproductive toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation. This DNA fragmentation can usually be detected prior to observing alterations of metaphase chromosomes in embryos. Thus, Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA)-detected DNA damage is viewed as the molecular precursor to later gross chromosome damage observed under the light microscope. SCSA measurements of animal or human sperm consist of first obtaining a fresh or flash frozen neat semen sample in LN2 or dry ice. Samples are then sent to a SCSA diagnostic laboratory where the samples are thawed, diluted to {approx}1-2 x 106 sperm/ml, treated for 30 s with a pH 1.2 detergent buffer and then stained with acridine orange (AO). The low pH partially denatures DNA at the sites of DNA strand breaks and the AO-ssDNA fluoresces red while the AO-dsDNA fluoresces green. Flow cytometry measurements of 5000 sperm/sample provide statistically robust data on the ratio of red to green sperm, the extent of the DNA fragmentation and the standard deviations of measures. Numerous experiments on rodents treated with reproductive toxicants clearly showed that SCSA measures are highly dose responsive and have a very low CV. Different agents that act on germ cells at various stages of development usually showed sperm DNA fragmentation when that germ cell fraction arrived in the epididymis or ejaculate. Some of these treated samples were capable of successful in vitro fertilization but with frequent embryo failure. A 2-year longitudinal study of men living a valley town with a reported abnormal level of infertility and spontaneous miscarriages and also a seasonal atmospheric smog pollution, showed, for the first time, that SCSA measurements of human sperm DNA fragmentation were detectable and correlated with dosage of air pollution while the classical semen measures were not correlated. Also, young men spraying pesticides without protective gear are at an increased risk for elevated sperm DNA fragmentation. Extensive DNA fragmentation probably cannot be repaired by the egg and the spontaneous abortion rate is {approx}2x higher if a man has more than 30% of sperm showing DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation is an excellent marker for exposure to potential reproductive toxicants and a diagnostic/prognostic tool for potential male infertility.

Evenson, Donald P. [HCLD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States) and SCSA Diagnostics, 807 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)]. E-mail:; Wixon, Regina [SCSA Diagnostics, 807 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)



Golbal Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increased Bioenergy Production  

SciTech Connect

The project had three main objectives: to build and incorporate an explicit biomass energy sector within the GTAP analytical framework and data base; to provide an analysis of the impact of renewable fuel standards and other policies in the U.S. and E.U, as well as alternative biofuel policies in other parts of the world, on changes in production, prices, consumption, trade and poverty; and to evaluate environmental impacts of alternative policies for bioenergy development. Progress and outputs related to each objective are reported.

Wallace Tyner



Sperm competition and the evolution of seminal fluid composition.  


Male ejaculates include large amounts of seminal fluid proteins (Sfps) that influence male sperm competitive success. In spite of their diverse proximate functions, Sfps involved in sperm competition increase male fitness in one of three ways: (1) "avoidance" proteins help males avoid sperm competition, (2) "defense" proteins help males defend their sperm from displacement by the female's subsequent mate, and (3) "offense" proteins aid males in displacing sperm of preceding males. Here, we present a population genetic model of the evolution of allocation of finite resources by males to the three kinds of Sfps. We analyze the influence of relative efficiencies of different Sfps, of plasticity in resource allocation, and of differences in viability costs of Sfps. We find that in absence of plasticity or different viability costs, equal investment in defense and offense Sfps evolves, irrespective of their relative efficiency. In all cases, males evolve to invest more in avoidance when avoidance proteins are increasingly efficient, and when offense is more efficient than defense. Differences in viability costs result in lower investment in costly proteins, whereas plasticity has complex effects, influencing both the optimal seminal fluid composition and maintenance of variation in investment in these proteins across populations. PMID:24975874

Dhole, Sumit; Servedio, Maria R



Steam treatment of digested biofibers for increasing biogas production  

Microsoft Academic Search

The aim of this study was to elucidate the effect of steam pretreatment on the biomethane potential of biofibers from digested manure. These biofibers were treated for 15min with steam in a pressure vessel. The effect of steam treatment temperature, solids content, catalyst concentration and time of pre-soaking on the methane potential of the biofibers was determined. The highest increase

Emiliano Bruni; Anders Peter Jensen; Irini Angelidaki



Increasing Your Productivity with Web-Based Surveys  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Web-based survey tools such as Survey Monkey can be used in many ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Extension professionals. This article describes how Survey Monkey has been used at the state and county levels to collect community and internal staff information for the purposes of program planning, administration, evaluation and…

Wissmann, Mary; Stone, Brittney; Schuster, Ellen



S-allyl cysteine ameliorates the quality of sperm and provides protection from age-related sperm dysfunction and oxidative stress in rats  

PubMed Central

Reactive oxygen species play a central role in the pathophysiology of the age-related decrease in male fertility. It has been reported that the total protein of DJ-1 was decreased in a proteomic analysis of seminal plasma from asthenozoospermia patients and a DJ-1 protein acts as a sensor of cellular redox homeostasis. Therefore, we evaluated the age-related changes in the ratio of the oxidized/reduced forms of the DJ-1 protein in the epididymis. In addition, the protective effects of S-allyl cysteine (SAC), a potent antioxidant, were evaluated against sperm dysfunction. Male rats aged 15–75 weeks were used to assess age-associated sperm function and oxidative stress. Sperm count increased until 25 weeks, but then decreased at 50 and 75 weeks. The rate of sperm movement at 75 weeks was decreased to approximately 60% of the rate observed at 25 weeks. Expression of DJ-1 decreased, but oxidized-DJ-1 increased with age. In addition, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal modified proteins in the epididymis increased until 50 weeks of age. The total number and DNA synthetic potential of the sperm increased until 25 weeks, and then decreased. In rats 75 weeks of age, SAC (0.45% diet) attenuated the decrease in the number, motility, and DNA synthesis of sperm and inhibited the oxidized proteins. These results suggest that SAC ameliorates the quality of sperm subjected to age-associated oxidative stress.

Takemura, Shigekazu; Ichikawa, Hiroshi; Naito, Yuji; Takagi, Tomohisa; Yoshikawa, Toshikazu; Minamiyama, Yukiko



Dioxin-Induced Changes in Epididymal Sperm Count and Spermatogenesis  

PubMed Central

Background A single in utero exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on gestation day 15 decreased epididymal sperm count in adult rats and thus was used to establish a tolerable daily intake for TCDD. However, several laboratories have been unable to replicate these findings. Moreover, conflicting reports of TCDD effects on daily sperm production suggest that spermatogenesis may not be as sensitive to the adverse effects of TCDD as previously thought. Data sources We performed a PubMed search using relevant search terms linking dioxin exposure with adverse effects on reproduction and spermatogenesis. Data synthesis Developmental exposure to TCDD is consistently linked with decreased cauda epididymal sperm counts in animal studies, although at higher dose levels than those used in some earlier studies. However, the evidence linking in utero TCDD exposure and spermatogenesis is not convincing. Conclusions Animal studies provide clear evidence of an adverse effect of in utero TCDD exposure on epididymal sperm count but do not support the conclusion that spermatogenesis is adversely affected. The mechanisms underlying decreased epididymal sperm count are unknown; however, we postulate that epididymal function is the key target for the adverse effects of TCDD. PMID:20368131

Foster, Warren G.; Maharaj-Briceno, Serena; Cyr, Daniel G.



Influence of staining and sampling procedures on goat sperm morphometry using the Sperm Class Analyzer  

Microsoft Academic Search

Computer-assisted sperm morphometry analysis (ASMA) has improved the assessment of sperm morphology, but the results depend on the use of adequate sampling and staining procedures of spermatozoa from individual species. In this study, the Sperm Class Analyzer® ASMA system was used for the morphometric analysis of goat sperm heads. Semen samples, obtained from four bucks, were used to evaluate the

Manuel Hidalgo; Inmaculada Rodríguez; Jesús Dorado



Is sperm hyaluronic acid binding ability predictive for clinical success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: PICSI vs. ICSI?  


Abstract Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is now a widely-used technique, it is still of interest to improve our knowledge as to which is the best spermatozoon to be selected for ICSI. Infertile men have increased risks of producing aneuploid spermatozoa. Using hyaluronic acid (HA)-binding sperm selection may reduce the genetic risks such as chromosomal aberrations of offspring. In the present study we examined the clinical success of ICSI with HA-selected sperm ('physiologic' ICSI, PICSI) compared to conventional ICSI, as well as the necessity to differentiate patients according to the initial HA-binding assay result (HBA score) and whether the sperm concentration or HBA score can provide additional information. We observed a significantly higher fertilization rate (FR) of the PICSI group with >60% HBA, implantation rate (IR) of the PICSI group with ?60% HBA, and clinical pregnanacy rate (CPR) in every PICSI group compared to the ICSI groups (p?sperm concentration and the HA-binding capacity (r?=?0.62, p?sperm concentration and FR (r?=?0.14, NS). HBA could be considered for sperm selection prior to ICSI because of its success and apparant ability to reduce genetic complications. However, this must be extended to a larger study. PMID:25119820

Mokánszki, Attila; Tóthné, Emese Varga; Bodnár, Béla; Tándor, Zoltán; Molnár, Zsuzsanna; Jakab, Attila; Ujfalusi, Anikó; Oláh, Eva



Polymer flooding increases production in giant oil field  

SciTech Connect

Daqing field, discovered in 1959, is the largest oil field in the People's Republic of China, with original oil in place exceeding two billion tons. Reservoir heterogeneity and oil viscosity have resulted in moderate displacement efficiency and high watercut. To increase recovery, polymer injection was tested in two pilots between 1987 and 1992, after lab and reservoir studies. Both pilots proved highly successful and led to the decision to extend polymer injection to the whole field. This article presents the history of Daqing polymer flooding, from preliminary studies to full-field extension.

Delamaide, E.; Corlay, P. (Inst. Francais du Petrole, Paris (France))



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which as been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria.

Donnelly, Mark (Warrenville, IL); Millard, Cynthia S. (Plainfield, IL); Stols, Lucy (Woodridge, IL)



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which has been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria.

Donnelly, Mark (Warrenville, IL); Millard, Cynthia S. (Plainfield, IL); Stols, Lucy (Woodridge, IL)



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which as been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria. 2 figs.

Donnelly, M.; Millard, C.S.; Stols, L.



Increasing precipitation event size increases aboveground net primary productivity in a semi-arid grassland.  


Water availability is the primary constraint to aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in many terrestrial biomes, and it is an ecosystem driver that will be strongly altered by future climate change. Global circulation models predict a shift in precipitation patterns to growing season rainfall events that are larger in size but fewer in number. This "repackaging" of rainfall into large events with long intervening dry intervals could be particularly important in semi-arid grasslands because it is in marked contrast to the frequent but small events that have historically defined this ecosystem. We investigated the effect of more extreme rainfall patterns on ANPP via the use of rainout shelters and paired this experimental manipulation with an investigation of long-term data for ANPP and precipitation. Experimental plots (n = 15) received the long-term (30-year) mean growing season precipitation quantity; however, this amount was distributed as 12, six, or four events applied manually according to seasonal patterns for May-September. The long-term mean (1940-2005) number of rain events in this shortgrass steppe was 14 events, with a minimum of nine events in years of average precipitation. Thus, our experimental treatments pushed this system beyond its recent historical range of variability. Plots receiving fewer, but larger rain events had the highest rates of ANPP (184 +/- 38 g m(-2)), compared to plots receiving more frequent rainfall (105 +/- 24 g m(-2)). ANPP in all experimental plots was greater than long-term mean ANPP for this system (97 g m(-2)), which may be explained in part by the more even distribution of applied rain events. Soil moisture data indicated that larger events led to greater soil water content and likely permitted moisture penetration to deeper in the soil profile. These results indicate that semi-arid grasslands are capable of responding immediately and substantially to forecast shifts to more extreme precipitation patterns. PMID:18670792

Heisler-White, Jana L; Knapp, Alan K; Kelly, Eugene F



Cryopreservation of epididymal sperm obtained at necropsy from goats  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the field of transgenic production, the ability to carry a male's genetic contribution beyond its natural life span is remarkably important. The ability to successfully collect and cryopreserve sperm from the epididymis at necropsy may prove to be a useful technique for preserving valuable genes. Thirty-two bucks ranging in age from 13 days to 7 years were examined in

S. Blash; D. Melican; W. Gavin



Bioenergetics of Mammalian Sperm Capacitation  

PubMed Central

After ejaculation, the mammalian male gamete must undergo the capacitation process, which is a prerequisite for egg fertilization. The bioenergetics of sperm capacitation is poorly understood despite its fundamental role in sustaining the biochemical and molecular events occurring during gamete activation. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are the two major metabolic pathways producing ATP which is the primary source of energy for spermatozoa. Since recent data suggest that spermatozoa have the ability to use different metabolic substrates, the main aim of this work is to present a broad overview of the current knowledge on the energy-producing metabolic pathways operating inside sperm mitochondria during capacitation in different mammalian species. Metabolism of glucose and of other energetic substrates, such as pyruvate, lactate, and citrate, is critically analyzed. Such knowledge, besides its obvious importance for basic science, could eventually translate into the development of novel strategies for treatment of male infertility, artificial reproduction, and sperm selection methods. PMID:24791005

Ferramosca, Alessandra; Zara, Vincenzo



Insect herbivory accelerates nutrient cycling and increases plant production  

PubMed Central

Ecologists hold two views about the role of herbivory in ecosystem dynamics. First, from a food web perspective in population/community ecology, consumption by herbivores reduces plant abundance. Second, from a nutrient cycling perspective in ecosystem ecology, herbivory sometimes slows down cycling, which decreases plant abundance, but at other times speeds up cycling, which possibly increases plant abundance. The nutrient cycling perspective on herbivory has been experimentally addressed more thoroughly in aquatic systems than in terrestrial systems. We experimentally examined how grasshoppers influence nutrient cycling and, thereby, plant abundance and plant species composition over a period of 5 years. We examined how grasshoppers influence nutrient (nitrogen) cycling (i) by their excrement, (ii) by changing the abundance of and the decomposition rate of plant litter, and (iii) by both. Grasshoppers may speed up nitrogen cycling by changing the abundance and decomposition rate of plant litter, which increases total plant abundance (up to 32.9 g/m2 or 18%), especially, the abundance of plants that are better competitors when nitrogen is more available. However, whether grasshoppers enhance plant abundance depends on how much they consume. Consequently, ecosystems and food web perspectives are not mutually exclusive. Finally, under some conditions, grasshoppers may decrease nutrient cycling and plant abundance. PMID:11106378

Belovsky, G. E.; Slade, J. B.



Human semen quality and sperm DNA damage in relation to urinary metabolites of pyrethroid insecticides  

PubMed Central

BACKGROUND Exposure to synthetic pyrethroid insecticides is widespread, and is expected to increase among the general population due to the need to replace other common insecticides following regulatory use restrictions. On the basis of limited studies, there is animal and human evidence for altered reproductive or endocrine function following pyrethroid exposure. METHODS The present study measured urinary pyrethroid metabolites [3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3PBA) and cis- and trans-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane carboxylic acid (CDCCA and TDCCA)], semen quality, sperm motion parameters and sperm DNA damage with the neutral comet assay in 207 men recruited from an infertility clinic. RESULTS In multivariate analysis, the highest 3PBA quartile was associated with a suggestive 20.2 million sperm/ml reduction (95% confidence interval ?37.1 to + 2.6) in sperm concentration compared with men below the 3PBA median. There were significant inverse associations between TDCCA and sperm motility and sperm motion parameters when adjusting for CDCCA and other covariates. The highest TDCCA quartile was associated with a 15.5% decline (95% confidence interval ?26.2 to ?4.8) in sperm motility compared with men below the median. In multiple logistic analyses, there were dose-dependent increased odds for below reference sperm concentration, motility and morphology in relation to TDCCA. Among the comet assay measures, 3PBA and CDCCA were associated with increased sperm DNA damage, measured as percent DNA in the comet tail. CONCLUSIONS We found evidence for reduced semen quality and increased sperm DNA damage in relation to urinary metabolites of pyrethroid insecticides. These findings may be of concern due to increased pyrethroid use and prevalent human exposure. PMID:18579513

Meeker, John D.; Barr, Dana B.; Hauser, Russ



Airborne sperm of Conocephalum conicum (Conocephalaceae).  


We have obtained the first momentary photographs of sperms just as they are discharged from the antheridium of a liverwort, Conocephalum conicum, and have succeeded in monitoring the airborne sperms of bryophytes under field conditions. Airborne sperm of liverworts seems to be an effective strategy for raising the efficiency of fertilization between male and female plants separated in a drought environment. PMID:18058191

Shimamura, Masaki; Yamaguchi, Tomio; Deguchi, Hironori



Issues affecting commercialization of sexed sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

A decision tree for genetics or sperm-sexing entities considering sales of sexed sperm is discussed in terms of: (a) how best to avoid harm; (b) how best to do good; (c) needed synergy with other assisted reproductive technologies; (d) constraints on biotechnology; and (e) costs with current and likely technologies versus potential benefits to producers. The sexed-sperm industry might wish

R. P. Amann



Role of glucocorticoids in increased muscle glutamine production in starvation  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The role of glucocorticoids in the synthesis of muscle glutamine during starvation was investigated in adrenalectomized fasted rats injected with cortisol (1 mg/100 g body weight). It was found that administration of cortisol in vivo increased (compared to nontreated starved adrenalectomized controls) the glutamine/glutamate ratio and the activity of glutamine synthetase in the diaphragm and the extensor digitorum muscles, and that these effects were abolished by prior treatment with actinomycin D or proflavine. The results obtained in in vitro experiments, using fresh-frozen soleus, extensor digitorum longus, and diaphragm muscle preparations, supported the in vivo indications of the cortisol-enhanced glutamine synthesis and protein turnover in starved adrenalectomized animals.

Tischler, Marc E.; Henriksen, Erik J.; Cook, Paul H.



Mice lacking FABP9/PERF15 develop sperm head abnormalities but are fertile  

PubMed Central

The male germ cell-specific fatty acid binding protein 9 (FABP9/PERF15) is the major component of the murine sperm perforatorium and perinuclear theca. Based on its cytoskeletal association and sequence homology to myelin P2 (FABP8), it has been suggested that FABP9 tethers sperm membranes to the underlying cytoskeleton. Furthermore, its upregulation in apoptotic testicular germ cells and its increased phosphorylation status during capacitation suggested multiple important functions for FABP9. Therefore, we investigated specific functions for FABP9 by means of targeted gene disruption in mice. FABP9?/? mice were viable and fertile. Phenotypic analysis showed that FABP9?/? mice had significant increases in sperm head abnormalities (~8% greater than their WT cohorts); in particular, we observed the reduction or absence of the characteristic structural element known as the “ventral spur” in ~10% of FABP9?/? sperm. However, deficiency of FABP9 neither affected membrane tethering to the perinuclear theca nor the fatty acid composition of sperm. Moreover, epididymal sperm numbers were not affected in FABP9?/? mice. Therefore, we conclude that FABP9 plays only a minor role in providing the murine sperm head its characteristic shape and is not absolutely required for spermatogenesis or sperm function. PMID:20920498

Selvaraj, Vimal; Asano, Atsushi; Page, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Jacquelyn L.; Kothapalli, Kumar S. D.; Foster, James A.; Brenna, J. Thomas; Weiss, Robert S.; Travis, Alexander J.




EPA Science Inventory

While glycolysis is highly conserved, it is remarkable that several novel isozymes in this central metabolic pathway are found in mammalian sperm. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-S (GAPDS) is the product of a mouse gene expressed only during spermatogenesis and, like it...


[Clinical and sperm follow-up after subinguinal varicocelectomy].  


In order to evaluate the sperm output and the adverse-side-effects after subinguinal varicoceloctomy, a follow-up study of 16 months was performed on 196 selected patients (aged from 22 to 43 years) affected by left varicocele (VR). In the pre-treatment, both Doppler ultrasonography and didymo-epididymal ultrasonography allowed to distinguish two homogeneous patient groups: group A (no. = 136), including patients affected by VR alone and, group B (n. = 60), including patients with VR combined to coincidental didymo-epididymal morphological abnormalities, DEMA). These DEMA lesions (testis size < 12 ml, epididymides abnormalities: increased head- > or = 12 mm- and/or tail- > or = 6 mm-diameter, multiple microcysts, large idrocele) were omolaterally to VR in 30/60 (50%), eterolaterally in 19/60 (31.7%) or bilaterally in 11/60 (18.3%). During sperm follow-up, group A patients showed both a significant temporal change (p < 0.01 ANOVA) of all sperm parameters studied (sperm density, total sperm count, motility and morphology) from month 8 onward and sperm values significantly higher than found in group B patients. On the contrary, the sperm parameters of group B patients did not change significantly during the follow-up observations. As far as the varicocelectomy-mediated clinical symptoms, some patients complained early and transiently (on 1-2-4 weeks following varicocelectomy) the following symptoms: didymal pain (1.5%), didymo-epididymal pain (4.1%) and parasthesiaes on the anterior-medial side of the left thigh (4.1%) or scrotal (3.1%); only four patients (2%) complained permanent paresthesiaes on the anterior-medial side of the left thigh. Furthermore, the clinical follow-up also revealed a low rate of complications: persistent VR (3.6%), hydrocele (1.5%), intrascrotal venous ecstasies (6.1%), epididymitis (0.5%). Some morpho-structural abnormalities at US scans were transient (1-2 weeks): scrotal oedema (6.1%), orchitis (2%), orchi-epididymitis (1%). Subinguinal varicocelectomy performed on large population demonstrated a significant improvement of the sperm output from month 8th onward in patients with VR alone, while sperm parameters did not show any significant change in patients with VR plus coincidental DEMA. This surgical technique also demonstrated safety since both low rates of symptoms and (transient) complications were registered. PMID:10953392

Vicari, E; Arancio, A; Costanzo, C; Ingrassia, G; Cannizzaro, M A



A mutant gene that increases gibberellin production in Brassica  

SciTech Connect

A single gene mutant (elongated internode (ein/ein)) with accelerated shoot elongation was identified from a rapid cycling line of Brassica rapa. Relative to normal plants, mutant plants had slightly accelerated floral development, greater stem dry weights, and particularly, increased internode and inflorescence elongation. The application of the triazole plant growth retardant, paclobutrazol, inhibited shoot elongation, returning ein to a more normal phenotype. Conversely, exogenous gibberellin A{sub 3} (GA{sub 3}) can convert normal genotypes to a phenotype resembling ein. The content of endogenous GA{sub 1} and GA{sub 3} were estimated by gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring using ({sup 2}H)GA{sub 1} as a quantitative internal standard and at day 14 were 1.5- and 12.1-fold higher per stem, respectively, in ein than in normal plants, although GA concentrations were more similar. The endogenous levels of GA{sub 20} and GA{sub 1}, and the rate of GA{sub 19} metabolism were simultaneously analyzed. Levels of GA{sub 1} and GA{sub 20} were 4.6- and 12.9-fold higher, respectively, and conversions to GA{sub 20} and GA{sub 1} were 8.3 and 1.3 times faster in ein than normal plants. Confirming the enhanced rate of GA{sub 1} biosynthesis in ein, the conversion of ({sup 3}H)GA{sub 20} to ({sup 3}H) GA{sub 1} was also faster in ein than in the normal genotype. Thus, the ein allele results in accelerated GA{sub 1} biosynthesis and an elevated content of endogenous GAs, including the dihydroxylated GAs A{sub 1} and A{sub 3}.

Rood, S.B. (Univ. of Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada)); Williams, P.H. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison (USA)); Pearce, D.; Pharis, R.P. (Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)); Murofushi, Noboru (Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)); Mander, L.N. (Australian National Univ., Canberra (Australia))



Calcium Signaling in Sperm: Help from Prostasomes  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Mammalian sperm cells are equipped with sophisticated Ca2+ signaling mechanisms that are fundamental to sperm’s success in fertilization. Unlike most other cells, however, mature sperm generally do not have the luxury of synthesizing new proteins. New evidence indicates that human sperm have a very clever way to solve the conflict between the critical demand for Ca2+ signaling tools and the silence of protein translation. Just before encountering the female reproductive tract, sperm acquire some of the key molecules for Ca2+ signaling from the male reproductive tract itself: prostasomes secreted by the prostate gland.

Dejian Ren (University of Pennsylvania;Department of Biology REV)



Is Manganese (II) Pentaazamacrocyclic Superoxide Dismutase Mimic Beneficial for Human Sperm Mitochondria Function and Motility?  

PubMed Central

Abstract Mitochondria play an important role in sperm cell maturation and function. Here, we examined whether (and how) changes in sperm redox milieu affect the functional status of sperm mitochondria, that is, sperm functionality. Compared with the control, incubation in Tyrode's medium for 3?h, under noncapacitating conditions, decreased sperm motility, the amount of nitric oxide (•NO), the number of MitoTracker® Green FM (MT-G) positive mitochondria, and the expression of complexes I and IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In turn, superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimic (M40403) treatment restored/increased these parameters, as well as the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, manganese SOD, and catalase. These data lead to the hypothesis that M40403 improves mitochondrial functional state and motility of spermatozoa, as well as •NO might be involved in the observed effects of the mimic. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 170–178. PMID:22563824

Otasevic, Vesna; Korac, Aleksandra; Vucetic, Milica; Macanovic, Biljana; Garalejic, Eliana; Ivanovic-Burmazovic, Ivana; Filipovic, Milos R.; Buzadzic, Biljana; Stancic, Ana; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Velickovic, Ksenija; Golic, Igor; Markelic, Milica



Low paternal dietary folate alters the mouse sperm epigenome and is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes  

PubMed Central

Epidemiological studies suggest that a father’s diet can influence offspring health. A proposed mechanism for paternal transmission of environmental information is via the sperm epigenome. The epigenome includes heritable information such as DNA methylation. We hypothesize that the dietary supply of methyl donors will alter epigenetic reprogramming in sperm. Here we feed male mice either a folate-deficient or folate-sufficient diet throughout life. Paternal folate deficiency is associated with increased birth defects in the offspring, which include craniofacial and musculoskeletal malformations. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis and the subsequent functional analysis identify differential methylation in sperm of genes implicated in development, chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. While >300 genes are differentially expressed in offspring placenta, only two correspond to genes with differential methylation in sperm. This model suggests epigenetic transmission may involve sperm histone H3 methylation or DNA methylation and that adequate paternal dietary folate is essential for offspring health. PMID:24326934

Lambrot, R.; Xu, C.; Saint-Phar, S.; Chountalos, G.; Cohen, T.; Paquet, M.; Suderman, M.; Hallett, M.; Kimmins, S.



Electrophysiological Evidence for the Presence of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) in Mouse Sperm  

PubMed Central

Mammalian sperm must undergo a maturational process, named capacitation, in the female reproductive tract to fertilize the egg. Sperm capacitation is regulated by a cAMP/PKA pathway and involves increases in intracellular Ca2+, pH, Cl?, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and in mouse and some other mammals a membrane potential hyperpolarization. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a Cl? channel modulated by cAMP/PKA and ATP, was detected in mammalian sperm and proposed to modulate capacitation. Our whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from testicular mouse sperm now reveal a Cl? selective component to membrane current that is ATP-dependent, stimulated by cAMP, cGMP and genistein (a CFTR agonist, at low concentrations), and inhibited by DPC and CFTRinh-172, two well-known CFTR antagonists. Furthermore, the Cl? current component activated by cAMP and inhibited by CFTRinh-172 is absent in recordings on testicular sperm from mice possessing the CFTR ?F508 loss-of-function mutation, indicating that CFTR is responsible for this component. A Cl? selective like current component displaying CFTR characteristics was also found in wild type epididymal sperm bearing the cytoplasmatic droplet. Capacitated sperm treated with CFTRinh-172 undergo a shape change, suggesting that CFTR is involved in cell volume regulation. These findings indicate that functional CFTR channels are present in mouse sperm and their biophysical properties are consistent with their proposed participation in capacitation. PMID:22833409

Dulce, Figueiras Fierro; José, Acevedo Juan; Pablo, Martínez; Escoffier, Jessica; Sepúlveda, Francisco V.; Enrique, Balderas; Gerardo, Orta; Pablo, Visconti; Alberto, Darszon



Sperm chromatin stability during in vitro manipulation of beef bull semen.  


Seven experiments were conducted to study the effect of freezing extenders, antioxidants, motility stimulants, thawing temperature, incubation temperature and time, centrifugation and capacitation on sperm chromatin instability (CI) as well as the influence of sperm CI on pregnancy rates of heifers (n = 360) after AI with frozen semen. Semen was collected once a week from Blonde d'Aquitaine and Limousine bulls (n = 3/breed) via an artificial vagina and only individual ejaculates (n = 300) of >0.3 x 10(9) sperm/ml and >or= 70% progressive motility were used. Sperm CI was evaluated by nuclear DNA susceptibility to acid-induced denaturation using acridine orange fluorescence and by chromatin susceptibility to decondensation using quantitative transmission electron microscopy. Bioxcell extender was better than AndroMed and egg yolk extenders in terms of low incidence of sperm CI in one bull (p < 0.05). Neither antioxidants (EDTA-2Na, Na-pyruvate and albumin) nor motility stimulants (caffeine and blood serum) had any significant effect on sperm CI. Thawing of frozen semen at 45 degrees C for 30 s decreased (p < 0.025) CI in one bull. Incubation of frozen sperm at 25 and 39 degrees C for 240 min increased sperm CI percentages from 3.47 +/- 0.48 and 4.50 +/- 0.41% to 6.70 +/- 0.36 and 9.71 +/- 0.53%, respectively (p < 0.001). Although centrifugation and removal of extracellular milieu increased CI of cooled sperm, it decreased CI of frozen-thawed sperm (p < 0.025). Follicular fluid as a capacitating agent destabilized chromatin structure (p < 0.001). Sperm vulnerability to CI had a negative impact (r(2) = 0.37-0.77, p < 0.001) on fertility of frozen ejaculates. In conclusion, in vitro manipulation of bovine semen can influence incidence of sperm CI, whereas integrity of sperm chromatin contributes significantly to heifers' fertility. We would recommend selection of the appropriate extender and thawing temperature for each bull together with careful manipulation of frozen semen to minimize damage of sperm chromatin. PMID:19055552

Lymberopoulos, A G; Khalifa, T A A



Lifestyle factors and sperm aneuploidy.  


Different environmental and lifestyle factors may interfere with the normal disjunction of sister chromatids/chromosomes during meiosis and may cause aneuploidy. The aim of the study was to examine the association between lifestyle factors and sperm aneuploidy. The study population consisted of 212 healthy men under 45 years of age attending an infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes and who had a normal semen concentration of 20-300×10(6)mL or slight oligozoospermia (semen concentration of 15-20×10(6)/mL). All participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. Sperm aneuploidy was assessed using multicolor FISH (DNA probes specific for chromosomes X, Y, 18, 13, 21). Results from the study suggest that lifestyle factors are related to sperm aneuploidy. A positive relationship was found between coffee drinking everyday and the lack of chromosome X or Y, as well as coffee drinking 1-6 times per week and additional chromosome 18. Wearing boxer shorts decrease the copy number changes in the whole chromosome 18, the number of additional chromosome 18 and the lack of chromosome 13. Additionally, obesity (BMI 30-40 kg/m(2)) was positively associated with additional chromosome 21 after being adjusted for potential confounders. These findings demonstrate that changing the men's lifestyle habits may contribute to reduction of the incidence of sperm aneuploidy. It is necessary that men continue to follow sensible health advice concerning excess weight, coffee drinking and wearing tight fitting underwear. As this is the first such study to examine different lifestyle factors and sperm aneuploidy, the results need to be confirmed on larger population. PMID:25152516

Jurewicz, Joanna; Radwan, Micha?; Sobala, Wojciech; Radwan, Pawe?; Jakubowski, Lucjusz; Hawu?a, Wanda; Ula?ska, Anna; Hanke, Wojciech



Honey Supplementation to Semen-Freezing Medium ImprovesHuman Sperm Parameters Post-Thawing  

PubMed Central

Objective To evaluate the effect of honey supplemented to cryoprotectant medium on post-thaw sperm motility, concentration, morphology and agglutination. Materials and methods Thirty semen samples were collected from 30 infertile patients. After assessment of semen analysis, semen samples were divided into 3 aliquots (0.7ml for each) and mixed with 1 ml of cryopreservation solution (G1, control) alone, or enriched with 5% honey (G2) or with 10% honey (G3) for cryopreservation. Cryopreservation was done at -196°C in liquid nitrogen and thawing was performed after six months. Direct swim up technique was used for in vitro sperm preparation post-thawing. Sperm parameters were assessed and data were statistically analyzed pre- and post-thawing. Results Results appeared that the percentage of sperm motility for G1 and G2 groups were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) post-thawing when compared to pre-cryopreservation. However, there was no significant difference in the total motility (%) of the post-thaw sperm between the G1 and G2 groups. While there was significant increased (P < 0.05) in the percentage of normal sperm morphology for G1 and G3 groups post-thawing. Post-thawing normal sperm morphology (%) for G3 group was significantly increased (P < 0.05) as compared to G1 and G2 groups. In contrast non significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between G1 and G2 groups. Significant reduction (P < 0.05) was seen in the sperm concentration for all groups post-thawing as compared to pre-cryopreservation groups. After thawing the results reveal significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the sperm agglutination (%) for G3 group as compared to G1 and G2 groups. Conclusion The results of this study indicated that the supplementation of honey (10%) to cryoprotectant solution results in enhancement of sperm quality post-thawing. PMID:24971130

Alsaadi, Rana A-R.



In vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection for male infertility  

PubMed Central

Progress in the field of assisted reproduction, and particularly micromanipulation, now heralds a new era in the management of severe male factor infertility, not amenable to medical or surgical correction. By overcoming natural barriers to conception, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), subzonal sperm insemination, partial zona dissection, and intracytoplasmatic injection of sperm (ICSI) now offer couples considered irreversibly infertile, the option of parenting a genetically related child. However, unlike IVF, which necessitates an optimal sperm number and function to successfully complete the sequence of events leading to fertilization, micromanipulation techniques, such as ICSI, involving the direct injection of a spermatozoon into the oocyte, obviate all these requirements and may be used to alleviate severe male factor infertility due to the lack of sperm in the ejaculate due to severely impaired spermatogenesis (non-obstructive azoospermia) or non-reconstructable reproductive tract obstruction (obstructive azoospermia). ICSI may be performed with fresh or cryopreserved ejaculate sperm where available, microsurgically extracted epididymal or testicular sperm with satisfactory fertilization, clinical pregnancy, and ongoing pregnancy rates. However, despite a lack of consensus regarding the genetic implications of ICSI or the application and efficacy of preimplantation genetic diagnosis prior to assisted reproductive technology (ART), the widespread use of ICSI, increasing evidence of the involvement of genetic factors in male infertility and the potential risk of transmission of genetic disorders to the offspring, generate major concerns with regard to the safety of the technique, necessitating a thorough genetic evaluation of the couple, classification of infertility and adequate counseling of the implications and associated risks prior to embarking on the procedure. The objective of this review is to highlight the indications, advantages, limitations, outcomes, implications and safety of using IVF/ICSI for male factor infertility to enable a more judicious use of these techniques and maximize their potential benefits while minimizing foreseen complications. PMID:21716935

Merchant, Rubina; Gandhi, Goral; Allahbadia, Gautam N.



Adjustments of ejaculation rates in response to risk of sperm competition in a ésh, the bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Game theory models of sperm competition predict that within species, males should increase their sperm expenditure when they have one competitor, but decrease expenditure with increasing numbers of com- petitors. So far, there have been few tests or support for this prediction. Here, we show that males of a freshwater é sh, the European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus, do indeed adjust

Ulrika Candolin; John D. Reynolds



Thermosensitive ion channel TRPV1 is endogenously expressed in the sperm of a fresh water teleost fish (Labeo rohita) and regulates sperm motility  

PubMed Central

Sperm cells exhibit extremely high sensitivity in response to slight changes in temperature, osmotic pressure and/or presence of various chemical stimuli. In most cases throughout the evolution, these physico-chemical stimuli trigger Ca2+-signaling and subsequently alter structure, cellular function, motility and survival of the sperm cells. Few reports have recently demonstrated the presence of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels in the sperm cells from higher eukaryotes, mainly from higher mammals. In this work, we have explored if the sperm cells from lower vertebrates can also have thermo-sensitive TRP channels. In this paper, we demonstrate the endogenous presence of one specific thermo-sensitive ion channel, namely Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid family member sub type 1 (TRPV1) in the sperm cells collected from fresh water teleost fish, Labeo rohita. By using western blot analysis, fluorescence assisted cell sorting (FACS) and confocal microscopy; we confirm the presence of this non-selective cation channel. Activation of TRPV1 by an endogenous activator NADA significantly increases the quality as well as the duration of fish sperm movement. The sperm cell specific expression of TRPV1 matches well with our in silico sequence analysis. The results demonstrate that TRPV1 gene is conserved in various fishes, ranging from 1–3 in copy number, and it originated by fish-specific duplication events within the last 320 million years (MY). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the presence of any thermo-sensitive TRP channels in the sperm cells of early vertebrates as well as of aquatic animals, which undergo external fertilization in fresh water. This observation may have implications in the aquaculture, breeding of several fresh water and marine fish species and cryopreservation of fish sperms. PMID:23912940

Majhi, Rakesh Kumar; Kumar, Ashutosh; Yadav, Manoj; Swain, Nirlipta; Kumari, Shikha; Saha, Ashish; Pradhan, Avinash; Goswami, Luna; Saha, Somdatta; Samanta, Luna; Maity, Apratim; Nayak, Tapas Kumar; Chattopadhyay, Subhasis; Rajakuberan, Chitra; Kumar, Abhishek; Goswami, Chandan



Aneuploid sperm formation in rainbow trout exposed to the environmental estrogen 17?-ethynylestradiol  

PubMed Central

Environmental contaminants that mimic native estrogens (i.e., environmental estrogens) are known to significantly impact a wide range of vertebrate species and have been implicated as a source for increasing human male reproductive deficiencies and diseases. Despite the widespread occurrence of environmental estrogens and recognized detrimental effects on male vertebrate reproduction, no specific mechanism has been determined indicating how reduced fertility and/or fecundity is achieved. Previous studies show that male rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, exposed to the environmental estrogen 17?-ethynylestradiol (EE2) before gamete formation and fertilization produce progeny with significantly reduced embryonic survival. To determine whether this observed decrease results from sperm chromosome alterations during spermatogenesis, male rainbow trout were exposed to 10 ng of EE2/l for 50 days. After exposure, semen was collected and sperm aneuploidy levels analyzed with two chromosome markers by fluorescent in situ hybridization. In vitro fertilizations were also conducted by using control and exposed sperm crossed to eggs from an unexposed female for offspring analysis. Evaluations for nucleolar organizer region number and karyotype were performed on developing embryos to determine whether sperm aneuploidy translated into embryonic aneuploidy. Results conclusively show increased aneuploid sperm formation due to EE2 exposure. Additionally, embryonic cells from propagated progeny of individuals possessing elevated sperm aneuploidy display high levels of embryonic aneuploidy. This study concludes that EE2 exposure in sexually developing male rainbow trout increases levels of aneuploid sperm, providing a mechanism for decreased embryonic survival and ultimately diminished reproductive success in EE2 exposed males. PMID:19066213

Brown, Kim H.; Schultz, Irvin R.; Cloud, J. G.; Nagler, James J.



Panax ginseng induces the expression of CatSper genes and sperm hyperactivation  

PubMed Central

The cation channel of sperm (CatSper) protein family plays important roles in male reproduction and infertility. The four members of this family are expressed exclusively in the testis and are localized differently in sperm. To investigate the effects of Panax ginseng treatment on the expression of CatSper genes and sperm hyperactivation in male mice, sperm motility and CatSper gene expression were assessed using a computer-assisted semen analysis system, a Fluoroskan Ascent microplate fluorometer to assess Ca2+ influx, real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and immunofluorescence. The results suggested that the Ca2+ levels of sperm cells treated with P. ginseng were increased significantly compared with the normal group. The P. ginseng-treated groups showed increased sperm motility parameters, such as the curvilinear velocity and amplitude of lateral head displacement. Taken together, the data suggest that CatSper messenger ribonucleic acid levels were increased significantly in mouse testes in the P. ginseng-treated group, as was the protein level, with the exception of CatSper2. In conclusion, P. ginseng plays an important role in improving sperm hyperactivation via CatSper gene expression. PMID:24969054

Park, Eun Hwa; Kim, Do Rim; Kim, Ha Young; Park, Seong Kyu; Chang, Mun Seog



Understanding sperm heterogeneity: biological and practical implications.  


Sperm are the most diverse cell type known. This diversity is thought to reflect adaptation to conditions under which sperm function as a way to ensure the survival of sperm in fertilization environments and to maximize fertilizing capacity thereof. The existence of morphological diversity among species is widely assumed, although this diversity seems less clear as we go deeper (between males, between ejaculates from the same male and even within the same ejaculate), with different theories addressing this heterogeneity. Moreover, the development of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) has led to changes in the physiological conditions in which sperm fertilize, which could lead, ultimately, to a selection towards more favourable sperm design. Regardless of the origin of this diversity, when studying the relationship between shape and function of sperm, it is advisable to assess the degree of heterogeneity of sperm and takes into account to be more likely to identify those morphological characteristics determining the fertile ability of sperm. Otherwise, these relationships could be hidden as a result of considering an average shape not representative of morphological characteristics of sperm. In addition, the knowledge of this morphological diversity in terms of changes arising from modifications in the sperm environment and mechanisms that generate these changes could be useful for understanding the reproductive capacity of males but also in enhancing their fertile ability. PMID:25277430

Ramón, M; Jiménez-Rabadán, P; García-Álvarez, O; Maroto-Morales, A; Soler, Aj; Fernández-Santos, Mr; Pérez-Guzmán, Md; Garde, Jj



"OMICS" of Human Sperm: Profiling Protein Phosphatases  

PubMed Central

Abstract Phosphorylation is a major regulatory mechanism in eukaryotic cells performed by the concerted actions of kinases and phosphatases (PPs). Protein phosphorylation has long been relevant to sperm physiology, from acquisition of motility in the epididymis to capacitation in the female reproductive tract. While the precise kinases involved in the regulation of sperm phosphorylation have been studied for decades, the PPs have only recently received research interest. Tyrosine phosphorylation was first implicated in the regulation of several sperm-related functions, from capacitation to oocyte binding. Only afterwards, in 1996, the inhibition of the serine/threonine-PP phosphoprotein phosphatase 1 (PPP1) by okadaic acid and calyculin-A was shown to initiate motility in caput epididymal sperm. Today, the current mechanisms of sperm motility acquisition based on PPP1 and its regulators are still far from being fully understood. PPP1CC2, specifically expressed in mammalian sperm, has been considered to be the only sperm-specific serine/threonine-PP, while other PPP1 isoforms were thought to be absent from sperm. This article examines the “Omics” of human sperm, and reports, for the first time, the identification of three new serine/threonine-protein PPs, PPP1CB, PPP4C, and PPP6C, in human sperm, together with two tyrosine-PPs, MKP1 and PTP1C. We specifically localized in sperm PPP1CB and PPP1CC2 from the PPP1 subfamily, and PPP2CA, PPP4C, and PPP6C from the PPP2 subfamily of the serine/threonine-PPs. A semi-quantitative analysis was performed to determine the various PPs' differential expression in sperm head and tail. These findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of human sperm PPs, and warrant further research for their clinical and therapeutic significance. PMID:23895272

Ferreira, Monica; Pelech, Steven; Vieira, Sandra; Rebelo, Sandra; Korrodi-Gregorio, Luis; Sousa, Mario; Barros, Alberto; Silva, Vladimiro; da Cruz e Silva, Odete A. B.; da Cruz e Silva, Edgar F.



An Acute-phase Protein as a Regulator of Sperm Survival in the Bovine Oviduct: Alpha 1-acid-glycoprotein Impairs Neutrophil Phagocytosis of Sperm In Vitro  

PubMed Central

We have previously shown that polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) are present in bovine oviduct fluid under physiological conditions, and that the oviduct provides a microenvironment that protects sperm from phagocytosis by PMNs. Alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) is a major acute-phase protein produced mainly in the liver that has immunomodulatory functions. AGP mRNA is expressed in extrahepatic organs, such as the lung, kidney, spleen, lymph node, uterus, and ovary. Therefore, in this study, we investigated, 1) the local production of AGP in the bovine oviduct, 2) the effect of AGP on the phagocytic activity of PMNs for sperm and superoxide production and 3) the impact of AGP desialylation on the PMN phagocytosis of sperm. The AGP gene was expressed in cultured bovine oviduct epithelial cells (BOECs) and AGP protein was detected in oviduct fluid. Preexposure of PMNs to AGP at physiological levels impaired PMN phagocytosis for sperm and superoxide generation. The desialylation of AGP eliminated these suppressive effects of AGP on PMN. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that AGP drastically reduced the formation of DNA-based neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) for sperm entanglement. Additionally, AGP dose-dependently stimulated BOECs to produce prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) which has been shown to partially contribute to the regulation of sperm phagocytosis in the bovine oviduct. AGP and PGE2 at concentrations detected in the oviducts additively suppressed sperm phagocytosis by PMNs. These results provide evidence that locally produced AGP may be involved in protecting sperm from phagocytosis by PMNs in the bovine oviduct. PMID:24931131

LIU, Jinghui; MAREY, Mohamed A.; KOWSAR, Rasoul; HAMBRUCH, Nina; SHIMIZU, Takashi; HANEDA, Shingo; MATSUI, Motozumi; SASAKI, Motoki; HAYAKAWA, Hiroyuki; PFARRER, Christiane; MIYAMOTO, Akio



An Acute-phase Protein as a Regulator of Sperm Survival in the Bovine Oviduct: Alpha 1-acid-glycoprotein Impairs Neutrophil Phagocytosis of Sperm In Vitro.  


We have previously shown that polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) are present in bovine oviduct fluid under physiological conditions, and that the oviduct provides a microenvironment that protects sperm from phagocytosis by PMNs. Alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) is a major acute-phase protein produced mainly in the liver that has immunomodulatory functions. AGP mRNA is expressed in extrahepatic organs, such as the lung, kidney, spleen, lymph node, uterus, and ovary. Therefore, in this study, we investigated, 1) the local production of AGP in the bovine oviduct, 2) the effect of AGP on the phagocytic activity of PMNs for sperm and superoxide production and 3) the impact of AGP desialylation on the PMN phagocytosis of sperm. The AGP gene was expressed in cultured bovine oviduct epithelial cells (BOECs) and AGP protein was detected in oviduct fluid. Preexposure of PMNs to AGP at physiological levels impaired PMN phagocytosis for sperm and superoxide generation. The desialylation of AGP eliminated these suppressive effects of AGP on PMN. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that AGP drastically reduced the formation of DNA-based neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) for sperm entanglement. Additionally, AGP dose-dependently stimulated BOECs to produce prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) which has been shown to partially contribute to the regulation of sperm phagocytosis in the bovine oviduct. AGP and PGE2 at concentrations detected in the oviducts additively suppressed sperm phagocytosis by PMNs. These results provide evidence that locally produced AGP may be involved in protecting sperm from phagocytosis by PMNs in the bovine oviduct. PMID:24931131

Liu, Jinghui; Marey, Mohamed A; Kowsar, Rasoul; Hambruch, Nina; Shimizu, Takashi; Haneda, Shingo; Matsui, Motozumi; Sasaki, Motoki; Hayakawa, Hiroyuki; Pfarrer, Christiane; Miyamoto, Akio



Inhibition of bovine sperm-oocyte fusion by the carbohydrate GalNAc.  


The TEC-2 epitope is a carbohydrate located on the plasma membrane (oolemma) of the oocyte and appears to be involved in bovine sperm-oolemma fusion. The carbohydrates N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) and galactose are part of the TEC-2 epitope and this study investigated the involvement of these carbohydrates during bovine fertilization. Gametes were exposed to the carbohydrates GalNAc, galactose, and fructose, and the lectins DBA and Con A to determine whether there was an effect on fertilization. The DBA lectin recognizes the carbohydrate GalNAc, whereas Con A recognizes the carbohydrates glucose and mannose. Oocytes pretreated with the DBA lectin prior to fertilization showed a reduction in cleavage corresponding to an increase in lectin concentrations. There was a significant increase in sperm-oolemma binding although fusion was inhibited. Oocytes exposed to GalNAc prior to sperm insemination had no effect on fertilization, however, sperm pretreatment with the carbohydrate caused inhibition of fertilization, with a reduction in cleavage rates as the GalNAc concentration increased. There was also a significant decrease in sperm-oolemma fusion and a significant increase in sperm-oolemma binding. When gametes were exposed to GalNAc at the time of fertilization a similar response to that seen with sperm pretreatment was observed. The carbohydrates galactose and fructose and the lectin Con A did not affect fertilization. In conclusion, the carbohydrate GalNAc, which is associated with the TEC-2 epitope, has a specific role during bovine sperm-oolemma fusion. This study also suggests that there is a carbohydrate-binding molecule on the sperm that binds GalNAc. PMID:10471478

Gougoulidis, T; Trounson, A; Dowsing, A



Dietary Fish Oil Can Change Sperm Parameters and Fatty Acid Profiles of Ram Sperm during Oil Consumption Period and after Removal of Oil Source  

PubMed Central

Objective The effects of dietary fish oil on semen quality and sperm fatty acid profiles during consumption of n-3 fatty acids as well as the persistency of fatty acids in ram’s sperm after removing dietary oil from the diet were investigated. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, we randomly assigned 9 Zandi rams to two groups (isoenergetic and isonitrogenous diets): control (CTR; n=5) and fish oil (FO; n=4) for 70 days with a constant level of vitamin E in both groups. Semen was collected at the first week and at the last week of the feeding period (phase 1). After the feeding period, all rams were fed a conventional diet and semen samples were collected one and two months after removal of FO (phase 2). The sperm parameters and fatty acid profiles were measured by computer assisted semen analyzer (CASA) and gas chromatography (GC), respectively. The completely randomized design was used and data were analyzed with SPSS version 16. Results Dietary FO had significant positive effects on all sperm quality and quantity parameters compared with the CTR during the feeding period (p<0.05). The positive effects of FO on sperm concentration and total sperm output were observed at one and two months after removal of FO (p<0.05), whereas other sperm parameters were unaffected. Before feeding, C14 (myristic acid), C16 (palmitic acid), C18 (stearic acid), C18:1 (oleic acid) and C22:6 (docosahexaenoic acid: DHA) were the primary sperm FA. FO in the diet increased sperm DHA, C14:0 and C18:0 during the feeding period (p<0.05). Conclusion The present study showed not only manipulation of ram sperm fatty acid profiles by dietary FO and sperm parameters during the feeding period, but also the persistency of unique effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acids up to two months following its removal from the diet. Also, we recommend that sperm fatty acid profiles should be comprehensively analyzed and monitored. PMID:25383328

Alizadeh, AliReza; Esmaeili, Vahid; Shahverdi, Abdolhossein; Rashidi, Ladan



Sperm fertility and skewed paternity during sperm competition in the Australian long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Prolonged sperm storage, rare among mammals, is widespread among bats and may promote sperm competition, assuming stored sperm are fertile. However, while sperm storage has been documented in many bat species, there have been few investigations of the fertility of stored sperm. Related to this, and a fundamental question in the study of competition at the gametic level, is the

David J. Hosken



Standardization of a method to detect bovine sperm-bound anti-sperm antibodies by flow cytometry  

PubMed Central

The objectives were to standardize some methodological and analytical aspects of a direct technique to detect sperm-bound anti-sperm antibodies (ASAs) in bovine semen using flow cytometry, including the effects of pre-fixation of sperm membranes with formalin buffer solution and inclusion of dead cells in the analysis. Fourteen Angus bulls, including ASA-positive (experimentally induced ASAs) and 10 reproductively normal ASA-negative bulls, were used. Fixation of sperm membranes had no significant effect on the percentage of IgG- or IgA-bound spermatozoa detected by flow cytometry. However, including dead cells in the analysis increased the percentage of IgG-bound spermatozoa in fixed (live and dead 18.6 ± 9.7% and live 1.3 ± 0.5%; median ± SEM) and non-fixed samples (live and dead 18.8 ± 9.2%, live 1.5 ± 0.6%; P = 0.0029), as well as IgA-bound spermatozoa in fixed (live and dead 16.3 ± 6.4%, live 0.3 ± 0.5%) and non-fixed samples (live and dead 21.4 ± 4.6%, live 1.0 ± 0.5%; P = 0.0041) in semen from ASA-negative bulls. Intra-sample, intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation (CV) were 0.8, 4.6 and 5.3%, respectively, for determination of sperm-bound IgG, and were 2.8, 8.4 and 40.3% for determination of sperm-bound IgA. Despite the high inter-assay CV for IgA determination, all ASA-positive bulls consistently had high percentages of IgA-bound spermatozoa. Flow cytometry correctly identified ASA-positive bulls. Confocal laser microscopy confirmed binding of ASAs to sperm heads and cytoplasmic droplets, and less frequently to midpieces and principal piece. In conclusion, although fixation was not necessary, dead cells should be excluded from the analysis, since ejaculates with a large proportion of dead cells can yield false-positive results. Flow cytometry was accurate and reliable for detection of sperm-bound IgG and IgA and discrimination between ASA-positive and ASA-negative bulls. PMID:22925638

Sardoy, MC; Anderson, DE; George, A; Wilkerson, ME; Skinner, S; Ferrer, MS



Sperm investment in male meadow voles is affected by the condition of the nearby male conspecifics  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition occurs when 2 or more males copulate with a particular female during the same reproductive cycle, and their sperm compete to fertilize the female's available eggs. One strategy that male voles use to assess the risk and intensity of sperm competition involves responding to the presence of scent marks of conspecific males found near a sexually receptive female. Previously, we have shown that if a male vole copulated with a female while he was in the presence of the odors of another male he increased his sperm investment relative to his investment if another male's odors were not present. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that males assess differences in the relative quality of competing males and adjust their sperm investment accordingly. We did so by allowing males to copulate when they were exposed to the scent mark of a 24-h food-deprived male (low-quality male) or the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived (high-quality male). The data indicate that male meadow voles did not increase their sperm investment during copulation when exposed to the scent mark of a food-deprived male but did so when they were exposed to the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived. The results support the hypothesis that male voles are able to adjust sperm investment when they encounter the scent marks of males that differ in quality. PMID:19529815

delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.



Arbutin's suppression of cryodamage in goat sperm and its mechanism of cryoprotection.  


Arbutin (4-hydroxyphenyl-glucopyranoside) is a glycosylated hydroquinone present in high concentrations in the leaves of several plants capable of surviving prolonged, extreme dehydration. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of arbutin on cryopreservation of goat sperm. In Experiment 1, goat sperm were frozen in extenders with various ratios of Tris-citric acid-glucose (TCG) and arbutin; concentrations of the latter were 0.0 (only TCG), 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 M (only arbutin)]. All extenders had 20% (v/v) egg yolk (EY) and 4% (v/v) glycerol (osmolality = 370 mOsm, pH = 7.0). Sperm motility and acrosome integrity were assessed using CASA, and fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled peanut agglutinin (FITC-PNA), respectively. Percentages of motile and progressively motile sperm improved with the addition of arbutin; results were optimal (89.0 and 70.0%, respectively; P < 0.05), with 0.4 M arbutin. Furthermore, arbutin improved (P < 0.05) post-thaw recovery rates for both motility and progressive motility. After incubation for 3 h, motility of frozen-thawed washed sperm improved (70%, P < 0.05) with arbutin in the extender. The percentage of sperm with an intact acrosome peaked (77.2%, P < 0.05) with 0.4 M arbutin in the extender. In Experiment 2, the percentage of cells with merocyanine 540/Yo-Pro staining was higher in sperm treated with arbutin than with TCG (P < 0.05), with the best result (58.0%) with 0.4 M arbutin; therefore, arbutin increased membrane fluidity. In conclusion, substitution of a TCG-EY diluent composition with arbutin improved freezability of goat sperm (apparently due to increased membrane fluidity). Furthermore removal of arbutin by centrifugation after freezing and thawing increased sperm longevity. PMID:21529910

Aboagla, Eiman M-E; Maeda, T



Sperm competition games: a general model for precopulatory male-male competition.  


Reproductive males face a trade-off between expenditure on precopulatory male-male competition--increasing the number of females that they secure as mates--and sperm competition--increasing their fertilization success with those females. Previous sperm allocation models have focused on scramble competition in which males compete by searching for mates and the number of matings rises linearly with precopulatory expenditure. However, recent studies have emphasized contest competition involving precopulatory expenditure on armaments, where winning contests may be highly dependent on marginal increases in relative armament level. Here, we develop a general model of sperm allocation that allows us to examine the effect of all forms of precopulatory competition on sperm allocation patterns. The model predicts that sperm allocation decreases if either the "mate-competition loading,"a, or the number of males competing for each mating, M, increases. Other predictions remain unchanged from previous models: (i) expenditure per ejaculate should increase and then decrease, and (ii) total postcopulatory expenditure should increase, as the level of sperm competition increases. A negative correlation between a and M is biologically plausible, and may buffer deviations from the previous models. There is some support for our predictions from comparative analyses across dung beetle species and frog populations. PMID:23289564

Parker, Geoff A; Lessells, Catherine M; Simmons, Leigh W



Airborne sperm of Conocephalum conicum (Conocephalaceae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

We have obtained the first momentary photographs of sperms just as they are discharged from the antheridium of a liverwort,\\u000a Conocephalum conicum, and have succeeded in monitoring the airborne sperms of bryophytes under field conditions. Airborne sperm of liverworts\\u000a seems to be an effective strategy for raising the efficiency of fertilization between male and female plants separated in\\u000a a drought

Masaki Shimamura; Tomio Yamaguchi; Hironori Deguchi



Postnatal Effects of Sperm Chromatin Damage  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a The use of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA has been linked to ­developmental and postnatal effects in animal models. Environmental\\u000a and toxic factors such as radiation, heat stress, air pollution, chemotherapeutic agents, etc. are known to have detrimental\\u000a effects on sperm chromatin. Sperm chromatin damage has also been observed following sperm manipulation techniques (freeze–thawing\\u000a without cryoprotectants, freeze-drying, preincubation under different conditions,

Miriam Pérez-Crespo; Raúl Fernández-González; Miguel Ángel Ramírez; Eva Pericuesta; Alexandra Calle; Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán


Beneath the Arctic Green: Have recent increases in plant production been offset by increases in soil decomposition?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Observational and modeling studies suggest that boreal vegetation has undergone an increase in plant production and C uptake in recent decades, coincident with increases in regional air temperatures, atmospheric CO2 concentration, and fire/successional dynamics. In the North American boreal forest, wildfires have increased in extent, season length, and depth of burn, driving higher C emission from black spruce ecosystems. Meanwhile, responses in soil systems that dictate the net ecosystem carbon (C) balance are less well known, in part owing to problems with elucidating the relatively small signals of organic matter decomposition from the large C fluxes of gross primary production and ecosystem respiration. Here, we measured net C accumulation in soils from Interior Alaska using radiocarbon (14C), lead isotopes (210Pb), cesium isotopes (137Cs), and time sequences of forest regeneration (fire and thaw chronosequences). We use soil 14C and non-steady-state models to estimate turnover times for soil organic C. Over the past century, rates of soil C uptake based on upland chronosequences ranged from -20 to -30 g C/m2/yr, but regionally likely shifted toward a reduced sink or source of - 20 to + 10 g C/m2/yr in recent decades due to increased combustion losses and deep C mobilization associated with permafrost thaw. C accumulation rates in lowland thermokarst chronosequences suggest a mixed sink/source effect, with post-thaw increases in surface accumulation potentially offset by decomposition at depth, or enhanced initial decomposition of C from previously frozen soils, followed by long-term net uptake of post-thaw peat. Large uncertainties remain regarding the turnover of soil organic C in boreal soil, yet enhanced decomposition has likely offset the increase in NPP, resulting in a reduced sink activity relative to pre1960s.

Harden, J. W.; O'Donnell, J.; Fuller, C.; Sierra, C. A.; Johnson, K. D.; Manies, K.; Jorgenson, T.; Jones, M.; Ewing, S. A.; Yue, C.; Turetsky, M.



Effects of Nigella sativa (Habbatus sauda) Oil and Nicotine Chronic Treatments on Sperm Parameters and Testis Histological Features of Rats  

PubMed Central

Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley male rats (7–9 weeks old, 200–250?g) were divided into Nicotine (N) (0.5?mg/100?g body weight (BW), Nicotine Control (NC) (saline, 0.1?mL/100?g BW), Habbatus sauda oil (HS) (6.0??L/100?g BW), and Habbatus sauda Control (HSC) (corn oil, 0.1?mL/100?g BW) groups and treated for 100 days. Sperm parameters and seminiferous tubules measurements were evaluated. The N showed a significantly lower sperm motility (1.03 ± 0.05 × 106?sperm/mL) and percentage of normal (82.61 ± 0.03%) and live (93.88 ± 0.01%) sperm, higher value for the seminiferous tubule (253.36 ± 1.83??m) and lumen (100.15 ± 2.38??m) diameters and spermatogonia (19.85 ± 0.39??m) and spermatocytes (33.37 ± 0.59??m) layers, and thinner spermatid-sperm layer (22.14 ± 0.71??m) than the NC (P < 0.05). The HS had significantly higher sperm motility (1.49 ± 0.04 × 106?sperm/mL) and percentage of normal (90.61 ± 0.01%) and live (96.98 ± 0.01%) sperm, smaller lumen diameter (67.53 ± 2.34??m) and thinner spermatogonia (17.67 ± 0.32??m) and wider spermatid-sperm (36.95 ± 0.79??m) layers than the HSC (P < 0.05). This research confirmed that nicotine reduced sperm motility and morphology of normal and live sperms and also affected the testis histology, while Habbatus sauda oil increased sperm quality and gave better testis histological features. PMID:24982686

Hashim, Noor Hashida; Hasan Adli, Durriyyah Sharifah



Effects of Nigella sativa (Habbatus sauda) Oil and Nicotine Chronic Treatments on Sperm Parameters and Testis Histological Features of Rats.  


Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley male rats (7-9 weeks old, 200-250?g) were divided into Nicotine (N) (0.5?mg/100?g body weight (BW), Nicotine Control (NC) (saline, 0.1?mL/100?g BW), Habbatus sauda oil (HS) (6.0? ? L/100?g BW), and Habbatus sauda Control (HSC) (corn oil, 0.1?mL/100?g BW) groups and treated for 100 days. Sperm parameters and seminiferous tubules measurements were evaluated. The N showed a significantly lower sperm motility (1.03 ± 0.05 × 10(6)?sperm/mL) and percentage of normal (82.61 ± 0.03%) and live (93.88 ± 0.01%) sperm, higher value for the seminiferous tubule (253.36 ± 1.83? ? m) and lumen (100.15 ± 2.38? ? m) diameters and spermatogonia (19.85 ± 0.39? ? m) and spermatocytes (33.37 ± 0.59? ? m) layers, and thinner spermatid-sperm layer (22.14 ± 0.71? ? m) than the NC (P < 0.05). The HS had significantly higher sperm motility (1.49 ± 0.04 × 10(6)?sperm/mL) and percentage of normal (90.61 ± 0.01%) and live (96.98 ± 0.01%) sperm, smaller lumen diameter (67.53 ± 2.34? ? m) and thinner spermatogonia (17.67 ± 0.32? ? m) and wider spermatid-sperm (36.95 ± 0.79? ? m) layers than the HSC (P < 0.05). This research confirmed that nicotine reduced sperm motility and morphology of normal and live sperms and also affected the testis histology, while Habbatus sauda oil increased sperm quality and gave better testis histological features. PMID:24982686

Cho Ping, Ng; Hashim, Noor Hashida; Hasan Adli, Durriyyah Sharifah



Osmotic tolerance of avian spermatozoa: influence of time, temperature, cryoprotectant and membrane ion pump function on sperm viability.  


Potential factors influencing sperm survival under hypertonic conditions were evaluated in the Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) and turkey (Meleagridis gallopavo). Sperm osmotolerance (300-3000 mOsm/kg) was evaluated after: (1) equilibration times of 2, 10, 45 and 60 min at 4 degrees C versus 21 degrees C; (2) pre-equilibrating with dimethylacetamide (DMA) or dimethylsulfoxide (Me2SO) at either 4 degrees C or 21 degrees C; and (3) inhibition of the Na+/K+ and the Na+/H+ antiporter membrane ionic pumps. Sperm viability was assessed using the eosin-nigrosin live/dead stain. Species-specific differences occurred in response to hypertonic conditions with crane sperm remaining viable under extreme hypertonicity (3000 mOsm/kg), whereas turkey sperm viability was compromised with only slightly hypertonic (500 mOsm/kg) conditions. The timing of spermolysis under hypertonic conditions was also species-specific, with a shorter interval for turkey (2 min) than crane (10 min) sperm. Turkey sperm osmotolerance was slightly improved by lowering the incubation temperature from 21 to 4 degrees C. Pre-equilibrating sperm with DMA reduced the incidence of hypertonic spermolysis only in the crane, at both room and refrigeration temperature. Inhibiting the Na+/K+ and the Na+/H+ antiporter membrane ion pumps did not impair resistance of crane and turkey spermatozoa to hypertonic stress; pump inhibition actually increased turkey sperm survival compared to control sperm. Results demonstrate marked species specificity in osmotolerance between crane and turkey sperm, as well as in the way temperature and time of exposure affect sperm survival under hypertonic conditions. Differences are independent of the role of osmotic pumps in these species. PMID:18005955

Blanco, Juan M; Long, Julie A; Gee, George; Donoghue, Ann M; Wildt, David E



Roles of extracellular ions and pH in 5-HT-induced sperm motility in marine bivalve.  


Factors that inhibit and stimulate the initiation of sperm motility were determined for Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum), Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), and Japanese scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis). Compared with artificial seawater (ASW), serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine creatinine sulfate, 5-HT) could fully trigger sperm motility and increase sperm velocity and motility duration. Sperm motility was decreased in ASW at pH 6.5-7.0 and suppressed at pH 4.0. In Manila clam and Pacific oyster, 5-HT could overcome the inhibitory effects of acidic pH on sperm motility. In the presence of nigericin (a K(+)/H(+) exchanger), sperm motility was only triggered at pH 8.3. Testicular fluid K(+) concentrations were two- to fourfold higher than that in ASW. Sperm motility and velocity were decreased in ASW or 5-HT containing ?40? mM K(+) or ?2.5? mM 4-aminopyridine, suggesting K(+) efflux requirement to initiate motility. Sperm motility and velocity were reduced in ASW or 5-HT containing EGTA or W-7, suggesting that extracellular Ca(2)(+) is required for Ca(2)(+)/calmodulin-dependent flagellar beating. Ca(2)(+) influx occurs via Ca(2)(+) channels because sperm motility and velocity were decreased in both ASW and 5-HT containing T-type and L-type Ca(2)(+) channel blockers. 5-HT-dependent initiation of sperm motility was associated with intracellular Ca(2)(+) rise, which was comparable to that seen in ASW but was not observed in the presence of EGTA or a Ca(2)(+) channel blocker. Extracellular Na(+) is also essential for sperm motility initiation via regulation of Na(+)/Ca(2)(+) exchange. Overall, 5-HT-dependent initiation of sperm motility in marine bivalve mollusks is an osmolality-independent mechanism and regulated by extracellular pH, K(+), Ca(2)(+), and Na(+). PMID:24398874

Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad Hadi; Matsumura, Natsuki; Shiba, Kogiku; Itoh, Naoki; Takahashi, Keisuke G; Inaba, Kazuo; Osada, Makoto



Key parameters of sperm motion in relation to male fertility in rats given alpha-chlorohydrin or nitrobenzene.  


This study was undertaken to detect key parameters of rat sperm motion in relation to male fertility by comparing the differences in sperm motion induced by treatment with alpha-chlorohydrin (ACH), known to produce spermatotoxicity, and nitrobenzene (NTB), known to produce testicular toxicity. Male rats received ACH (5 or 20 mg/kg/day) or NTB (60 mg/kg/day) for either 3 days or 18 days. Epididymal sperm was assessed for motility using a Hamilton-Thorne Sperm Analyzer (HTM-IVOS). Numerical data for statistical analysis and graphical renditions of sperm motion using parameters in radar charts and reconstructed sperm tracks were analyzed to evaluate sperm motion. Males were allowed to copulate with untreated females and cesarean sections were conducted in order to examine the effects of drug administration on male fertility. Linearity of sperm track (linearity (LIN) and/or straightness (STR)) decreased and/or beat cross frequency (BCF) increased only in ACH groups (5 or 20 mg/kg/day), although the percentage of motile sperm, sperm velocities (average path velocity (VAP), curvilinear (VCL), and straight line velocity (VSL)) and amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALH) decreased on Day 18 in both ACH and NTB (60 mg/kg/day) groups. Furthermore, from the individual reconstructed sperm tracks, it was clear that ACH-treated spermatozoa were characterized by abnormal motion ("jerking") with low vigor (low velocities) and little or no forward progression. Finally, only ACH treatment led to a reduction in pregnancy rate or infertility. Therefore, our results suggest that linearity (especially VSL, STR and LIN) in sperm motion is a key parameter for assessing a chemical's potential to induce male infertility. PMID:15467271

Kawaguchi, Takashi; Kawachi, Mamoru; Morikawa, Makoto; Kazuta, Hiroki; Shibata, Kenji; Ishida, Mayumi; Kitagawa, Naoko; Matsuo, Asaki; Kadota, Toshihito




EPA Science Inventory

Sperm motion analysis following exposure to a reproductive toxicant is one means of evaluating the functional integrity of the testes and epididymis. n this study we sought to determine whether the method used to collect sperm from the proximal cauda epididymidis, where sperm are...


Cryopreservation of Sperm in Common Carp Cyprinus carpio: Sperm Motility and Hatching Success of Embryos  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this study, fish sperm cryopreservation methods were elaborated upon for ex situ conservation of nine strains of Bohemian common carp. Common carp sperm were diluted in Kurokura medium and chilled to 4°C and dimethyl sulfoxide was added. Cryotubes of sperm with media were then cooled from +4 to ?9°C at a rate of 4°C min?1 and then from ?9

Otomar Linhart; Marek Rodina; Jacky Cosson



Sperm competition in a fish with external fertilization: the contribution of sperm number, speed and length  

Microsoft Academic Search

bluegill; fish; mechanism; raffle; speed; sperm competition; sperm number. Abstract The role of sperm number and quality in male competitiveness was investigated using in vitro fertilization experiments with bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Bluegill males use one of three mating tactics: 'sneakers', which streak spawn; 'satellites', which mimic females; and 'parentals', which are territorial. The in vitro experiments mimicked natural spawning by




Wild bee species increase tomato production and respond differently to surrounding land use in Northern California  

Microsoft Academic Search

Pollination provided by bees enhances the production of many crops. However, the contribution of wild bees remains unmeasured for many crops, and the effects of anthropogenic change on many bee species are unstudied. We experimentally investigated how pollination by wild bees affects tomato production in northern California. We found that wild bees substantially increase the production of field-grown tomato, a

Sarah S. Greenleaf; Claire Kremen



Gene expression in the dimorphic sperm cells of Plumbago zeylanica: transcript profiling, diversity, and relationship to cell type.  


Plumbago zeylanica produces cytoplasmically dimorphic sperm cells that target the egg and central cell during fertilization. In mature pollen, the larger sperm cell contains numerous mitochondria, is associated with the vegetative nucleus (S(vn)), and fuses preferentially with the central cell, forming endosperm. The other, plastid-enriched sperm cell (S(ua)) fuses with the egg cell, forming the zygote and embryo. Sperm expressed genes were investigated using ESTs produced from each sperm type; differential expression was validated through suppression subtractive hybridization, custom microarrays, real-time RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The expression profiles of dimorphic sperm cells reflect a diverse and broad complement of genes, including high proportions of conserved and unknown genes, as well as distinct patterns of expression. A number of genes were highly up-regulated in the male germ line, including some genes that were differentially expressed in either the S(ua) or the S(vn). Differentially up-regulated genes in the egg-targeted S(ua) showed increased expression in transcription and translation categories, whereas the central cell-targeted S(vn) displayed expanded expression in the hormone biosynthesis category. Interestingly, the up-regulated genes expressed in the sperm cells appeared to reflect the expected post-fusion profiles of the future embryo and endosperm. As sperm cytoplasm is known to be transmitted during fertilization in this plant, sperm-contributed mRNAs are probably transported during fertilization, which could influence early embryo and endosperm development. PMID:19500307

Gou, Xiaoping; Yuan, Tong; Wei, Xiaoping; Russell, Scott D



Addition of oxytocin to semen extender improves both sperm transport to the oviduct and conception rates in pigs following AI.  


Oxytocin (OXT) contained in boar semen is known to produce uterine contraction; therefore, we hypothesized that the co-injection of OXT with sperm would improve artificial insemination (AI) using liquid or frozen-thawed boar sperm. We initially examined whether OXT added to semen extender improved sperm transport to the oviduct. Although the addition of OXT did not affect the fresh or frozen-thawed sperm motility or acrosomal integrity, it significantly increased the number of sperm in the oviduct at 6 h after AI injection with OXT, as compared with the control (P < 0.05). Moreover, some sperm were observed in the sperm reservoir of the isthmus in the OXT treatment group, whereas few sperm were observed in the control. When OXT was added to the semen extender immediately prior to AI, the conception rates were significantly higher in both fresh semen and frozen-thawed semen than in the control group (P < 0.05: liquid, 87.5% vs. 70.5%; frozen-thawed, 89.8% vs. 75.0%). From these results, we concluded that the addition of OXT to the semen extender assisted in sperm transportation from the uterus to the oviduct, which resulted in improved reproductive performance. PMID:23829601

Okazaki, Tetsuji; Ikoma, Erena; Tinen, Tukasa; Akiyoshi, Teiichi; Mori, Manabu; Teshima, Hisanori



Potential changes in rat spermatogenesis and sperm parameters after inhalation of Boswellia papyrifera and Boswellia carterii incense.  


In this study the effect of Boswellia papyrifera (B. papyrifera) and Boswellia carterii (B. carterii) smoke exposure on spermatogenesis and sperm parameters in male albino rats was investigated. Rats (n = 11) were exposed daily in smoking chambers to smoke emanated by burning 4 g each of either B. papyrifera or B. carterii for 48 days. At the end of exposure duration rats were killed, and the testes were excised and analysed for histopathological and ultrastructural changes. Sperm analysis including total sperm count, motility, velocity and relative percentage of abnormal sperms were recorded. Rats exposed to B. papyrifera and B. carterii showed significant disturbances in spermatogenetic patterns and changes in sperm kinetics compared to unexposed rats. Atrophied seminiferous tubules with dynamic changes were also noticed. The boundaries of intercellular and intracellular vacuoles were seen in the Sertoli cells. Furthermore, in spermatids acrosomal vesicles were not fully formed. Degenerating spermatids were devoid of their nuclear membrane with electron dense matrix and vacuolization. Structural changes in Leydig cells were observed. Sperm analysis in exposed rats exhibited significant decrease in the sperm count, motility, speed and an increase in sperm anomalies when compare to controls. These findings demonstrate that the B. papyrifera and B. carterii smoke affects the process of spermatogenesis and sperm parameters and indicate the detrimental effects of these incense materials on human reproductive system. PMID:23449005

Ahmed, Mukhtar; Al-Daghri, Nasser; Alokail, Majed S; Hussain, Tajamul



Smoking influence on sperm vitality, DNA fragmentation, reactive oxygen species and zinc in oligoasthenoteratozoospermic men with varicocele.  


This study aimed to assess the influence of smoking duration and intensity on sperm vitality, sperm DNA fragmentation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and zinc (Zn) levels in oligoasthenoteratozoospermic (OAT) men with varicocele (Vx). A total of 246 men were investigated who were divided into OAT nonsmokers, OAT smokers, OAT nonsmokers and OAT smokers with Vx. They were subjected to history taking, clinical examination and semen analysis. In their semen, sperm hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test, sperm DNA fragmentation test, seminal ROS and seminal Zn were assessed. The results demonstrated significantly decreased HOS test, seminal Zn level and significantly increased sperm DNA fragmentation, seminal ROS levels in OAT smokers with Vx more than OAT smokers compared with OAT nonsmokers. Smoking intensity, smoking duration and Vx grade demonstrated significant negative correlations with sperm motility, HOS test percentage and significant positive correlations with sperm DNA fragmentation, seminal ROS level. It is concluded that smoking has a negative impact on sperm progressive motility, HOS test, seminal Zn and positive impact on sperm DNA fragmentation, semen ROS level that are exaggerated if Vx is associated being correlated with smoking intensity, smoking duration and Vx grade. PMID:23866014

Taha, E A; Ezz-Aldin, A M; Sayed, S K; Ghandour, N M; Mostafa, T



Senescent sperm performance in old male birds.  


Senescence is the deterioration of the phenotype with age caused by negative effects of mutations acting late in life or the physiological deterioration of vital processes. Birds have traditionally been assumed to senescence slowly despite their high metabolic rates, high blood sugar levels and high body temperature. Here we investigate the patterns of age-related performance of sperm of a long distance migrant, the barn swallow Hirundo rustica, varying in age from 1 to 6 years, analysed by the computer-assisted sperm analysis equipment. Sperm showed deteriorating performance in terms of linear movement, track velocity, straight line velocity and reduced proportions of rapidly moving, progressive and motile sperm with age. In a second series of experiments, we assessed performance of sperm from the same males in neutral medium and in medium derived from the reproductive tract of females in an attempt to test if sperm of old males performed relatively better in female medium, as expected from extra-pair paternity being negatively related to male age, but not to female age. Older males showed consistently better performance in female medium than in neutral medium in terms of track velocity, straight line velocity and reduced proportions of rapidly moving, progressive and motile sperm, whereas young males showed better performance in neutral medium. These results provide evidence of declining sperm performance for important reproductive variables not only with age, but also with the sperm of old males performing differentially better in female medium than young males. PMID:19032491

Møller, A P; Mousseau, T A; Rudolfsen, G; Balbontín, J; Marzal, A; Hermosell, I; De Lope, F



Sperm Capacitation, the Acrosome Reaction, and Fertilization  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a Recent advances in our understanding of fertilization are summarized, highlighting newly discovered molecules implicated in\\u000a sperm interactions with the epithelia of the female reproductive system (spermadhesins, BSP-proteins), sperm-zona binding\\u000a (ZP4, ZP3R, IAM38\\/ZPBP), sperm oolemma binding and fusion (IZUMO, CD9, CD81), oocyte activation (PLCzeta, SRC-family kinases\\u000a and their activators), and pronuclear development (nucleoplasmin, oocyte-specific histones). Sperm-contributed RNAs and signaling\\u000a molecules are

Peter Sutovsky


Microdissection testicular sperm extraction: an update  

PubMed Central

Patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) were once considered to be infertile with few treatment options due to the absence of sperm in the ejaculate. In the last two decades, the advent of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and the application of various testicular sperm retrieval techniques, including fine needle aspiration (FNA), conventional testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) have revolutionized treatment in this group of men. Because most men with NOA will have isolated regions of spermatogenesis within the testis, studies have illustrated that sperm can be retrieved in most men with NOA, including Klinefelter's syndrome (KS), prior history of chemotherapy and cryptorchidism. Micro-TESE, when compared with conventional TESE has a higher sperm retrieval rate (SRR) with fewer postoperative complications and negative effects on testicular function. In this article, we will compare the efficacy of the different procedures of sperm extraction, discuss the medical treatment and the role of testosterone optimization in men with NOA and describe the micro-TESE surgical technique. Furthermore, we will update our overall experience to allow counseling on the prognosis of sperm retrieval for the specific subsets of NOA. PMID:23241638

Dabaja, Ali A; Schlegel, Peter N



Field water management to save water and increase its productivity in irrigated lowland rice  

Microsoft Academic Search

Rice production in Asia needs to increase to feed a growing population whereas water for irrigation is getting scarcer. Major challenges are to (i) save water; (ii) increase water productivity and (iii) produce more rice with less water. This study analyzes the ways in which water-saving irrigation can help to meet these challenges at the field level. The analyses are

B. A. M. Bouman; T. P. Tuong



Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product  

E-print Network

Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product Variety significantly enhance consumer surplus, for instance, by leading to lower average selling prices, our present be a significantly larger source of consumer surplus gains. One reason for increased product variety on the Internet


Overview of studies on rat sperm motion analysis using a Hamilton-Thorne Sperm Analyzer--collaborative working study.  


This collaborative study was conducted to determine the utility and sensitivity of nine sperm motion parameters generated by a Hamilton-Thorne Sperm Analyzer (HTM-IVOS) for detecting adverse effects of chemicals on sperm motion in rats. The efficacy of sperm motion parameters was investigated using nine reproductive toxicants: adriamycin, alpha-chlorohydrin (3 different studies were carried out), dinoseb, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, 2,5-hexanedione, sulfasalazine, trimethyl phosphate, and ornidazole. The percentage of motile sperm (% motile sperm), the only parameter expressing the status of semen containing non-motile sperm, detected adverse effects on sperm motion in 9 out of 10 studies. However, weak effects on sperm motion were not detected by this parameter in 4 out of 7 studies in which sperm motion disorders were noted at medium or low dosages. The percentage of progressively motile sperm (% progressive sperm) and the sperm velocity parameters (average path velocity, straight line velocity, and curvilinear velocity) detected adverse effects on sperm motion in all studies. In 7 studies which noted sperm motion disorders at medium or low dosages, weak effects on sperm motion were detected by the % progressive sperm in 5 studies and by the sperm velocity parameters in 6 studies. In 10 studies, amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALH) did not detect adverse effects on sperm motion in 4 studies, and beat cross frequency (BCF) failed to detect adverse effects on sperm motion in 3 studies. Because ALH and BCF show the swimming pattern of spermatozoa as head movement, the characteristics of these parameters are different from the % progressive sperm and the sperm velocity parameters. Straightness (STR) and linearity (LIN), which are secondary parameters calculated from sperm velocity parameters, could not detect adverse effects on sperm motion when the sperm velocity parameters did not detect adverse effects. On the basis of these results, we concluded that the % progressive sperm and sperm velocity parameters are useful and sensitive indicators for detecting adverse effects on sperm motion. However, in the % progressive sperm, setting up a suitable threshold of VAP and/or STR is important to gain further sensitivity for detecting adverse effects on sperm motion. The % motile sperm is useful for assessment of sperm motion disorder, and ALH and BCF are useful for evaluating the swimming pattern of sperm. STR and LIN are not very useful for detecting adverse effects on sperm motion. PMID:11871125

Kato, M; Fukunishi, K; Ikegawa, S; Higuchi, H; Sato, M; Horimoto, M; Ito, S



A mixture of extracts from Peruvian plants (black maca and yacon) improves sperm count and reduced glycemia in mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.  


We investigated the effect of two extracts from Peruvian plants given alone or in a mixture on sperm count and glycemia in streptozotocin-diabetic mice. Normal or diabetic mice were divided in groups receiving vehicle, black maca (Lepidium meyenii), yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) or three mixtures of extracts black maca/yacon (90/10, 50/50 and 10/90%). Normal or diabetic mice were treated for 7?d with each extract, mixture or vehicle. Glycemia, daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal and vas deferens sperm counts in mice and polyphenol content, and antioxidant activity in each extract were assessed. Black maca (BM), yacon and the mixture of extracts reduced glucose levels in diabetic mice. Non-diabetic mice treated with BM and yacon showed higher DSP than those treated with vehicle (p?increased DSP, and sperm count in vas deferens and epididymis with respect to non-diabetic and diabetic mice treated with vehicle (p?increased 1.43 times the liver weight that was reversed with the assessed plants extracts. In summary, streptozotocin-induced diabetes resulted in reduction in sperm counts and liver damage. These effects could be reduced with BM, yacon and the BM+yacon mixture. PMID:23489070

Gonzales, Gustavo F; Gonzales-Castañeda, Cynthia; Gasco, Manuel



Cryopreservation of hormonally induced sperm for the conservation of threatened amphibians with Rana temporaria as a model research species.  


The survival of hundreds of threatened amphibian species is increasingly dependent on conservation breeding programs (CBPs). However, there is an ongoing loss of genetic variation in CBPs for most amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Low genetic variation results in the failure of CBPs to provide genetically competent individuals for release in supplementation or rehabitation programs. In contrast, in the aquaculture of fish the perpetuation of genetic variation and the production of large numbers of genetically competent individuals for release is accomplished through the cryopreservation of sperm. Successful protocols for the cryopreservation of amphibian sperm from excised testes, and the use of motile frozen then thawed sperm for fertilisation, have been adapted from those used with fish. However, there have been no protocols published for the cryopreservation of amphibian hormonally induced sperm (HIS) that have achieved fertility. We investigated protocols for the cryopreservation of amphibian HIS with the European common frog (Rana temporaria) as a model research species. We induced spermiation in R. temporaria through the intraperitoneal administration of 50 ?g LHRHa and sampled HIS through expression in spermic urine. Highly motile HIS at a concentration of 200 × 10(6)/mL was then mixed 1:1 with cryodiluents to form cryosuspensions. Initial studies showed that; 1) concentrations of ?15 × 10(6)/mL of HIS achieve maximum fertilisation, 2) TRIS buffer in cryodiluents did not improve the recovery of sperm after cryopreservation, and 3) high concentrations of DMSO (dimethylsulphoxide) cryoprotectant reduce egg and larval survival. We then compared four optimised cryopreservation protocols for HIS with the final concentrations of cryodiluents in cryosuspensions of; 1) DMSO, (½ Ringer Solution (RS), 10% sucrose, 12% DMSO); 2) DMSO/egg yolk, (½ RS, 10% sucrose, 12% DMSO, 10% egg yolk), 3) DMFA, (½ RS, 10% sucrose, 12% dimethylformamide (DMFA)), and 4) MIS/glycerol, (Motility Inhibiting Saline (MIS), 5% glycerol, 2.5% sucrose, 5% egg yolk). Cryosuspensions were frozen in LN(2) vapour, stored in LN(2), thawed in 40° C water bath, and activated by slow equilibration with 1:3 dilutions of cryosuspensions with 20 mM/L NaCl. Protocol efficacies were assessed through the post-thaw percentage of; 1) sperm motility, 2) sperm membrane integrity, 3) fertilisation, 4) fertilised eggs hatching, and 5) larval survival from fertilised eggs to 7 d. The DMFA cryodiluent proved superior to the DMSO based cryodiluents in recovery of sperm motility and fertility after cryopreservation. MIS/glycerol cryodiluent provided low sperm viability and no fertility. Considering the ease of obtaining HIS from many Rana species, the success of our protocols offer the potential for the perpetuation of the genetic variation of the 42 threatened Rana species and the 193 threatened Ranid species in total. PMID:21040966

Shishova, N R; Uteshev, V K; Kaurova, S A; Browne, R K; Gakhova, E N



Effects of Tyrode's solution osmolarities and milk on bull sperm storage above zero temperatures  

PubMed Central

Background: Control of the medium osmolarity and temperature during long or short time sperm manipulation is essential. Objective: The objectives of the present study were to find the effects of different osmolarities of modified Tyrode's solution and milk on the bull sperm during incubation at above zero temperatures. Materials and Methods: Semen samples were collected twice from five Najdi bull. Centrifuged and most parts of seminal plasma were removed. First experiment: The concentrated semen were splited into nine aliquots to incubate in three different osmolarities (200, 300 and 400 mOsm) at three temperatures (5, 25 and 39°C) for 15 and 60 min of incubation. Second experiment: The semen samples were splited, mixed with the same volume of whole cow milk (5 and 25°C) and milk with 7% glycerol (5°C) and incubated for 15 and 60 min. Results: Sperm motility severely affected (p<0.05) by incubation at low ionic tension (200 mOsm/l) especially at low temperature (5°C). The impact of low osmolarity on sperm viability can reduce by increasing the incubation temperature to 39°C. The decreased sperm motility, which was induced by lowering osmolarity, was not improved (p>0.05) by increasing temperature during 1 h of incubation. Milk can protect the sperm viability and motility at cool conditions and there is no beneficial effect of glycerol in combination of milk on sperm incubation at above zero temperatures (p<0.05). Conclusion: Iso- and hyper-osmotic solutions protect bull sperm motility and viability at 25 and 39°C, while milk can be used for protecting sperm at 5°C.

Barati, Farid; Papahn, Ahmad Ali; Afrough, Mahsa; Barati, Mohammad



Oxytocin increases extrapancreatic glucagon secretion and glucose production in pancreatectomized dogs  

SciTech Connect

Infusion of oxytocin into normal dogs increases plasma levels of insulin and glucagon and glucose production and uptake. To determine whether infused oxytocin also increases glucagon secretion from extrapancreatic sites, pancreatectomized dogs, off insulin of 18 hr, were infused with oxytocin and plasma glucagon, and glucose production and uptake were measured using the (6-/sup 3/H)glucose primer-infusion technique. The diabetic dogs, in the control period, had elevated plasma glucose and glucagon levels, an increased rate of glucose production, and a relative decrease in glucose uptake (decreased clearance). Infusion of oxytocin (500 caused a rise in plasma glucagon and glucose levels, increased glucose production, and further decreased glucose clearance. it is concluded that oxytocin can stimulate secretion of extrapancreatic glucagon, which contributes to the increased glucose production.

Altszuler, N.; Puma, F.; Winkler, B.; Fontan, N.; Saudek, C.D.



Single layer centrifugation (SLC) improves sperm quality of cryopreserved Blanca-Celtibérica buck semen.  


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of sperm selection by means of single layer centrifugation (SLC) on sperm quality after cryopreservation, either when SLC is used before freezing or after thawing, using Blanca-Celtibérica buck semen collected by electroejaculation (EE). Ejaculates from six bucks were collected by EE and divided into two aliquots. One of them (unselected) was diluted with Biladyl(®) by the two-step method and frozen over nitrogen vapor. The other aliquot was selected by the SLC technique and subsequently frozen in the same way as the unselected samples (SLC before freezing). In a further treatment, two unselected straws were thawed and SLC was carried out (SLC after thawing). At thawing, sperm motility of all samples ((i) unselected; (ii) selected before freezing and (iii) selected after thawing) was evaluated by CASA. In addition, integrity of the plasma membrane, mitochondrial membrane potential, ROS production and DNA fragmentation index were assessed by flow cytometry. Most of the sperm parameters were improved (P?0.001) in samples selected by SLC after thawing in relation to unselected or selected by SLC before freezing. The percentage of progressive motile spermatozoa was greater (86%) for sperm samples selected after thawing compared with unselected (58%) or selected before freezing (54%). Moreover, percentages of spermatozoa with intact plasma membrane and spermatozoa with high mitochondrial membrane potential (hMMP) were also greater for sperm samples selected after thawing compared to sperm samples unselected or selected before freezing (spermatozoa with intact plasma membrane: 80% vs. 32% vs. 12%; spermatozoa with hMMP: 54% vs. 1% vs. 15%; respectively). Therefore, sperm quality after cryopreservation is improved in Blanca-Celtibérica buck ejaculates collected by EE when a sperm selection technique such as SLC is carried out after thawing. PMID:23084569

Jiménez-Rabadán, P; Morrell, J M; Johannisson, A; Ramón, M; García-Álvarez, O; Maroto-Morales, A; Alvaro-García, P J; Pérez-Guzmán, M D; Fernández-Santos, M R; Garde, J J; Soler, A J



XY sperm separation and use in artificial insemination and other ARTs.  


Many tens of thousands of calves resulting from artificial insemination (AI) have been born worldwide after XY sperm separation and commercial production is underway in several countries. Accuracy of sex selection is some 90% and can be achieved both in research facilities and at AI studs in rural locations. Most facilities sort X- sperm which have also be utilised for superovulation and embryo transfer projects and for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) as well as AI. Sort rates of some 15 x 10(6) sperm/h are currently achievable and are used for low dose insemination, generally at 2 x 10(6) frozen sperm per dose, at a minimum of 35% post thaw motility. Pregnancy rates are some 70% to 80% of normal "high" dose unsexed inseminates. Good herd management is essential for high pregnancy rates with sexed sperm. In addition to cattle, offspring of predetermined sex have been born in the human, sheep, pig, horse, rabbit, elk, buffalo, cat and dolphin. Each species has its own challenge with regard to sperm handling and insemination procedure. In pigs, horses and sheep, the available dose of sexed sperm is very considerably lower than that which is used for conventional AI and special approaches have been devised for each species. In the pig a flexible catheter has been used to deliver a small dose of semen as close to the site of ovulation as possible. In the horse, hysteroscopic insemination at the utero tubal junction has resulted in fertilisation and, in the sheep, laparoscopic insemination into the uterus is the standard procedure for both sexed and unsexed sperm. Further advances in the efficiency of sorting together with improvements in sperm handling should result in acceptable pregnancy rates in these species. PMID:17644986

Cran, David G



Semen Quality and Sperm Function Loss by Hypercholesterolemic Diet Was Recovered by Addition of Olive Oil to Diet in Rabbit  

PubMed Central

Fat increment (0.05% cholesterol, chol) in standard diet promoted a significant increase in serum and sperm membrane chol, which ultimately altered membrane-coupled sperm specific functions: osmotic resistance, acrosomal reaction, and sperm capacitation in White New Zealand rabbits. These changes were also associated with a reduction in motility percentage and appearance of abnormal sperm morphology. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of dietary olive oil (OO, 7% v/w) administration to several male hypercholesterolemic rabbits (hypercholesterolemic rabbits, HCR) with altered fertility parameters. These HCR males were achieved by feeding normal rabbits with a high-fat diet (0.05% chol). HCR were associated with a modest non-significant increase in body weight (standard diet, 4.08±0.17 Kg, versus high-fat diet, 4.37±0.24 Kg). Hypercholesterolemic rabbits presented a marked decrease in semen volume, sperm cell count, and percentage of sperm motility, associated with a significant increase in sperm cell abnormalities. Moreover, sperm capacitation measured by the characteristic phosphorylated protein pattern in and induced acrosomal reaction were also altered suggesting sperm dysfunction. However, the administration of OO (for 16 weeks) to rabbits that were fed with 50% of the high-fat diet normalized serum chol. Curiously, OO supply succeeded to attenuate the seminal and sperm alterations observed in HCR group. Administration of OO alone did not cause any significant changes in above mentioned parameters. These data suggest that OO administration to HCR male rabbits recovers the loss of semen quality and sperm functionality. PMID:23326331

Romero, Aida A.; Funes, Abi K.; Cid-Barria, Macarena; Cabrillana, María E.; Monclus, María A.; Simón, Layla; Vicenti, Amanda E.; Fornés, Miguel W.



Sex-peptide is the molecular basis of the sperm effect in Drosophila melanogaster  

PubMed Central

Mating elicits two major changes in the reproductive behavior of many insect females. The egg-laying rate increases and the readiness to accept males (receptivity) is reduced. These postmating responses last ?1 week in Drosophila melanogaster. Males that do not transfer sperm but transfer seminal fluid during mating induce a short-term response of 1 day. The long-term response of 1 week requires the presence of sperm (sperm effect). Hence, sperm is essential for the long-term persistence of the postmating responses. Three seminal fluid peptides elicit postmating responses: ovulin, sex-peptide (SP), and DUP99B. Using the technique of targeted mutagenesis by homologous recombination, we have produced males with mutant SP genes. Here, we report that males lacking functional SP elicit only a weak short-term response. However, these males do transfer sperm. Thus, (i) SP is the major agent eliciting the short-term and the long-term postmating responses and (ii) sperm is merely the carrier for SP. The second conclusion is supported by the finding that SP binds to sperm. The 36-aa-encoding SP gene is the first small Drosophila gene knocked out with the method of homologous recombination. PMID:12897240

Liu, Huanfa; Kubli, Eric



Re-feeding food-deprived male meadow voles affects the sperm allocation of their rival males  

PubMed Central

An individual’s nutritional status affects the manner in which same- and opposite-sex conspecifics respond to that individual, which may affect their fitness. Male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm allocation if they encounter the scent mark of an unfamiliar male that is not nutritionally challenged. If, however, the scent mark comes from a male that has been food deprived for 24 hours, stud male voles do not increase their sperm allocation. Food deprived males may be viewed as being lower quality and a reduced risk of sperm competition by rival males. We hypothesized that stud males in promiscuous mating systems tailor their sperm allocations depending on whether rival males have been food deprived and then re-fed. We predicted that newly re-fed males will be considered a strong risk of sperm competition because of the potentially high fitness and survival costs associated with food deprivation in males, and that they will cause stud males to increase their sperm allocation. Our results, however, showed that the recovery period from 24 hours of food deprivation was a relatively slow process. It took between 96 hours and 336 hours of re-feeding male scent donors that were food deprived for 24 hours to induce stud males to increase their sperm allocation to levels comparable to when scent donors were not food deprived. Stud male voles may be conserving the amount of sperm allocated until the male scent donors have recovered from food deprivation and subsequent re-feeding. PMID:23185098

Vaughn, Ashlee A.; delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.



Re-feeding food-deprived male meadow voles affects the sperm allocation of their rival males.  


An individual's nutritional status affects the manner in which same- and opposite-sex conspecifics respond to that individual, which may affect their fitness. Male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm allocation if they encounter the scent mark of an unfamiliar male that is not nutritionally challenged. If, however, the scent mark comes from a male that has been food deprived for 24 hours, stud male voles do not increase their sperm allocation. Food deprived males may be viewed as being lower quality and a reduced risk of sperm competition by rival males. We hypothesized that stud males in promiscuous mating systems tailor their sperm allocations depending on whether rival males have been food deprived and then re-fed. We predicted that newly re-fed males will be considered a strong risk of sperm competition because of the potentially high fitness and survival costs associated with food deprivation in males, and that they will cause stud males to increase their sperm allocation. Our results, however, showed that the recovery period from 24 hours of food deprivation was a relatively slow process. It took between 96 hours and 336 hours of re-feeding male scent donors that were food deprived for 24 hours to induce stud males to increase their sperm allocation to levels comparable to when scent donors were not food deprived. Stud male voles may be conserving the amount of sperm allocated until the male scent donors have recovered from food deprivation and subsequent re-feeding. PMID:23185098

Vaughn, Ashlee A; Delbarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H



The effects of radiation on sperm swimming behavior depend on plasma oxidative status in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).  


Sperm are highly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can damage sperm DNA and structure, resulting in reduced fertilizing capacity. Exposure to radioactive contamination can also impair sperm swimming behavior and fertilizing ability, both through a reduction of sperm DNA integrity and via an increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the relationship between individual oxidative status and sperm swimming behavior has never been investigated in any wild population of animals exposed to radioactive contamination. We studied the motility of sperm collected from barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, breeding under different levels of radioactive contamination following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, in relation to individual oxidative status. We tested the hypothesis that the degree of impairment of sperm swimming behavior by radioactive contamination depended on plasma antioxidant capacity, the level of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) and oxidative stress (sensu Costantini et al. 2006), a better oxidative status being associated with higher sperm motility. Sperm behavior parameters were subjected to principal component (PC) analysis, which extracted four PCs explaining 86% of the variance in sperm motility. PC2, representing sperm with high track velocity and ample lateral head displacement, was significantly predicted by the interaction between radiation level and either oxidative damage or oxidative stress. Contrary to our predictions, the highest values of PC2 were associated with relatively high radiation levels, particularly for high levels of either ROMs or oxidative stress. In addition, there was a tendency for values of PC3 (representing the percent of motile sperm) and PC4 (representing slow sperm with high beat cross frequency) to depend on the interaction between radiation level and total plasma antioxidant protection. Our results confirm the importance of oxidative status in determining the genetic and physiological outcome of exposure to radioactive contamination, complementing previous studies relating sperm abnormality to circulating levels of specific antioxidants. Our results also complement previous evidence that oxidative damage of sperm was negatively related to sperm motility, thus indicating a possible trade-off in quenching pro-oxidant compounds in the plasma and the seminal fluid. PMID:21295152

Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Møller, Anders Pape; Rudolfsen, Geir; Saino, Nicola; Caprioli, Manuela; Ostermiller, Shanna; Mousseau, Timothy A



Sperm from neonatal mammalian testes grafted in mice.  


Spermatogenesis is a productive and highly organized process that generates virtually unlimited numbers of sperm during adulthood. Continuous proliferation and differentiation of germ cells occur in a delicate balance with other testicular compartments, especially the supporting Sertoli cells. Many complex aspects of testis function in humans and large animals have remained elusive because of a lack of suitable in vitro or in vivo models. Germ cell transplantation has produced complete donor-derived spermatogenesis in rodents but not in other mammalian species. Production of sperm in grafted tissue from immature mammalian testes and across species has not yet been accomplished. Here we report the establishment of complete spermatogenesis by grafting testis tissue from newborn mice, pigs or goats into mouse hosts. This approach maintains structural integrity and provides the accessibility that is essential for studying and manipulating the function of testes and for preserving the male germ line. Our results indicate that this approach is applicable to diverse mammalian species. PMID:12181567

Honaramooz, Ali; Snedaker, Amy; Boiani, Michele; Schöler, Hans; Dobrinski, Ina; Schlatt, Stefan



Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Using DNA-Fragmented Sperm in Mice Negatively Affects Embryo-Derived Embryonic Stem Cells, Reduces the Fertility of Male Offspring and Induces Heritable Changes in Epialleles  

PubMed Central

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in mice using DNA-fragmented sperm (DFS) has been linked to an increased risk of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities both in embryos and offspring. This study examines: whether embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from DFS-ICSI embryos reflect the abnormalities observed in the DFS-ICSI progeny; the effect of DFS-ICSI on male fertility; and whether DFS-ICSI induces epigenetic changes that lead to a modified heritable phenotype. DFS-ICSI-produced embryos showed a low potential to generate ESC lines. However, these lines had normal karyotype accompanied by early gene expression alterations, though a normal expression pattern was observed after several passages. The fertility of males in the DFS-ICSI and control groups was compared by mating test. Sperm quantity, vaginal plug and pregnancy rates were significantly lower for the DFS-ICSI-produced males compared to in vivo-produced mice, while the number of females showing resorptions was higher. The epigenetic effects of DFS-ICSI were assessed by analyzing the phenotype rendered by the Axin1Fu allele, a locus that is highly sensitive to epigenetic perturbations. Oocytes were injected with spermatozoa from Axin1Fu/+ mice and the DFS-ICSI-generated embryos were transferred to females. A significantly higher proportion of pups expressed the active kinky-tail epiallele in the DFS-ICSI group than the controls. In conclusion: 1) ESCs cannot be used as a model of DFS-ICSI; 2) DFS-ICSI reduces sperm production and fertility in the male progeny; and 3) DFS-ICSI affects the postnatal expression of a defined epigenetically sensitive allele and this modification may be inherited across generations. PMID:24743851

Fernandez-Gonzalez, Raul; Laguna-Barraza, Ricardo; Pericuesta, Eva; Calero, Antonia; Ramirez, Miguel Angel; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso



Intracytoplasmic sperm injection using DNA-fragmented sperm in mice negatively affects embryo-derived embryonic stem cells, reduces the fertility of male offspring and induces heritable changes in epialleles.  


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in mice using DNA-fragmented sperm (DFS) has been linked to an increased risk of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities both in embryos and offspring. This study examines: whether embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from DFS-ICSI embryos reflect the abnormalities observed in the DFS-ICSI progeny; the effect of DFS-ICSI on male fertility; and whether DFS-ICSI induces epigenetic changes that lead to a modified heritable phenotype. DFS-ICSI-produced embryos showed a low potential to generate ESC lines. However, these lines had normal karyotype accompanied by early gene expression alterations, though a normal expression pattern was observed after several passages. The fertility of males in the DFS-ICSI and control groups was compared by mating test. Sperm quantity, vaginal plug and pregnancy rates were significantly lower for the DFS-ICSI-produced males compared to in vivo-produced mice, while the number of females showing resorptions was higher. The epigenetic effects of DFS-ICSI were assessed by analyzing the phenotype rendered by the Axin1Fu allele, a locus that is highly sensitive to epigenetic perturbations. Oocytes were injected with spermatozoa from Axin1Fu/+ mice and the DFS-ICSI-generated embryos were transferred to females. A significantly higher proportion of pups expressed the active kinky-tail epiallele in the DFS-ICSI group than the controls. In conclusion: 1) ESCs cannot be used as a model of DFS-ICSI; 2) DFS-ICSI reduces sperm production and fertility in the male progeny; and 3) DFS-ICSI affects the postnatal expression of a defined epigenetically sensitive allele and this modification may be inherited across generations. PMID:24743851

Ramos-Ibeas, Priscila; Calle, Alexandra; Fernández-González, Raúl; Laguna-Barraza, Ricardo; Pericuesta, Eva; Calero, Antonia; Ramírez, Miguel Ángel; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso



Combining sperm plug genotyping and coat color chimerism predicts germline transmission.  


There has been a significant increase in the use of C57BL/6N-derived ES cells for the production of gene knockout mice. However, the potential for germline transmission (GLT) from chimeras on this genetic background has been observed to be highly variable. Using coat color as an indicator of somatic chimerism to infer the extent of chimeric contribution to the germ cell population, even highly agouti C57BL/6N-derived chimeras can fail to achieve GLT. We investigated the extent to which quantitative PCR genotyping for a marker gene expressed in gene targeted ES cells can be performed on DNA extracted from sperm present in copulatory plugs to determine the contribution of ES cells to the germ cells. We found that an objective assessment of sperm DNA from copulatory plugs combined with a subjective assessment of coat color chimerism can be used to accurately inform the selection of chimeras for breeding that are likely to achieve GLT. These results indicate that, compared to random selection of chimeras, including an analysis of copulatory plugs to set chimeras for breeding can help to reduce costs, minimize time, and facilitate research for projects requiring the production, selection, breeding, and testing of chimeras to generate gene-targeted mice. PMID:23860911

Lee, Angus Yiu-Fai; Evans, Kristin; Willis, Brandon; Lloyd, K C Kent



Increasing Student Interest and Comprehension of Production Planning and Control and Operations Performance Measurement Concepts Using a Production Line Game  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Production planning and control (PPC) systems and operations performance measures are topics that students generally find both boring and difficult to understand. In the article, the authors present a production line game that they have found to be an effective tool to increase student interest in the topics as well as student comprehension. The…

Cox, James F., III; Walker, Edward D., II



Sperm motility initiation and duration in a euryhaline fish, medaka (Oryzias latipes)  

PubMed Central

The medaka, Oryzias latipes, is a well-recognized fish model for biomedical research. An understanding of gamete characteristics is necessary for experimental manipulations such as artificial fertilization and sperm cryopreservation. The goal of this study was to investigate sperm characteristics of motility initiation, duration, and retention in medaka. First, motility was initiated by osmolality values ranging from 25 to 686 mOsm/kg, which included deionized water and hypotonic, isotonic, and hypertonic Hanks’ balanced salt solution. The percentage of motile sperm was >80% when osmolality was <315 mOsm/kg and decreased as osmolality increased. This is different from most fish with external fertilization in which sperm motility can be initiated by hypotonic (for freshwater fish) or hypertonic (for marine fish) solutions or by altering the concentration of specific ions such as potassium (e.g., in salmonids). Second, upon activation, the sperm remained continuously motile, with reserve capacity, for as long as 1 wk during storage at 4 °C. This was also different from other externally fertilizing fish, in which motility is typically maintained for seconds to several minutes. Third, after changing the osmolality to 46 to 68 mOsm/kg by adding deionized water, the motility of sperm held at 274 to 500 mOsm/kg was higher than the original motility (P ? 0.035) after 24, 48, and 72 h of storage at 4 °C. Fourth, the addition of glucose had no effect on maintaining sperm motility during refrigerated storage. To our knowledge, this combination of sperm motility characteristics is reported for the first time in fish and may be unique to medaka or may represent an undescribed modality of sperm behavior within euryhaline fish. PMID:19464046

Yang, H.; Tiersch, T.R.



Reactive oxygen species mediate pollen tube rupture to release sperm for fertilization in Arabidopsis  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In flowering plants, sperm are transported inside pollen tubes to the female gametophyte for fertilization. The female gametophyte induces rupture of the penetrating pollen tube, resulting in sperm release and rendering them available for fertilization. Here we utilize the Arabidopsis FERONIA (FER) receptor kinase mutants, whose female gametophytes fail to induce pollen tube rupture, to decipher the molecular mechanism of this critical male-female interactive step. We show that FER controls the production of high levels of reactive oxygen species at the entrance to the female gametophyte to induce pollen tube rupture and sperm release. Pollen tube growth assays in vitro and in the pistil demonstrate that hydroxyl free radicals are likely the most reactive oxygen molecules, and they induce pollen tube rupture in a Ca2+-dependent process involving Ca2+ channel activation. Our results provide evidence for a RHO GTPase-based signalling mechanism to mediate sperm release for fertilization in plants.

Duan, Qiaohong; Kita, Daniel; Johnson, Eric A.; Aggarwal, Mini; Gates, Laura; Wu, Hen-Ming; Cheung, Alice Y.



Sperm Proteomics Reveals Intensified Selection on Mouse Sperm Membrane and Acrosome Genes  

PubMed Central

Spermatozoa are a focal point for the impact of sexual selection due to sperm competition and sperm–female interactions in a wide range of sexually reproducing organisms. In-depth molecular investigation of the ramifications of these selective regimes has been limited due to a lack of information concerning the molecular composition of sperm. In this study, we utilize three previously published proteomic data sets in conjunction with our whole mouse sperm proteomic analysis to delineate cellular regions of sperm most impacted by positive selection. Interspecific analysis reveals robust evolutionary acceleration of sperm cell membrane genes (which include genes encoding acrosomal and sperm cell surface proteins) relative to other sperm genes, and evidence for positive selection in approximately 22% of sperm cell membrane components was obtained using maximum likelihood models. The selective forces driving the accelerated evolution of these membrane proteins may occur at a number of locations during sperm development, maturation, and transit through the female reproductive tract where the sperm cell membrane and eventually the acrosome are exposed to the extracellular milieu and available for direct cell–cell interactions. PMID:20080865

Dorus, Steve; Wasbrough, Elizabeth R.; Busby, Jennifer; Wilkin, Elaine C.; Karr, Timothy L.



Sex ratio in normal and disomic sperm: Evidence that the extra chromosome 21 preferentially segregates with the Y chromosome  

SciTech Connect

In humans, deviations from a 1:1 male:female ratio have been identified in both chromosomally normal and trisomic live births: among normal newborns there is a slight excess of males, among trisomy 18 live borns a large excess of females, and among trisomy 21 live borns an excess of males. These differences could arise from differential production of or fertilization by Y- or X-bearing sperm or from selection against male or female conceptions. To examine the proportion of Y- and X- bearing sperm in normal sperm and in sperm disomic for chromosomes 18 or 21, we used three-color FISH (to the X and Y and either chromosome 18 or chromosome 21) to analyze > 300,000 sperm from 24 men. In apparently normal sperm, the sex ratio was nearly 1:1 (148,074 Y-bearing to 148,657 X-bearing sperm), and the value was not affected by the age of the donor. Certain of the donors, however, had significant excesses of Y- or X-bearing sperm. In disomy 18 sperm, there were virtually identical numbers of Y- and X-bearing sperm; thus, the excess of females in trisomy 18 presumably is due to selection against male trisomic conceptions. In contrast, we observed 69 Y-bearing and 44 X-bearing sperm disomic for chromosome 21. This is consistent with previous molecular studies, which have identified an excess of males among paternally derived cases of trisomy 21, and suggests that some of the excess of males among Down syndrome individuals is attributable to a nondisjunctional mechanism in which the extra chromosome 21 preferentially segregates with the Y chromosome. 17 refs., 2 tabs.

Griffin, D.K.; Millie, E.A.; Hassold, T.J. [Case Western Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)]|[Univ. Hospitals of Cleveland, OH (United States)] [and others



Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).  


Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process. PMID:24039790

Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter



Sperm Dynamics in Spiders (Araneae): Ultrastructural Analysis of the Sperm Activation Process in the Garden Spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772)  

PubMed Central

Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process. PMID:24039790

Vocking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter



Partial Deletion of Chromosome 8 ?-defensin Cluster Confers Sperm Dysfunction and Infertility in Male Mice  

PubMed Central

?-defensin peptides are a family of antimicrobial peptides present at mucosal surfaces, with the main site of expression under normal conditions in the male reproductive tract. Although they kill microbes in vitro and interact with immune cells, the precise role of these genes in vivo remains uncertain. We show here that homozygous deletion of a cluster of nine ?-defensin genes (Defb?9) in the mouse results in male sterility. The sperm derived from the mutants have reduced motility and increased fragility. Epididymal sperm isolated from the cauda should require capacitation to induce the acrosome reaction but sperm from the mutants demonstrate precocious capacitation and increased spontaneous acrosome reaction compared to wild-types but have reduced ability to bind the zona pellucida of oocytes. Ultrastructural examination reveals a defect in microtubule structure of the axoneme with increased disintegration in mutant derived sperm present in the epididymis cauda region, but not in caput region or testes. Consistent with premature acrosome reaction, sperm from mutant animals have significantly increased intracellular calcium content. Thus we demonstrate in vivo that ?-defensins are essential for successful sperm maturation, and their disruption leads to alteration in intracellular calcium, inappropriate spontaneous acrosome reaction and profound male infertility. PMID:24204287

Zhou, Yu S.; Webb, Sheila; Lettice, Laura; Tardif, Steve; Kilanowski, Fiona; Tyrrell, Christine; MacPherson, Heather; Semple, Fiona; Tennant, Peter; Baker, Tina; Hart, Alan; Devenney, Paul; Perry, Paul; Davey, Tracey; Barran, Perdita; Barratt, Chris L.; Dorin, Julia R.



Inclusion of glycerol in forage diets increases methane production in a rumen simulation technique system.  


We hypothesised that the inclusion of glycerol in the forage diets of ruminants would increase the proportion of propionate produced and thereby decrease in vitro CH? production. This hypothesis was examined in the present study using a semi-continuous fermentation system (rumen simulation technique) fed a brome hay (8·5 g) and maize silage (1·5 g) diet with increasing concentrations (0, 50, 100 and 150 g/kg DM) of glycerol substituted for maize silage. Glycerol linearly increased total volatile fatty acids production (P<0·001). Acetate production was quadratically affected (P=0·023) and propionate and butyrate production was linearly increased (P<0·001). Glycerol linearly increased (P=0·011) DM disappearance from hay and silage. Crude protein disappearance from hay was not affected (P=0·789), but that from silage was linearly increased (P<0·001) with increasing glycerol concentrations. Neutral-detergent fibre (P=0·040) and acid-detergent fibre (P=0·031) disappearance from hay and silage was linearly increased by glycerol. Total gas production tended to increase linearly (P=0·061) and CH? concentration in gas was linearly increased (P<0·001) by glycerol, resulting in a linear increase (P<0·001) in mg CH?/g DM digested. Our hypothesis was rejected as increasing concentrations of glycerol in a forage diet linearly increased CH? production in semi-continuous fermenters, despite the increases in the concentrations of propionate. In conclusion, this apparent discrepancy is due to the more reduced state of glycerol when compared with carbohydrates, which implies that there is no net incorporation of electrons when glycerol is metabolised to propionate. PMID:24094291

Avila-Stagno, Jorge; Chaves, Alexandre V; Ribeiro, Gabriel O; Ungerfeld, Emilio M; McAllister, Tim A



Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean  

PubMed Central

The iron-limited Southern Ocean plays an important role in regulating atmospheric CO2 levels. Marine mammal respiration has been proposed to decrease the efficiency of the Southern Ocean biological pump by returning photosynthetically fixed carbon to the atmosphere. Here, we show that by consuming prey at depth and defecating iron-rich liquid faeces into the photic zone, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) instead stimulate new primary production and carbon export to the deep ocean. We estimate that Southern Ocean sperm whales defecate 50 tonnes of iron into the photic zone each year. Molar ratios of Cexport ?Feadded determined during natural ocean fertilization events are used to estimate the amount of carbon exported to the deep ocean in response to the iron defecated by sperm whales. We find that Southern Ocean sperm whales stimulate the export of 4 × 105 tonnes of carbon per year to the deep ocean and respire only 2 × 105 tonnes of carbon per year. By enhancing new primary production, the populations of 12 000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean act as a carbon sink, removing 2 × 105 tonnes more carbon from the atmosphere than they add during respiration. The ability of the Southern Ocean to act as a carbon sink may have been diminished by large-scale removal of sperm whales during industrial whaling. PMID:20554546

Lavery, Trish J.; Roudnew, Ben; Gill, Peter; Seymour, Justin; Seuront, Laurent; Johnson, Genevieve; Mitchell, James G.; Smetacek, Victor



Linking sperm length and velocity: the importance of intramale variation  

PubMed Central

Selection imposed through sperm competition is commonly thought to promote the evolution of longer sperm, since sperm length is assumed to be positively associated with sperm swimming velocity. Yet, the basis for this assumption remains controversial, and there is surprisingly little intraspecific evidence demonstrating such a link between sperm form and function. Here, we show that sperm length and velocity are highly correlated in the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma, but importantly we report that failure to account for within-male variation in these sperm traits can obscure this relationship. These findings, in conjunction with the mounting evidence for extremely high levels of intra-specific variance in sperm traits, suggest that a functional link between sperm morphology and velocity may be more prevalent than what current evidence suggests. Our findings also suggest that selection for faster swimming sperm may promote the evolution of longer sperm, thereby supporting recent findings from macroevolutionary studies. PMID:20484233

Fitzpatrick, John L.; Garcia-Gonzalez, Francisco; Evans, Jonathan P.



Comparative Evolutionary Psychology of Sperm Competition  

Microsoft Academic Search

A comparative evolutionary psychological perspective predicts that species that recurrently faced similar adaptive problems may have evolved similar psychological mechanisms to solve these problems. Sperm competition provides an arena in which to assess the heuristic value of such a comparative evolutionary perspective. The sperm competition that results from female infidelity and polyandry presents a similar class of adaptive problems for

Todd K. Shackelford; Aaron T. Goetz




EPA Science Inventory

Upon fusion of sperm and oocyte at fertilization, a series of events is initiated whereby the highly compacted sperm nucleus expands and is transformed into a male pronucleus capable of DNA synthesis. The regulation of these early post-fusion fertilization events has been studied...



EPA Science Inventory

Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems are becoming more widely used. ith this spread of technology come more data from toxicology studies, designed to determine if treatment with putative toxicants affects sperm motion parameters. hile these CASA methods provide us with...


A review on goat sperm cryopreservation  

Microsoft Academic Search

The ability to cryopreserve spermatozoa from all of the domestic species is challenging. Even though all of the cells must endure similar physical stresses associated with the cryopreservation processes, sperm from the different species are very different in size, shape and lipid composition, all of which affect cryosurvival. Thus, when a cryopreservation protocol has been optimized for sperm of one

P. H. Purdy



Why so many sperm cells?  

E-print Network

A key limiting step in fertility is the search for the oocyte by spermatozoa. Initially, there are tens of millions of sperm cells, but a single one will make it to the oocyte. This may be one of the most severe selection processes designed by evolution, whose role is yet to be understood. Why is it that such a huge redundancy is required and what does that mean for the search process? we propose to discuss here these questions and consequently a new line of interdisciplinary research needed to find possible answers.

Schuss, K Reynaud Z; Holcman, D



New era in sperm selection for ICSI.  


Spermatozoa contribute to approximately half of the genome of future progeny, and therefore, have a profound impact on embryo development post-fertilization. Sperm selection based on viability and normal morphology does not eliminate the chance for DNA damaged spermatozoa to be inseminated and may account for a considerable percentage of failed embryo development post-ICSI (Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection). Therefore, sperm selection based on functional sperm characteristics to preclude insemination of DNA damaged spermatozoa have paved the way for successful ICSI outcomes. In regard to this, different laboratories have introduced novel procedures to replace traditional or orthodox sperm selection methods. This review attempts to provide information on the scientific bases of each procedure, and pinpoint their advantages and disadvantages. In addition to data from our research, a systematic search on the literature, publications and presentations was carried out using such databases as PubMed and ISI-Web. PMID:22804455

Nasr-Esfahani, M H; Deemeh, M R; Tavalaee, M



Chemosensory assessment of sperm competition levels and the evolution of internal spermatophore guarding.  


Males of many species adjust their reproductive behaviour according to the perceived risk of sperm competition. Although this phenomenon is widespread in insects and other animals, the mechanisms that allow mates to assess sperm competition levels remain largely unexplored. In this study, we analysed the mating behaviour of pairs of Tenebrio molitor beetles under three odour treatments representing increasing levels of sperm competition risk (SCR) and sperm competition intensity (SCI). Copula duration and male and female post-copulatory behaviour varied significantly with odour treatment. Both copula duration and post-copulatory associations (PCAs) increased significantly in odour treatments reflecting high male density. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that insects may assess the actual density of potential competitors at the time of mating, a cue to SCR and SCI, on the basis of chemical cues. In T. molitor, males inhibit sperm release from the spermatophore of a rival male when remating takes place at short intervals. We show that, when sperm competition levels are high, PCAs increase female remating interval just above that necessary to prevent spermatophore inhibition by rival males. This finding strongly suggests that strategic male behaviour plays a 'spermatophore guarding' role in this species. Although common in insects with external spermatophore transfer, spermatophore guarding is not expected in species with rapid ejaculate transfer and internal spermatophore delivery. Our results reveal that spermatophore guarding may evolve, even under these circumstances, as an evolutionary response to short-term spermatophore inhibition or displacement mechanisms. PMID:17148255

Carazo, P; Font, E; Alfthan, B



Comparative cryopreservation of avian spermatozoa: benefits of non-permeating osmoprotectants and ATP on turkey and crane sperm cryosurvival.  


A comparative approach was used to evaluate the cryosurvival of turkey and crane sperm frozen in a dimethylacetamide (DMA) cryodiluent supplemented with osmoprotectants and ATP. A range (6-26%) of DMA concentrations was used alone or in combination with ATP (30, 60 or 118mM) or one of the following osmoprotectants: (1) sucrose (turkey, 8.0%; crane, 5.0%); (2) 5.0% sucrose and 5.0% trehalose; or (3) betaine hydrochloride (0.1, 0.2 or 0.4mM). The viability of thawed sperm was assessed using the nigrosin-eosin stain and sperm motility was determined using the hanging-drop technique. For semen frozen only with DMA, post-thaw sperm motility was greatest (P<0.05) for the 6.0%, 10.0% and 18% concentrations, regardless of species. Turkey sperm frozen with the sucrose/trehalose combination had greater (P<0.05) post-thaw motility for all DMA treatments compared to DMA alone. The lowest concentration of the osmoprotectant betaine hydrochloride substantially improved turkey sperm viability post-thaw in all treatments compared to DMA alone (P<0.05). The post-thaw motility of crane sperm was improved (P<0.05) with a combination of 18.0%, 24.0% or 26.0% DMA and 30mM ATP. Moreover, in the presence of osmoprotectants, crane sperm motility decreased as the osmoprotectant concentration increased. The lowest concentration of ATP also improved crane sperm viability post-thaw, especially for DMA concentrations 18% or greater. The combination of sucrose and trehalose improved (P<0.05) crane sperm viability only with 6% and 10% DMA. These data affirm that there are avian-specific differences in sperm survival after cryopreservation and suggest that post-thaw survival can be enhanced by including species-based osmoprotectant/ATP combinations in a cryodiluent where DMA is the cryoprotectant. PMID:21277718

Blanco, Juan M; Long, Julie A; Gee, George; Wildt, David E; Donoghue, Ann M



Active Hypothermic Growth: A Novel Means For Increasing Total Interferon-? Production by Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells  

E-print Network

When grown under hypothermic conditions, Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells become growth arrested in the G?/G? phase of the cell cycle and also often exhibit increased recombinant protein production. In this study, we ...

Stephen R., Fox


Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes  

E-print Network

Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes in these 4 states. Recent biofuel-driven growth in corn planting results in lower landscape diversity-fold expansion of biofuel production (4), which will likely drive further expansion of corn area

Landis, Doug


Influences of Government Interventions on Increasing Value-Added Wood Product Exports from Ghana  

E-print Network

Influences of Government Interventions on Increasing Value-Added Wood Product Exports from Ghana. This study examines the three primary actions taken since that time and examines their influence-added wood product exports. The Woodworking Sector Development Project did not influence exports of processed


MINLP optimisation model for increased power production in small-scale CHP plants  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this work we present a mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model for increasing the power production in small-scale (1–20MWe) CHP plants based on a steam Rankine process and using biomass fuels. Changes that could increase the power production in these plants are, for instance, a steam reheater, a feed water preheater, a two-stage district heat exchanger, and a fuel

Tuula Savola; Carl-Johan Fogelholm



An Economic evaluation of increased beef production in response to mesquite control  

E-print Network

AN ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF INCREASED BEEF PRODUCTION IN RESPONSE TO MESQUITE CONTROL A PROFESSIONAL PAPER By David J. DeLoach Submitted to the College of Agriculture of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirements... for the degree of MASTER OF AGRICULTURE December, 1990 Agricultural Economics AN ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF INCREASED BEEF PRODUCTION IN RESPONSE TO MESQUITE CONTROL A PROFESSIONAL PAPER By David J. DeLoach Approved as to style and content by: dv'c g...

DeLoach, David J.



Synthesis of Dihydropyridine Analogues for Sperm Immobilizing Activity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the present study, the activity of seven newly synthesized dihydropyridine analogues on the motility of sperm were determined and compared to nifedipine activity that was used as standard. Sperm motility reduced value for test compounds 6a-g shows a gradual increase proportional to the size elongation of alkyl ester groups. Consequently the size of alkyl is important in the activity of test compounds and finally increase in the lipophil size of hydrocarbon`s ester (R1) is inversely related to the activity of the synthetic compounds. As a result, the methyl ester of the test compounds with 50% of nifedipine activity (in two hours group) is the most active test compound.

Sadeghipour Roodsari, H. R.; Amini, M.; Naghibi Harat, Z.; Daneshgar, P.; Vosooghi, M.; Shafiee, A.


Direct human influence on atmospheric CO2 seasonality from increased cropland productivity.  


Ground- and aircraft-based measurements show that the seasonal amplitude of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations has increased by as much as 50 per cent over the past 50 years. This increase has been linked to changes in temperate, boreal and arctic ecosystem properties and processes such as enhanced photosynthesis, increased heterotrophic respiration, and expansion of woody vegetation. However, the precise causal mechanisms behind the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 seasonality remain unclear. Here we use production statistics and a carbon accounting model to show that increases in agricultural productivity, which have been largely overlooked in previous investigations, explain as much as a quarter of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 seasonality. Specifically, Northern Hemisphere extratropical maize, wheat, rice, and soybean production grew by 240 per cent between 1961 and 2008, thereby increasing the amount of net carbon uptake by croplands during the Northern Hemisphere growing season by 0.33 petagrams. Maize alone accounts for two-thirds of this change, owing mostly to agricultural intensification within concentrated production zones in the midwestern United States and northern China. Maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans account for about 68 per cent of extratropical dry biomass production, so it is likely that the total impact of increased agricultural production exceeds the amount quantified here. PMID:25409830

Gray, Josh M; Frolking, Steve; Kort, Eric A; Ray, Deepak K; Kucharik, Christopher J; Ramankutty, Navin; Friedl, Mark A



Selection for increased production and the welfare of dairy cows: are new breeding goals needed?  


In many European countries, milk production per cow has more than doubled in the last 40 years. The increase in production has been accompanied by declining ability to reproduce, increasing incidence of health problems, and declining longevity in modern dairy cows. Genetic selection for increased milk yield increasingly is viewed as increasing profit at the expense of reducing animal welfare. The economic future of the dairy industry is related directly to public acceptance of its breeding and production practices. It is important to the dairy industry that welfare problems should be addressed before there is widespread condemnation of breeding and management practices. A new breeding goal aimed at improving fitness and tolerance of metabolic stress is necessary to prevent the decrease in the quality of life of dairy cows and instead, perhaps, enhance it. PMID:16092261

Oltenacu, Pascal A; Algers, Bo



Strategies and attributes of highly productive scholars and contributors to the school psychology literature: recommendations for increasing scholarly productivity.  


In all academic fields, there are scholars who contribute to the research literature at exceptionally high levels. The goal of the current study was to discover what school psychology researchers with remarkably high levels of journal publication do to be so productive. In Study 1, 94 highly productive school psychology scholars were identified from past research, and 51 (39 men, 12 women) submitted individual, short-answer responses to a 5-item questionnaire regarding their research strategies. A constant comparative approach was employed to sort and code individual sentiments (N=479) into categories. Seven broad categories of counsel for increasing productivity emerged: (a) research and publication practices and strategies, (b) collaboration, mentoring and building relationships, (c) navigating the peer-review process, (d) strategies to bolster writing productivity and excellence, (e) personal character traits that foster productivity, (f) preparation before entering the professoriate, and (g) other noteworthy sentiments. Results are discussed in terms of nine recommendations for scholars and graduate students who wish to increase their productivity. In Study 2, five of the most productive scholars (1 woman, 4 men) participated in a semi-structured interview about their high levels of productivity. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed, and a case analysis approach employed to profile each scholar. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed. PMID:22272793

Martínez, Rebecca S; Floyd, Randy G; Erichsen, Luke W




EPA Science Inventory

Dibromoacetic acid (DBA) and bromochloroacetic acid (BCA) are prevalent disinfection by-products of drinking water that produce defects in spermatogenesis and fertility in adult rats. Previously we demonstrated that BCA compromises the fertility of cauda epididymal rat sperm an...


Stressor-Induced Increase in Microbicidal Activity of Splenic Macrophages Is Dependent upon Peroxynitrite Production  

PubMed Central

Exposing mice to a social stressor called social disruption (SDR) that involves repeated social defeat during intermale aggression results in increased circulating cytokines, such as interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and IL-1?, and increased reactivity of splenic CD11b+ macrophages to inflammatory stimuli. For example, upon lipopolysaccharide stimulation, macrophages from stressor-exposed mice produce higher levels of cytokines than do cells from nonstressed controls. Moreover, the SDR stressor enhances the ability of these macrophages to kill Escherichia coli both in vitro and in vivo, through a Toll-like receptor 4-dependent mechanism. The present study tested the hypothesis that stressor-enhanced bacterial killing is due to increases in the production of peroxynitrite. Male mice were exposed to the SDR stressor or were left undisturbed. Upon stimulation with E. coli, splenic macrophages from SDR-exposed mice expressed significantly increased levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA and produced higher levels of peroxynitrite. Blocking the production of peroxynitrite abrogated the SDR-induced increase in microbicidal activity. Studies in IL-1 receptor type 1 knockout mice indicated that the increased microbicidal activity and peroxynitrite production was dependent upon IL-1 signaling. These data confirm and extend the importance of IL-1 signaling for stressor-induced immunopotentiation; the finding that inhibiting superoxide or nitric oxide production inhibits both peroxynitrite production and killing of E. coli demonstrates that peroxynitrite mediates the stressor-induced increase in bacterial killing. PMID:22825446

Allen, Rebecca G.; Lafuse, William P.; Powell, Nicole D.; Webster Marketon, Jeanette I.; Stiner-Jones, La'Tonia M.; Sheridan, John F.



Sperm characterization and identification of sperm sub-populations in ejaculates from pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus).  


Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) is a native endangered species. Knowledge of the basic spermiogram characteristics and the morphometric descriptors is necessary to effectively develop sperm cryopreservation. In other species, sperm sub-population is related to sperm cryo-resistance. The objective was to provide a general description of the sperm, including sperm head morphometric descriptors, its repeatability, and the existence of sperm sub-populations. Sperm were obtained from adult males by electroejaculation during the breeding season. The motility score was 3.4±0.2 (mean±SEM) and progressive motility was 59.4±3.7%. Ejaculated volume was 413.9±51.0?l, the total number of sperm ejaculated was 321.2±55.4×10(6). Also, 63.3±3.1% of the sperm were morphologically abnormal and 23.7±2.3% had acrosome damage. The sperm head length was 7.6±0.01?m, width 4.4±0.01?m, area 28.1±0.07?m(2) and the perimeter was 21.9±0.04?m. There was a positive relationship among morphometric descriptors and the motility score, overall motility and progressive motility. Also length (P=0.011), width (P=0.003), area (P=0.006) and perimeter (P=0.009) of sperm head obtained in two different collections were positively related. Overall, the low concentration, volume, overall quality and abnormal morphology, and wide variation of these variables may be a limitation for the development of sperm cryopreserved banks. There were three sperm sub-populations with different morphometric characteristics. The morphometric descriptors are maintained similarly among different collections. PMID:25104472

Beracochea, F; Gil, J; Sestelo, A; Garde, J J; Santiago-Moreno, J; Fumagalli, F; Ungerfeld, R



Characterization of rheotaxis of bull sperm using microfluidics.  


We study rheotaxis of bull sperm inside microchannels to characterize the effects of flow and wall shape on sperm swimming behavior. We found that a large percentage of sperm cells, 80 to 84%, exhibited positive rheotaxis (sperm cells swimming against the flow) within flow velocities of 33 to 134 ?m s(-1). Sperm cells were also found to reverse their swimming direction when the liquid flow direction was reversed. Time taken by sperm cells to reverse their swimming direction was inversely proportional to the flow velocity. Sperm behavior was significantly affected by the sperm position with respect to the channel wall. Sperm cells close to the channel wall moved upstream faster than sperm cells moving along the channel centerline. Shear stress, which is an indicator of velocity distribution, was found to play an important role in regulating rheotactic behavior of sperm cells. Side pockets were added to some microchannels to mimic storage sites in mucosal folds and pockets in the fallopian tube of the female reproductive system and sperm interaction with these pockets was monitored. We found that sperm cells tend to follow channel walls and enter these pockets without any chemical binding, which further confirms the wall tracking behavior of mammalian sperm cells. Our results confirm that sperm rheotaxis is a strong mechanism for guiding sperm cells towards the oocyte along the female genital tract. PMID:25291967

El-Sherry, Taymour M; Elsayed, Mohamed; Abdelhafez, Hatem K; Abdelgawad, Mohamed



Fenitrothion alters sperm characteristics in rats: ameliorating effects of palm oil tocotrienol-rich fraction.  


Exposure to organophosphate insecticides such as fenitrothion (FNT) in agriculture and public health has been reported to affect sperm quality. Antioxidants may have a potential to reduce spermatotoxic effects induced by organophosphate. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of palm oil tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in reducing the detrimental effects occurring in spermatozoa of FNT-treated rats. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four equal groups: a control group and groups of rats treated orally with palm oil TRF (200 mg/kg), FNT (20 mg/kg) and palm oil TRF (200 mg/kg) combined with FNT (20 mg/kg). The sperm characteristics, DNA damage, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and protein carbonyl (PC) were evaluated. Supplementation with TRF attenuated the detrimental effects of FNT by significantly increasing the sperm counts, motility, and viability and decreased the abnormal sperm morphology. The SOD activity and GSH level were significantly increased, whereas the MDA and PC levels were significantly decreased in the TRF+FNT group compared with the rats receiving FNT alone. TRF significantly decreased the DNA damage in the sperm of FNT-treated rats. A significant correlation between abnormal sperm morphology and DNA damage was found in all groups. TRF showed the potential to reduce the detrimental effects occurring in spermatozoa of FNT-treated rats. PMID:25030881

Taib, Izatus Shima; Budin, Siti Balkis; Ghazali, Ahmad Rohi; Jayusman, Putri Ayu; Mohamed, Jamaludin



Fenitrothion Alters Sperm Characteristics in Rats: Ameliorating Effects of Palm Oil Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction  

PubMed Central

Exposure to organophosphate insecticides such as fenitrothion (FNT) in agriculture and public health has been reported to affect sperm quality. Antioxidants may have a potential to reduce spermatotoxic effects induced by organophosphate. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of palm oil tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in reducing the detrimental effects occurring in spermatozoa of FNT-treated rats. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four equal groups: a control group and groups of rats treated orally with palm oil TRF (200 mg/kg), FNT (20 mg/kg) and palm oil TRF (200 mg/kg) combined with FNT (20 mg/kg). The sperm characteristics, DNA damage, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and protein carbonyl (PC) were evaluated. Supplementation with TRF attenuated the detrimental effects of FNT by significantly increasing the sperm counts, motility, and viability and decreased the abnormal sperm morphology. The SOD activity and GSH level were significantly increased, whereas the MDA and PC levels were significantly decreased in the TRF+FNT group compared with the rats receiving FNT alone. TRF significantly decreased the DNA damage in the sperm of FNT-treated rats. A significant correlation between abnormal sperm morphology and DNA damage was found in all groups. TRF showed the potential to reduce the detrimental effects occurring in spermatozoa of FNT-treated rats. PMID:25030881

Taib, Izatus Shima; Budin, Siti Balkis; Ghazali, Ahmad Rohi; Jayusman,, Putri Ayu; Mohamed, Jamaludin



The influence of sperm concentration, length of the gamete co-culture and the evolution of different sperm parameters on the in vitro fertilization of prepubertal goat oocytes.  


The aims of the present study were: (1) to evaluate the influence of sperm concentration (ranging from 0.5 × 10(6) to 4 × 10(6) spermatozoa/ml) and length of the gamete co-incubation time (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 h) on in vitro fertilization (IVF), assessing the sperm penetration rate; (2) to investigate the kinetics of different semen parameters as motility, viability and acrosome status during the co-culture period; and (3) to analyse the effect of the presence of cumulus-oocytes complexes (COCs) on these parameters. To achieve these objectives, several experiments were carried out using in vitro matured oocytes from prepubertal goats. The main findings of this work are that: (1) in our conditions, the optimum sperm concentration is 4 × 10(6) sperm/ml, as this sperm:oocyte ratio (approximately 28,000) allowed us to obtain the highest penetration rate, without increasing polyspermy incidence; (2) the highest percentage of viable acrosome-reacted spermatozoa is observed between 8-12 h of gamete co-culture, while the penetration rate is maximum at 12 h of co-incubation; and (3) the presence of COCs seems to favour the acrosome reaction of free spermatozoa on IVF medium, but not significantly. In conclusion, we suggest that a gamete co-incubation for 12-14 h, with a concentration of 4 × 10(6) sperm/ml, would be sufficient to obtain the highest rate of penetration, reducing the exposure of oocytes to high levels of reactive oxygen species produced by spermatozoa, especially when a high sperm concentration is used to increase the caprine IVF outcome. PMID:20334721

Palomo, M J; Mogas, T; Izquierdo, D; Paramio, M T