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Sample records for affect human reproduction

  1. Human reproductive issues in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    A review of reproductive functioning in animal species studied during space flight demonstrated that most species were affected significantly by the absence of gravity and/or the presence of radiation. These two factors induced alterations in normal reproductive functioning independently of, as well as in combination with, each other. Based on animal models, several potential problem areas regarding human reproductive physiology and functioning in the space environment were identified. While there are no current space flight investigations, the animal studies suggest priorities for future research in human reproduction. Such studies will be critical for the successful colonization of the space frontier.

  2. The increased sensitivity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) PCR quantitation in whole blood affects reproductive rate (Ro) measurement.

    PubMed

    Gurtler, Volker; Mayall, Barrie C; Wang, Jenny; Ghaly-Derias, Shahbano

    2014-02-01

    In order to determine the effect of the increase in sensitivity of HCMV detection in whole blood compared to plasma on reproductive rate (Ro) measurement, an optimized human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) quantitative PCR assay was developed. The results presented in this study are summarized by the following three methodological improvements: (i) at values below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 60copies/ml, determination of HCMV load was more sensitive with whole blood than plasma, (ii) for the determination of viral load, whole blood was more sensitive than plasma below 1000copies/ml but little difference was observed above 1000copies/ml and (iii) the measurement of "Reproductive Rate" can be affected by imprecise measurement of HCMV viral load in either plasma or whole blood compartments depending on whether samples were taken from patients on antiviral treatment or from patients where HCMV load was rising. Taken together this study provides methodological improvements suggesting that below HCMV viral load levels of 1000copies/ml (1640IU/ml) both plasma and whole blood should be tested.

  3. DESTAF: a database of text-mined associations for reproductive toxins potentially affecting human fertility.

    PubMed

    Dawe, Adam S; Radovanovic, Aleksandar; Kaur, Mandeep; Sagar, Sunil; Seshadri, Sundararajan V; Schaefer, Ulf; Kamau, Allan A; Christoffels, Alan; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2012-01-01

    The Dragon Exploration System for Toxicants and Fertility (DESTAF) is a publicly available resource which enables researchers to efficiently explore both known and potentially novel information and associations in the field of reproductive toxicology. To create DESTAF we used data from the literature (including over 10500 PubMed abstracts), several publicly available biomedical repositories, and specialized, curated dictionaries. DESTAF has an interface designed to facilitate rapid assessment of the key associations between relevant concepts, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of information based on different gene/protein-, enzyme/metabolite-, toxin/chemical-, disease- or anatomically centric perspectives. As a special feature, DESTAF allows for the creation and initial testing of potentially new association hypotheses that suggest links between biological entities identified through the database. DESTAF, along with a PDF manual, can be found at http://cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/destaf. It is free to academic and non-commercial users and will be updated quarterly. PMID:22198179

  4. Reproduction (II): Human Control of Reproductive Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jost, Alfred

    1970-01-01

    Describes methods of intervening in reproduction of animals and humans (artificial insemination, contraception, ovular and blastodisc transplants, pre selection of sex, cloning) and discusses the social implications of their use with humans. (AL)

  5. Adipokines in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Joëlle; Pollet-Villard, Xavier; Reverchon, Maxime; Mellouk, Namya; Levy, Rachel

    2015-10-01

    Adipose tissue communicates with other central and peripheral organs by the synthesis and release of substances called adipokines. The most studied adipokine is leptin but others have been recently identified including resistin, adiponectin, chemerin, omentin and visfatin. These adipokines have a critical role in the development of obesity-related complications and inflammatory conditions. However, they are also involved in other functions in the organism including reproductive functions. Indeed, many groups have demonstrated that adipokine receptors, such as adiponectin and chemerin, but also adipokines themselves (adiponectin, chemerin, resistin, visfatin and omentin) are expressed in human peripheral reproductive tissues and that these adipokines are likely to exert direct effects on these tissues. After a brief description of these new adipokines, an overview of their actions in different human reproductive organs (hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, testis, uterus and placenta) will be presented. Finally, comments will be made on the eventual alterations of these adipokines in reproductive disorders, with special attention to polycystic ovary syndrome, a disease characterized by dysfunction of gonadal axis and systemic nerve endocrine metabolic network with a prevalence of up to 10% in women of reproductive age.

  6. Congenital uterine anomalies affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reichman, David E; Laufer, Marc R

    2010-04-01

    The following review seeks to summarise the current data regarding reproductive outcomes associated with congenital uterine anomalies. Such malformations originate from adverse embryologic events ranging from agenesis to lateral and vertical fusion defects. Associated renal anomalies are common both for the symmetric and asymmetric malformations. While fertility is minimally impacted upon by müllerian anomalies in most cases, such malformations have historically been associated with poor obstetric outcomes such as recurrent miscarriage, second trimester loss, preterm delivery, malpresentation and intrauterine foetal demise (IUFD). The following review delineates the existing literature regarding such outcomes and indicates therapies, where applicable, to optimise the care of such patients.

  7. Human reproduction: Jewish perspectives.

    PubMed

    Schenker, Joseph G

    2013-11-01

    Developments in science and technology and corresponding clinical applications raise new religious questions, often without clear answers. The role of theology in bioethics is integral to clarify perceived attitudes toward these developments for different religious communities. The Jewish attitude towards procreation is derived from the first commandment of God to Adam to 'Be fruitful and multiply'. Judaism allows the practice of all techniques of assisted reproduction when the oocyte and spermatozoon originate from the wife and husband respectively. This paper presents the attitude of Jewish Law -- Halacha to therapeutic procedures, such as IVF-embryo transfer, spermatozoa, oocytes, embryo donation, cryopreservation of genetic material, surrogacy, posthumous reproduction, gender preselection, reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

  8. Human reproduction: Jewish perspectives.

    PubMed

    Schenker, Joseph G

    2013-11-01

    Developments in science and technology and corresponding clinical applications raise new religious questions, often without clear answers. The role of theology in bioethics is integral to clarify perceived attitudes toward these developments for different religious communities. The Jewish attitude towards procreation is derived from the first commandment of God to Adam to 'Be fruitful and multiply'. Judaism allows the practice of all techniques of assisted reproduction when the oocyte and spermatozoon originate from the wife and husband respectively. This paper presents the attitude of Jewish Law -- Halacha to therapeutic procedures, such as IVF-embryo transfer, spermatozoa, oocytes, embryo donation, cryopreservation of genetic material, surrogacy, posthumous reproduction, gender preselection, reproductive and therapeutic cloning. PMID:24000935

  9. Reproductive conflict and the separation of reproductive generations in humans

    PubMed Central

    Cant, Michael A.; Johnstone, Rufus A.

    2008-01-01

    An enduring puzzle of human life history is why women cease reproduction midway through life. Selection can favor postreproductive survival because older females can help their offspring to reproduce. But the kin-selected fitness gains of helping appear insufficient to outweigh the potential benefits of continued reproduction. Why then do women cease reproduction in the first place? Here, we suggest that early reproductive cessation in humans is the outcome of reproductive competition between generations, and we present a simple candidate model of how this competition will be resolved. We show that among primates exhibiting a postreproductive life span, humans exhibit an extraordinarily low degree of reproductive overlap between generations. The rapid senescence of the human female reproductive system coincides with the age at which, in natural fertility populations, women are expected to encounter reproductive competition from breeding females of the next generation. Several lines of evidence suggest that in ancestral hominids, this younger generation typically comprised immigrant females. In these circumstances, relatedness asymmetries within families are predicted to give younger females a decisive advantage in reproductive conflict with older females. A model incorporating both the costs of reproductive competition and the benefits of grandmothering can account for the timing of reproductive cessation in humans and so offers an improved understanding of the evolution of menopause. PMID:18378891

  10. Parthenogenesis and Human Assisted Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Bos-Mikich, Adriana; Bressan, Fabiana F.; Ruggeri, Rafael R.; Watanabe, Yeda; Meirelles, Flávio V.

    2016-01-01

    Parthenogenetic activation of human oocytes obtained from infertility treatments has gained new interest in recent years as an alternative approach to create embryos with no reproductive purpose for research in areas such as assisted reproduction technologies itself, somatic cell, and nuclear transfer experiments and for derivation of clinical grade pluripotent embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Different activating methods have been tested on human and nonhuman oocytes, with varying degrees of success in terms of parthenote generation rates, embryo development stem cell derivation rates. Success in achieving a standardized artificial activation methodology for human oocytes and the subsequent potential therapeutic gain obtained from these embryos depends mainly on the availability of gametes donated from infertility treatments. This review will focus on the creation of parthenotes from clinically unusable oocytes for derivation and establishment of human parthenogenetic stem cell lines and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:26635881

  11. Parthenogenesis and Human Assisted Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bos-Mikich, Adriana; Bressan, Fabiana F; Ruggeri, Rafael R; Watanabe, Yeda; Meirelles, Flávio V

    2016-01-01

    Parthenogenetic activation of human oocytes obtained from infertility treatments has gained new interest in recent years as an alternative approach to create embryos with no reproductive purpose for research in areas such as assisted reproduction technologies itself, somatic cell, and nuclear transfer experiments and for derivation of clinical grade pluripotent embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Different activating methods have been tested on human and nonhuman oocytes, with varying degrees of success in terms of parthenote generation rates, embryo development stem cell derivation rates. Success in achieving a standardized artificial activation methodology for human oocytes and the subsequent potential therapeutic gain obtained from these embryos depends mainly on the availability of gametes donated from infertility treatments. This review will focus on the creation of parthenotes from clinically unusable oocytes for derivation and establishment of human parthenogenetic stem cell lines and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:26635881

  12. Introduction: Microbiome in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has been termed the "second human genome" and data that has come about of late certainly makes it appear every bit as complex. The human body contains 10-fold more microbial cells than the human cells and accounts for 1%-3% of our total body mass. As we learn more about this symbiotic relationship, it appears this complex interaction occurs in nearly every part of the body, even those areas at one time considered to be sterile. Indeed, the microbiome in human reproduction has been investigated in terms of both the lower and upper reproductive tract and includes interactions even at the point of gametogenesis. What is all the more fascinating is that we have known about the importance of microbes for over 150 years, even before they existed in name. And now, with the assistance of an exciting technologic revolution which has pushed forward our understanding of the microbiome, we appear to stand on the precipice of a higher level of understanding of microbes, the biofilms they create, and their impact of health and disease in human reproduction.

  13. Microbes Central to Human Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Gregor; Brigidi, Patrizia; Burton, Jeremy P; Contractor, Nikhat; Duncan, Sylvia; Fargier, Emilie; Hill, Colin; Lebeer, Sarah; Martín, Rocio; McBain, Andrew J; Mor, Gil; O'Neill, Catherine; Rodríguez, Juan Miguel; Swann, Jonathan; van Hemert, Saskia; Ansell, Juliett

    2015-01-01

    As studies uncover the breadth of microbes associated with human life, opportunities will emerge to manipulate and augment their functions in ways that improve health and longevity. From involvement in the complexities of reproduction and fetal/infant development, to delaying the onset of disease, and indeed countering many maladies, microbes offer hope for human well-being. Evidence is emerging to suggest that microbes may play a beneficial role in body sites traditionally viewed as being sterile. Although further evidence is required, we propose that much of medical dogma is about to change significantly through recognition and understanding of these hitherto unrecognized microbe–host interactions. A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. This article summarizes some of the main aspects of these discussions. PMID:25250861

  14. Microbes central to human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reid, Gregor; Brigidi, Patrizia; Burton, Jeremy P; Contractor, Nikhat; Duncan, Sylvia; Fargier, Emilie; Hill, Colin; Lebeer, Sarah; Martín, Rocio; McBain, Andrew J; Mor, Gil; O'Neill, Catherine; Rodríguez, Juan Miguel; Swann, Jonathan; van Hemert, Saskia; Ansell, Juliett

    2015-01-01

    As studies uncover the breadth of microbes associated with human life, opportunities will emerge to manipulate and augment their functions in ways that improve health and longevity. From involvement in the complexities of reproduction and fetal/infant development, to delaying the onset of disease, and indeed countering many maladies, microbes offer hope for human well-being. Evidence is emerging to suggest that microbes may play a beneficial role in body sites traditionally viewed as being sterile. Although further evidence is required, we propose that much of medical dogma is about to change significantly through recognition and understanding of these hitherto unrecognized microbe-host interactions. A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. This article summarizes some of the main aspects of these discussions.

  15. Human reproduction: dominion and limits.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Richard A

    1996-12-01

    The general struggle throughout Christian history has been to seek the proper balance between dominion and limits, intervention and nonintervention, givenness, and creativity. This struggle has worked itself out in six areas that touch human life. In this essay, I will revisit the Catholic tradition's treatment of these in terms of dominion and limits to see whether we can discern developmental patterns that might suggest an approach to issues pertaining to the sources of life (reproductive ethics) as we move into the next century.

  16. Genetic basis of human reproductive endocrine disorders.

    PubMed

    Fauser, B C; Hsueh, A J

    1995-04-01

    Disturbed human reproductive function may be caused by environmental and/or genetic factors. Much information related to single gene defects underlying reproductive failure has become available in recent years due to advances in molecular biology. In this review, techniques currently applied for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis are addressed. We also highlight underlying molecular mechanisms and the corresponding clinical presentation of single gene defects affecting (i) the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, resulting in disturbed gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron migration, or leading to defective gonadotrophins, gonadotrophin receptors and the Gs alpha protein; (ii) gonadal and adrenal steroid biosynthesis and (iii) steroid and insulin receptors. The potential genetic basis of polycystic ovary syndrome is also discussed. Although disease states caused by well-defined genetic abnormalities appear to represent only a small proportion of those found in the patient population, it should be considered that these affected individuals represent only the most severe cases in a wide spectrum of genetic abnormalities underlying disturbed fertility. Comprehension of these extreme cases will provide the basis for the elucidation of more common reproductive disorders as the result of subtle genetic changes or increased susceptibility to environmental factors.

  17. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success.

  18. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success. PMID:18410290

  19. Paternal smoking habits affect the reproductive life span of daughters.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Misao; Fukuda, Kiyomi; Shimizu, Takashi; Nobunaga, Miho; Andersen, Elisabeth Wreford; Byskov, Anne Grete; Andersen, Claus Yding

    2011-06-30

    The present study assessed whether the smoking habits of fathers around the time of conception affected the period in which daughters experienced menstrual cycles (i.e., the reproductive life span). The study revealed that the smoking habits of the farther shortened the daughters' reproductive life span compared with daughters whose fathers did not smoke.

  20. Food Affects Human Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolata, Gina

    1982-01-01

    A conference on whether food and nutrients affect human behavior was held on November 9, 1982 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Various research studies on this topic are reviewed, including the effects of food on brain biochemistry (particularly sleep) and effects of tryptophane as a pain reducer. (JN)

  1. Human reproductive cloning: a conflict of liberties.

    PubMed

    Havstad, Joyce C

    2010-02-01

    Proponents of human reproductive cloning do not dispute that cloning may lead to violations of clones' right to self-determination, or that these violations could cause psychological harms. But they proceed with their endorsement of human reproductive cloning by dismissing these psychological harms, mainly in two ways. The first tactic is to point out that to commit the genetic fallacy is indeed a mistake; the second is to invoke Parfit's non-identity problem. The argument of this paper is that neither approach succeeds in removing our moral responsibility to consider and to prevent psychological harms to cloned individuals. In fact, the same commitment to personal liberty that generates the right to reproduce by means of cloning also creates the need to limit that right appropriately. Discussion of human reproductive cloning ought to involve a careful and balanced consideration of both the relevant aspects of personal liberty - the parents' right to reproductive freedom and the cloned child's right to self-determination.

  2. [Fluorosis of coal burning affects the male reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Feng; Feng, Jin; Xiao, Yue-Hai; Sun, Fa

    2014-01-01

    Fluorosis of coal burning is a new type of endemic fluorosis in China, which affects the male reproductive system. Furthermore, the content of fluoride in the semen, sperm mortality, sperm concentration and the incidence of infertility are higher in severe fluorosis areas than in mild- and non-fluorosis areas, so are the levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. However, the levels of inhibin B, serum testosterone and estradiol show different degrees of reduction in severe fluorosis areas. Accordingly, fluorosis of coal burning, just like other endemic fluorosis, may affect the structure of male reproductive organs, the generation of sperm and reproductive endocrinology, resulting in the decline of men's reproductive ability.

  3. Caste ratios affect the reproductive output of social trematode colonies.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversification in social organisms often leads to formation of physical castes which are morphologically specialized for particular tasks within the colony. The optimal caste allocation theory argues that specialized morphological castes are efficient at specific tasks, and hence different caste ratios should affect the ergonomic efficiency, hence reproductive output of the colony. However, the reproductive output of different caste ratios has been documented in few species of insects with equivocal support for the theory. This study investigated whether the ratios of nonreproductive and reproductive morphs affect the reproductive output of a recently discovered social trematode, Philophthalmus sp., in which the nonreproductive members are hypothesized to be defensive specialists. A census of natural infections and a manipulative in vitro experiment demonstrated a positive association between the reproductive output of trematode colonies and the ratio of nonreproductive to reproductive morphs in the presence of an intra-host trematode competitor, Maritrema novaezealandensis. On the contrary, without the competitor, reproductive output was negatively associated with the proportion of nonreproductive castes in colonies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a clear fitness benefit associated with the nonreproductive castes in the presence of a competitor while illustrating the cost of maintaining such morphs in noncompetitive situations. Although the proximate mechanisms controlling caste ratio remain unclear in this trematode system, this study supports the prediction that the fitness of colonies is influenced by the composition of specialized functional morphs in social organisms, suggesting a potential for adaptive shifts of caste ratios over evolutionary time.

  4. The ethics of human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Strong, Carson

    2005-03-01

    This article addresses the question of whether human reproductive cloning could be ethically justifiable in at least some cases involving infertile couples who would choose cloning as a way to have a genetically related child. At present, the risk of congenital anomalies constitutes a compelling argument against human reproductive cloning. The article explores whether reproductive cloning could be ethically justifiable if, at some future time, cloning becomes possible without an elevated risk of anomalies. It is argued that freedom to use cloning is a form of procreative freedom and, as such, deserves respect. All of the objections that have been raised against human reproductive cloning fall under three main categories: those that appeal to the interests of the child, those based on consequences for society, and those arising from teleological views. Objections that appeal to the child's interests are, in turn, of two main kinds: consequentialist and deontological. All of these types of objections are examined, and it is found that each involves serious problems that prevent it from being a reasonable objection in the context of the infertility cases considered. It is concluded that human reproductive cloning would be ethically justifiable in at least some cases involving infertile couples, provided that it could be performed without an elevated risk of anomalies.

  5. Human reproductive cloning and reasons for deprivation.

    PubMed

    Jensen, D A

    2008-08-01

    Human reproductive cloning provides the possibility of genetically related children for persons for whom present technologies are ineffective. I argue that the desire for genetically related children is not, by itself, a sufficient reason to engage in human reproductive cloning. I show this by arguing that the value underlying the desire for genetically related children implies a tension between the parent and the future child. This tension stems from an instance of a deprivation and violates a general principle of reasons for deprivation. Alternative considerations, such as a right to procreative autonomy, do not appear helpful in making the case for human reproductive cloning merely on the basis of the desire for genetically related children.

  6. Melatonin: a "Higgs boson" in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dragojevic Dikic, Svetlana; Jovanovic, Ana Mitrovic; Dikic, Srdjan; Jovanovic, Tomislav; Jurisic, Aleksandar; Dobrosavljevic, Aleksandar

    2015-02-01

    As the Higgs boson could be a key to unlocking mysteries regarding our Universe, melatonin, a somewhat mysterious substance secreted by the pineal gland primarily at night, might be a crucial factor in regulating numerous processes in human reproduction. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant which has an essential role in controlling several physiological reactions, as well as biological rhythms throughout human reproductive life. Melatonin, which is referred to as a hormone, but also as an autocoid, a chronobiotic, a hypnotic, an immunomodulator and a biological modifier, plays a crucial part in establishing homeostatic, neurohumoral balance and circadian rhythm in the body through synergic actions with other hormones and neuropeptides. This paper aims to analyze the effects of melatonin on the reproductive function, as well as to shed light on immunological and oncostatic properties of one of the most powerful hormones.

  7. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Islamic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Serour, G I

    2013-11-01

    Sexual and reproductive rights of women are essential components of human rights. They should never be transferred, renounced or denied for any reason based on race, religion, origin, political opinion or economic conditions. Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of health care for all aspects of their reproductive and sexual health (RSH). The principle of autonomy emphasizes the important role of women in the decision-making. Choices of women in reproduction, after providing evidence based information, should be respected. Risks, benefits and alternatives should be clearly explained before they make their free informed consent. Justice requires that all be treated with equal standard and have equal access to their health needs without discrimination or coercion. When resources are limited there is tension between the principle of justice and utility. Islamic perspectives of bioethics are influenced by primary Sharia namely the Holy Quran, authenticated traditions and saying of the Profit Mohamed (PBUH), Igmaa and Kias (analogy). All the contemporary ethical principles are emphasized in Islamic Shariaa, thus these principles should be observed when providing reproductive and sexual health services for Muslim families or communities. The Family is the basic unit in Islam. Safe motherhood, family planning, and quality reproductive and sexual health information and services and assisted reproductive technology are all encouraged within the frame of marriage. While the Shiaa sect permits egg donation, and surrogacy the Sunni sect forbids a third party contribution to reproduction. Harmful practices in RSH as FGM, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy are prohibited in Islam. Conscientious objection to treatment should not refrain the physician from appropriate referral. PMID:24004295

  8. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population. PMID:24647012

  9. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population.

  10. Folate Metabolism and Human Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Thaler, C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Folate metabolism affects ovarian function, implantation, embryogenesis and the entire process of pregnancy. In addition to its well-established effect on the incidence of neural tube defects, associations have been found between reduced folic acid levels and increased homocysteine concentrations on the one hand, and recurrent spontaneous abortions and other complications of pregnancy on the other. In infertility patients undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment, a clear correlation was found between plasma folate concentrations and the incidence of dichorionic twin pregnancies. In patients supplemented with 0.4 mg/d folic acid undergoing ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte pick-up, carriers of the MTHFR 677T mutation were found to have lower serum estradiol concentrations at ovulation and fewer oocytes could be retrieved from them. It appears that these negative effects can be compensated for in full by increasing the daily dose of folic acid to at least 0.8 mg. In carriers of the MTHFR 677TT genotype who receive appropriate supplementation, AMH concentrations were found to be significantly increased, which could indicate a compensatory mechanism. AMH concentrations in homozygous carriers of the MTHFR 677TT genotype could even be overestimated, as almost 20 % fewer oocytes are retrieved from these patients per AMH unit compared to MTHFR 677CC wild-type individuals. PMID:25278626

  11. The commodification of human reproductive materials.

    PubMed Central

    Resnik, D B

    1998-01-01

    This essay develops a framework for thinking about the moral basis for the commodification of human reproductive materials. It argues that selling and buying gametes and genes is morally acceptable although there should not be a market for zygotes, embryos, or genomes. Also a market in gametes and genes should be regulated in order to address concerns about the adverse social consequences of commodification. PMID:9873979

  12. microRNA in Human Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Iris; Kotaja, Noora; Goldman-Wohl, Debra; Imbar, Tal

    2015-01-01

    microRNAs constitute a large family of approximately 21-nucleotide-long, noncoding RNAs. They emerged more than 20 years ago as key posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. The regulatory role of these small RNA molecules has recently begun to be explored in the human reproductive system. microRNAs have been shown to play an important role in control of reproductive functions, especially in the processes of oocyte maturation, folliculogenesis, corpus luteum function, implantation, and early embryonic development. Knockout of Dicer, the cytoplasmic enzyme that cleaves the pre-miRNA to its mature form, results in postimplantation embryonic lethality in several animal models, attributing to these small RNA vital functions in reproduction and development. Another intriguing characteristic of microRNAs is their presence in body fluids in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity. In this chapter we will describe the current knowledge on microRNAs, specifically relating to human gonadal cells. We will focus on their role in the ovarian physiologic process and ovulation dysfunction, regulation of spermatogenesis and male fertility, and putative involvement in human normal and aberrant trophoblast differentiation and invasion through the process of placentation. PMID:26663192

  13. Diabetes prevention: Reproductive age women affected by insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Rezai, Shadi; LoBue, Stephen; Henderson, Cassandra E

    2016-07-01

    In the United States, 29.1 million people are affected by diabetes, of which 95% have type 2 diabetes. There has been a fivefold increase in type 2 diabetes in the latter half of the 20th century, an increase strongly linked to the obesity epidemic in the United States. In addition, insulin resistance affects 86 million Americans, or more than one-third of the adult population, as manifested by impaired fasting glucose tolerance with random glucose values ranging from ⩾100 to <126 mg/dL. In all, 90% of those affected by impaired fasting glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes are unaware of their metabolic derangement. Although impaired fasting glucose tolerance increases one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, once identified, application of lifestyle changes by affected individuals may avoid or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. For reproductive age women who are found to have impaired fasting glucose tolerance, lifestyle changes may be an effective tool to diminish the reproductive health consequences of insulin resistance related diseases. PMID:27638898

  14. Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans.

    PubMed

    Rickard, Ian J; Holopainen, Jari; Helama, Samuli; Helle, Samuli; Russell, Andrew F; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-12-01

    Environmental conditions in early life can profoundly affect individual development and have consequences for reproductive success. Limited food availability may be one of the reasons for this, but direct evidence linking variation in early-life nutrition to reproductive performance in adulthood in natural populations is sparse. We combined historical agricultural data with detailed demographic church records to investigate the effect of food availability around the time of birth on the reproductive success of 927 men and women born in 18th-century Finland. Our study population exhibits natural mortality and fertility rates typical of many preindustrial societies, and individuals experienced differing access to resources due to social stratification. We found that among both men and women born into landless families (i.e., with low access to resources), marital prospects, probability of reproduction, and offspring viability were all positively related to local crop yield during the birth year. Such effects were generally absent among those born into landowning families. Among landless individuals born when yields of the two main crops, rye and barley, were both below median, only 50% of adult males and 55% of adult females gained any reproductive success in their lifetime, whereas 97% and 95% of those born when both yields were above the median did so. Our results suggest that maternal investment in offspring in prenatal or early postnatal life may have profound implications for the evolutionary fitness of human offspring, particularly among those for which resources are more limiting. Our study adds support to the idea that early nutrition can limit reproductive success in natural animal populations, and provides the most direct evidence to date that this process applies to humans.

  15. [Criminal code and assisted human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Cortés Bechiarelli, Emilio

    2009-01-01

    The Spanish Criminal Code punishes in the article 161 the crime of assisted reproduction of the woman without her assent as a form of crime relative to the genetic manipulation. The crime protects a specific area of the freedom of decision of the woman, which is the one that she has dealing with the right to the procreation at the moment of being fertilized. The sentence would include the damages to the health provoked by the birth or the abortion. The crime is a common one--everyone can commit it--and it is not required a result of pregnancy, but it is consumed by the mere intervention on the body of the woman, and its interpretation is contained on the Law 14/2006, of may 26, on technologies of human assisted reproduction. The aim of the work is to propose to consider valid the assent given by the sixteen-year-old women (and older) in coherence with the Project of Law about sexual and reproductive health and voluntary interruption of the pregnancy that is studied at this moment, in Spain, in order to harmonize the legal systems. PMID:20476690

  16. [Criminal code and assisted human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Cortés Bechiarelli, Emilio

    2009-01-01

    The Spanish Criminal Code punishes in the article 161 the crime of assisted reproduction of the woman without her assent as a form of crime relative to the genetic manipulation. The crime protects a specific area of the freedom of decision of the woman, which is the one that she has dealing with the right to the procreation at the moment of being fertilized. The sentence would include the damages to the health provoked by the birth or the abortion. The crime is a common one--everyone can commit it--and it is not required a result of pregnancy, but it is consumed by the mere intervention on the body of the woman, and its interpretation is contained on the Law 14/2006, of may 26, on technologies of human assisted reproduction. The aim of the work is to propose to consider valid the assent given by the sixteen-year-old women (and older) in coherence with the Project of Law about sexual and reproductive health and voluntary interruption of the pregnancy that is studied at this moment, in Spain, in order to harmonize the legal systems.

  17. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs. PMID:23778256

  18. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior. PMID:17303746

  19. Genetic strain and reproductive status affect endometrial fatty acid concentrations.

    PubMed

    Meier, S; Peterson, A J; Mitchell, M D; Littlejohn, M; Walker, C G; Roche, J R

    2009-08-01

    Poor reproductive performance limits cow longevity in seasonal, pasture-based dairy systems. Few differences in ovarian dynamics have been reported in different strains of Holstein-Friesian cows, implying that the uterine environment may be a key component determining reproductive success. To test the hypothesis that the uterine environment differs among genetic strains of the Holstein-Friesian cow, endometrial fatty acids (FA) were analyzed from New Zealand (NZ), and North American (NA) Holstein-Friesian cows. The effect of reproductive status was also investigated, with cows from both Holstein-Friesian strains slaughtered on either d 17 of the estrous cycle (termed cyclic) or d 17 of pregnancy (after embryo transfer; termed pregnant). Endometrial tissues were collected from 22 cows (NZ pregnant, n = 6; NZ cyclic, n = 4; NA pregnant, n = 6; NA cyclic, n = 6), and FA composition was analyzed. Daily plasma progesterone concentrations, milk production, milk FA composition, body weight, and body condition score were determined. Milk yield (4% fat-corrected milk) was similar for the NZ (28.5 kg/d) and NA (29.3 kg/d; SE 2.07 kg/d) cows, but NZ cows had a greater mean milk fat percentage. Mean plasma progesterone concentrations were significantly greater in NZ cows. Plasma progesterone concentrations were similar in the pregnant and cyclic groups. Mean length of the trophoblast recovered from the pregnant cows (NZ: 20.8 +/- 2.84 cm; NA: 27.9 +/- 10.23 cm) was not affected by genetic strain. Endometrial tissues from NZ cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:3n-3, and total polyunsaturated FA. The endometria from pregnant cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:2, and C20:3n-6, and less C20:1, C20:2, C20:5n-3. The observed changes in endometrial FA between Holstein-Friesian cows of different genetic origins or reproductive states may reflect differences in endometrial function and may affect reproductive function.

  20. [The influence of melatonin on human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Boczek-Leszczyk, Emilia; Juszczak, Marlena

    2007-08-01

    This paper reviews the possible participation of melatonin in the process of human reproduction. The results of several studies have shown the clear correlation between melatonin and gonadotropins and/or sexual steroids, which suggest that melatonin may be involved in the sexual maturation, ovulation or menopause. Decreased secretion of melatonin which coexists with increased fertility in the summer is specific for women living on the north hemisphere. Moreover, abnormal levels of melatonin in the blood are associated with several disorders of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads axis activity, i.e., precocious or delayed pubertas, hypogonadotrophic or hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism or amenorrhoea. Melatonin binding sites have been demonstrated in the central nervous system (mainly in the pars dystalis of the pituitary and hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) as well as in the reproductive organs, e.g., human granulosa cells, prostate and spermatozoa. Melatonin can, therefore, influence the gonadal function indirectly--via its effect on gonadotropin-releasing hormone and/or gonadotropins secretion. It may also act directly; several data show that melatonin can be synthesized in gonads. PMID:18044344

  1. [The influence of melatonin on human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Boczek-Leszczyk, Emilia; Juszczak, Marlena

    2007-08-01

    This paper reviews the possible participation of melatonin in the process of human reproduction. The results of several studies have shown the clear correlation between melatonin and gonadotropins and/or sexual steroids, which suggest that melatonin may be involved in the sexual maturation, ovulation or menopause. Decreased secretion of melatonin which coexists with increased fertility in the summer is specific for women living on the north hemisphere. Moreover, abnormal levels of melatonin in the blood are associated with several disorders of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads axis activity, i.e., precocious or delayed pubertas, hypogonadotrophic or hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism or amenorrhoea. Melatonin binding sites have been demonstrated in the central nervous system (mainly in the pars dystalis of the pituitary and hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) as well as in the reproductive organs, e.g., human granulosa cells, prostate and spermatozoa. Melatonin can, therefore, influence the gonadal function indirectly--via its effect on gonadotropin-releasing hormone and/or gonadotropins secretion. It may also act directly; several data show that melatonin can be synthesized in gonads.

  2. Reproductive cessation and post-reproductive lifespan in Asian elephants and pre-industrial humans

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Short post-reproductive lifespan is widespread across species, but prolonged post-reproductive life-stages of potential adaptive significance have been reported only in few mammals with extreme longevity. Long post-reproductive lifespan contradicts classical evolutionary predictions of simultaneous senescence in survival and reproduction, and raises the question of whether extreme longevity in mammals promotes such a life-history. Among terrestrial mammals, elephants share the features with great apes and humans, of having long lifespan and offspring with long dependency. However, little data exists on the frequency of post-reproductive lifespan in elephants. Here we use extensive demographic records on semi-captive Asian elephants (n = 1040) and genealogical data on pre-industrial women (n = 5336) to provide the first comparisons of age-specific reproduction, survival and post-reproductive lifespan in both of these long-lived species. Results We found that fertility decreased after age 50 in elephants, but the pattern differed from a total loss of fertility in menopausal women with many elephants continuing to reproduce at least until the age of 65 years. The probability of entering a non-reproductive state increased steadily in elephants from the earliest age of reproduction until age 65, with the longer living elephants continuing to reproduce until older ages, in contrast to humans whose termination probability increased rapidly after age 35 and reached 1 at 56 years, but did not depend on longevity. Post-reproductive lifespan reached 11–17 years in elephants and 26–27 years in humans living until old age (depending on method), but whereas half of human adult lifespan (of those reproductive females surviving to the age of 5% fecundity) was spent as post-reproductive, only one eighth was in elephants. Consequently, although some elephants have long post-reproductive lifespans, relatively few individuals reach such a phase and the

  3. Cloning for human reproduction: one American perspective.

    PubMed

    Chester, R

    2001-09-01

    The author, an American law professor, believes that whole-body cloning of adult humans will be possible in the near future. He does not believe the procedure should be banned when used as a form of assisted reproduction, but that it should be regulated by the government to ensure proper testing and application. After raising a number of scientific, ethical, religious and legal issues, Professor Chester addresses parentage in light of both old and new concepts of the 'family.' Finally, he focuses on the problem of women as surrogate mothers of clones, arguing in the process that the surrogate, having no real genetic tie to the clone, would have less of a claim to parentage than at least some of the surrogates currently gestating foetuses.

  4. Quantitative trait loci affecting reproductive phenology in peach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The reproductive phenology of perennial plants in temperate climates is largely conditioned by the duration of bud dormancy, and fruit developmental processes. Bud dormancy release and bud break depends on the perception of cumulative chilling and heat during the bud development. The objective of this work was to identify new quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated to temperature requirements for bud dormancy release and flowering and to fruit harvest date, in a segregating population of peach. Results We have identified QTLs for nine traits related to bud dormancy, flowering and fruit harvest in an intraspecific hybrid population of peach in two locations differing in chilling time accumulation. QTLs were located in a genetic linkage map of peach based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for eight linkage groups (LGs) of the peach genome sequence. QTLs for chilling requirements for dormancy release and blooming clustered in seven different genomic regions that partially coincided with loci identified in previous works. The most significant QTL for chilling requirements mapped to LG1, close to the evergrowing locus. QTLs for heat requirement related traits were distributed in nine genomic regions, four of them co-localizing with QTLs for chilling requirement trait. Two major loci in LG4 and LG6 determined fruit harvest time. Conclusions We identified QTLs associated to nine traits related to the reproductive phenology in peach. A search of candidate genes for these QTLs rendered different genes related to flowering regulation, chromatin modification and hormone signalling. A better understanding of the genetic factors affecting crop phenology might help scientists and breeders to predict changes in genotype performance in a context of global climate change. PMID:24559033

  5. Sexual Reproduction of Human Fungal Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Heitman, Joseph; Carter, Dee A.; Dyer, Paul S.; Soll, David R.

    2014-01-01

    We review here recent advances in our understanding of sexual reproduction in fungal pathogens that commonly infect humans, including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Where appropriate or relevant, we introduce findings on other species associated with human infections. In particular, we focus on rapid advances involving genetic, genomic, and population genetic approaches that have reshaped our view of how fungal pathogens evolve. Rather than being asexual, mitotic, and largely clonal, as was thought to be prevalent as recently as a decade ago, we now appreciate that the vast majority of pathogenic fungi have retained extant sexual, or parasexual, cycles. In some examples, sexual and parasexual unions of pathogenic fungi involve closely related individuals, generating diversity in the population but with more restricted recombination than expected from fertile, sexual, outcrossing and recombining populations. In other cases, species and isolates participate in global outcrossing populations with the capacity for considerable levels of gene flow. These findings illustrate general principles of eukaryotic pathogen emergence with relevance for other fungi, parasitic eukaryotic pathogens, and both unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic organisms. PMID:25085958

  6. Reproductive physiology in Zebu cattle. Unique reproductive aspects that affect their performance.

    PubMed

    Galina, C S; Orihuela, A; Duchateau, A

    1987-11-01

    This article describes the reproductive physiology of Zebu cattle and specific strategies that, when used in concert with an understanding of the physiologic differences between Zebu and other cattle, can improve reproductive performance. PMID:3319088

  7. Endocrine disrupting chemicals: effects on human male reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Murray, T J; Lea, R G; Abramovich, D R; Haites, N E; Fowler, P A

    2001-04-01

    unknown. Further studies of the mechanism of action, and consequences, of EDCs in fetal development must be done in order to elucidate how EDCs exert their effects. This can only be achieved using a combined approach whereby animal models are used in combination with in vitro human studies. In conclusion however, there are now sufficient animal model data to prove that EDCs can adversely affect reproductive development and function in the male. Our further understanding of the mechanisms involved may allow intervention strategies whereby we can at least prevent a further decline in male as well as female reproductive health. PMID:11753523

  8. Critical windows of exposure for children's health: the reproductive system in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Pryor, J L; Hughes, C; Foster, W; Hales, B F; Robaire, B

    2000-06-01

    Drugs and environmental chemicals can adversely affect the reproductive system. Currently, available data indicate that the consequences of exposure depend on the nature of the chemical, its target, and the timing of exposure relative to critical windows in development of the reproductive system. The reproductive system is designed to produce gametes in far greater excess than would seem to be necessary for the survival of species. Ten to hundreds of millions of spermatozoa are generated daily by most adult male mammals, yet very few of these germ cells succeed in transmitting their genetic material to the next generation. Although the number of oocytes produced in mammalian females is more limited, and their production occurs only during fetal life, most ovaries contain several orders of magnitude more oocytes than ever will be fertilized. Toxicant exposures may affect critical events in the development of the reproductive system, ranging from early primordial germ cell determination to gonadal differentiation, gametogenesis, external genitalia, or signaling events regulating sexual behavior. Although there are differences between the human reproductive system and that of the usual animal models, such models have been extremely useful in assessing risks for key human reproductive and developmental processes. The objectives for future studies should include the elucidation of the specific cellular and molecular targets of known toxicants; the design of a systematic approach to the identification of reproductive toxicants; and the development of sensitive, specific, and predictive animal models, minimally invasive surrogate markers, or in vitro tests to assess reproductive system function during embryonic, postnatal, and adult life.

  9. Reproductive aging patterns in primates reveal that humans are distinct

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Susan C.; Altmann, Jeanne; Brockman, Diane K.; Cords, Marina; Fedigan, Linda M.; Pusey, Anne; Stoinski, Tara S.; Strier, Karen B.; Morris, William F.; Bronikowski, Anne M.

    2013-01-01

    Women rarely give birth after ∼45 y of age, and they experience the cessation of reproductive cycles, menopause, at ∼50 y of age after a fertility decline lasting almost two decades. Such reproductive senescence in mid-lifespan is an evolutionary puzzle of enduring interest because it should be inherently disadvantageous. Furthermore, comparative data on reproductive senescence from other primates, or indeed other mammals, remains relatively rare. Here we carried out a unique detailed comparative study of reproductive senescence in seven species of nonhuman primates in natural populations, using long-term, individual-based data, and compared them to a population of humans experiencing natural fertility and mortality. In four of seven primate species we found that reproductive senescence occurred before death only in a small minority of individuals. In three primate species we found evidence of reproductive senescence that accelerated throughout adulthood; however, its initial rate was much lower than mortality, so that relatively few individuals experienced reproductive senescence before death. In contrast, the human population showed the predicted and well-known pattern in which reproductive senescence occurred before death for many women and its rate accelerated throughout adulthood. These results provide strong support for the hypothesis that reproductive senescence in midlife, although apparent in natural-fertility, natural-mortality populations of humans, is generally absent in other primates living in such populations. PMID:23898189

  10. Trends affecting hospitals' human resources.

    PubMed

    Neudeck, M M

    1985-01-01

    Hospital workers at every level--from administrators to housekeepers--will be affected by the interaction of changes already underway in the healthcare industry. Societal forces that will affect the hospital workforce include demographic change, the rise of the participatory ethic and decentralization, a growing philosophy of job entitlement, and new pressures for unionization. At the same time, the industry is faced with changing manpower requirements, cost containment, and the oversupply of physicians. This article identifies some of the likely effects of these changes on hospital human resources and suggests ways that administrators can prepare for them.

  11. Promoting Reproductive Options for HIV-Affected Couples in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mmeje, Okeoma; Cohen, Craig R.; Murage, Alfred; Ong’ech, John; Kiarie, James; van der Poel, Sheryl

    2014-01-01

    HIV-affected couples have unique challenges that require access to information and reproductive services which prevent HIV transmission to the uninfected partner and offspring while allowing couples to fulfill their reproductive goals. In high HIV prevalent regions of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-affected couples require multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) to enhance their reproductive healthcare options beyond contraception and prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to include assistance in childbearing. The unique characteristics of the condom and its accepted use in conjunction with safer conception interventions allow HIV-serodiscordant couples an opportunity to maintain reproductive health, prevent HIV/STI transmission, and achieve their reproductive goals while timing conception. Rethinking the traditional view of the condom and incorporating a broader reproductive health perspective of HIV-affected couples into MPT methodologies will impact demand, acceptability, and uptake of these future technologies. PMID:25335844

  12. Immunologic challenges of human reproduction: an evolving story.

    PubMed

    Hyde, Kassie J; Schust, Danny J

    2016-09-01

    Characterization of the implanting human fetus as an allograft prompted a field of research in reproductive immunology that continues to fascinate and perplex scientists. Paternal- or partner-derived alloantigens are present in the maternal host at multiple times during the reproductive process. They begin with exposure to semen, continue through implantation and placentation, and may persist for decades in the form of fetal microchimerism. Changes in maternal immune responses that allow allogenic fertilization and survival of semiallogenic concepti to delivery must be balanced with a continued need to respond appropriately to pathogenic invaders, commensals, cell or tissue damage, and any tendency toward malignant transformation. This complex and sophisticated balancing act is essential for survival of mother, fetus, and the species itself. We will discuss concepts of alloimmune recognition, tolerance, and ignorance as they pertain to mammalian reproduction with a focus on human reproduction, maternal immune modulation, and the very earliest events in the reproductive process, fertilization and implantation. PMID:27477190

  13. Molecular characterization of the human microbiome from a reproductive perspective.

    PubMed

    Mor, Amir; Driggers, Paul H; Segars, James H

    2015-12-01

    The process of reproduction inherently poses unique microbial challenges because it requires the transfer of gametes from one individual to the other, meanwhile preserving the integrity of the gametes and individuals from harmful microbes during the process. Advances in molecular biology techniques have expanded our understanding of the natural organisms living on and in our bodies, including those inhabiting the reproductive tract. Over the past two decades accumulating evidence has shown that the human microbiome is tightly related to health and disease states involving the different body systems, including the reproductive system. Here we introduce the science involved in the study of the human microbiome. We examine common methods currently used to characterize the human microbiome as an inseparable part of the reproductive system. Finally, we consider a few limitations, clinical implications, and the critical need for additional research in the field of human fertility.

  14. Legal issues affecting confidentiality and informed consent in reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

    The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions. PMID:11070641

  15. Analgesic exposure in pregnant rats affects fetal germ cell development with inter-generational reproductive consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Afshan; van den Driesche, Sander; Wang, Yili; McKinnell, Chris; Macpherson, Sheila; Eddie, Sharon L.; Kinnell, Hazel; Hurtado-Gonzalez, Pablo; Chambers, Tom J.; Stevenson, Kerrie; Wolfinger, Elke; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Calarrao, Ana; Bayne, Rosey AL; Hagen, Casper P.; Mitchell, Rod T.; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    Analgesics which affect prostaglandin (PG) pathways are used by most pregnant women. As germ cells (GC) undergo developmental and epigenetic changes in fetal life and are PG targets, we investigated if exposure of pregnant rats to analgesics (indomethacin or acetaminophen) affected GC development and reproductive function in resulting offspring (F1) or in the F2 generation. Exposure to either analgesic reduced F1 fetal GC number in both sexes and altered the tempo of fetal GC development sex-dependently, with delayed meiotic entry in oogonia but accelerated GC differentiation in males. These effects persisted in adult F1 females as reduced ovarian and litter size, whereas F1 males recovered normal GC numbers and fertility by adulthood. F2 offspring deriving from an analgesic-exposed F1 parent also exhibited sex-specific changes. F2 males exhibited normal reproductive development whereas F2 females had smaller ovaries and reduced follicle numbers during puberty/adulthood; as similar changes were found for F2 offspring of analgesic-exposed F1 fathers or mothers, we interpret this as potentially indicating an analgesic-induced change to GC in F1. Assuming our results are translatable to humans, they raise concerns that analgesic use in pregnancy could potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and grand-daughters. PMID:26813099

  16. Allopregnanolone as a Mediator of Affective Switching in Reproductive Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Crystal Edler; Schmidt, Peter J.; Rubinow, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Reproductive mood disorders, including premenstrual dysphoria (PMD) and postpartum depression (PPD), are characterized by affective dysregulation that occurs during specific reproductive states. The occurrence of illness onset during changes in reproductive endocrine function has generated interest in the role of gonadal steroids in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders, yet the mechanisms by which the changing hormone milieu triggers depression in susceptible women remain poorly understood. Objectives This review focuses on one of the neurosteroid metabolites of progesterone – allopregnanolone (ALLO) – that acutely regulates neuronal function and may mediate affective dysregulation that occurs concomitant with changes in reproductive endocrine function. We describe the role of the ‘neuroactive’ steroids estradiol and progesterone in reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders to highlight the potential mechanisms by which ALLO might contribute to their pathophysiology. Finally, using existing data, we test the hypothesis that changes in ALLO levels may trigger affective dysregulation in susceptible women. Results Although there is no reliable evidence that basal ALLO levels distinguish those with PMD or PPD from those without, existing animal models suggest potential mechanisms by which specific reproductive states may unmask susceptibility to affective dysregulation. Consistent with these models, initially euthymic women with PMD and those with a history of PPD show a negative association between depressive symptoms and circulating ALLO levels following progesterone administration. Conclusions Existing animal models and our own preliminary data suggest that ALLO may play an important role in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders by triggering affective dysregulation in susceptible women. PMID:24846476

  17. Human reproductive cloning, embryo stem cells and germline gene intervention: an Israeli perspective.

    PubMed

    Revel, Michel

    2003-01-01

    The perspectives of applying the cloning technology to human reproduction have generated much controversy. Israel was one of the first countries to adopt (in 1998) a Law that prohibits reproductive cloning. This is a moratorium for 5 years during which neither cloning of an entire human being nor genetic changes affecting human reproductive cells will be allowed. An aim of the Law is to allow the examination of the moral, legal, and social aspects of these technologies and their implications for human dignity. With the intention of not being an obstacle to the advancement of medical genetics, the Law provides for a yearly report to the Israel Health Minister on the state of scientific knowledge in these technologies. This article reflects the 2002-3 report, relating to scientific issues and bioethical opinions in Israel and in the world on human reproductive cloning, embryonic stem cell research and germline gene manipulation. In the Jewish tradition, the primary importance of saving lives and helping suffering patients can take precedence over the fears generated by modern genetic and reproductive research. Provided that new technologies are applied for medical indications and respecting human rights and human dignity, it is legitimate to explore their beneficial potential.

  18. The pineal gland - Its possible roles in human reproduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brzezinski, Amnon; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1988-01-01

    The paper discusses the role of the pineal gland in controlling mammalian reproduction, with particular attention given to the role of melatonin in polyestrus mammals, like humans and laboratory rodents. Evidence is cited indicating the influence of melatonin production and blood content on the age of puberty, the timing of the ovulatory cycle, gonadal steriodogenesis, and patterns of reproductive behavior. It is suggested that abnormal patterns of melatonin might be associated with amenorrhea, anovulation, unexplained infertility, premature menopause, and habitual abortions.

  19. A Catholic ethical approach to human reproductive technology.

    PubMed

    Ford, Norman M

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the Catholic Christian tradition and teaching on the moral respect due to human life from conception, supported by natural law moral philosophical reasoning. This approach contrasts with the ethical views of secular philosophers on human embryo research for therapeutic purposes. The challenges for Catholic healthcare institutions is to find ethical ways of using suitable pluripotent stem cells for therapies without creating or destroying human embryos. Catholic teaching on infertility treatment and reproductive technology are presented with emphasis given to the ethical need for children to be conceived and born of the marriage union compared with alterative ethical approaches for the use of infertility treatment and reproductive technology. PMID:18983736

  20. Human reproductive technologies and the law: a select committee report.

    PubMed

    2005-05-01

    The House of Commons Science & Technology Committee has reviewed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. It considered a) the balance between legislation, regulation and reproductive freedom; b) the role of Parliament in human reproductive technologies; and c) the foundation, adequacy and appropriateness of the ethical framework for legislation. It also considered the Act itself and the workings of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Its report is written from a very liberal perspective, but is a very thorough overview of current issues and debate in the field. There follow, slightly abridged, the conclusions and recommendations of the 200-page report. PMID:17115496

  1. Human reproductive cloning: an analysis of the Andrews Report.

    PubMed

    Little, Kim

    2002-01-01

    There is nothing like an overwhelming consensus of opinion to encourage a less than rigourous approach to analyzing complex ethical issues. Unfortunately, this is nowhere more apparent than in the discussion of human reproductive cloning contained in the federal House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs' report on human cloning, released last August. The report may well fulfil the first half of its project, namely the empirical task of adequately summarizing and categorizing the various submissions made to the Committee. However, it is clearly inadequate as a discussion of the ethical and legal permissibility of human reproductive cloning.

  2. Human reproductive technologies and the law: a select committee report.

    PubMed

    2005-05-01

    The House of Commons Science & Technology Committee has reviewed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. It considered a) the balance between legislation, regulation and reproductive freedom; b) the role of Parliament in human reproductive technologies; and c) the foundation, adequacy and appropriateness of the ethical framework for legislation. It also considered the Act itself and the workings of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Its report is written from a very liberal perspective, but is a very thorough overview of current issues and debate in the field. There follow, slightly abridged, the conclusions and recommendations of the 200-page report.

  3. Philosophical arguments for and against human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Hayry, Matti

    2003-10-01

    Can philosophers come up with persuasive reasons to allow or ban human reproductive cloning? Yes. Can philosophers agree, locally and temporarily, which practices related to cloning should be condoned and which should be rejected? Some of them can. Can philosophers reproduce universally convincing arguments for or against different kinds of human cloning? No. This paper analyses some of the main arguments presented by philosophers in the cloning debate, and some of the most important objections against them. The clashes between the schools of thought suggest that philosophers cannot be trusted to provide the public authorities, or the general public, a unified, universally applicable view of the morality of human reproductive cloning.

  4. Mutations in NLRP5 are associated with reproductive wastage and multilocus imprinting disorders in humans

    PubMed Central

    Docherty, Louise E.; Rezwan, Faisal I.; Poole, Rebecca L.; Turner, Claire L. S.; Kivuva, Emma; Maher, Eamonn R.; Smithson, Sarah F.; Hamilton-Shield, Julian P.; Patalan, Michal; Gizewska, Maria; Peregud-Pogorzelski, Jaroslaw; Beygo, Jasmin; Buiting, Karin; Horsthemke, Bernhard; Soellner, Lukas; Begemann, Matthias; Eggermann, Thomas; Baple, Emma; Mansour, Sahar; Temple, I. Karen; Mackay, Deborah J. G.

    2015-01-01

    Human-imprinting disorders are congenital disorders of growth, development and metabolism, associated with disturbance of parent of origin-specific DNA methylation at imprinted loci across the genome. Some imprinting disorders have higher than expected prevalence of monozygotic twinning, of assisted reproductive technology among parents, and of disturbance of multiple imprinted loci, for which few causative trans-acting mutations have been found. Here we report mutations in NLRP5 in five mothers of individuals affected by multilocus imprinting disturbance. Maternal-effect mutations of other human NLRP genes, NLRP7 and NLRP2, cause familial biparental hydatidiform mole and multilocus imprinting disturbance, respectively. Offspring of mothers with NLRP5 mutations have heterogenous clinical and epigenetic features, but cases include a discordant monozygotic twin pair, individuals with idiopathic developmental delay and autism, and families affected by infertility and reproductive wastage. NLRP5 mutations suggest connections between maternal reproductive fitness, early zygotic development and genomic imprinting. PMID:26323243

  5. Ghrelin: a metabolic signal affecting the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, Teresa; Meli, Rosaria; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico; Baragli, Alessandra; Castellucci, Mario; Gualillo, Oreste; Muccioli, Giampiero

    2009-04-01

    Ghrelin, an acylated 28 amino acid gastric peptide, was isolated from the stomach as an endogenous ligand for growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor in 1999. Circulating ghrelin is mainly produced by specific cells in the stomach's oxyntic glands. Ghrelin potently stimulates GH release and food intake and exhibits diverse effects, including ones on glucose metabolism and on secretion and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Besides these effects on food intake and energy homeostasis, ghrelin is also involved in controlling reproductive functions, and a role for it as a novel regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis is clearly emerging. We review recent ghrelin research with emphasis on its roles in the reproductive axis.

  6. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics

    PubMed Central

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L−1) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (−38%), diameter (−5%), and sperm velocity (−23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  7. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  8. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring.

  9. Human Papillomavirus Infection, Infertility, and Assisted Reproductive Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Nigel; Kucharczyk, Katherine M.; Estes, Jaclyn L.; Gerber, Rachel S.; Lekovich, Jovana P.; Elias, Rony T.; Spandorfer, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection common among men and women across all geographic and socioeconomic subgroups worldwide. Recent evidence suggests that HPV infection may affect fertility and alter the efficacy of assisted reproductive technologies. In men, HPV infection can affect sperm parameters, specifically motility. HPV-infected sperm can transmit viral DNA to oocytes, which may be expressed in the developing blastocyst. HPV can increase trophoblastic apoptosis and reduce the endometrial implantation of trophoblastic cells, thus increasing the theoretical risk of miscarriage. Vertical transmission of HPV during pregnancy may be involved in the pathophysiology of preterm rupture of membranes and spontaneous preterm birth. In patients undergoing intrauterine insemination for idiopathic infertility, HPV infection confers a lower pregnancy rate. In contrast, the evidence regarding any detrimental impact of HPV infection on IVF outcomes is inconclusive. It has been suggested that vaccination could potentially counter HPV-related sperm impairment, trophoblastic apoptosis, and spontaneous miscarriages; however, these conclusions are based on in vitro studies rather than large-scale epidemiological studies. Improvement in the understanding of HPV sperm infection mechanisms and HPV transmission into the oocyte and developing blastocyst may help explain idiopathic causes of infertility and miscarriage. PMID:26609434

  10. Integrated Reproduction of Human Motion Components by Motion Copying System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunashima, Noboru; Katsura, Seiichiro

    Currently, the development of leading-edge technology for recording and loading human motion on the basis of haptic information is required in the field of manufacturing and human support. Human movement is an assembly of motion components. Since human movements should be supported by a robot in real time, it is necessary to integrate the morion components, which were saved earlier. Once such motion integration is realized, future technology for use in daily human life is developed. This paper proposes the integrated reproduction of the decomposed components of human motion by using a motion copying system. This system is the key technology for the realization of the acquisition, saving and reproduction of the real-world haptic information. By the proposed method, it is possible not only to achieve expert skill acquisition, skill transfer to robots, and power assist for each motion component but also to open up new areas of applications.

  11. The effects of kisspeptin in human reproductive function - therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Ratnasabapathy, Risheka; Dhillo, Waljit S

    2013-03-01

    Kisspeptin is a 54-amino acid peptide which is encoded by the KiSS-1 gene and activates the G protein-coupled receptor GPR54. Evidence suggests that this system is a key regulator of mammalian and human reproduction. Animal studies have shown that GPR54-deficient mice have abnormal sexual development. Central and peripheral administration of kisspeptin stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis whilst pre-administration of a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist abolishes this effect. In humans, inactivating GPR54 mutations cause normosmic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism whilst activation of GPR54 signalling is associated with premature puberty. In healthy human volunteers, the acute intravenous administration of kisspeptin potently increases plasma luteinising hormone (LH) levels and significantly increases plasma follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone without side effects in both males and in females particularly in the preovulatatory phase of the menstrual cycle. In infertility due to hypothalamic amenorrhoea acute administration of kisspeptin results in stimulation of reproductive hormones. The kisspeptin/GPR54 system therefore appears to play an important role in the regulation of reproduction in humans. Hence kisspeptin has potential as a novel tool for the manipulation of the HPG axis and treatment of infertility in humans. This review discusses the evidence highlighting kisspeptin's key role in human reproduction.

  12. Critical windows of exposure for children's health: the reproductive system in animals and humans.

    PubMed Central

    Pryor, J L; Hughes, C; Foster, W; Hales, B F; Robaire, B

    2000-01-01

    Drugs and environmental chemicals can adversely affect the reproductive system. Currently, available data indicate that the consequences of exposure depend on the nature of the chemical, its target, and the timing of exposure relative to critical windows in development of the reproductive system. The reproductive system is designed to produce gametes in far greater excess than would seem to be necessary for the survival of species. Ten to hundreds of millions of spermatozoa are generated daily by most adult male mammals, yet very few of these germ cells succeed in transmitting their genetic material to the next generation. Although the number of oocytes produced in mammalian females is more limited, and their production occurs only during fetal life, most ovaries contain several orders of magnitude more oocytes than ever will be fertilized. Toxicant exposures may affect critical events in the development of the reproductive system, ranging from early primordial germ cell determination to gonadal differentiation, gametogenesis, external genitalia, or signaling events regulating sexual behavior. Although there are differences between the human reproductive system and that of the usual animal models, such models have been extremely useful in assessing risks for key human reproductive and developmental processes. The objectives for future studies should include the elucidation of the specific cellular and molecular targets of known toxicants; the design of a systematic approach to the identification of reproductive toxicants; and the development of sensitive, specific, and predictive animal models, minimally invasive surrogate markers, or in vitro tests to assess reproductive system function during embryonic, postnatal, and adult life. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:10852849

  13. Can aircraft noise less than or equal 115 to dBA adversely affect reproductive outcome in USAF women?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brubaker, P. A.

    1985-06-01

    It has been suggested, mainly through animal studies, that exposure to high noise levels may be associated with lower birth weight, reduced gestational length and other adverse reproductive outcomes. Few studies have been done on humans to show this association. The Air Force employs pregnant women in areas where there is a high potential for exposure to high noise levels. This study proposes a method to determine if there is an association between high frequency noise levels or = 115 dBA and adverse reproductive outcomes through a review of records and self-administered questionnaires in a case-comparison design. Prevelance rates will be calculated and a multiple logistic regression analysis computed for the independent variables that can affect reproduction.

  14. Life-history theory, fertility and reproductive success in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2002-01-01

    According to life-history theory, any organism that maximizes fitness will face a trade-off between female fertility and offspring survivorship. This trade-off has been demonstrated in a variety of species, but explicit tests in humans have found a positive linear relationship between fitness and fertility. The failure to demonstrate a maximum beyond which additional births cease to enhance fitness is potentially at odds with the view that human fertility behaviour is currently adaptive. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first clear evidence for the predicted nonlinear relationship between female fertility and reproductive success in a human population, the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. The predicted maximum reproductive success of 4.1+/-0.3 surviving offspring was attained at a fertility of 10.5 births. Eighty-three per cent of the women achieved a lifetime fertility level (7-13 births) for which the predicted mean reproductive success was within the confidence limits (3.4 to 4.8) for reproductive success at the optimal fertility level. Child mortality, rather than fertility, was the primary determinant of fitness. Since the Dogon people are farmers, our results do not support the assumptions that: (i) contemporary foragers behave more adaptively than agriculturalists, and (ii) that adaptive fertility behaviour ceased with the Neolithic revolution some 9000 years ago. We also present a new method that avoids common biases in measures of reproductive success. PMID:11916470

  15. An offspring signal of quality affects the timing of future parental reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Kölliker, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    Solicitation signals by offspring are well known to influence parental behaviour, and it is commonly assumed that this behavioural effect translates into an effect on residual reproduction of parents. However, this equivalence assumption concerning behavioural and reproductive effects caused by offspring signals remains largely untested. Here, we tested the effect of a chemical offspring signal of quality on the relative timing and amount of future reproduction in the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). We manipulated the nutritional condition of earwig nymphs and exposed females to their extract, or to solvent as a control. There were no significant main effects of exposure treatment on 2nd clutch production, but exposure to extracts of well-fed nymphs induced predictable timing of the 2nd relative to the 1st clutch. This result demonstrates for the first time that an offspring signal per se, in the absence of any maternal behaviour, affects maternal reproductive timing, possibly through an effect on maternal reproductive physiology. PMID:21208942

  16. Alternatives in Human Reproduction for Involuntary Childless Couples.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmerman, Shirley L.

    1982-01-01

    Discusses human reproductive alternatives such as artificial insemination by husband and by donor, surrogate pregnancy, and in vitro fertilization in relation to involuntarily childless couples. Concludes by raising a number of questions for practice, policy, and research in the area of family life. (Author)

  17. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  18. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Ethylene Glycol.

    PubMed

    2004-01-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for ethylene glycol (EG) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. EG was selected for evaluation due to recent toxicity and occupational exposure information and widespread exposure in the general public. EG is a small, hydroxy-substituted hydrocarbon used as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyester compounds. It is also found in automotive anti-freeze, industrial coolants, hydraulic fluids, and windshield deicer fluids. The results of this evaluation on EG are published in a NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Ethylene Glycol, 2) the NTP Brief, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to EG on human development and reproduction based on the conclusions of the NTP-CERHR Expert Panel Report and the public comments received on that report. These conclusions concurred with those of the expert panel. First, although EG could possibly affect human development if exposures are sufficiently high, there is negligible concern for developmental effects in humans at current proposed/estimated exposure levels. There is no direct evidence that exposure of people to EG adversely affects reproduction or development, but studies reviewed by the expert panel show that oral exposure to high doses of EG can adversely affect development in mice and rats. These studies indicate doses that exceed saturation of the glycolic acid metabolism are needed to produce developmental toxicity. Proposed exposure scenarios constructed by the expert panel and current proposed/estimated exposure levels suggest that human exposures are at least 100- to 1000-fold lower than the dose expected to result in metabolic

  19. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals. PMID:20715626

  20. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals.

  1. Implant Size Availability Affects Reproduction of Distal Femoral Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Morris, William Z; Gebhart, Jeremy J; Goldberg, Victor M; Wera, Glenn D

    2016-07-01

    A total knee arthroplasty system offers more distal femoral implant anterior-posterior (AP) sizes than its predecessor. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of increased size availability on an implant system's ability to reproduce the AP dimension of the native distal femur. We measured 200 cadaveric femora with the AP-sizing guides of Zimmer (Warsaw, IN) NexGen (8 sizes) and Zimmer Persona (12 sizes) total knee arthroplasty systems. We defined "size deviation" as the difference in the AP dimension between the anatomic size of the native femur and the closest implant size. We defined satisfactory reproduction of distal femoral dimensions as < 1 mm difference between the implant and native femur size. The NexGen system was associated with a mean 0.46 mm greater implant size deviation than Persona (p < 0.001). When using a 1 mm size deviation as a cutoff for satisfactory replication of the native distal femoral anatomy, 85/200 specimens (42.5%) were a poor fit by NexGen, but a satisfactory fit by Persona. Only 1/200 specimens (0.5%) was a poor fit by Persona, but a satisfactory fit by NexGen (p < 0.001). The novel knee system with 12 versus 8 sizes reproduces the AP dimension of the native distal femur more closely than its predecessor. Further study is needed to determine the clinical impact of these differences.

  2. [A sociological study of factors affecting reproductive health of female teenagers and young women].

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

  3. Smoking and reproduction: gene damage to human gametes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Zenzes, M T

    2000-01-01

    Assisted conception is a useful methodology for detecting disturbances in clinical outcome, meiotic maturation, and genetic integrity of human gametes. Germinal cells are vulnerable to genetic damage from smoking, but can repair damage during meiosis. In ejaculated spermatozoa, repair capacity declines drastically. Smoking alters the meiotic spindle of oocytes and spermatozoa, leading to chromosome errors which affect reproductive outcomes. Smoking is associated with reduced numbers of retrieved oocytes, leading to early age of menopause. Oocyte elimination occurs preferentially during meiosis I, a period sensitive to genetic damage. Smoking inhibits embryo fragmentation; inhibition may confer survival advantage to embryos genetically altered. Smoking is associated with low sperm quality, but clinical effects are not recognized. Cadmium (a heavy metal), nicotine (a toxic alkaloid), and its metabolite cotinine, are detectable in gonadal tissues and fluids in association with smoking. Cotinine incorporates into ovarian granulosa-lutein cells, compromising the developmental potential of follicles. Benzo[a]pyrene is a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon resulting from cigarette combustion. Its reactive metabolite binds covalently to DNA, forming adducts. Smoking-related adducts were detectable in ovarian granulosa-lutein cells, oocytes, spermatozoa and preimplantation embryos. Transmission of altered DNA from smoking by spermatozoa was demonstrated in preimplantation embryos and in association with increased risk of childhood cancer. PMID:10782570

  4. Human Disturbance Influences Reproductive Success and Growth Rate in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)

    PubMed Central

    French, Susannah S.; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K.; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R.

    2011-01-01

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations. PMID:21436887

  5. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R

    2011-03-16

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations.

  6. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R

    2011-01-01

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations. PMID:21436887

  7. Effects of a group-based reproductive management extension programme on key management outcomes affecting reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Brownlie, Tom S; Morton, John M; Heuer, Cord; McDougall, Scott

    2015-02-01

    A group-based reproductive management extension programme has been designed to help managers of dairy herds improve herd reproductive performance. The aims of this study were, firstly, to assess effects of participation by key decision makers (KDMs) in a farmer action group programme in 2009 and 2010 on six key management outcomes (KMOs) that affect reproductive performance over 2 years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), and secondly, to describe KDM intentions to change management behaviour(s) affecting each management outcome after participation in the programme. Seasonal calving dairy herds from four regions of New Zealand were enrolled in the study. Intentions to modify management behaviour were recorded using the formal written action plans developed during the extension programme. KMOs assessed were calving pattern of the herd, pre-calving heifer liveweight, pre-calving and premating body condition score (BCS), oestrus detection, anoestrus cow management and bull management. Participation was associated with improvements in heifer liveweight, more heifers calving in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal calving period, premating BCS and oestrus detection. No significant effects were observed on anoestrus cow management or bull management. KDMs with greater numbers of proposed actions had lower 6 week in-calf rates in the second study year than KDMs who proposed fewer actions. A more effective strategy to ensure more appropriate objectives is proposed. Strategies to help KDMs to implement proposed actions more successfully should be investigated to improve the programme further.

  8. Human reproduction in art: from myths to history.

    PubMed

    Petraglia, Felice; Bettini, Maurizio

    2010-08-01

    Conception, gestation, and birth, including maternal-fetal health, have been the subject of narrative and art since early human history. Myth and histories related to pregnancy were represented by sculptors and painters as well as the subject of several operas: the mystery of reproduction was always a fascinating theme. This mystery was commonly represented across cultures and time, in the old world, from Egypt to India, to Greece and Rome continuing until the Renaissance and the Modern period. To be an artist meant also to be a scientist in several societies. The current paper reports 12 examples of the fusion of art and reproductive science.

  9. Effect of environmental pollutants on human reproduction, including birth defects

    SciTech Connect

    Kurzel, R.B.; Cetrulo, C.L.

    1981-06-01

    Because chemicals from a wide range of environmental sources have been implicated in birth defects and reproductive failures, the effects on human reproduction of chemicals in air, in the terrestrial ecosystem, and in food were studied. Chemicals considered included nicotine, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic compounds, red dye number2, DES, PCB's, TCDD, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, strontium, and zinc. The most serious source of chemical exposure to pregnant women is cigarette smoke which exposes unborn babies to high levels of carbon monoxide, cadmium, nicotine, and benzo-a-pyrene. Fetal exposure to all teratogenic compounds must be minimized.

  10. Pathophysiological roles of chemokines in human reproduction: an overview.

    PubMed

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Yamada, Hisao

    2011-05-01

    Chemokines are a group of small cytokines that have an ability to induce leukocyte migration. Chemokines exert their functions by binding and activating specific G protein-coupled receptors. Studies have unveiled pleiotropic bioactivities of chemokines in various phenomena ranging from immunomodulation, embryogenesis, and homeostasis to pathogenesis. In the mammalian reproductive system, chemokines unexceptionally serve in multimodal events that are closely associated with establishment, maintenance, and deterioration of fecundity. The aim of this review is to update the knowledge on chemokines in male and female genital organs, with a focus on their potential pathophysiological roles in human reproduction.

  11. The ethics of human reproductive cloning: when world views collide.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Cynthia B

    2004-01-01

    Two camps in bioethics with seemingly opposing world views have staked out conflicting positions regarding the ethics of human reproductive cloning. These camps do not appear to share common concepts or ways of reasoning through which to exchange views and come to a meeting of minds about uses of this technology. Yet analysis of their respective approaches to several issues surrounding reproductive cloning, such as where the ethical limits of individual reproductive choice lie, whether the use of this technology would violate human dignity, whether it would create risks to the resulting fetuses and children that would make its use intolerable, and whether it would challenge certain core social values, reveals that they are not wholly opposed to one another. Indeed, it displays that they hold certain beliefs, values, and concerns in common. Moreover, it indicates that the different world views that they each presuppose, while flawed in certain respects, do not collide in every respect, but can be reconciled in significant ways that provide fertile ground for agreement about several issues related to human reproductive cloning.

  12. Just another reproductive technology? The ethics of human reproductive cloning as an experimental medical procedure.

    PubMed

    Elsner, D

    2006-10-01

    Human reproductive cloning (HRC) has not yet resulted in any live births. There has been widespread condemnation of the practice in both the scientific world and the public sphere, and many countries explicitly outlaw the practice. Concerns about the procedure range from uncertainties about its physical safety to questions about the psychological well-being of clones. Yet, key aspects such as the philosophical implications of harm to future entities and a comparison with established reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are often overlooked in discussions about HRC. Furthermore, there are people who are willing to use the technology. Several scientists have been outspoken in their intent to pursue HRC. The importance of concerns about the physical safety of children created by HRC and comparisons with concerns about the safety of IVF are discussed. A model to be used to determine when it is acceptable to use HRC and other new assisted reproductive technologies, balancing reproductive freedom and safety concerns, is proposed. Justifications underpinning potential applications of HRC are discussed, and it is determined that these are highly analogous to rationalisations used to justify IVF treatment. It is concluded that people wishing to conceive using HRC should have a prima facie negative right to do so.

  13. Clonal Patch Size and Ramet Position of Leymus chinensis Affected Reproductive Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive allocation is critically important for population maintenance and usually varies with not only environmental factors but also biotic ones. As a typical rhizome clonal plant in China's northern grasslands, Leymus chinensis usually dominates the steppe communities and grows in clonal patches. In order to clarify the sexual reproductive allocation of L. chinensis in the process of the growth and expansion, we selected L. chinensis clonal patches of a range of sizes to examine the reproductive allocation and allometric growth of the plants. Moreover, the effects of position of L. chinensis ramets within the patch on their reproductive allocation were also examined. Clonal patch size and position both significantly affected spike biomass, reproductive tiller biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio. From the central to the marginal zone, both the spike biomass and reproductive tiller biomass displayed an increasing trend in all the five patch size categories except for reproductive tiller biomass in 15–40m2 category. L. chinensis had significantly larger SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio in marginal zone than in central zone of clonal patches that are larger than 15 m2 in area. Regression analysis showed that the spike biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio were negatively correlated with clonal patch size while patch size showed significantly positive effect on SEED/SPIKE biomass ratio, but the reproductive tiller biomass and SEED/TILLER biomass ratio were not dependent on clonal patch size. The relationships between biomass of spike and reproductive tiller, between mature seed biomass and spike biomass and between mature seed biomass and reproductive tiller biomass were significant allometric for all or some of patch size categories, respectively. The slopes of all these allometric relationships were significantly different from 1. The allometric growth of L. chinensis is patch size-dependent. This finding will be helpful for developing appropriate practices for

  14. Intracolonial genetic variation affects reproductive skew and colony productivity during colony foundation in a parthenogenetic termite

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In insect societies, intracolonial genetic variation is predicted to affect both colony efficiency and reproductive skew. However, because the effects of genetic variation on these two colony characteristics have been tested independently, it remains unclear whether they are affected by genetic variation independently or in a related manner. Here we test the effect of genetic variation on colony efficiency and reproductive skew in a rhinotermitid termite, Reticulitermes speratus, a species in which female-female pairs can facultatively found colonies. We established colonies using two types of female-female pairs: colonies founded by sisters (i.e., sister-pair colonies) and those founded by females from different colonies (i.e., unrelated-pair colonies). Colony growth and reproductive skew were then compared between the two types of incipient colonies. Results At 15 months after colony foundation, unrelated-pair colonies were larger than sister-pair colonies, although the caste ratio between workers and nymphs, which were alternatively differentiated from young larvae, did not differ significantly. Microsatellite DNA analyses of both founders and their parthenogenetically produced offspring indicated that, in both sister-pair and unrelated-pair colonies, there was no significant skew in the production of eggs, larvae, workers and soldiers. Nymph production, however, was significantly more skewed in the sister-pair colonies than in unrelated-pair colonies. Because nymphs can develop into winged adults (alates) or nymphoid reproductives, they have a higher chance of direct reproduction than workers in this species. Conclusions Our results support the idea that higher genetic variation among colony members could provide an increase in colony productivity, as shown in hymenopteran social insects. Moreover, this study suggests that low genetic variation (high relatedness) between founding females increases reproductive skew via one female preferentially

  15. The reproduction in women affected by cooley disease

    PubMed Central

    Pafumi, Carlo; Leanza, Vito; Coco, Luana; Vizzini, Stefania; Ciotta, Lilliana; Messina, Alessandra; Leanza, Gianluca; Zarbo, Giuseppe; D'Agati, Alfio; Palumbo, Marco Antonio; Iemmola, Alessandra; Gulino, Ferdinando Antonio; Teodoro, Maria Cristina; Attard, Matthew; Plesca, Alina Cristina; Soares, Catarina; Kouloubis, Nina; Chammas, Mayada

    2011-01-01

    The health background management and outcomes of 5 pregnancies in 4 women affected by Cooley Disease, from Paediatric Institute of Catania University, are described, considering the preconceptual guidances and cares for such patients. These patients were selected among a group of 100 thalassemic women divided into three subgroups, according to their first and successive menstruation characteristics: i) patients with primitive amenorrhoea, ii) patients with secondary amenorrhoea and iii) patients with normal menstruation. Only one woman, affected by primitive amenorrhoea, needed the induction of ovulation. A precise and detailed pre-pregnancy assessment was effected before each conception. This was constituted by a series of essays, including checks for diabetes and hypothyroidism, for B and C hepatitis and for blood group antibodies. Moreover were evaluated: cardiac function, rubella immunity and transaminases. Other pregnancy monitoring, and cares during labour and delivery were effected according to usual obstetrics practice. All the women were in labour when she were 38 week pregnant, and the outcome were five healthy babies born at term, weighting between 2600 and 3200gs. The only complication was the Caesarean section. The improvements of current treatments, especially in the management of iron deposits, the prolongation of survival rate, will result in a continuous increase of pregnancies in thalassemic women. Pregnancy is now a real possibility for women affected by such disease. We are furthermore studying the possibility to collect the fetus' umbilical cord blood, after the delivery, to attempt eterologus transplantation to his mother trying to get a complete marrow reconstitution. PMID:22184526

  16. [Legal and philosophical considerations about cloning in human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Bellver Capella, V

    1999-01-01

    The birth of Dolly the sheep has served to rekindle the debate on the lawfulness of cloning for human reproduction. Although the normative response has been unanimous thus far in sanctioning such use, the matter of the limits to this is widely debated. In this article the author examines the reasons underpinning the limits imposed: is cloning for human reproduction unlawful in itself of does everything depend on the aim pursued? The issue is addressed from the standpoint of the apparent clash in law between the right to reproduce and freedom of research, on the one hand, and--on the other--the right to be conceived in a given manner. Particular attention is paid to the question of the lawfulness of two instances of human embryo division, namely, for in vitro fertilization and for preimplantation diagnosis.

  17. [Legal and philosophical considerations about cloning in human reproduction].

    PubMed

    Bellver Capella, V

    1999-01-01

    The birth of Dolly the sheep has served to rekindle the debate on the lawfulness of cloning for human reproduction. Although the normative response has been unanimous thus far in sanctioning such use, the matter of the limits to this is widely debated. In this article the author examines the reasons underpinning the limits imposed: is cloning for human reproduction unlawful in itself of does everything depend on the aim pursued? The issue is addressed from the standpoint of the apparent clash in law between the right to reproduce and freedom of research, on the one hand, and--on the other--the right to be conceived in a given manner. Particular attention is paid to the question of the lawfulness of two instances of human embryo division, namely, for in vitro fertilization and for preimplantation diagnosis. PMID:10822640

  18. The role of syncytins in human reproduction and reproductive organ cancers.

    PubMed

    Soygur, Bikem; Sati, Leyla

    2016-11-01

    Human life begins with sperm and oocyte fusion. After fertilization, various fusion events occur during human embryogenesis and morphogenesis. For example, the fusion of trophoblastic cells constitutes a key process for normal placental development. Fusion in the placenta is facilitated by syncytin 1 and syncytin 2. These syncytins arose from retroviral sequences that entered the primate genome 25 million and more than 40 million years ago respectively. About 8% of the human genome consists of similar human endogenous retroviral (HERVs) sequences. Many are inactive because of mutations or deletions. However, the role of the few that remain transcriptionally active has not been fully elucidated. Syncytin proteins maintain cell-cell fusogenic activity based on ENV: gene-mediated viral cell entry. In this review, we summarize how syncytins and their receptors are involved in fusion events during human reproduction. The significance of syncytins in tumorigenesis is also discussed.

  19. Analysis of an epigenetic argument against human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Nordgren, Anders

    2006-08-01

    Human reproductive cloning is a much disputed ethical issue. This technology is often condemned as being contrary to human dignity. However, there are also risk arguments. An ethical argument that is often put forward by scientists but seldom developed in more detail focuses on health risks in animal cloning. There is a high risk that animal clones exhibit abnormalities and these are increasingly believed to be due to errors in epigenetic reprogramming. The argument is that human reproductive cloning should not be carried out because human clones are also likely to exhibit abnormalities due to inappropriate epigenetic reprogramming. Different versions of this epigenetic argument are analysed, a categorical version and a non-categorical. The non-categorical version is suggested to be more well-considered. With regard to policy making on human reproductive cloning, the categorical version can be used to prescribe a permanent ban, while the non-categorical version can be used to prescribe a temporary ban. The implications of the precautionary principle--as interpreted in the European Union--are investigated. The conclusion is that it seems possible to support a temporary ban by reference to this principle.

  20. Melatonin, But not auxin, affects postnatal reproductive development in the marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris).

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Kent E

    2013-06-01

    Melatonin and the plant hormone auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) have some structural similarity and, may thus exert comparable physiological effects on reproduction and growth. To test this possibility, I examined the effects of melatonin and auxin administration on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development in an animal model, the marsh rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Juvenile males housed under 14L:10D conditions were injected daily for four weeks with saline, melatonin, auxin, or melatonin and auxin, and the development of the testes and other organs was assessed. Melatonin alone significantly inhibited the development of the testes, seminal vesicles, Harderian glands, and overall somatic growth, but not the spleen. Auxin did not affect any endpoint measured. When melatonin was administered simultaneously with auxin, the melatonin effects dominated in suppressing reproduction and growth. The administration of melatonin or auxin in the drinking water produced results similar to the effects of melatonin and auxin injections reported herein. Lastly, both melatonin and auxin in the drinking water failed to alter any short photoperiod-induced reproductive inhibition. These data suggest that structural similarities between melatonin and auxin do not result in similar postnatal effects on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development on a long photoperiod and further suggest that melatonin and auxin do not operate through a common physiological mechanism.

  1. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications. PMID:25620292

  2. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications.

  3. Bisphenol A and Reproductive Health: Update of Experimental and Human Evidence, 2007–2013

    PubMed Central

    Peretz, Jackye; Vrooman, Lisa; Ricke, William A.; Hunt, Patricia A.; Ehrlich, Shelley; Hauser, Russ; Padmanabhan, Vasantha; Taylor, Hugh S.; Swan, Shanna H.; VandeVoort, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In 2007, an expert panel reviewed associations between bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and reproductive health outcomes. Since then, new studies have been conducted on the impact of BPA on reproduction. Objective: In this review, we summarize data obtained since 2007, focusing on a) findings from human and animal studies, b) the effects of BPA on a variety of reproductive end points, and c) mechanisms of BPA action. Methods: We reviewed the literature published from 2007 to 2013 using a PubMed search based on keywords related to BPA and male and female reproduction. Discussion: Because BPA has been reported to affect the onset of meiosis in both animal and in vitro models, interfere with germ cell nest breakdown in animal models, accelerate follicle transition in several animal species, alter steroidogenesis in multiple animal models and women, and reduce oocyte quality in animal models and women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), we consider it an ovarian toxicant. In addition, strong evidence suggests that BPA is a uterine toxicant because it impaired uterine endometrial proliferation, decreased uterine receptivity, and increased implantation failure in animal models. BPA exposure may be associated with adverse birth outcomes, hyperandrogenism, sexual dysfunction, and impaired implantation in humans, but additional studies are required to confirm these associations. Studies also suggest that BPA may be a testicular toxicant in animal models, but the data in humans are equivocal. Finally, insufficient evidence exists regarding effects of BPA on the oviduct, the placenta, and pubertal development. Conclusion: Based on reports that BPA impacts female reproduction and has the potential to affect male reproductive systems in humans and animals, we conclude that BPA is a reproductive toxicant. Citation: Peretz J, Vrooman L, Ricke WA, Hunt PA, Ehrlich S, Hauser R, Padmanabhan V, Taylor HS, Swan SH, VandeVoort CA, Flaws JA. 2014. Bisphenol A and reproductive

  4. Reproduction in the space environment: Part II. Concerns for human reproduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jennings, R. T.; Santy, P. A.

    1990-01-01

    Long-duration space flight and eventual colonization of our solar system will require successful control of reproductive function and a thorough understanding of factors unique to space flight and their impact on gynecologic and obstetric parameters. Part II of this paper examines the specific environmental factors associated with space flight and the implications for human reproduction. Space environmental hazards discussed include radiation, alteration in atmospheric pressure and breathing gas partial pressures, prolonged toxicological exposure, and microgravity. The effects of countermeasures necessary to reduce cardiovascular deconditioning, calcium loss, muscle wasting, and neurovestibular problems are also considered. In addition, the impact of microgravity on male fertility and gamete quality is explored. Due to current constraints, human pregnancy is now contraindicated for space flight. However, a program to explore effective countermeasures to current constraints and develop the required health care delivery capability for extended-duration space flight is suggested. A program of Earth- and space-based research to provide further answers to reproductive questions is suggested.

  5. Manifestations of immune tolerance in the human female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Gary F.; Schust, Danny J.

    2012-01-01

    Like other mucosal surfaces (e.g., the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract), the human female reproductive tract acts as an initial barrier to foreign antigens. In this role, the epithelial surface and subepithelial immune cells must balance protection against pathogenic insults against harmful inflammatory reactions and acceptance of particular foreign antigens. Two common examples of these acceptable foreign antigens are the fetal allograft and human semen/sperm. Both are purposely deposited into the female genital tract and appropriate immunologic response to these non-self antigens is essential to the survival of the species. In light of the weight of this task, it is not surprising that multiple, redundant and overlapping mechanisms are involved. For instance, cells at the immunologic interface between self (female reproductive tract epithelium) and non-self (placental trophoblast cells or human sperm) express glycosylation patterns that mimic those on many metastatic cancer cells and successful pathogens. The cytokine/chemokine milieu at this interface is altered through endocrine and immunologic mechanisms to favor tolerance of non-self. The “foreign” cells themselves also play an integral role in their own immunologic acceptance, since sperm and placental trophoblast cells are unusual and unique in their antigen presenting molecule expression patterns. Here, we will discuss these and other mechanisms that allow the human female reproductive tract to perform this delicate and indispensible balancing act. PMID:23407606

  6. Selenium status affects selenoprotein expression, reproduction, and F₁ generation locomotor activity in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Penglase, Sam; Hamre, Kristin; Rasinger, Josef D; Ellingsen, Staale

    2014-06-14

    Se is an essential trace element, and is incorporated into selenoproteins which play important roles in human health. Mammalian selenoprotein-coding genes are often present as paralogues in teleost fish, and it is unclear whether the expression patterns or functions of these fish paralogues reflect their mammalian orthologues. Using the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio; ZF), we aimed to assess how dietary Se affects key parameters in Se metabolism and utilisation including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity, the mRNA expression of key Se-dependent proteins (gpx1a, gpx1b, sepp1a and sepp1b), oxidative status, reproductive success and F1 generation locomotor activity. From 27 d until 254 d post-fertilisation, ZF were fed diets with graded levels of Se ranging from deficient ( < 0·10 mg/kg) to toxic (30 mg/kg). The mRNA expression of gpx1a and gpx1b and GPX activity responded in a similar manner to changes in Se status. GPX activity and mRNA levels were lowest when dietary Se levels (0·3 mg/kg) resulted in the maximum growth of ZF, and a proposed bimodal mechanism in response to Se status below and above this dietary Se level was identified. The expression of the sepp1 paralogues differed, with only sepp1a responding to Se status. High dietary Se supplementation (30 mg/kg) decreased reproductive success, while the offspring of ZF fed above 0·3 mg Se/kg diet had lower locomotor activity than the other groups. Overall, the novel finding of low selenoprotein expression and activity coinciding with maximum body growth suggests that even small Se-induced variations in redox status may influence cellular growth rates. PMID:24666596

  7. Steroids, reproductive endocrine function, and affect. A review.

    PubMed

    Frye, C A

    2009-12-01

    Although the effects of estrogen (E2) on mood have been studied for some time, there is controversy over the utility of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Administration of E2 and/or other steroid hormones (e.g., progestogens, androgens, etc.) may be able to reduce increased anxiety and depression that is present with the onset of menopause. However, some studies indicate that E2 replacement does not significantly improve anxiety and/or depressive symptoms in all postmenopausal subjects. More recent data suggests that the efficacy of HRT could be based on a number of factors, including variety of E2-replacements available, the timing during or after menopause when HRT is initiated, and/or effects of other steroid hormones, such as progestogens and androgens. Notably, little attention has been paid to the possible synergistic effects of E2 that may require progestogens and/or androgens to produce positive outcomes in mood. Additionally, steroid hormones have a number of effects that influence anxiety and depression across the lifespan. As such, dose, timing, and combination of steroid replacement may explain these differences in behavioral outcome. With the increasing peri- to postmenopausal population, many women can expect to live nearly half their lifetime in a postmenopausal state. Therefore, examining these ambiguous findings is of critical importance. This review will focus on a synthesis of the available information regarding findings from animal and human studies in terms of effects of steroid hormones across the lifespan, different HRT options and their subsequent interactions in the brain and/or the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and effects on anxiety and depression.

  8. Assessing Reproductive Toxicity of Two Environmental Toxicants with a Novel in vitro Human Spermatogenic Model

    PubMed Central

    Easley, Charles A.; Bradner, Joshua M.; Moser, Amber; Rickman, Chelsea A.; McEachin, Zachary T.; Merritt, Megan M.; Hansen, Jason M.; Caudle, W. Michael

    2015-01-01

    Environmental influences and insults by reproductive toxicant exposure can lead to impaired spermatogenesis or infertility. Understanding how toxicants disrupt spermatogenesis is critical for determining how environmental factors contribute to impaired fertility. While current animal models are available, understanding of the reproductive toxic effects on human fertility requires a more robust model system. We recently demonstrated that human pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into spermatogonial stem cells/spermatogonia, primary and secondary spermatocytes, and haploid spermatids; a model that mimics many aspects of human spermatogenesis. Here, using this model system, we examine the effects of 2-bromopropane (2-BP) and 1–2, Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) on in vitro human spermatogenesis. 2-BP and DBCP are non-endocrine disrupting toxicants that are known to impact male fertility. We show that acute treatment with either 2-BP or DBCP induces a reduction in germ cell viability through apoptosis. 2-BP and DBCP affect viability of different cell populations as 2-BP primarily reduces spermatocyte viability whereas DBCP exerts a much greater effect on spermatogonia. Acute treatment with 2-BP or DBCP also reduces the percentage of haploid spermatids. Both 2-BP and DBCP induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation leading to an oxidized cellular environment. Taken together, these results suggest that acute exposure with 2-BP or DBCP causes human germ cell death in vitro by inducing ROS formation. This system represents a unique platform for assessing human reproductive toxicity potential of various environmental toxicants in a rapid, efficient, and unbiased format. PMID:25863443

  9. Biomarkers for assessing human female reproductive health, an interdisciplinary approach.

    PubMed Central

    Lasley, B L; Overstreet, J W

    1998-01-01

    Identification of environmental hazards to reproductive health and characterization of the adverse outcomes necessitate a multidisciplinary approach. Epidemiologic studies are required for the identification of adverse health effects in human populations and then to confirm that specific exposures are responsible. Clinical studies are required to develop assays for reproductive biomarkers and to validate these assays prior to their application in the field. Assays for field use must be formatted and streamlined for large-scale applications and, whenever possible, computer algorithms should be developed to interpret biomarker data. Appropriate animal models must be identified, biomarker assays validated for that model, and animal experiments conducted to identify the mode of action and target organ of a putative reproductive toxicant. Finally, in vitro studies at the level of the cell and cell organelle are essential for mechanisms for toxicity to be clearly identified and understood. In this article we describe the interdisciplinary approach that we have developed for study of the effects of environmental agents on female reproductive functions. This effort requires specific skills of toxicologists, epidemiologists, physicians, biochemists, and physiologists. PMID:9703478

  10. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  11. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production.

  12. Prokineticins in central and peripheral control of human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Traboulsi, Wael; Brouillet, Sophie; Sergent, Frederic; Boufettal, Houssine; Samouh, Naima; Aboussaouira, Touria; Hoffmann, Pascale; Feige, Jean Jacques; Benharouga, Mohamed; Alfaidy, Nadia

    2015-11-01

    Prokineticin 1 (PROK1) and (PROK2), are two closely related proteins that were identified as the mammalian homologs of their two amphibian homologs, mamba intestinal toxin (MIT-1) and Bv8. PROKs activate two G-protein linked receptors (prokineticin receptor 1 and 2, PROKR1 and PROKR2). Both PROK1 and PROK2 have been found to regulate a stunning array of biological functions. In particular, PROKs stimulate gastrointestinal motility, thus accounting for their family name "prokineticins". PROK1 acts as a potent angiogenic mitogen, thus earning its other name, endocrine gland-derived vascular endothelial factor. In contrast, PROK2 signaling pathway has been shown to be a critical regulator of olfactory bulb morphogenesis and sexual maturation. During the last decade, strong evidences established the key roles of prokineticins in the control of human central and peripheral reproductive processes. PROKs act as main regulators of the physiological functions of the ovary, uterus, placenta, and testis, with marked dysfunctions in various pathological conditions such as recurrent pregnancy loss, and preeclampsia. PROKs have also been associated to the tumor development of some of these organs. In the central system, prokineticins control the migration of GnRH neurons, a key process that controls reproductive functions. Importantly, mutations in PROK2 and PROKR2 are associated to the development of Kallmann syndrome, with direct consequences on the reproductive system. This review describes the finely tuned actions of prokineticins in the control of the central and peripheral reproductive processes. Also, it discusses future research directions for the use of these cytokines as diagnostic markers for several reproductive diseases.

  13. Human longevity at the cost of reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Westendorp, R G; Kirkwood, T B

    The disposable soma theory on the evolution of ageing states that longevity requires investments in somatic maintenance that reduce the resources available for reproduction. Experiments in Drosophila melanogaster indicate that trade-offs of this kind exist in non-human species. We have determined the interrelationship between longevity and reproductive success in Homo sapiens using a historical data set from the British aristocracy. The number of progeny was small when women died at an early age, increased with the age of death, reaching a plateau through the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of life, but decreased again in women who died at an age of 80 years or over. Age at first childbirth was lowest in women who died early and highest for women who died at the oldest ages. When account was taken only of women who had reached menopause, who were aged 60 years and over, female longevity was negatively correlated with number of progeny and positively correlated with age at first childbirth. The findings show that human life histories involve a trade-off between longevity and reproduction.

  14. [A sociological study of factors affecting reproductive health of female teenagers and young women].

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. PMID:12882120

  15. Reproductive ectogenesis: the third era of human reproduction and some moral consequences.

    PubMed

    Welin, Stellan

    2004-10-01

    In a well known story Derek Parfit describes a disconnection between two entities that normally (in real life) travel together through space and time, namely your personal identity consisting of both mind and body. Realising the possibility of separation, even if it might never happen in real life, new questions arise that cast doubt on old solutions. In human reproduction, in real life, at present the fetus spends approximately nine months inside the pregnant woman. But, we might envisage other possibilities. Historically, the first era is the normal conception inside the woman, the growth of the fetus in the womb and then, after nine months, birth and the appearance of a new individual. The second era is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). The fetus starts outside the woman as a fertilised egg, moves to the body of the woman and spends nine month there, where the body of the woman and the fetus travel together in space-time to separate at birth. In the third era of reproductive ectogenesis, the two never travel together. The fetus spends its gestational time entirely outside the woman's body. We have two entities separated in space-time the whole time. The intimate connection consisting in the fetus being a part of the woman's body is gone. In this paper I will briefly comment on the three eras of human reproduction--and primarily on the relationship between the new individual and the woman--and then spend some time with a fictional story illustrating some moral consequences of the third era. The story is from Pig Pharmaceuticals Limited and how they in the year 2050 report the successful development of pig-related pregnancies with transgenic pigs as surrogate mothers.

  16. Telocytes in female reproductive system (human and animal).

    PubMed

    Aleksandrovych, Veronika; Walocha, Jerzy A; Gil, Krzysztof

    2016-06-01

    Telocytes (TCs) are a newly discovered type of cell with numerous functions. They have been found in a large variety of organs: heart (endo-, myo-, epi- and pericardium, myocardial sleeves, heart valves); digestive tract and annex glands (oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, liver, gallbladder, salivary gland, exocrine pancreas); respiratory system (trachea and lungs); urinary system (kidney, renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, urethra); female reproductive system (uterus, Fallopian tube, placenta, mammary gland); vasculature (blood vessels, thoracic duct); serous membranes (mesentery and pleura); and other organs (skeletal muscle, meninges and choroid plexus, neuromuscular spindles, fascia lata, skin, eye, prostate, bone marrow). Likewise, TCs are widely distributed in vertebrates (fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, including human). This review summarizes particular features of TCs in the female reproductive system, emphasizing their involvement in physiological and pathophysiological processes. PMID:27060783

  17. New Genes Controlling Human Reproduction and How You Find Them

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, William F.; Pitteloud, Nelly; Seminara, Stephanie

    2008-01-01

    The neuroendocrine control of reproduction in all mammals is governed by a hypothalamic neural network of approximately 1,500 gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons that control activity of the reproductive axis across life. Recently, the syndrome of human GnRH deficiency, either with anosmia, termed Kallmann Syndrome (KS), or with a normal sense of smell, termed normosmic Idiopathic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism (nIHH), have proven important disease models that have revealed much about the abnormalities that can befall the GnRH neurons as they differentiate, migrate, form networks, mature and senesce. Mutations in several genes responsible for these highly coordinated developmental processes have thus been unearthed by the study of this prismatic disease model. This paper discusses several of the more important discoveries in this rapidly evolving field and puts them into a developmental and physiologic context. PMID:18596868

  18. Alternative reproductive tactics in atlantic salmon: factors affecting mature parr success

    PubMed Central

    Thomaz, D.; Beall, E.; Burke, T.

    1997-01-01

    In Atlantic salmon, as in most salmonids, males can mature early in the life cycle, as small freshwater fish, termed parr, and/or undergo a sea migration before maturing as full-size adults. The alternative life histories are contingent on environmental and social circumstances, such as growth rate, territory quality or any other factor that affects the individual's state. In order to model the choice of life history in this group of commercially valuable species, it is necessary to understand not only the relative contribution of the different male types to subsequent generations, but also to know the factors that affect reproductive success in each type. In this paper we present the results of a study designed to investigate the factors that affect the reproductive success of mature parr. We used highly polymorphic minisatellite DNA markers to analyse paternity in a series of mating experiments where the number and body size of parr were manipulated. The fraction of eggs fertilized by mature parr ranged from 26 to 40 per cent, with individual parr fertilizing up to 26 per cent of the eggs. A strong positive correlation was found between parr size and reproductive success. The relative success of parr decreased with increasing parr number. Data from this and other studies on variation in the timing and degree of parr reproductive success are discussed in relation to the evolution of male mating strategies and life history in salmonids.

  19. Chlamydia trachomatis and Genital Mycoplasmas: Pathogens with an Impact on Human Reproductive Health

    PubMed Central

    Ljubin-Sternak, Sunčanica; Meštrović, Tomislav

    2014-01-01

    The most prevalent, curable sexually important diseases are those caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) and genital mycoplasmas. An important characteristic of these infections is their ability to cause long-term sequels in upper genital tract, thus potentially affecting the reproductive health in both sexes. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal factor infertility (TFI), and ectopic pregnancy (EP) are well documented complications of C. trachomatis infection in women. The role of genital mycoplasmas in development of PID, TFI, and EP requires further evaluation, but growing evidence supports a significant role for these in the pathogenesis of chorioamnionitis, premature membrane rupture, and preterm labor in pregnant woman. Both C. trachomatis and genital mycoplasmas can affect the quality of sperm and possibly influence the fertility of men. For the purpose of this paper, basic, epidemiologic, clinical, therapeutic, and public health issue of these infections were reviewed and discussed, focusing on their impact on human reproductive health. PMID:25614838

  20. Human Leukocyte Antigen-G Within the Male Reproductive System: Implications for Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2015-01-01

    In sexual reproduction in humans, a man has a clear interest in ensuring that the immune system of his female partner accepts the semi-allogenic fetus. Increasing attention has been given to soluble immunomodulatory molecules in the seminal fluid as one mechanism of ensuring this, possibly by "priming" the woman's immune system before conception and at conception. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of the immunoregulatory and tolerance-inducible human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G in the male reproductive organs. The expression of HLA-G in the blastocyst and by extravillous trophoblast cells in the placenta during pregnancy has been well described. Highly variable amounts of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) in seminal plasma from different men have been reported, and the concentration of sHLA-G is associated with HLA-G genotype. A first pilot study indicates that the level of sHLA-G in seminal plasma may even be associated with the chance of pregnancy in couples, where the male partner has reduced semen quality. More studies are needed to verify these preliminary findings.

  1. Inflammatory bowel diseases and human reproduction: A comprehensive evidence-based review

    PubMed Central

    Palomba, Stefano; Sereni, Giuliana; Falbo, Angela; Beltrami, Marina; Lombardini, Silvia; Boni, Maria Chiara; Fornaciari, Giovanni; Sassatelli, Romano; La Sala, Giovanni Battista

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) on human reproduction, we reviewed the current literature using a systematic search for published studies (articles and/or abstracts) without limits for English language. We searched on Medline (through PubMed), the Institute for Scientific Information, the Web of Science and the websites for the registration of controlled trials (http://controlled-trials.com/). Bibliographies of retrieved articles, books, expert opinion review articles and reviewed bibliographies from subject experts were manually searched. Titles and abstracts were screened initially, and potential relevant articles were identified and reviewed. Whenever possible, data were analyzed by comparing IBD patients vs healthy controls, and patients with active IBDs vs those with disease in remission. The effects of IBDs on female fertility, fertility in infertile couples, pregnancy and male infertility were examined separately. Patients with IBDs in remission have normal fertility. At the moment, there is no established guideline for the preservation of fertility in women with IBD undergoing surgery. Further data are needed regarding guidelines for the management of these patients. Data regarding IBDs and infertility are currently completely lacking. Considering the prevalence of intestinal pathology in young adults of childbearing age, this field is of great scientific and clinical interest, opening up important future perspectives. Another important and as yet unexplored point is the response to treatments for infertility in patients with IBDs. In particular, the question is whether the reproductive outcomes (clinical and biological) can be influenced by the IBD of one of the partners. The goals for successful reproductive outcomes in IBD population are correct counseling and disease remission. IBDs significantly affect several reproductive aspects of human (female, male, couple) reproduction. Further data are needed to develop guidelines

  2. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  3. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  4. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  5. Male Seminal Fluid Substances Affect Sperm Competition Success and Female Reproductive Behavior in a Seed Beetle

    PubMed Central

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females’ initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females’ initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species. PMID:25893888

  6. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  7. Human rights advances in women's reproductive health in Africa.

    PubMed

    Ngwena, Charles G; Brookman-Amissah, Eunice; Skuster, Patty

    2015-05-01

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights recently adopted General Comment No 2 to interpret provisions of Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights Women. The provisions relate to women's rights to fertility control, contraception, family planning, information and education, and abortion. The present article highlights the General Comment's potential to promote women's sexual and reproductive rights in multiple ways. The General Comment's human rights value goes beyond providing states with guidance for framing their domestic laws, practices, and policies to comply with treaty obligations. General Comment No 2 is invaluable in educating all stakeholders-including healthcare providers, lawyers, policymakers, and judicial officers at the domestic level-about pertinent jurisprudence. Civil society and human rights advocates can use the General Comment to render the state accountable for failure to implement its treaty obligations.

  8. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinstein, Sara B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host–parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  9. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Sara B; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-05-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host-parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  10. Prepubertal tamoxifen treatment affects development of heifer reproductive tissues and related signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Al Naib, A; Tucker, H L M; Xie, G; Keisler, D H; Bartol, F F; Rhoads, R P; Akers, R M; Rhoads, M L

    2016-07-01

    Prepubertal exposure of the developing ovaries and reproductive tract (RT) to estrogen or xenoestrogens can have acute and long-term consequences that compromise the reproductive performance of cattle. This research examined effects of the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TAM) on gene and protein abundance in prepubertal ovaries and RT, with a particular focus on signaling pathways that affect morphology. Tamoxifen was administered to Holstein heifer calves (n=8) daily (0.3mg/kg subcutaneously) from 28 to 120 d of age, when tissues were collected. Control calves (n=7) received an equal volume of excipient. Weight, gross measurements, and samples of reproductive tissues were collected, and protein and mRNA were extracted from snap-frozen samples of vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, and liver. Neither estradiol nor insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) concentrations in the serum were affected by TAM treatment. Tamoxifen treatment reduced ovarian weight independently from effects on antral follicle populations, as there was no difference in visible antral follicle numbers on the day of collection. Estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and β (ESR2) mRNA, ESR1 protein, IGFI, progesterone receptor, total growth hormone receptor, WNT4, WNT5A, and WNT7A mRNA, in addition to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphorylated MAPK proteins were affected differently depending on the tissue examined. However, neither IGFI receptor mRNA nor protein abundance were affected by TAM treatment. Results indicate that reproductive development in prepubertal Holstein heifer calves is TAM-sensitive, and that bovine RT and ovarian development are supported, in part, by estrogen receptor-dependent mechanisms during the period studied here. Potential long-term consequences of such developmental disruption remain to be defined. PMID:27085397

  11. Human therapeutic cloning (NTSC): applying research from mammalian reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    French, Andrew J; Wood, Samuel H; Trounson, Alan O

    2006-01-01

    Human therapeutic cloning or nuclear transfer stem cells (NTSC) to produce patient-specific stem cells, holds considerable promise in the field of regenerative medicine. The recent withdrawal of the only scientific publications claiming the successful generation of NTSC lines afford an opportunity to review the available research in mammalian reproductive somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) with the goal of progressing human NTSC. The process of SCNT is prone to epigenetic abnormalities that contribute to very low success rates. Although there are high mortality rates in some species of cloned animals, most surviving clones have been shown to have normal phenotypic and physiological characteristics and to produce healthy offspring. This technology has been applied to an increasing number of mammals for utility in research, agriculture, conservation, and biomedicine. In contrast, attempts at SCNT to produce human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been disappointing. Only one group has published reliable evidence of success in deriving a cloned human blastocyst, using an undifferentiated hESC donor cell, and it failed to develop into a hESC line. When optimal conditions are present, it appears that in vitro development of cloned and parthenogenetic embryos, both of which may be utilized to produce hESCs, may be similar to in vitro fertilized embryos. The derivation of ESC lines from cloned embryos is substantially more efficient than the production of viable offspring. This review summarizes developments in mammalian reproductive cloning, cell-to-cell fusion alternatives, and strategies for oocyte procurement that may provide important clues facilitating progress in human therapeutic cloning leading to the successful application of cell-based therapies utilizing autologous hESC lines.

  12. Aspergillus asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction are differentially affected by transcriptional and translational mechanisms regulating stunted gene expression.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, J; Miller, B L

    1997-01-01

    The Stunted protein (StuAp) is a member of a family of transcription factors that regulate fungal development and cell cycle progression. Regulated stuA gene expression is required for correct cell pattern formation during asexual reproduction (conidiation) and for initiation of the sexual reproductive cycle in Aspergillus nidulans. Transcriptional initiation from two different promoters yields overlapping mRNAs (stuA alpha and stuAbeta) that upon translation yield the same protein. Here we show that multiple regulatory mechanisms interact to control (i) developmental competence-dependent expression of both transcripts and (ii) induction-dependent expression of stuA alpha, but not stuAbeta, by the conidiation-specific Bristle (BrlAp) transcriptional activator. Quantitative levels of both mRNAs are further modulated by (i) an activator(s) located at a far-upstream upstream activation sequence, (ii) feedback regulation by StuAp, and (iii) positive translational regulation that requires the peptide product of a micro-open reading frame unique to the stuA alpha mRNA 5' untranslated region. Gradients in stuA alpha expression were most important for correct cell and tissue type development. Threshold requirements were as follows: metula-phialide differentiation < ascosporogenesis < cleistothecial shell-Hülle cell differentiation. Altered stuA expression affected conidiophore morphology and conidial yields quantitatively but did not alter the temporal development of cell types or conidiophore density. By contrast, the sexual cycle showed both temporal delay and quantitative reduction in the number of cleistothecial initials but normal morphogenesis of tissue types. PMID:9315680

  13. SEX DIFFERENCES AND REPRODUCTIVE HORMONE INFLUENCES ON HUMAN ODOR PERCEPTION

    PubMed Central

    Doty, Richard L.; Cameron, E. Leslie

    2009-01-01

    The question of whether men and women differ in their ability to smell has been the topic of scientific investigation for over a hundred years. Although conflicting findings abound, most studies suggest that, for at least some odorants, women outperform men on tests of odor detection, identification, discrimination, and memory. Most functional imaging and electrophysiological studies similarly imply that, when sex differences are present, they favor women. In this review we examine what is known about sex-related alterations in human smell function, including influences of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, gonadectomy, and hormone replacement therapy on a range of olfactory measures. We conclude that the relationship between reproductive hormones and human olfactory function is complex and that simple associations between circulating levels of gonadal hormones and measures of olfactory function are rarely present. PMID:19272398

  14. Depressing Antidepressant: Fluoxetine Affects Serotonin Neurons Causing Adverse Reproductive Responses in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Campos, Bruno; Rivetti, Claudia; Kress, Timm; Barata, Carlos; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2016-06-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants. As endocrine disruptive contaminants in the environment, SSRIs affect reproduction in aquatic organisms. In the water flea Daphnia magna, SSRIs increase offspring production in a food ration-dependent manner. At limiting food conditions, females exposed to SSRIs produce more but smaller offspring, which is a maladaptive life-history strategy. We asked whether increased serotonin levels in newly identified serotonin-neurons in the Daphnia brain mediate these effects. We provide strong evidence that exogenous SSRI fluoxetine selectively increases serotonin-immunoreactivity in identified brain neurons under limiting food conditions thereby leading to maladaptive offspring production. Fluoxetine increases serotonin-immunoreactivity at low food conditions to similar maximal levels as observed under high food conditions and concomitantly enhances offspring production. Sublethal amounts of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine known to specifically ablate serotonin-neurons markedly decrease serotonin-immunoreactivity and offspring production, strongly supporting the effect to be serotonin-specific by reversing the reproductive phenotype attained under fluoxetine. Thus, SSRIs impair serotonin-regulation of reproductive investment in a planktonic key organism causing inappropriately increased reproduction with potentially severe ecological impact. PMID:27128505

  15. Mutations along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis affecting male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Alevizaki, Maria

    2007-12-01

    Disorders in male reproductive function are caused by mutations of key genes at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary- testicular axis. They may affect the ontogeny and function of the hypothalamic centres governing gonadotrophin synthesis and secretion, the development of the anterior pituitary gland, the production of gonadotrophins and the function of their receptor genes, and finally the genes responsible for testicular hormone production and gametogenesis. This review focuses on mutations that affect the synthesis and secretion of hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone, as well as their testicular receptors, thus covering a selected group of genetic causes of hypo- and hypergonadotrophic male hypogonadism.

  16. Caterpillar biomass depends on temperature and precipitation, but does not affect bird reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöll, Eva Maria; Ohm, Judith; Hoffmann, Konstantin Frank; Hille, Sabine Marlene

    2016-07-01

    Complex changes in phenological events appear as temperatures are increasing: In deciduous forests bud burst, hatching of herbivorous caterpillars, egg laying and nestling time of birds when feeding chicks on caterpillars, may differentially shift into early season and alter synchronization. If timing of bird reproduction has to match with short periods of food availability, phenological mismatch could negatively affect reproductive success. Using a unique empirical approach along an altitudinal temperature gradient, we firstly asked whether besides temperature, also precipitation and leaf phenology interplay and affect caterpillar biomass, since impacts of rainfall on caterpillars have been largely neglected so far. Secondly, we asked whether abundance of caterpillars and thereby body mass of great tit nestlings, which are mainly fed with caterpillars, vary along the altitudinal temperature gradient. We demonstrated that next to temperature also precipitation and leaf phenology affected caterpillar biomass. In our beech forest, even along altitudes, caterpillars were available throughout the great tit breeding season but in highly variable amounts. Our findings revealed that although timing of leaf phenology and great tit breeding season were delayed with decreasing temperature, caterpillars occurred synchronously and were not delayed according to altitude. However, altitude negatively affected caterpillar biomass, but body mass of fledglings at high altitude sites was not affected by lower amounts of caterpillar biomass. This might be partially outweighed by larger territory sizes in great tits.

  17. Biomedical research with human embryos: changes in the legislation on assisted reproduction in Spain.

    PubMed

    Vidal Martínez, Jaime

    2006-01-01

    This study deals with issues of research with human embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization in the context of the Spanish Law. The paper focuses on Act 14/2006 on techniques of human assisted reproduction, which replaces the previous Act from 1988. The author claims that the main goals of Act 14/2006 are, on the one hand, to eliminate the restrictions affecting research with human embryos put in place by Act 45/2003 and, on the other, to pave the way for a future legislation on biomedical research. This paper argues for the need of an effective and adequate juridical protection of human embryos obtained in vitro according to responsibility and precautionary principles.

  18. An ancient founder mutation in PROKR2 impairs human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Avbelj Stefanija, Magdalena; Jeanpierre, Marc; Sykiotis, Gerasimos P; Young, Jacques; Quinton, Richard; Abreu, Ana Paula; Plummer, Lacey; Au, Margaret G; Balasubramanian, Ravikumar; Dwyer, Andrew A; Florez, Jose C; Cheetham, Timothy; Pearce, Simon H; Purushothaman, Radhika; Schinzel, Albert; Pugeat, Michel; Jacobson-Dickman, Elka E; Ten, Svetlana; Latronico, Ana Claudia; Gusella, James F; Dode, Catherine; Crowley, William F; Pitteloud, Nelly

    2012-10-01

    Congenital gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) deficiency manifests as absent or incomplete sexual maturation and infertility. Although the disease exhibits marked locus and allelic heterogeneity, with the causal mutations being both rare and private, one causal mutation in the prokineticin receptor, PROKR2 L173R, appears unusually prevalent among GnRH-deficient patients of diverse geographic and ethnic origins. To track the genetic ancestry of PROKR2 L173R, haplotype mapping was performed in 22 unrelated patients with GnRH deficiency carrying L173R and their 30 first-degree relatives. The mutation's age was estimated using a haplotype-decay model. Thirteen subjects were informative and in all of them the mutation was present on the same ~123 kb haplotype whose population frequency is ≤10%. Thus, PROKR2 L173R represents a founder mutation whose age is estimated at approximately 9000 years. Inheritance of PROKR2 L173R-associated GnRH deficiency was complex with highly variable penetrance among carriers, influenced by additional mutations in the other PROKR2 allele (recessive inheritance) or another gene (digenicity). The paradoxical identification of an ancient founder mutation that impairs reproduction has intriguing implications for the inheritance mechanisms of PROKR2 L173R-associated GnRH deficiency and for the relevant processes of evolutionary selection, including potential selective advantages of mutation carriers in genes affecting reproduction.

  19. Sub-lethal increases in salinity affect reproduction in fathead minnows.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Zachary; Weisgerber, Jordan N; Pollock, Michael S; Chivers, Douglas P; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-10-01

    Salinization poses a threat to many inland aquatic ecosystems, especially in areas where natural processes are compounded by anthropogenic salinization. Though physiological survival can be a challenge for stenohaline freshwater fishes facing increasing salinity, it is important to note that essential and complex activities such as reproduction may be affected well below physiological tolerance limits. Here, we exposed fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to four levels of salinity in order to assess any impacts on several egg production and behavioral endpoints. We found significant reductions in total eggs produced, percent fertilization, number of spawning days, clutch size, total time males spent in the nest, and duration of nest care events. Our data demonstrate that salinization can have negative effects on critical reproductive endpoints.

  20. How does childhood socioeconomic hardship affect reproductive strategy? Pathways of development

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Mark S.; Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In high‐income populations, evidence suggests that socioeconomic disadvantage early in life is correlated with reproductive strategy. Children growing up in unfavorable rearing environments tend to experience earlier sexual maturity and first births. Earlier first births may be associated with higher fertility, but links between socioeconomic disadvantage and larger family size have rarely been tested. The pathways through which early disadvantage influences reproduction are unknown. We test whether physiological factors link childhood adversity to age at first birth and total children. Methods Using data from the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a 1947 British birth cohort, we developed path models to identify possible physiological traits linking childhood socioeconomic status, and poor housing standards, to two reproductive outcomes: age at first birth and total children. We explored birth weight, weight gain after birth, childhood illnesses, body mass index at age 9, age at menarche, and adult height as possible mediators. Results We found direct, negative effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and housing on age at first birth, and of housing on fertility. Although we found links between childhood disadvantage and menarche and height, neither of these were significantly correlated with either reproductive outcome. Age at first birth completely mediates the relationship between childhood adversity and total fertility, which we believe has not been empirically demonstrated before. Conclusions While there are some links between childhood adversity and child health, we find little evidence that physiological pathways, such as child health and growth, link early childhood adversity to reproductive outcomes in this relatively well‐nourished population. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 28:356–363, 2016. © 2015 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26407916

  1. Twinning in humans: maternal heterogeneity in reproduction and survival

    PubMed Central

    Robson, Shannen L.; Smith, Ken R.

    2011-01-01

    While humans usually give birth to singletons, dizygotic twinning occurs at low rates in all populations worldwide. We evaluate two hypotheses that have differing expectations about the effects of bearing twins on maternal lifetime reproduction and survival. The maternal depletion hypothesis argues that mothers of twins will suffer negative outcomes owing to the higher physiological costs associated with bearing multiples. Alternatively, twinning, while costly, may indicate mothers with a greater capacity to bear that cost. Drawing from the vast natural fertility data in the Utah Population Database, we compared the reproductive and survival events of 4603 mothers who bore twins and 54 183 who had not. These mothers were born between 1807 and 1899, lived at least to the age of 50 years and married once to men who were alive when their wives were 50. Results from proportional hazards and regression analyses are consistent with the second hypothesis. Mothers of twins exhibit lower postmenopausal mortality, shorter average inter-birth intervals, later ages at last birth and higher lifetime fertility than their singleton-only bearing counterparts. From the largest historical sample of twinning mothers yet published, we conclude that bearing twins is more likely for those with a robust phenotype and is a useful index of maternal heterogeneity. PMID:21561975

  2. Human reproductive costs and the predicted response to dietary restriction.

    PubMed

    Arking, Robert

    2007-09-01

    The question has arisen in the literature as to whether dietary restriction (DR) will have a significant effect on human longevity. I initially use literature data to estimate the energy costs necessary to carry a human from conception to caloric self-sufficiency to be approximately 12.6 x 10(6)kcal, which amounts to approximately 25% of the the two parents' combined daily caloric intake for 20 years. Similar levels of financial costs are expended in developed societies. Thus, human reproductive costs are high enough to permit a DR response. I then review four different models relating diet and life span, three of which have been previously used to estimate the effects of DR on humans. A review of the pertinent literature suggests that these three models, while plausible, are not capable of making robust predictions that are consistent with human data not used in their development. Given this weakness, none of the predictions made by these theories should be relied on for policy development at this time. The fourth, or biocultural model, examined combines biologic and cultural factors. Human longevity is more complex than our model systems have led us to believe, and thus any solution will require the development of a new quantitative model. The outlines of a suggested quantitative biocultural model based on the prior model of Crews and the disposable soma model of Shanley and Kirkwood are presented and a prediction of the possible data outcomes is made. If the human cultural pro-longevity practices can be quantified in terms of their effect on energy allocation, then this model may serve in future as a realistic quantitative model capable of identifying pertinent pathways and making robust predictions.

  3. You Are What You Eat: Food Limitation Affects Reproductive Fitness in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  4. You are what you eat: food limitation affects reproductive fitness in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Barry, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  5. Effect of radiation on the human reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Ogilvy-Stuart, A L; Shalet, S M

    1993-07-01

    Irradiation may have a profound effect on reproductive function. The schedule of the delivered irradiation (total dose, number of fractions, and duration) is an important determinant of the radiobiological effect on the tissues involved and varies among different tissues and organs. Irradiation to the central nervous system may affect the timing of the onset of puberty, result in hyperprolactinemia, or cause gonadotropin deficiency if the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is involved in the radiation field. Direct irradiation to the testis will, in lower doses, affect the germinal epithelium: doses of irradiation greater than 0.35 Gy cause aspermia, which may be reversible. The time taken for recovery increases with larger doses; however, with doses in excess of 2 Gy aspermia may be permanent. At higher radiation doses (> 15 Gy), Leydig cell function will also be affected. In addition to radiation dose, the vulnerability of the testis is dependent on the age at irradiation and the pubertal status of the male. In the female, the response of the ovary to the effects of irradiation varies with age as well as dose, and separation of ovarian dysfunction into hormonal and fertility effects is not clearcut. An ovarian dose of 4 Gy may cause a 30% incidence of sterility in young women, but 100% sterility in women over 40 years of age. Pelvic irradiation may also have a profound effect on the uterus, with arrested growth in the prepubertal girl, and failure of uterine expansion during pregnancy with subsequent miscarriages and premature labor.

  6. The potential for new methods to assess human reproductive genotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Mendelsohn, M.L.

    1987-09-01

    The immediate prospects are not good for practical methods for measuring the human heritable mutation rate. The methods discussed here range from speculative to impractical, and at best are sensitive enough only for large numbers of subjects. Given the rapid development of DNA methods and the current status of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, there is some hope that the intermediate prospects may be better. In contrast, the prospects for useful cellular-based male germinal methods seem more promising and immediate. Effective specific locus methods for sperm are already conceivable and may be practical in a few years. Obviously such methods will not predict heritable effects definitively, but they will provide direct information on reproductive genotoxicity and should contribute significantly to many current medical and environmental situations where genetic damage is suspected. 22 refs.

  7. Ritual fights and male reproductive success in a human population.

    PubMed

    Llaurens, V; Raymond, M; Faurie, C

    2009-09-01

    Ritual fights are widespread across human populations. However, the evolutionary advantage associated with this behaviour is unclear because these fights rarely provide direct benefits such as territory, resources or mates. Here, the reproductive success of men competing in a traditional ritual fight, Sereer wrestling, was investigated for the first time. Involvement in wrestling had a significant positive effect on men's number of offspring and a marginally significant effect on polygyny, controlling for age, body condition and socio-economic status. These positive effects suggest that being involved in wrestling competition provides prestige, facilitating access to mates and thereby increasing fecundity. However, when women were interviewed on their preference concerning qualities of potential mates, the quality 'being involved in wrestling competition' was poorly ranked. This discrepancy may arise either from deceptive reports or from discordance between parents and daughters in the choice of a husband.

  8. [Role of leptin in human reproduction (anorexia, bulimia)].

    PubMed

    Pilka, L; Rumpík, D; Pilka, R

    2012-12-01

    Leptin may act as the critical link between adipose tissue and the reproductive system, indicating whether adequate energy reserves are presenting for normal reproductive functions. Future interventional studies involving leptin administration are excepted to further clarify this role of leptin and may provide new therapeutic options for the reproductive dysfunctions associated with states of relative leptin deficiency or resistance.

  9. Reproduction of Pseudocalanus newmani (Copepoda: Calanoida) is deleteriously affected by diatom blooms A field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halsband-Lenk, Claudia; Pierson, James J.; Leising, Andrew W.

    2005-11-01

    Copepod secondary production has traditionally been linked to the spring diatom bloom in temperate and high latitudes, but laboratory studies have recently challenged this view and have shown either reduced fecundity or viability of offspring when copepods were fed high concentrations of - mostly unialgal - diatoms. However, field evidence that diatoms affect copepod reproduction is still scarce. We analyzed the reproductive response of a common, small calanoid copepod of the boreal Pacific, Pseudocalanus newmani, to spring diatom blooms in Dabob Bay, a semi-enclosed fjord of Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Abundance patterns, egg production rates, egg hatching success, and naupliar viability of the egg-carrying copepod were examined between February and early May in the years 2002-2004. The population underwent strong variations in abundance during both years, with high abundance of all stages from February to mid-March, but dramatically decreasing individual numbers later in spring. A recovery to higher numbers occurred in July. While egg production rates were independent of chlorophyll concentrations, the reproductive success of P. newmani was negatively affected by certain phytoplankton bloom conditions. Hatching success and - more markedly - naupliar survival were reduced following peaks of Thalassiosira species that were producing anti-mitotic aldehydes, but were high during periods when phytoplankton blooms were more diverse or dominated by other prey taxa including diatoms. As a consequence, recruitment of the naupliar population was considerably affected by the Thalassiosira blooms. This study shows for the first time that the so-called diatom effect operates in nature when all prerequisites - (1) high concentration of aldehyde producers, (2) few prey alternatives, and (3) feeding of copepods on these algae - are given. However, the effect was transient in Dabob Bay and may be so in other pelagic ecosystems. It remains to discern the potential sources of

  10. Food availability affects onset of reproduction in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Vincenzi, Simone; Hatch, Scott; Mangel, Marc; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that suboptimal developmental conditions may lead to faster life histories (younger age at recruitment and higher reproductive investment), but experimental testing of this prediction is still scarce in long-lived species. We report the effects of an experimental manipulation of food availability during early development and at recruitment on the onset of reproduction and reproductive performance (productivity at first breeding) in a long-lived seabird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, breeding on Middleton Island, Alaska. Birds were born and raised in nests with supplemented food (‘fed’) or unsupplemented control nests (‘unfed’), and later recruited into either fed or unfed nests. Fed chicks grew faster than unfed chicks, and males grew faster than females. Birds were more likely to reproduce at younger ages when recruiting into fed nests. Faster growth during development tended to increase age at recruitment in all individuals. Social rank of individuals also affected age at recruitment: B-chicks recruited earlier than A-chicks and singletons recruited later than A- and B-chicks. Productivity increased with the age at recruitment and growth rate as chick, but much of the variability remained unexplained. We conclude that results of this study at least partially support predictions of life-history theory: younger age at first breeding for kittiwakes that experienced suboptimal natal conditions, as well as greater productivity of early recruiting kittiwakes that grew in control nests compared with those that grew in food-supplemented nests. PMID:23576791

  11. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

  12. Group composition affects male reproductive partitioning in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Jutzeler, Eva; Bonfils, Danielle; Mitchell, Jeremy S

    2008-10-01

    Individuals within groups of cooperatively breeding species may partition reproduction, with the dominant pair often taking the largest share. The dominant's ability to reproductively control subordinates may depend on differences in competitive ability, due to, e.g. body size differences, but may also depend on the number of same-sex competitors inside the group. We tested experimentally whether subordinates reproduce more when these subordinates are large or when a second subordinate of the same sex need to be controlled by the dominants, using the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. Dominant pairs were assisted by a large and a small unrelated subordinate; sexes of these fish were varied in a full-factorial design (giving four treatments). Dominant males lost significantly more parentage to the large subordinate male when a small subordinate male was also present, compared to when a small subordinate female was present. However, subordinate paternity was generally low and did not significantly curb total dominant male reproductive output, which was more affected by the sizes and numbers of reproductive females present inside his group. Dominant female maternity, clutch sizes and total output did not depend on the treatments. Subordinate-subordinate reproduction was virtually absent (one out of 874 offspring). Female subordinates were more likely to provide care for their own broods. In contrast, male subordinates did not adjust their level of care to their parentage. Variability in female subordinate alloparental brood care was particularly high, with females showing more care than males in general. We also detected effects of growth rate and food ration on parentage independent of the treatments, most notably: (i) a trade-off between dominant male growth rate and paternity; (ii) a decrease in dominant male paternity with increasing food ration; (iii) a positive effect of growth rate on paternity in small males. We conclude that dominant males

  13. Cloning mice and men: prohibiting the use of iPS cells for human reproductive cloning.

    PubMed

    Lo, Bernard; Parham, Lindsay; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Cedars, Marcelle; Conklin, Bruce; Fisher, Susan; Gates, Elena; Giudice, Linda; Halme, Dina Gould; Hershon, William; Kriegstein, Arnold; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Wagner, Richard

    2010-01-01

    The use of iPSCs and tetraploid complementation for human reproductive cloning would raise profound ethical objections. Professional standards and laws that ban human reproductive cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer should be revised to also forbid it by other methods, such as iPSCs via tetraploid complementation.

  14. Affective Biases in Humans and Animals.

    PubMed

    Robinson, E S J; Roiser, J P

    2016-01-01

    Depression is one of the most common but poorly understood psychiatric conditions. Although drug treatments and psychological therapies are effective in some patients, many do not achieve full remission and some patients receive no apparent benefit. Developing new improved treatments requires a better understanding of the aetiology of symptoms and evaluation of novel therapeutic targets in pre-clinical studies. Recent developments in our understanding of the basic cognitive processes that may contribute to the development of depression and its treatment offer new opportunities for both clinical and pre-clinical research. This chapter discusses the clinical evidence supporting a cognitive neuropsychological model of depression and antidepressant efficacy, and how this information may be usefully translated to pre-clinical investigation. Studies using neuropsychological tests in depressed patients and at risk populations have revealed basic negative emotional biases and disrupted reward and punishment processing, which may also impact on non-affective cognition. These affective biases are sensitive to antidepressant treatments with early onset effects observed, suggesting an important role in recovery. This clinical work into affective biases has also facilitated back-translation to animals and the development of assays to study affective biases in rodents. These animal studies suggest that, similar to humans, rodents in putative negative affective states exhibit negative affective biases on decision-making and memory tasks. Antidepressant treatments also induce positive biases in these rodent tasks, supporting the translational validity of this approach. Although still in the early stages of development and validation, affective biases in depression have the potential to offer new insights into the clinical condition, as well as facilitating the development of more translational approaches for pre-clinical studies. PMID:27660073

  15. Corticosterone metabolism by chicken follicle cells does not affect ovarian reproductive hormone synthesis in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Rettenbacher, Sophie; Henriksen, Rie; Groothuids, Ton G.; Lepschy, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids affect reproductive hormone production in many species. In chickens, elevated plasma corticosterone down-regulates testosterone and progesterone concentrations in plasma, but also in egg yolk. This suppression could be mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary system but also via local inhibition of gonadal activity by glucocorticoids. As the latter has not been tested in birds yet, we tested if corticosterone directly inhibits ovarian steroid synthesis under in vitro conditions. We hypothesized that degradation of corticosterone by follicular cells impairs their ability to synthesize reproductive hormones due to either inhibition of enzymes or competition for common co-factors. Therefore, we first established whether follicles degrade corticosterone. Follicular tissue was harvested from freshly euthanized laying hens and incubated with radiolabelled corticosterone. Radioactive metabolites were visualized and quantified by autoradiography. Follicles converted corticosterone in a time-dependent manner into metabolites with a higher polarity than corticosterone. The predominant metabolite co-eluted with 20β-dihydrocorticosterone. Other chicken tissues mostly formed the same metabolite when incubated with corticosterone. In a second experiment, follicles were incubated with either progesterone or dehydroepiandrosterone. Corticosterone was added in increasing dosages up to 1000 ng per ml medium. Corticosterone did not inhibit the conversion of progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone into a number of different metabolites, including 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and testosterone. In conclusion, avian tissues degrade corticosterone mostly to 20β-dihydrocorticosterone and even high corticosterone dosages do not affect follicular hormone production under in vitro conditions. PMID:23333751

  16. Zoonotic helminths affecting the human eye

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Nowaday, zoonoses are an important cause of human parasitic diseases worldwide and a major threat to the socio-economic development, mainly in developing countries. Importantly, zoonotic helminths that affect human eyes (HIE) may cause blindness with severe socio-economic consequences to human communities. These infections include nematodes, cestodes and trematodes, which may be transmitted by vectors (dirofilariasis, onchocerciasis, thelaziasis), food consumption (sparganosis, trichinellosis) and those acquired indirectly from the environment (ascariasis, echinococcosis, fascioliasis). Adult and/or larval stages of HIE may localize into human ocular tissues externally (i.e., lachrymal glands, eyelids, conjunctival sacs) or into the ocular globe (i.e., intravitreous retina, anterior and or posterior chamber) causing symptoms due to the parasitic localization in the eyes or to the immune reaction they elicit in the host. Unfortunately, data on HIE are scant and mostly limited to case reports from different countries. The biology and epidemiology of the most frequently reported HIE are discussed as well as clinical description of the diseases, diagnostic considerations and video clips on their presentation and surgical treatment. Homines amplius oculis, quam auribus credunt Seneca Ep 6,5 Men believe their eyes more than their ears PMID:21429191

  17. In vivo and in vitro decondensation of human sperm and assisted reproduction technologies.

    PubMed

    Caglar, Gamze Sinem; Hammadeh, Mohammed; Asimakopoulos, Byron; Nikolettos, Nikos; Diedrich, Klaus; Al-Hassani, Safaa

    2005-01-01

    For a successful fertilization and pronucleus formation to occur, not only a properly condensed sperm nucleus, but also decondensation ability in the oocyte is important. The sperm abnormalities causing failure of sperm decondensation in the oocyte are unrecognizable by conventional semen analysis and different methods are used. The chromatin decondensation ability of the human spermatozoa in vivo and in vitro and its association with infertility and assisted reproduction techniques (ART) are clearly discussed in this paper. The factors affecting the decondensation ability of the human sperm are also mentioned. It is suggested that the methods currently used to assess sperm chromatin decondensation are of limited value in assessing fertilization and pregnancy rates after ART.

  18. Reproductive cloning and human health: an ethical, international, and nursing perspective.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Sweatman, L R

    2000-03-01

    Human reproductive cloning came to the public's attention when Dolly, a sheep, was cloned in Scotland in 1997. This news quickly spread around the world causing both excitement at the possibilities that cloning techniques could offer, as well as apprehension about the ethical, social and legal implications should human reproductive cloning become possible. Many international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the International Council of Nurses, and governments were concerned about the impact of human reproductive cloning on human health, dignity and human rights. To this end, many institutions have drafted resolutions, protocols and position statements outlining their concerns. This paper will outline some of the major ethical issues surrounding human reproductive cloning, the position of various international organizations and governments, and specifically the position of the International Council of Nurses.

  19. Reproductive cloning and human health: an ethical, international, and nursing perspective.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Sweatman, L R

    2000-03-01

    Human reproductive cloning came to the public's attention when Dolly, a sheep, was cloned in Scotland in 1997. This news quickly spread around the world causing both excitement at the possibilities that cloning techniques could offer, as well as apprehension about the ethical, social and legal implications should human reproductive cloning become possible. Many international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the International Council of Nurses, and governments were concerned about the impact of human reproductive cloning on human health, dignity and human rights. To this end, many institutions have drafted resolutions, protocols and position statements outlining their concerns. This paper will outline some of the major ethical issues surrounding human reproductive cloning, the position of various international organizations and governments, and specifically the position of the International Council of Nurses. PMID:10765496

  20. Disruption of amylase genes by RNA interference affects reproduction in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Huvet, Arnaud; Béguel, Jean-Philippe; Cavaleiro, Nathalia Pereira; Thomas, Yoann; Quillien, Virgile; Boudry, Pierre; Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; Fabioux, Caroline

    2015-06-01

    Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection.

  1. Metabolic stressors and signals differentially affect energy allocation between reproduction and immune function.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Elizabeth D; Cooper, Candace L; Demas, Gregory E

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity.

  2. Delayed breeding affects lifetime reproductive success differently in male and female green woodhoopoes.

    PubMed

    Hawn, Amanda T; Radford, Andrew N; du Plessis, Morné A

    2007-05-15

    In cooperatively breeding species, many individuals only start breeding long after reaching physiological maturity [1], and this delay is expected to reduce lifetime reproductive success (LRS) [1-3]. Although many studies have investigated how nonbreeding helpers might mitigate the assumed cost of delayed breeding (reviewed in [3]), few have directly quantified the cost itself [4, 5] (but see [6, 7]). Moreover, although life-history tradeoffs frequently influence the sexes in profoundly different ways [8, 9], it has been generally assumed that males and females are similarly affected by a delayed start to breeding [7]. Here, we use 24 years of data to investigate the sex-specific cost of delayed breeding in the cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) and show that age at first breeding is related to LRS differently in males and females. As is traditionally expected, males that started to breed earlier in life had greater LRS than those that started later. However, females showed the opposite pattern: Those individuals that started to breed later in life actually had greater LRS than those that started earlier. In both sexes, the association between age at first breeding and LRS was driven by differences in breeding-career length, rather than per-season productivity. We hypothesize that the high mortality rate of young female breeders, and thus their short breeding careers, is related to a reduced ability to deal with the high physiological costs of reproduction in this species. These results demonstrate the importance of considering sex-specific reproductive costs when estimating the payoffs of life-history decisions and bring into question the long-held assumption that delayed breeding is necessarily costly. PMID:17412589

  3. Autologous Germline Mitochondrial Energy Transfer (AUGMENT) in Human Assisted Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Woods, Dori C; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-11-01

    Ovarian aging is characterized by a decline in both the total number and overall quality of oocytes, the latter of which has been experimentally tied to mitochondrial dysfunction. Clinical studies in the late 1990s demonstrated that transfer of cytoplasm aspirated from eggs of young female donors into eggs of infertile women at the time of intracytoplasmic sperm injection improved pregnancy success rates. However, donor mitochondria were identified in offspring, and the United States Food and Drug Administration raised questions about delivery of foreign genetic material into human eggs at the time of fertilization. Accordingly, heterologous cytoplasmic transfer, while promising, was in effect shut down as a clinical protocol. The recent discovery of adult oogonial (oocyte-generating) stem cells in mice, and subsequently in women, has since re-opened the prospects of delivering a rich source of pristine and patient-matched germline mitochondria to boost egg health and embryonic developmental potential without the need for young donor eggs to obtain cytoplasm. Herein we overview the science behind this new protocol, which has been patented and termed autologous germline mitochondrial energy transfer, and its use to date in clinical studies for improving pregnancy success in women with a prior history of assisted reproduction failure.

  4. Autologous Germline Mitochondrial Energy Transfer (AUGMENT) in Human Assisted Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Woods, Dori C; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-11-01

    Ovarian aging is characterized by a decline in both the total number and overall quality of oocytes, the latter of which has been experimentally tied to mitochondrial dysfunction. Clinical studies in the late 1990s demonstrated that transfer of cytoplasm aspirated from eggs of young female donors into eggs of infertile women at the time of intracytoplasmic sperm injection improved pregnancy success rates. However, donor mitochondria were identified in offspring, and the United States Food and Drug Administration raised questions about delivery of foreign genetic material into human eggs at the time of fertilization. Accordingly, heterologous cytoplasmic transfer, while promising, was in effect shut down as a clinical protocol. The recent discovery of adult oogonial (oocyte-generating) stem cells in mice, and subsequently in women, has since re-opened the prospects of delivering a rich source of pristine and patient-matched germline mitochondria to boost egg health and embryonic developmental potential without the need for young donor eggs to obtain cytoplasm. Herein we overview the science behind this new protocol, which has been patented and termed autologous germline mitochondrial energy transfer, and its use to date in clinical studies for improving pregnancy success in women with a prior history of assisted reproduction failure. PMID:26574741

  5. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary.

  6. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. PMID:26081278

  7. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of ‘environmental sex determination’. PMID:17251109

  8. Canada's Assisted Human Reproductive Act: is it scientific censorship, or a reasoned approach to the regulation of rapidly emerging reproductive technologies?

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Colin

    2004-01-01

    After more than a decade of study, discussion and debate, the Canadian House of Commons and Senate have approved the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Building on the earlier Bill C-47, which died on the order paper in 1997, the Act bans human cloning for reproductive or therapeutic purposes, payment for surrogacy arrangements, and trading in human reproductive materials or their use without informed consent. In addition, the Act significantly restricts research using human reproductive materials. This article compares the Act to legislative regimes in other nations with advanced human reproductive science. It concludes that while the Act has many laudable goals, it is flawed in that it tries to cover too much legislative ground. As a result it unreasonable impairs the ability of Canadian scientists to compete in areas such as stem cell research, and area that is expected to yield significant new approaches to treating human disease. PMID:16485361

  9. Canada's Assisted Human Reproductive Act: is it scientific censorship, or a reasoned approach to the regulation of rapidly emerging reproductive technologies?

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Colin

    2004-01-01

    After more than a decade of study, discussion and debate, the Canadian House of Commons and Senate have approved the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Building on the earlier Bill C-47, which died on the order paper in 1997, the Act bans human cloning for reproductive or therapeutic purposes, payment for surrogacy arrangements, and trading in human reproductive materials or their use without informed consent. In addition, the Act significantly restricts research using human reproductive materials. This article compares the Act to legislative regimes in other nations with advanced human reproductive science. It concludes that while the Act has many laudable goals, it is flawed in that it tries to cover too much legislative ground. As a result it unreasonable impairs the ability of Canadian scientists to compete in areas such as stem cell research, and area that is expected to yield significant new approaches to treating human disease.

  10. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process. PMID:27237588

  11. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process.

  12. Do genetically modified crops affect animal reproduction? A review of the ongoing debate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Shi, F

    2011-05-01

    In the past few years, genetically modified (GM) crops aimed at producing food/feed that became part of the regular agriculture in many areas of the world. However, we are uncertain whether GM food and feed can exert potential adverse effects on humans or animals. Of importance, the reproductive toxicology of GM crops has been studied using a number of methods, and by feeding GM crops to a number species of animals to ensure the safety assessment of GM food and feed. It appears that there are no adverse effects of GM crops on many species of animals in acute and short-term feeding studies, but serious debates of effects of long-term and multigenerational feeding studies remain. The aims of this review are to focus on the latest (last 3 to 4 years) findings and debates on reproduction of male and female animals after feeding daily diets containing the GM crops, and to present the possible mechanism(s) to explain their influences.

  13. Enrichment materials do not negatively affect reproductive success and offspring survival and weight in mice.

    PubMed

    Shair, Harry N; Nunez, Yasmin; Osman, Mohamed M

    2011-12-19

    Environmental enrichment is designed to improve the overall welfare of laboratory animals, including mice. Few studies have directly assessed the effects of different types of enrichment on mouse offspring survival and growth. The authors examined how survival and growth of C57BL/6 mouse pups are affected by three kinds of cage enrichment materials: compressed cotton squares, two-ply tissues and plastic igloos. During the last week of gestation and the first two weeks postpartum, the authors observed cages with litters and noted use of the enrichment materials, quality of nest construction, number of pups per litter and weight of pups. Both the first and second litters were evaluated for each dam. Dams and pups had continuous contact with the enrichment materials, especially cotton squares and tissues. Neither the presence nor the type of enrichment material influenced the survival and weight of offspring, suggesting that the use of such materials does not negatively impact reproductive success or offspring survival.

  14. Life-cycle exposure to the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone affects zebrafish (Danio rerio) development and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Patrick; Bucheli, Thomas D; Wettstein, Felix E; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia

    2013-05-01

    Zearalenone (ZON) is one of the worldwide most common mycotoxin and exhibits estrogenic activity in the range of natural steroid estrogens. The occurrence of ZON has been reported in soil, drainage water, wastewater effluents, and rivers, but its ecotoxicological effects on fish have hardly been investigated. The consequences of continuous long-term ZON exposure, including a subsequent depuration period, as well as transgenerational effects of F0 short-term exposure on F1 generation were investigated. Effects on growth, reproduction activity, physiology, and morphology of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were examined in a 182 day live-cycle experiment. Life-long exposure to ZON for 140 days increased wet weight, body length, and condition factor of female fish at 1000 ng/L, and sex ratio was shifted toward female from 320 ng/L ZON. Only females at 1000 ng/L ZON revealed a 1.5-fold induction of plasma vitellogenin (VTG). Relative fecundity at 1000 ng/L recovered significantly during the depuration period. An increased condition factor in adult female F1 fish implies that exposure of F0 generation to 1000 ng/L ZON affected growth of F1 generation. A negative correlation between relative fecundity in the F1 generation (all groups exposed to 320 ng/L ZON) and the nominal ZON concentrations of the F0 exposure might indicate an influence of F0 exposure on reproductive performance of F1 generation. No exposure scenario affected fertility, hatch, embryo survival, and gonad morphology of zebrafish. Evaluating the environmental relevance of this data, the risk for fish to be harmed by exposure to ZON solely seems rather marginal, but ZON might contribute to the overall estrogenicity in the environment. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 2013.

  15. Epigenetic Alterations in Density Selected Human Spermatozoa for Assisted Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Bolan; Zhou, Hua; Liu, Min; Zheng, Ting; Jiang, Lu; Zhao, Mei; Xu, Xiaoxie; Huang, Zhaofeng

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence indicates that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be associated with several epigenetic diseases such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) or Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). Selection of sperm by density-gradients in ART has improved DNA integrity and sperm quality; however, epigenetic alterations associated with this approach are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated DNA methylation and histone retention profiles in raw sperm and selected sperm derived from the same individual and separated by using density-gradients. Results from a study group consisting of 93 males demonstrated that both global DNA methylation and histone retention levels decreased in density selected sperm. Compared to unselected raw sperm, histone transition rates decreased by an average of 27.2% in selected sperm, and the global methylation rate was 3.8% in unselected sperm and 3.3% in the selected sperm. DNA methylation and histone retention location profiling analyses suggested that these alterations displayed specific location patterns in the human genome. Changes in the pattern of hypomethylation largely occurred in transcriptional factor gene families such as HOX, FOX, and GATA. Histone retention increased in 67 genes, whereas it was significantly clustered in neural development-related gene families, particularly the olfactory sensor gene family. Although a causative relationship could not be established, the results of the present study suggest the possibility that sperm with good density also possess unique epigenetic profiles, particularly for genes involved in neural and olfactory development. As increasing evidence demonstrates that epigenetics plays a key role in embryonic development and offspring growth characteristics, the specific epigenetic alterations we observed in selected sperm may influence the transcriptional process and neural development in embryos. PMID:26709917

  16. Food restriction negatively affects multiple levels of the reproductive axis in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus.

    PubMed

    Valle, Shelley; Carpentier, Elodie; Vu, Bethany; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Deviche, Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Nutrition influences reproductive functions across vertebrates, but the effects of food availability on the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in wild birds and the mechanisms mediating these effects remain unclear. We investigated the influence of chronic food restriction on the HPG axis of photostimulated house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus. Food-restricted birds had underdeveloped testes with smaller seminiferous tubules than ad libitum-fed birds. Baseline plasma testosterone increased in response to photostimulation in ad libitum-fed but not in food-restricted birds. Food availability did not, however, affect the plasma testosterone increase resulting from a gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH) or a luteinizing hormone (LH) challenge. The number of hypothalamic GnRH immunoreactive (ir) but not proGnRH-ir perikarya was higher in food-restricted than in ad libitum-fed finches, suggesting inhibited secretion of GnRH. Hypothalamic gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH)-ir and neuropeptide Y (NPY)-ir were not affected by food availability. Plasma corticosterone (CORT) was also not affected by food availability, indicating that the observed HPG axis inhibition did not result from increased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This study is among the first to examine multilevel functional changes in the HPG axis in response to food restriction in a wild bird. The results indicate that food availability affects both hypothalamic and gonadal function, but further investigations are needed to clarify the mechanisms by which nutritional signals mediate these effects.

  17. Intermittent fasting during winter and spring affects body composition and reproduction of a migratory duck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barboza, P.S.; Jorde, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    We compared food intake, body mass and body composition of male and female black ducks (Anas rubripes) during winter (January-March). Birds were fed the same complete diet ad libitum on consecutive days each week without fasting (control; nine male; nine female) or with either short fasts (2 day.week-1; nine male; nine female), or long fasts (4 day.week-1; eleven male; twelve female). We continued treatments through spring (March-May) to measure the effect of intermittent fasts on body mass and egg production. Daily food intake of fasted birds was up to four times that of unfasted birds. Weekly food intake of males was similar among treatments (364 g.kg-1.week-1) but fasted females consumed more than unfasted females in January (363 g.kg-1.week-1 vs. 225 g.kg-1.week-1). Although both sexes lost 10-14% body mass, fasted females lost less mass and lipid than unfasted females during winter. Total body nitrogen was conserved over winter in both sexes even though the heart and spleen lost mass while the reproductive tract and liver gained mass. Intermittent fasting increased liver, intestinal tissue and digesta mass of females but not of males. Fasting delayed egg production in spring but did not affect size, fertility or hatching of the clutch. Females on long fasts were still heavier than controls after laying eggs. Thus black ducks combine flexibility of food intake with plasticity of digestive tract, liver and adipose tissue when food supply is interrupted during winter. Females modulate body mass for survival and defer reproduction when food supply is interrupted in spring.

  18. Is Boric Acid Toxic to Reproduction in Humans? Assessment of the Animal Reproductive Toxicity Data and Epidemiological Study Results.

    PubMed

    Duydu, Yalçın; Başaran, Nurşen; Ustündağ, Aylin; Aydın, Sevtap; Undeğer, Ulkü; Ataman, Osman Yavuz; Aydos, Kaan; Düker, Yalçın; Ickstadt, Katja; Waltrup, Brita Schulze; Golka, Klaus; Bolt, Hermann Maximilian

    2016-01-01

    Boric acid and sodium borates are classified as toxic to reproduction in the CLP Regulation under "Category 1B" with the hazard statement of "H360FD". This classification is based on the reprotoxic effects of boric acid and sodium borates in animal experiments at high doses. However, boron mediated reprotoxic effects have not been proven in epidemiological studies so far. The epidemiological study performed in Bandırma boric acid production plant is the most comprehensive published study in this field with 204 voluntarily participated male workers. Sperm quality parameters (sperm morphology, concentration and motility parameters), FSH, LH and testosterone levels were determined in all participated employees as the reproductive toxicity biomarkers of males. However, boron mediated unfavorable effects on reproduction in male workers have not been determined even in the workers under very high daily boron exposure (0.21 mg B/kg-bw/day) conditions. The NOAEL for rat reproductive toxicity is equivalent to a blood boron level of 2020 ng/g. This level is higher than the mean blood boron concentration (223.89 ± 69.49 ng/g) of the high exposure group workers in Bandırma boric acid production plant (Turkey) by a factor of 9. Accordingly, classifying boric acid and sodium borates under "Category 1B" as "presumed reproductive human toxicant in the CLP regulation seems scientifically not reasonable. The results of the epidemiological studies (including the study performed in China) support for a down-classification of boric acid from the category 1B, H360FD to category 2, H361d, (suspected of damaging the unborn child). PMID:26511087

  19. Is Boric Acid Toxic to Reproduction in Humans? Assessment of the Animal Reproductive Toxicity Data and Epidemiological Study Results.

    PubMed

    Duydu, Yalçın; Başaran, Nurşen; Ustündağ, Aylin; Aydın, Sevtap; Undeğer, Ulkü; Ataman, Osman Yavuz; Aydos, Kaan; Düker, Yalçın; Ickstadt, Katja; Waltrup, Brita Schulze; Golka, Klaus; Bolt, Hermann Maximilian

    2016-01-01

    Boric acid and sodium borates are classified as toxic to reproduction in the CLP Regulation under "Category 1B" with the hazard statement of "H360FD". This classification is based on the reprotoxic effects of boric acid and sodium borates in animal experiments at high doses. However, boron mediated reprotoxic effects have not been proven in epidemiological studies so far. The epidemiological study performed in Bandırma boric acid production plant is the most comprehensive published study in this field with 204 voluntarily participated male workers. Sperm quality parameters (sperm morphology, concentration and motility parameters), FSH, LH and testosterone levels were determined in all participated employees as the reproductive toxicity biomarkers of males. However, boron mediated unfavorable effects on reproduction in male workers have not been determined even in the workers under very high daily boron exposure (0.21 mg B/kg-bw/day) conditions. The NOAEL for rat reproductive toxicity is equivalent to a blood boron level of 2020 ng/g. This level is higher than the mean blood boron concentration (223.89 ± 69.49 ng/g) of the high exposure group workers in Bandırma boric acid production plant (Turkey) by a factor of 9. Accordingly, classifying boric acid and sodium borates under "Category 1B" as "presumed reproductive human toxicant in the CLP regulation seems scientifically not reasonable. The results of the epidemiological studies (including the study performed in China) support for a down-classification of boric acid from the category 1B, H360FD to category 2, H361d, (suspected of damaging the unborn child).

  20. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  1. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  2. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  3. Genetic Alterations Affecting Cholesterol Metabolism and Human Fertility1

    PubMed Central

    DeAngelis, Anthony M.; Roy-O'Reilly, Meaghan; Rodriguez, Annabelle

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent genetic variations among individuals in a population. In medicine, these small variations in the DNA sequence may significantly impact an individual's response to certain drugs or influence the risk of developing certain diseases. In the field of reproductive medicine, a significant amount of research has been devoted to identifying polymorphisms which may impact steroidogenesis and fertility. This review discusses current understanding of the effects of genetic variations in cholesterol metabolic pathways on human fertility that bridge novel linkages between cholesterol metabolism and reproductive health. For example, the role of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in cellular metabolism and human reproduction has been well studied, whereas there is now an emerging body of research on the role of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) in human lipid metabolism and female reproduction. Identifying and understanding how polymorphisms in the SCARB1 gene or other genes related to lipid metabolism impact human physiology is essential and will play a major role in the development of personalized medicine for improved diagnosis and treatment of infertility. PMID:25122065

  4. Evaluating the fitness of human lysozyme transgenic dairy goats: growth and reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Kathryn A; Berg, Jolene M; Murray, James D; Maga, Elizabeth A

    2010-12-01

    While there are many reports in the literature describing the attributes of specific applications of transgenic animals for agriculture, there are relatively few studies focusing on the fitness of the transgenic animals themselves. This work was designed to gather information on genetically modified food animals to determine if the presence of a transgene can impact general animal production traits. More specifically, we used a line of transgenic dairy goats expressing human lysozyme in their mammary gland to evaluate the reproductive fitness and growth and development of these animals compared to their non-transgenic counterparts and the impact of consuming a transgenic food product, lysozyme-containing milk. In males, none of the parameters of semen quality, including semen volume and concentration, total sperm per ejaculate, sperm morphology, viability and motility, were significantly different between transgenic bucks and non-transgenic full-sib controls. Likewise, transgenic females of this line did not significantly differ in the reproductive traits of gestation length and litter size compared to their non-transgenic counterparts. To evaluate growth, transgenic and non-transgenic kid goats received colostrum and milk from either transgenic or non-transgenic does from birth until weaning. Neither the presence of the transgene nor the consumption of milk from transgenic animals significantly affected birth weight, weaning weight, overall gain and post-wean gain. These results indicate that the analyzed reproductive and growth traits were not regularly or substantially impacted by the presence or expression of the transgene. The evaluation of these general parameters is an important aspect of defining the safety of applying transgenic technology to animal agriculture.

  5. The need for interaction between assisted reproduction technology and genetics: recommendations of the European Societies of Human Genetics and Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    2006-08-01

    Infertility and reproductive genetic risk are both increasing in our societies because of lifestyle changes and possibly environmental factors. Owing to the magnitude of the problem, they have implications not only at the individual and family levels but also at the community level. This leads to an increasing demand for access to assisted reproduction technology (ART) and genetic services, especially when the cause of infertility may be genetic in origin. The increasing application of genetics in reproductive medicine and vice versa requires closer collaboration between the two disciplines. ART and genetics are rapidly evolving fields where new technologies are currently introduced without sufficient knowledge of their potential long-term effects. As for any medical procedures, there are possible unexpected effects which need to be envisaged to make sure that the balance between benefits and risks is clearly on the benefit side. The development of ART and genetics as scientific activities is creating an opportunity to understand the early stages of human development, which is leading to new and challenging findings/knowledge. However, there are opinions against investigating the early stages of development in humans who deserve respect and attention. For all these reasons, these two societies, European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), have joined efforts to explore the issues at stake and to set up recommendations to maximize the benefit for the couples in need and for the community.

  6. The devil we know: the implications of bill C-38 for assisted human reproduction in Canada.

    PubMed

    Cattapan, Alana; Cohen, Sara R

    2013-07-01

    In June 2012, the Canadian House of Commons passed the so-called omnibus budget bill, making several important changes to the governance of assisted reproduction in Canada. The bill (Bill C-38) was widely criticized for its unwieldy size and rapid passage through Parliament, preventing adequate parliamentary debate and public scrutiny. Given the substantive nature of the amendments to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act made by Bill C-38, and the lack of relevant discussion about these changes both before and following its passage, this commentary is intended to identify how Bill C-38 may alter the governance of reproductive technologies in Canada. In this commentary, we address some of the more significant changes made by Bill C-38 to the regulation of reproductive medicine in Canada. We identify the benefits and challenges of closing Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, noting that doing so eliminates a much-needed forum for stakeholder consultation in this field. Further, we explore the implications of moving the regulation of donor semen from the Food and Drugs Act to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; these include increased liability for physicians, and opportunities to expand the existing regulations to account for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer Canadians using donor gametes and recent advances in reproductive technologies. Overall, we argue that although the implementation of a policy framework in this field remains highly dependent on yet-to-be written regulations, the changes to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act enabled by Bill C-38 may significantly alter how Canadians interact with reproductive technologies.

  7. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    PubMed

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  8. Impact of gene polymorphisms of gonadotropins and their receptors on human reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Casarini, Livio; Santi, Daniele; Marino, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Gonadotropins and their receptors' genes carry several single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in endocrine genotypes modulating reproductive parameters, diseases, and lifespan leading to important implications for reproductive success and potential relevance during human evolution. Here we illustrate common genotypes of the gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors' genes and their clinical implications in phenotypes relevant for reproduction such as ovarian cycle length, age of menopause, testosterone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We then discuss their possible role in human reproduction and adaptation to the environment. Gonadotropins and their receptors' variants are differently distributed among human populations. Some hints suggest that they may be the result of natural selection that occurred in ancient times, increasing the individual chance of successful mating, pregnancy, and effective post-natal parental cares. The gender-related differences in the regulation of the reproductive endocrine systems imply that many of these genotypes may lead to sex-dependent effects, increasing the chance of mating and reproductive success in one sex at the expenses of the other sex. Also, we suggest that sexual conflicts within the FSH and LH-choriogonadotropin receptor genes contributed to maintain genotypes linked to subfertility among humans. Because the distribution of polymorphic markers results in a defined geographical pattern due to human migrations rather than natural selection, these polymorphisms may have had only a weak impact on reproductive success. On the contrary, such genotypes could acquire relevant consequences in the modern, developed societies in which parenthood attempts often occur at a later age, during a short, suboptimal reproductive window, making clinical fertility treatments necessary.

  9. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice

    PubMed Central

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2015-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20μg/kg/day-750mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities PMID:25765777

  10. Female reproductive function in areas affected by radiation after the Chernobyl power station accident

    SciTech Connect

    Kulakov, V.I.; Sokur, T.N.; Volobuev, A.I.

    1993-07-01

    This paper reports the results of a comprehensive survey of the effects of the accidental release of radiation caused by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986. The accident and the resulting release of radiation and radioactive products into the atmosphere produced the most serious environmental contamination so far recorded. We have concentrated on evaluating the outcomes and health risks to women, their reproductive situation, and consequences for their progeny. We have concentrated on two well-defined areas: the Chechersky district of the Gomel region in Belorussia and the Polessky district of the Kiev region in the Ukraine. A number of investigations were carried out on 688 pregnant women and their babies, and data were obtained from 7000 labor histories of the development of newborns for a period of 8 years (3 years before the accident and 5 years after it). Parameters examined included birth rate, thyroid pathology, extragenital pathology such as anemias, renal disorders, hypertension, and abnormalities in the metabolism of fats, complications of gestation, spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries, perinatal morbidity and mortality, stillbirths and early neonatal mortality, infections and inflammatory diseases, neurological symptoms and hemic disturbances in both mothers and infants, trophic anomalies, and biochemical and structural changes in the placenta. Several exogenous, complicating influences were also considered such as psycho-emotional factors, stress, lifestyle changes, and others caused directly by the hazardous situation and by its consequences such as treatment, removal from affected areas, etc. 9 figs.

  11. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice.

    PubMed

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A

    2015-06-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20 μg/kg/day-750 mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities. PMID:25765777

  12. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-01-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  13. An evolutionary and life history perspective on human male reproductive senescence.

    PubMed

    Bribiescas, Richard G

    2010-08-01

    Unlike menopause, male reproductive senescence does not involve an acute drop in fertility. Men do, however, manifest distinct changes in somatic and gonadal function with age. Moreover, population variation in male reproductive senescence reveals phenotypic plasticity resulting from environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors. An evolutionary and life history perspective is vital for understanding male reproductive senescence because aging involves biological constraint as well as adjustments to reproductive strategies and the allocation of somatic resources. An awareness of life history-related tradeoffs between energetic and time constraints is especially useful because biological aspects of male senescence are products of environmental challenges and natural selection. This article reviews the adaptive significance of the evolutionary biology of human male senescence with particular attention to population variation. An evolutionary perspective cannot only shed light on the origins and biology of human male senescence but also provide insights into contemporary issues of male aging and health.

  14. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds

  15. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... and female reproductive systems play a role in pregnancy. Problems with these systems can affect fertility and ... a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. During the ...

  16. Environmental endocrine disruptors: Effects on the human male reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, M F; Hasan, N; Soto, A M; Sonnenschein, C

    2015-12-01

    Incidences of altered development and neoplasia of male reproductive organs have increased during the last 50 years, as shown by epidemiological data. These data are associated with the increased presence of environmental chemicals, specifically "endocrine disruptors," that interfere with normal hormonal action. Much research has gone into testing the effects of specific endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the development of male reproductive organs and endocrine-related cancers in both in vitro and in vivo models. Efforts have been made to bridge the accruing laboratory findings with the epidemiological data to draw conclusions regarding the relationship between EDCs, altered development and carcinogenesis. The ability of EDCs to predispose target fetal and adult tissues to neoplastic transformation is best explained under the framework of the tissue organization field theory of carcinogenesis (TOFT), which posits that carcinogenesis is development gone awry. Here, we focus on the available evidence, from both empirical and epidemiological studies, regarding the effects of EDCs on male reproductive development and carcinogenesis of endocrine target tissues. We also critique current research methodology utilized in the investigation of EDCs effects and outline what could possibly be done to address these obstacles moving forward.

  17. Environmental endocrine disruptors: Effects on the human male reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, M F; Hasan, N; Soto, A M; Sonnenschein, C

    2015-12-01

    Incidences of altered development and neoplasia of male reproductive organs have increased during the last 50 years, as shown by epidemiological data. These data are associated with the increased presence of environmental chemicals, specifically "endocrine disruptors," that interfere with normal hormonal action. Much research has gone into testing the effects of specific endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the development of male reproductive organs and endocrine-related cancers in both in vitro and in vivo models. Efforts have been made to bridge the accruing laboratory findings with the epidemiological data to draw conclusions regarding the relationship between EDCs, altered development and carcinogenesis. The ability of EDCs to predispose target fetal and adult tissues to neoplastic transformation is best explained under the framework of the tissue organization field theory of carcinogenesis (TOFT), which posits that carcinogenesis is development gone awry. Here, we focus on the available evidence, from both empirical and epidemiological studies, regarding the effects of EDCs on male reproductive development and carcinogenesis of endocrine target tissues. We also critique current research methodology utilized in the investigation of EDCs effects and outline what could possibly be done to address these obstacles moving forward. PMID:26847433

  18. Ethical and legal aspects in medically assisted human reproduction in Romania.

    PubMed

    Ioan, Beatrice; Astarastoae, Vasile

    2008-01-01

    Up to the present, there have not been any specific norms regarding medically assisted human reproduction in Romanian legislation. Due to this situation the general legislation regarding medical assistance (law no. 95/2006, regarding the Reform in Health Care System), the Penal and Civil law and the provisions of the Code of Deontology of the Romanian College of Physicians are applied to the field of medically assisted human reproduction. By analysing the ethical and legal conflicts regarding medically assisted human reproduction in Romania, some characteristics cannot be set apart because they derive from religious, cultural and socio-economic aspects. In this article the authors identify the development stages of medically assisted human reproduction in Romania, beginning from these characteristics and insisting upon the failure of the legal system in this specific field. The authors consider that the law regarding medically assisted human reproduction cannot be effective because it did not take into account the ethical and cultural aspects that might appear. Furthermore, in this framework of the legal process, no public debate involving the representatives of civil society was undertaken although the Council of Europe Oviedo Convention approved by our country according to law no. 17/2001 stipulated exactly this working method.

  19. Exploring an Alternative Model of Human Reproductive Capability: A Creative Learning Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherif, Abour H.; Jedlicka, Dianne M.

    2012-01-01

    Biological and social evolutionary processes, along with social and cultural developments, have allowed humans to separate procreation from pleasurable/recreational sexual activity. As a class learning project, an alternative, hypothetical reproductive scenario is presented: "What if humans were biologically ready to conceive only during one…

  20. Estrus synchronization affects WNT signaling in the porcine reproductive tract and embryos.

    PubMed

    Kiewisz, Jolanta; Kaczmarek, Monika M; Morawska, Ewa; Blitek, Agnieszka; Kapelanski, Wojciech; Ziecik, Adam J

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate an effect of estrus synchronization with prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and PMSG/hCG on WNT4, WNT5A, WNT7A, β-catenin (CTNNB1) and E-cadherin (CDH1) gene expression. The weight of the uterus, morphometrical parameters of the endometrium and the number of CL were recorded. The analysis of estradiol (E(2)), prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and E(2) content in the uterine luminal flushings (ULFs) and progesterone (P(4)) level in the blood serum were conducted. RNA was isolated from endometrial, luteal and embryonic tissue of pregnant non-synchronized (Control; n = 15) and pregnant synchronized (PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG; n = 15) pigs. Whereas there was no change in uterine weight, differences in height of endometrial surface and glandular epithelium were found. However, height of the endometrium, number of the glands and capillaries were unaffected. The total number of the CLs was higher (P < 0.05) in animals treated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The amount of E(2) and P(4) was lower (P < 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively) in pregnant gilts administrated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The concentration of PGF(2α) in ULFs was not affected by hormonal management, while PGE(2) was higher (P < 0.01) in hormonally in comparison to non-hormonally treated pigs. The content of WNT4 mRNA in conceptuses increased on particular Days studied in Control and PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG administered animals. WNT7A and CTNNB1 were affected by PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment in both conceptuses (P < 0.001, P < 0.05) and endometrial tissue (P < 0.001, P < 0.01). The PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment resulted in elevated expression of WNT4 (P < 0.001) and CTNNB1 (P < 0.05) in luteal tissue in comparison to the Control gilts. Moreover, luteal amount of WNT5A mRNA was higher in PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG animals in comparison to the Control group (P < 0.05). Presented data show that exogenous hormones administration can affect gene expression in the porcine reproductive tract and embryo.

  1. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population.

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were 'good' prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  2. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  3. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population.

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were 'good' prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  4. Male reproductive system parameters in a two-generation reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate in rats and human relevance.

    PubMed

    York, Raymond G; Kennedy, Gerald L; Olsen, Geary W; Butenhoff, John L

    2010-04-30

    Ammonium perfluorooctanoate (ammonium PFOA) is an industrial surfactant that has been used primarily as a processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers. The environmental and metabolic stability of PFOA together with its presence in human blood and long elimination half-life have led to extensive toxicological studies in laboratory animals. Two recent publications based on observations from the Danish general population have reported: (1) a negative association between serum concentrations of PFOA in young adult males and their sperm counts and (2) a positive association among women with time to pregnancy. A two-generation reproduction study in rats was previously published (2004) in which no effects on functional reproduction were observed at doses up to 30mg ammonium PFOA/kg body weight. The article contained the simple statement: "In males, fertility was normal as were all sperm parameters". In order to place the recent human epidemiological data in perspective, herein we provide the detailed male reproductive parameters from that study, including sperm quality and testicular histopathology. Sperm parameters in rats from the two-generation study in all ammonium PFOA treatment groups were unaffected by treatment with ammonium PFOA. These observations reflected the normal fertility observations in these males. No evidence of altered testicular and sperm structure and function was observed in ammonium PFOA-treated rats whose mean group serum PFOA concentrations ranged up to approximately 50,000ng/mL. Given that median serum PFOA in the Danish cohorts was approximately 5ng/mL, it seems unlikely that concentrations observed in the general population, including those recently reported in Danish general population, could be associated causally with a real decrement in sperm number and quality.

  5. Reproductive period affects water intake in heat-stressed dehydrated goats.

    PubMed

    Olsson, K; Josäter-Hermelin, M; Hossaini-Hilali, J; Cvek, K; Hydbring, E; Dahlborn, K

    1996-04-01

    Water intake following dehydration was studied in pregnant (N = 5), lactating (N = 4) and nonpregnant, nonlactating (N = 5) Swedish domestic goats (Capra hircus) to investigate if reproductive period affected drinking. Plasma cortisol concentration and the hematocrit value were measured to evaluate stress. The goats were water deprived from 9.00 h until 15.05 h the next day. They were fed at 7.00 and 15.20 h. On the second day, ambient temperature was increased from 20 degrees C to 38-39.5 degrees C for 5.15 h to accelerate water losses. Water temperature during rehydration was 35 +/- 1 degree C. Plasma Na concentration and osmolality increased most in dehydrated and heat-stressed pregnant and lactating goats. Pregnant goats lost 2.2 kg of their body weight. They drank 3.5 l immediately, followed by 2.5 l during afternoon eating. Lactating goats lost 4.9 kg and drank 6.3 l at once, and 3.9 l during feeding. Nonpregnant, nonlactating goats lost 1.7 kg and drank 2.6 l followed by 0.6 l. The large water consumption in pregnant and lactating goats caused hyponatremia and hemodilution, but they continued to drink during the night (0.5 +/- 0.2 l and 0.8 +/- 0.5 l, respectively). Renal free water clearance increased in all periods, with a long-lasting water diuresis during pregnancy. Plasma cortisol concentrations and the hematocrit values rose in connection with water intake. These results imply that the thirst center became less sensitive to inhibitory signals from the oropharyngeal tract and the diluted blood plasma during pregnancy and lactation. Catching sight of water was the most exciting procedure during these experiments.

  6. Host age, sex, and reproductive seasonality affect nematode parasitism in wild Japanese macaques.

    PubMed

    MacIntosh, Andrew J J; Hernandez, Alexander D; Huffman, Michael A

    2010-10-01

    Parasites are characteristically aggregated within hosts, but identifying the mechanisms underlying such aggregation can be difficult in wildlife populations. We examined the influence of host age and sex over an annual cycle on the eggs per gram of feces (EPG) of nematode parasites infecting wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima Island. Five species of nematode were recorded from 434 fecal samples collected from an age-structured group of 50 individually recognizable macaques. All parasites exhibited aggregated EPG distributions. The age-infection profiles of all three directly transmitted species (Oesophagostomum aculeatum, Strongyloides fuelleborni, and Trichuris trichiura) exhibited convex curves, but concavity better characterized the age-infection curves of the two trophically transmitted species (Streptopharagus pigmentatus and Gongylonema pulchrum). There was a male bias in EPG and prevalence of infection with directly transmitted species, except in the prevalence of O. aculeatum, and no sex bias in the other parasites. Infection with O. aculeatum showed a female bias in prevalence among young adults, and additional interactions with sex and seasonality show higher EPG values in males during the mating season (fall) but in females during the birth season (spring). These patterns suggest that an immunosuppressive role by reproductive hormones may be regulating direct, but not indirect, life-cycle parasites. Exposure at an early age may trigger an immune response that affects all nematodes, but trophically transmitted species appear to accumulate thereafter. Although it is difficult to discern clear mechanistic explanations for parasite distributions in wildlife populations, it is critical to begin examining these patterns in host species that are increasingly endangered by anthropogenic threats.

  7. ANDROGENS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANTIANDROGENS AFFECT REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND PLAY BEHAVIOR IN THE SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In mammals, exposure to androgens early in development is essential for masculinization of the male reproductive phenotype. Male fetuses exposed to antiandrogens during perinatal life are permanently demasculinized in their morphology and physiology, whereas exposure to...

  8. Sexual and reproductive rights and the human rights agenda: controversial and contested.

    PubMed

    Nowicka, Wanda

    2011-11-01

    In this paper I share some of my experience and observations, as an advocate for women's rights, of the last 20 years of struggles for sexual and reproductive health and rights, carried out in many key places where these issues have been debated and decided. I do not aspire to be comprehensive about the current status of human rights related to sexuality and reproduction. Given that my expertise is of a practical (rather than theoretical) nature, the complexity of the topic and contradictory events with regard to it, which take place almost everyday, I will highlight some selected achievements and setbacks in this area, particularly regarding abortion rights. I will provide examples of how human rights related to sexual and reproductive health have been addressed in UN policy-setting bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Population and Development, as well as in the UN human rights system such as Treaty Monitoring Bodies and Human Rights Council. Given my work with European institutions, I provide examples of important decisions by the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. Lastly, I discuss growing opposition to a progressive human rights agenda and the universality of human rights. Despite significant successes, sexual and reproductive rights will long remain controversial and contested. Hence, it is crucial to try to find new ways to engage and new partners to work with.

  9. Perceived Risk of Predation Affects Reproductive Life-History Traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but Not in Heterandria formosa

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R.; Trexler, Joel C.; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes. PMID:24551171

  10. Reproductive state affects hiding behaviour under risk of predation but not exploratory activity of female Spanish terrapins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Marzal, Alfonso; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2015-02-01

    Female investment during reproduction may reduce survivorship due to increased predation risk. During pregnancy, the locomotor performance of gravid females might be diminished due to the additional weight acquired. In addition, egg production may also increase thermoregulatory, metabolic and physiological costs. Also, pregnant females have greater potential fitness and should take fewer risks. Thus, females should ponder their reproductive state when considering their behavioural responses under risky situations. Here, we examine how reproductive state influence risk-taking behaviour in different contexts in female Spanish terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). We simulated predator attacks of different risk levels and measured the time that the turtles spent hiding entirely inside their own shells (i.e. appearance times). We also assessed the subsequent time after emergence from the shell that the turtles spent immobile monitoring for predators before starting to escape actively (i.e. waiting times). Likewise, we performed a novel-environment test and measured the exploratory activity of turtles. We found no correlations between appearance time, waiting time or exploratory activity, but appearance times were correlated across different risk levels. Only appearance time was affected by the reproductive state, where gravid females reappeared relatively later from their shells after a predator attack than non-gravid ones. Moreover, among gravid females, those carrying greater clutches tended to have longer appearance times. This suggests that only larger clutches could affect hiding behaviour in risky contexts. In contrast, waiting time spent scanning for predators and exploratory activity were not affected by the reproductive state. These differences between gravid and non-gravid females might be explained by the metabolic-physiological costs associated with egg production and embryo maintenance, as well as by the relatively higher potential fitness of gravid females.

  11. Mortality affects adaptive allocation to growth and reproduction: field evidence from a guild of body snatchers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The probability of being killed by external factors (extrinsic mortality) should influence how individuals allocate limited resources to the competing processes of growth and reproduction. Increased extrinsic mortality should select for decreased allocation to growth and for increased reproductive effort. This study presents perhaps the first clear cross-species test of this hypothesis, capitalizing on the unique properties offered by a diverse guild of parasitic castrators (body snatchers). I quantify growth, reproductive effort, and expected extrinsic mortality for several species that, despite being different species, use the same species' phenotype for growth and survival. These are eight trematode parasitic castrators—the individuals of which infect and take over the bodies of the same host species—and their uninfected host, the California horn snail. Results As predicted, across species, growth decreased with increased extrinsic mortality, while reproductive effort increased with increased extrinsic mortality. The trematode parasitic castrator species (operating stolen host bodies) that were more likely to be killed by dominant species allocated less to growth and relatively more to current reproduction than did species with greater life expectancies. Both genders of uninfected snails fit into the patterns observed for the parasitic castrator species, allocating as much to growth and to current reproduction as expected given their probability of reproductive death (castration by trematode parasites). Additionally, species differences appeared to represent species-specific adaptations, not general plastic responses to local mortality risk. Conclusions Broadly, this research illustrates that parasitic castrator guilds can allow unique comparative tests discerning the forces promoting adaptive evolution. The specific findings of this study support the hypothesis that extrinsic mortality influences species differences in growth and reproduction

  12. How do host sex and reproductive state affect host preference and feeding duration of ticks?

    PubMed

    Pollock, Nicholas B; Vredevoe, Larisa K; Taylor, Emily N

    2012-08-01

    Parasitism is one of the most notable forms of symbiosis in the biological world, with nearly all organisms hosting parasites. In many vertebrates, males have higher ectoparasite burdens than females, especially when testosterone concentrations are elevated. Furthermore, reproductive females may have higher ectoparasite burdens than non-reproductive females. It is possible that testosterone-stimulated behaviors in males and offspring investment by females incur energetic costs that inhibit immune function. If questing ticks can sense host sex or reproductive condition prior to attachment, they could potentially choose hosts with the poorest immune function, thereby leading to improved feeding success and decreased feeding duration. In this study, we examined the host-parasite relationship between western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) to test the following hypotheses: (1) ticks prefer male lizards to female lizards. (2) Ticks prefer male lizards with higher testosterone. (3) Ticks prefer reproductive female lizards to non-reproductive female lizards. (4) Ticks feed to repletion more rapidly (decreased feeding duration) on reproductive females and males with higher testosterone. In all three experiments, ticks failed to show a preference for one group over another as demonstrated by similar attachment rates between groups. This suggests that observed differences in ectoparasite loads in free-ranging lizards is due to some other factor than host choice. However, tick feeding duration on female lizards was shorter when hosts were reproductive, suggesting that host reproductive condition alters tick feeding, possibly due to a decreased immune response. Interestingly, ticks fed more slowly on male lizards with elevated testosterone, suggesting that testosterone may actually improve immune function against ectoparasites. PMID:22526292

  13. Reproductive rate, not dominance status, affects fecal glucocorticoid levels in breeding female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Barrette, Marie-France; Monfort, Steven L; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Russell, Andrew F

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females.

  14. Reproductive rate, not dominance status, affects fecal glucocorticoid levels in breeding female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Barrette, Marie-France; Monfort, Steven L; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Russell, Andrew F

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females. PMID:22210199

  15. A comparative analysis of reproductive biology of insect vectors of human disease

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, W. Robert; Attardo, Geoffrey M.; Aksoy, Serap

    2015-01-01

    Studying the reproductive strategies of insect species that transmit diseases to humans can identify new exploitable targets for the development of vector control methods. Here we describe shared characteristics and individual features of the reproductive biology of three major disease vectors: Anopheles gambiae, Aedes aegypti and Glossina morsitans. Current studies are identifying i) species-specific molecular cascades that determine female monandrous behavior, ii) core aspects of egg development that could be disrupted for controlling natural populations, and iii) the increasingly apparent role of resident microbiota in shaping reproductive success and disease transmission potential. The recent completion of multiple genome sequencing projects is allowing comparative genomics studies that not only increase our knowledge of reproductive processes but also facilitate the identification of novel targets for vector control. PMID:26140265

  16. Chocolate and other cocoa products: effects on human reproduction and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Brillo, Eleonora; Di Renzo, Gian Carlo

    2015-11-18

    Chocolate and other cocoa products are not all alike. They differ between themselves in term of nutrients, calories, and bioactive constituents. Therefore, some of them are unhealthy foods, whereas others do not affect health and still others are healthy foods. One wonders which chocolate and other cocoa derivatives can be considered as biofunctional food products. This review explores the constituents of cocoa and chocolate and summarizes evidence about the role of cocoa and chocolate components on human health and particularly on reproduction. On the basis of the literature review, it can be asserted that some kinds of cocoa products have favorable effects on human health at different stages of life. Women seem to be particularly favored by consuming of cocoa products, and chocolate with specific features can also be a good supplementary source of energy for pregnant woman. However, many aspects remain to be investigated and others are still to be clarified. Future studies and systematic reviews will shed light on some preventive effects and health benefits of cocoa products.

  17. Chocolate and other cocoa products: effects on human reproduction and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Brillo, Eleonora; Di Renzo, Gian Carlo

    2015-11-18

    Chocolate and other cocoa products are not all alike. They differ between themselves in term of nutrients, calories, and bioactive constituents. Therefore, some of them are unhealthy foods, whereas others do not affect health and still others are healthy foods. One wonders which chocolate and other cocoa derivatives can be considered as biofunctional food products. This review explores the constituents of cocoa and chocolate and summarizes evidence about the role of cocoa and chocolate components on human health and particularly on reproduction. On the basis of the literature review, it can be asserted that some kinds of cocoa products have favorable effects on human health at different stages of life. Women seem to be particularly favored by consuming of cocoa products, and chocolate with specific features can also be a good supplementary source of energy for pregnant woman. However, many aspects remain to be investigated and others are still to be clarified. Future studies and systematic reviews will shed light on some preventive effects and health benefits of cocoa products. PMID:26218965

  18. Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salt, Alec N.; Kaltenbach, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Wind turbines generate low-frequency sounds that affect the ear. The ear is superficially similar to a microphone, converting mechanical sound waves into electrical signals, but does this by complex physiologic processes. Serious misconceptions about low-frequency sound and the ear have resulted from a failure to consider in detail how the ear…

  19. Human rights and reproductive health: political realities and pragmatic choices for married adolescent women living in urban slums, Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In Bangladesh, particularly in urban slums, married adolescent women’s human rights to life, health, and reproductive and sexual health remain adversely affected because of the structural inequalities and political economic, social and cultural conditions which shape how rights are understood, negotiated and lived. Methods The focus of the research and methods was anthropological. An initial survey of 153 married adolescent women was carried out and from this group, 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with selected participants and, from the in-depth interviews, a further eight case studies of women and their families were selected for in-depth repeated interviews and case histories. Results This paper speaks of the unanticipated complexities when writing on reproductive rights for poor adolescent women living in the slums, where the discourses on ‘universal human rights’ are often removed from the reality of adolescent women’s everyday lives. Married adolescent women and their families remain extremely vulnerable in the unpredictable, crime-prone and insecure urban slum landscape because of their age, gender and poverty. Adolescent women’s understanding of their rights such as the decision to marry early, have children, terminate pregnancies and engage in risky sexual behaviour, are different from the widely accepted discourse on rights globally, which assumes a particular kind of individual thinking and discourse on rights and a certain autonomy women have over their bodies and their lives. This does not necessarily exist in urban slum populations. Conclusions The lived experiences and decisions made pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and ‘rights’ exercised by married adolescent women, their families and slum communities, allow us to reflect on the disconnect between the international legal human rights frameworks as applied to sexual and reproductive health rights, and how these are played out on the ground. These notions are

  20. The relationship of appetitive, reproductive and posterior pituitary hormones to alcoholism and craving in humans.

    PubMed

    Kenna, George A; Swift, Robert M; Hillemacher, Thomas; Leggio, Lorenzo

    2012-09-01

    A significant challenge for understanding alcoholism lies in discovering why some, but not other individuals, become dependent on alcohol. Genetic, environmental, cultural, developmental, and neurobiological influences are recognized as essential factors underlying a person's risk for becoming alcohol dependent (AD); however, the neurobiological processes that trigger this vulnerability are still poorly understood. Hormones are important in the regulation of many functions and several hormones are strongly associated with alcohol use. While medical consequences are important, the primary focus of this review is on the underlying confluence of appetitive/feeding, reproductive and posterior pituitary hormones associated with distinct phases of alcoholism or assessed by alcohol craving in humans. While these hormones are of diverse origin, the involvement with alcoholism by these hormone systems is unmistakable, and demonstrates the complexity of interactions with alcohol and the difficulty of successfully pursuing effective treatments. Whether alcohol associated changes in the activity of certain hormones are the result of alcohol use or are the result of an underlying predisposition for alcoholism, or a combination of both, is currently of great scientific interest. The evidence we present in this review suggests that appetitive hormones may be markers as they appear involved in alcohol dependence and craving, that reproductive hormones provide an example of the consequences of drinking and are affected by alcohol, and that posterior pituitary hormones have potential for being targets for treatment. A better understanding of the nature of these associations may contribute to diagnosing and more comprehensively treating alcoholism. Pharmacotherapies that take advantage of our new understanding of hormones, their receptors, or their potential relationship to craving may shed light on the treatment of this disorder.

  1. Preserving human cells for regenerative, reproductive, and transfusion medicine

    PubMed Central

    Asghar, Waseem; Assal, Rami El; Shafiee, Hadi; Anchan, Raymond M.; Demirci, Utkan

    2014-01-01

    Cell cryopreservation enables maintaining cellular life at sub-zero temperatures by slowing down biochemical processes. Various cell types are routinely cryopreserved in modern reproductive, regenerative, and transfusion medicine. Current cell cryopreservation methods involve freezing (slow/rapid) or vitrifying cells in the presence of a cryoprotective agent (CPA). Although these methods are clinically utilized, cryo-injury due to ice crystals, osmotic shock, and CPA toxicity cause loss of cell viability and function. Recent approaches using minimum volume vitrification provide alternatives to the conventional cryopreservation methods. Minimum volume vitrification provides ultra-high cooling and rewarming rates that enable preserving cells without ice crystal formation. Herein, we review recent advances in cell cryopreservation technology and provide examples of techniques that are utilized in oocyte, stem cell, and red blood cell cryopreservation. PMID:24995723

  2. Sex ratio effects on reproductive strategies in humans

    PubMed Central

    Schacht, Ryan; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique

    2015-01-01

    Characterizations of coy females and ardent males are rooted in models of sexual selection that are increasingly outdated. Evolutionary feedbacks can strongly influence the sex roles and subsequent patterns of sex differentiated investment in mating effort, with a key component being the adult sex ratio (ASR). Using data from eight Makushi communities of southern Guyana, characterized by varying ASRs contingent on migration, we show that even within a single ethnic group, male mating effort varies in predictable ways with the ASR. At male-biased sex ratios, men's and women's investment in mating effort are indistinguishable; only when men are in the minority are they more inclined towards short-term, low investment relationships than women. Our results support the behavioural ecological tenet that reproductive strategies are predictable and contingent on varying situational factors. PMID:26064588

  3. Does Globalization Affect Human Well-Being?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Ming-Chang

    2007-01-01

    The prevailing theorizing of globalization's influence of human well-being suggests to assess both the favorable and unfavorable outcomes. This study formulates a dialectical model, adopts a comprehensive globalization measure and uses a three-wave panel data during 1980-2000 to empirically test direct and indirect effects of global flows' human…

  4. Benzyl isothiocyanate affects development, hatching and reproduction of the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) applied at micromolar doses decreased Heterodera glycines J2 movement, H. glycines hatching, and reproduction of H. glycines on soybean, Glycine max. Direct exposure of J2 to 30 microM BITC caused an immediate decrease (17%; P < 0.05) in J2 movement relative to 1% methan...

  5. Castration affects reproductive but not aggressive behavior in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Canário, Adelino V M; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics. Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol, and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and subsequently to a male on day 9. The urine bladder damaged treatment was included in the experimental design because a full castration procedure in this species causes quite often damage to the urine bladder. Gonadectomy lowers dramatically the circulating levels of androgens measured at 4 and 8days post-castration and abolishes the expression of nest building, courtship behavior and nuptial coloration, but has no effect on the expression of aggressive behavior. These results confirm the gonads as the main source of androgens in this species and show that androgens are necessary for the expression of reproductive behaviors. However, the expression of aggressive behavior seems to be decoupled from gonadal steroids, namely androgens, suggesting the action of independent central mechanisms. PMID:24681190

  6. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Nystrand, M; Dowling, D K

    2014-11-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring.

  7. Sexual experience affects reproductive behavior and preoptic androgen receptors in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Swaney, William T.; Dubose, Brittany N.; Curley, James P.; Champagne, Frances A.

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive behavior in male rodents is made up of anticipatory and consummatory elements which are regulated in the brain by sensory systems, reward circuits and hormone signaling. Gonadal steroids play a key role in the regulation of male sexual behavior via steroid receptors in the hypothalamus and preoptic area. Typical patterns of male reproductive behavior have been characterized, however these are not fixed but are modulated by adult experience. We assessed the effects of repeated sexual experience on male reproductive behavior of C57BL/6 mice; including measures of olfactory investigation of females, mounting, intromission and ejaculation. The effects of sexual experience on the number of cells expressing either androgen receptor (AR) or estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in the primary brain nuclei regulating male sexual behavior was also measured. Sexually experienced male mice engaged in less sniffing of females before initiating sexual behavior and exhibited shorter latencies to mount and intromit, increased frequency of intromission, and increased duration of intromission relative to mounting. No changes in numbers of ERα-positive cells were observed, however sexually experienced males had increased numbers of AR-positive cells in the medial preoptic area (MPOA); the primary regulatory nucleus for male sexual behavior. These results indicate that sexual experience results in a qualitative change in male reproductive behavior in mice that is associated with increased testosterone sensitivity in the MPOA and that this nucleus may play a key integrative role in mediating the effects of sexual experience on male behavior. PMID:22266118

  8. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

  9. Intergenerational and sibling conflict under patrilocality. A model of reproductive skew applied to human kinship.

    PubMed

    Ji, Ting; Xu, Jing-Jing; Mace, Ruth

    2014-03-01

    Here we argue that models developed to examine cooperation and conflict in communal breeders, using a "tug-of-war" model of reproductive skew generated by incomplete control, are an appropriate way to model human kinship systems. We apply such models to understand the patterns of effort put into competition between father and son and between brothers in conflict over family resources in a patrilineal kinship system. Co-resident kin do not necessarily emerge with equal shares of the cake in terms of reproductive output. The models show that, depending on the efficiency with which they can gain more control of the resource, on the marriage system, and on the relatedness of the partners in conflict, individuals can do better to help their relatives breed rather than fight each other for the resources needed to reproduce. The models show that when a son's father is still breeding with his mother, sons should not compete for any share of reproduction. However, under polygyny, increased effort is spent on father/son and brother/brother conflict. Fathers will win the majority of reproduction if dominant to sons (in contrast to the finding that daughters-in-law win in conflict over mothers-in-law in patrilocal kinship systems, which has been suggested as explaining the evolution of menopause). Hence who wins in the sharing of reproduction depends not just on which sex disperses but also on the relative competitive ability of all individuals to exploit family resources. Anthropologists have long argued that cultural norms can reduce conflict. These formal evolutionary models help us to quantify the effects of reproductive conflict in families, throwing light on the evolutionary basis not just of patterns of reproductive scheduling, but also human kinship and marriage systems.

  10. Hormonal characteristics of the human menstrual cycle throughout reproductive life.

    PubMed

    Sherman, B M; Korenman, S G

    1975-04-01

    The changes in serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FHS), estradiol, and progesterone that occur both early and late in reproductive life were characterized and compared with findings in young, normal women and in patients with certain menstrual disorders. A total of 50 complete menstrual cycles in 37 were examined. Five distinct patterns of hormonal regulation were found, three of which are reported here: (a) A long follicular phase and delayed follicular maturation in young women with long, unpredictable intermenstrual intervals from menarche; (b) a short follicular phase with increasing age and in short cycles in perimenopausal women; and (c) true anovulatory vaginal bleeding in long cycles in perimenopausal women. The short cycles before and during the menopausal transition were found to have lower E2 levels and high FSH concentrations throughout, while LH remained in the normal range. During long cycles in perimenopausal women, concentrations of LH and FSH were in the menopausal range. However, follicular maturation was observed months after high levels of gonadotropins were attained. These studies permit the characterization of the menstrual history of the normal woman in terms of the hormonal changes that occur and provide a basis for the definition of several disorders of follicular maturation. PMID:1120778

  11. Human environmental and occupational exposures to boric acid: reconciliation with experimental reproductive toxicity data.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Hermann M; Başaran, Nurşen; Duydu, Yalçın

    2012-01-01

    The reproductive toxicity of boric acid and borates is a matter of current regulatory concern. Based on experimental studies in rats, no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) were found to be 17.5 mg boron (B)/kg body weight (b.w.) for male fertility and 9.6 mg B/kg b.w. for developmental toxicity. Recently, occupational human field studies in highly exposed cohorts were reported from China and Turkey, with both studies showing negative results regarding male reproduction. A comparison of the conditions of these studies with the experimental NOAEL conditions are based on reported B blood levels, which is clearly superior to a scaling according to estimated B exposures. A comparison of estimated daily B exposure levels and measured B blood levels confirms the preference of biomonitoring data for a comparison of human field studies. In general, it appears that high environmental exposures to B are lower than possible high occupational exposures. The comparison reveals no contradiction between human and experimental reproductive toxicity data. It clearly appears that human B exposures, even in the highest exposed cohorts, are too low to reach the blood (and target tissue) concentrations that would be required to exert adverse effects on reproductive functions.

  12. 'Even if you're positive, you still have rights because you are a person': human rights and the reproductive choice of HIV-positive persons.

    PubMed

    London, Leslie; Orner, Phyllis J; Myer, Landon

    2008-04-01

    Global debates in approaches to HIV/AIDS control have recently moved away from a uniformly strong human rights-based focus. Public health utilitarianism has become increasingly important in shaping national and international policies. However, potentially contradictory imperatives may require reconciliation of individual reproductive and other human rights with public health objectives. Current reproductive health guidelines remain largely non prescriptive on the advisability of pregnancy amongst HIV-positive couples, mainly relying on effective counselling to enable autonomous decision making by clients. Yet, health care provider values and attitudes may substantially impact on the effectiveness of non prescriptive guidelines,particularly where social norms and stereotypes regarding childbearing are powerful, and where providers are subjected to dual loyalty pressures, with potentially adverse impacts on rights of service users. Data from a study of user experiences and perceptions of reproductive and HIV/AIDS services are used to illustrate a rights analysis of how reproductive health policy should integrate a rights perspective into the way services engage with HIV-positive persons and their reproductive choices. The analysis draws on recognised tools developed to evaluate health policies for their human rights impacts and on a model developed for health equity research in South Africa to argue for greater recognition of agency on the part of persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the development and content of policies on reproductive choices. We conclude by proposing strategies that are based upon a synergy between human rights and public health approaches to policy on reproductive health choices for persons with HIV/AIDS.

  13. Social Variables Affecting Mate Preferences, Copulation and Reproductive Outcome in a Pack of Free-Ranging Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  14. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    PubMed

    Cafazzo, Simona; Bonanni, Roberto; Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  15. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations.

  16. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations. PMID:23621367

  17. Food restriction affects reproduction and survival of F1 and F2 offspring of Rat-like hamster (Cricetulus triton).

    PubMed

    Liang, Hong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2006-03-30

    Food restriction in parent may have long-term consequence on the reproductive capabilities of the offspring, and these consequences may, in turn, play an important role in population regulation. In this paper, we systematically examined the effect of maternal food restriction on reproduction and survival of maternal individuals, and F1 and F2 offspring of Rat-like hamsters (Cricetulus triton). Food restriction to 75% of that eaten by ad libitum-fed hamsters (75% FR) did not affect the reproductive organs and hormone concentration of maternal females, but 50% FR significantly reduced the size of ovarian organ and estradiol concentration of maternal females. 75% FR significantly reduced the testosterone concentration of maternal males; 50% FR significantly reduced both the size of epididymides and concentration of testosterone of maternal males. 70% FR in maternal females significantly reduced the sizes of reproductive organs and hormone concentrations of both their male and female F1 offspring. FR maternal females also produced significantly more male than female F1 offspring. The sizes of reproductive organs or hormone concentration of F2 males of maternal FR continued to significantly decline, but no such effect was observed in F2 females. However, the number of F2 offspring per F1 female of FR maternal females at birth became significantly smaller and with significantly more males than females. Survival to weaning of F1 and F2 offspring of FR maternal females became significantly smaller during the period from birth to weaning. Thus, the effects of maternal food restriction could be an important mechanism to explain the prolonged low population density that is commonly observed after the population crash of this species.

  18. Saving and Reproduction of Human Motion Data by Using Haptic Devices with Different Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunashima, Noboru; Yokokura, Yuki; Katsura, Seiichiro

    Recently, there has been increased focus on “haptic recording” development of a motion-copying system is an efficient method for the realization of haptic recording. Haptic recording involves saving and reproduction of human motion data on the basis of haptic information. To increase the number of applications of the motion-copying system in various fields, it is necessary to reproduce human motion data by using haptic devices with different configurations. In this study, a method for the above-mentioned haptic recording is developed. In this method, human motion data are saved and reproduced on the basis of work space information, which is obtained by coordinate transformation of motor space information. The validity of the proposed method is demonstrated by experiments. With the proposed method, saving and reproduction of human motion data by using various devices is achieved. Furthermore, it is also possible to use haptic recording in various fields.

  19. Systematic review of the association between oil and natural gas extraction processes and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Balise, Victoria D; Meng, Chun-Xia; Cornelius-Green, Jennifer N; Kassotis, Christopher D; Kennedy, Rana; Nagel, Susan C

    2016-09-15

    This systematic review identified 45 original published research articles related to oil and gas extraction activities and human reproductive endpoints. Reproductive outcomes were categorized as [1] birth outcomes associated with maternal exposure, [2] semen quality, fertility, and birth outcomes associated with adult paternal exposure, [3] reproductive cancers, and [4] disruption of human sex steroid hormone receptors. The results indicate there is moderate evidence for an increased risk of preterm birth, miscarriage, birth defects, decreased semen quality, and prostate cancer. The quality of the evidence is low and/or inadequate for stillbirth, sex ratio, and birth outcomes associated with paternal exposure, and testicular cancer, female reproductive tract cancers, and breast cancer, and the evidence is inconsistent for an increased risk of low birth weight; therefore, no conclusions can be drawn for these health effects. There is ample evidence for disruption of the estrogen, androgen, and progesterone receptors by oil and gas chemicals, which provides a mechanistic rationale for how exposure to oil and gas activities may increase the health risks we have outlined. The results from this systematic review suggest there is a negative impact on human reproduction from exposure to oil and gas activities. Many of the 45 studies reviewed identified potential human health effects. Most of these studies focused on conventional oil and gas activities. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the impact of unconventional oil and gas operations on human health. The impact of unconventional oil and gas activities may be greater than that of conventional activity, given that unconventional activities employ many of the same approaches and use dozens of known endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hydraulic fracturing. PMID:27568524

  20. Systematic review of the association between oil and natural gas extraction processes and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Balise, Victoria D; Meng, Chun-Xia; Cornelius-Green, Jennifer N; Kassotis, Christopher D; Kennedy, Rana; Nagel, Susan C

    2016-09-15

    This systematic review identified 45 original published research articles related to oil and gas extraction activities and human reproductive endpoints. Reproductive outcomes were categorized as [1] birth outcomes associated with maternal exposure, [2] semen quality, fertility, and birth outcomes associated with adult paternal exposure, [3] reproductive cancers, and [4] disruption of human sex steroid hormone receptors. The results indicate there is moderate evidence for an increased risk of preterm birth, miscarriage, birth defects, decreased semen quality, and prostate cancer. The quality of the evidence is low and/or inadequate for stillbirth, sex ratio, and birth outcomes associated with paternal exposure, and testicular cancer, female reproductive tract cancers, and breast cancer, and the evidence is inconsistent for an increased risk of low birth weight; therefore, no conclusions can be drawn for these health effects. There is ample evidence for disruption of the estrogen, androgen, and progesterone receptors by oil and gas chemicals, which provides a mechanistic rationale for how exposure to oil and gas activities may increase the health risks we have outlined. The results from this systematic review suggest there is a negative impact on human reproduction from exposure to oil and gas activities. Many of the 45 studies reviewed identified potential human health effects. Most of these studies focused on conventional oil and gas activities. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the impact of unconventional oil and gas operations on human health. The impact of unconventional oil and gas activities may be greater than that of conventional activity, given that unconventional activities employ many of the same approaches and use dozens of known endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hydraulic fracturing.

  1. Maggot excretions affect the human complement system.

    PubMed

    Cazander, Gwendolyn; Schreurs, Marco W J; Renwarin, Lennaert; Dorresteijn, Corry; Hamann, Dörte; Jukema, Gerrolt N

    2012-01-01

    The complement system plays an important role in the activation of the inflammatory response to injury, although inappropriate complement activation (CA) can lead to severe tissue damage. Maggot therapy is successfully used to treat infected wounds. In this study, we hypothesized that maggot excretions/secretions influence CA in order to modulate the host's inflammatory response. Therefore, the effect of maggot excretions on CA was investigated in preoperatively and postoperatively obtained sera from patients. Our results show that maggot excretions reduce CA in healthy and postoperatively immune-activated human sera up to 99.9%, via all pathways. Maggot excretions do not specifically initiate or inhibit CA, but break down complement proteins C3 and C4 in a cation-independent manner and this effect proves to be temperature tolerant. This study indicates a CA-reducing substrate that is already successfully used in clinical practice and may explain part of the improved wound healing caused by maggot therapy. Furthermore, the complement activation-reducing substance present in maggot excretions could provide a novel treatment modality for several diseases, resulting from an (over)active complement system.

  2. Human evolution, life history theory, and the end of biological reproduction.

    PubMed

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

    Throughout primate history there have been three major life history transitions towards increasingly delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction, as well as towards extended life expectancy. Monkeys reproduce later and live longer than do prosimians, apes reproduce later and live longer than do monkeys, and humans reproduce later and live longer than do apes. These life history transitions are connected to increased encephalization. During the last life history transition from apes to humans, increased encephalization co-evolved with increased dependence on cultural knowledge for energy acquisition. This led to a dramatic pressure for more energy investment in growth over current biological reproduction. Since the industrial revolution socioeconomic development has led to even more energy being devoted to growth over current biological reproduction. I propose that this is the beginning of an ongoing fourth major primate life history transition towards completely delayed biological reproduction and an extension of the evolved human life expectancy. I argue that the only fundamental difference between this primate life history transition and previous life history transitions is that this transition is being driven solely by cultural evolution, which may suggest some deeper evolutionary transition away from biological evolution is already in the process of occurring.

  3. Microcystin-LR impairs zebrafish reproduction by affecting oogenesis and endocrine system.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanyan; Xie, Liqiang; Yan, Yunjun

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that microcystins (MCs) are able to exert negative effects on the reproductive system of fish. However, few data are actually available on the effects of MC-LR on the reproductive system of female fish. In the present study, female zebrafish were exposed to 2, 10, and 50 μg L(-1) of MC-LR for 21 d, and its effects on oogenesis, sex hormones, transcription of genes on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, and reproduction were investigated for the first time. It was observed that egg production significantly declined at ⩾ 10 μg L(-1) MC-LR. MC-LR exposure to zebrafish increased the concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) and vitellogenin (VTG) at 10 μg L(-1) level, whereas concentrations of E2, VTG and testosterone declined at 50 μg L(-1) MC-LR. The transcriptions of steroidogenic pathway gene (cyp19a, cyp19b, 17βhsd, cyp17 and hmgra) changed as well after the exposure and corresponded well with the alterations of hormone levels. A number of intra- and extra-ovarian factors, such as gnrh3, gnrhr1, fshβ, fshr, lhr, bmp15, mrpβ, ptgs2 and vtg1 which regulate oogenesis, were significantly changed with a different dose-related effect. Moreover, MC-LR exposure to female zebrafish resulted in decreased fertilization and hatching rates, and may suggest the possibility of trans-generational effects of MC-LR exposure. The results demonstrate that MC-LR could modulate endocrine function and oogenesis, eventually leading to disruption of reproductive performance in female zebrafish. These data suggest there is a risk for aquatic population living in MC polluted areas.

  4. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  5. Dietary essential amino acids affect the reproduction of the keystone herbivore Daphnia pulex.

    PubMed

    Fink, Patrick; Pflitsch, Claudia; Marin, Kay

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that nitrogen availability can be an important determinant of primary production in freshwater lakes and that herbivore growth can be limited by low dietary nitrogen availability. Furthermore, a lack of specific essential nitrogenous biochemicals (such as essential amino acids) might be another important constraint on the fitness of consumers. This might be of particular importance for cladoceran zooplankton, which can switch between two alternative reproductive strategies--the production of subitaneously developing and resting eggs. Here, we hypothesize that both the somatic growth and the type of reproduction of the aquatic keystone herbivore Daphnia is limited by the availability of specific essential amino acids in the diet. In laboratory experiments, we investigated this hypothesis by feeding a high quality phytoplankton organism (Cryptomonas) and a green alga of moderate nutritional quality (Chlamydomonas) to a clone of Daphnia pulex with and without the addition of essential amino acids. The somatic growth of D. pulex differed between the algae of different nutritional quality, but not dependent on the addition of dissolved amino acids. However, in reproduction experiments, where moderate crowding conditions at saturating food quantities were applied, addition of the essential amino acids arginine and histidine (but not lysine and threonine) increased the total number and the developmental stage of subitaneous eggs. While D. pulex did not produce resting eggs on Cryptomonas, relatively high numbers of resting eggs were released on Chlamydomonas. When arginine and histidine were added to the green algal diet, the production of resting eggs was effectively suppressed. This demonstrates the high, but previously overlooked importance of single essential amino acids for the reproductive strategy of the aquatic keystone herbivore Daphnia. PMID:22163027

  6. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  7. How work-place conditions, environmental toxicants and lifestyle affect male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Bonde, Jens Peter; Storgaard, Lone

    2002-10-01

    Major temporal and geographical shifts in male reproductive function is presently an issue worldwide. The hormonal disruption hypothesis has achieved considerable attention but epidemiological evidence in support of the theory is lacking. Several occupational hazards to male reproductive function are known but exposure prevalences are hardly sufficient to play a role for reduced sperm count in the general male population. Sedentary work may be an exception. Perhaps prolonged time in the sedentary position exhausts the testicular heat regulation. But so far studies addressing implications of the heat hypothesis in the general population are few. Neither change of sexual behaviour nor reduced period of sexual continence seems to be a likely explanation. Tobacco smoking and consumption of caffeine and alcoholic beverages in adulthood have a rather marginal impact on spermatogenesis and can hardly explain major shifts or regional differences in male reproductive health. However, prenatal effects following smoking during pregnancy might play a role because we have witnessed a smoking epidemic among fertile women in some countries during the second half of the twentieth century. Moreover, if genetic factors play more than a marginal role for testicular function and sperm count, pregnancy planning resulting in reduced family size during the past 100 years could possibly explain a decline in semen quality because the most fertile part of the population reproduce less while the subfertile probably continue to get a limited number of children. PMID:12270022

  8. Honeybees enhance reproduction without affecting the outcrossing rate in endemic Pedicularis densispica (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Sun, S G; Guo, Y H

    2007-11-01

    There has been substantial debate in recent years surrounding the impact of introduced honeybees on native biota. This study reports on an investigation of Pedicularis densispica, a subalpine annual herb endemic to Southwest China, in an attempt to determine the impact of introduced domestic honeybees on pollen dispersal and thus on their reproductive success and mating system. Honeybees were introduced into the study site in 2004, and a sudden seasonal pollinator shift from bumblebees to honeybees was observed. Intra- and inter-plant visits by different pollinators were recorded in the field in 2003 and 2004. Fruit and seed sets prior to and after the pollinator shift were measured. Experimental pollinations were performed to characterize the breeding system. Outcrossing rates at the seed stage were estimated for both years using RAPD markers. Our results indicated that honeybees foraged between plants more frequently than bumblebees did. Our results also revealed that the introduction of honeybees significantly enhanced reproductive success. However, no significant difference was detected between the outcrossing rates due to bumblebee and honeybee pollination. P. densispica was almost completely outcrossing ( T(m) = 0.956 and 0.967, respectively in 2003 and 2004) but partially self-compatible. This study presents the first report of the outcrossing rate in the genus pedicularis and reveals a limited influence of pollination on the mating system in P. densispica. The pollinator shift did not reduce reproductive success of the plants and honeybees may be used to augment pollinator services for nectariferous P. densispica.

  9. Genetic relationship between boar taint compounds, human nose scores, and reproduction traits in pigs.

    PubMed

    Mathur, P K; ten Napel, J; Crump, R E; Mulder, H A; Knol, E F

    2013-09-01

    A reduction in boar taint, an unpleasant odor arising in pork from some intact males, is desirable if routine castration of piglets needs to be stopped. Commercial slaughter pigs are typically crosses between sire lines mainly selected for finishing traits and dam lines mainly selected for reproduction traits. Previous studies suggest the possibility of reducing boar taint in sire lines due to favorable genetic correlations between boar taint and finishing traits. However, there are indications of unfavorable genetic associations between boar taint and female reproduction traits, but a lack of genetic correlation estimates remain a major roadblock in reducing boar taint in dam lines. This study was conducted to estimate genetic correlations between boar taint traits and female reproduction traits, investigate differences in these genetic relationships among sire and dam lines, and evaluate possible consequences of selection against boar taint in dam lines. The data consisted of 32,549 reproduction records from a Landrace dam line, 23,874 records from a Yorkshire dam line, and 3,745 records from a Pietrain sire line. Androstenone, skatole, and indole were measured on 1,896 carcasses, and human nose scores were recorded on 7,742 carcass samples. In general, the level of boar taint was significantly greater (P < 0.05) in the two dam lines than in the sire line. A majority of genetic correlations of boar taint compounds with reproduction traits were either low or nonsignificant, except for those of skatole and indole, with age at first insemination in dam lines that were -0.32 and -0.46, respectively. Genetic correlations also differed (P < 0.05) between sire and dam lines. The consequences of selection against boar taint in dam lines were evaluated, using selection indexes based on reproduction traits only, boar taint traits only, and both boar taint and reproduction traits. Selection on an index of only reproduction traits increased the number of carcasses with boar

  10. Widespread presence of human BOULE homologs among animals and conservation of their ancient reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Shah, Chirag; Vangompel, Michael J W; Naeem, Villian; Chen, Yanmei; Lee, Terrance; Angeloni, Nicholas; Wang, Yin; Xu, Eugene Yujun

    2010-07-15

    Sex-specific traits that lead to the production of dimorphic gametes, sperm in males and eggs in females, are fundamental for sexual reproduction and accordingly widespread among animals. Yet the sex-biased genes that underlie these sex-specific traits are under strong selective pressure, and as a result of adaptive evolution they often become divergent. Indeed out of hundreds of male or female fertility genes identified in diverse organisms, only a very small number of them are implicated specifically in reproduction in more than one lineage. Few genes have exhibited a sex-biased, reproductive-specific requirement beyond a given phylum, raising the question of whether any sex-specific gametogenesis factors could be conserved and whether gametogenesis might have evolved multiple times. Here we describe a metazoan origin of a conserved human reproductive protein, BOULE, and its prevalence from primitive basal metazoans to chordates. We found that BOULE homologs are present in the genomes of representative species of each of the major lineages of metazoans and exhibit reproductive-specific expression in all species examined, with a preponderance of male-biased expression. Examination of Boule evolution within insect and mammalian lineages revealed little evidence for accelerated evolution, unlike most reproductive genes. Instead, purifying selection was the major force behind Boule evolution. Furthermore, loss of function of mammalian Boule resulted in male-specific infertility and a global arrest of sperm development remarkably similar to the phenotype in an insect boule mutation. This work demonstrates the conservation of a reproductive protein throughout eumetazoa, its predominant testis-biased expression in diverse bilaterian species, and conservation of a male gametogenic requirement in mice. This shows an ancient gametogenesis requirement for Boule among Bilateria and supports a model of a common origin of spermatogenesis.

  11. Safety, identity and consent: a limited defense of reproductive human cloning.

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert

    2006-06-01

    Some opponents of reproductive human cloning have argued that, because of its experimental nature, any attempt to create a child by way of cloning would risk serious birth defects or genetic abnormalities and would therefore be immoral. Some versions of this argument appeal to the consent of the person to be conceived in this way. In particular, they assume that if an experimental reproductive technology has not yet been shown to be safe, then, before we use it, we are morally obligated to get either the actual consent or the presumed consent of the person to be conceived. In this article, I attempt to explain the appeal of such consent-based arguments as deriving from a mistaken view of personal identity. I then argue that since this view is false, such arguments are unsound. Finally, I argue that even if reproductive cloning is unsafe, it may still be morally permissible in some circumstances.

  12. Risk factors that affect reproductive target achievement in fertile dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Aungier, S P M; Roche, J F; Diskin, M G; Crowe, M A

    2014-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) the risk factors that influence the achievement of reproductive targets postpartum (pp) and (2) the key factors that influence pregnancy rate following first artificial insemination (AI) in dairy cows. Ninety-eight Holstein-Friesian pp cows were blood sampled from wk 1 to 4 pp for hematology and biochemistry. Reproductive tract health was assessed weekly by ultrasonography and vaginal mucus scoring. Body condition score (BCS), lameness score, and milk yield were assessed every 2 wk. Milk samples for progesterone assay were collected twice weekly and on d 4, 5, and 7 after AI. Risk factors associated with achieving reproductive targets depended on (1) increased metabolic activity of the liver (increased glutamate dehydrogenase at calving and increased γ-glutamyl transpeptidase in wk 4), (2) a competent immune system (increased neutrophils in wk 1; decreased α1-acid glycoprotein in wk 1, 2, and 3), (3) an endocrine system that was capable of responding by producing sufficient triiodothyronine in wk 2 and increased insulin-like growth factor I in wk 3 and 4, (4) a lower negative energy balance status (decreased nonesterified fatty acid concentration in wk 1; decreased β-hydroxybutyrate concentration in wk 2; BCS loss between calving and d 28 pp <0.5), (5) good reproductive tract health [normal uterine scan at d 45 pp; clear vaginal mucus discharge at first ovulation and at d 45 pp; resumed ovarian cyclicity by the end of the voluntary waiting period (≥ d 35 pp)], and (6) adequate diet (to ensure increased glutathione peroxidase in wk 2 and 3 and increased magnesium in wk 4). Risk factors that increased the odds of a successful first AI were previous ovulation(s) (odds ratio=3.17 per ovulation), BCS >2.5 at AI (odds ratio=3.01), and clear vaginal mucus (score=0) compared with purulent mucus (score >0) 4 d after first AI (odds ratio=2.99). In conclusion, this study identified key risk factors in the early pp

  13. Variable NK cell receptors and their MHC class I ligands in immunity, reproduction and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2013-02-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, in which they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of the MHC-C gene in hominids drove the evolution of a system of NK cell receptors for MHC-C molecules that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. By contrast, the human system of MHC-C receptors seems to have been subject to different selection pressures that have acted in competition on the immunological and reproductive functions of MHC class I molecules. We suggest that this compromise facilitated the development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out of Africa and populate other continents.

  14. Plants and Photosynthesis: Level III, Unit 3, Lesson 1; The Human Digestive System: Lesson 2; Functions of the Blood: Lesson 3; Human Circulation and Respiration: Lesson 4; Reproduction of a Single Cell: Lesson 5; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells: Lesson 6; The Human Reproductive System: Lesson 7; Genetics and Heredity: Lesson 8; The Nervous System: Lesson 9; The Glandular System: Lesson 10. Advanced General Education Program. A High School Self-Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manpower Administration (DOL), Washington, DC. Job Corps.

    This self-study program for the high-school level contains lessons in the following subjects: Plants and Photosynthesis; The Human Digestive System; Functions of the Blood; Human Circulation and Respiration; Reproduction of a Single Cell; Reproduction by Male and Female Cells; The Human Reproductive System; Genetics and Heredity; The Nervous…

  15. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-05-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

  16. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  17. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  18. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-05-19

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

  19. Toward an Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the notion of Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education (APHRE) on a theoretical level and suggests a concept of curricular framework. APHRE highlights the significance of affectivity and body in the process of learning, factors usually neglected in the mainstream intellectualistic approach to learning, especially in areas…

  20. Neurokinin B signalling in the human reproductive axis.

    PubMed

    Topaloglu, A Kemal; Semple, Robert K

    2011-10-22

    Recent human genetic studies have established that neurokinin B (NKB) signalling via the neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R) is required for normal developmental activation of pulsatile GnRH secretion from the hypothalamus. As increasing numbers of patients with loss-of-function mutations have been described, evidence has emerged that peripheral NKB is not necessary for normal pregnancy despite high placental expression and high plasma levels of NKB in late gestation. Nevertheless many key questions about the role of NKB in the function of the GnRH pulse generator remain to be answered. Differences in requirement for NKB/NK3R for hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) maturation amongst different species, and their varied responses to stimulation with NKB represent a challenge for higher resolution studies. Neuroanatomical investigation has, however, identified key "KNDy" (Kisspeptin, Neurokinin B, Dynorphin) arcuate neurones that are conserved amongst different species and that are intimately connected both to each other and to the GnRH nerve termini. Several lines of evidence suggest that these may be the core of the GnRH pulse generator, and with experimental tools now in place in humans, monkeys and other experimental animals to pursue the function of these interconnected neurones and the functional hierarchy of their neuroendocrine inputs, understanding of the enigmatic GnRH pulse generator may at last be within reach.

  1. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of “high-quality” queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and “low-quality” queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone (“QMP”) components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the “queen-specific” developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  2. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP") components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting that other external

  3. Cryobiology in human assisted reproductive technology. Would Hippocrates approve?

    PubMed

    Bredkjaer, H E; Grudzinskas, J G

    2001-07-01

    Recent advances in human cryobiology have been substantially greater than the first slow step from freezing spermatozoa in animals in Italy, published in 1776 to observing motility in frozen-thawed human sperm in 1938(1). Reports on cryopreservation of rabbit oocytes (1947)(1) and births from fertilised frozen-thawed mice oocytes in 1977(1) were soon followed by the first human pregnancy (1983)(1) and birth (1984)1 following transfer of frozen-thawed embryos after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). Whereas cryopreservation of human sperm and embryos in tertiary level fertility centres is now commonplace, the full clinical, scientific and sociological consequences of progress in this rapidly moving field are to be determined. These include pregnancy with frozen-thawed human mature, oocytes after conventional IVF (1986)4, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)(5) (1996), pregnancies following use of frozen-thawed mature (1995)(5,6) and immature oocytes (1999)(7), ovarian tissue banking (8) and possible autografting (1999)(9) as well as repeated freeze-thawing of male gametes and of embryos (10,11). Cryopreservation of female and male gametes instead of embryos offer solutions of obvious religious, ethical, legal and clinical problems. In addition, there may be benefits in reducing the cost of infertility treatment, improving the safety of fertility treatment with respect to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and repeated treatment with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, prevention of diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases and hereditary disorders and preventing infertility by possible long-term storage of gametes, gonadal tissue and even embryos. The benefits of cryopreservation of sperm, oocytes and embryos in the management of subfertile couples, many being self-evident to some, bear emphasis. Cryopreservation of sperm offers substantial organisational, cost and social advantages in IVF/ICSI treatment, in that it is no longer necessary for both partners to be

  4. Discarded human spermatozoa, eggs and embryos for personnel training and practice in assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Heng, Boon Chin

    2007-12-01

    An ethical issue that has been largely overlooked is the use of discarded human gametes and embryos for personnel training in clinical assisted reproduction technology, e.g. intracytoplasmic sperm injection and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Unlike experimental research for generating peer-reviewed journal publications and intellectual property, there is no similar paper trail or smoking gun if human gametes and embryos are utilized solely for personnel training without the patient's knowledge and consent. For many assisted reproduction laboratories in private practice that are not affiliated with research or academic institutions, there are often difficulties in procuring animal material for personnel training. In contrast, discarded human gametes and embryos are readily available and can be convenient for training inexperienced personnel in assisted reproduction techniques. Very often, only verbal consent is obtained from patients, without written documentation, and this situation can potentially lead to abuse. For example, fertility clinics and laboratories may conduct training courses and workshops for generating additional income and revenue; and there is a possibility of discarded human material being utilized for such profit-making ventures without patients' prior knowledge. Hence, it is the moral duty and obligation of international professional bodies to advocate and draft clearly defined regulatory guidelines and legislative framework for this purpose.

  5. Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population.

    PubMed

    Alvergne, Alexandra; Jokela, Markus; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-06-29

    The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences of personality differences in nonhuman animals has recently undergone a surge of interest, our understanding of whether and how personality influences reproductive decisions in humans has remained limited and informed primarily by modern societies with low mortality-fertility schedules. Taking an evolutionary approach, we use data from a contemporary polygynous high-fertility human population living in rural Senegal to investigate whether personality dimensions are associated with key life-history traits in humans, i.e., quantity and quality of offspring. We show that personality dimensions predict reproductive success differently in men and women in such societies and, in women, are associated with a trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. In women, neuroticism positively predicts the number of children, both between and within polygynous families. Furthermore, within the low social class, offspring quality (i.e., child nutritional status) decreases with a woman's neuroticism, indicating a reproductive trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. Consistent with this, maximal fitness is achieved by women at an intermediate neuroticism level. In men, extraversion was found to be a strong predictor of high social class and polygyny, with extraverted men producing more offspring than their introverted counterparts. These results have implications for the consideration of alternative adaptive hypotheses in the current debate on the maintenance of personality differences and the role of individual factors in fertility patterns in contemporary humans.

  6. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  7. Retrospective surveillance of metabolic parameters affecting reproductive performance of Japanese Black breeding cows

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Urara; Yamato, Osamu; Otoi, Takeshige; Okamoto, Koji

    2014-01-01

    This retrospective study was conducted to confirm the relationship between pre- and postpartum metabolic parameters and postpartum reproductive performance and to clarify seasonal characteristics of the metabolic parameters by using our metabolic profile test (MPT) database of Japanese Black breeding herds. In evaluation 1, MPT databases of blood samples from multiparous cows collected prepartum and postpartum were divided into two groups according to calving interval, and each MPT parameter was compared. In evaluation 2, the same MPT databases used in evaluation 1 were divided into two groups according to the sampling period. Significant differences were found in the prepartal total protein and postpartal γ-glutamyltransferase in evaluation 1. In evaluation 2, significant differences were found in the prepartal and postpartal total protein, albumin/globulin ratio, and glucose. Clear seasonal differences in MPT results emphasized the usefulness of the MPT in breeding cattle herds fed home-pasture roughage and suggest that unsatisfactory reproductive performance during hot periods reflects inadequate nutritional content of the diet and possible reduced feed intake due to heat stress. PMID:24675835

  8. Methuselah-like genes affect development, stress resistance, lifespan and reproduction in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Li, Chengjun; Zhang, Yi; Yun, Xiaopei; Wang, Yanyun; Sang, Ming; Liu, Xing; Hu, Xingxing; Li, Bin

    2014-10-01

    Methuselah (Mth) is associated with lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster, but Mth is not present in nondrosophiline insects. A number of methuselah-likes (mthls) have been identified in nondrosophiline insects, but it is unknown whether the functions of mth are shared by mthls or are divergent from them. Five mthls have been identified in Tribolium castaneum. Although they have different developmental expression patterns, they all enhance resistance to starvation. Only mthl1 and mthl2 enhance resistance to high temperature, whereas mthl4 and mthl5 negatively regulate oxidative stress in T. castaneum. Unlike in the fly with mth mutation, knockdown of mthls, except mthl3, shortens the lifespan of T. castaneum. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 are critical for Tribolium development. mthl1 plays important roles in larval and pupal development and adult eclosion, while mthl2 is required for eclosion. Moreover, mthl1 and mthl2 silencing reduces the fertility of T. castaneum, and mthl1 and mthl4 are also essential for embryo development. In conclusion, mthls have a significant effect on insect development, lifespan, stress resistance and reproduction. These results provide experimental evidence for functional divergence among mthls/mth and clues for the signal transduction of Mthls.

  9. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (<10 %). Because of the great reproductive potential of daughter mites, their inclusion in assessments of grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  10. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  11. Trade-offs between clonal and sexual reproduction in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae) scale up to affect the fitness of entire clones.

    PubMed

    Van Drunen, Wendy E; Dorken, Marcel E

    2012-10-01

    Many plants combine sexual reproduction with vegetative propagation, but how trade-offs between these reproductive modes affect fitness is poorly understood. Although such trade-offs have been demonstrated at the level of individual shoots (ramets), there is little evidence that they scale up to affect genet fitness. For hermaphrodites, reproductive investment is further divided between female and male sexual functions. Female function should generally incur greater carbon costs than male function, which might involve greater nitrogen (N) costs. Using a common garden experiment with diclinous, clonal Sagittaria latifolia we manipulated investment in reproduction through female and male sex functions of 412 plants from monoecious and dioecious populations. We detected a 1:1 trade-off between biomass investment in female function and clonal reproduction. For male function, there was no apparent trade-off between clonal and sexual reproduction in terms of biomass investment. Instead, male function incurred a substantially higher N cost. Our results indicate that: trade-offs between investment in clonal propagation and sexual reproduction occur at the genet level in S. latifolia; and sexual reproduction interferes with clonal expansion, with investment in female function limiting the quantity of clonal propagules produced, and investment in male function limiting the nutrient content of clonal propagules.

  12. Incorporating human rights into reproductive health care provider education programs in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

    PubMed

    Reyes, H Luz McNaughton; Zuniga, Karen Padilla; Billings, Deborah L; Blandon, Marta Maria

    2013-07-01

    Health care providers play a central role in the promotion and protection of human rights in patient care. Consequently, the World Medical Association, among others, has called on medical and nursing schools to incorporate human rights education into their training programs. This report describes the efforts of one Central American nongovernmental organization to include human rights - related content into reproductive health care provider training programs in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Baseline findings suggest that health care providers are not being adequately prepared to fulfill their duty to protect and promote human rights in patient care. Medical and nursing school administrators, faculty, and students recognize the need to strengthen training in this area and are enthusiastic about incorporating human rights content into their education programs. Evaluation findings suggest that exposure to educational materials and methodologies that emphasize the relationship between human rights and reproductive health may lead to changes in health care provider attitudes and behaviors that help promote and safeguard human rights in patient care.

  13. Male reproductive toxicity of lead in animals and humans. ASCLEPIOS Study Group

    PubMed Central

    Apostoli, P.; Kiss, P.; Porru, S.; Bonde, J. P.; Vanhoorne, M.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To critically review the literature on male reproductive toxicity of lead in animals and humans. METHODS: A systematic literature search identified a total of 32 experimental studies in animals and 22 epidemiological studies, one case report on humans and five review articles or documents. The studies were evaluated by paying attention mainly to sample size, study design, exposure, and dose characterisation, analytical method standardisation, and quality assurance. RESULTS: Several studies on rats and other rodents indicated that blood lead concentrations > 30-40 micrograms/dl were associated with impairment of spermatogenesis and reduced concentrations of androgens. However, other animal studies, mainly about histopathological, spermatozoal, and hormonal end points, indicated that certain species and strains were quite resistant to the reproductive toxicity of lead and that different testicular lead concentrations could account for these differences. The human studies focused mainly on semen quality, endocrine function, and birth rates in occupationally exposed subjects, and showed that exposure to concentrations of inorganic lead > 40 micrograms/dl in blood impaired male reproductive function by reducing sperm count, volume, and density, or changing sperm motility and morphology. No relevant effects were detected on endocrine profile. CONCLUSION: Several factors make it difficult to extrapolate the animal data to the human situation. The difficulties are mainly due to differences between species in reproductive end points and to the level of exposure. Concentrations of blood lead > 40 micrograms/dl seemed to be associated with a decrease in sperm count, volume, motility, and morphological alterations and a possible modest effect on endocrine profile. Dose-response relation, in particular at a threshold level, is poorly understood, and site, mode, or mechanism of action are unknown. Also, the effects were not always the same or associated in the same on

  14. Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and reproductive cloning: an Ethics Committee opinion.

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    This document presents arguments that conclude that it is unethical to use somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) for infertility treatment due to concerns about safety; the unknown impact of SCNT on children, families, and society; and the availability of other ethically acceptable means of assisted reproduction. This document replaces the ASRM Ethics Committee report titled, "Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and cloning," last published in Fertil Steril 2012;98:804-7. PMID:26746137

  15. Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and reproductive cloning: an Ethics Committee opinion.

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    This document presents arguments that conclude that it is unethical to use somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) for infertility treatment due to concerns about safety; the unknown impact of SCNT on children, families, and society; and the availability of other ethically acceptable means of assisted reproduction. This document replaces the ASRM Ethics Committee report titled, "Human somatic cell nuclear transfer and cloning," last published in Fertil Steril 2012;98:804-7.

  16. The Human Rights Act (1998) and its impact on reproductive issues.

    PubMed

    Bahadur, G

    2001-04-01

    The Human Rights Act (HR Act) 1998 (UK) (Human Rights Act, 1998) came into effect on October 2, 2000. Instead of taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, litigants can enforce their rights in the UK. The Act will have an unprecedented effect in virtually all areas of the UK legal systems. In line with those countries who have incorporated the 'Convention' in domestic law, litigation is expected to increase. The extensive body of Convention law, as well as decisions of the domestic courts of other states which have incorporated the Convention, now becomes an integral part of UK jurisprudence. Broadly, the Act applies to public and not private bodies. The relevant bodies which embody reproductive issues and concerns are for example the National Health Service (NHS) and the regulatory bodies such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Act, 1990) and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC). A profound impact on the NHS practice, interpretations of the HFEA Act and its Code of Practice can be envisaged in relation to the Convention rights. Cases involving reproductive issues are already emerging in relation to the HR Act and which include sex selection, the present embryo transfer policy, interpretation of fatherless offspring and the provision of fertility services under the NHS. This review is intended to raise awareness of the HR Act 1998 for persons interested in human reproductive issues and how the HR Act could impact on the current laws and practice. Whilst it is only possible to speculate on what might happen in relation to the HR Act, what is certain is that UK law will radically change to accommodate the requirements of the HR Act 1998.

  17. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  18. Redeeming qualities: exploring factors that affect women’s use of reproductive health vouchers in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One approach to delivering healthcare in developing countries is through voucher programs, where vouchers are distributed to a specific population for free or subsidized health care. Recent evaluations suggest that vouchers have the potential to extend coverage of priority health services to the poor in developing countries. In Cambodia, a reproductive health voucher program was implemented in January 2011. This study aims to explore women’s early experiences accessing health services with their vouchers at accredited clinics. Methods This qualitative exploratory study used focus group methodology to gather information from five groups of older (>25 years) and four groups of younger (18–25 years) women who were eligible for the voucher program in three rural provinces. Focus groups were digitally recorded, transcribed and translated from Khmer into English. Data analysis was an iterative process, which comprised of open coding to find commonalities that reflected categories or themes and axial coding to relate initial themes to each other. Next, a basic framework for analysis was formed by integrating the themes into the framework. Results Two overarching themes were identified in the data: 1) factors that facilitate voucher use and 2) factors that inhibit voucher use. Within each of these themes, three subthemes were identified: 1) pre-existing factors, 2) distribution factors, and 3) redemption factors. Overall, women expressed positive feelings towards the voucher program, while several areas for program improvement were identified including the importance of addressing pre-existing demand-side barriers to using reproductive health services, the need for more comprehensive counselling during voucher distribution, and the persistent cost of unofficial payments expected by midwives after delivery irrespective of voucher use. Conclusions Early information from program beneficiaries can lead to timely and responsive changes that can help to maximize

  19. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees

    PubMed Central

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C.; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  20. Evolution in a Contemporary Human Population: Intersexual Constraints and Costs of Reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Stearns, Stephen

    2012-03-14

    In this talk I will use an analysis of the population described in the Framingham Heart Study to make three points: (1) Contemporary humans are still evolving, and we can in part predict how they are responding to selection. (2) Selection on males and females differs, and its interaction with intersexual genetic correlations constrains the responses of each sex to selection. In other words, males are constrained by processes occurring in females, and females are constrained by processes occurring in males. (3) There are costs of reproduction in humans that are paid in lifespan, but it is likely that these costs were deferred to a point at which our ancestors would already have died for other reasons. When we detect those costs today, we find evidence that the versions of some genes that make us susceptible to cancer also increase reproductive success early in life. This confirms in humans a central assumption of the evolutionary theory of aging – the existence of genes that mediate a tradeoff between reproduction and survival - that had previously only been confirmed in model organisms like fruit flies and worms.

  1. Human leukocyte antigen-G in the male reproductive system and in seminal plasma.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Margit Hørup; Bzorek, Michael; Pass, Malene B; Larsen, Lise Grupe; Nielsen, Mette Weidinger; Svendsen, Signe Goul; Lindhard, Anette; Hviid, Thomas Vauvert F

    2011-12-01

    One of the non-classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ib proteins, HLA-G, is believed to exert important immunoregulatory functions, especially during pregnancy. The presence of HLA protein in paternal seminal fluid has been suggested to have an influence on the risk of developing pre-eclampsia. We have investigated whether HLA-G protein is present in human seminal plasma and in different tissue samples of the male reproductive system. Western blot technique and a soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) assay were used to detect sHLA-G in human seminal plasma samples. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue samples. We detected sHLA-G protein in seminal plasma, and HLA-G expression in normal testis and in epididymal tissue of the male reproductive system but not in the seminal vesicle. Furthermore, the results indicated a weak expression of HLA-G in hyperplastic prostatic tissue. In summary, several of the findings reported in this study suggest an immunoregulatory role of HLA-G in the male reproductive system and in seminal plasma.

  2. Lessons From Biodiversity—The Value of Nontraditional Species to Advance Reproductive Science, Conservation, and Human Health

    PubMed Central

    WILDT, DAVID E.; COMIZZOLI, PIERRE; PUKAZHENTHI, BUDHAN; SONGSASEN, NUCHARIN

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Reproduction is quintessential to species survival. But what is underappreciated for this discipline is the wondrous array of reproductive mechanisms among species—variations as diverse as the morphology of the species themselves (more than 55,000 vertebrate and 1.1 million invertebrate types). We have investigated only a tiny fraction of these species in reproductive science. Besides the need to fill enormous gaps in a scholarly database, this knowledge has value for recovering and genetically managing rare species as well as addressing certain reproductive issues in humans. This article provides examples, first to advise against oversimplifying reproduction and then to show how such knowledge can have practical use for managing whole animals, populations, or even saving an entire species. We also address the expected challenges and opportunities that could lead to creative shifts in philosophy and effective actions to benefit more species as well as a future generation of reproductive scientists. PMID:19967718

  3. Divergent selection on, but no genetic conflict over, female and male timing and rate of reproduction in a human population

    PubMed Central

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Pettay, Jenni E.; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-01-01

    The sexes often have different phenotypic optima for important life-history traits, and because of a largely shared genome this can lead to a conflict over trait expression. In mammals, the obligate costs of reproduction are higher for females, making reproductive timing and rate especially liable to conflict between the sexes. While studies from wild vertebrates support such sexual conflict, it remains unexplored in humans. We used a pedigreed human population from preindustrial Finland to estimate sexual conflict over age at first and last reproduction, reproductive lifespan and reproductive rate. We found that the phenotypic selection gradients differed between the sexes. We next established significant heritabilities in both sexes for all traits. All traits, except reproductive rate, showed strongly positive intersexual genetic correlations and were strongly genetically correlated with fitness in both sexes. Moreover, the genetic correlations with fitness were almost identical in men and women. For reproductive rate, the intersexual correlation and the correlation with fitness were weaker but again similar between the sexes. Thus, in this population, an apparent sexual conflict at the phenotypic level did not reflect an underlying genetic conflict over the studied reproductive traits. These findings emphasize the need for incorporating genetic perspectives into studies of human life-history evolution. PMID:24107531

  4. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum , meet in the female's reproductive system to create a new individual. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans, like other organisms, ...

  5. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system to create a baby. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans pass certain characteristics ...

  6. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Story" 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Parents > Female Reproductive System Print A ... the egg or sperm. continue Components of the Female Reproductive System Unlike the male, the human female has a ...

  7. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-01-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex. PMID:9541101

  8. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-03-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex.

  9. Can cyanobacterial biomass applied to soil affect survival and reproduction of springtail Folsomia candida?

    PubMed

    Lána, Jan; Hofman, Jakub; Bláha, Luděk

    2011-05-01

    Biomass of cyanobacterial water blooms including cyanobacterial toxins may enter soils, for example, when harvested water bloom is directly applied as an organic fertilizer or when water with massive cyanobacterial biomass is used for irrigation. In spite of this, no information is available about the potential effects on soil arthropods. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of water bloom biomass sampled in five different fresh water lakes on the soil dwelling arthropod, springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola). These samples contained different dominant species of cyanobacteria and varied significantly in microcystin content (21-3662 μg/g dw biomass). No adverse effects on survival or reproduction were observed for any tested sample at concentration up to 4 g dw biomass/kg dw soil. Despite the known hazardous properties of water blooms in aquatic ecosystems, our pilot results suggest that cyanobacterial biomass might have no significant impact on arthropods in soil. It remains a question, if this is due to low bioavailability of cyanobacterial toxins in soil. PMID:21176962

  10. An investigation into the factors affecting the natural reproduction of Opsaridium peringueyi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moyo, N. A. G.

    An endangered freshwater fish, Opsaridium peringueyi, was studied from January, 2009 to December, 2009. The analysis of the environmental conditions indicated that the fish is found in streams with moderate to fast flow, high oxygen levels, a depth greater than 0.6 m and temperatures between 10 and 24 °C. O. peringueyi is sexually dimorphic with males growing at a faster rate and attaining a larger size than females. The breeding biology of this species was investigated in glass aquarium tanks. The spawning behaviour is described for the first time. The breeding colour of the male is deep red on the operculum, ventral part, caudal and ventral fins. The breeding colour in the female is the same as the male except the red colour is lighter. The breeding of O. peringueyi is a four stage process which begins with the appearance of breeding colour culminating in the laying of eggs after courtship. Temperature, flow-rate, conductivity and substrate were identified as the environmental cues important in the reproduction of this species. All these factors had a significant effect on the breeding activity of O. peringueyi. The possible effect of climate change on O. peringueyi is discussed.

  11. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now. PMID:26223357

  12. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  13. Nanoplastic affects growth of S. obliquus and reproduction of D. magna.

    PubMed

    Besseling, Ellen; Wang, Bo; Lürling, Miquel; Koelmans, Albert A

    2014-10-21

    The amount of nano- and microplastic in the aquatic environment rises due to the industrial production of plastic and the degradation of plastic into smaller particles. Concerns have been raised about their incorporation into food webs. Little is known about the fate and effects of nanoplastic, especially for the freshwater environment. In this study, effects of nano-polystyrene (nano-PS) on the growth and photosynthesis of the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the growth, mortality, neonate production, and malformations of the zooplankter Daphnia magna were assessed. Nano-PS reduced population growth and reduced chlorophyll concentrations in the algae. Exposed Daphnia showed a reduced body size and severe alterations in reproduction. Numbers and body size of neonates were lower, while the number of neonate malformations among neonates rose to 68% of the individuals. These effects of nano-PS were observed between 0.22 and 103 mg nano-PS/L. Malformations occurred from 30 mg of nano-PS/L onward. Such plastic concentrations are much higher than presently reported for marine waters as well as freshwater, but may eventually occur in sediment pore waters. As far as we know, these results are the first to show that direct life history shifts in algae and Daphnia populations may occur as a result of exposure to nanoplastic. PMID:25268330

  14. Structural complexity of the environment affects the survival of alternative male reproductive tactics.

    PubMed

    Lukasik, Piotr; Radwan, Jacek; Tomkins, Joseph L

    2006-02-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics in males are often associated with divergent phenotypes expressed as phenotypically plastic threshold traits. The evolution of threshold traits in these species has been modeled under the conditional evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS). Both strategic and genetic models predict that perturbations to the fitness trade-off between the male morphs will lead to a shift in the ESS switch point of the threshold. So far, demographic factors that influence the competitive ability of male morphs have been investigated and related to intraspecific population variation in male dimorphic thresholds. Here we reveal evidence for the theoretical prediction that abiotic features of the environment, in particular its structural complexity, are likely to influence the ESS threshold. In the male dimorphic mite Sancassania berlesei, we monitored the survival of aggressive fighter males and their benign scrambler counterparts in populations that differed in structural complexity. We found that, consistent with our prediction, the complex habitat favored fighter males, enabling them to kill a greater number of rival scramblers. We found no effect of habitat complexity on the survival of fighter males. These results demonstrate how abiotic as well as biotic aspects of the environment can be important in determining the frequencies of males adopting alternative tactics in different species or populations.

  15. Reproductive health information and abortion services: standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights.

    PubMed

    Westeson, Johanna

    2013-08-01

    In 3 recent judgments, the European Court of Human Rights addressed the issue of access to abortion and related reproductive health services. In 2 of the judgments, the Court declared that the state violated women's rights by obstructing access to legal health services, including abortion. In so doing, it referred to the state's failure to implement domestic norms on prenatal testing and conscientious objection, and recognized the relevance of international medical guidelines. This illustrates that domestic and international medical standards can serve as critical guidance to human rights courts. In the third case, the Court showed its unwillingness to declare access to abortion a human right per se, which is troubling from the perspective of women's right to health and dignity. The present article outlines the relevance of these cases for the reproductive health profession and argues that medical professional societies can influence human rights courts by developing and enforcing medical standards, not only for the benefit of abortion rights domestically but also for the advancement of women's human rights worldwide.

  16. Changes in anxiety and cognition due to reproductive experience: a review of data from rodent and human mothers.

    PubMed

    Macbeth, Abbe H; Luine, Victoria N

    2010-03-01

    Rodent research suggests that pregnancy, motherhood and attendant offspring care affect changes in neural function and behaviors that are not directly maternal in nature, but involve cognition, affect, and responses to stress. Thus, female rats having had one pregnancy and bout of rearing (primiparous), or multiple pregnancies and bouts of rearing (multiparous), generally show greater resilience to stress, decreased anxiety, and better memory abilities than female rats that have never experienced motherhood (virgin or nulliparous). Moreover, some studies show that these neural changes remain long after the last pregnancy, persisting even into old age. In the current review, we will begin by discussing these behavioral and neural changes in rodents and provide some information concerning their possible mechanisms. Then we will review data from studies examining anxiety and cognition in postpartum human mothers. While this data is less conclusive than that from non-human animals, it appears that reproductive experience may confer some beneficial changes to human mothers in terms of lowering the anxiety/stress response and enhancing certain aspects of memory.

  17. NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Di-n-Hexyl Phthalate (DnHP).

    PubMed

    2003-05-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. DnHP is one of 7 phthalate chemicals evaluated by the NTP CERHR Phthalates Expert Panel. These phthalates were selected for evaluation because of high production volume, extent of human exposures, use in children's products, and/or published evidence of reproductive or developmental toxicity. Available information indicates that DnHP is manufactured in relatively small amounts but occurs in a variety of commercial products including dip-molded products such as tool handles or dishwasher baskets, flooring, vinyl gloves, flea collars, and conveyer belts used in food processing. The results of this evaluation on DnHP are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of DnHP, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to DnHP on human development and reproduction. The scientific evidence was insufficient to reach a conclusion regarding the potential for DnHP to adversely affect human development or reproduction. There was very limited information on developmental and reproductive toxicity available to the panel. The panel evaluated only a single developmental toxicity study using a high dose (9,900 mg/kg body weight/day on gestational days 6-13) of DnHP. No live pups were delivered. In a reproductive study, effects on fertility were noted in all treatment groups (380-1,670 mg/ kg body weight/day). These studies provided sufficient information in experimental animals to conclude that DnHP is a reproductive and developmental toxicant at the doses tested. However, the treatment doses were high and these

  18. Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: Evidence from the late 20 century United States.

    PubMed

    Jokela, Markus

    2009-09-01

    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53-56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants' increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings.

  19. Male reproduction is affected by RNA interference of period and timeless in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Tobback, Julie; Boerjan, Bart; Vandersmissen, Hans Peter; Huybrechts, Roger

    2012-02-01

    In all living organisms, behavior, metabolism and physiology are under the regulation of a circadian clock. The molecular machinery of this clock has been conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Besides regulating the circadian timing of a variety of processes through a central oscillating mechanism in the brain, these circadian clock genes were found to have a function in peripheral tissues in different insects. Here, we provide evidence that the circadian clock genes period (per) and timeless (tim) have a role in the male locust reproduction. A knockdown of either of the two genes has no effect on male sexual maturation or behavior, but progeny output in their untreated female copulation partners is affected. Indeed, the fertilization rates of the eggs are lower for females with a per or tim RNAi copulation partner as compared to the eggs deposited by females that mated with a control male. As the sperm content of the seminal vesicles is higher in per or tim knockdown males, we suggest that this phenotype could be caused by a disturbance of the circadian regulated sperm transfer in the male reproductive organs, or an insufficient maturation of the sperm after release from the testes.

  20. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Armenti, AnnMarie E; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 microg/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P<0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P<0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P<0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor beta was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P<0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P<0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis.

  1. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats

    SciTech Connect

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 {mu}g/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P < 0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P < 0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor {beta} was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P < 0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P < 0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis.

  2. Hormone profiles of mares affected by the mare reproductive loss syndrome.

    PubMed

    Volkmann, D; Zent, W; Little, T; Riddle, T; Durenberger, J; Durenbereger, J; Potenza, K; Sibley, L; Roser, J

    2008-10-01

    While searching for the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss syndrome (MRLS), we postulated that 1 of 3 tissues in 40-120 D pregnant mares was the likely primary target of the noxious factor that caused early abortions: The corpora lutea (CL), the endometrium or the fetus and/or its membranes. At this stage of gestation, progesterone (P4) is solely produced by luteal tissue, eCG by endometrial cups in the endometrium and oestrogens by the feto-placental unit. We determined whether concentrations of P4, eCG and/or total conjugated oestrogens (CE) would indicate which tissue was targeted during the MRLS. P4, eCG and CE were measured in single serum samples collected from 216 mares, 60-110 D after ovulation during the 2001 MRLS outbreak. All mares had previously been confirmed pregnant by ultrasonography. The following data was obtained from each mare: Interval from ovulation, pregnancy status and normalcy of fetal fluids at the time of sampling, and pregnancy status 3 weeks after sampling and at term. There were no meaningful differences in hormone concentrations between pregnant mares that had normal and excessively echogenic fetal fluids at the time of sampling. CE were lower (p < 0.05) in mares that aborted after sample collection than in mares the carried to term. In 8 mares from which multiple samples were obtained, CE consistently decreased prior to any decreases in P4 or eCG. Arguments are presented that lead to the hypothesis that the fetal trophoblast was the primary target of the MRLS agent. PMID:18363606

  3. The binary mixtures of megestrol acetate and 17α-ethynylestradiol adversely affect zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hua, Jianghuan; Han, Jian; Wang, Xianfeng; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic progesterones and estrogens are broadly used bioactive pharmaceutical agents and have been detected in aquatic environments. In the present study, we investigated the combined reproductive effects of megestrol acetate (MTA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on zebrafish. Adult zebrafish were exposed to MTA (33, 100 or 333 ng/L), EE2 (10 ng/L) or a mixture of both (MTA + EE2: 33 + 10, 100 + 10 or 333 + 10 ng/L) for 21 days. Results demonstrated that egg production was significantly reduced by exposure to 10 ng/L EE2, but not MTA. However, a combined exposure to MTA and EE2 caused further reduction of fish fecundity compared to EE2 exposure alone, suggesting an additive effect on egg production when EE2 is supplemented with MTA. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and testosterone in the females and 11-ketotestosterone in the males were significantly decreased in the groups exposed to EE2 or MTA alone compared with the solvent control, and the plasma concentrations of the three hormones were further reduced in the co-exposure groups relative to the MTA exposure group, but not the EE2 exposure group. These data indicate that the inhibitory effects on plasma concentrations in the co-exposures were predominantly caused by EE2. Furthermore, exposure to MTA and EE2 (alone or in combination) led to histological alterations in the ovaries (decreased vitellogenic/mature oocytes), but not in the testes. This study has important implications for environmental risk assessment of synthetic hormones that are concurrently present in aquatic systems. PMID:27038209

  4. The Role of the Prokineticin 2 Pathway in Human Reproduction: Evidence from the Study of Human and Murine Gene Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Cecilia; Balasubramanian, Ravikumar; Dwyer, Andrew A.; Au, Margaret G.; Sidis, Yisrael; Kaiser, Ursula B.; Seminara, Stephanie B.; Pitteloud, Nelly; Zhou, Qun-Yong

    2011-01-01

    A widely dispersed network of hypothalamic GnRH neurons controls the reproductive axis in mammals. Genetic investigation of the human disease model of isolated GnRH deficiency has revealed several key genes crucial for GnRH neuronal ontogeny and GnRH secretion. Among these genes, prokineticin 2 (PROK2), and PROK2 receptor (PROKR2) have recently emerged as critical regulators of reproduction in both mice and humans. Both prok2- and prokr2-deficient mice recapitulate the human Kallmann syndrome phenotype. Additionally, PROK2 and PROKR2 mutations are seen in humans with Kallmann syndrome, thus implicating this pathway in GnRH neuronal migration. However, PROK2/PROKR2 mutations are also seen in normosmic GnRH deficiency, suggesting a role for the prokineticin signaling system in GnRH biology that is beyond neuronal migration. This observation is particularly surprising because mature GnRH neurons do not express PROKR2. Moreover, mutations in both PROK2 and PROKR2 are predominantly detected in the heterozygous state with incomplete penetrance or variable expressivity frequently seen within and across pedigrees. In some of these pedigrees, a “second hit” or oligogenicity has been documented. Besides reproduction, a pleiotropic physiological role for PROK2 is now recognized, including regulation of pain perception, circadian rhythms, hematopoiesis, and immune response. Therefore, further detailed clinical studies of patients with PROK2/PROKR2 mutations will help to map the broader biological role of the PROK2/PROKR2 pathway and identify other interacting genes/proteins that mediate its molecular effects in humans. PMID:21037178

  5. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Protestant perspectives in the light of European Protestant and Reformed Churches.

    PubMed

    Birkhäuser, Martin

    2013-11-01

    Protestantism is not a centralized religion. It is composed by many independent Churches having different moral and ethical standards. This review concentrates on the ethical principles prevalent in most modern European Reformed Churches. It does not intend to discuss the ethical principles of many other Protestant Churches present mainly in the USA. The common foundations of Protestant theology are the "five sola ("Sola scriptura", Sola fide", "Sola gratia", Solus Christus or Solo Christo", "Soli deo gloria"). In opposition to the Catholic Church, no intermediary is needed between the Bible and the believer. As a consequence, Protestant Churches have no Magisterium, such as the Catholic Church. Therefore Protestant Churches cannot declare a certain position to be the "official position". Each Christian is personally responsible for all his acts, including his ethical behaviour. There is no complete unanimity among all Protestants on ethics or on any other issue. Human dignity, personal rights and self-determination have to be respected in each ethical consideration. The supersession of the Old Mosaic Covenant (including traditional Jewish law or Halakhah, maintained in Catholicism) by the New Covenant and by Christian Theology has an important impact on Protestant ethics in reproductive medicine. In the New Covenant, the Protestants Churches did not maintain the mandatory obligation from the old Mosaic Covenant to be fruitful and to multiply: there is no divine obligation by God to procreate. As a consequence, contraception is not a sin and not unethical. The status of the embryo is the key for the ethical consideration of all methods used in reproductive medicine. Most representatives of modern Protestant theology and bioethics defend the opinion that the embryo is not an independent human being as is the newborn child. For most Protestant bio-ethicists, as long as an embryo has no nervous system, no organs and no pain receptors, it cannot be seen as a human

  6. Ethical issues in human reproduction: Protestant perspectives in the light of European Protestant and Reformed Churches.

    PubMed

    Birkhäuser, Martin

    2013-11-01

    Protestantism is not a centralized religion. It is composed by many independent Churches having different moral and ethical standards. This review concentrates on the ethical principles prevalent in most modern European Reformed Churches. It does not intend to discuss the ethical principles of many other Protestant Churches present mainly in the USA. The common foundations of Protestant theology are the "five sola ("Sola scriptura", Sola fide", "Sola gratia", Solus Christus or Solo Christo", "Soli deo gloria"). In opposition to the Catholic Church, no intermediary is needed between the Bible and the believer. As a consequence, Protestant Churches have no Magisterium, such as the Catholic Church. Therefore Protestant Churches cannot declare a certain position to be the "official position". Each Christian is personally responsible for all his acts, including his ethical behaviour. There is no complete unanimity among all Protestants on ethics or on any other issue. Human dignity, personal rights and self-determination have to be respected in each ethical consideration. The supersession of the Old Mosaic Covenant (including traditional Jewish law or Halakhah, maintained in Catholicism) by the New Covenant and by Christian Theology has an important impact on Protestant ethics in reproductive medicine. In the New Covenant, the Protestants Churches did not maintain the mandatory obligation from the old Mosaic Covenant to be fruitful and to multiply: there is no divine obligation by God to procreate. As a consequence, contraception is not a sin and not unethical. The status of the embryo is the key for the ethical consideration of all methods used in reproductive medicine. Most representatives of modern Protestant theology and bioethics defend the opinion that the embryo is not an independent human being as is the newborn child. For most Protestant bio-ethicists, as long as an embryo has no nervous system, no organs and no pain receptors, it cannot be seen as a human

  7. NTP-CERHR monograph on the potential human reproductive and developmental effects of amphetamines.

    PubMed

    2005-07-01

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) conducted an evaluation of the potential for amphetamines to cause adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans. Amphetamines evaluated were D- and D,L-amphetamine and methamphetamine. Amphetamine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in persons over 3 years of age and narcolepsy; methamphetamine is approved for the treatment of ADHD in persons 6 years of age and older and for short-term treatment of obesity. Amphetamines were selected for evaluation because of 1) widespread usage in children, 2) availability of developmental studies in children and experimental animals, and 3) public concern about the effect of this stimulant on child development. The results of this evaluation on amphetamines are published in an NTP-CERHR monograph which includes: 1) the NTP Brief, 2) the Expert Panel Report on the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Methylphenidate, and 3) public comments received on the Expert Panel Report. As stated in the NTP Brief, the NTP reached the following conclusions regarding the possible effects of exposure to methylphenidate on human development and reproduction. First, there is some concern for developmental effects, specifically for potential neurobehavioral alterations, from prenatal amphetamine exposure in humans both in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings. After prenatal exposure to therapeutic doses of amphetamine, rat pups demonstrated neurobehavioral alterations. Data from human and animal studies were judged insufficient for an evaluation of the effect of amphetamine exposure on growth and other related developmental effects. Second, there is concern for methamphetamine-induced adverse developmental effects, specifically on growth and neurobehavioral development, in therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings. This conclusion is based

  8. How Do Volcanoes Affect Human Life? Integrated Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dayton, Rebecca; Edwards, Carrie; Sisler, Michelle

    This packet contains a unit on teaching about volcanoes. The following question is addressed: How do volcanoes affect human life? The unit covers approximately three weeks of instruction and strives to present volcanoes in an holistic form. The five subject areas of art, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into…

  9. Acute exposure to gas-supersaturated water does not affect reproductive success of female adult chinook salmon late in maturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gale, William L.; Maule, A.G.; Postera, A.; Peters, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    At times, total dissolved gas concentrations in the Columbia and Snake rivers have been elevated due to involuntary spill from high spring runoff and voluntary spill used as a method to pass juvenile salmonids over dams. The goal of this project was to determine if acute exposure to total dissolved gas supersaturation (TDGS) affects the reproductive performance of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. During this study, adult female spring chinook salmon were exposed to mean TDGS levels of 114.1 % to 125.5%. We ended exposures at first mortality, or at the appearance of impending death. Based on this criterion, exposures lasted from 10 to 68 h and were inversely related to TDGS. There was no effect of TDGS on pre-spawning mortality or fecundity when comparing treatment fish to experimental controls or the general hatchery population four to six weeks after exposures. Egg quality, based on egg weight and egg diameter, did not differ between treatment and control fish. Fertilization rate and survival to eyed-stage was high (>94%) for all groups. With the exception of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease; BKD), no viral or bacterial fish pathogens were isolated from experimental fish. The prevalence (about 45%) and severity of R. salmoninarum did not differ among the groups or the general hatchery population. We conclude that these acute exposures to moderate levels of gas-supersaturated water-perhaps similar to that experienced by immigrating adult salmon as they approach and pass a hydropower dam on the Columbia River-did not affect reproductive success of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. These results are most applicable to summer and fall chinook salmon, which migrate in the summer/fall and spawn shortly after reaching their natal streams. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  10. Gender differences in Salix myrsinifolia at the pre-reproductive stage are little affected by simulated climatic change.

    PubMed

    Nybakken, Line; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta

    2013-04-01

    Females of dioecious species are known often to prioritize defense, while males grow faster. As climatic change is known to influence both growth and defense in plants, it would be important to know whether it affects the sexes of dioecious species differently. This could have impacts on future sex ratios in nature. We grew four clones of each sex of Salix myrsinifolia in greenhouse chambers under ambient conditions, enhanced temperature, enhanced CO2 or enhanced temperature  +  enhanced CO2 . The females had the greatest growth and also the highest levels of phenolic compounds in twigs, while in leaves some compounds were higher in males, some in females. Enhanced CO2 increased growth equally in both sexes, while growth was not affected by elevated temperature. Phenolic compounds in twigs were, however, lowered under elevated temperature. The gender differences were not strongly affected by the simulated climatic changes, but the effects seen on some highly concentrated compounds may be important. We interpret the intensive growth at pre-reproductive phase as a strategy in females to get an initial advantage before later periods with fewer resources available for growth.

  11. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of cells and tissues from the upper and lower human female reproductive tract.

    PubMed Central

    Howell, A L; Edkins, R D; Rier, S E; Yeaman, G R; Stern, J E; Fanger, M W; Wira, C R

    1997-01-01

    Viable tissue sections and isolated cell cultures from the human fallopian tube, uterus, cervix, and vaginal mucosa were examined for susceptibility to infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). We examined infectivity by using the monocytotropic strain HIV-1(JR-FL) and several primary isolates of HIV-1 obtained from infected neonates. HIV-1 infection was measured by p24 production in short-term culture and by immunofluorescence detection of HIV-1 Nef and p24 proteins by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Three-color immunofluorescence was used to phenotype HIV-infected cells within tissue sections from each site. Our findings indicate that epithelial, stromal, and dendritic cells and cells with CD14+ CD4+, CD14-CD4-, and CD4+ CD14- phenotypes from the female reproductive tract are infectable with HIV-1. Of importance is the finding that tissues from the upper reproductive tract are susceptible to infection with HIV-1. Moreover, tissue samples from women in all stages of the menstrual cycle, including postmenopausal women (inactive), could be infected with HIV-1. Female reproductive tract cells required a minimum of 60 min of exposure to HIV-1 in order for infection to occur, in contrast to peripheral blood lymphocytes, which became infected after being exposed to HIV-1 for only 1 min. These findings demonstrate that HIV-1 can infect cells and tissues from different sites within the female reproductive tract and suggest that multiple cell types, including epithelial cells, may be targets for the initial infection by HIV-1. PMID:9094621

  12. What exactly is an exact copy? And why it matters when trying to ban human reproductive cloning in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Gogarty, B

    2003-01-01

    This paper examines the current Australian regulatory response to human reproductive cloning. The central consideration is the capacity of the current regulatory regime to effectively deter human cloning efforts. A legislative prohibition on human cloning must be both effective and clear enough to allow researchers to know what practices are acceptable. This paper asks whether the current Australian regime evinces these qualities and suggests that Australia should follow the example set in the UK by the enactment of the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001. PMID:12672887

  13. Reproductive toxicity of phthalate esters.

    PubMed

    Martino-Andrade, Anderson Joel; Chahoud, Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

    Phthalate esters are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that in general display low-toxicity. Overall, the reproductive effects of these compounds are well characterized in adult's animals, with gonadal injury observed after high dose exposure. However, results of recent transgeneration studies indicate that the reproductive system of developing animals is particularly vulnerable to certain phthalates. The phenotypic alterations observed in male offspring rats exposed during the perinatal period have remarkable similarities with common human reproductive disorders, including cryptorchidism, hypospadias and low-sperm counts. Recent results also indicate that high phthalate doses can adversely affect adult and developing female rats. However, the main question involving phthalates is whether the current level of human exposure is sufficient to adversely affect male and/or female reproductive health. Here, we review the reproductive toxicity data of phthalates in adult and developing animals as well as possible modes of action. In addition, we briefly discuss the relevance of animal studies to humans in light of recent epidemiological data and experimental research with low (human relevant) doses. Finally, we point out some critical issues that should be addressed in order to clarify the implications of phthalates for human reproduction. PMID:19760678

  14. Incorporating affective bias in models of human decision making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1991-01-01

    Research on human decision making has traditionally focused on how people actually make decisions, how good their decisions are, and how their decisions can be improved. Recent research suggests that this model is inadequate. Affective as well as cognitive components drive the way information about relevant outcomes and events is perceived, integrated, and used in the decision making process. The affective components include how the individual frames outcomes as good or bad, whether the individual anticipates regret in a decision situation, the affective mood state of the individual, and the psychological stress level anticipated or experienced in the decision situation. A focus of the current work has been to propose empirical studies that will attempt to examine in more detail the relationships between the latter two critical affective influences (mood state and stress) on decision making behavior.

  15. Embryonic stem-cell gametes: the new frontier in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Master, Zubin

    2006-04-01

    As infertility increases and gamete donations decline, an alternate source of sex cells may prove valuable for research and infertility treatment. This article examines the social and scientific value of gametes derived from the differentiation of established human embryonic stem (ES)-cell lines (ES-cell-derived gametes) and customized gametes created using nuclear transfer technologies to contain a haploid set of genes creating children genetically related to parent(s). ES-cell-derived gametes may be valuable as a resource for biomedical research, instruction and training in assisted reproductive technologies and perhaps for creating children. The creation of children by ES-cell-derived and customized gametes may not result in psychological harm to children but customized gametes may lead to physical harm to children or an accumulation of gene mutations in a population. Although the creation of new types of children using ES-cell gametes provides more reproductive choices to both fertile and infertile individuals, the risk or physical harm to children from customized gametes may be so severe that the scope of reproductive liberty must be limited. Further scientific and ethical analysis of the creation of children by ES-cell gametes is required.

  16. A review of luteinising hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin when used in assisted reproductive technology.

    PubMed

    Ezcurra, Diego; Humaidan, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Gonadotropins extracted from the urine of post-menopausal women have traditionally been used to stimulate folliculogenesis in the treatment of infertility and in assisted reproductive technology (ART). Products, such as human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG), consist not only of a mixture of the hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), but also other biologically active contaminants, such as growth factors, binding proteins and prion proteins. The actual amount of molecular LH in hMG preparations varies considerably due to the purification process, thus hCG, mimicking LH action, is added to standardise the product. However, unlike LH, hCG plays a different role during the natural human menstrual cycle. It is secreted by the embryo and placenta, and its main role is to support implantation and pregnancy. More recently, recombinant gonadotropins (r-hFSH and r-hLH) have become available for ART therapies. Recombinant LH contains only LH molecules. In the field of reproduction there has been controversy in recent years over whether r-hLH or hCG should be used for ART. This review examines the existing evidence for molecular and functional differences between LH and hCG and assesses the clinical implications of hCG-supplemented urinary therapy compared with recombinant therapies used for ART. PMID:25280580

  17. The concentration of plasma metabolites varies throughout reproduction and affects offspring number in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    PubMed

    Gauthey, Zoé; Freychet, Marine; Manicki, Aurélie; Herman, Alexandre; Lepais, Olivier; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    In wild populations, measuring energy invested in the reproduction and disentangling investment in gametes versus investment in reproductive behavior (such as intrasexual competition or intersexual preference) remain challenging. In this study, we investigated the energy expenditure in brown trout reproductive behavior by using two proxies: variation in weight and variation of plasma metabolites involved in energy production, over the course of reproductive season in a semi natural experimental river. We estimated overall reproductive success using genetic assignment at the end of the reproductive season. Results show that triglycerides and free fatty acid concentrations vary negatively during reproduction, while amino-acids and glucose concentrations remain stable. Decrease in triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations during reproduction is not related to initial concentration levels or to weight variation. Both metabolite concentration variations and weight variations are correlated to the number of offspring produced, which could indicate that gametic and behavioral reproductive investments substantially contribute to reproductive success in wild brown trout. This study opens a path to further investigate variations in reproductive investment in wild populations.

  18. Triclosan and bisphenol a affect decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Forte, Maurizio; Mita, Luigi; Cobellis, Luigi; Merafina, Verdiana; Specchio, Raffaella; Rossi, Sergio; Mita, Damiano Gustavo; Mosca, Lavinia; Castaldi, Maria Antonietta; De Falco, Maria; Laforgia, Vincenza; Crispi, Stefania

    2016-02-15

    In recent years, impaired fertility and endometrium related diseases are increased. Many evidences suggest that environmental pollution might be considered a risk factor for endometrial physiopathology. Among environmental pollutants, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalance which, in turn, leads to female and male reproductive dysfunctions. In this work, we studied the effects of triclosan (TCL) and bisphenol A (BPA), two widespread EDCs, on human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), derived from endometrial biopsies from woman not affected by endometriosis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration and decidualization mechanisms were investigated. Treatments have been performed with both the EDCs separately or in presence and in absence of progesterone used as decidualization stimulus. Both TCL and BPA did not affect cell proliferation, but they arrested ESCs at G2/M phase of cell cycle enhancing cell migration. TCL and BPA also increased gene expression and protein levels of some decidualization markers, such as insulin growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and prolactin (PRL), amplifying the effect of progesterone alone. All together, our data strongly suggest that TCL and BPA might alter human endometrium physiology so affecting fertility and pregnancy outcome. PMID:26604029

  19. Reproduction Does Not Adversely Affect Liver Mitochondrial Respiratory Function but Results in Lipid Peroxidation and Increased Antioxidants in House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Mowry, Annelise V.; Kavazis, Andreas N.; Sirman, Aubrey E.; Potts, Wayne K.; Hood, Wendy R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction is thought to come at a cost to longevity. Based on the assumption that increased energy expenditure during reproduction is associated with increased free-radical production by mitochondria, oxidative damage has been suggested to drive this trade-off. We examined the impact of reproduction on liver mitochondrial function by utilizing post-reproductive and non-reproductive house mice (Mus musculus) living under semi-natural conditions. The age-matched post-reproductive and non-reproductive groups were compared after the reproductive females returned to a non-reproductive state, so that both groups were in the same physiological state at the time the liver was collected. Despite increased oxidative damage (p = 0.05) and elevated CuZnSOD (p = 0.002) and catalase (p = 0.04) protein levels, reproduction had no negative impacts on the respiratory function of liver mitochondria. Specifically, in a post-reproductive, maintenance state the mitochondrial coupling (i.e., respiratory control ratio) of mouse livers show no negative impacts of reproduction. In fact, there was a trend (p = 0.059) to suggest increased maximal oxygen consumption by liver mitochondria during the ADP stimulated state (i.e., state 3) in post-reproduction. These findings suggest that oxidative damage may not impair mitochondrial respiratory function and question the role of mitochondria in the trade-off between reproduction and longevity. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of quantifying the respiratory function of mitochondria in addition to measuring oxidative damage. PMID:27537547

  20. Phenotypic plasticity in growth and fecundity induced by strong population fluctuations affects reproductive traits of female fish.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Juha; Urpanen, Olli; Keskinen, Tapio; Huuskonen, Hannu; Sarvala, Jouko; Valkeajärvi, Pentti; Marjomäki, Timo J

    2016-02-01

    Fish are known for their high phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits in relation to environmental variability, and this is particularly pronounced among salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. Resource limitation leads to trade-offs in phenotypic plasticity between life-history traits related to the reproduction, growth, and survival of individual fish, which have consequences for the age and size distributions of populations, as well as their dynamics and productivity. We studied the effect of plasticity in growth and fecundity of vendace females on their reproductive traits using a series of long-term incubation experiments. The wild parental fish originated from four separate populations with markedly different densities, and hence naturally induced differences in their growth and fecundity. The energy allocation to somatic tissues and eggs prior to spawning served as a proxy for total resource availability to individual females, and its effects on offspring survival and growth were analyzed. Vendace females allocated a rather constant proportion of available energy to eggs (per body mass) despite different growth patterns depending on the total resources in the different lakes; investment into eggs thus dictated the share remaining for growth. The energy allocation to eggs per mass was higher in young than in old spawners and the egg size and the relative fecundity differed between them: Young females produced more and smaller eggs and larvae than old spawners. In contrast to earlier observations of salmonids, a shortage of maternal food resources did not increase offspring size and survival. Vendace females in sparse populations with ample resources and high growth produced larger eggs and larvae. Vendace accommodate strong population fluctuations by their high plasticity in growth and fecundity, which affect their offspring size and consequently their recruitment and productivity, and account for their persistence and resilience in the face of high

  1. Individual heterogeneity and offspring sex affect the growth-reproduction trade-off in a mammal with indeterminate growth.

    PubMed

    Gélin, Uriel; Wilson, Michelle E; Cripps, Jemma; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of eastern grey kangaroos to test the predictions (1) that reproduction decreases skeletal growth and mass gain and (2) that mass loss leads to reproductive failure. We also tested if sex-allocation strategies influenced these trade-offs. Experimental reproductive suppression revealed negative effects of reproduction on mass gain and leg growth from 1 year to the next. Unmanipulated females, however, showed a positive correlation between number of days lactating and leg growth over periods of 2 years and longer, suggesting that over the long term, reproductive costs were masked by individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition. Mass gain was necessary for reproductive success the subsequent year. Although mothers of daughters generally lost more mass than females nursing sons, mothers in poor condition experienced greater mass gain and arm growth if they had daughters than if they had sons. The strong links between individual mass changes and reproduction suggest that reproductive tactics are strongly resource-dependent.

  2. Irish public opinion on assisted human reproduction services: Contemporary assessments from a national sample

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, David J; Collins, Gary S; Hawrylyshyn, Christine A; Sokol, Piotr; Walsh, Anthony PH

    2013-01-01

    Objective To measure Irish opinion on a range of assisted human reproduction (AHR) treatments. Methods A nationally representative sample of Irish adults (n=1,003) were anonymously sampled by telephone survey. Results Most participants (77%) agreed that any fertility services offered internationally should also be available in Ireland, although only a small minority of the general Irish population had personal familiarity with AHR or infertility. This sample finds substantial agreement (63%) that the Government of Ireland should introduce legislation covering AHR. The range of support for gamete donation in Ireland ranged from 53% to 83%, depending on how donor privacy and disclosure policies are presented. For example, donation where the donor agrees to be contacted by the child born following donation, and anonymous donation where donor privacy is completely protected by law were supported by 68% and 66%, respectively. The least popular (53%) donor gamete treatment type appeared to be donation where the donor consents to be involved in the future life of any child born as a result of donor fertility treatment. Respondents in social class ABC1 (58%), age 18 to 24 (62%), age 25 to 34 (60%), or without children (61%) were more likely to favour this donor treatment policy in our sample. Conclusion This is the first nationwide assessment of Irish public opinion on the advanced reproductive technologies since 2005. Access to a wide range of AHR treatment was supported by all subgroups studied. Public opinion concerning specific types of AHR treatment varied, yet general support for the need for national AHR legislation was reported by 63% of this national sample. Contemporary views on AHR remain largely consistent with the Commission for Assisted Human Reproduction recommendations from 2005, although further research is needed to clarify exactly how popular opinion on these issues has changed. It appears that legislation allowing for the full range of donation options

  3. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    PubMed Central

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2011-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada’s (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N = 188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  4. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing.

    PubMed

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Losada, Marcial F

    2005-10-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  5. Cyclic decidualization of the human endometrium in reproductive health and failure.

    PubMed

    Gellersen, Birgit; Brosens, Jan J

    2014-12-01

    Decidualization denotes the transformation of endometrial stromal fibroblasts into specialized secretory decidual cells that provide a nutritive and immunoprivileged matrix essential for embryo implantation and placental development. In contrast to most mammals, decidualization of the human endometrium does not require embryo implantation. Instead, this process is driven by the postovulatory rise in progesterone levels and increasing local cAMP production. In response to falling progesterone levels, spontaneous decidualization causes menstrual shedding and cyclic regeneration of the endometrium. A growing body of evidence indicates that the shift from embryonic to maternal control of the decidual process represents a pivotal evolutionary adaptation to the challenge posed by invasive and chromosomally diverse human embryos. This concept is predicated on the ability of decidualizing stromal cells to respond to individual embryos in a manner that either promotes implantation and further development or facilitates early rejection. Furthermore, menstruation and cyclic regeneration involves stem cell recruitment and renders the endometrium intrinsically capable of adapting its decidual response to maximize reproductive success. Here we review the endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine cues that tightly govern this differentiation process. In response to activation of various signaling pathways and genome-wide chromatin remodeling, evolutionarily conserved transcriptional factors gain access to the decidua-specific regulatory circuitry. Once initiated, the decidual process is poised to transit through distinct phenotypic phases that underpin endometrial receptivity, embryo selection, and, ultimately, resolution of pregnancy. We discuss how disorders that subvert the programming, initiation, or progression of decidualization compromise reproductive health and predispose for pregnancy failure. PMID:25141152

  6. Spontaneous lesions in the reproductive tract and mammary gland of female non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Timothy K; Gabrielson, Kathleen L

    2007-04-01

    Because of their close phylogenic relationship with humans, the use of non-human primates (NHP) as experimental subjects has a long history in biomedical research. Although research topics have shifted focus and species used have changed, NHP remain vital as models in basic and applied research. While there is a wealth of information available on the spontaneous lesions of NHP, most of this information is fragmented, dated, or narrow in focus, often limited to single case reports. This review attempts to integrate this information to illustrate and enumerate the spectrum of spontaneous pathology of the reproductive tract and mammary gland of NHP. Although not the focus of this review, steroid-related changes are inextricably linked to these tissues, and brief consideration is given to this subject as well. PMID:17342758

  7. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

  8. How contemporary human reproductive behaviors influence the role of fertility-related genes: the example of the p53 gene.

    PubMed

    Corbo, Rosa Maria; Gambina, Giuseppe; Scacchi, Renato

    2012-01-01

    Studies on human fertility genes have identified numerous risk/protective alleles involved in the occurrence of reproductive system diseases causing infertility or subfertility. Investigations we carried out in populations at natural fertility seem to suggest that the clinical relevance that some fertility genes are now acquiring depends on their interaction with contemporary reproductive behaviors (birth control, delayed childbearing, and spacing birth order, among others). In recent years, a new physiological role in human fertility regulation has emerged for the tumor- suppressor p53 gene (P53), and the P53 Arg72Pro polymorphism has been associated with recurrent implantation failure in humans. To lend support to our previous observations, we examined the impact of Arg72Pro polymorphism on fertility in two samples of Italian women not selected for impaired fertility but collected from populations with different (premodern and modern) reproductive behaviors. Among the women at near-natural fertility (n = 98), the P53 genotypes were not associated with different reproductive efficiency, whereas among those with modern reproductive behaviors (n = 68), the P53 genotypes were associated with different mean numbers of children [Pro/Pro = 0.75reproductive patterns and might therefore be associated with reduced reproductive success. Set within an evolutionary framework, this change could lead to the selection of a set of gene variants fitter to current reproductive behaviors as the shift to

  9. THE ESTROGENIC AND ANTIANDROGENIC PESTICIDE METHOXYCHLOR ALTERS THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT AND BEHAVIOR WITHOUT AFFECTING PITUITARY SIZE OR LH AND PROLACTIN SECRETION IN MALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The estrogenic and antiandrogenic pesticide methoxychlor alters the reproductive tract and behavior without affecting pituitary size or LH and prolactin secretion in male rats.

    Gray LE Jr, Ostby J, Cooper RL, Kelce WR.

    Endocrinology Branch, United States Environment...

  10. Evidence for the Cost of Reproduction in Humans: High Lifetime Reproductive Effort Is Associated with Greater Oxidative Stress in Post-Menopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Sancilio, Amelia; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Klimek, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Life history theory predicts trade-offs between reproductive effort and maternal survivorship in energy-restricted environments. However, empirical evidence for the positive association between maternal mortality and reproductive effort from energetically challenged human populations are mixed and physiological mechanisms that may underlie this association are poorly understood. We hypothesized that increases in aerobic metabolism during repeated periods of pregnancy and lactation result in increased oxidative stress that may contribute to somatic deterioration, vulnerability to illness, and accelerated aging. We therefore predicted that lifetime gravidity and parity would be related to levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress, as well as antioxidative defence enzymes in post-menopausal women. Our hypothesis was supported by positive linear associations between levels of 8-OHdG, a biomarker of DNA oxidative damage (β = 0.21, p<0.05), levels of antioxidative defence enzyme Cu-Zn SOD (β = 0.25, p<0.05), and number of lifetime pregnancies. Furthermore, independent of age and health status, post-menopausal women with higher gravidity and parity (> = 4 pregnancies per lifetime) had 20% higher levels of 8-OHdG and 60% higher levels of Cu-Zn SOD compared to women with lower gravidity and parity (<4 pregnancies per lifetime). Our results present the first evidence for oxidative stress as a possible cost of reproductive effort in humans. PMID:26761206

  11. Legal and ethical standards for protecting women's human rights and the practice of conscientious objection in reproductive healthcare settings.

    PubMed

    Zampas, Christina

    2013-12-01

    The practice of conscientious objection by healthcare workers is growing across the globe. It is most common in reproductive healthcare settings because of the religious or moral values placed on beliefs as to when life begins. It is often invoked in the context of abortion and contraceptive services, including the provision of information related to such services. Few states adequately regulate the practice, leading to denial of access to lawful reproductive healthcare services and violations of fundamental human rights. International ethical, health, and human rights standards have recently attempted to address these challenges by harmonizing the practice of conscientious objection with women's right to sexual and reproductive health services. FIGO ethical standards have had an important role in influencing human rights development in this area. They consider regulation of the unfettered use of conscientious objection essential to the realization of sexual and reproductive rights. Under international human rights law, states have a positive obligation to act in this regard. While ethical and human rights standards regarding this issue are growing, they do not yet exhaustively cover all the situations in which women's health and human rights are in jeopardy because of the practice. The present article sets forth existing ethical and human rights standards on the issue and illustrates the need for further development and clarity on balancing these rights and interests.

  12. Early-life reproduction is associated with increased mortality risk but enhanced lifetime fitness in pre-industrial humans

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Adam D.; Nenko, Ilona; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-01-01

    The physiology of reproductive senescence in women is well understood, but the drivers of variation in senescence rates are less so. Evolutionary theory predicts that early-life investment in reproduction should be favoured by selection at the cost of reduced survival and faster reproductive senescence. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from preindustrial Finnish church records. Reproductive success increased up to age 25 and was relatively stable until a decline from age 41. Women with higher early-life fecundity (ELF; producing more children before age 25) subsequently had higher mortality risk, but high ELF was not associated with accelerated senescence in annual breeding success. However, women with higher ELF experienced faster senescence in offspring survival. Despite these apparent costs, ELF was under positive selection: individuals with higher ELF had higher lifetime reproductive success. These results are consistent with previous observations in both humans and wild vertebrates that more births and earlier onset of reproduction are associated with reduced survival, and with evolutionary theory predicting trade-offs between early reproduction and later-life survival. The results are particularly significant given recent increases in maternal ages in many societies and the potential consequences for offspring health and fitness. PMID:25740893

  13. Early-life reproduction is associated with increased mortality risk but enhanced lifetime fitness in pre-industrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Nenko, Ilona; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-04-01

    The physiology of reproductive senescence in women is well understood, but the drivers of variation in senescence rates are less so. Evolutionary theory predicts that early-life investment in reproduction should be favoured by selection at the cost of reduced survival and faster reproductive senescence. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from preindustrial Finnish church records. Reproductive success increased up to age 25 and was relatively stable until a decline from age 41. Women with higher early-life fecundity (ELF; producing more children before age 25) subsequently had higher mortality risk, but high ELF was not associated with accelerated senescence in annual breeding success. However, women with higher ELF experienced faster senescence in offspring survival. Despite these apparent costs, ELF was under positive selection: individuals with higher ELF had higher lifetime reproductive success. These results are consistent with previous observations in both humans and wild vertebrates that more births and earlier onset of reproduction are associated with reduced survival, and with evolutionary theory predicting trade-offs between early reproduction and later-life survival. The results are particularly significant given recent increases in maternal ages in many societies and the potential consequences for offspring health and fitness.

  14. The kisspeptin-GnRH pathway in human reproductive health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Skorupskaite, Karolina; George, Jyothis T; Anderson, Richard A

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND The discovery of kisspeptin as key central regulator of GnRH secretion has led to a new level of understanding of the neuroendocrine regulation of human reproduction. The related discovery of the kisspeptin-neurokinin B-dynorphin (KNDy) pathway in the last decade has further strengthened our understanding of the modulation of GnRH secretion by endocrine, metabolic and environmental inputs. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the physiological roles of these novel neuropeptides, and discuss the clinical relevance of these discoveries and their potential translational applications. METHODS A systematic literature search was performed using PUBMED for all English language articles up to January 2014. In addition, the reference lists of all relevant original research articles and reviews were examined. This review focuses mainly on published human studies but also draws on relevant animal data. RESULTS Kisspeptin is a principal regulator of the secretion of gonadotrophins, and through this key role it is critical for the onset of puberty, the regulation of sex steroid-mediated feedback and the control of adult fertility. Although there is some sexual dimorphism, both neuroanatomically and functionally, these functions are apparent in both men and women. Kisspeptin acts upstream of GnRH and, following paracrine stimulatory and inhibitory inputs from neurokinin B and dynorphin (KNDy neuropeptides), signals directly to GnRH neurones to control pulsatile GnRH release. When administered to humans in different isoforms, routes and doses, kisspeptin robustly stimulates LH secretion and LH pulse frequency. Manipulation of the KNDy system is currently the focus of translational research with the possibility of future clinical application to regulate LH pulsatility, increasing gonadal sex steroid secretion in reproductive disorders characterized by decreased LH pulsatility, including hypothalamic amenorrhoea and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism

  15. Role of human- and animal-sperm studies in the evaluation of male reproductive hazards

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrobek, A.J.; Gordon, L.; Watchmaker, G.

    1982-04-07

    Human sperm tests provide a direct means of assessing chemically induced spermatogenic dysfunction in man. Available tests include sperm count, motility, morphology (seminal cytology), and Y-body analyses. Over 70 different human exposures have been monitored in various groups of exposed men. The majority of exposures studied showed a significant change from control in one or more sperm tests. When carefully controlled, the sperm morphology test is statistically the most sensitive of these human sperm tests. Several sperm tests have been developed in nonhuman mammals for the study of chemical spermatotoxins. The sperm morphology test in mice has been the most widely used. Results with this test seem to be related to germ-cell mutagenicity. In general, animal sperm tests should play an important role in the identification and assessment of potential human reproductive hazards. Exposure to spermatotoxins may lead to infertility, and more importantly, to heritable genetic damage. While there are considerable animal and human data suggesting that sperm tests may be used to detect agents causing infertility, the extent to which these tests detect heritable genetic damage remains unclear. (ERB)

  16. Developmental Exposure to Ethinylestradiol Affects Reproductive Physiology, the GnRH Neuroendocrine Network and Behaviors in Female Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Derouiche, Lyes; Keller, Matthieu; Martini, Mariangela; Duittoz, Anne H.; Pillon, Delphine

    2015-01-01

    During development, environmental estrogens are able to induce an estrogen mimetic action that may interfere with endocrine and neuroendocrine systems. The present study investigated the effects on the reproductive function in female mice following developmental exposure to pharmaceutical ethinylestradiol (EE2), the most widespread and potent synthetic steroid present in aquatic environments. EE2 was administrated in drinking water at environmentally relevant (ENVIR) or pharmacological (PHARMACO) doses [0.1 and 1 μg/kg (body weight)/day respectively], from embryonic day 10 until postnatal day 40. Our results show that both groups of EE2-exposed females had advanced vaginal opening and shorter estrus cycles, but a normal fertility rate compared to CONTROL females. The hypothalamic population of GnRH neurons was affected by EE2 exposure with a significant increase in the number of perikarya in the preoptic area of the PHARMACO group and a modification in their distribution in the ENVIR group, both associated with a marked decrease in GnRH fibers immunoreactivity in the median eminence. In EE2-exposed females, behavioral tests highlighted a disturbed maternal behavior, a higher lordosis response, a lack of discrimination between gonad-intact and castrated males in sexually experienced females, and an increased anxiety-related behavior. Altogether, these results put emphasis on the high sensitivity of sexually dimorphic behaviors and neuroendocrine circuits to disruptive effects of EDCs. PMID:26696819

  17. CO2 and fertility affect growth and reproduction but not susceptibility to aphids in field grown Solanum ptycanthum

    SciTech Connect

    Long, T.M.

    1995-09-01

    In general, C3 annual plants respond positively in terms of growth, reproduction and biomass accrued when grown under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, most studies documenting this response have been conducted in growth chambers where plants can be reared under conditions free form environmental stressors such as nutrient and water constraints, UV exposure and damage from pests. During the 1993 fieldseason, I grew 200 individuals of Solanum ptycanthum in an array of 10 outdoor, open-topped CO2 enclosures (5 @ 700 ppm CO2) at the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, MI. Half of the plants were grown in a 50;50 mix of native C-horizon soil and topsoil (low fertility); the other half were grown in 100% topsoil (high-fertility). Plants were censused throughout the growing season for flower and fruit production, growth rate and degree of infestation of aphids. Fertility and CO2 both significantly affected production of flowers and fruits, but only fertility was significantly related to vegetative growth. Aphid infestation varied significantly among enclosures, but was not related to CO2 or fertility.

  18. Early and delayed reproductive death in human cells exposed to high energy iron-ion beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettega, D.; Calzolari, P.; Doneda, L.; Durante, M.; Tallone, L.

    For radiation protection of the astronauts it is important to know both the acute and the late effects of charged particles. Iron is the most abundant high charge and energy (HZE) specie in galactic cosmic radiation. (HZE) ions are considered to be the major contributors to equivalent dose in space, but the Relative Biological Effectiveness of HZE particles has large uncertainties, expecially for late effects. We have determined early and delayed reproductive death in human fibroblast cells (AG1522) exposed to iron ion beams of energies between 0.2 and 1 GeV/n. The cells were irradiated at the HIMAC accelerator in Chiba (0.2 and 0.5 GeV/n) and at the AGS accelerator at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven (1 GeV/n). For each beam the dose--effect curves were measured at least twice in the dose range between 0.5 and 2 Gy. 60 Co gamma rays were used as reference radiation. The following results were obtained: 1) the 1 GeV/n beam effectiveness for inactivation of the AG1522 cells is higher than that of any other beam. 2) the progeny of the irradiated cells show the presence of delayed damage in the form of reproductive death for all the beams with the 1 GeV/n being the most effective. 3) the relative biological effectiveness of the iron beams is higher for delayed compared to early reproductive death. A comparison with preliminary results obtained with 970 MeV/n Ti and 490 MeV/n Si ions will be also reported .

  19. Reproductive costs for everyone: How female loads impact human mobility strategies

    PubMed Central

    Wall-Scheffler, Cara M.; Myers, Marcella J.

    2013-01-01

    While mobility strategies are considered important in understanding selection pressures on individuals, testing hypotheses of such strategies requires high resolution datasets, particularly at intersections between morphology, ecology and energetics. Here we present data on interactions between morphology and energetics in regards to the cost of walking for reproductive women and place these data into a specific ecological context of time and heat load. Frontal loads (up to 16% of body mass), as during pregnancy and child-carrying, significantly slow the optimal and preferred walking speed of women, significantly increase cost at the optimal speed, and make it significantly more costly for women to walk with other people. We further show for the first time significant changes in the curvature in the Cost of Transport curve for human walking, as driven by frontal loads. The impact of these frontal loads on females, and the populations to which they belong, would have been magnified by time constraints due to seasonal changes in day length at high latitudes and thermoregulatory limitations at low latitudes. However, wider pelves increase both stride length and speed flexibility, providing a morphological offset for load-related costs. Longer lower limbs also increase stride length. Observed differences between preferred and energetically optimal speeds with frontal loading suggest that speed choices of women carrying reproductive loads might be particularly sensitive to changes in heat load. Our findings show that female reproductive costs, particularly those related to locomotion, would have meaningfully shaped the mobility strategies of the hominin lineage, as well as modern foraging populations. PMID:23465336

  20. Mutations and polymorphisms in FSH receptor: functional implications in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Desai, Swapna S; Roy, Binita Sur; Mahale, Smita D

    2013-12-01

    FSH brings about its physiological actions by activating a specific receptor located on target cells. Normal functioning of the FSH receptor (FSHR) is crucial for follicular development and estradiol production in females and for the regulation of Sertoli cell function and spermatogenesis in males. In the last two decades, the number of inactivating and activating mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and spliced variants of FSHR gene has been identified in selected infertile cases. Information on genotype-phenotype correlation and in vitro functional characterization of the mutants has helped in understanding the possible genetic cause for female infertility in affected individuals. The information is also being used to dissect various extracellular and intracellular events involved in hormone-receptor interaction by studying the differences in the properties of the mutant receptor when compared with WT receptor. Studies on polymorphisms in the FSHR gene have shown variability in clinical outcome among women treated with FSH. These observations are being explored to develop molecular markers to predict the optimum dose of FSH required for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Pharmacogenetics is an emerging field in this area that aims at designing individual treatment protocols for reproductive abnormalities based on FSHR gene polymorphisms. The present review discusses the current knowledge of various genetic alterations in FSHR and their impact on receptor function in the female reproductive system.

  1. Human likeness: cognitive and affective factors affecting adoption of robot-assisted learning systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Hosun; Kwon, Ohbyung; Lee, Namyeon

    2016-07-01

    With advances in robot technology, interest in robotic e-learning systems has increased. In some laboratories, experiments are being conducted with humanoid robots as artificial tutors because of their likeness to humans, the rich possibilities of using this type of media, and the multimodal interaction capabilities of these robots. The robot-assisted learning system, a special type of e-learning system, aims to increase the learner's concentration, pleasure, and learning performance dramatically. However, very few empirical studies have examined the effect on learning performance of incorporating humanoid robot technology into e-learning systems or people's willingness to accept or adopt robot-assisted learning systems. In particular, human likeness, the essential characteristic of humanoid robots as compared with conventional e-learning systems, has not been discussed in a theoretical context. Hence, the purpose of this study is to propose a theoretical model to explain the process of adoption of robot-assisted learning systems. In the proposed model, human likeness is conceptualized as a combination of media richness, multimodal interaction capabilities, and para-social relationships; these factors are considered as possible determinants of the degree to which human cognition and affection are related to the adoption of robot-assisted learning systems.

  2. Factors Affecting the Reproduction, Recruitment, Habitat, and Population Dynamics of Pallid Sturgeon and Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korschgen, Carl E.

    2007-01-01

    For more than a hundred years, human activities have modified the natural forces that control the Missouri River and its native fish fauna. While the ecological effects of regulation and channel engineering are understood in general, the current understanding is not sufficient to guide river restoration and management. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the third year of a multiagency research effort to determine the ecological requirements for reproduction and survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorhynchus) in the Missouri River. The multidisciplinary research strategy includes components of behavior, physiology, habitat use, habitat availability, and population modeling of all life stages. Shovelnose sturgeon are used to design the strategy because they are closely related to the pallid sturgeon and are often used as a surrogate species to develop new research tools or to examine the effects of management actions or environmental variables on sturgeon biology and habitat use. During fiscal years 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided funds to USGS for tasks associated with the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Program (CSRP) and for tasks associated with evaluation of the Sturgeon Response to Flow Modifications (SRFM). Because work activities of CSRP and SRFM are so integrated, we are providing information on activities that have been consolidated at the task level. These task activities represent chapters in this report.

  3. Intergenerational conflicts may help explain parental absence effects on reproductive timing: a model of age at first birth in humans

    PubMed Central

    Sear, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Background. Parental absences in childhood are often associated with accelerated reproductive maturity in humans. These results are counterintuitive for evolutionary social scientists because reductions in parental investment should be detrimental for offspring, but earlier reproduction is generally associated with higher fitness. In this paper we discuss a neglected hypothesis that early reproduction is often associated with parental absence because it decreases the average relatedness of a developing child to her future siblings. Family members often help each other reproduce, meaning that parents and offspring may find themselves in competition over reproductive opportunities. In these intergenerational negotiations offspring will have less incentive to help the remaining parent rear future half-siblings relative to beginning reproduction themselves. Method. We illustrate this “intergenerational conflict hypothesis” with a formal game-theoretic model. Results. We show that when resources constrain reproductive opportunities within the family, parents will generally win reproductive conflicts with their offspring, i.e., they will produce more children of their own and therefore delay existing offsprings’ reproduction. This is due to the asymmetric relatedness between grandparents and grandchildren (r = .25), compared to siblings (r = 0.5), resulting in greater incentives for older siblings to help rear younger siblings than for grandparents to help rear grandchildren. However, if a parent loses or replaces their partner, the conflict between the parent and offspring becomes symmetric since half siblings are as related to one another as grandparents are to grandchildren. This means that the offspring stand to gain more from earlier reproduction when their remaining parent would produce half, rather than full, siblings. We further show that if parents senesce in a way that decreases the quality of their infant relative to their offspring’s infant, the

  4. Reproductive cloning in humans and therapeutic cloning in primates: is the ethical debate catching up with the recent scientific advances?

    PubMed

    Camporesi, S; Bortolotti, L

    2008-09-01

    After years of failure, in November 2007 primate embryonic stem cells were derived by somatic cellular nuclear transfer, also known as therapeutic cloning. The first embryo transfer for human reproductive cloning purposes was also attempted in 2006, albeit with negative results. These two events force us to think carefully about the possibility of human cloning which is now much closer to becoming a reality. In this paper we tackle this issue from two sides, first summarising what scientists have achieved so far, then discussing some of the ethical arguments in favour and against human cloning which are debated in the context of policy making and public consultation. Therapeutic cloning as a means to improve and save lives has uncontroversial moral value. As to human reproductive cloning, we consider and assess some common objections and failing to see them as conclusive. We do recognise, though, that there will be problems at the level of policy and regulation that might either impair the implementation of human reproductive cloning or make its accessibility restricted in a way that could become difficult to justify on moral grounds. We suggest using the time still available before human reproductive cloning is attempted successfully to create policies and institutions that can offer clear directives on its legitimate applications on the basis of solid arguments, coherent moral principles, and extensive public consultation.

  5. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change

    PubMed Central

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D.; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future. PMID:24344275

  6. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change.

    PubMed

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-03-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future.

  7. IL-36γ Augments Host Defense and Immune Responses in Human Female Reproductive Tract Epithelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Winkle, Sean M; Throop, Andrea L; Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M

    2016-01-01

    IL-36γ is a proinflamatory cytokine which belongs to the IL-1 family of cytokines. It is expressed in the skin and by epithelial cells (ECs) lining lung and gut tissue. We used human 3-D organotypic cells, that recapitulate either in vivo human vaginal or cervical tissue, to explore the possible role of IL-36γ in host defense against pathogens in the human female reproductive tract (FRT). EC were exposed to compounds derived from virus or bacterial sources and induction and regulation of IL-36γ and its receptor was determined. Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), flagellin, and synthetic lipoprotein (FSL-1) significantly induced expression of IL-36γ in a dose-dependent manner, and appeared to be TLR-dependent. Recombinant IL-36γ treatment resulted in self-amplification of IL-36γ and its receptor (IL-36R) via increased gene expression, and promoted other inflammatory signaling pathways. This is the first report to demonstrate that the IL-36 receptor and IL-36γ are present in the human FRT EC and that they are differentially induced by microbial products at this site. We conclude that IL-36γ is a driver for epithelial and immune activation following microbial insult and, as such, may play a critical role in host defense in the FRT. PMID:27379082

  8. IL-36γ Augments Host Defense and Immune Responses in Human Female Reproductive Tract Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Winkle, Sean M.; Throop, Andrea L.; Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M.

    2016-01-01

    IL-36γ is a proinflamatory cytokine which belongs to the IL-1 family of cytokines. It is expressed in the skin and by epithelial cells (ECs) lining lung and gut tissue. We used human 3-D organotypic cells, that recapitulate either in vivo human vaginal or cervical tissue, to explore the possible role of IL-36γ in host defense against pathogens in the human female reproductive tract (FRT). EC were exposed to compounds derived from virus or bacterial sources and induction and regulation of IL-36γ and its receptor was determined. Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), flagellin, and synthetic lipoprotein (FSL-1) significantly induced expression of IL-36γ in a dose-dependent manner, and appeared to be TLR-dependent. Recombinant IL-36γ treatment resulted in self-amplification of IL-36γ and its receptor (IL-36R) via increased gene expression, and promoted other inflammatory signaling pathways. This is the first report to demonstrate that the IL-36 receptor and IL-36γ are present in the human FRT EC and that they are differentially induced by microbial products at this site. We conclude that IL-36γ is a driver for epithelial and immune activation following microbial insult and, as such, may play a critical role in host defense in the FRT. PMID:27379082

  9. Dose-response fallacy in human reproductive studies of toxic exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Selevan, S.G.; Lemasters, G.K.

    1987-05-01

    The manner in which exposure is defined can affect the findings of reproductive studies of toxic exposures. The individual end points potentially examined, such as fetal loss, subfertility, and congenital malformations observed at birth, are on a continuum by severity of effect: The most extreme effect of the three being infertility because no pregnancy is possible, and the least extreme, congenital malformations recognized at birth. End points observed at birth are survivors of a long and complex process. The process yielding one of these adverse end points may result from a number of factors, including level of exposure. For example, a very high exposure could result in early fetal loss, whereas a lower one might result in a congenital malformation observed at birth. If the probability of a less severe end point falls due to increasing probability of more severe end points with increasing exposure, then a nontraditional dose-response relationship may be observed in the study of one type of outcome.

  10. Dose-response fallacy in human reproductive studies of toxic exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Selevan, S.G.; Lemasters, G.K.

    1987-01-01

    The manner in which exposure is defined can affect the findings of reproductive studies of toxic exposures. The individual end points potentially examined, such as fetal loss, subfertility, and congenital malformations observed at birth, are on a continuum by severity of effect: the most extreme effects of the three being infertility because no pregnancy is possible, and the least extreme, congenital malformations recognized at birth. End points observed at birth are survivors of a long and complex process. The process yielding one of these adverse end points may result from a number of factors, including level of exposure could result in early fetal loss, whereas a lower one might result in a congenital malformation observed at birth. If the probability of a less-severe end point falls due to increasing probability of more-severe end points with increasing exposure, then a nontraditional dose-response relationship may be observed in the study of one type of outcome.

  11. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    PubMed

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success.

  12. Developmental and reproductive toxicity of inorganic arsenic: animal studies and human concerns.

    PubMed

    Golub, M S; Macintosh, M S; Baumrind, N

    1998-01-01

    Information on the reproductive and developmental toxicity of inorganic arsenic is available primarily from studies in animals using arsenite and arsenate salts and arsenic trioxide. Inorganic arsenic has been extensively studied as a teratogen in animals. Data from animal studies demonstrate that arsenic can produce developmental toxicity, including malformation, death, and growth retardation, in four species (hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits). A characteristic pattern of malformations is produced, and the developmental toxicity effects are dependent on dose, route, and the day of gestation when exposure occurs. Studies with gavage and diet administration indicate that death and growth retardation are produced by oral arsenic exposure. Arsenic is readily transferred to the fetus and produces developmental toxicity in embryo culture. Animal studies have not identified an effect of arsenic on fertility in males or females. When females were dosed chronically for periods that included pregnancy, the primary effect of arsenic on reproduction was a dose-dependent increase in conceptus mortality and in postnatal growth retardation. Human data are limited to a few studies of populations exposed to arsenic from drinking water or from working at or living near smelters. Associations with spontaneous abortion and stillbirth have been reported in more than one of these studies, but interpretation of these studies is complicated because study populations were exposed to multiple chemicals. Thus, animal studies suggest that environmental arsenic exposures are primarily a risk to the developing fetus. In order to understand the implications for humans, attention must be given to comparative pharmacokinetics and metabolism, likely exposure scenarios, possible mechanisms of action, and the potential role of arsenic as an essential nutrient.

  13. Affective consciousness: Core emotional feelings in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2005-03-01

    The position advanced in this paper is that the bedrock of emotional feelings is contained within the evolved emotional action apparatus of mammalian brains. This dual-aspect monism approach to brain-mind functions, which asserts that emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamics of brain systems that generate instinctual emotional behaviors, saves us from various conceptual conundrums. In coarse form, primary process affective consciousness seems to be fundamentally an unconditional "gift of nature" rather than an acquired skill, even though those systems facilitate skill acquisition via various felt reinforcements. Affective consciousness, being a comparatively intrinsic function of the brain, shared homologously by all mammalian species, should be the easiest variant of consciousness to study in animals. This is not to deny that some secondary processes (e.g., awareness of feelings in the generation of behavioral choices) cannot be evaluated in animals with sufficiently clever behavioral learning procedures, as with place-preference procedures and the analysis of changes in learned behaviors after one has induced re-valuation of incentives. Rather, the claim is that a direct neuroscientific study of primary process emotional/affective states is best achieved through the study of the intrinsic ("instinctual"), albeit experientially refined, emotional action tendencies of other animals. In this view, core emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamic attractor landscapes of a variety of extended trans-diencephalic, limbic emotional action systems-including SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and PLAY. Through a study of these brain systems, the neural infrastructure of human and animal affective consciousness may be revealed. Emotional feelings are instantiated in large-scale neurodynamics that can be most effectively monitored via the ethological analysis of emotional action tendencies and the accompanying brain neurochemical/electrical changes. The

  14. CRF-Like Diuretic Hormone Negatively Affects Both Feeding and Reproduction in the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Dillen, Senne; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-01-01

    Diuretic hormones (DH) related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH) is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP), a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects. PMID:22363645

  15. Trappin-2/Elafin: a novel innate anti-human immunodeficiency virus-1 molecule of the human female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Mimi; Shen, Zheng; Fahey, John V; Cu-Uvin, Susan; Mayer, Kenneth; Wira, Charles R

    2010-01-01

    Trappin-2/Elafin is a serine protease inhibitor that plays a major role as an anti-inflammatory mediator at mucosal surfaces. In addition, Trappin-2/Elafin has antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial and fungal pathogens. In this study we examined the production of Trappin-2/Elafin by epithelial cells from the human upper and lower female reproductive tract as well as its activity as an anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 molecule. We found that primary uterine, Fallopian tube, cervical and ectocervical epithelial cells produce Trappin-2/Elafin constitutively and that production of Trappin-2/Elafin is enhanced following stimulation with Poly(I:C), especially by the uterine cells. Given the presence of Trappin-2/Elafin in the reproductive tract, we tested the ability of recombinant Trappin-2/Elafin to inhibit HIV-1, an important sexually transmitted pathogen. We found that recombinant Trappin-2/Elafin was able to inhibit both T-cell-tropic X4/IIIB and macrophage-tropic R5/BaL HIV-1 in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory activity was observed when virus was incubated with Trappin-2/Elafin but not when Trappin-2/Elafin was added to cells either before infection or after infection. This suggests that the mechanism of inhibition is likely to be a direct interaction between HIV-1 and Trappin-2/Elafin. Additionally, we measured the levels of secreted Trappin-2/Elafin in cervico-vaginal lavages (CVL) from both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women and found that average levels of secreted Trappin-2/Elafin were higher in the CVL from HIV-negative women, although the values did not reach statistical significance. We also found that women at the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle produced more Trappin-2/Elafin in CVL relative to women at the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Our data suggest that Trappin-2/Elafin might be an important endogenous microbicide of the female reproductive tract that is protective against HIV-1

  16. Reproduction in the space environment: Part I. Animal reproductive studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, P. A.; Jennings, R. T.; Craigie, D.

    1990-01-01

    Mankind's exploration and colonization of the frontier of space will ultimately depend on men's and women's ability to live, work, and reproduce in the space environment. This paper reviews animal studies, from microorganisms to mammals, done in space or under space-simulated conditions, which identify some of the key areas which might interfere with human reproductive physiology and/or embryonic development. Those space environmental factors which impacted almost all species included: microgravity, artificial gravity, radiation, and closed life support systems. These factors may act independently and in combination to produce their effects. To date, there have been no studies which have looked at the entire process of reproduction in any animal species. This type of investigation will be critical in understanding and preventing the problems which will affect human reproduction. Part II will discuss these problems directly as they relate to human physiology.

  17. Oxycodone lengthens reproductions of suprasecond time intervals in human research volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Gooch, Cynthia M.; Rakitin, Brian C.; Cooper, Ziva D; Comer, Sandra D.; Balsam, Peter D

    2011-01-01

    Oxycodone, a popularly used opioid for treating pain, is widely abused. Other drugs of abuse have been shown to affect time perception, which in turn may affect sensitivity to future consequences. This may contribute to continued use. The current study evaluated the effect of oxycodone on time perception in normal healthy volunteers. For this within-subject, double-blind design study, participants performed a temporal reproduction task before and after receiving placebo or oxycodone (15 mg, po) over 6 outpatient sessions. Participants were first trained with feedback to reproduce three standard intervals (1.1, 2.2, and 3.3 s) in separate blocks by matching response latency from a start signal to the duration of that block’s standard interval. During testing participants were instructed to reproduce the three intervals from memory without feedback before and after drug administration . Oxycodone significantly lengthened time estimations for the two longer intervals relative to placebo. These results suggest that opioids alter temporal processing for intervals greater than one second, raising questions about the effect of these drugs on valuation of future consequences. PMID:21750426

  18. Metformin selectively affects human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cell viability

    PubMed Central

    Würth, Roberto; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Gatti, Monica; Bajetto, Adirana; Corsaro, Alessandro; Parodi, Alessia; Sirito, Rodolfo; Massollo, Michela; Marini, Cecilia; Zona, Gianluigi; Fenoglio, Daniela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Filaci, Gilberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2013-01-01

    Cancer stem cell theory postulates that a small population of tumor-initiating cells is responsible for the development, progression and recurrence of several malignancies, including glioblastoma. In this perspective, tumor-initiating cells represent the most relevant target to obtain effective cancer treatment. Metformin, a first-line drug for type II diabetes, was reported to possess anticancer properties affecting the survival of cancer stem cells in breast cancer models. We report that metformin treatment reduced the proliferation rate of tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures isolated from four human glioblastomas. Metformin also impairs tumor-initiating cell spherogenesis, indicating a direct effect on self-renewal mechanisms. Interestingly, analyzing by FACS the antiproliferative effects of metformin on CD133-expressing subpopulation, a component of glioblastoma cancer stem cells, a higher reduction of proliferation was observed as compared with CD133-negative cells, suggesting a certain degree of cancer stem cell selectivity in its effects. In fact, glioblastoma cell differentiation strongly reduced sensitivity to metformin treatment. Metformin effects in tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures were associated with a powerful inhibition of Akt-dependent cell survival pathway, while this pathway was not affected in differentiated cells. The specificity of metformin antiproliferative effects toward glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells was confirmed by the lack of significant inhibition of normal human stem cells (umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro proliferation after metformin exposure. Altogether, these data clearly suggest that metformin exerts antiproliferative activity on glioblastoma cells, showing a higher specificity toward tumor-initiating cells, and that the inhibition of Akt pathway may represent a possible intracellular target of this effect. PMID:23255107

  19. Sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV: a global community survey

    PubMed Central

    Orza, Luisa; Welbourn, Alice; Bewley, Susan; Crone, Tyler; Vazquez, Marijo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective To determine the sexual and reproductive health priorities of women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to allow the values and preferences of such women to be considered in the development of new guidelines. Methods A core team created a global reference group of 14 women living with HIV and together they developed a global community online survey. The survey, which contained mandatory and optional questions, was based on an appreciative enquiry approach in which the life-cycle experiences of women living with HIV were investigated. The same set of questions was also used in focus group discussions led by the global reference group. Findings The study covered 945 women (832 in the survey and 113 in the focus groups) aged 15–72 years in 94 countries. Among the respondents to the optional survey questions, 89.0% (427/480) feared or had experienced gender-based violence, 56.7% (177/312) had had an unplanned pregnancy, 72.3% (227/314) had received advice on safe conception and 58.8% (489/832) had suffered poor mental health after they had discovered their HIV-positive status. Conclusion The sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of women living with HIV are complex and require a stronger response from the health sector. The online survey placed the voices of women living with HIV at the start of the development of new global guidelines. Although not possible in some contexts and populations, a similar approach would merit replication in the development of guidelines for many other health considerations. PMID:27034517

  20. Normal and cancer stem cells of the human female reproductive system

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The female reproductive system (FRS) has a great capacity for regeneration. The existence of somatic stem cells (SSC) that are likely to reside in distinct tissue compartments of the FRS is anticipated. Normal SSC are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny of cells that differentiate and maintain tissue architecture and functional characteristics, and respond to homeostatic controls. Among those SSC of the FRS that have been identified are: a) undifferentiated cells capable of differentiating into thecal cells and synthesizing hormones upon transplantation, b) ovarian surface epithelium stem cells, mitotically responsive to ovulation, c) uterine endometrial and myometrial cells, as clonogenic epithelial and stromal cells, and d) epithelial and mesenchymal cells with self-renewal capacity and multipotential from cervical tissues. Importantly, these cells are believed to significantly contribute to the development of different pathologies and tumors of the FRS. It is now widely accepted that cancer stem cells (CSC) are at the origin of many tumors. They are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny that will differentiate aberrantly and do not respond adequately to homeostatic controls. Several cell surface antigens such as CD44, CD117, CD133 and MYD88 have been used to isolate ovarian cancer stem cells. Clonogenic epithelial and stromal endometrial and myometrial cells have been found in normal and cancer tissues, as side population, label-retaining cells, and CD146/PDGF-R beta-positive cells with stem-like features. In summary, here we describe a number of studies supporting the existence of somatic stem cells in the normal tissues and cancer stem cells in tumors of the human female reproductive system. PMID:23782518

  1. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation.

  2. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  3. Catalog and map of human genes of interest in endocrinology and reproduction, Version 94.5

    SciTech Connect

    Amador, A.G.; Handy, T.L.; Ellis, L.M.

    1994-09-01

    During the past decade, there has been an explosion in the knowledge of human genetics. Almost 6000 loci are listed in the latest Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM) 10th edition; hundreds have been mapped to specific human chromosomes, and listed in the Chromosome Coordinating Meeting (CCM92) 1992. Every week, new reports mapping new genes, or refining the localization of previously mapped ones, are published. Today, this information can be confusing even for veteran geneticists, and the volume of it makes it unusable for clinicians and scientists outside the field of genetics. Thus, the development of a Catalog and Map of Human Genes, that would include only those loci of at least some interest in the field of endocrinology and reproduction, was undertaken. The starting point was to sift the genes reported in CCM92, and to generate a dedicated list of loci. Thereafter, a computer-based updatable gene map was developed. Finally, a permanent scanning of the literature permits detection of changes, and additions to the catalog and map of the desired category of genes. Also, this allows for the generation of timely updates of this database, independently from the publication of future editions of CCM, MIM or similar sources. However, crosschecking with future editions of these publications will also be part of the updating and quality control methodology. As of the end of May, 1994, 685 human genes have been included in the version 94.5 of this endocrine catalog. The chromosome with the most loci was No. 1, and that with the least was No. 13.

  4. Dynamic regulation of DNA methyltransferases in human oocytes and preimplantation embryos after assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Petrussa, Laetitia; Van de Velde, Hilde; De Rycke, Martine

    2014-09-01

    DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification which is essential for normal embryonic development. Major epigenetic reprogramming takes place during gametogenesis and in the early embryo; the complex DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). However, the influence of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on DNA methylation reprogramming enzymes has predominantly been studied in mice and less so in human oocytes and embryos. The expression and localization patterns of the four known DNMTs were analysed in human oocytes and IVF/ICSI embryos by immunocytochemistry and compared between a reference group of good quality fresh embryos and groups of abnormally developing embryos or embryo groups after cryopreservation. In humans, DNMT1o rather than DNMT1s seems to be the key player for maintaining methylation in early embryos. DNMT3b, rather than DNMT3a and DNMT3L, appears to ensure global DNA remethylation in the blastocysts before implantation. DNMT3L, an important regulator of maternal imprint methylation in mouse, was not detected in human oocytes (GV, MI and MII stage). Our study confirms the existence of species differences for mammalian DNA methylation enzymes. In poor quality fresh embryos, the switch towards nuclear DNMT3b expression was delayed and nuclear DNMT1, DNMT1s and DNMT3b expression was less common. Compared with the reference embryos, a smaller number of cryopreserved embryos showed nuclear DNMT1, while a delayed switch to nuclear DNMT3b and an extended DNMT1s temporal expression pattern were also observed. The spatial and temporal expression patterns of DNMTs seem to be disturbed in abnormally developing embryos and in embryos that have been cryopreserved. Further research must be performed in order to understand whether the potentially disturbed embryonic DNMT expression after cryopreservation has any long-term developmental consequences. PMID:24994815

  5. Do ELF magnetic fields affect human reaction time?

    SciTech Connect

    Podd, J.V.; Whittington, C.J.; Barnes, G.R.G.; Page, W.H.; Rapley, B.I.

    1995-12-01

    Two double-blind studies were run in an attempt to confirm the finding that a 0.2 Hz magnetic field affects simple reaction time (RT) in humans, whereas a 0.1 Hz field does not. In the first experiment, 12 volunteer subjects were exposed to a continuous 0.2 Hz, 0.1 Hz, or sham field in a fully counter-balanced, within-subjects design. Subjects were run singly for one condition each day over 3 consecutive days with a field strength of 1.1 mT and a daily expose duration of 5 min. Neither magnetic field had any effect on RT at any time during the exposure. One condition of a second study, using a new group of 24 volunteer subjects, also failed to find any field effects at 0.2 Hz. Additionally, the second study failed to show any effects when the frequency, flux density, and field orientation were set according to parameter resonance theory. It is suggested that, although ELF magnetic field effects on human behavior may be elusive, future research can improve detection rates by paying greater attention to reducing error variance and increasing statistical power.

  6. Efficient blastomere biopsy for mouse embryo splitting for future applications in human assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Illmensee, K; Kaskar, K; Zavos, P M

    2005-12-01

    The objective of the current study was to establish a safe, efficient biopsy procedure for embryo splitting using the mouse model for future applications in human assisted reproduction. From mouse embryos at the 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-cell stage, half the number of blastomeres were microsurgically biopsied and transferred into empty mouse zonae pellucidae. Twin embryonic development was monitored during in-vitro culture. Blastocyst developmental rate using 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-cell splitting was 74.4, 75.0, 66.7 and 38.4 respectively, with corresponding hatching rates of 94.9, 97.5, 92.7 and 83.8%. Blastocysts from 2-, 4-, and 6-cell splitting resulted in elevated hatching rates compared with non-operated blastocysts (87.5%), due to the Tyrode-assisted hatching effect. Blastocyst morphology was superior from 2- and 4-cell splitting when compared with 6- and 8-cell splitting. Furthermore, outgrowth of twin blastocysts from 2- and 4-cell splitting showed well-developed colonies with trophoblast cells and clusters of ICM cells, whereas those obtained from 6- and 8-cell splitting frequently formed small-sized colonies. Due to the high twinning success rate obtained under the experimental conditions employed in this study, it appears that with further modifications and proper safeguards, such embryo splitting efforts could have potential applications in humans.

  7. Do local adaptation and the reproductive tactic of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) affect offspring metabolic capacities?

    PubMed

    Rossignol, O; Dodson, J J; Marquilly, C; Guderley, H

    2010-01-01

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is an iteroparous, anadromous species that exhibits some of the greatest within-population variability in size and age at maturity of all vertebrates. In the conditional reproductive strategy of salmonids, the male reproductive tactic expressed is believed to depend on an individual male's status relative to others in the population and therefore depends on his capacity to attain a physiological threshold, the exact nature of which is unknown. Although the threshold is influenced by local biotic and abiotic conditions, it is likely to be under genetic control. Our study examined whether the early growth, muscle metabolic capacities, routine metabolic rate, and spontaneous swimming of salmon alevins reared in laboratory conditions varied with the population of origin, maternal investment, and the paternal reproductive tactic. Our experimental design allowed us to establish that neither the population of origin nor the paternal reproductive tactic influenced the physiological capacities of alevins. The strong influence of the mother on alevin metabolic capacities suggests that the bioenergetic differences in metabolic capacities, realized metabolic rates, and activity levels that could eventually dictate the reproductive tactic of male offspring may originate in maternal effects. PMID:20350165

  8. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Surveillance Modules » Anatomy & Physiology » Reproductive System » Male Reproductive System Cancer Registration & Surveillance Modules Anatomy & Physiology Intro to the Human Body Body Functions & Life Process Anatomical Terminology Review Quiz ...

  9. [Sexual reproduction in animals].

    PubMed

    Jordana, R; Herrea, L

    1974-01-01

    Both asexual and sexual reproduction are described, with most attention given the latter, and all basic aspects of reproduction are discussed including gender, gametogenesis, genes and chromosomes, fecundation, and hormonal control. Female and male reproductive hormones and their modes of operation are given special attention. Innate reproductive and sexual behavior in various species is detailed and a discussion of the role of sexual attraction in human and animal reproduction is included. Contraception and abortion are described as human efforts to separate sexuality and reproduction unique in the biological world.

  10. Mode of action of human pharmaceuticals in fish: the effects of the 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, dutasteride, on reproduction as a case study.

    PubMed

    Margiotta-Casaluci, Luigi; Hannah, Robert E; Sumpter, John P

    2013-03-15

    In recent years, a growing number of human pharmaceuticals have been detected in the aquatic environment, generally at low concentrations (sub-ng/L-low μg/L). In most cases, these compounds are characterised by highly specific modes of action, and the evolutionary conservation of drug targets in wildlife species suggests the possibility that pharmaceuticals present in the environment may cause toxicological effects by acting through the same targets as they do in humans. Our research addressed the question of whether or not dutasteride, a pharmaceutical used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, may cause adverse effects in a teleost fish, the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), by inhibiting the activity of both isoforms of 5α-reductase (5αR), the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Mammalian pharmacological and toxicological information were used to guide the experimental design and the selection of relevant endpoints, according to the so-called "read-across approach", suggesting that dutasteride may affect male fertility and steroid hormone dynamics. Therefore, a 21-day reproduction study was conducted to determine the effects of dutasteride (10, 32 and 100 μg/L) on fish reproduction. Exposure to dutasteride significantly reduced fecundity of fish and affected several aspects of reproductive endocrine functions in both males and females. However, none of the observed adverse effects occurred at concentrations of exposure lower than 32 μg/L; this, together with the low volume of drug prescribed every year (10.34 kg in the UK in 2011), and the extremely low predicted environmental concentration (0.03 ng/L), suggest that, at present, the potential presence of dutasteride in the environment does not represent a threat to wild fish populations. PMID:23280489

  11. Computer modeling of human fertility: the impact of reproductive heterogeneity on measures of fertility.

    PubMed

    Mattison, D R; Brewer, D W

    1988-01-01

    As a result of the paucity of biological markers for both reproductive events and exposure to reproductive toxicants, it is likely that individual members of populations will be misclassified with respect to reproductive performance and xenobiotic exposure. A four-parameter computerized model of fertility (frequency of intercourse, male fecundity, female fecundity, and spontaneous abortion) was developed to explore the effect of misclassification of populations on several measures of fertility. The measures of fertility explored include cumulative percent pregnant, time to pregnancy, cycle specific fertility, and fecundability ratio. The cumulative percent pregnant and time to pregnancy appeared to be insensitive to small changes in reproductive competence. The fecundability ratio decreased in proportion to the size of population exposed to a reproductive toxicant. The three reproductive parameters, time to pregnancy, cumulative percent pregnant, and fecundability, do not appear useful as measures of reproductive heterogeneity in populations. The reproductive heterogeneity of a population was best defined by the change in cycle-specific fertility rate over the period of observation. These simulations suggest that the change in the cycle-specific fertility rate should be evaluated and comparable in all population groups over the period of observation to assure reproductive homogeneity.

  12. How did variable NK-cell receptors and MHC class I ligands influence immunity, reproduction and human evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    Preface Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, where they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of MHC-C in hominids drove the evolution of a system of MHC-C receptors that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. In contrast, the human system appears to have been subject to different and competing selection pressures that have acted on its immunological and reproductive functions. We suggest that this compromise facilitated development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out-of-Africa and populate other continents. PMID:23334245

  13. Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-01-01

    Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher

  14. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future. PMID:25537120

  15. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future.

  16. Valproate affects reproductive endocrine function, testis diameter and some semen variables in non-epileptic adolescent goat bucks.

    PubMed

    Krogenaes, A K; Taubøll, E; Stien, A; Oskam, I C; Lyche, J L; Dahl, E; Thomassen, R F; Sweeney, T; Ropstad, E

    2008-07-01

    Valproate (VPA) is a major antiepileptic drug with a broad spectrum of antiepileptic activity. There is, however, increasing concern about the possible effects of VPA on reproductive endocrine function. This study investigated the effects of valproate, on the endocrine and reproductive system of adolescent, non-epileptic, goat bucks. Nine goat bucks were orally treated with 62.5mg/kg valproate twice daily from 2 to 10 months of age in order to sustain therapeutic plasma concentrations of between 300 and 600 micromol/l. Seven bucks served as controls. Body weights and testicular diameters were recorded. Blood samples were collected for measurement of luteinising hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone three times weekly until sacrifice at approximately 40 weeks of age. Conventional reproductive endpoints were recorded and flow cytometric (FCM) analyses of spermatogenesis, including the sperm chromatin structure were conducted. Valproate-treated bucks had on average a higher body weight, but a lower testis diameter than controls. No significant differences were found for plasma FSH in comparison to controls. Valproate-treated bucks differed significantly from the control group by showing lower plasma concentrations of LH and testosterone and a later onset of puberty. A significantly higher proportion of sperm from valproate-treated bucks showed abnormal chromatin, demonstrating a harmful effect on DNA from valproate treatment. These results demonstrate that valproate was able to induce reproductive effects in goat bucks related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis, as well as to the testes.

  17. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid source ...

  18. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid sourc...

  19. Clinical and molecular analysis of human reproductive disorders in Brazilian patients.

    PubMed

    Latronico, A C; Costa, E M F; Domenice, S; Correa, R V; Kohek, M B F; Arnhold, I J P; Mendonca, B B

    2004-01-01

    Several genes that influence the development and function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-axis (HPG) have been identified. These genes encode an array of transcription factors, matrix proteins, hormones, receptors, and enzymes that are expressed at multiple levels of the HPG. We report the experience of a single Endocrinology Unit in the identification and characterization of naturally occurring mutations in families affected by HPG disorders, including forms of precocious puberty, hypogonadism and abnormal sexual development due to impaired gonadotropin function. Eight distinct genes implicated in HPG function were studied: KAL, SF1, DAX1, GnRH, GnRHR, FSHbeta, FSHR, and LHR. Most mutations identified in our cohort are described for the first time in literature. New mutations in SF1, DAX1 and GnRHR genes were identified in three Brazilian patients with hypogonadism. Eight boys with luteinizing hormone- (LH) independent precocious puberty due to testotoxicosis were studied, and all have their LH receptor (LHR) defects elucidated. Among the identified LHR molecular defects, three were new activating mutations. In addition, these mutations were frequently associated with new clinical and hormonal aspects, contributing significantly to the knowledge of the molecular basis of reproductive disorders. In conclusion, the naturally occurring genetic mutations described in the Brazilian families studied provide important insights into the regulation of the HPG.

  20. 75 FR 51815 - National Toxicology Program (NTP); Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-23

    ... in 1998 (63 FR 68782). CERHR is a publicly accessible resource for information about adverse... Reproduction (CERHR); Evaluation of the Health Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure: Call for Information and... reproduction and/or development and provide opinion on whether these substances are hazardous for...

  1. Evaluation of quantitative trait loci affecting intramuscular fat and reproductive traits in pigs using marker-assisted introgression.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Ohnishi, C; Kikuchi, T; Kohira, K; Egawa, S; Terai, S; Nakamura, T; Arata, S; Komatsuda, A; Uemoto, Y

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an experimental backcross (BC) between Chinese Meishan pigs and commercial Duroc pigs. We performed marker-assisted introgression of two QTL for intramuscular fat (IMF) content (IMF population) and three QTL for reproductive traits (reproduction population) from a donor Meishan pig into a recipient Duroc pig. At the fourth BC generation of the IMF population and third BC generation of the reproduction population, carrier animals were selected for the production of animals homozygous for the QTL. Our previous studies have shown that the presence of a Meishan allele on the IMF QTL is associated with low IMF values, and the Meishan allele on the reproductive QTL is associated with large litters. In this study, the presence of a Duroc allele at the IMF QTL on SSC9 resulted in a 0.27% increase in IMF (additive effect = 0.27 ± 0.08), whereas the presence of a Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 resulted in a 0.34% increase in IMF (additive effect = -0.34 ± 0.09). The presence of the Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 thus had the opposite effect to our previous studies, that is, increased IMF. In the reproduction population, we observed no differences between the genotypes of the three QTL in regard to number of corpora lutea or litter size. Marker-assisted introgression at these QTL is thus unlikely to result in an associated increase in litter size. These results show that it is possible to introgress alleles from other breeds into a selection population using molecular markers; any unexpected results might be associated with the genetic background.

  2. Evaluation of quantitative trait loci affecting intramuscular fat and reproductive traits in pigs using marker-assisted introgression.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Ohnishi, C; Kikuchi, T; Kohira, K; Egawa, S; Terai, S; Nakamura, T; Arata, S; Komatsuda, A; Uemoto, Y

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an experimental backcross (BC) between Chinese Meishan pigs and commercial Duroc pigs. We performed marker-assisted introgression of two QTL for intramuscular fat (IMF) content (IMF population) and three QTL for reproductive traits (reproduction population) from a donor Meishan pig into a recipient Duroc pig. At the fourth BC generation of the IMF population and third BC generation of the reproduction population, carrier animals were selected for the production of animals homozygous for the QTL. Our previous studies have shown that the presence of a Meishan allele on the IMF QTL is associated with low IMF values, and the Meishan allele on the reproductive QTL is associated with large litters. In this study, the presence of a Duroc allele at the IMF QTL on SSC9 resulted in a 0.27% increase in IMF (additive effect = 0.27 ± 0.08), whereas the presence of a Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 resulted in a 0.34% increase in IMF (additive effect = -0.34 ± 0.09). The presence of the Meishan allele at the IMF QTL on SSC7 thus had the opposite effect to our previous studies, that is, increased IMF. In the reproduction population, we observed no differences between the genotypes of the three QTL in regard to number of corpora lutea or litter size. Marker-assisted introgression at these QTL is thus unlikely to result in an associated increase in litter size. These results show that it is possible to introgress alleles from other breeds into a selection population using molecular markers; any unexpected results might be associated with the genetic background. PMID:25099662

  3. Affective Man-Machine Interface: Unveiling Human Emotions through Biosignals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Broek, Egon L.; Lisý, Viliam; Janssen, Joris H.; Westerink, Joyce H. D. M.; Schut, Marleen H.; Tuinenbreijer, Kees

    As is known for centuries, humans exhibit an electrical profile. This profile is altered through various psychological and physiological proce-sses, which can be measured through biosignals; e.g., electromyography (EMG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). These biosignals can reveal our emotions and, as such, can serve as an advanced man-machine interface (MMI) for empathic consumer products. However, such a MMI requires the correct classification of biosignals to emotion classes. This chapter starts with an introduction on biosignals for emotion detection. Next, a state-of-the-art review is presented on automatic emotion classification. Moreover, guidelines are presented for affective MMI. Subsequently, a research is presented that explores the use of EDA and three facial EMG signals to determine neutral, positive, negative, and mixed emotions, using recordings of 21 people. A range of techniques is tested, which resulted in a generic framework for automated emotion classification with up to 61.31% correct classification of the four emotion classes, without the need of personal profiles. Among various other directives for future research, the results emphasize the need for parallel processing of multiple biosignals.

  4. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  5. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade.

  6. Copper utilization in humans as affected by amino acid supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Kies, C.; Chuang, J.H.; Fox, H.M. )

    1989-02-09

    Earlier work suggests that absorption of copper as well as several other mineral nutrients may be promoted, inhibited or unaffected by the formation of mineral-amino acid complexes. The objective of the current project was to determine effects of low level supplements of selected amino acids on copper utilization. In a series of studies, healthy, human adult subjected received a basal diet with or without test supplements in separate 14-day periods which were arranged according to a randomized, cross-over design. Test amino acids and amounts given per subject per day were as follows; L-arginine, 1.2 g; L-lysine, 1.0 g; L-cystine, 1.0 g and L-methionine, 1.0 g. Subjects made complete collections of urine and stools. Fasting blood samples were drawn. Food, urine, feces and blood were analyzed for copper contents using a carbon rod attachment on a Varian atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Fecal copper losses were unaffected by used of lysine, tryptophan and methionine supplements but were reduced with use of the arginine and cystine supplements. Urine losses of copper were reduced with used of the lysine and tryptophan supplements, were increased with the methionine and cystine supplements and were unaffected when the arginine supplements were employed. Blood serum copper levels were not significantly affected by use of these supplement although some trends were noted.

  7. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-01-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5–41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5–12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2–T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  8. Current issues in medically assisted reproduction and genetics in Europe: research, clinical practice, ethics, legal issues and policy. European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    Harper, Joyce C; Geraedts, Joep; Borry, Pascal; Cornel, Martina C; Dondorp, Wybo; Gianaroli, Luca; Harton, Gary; Milachich, Tanya; Kääriäinen, Helena; Liebaers, Inge; Morris, Michael; Sequeiros, Jorge; Sermon, Karen; Shenfield, Françoise; Skirton, Heather; Soini, Sirpa; Spits, Claudia; Veiga, Anna; Vermeesch, Joris Robert; Viville, Stéphane; de Wert, Guido; Macek, Milan

    2013-11-01

    In March 2005, a group of experts from the European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology met to discuss the interface between genetics and assisted reproductive technology (ART), and published an extended background paper, recommendations and two Editorials. Seven years later, in March 2012, a follow-up interdisciplinary workshop was held, involving representatives of both professional societies, including experts from the European Union Eurogentest2 Coordination Action Project. The main goal of this meeting was to discuss developments at the interface between clinical genetics and ARTs. As more genetic causes of reproductive failure are now recognised and an increasing number of patients undergo testing of their genome before conception, either in regular health care or in the context of direct-to-consumer testing, the need for genetic counselling and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may increase. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) thus far does not have evidence from randomised clinical trials to substantiate that the technique is both effective and efficient. Whole-genome sequencing may create greater challenges both in the technological and interpretational domains, and requires further reflection about the ethics of genetic testing in ART and PGD/PGS. Diagnostic laboratories should be reporting their results according to internationally accepted accreditation standards (International Standards Organisation - ISO 15189). Further studies are needed in order to address issues related to the impact of ART on epigenetic reprogramming of the early embryo. The legal landscape regarding assisted reproduction is evolving but still remains very heterogeneous and often contradictory. The lack of legal harmonisation and uneven access to infertility treatment and PGD/PGS fosters considerable cross-border reproductive care in Europe and beyond. The aim of this paper is to complement previous publications and provide

  9. Current issues in medically assisted reproduction and genetics in Europe: research, clinical practice, ethics, legal issues and policy. European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    Harper, Joyce C; Geraedts, Joep; Borry, Pascal; Cornel, Martina C; Dondorp, Wybo; Gianaroli, Luca; Harton, Gary; Milachich, Tanya; Kääriäinen, Helena; Liebaers, Inge; Morris, Michael; Sequeiros, Jorge; Sermon, Karen; Shenfield, Françoise; Skirton, Heather; Soini, Sirpa; Spits, Claudia; Veiga, Anna; Vermeesch, Joris Robert; Viville, Stéphane; de Wert, Guido; Macek, Milan

    2013-11-01

    In March 2005, a group of experts from the European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology met to discuss the interface between genetics and assisted reproductive technology (ART), and published an extended background paper, recommendations and two Editorials. Seven years later, in March 2012, a follow-up interdisciplinary workshop was held, involving representatives of both professional societies, including experts from the European Union Eurogentest2 Coordination Action Project. The main goal of this meeting was to discuss developments at the interface between clinical genetics and ARTs. As more genetic causes of reproductive failure are now recognised and an increasing number of patients undergo testing of their genome before conception, either in regular health care or in the context of direct-to-consumer testing, the need for genetic counselling and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may increase. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) thus far does not have evidence from randomised clinical trials to substantiate that the technique is both effective and efficient. Whole-genome sequencing may create greater challenges both in the technological and interpretational domains, and requires further reflection about the ethics of genetic testing in ART and PGD/PGS. Diagnostic laboratories should be reporting their results according to internationally accepted accreditation standards (International Standards Organisation - ISO 15189). Further studies are needed in order to address issues related to the impact of ART on epigenetic reprogramming of the early embryo. The legal landscape regarding assisted reproduction is evolving but still remains very heterogeneous and often contradictory. The lack of legal harmonisation and uneven access to infertility treatment and PGD/PGS fosters considerable cross-border reproductive care in Europe and beyond. The aim of this paper is to complement previous publications and provide

  10. Passive transfer of maternal GnRH antibodies does not affect reproductive development in elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) calves.

    PubMed

    Powers, J G; Baker, D L; Ackerman, M G; Bruemmer, J E; Spraker, T R; Conner, M M; Nett, T M

    2012-09-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone is intermittently released from the hypothalamus in consistent patterns from before birth to final maturation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis at puberty. Disruption of this signaling via GnRH vaccination during the neonatal period can alter reproduction at maturity. The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of GnRH-antibody exposure on reproductive maturation and function in elk calves passively exposed to high concentrations of GnRH antibodies immediately after birth. Fifteen elk calves (eight males and seven females) born to females treated with GnRH vaccine or sham vaccine during midgestation were divided into two groups based on the concentration of serum GnRH antibodies measured during the neonatal period. Those with robust (>15 pmol (125)I-GnRH bound per mL of serum) titers (N = 10; four females and six males) were designated as the exposed group, whereas those with undetectable titers (N = 5; three females and two males) were the unexposed group. Onset of puberty, reproductive development, and endocrine function in antibody-exposed and unexposed male and female elk calves were compared. Neonatal exposure to high concentrations of GnRH antibodies had no effect on body weight (P = 0.968), endocrine profiles (P > 0.05), or gametogenesis in either sex. Likewise, there were no differences between groups in gross or histologic structure of the hypothalamus, pituitary, testes, or ovaries. Pituitary stimulation with a GnRH analog before the second potential reproductive season induced substantial LH secretion in all experimental elk. All females became pregnant during their second reproductive season and all males exhibited similar mature secondary sexual characteristics. There were no differences between exposure groups in hypothalamic GnRH content (P = 0.979), pituitary gonadotropin content (P > 0.05) or gonadal structure. We concluded that suppressing GnRH signaling through immunoneutralization

  11. Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 17α-ethinylestradiol affects non-reproductive behavior and fertility as adults, and increases anxiety in unexposed progeny.

    PubMed

    Volkova, Kristina; Reyhanian Caspillo, Nasim; Porseryd, Tove; Hallgren, Stefan; Dinnétz, Patrik; Porsch-Hällström, Inger

    2015-07-01

    Exposure to estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDCs) during development affects fertility, reproductive and non-reproductive behavior in mammals and fish. These effects can also be transferred to coming generations. In fish, the effects of developmental EDC exposure on non-reproductive behavior are less well studied. Here, we analyze the effects of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on anxiety, shoaling behavior and fertility in zebrafish after developmental treatment and remediation in clean water until adulthood. Zebrafish embryos were exposed from day 1 to day 80 post fertilization to actual concentrations of 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2. After remediation for 82days non-reproductive behavior and fertilization success were analyzed in both sexes. Males and females from the 1.2ng/L group, as well as control males and females, were bred, and behavior of the untreated F1 offspring was tested as adults. Developmental treatment with 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2 significantly increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased shoaling intensity in both sexes. Fertilization success was significantly reduced by EE2 in both sexes when mated with untreated fish of opposite sex. Progeny of fish treated with 1.2ng/L EE2 showed increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased light avoidance in the scototaxis test compared to control offspring. In conclusion, developmental exposure of zebrafish to low doses of EE2 resulted in persistent changes in behavior and fertility. The behavior of unexposed progeny was affected by their parents' exposure, which might suggest transgenerational effects. PMID:26072466

  12. Evaluation of non-genetic factors affecting calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of traditionally managed Sheko cattle in southwest Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Bayou, E; Haile, A; Gizaw, S; Mekasha, Y

    2015-01-01

    The study was conducted to estimate calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of Ethiopia Sheko cattle and to assess non-genetic factors affecting their performance in their home tract as a step towards designing sustainable cattle conservation and improvement strategy. All the growth traits considered in the study were significantly affected by all non-genetic factors considered except for the fixed effects of Agro ecological zones (AEZs) and season of birth which were not significant for post weaning daily gain. Calving interval (CI) and days open (DO) were significantly influenced by AEZs, season and dam parity. Cows that calved in lowland had shorter CI and DO than cows which calved in midland. Cows that calved in short rainy season had Short CI and DO than those calved during dry season or long rainy season. Cows which calved for the first time had the longest CI and DO from the other parities whereas cows on their fifth parity had the shortest CI and DO. AEZ significantly affected lactation milk yield (LMY) and lactation length (LL), but not significant on daily milk yield (DMY) and 305 days yield (305DY). Season was significant on all milk traits considered except DMY. Parity effect was significant on LMY and 305DY, whereas DMY and LL were not affected. The non-genetic factors had significant effects for all of the reproductive; and many of the growth and milk performance traits considered and hence will need to be considered in cattle breed improvement program. PMID:26543703

  13. Do toxic heavy metals affect antioxidant defense mechanisms in humans?

    PubMed

    Wieloch, Monika; Kamiński, Piotr; Ossowska, Anna; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Stuczyński, Tomasz; Kuligowska-Prusińska, Magdalena; Dymek, Grażyna; Mańkowska, Aneta; Odrowąż-Sypniewska, Grażyna

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this study was to prove whether anthropogenic pollution affects antioxidant defense mechanisms such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity, ferritin (FRT) concentration and total antioxidant status (TAS) in human serum. The study area involves polluted and salted environment (Kujawy region; northern-middle Poland) and Tuchola Forestry (unpolluted control area). We investigated 79 blood samples of volunteers from polluted area and 82 from the control in 2008 and 2009. Lead, cadmium and iron concentrations were measured in whole blood by the ICP-MS method. SOD and CAT activities were measured in serum using SOD and CAT Assay Kits by the standardized colorimetric method. Serum TAS was measured spectrophotometrically by the modified Benzie and Strain (1996) method and FRT concentration-by the immunonefelometric method. Pb and Cd levels and SOD activity were higher in volunteers from polluted area as compared with those from the control (0.0236 mg l(-1) vs. 0.014 mg l(-1); 0.0008 mg l(-1) vs. 0.0005 mg l(-1); 0.137 Um l(-1) vs. 0.055 Um l(-1), respectively). Fe level, CAT activity and TAS were lower in serum of volunteers from polluted area (0.442 g l(-1) vs. 0.476 gl(-1); 3.336 nmol min(-1)ml(-1) vs. 6.017 nmol min(-1)ml(-1); 0.731 Trolox-equivalents vs. 0.936 Trolox-equivalents, respectively), whilst differences in FRT concentration were not significant (66.109 μg l(-1) vs. 37.667 μg l(-1), p=0.3972). Positive correlations between Pb (r=0.206), Cd (r=0.602) and SOD in the inhabitants of polluted area, and between Cd and SOD in the control (r=0.639) were shown. In volunteers from both studied environments TAS-FRT (polluted: r=0.625 vs. control: r=0.837) and Fe-FRT (polluted area: r=0.831 vs. control: r=0.407) correlations, and Pb-FRT (r=0.360) and Pb-TAS (r=0.283) in the control were stated. The higher lead and cadmium concentrations in blood cause an increase of SOD activity. It suggests that this is one of the defense mechanisms of an

  14. High levels of maternally transferred mercury do not affect reproductive output or embryonic survival of northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon).

    PubMed

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Willson, John D; Cristol, Daniel A; Drewett, David V V; Hopkins, William A

    2013-03-01

    Maternal transfer is an important exposure pathway for contaminants because it can directly influence offspring development. Few studies have examined maternal transfer of contaminants, such as mercury (Hg), in snakes, despite their abundance and high trophic position in many ecosystems where Hg is prevalent. The objectives of the present study were to determine if Hg is maternally transferred in northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) and to evaluate the effects of maternal Hg on reproduction. The authors captured gravid female watersnakes (n = 31) along the South River in Waynesboro, Virginia, USA, where an extensive Hg-contamination gradient exists. The authors measured maternal tissue and litter Hg concentrations and, following birth, assessed (1) reproductive parameters (i.e., litter size and mass, neonate mass); (2) rates of infertility, death during development, stillbirths, malformations, and runts; and (3) the overall viability of offspring. Mercury concentrations in females were strongly and positively correlated with concentrations in litters, suggesting that N. sipedon maternally transfer Hg in proportion to their tissue residues. Maternal transfer resulted in high concentrations (up to 10.10 mg/kg dry wt total Hg) of Hg in offspring. The authors found little evidence of adverse effects of Hg on these measures of reproductive output and embryonic survival, suggesting that N. sipedon may be more tolerant of Hg than other vertebrate species. Given that this is the first study to examine the effects of maternally transferred contaminants in snakes and that the authors did not measure all reproductive endpoints, further research is needed to better understand factors that influence maternal transfer and associated sublethal effects on offspring.

  15. Moisture Source and Diet affect Development and Reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two Predatory Anthocorids from Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; Clercq, Patrick De

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed. PMID:22935002

  16. Moisture source and diet affect development and reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two predatory anthocorids from Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; De Clercq, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed. PMID:22935002

  17. Moisture source and diet affect development and reproduction of Orius thripoborus and Orius naivashae, two predatory anthocorids from Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Jochem; Vangansbeke, Dominiek; Maes, Sara; Bonte, Maarten; Conlong, Des; De Clercq, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed.

  18. Paternal obesity negatively affects male fertility and assisted reproduction outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jared M; Lane, Michelle; Owens, Julie A; Bakos, Hassan W

    2015-11-01

    This systematic review investigated the effect of paternal obesity on reproductive potential. Databases searched were Pubmed, Ovid, Web of Science, Scopus, Cinahl and Embase. Papers were critically appraised by two reviewers, and data were extracted using a standardized tool. Outcomes were: likelihood of infertility, embryo development, clinical pregnancy, live birth, pregnancy viability, infant development, sperm; concentration, morphology, motility, volume, DNA fragmentation, chromatin condensation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and seminal plasma factors. Thirty papers were included, with a total participant number of 115,158. Obese men were more likely to experience infertility (OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.53-1.79), their rate of live birth per cycle of assisted reproduction technology (ART) was reduced (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.44-0.97) and they had a 10% absolute risk increase of pregnancy non-viability. Additionally, obese men had an increased percentage of sperm with low MMP, DNA fragmentation, and abnormal morphology. Clinically significant differences were not found for conventional semen parameters. From these findings it can be concluded that male obesity is associated with reduced reproductive potential. Furthermore, it may be informative to incorporate DNA fragmentation analysis and MMP assessment into semen testing, especially for obese men whose results suggest they should have normal fertility. PMID:26380863

  19. Is the reproduction of Donax trunculus affected by their sites of origin contrasted by their level of contamination?

    PubMed

    Tlili, Sofiène; Métais, Isabelle; Ayache, Nadia; Boussetta, Hamadi; Mouneyrac, Catherine

    2011-09-01

    The reproductive cycle of bivalves is regulated by several natural environmental factors but exposure to chemical pollutants can also interfere and may result in advanced or delayed spawning season. To our knowledge, the gametogenic cycle of the suspension-feeder bivalve Donax trunculus has not yet been used as biomonitoring tool in ecotoxicological surveys. The aim of this study was to examine over a year physiological reproductive endpoints (sex-ratio, gametogenic and energy reserve cycles) and biological indices (condition index, allometry) in D. trunculus originating from two sites differing by their level of contamination. Specimens were collected bimonthly from November 2008 to October 2009 from a polluted site (Radès Méliane) and a comparatively reference site (Sidi Jehmi) in the Gulf of Tunis (Tunisia). Five stages were depicted by histological examination of gonads: undifferentiated, developing, mature, spawn and spent. Differences in the gametogenic cycle according to the site of origin of bivalves were observed. The spawning period began in March and was maximum in May in bivalves from both sites, but the percentage of spawning animals was higher in the polluted site vs the reference site. The spawning period was shorter in animals from the polluted site comparatively to the reference site. Energy reserves (glycogen, lipids) were higher in March and May comparatively to the other studied periods in bivalves from both sites. Lower energy reserves levels were usually observed in animals from the polluted site compared to the reference site. Seasonal variations of the condition index were associated to the reproductive and nutritive status of bivalves. Differences in allometry were depicted between bivalves from both studied sites. If we try to link allometry, energy reserves and reproduction, it can be hypothesized that for bivalves from the reference site, energy reserves are allocated to gametogenesis and length growth. For bivalves from the polluted

  20. Acupuncture for reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Lin, J H; Panzer, R

    1992-03-01

    The use of acupuncture to treat reproductive disorders can produce excellent results. Two proposed physiologic mechanisms for its effects on the reproductive system include an endorphin-mediated mechanism affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal endocrine axis and a direct effect on gonadal paracrine and autocrine control of steroidogenesis. This chapter discusses reproductive disorders from both western and traditional Chinese perspectives, and details the use of acupuncture for the treatment of eight specific categories of reproductive dysfunction.

  1. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field.

  2. Tau differences between short-day responsive and short-day nonresponsive white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) do not affect reproductive photoresponsiveness.

    PubMed

    Majoy, S B; Heideman, P D

    2000-12-01

    In laboratory-bred rodent populations, intraspecific variation in circadian system organization is a known cause of individual variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness. The authors sought to determine whether circadian system variation accounted for individual variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness in a single, highly genetically variable population of Peromyscus leucopus recently derived from the wild. Running-wheel activity patterns of male and female mice, aged 70 to 90 days, from artificially selected lines of reproductively photoresponsive (R) and nonresponsive (NR) lines were monitored under short-day photoperiod (8 h light, 16 h dark), long-day photoperiod (16 h light, 8 h dark), and constant darkness (DD). NR mice displayed a significantly longer mean free-running period (24.08 h) in DD compared with R mice (23.75 h), due in large part to a difference between NR and R females (24.25 h vs. 23.74 h, respectively). All other entrainment characteristics (alpha, phase angle of activity) under short days, long days, and DD were similar between R and NR mice. Variation in free-running period and entrainment characteristics has been shown to affect photoresponsiveness in other rodent species by altering the manner in which the circadian system interprets short days. To determine whether variation in photoresponsiveness in P. leucopus is due to differences in free-running period instead of variation downstream from the central circadian clock in the pathway controlling photoresponsiveness, the authors exposed young R and NR mice to DD and measured the effect on reproductive organ development. If variation in free-running period affected how the circadian system of mice interpreted short days, then both R and NR mice exposed to DD should have exhibited a delay in gonadal development. Only R mice exhibited pubertal delay in DD. NR mice exhibited large paired testes, paired seminal vesicles, paired ovaries, and uterine weight typical of mice nonresponsive

  3. Characterization of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) mutants affected in their flowering time and in the morphogenesis of their reproductive structure.

    PubMed

    Quinet, Muriel; Dubois, Céline; Goffin, Marie-Christine; Chao, Jaime; Dielen, Vincent; Batoko, Henri; Boutry, Marc; Kinet, Jean-Marie

    2006-01-01

    The impact of the season on flowering time and the organization and morphogenesis of the reproductive structures are described in three tomato mutants: compound inflorescence (s), single flower truss (sft), and jointless (j), respectively, compared with their wild-type cultivars Ailsa Craig (AC), Platense (Pl), and Heinz (Hz). In all environmental conditions, the sft mutant flowered significantly later than its corresponding Pl cultivar while flowering time in j was only marginally, but consistently, delayed compared with Hz. The SFT gene and, to a lesser extent, the J gene thus appear to be constitutive flowering promoters. Flowering in s was delayed in winter but not in summer compared with the AC cultivar, suggesting the existence of an environmentally regulated pathway for the control of floral transition. The reproductive structure of tomato is a raceme-like inflorescence and genes regulating its morphogenesis may thus be divided into inflorescence and floral meristem identity genes as in Arabidopsis. The s mutant developed highly branched inflorescences bearing up to 200 flowers due to the conversion of floral meristems into inflorescence meristems. The S gene appears to be a floral meristem identity gene. Both sft and j mutants formed reproductive structures containing flowers and leaves and reverting to a vegetative sympodial growth. The SFT gene appears to regulate the identity of the inflorescence meristem of tomato and is also involved, along with the J gene, in the maintenance of this identity, preventing reversion to a vegetative identity. These results are discussed in relation to knowledge accumulated in Arabidopsis and to domestication processes.

  4. Assessment of risks to human reproduction and to development of the human conceptus from exposure to environmental substances

    SciTech Connect

    Galbraith, W.M.; Voytek, P.; Ryon, M.G.

    1982-02-01

    The Offices of Health Research and of Health and Environmental Assessment within the Office of Research and Development sponsored a conference to produce a technical document on the current status of risk assessment methodologies for teratogenic and other reproductive effects. The conference brought together scientists knowledgeable in reproductive biology and teratology to discuss techniques and concepts pertinent to developing risk assessment methodologies. The document is divided into three main subject areas: assessment of toxicity to female reproduction, assessment of toxicity to male reproduction, and assessment of toxicity to the conceptus. There are three supplemental parts: pharmacokinetics and epidemiologic considerations, which are common to all toxicological assessments, and a special section on the behavioral aspects of sexual development. The specific areas addressed are the potential adverse effects on the female and male reproductive systems as well as adverse effects on the developing conceptus. A broad range of problems and effects are discussed, including infertility, early resorption of the conceptus, and possible behavioral disorders producted by subtle changes in the biochemical environment of the fetus. Suggestions are given for improvement in standard toxicological protocols for evaluation of reproductive risks, identifies new concepts and procedures that can be immediately applicable, and designates those that need further expansion and development through research. Included is a discussion on the predictive ability of the tests in estimating risk.

  5. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  6. Dietary modification of host blood lipids affect reproduction in the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum(L.).

    PubMed

    Madden, R D; Sauer, J R; Dillwith, J W; Bowman, A S

    1996-04-01

    The feeding and reproductive performance of female lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum (L.)) infesting guinea pigs on diets containing 15% fish oil (FO) or safflower oil (SO) were investigated. Replete ticks fed on FO-fed guinea pigs weighed approximately 30% less than those on the SO-fed guinea pigs. The lower engorged weight resulted in a similar decrease in the mass and number of eggs laid and number of larvae hatching. No effect of host dietary treatment was observed upon the reproductive efficiency index, egg weight, or hatchability. Guinea pig blood on the FO-diet contained high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, which has previously been shown to inhibit the accumulation of arachidonic acid in the tick salivary gland. It is suggested that the ticks on the FO-fed guinea pigs have impaired production and secretion of dienoic prostaglandins in the saliva resulting in poorer feeding performance, possibly by altering the amount of host blood present in the feeding lesion. PMID:8604084

  7. Increases in Endogenous or Exogenous Progestins Promote Virus-Target Cell Interactions within the Non-human Primate Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Carias, Ann M.; Fought, Angela J.; Kotnik Halavaty, Katarina; Anderson, Meegan R.; Jimenez, Maria L.; McRaven, Michael D.; Gioia, Casey J.; Henning, Tara R.; Smith, James M.; Pereira, Lara E.; Butler, Katherine; McNicholl, S. Janet M.; Hendry, R. Michael; Hope, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there are mounting data suggesting that HIV-1 acquisition in women can be affected by the use of certain hormonal contraceptives. However, in non-human primate models, endogenous or exogenous progestin-dominant states are shown to increase acquisition. To gain mechanistic insights into this increased acquisition, we studied how mucosal barrier function and CD4+ T-cell and CD68+ macrophage density and localization changed in the presence of natural progestins or after injection with high-dose DMPA. The presence of natural or injected progestins increased virus penetration of the columnar epithelium and the infiltration of susceptible cells into a thinned squamous epithelium of the vaginal vault, increasing the likelihood of potential virus interactions with target cells. These data suggest that increasing either endogenous or exogenous progestin can alter female reproductive tract barrier properties and provide plausible mechanisms for increased HIV-1 acquisition risk in the presence of increased progestin levels. PMID:27658293

  8. Human rights and the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV – a literature review

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Shubha; Gruskin, Sofia; Khosla, Rajat; Narasimhan, Manjulaa

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Even as the number of women living with HIV around the globe continues to grow, realization of their sexual and reproductive health and human rights remains compromised. The objective of this study was to review the current state of knowledge on the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV to assess evidence and gaps. Methods Relevant databases were searched for peer-reviewed and grey literature. Search terms included a combination of MeSH terms and keywords representing women, HIV/AIDS, ART, human rights, sexual and reproductive health. We included both qualitative and quantitative literature published in English, French, or Spanish between July 2011 and December 2014. Results and discussion The search yielded 2228 peer-reviewed articles, of which 40 met the inclusion criteria in the final review. The grey literature search yielded 2186 documents of which seven met the inclusion criteria in the final review. Of the articles and documents reviewed, not a single peer-reviewed article described the explicit implementation of rights in programming, and only two documents from the grey literature did so. With one possible exception, no articles or documents were found which addressed rights comprehensively, or addressed the majority of relevant rights (i.e. equality; non-discrimination; participation; privacy and confidentiality; informed decision making; availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (3AQ) of services individually or in their totality; and accountability). Additional findings indicate that the language of rights is used most often to describe the apparent neglect or violation of human rights and what does exist only addresses a few rights in the context of a few areas within sexual and reproductive health. Conclusions Findings from this review suggest the need to better integrate rights into interventions, particularly with attention to provider training, service delivery, raising awareness and

  9. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success. 

  10. Survey on intracytoplasmic sperm injection: report from the ESHRE ICSI Task Force. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    Tarlatzis, B C; Bili, H

    1998-04-01

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has revolutionized the treatment of male infertility, since normal fertilization and ongoing pregnancies can be achieved with severely affected spermatozoa. Hence, the application of ICSI is rapidly expanding around the world, necessitating an accurate assessment of the efficacy and safety of this novel technique. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Task Force is gathering data annually on the clinical results, the pregnancy outcome and the follow-up of children born after ICSI using ejaculated, epididymal and testicular spermatozoa, in order to be able to provide reliable information on these important issues. During the 3 years 1993-1995, the number of centres performing ICSI increased from 35 to 101, and the total number of ICSI cycles performed per year rose from 3157 to 23932. The incidence of oocytes damaged by the procedure remained low (<10%) and the fertilization rates obtained with ejaculated, epididymal and testicular spermatozoa in 1995 were 64, 62.5 and 52% respectively. Thus, approximately 90% of the couples had an embryo transfer and the viable pregnancy rate was 21% for ejaculated, 22% for epididymal and 19% for testicular spermatozoa (with 25-30% multiple pregnancies). Furthermore, 3149 transfers of frozen-thawed embryos were performed and 7-11% of them resulted in a viable pregnancy. The ICSI results were similar during this 3 year period, irrespective of the origin of the spermatozoa. The perinatal outcome of children born after ICSI was not different from those born after in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or natural conception, and was only affected by multiplicity. Moreover, the incidence of major or minor malformations was not increased, but the chromosomal, especially the sex-chromosomal, aberration rate was slightly elevated. To summarize, a very high success rate is obtained by ICSI independently of the source of the spermatozoa, verifying the superiority of ICSI over

  11. 75 FR 51273 - Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-19

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and... funding available to make awards under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding...

  12. ABO (histo) blood group phenotype development and human reproduction as they relate to ancestral IgM formation: A hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Arend, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The formation of a histo (blood) group) ABO phenotype and the exclusion of an autoreactive IgM or isoagglutinin activity arise apparently in identical glycosylation of complementary domains on cell surfaces and plasma proteins. The fundamental O-glycan emptiness of the circulating IgM, which during the neonatal amino acid sequencing of the variable regions is exerting germline-specific O-GalNAc glycan-reactive serine/threonine residues that in the plasma of the adult human blood group O individuals apparently remain associated with the open glycosidic sites on the ABOH convertible red cell surface, must raise suggestions on a transient expression of developmental glycans, which have been "lost" over the course of maturation. In fact, while the mammalian non-somatic, embryogenic stem cell (ESC)- germ cell (GC) transformation is characterized by a transient and genetically as-yet-undefined trans-species-functional O-GalNAc glycan expression, in the C57BL/10 mouse such expression was potentially identified in growth-dependent, blood group A-like GalNAc glycan-bearing, ovarian glycolipids complementary with the syngeneic anti-A reactive IgM, which does not appear in early ovariectomized animals. This non-somatically encoded, polyreactive, ancestral IgM molecule has not undergone clonal selection and does primarily not differentiate between self and non-self and might, due to amino acid hydroxyl groups, highly suggest substrate competition with subsequent O-glycosylations in ongoing ESC-GC transformations and affecting GC maturation. However, the membrane-bound somatic N/O-glycotransferases, which initiate, after formation of the zygote, the complex construction of the human ABO phenotypes in the trans cisternae of the Golgi apparatus, are associated and/or completed with soluble enzyme versions exerting identical specificities in plasma and likely competing vice versa by glycosylation of neonatal IgM amino acids, where they suggest to accomplish the clearance of anti

  13. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    PubMed

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant.

  14. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant. PMID:26186596

  15. Short-term fasting affects luteinizing hormone secretory dynamics but not reproductive function in normal-weight sedentary women.

    PubMed

    Olson, B R; Cartledge, T; Sebring, N; Defensor, R; Nieman, L

    1995-04-01

    Acute food withdrawal reversibly inhibits the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in men and in rhesus monkeys, and it produces defects in LH pulsatility in normal-weight women. However, the clinical effect of short-term nutritional deprivation on the reproductive axis of normally cycling women has not been evaluated. Thus we studied the effect of a 3-day fast during the midfollicular phase on menstrual cycle length, gonadotropin secretory patterns, follicular development, and ovulation. After a baseline ovulatory cycle, 12 women within 15% of ideal body weight were randomized to be fed (n = 7) or fasted (n = 10) on cycle days 7 to 9. Five of the women repeated the study and received the alternate diet. Endocrine and metabolic parameters of fasting and reproductive physiology were measured on cycle days 6 to 12. Fasted physiology was demonstrated by characteristic alterations in growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I, TSH, and T3 levels. During fed cycles, the number of LH pulses remained constant on cycle days 6, 9 and 11, whereas mean LH levels, LH area under the curve, and LH pulse amplitude increased significantly over this time (all P < 0.05). In contrast, fasted cycles were marked by a significant decrease in the number of LH pulses on the last day of the fast (cycle day 9, P < 0.05) and by a lack of increase over time of mean LH values, LH area under the curve, and LH pulse amplitude. Follicle development, as assessed by daily ultrasound examination and estradiol measurements, was similar in all cycles and was followed by ovulation in all women; follicular and luteal phase lengths of fasted and fed cycles were similar. We conclude that the alterations in LH secretory dynamics that occur during a 3-day fast are not sufficient to perturb follicle development and cycle lengths in normal-weight sedentary women. The resilience of the reproductive axis in these healthy women contrasts with the sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to acute

  16. Food availability and reproduction affects lipid and fatty acid composition of the brown mussel, Perna perna, raised in suspension culture.

    PubMed

    Narváez, Mirle; Freites, L; Guevara, M; Mendoza, J; Guderley, H; Lodeiros, C J; Salazar, G

    2008-02-01

    We examined the influence of the reproductive cycle and environmental factors on variations of the condition index (CI), tissue dry mass, shell size, total lipid content, and relative percent of fatty acids in the mussel, Perna perna. Spat or juveniles were reared to commercial size (70 mm) in suspension culture in the Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela between May and October 2004. The dry mass of soft tissues and shell, a visual assessment of gonadal status and the organism lipid profile were established every fortnight. In parallel, we measured the environmental conditions, following chlorophyll a, salinity, temperature and seston levels. After an initial decrease, the CI rose and remained high until August after which it decreased continuously until October. Total lipid values also decreased initially, after which they showed two periods of rapid recuperation and depletion, the first between May and August and the second between August and October. Similar tendencies were noted in the fatty acids, C18:3n-3, C18:4n-3 and C22:6n-3. Correlation analysis found no significant relationships between environmental parameters and the variations in total lipids. However, significant correlations were noted between fatty acids and specific environmental parameters. In particular, temperature was inversely correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:0, C18:1n-9 and 20:5n-3. Chlorophyll a was positively correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-7, C18:4n-3 and 20:4n-6. On the other hand, gametogenesis had an effect on C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-9 and C18:1n-7, while spawned and gonadal regression states had an effect on fatty acid 20:4n-6. Temperature and chlorophyll a levels strongly influenced the proportion of mussels spawning, suggesting that their influence upon lipid composition may be secondary to their impact upon reproduction. Despite the thermal stability of this tropical system, the lipid composition of mussels changed markedly during the study, reflecting the central role of diet

  17. 20 years of leptin: role of leptin in human reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Chou, Sharon H; Mantzoros, Christos

    2014-10-01

    Leptin, as a key hormone in energy homeostasis, regulates neuroendocrine function, including reproduction. It has a permissive role in the initiation of puberty and maintenance of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. This is notable in patients with either congenital or acquired leptin deficiency from a state of chronic energy insufficiency. Hypothalamic amenorrhea is the best-studied, with clinical trials confirming a causative role of leptin in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Implications of leptin deficiency have also emerged in the pathophysiology of hypogonadism in type 1 diabetes. At the other end of the spectrum, hyperleptinemia may play a role in hypogonadism associated with obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. In these conditions of energy excess, mechanisms of reproductive dysfunction include central leptin resistance as well as direct effects at the gonadal level. Thus, reproductive dysfunction due to energy imbalance at both ends can be linked to leptin.

  18. ANALYSIS OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS IN HUMAN ACTIVITIES THAT AFFECT EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurately modeling exposure to particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants ultimately involves the utilization of human location-activity databases to assist in understanding the potential variability of microenvironmental exposures. This paper critically considers and stati...

  19. Trace concentrations of imazethapyr (IM) affect floral organs development and reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana: IM-induced inhibition of key genes regulating anther and pollen biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Li, Yali; Sun, Chongchong; Lavoie, Michel; Xie, Jun; Bai, Xiaocui; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how herbicides affect plant reproduction and growth is critical to develop herbicide toxicity model and refine herbicide risk assessment. Although our knowledge of herbicides toxicity mechanisms at the physiological and molecular level in plant vegetative phase has increased substantially in the last decades, few studies have addressed the herbicide toxicity problematic on plant reproduction. Here, we determined the long-term (4-8 weeks) effect of a chiral herbicide, imazethapyr (IM), which has been increasingly used in plant crops, on floral organ development and reproduction in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. More specifically, we followed the effect of two IM enantiomers (R- and S-IM) on floral organ structure, seed production, pollen viability and the transcription of key genes involved in anther and pollen development. The results showed that IM strongly inhibited the transcripts of genes regulating A. thaliana tapetum development (DYT1: DYSFUNCTIONAL TAPETUM 1), tapetal differentiation and function (TDF1: TAPETAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION1), and pollen wall formation and developments (AMS: ABORTED MICROSPORES, MYB103: MYB DOMAIN PROTEIN 103, MS1: MALE STERILITY 1, MS2: MALE STERILITY 2). Since DYT1 positively regulates 33 genes involved in cell-wall modification (such as, TDF1, AMS, MYB103, MS1, MS2) that can catalyze the breakdown of polysaccharides to facilitate anther dehiscence, the consistent decrease in the transcription of these genes after IM exposure should hamper anther opening as observed under scanning electron microscopy. The toxicity of IM on anther opening further lead to a decrease in pollen production and pollen viability. Furthermore, long-term IM exposure increased the number of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites (AP sites) in the DNA of A. thaliana and also altered the DNA of A. thaliana offspring grown in IM-free soils. Toxicity of IM on floral organs development and reproduction was generally higher in the presence of the R

  20. Conscientious objection to sexual and reproductive health services: international human rights standards and European law and practice.

    PubMed

    Zampas, Christina; Andión-Ibañez, Ximena

    2012-06-01

    The practice of conscientious objection often arises in the area of individuals refusing to fulfil compulsory military service requirements and is based on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as protected by national, international and regional human rights law. The practice of conscientious objection also arises in the field of health care, when individual health care providers or institutions refuse to provide certain health services based on religious, moral or philosophical objections. The use of conscientious objection by health care providers to reproductive health care services, including abortion, contraceptive prescriptions, and prenatal tests, among other services is a growing phenomena throughout Europe. However, despite recent progress from the European Court of Human Rights on this issue (RR v. Poland, 2011), countries and international and regional bodies generally have failed to comprehensively and effectively regulate this practice, denying many women reproductive health care services they are legally entitled to receive. The Italian Ministry of Health reported that in 2008 nearly 70% of gynaecologists in Italy refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds. It found that between 2003 and 2007 the number of gynaecologists invoking conscientious objection in their refusal to perform an abortion rose from 58.7 percent to 69.2 percent. Italy is not alone in Europe, for example, the practice is prevalent in Poland, Slovakia, and is growing in the United Kingdom. This article outlines the international and regional human rights obligations and medical standards on this issue, and highlights some of the main gaps in these standards. It illustrates how European countries regulate or fail to regulate conscientious objection and how these regulations are working in practice, including examples of jurisprudence from national level courts and cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, the article will provide recommendations

  1. The Sleeping Beauty: How Reproductive Diapause Affects Hormone Signaling, Metabolism, Immune Response and Somatic Maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Kubrak, Olga I.; Kučerová, Lucie; Theopold, Ulrich; Nässel, Dick R.

    2014-01-01

    Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy. PMID:25393614

  2. The sleeping beauty: how reproductive diapause affects hormone signaling, metabolism, immune response and somatic maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kubrak, Olga I; Kučerová, Lucie; Theopold, Ulrich; Nässel, Dick R

    2014-01-01

    Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy. PMID:25393614

  3. Aversive pavlovian responses affect human instrumental motor performance.

    PubMed

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    IN NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY, AN INFLUENTIAL PERSPECTIVE DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN TWO KINDS OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology.

  4. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  5. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2005-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to…

  6. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Children's Perception of Nonlinguistic Human Affective Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pollak, Seth D.; Holt, Lori L.; Fries, Alison B. Wismer

    2004-01-01

    In the present work, we developed a database of nonlinguistic sounds that mirror prosodic characteristics typical of language and thus carry affective information, but do not convey linguistic information. In a dichotic-listening task, we used these novel stimuli as a means of disambiguating the relative contributions of linguistic and affective…

  7. Perilous plasticizers - are phthalate esters a risk for human reproductive health?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phthalate diesters are high-production volume chemicals used to impart flexibility to polyvinyl chloride plastic (e.g. children’s toys and medical tubing) as well as other products (e.g. health and beauty products). Certain phthalate esters inhibit reproductive development in la...

  8. Perilous plastics - are phthalate esters a risk for human reproductive health?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phthalate diesters are high-production volume chemicals used to impart flexibility to polyvinyl chloride plastic (e.g. children’s toys and medical tubing) and are also found in other products (e.g. health and beauty products). Certain phthalate esters inhibit reproductive develop...

  9. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through “hacking” a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  10. Polymorphic Regions Affecting Human Height Also Control Stature in Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Pryce, Jennie E.; Hayes, Ben J.; Bolormaa, Sunduimijid; Goddard, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    Orthologous positions of 55 genes associated with height in four human populations were located on the bovine genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms close to eight of these genes were significantly associated with stature in cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus). This suggests that these genes may contribute to controlling stature across mammalian species. PMID:21212230

  11. Elevated corticosterone levels decrease reproductive output of chick-rearing Adélie penguins but do not affect chick mass at fledging

    PubMed Central

    Thierry, Anne-Mathilde; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Raclot, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Study of physiological mechanisms can help us to understand how animals respond to changing environmental conditions. In particular, stress hormones (i.e. glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone) are described as mediating resource allocation, allowing animals to adjust their physiology and behaviour to predictable and unpredictable changes in the environment. In this study, we investigated the effects of an experimental increase in baseline corticosterone levels on the breeding effort and the reproductive output of chick-rearing male Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). The number of chicks per nest, their body mass, and their size were monitored throughout the study. Direct observations allowed measurement of the time spent foraging at sea and caring for the young on the nest. At the end of the treatment, blood samples were collected for isotope analysis. Although all birds raised at least one chick, reproductive output was decreased by 42% in corticosterone-treated birds compared with control birds. The increase in corticosterone levels during the guard stage did not affect the mass of surviving chicks or the brood mass at fledging. Corticosterone-treated males spent on average 21% more time at the nest than control birds. However, the duration of foraging trips was similar between both groups. In addition, the similarity of isotopic signatures suggests that both groups foraged at similar locations and ingested the same prey species. The detailed on-land behaviour of birds should be examined in further studies to clarify the possible links between corticosterone levels, brooding time, and reproductive output. Understanding the relationships between glucocorticoids, fitness, and ultimately population dynamics is fundamental to enabling conservation physiology as a discipline to be successful in helping to manage species of conservation concern. PMID:27293591

  12. Long-term pyrene exposure of grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, affects molting and reproduction of exposed males and offspring of exposed females.

    PubMed Central

    Oberdörster, E; Brouwer, M; Hoexum-Brouwer, T; Manning, S; McLachlan, J A

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of long-term pyrene exposure on molting and reproduction in the model estuarine invertebrate, the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). Grass shrimp were exposed to measured concentrations of 5.1, 15.0, and 63. 4 ppb (microg/L) pyrene for 6 weeks, during which time we determined molting and survivorship. At the end of the exposure, we immediately sacrificed some of the shrimp for biomarker (CYP1A and vitellin) analyses. The remaining shrimp were used to analyze fecundity and embryo survivorship during an additional 6 weeks after termination of pyrene exposure. Male shrimp at the highest pyrene dose (63 ppb) experienced a significant delay in molting and in time until reproduction, and showed elevated ethoxycoumarin o-deethylase (ECOD) activity immediately after the 6-week exposure period. In contrast, 63 ppb pyrene did not affect these parameters in female shrimp. Females produced the same number of eggs per body weight, with high egg viability (98-100%) at all exposure levels, but with decreased survival for the offspring of the 63-ppb pyrene-exposed females. In addition, vitellin levels were elevated only in females at 63 ppb pyrene after the 6-week exposure. We hypothesize that the elevated vitellin binds pyrene and keeps it biologically unavailable to adult females, resulting in maternal transfer of pyrene to the embryos. This would account for the lack of effect of pyrene exposure on ECOD activity, molting, and reproduction in the adult females, and for reduced survival of their offspring. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10903618

  13. The Entomopathogenic Fungal Endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (Formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana Negatively Affect Cotton Aphid Reproduction under Both Greenhouse and Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  14. The entomopathogenic fungal endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana negatively affect cotton aphid reproduction under both greenhouse and field conditions.

    PubMed

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  15. Neural evidence that human emotions share core affective properties.

    PubMed

    Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2013-06-01

    Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect--a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A neuroimaging study revealed that participants' subjective ratings of valence (i.e., pleasure/displeasure) and of arousal evoked by various fear, happiness, and sadness experiences correlated with neural activity in specific brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, respectively). We observed these correlations across diverse instances within each emotion category, as well as across instances from all three categories. Consistent with a psychological construction approach to emotion, the results suggest that neural circuitry realizes more basic processes across discrete emotions. The implicated brain regions regulate the body to deal with the world, producing the affective changes at the core of emotions and many other psychological phenomena.

  16. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture. PMID:27213896

  17. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture. PMID:27213896

  18. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  19. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  20. Darwinian and demographic forces affecting human protein coding genes

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Rasmus; Hubisz, Melissa J.; Hellmann, Ines; Torgerson, Dara; Andrés, Aida M.; Albrechtsen, Anders; Gutenkunst, Ryan; Adams, Mark D.; Cargill, Michele; Boyko, Adam; Indap, Amit; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Clark, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    Past demographic changes can produce distortions in patterns of genetic variation that can mimic the appearance of natural selection unless the demographic effects are explicitly removed. Here we fit a detailed model of human demography that incorporates divergence, migration, admixture, and changes in population size to directly sequenced data from 13,400 protein coding genes from 20 European-American and 19 African-American individuals. Based on this demographic model, we use several new and established statistical methods for identifying genes with extreme patterns of polymorphism likely to be caused by Darwinian selection, providing the first genome-wide analysis of allele frequency distributions in humans based on directly sequenced data. The tests are based on observations of excesses of high frequency–derived alleles, excesses of low frequency–derived alleles, and excesses of differences in allele frequencies between populations. We detect numerous new genes with strong evidence of selection, including a number of genes related to psychiatric and other diseases. We also show that microRNA controlled genes evolve under extremely high constraints and are more likely to undergo negative selection than other genes. Furthermore, we show that genes involved in muscle development have been subject to positive selection during recent human history. In accordance with previous studies, we find evidence for negative selection against mutations in genes associated with Mendelian disease and positive selection acting on genes associated with several complex diseases. PMID:19279335

  1. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  2. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M.; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants and

  3. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  4. Dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol affect the gonad development and reproductive performance of starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jiying; Li, Baoshan; Liu, Xudong; Ma, Jingjing; Wang, Shixin; Zhang, Limin

    2014-03-01

    The present trial was conducted with starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock to evaluate the effects of dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid, and α-tocopherol on the gonadal development and reproductive performance. 8 000 IU/kg diet vitamin A (VA group), 500 mg/kg diet ascorbic acid (Vcpp group), or 250 mg/kg diet α-tocopherol (α-TA group) was added into basal diet to create 3 vitamin experimental diets, respectively. Each diet was fed to 450 starry flounder broodstock for 104 days. Samples were collected weekly. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) of 3 vitamin experimental groups first decreased and then increased. Maximum GSI of Vcpp group was higher than that of α-TA group but lower than that of VA group. The spawning periods of 3 vitamin experimental groups lasted 49, 56, and 45 days, respectively. No mature eggs were observed in the control group during the trial. The absolute fecundity (AF) and relative fecundity (RF) of α-TA group was higher than that of Vcpp group but lower than that of VA group. The results suggest that different vitamins play different roles in the fish reproductive process. Vitamin A stimulated the maturation of the ovary, ascorbic acid prolonged the spawning period, and α-tocopherol affected the development of the eggs.

  5. How sensory properties of foods affect human feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Rolls, B J; Rowe, E A; Rolls, E T

    1982-09-01

    The sensory properties of food which can lead to a decrease in the pleasantness of that food after it is eaten, and to enhanced food intake if that property of the food is changed by successive presentation of different foods, were investigated. After eating chocolates of one color the pleasantness of the taste of the eaten color declined more than of the non-eaten colors, although these chocolates differed only in appearance. The presentation of a variety of colors of chocolates, either simultaneously or successively, did not affect food intake compared with consumption of the subject's favorite color. Changes in the shape of food (which affects both appearance and mouth feel) were introduced by offering subjects three successive courses consisting of different shapes of pasta. Changes in shape led to a specific decrease in the pleasantness of the shape eaten and to a significant enhancement (14%) of food intake when three shapes were offered compared with intake of the subject's favorite shape. Changes in just the flavor of food (i.e., cream cheese sandwiches flavored with salt, or with the non-nutritive flavoring agents lemon and saccharin, or curry) led to a significant enhancement (15%) of food intake when all three flavors were presented successively compared with intake of the favorite. The experiments elucidate some of the properties of food which are involved in sensory specific satiety, and which determine the amount of food eaten. PMID:7178247

  6. Reproductive tract microbiome in assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has gained much attention recently for its role in health and disease. This interest has come as we have begun to scratch the surface of the complexity of what has been deemed to be our "second genome" through initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project. Microbes have been hypothesized to be involved in the physiology and pathophysiology of assisted reproduction since before the first success in IVF. Although the data supporting or refuting this hypothesis remain somewhat sparse, thanks to sequencing data from the 16S rRNA subunit, we have begun to characterize the microbiome in the male and female reproductive tracts and understand how this may play a role in reproductive competence. In this review, we discuss what is known about the microbiome of the reproductive tract as it pertains to assisted reproductive technologies.

  7. Assisted human reproduction--legal rights of the unborn in respect of avoidable damage.

    PubMed

    Adam, G M

    2007-06-01

    The author describes various risks to the foetus arising from assisted reproduction technology (ART). These risks are examined from the legal viewpoint, especially considering the rights of the foetus as interpreted in a number of jurisdictions. He distinguishes between the avoidable and inherent risks to the foetus resulting from ART and the potential hazards of ART relevant to criminal law. The basic internationally accepted conventions on foetal rights are compared relative to decisions in a number of cases heard and decided.

  8. Human erythrocytes are affected by the organochloride insecticide chlordane.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Rodríguez, C; Villena, F; Sotomayor, C P

    2005-05-01

    Chlordane is a widely used organochlorine insecticide. In order to evaluate its perturbing effect upon the morphology of human erythrocytes it was caused to interact with human red cells and molecular models of cell membranes. These consisted in bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) and of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), representative of phospholipid classes located in the inner and outer monolayers of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations indicated that this pesticide induced a significant alteration in the shape of the erythrocytes as they changed their discoid shape to spherocytes. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis, the shape changes induced in erythrocytes by foreign molecules are due to differential expansion of their two monolayers. The fact that chlordane produced spherocytes would indicate that the pesticide was equally located in the outer and the inner moieties of the red cell membrane. This conclusion was supported by the results obtained from X-ray diffraction studies. These showed that the hydrophobic and polar head regions of DMPC bilayers were perturbed when the insecticide was in a 1:10 molar ratio with respect to the lipid. These results were confirmed by the fluorescence experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV). Chlordane produced a sharp decrease in the anisotropy and general polarization parameters in the 0-0.1 mM range, implying an increase in the fluidity at the acyl chain and polar region of DMPC. On the other hand, the bilayer structure of DMPE was perturbed in a fashion similar to that observed by X-ray diffraction in DMPC, a fact that explains the morphological change induced by chlordane to the human erythrocytes. PMID:15778003

  9. Synthetic progestins medroxyprogesterone acetate and dydrogesterone and their binary mixtures adversely affect reproduction and lead to histological and transcriptional alterations in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanbin; Castiglioni, Sara; Fent, Karl

    2015-04-01

    Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and dydrogesterone (DDG) are synthetic progestins widely used in human and veterinary medicine. Although aquatic organisms are exposed to them through wastewater and animal farm runoff, very little is known about their effects in the environment. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of the responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to MPA, DDG, and their binary mixtures at measured concentrations between 4.5 and 1663 ng/L. DDG and both mixtures impaired reproductive capacities (egg production) of breeding pairs and led to histological alterations of ovaries and testes and increased gonadosomatic index. Transcriptional analysis of up to 28 genes belonging to different pathways demonstrated alterations in steroid hormone receptors, steroidogenesis enzymes, and specifically, the circadian rhythm genes, in different organs of adult zebrafish and eleuthero-embryos. Alterations occurred even at environmentally relevant concentrations of 4.5-4.8 ng/L MPA, DDG and the mixture in eleuthero-embryos and at 43-89 ng/L in adult zebrafish. Additionally, the mixtures displayed additive effects in most but not all parameters in adults and eleuthero-embryos, suggesting concentration addition. Our data suggest that MPA and DDG and their mixtures induce multiple transcriptional responses at environmentally relevant concentrations and adverse effects on reproduction and gonad histology at higher levels.

  10. Conditional deletion of the relaxin receptor gene in cells of smooth muscle lineage affects lower reproductive tract in pregnant mice.

    PubMed

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Huang, Zaohua; Lopez, Carolina; Conrad, Kirk; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2015-04-01

    Relaxin hormone secreted into the circulation during pregnancy was discovered through its effects on pubic symphysis relaxation and parturition. Genetic inactivation of the relaxin gene or its cognate relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) in mice caused failure of parturition and mammary nipple enlargement, as well as increased collagen fiber density in the cervix and vagina. However, the relaxin effect on discrete cells and tissues has yet to be determined. Using transgenic mice with a knockin LacZ reporter in the Rxfp1 allele, we showed strong expression of this gene in vaginal and cervical stromal cells, as well as pubic ligament cells. We produced a floxed Rxfp1 allele that was used in combination with the Tagln-cre transgene to generate mice with a smooth muscle-specific gene knockout. In pregnant females, the ROSA26 reporter activated by Tagln-cre was detected in smooth muscle cells of the cervix, vagina, uterine artery, and in cells of the pubic symphysis. In late pregnant females with conditional gene ablation, the length of pubic symphysis was significantly reduced compared with wild-type or heterozygous Rxfp1(+/-) females. Denser collagen content was revealed by Masson trichrome staining in reproductive tract organs, uterine artery, and pubic symphysis. The cervical and vaginal epithelium was less developed than in heterozygous or wild-type females, although nipple size was normal and the dams were able to nurse their pups. In summary, our data indicate that relaxin/RXFP1 signaling in smooth muscle cells is important for normal collagen turnover and relaxation of the pubic symphysis during pregnancy.

  11. Diabetes and the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Poretsky, Leonid

    2013-12-01

    The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathways and glucose metabolism act as mediators of human ovarian function and female fertility. In normal insulin action, insulin binds to its own receptors in the ovary to mediate steroidogenesis and act as a co-gonadotropin. Insulin with other factors may influence ovarian growth and cyst formation. The IGF pathway also seems to influence normal ovarian function. Insulin signaling affects reproductive function. Dysregulation of this pathway leads to altered puberty, ovulation, and fertility. Better understanding of the normal physiology and pathophysiology of insulin, IGF, and glucose effects on the human reproductive system will allow for better outcomes.

  12. Factors affecting speed in human-powered vehicles.

    PubMed

    White, A P

    1994-10-01

    It is shown how to derive the appropriate cubic equation relating power and the effects of friction, gradient and wind resistance on the speed of a human-powered vehicle (HPV). The effects of gradient and wind resistance are explored for parameters representing a typical racing cyclist. The principal conclusion may be summarized as follows: for optimum performance in a time trial, there should be no wind and the course should be level. Any deviation from these conditions will produce a decrement in performance.

  13. Human adverse reproductive outcomes and electromagnetic field exposures: review of epidemiologic studies.

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, G M; Croen, L A

    1993-01-01

    Concerns have been raised regarding a relation between residential and occupational electromagnetic (EM) field exposures and adverse reproductive effects. This paper reviews the epidemiologic evidence for this possible relation, including some pertinent methodologic issues, notes relevant findings from the experimental literature, and discusses areas for future research. Evidence is lacking for a strong association between a woman's use of a video display terminal (VDT) during pregnancy and spontaneous abortion. The evidence for a strong association between a women's use of a VDT and other adverse reproductive endpoints is also lacking, with some suggestive findings for congenital malformations and too few data to reach a conclusion about other endpoints. With respect to low-level EM field exposures other than VDTs, the paucity of data prevents one from determining whether there are reproductive health risks associated with such exposures. Therefore, this is an area that needs further investigation. Given that altered growth may be an underlying biologic effect of EM field exposures, endpoints that might be pursued in future studies include congenital malformations not associated with chromosomal anomalies, intrauterine growth retardation, and chromosomally normal spontaneous abortions. PMID:8206019

  14. Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-09-22

    Recent studies have shown that, in contemporary populations, tall men have greater reproductive success than shorter men. This appears to be due to their greater ability to attract mates. To our knowledge, no comparable results have yet been reported for women. This study used data from Britain's National Child Development Study to examine the life histories of a nationally representative group of women. Height was weakly but significantly related to reproductive success. The relationship was U-shaped, with deficits at the extremes of height. This pattern was largely due to poor health among extremely tall and extremely short women. However, the maximum reproductive success was found below the mean height for women. Thus, selection appears to be sexually disruptive in this population, favouring tall men and short women. Over evolutionary time, such a situation tends to maintain sexual dimorphism. Men do not use stature as a positive mate-choice criterion as women do. It is argued that there is good evolutionary reason for this, because men are orientated towards cues of fertility, and female height, being positively related to age of sexual maturity, is not such a cue.

  15. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Rigby, Francesca L; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-08-01

    A leading hypothesis proposes that increased human life span since 1850 has resulted from decreased exposure to childhood infections, which has reduced chronic inflammation and later-life mortality rates, particularly from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Early-life cohort mortality rate often predicts later-life survival in humans, but such associations could arise from factors other than disease exposure. Additionally, the impact of early-life disease exposure on reproduction remains unknown, and thus previous work ignores a major component of fitness through which selection acts upon life-history strategy. We collected data from seven 18th- and 19th-century Finnish populations experiencing naturally varying mortality and fertility levels. We quantified early-life disease exposure as the detrended child mortality rate from infectious diseases during an individual's first 5 y, controlling for important social factors. We found no support for an association between early-life disease exposure and all-cause mortality risk after age 15 or 50. We also found no link between early-life disease exposure and probability of death specifically from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer. Independent of survival, there was no evidence to support associations between early-life disease exposure and any of several aspects of reproductive performance, including lifetime reproductive success and age at first birth, in either males or females. Our results do not support the prevailing assertion that exposure to infectious diseases in early life has long-lasting associations with later-life all-cause mortality risk or mortality putatively linked to chronic inflammation. Variation in adulthood conditions could therefore be the most likely source of recent increases in adult life span. PMID:27457937

  16. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Rigby, Francesca L; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-08-01

    A leading hypothesis proposes that increased human life span since 1850 has resulted from decreased exposure to childhood infections, which has reduced chronic inflammation and later-life mortality rates, particularly from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Early-life cohort mortality rate often predicts later-life survival in humans, but such associations could arise from factors other than disease exposure. Additionally, the impact of early-life disease exposure on reproduction remains unknown, and thus previous work ignores a major component of fitness through which selection acts upon life-history strategy. We collected data from seven 18th- and 19th-century Finnish populations experiencing naturally varying mortality and fertility levels. We quantified early-life disease exposure as the detrended child mortality rate from infectious diseases during an individual's first 5 y, controlling for important social factors. We found no support for an association between early-life disease exposure and all-cause mortality risk after age 15 or 50. We also found no link between early-life disease exposure and probability of death specifically from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer. Independent of survival, there was no evidence to support associations between early-life disease exposure and any of several aspects of reproductive performance, including lifetime reproductive success and age at first birth, in either males or females. Our results do not support the prevailing assertion that exposure to infectious diseases in early life has long-lasting associations with later-life all-cause mortality risk or mortality putatively linked to chronic inflammation. Variation in adulthood conditions could therefore be the most likely source of recent increases in adult life span.

  17. Disturbances of electrodynamic activity affect abortion in human

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jandová, A.; Nedbalová, M.; Kobilková, J.; Čoček, A.; Dohnalová, A.; Cifra, M.; Pokorný, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biochemical research of biological systems is highly developed, and it has disclosed a spectrum of chemical reactions, genetic processes, and the pathological development of various diseases. The fundamental hypothesis of physical processes in biological systems, in particular of coherent electrically polar vibrations and electromagnetic activity, was formulated by H. Fröhlich he assumed connection of cancer process with degradation of coherent electromagnetic activity. But the questions of cellular structures capable of the coherent electrical polar oscillation, mechanisms of energy supply, and the specific role of the endogenous electromagnetic fields in transport, organisation, interactions, and information transfer remained open. The nature of physical disturbances caused by some diseases (including the recurrent abortion in humans and the cancer) was unknown. We have studied the reasons of recurrent abortions in humans by means of the cell mediated immunity (using immunologic active RNA prepared from blood of inbred laboratory mice strain C3H/H2K, infected with the lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus-LD V) and the cytogenetic examination from karyotype pictures. The recurrent abortion group contained women with dg. spontaneous abortion (n = 24) and the control group was composed of 30 healthy pregnant women. Our hypothesis was related to quality of endometrium in relation to nidation of the blastocyst. The energetic insufficiency (ATP) inhibits normal development of fetus and placenta. We hope that these ideas might have impact on further research, which could provide background for effective interdisciplinary cooperation of malignant and non-malignant diseases.

  18. Designing prospective cohort studies for assessing reproductive and developmental toxicity during sensitive windows of human reproduction and development--the LIFE Study.

    PubMed

    Buck Louis, Germaine M; Schisterman, Enrique F; Sweeney, Anne M; Wilcosky, Timothy C; Gore-Langton, Robert E; Lynch, Courtney D; Boyd Barr, Dana; Schrader, Steven M; Kim, Sungduk; Chen, Zhen; Sundaram, Rajeshwari

    2011-09-01

    The relationship between the environment and human fecundity and fertility remains virtually unstudied from a couple-based perspective in which longitudinal exposure data and biospecimens are captured across sensitive windows. In response, we completed the LIFE Study with methodology that intended to empirically evaluate a priori purported methodological challenges: implementation of population-based sampling frameworks suitable for recruiting couples planning pregnancy; obtaining environmental data across sensitive windows of reproduction and development; home-based biospecimen collection; and development of a data management system for hierarchical exposome data. We used two sampling frameworks (i.e., fish/wildlife licence registry and a direct marketing database) for 16 targeted counties with presumed environmental exposures to persistent organochlorine chemicals to recruit 501 couples planning pregnancies for prospective longitudinal follow-up while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Enrolment rates varied from <1% of the targeted population (n = 424,423) to 42% of eligible couples who were successfully screened; 84% of the targeted population could not be reached, while 36% refused screening. Among enrolled couples, ∼ 85% completed daily journals while trying; 82% of pregnant women completed daily early pregnancy journals, and 80% completed monthly pregnancy journals. All couples provided baseline blood/urine samples; 94% of men provided one or more semen samples and 98% of women provided one or more saliva samples. Women successfully used urinary fertility monitors for identifying ovulation and home pregnancy test kits. Couples can be recruited for preconception cohorts and will comply with intensive data collection across sensitive windows. However, appropriately sized sampling frameworks are critical, given the small percentage of couples contacted found eligible and reportedly planning pregnancy at any point in time.

  19. In utero exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants and reproductive health in the human male

    PubMed Central

    Vested, Anne; Ramlau-Hansen, Cecilia H; Olsen, Sjurdur F; Bonde, Jens Peter; Støvring, Henrik; Kristensen, Susanne L; Halldorsson, Thorhallur I; Rantakokko, Panu; Kiviranta, Hannu; Ernst, Emil H; Toft, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitous, bioaccumulative compounds with potential endocrine-disrupting effects. They cross the placental barrier thereby resulting in in utero exposure of the developing fetus. The objective of this study was to investigate whether maternal serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) during pregnancy are associated with son's semen quality and reproductive hormone levels. During 2008–2009, we recruited 176 male offspring from a Danish cohort of pregnant women who participated in a study in 1988–1989. Each provided semen and blood samples that were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and reproductive hormone levels, respectively. The maternal blood samples were collected in pregnancy week 30 and were analyzed for the concentrations of six PCBs (PCB-118, -138, -153, -156, -170, and -180) and p,p′-DDE. The potential associations between in utero exposure to ΣPCBs (pmol/ml), Σdioxin like-(DL) PCBs (PCB-118 and -156) (pmol/ml), and p,p′-DDE and semen quality and reproductive hormone levels were investigated using multiple regression. Maternal median (range) exposure levels of ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p′-DDE were 10.0 (2.1–35.0) pmol/ml, 0.8 (0.2–2.7) pmol/ml, and 8.0 (0.7–55.3) pmol/ml, respectively, reflecting typical background exposure levels in the late 1980s in Denmark. Results suggested that in utero exposure to ΣPCB, ΣDL-PCB, and p,p′-DDE was not statistically significantly associated with semen quality measures or reproductive hormone levels. Thus, results based on maternal PCB and p,p′-DDE concentrations alone are not indicative of long-term consequences for male reproductive health; however, we cannot exclude that these POPs in concert with other endocrine-modulating compounds may have adverse effects. PMID:25190505

  20. Free radicals and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ashok; Allamaneni, Shyam S R

    2011-03-01

    Male factor accounts for almost 50% cases of infertility. The exact mechanism of sperm dysfunction is not known in many cases. Extensive research in the last decade has led to the identification of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) as mediators of sperm dysfunction in both specific diagnoses and idiopathic cases of male infertility. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species are seen in up to 30-80% of men with male infertility. The role of free radicals has been studied extensively in the process of human reproduction. We know now that a certain level of free radicals is necessary for normal sperm function, whereas an excessive level of free radicals can cause detrimental effect on sperm function and subsequent fertilisation and offspring health. Oxidative stress develops when there is an imbalance between generation of free radicals and scavenging capacity of anti-oxidants in reproductive tract. Oxidative stress has been shown to affect both standard semen parameters and fertilising capacity. In addition, high levels of free radicals have been associated with lack of or poor fertility outcome after natural conception or assisted reproduction. Diagnostic techniques to quantify free radicals in infertile patients can assist physicians treating patients with infertility to plan for proper treatment strategies. In vivo anti-oxidants can be used against oxidative stress in male reproductive tract. Supplementation of in vitro anti-oxidants can help prevent the oxidative stress during sperm preparation techniques in assisted reproduction.

  1. Human Sperm Quality and Metal Toxicants: Protective Effects of some Flavonoids on Male Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Jamalan, Mostafa; Ghaffari, Mohammad Ali; Hoseinzadeh, Pooneh; Hashemitabar, Mahmoud; Zeinali, Majid

    2016-01-01

    Background Metals can cause male infertility through affection of spermatogenesis and sperm quality. Strong evidences confirm that male infertility in metal-exposed humans is mediated via various mechanisms such as production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Flavonoids have antioxidant and metal chelating properties which make them suitable candidates for neutralizing adverse effects of metals on semen quality. In the current study, we have evaluated the effects of five types of flavonoids (rutin, naringin, kaempferol, quercetin, and catechin) on recovery of sperm motility and prevention of membrane oxidative damage from aluminum chloride (AlCl3), cadmium chloride (CdCl2), and lead chloride (PbCl4). Materials and Methods In this experimental study, motility and lipid peroxidation of metalexposed sperm was investigated in the presence of different concentrations of five kinds of flavonoids. Malondialdehyde (MDA) production was assessed as a lipid peroxidation marker. Results Aluminum chloride (AlCl3), cadmium chloride (CdCl2), and lead chloride (PbCl4) diminished sperm motility. Treatment of metal-exposed sperm with rutin, naringin, and kaempferol attenuated the negative effects of the metals on sperm motility. Quercetin and catechin decreased the motility of metal-exposed sperm. Conclusion Based on the MDA production results, only AlCl3 significantly induced lipid peroxidation. Treatment with rutin, naringin, and kaempferol significantly decreased MDA production. PMID:27441055

  2. Human monocyte differentiation stage affects response to arachidonic acid.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarez, Elizabeth; Pelaez, Carlos A; García, Luis F; Rojas, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    AA-induced cell death mechanisms acting on human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), U937 promonocytes and PMA-differentiated U937 cells were studied. Arachidonic acid induced apoptosis and necrosis in monocytes and U937 cells but only apoptosis in MDM and U937D cells. AA increased both types of death in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected cells and increased the percentage of TNFalpha+ cells and reduced IL-10+ cells. Experiments blocking these cytokines indicated that AA-mediated death was TNFalpha- and IL-10-independent. The differences in AA-mediated cell death could be explained by high ROS, calpain and sPLA-2 production and activity in monocytes. Blocking sPLA-2 in monocytes and treatment with antioxidants favored M. tuberculosis control whereas AA enhanced M. tuberculosis growth in MDM. Such evidence suggested that AA-modulated effector mechanisms depend on mononuclear phagocytes' differentiation stage.

  3. International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdson, Alice J.; Ha, Mina; Hauptmann, Michael; Bhatti, Parveen; Sram, Radim J.; Beskid, Olena; Tawn, E. Janet; Whitehouse, Caroline A.; Lindholm, Carita; Nakano, Mimako; Kodama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Nori; Vorobtsova, Irena; Oestreicher, Ursula; Stephan, Günther; Yong, Lee C.; Bauchinger, Manfred; Schmid, Ernst; Chung, Hai Won; Darroudi, Firouz; Roy, Laurence; Voisin, Phillipe; Barquinero, Joan F.; Livingston, Gordon; Blakey, David; Hayata, Isamu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Chunyan; Bennett, L. Michelle; Littlefield, L. Gayle; Edwards, Alan A.; Kleinerman, Ruth A.; Tucker, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes. PMID:18337160

  4. Pregnancy does not affect human olfactory detection thresholds.

    PubMed

    Cameron, E Leslie

    2014-02-01

    Hyperosmia is suspected in pregnancy; however, no empirical study using validated measures of olfactory function has clearly confirmed the anecdotal reports of this phenomenon. The goal of the current study is to compare the olfactory sensitivity of pregnant women to that of nonpregnant women and men. All participants rated their sense of smell and pregnant women listed the odors to which they were most sensitive. Detection thresholds were measured using a well-validated protocol. A group of pregnant and nonpregnant women was studied longitudinally using a signal detection procedure designed to detect small differences in sensitivity. Pregnant women, particularly in the 1st trimester, rated their sense of smell to be higher than nonpregnant women and men and indicated many (primarily unpleasant) odors to which they were more sensitive. Women rated their sense of smell higher than men. However, there was no sex difference in thresholds and neither thresholds nor signal detection measures of sensitivity were significantly affected by either sex or pregnancy status. The implications of the lack of relationship between self-report and measures of olfactory sensitivity, particularly in pregnancy, are discussed.

  5. MISR Satellite Observations of Aerosol Types Affecting Human Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalashnikova, O. V.; Franklin, M.; Garay, M. J.; Diner, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Ground-based observations of pollutants and concentrations of particulate matter (PM), that includes small particles designated PM2.5 and dust-dominated PM10, are the gold standard in studies of environmental impacts on human health. However, because monitoring stations are costly, they typically provide only limited spatial coverage, especially in rural and remote areas. We will demonstrate how data from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument that has been flying on NASA's Terra Earth Observing System satellite since early 2000 can be used to provide estimates of surface PM types. The current MISR operational aerosol retrieval uses a combination of multi-spectral and multi-angle data to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD) and particle property information (including dust AOD) globally at 17.6 km spatial resolution. Using the same algorithm with data collected in all 36-channels at 275 m resolution (Local Mode), which is available over greater Los Angeles area, and also was activated during 2013 DISCOVER-AQ California field campaign, high-resolution 4.4 km aerosol retrievals were performed in addition to the standard 17.6 km retrievals. The 4.4 km spatial resolution of the PM information data is fine enough to be able to resolve local differences in PM loading that may be important for understanding regional health effects of pollution in the region. In particular, we demonstrate that MISR high-resolution AOD retrievals are in better agreement with ground-based aerosol observations and reveal more details about the aerosol spatial variability compared to the MISR standard 17.6 km product. Then we will discuss techniques and show examples of the application of high-resolution MISR data to provide estimates of surface PM for the greater Los Angeles area in 2008 and for California San Joaquin Valley during the 2013 DISCOVER-AQ field campaign. Finally, we will discuss future NASA instruments that will provide new information allowing for better

  6. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed Central

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-01-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios. PMID:9881474

  7. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-12-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios.

  8. Effects of expression of human or bovine growth hormone genes on sperm production and male reproductive performance in four lines of transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Bartke, A; Naar, E M; Johnson, L; May, M R; Cecim, M; Yun, J S; Wagner, T E

    1992-05-01

    Reproductive performance was studied in transgenic males from lines expressing and transmitting four hybrid genes: mouse metallothionein-I/human growth hormone (GH) (MT/hGH), MT/hGH placental variant (MT/hGH.V), MT/bovine GH (MT/bGH) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase/bGH (PEPCK/bGH). Each male was exposed to three normal females for 1 week and to three different normal females for another week. Females were examined for vaginal plugs and necropsied on day 14 of pregnancy. Males were killed for analysis of organ weights, numbers of testicular spermatids, numbers of epididymal sperm and measurements of plasma glucose concentration. Fertility of MT/hGH and MT/hGH.V transgenic males was significantly lower than in normal males, primarily because most males failed to impregnate any females. In females that became pregnant, the numbers of corpora lutea, total fetuses and live fetuses did not differ from those in females mated to normal (nontransgenic) males. Fetal crown-rump length on day 14 of pregnancy did not differ between litters sired by normal or by transgenic males. Weights of testes and seminal vesicles were significantly greater in all four types of transgenic male, but daily sperm production per unit weight (g-1) of testis was not affected and epididymal sperm reserves were either normal or slightly higher than normal. Plasma glucose concentrations were significantly higher in PEPCK/bGH mice than in other mice. Average or individual reproductive performance of transgenic males from the various lines did not correlate with any of the parameters examined except for significantly heavier seminal vesicles in MT/hGH and MT/hGH.V males than in normal males; these transgenic males exhibited a high incidence of infertility. Since hGH and hGH.V, but not bGH, are lactogenic in rodents, it was concluded that chronic stimulation of GH and prolactin receptors by ectopically produced human GHs in transgenic mice compromises male fertility by an unknown mechanism

  9. Family Poverty Affects the Rate of Human Infant Brain Growth

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jamie L.; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G.; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H.; Wolfe, Barbara L.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems. PMID:24349025

  10. Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H; Wolfe, Barbara L; Pollak, Seth D

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems.

  11. Maternal administration of flutamide during late gestation affects the brain and reproductive organs development in the rat male offspring.

    PubMed

    Pallarés, M E; Adrover, E; Imsen, M; González, D; Fabre, B; Mesch, V; Baier, C J; Antonelli, M C

    2014-10-10

    We have previously demonstrated that male rats exposed to stress during the last week of gestation present age-specific impairments of brain development. Since the organization of the fetal developing brain is subject to androgen exposure and prenatal stress was reported to disrupt perinatal testosterone surges, the aim of this research was to explore whether abnormal androgen concentrations during late gestation affects the