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Sample records for affect reproductive function

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

    Avian timing of reproduction is strongly affected by ambient temperature. Here we show that there is an additional effect of sunspots on laying date, from five long-term population studies of great and blue tits (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus), demonstrating for the first time that solar activity not only has an effect on population numbers but that it also affects the timing of animal behaviour. This effect is statistically independent of ambient temperature. In years with few sunspots, birds initiate laying late while they are often early in years with many sunspots. The sunspot effect may be owing to a crucial difference between the method of temperature measurements by meteorological stations (in the shade) and the temperatures experienced by the birds. A better understanding of the impact of all the thermal components of weather on the phenology of ecosystems is essential when predicting their responses to climate change. PMID:19574283

  4. Prenatal programming of neuroendocrine reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Evans, Neil P; Bellingham, Michelle; Robinson, Jane E

    2016-07-01

    It is now well recognized that the gestational environment can have long-lasting effects not only on the life span and health span of an individual but also, through potential epigenetic changes, on future generations. This article reviews the "prenatal programming" of the neuroendocrine systems that regulate reproduction, with a specific focus on the lessons learned using ovine models. The review examines the critical roles played by steroids in normal reproductive development before considering the effects of prenatal exposure to exogenous steroid hormones including androgens and estrogens, the effects of maternal nutrition and stress during gestation, and the effects of exogenous chemicals such as alcohol and environment chemicals. In so doing, it becomes evident that, to maximize fitness, the regulation of reproduction has evolved to be responsive to many different internal and external cues and that the GnRH neurosecretory system expresses a degree of plasticity throughout life. During fetal life, however, the system is particularly sensitive to change and at this time, the GnRH neurosecretory system can be "shaped" both to achieve normal sexually differentiated function but also in ways that may adversely affect or even prevent "normal function". The exact mechanisms through which these programmed changes are brought about remain largely uncharacterized but are likely to differ depending on the factor, the timing of exposure to that factor, and the species. It would appear, however, that some afferent systems to the GnRH neurons such as kisspeptin, may be critical in this regard as it would appear to be sensitive to a wide variety of factors that can program reproductive function. Finally, it has been noted that the prenatal programming of neuroendocrine reproductive function can be associated with epigenetic changes, which would suggest that in addition to direct effects on the exposed offspring, prenatal programming could have transgenerational effects on

  5. 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.

  6. Diabetes mellitus induced impairment of male reproductive functions: a review.

    PubMed

    Jangir, Ram Niwas; Jain, Gyan Chand

    2014-05-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents one of the greatest threats to human health all over the world. The incidence of DM is rising rapidly also including children and young persons of reproductive age. Diabetes has been associated with reproductive impairment in both men and women. Diabetes may affect male reproductive functions at multiple levels as a result of its effects on the endocrine control of spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis, sperm maturation, impairment of penile erection and ejaculation. A large number of studies both on diabetic men and experimental diabetic animals have been published on the impact of DM on male reproductive functions during the past few years but many of them have conflicting results. The present review summarizes the research finding of a large number of research papers on the reproductive functions especially on hypothalmo-pituitary-gonadal axis, spermatogenesis, histopathology of testis, synthesis and secretion of testosterone, sperm quality, ejaculatory function and fertility both in diabetic men and experimental diabetic animals.

  7. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; Boutin, Sébastien; Tsuchida, Tsutomu; Koga, Ryuichi; Le Gallic, Jean-François; Frantz, Adrien; Outreman, Yannick; Fukatsu, Takema

    2011-01-01

    Some bacterial symbionts alter their hosts reproduction through various mechanisms that enhance their transmission in the host population. In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum harbors several facultative symbionts influencing several aspects of host ecology. Aphids reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis whereby clonal and sexual reproduction alternate within the annual life cycle. Many species, including the pea aphid, also show variation in their reproductive mode at the population level, with some lineages reproducing by cyclical parthenogenesis and others by permanent parthenogenesis. While the role of facultative symbionts has been well studied during the parthenogenetic phase of their aphid hosts, very little is known on their possible influence during the sexual phase. Here we investigated whether facultative symbionts modulate the capacity to produce sexual forms in various genetic backgrounds of the pea aphid with controlled symbiont composition and also in different aphid genotypes from natural populations with previously characterized infection status and reproductive mode. We found that most facultative symbionts exhibited detrimental effects on their hosts fitness under sex-inducing conditions in comparison with the reference lines. We also showed that the loss of sexual phase in permanently parthenogenetic lineages of A. pisum was not explained by facultative symbionts. Finally, we demonstrated that Spiroplasma infection annihilated the production of males in the host progeny by inducing a male-killing phenotype, an unexpected result for organisms such as aphids that reproduce primarily through clonal reproduction.

  8. Environmental color affects Nile tilapia reproduction.

    PubMed

    Volpato, G L; Duarte, C R A; Luchiari, A C

    2004-04-01

    We investigated the effects of environmental color on the reproductive behavior of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Two environmental colors were tested by covering the aquarium (60 x 60 x 40 cm) with white (12 groups) or blue (13 groups) cellophane and observing reproductive behavior in groups of 2 males (10.27 +/- 0.45 cm) and 3 females (10.78 +/- 0.45 cm) each. After assignment to the respective environmental color (similar luminosity = 100 to 120 Lux), the animals were observed until reproduction (identified by eggs in the female's mouth) or up to 10 days after the first nest building. Photoperiod was from 6:00 h to 18:00 h every day. Food was offered in excess once a day and water quality was similar among aquaria. Daily observations were made at 8:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 17:00 h regarding: a) latency to the first nest, b) number of nests, c) gravel weight removed (the male excavates the nest in the bottom of the aquarium), d) nest area, and e) mouthbrooding incubation (indication of reproduction). The proportion of reproducing fish was significantly higher (6 of 13) in the group exposed to the blue color compared the group exposed to the white color (1 of 12; Goodman's test of proportions). Moreover, males under blue light removed significantly larger masses of gravel (blue = 310.70 +/- 343.50 g > white = 130.38 +/- 102.70 g; P = 0.01) and constructed wider nests (blue = 207.93 +/- 207.80 cm(2) > white = 97.68 +/- 70.64 cm(2); P = 0.03) than the control (white). The other parameters did not differ significantly between light conditions. We concluded that reproduction in the presence of blue light was more frequent and intense than in the presence of white light.

  9. Influence of epididymitis on reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Durglishvili, G; Galdava, G

    2013-02-01

    In our study 54 patients were diagnosed epididymitis caused by STI and in 6 (11.1%) cases inflammatory process spread on seminal vesicles which negatively affected the state of male reproductive function. After having unilateral epididymitis pathospermia developed in 76% of cases and infertility - in 55.6%. In patients who had unilateral acute epididymitis, infertility caused by urethritis of chlamidial aetiology developed in 70.4% of cases, infertility caused by urethritis of mycoplasmatic (ureaplasma) genesis - in 62.9% of cases and infertility caused by gonorrheal urethritis - in 29.6% of cases. At this moment following alterations of ejaculate are revealed: volume reduction, decrease in spermatozoid number, reduction of ability to move, increase in teratomatous forms, spermagglutination, etc. The best way for prevention of pathospermia and infertility is using modern and adequate treatment methods directed to maximally effective suppression of acute inflammatory process in epididymis and then restoration of its functions.

  10. 2.45-GHz microwave irradiation adversely affects reproductive function in male mouse, Mus musculus by inducing oxidative and nitrosative stress.

    PubMed

    Shahin, S; Mishra, V; Singh, S P; Chaturvedi, C M

    2014-05-01

    Electromagnetic radiations are reported to produce long-term and short-term biological effects, which are of great concern to human health due to increasing use of devices emitting EMR especially microwave (MW) radiation in our daily life. In view of the unavoidable use of MW emitting devices (microwaves oven, mobile phones, Wi-Fi, etc.) and their harmful effects on biological system, it was thought worthwhile to investigate the long-term effects of low-level MW irradiation on the reproductive function of male Swiss strain mice and its mechanism of action. Twelve-week-old mice were exposed to non-thermal low-level 2.45-GHz MW radiation (CW for 2 h/day for 30 days, power density = 0.029812 mW/cm(2) and SAR = 0.018 W/Kg). Sperm count and sperm viability test were done as well as vital organs were processed to study different stress parameters. Plasma was used for testosterone and testis for 3β HSD assay. Immunohistochemistry of 3β HSD and nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) was also performed in testis. We observed that MW irradiation induced a significant decrease in sperm count and sperm viability along with the decrease in seminiferous tubule diameter and degeneration of seminiferous tubules. Reduction in testicular 3β HSD activity and plasma testosterone levels was also noted in the exposed group of mice. Increased expression of testicular i-NOS was observed in the MW-irradiated group of mice. Further, these adverse reproductive effects suggest that chronic exposure to nonionizing MW radiation may lead to infertility via free radical species-mediated pathway.

  11. Pituitary function following treatment with reproductive toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, R.L.; Goldman, J.M.; Rehnberg, G.L.

    1986-12-01

    Appropriate regulation of reproductive processes are dependent upon the integrity of pituitary function. In this selected review, the authors evaluate the evidence that certain environmental compounds exert their effect on reproductive function via a direct action on the pituitary gland. They also discuss examples of changes in pituitary hormone secretion that occur in response to changes in neuronal or gonadal control of the pituitary. A limited number of studies suggest that measures of pituitary hormone secretion provide an early and sensitive measure of a compound's potential effects on the reproductive system. However, the most striking aspect of this area is the sparse and inconsistent information describing pituitary function following exposure to environmental pollutants.

  12. [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.

  13. Pituitary function following treatment with reproductive toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, R L; Goldman, J M; Rehnberg, G L

    1986-01-01

    Appropriate regulation of reproductive processes are dependent upon the integrity of pituitary function. In this selected review, we evaluate the evidence that certain environmental compounds exert their effect on reproductive function via a direct action on the pituitary gland. We also discuss examples of changes in pituitary hormone secretion that occur in response to changes in neuronal or gonadal control of the pituitary. A limited number of studies suggest that measures of pituitary hormone secretion provide an early and sensitive measure of a compound's potential effects on the reproductive system. However, the most striking aspect of this area is the sparse and inconsistent information describing pituitary function following exposure to environmental pollutants. PMID:3830104

  14. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a possible bioindicator of epigenetic factors present in drinking water that may affect reproductive function: is chorion an issue?

    PubMed

    Martinez-Sales, M; García-Ximénez, F; Espinós, F J

    2015-06-01

    Emerging organic contaminants have been monitored in stream waters, raw and finished waters and wastewater effluents. Most of these contaminants, such as epigenetic substances, have been detected at very low levels. Unfortunately, their complete monitoring and/or removal are very difficult, given the increasing presence of new contaminants and due to analytical and economic considerations. For this reason, bioindicators are used as an alternative to monitor their presence. To this end, zebrafish is being used to assess certain contaminants in water quality studies. As our long-term aim is to determine if zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used to detect environmental epigenetic factors in drinking waters with effects on human reproduction, an initial question is whether the chorion could interfere with the possible action of epigenetic factors in two reproductive events: genital ridge formation and migration of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to these genital ridges. In the first experiment, we attempted to partially degrade the chorion of mid blastula transition (MBT) embryos with pronase, with acceptable survival rates at 5 days post fertilisation (dpf), with the group exposed for 15 min giving the best survival results. As denuded early embryos require a specific culture medium, in the next experiment embryo survival was evaluated when they were cultured up to 5 dpf in drinking waters from six different sources. Results showed a negative effect on embryo survival at 5 dpf from several waters but not in others, thus distorting the survival outcomes. These results suggest using embryos with the chorion intact from the outset when drinking waters from different sources are to be tested.

  15. Prolonged oral treatment with an essential amino acid L-leucine does not affect female reproductive function and embryo-fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Mawatari, Kazunori; Katsumata, Toyohisa; Uematsu, Masanobu; Katsumata, Tomoyoshi; Yoshida, Junichi; Smriga, Miro; Kimura, Takeshi

    2004-09-01

    L-leucine, an essential amino acid, is one of the most popular ingredients in dietary supplements. To investigate a possibility of its embryo-fetal toxicity in rats, 11- to 12-week old dams were orally administered an aqueous solution of L-leucine at doses of 300 or 1000 mg/kg body weight on gestational days 7-17. Body weight and feed intake was evaluated throughout the whole course of pregnancy (days 0-20). L-Leucine did not influence body weight, but at a dose of 1000 mg/kg, slightly enhanced feed intake on days 14 and 18 of pregnancy. Caesarean section (day 20) revealed no influences on the litter size and weight of live-born fetuses, the number of corpora lutea, implantation index or the quality of placenta, and the minor increase in feed intake was considered irrelevant to the pregnancy outcomes. Fetuses were evaluated in a battery of external, visceral and skeletal examinations. No effects of L-leucine on gender ratio and external abnormalities, and no significant treatment-related variations in visceral and skeletal pathologies were observed. These results suggested that L-leucine, administered orally during organogenesis at doses up to 1000 mg/kg body weight, did not affect the outcome of pregnancy and did not cause fetotoxicity in rats.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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.

  19. Aging, mitochondria and male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Sandra; Ramalho-Santos, João

    2009-12-01

    The rise in life expectancy over the last century, together with higher maternal and paternal ages and have highlighted the issue of reduced fertility with advancing age. Aging of the male reproductive system is incited by multi-factorial changes at molecular, cellular and regulatory levels, and individual characteristics are highly variable, although strongly influenced by lifestyle and environmental factors. Damage accumulated with age leads to progressive deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and of local auto/paracrine interactions, thereby inducing changes in target organs such as the testis, penis and prostate. Elderly human males produce less testosterone, have fewer motile sperm and a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction and prostate disorders, all of which contribute to lower fertility. Cellular aging can manifest itself at several levels. Aging cells progressively accumulate "waste" products, resulting in a decreased functionally. Changes to mitochondria are among the most remarkable features observed in aging cells and several theories place mitochondria at the hub of cellular events related to aging, namely in terms of the accumulation of oxidative damage to cells and tissues, a process in which these organelles may play a prominent role, although alternative theories have also emerged. Furthermore, mitochondrial energy metabolism is also crucial for male reproductive function and mitochondria may therefore constitute a common link between aging and fertility loss.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Quantum dot nanoparticles affect the reproductive system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Pei-Chun L; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Al-Salim, Najeh; Hurst, Mark R H

    2012-10-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) are an increasingly important class of nanoparticle, but little ecotoxicological data for QDs has been published to date. The effects of mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA)-capped QDs (QDs-MSA) and equivalent concentrations of cadmium (Cd) from cadmium chloride on growth and reproduction of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Rhabditidae) were assessed in laboratory experiments. Growth from larvae to adults of C. elegans was unaffected by exposure to 1 µM fluorescent QDs-MSA, but adults produced more embryos and laid them prematurely. Furthermore, C. elegans exposed to QDs-MSA (1 µM) showed a high percentage of embryo mortality (19.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.001, percentage ± standard deviation) compared with unexposed nematodes (11.6 ± 0.4). An egg-laying defect phenotype was also observed at high frequency in response to 1 µM QDs-MSA exposure (38.3 ± 3.6%, p < 0.01; control 10.0 ± 2.2%). This resulted in a reduced mean life span (20.5 ± 1.1 d, p < 0.05) compared with the control (24.6 ± 1.0 d). Cadmium also caused reduced life span in C. elegans, but a low incidence of egg-laying defects was observed, suggesting that Cd and QDs-MSA affected C. elegans by different mechanisms. Furthermore, egg-laying defects caused by QDs-MSA responded to the addition of the anticonvulsant ethosuximide and to a lesser extent to the neurotransmitter serotonin, suggesting that QDs-MSA might have disrupted motor neurons during the reproduction process.

  3. Salt intake and reproductive function in sheep.

    PubMed

    Digby, S N; Chadwick, M A; Blache, D

    2011-06-01

    Producers have the possibility to combat human-induced dryland salinity by planting salt-tolerant plants such as saltbush. Saltbush has the potential to be used as a source of food for livestock at a time and place where pasture is not viable. However, saltbush contains high concentrations of sodium chloride salt and some other anti-nutritional factors that have the potential to affect feed and water intake and, directly or indirectly, the reproductive capacity of sheep. High-salt diet during gestation induces a small modification of the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) that has an important role in the maintenance of the salt-water balance in non-pregnant and pregnant sheep. In contrast, the main effect of salt ingestion during pregnancy is observed on the biology of the offspring, with changes in the response of the RAS to salt ingestion and altered thirst threshold in response to an oral salt ingestion. These changes, observed later in life, are the result of fetal programming following the ingestion of salt by the mother. It seems that the exposure to salt during pregnancy could provide an advantage to the offspring because of this adaptive response. The response may be particularly useful, for example, when grazing herbivores are fed halophytic forages adapted to saline soils.

  4. Introduction: circadian rhythm and its disruption: impact on reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Casper, Robert F; Gladanac, Bojana

    2014-08-01

    Almost all forms of life have predictable daily or circadian rhythms in molecular, endocrine, and behavioral functions. In mammals, a central pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei coordinates the timing of these rhythms. Daily light exposure that affects the retina of the eye directly influences this area, which is required to align endogenous processes to the appropriate time of day. The present "Views and Reviews" articles discuss the influence of circadian rhythms, especially nightly secretion of melatonin, on reproductive function and parturition. In addition, an examination is made of problems that arise from recurrent circadian rhythm disruption associated with changes in light exposure patterns common to modern day society. Finally, a possible solution to prevent disruptions in circadian phase markers by filtering out short wavelengths from nocturnal light is reviewed.

  5. Adverse effects of bisphenol A on male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Manfo, Faustin Pascal Tsagué; Jubendradass, Rajamanickam; Nantia, Edouard Akono; Moundipa, Paul Fewou; Mathur, Premendu Prakash

    2014-01-01

    BPA is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant, resulting mainly from manufacturing,use or disposal of plastics of which it is a component, and the degradation of industrial plastic-related wastes. Growing evidence from research on laboratory animals, wildlife, and humans supports the view that BPA produces an endocrine disrupting effect and adversely affects male reproductive function. To better understand the adverse effects caused by exposure to BPA, we performed an up-to-date literature review on the topic, with particular emphasis on in utero exposure, and associated effects on spermatogenesis, steroidogenesis, and accessory organs.BPA studies on experimental animals show that effects are generally more detrimental during in utero exposure, a critical developmental stage for the embryo. BPA has been found to produce several defects in the embryo, such as feminization of male fetuses, atrophy of the testes and epididymides, increased prostate size, shortening of AGD, disruption of BTB, and alteration of adult sperm parameters (e.g.,sperm count, motility, and density). BPA also affects embryo thyroid development.During the postnatal and pubertal periods and adulthood, BPA affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis by modulating hormone (e.g., LH and FSH,androgen and estrogen) synthesis, expression and function of respective receptors(ER, AR). These effects alter sperm parameters. BPA also induces oxidative stress in the testis and epididymis, by inhibiting antioxidant enzymes and stimulating lipid peroxidation. This suggests that employing antioxidants may be a promising strategy to relieve BPA-induced disturbances.Epidemiological studies have also provided data indicating that BPA alters male reproductive function in humans. These investigations revealed that men occupationally exposed to BPA had high blood/urinary BPA levels, and abnormal semen parameters. BPA-exposed men also showed reduced libido and erectile ejaculatory difficulties; moreover, the

  6. Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting reproduction in pigs.

    PubMed

    Cassady, J P; Johnson, R K; Pomp, D; Rohrer, G A; Van Vleck, L D; Spiegel, E K; Gilson, K M

    2001-03-01

    The objective of this research was to identify chromosomal regions harboring QTL affecting reproduction in pigs. A three-generation resource population was developed by crossing low-indexing pigs from a randomly selected control line (C) with high-indexing pigs of a line selected for increased index of ovulation rate and embryonic survival (I). Differences between Lines I and C at Generation 10 were 6.7 ova and 3.3 fetuses at 50 d of gestation and 3.1 fully formed and 1.6 live pigs at birth. Phenotypic data were collected on F2 females, born in three replicates, for ovulation rate (n = 423), age at puberty (n = 295), litter size (n = 370), and number of nipples (n = 428). Litter-size data included number of fully formed, live, stillborn, and mummified pigs. Grandparent, F1, and F2 animals were genotyped for 151 microsatellite markers distributed across all 18 autosomes and the X chromosome. Genotypic data were available on 423 F2 females. Average spacing between markers was 19.3 Kosambi centimorgans. Calculations of logarithms of odds (LOD) scores were by least squares, and fixed effects for sire-dam combination and replicate were included in the models. Genome-wide significance level thresholds of 5% and 10% were calculated using a permutation approach. There was evidence (P < 0.05) for QTL affecting ovulation rate on SSC9, age at puberty on SSC7 and SSC8, number of nipples on SSC8 and SSC11, number of stillborn pigs on SSC5 and SSC13, and number of fully formed pigs on SSC11. There was evidence (P < 0.10) for additional QTL affecting age at puberty on SSC7, SSC8, and SSC12, number born live on SSC11, and number of nipples on SSC1, SSC6, and SSC7. Litter size is lowly heritable and sex-limited. Therefore, accuracy of selection for litter size may be enhanced by marker-assisted selection. Ovulation rate and age at puberty are laborious to measure, and thus marker-assisted selection may provide a practical and efficient method of selection.

  7. Tracking Official Development Assistance for Reproductive Health in Conflict-Affected Countries

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Preeti; Roberts, Bayard; Guy, Samantha; Lee-Jones, Louise; Conteh, Lesong

    2009-01-01

    Background Reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries affected by armed conflict. Reliable information on aid investment for reproductive health in these countries is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid. The purpose of this study was to analyse official development assistance (ODA) for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006. Methods and Findings The Creditor Reporting System and the Financial Tracking System databases were the chosen data sources for the study. ODA disbursement for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries was analysed for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. An average of US$20.8 billion in total ODA was disbursed annually to the 18 conflict-affected countries between 2003 and 2006, of which US$509.3 million (2.4%) was allocated to reproductive health. This represents an annual average of US$1.30 disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Non-conflict-affected least-developed countries received 53.3% more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected least-developed countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment increased by 119.4% from 2003 to 2006. The ODA disbursed for other direct reproductive health activities declined by 35.9% over the same period. Conclusions This study provides evidence of inequity in disbursement of reproductive health ODA between conflict-affected countries and non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities. These findings and the study's recommendations seek to support initiatives to make aid financing more responsive to need in the context of armed conflict. PMID:19513098

  8. [Hormonal stimulation of reproductive function in swine].

    PubMed

    Hladkova, A I

    1993-01-01

    Industrial conditions, gynaecological disorders, ovarian deficiency being unfavourable factors for pigs reproduction, as well as the necessity in rapid sex maturation require thorough knowledge on physiology of reproduction processes. The importance belongs to the hormonal treatment in development of special biotechnological methods. Efficiency of the latter is determined by the kind of hormone used, its dose, injection time in sex cycle and the knowledge of species specificity of physiological regulation of reproductive processes in pigs of great value. The achievements in this country and abroad, devoted to the technology of oestrogens, gestagens, androgens and their combinations as well as gonadotropins (PMS, CG), gonadotropin-releasing hormone applications have been reviewed. The most often used schemes of hormonal treatment and drugs, as well as the results obtained have been described. The data presented can be used for needs of practical cattle-breeding.

  9. Fetal programming of sexual development and reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Zambrano, Elena; Guzmán, Carolina; Rodríguez-González, Guadalupe L; Durand-Carbajal, Marta; Nathanielsz, Peter W

    2014-01-25

    The recent growth of interest in developmental programming of physiological systems has generally focused on the cardiovascular system (especially hypertension) and predisposition to metabolic dysfunction (mainly obesity and diabetes). However, it is now clear that the full range of altered offspring phenotypes includes impaired reproductive function. In rats, sheep and nonhuman primates, reproductive capacity is altered by challenges experienced during critical periods of development. This review will examine available experimental evidence across commonly studied experimental species for developmental programming of female and male reproductive function throughout an individual's life-course. It is necessary to consider events that occur during fetal development, early neonatal life and prior to and during puberty, during active reproductive life and aging as reproductive performance declines.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Association between phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of reproductive function in 1066 Chinese men of reproductive age.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yitao; Jing, Jun; Dong, Fengshou; Yao, Qi; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Hongxia; Yao, Bing; Dai, Jiayin

    2015-12-30

    Phthalates are suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals that impair male reproductive function in animal and epidemiological studies. We investigated associations between urinary phthalate metabolites and acrosin activity, along with that between insulin like-factor 3 (INSL3), a Leydig cell function marker, in Chinese adult men and assessed the association between the metabolites and male reproductive function. Serum levels of INSL3 and other hormones, semen parameters, and urinary concentrations of 14 phthalate metabolites in 1066 men were measured. The unadjusted concentrations of phthalates were included as independent variables and urinary creatinine as a separate covariate. INSL3 was negatively associated with mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) and %MEHP [percentage of MEHP to all di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolites]. Acrosin activity was negatively associated with mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), MEHP and %MEHP. MBP and MiBP were also negatively associated with total testosterone (T), free androgen index (FAI), free testosterone (FT), luteinizing hormone (LH) and sperm morphology and positively associated with DNA fragmentation index (DFI). A negative association between %MEHP and sperm motility was observed. Several other metabolites were also associated with reproductive function. This is the first report on the inverse associations of phthalate metabolites with acrosin activity and INSL3. Phthalates may cause multiple adverse results on reproductive function at environmental levels.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The roles of melanin-concentrating hormone in energy balance and reproductive function: Are they connected?

    PubMed

    Naufahu, Jane; Cunliffe, Adam D; Murray, Joanne F

    2013-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an anabolic neuropeptide with multiple and diverse physiological functions including a key role in energy homoeostasis. Rodent studies have shown that the ablation of functional MCH results in a lean phenotype, increased energy expenditure and resistance to diet-induced obesity. These findings have generated interest among pharmaceutical companies vigilant for potential anti-obesity agents. Nutritional status affects reproductive physiology and behaviours, thereby optimising reproductive success and the ability to meet energetic demands. This complex control system entails the integration of direct or indirect peripheral stimuli with central effector systems and involves numerous mediators. A role for MCH in the reproductive axis has emerged, giving rise to the premise that MCH may serve as an integratory mediator between those discrete systems that regulate energy balance and reproductive function. Hence, this review focuses on published evidence concerning i) the role of MCH in energy homoeostasis and ii) the regulatory role of MCH in the reproductive axis. The question as to whether the MCH system mediates the integration of energy homoeostasis with the neuroendocrine reproductive axis and, if so, by what means has received limited coverage in the literature; evidence to date and current theories are summarised herein.

  16. Prepartum nutritional strategy affects reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, F C; LeBlanc, S J; Murphy, M R; Drackley, J K

    2013-09-01

    Negative energy balance during early postpartum is associated with reduced reproductive performance in dairy cows. A pooled statistical analysis of 7 studies completed in our group from 1993 to 2010 was conducted to investigate the association between prepartum energy feeding regimen and reproductive performance. The interval from calving to pregnancy (days to pregnancy, DTP) was the dependent variable to assess reproductive performance. Individual data for 408 cows (354 multiparous and 54 primiparous) were included in the analysis. The net energy for lactation (NEL) intake was determined from each cow's average dry matter intake and calculated dietary NEL density. Treatments applied prepartum were classified as either controlled-energy (CE; limited NEL intake to ≤100% of requirement) or high-energy (HE; cows were allowed to consume >100%) diets fed during the far-off (FO) or close-up (CU) dry periods. Cow was the experimental unit. The Cox proportional hazard model revealed that days to pregnancy was shorter for CE (median=157 d) than HE (median=167 d) diets during the CU period [hazard ratio (HR)=0.70]. Cows fed HE diets during the last 4 wk prepartum lost more body condition score in the first 6 wk postpartum than those fed CE diets (-0.43 and -0.30, respectively). Cows fed CE diets during the FO period had lower nonesterified fatty acids concentrations in wk 1, 2, and 3 of lactation than cows fed HE diets. Higher nonesterified fatty acids concentration in wk 1 postpartum was associated with a greater probability of disease (n=251; odds ratio=1.18). Cows on the CE regimen during the FO period had greater plasma glucose concentrations during wk 1 and 3 after calving than cows fed the HE regimen. Higher plasma glucose (HG) concentration compared with lower glucose (LG) in wk 3 (HG: n=154; LG: n=206) and wk 4 (HG: n=71; LG: n=254) after calving was associated with shorter days to pregnancy (wk 3: median=151 and 171 d for HG and LG, respectively, and HR=1.3; wk 4

  17. Does Coxiella burnetii affect reproduction in cattle? A clinical update.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Ispierto, I; Tutusaus, J; López-Gatius, F

    2014-08-01

    Q fever is a zoonosis produced by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that is widely distributed worldwide. Domestic ruminants are the most important source of C. burnetii for human infection. In sheep and goats, abortion is the main clinical consequence of infection, yet the symptoms described in cattle have so far been inconsistent. Q fever has been also scarcely reported in cattle, most likely because of its difficult diagnosis at the farm level and because of the many existing responsible C. burnetii strains. In this report, the effects of C. burnetii infection or Q fever disease on the reproductive behaviour of dairy cattle are reviewed, with special emphasis placed on the scarcity of data available and possible control actions discussed.

  18. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Behari, Jitendra

    2010-09-01

    The object of present study is to investigate the effects of 50 GHz microwave frequency electromagnetic fields on reproductive system of male rats. Male rats of Wistar strain were used in the study. Animals 60 days old were divided into two groups--group I sham exposed and group II experimental (microwave exposed). During exposure, rats were confined in Plexiglas cages with drilled ventilation holes for 2 h a day for 45 days continuously at a specified specific absorption rate of 8.0 x 10(-4) W/kg. After the last exposure, the rats were sacrificed immediately and sperms were collected. Antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase), histone kinase, apoptosis, and cell cycle were analyzed in sperm cells. Result shows a significant decrease in the level of sperm GPx and SOD activity (p < or = 0.05), whereas catalase shows significant increase in exposed group of sperm samples as compared with control (p < 0.02). We observed a statistically significant decrease in mean activity of histone kinase as compared to the control (p < 0.016). The percentage of cells dividing in a spermatogenesis was estimated by analyzing DNA per cell by flow cytometry. The percentage of apoptosis in electromagnetic field exposed group shows increased ratio as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.004). There were no significant differences in the G(0)/G(1) phase; however, a significant decrease (p < 0.026) in S phase was obtained. Results also indicate a decrease in percentage of G(2)/M transition phase of cell cycle in exposed group as compared to sham exposed (p < 0.019). We conclude that these radiations may have a significant effect on reproductive system of male rats, which may be an indication of male infertility.

  19. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  20. Conservation of progesterone hormone function in invertebrate reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Stout, E. Paige; La Clair, James J.; Snell, Terry W.; Shearer, Tonya L.; Kubanek, Julia

    2010-01-01

    Steroids play fundamental roles regulating mammalian reproduction and development. Although sex steroids and their receptors are well characterized in vertebrates and several arthropod invertebrates, little is known about the hormones and receptors regulating reproduction in other invertebrate species. Evolutionary insights into ancient endocrine pathways can be gained by elucidating the hormones and receptors functioning in invertebrate reproduction. Using a combination of genomic analyses, receptor imaging, ligand identification, target elucidation, and exploration of function through receptor knockdown, we now show that comparable progesterone chemoreception exists in the invertebrate monogonont rotifer Brachionus manjavacas, suggesting an ancient origin of the signal transduction systems commonly associated with the development and integration of sexual behavior in mammals. PMID:20547846

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. [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.

  4. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

  5. Evaluation of Reproductive Function for Patients with Chronic Radiation Sickness

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-05-01

    on maternal and paternal side, labor traumas, developmental defects and deformities, diseases of newborns, immaturity, body weight and length, head...reproduction on which the birth of viable offspring depends implies normally functioning parental endocrine system, primarily gonadal glands, marriage...pathology among the offspring of exposed parents . Registration of genotypical manifestations of this pathology presents considerable difficulties both

  6. 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

  7. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

    The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…

  8. Mitogen-activated protein kinases in male reproductive function

    PubMed Central

    Li, Michelle W.M.; Mruk, Dolores D.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that male reproductive function is modulated via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade. The MAPK cascade is involved in numerous male reproductive processes, including spermatogenesis, sperm maturation and activation, capacitation and acrosome reaction, before fertilization of the oocyte. In this review, we discuss the latest findings in this rapidly developing field regarding the role of MAPK in male reproduction in animal models and in human spermatozoa in vitro. This research will facilitate the design of future studies in humans, although much work is needed before this information can be used to manage male infertility and environmental toxicant-induced testicular injury in men, such as blood–testis-barrier disruption. PMID:19303360

  9. Macronutrient balance, reproductive function, and lifespan in aging mice

    PubMed Central

    Solon-Biet, Samantha M.; Walters, Kirsty A.; Simanainen, Ulla K.; McMahon, Aisling C.; Ruohonen, Kari; Ballard, John William O.; Raubenheimer, David; Le Couteur, David G.; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    In invertebrates, reproductive output and lifespan are profoundly impacted by dietary macronutrient balance, with these traits achieving their maxima on different diet compositions, giving the appearance of a resource-based tradeoff between reproduction and longevity. For the first time in a mammal, to our knowledge, we evaluate the effects of dietary protein (P), carbohydrate (C), fat (F), and energy (E) on lifespan and reproductive function in aging male and female mice. We show that, as in invertebrates, the balance of macronutrients has marked and largely opposing effects on reproductive and longevity outcomes. Mice were provided ad libitum access to one of 25 diets differing in P, C, F, and E content, with reproductive outcomes assessed at 15 months. An optimal balance of macronutrients exists for reproductive function, which, for most measures, differs from the diets that optimize lifespan, and this response differs with sex. Maximal longevity was achieved on diets containing a P:C ratio of 1:13 in males and 1:11 for females. Diets that optimized testes mass and epididymal sperm counts (indicators of gamete production) contained a higher P:C ratio (1:1) than those that maximized lifespan. In females, uterine mass (an indicator of estrogenic activity) was also greatest on high P:C diets (1:1) whereas ovarian follicle number was greatest on P:C 3:1 associated with high-F intakes. By contrast, estrous cycling was more likely in mice on lower P:C (1:8), and the number of corpora lutea, indicative of recent ovulations, was greatest on P:C similar to those supporting greatest longevity (1:11). PMID:25733862

  10. 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.

  11. Altitude affects the reproductive performance in monoicous and dioicous bryophytes: examples from a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S.; Marques Valio, Ivany F.; Rydin, Håkan

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims Short life cycles and trade-offs linked to breeding systems make bryophytes good models for the study of plant reproductive strategies. Our aim was to test if differences in sexual reproductive performance of bryophytes in tropical rainforests are driven by the breeding system of the species (monoicous or dioicous) or are mainly affected by the habitat. Methodology The reproductive performance (sexual branches, gametangia (sex organs), fertilization and sporophyte production) of 11 species was repeatedly monitored and analysed from populations at sea-level and montane sites of a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest over 15 months. Principal results Monoicous species had the highest reproductive performance, particularly for sexual branches, fertilized gametangia and sporophyte production. Species at the sea-level site produced more sexual branches and had more female-biased sex ratios of gametangia than species in the montane site. Fertilizations were more frequent at the montane site, but sporophyte frequency was similar between the two sites. Fertilization tended to occur mostly in the periods of heavy rain (October to December). Conclusions Breeding system is not the only major influence on the reproductive performance of bryophytes. We show that habitat is also an important factor determining life-history differentiation. Female-biased sex ratios and low rates of fertilization are seen to be compensated for by high production of reproductive structures at the initial phases of the reproductive cycle. PMID:22822422

  12. Light pollution, reproductive function and cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Vladimir N

    2006-01-01

    At present, light pollution (exposure to light-at-night) both in the form of occupational exposure during night work and as a personal choice and life style, is experienced by numerous night-active members of our society. Disruption of the circadian rhythms induced by light pollution has been associated with cancer in humans. There are epidemiological evidences of increased breast and colon cancer risk in shift workers. An inhibition of the pineal gland function with exposure to the constant light (LL) regimen promoted carcinogenesis whereas the light deprivation inhibits the carcinogenesis. Treatment with pineal indole hormone melatonin inhibits carcinogenesis in pinealectomized rats or animals kept at the standard light/dark regimen (LD) or at the LL regimen. These observations might lead to use melatonin for cancer prevention in groups of humans at risk of light pollution.

  13. Styrene dimers and trimers affect reproduction of daphnid (Ceriodaphnia dubia).

    PubMed

    Tatarazako, Norihisa; Takao, Yuji; Kishi, Katsuyuki; Onikura, Norio a; Arizono, Koji; Iguchi, Taisen

    2002-08-01

    The endocrine disruptor activity of styrene in humans and other vertebrates appears to be negligible. However, offspring numbers were reduced in Ceriodaphnia dubia bred in polystyrene cups. Styrene dimers and trimers were found to be eluted from the polystyrene cups by hexane and methanol with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Styrene dimers and trimers at concentrations of 0.04-1.7 microg/l affected C. dubia fertility (25% reduction after seven days), suggesting that styrenes have the potential to impair crustacean populations in the aquatic environment.

  14. Subclinical hypothyroidism affects mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Kvetny, J; Wilms, L; Pedersen, P L; Larsen, J

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine mitochondrial function in cells from persons with subclinical hypothyroidism and euthyroid controls. The participating persons were examined clinically and had basal oxygen consumption (VO(2)) determined. The concentrations of thyroid hormones and thyrotropine stimulating hormone were determined, and mitochondrial function in isolated mononuclear blood cells was examined by enzymatic methods [citrate synthase activity (CS)] and by flow cytometry (mitochondrial membrane potential by TMRM fluorescence and mitochondrial mass by MTG fluorescence). The ratio of T(4)/T(3) was lowered in subclinical hypothyroidism patients compared to controls (2.5+/-0.5 vs. 2.9+/-0.4, p=0.005). VO(2) was increased in persons with subclinical hypothyroidism compared to controls (adolescents: 134+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 119+/-27 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.006, adults: 139+/-14 ml O(2)/min*m(2) vs. 121+/-17 ml O(2)/min*m(2), p=0.001). The mitochondrial function, represented by citrate synthase activity, MTG, and TMRM fluorescence were all increased (CS in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 0.074+/-0.044 nmol/mg*min vs. 0.056+/-0.021 nmol/mg*min, p=0.005; MTG fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 7,482+/-1,733 a.u. vs. 6,391+/-2,171 a.u., p=0.027; TMRM fluorescence in subclinical hypothyroidism vs. controls: 13,449+/-3,807 a.u. vs. 11,733+/-4,473 a.u, p=0.04). Our results indicate an increased mitochondrial stimulation, eventually caused by increased deiodination of T(4) to intracellular bioactive iodothyronines in adults and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism.

  15. Effect of altered reproductive function and lowered testosterone levels on bone density in male endurance athletes

    PubMed Central

    Bennell, Kim L; Brukner, Peter D; Malcolm, Susan A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intense physical activity on female reproductive hormones is well recognised1–3 and there is evidence that menstrual disturbances associated with hypo-oestrogenism adversely affect bone density especially at the lumbar spine.4 5 Physical activity can also have a range of effects on male reproductive function depending upon the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness of the individual.6 In particular, endurance training may be associated with reductions in circulating testosterone levels. Since testosterone has important anabolic roles, alterations in reproductive hormone profiles may have detrimental skeletal consequences similar to those seen in females with menstrual disturbances. The aim of this brief review is to present the limited literature on the relation between bone density and testosterone levels in male endurance athletes. PMID:8889111

  16. Dissociated functional pathways for appetitive and consummatory reproductive behaviors in male Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Been, Laura E; Petrulis, Aras

    2012-02-01

    In many species, including Syrian hamsters, the generation of male reproductive behavior depends critically on the perception of female odor cues from conspecifics in the environment. The behavioral response to these odors is mediated by a network of steroid-sensitive ventral forebrain nuclei including the medial amygdala (MA), posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial preoptic area (MPOA). Previous studies have demonstrated that each of these three nuclei is required for appropriate sexual behavior and that MA preferentially sends female odor information directly to BNST and MPOA. It is unknown, however, how the functional connections between MA and BNST and/or MPOA are organized to generate different aspects of reproductive behavior. Therefore, the following experiments used the asymmetrical pathway lesion technique to test the role of the functional connections between MA and BNST and/or MPOA in odor preference and copulatory behaviors. Lesions that functionally disconnected MA from MPOA eliminated copulatory behavior but did not affect odor preference. In contrast, lesions that functionally disconnected MA from BNST eliminated preference for volatile female odors but did not affect preference for directly contacted odors or copulatory behavior. These results therefore demonstrate a double dissociation in the functional connections required for attraction to volatile sexual odors and copulation and, more broadly, suggest that appetitive and consummatory reproductive behaviors are mediated by distinct neural pathways.

  17. Aging and male reproductive function: a mitochondrial perspective.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Sandra; Amaral, Alexandra; Ramalho-Santos, Joao

    2013-01-01

    Researching the effects of aging in the male reproductive system is not trivial. Not only are multiple changes at molecular, cellular and endocrine levels involved, but any findings must be discussed with variable individual characteristics, as well as with lifestyle and environmental factors. Age-related changes in the reproductive system include any aspect of reproductive function, from deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and of local auto/paracrine interactions, to effects on testicular stem cells, defects in testicular architecture and spermatogenesis, or sperm with decreased functionality. Several theories place mitochondria at the hub of cellular events related to aging, namely regarding the accumulation of oxidative damage to cells and tissues, a process in which these organelles play a prominent role, although alternative theories have also emerged. However, oxidative stress is not the only process involved in mitochondrial-related aging; mitochondrial energy metabolism, changes in mitochondrial DNA or in mitochondrial-dependent testosterone production are also important. Crucially, all these issues are likely interdependent. We will review evidence that suggests that mitochondria constitute a common link between aging and fertility loss.

  18. [Intrauterine programming of reproductive function--a valid concept?].

    PubMed

    Schleussner, Ekkehard

    2009-01-01

    Early intrauterine fetal (mis)programming determines not only cardiovascular and metabolic regulation in later life, but also reproductive function. Intrauterine growth restriction may be associated with precocious maturation of gonadal function and an earlier onset of puberty and menarche. Especially prenatal androgen excess has negative effects on the development of the ovaries and female genital phenotype itself as well as on the neuroendocrine feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis followed by a polycystic ovary syndrome with hyperandrogenism and anovulation in later life. These associations, which can be clearly demonstrated in animal experiments, need further confirmation by epidemiological and clinical trials in humans.

  19. Applying functional genomics research to the study of pig reproduction.

    PubMed

    Pomp, D; Caetano, A R; Bertani, G R; Gladney, C D; Johnson, R K

    2001-01-01

    Functional genomics is an experimental approach that incorporates genome-wide or system-wide experimentation, expanding the scope of biological investigation from studying single genes to studying potentially all genes at once in a systematic manner. This technology is highly appealing because of its high throughput and relatively low cost. Furthermore, analysis of gene expression using microarrays is likely to be more biologically relevant than the conventional paradigm of reductionism, because it has the potential to uncover new biological connections between genes and biochemical pathways. However, functional genomics is still in its infancy, especially with regard to the study of pig reproduction. Currently, efforts are centred on developing the necessary resources to enable high throughput evaluation and comparison of gene expression. However, it is clear that in the near future functional genomics will be applied on a large scale to study the biology and physiology of reproduction in pigs, and to understand better the complex nature of genetic control over polygenic characteristics, such as ovulation rate and litter size. We can look forward to generating a significant amount of new data on differences in gene expression between genotypes, treatments, or at various temporal and spatial coordinates within a variety of reproductively relevant systems. Along with this capability will be the challenge of collating, analysing and interpreting datasets that are orders of magnitude more extensive and complex than those currently used. Furthermore, integration of functional genomics with traditional genetic approaches and with detailed analysis of the proteome and relevant whole animal phenotypes will be required to make full use of this powerful new experimental paradigm as a beneficial research tool.

  20. Food availability during migratory stopover affects testis growth and reproductive behaviour in a migratory passerine.

    PubMed

    Bauchinger, Ulf; Van't Hof, Thomas; Biebach, Herbert

    2009-03-01

    Long-distance migratory passerines initiate testicular recrudescence during spring migration to meet the demands of timely reproduction upon immediate arrival on the breeding grounds. The degree of testicular development is known to depend on environmental factors like stopover habitat quality; reproductive performance may be strongly impacted by testicular maturation upon arrival on the breeding grounds. We investigated the effect of stopover food availability on subsequent reproductive performance in garden warblers (Sylvia borin). Spring migration was simulated by repeated food deprivation and re-feeding to imitate the alternation of flight and stopover periods. During the two final stopover periods, males were either kept under ad libitum food (ad libitum males) or under limited food conditions (limited males). After simulated arrival in the breeding area, manipulation of previous stopover food availability resulted in significantly slower testicular recrudescence (p<0.001) and decreased plasma testosterone (p<0.01) in limited males compared to ad libitum males. Body mass change was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.38). Limited males also exhibited reduced performance in reproductive behaviours employed in territorial and sexual contexts. Limited males had a longer 'freezing' interval (p<0.05) and decreased activity (p<0.01) when challenged with a live male decoy. In direct confrontation between limited and ad libitum males in the presence of a female, limited males exhibited significantly fewer behavioural traits in sexual context, i.e. directed to the female (p<0.001). Therefore, we suggest that conditions encountered during previous migratory stopover may affect subsequent annual reproductive success by influencing key reproductive behaviours.

  1. Vitamin D metabolism, sex hormones, and male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Blomberg Jensen, Martin

    2012-08-01

    The spectrum of vitamin D (VD)-mediated effects has expanded in recent years, and VD is now recognized as a versatile signaling molecule rather than being solely a regulator of bone health and calcium homeostasis. One of the recently identified target areas of VD is male reproductive function. The VD receptor (VDR) and the VD metabolizing enzyme expression studies documented the presence of this system in the testes, mature spermatozoa, and ejaculatory tract, suggesting that both systemic and local VD metabolism may influence male reproductive function. However, it is still debated which cell is the main VD target in the testis and to what extent VD is important for sex hormone production and function of spermatozoa. This review summarizes descriptive studies on testicular VD metabolism and spatial distribution of VDR and the VD metabolizing enzymes in the mammalian testes and discusses mechanistic and association studies conducted in animals and humans. The reviewed evidence suggests some effects of VD on estrogen and testosterone biosynthesis and implicates involvement of both systemic and local VD metabolism in the regulation of male fertility potential.

  2. Dietary supplementation of yucca (Yucca schidigera) affects ovine ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V

    2017-01-15

    Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2

  3. Effect of hypospadias on sexual function and reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Singh, J. Chandra; Jayanthi, Venkata Rama; Gopalakrishnan, Ganesh

    2008-01-01

    Hypospadias is a highly prevalent congenital anomaly. The impact of the defect and operative interventions on sexual and reproductive function has been addressed by few publications. It is essential to know the possible outcomes of intervention for appropriate counseling, operative planning, and follow-up. English articles indexed in Pubmed dealing with the long-term sexual and reproductive outcome following hypospadias repair from 1965 to 2007 were reviewed. To our knowledge, there was no prospective trial comparing the impact of various techniques on sexual outcome. There is considerable discordance in literature regarding the effects on sexual function. A few publications report patient and partner dissatisfaction with the appearance of genitalia. Sexual dissatisfaction is often attributed to penile size. Ejaculatory disturbances range between 6 and 37% of operated individuals. There is no convincing evidence for impaired fertility. The long-term follow-up is essential to identify problems and to address them appropriately. Literature documenting the outcome of specific operative procedures and analysis based on severity of hypospadias will be informative. The long-term follow-up of the newer techniques which are more commonly used are awaited. PMID:19468405

  4. Reproductive health policy affecting low-income women: historical precedents and current need for social work action.

    PubMed

    Averitt Taylor, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    This article provides an overview of the historical arguments surrounding reproductive health policy and current policy initiatives. Because reproductive policy itself is a vast subject matter with sometimes blurry boundaries, the struggle concerning the advent of birth control is used to illustrate the historic complexities of policy affecting such a wide array of individuals. The battle over introduction of the birth control pill is pertinent because the very same arguments are used today in debates over reproductive health policy.

  5. 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.

  6. Conspecific reproductive success affects age of recruitment in a great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, colony.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

    Few studies have addressed the proximate factors affecting the age at which individuals of long-lived bird species are recruited into the breeding population. We use capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 16 birth cohorts of colour-ringed great cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, in a Danish colony to assess the evidence for two hypotheses: conspecific attraction (earlier recruitment when the colony is large) and conspecific reproductive success (earlier recruitment following years of high breeding success). For both males and females, conspecific reproductive success was the most important covariate explaining the interannual variation in age of recruitment; colony size was also important for females. These covariates explained nearly 60% of the year-to-year variation for both sexes. The age of recruitment increased for cohorts born after 1990, and this increase was correlated with a decline in breeding success in the colony; we interpret this as an indirect and delayed density-dependent effect. Females were recruited earlier than males (mean age of recruitment for cohorts born before 1990: 2.98 years versus 3.53 years); the most plausible reason for this is a skewed sex ratio in favour of males in the adult population. Recruitment of males may thus, to some extent, be constrained by the availability of females. This study provides the first evidence that conspecific reproductive success can affect the age at which individual birds start to breed.

  7. Arabidopsis CALCINEURIN B-LIKE10 Functions Independently of the SOS Pathway during Reproductive Development in Saline Conditions1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Steven E.; Schumaker, Karen S.

    2016-01-01

    The accumulation of sodium in soil (saline conditions) negatively affects plant growth and development. The Salt Overly Sensitive (SOS) pathway in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) functions to remove sodium from the cytosol during vegetative development preventing its accumulation to toxic levels. In this pathway, the SOS3 and CALCINEURIN B-LIKE10 (CBL10) calcium sensors interact with the SOS2 protein kinase to activate sodium/proton exchange at the plasma membrane (SOS1) or vacuolar membrane. To determine if the same pathway functions during reproductive development in response to salt, fertility was analyzed in wild type and the SOS pathway mutants grown in saline conditions. In response to salt, CBL10 functions early in reproductive development before fertilization, while SOS1 functions mostly after fertilization when seed development begins. Neither SOS2 nor SOS3 function in reproductive development in response to salt. Loss of CBL10 function resulted in reduced anther dehiscence, shortened stamen filaments, and aborted pollen development. In addition, cbl10 mutant pistils could not sustain the growth of wild-type pollen tubes. These results suggest that CBL10 is critical for reproductive development in the presence of salt and that it functions in different pathways during vegetative and reproductive development. PMID:26979332

  8. [The influence of calcium N-(5-hydroxynicotinoyl)-L-glutamate on reproductive function, prenatal and postnatal development of rats].

    PubMed

    Kiselev, A V; Stovbun, S V; Sergienko, V I

    2012-01-01

    The safety of a new nootrope and neuroprotector--calcium N-(5-hydroxynicotinoyl)-L-glutamate (ampasse)--has been evaluated. It is shown that ampasse at a dose of 6.7 mg/kg (10 times the maximum therapeutic dose for humans) did not affect the reproductive function in experimental animals and did not produced any embryotoxic and teratogenic effects.

  9. Tropical photoperiods affect reproductive development in the musk shrew, Suncus murinus.

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

    The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether reproductive development in male musk shrews (original stock from Guam Island, 13 degrees N latitude) could be altered by small, ecologically relevant changes in photoperiod. In the first experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the 2 solstices on Guam Island (90 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that a 90-min difference in photoperiod had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Furthermore, there was little evidence that the preweaning photoperiod had an effect on the response to the postweaning photoperiod. In the second experiment, effects of changes in photoperiod equivalent to those seen between the equinoxes and solstices on Guam Island (45 min) on reproductive maturation were investigated. The results showed that both a decrease and an increase in photoperiod by 45 min had a significant effect on weights of various androgen-sensitive target tissues. Overall, these results suggest that animals living close to the equator can potentially use small changes in day length to alter or time reproductive function.

  10. Evaluation of reproductive health indicators in women affected by East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bahmanjanbeh, Farideh; Kohan, Shahnaz; Yarmohammadian, Mohammad Hossein; Haghshenas, Abbas

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ignoring reproductive health services during natural disasters leads to some negative consequences such as reduced access to contraceptive methods, sexual disorders, and pregnancy complications. Despite previous researches, there is still more need for research on this area of health. This study attempts to identify the indicators of reproductive health in the women affected by the East Azarbaijan earthquake on August 2012. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study, reproductive health information pertaining to the years before, during, and after the earthquake were collected and compared in the health centers of the three affected cities including Ahar, Heriss, and Varzaghan as well as the health and forensics centers of the East Azarbaijan province in Iran by census method. Results: Findings indicated a decrease in live birth rate, general marriage fertility rate, stillbirth rate, contraceptive methods coverage, and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases during and after the earthquake. Moreover, important indicators such as neonatal mortality rate and percentage of infants screened for breast milk, decreased during the disaster year in comparison with the years before and after. Other indicators such as preconception care, pregnancy first visit, rate of caesarian delivery, and under 1-year formula milk-fed infants’ percentages increased during the year of disaster in comparison with the years before and after. Conclusions: During the earthquake, some indicators of reproductive health have been reported to decrease whereas some others have gone through negative changes. Despite the partly favorable status of services, decision-makers and health service providers should pay more attention to the needs of women during disasters. PMID:27904635

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Anthropogenic Matrices Favor Homogenization of Tree Reproductive Functions in a Highly Fragmented Landscape

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Species homogenization or floristic differentiation are two possible consequences of the fragmentation process in plant communities. Despite the few studies, it seems clear that fragments with low forest cover inserted in anthropogenic matrices are more likely to experience floristic homogenization. However, the homogenization process has two other components, genetic and functional, which have not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to verify whether there was homogenization of tree reproductive functions in a fragmented landscape and, if found, to determine how the process was influenced by landscape composition. The study was conducted in eight fragments in southwest Brazil. The study was conducted in eight fragments in southwestern Brazil. In each fragment, all individual trees were sampled that had a diameter at breast height ≥3 cm, in ten plots (0.2 ha) and, classified within 26 reproductive functional types (RFTs). The process of functional homogenization was evaluated using additive partitioning of diversity. Additionally, the effect of landscape composition on functional diversity and on the number of individuals within each RFT was evaluated using a generalized linear mixed model. appeared to be in a process of functional homogenization (dominance of RFTs, alpha diversity lower than expected by chance and and low beta diversity). More than 50% of the RFTs and the functional diversity were affected by the landscape parameters. In general, the percentage of forest cover has a positive effect on RFTs while the percentage of coffee matrix has a negative one. The process of functional homogenization has serious consequences for biodiversity conservation because some functions may disappear that, in the long term, would threaten the fragments. This study contributes to a better understanding of how landscape changes affect the functional diversity, abundance of individuals in RFTs and the process of functional homogenization, as well as how to

  14. 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

  15. [Effect of the long term administration of bromantan on the reproductive function in rats].

    PubMed

    Khamidova, T V; Bugaeva, L I; Morozov, I S; Spasov, A A

    2000-01-01

    Bromantan is a new psychostimulator possessing actoprotector properties. The drug was administered to rats over two months (males) and two weeks (females) at a daily dose of 30 and 200-mg/kg, and the reproduction function parameters were monitored. Then the experimental animals were coupled and the embryonal characteristics of the breed were determined. Upon termination of the drug administration, the functional state of sperm and the morphology of gonads were studied again. It was found that bromantan (30 mg/kg) unreliably decreases the absolute amount of sperm in males. In females, the drug did not affect the ovary weight coefficient and increased the gestation index. After termination of the drug administration, the ovary weight coefficient increased. Bromantan affected neither the fertilizing capacity of male and female gametes nor the embryonal characteristics of the breed.

  16. [The function of ERα in male reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Dong, Yu-Hang; Wei, Jin-Hua; Li, Zhen

    2014-12-01

    Estrogen receptors (ERs), including two sub-types ERα and ERβ, belong to the steroid hormone superfamily of nuclear receptors. ERα distributes in the male reproductive system and plays a crucial role in the regulation of male reproduction through estrogen-dependent and -independent ways. In this article, we mainly reviewed the molecular structure, mode of action and location of ERα in the male reproductive system, and explored the mechanism of ERα in regulating the male reproductive system by analyzing different animal models of disrupted ERα.

  17. Gonadal function and reproductive health in women with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

    PubMed

    Yalamanchi, Swaytha; Dobs, Adrian; Greenblatt, Ruth M

    2014-09-01

    Most human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among women occur early in reproductive life, which highlights the importance of understanding the impact of HIV on reproductive functions, and also the potential implications of reproductive function and aging on the course of HIV disease. Ovarian function is a crucial component of reproductive biology in women, but standard assessment methods are of limited applicability to women with chronic diseases such as HIV. Pregnancy can now be achieved without transmission of HIV to sexual partner or newborn, but complications of pregnancy may be more common in women infected with HIV than uninfected women.

  18. Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction is impaired in aged oil sands process-affected waters.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Frank, Richard A; Oakes, Ken D; Servos, Mark R; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Mike D; Solomon, Keith R; Dixon, D George; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2011-01-17

    Large volumes of fluid tailings are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands. As part of their reclamation plan, oil sands operators in Alberta propose to transfer these fluid tailings to end pit lakes and, over time, these are expected to develop lake habitats with productive capabilities comparable to natural lakes in the region. This study evaluates the potential impact of various oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) on the reproduction of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) under laboratory conditions. Two separate assays with aged OPSW (>15 years) from the experimental ponds at Syncrude Canada Ltd. showed that water containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs; >25 mg/l) and elevated conductivity (>2000 μS/cm) completely inhibited spawning of fathead minnows and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics. Measurement of plasma sex steroid levels showed that male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone whereas females had lower concentrations of 17β-estradiol. In a third assay, fathead minnows were first acclimated to the higher salinity conditions typical of OSPW for several weeks and then exposed to aged OSPW from Suncor Energy Inc. (NAs ∼40 mg/l and conductivity ∼2000 μS/cm). Spawning was significantly reduced in fathead minnows held in this effluent and male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that aged OSPW has the potential to negatively affect the reproductive physiology of fathead minnows and suggest that aquatic habitats with high NAs concentrations (>25 mg/l) and conductivities (>2000 μS/cm) would not be conducive for successful fish reproduction.

  19. Hormonal, biochemical, and hematological profiles in female camels (Camelus dromedarius) affected with reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Ali, A; Tharwat, M; Al-Sobayil, F A

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the blood profiles in female camels affected with common reproductive disorders. Estradiol-17beta (E(2)), progesterone (P(4)), thyroxin (T(4)), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, total protein, albumin, globulin, hematocrite, and total and differential white blood cell counts (WBC) were determined in blood of female camels affected with endometritis (n=15), vaginal adhesions (n=15), and ovarian cysts (n=15). Normal cyclic animals were used as controls (n=15). Diagnosis of reproductive disorders was based on transrectal palpation, ultrasonographic examination, and exploration of the vagina. Increased WBC counts (P=0.03) and a tendency for neutrophelia (P=0.05) were noted in female camels with vaginal adhesions. These animals were also characterized by having higher concentration of serum P(4) (P=0.0001), T(4) (P=0.001) and total protein (P=0.007), in comparison with female camels with endometritis, ovarian cysts, or controls. Animals having ovarian cysts with thin walls and homogenous hypoechogenic contents had greater serum E(2) (P=0.001) and P(4) (P=0.0001) than those having ovarian cysts with thick walls and non-homogenous echogenic contents. Animals with endometritis, vaginal adhesions, and ovarian cysts revealed lower serum Zn concentration than that of control group (P=0.003). Other blood parameters did not differ significantly compared to controls. In conclusion, this is the first report characterizing blood constituents in female camels with various reproductive disorders. These profiles may be valuable in clarifying the etio-pathogenesis of these disorders.

  20. Removal of the local geomagnetic field affects reproductive growth in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunxiao; Wei, Shufeng; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Yuxia; Chen, Chuanfang; Song, Tao

    2013-09-01

    The influence of the geomagnetic field-removed environment on Arabidopsis growth was investigated by cultivation of the plants in a near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field (45 µT) for the whole growth period under laboratory conditions. The biomass accumulation of plants in the near-null magnetic field was significantly suppressed at the time when plants were switching from vegetative growth to reproductive growth compared with that of plants grown in the local geomagnetic field, which was caused by a delay in the flowering of plants in the near-null magnetic field. At the early or later growth stage, no significant difference was shown in the biomass accumulation between the plants in the near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field. The average number of siliques and the production of seeds per plant in the near-null magnetic field was significantly lower by about 22% and 19%, respectively, than those of control plants. These resulted in a significant reduction of about 20% in the harvest index of plants in the near-null magnetic field compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that the removal of the local geomagnetic field negatively affects the reproductive growth of Arabidopsis, which thus affects the yield and harvest index.

  1. 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.

  2. [Effects of RFRP-3 on reproductive function and energy balance in mammals].

    PubMed

    Xiang, Wei; Lai, Ping; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Wang, Ping-Qing; Chu, Ming-Xing; Fan, Qi; Liu, Chong-Xu; Tan, Ying

    2012-08-01

    The hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis integrates internal and external cues via a balance of stimulatory and inhibitory neurochemical systems to regulate reproductive function in mammals. However, RFRP-3 is a unique inhibitor of HPG axis at the hypothalamuic level in mammals to date. A large number of previous studies have confirmed that RFamide-related peptide (RFRP-3) suppresses gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) system and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, thereby affecting the reproduction. However, whether the inhibition of LH secretion by RFRP-3 occurs at the pituitary level or the hypothalamus level is not clear. It is interesting that RFRP-3 is also related to signal pathway of melatonin modulating mammal seasonal reproduction, but little is known about the effects of melatonin on the RFRP-3 neuron up to now. In addition, RFRP-3 also plays an important role in the regulation of energy balance and behavior. The regulatory mechanism of RFRP-3 in HPG axis and role of RFRP-3 in modulating mammalian energy balance, as well as behavior, are systematically elaborated and the remaining unsolved problems are also discussed in this paper.

  3. 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.

  4. The transmission of light affect the color reproduction of plastic print

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Yi-xin; Shi, Gongcheng

    2011-01-01

    By analyzing the different paths that the incident light traverses in the printing, the paper aims to study the effect the transmission of light produces on the color reproduction of the plastic printing. The article also analyzes object characteristics about the three color properties and the color density, so as to make an accurate prediction on the color reproduction of the printing where ink is printed on the end of the plastic base directly. In the research, the incident light on the plastic print are divided into two parts: the reflection of diffuse light in the ink and the optical multi-layer internal reflection of the light through ink layer onto the plastic substrate. In this paper, we use kubelka-munk theory to analyze the transmission of the incident light on the surface of the printing product and Clapper-Yule theory to analyze the incident light which through the ink to the plastic film surface. When the incident light through the ink to the film surface, we have a series of mutually parallel reflected beam and refracted beam, and then obtain the synthesis of the reflected light complex amplitude, using the similar methods to obtain the total reflected and refraction light intensity. Combining the total reflection light intensity through the plastic substrate and the overall reflectivity through a plastic print surface by the kubelka-munk theory, color density and light transmission factor of the plastic substrate can be drawn in the formula: D ∞ f (δ,d,i1 ). From the above equation, we can find that optical phase retardation δ, the thickness of plastic d and the angle of incidence on the plastic surface i1 affect the color reproduction of plastic print.

  5. 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.

  6. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  7. Honey and honey-based sugars partially affect reproductive trade-offs in parasitoids exhibiting different life-history and reproductive strategies.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Essens, Tijl A; Las, Rutger A; van Veen, Cindy; Visser, Bertanne; Ellers, Jacintha; Heinen, Robin; Gols, Rieta

    2016-12-23

    Adult dietary regimes in insects may affect egg production, fecundity and ultimately fitness. This is especially relevant in parasitoid wasps where many species serve as important biological control agents of agricultural pests. Here, we tested the effect of honey and sugar diets on daily fecundity schedules, lifetime reproductive success and longevity in four species of parasitoid wasps when reared on their respective hosts. The parasitoid species were selected based on dichotomies in host usage strategies and reproductive traits. Gelis agilis and G. areator are idiobiont ecto-parasitoids that develop in non-growing hosts, feed on protein-rich host fluids to maximize reproduction as adults and produce small numbers of large eggs. Meteorus pulchricornis and Microplitis mediator are koinobiont endoparasitoids that develop inside the bodies of growing hosts, do not host-feed, and produce greater numbers of small eggs. Parasitoids were reared on diets of either pure honey (containing trace amounts of proteins), heated honey (with denatured proteins) and a honey-mimic containing sugars only. We hypothesized that the benefits of proteins in honey would enhance reproduction in the ectoparasitoids due to their high metabolic investment per egg, but not in the koinobionts. Pure honey diet resulted in higher lifetime fecundity in G. agilis compared with the honey-mimic, whereas in both koinobionts, reproductive success did not vary significantly with diet. Longevity was less affected by diet in all of the parasitoids, although there were variable trade-offs between host access and longevity in the four species. We argue that there are both trait-based and association-specific effects of supplementary nutrients in honey on reproductive investment and success in parasitoid wasps.

  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. 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.

  10. Lectin-functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for reproductive improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Semen ejaculates contain heterogeneous sperm populations that can jeopardize male fertility. Recent development of nanotechnology in physiological systems may have applications in reproductive biology. Here, we used magnetic nanoparticles as a novel strategy for sperm purification to imp...

  11. Landscape composition, patch size, and distance to edges: Interactions affecting duck reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horn, David Joseph; Phillips, Michael L.; Koford, Rolf R.; Clark, William R.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Greenwood, Raymond J.

    2005-01-01

    Prairies and other North American grasslands, although highly fragmented, provide breeding habitat for a diverse array of species, including species of tremendous economic and ecological importance. Conservation and management of these species requires some understanding of how reproductive success is affected by edge effects, patch size, and characteristics of the landscape. We examined how differences in the percentage of grassland in the landscape influenced the relationships between the success of nests of upland-nesting ducks and (1) field size and (2) distance to nearest field and wetland edges. We collected data on study areas composed of 15–20% grassland and areas composed of 45–55% grassland in central North Dakota, USA during the 1996 and 1997 nesting seasons. Daily survival rates (DSRs) of duck nests were greater in study areas with 45–55% grassland than with 15–20% grassland. Within study areas, we detected a curvilinear relationship between DSR and field size: DSRs were highest in small and large fields and lowest in moderately sized fields. In study areas with 15–20% grassland, there was no relationship between probability of hatching and distance to nearest field edge, whereas in study areas with 45–55% grassland, there was a positive relationship between these two variables. Results of this study support the conclusion that both landscape composition and configuration affect reproductive success of ground-nesting birds. We are prompted to question conservation strategies that favor clustering moderately sized patches of nesting habitat within agricultural landscapes because our results show that such patches would have low nest success, most likely caused by predation. Understanding the pattern of nest success, and the predator–prey mechanisms that produce the pattern, will enable design of patch configurations that are most conducive to meeting conservation goals.

  12. The formation and function of the female reproductive tract in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Brian C W; Yanofsky, Martin F

    2008-10-28

    In angiosperms, sexual reproduction requires a sperm cell, contained within a pollen tube, to fertilize the egg cell. The pollen tubes are capable of growth but have a difficult journey, as egg cells are buried within the ovary of the carpel. Several tissues, known collectively as the reproductive tract, develop within the carpel to facilitate the journey of the pollen tube. The genes involved in the formation and function of the reproductive tract have largely remained a mystery but are crucial for successful fertilization. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic control of reproductive tract development.

  13. Seizures and reproductive function: insights from female rats with epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Scharfman, Helen E.; Kim, Michelle; Hintz, Tana M.; MacLusky, Neil J.

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Chronic seizures in women can have adverse effects on reproductive function, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but it has been difficult to dissociate the effects of epilepsy per se from the role of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). To distinguish the effects of chronic seizures from AEDs, we used the laboratory rat, where an epileptic condition can be induced without concomitant AED treatment. METHODS Adult female rats were administered the chemoconvulsant pilocarpine to initiate status epilepticus (SE), which was decreased in severity by the anticonvulsant diazepam. These rats developed spontaneous seizures in the ensuing weeks, and are therefore termed “epileptic.” Controls were saline-treated rats, or animals that were injected with pilocarpine but did not develop SE. Ovarian cyclicity and weight gain were evaluated for 2-3 months. Serum hormone levels were assayed from trunk blood, collected at the time of death. Paraformaldehyde-fixed ovaries were evaluated quantitatively. RESULTS Rats that had pilocarpine-induced seizures had an increased incidence of acyclicity by the end of the study, even if SE did not occur. Ovarian cysts and weight gain were significantly greater in epileptic rats than controls, whether rats maintained cyclicity or not. Serum testosterone was elevated in epileptic rats, but estradiol, progesterone and prolactin were not. INTERPRETATIONS The results suggest that an epileptic condition in the rat leads to increased body weight, cystic ovaries and elevated testosterone levels. Although caution is required when comparing female rats to women, the data suggest that epilepsy per se may be sufficient to induce abnormalities in the control of the ovary. PMID:19107990

  14. Beyond Leptin: Emerging Candidates for the Integration of Metabolic and Reproductive Function during Negative Energy Balance.

    PubMed

    True, Cadence; Grove, Kevin L; Smith, M Susan

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive status is tightly coupled to metabolic state in females, and ovarian cycling in mammals is halted when energy output exceeds energy input, a metabolic condition known as negative energy balance. This inhibition of reproductive function during negative energy balance occurs due to suppression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release in the hypothalamus. The GnRH secretagogue kisspeptin is also inhibited during negative energy balance, indicating that inhibition of reproductive neuroendocrine circuits may occur upstream of GnRH itself. Understanding the metabolic signals responsible for the inhibition of reproductive pathways has been a compelling research focus for many years. A predominant theory in the field is that the status of energy balance is conveyed to reproductive neuroendocrine circuits via the adipocyte hormone leptin. Leptin is stimulatory for GnRH release and lower levels of leptin during negative energy balance are believed to result in decreased stimulatory drive for GnRH cells. However, recent evidence found that restoring leptin to physiological levels did not restore GnRH function in three different models of negative energy balance. This suggests that although leptin may be an important permissive signal for reproductive function as indicated by many years of research, factors other than leptin must critically contribute to negative energy balance-induced reproductive inhibition. This review will focus on emerging candidates for the integration of metabolic status and reproductive function during negative energy balance.

  15. Beyond Leptin: Emerging Candidates for the Integration of Metabolic and Reproductive Function during Negative Energy Balance

    PubMed Central

    True, Cadence; Grove, Kevin L.; Smith, M. Susan

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive status is tightly coupled to metabolic state in females, and ovarian cycling in mammals is halted when energy output exceeds energy input, a metabolic condition known as negative energy balance. This inhibition of reproductive function during negative energy balance occurs due to suppression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release in the hypothalamus. The GnRH secretagogue kisspeptin is also inhibited during negative energy balance, indicating that inhibition of reproductive neuroendocrine circuits may occur upstream of GnRH itself. Understanding the metabolic signals responsible for the inhibition of reproductive pathways has been a compelling research focus for many years. A predominant theory in the field is that the status of energy balance is conveyed to reproductive neuroendocrine circuits via the adipocyte hormone leptin. Leptin is stimulatory for GnRH release and lower levels of leptin during negative energy balance are believed to result in decreased stimulatory drive for GnRH cells. However, recent evidence found that restoring leptin to physiological levels did not restore GnRH function in three different models of negative energy balance. This suggests that although leptin may be an important permissive signal for reproductive function as indicated by many years of research, factors other than leptin must critically contribute to negative energy balance-induced reproductive inhibition. This review will focus on emerging candidates for the integration of metabolic status and reproductive function during negative energy balance. PMID:22645510

  16. Diverse functions of uterine proteoglycans in human reproduction (review).

    PubMed

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Tada, Yoshihiro; Hayashi, Terumi; Taguchi, Sagiri; Funabiki, Miyako; Nakamura, Yoshitaka; Yasuo, Tadahiro

    2012-06-01

    Proteoglycans (PGs) are a group of heavily glycosylated proteins that are present throughout the mammalian body and are involved in a wide variety of biological phenomena, including structural maintenance, tissue remodeling, molecular presentation, cell adhesion and signal transmission. Previous studies have revealed an increasing number of roles for PGs in human reproduction. Several PGs are currently utilized or regarded as biomarkers for the diagnosis of certain pathological uterine conditions associated with infertility and obstetrical complications. The aim of this review was to discuss the involvement of PGs in the human uterus in reproductive biology and pathophysiology.

  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. Sexual and Reproductive Function in Spinal Cord Injury and Spinal Surgery Patients

    PubMed Central

    Albright, Theodore H.; Grabel, Zachary; DePasse, J. Mason; Palumbo, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual and reproductive health is important quality of life outcomes, which can have a major impact on patient satisfaction. Spinal pathology arising from trauma, deformity, and degenerative disease processes may be detrimental to sexual and reproductive function. Furthermore, spine surgery may impact sexual and reproductive function due to post-surgical mechanical, neurologic, and psychological factors. The aim of this paper is to provide a concise evidence-based review on the impact that spine surgery and pathology can have on sexual and reproductive function. A review of published literature regarding sexual and reproductive function in spinal injury and spinal surgery patients was performed. We have found that sexual and reproductive dysfunction can occur due to numerous etiological factors associated with spinal pathology. Numerous treatment options are available for those patients, depending on the degree of dysfunction. Spine surgeons and non-operative healthcare providers should be aware of the issues surrounding sexual and reproductive function as related to spine pathology and spine surgery. It is important for spine surgeons to educate their patients on the operative risks that spine surgery encompasses with regard to sexual dysfunction, although current data examining these topics largely consists of level IV data. PMID:26605025

  19. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype.

  20. 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.

  1. Altered expression of the bZIP transcription factor DRINK ME affects growth and reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Sotomayor, Paulina; Chávez Montes, Ricardo A; Silvestre-Vañó, Marina; Herrera-Ubaldo, Humberto; Greco, Raffaella; Pablo-Villa, Jeanneth; Galliani, Bianca M; Diaz-Ramirez, David; Weemen, Mieke; Boutilier, Kim; Pereira, Andy; Colombo, Lucia; Madueño, Francisco; Marsch-Martínez, Nayelli; de Folter, Stefan

    2016-11-01

    Here we describe an uncharacterized gene that negatively influences Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development. DRINK ME (DKM; bZIP30) is a member of the bZIP transcription factor family, and is expressed in meristematic tissues such as the inflorescence meristem (IM), floral meristem (FM), and carpel margin meristem (CMM). Altered DKM expression affects meristematic tissues and reproductive organ development, including the gynoecium, which is the female reproductive structure and is determinant for fertility and sexual reproduction. A microarray analysis indicates that DKM overexpression affects the expression of cell cycle, cell wall, organ initiation, cell elongation, hormone homeostasis, and meristem activity genes. Furthermore, DKM can interact in yeast and in planta with proteins involved in shoot apical meristem maintenance such as WUSCHEL, KNAT1/BP, KNAT2 and JAIBA, and with proteins involved in medial tissue development in the gynoecium such as HECATE, BELL1 and NGATHA1. Taken together, our results highlight the relevance of DKM as a negative modulator of Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development.

  2. Bisphenol A affects androgen receptor function via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Teng, Christina; Goodwin, Bonnie; Shockley, Keith; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Norris, John; Merrick, B Alex; Jetten, Anton M; Austin, Christopher P; Tice, Raymond R

    2013-05-25

    Bisphenol A (BPA), is a well-known endocrine disruptor compound (EDC) that affects the normal development and function of the female and male reproductive system, however the mechanisms of action remain unclear. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of how BPA may affect ten different nuclear receptors, stable cell lines containing individual nuclear receptor ligand binding domain (LBD)-linked to the β-Gal reporter were examined by a quantitative high throughput screening (qHTS) format in the Tox21 Screening Program of the NIH. The results showed that two receptors, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and androgen receptor (AR), are affected by BPA in opposite direction. To confirm the observed effects of BPA on ERα and AR, we performed transient transfection experiments with full-length receptors and their corresponding response elements linked to luciferase reporters. We also included in this study two BPA analogs, bisphenol AF (BPAF) and bisphenol S (BPS). As seen in African green monkey kidney CV1 cells, the present study confirmed that BPA and BPAF act as ERα agonists (half maximal effective concentration EC50 of 10-100 nM) and as AR antagonists (half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of 1-2 μM). Both BPA and BPAF antagonized AR function via competitive inhibition of the action of synthetic androgen R1881. BPS with lower estrogenic activity (EC50 of 2.2 μM), did not compete with R1881 for AR binding, when tested at 30 μM. Finally, the effects of BPA were also evaluated in a nuclear translocation assays using EGPF-tagged receptors. Similar to 17β-estradiol (E2) which was used as control, BPA was able to enhance ERα nuclear foci formation but at a 100-fold higher concentration. Although BPA was able to bind AR, the nuclear translocation was reduced. Furthermore, BPA was unable to induce functional foci in the nuclei and is consistent with the transient transfection study that BPA is unable to activate AR.

  3. Effects of sediment remediation on reproductive function in English sole from Eagle Harbor, WA

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, L.L.; Sol, S.Y.; Lomax, D.P.; Myers, M.S.; Collier, T.K.

    1995-12-31

    Eagle Harbor, near Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, WA is currently designated as an EPA Superfund site because of high levels of creosote-derived PAHs in the sediments. In 1986--88, the authors conducted a series of studies evaluating reproductive function in English sole from Eagle Harbor. These studies showed that only about 60% of adult female sole from the Eagle Harbor site entered vitellogenesis, in comparison to 80--90% of females of comparable age and size from minimally contaminated Puget Sound sites. Eagle Harbor fish also exhibited reduced spawning success and lowered egg viability in comparison to fish from unpolluted sites. Both types of reproductive function were associated with depressed plasma levels of reproductive steroids (e.g. 17-B estradiol) in Eagle Harbor fish. In September of 1993 the EPA began placement of a cap of uncontaminated sediment over the most contaminated portions of Eagle Harbor, as a means of providing clean habitat for benthic organisms and reducing risk from the contaminants contained in the sediments. Since the time of capping, the authors have been monitoring reproductive development in English sole and related benthic flatfish to determine whether this restoration will result in improved reproductive success in the resident flatfish of Eagle Harbor. Preliminary results indicate that the proportion of maturing females has increased to approximately 75%. Other reproductive parameters, including plasma steroid hormone concentration and ovarian atresia, are currently being assessed. Nonetheless, the initial data suggest that sediment remediation is associated with improved reproductive function in Eagle Harbor bottom fish.

  4. Copper-induced changes in reproductive functions: in vivo and in vitro effects.

    PubMed

    Roychoudhury, S; Nath, S; Massanyi, P; Stawarz, R; Kacaniova, M; Kolesarova, A

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study is to summarize the current knowledge on the effects of one of the essential metals, copper (Cu) on the reproductive system. The development of past four decades addressing effects of Cu on reproductive organs is reviewed. The most relevant data obtained from in vivo and in vitro experiments performed on humans and other mammals, including effects of copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) on the reproductive functions are presented. Short term Cu administration has been found to exert deleterious effect on intracellular organelles of rat ovarian cells in vivo. In vitro administration in porcine ovarian granulosa cells releases insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), steroid hormone progesterone (P(4)), and induces expression of peptides related to proliferation and apoptosis. Adverse effect of Cu on male reproductive functions has been indicated by the decrease in spermatozoa parameters such as concentration, viability and motility. Copper nanoparticles are capable of generating oxidative stress in vitro thereby leading to reproductive toxicity. Toxic effect of CuNPs has been evident more in male mice than in females. Even though further investigations are necessary to arrive at a definitive conclusion, Cu notably influences the reproductive functions by interfering with both male and female reproductive systems and also hampers embryo development in dose-dependent manner.

  5. Beadex function in the motor neurons is essential for female reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has served as an excellent model system for understanding the neuronal circuits and molecular mechanisms regulating complex behaviors. The Drosophila female reproductive circuits, in particular, are well studied and can be used as a tool to understand the role of novel genes in neuronal function in general and female reproduction in particular. In the present study, the role of Beadex, a transcription co-activator, in Drosophila female reproduction was assessed by generation of mutant and knock down studies. Null allele of Beadex was generated by transposase induced excision of P-element present within an intron of Beadex gene. The mutant showed highly compromised reproductive abilities as evaluated by reduced fecundity and fertility, abnormal oviposition and more importantly, the failure of sperm release from storage organs. However, no defect was found in the overall ovariole development. Tissue specific, targeted knock down of Beadex indicated that its function in neurons is important for efficient female reproduction, since its neuronal knock down led to compromised female reproductive abilities, similar to Beadex null females. Further, different neuronal class specific knock down studies revealed that Beadex function is required in motor neurons for normal fecundity and fertility of females. Thus, the present study attributes a novel and essential role for Beadex in female reproduction through neurons.

  6. 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.

  7. Reproductive health concerns in six conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Kottegoda, Sepali; Samuel, Kumudini; Emmanuel, Sarala

    2008-05-01

    This article draws on a study conducted by the Women and Media Collective between 2004 and 2005 to highlight some of the reproductive health concerns of women from Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups, living in situations of conflict in Sri Lanka. The study focussed on women from six conflict-affected areas in the north and east of the country: Jaffna (Northern Province), Mannar and Puttalam (North-Western Province), Polonnaruwa (North-Central Province), Batticaloa and Ampara (Eastern Province). Higher levels of poverty, higher rates of school drop-out, low pay and precarious access to work, mainly in the informal sector, higher rates of early marriage, pregnancy and home births, higher levels of maternal mortality and lower levels of contraceptive use were found. Economic, social and physical insecurity were key to these phenomena. Physically and psychologically, women were at high risk of sexual and physical violence, mainly from their partners/spouses but also from family members, often related to dowry. The article brings out the voices of women whose lives have been overshadowed by conflict and displacement, and the nature of structural barriers that impede their right to health care services, to make informed decisions about their lives and to live free of familial violence.

  8. An insulin-like signaling pathway affects both longevity and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, H A; Ruvkun, G

    1998-01-01

    Mutations in daf-2 and age-1 cause a dramatic increase in longevity as well as developmental arrest at the dauer diapause stage in Caenorhabditis elegans. daf-2 and age-1 encode components of an insulin-like signaling pathway. Both daf-2 and age-1 act at a similar point in the genetic epistasis pathway for dauer arrest and longevity and regulate the activity of the daf-16 gene. Mutations in daf-16 cause a dauer-defective phenotype and are epistatic to the diapause arrest and life span extension phenotypes of daf-2 and age-1 mutants. Here we show that mutations in this pathway also affect fertility and embryonic development. Weak daf-2 alleles, and maternally rescued age-1 alleles that cause life span extension but do not arrest at the dauer stage, also reduce fertility and viability. We find that age-1(hx546) has reduced both maternal and zygotic age-1 activity. daf-16 mutations suppress all of the daf-2 and age-1 phenotypes, including dauer arrest, life span extension, reduced fertility, and viability defects. These data show that insulin signaling, mediated by DAF-2 through the AGE-1 phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase, regulates reproduction and embryonic development, as well as dauer diapause and life span, and that DAF-16 transduces these signals. The regulation of fertility, life span, and metabolism by an insulin-like signaling pathway is similar to the endocrine regulation of metabolism and fertility by mammalian insulin signaling. PMID:9504918

  9. 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

  10. No evidence for external genital morphology affecting cryptic female choice and reproductive isolation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    LeVasseur-Viens, Hélène; Polak, Michal; Moehring, Amanda J

    2015-07-01

    Genitalia are one of the most rapidly diverging morphological features in animals. The evolution of genital morphology is proposed to be driven by sexual selection via cryptic female choice, whereby a female selectively uptakes and uses a particular male's sperm on the basis of male genital morphology. The resulting shifts in genital morphology within a species can lead to divergence in genitalia between species, and consequently to reproductive isolation and speciation. Although this conceptual framework is supported by correlative data, there is little direct empirical evidence. Here, we used a microdissection laser to alter the morphology of the external male genitalia in Drosophila, a widely used genetic model for both genital shape and cryptic female choice. We evaluate the effect of precision alterations to lobe morphology on both interspecific and intraspecific mating, and demonstrate experimentally that the male genital lobes do not affect copulation duration or cryptic female choice, contrary to long-standing assumptions regarding the role of the lobes in this model system. Rather, we demonstrate that the lobes are essential for copulation to occur. Moreover, slight alterations to the lobes significantly reduced copulatory success only in competitive environments, identifying precopulatory sexual selection as a potential contributing force behind genital diversification.

  11. Influence of Reproductive Aging of the Cow on Luteal Function and Period 1 mRNA Expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In rodents, disruption of the circadian clock genes results in increased incidence of anovulation, irregular estrous cycles, decreased luteal function, and accelerated reproductive ageing. In cattle, reproductive ageing is associated with decreased numbers of follicles in the ovary, decreased lutea...

  12. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens.

    PubMed

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J; Carey, James R; Brakefield, Paul M

    2008-10-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction-last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field.

  13. Determination of factors affecting relapse of vaginitis among reproductive-aged women: An experimental study

    PubMed Central

    Parsapour, Roxana; Majlessi, Fereshteh; Rahimiforoushani, Abbas; Sadeghi, Roya

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Vaginitis is a common problem for women, especially in reproductive-aged women. It is a worldwide health problem with many side effects but could be prevented by a health-promoting lifestyle related to vagina health. The aim of this study was to determine the factors affecting relapse of vaginitis. Methods In this experimental study, 350 reproductive-aged women with vaginitis were selected from 10 health centers in Kermanshah (Iran) during 2015 and were equally included in the intervention and control groups. To collect data, a researcher-created questionnaire, which included sociodemographic and health-promoting lifestyle questions, was used. The educational intervention was performed over 20 sessions, each lasting 25–35 minutes. An intervention group was educated by face-to-face education, pamphlets, phone contacts, text messages, and social media. Another group continued the routine clinic education and treatment without contacting the intervention group. Data were analyzed through chi-square and a logistics regression model using IBM-SPSS version 20. Results The results of the study indicated a significant relation between sociodemographic characteristics such as women and their husbands’ literacy, job, family size, income, area for each member of family, tendency of pregnancy, body mass index (BMI), and caesarean experience (p<0.001) and vaginitis. In addition, significant relationships between health-promoting lifestyle dimensions and prevention of vaginitis were identified. Relapse after intervention in the intervention group was 27.7% and 72.3% in the control group. According to the logistic regression analysis, chance for relapse of vaginitis in the group that did not receive intervention was more than the same chance in the intervention group (OR=5.14). Conclusion Health-promoting lifestyle intervention influences prevention of vaginitis. Health-promoting lifestyle, literacy promotion, prevention of caesarian, and obesity are beneficial

  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. Novel function of LHFPL2 in female and male distal reproductive tract development

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Fei; Zhou, Jun; Li, Rong; Dudley, Elizabeth A.; Ye, Xiaoqin

    2016-01-01

    Congenital reproductive tract anomalies could impair fertility. Female and male reproductive tracts are developed from Müllerian ducts and Wolffian ducts, respectively, involving initiation, elongation and differentiation. Genetic basis solely for distal reproductive tract development is largely unknown. Lhfpl2 (lipoma HMGIC fusion partner-like 2) encodes a tetra-transmembrane protein with unknown functions. It is expressed in follicle cells of ovary and epithelial cells of reproductive tracts. A spontaneous point mutation of Lhfpl2 (LHFPL2G102E) leads to infertility in 100% female mice, which have normal ovarian development, ovulation, uterine development, and uterine response to exogenous estrogen stimulation, but abnormal upper longitudinal vaginal septum and lower vaginal agenesis. Infertility is also observed in ~70% mutant males, which have normal mating behavior and sperm counts, but abnormal distal vas deferens convolution resulting in complete and incomplete blockage of reproductive tract in infertile and fertile males, respectively. On embryonic day 15.5, mutant Müllerian ducts and Wolffian ducts have elongated but their duct tips are enlarged and fail to merge with the urogenital sinus. These findings provide a novel function of LHFPL2 and a novel genetic basis for distal reproductive tract development; they also emphasize the importance of an additional merging phase for proper reproductive tract development. PMID:26964900

  16. Novel function of LHFPL2 in female and male distal reproductive tract development.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Fei; Zhou, Jun; Li, Rong; Dudley, Elizabeth A; Ye, Xiaoqin

    2016-03-11

    Congenital reproductive tract anomalies could impair fertility. Female and male reproductive tracts are developed from Müllerian ducts and Wolffian ducts, respectively, involving initiation, elongation and differentiation. Genetic basis solely for distal reproductive tract development is largely unknown. Lhfpl2 (lipoma HMGIC fusion partner-like 2) encodes a tetra-transmembrane protein with unknown functions. It is expressed in follicle cells of ovary and epithelial cells of reproductive tracts. A spontaneous point mutation of Lhfpl2 (LHFPL2(G102E)) leads to infertility in 100% female mice, which have normal ovarian development, ovulation, uterine development, and uterine response to exogenous estrogen stimulation, but abnormal upper longitudinal vaginal septum and lower vaginal agenesis. Infertility is also observed in ~70% mutant males, which have normal mating behavior and sperm counts, but abnormal distal vas deferens convolution resulting in complete and incomplete blockage of reproductive tract in infertile and fertile males, respectively. On embryonic day 15.5, mutant Müllerian ducts and Wolffian ducts have elongated but their duct tips are enlarged and fail to merge with the urogenital sinus. These findings provide a novel function of LHFPL2 and a novel genetic basis for distal reproductive tract development; they also emphasize the importance of an additional merging phase for proper reproductive tract development.

  17. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... such as lead and mercury Chemicals such as pesticides Cigarettes Some viruses Alcohol For men, a reproductive hazard can affect the sperm. For a woman, a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. ...

  18. 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.

  19. Adult diet affects lifespan and reproduction of the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens

    PubMed Central

    Molleman, Freerk; Ding, Jimin; Wang, Jane-Ling; Zwaan, Bas J.; Carey, James R.; Brakefield, Paul M.

    2009-01-01

    Fruit-feeding butterflies are among the longest lived Lepidoptera. While the use of pollen-derived amino acids by Heliconius butterflies has been interpreted as important for the evolution of extended lifespans, very little is known about the life-history consequences of frugivory. This issue is addressed by investigating effects of four adult diets (sugar, sugar with amino acids, banana, and moistened banana) on lifespan and reproduction in the fruit-feeding butterfly Charaxes fulvescens Aurivillius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Female butterflies were collected from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and kept individually in cages near their natural habitat and data were collected on lifespan, oviposition, and hatching of eggs. Lifespan in captivity was longer for the sugar and the amino acid cohort, than for the banana cohorts. The longitudinal pattern of oviposition was erratic, with many days without oviposition and few periods with high numbers of eggs laid. Butterflies typically did not lay eggs during their 1st week in captivity and the length of the period between capture and first reproduction was significantly shorter for butterflies fed moistened banana. The length of the reproduction period (first reproduction–last reproduction in captivity) and the reproduction rate (total number of eggs/length of the reproduction period) did not differ significantly between the diet treatments. Those fed with amino acid and moistened banana had significantly higher egg hatchability than those fed with sugar and banana. We found no evidence for a lifespan cost of reproduction. Our results show that (1) female C. fulvescens can use amino acids in their diet for laying fertile eggs, (2) more wing-wear does correlate with lower survival in captivity (indicating aging in the wild), but not with intensity of reproduction (providing no evidence for reproductive aging), and (3) fruit-feeding butterflies may be dietary restricted in the field. PMID:19774093

  20. Reproduction of Bacillus stearothermophilus as a Function of Temperature and Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Yayanos, A. Aristides; Van Boxtel, R.; Dietz, Allan S.

    1983-01-01

    The colony-forming ability and the rate of reproduction of Bacillus stearothermophilus were determined as a function of temperature and pressure. Colonies were formed between 39 and 70°C at atmospheric pressure and between 54 and 67°C at 45 MPa. Colonies did not form at 55.9 MPa. The rate of reproduction in broth cultures decreased with increasing pressure at all temperatures. The rate of reproduction diminished rapidly with pressure above 10.4 MPa. Therefore, increased hydrostatic pressure was not sufficient to enable B. stearothermophilus to function beyond the temperature limiting growth and reproduction at atmospheric pressure, and B. stearothermophilus should grow in naturally or artificially warmed regions of the deep sea, where the pressure is less than approximately 50 MPa, although growth rates would be low above 10 MPa. PMID:16346444

  1. 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

  2. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control

    PubMed Central

    Mariño, Yobana A.; Verle Rodrigues, José C.; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. PMID:28085049

  3. Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control.

    PubMed

    Mariño, Yobana A; Verle Rodrigues, José C; Bayman, Paul

    2017-01-11

    Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R₀), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management.

  4. Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

    PubMed

    Dinc, Mehmet Emre; Dalgic, Abdullah; Ulusoy, Seckin; Dizdar, Denizhan; Develioglu, Omer; Topak, Murat

    2016-07-01

    Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values.

  5. The value of eutherian-marsupial comparisons for understanding the function of glucocorticoids in female mammal reproduction.

    PubMed

    Fanson, Kerry V; Parrott, Marissa L

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". Chronic stress is known to inhibit female reproductive function. Consequently, it is often assumed that glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations should be negatively correlated with reproductive success because of the role they play in stress physiology. In contrast, a growing body of evidence indicates that GCs play an active role in promoting reproductive function. It is precisely because GCs are so integral to the entire process that disruptions to adrenal activity have negative consequences for reproduction. The goal of this paper is to draw attention to the increasing evidence showing that increases in adrenal activity are important for healthy female reproduction. Furthermore, we outline several hypotheses about the functional role(s) that GCs may play in mediating reproduction and argue that comparative studies between eutherian and marsupial mammals, which exhibit some pronounced differences in reproductive physiology, may be particularly useful for testing different hypotheses about the functional role of GCs in reproduction. Much of our current thinking about GCs and reproduction comes from research involving stress-induced levels of GCs and has led to broad assumptions about the effects of GCs on reproduction. Unfortunately, this has left a gaping hole in our knowledge about basal GC levels and how they may influence reproductive function, thereby preventing a broader understanding of adrenal physiology and obscuring potential solutions for reproductive dysfunction.

  6. High summer temperatures affect the survival and reproduction of olive fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Geng; Johnson, Marshall W; Daane, Kent M; Nadel, Hannah

    2009-10-01

    The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an invasive pest in California. Identifying environmental constraints that affect the geographic distribution and abundance of any invasive insect pest is fundamental to its effective management. California's Central Valley, where most commercial olives are grown, is extremely hot during the summer, with maximum daily temperatures consistently >35.0 degrees C. This study examined the effects of two diurnal temperature regimens (low 18.3 degrees C, high 35.0 or 37.8 degrees C) reflecting summer conditions in the valley, and one control temperature regimen (low 18.3 degrees C, high 23.9 degrees C) on the fly's survival and reproductive success in the laboratory. The temperature regimen of 18.3-35.0 degrees C resulted in delayed egg maturation and reduced production of mature eggs compared with the control temperature regimen. Egg maturation was possible at the higher temperature regimen when females were provided with water and food, and egg-laying occurred during the cold phase of the temperature cycle. Access to olive fruit and oviposition itself further promoted egg maturation. Under exposure to the 18.3-35.0 degrees C temperature regimen, approximately 50% of eggs died, and the remainder that hatched died as first instars. No egg hatch occurred at the temperature treatment of 18.3-37.8 degrees C. We confirmed these laboratory results through field cage studies with adult B. oleae, conducted in the summer of 2007 and 2008. Under ambient summer temperatures, adult B. oleae survived for 1-2 wk, and females readily laid eggs when provided water and food. No offspring developed in midsummer of 2007, and <2% of the offspring developed to adults in summer 2008 trials. These results suggest that high summer temperatures limit the fly's abundance in California's Central Valley.

  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. 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

  9. Perceived risk of predation affects reproductive life-history traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but not in Heterandria formosa.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Does long-term fungicide exposure affect the reproductive performance of leaf-shredders? A partial life-cycle study using Hyalella azteca.

    PubMed

    Baudy, Patrick; Zubrod, Jochen P; Konschak, Marco; Weil, Mirco; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2017-03-01

    Leaf-shredding amphipods play a critical role in the ecosystem function of leaf litter breakdown, a key process in many low order streams. Fungicides, however, may adversely influence shredders' behavior and the functions they provide, while there is only limited knowledge concerning effects on their reproductive performance. To assess the latter, a semi-static 56-day partial life-cycle bioassay using the model shredder Hyalella azteca (n = 30) was performed applying two environmentally relevant concentrations of a model fungicide mixture (i.e., 5 and 25 μg/L) composed of five fungicides with different modes of toxic action. Variables related to the food processing (leaf consumption and feces production), growth (body length and dry weight), energy reserves (lipid content), and reproduction (amplexus pairs, number and length of offspring) were determined to understand potential implications in the organisms' energy budget. While the fungicides did not affect leaf consumption, both fungicide treatments significantly reduced amphipods' feces production (∼20%) compared to the control. This observation suggests an increased food utilization to counteract the elevated and stress-related energy demand: although growth as well as energy reserves were unaffected, amplexus pairs were less frequently observed in both fungicide treatments (∼50-100%) suggesting a tradeoff regarding energy allocation favoring the maintenance of fundamental functions at the organism level over reproduction. As a result, the time to release of first offspring was delayed in both fungicide treatments (7 and 14 days) and the median number of offspring was significantly lower in the 25-μg/L treatment (100%), whereas offspring length remained unaffected. The results of this study thus indicate that chronic fungicide exposures can negatively impact shredders' reproductive performance. This may translate into lower abundances and thus a reduced contribution to leaf litter breakdown in

  13. Pulsed resources affect the timing of first breeding and lifetime reproductive success of tawny owls.

    PubMed

    Millon, A; Petty, S J; Lambin, X

    2010-03-01

    1. According to life-history theory, environmental variability and costs of reproduction account for the prevalence of delayed reproduction in many taxa. Empirical estimates of the fitness consequences of different ages at first breeding in a variable environment are few however such that the contributions of environmental and individual variability remains poorly known. 2. Our objectives were to elucidate processes that underpin variation in delayed reproduction and to assess lifetime consequences of the age of first breeding in a site-faithful predator, the tawny owl Strix aluco L. subjected to fluctuating selection linked to cyclical variation in vole density (typically 3-year cycles with low, increasing and decreasing vole densities in successive years). 3. A multistate capture-recapture model revealed that owl cohorts had strikingly different juvenile survival prospects, with estimates ranging from 0.08 to 0.33 respectively for birds born in Decrease and Increase phases of the vole cycle. This resulted in a highly skewed population structure with >75% of local recruits being reared during Increase years. In contrast, adult survival remained constant throughout a vole cycle. The probability of commencing reproduction was lower at age 1 than at older ages, and especially so for females. From age 2 onwards, pre-breeders had high probabilities of entering the breeding population. 4. Variation in lifetime reproductive success was driven by the phase of the vole cycle in which female owls started their breeding career (26-47% of variance explained, whether based on the number of local recruits or fledglings), more than by age at first breeding or by conditions experienced at birth. Females who postponed reproduction to breed for the first time at age 3 during an Increase phase, produced more recruits, even when accounting for birds that may have died before reproduction. No such effects were detected for males. 5. Sex-specific costs of early reproduction may have

  14. HORMONAL CONTROL OF OVARIAN FUNCTION FOLLOWING CHLOROTRIAZINE EXPOSURE: EFFECT ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION AND MAMMARY GLAND TUMOR DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hormonal Control of Ovarian Function Following Chlorotriazine Exposure: Effect on Reproductive Function and Mammary Gland Tumor Development.

    Ralph L. Cooper, Susan C. Laws, Michael G. Narotsky, Jerome M. Goldman, and Tammy E. Stoker

    Abstract
    The studies review...

  15. 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.

  16. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  17. [Toxicology of reproduction and development. Changes in the male reproductive function caused by drugs and pollutants: potential effects on offspring].

    PubMed

    Mariani, L; Minora, T; Acerboni, F; Ventresca, G P

    1995-10-01

    Published clinical observations underline the difficulty of defining with epidemiological studies the effects that chemicals such as drugs, illicit substances environmental and workplace pollutants might have on the offspring through the male parent. The Authors highlight how defining this issue might help both guide preclinical research and evaluate correctly clinical observations which are often difficult to interpret based only on observations in the female parent. Clinical research already available shows that some chemicals are able to modify fertility by acting either at the neuroendocrine level or on the testis. However, it is more difficult to identify and quantify the potential damage to the offsprings during the different phases of pregnancy and postnatal life. Finally, the Authors discuss the parameters that should be considered to obtain an algorithm for evaluating the reproductive risk in males, along the lines of the risk for the embryo and fetus due to the use of drugs during pregnancy. Moreover, it is suggested that among the unwanted effects of drugs and pollutants, those related to the different components and phases of the male reproductive function be reported also in relation to the patient's age.

  18. The role of early life nutrition in programming of reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Chadio, S; Kotsampasi, B

    2014-02-01

    Accumulating evidence suggest that the concept of programming can also be applied to reproductive development and function, representing an ever expanding research area. Recently issues such as peri- or even preconceptional nutrition, transgenerational effects and underlying mechanisms have received considerable attention. The present chapter presents the existed evidence and reviews the available data from numerous animal and human studies on the effects of early life nutritional environment on adult reproductive function. Specific outcomes depend on the severity, duration and stage of development when nutritional perturbations are imposed, while sex-specific effects are also manifested. Apart from undernutrition, effects of relative overnutrition as well as the complex interactions between pre- and postnatal nutrition is of high importance, especially in the context of our days obesity epidemic. Mechanisms underlying reproductive programming are yet unclear, but may include a role for epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modulation of critical genes involved in the control of reproductive function and potential intergenerational effects represent an exciting area of interdisciplinary research toward the development of new nutritional approaches during pre- and postnatal periods to ensure reproductive health in later life.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Human affection exchange: VI. Further tests of reproductive probability as a predictor of men's affection with their adult sons.

    PubMed

    Floyd, Kory; Sargent, Jack E; Di Corcia, Mark

    2004-04-01

    The authors examined the communication of affection in men's relationships with their fathers. Drawing from Affection Exchange Theory, the authors advanced four predictions: (a) heterosexual men receive more affection from their own fathers than do homosexual or bisexual men, (b) fathers communicate affection to their sons more through supportive activities than through direct verbal statements or nonverbal gestures, (c) affectionate communication between fathers and sons is linearly related to closeness and interpersonal involvement between them, and (d) fathers' awareness of their sons' sexual orientation is associated with the amount of affection that the fathers communicate to them. Participants were 170 adult men who completed questionnaires regarding affectionate communication in their relationships with their fathers. Half of the men were self-identified as exclusively heterosexual, and the other half were self-identified as exclusively homosexual or bisexual. The results supported all predictions substantially.

  2. 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

  3. A survey of Canadian mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents: insights concerning the potential to affect fish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Tibor G; Martel, Pierre H; O'Connor, Brian I; Hewitt, L Mark; Parrott, Joanne L; McMaster, Mark E; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Van Der Kraak, Glen J; Van Den Heuvel, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Building on breakthroughs recently made at kraft mills, a survey of mechanical pulp and paper mill effluents was undertaken to gain insights concerning potential effects on fish reproduction. Effluents from seven Canadian mills were characterized chemically for conventional parameters such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS). Each sample was further subjected to solvent extraction followed by gas chromatographic separation for the determination of resin/fatty acids and for the estimation of a gas chromatography (GC) profile index. Each mill effluent was assessed for the potential to affect fish reproduction in the laboratory using a five day adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) egg production bioassay with exposures to 100% effluent. The seven effluents were found to have substantial variation both in terms of chemical characterization and effects on fish reproduction. Temporal variations were also noted in effluent quality at mills sampled on different occasions. Similar to what has been observed for kraft mills, a general trend of greater reductions in egg production caused by effluents with greater BOD concentrations and GC profile indices was noted. Effluents with BOD > 25 mg/L and GC Profile indices >5.0 caused a complete cessation of egg production. At the same time, about half of the total effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused no significant effects on egg production, suggesting these values may be useful as effluent quality targets for mechanical pulp and paper mills. However, 3 out of 14 effluents sampled had BOD < 25 mg/L and GC profile indices <5.0 and caused significant reductions in egg production. The reason(s) for reproductive effects caused by such effluents is presently unclear. The effluent quality parameters considered in this study may require further refinement to address their utility in predicting the adverse reproductive effects induced by effluents from mechanical

  4. Relationship between reproduction traits and functional longevity in canadian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Sewalem, A; Miglior, F; Kistemaker, G J; Sullivan, P; Van Doormaal, B J

    2008-04-01

    The aim of this study was to use survival analysis to assess the relationship between reproduction traits and functional longevity of Canadian dairy cattle. Data consisted of 1,702,857; 67,470; and 33,190 Holstein, Ayrshire, and Jersey cows, respectively. Functional longevity was defined as the number of days from first calving to culling, death, or censoring; adjusted for the effect of milk yield. The reproduction traits included calving traits (calving ease, calf size, and calf survival) and female fertility traits (number of services, days from calving to first service, days from first service to conception, and days open). The statistical model was a Weibull proportional hazards model and included the fixed effects of stage of lactation, season of production, the annual change in herd size, and type of milk recording supervision, age at first calving, effects of milk, fat, and protein yields calculated as within herd-year-parity deviations for each reproduction trait. Herd-year-season of calving and sire were included as random effects. Analysis was performed separately for each reproductive trait. Significant associations between reproduction traits and longevity were observed in all breeds. Increased risk of culling was observed for cows that required hard pull, calved small calves, or dead calves. Moreover, cows that require more services per conception, a longer interval between first service to conception, an interval between calving to first service greater than 90 d, and increased days open were at greater risk of being culled.

  5. Reproductive system of females of the Magdalena river endemic stingray Potamotrygon magdalenae: Anatomical and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    del Mar Pedreros-Sierra, Tania; Arrieta-Prieto, Dagoberto M; Mejía-Falla, Paola A

    2016-05-01

    We studied anatomical and functional aspects of the reproductive system of females of the Magdalena river stingray Potamotrygon magdalenae using microscopic and macroscopic analysis of each organ. Although the reproductive tract was fully functional on both side, the left organs possibly have a greater contribution to reproductive success, because left ovary and uterus were more developed and had higher number of oocytes and embryos, respectively, than the right ones. This species has histotrophic viviparity given by the presence of uterine trophonemata and by glandular character in pregnant and postpartum females. We suggest that the epigonal organ is involved in the degradation of components of atretic follicles and the embryos begin to develop surrounded by a gelatinous tertiary envelope produced by the oviducal gland. This latter organ is composed by three zones in mature females, club, papillary, and baffle zone, as described for other elasmobranchs. From the anatomical observations, a maturity scale comprising six sexual maturity stages (Immature I, Immature II, early mature, pregnant, post-partum, and regenerating) was established for female P. magdalenae, and it can be useful as basis for reproductive studies of other potamotrygonid species. Finally, we propose a continuous reproductive cycle for P. magdalenae.

  6. The role of estradiol in male reproductive function

    PubMed Central

    Schulster, Michael; Bernie, Aaron M; Ramasamy, Ranjith

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, testosterone and estrogen have been considered to be male and female sex hormones, respectively. However, estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen, also plays a critical role in male sexual function. Estradiol in men is essential for modulating libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis. Estrogen receptors, as well as aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, are abundant in brain, penis, and testis, organs important for sexual function. In the brain, estradiol synthesis is increased in areas related to sexual arousal. In addition, in the penis, estrogen receptors are found throughout the corpus cavernosum with high concentration around neurovascular bundles. Low testosterone and elevated estrogen increase the incidence of erectile dysfunction independently of one another. In the testes, spermatogenesis is modulated at every level by estrogen, starting with the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, followed by the Leydig, Sertoli, and germ cells, and finishing with the ductal epithelium, epididymis, and mature sperm. Regulation of testicular cells by estradiol shows both an inhibitory and a stimulatory influence, indicating an intricate symphony of dose-dependent and temporally sensitive modulation. Our goal in this review is to elucidate the overall contribution of estradiol to male sexual function by looking at the hormone's effects on erectile function, spermatogenesis, and libido. PMID:26908066

  7. The role of estradiol in male reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Schulster, Michael; Bernie, Aaron M; Ramasamy, Ranjith

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, testosterone and estrogen have been considered to be male and female sex hormones, respectively. However, estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen, also plays a critical role in male sexual function. Estradiol in men is essential for modulating libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis. Estrogen receptors, as well as aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, are abundant in brain, penis, and testis, organs important for sexual function. In the brain, estradiol synthesis is increased in areas related to sexual arousal. In addition, in the penis, estrogen receptors are found throughout the corpus cavernosum with high concentration around neurovascular bundles. Low testosterone and elevated estrogen increase the incidence of erectile dysfunction independently of one another. In the testes, spermatogenesis is modulated at every level by estrogen, starting with the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, followed by the Leydig, Sertoli, and germ cells, and finishing with the ductal epithelium, epididymis, and mature sperm. Regulation of testicular cells by estradiol shows both an inhibitory and a stimulatory influence, indicating an intricate symphony of dose-dependent and temporally sensitive modulation. Our goal in this review is to elucidate the overall contribution of estradiol to male sexual function by looking at the hormone's effects on erectile function, spermatogenesis, and libido.

  8. Herbivory and competition interact to affect reproductive traits and mating system expression in Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    Steets, Janette A; Salla, Rhiannon; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2006-04-01

    As a step toward understanding how community context shapes mating system evolution, we investigated the combined role of two plant antagonisms, vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition, for reproduction and mating system expression (relative production of selfing, cleistogamous and facultatively outcrossing, chasmogamous flowers and fruits) of Impatiens capensis. In a survey of I. capensis populations, we found that vegetative herbivory and intraspecific competition were positively correlated. In a greenhouse experiment where leaf damage and plant density were manipulated, multispecies interactions had dramatic effects on reproductive and mating system traits. Despite having additive effects on growth, herbivory and competition had nonadditive effects for mating system expression, chasmogamous fruit production, flower number and size, and cleistogamous flower production. Our results demonstrate that competitive interactions influence the effect of herbivory (and vice versa) on fitness components and mating system, and thus antagonisms may have unforeseen consequences for mating system evolution, population genetic diversity, and persistence.

  9. EFFECTS OF 3 WEEK EXPOSURES TO METAM SODIUM ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN THE FEMALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metam sodium (MS) is a soil fumigant and Category III pesticide with a relatively low toxicity in mammals. But, there is some indication that it can impair rodent reproductive function. In ovariectomized, estradiol-primed rats, a single ip injection was reported to block the lute...

  10. EFFECTS OF METAM SODIUM ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN THE FEMALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metam sodium (MS) is a soil fumigant and Category III pesticide with a relatively low toxicity in mammals. But, there is some indication that it can impair rodent reproductive function. In ovariectomized, estradiol-primed rats, a single ip injection was reported to block the lute...

  11. EFFECTS OF 3 WEEK EXPOSURES ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN THE FEMALE RAT TO METAM SODIUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metam sodium (MS) is a soil fumigant and Category III pesticide with a relatively low toxicity in mammals. But, there is some indication that it can impair rodent reproductive function. In ovariectomized, estradiol-primed rats, a single ip injection was reported to block the lute...

  12. The SLIT-ROBO pathway: a regulator of cell function with implications for the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Rachel E; Duncan, W Colin

    2010-04-01

    The secreted SLIT glycoproteins and their Roundabout (ROBO) receptors were originally identified as important axon guidance molecules. They function as a repulsive cue with an evolutionarily conserved role in preventing axons from migrating to inappropriate locations during the assembly of the nervous system. In addition the SLIT-ROBO interaction is involved in the regulation of cell migration, cell death and angiogenesis and, as such, has a pivotal role during the development of other tissues such as the lung, kidney, liver and breast. The cellular functions that the SLIT/ROBO pathway controls during tissue morphogenesis are processes that are dysregulated during cancer development. Therefore inactivation of certain SLITs and ROBOs is associated with advanced tumour formation and progression in disparate tissues. Recent research has indicated that the SLIT/ROBO pathway could also have important functions in the reproductive system. The fetal ovary expresses most members of the SLIT and ROBO families. The SLITs and ROBOs also appear to be regulated by steroid hormones and regulate physiological cell functions in adult reproductive tissues such as the ovary and endometrium. Furthermore several SLITs and ROBOs are aberrantly expressed during the development of ovarian, endometrial, cervical and prostate cancer. This review will examine the roles this pathway could have in the development, physiology and pathology of the reproductive system and highlight areas for future research that could further dissect the influence of the SLIT/ROBO pathway in reproduction.

  13. 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.

  14. The MOSS Physcomitrella patens reproductive organ development is highly organized, affected by the two SHI/STY genes and by the level of active auxin in the SHI/STY expression domain.

    PubMed

    Landberg, Katarina; Pederson, Eric R A; Viaene, Tom; Bozorg, Behruz; Friml, Jirí; Jönsson, Henrik; Thelander, Mattias; Sundberg, Eva

    2013-07-01

    In order to establish a reference for analysis of the function of auxin and the auxin biosynthesis regulators SHORT INTERNODE/STYLISH (SHI/STY) during Physcomitrella patens reproductive development, we have described male (antheridial) and female(archegonial) development in detail, including temporal and positional information of organ initiation. This has allowed us to define discrete stages of organ morphogenesis and to show that reproductive organ development in P. patens is highly organized and that organ phyllotaxis differs between vegetative and reproductive development. Using the PpSHI1 and PpSHI2 reporter and knockout lines, the auxin reporters GmGH3(pro):GUS and PpPINA(pro):GFP-GUS, and the auxin-conjugating transgene PpSHI2(pro):IAAL, we could show that the PpSHI genes, and by inference also auxin, play important roles for reproductive organ development in moss. The PpSHI genes are required for the apical opening of the reproductive organs, the final differentiation of the egg cell, and the progression of canal cells into a cell death program. The apical cells of the archegonium, the canal cells, and the egg cell are also sites of auxin responsiveness and are affected by reduced levels of active auxin, suggesting that auxin mediates PpSHI function in the reproductive organs.

  15. Widespread Presence of Human BOULE Homologs among Animals and Conservation of Their Ancient Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Naeem, Villian; Chen, Yanmei; Lee, Terrance; Angeloni, Nicholas; Wang, Yin; Xu, Eugene Yujun

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20657660

  16. Changes in Tree Reproductive Traits Reduce Functional Diversity in a Fragmented Atlantic Forest Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Girão, Luciana Coe; Lopes, Ariadna Valentina; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Bruna, Emilio M.

    2007-01-01

    Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits) and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems) in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots). As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated). The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments-pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals-and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores) for pollination systems (−30.3%), floral types (−23.6%), and floral sizes (−20.8%) in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and greatly

  17. Functional Significance of GnRH and Kisspeptin, and Their Cognate Receptors in Teleost Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Gopurappilly, Renjitha; Ogawa, Satoshi; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2012-01-01

    Guanine nucleotide binding protein (G-protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are eukaryotic transmembrane proteins found in all living organisms. Their versatility and roles in several physiological processes make them the single largest family of drug targets. Comparative genomic studies using various model organisms have provided useful information about target receptors. The similarity of the genetic makeup of teleosts to that of humans and other vertebrates aligns with the study of GPCRs. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) represents a critical step in the reproductive process through its cognate GnRH receptors (GnRHRs). Kisspeptin (Kiss1) and its cognate GPCR, GPR54 (=kisspeptin receptor, Kiss-R), have recently been identified as a critical signaling system in the control of reproduction. The Kiss1/Kiss-R system regulates GnRH release, which is vital to pubertal development and vertebrate reproduction. This review highlights the physiological role of kisspeptin-Kiss-R signaling in the reproductive neuroendocrine axis in teleosts through the modulation of GnRH release. Moreover, we also review the recent developments in GnRHR and Kiss-R with respect to their structural variants, signaling mechanisms, ligand interactions, and functional significance. Finally, we discuss the recent progress in identifying many teleost GnRH-GnRHR and kisspeptin-Kiss-R systems and consider their physiological significance in the control of reproduction. PMID:23482509

  18. Divergence for residual feed intake of Holstein-Friesian cattle during growth did not affect production and reproduction during lactation.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, K A; Thomson, B P; Waghorn, G C

    2016-11-01

    Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between actual and predicted dry matter intake (DMI) of individual animals. Recent studies with Holstein-Friesian calves have identified an ~20% difference in RFI during growth (calf RFI) and these groups remained divergent in RFI during lactation. The objective of the experiment described here was to determine if cows selected for divergent RFI as calves differed in milk production, reproduction or in the profiles of BW and body condition score (BCS) change during lactation, when grazing pasture. The cows used in the experiment (n=126) had an RFI of -0.88 and +0.75 kg DM intake/day for growth as calves (efficient and inefficient calf RFI groups, respectively) and were intensively grazed at four stocking rates (SR) of 2.2, 2.6, 3.1 and 3.6 cows/ha on self-contained farmlets, over 3 years. Each SR treatment had equal number of cows identified as low and high calf RFI, with 24, 28, 34 and 40/11 ha farmlet. The cows divergent for calf RFI were randomly allocated to each SR. Although SR affected production, calf RFI group (low or high) did not affect milk production, reproduction, BW, BCS or changes in these parameters throughout lactation. The most efficient animals (low calf RFI) lost similar BW and BCS as the least efficient (high calf RFI) immediately post-calving, and regained similar BW and BCS before their next calving. These results indicate that selection for RFI as calves to increase efficiency of feed utilisation did not negatively affect farm productivity variables (milk production, BCS, BW and reproduction) as adults when managed under an intensive pastoral grazing system.

  19. Effects of motor vehicle exhaust on male reproductive function and associated proteins.

    PubMed

    Rengaraj, Deivendran; Kwon, Woo-Sung; Pang, Myung-Geol

    2015-01-02

    Air pollution is consistently associated with various diseases and subsequent death among children, adult, and elderly people worldwide. Motor vehicle exhaust contributes to a large proportion of the air pollution present. The motor vehicle exhaust systems emit a variety of toxic components, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ozone, particulate matter, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Several epidemiological studies and laboratory studies have demonstrated that these components are potentially mutagenic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disrupting agents. However, their impact on male reproductive function and associated proteins is not very clear. Therefore, a comprehensive review on the effects of motor vehicle exhaust on male reproductive function and associated proteins is needed to better understand the risks of exhaust exposure for men. We found that motor vehicle exhaust can cause harmful effects on male reproductive functions by altering organ weights, reducing the spermatozoa qualities, and inducing oxidative stress. Remarkably, motor vehicle exhaust exposure causes significant changes in the expression patterns of proteins that are key components involved in spermatogenesis and testosterone synthesis. In conclusion, this review helps to describe the risks of vehicle exhaust exposure and its relationship to potential adverse effects on the male reproduction system.

  20. 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

  1. A single hot event that does not affect survival but decreases reproduction in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth.

  2. 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.

  3. A Single Hot Event That Does Not Affect Survival but Decreases Reproduction in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth. PMID:24116081

  4. Neutrophil Functions and Cytokines Expression Profile in Buffaloes with Impending Postpartum Reproductive Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Patra, Manas Kumar; Kumar, Harendra; Nandi, Sukdeb

    2013-01-01

    The study was conducted to correlate the periparturient immune status in terms of neutrophil functions and cytokine expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture with impending postpartum reproductive disorders in buffaloes. Forty pregnant buffaloes were observed for occurrence of postpartum reproductive disorders (PRD), i.e., metritis, endometritis and delayed uterine involution etc., during one week prepartum to four weeks postpartum period. A representative number (n = 6) of buffaloes that did not develop any PRD were included in group I (healthy, control), while the animals which experienced PRD were assigned into group II (PRD, n = 8). The blood samples were collected at weekly interval from one week prepartum to four weeks postpartum period considering the day of calving as ‘d 0’. Differential leucocytes counts, superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production activity in isolated neutrophils and the mRNA expression profile of cytokines i.e., IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ in PBMC culture were studied in all the samples. A higher total leucocytes, neutrophil and band cells count along with impaired neutrophil functions i.e., lowered level of production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide before parturition and during early postpartum period were observed in buffaloes developing PRD. Further, a lower expression of IL-2, IFN-γ and IL-4 mRNA in PBMC culture was observed at calving in buffaloes that subsequently developed PRD at later postpartum. Thus, suppression in neutrophil function and cytokine expression at prepartum to early postpartum period predisposes the buffaloes to develop postpartum reproductive disorders. Hence, monitoring of neutrophils function and cytokine expression profile would be effective to predict certain reproductive disorders at late pregnancy or immediately after parturition in buffaloes. In future, this may be a novel approach for determining suitable management and therapeutic decisions for prevention of commonly occurring

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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. 

  8. Reproductive characteristics and thyroidal function in relation with season in Khuzestan buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) bulls

    PubMed Central

    Mayahi, Sadegh; Mamouei, Morteza; Tabatabaei, Saleh; Mirzadeh, Khalil

    2014-01-01

    High ambient temperature is the major constraint on Buffalo productivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive performance and thyroid gland function in winter and summer seasons in Khuzestan buffalo bulls. Six male indigenous buffaloes of Khuzestan with nearly the same age (2-3 years old) and weight were used. Semen and blood samples through jugular vein were collected, every two weeks throughout the summer and winter seasons. The thyroid hormones and thyrotropin stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration in blood serum were measured by radioimmunoassay method. Semen quality was determined, using computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA) and routine methods. The concentration of thyroxin (T4) was lower in winter than summer (p ≤ 0.05). The level of T3 uptake was higher in cold season than that of in hot season (p ≤ 0.05). The differences of tri-iodotyronine (T3) and TSH concentrations, as well as free thyroxin index were not significant between seasons. The semen volume and spermatozoa parameters including concentration, progressive motility, linear velocity, mean velocity, beat cross frequency, linear coefficient and straightness coefficient were higher in winter than summer (p ≤ 0.05). Semen pH and amplitude of lateral head displacement of spermatozoa were higher in summer than winter (p ≤ 0.05). In winter, there was positive correlation between spermatozoa concentration and T3 value of blood serum (p ≤ 0.05). There were positive correlations between values of semen volume and T4, progressive spermatozoa motility percent and TSH, as well as, total motility of spermatozoa and TSH in summer (p ≤ 0.05). In general, thyroid function and semen quality of Khuzestan buffaloes may be affected by seasons. PMID:25568719

  9. 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.

  10. Genetic selection for temperament affects behaviour and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones in sheep subjected to stress.

    PubMed

    Hawken, P A R; Luckins, N; Tilbrook, A; Fiol, C; Martin, G B; Blache, D

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effect of genetic selection for temperament on the way that stressors affect the behaviour and the adrenal and reproductive axes of sheep. We tested three hypotheses: (i) isolation would increase cortisol secretion and decrease luteinising hormone (LH) secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep; (ii) isolation combined with simulated human presence would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion more in nervous sheep than in calm sheep and (iii) isolation combined with stressors that were not specific to the selection process (i.e. non-selection stressors) would increase cortisol secretion and decrease LH secretion equally in calm and nervous sheep. Isolation alone increased cortisol secretion and decreased LH secretion in nervous sheep but not in calm sheep. Compared to calm sheep, nervous sheep were more agitated during the first 2 h of isolation but not during the second 2 h of isolation. Exposure to non-selection stressors increased cortisol secretion, decreased LH pulse amplitude and the mean plasma concentrations of LH in both calm and nervous sheep. We conclude that genetic selection for temperament affects the behavioural expression of the stress response and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones during isolation, but has less impact on their reactivity to non-selection stressors.

  11. A review of sexually transmitted bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis affecting cattle reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Michi, Aubrey N; Favetto, Pedro H; Kastelic, John; Cobo, Eduardo R

    2016-03-15

    The objective is to discuss sexually transmitted diseases caused by Tritrichomonas foetus (T foetus) and Campylobacter fetus (C fetus) subsp. venerealis, with a focus on prevalence, pathogenesis, and diagnosis in cows and bulls. Diagnosis and control are problematic because these diseases cause severe reproductive losses in cows, but in bulls are clinically asymptomatic, which allows the disease to flourish, especially in the absence of legislated control programs. We review research regarding prophylactic systemic immunization of bulls and cows with antigens of T foetus and C fetus venerealis and their efficacy in preventing or clearing preexisting infections in the genital tract. Current diagnostic methods of C fetus venerealis and T foetus (microbial culture and PCR) should be improved. Review of the latest advances in bovine trichomoniasis and campylobacteriosis should promote knowledge and provide an impetus to pursue further efforts to control bovine sexually transmitted diseases.

  12. 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.

  13. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  14. 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

  15. Pentachlorophenol affected both reproductive and interrenal systems: In silico and in vivo evidence.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lihua; Zha, Jinmiao; Wang, Zijian

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects on reproductive and interrenal system by pentachlorophenol (PCP) using in silico and in vivo assays. Molecular docking results indicated interacting potency of PCP with steroid receptors (ERα, ERβ, AR, GR) but not Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). In the in vivo assay, sexually matured rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) was exposed to environmental relevant concentrations of PCP (0, 0.5, 5, 50 μg L(-1)). In male fish, 14-d exposure caused up-regulation of mRNA levels of hepatic erα, erβ, ar, gr, vtg and gonadal erα, vtg, ar, dmrt1, providing evidence for agonistic activities for steroid receptors by PCP. The up-regulated mRNA of gnrh, crf, pomc in the brain also indicated feed-forward responses of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal/interrenal (HPG/I) axis. However, at 28th d the feed-forward response of the HPG axis seemed eased back and the HPI axis showed negative feedback responses. Corresponding changes including increases of plasma steroid hormones, inhibition of spermatogenesis, and decreased RSI were observed in male fish upon 28-d exposure to PCP. In the females, a transition from feed-forward responses to negative feedbacks of the HPG/I axis was also indicated by the transcriptional profiles at 14th and 28th day. Corresponding changes including increased E2, T and decreased C levels, degenerated ovaries, and decreased GSI and RSI were also observed. Overall, we concluded that PCP could interfere with steroid receptors, evoke responses of HPG/I axis, and finally result in adverse effects on reproductive and interrenal system in rare minnow at environmental relevant concentrations.

  16. How Does Maternal Employment Affect Children's Socioemotional Functioning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Gigi

    2015-01-01

    The maternal employment becomes an irreversible trend across the globe. The effect of maternal employment on children's socioemotional functioning is so pervasive that it warrants special attention to investigate into the issue. A trajectory of analytical framework of how maternal employment affects children's socioemotional functioning originates…

  17. Physiologic Course of Female Reproductive Function: A Molecular Look into the Prologue of Life

    PubMed Central

    Rojas, Joselyn; Chávez-Castillo, Mervin; Olivar, Luis Carlos; Calvo, María; Mejías, José; Rojas, Milagros; Morillo, Jessenia; Bermúdez, Valmore

    2015-01-01

    The genetic, endocrine, and metabolic mechanisms underlying female reproduction are numerous and sophisticated, displaying complex functional evolution throughout a woman's lifetime. This vital course may be systematized in three subsequent stages: prenatal development of ovaries and germ cells up until in utero arrest of follicular growth and the ensuing interim suspension of gonadal function; onset of reproductive maturity through puberty, with reinitiation of both gonadal and adrenal activity; and adult functionality of the ovarian cycle which permits ovulation, a key event in female fertility, and dictates concurrent modifications in the endometrium and other ovarian hormone-sensitive tissues. Indeed, the ultimate goal of this physiologic progression is to achieve ovulation and offer an adequate environment for the installation of gestation, the consummation of female fertility. Strict regulation of these processes is important, as disruptions at any point in this evolution may equate a myriad of endocrine-metabolic disturbances for women and adverse consequences on offspring both during pregnancy and postpartum. This review offers a summary of pivotal aspects concerning the physiologic course of female reproductive function. PMID:26697222

  18. Impact of Breast Cancer Treatments on Gonadal Function and Reproductive Health

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-10-01

    cardiovascular disease , as well as premature osteoporosis. Further, numerous epidemiological studies support the benefits of supplemental estrogen therapy in the postmenopause as an effective means of reducing mortality from both cardiovascular disease and osteoporotic fractures. There is uncertainty about how all of these factors play out in breast cancer survivors who have experienced premenopausal disease. Therefore, the primary focus of this cross-sectional study is to examine gonadal function and reproductive health comprehensively in long-term

  19. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale.

    PubMed

    Esteves, E; Pohl, P C; Klafke, G M; Reck, J; Fogaça, A C; Martins, J R; Daffre, S

    2015-12-15

    Anaplasma marginale is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects the erythrocytes of calves, causing bovine anaplasmosis. This rickettsia is biologically transmitted by several species of ticks. In tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Rhipicephalus microplus is the main vector. Due to their mobility and longevity, the adult males play an important role in the transmission of A. marginale to calves. Some studies have demonstrated that A. marginale can be intrastadially and interstadially transmitted in R. microplus, but the transovarial transmission has not been demonstrated so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of low temperature on both the A. marginale migration from infected females to their offspring and reproductive parameters of the tick R. microplus. The larvae of R. microplus fed on a calf infected with the strain Jaboticabal of A. marginale. At the end of the parasitic phase, fully engorged females were incubated at either 18°C or 28°C for oviposition. Although A. marginale was detected in the salivary glands of the females, demonstrating that the ticks were successfully infected, the presence of rickettsia was not detected in the offspring. However, the preoviposition period of the non-infected females maintained at 18°C was longer than that of those maintained at 28°C. In addition, the average weight of the mass of eggs as well as the egg production efficiency (ratio of the egg mass weight to the female weight) of the females maintained at 18°C were significantly lower than those of the females incubated at 28°C. There was no larval hatching from the eggs maintained exclusively at 18°C, even at 65 days after female detachment. Hatching occurred only when the eggs maintained at 18°C were transferred to 28°C at 20 days after female detachment (18°C/28°C). We also verified a significantly higher larvae conversion efficiency (ratio of the larvae mass weight to the egg mass weight) in the group of females

  20. Compared with feeding infants breast milk or cow-milk formula, soy formula feeding does not affect subsequent reproductive organ size at 5 years of age

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract Background: Literature reports suggest that phytochemicals, such as isoflavones found in soybeans, impair reproductive function in animals and raise the possibility that consuming soy infant formula could alter hormonally sensitive organ development in children. Objective: This study compar...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Does cadmium pollution affect reproduction in the clam Ruditapes decussatus? A one-year case study.

    PubMed

    Smaoui-Damak, W; Rebai, T; Berthet, B; Hamza-Chaffai, A

    2006-06-01

    The effect of cadmium (Cd) on the reproduction of Ruditapes decussatus was monitored over a period of 12 months, from June 2001 to June 2002. Two sites "Bordj d'Ungha" and "El Hofra" differing by their degree of cadmium contamination were chosen in the Gulf of Gabès area (Tunisia). Annual mean concentrations of Cd in the whole soft tissues of clams from the site El Hofra were more than 4 times higher than those from the site Bordj d'Ungha (reference site). The gametogenic cycle of the clam R. decussatus was also investigated by histological examination and monthly observations of gonadal sections in a population of clams from both sites. The results show that gametogenesis occurred from March to December in clams from both sites. Nevertheless, spawning and emission of gametes were synchronized in both sexes from only the clams of the reference site. Although this species is considered as gonochoristic, 6.6% of hermaphroditic cases were observed in clams from both sites in which gametes of both males and females were in ripe stage. Moreover, the period of ripening of sexual products led to an increase of condition index and to a decrease of Cd concentrations in the whole soft tissues of clams from both sites, hence reflecting the phenomenon of "biological dilution".

  4. Invasion of Tomato Roots and Reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita as Affected by Raw Sewage Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe; Kermarrec, Alain

    1991-01-01

    The antagonistic effects of raw sewage sludge on infection of tomato by Meloidogyne incognita were tested in greenhouse pot experiments. Sludge was mixed with the soil or added on its surface before and after inoculation of tomato plants with nematode eggs. Juvenile penetration was determined 1 and 10 days after inoculation, and 6 weeks later root systems were assessed for nematode reproduction. Fewer juveniles penetrated roots in pots with sludge added to the soil than in unamended control pots. In both experiments, roots were severely galled despite a significant reduction in gall ratings in amended relative to unamended soils. Egg production in treated soil was less (P = 0.05) than in control pots, regardless of whether sludge was incorporated or added 1 day before or after inoculation. In treated pots, RF values (final egg number/inoculation egg number) were strongly reduced. The toxic effects observed on the parasite may result from the ammoniacal nitrogen released in the soil within 7 days after treatment, associated with possible poor host suitability of tomatoes grown in amended substrate and short-lasting compound(s) active after root invasion. PMID:19283192

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Floral scents affect reproductive success in fly-pollinated Alocasia odora (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

    We evaluated the role of floral scents in the reproductive success of Alocasia odora C. Koch (Araceae). Alocasia odora is pollinated by its specific pollinators, Colocasiomyia alocasiae (Okada) and C. xenalocasiae (Okada) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These flies use the spadix of A. odora as breeding sites. The appendix, which is at an upper part of the spadix and is the most attractive region, attracted these pollinators by emitting volatiles, although the male zone of the inflorescence was also attractive. The number of flies attracted was positively correlated with appendix size. During the pistillate phase of the protogynous spadix, attracted flies aggregated in the lower part (female zone) to mate, lay eggs, and perhaps obtain nutrients. The flies moved to the upper part (male zone) of the spadix by the tightening of the constriction separating the upper and lower parts, and then the staminate phase started. This movement of the flies on the spadix promotes outcrossing of A. odora. Removal of the appendix or the whole upper part of the spadix resulted in much reduced fruit set, suggesting that the absence of the scent-producing region leads to insufficient pollination because of reduced pollinator attraction.

  8. Female mice with loss-of-function ITCH display an altered reproductive phenotype.

    PubMed

    Stermer, Angela R; Myers, Jessica L; Murphy, Caitlin J; Di Bona, Kristin R; Matesic, Lydia; Richburg, John H

    2016-02-01

    Major progress in deciphering the role of the E3 ligase, ITCH, in animal physiology has come from the generation and identification of Itch loss-of-function mutant mice (itchy). Mutant mice display an autoimmune-like phenotype characterized by chronic dermatitis, which has been attributed to increased levels of ITCH target proteins (e.g. transcription factors JUNB and CJUN) in T cells. Autoimmune disorders also exist in humans with Itch frameshift mutations resulting in loss of functional ITCH protein. Recent phenotypic analysis of male itchy mice revealed reduced sperm production, although cross breeding experiments showed no difference in litter size when male itchy mice were bred to wild type females. However, a reduction in litter sizes did occur when itchy females were bred to wild type males. Based on these results, characterization of female reproductive function in itchy mice was performed. Developmental analysis of fetuses at gestational day 18.5, cytological evaluation of estrous cyclicity, histopathological analysis of ovaries, and protein analysis were used to investigate the itchy reproductive phenotype. Gross skeletal and soft tissue analysis of gestational day 18.5 itchy fetuses indicated no gross developmental deformities. Itchy females had reduced implantation sites, decreased corpora lutea, and increased estrous cycle length due to increased number of days in estrus compared to controls. Alterations in the expression of prototypical ITCH targets in the ovaries were not indicated, suggesting that an alteration in an as yet defined ovary-specific ITCH substrate or interaction with the altered immune system likely accounts for the disruption of female reproduction. This report indicates the importance of the E3 ligase, ITCH, in female reproduction.

  9. 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

  10. Nodavirus Colonizes and Replicates in the Testis of Gilthead Seabream and European Sea Bass Modulating Its Immune and Reproductive Functions.

    PubMed

    Valero, Yulema; Arizcun, Marta; Esteban, M Ángeles; Bandín, Isabel; Olveira, José G; Patel, Sonal; Cuesta, Alberto; Chaves-Pozo, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Viruses are threatening pathogens for fish aquaculture. Some of them are transmitted through gonad fluids or gametes as occurs with nervous necrosis virus (NNV). In order to be transmitted through the gonad, the virus should colonize and replicate inside some cell types of this tissue and avoid the subsequent immune response locally. However, whether NNV colonizes the gonad, the cell types that are infected, and how the immune response in the gonad is regulated has never been studied. We have demonstrated for the first time the presence and localization of NNV into the testis after an experimental infection in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), and in the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), a very susceptible and an asymptomatic host fish species, respectively. Thus, we localized in the testis viral RNA in both species using in situ PCR and viral proteins in gilthead seabream by immunohistochemistry, suggesting that males might also transmit the virus. In addition, we were able to isolate infective particles from the testis of both species demonstrating that NNV colonizes and replicates into the testis of both species. Blood contamination of the tissues sampled was discarded by completely fish bleeding, furthermore the in situ PCR and immunocytochemistry techniques never showed staining in blood vessels or cells. Moreover, we also determined how the immune and reproductive functions are affected comparing the effects in the testis with those found in the brain, the main target tissue of the virus. Interestingly, NNV triggered the immune response in the European sea bass but not in the gilthead seabream testis. Regarding reproductive functions, NNV infection alters 17β-estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone production and the potential sensitivity of brain and testis to these hormones, whereas there is no disruption of testicular functions according to several reproductive parameters. Moreover, we have also studied the NNV infection of the testis in vitro to

  11. Nodavirus Colonizes and Replicates in the Testis of Gilthead Seabream and European Sea Bass Modulating Its Immune and Reproductive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Valero, Yulema; Arizcun, Marta; Esteban, M. Ángeles; Bandín, Isabel; Olveira, José G.; Patel, Sonal; Cuesta, Alberto; Chaves-Pozo, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Viruses are threatening pathogens for fish aquaculture. Some of them are transmitted through gonad fluids or gametes as occurs with nervous necrosis virus (NNV). In order to be transmitted through the gonad, the virus should colonize and replicate inside some cell types of this tissue and avoid the subsequent immune response locally. However, whether NNV colonizes the gonad, the cell types that are infected, and how the immune response in the gonad is regulated has never been studied. We have demonstrated for the first time the presence and localization of NNV into the testis after an experimental infection in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), and in the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), a very susceptible and an asymptomatic host fish species, respectively. Thus, we localized in the testis viral RNA in both species using in situ PCR and viral proteins in gilthead seabream by immunohistochemistry, suggesting that males might also transmit the virus. In addition, we were able to isolate infective particles from the testis of both species demonstrating that NNV colonizes and replicates into the testis of both species. Blood contamination of the tissues sampled was discarded by completely fish bleeding, furthermore the in situ PCR and immunocytochemistry techniques never showed staining in blood vessels or cells. Moreover, we also determined how the immune and reproductive functions are affected comparing the effects in the testis with those found in the brain, the main target tissue of the virus. Interestingly, NNV triggered the immune response in the European sea bass but not in the gilthead seabream testis. Regarding reproductive functions, NNV infection alters 17β-estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone production and the potential sensitivity of brain and testis to these hormones, whereas there is no disruption of testicular functions according to several reproductive parameters. Moreover, we have also studied the NNV infection of the testis in vitro to

  12. Generation of a specific immunological response to FGF-2 does not affect wound healing or reproduction.

    PubMed

    Plum, Stacy M; Vu, Hong A; Mercer, Bobby; Fogler, William E; Fortier, Anne H

    2004-02-01

    Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from pre-existing vessels, has been established as an important mechanism involved in pathologic processes, such as cancer, as well as in normal physiology (Ribatti, D.; Vacca, A.; Roncali, L.; Dammacco, F. Angiogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. Haematologica 1991, 76 (4), 311-320). Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a critical mediator of angiogenesis that is important for normal reproduction and wound healing. FGF-2 mediates its pro-angiogenic effects by binding to heparin sulfate proteoglycan in addition to a tyrosine kinase receptor (Baird, A.; Schubert, D.; Ling, N.; Guillemin, R. Receptor and heparin-binding domain of basic fibroblast growth factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 1998, 5 (7), 2324-2328; Richard, C.; Roghani, M.; Moscatelli, D. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 mediates cell attachment through interactions with two FGF receptor-1 isoforms and extracellular matrix or cell-associated heparin sulfate proteoglycans. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2000, 276 (2), 399-405; Casu, B.; Guerrini, M.; Naggi, A.; Perez, M.; Torri, G.; Ribatti, D.; Carminati, P.; Giannini, G.; Penco, S.; Pisano, C.; Belleri, M.; Rusnati, M.; Presta, M. Short heparin sequences spaced by glycol-split urinate residues are antagonists of fibroblast growth factor 2 and angiogenesis inhibitors. Biochemistry 2002, 41 (33), 10519-10528; Murphy, P.V.; Pitt, N.; O'Brien, A.; Enright, P.M.; Dunne, A.; Wilson, S.J.; Duane, R.M.; O'Boyle, K.M. Identification of novel inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) binding to heparin and endothelial cell survival from a structurally diverse carbohybrid library. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12 (22), 3287-3290). We developed a liposomal-based peptide vaccine, L(HBD) that targets the heparin binding domain of the FGF-2 molecule. This vaccine, when inoculated into mice, inhibits angiogenesis in response to FGF-2 in a hepatic sponge model as well as tumor progression

  13. 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.

  14. Male age is not an independent factor to affect the outcome of assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Kumtepe, Yakup; Yakin, Kayhan; Kahraman, Semra; Sertyel, Semra; Vanlioğlu, Faruk; Cengiz, Sami; Dönmez, Ersan

    2003-06-01

    Controversy exists whether advanced male age is associated with poor sperm quality and subsequent failure in the assisted reproductive techniques (ART). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of male age on sperm quality and the outcome of ART as well as the association of male age with other relevant factors, particularly with the female age. A retrospective study was performed in order to evaluate the effect of male age on the sperm parameters in 880 routine seminal analyses. Additionally, sperm parameters were also compared among different age groups in 919 cases with male factor infertility who had been included in an ART programme. The laboratory and clinical results of ART (fertilization rate, number and quality of embryos transferred, as well as pregnancy rates) were compared according to different age groups. The results were also evaluated by one-way correlation and also step-wise logistic regression analysis to identify the interactions and correlations between different parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between male age groups in terms of sperm concentration, motility and morphology either in routine seminal analyses or in ART groups. In the ART group, a statistically significant linear correlation was present between male and female ages. Male age was increasing in parallel to female age. Female age was also correlated significantly with ART results. In one-way correlation analysis, male age was found to be correlated with the pregnancy rate, but not with fertilization rate and the quality of the transferred embryos. However, regression analysis revealed that correlation between male age and pregnancy results was simply dependent on the effect of the female age. Seminal parameters did not reveal a significant change with the increasing male age. The effect of male age on ART results in cases with male factor infertility is not a direct effect but a reflection of the negative impact of the parallel increase in

  15. Aboveground Feeding by Soybean Aphid, Aphis glycines, Affects Soybean Cyst Nematode, Heterodera glycines, Reproduction Belowground

    PubMed Central

    McCarville, Michael T.; Soh, David H.; Tylka, Gregory L.; O’Neal, Matthew E.

    2014-01-01

    Heterodera glycines is a cyst nematode that causes significant lost soybean yield in the U.S. Recent studies observed the aphid Aphis glycines and H. glycines interacting via their shared host, soybean, Glycine max. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to discern the effect of A. glycines feeding on H. glycines reproduction. An H. glycines-susceptible cultivar, Kenwood 94, and a resistant cultivar, Dekalb 27–52, were grown in H. glycines-infested soil for 30 and 60 d. Ten days after planting, plants were infested with either zero, five, or ten aphids. At 30 and 60 d, the number of H. glycines females and cysts (dead females) and the number of eggs within were counted. In general, H. glycines were less abundant on the resistant than the susceptible cultivar, and H. glycines abundance increased from 30 to 60 d. At 30 d, 33% more H. glycines females and eggs were produced on the resistant cultivar in the ten-aphid treatment compared to the zero-aphid treatment. However, at 30 d the susceptible cultivar had 50% fewer H. glycines females and eggs when infested with ten aphids. At 60 d, numbers of H. glycines females and cysts and numbers of eggs on the resistant cultivar were unaffected by A. glycines feeding, while numbers of both were decreased by A. glycines on the susceptible cultivar. These results indicate that A. glycines feeding improves the quality of soybean as a host for H. glycines, but at higher herbivore population densities, this effect is offset by a decrease in resource quantity. PMID:24466080

  16. The Roles of RFamide-Related Peptide-3 (RFRP-3) in Mammalian Reproductive Function and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kriegsfeld, Lance J.; Gibson, Erin M.; Williams, Wilbur P.; Zhao, Sheng; Mason, Alex O.; Bentley, George E.; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2010-01-01

    To maximize reproductive success, organisms restrict breeding to optimal times of day or year, when internal physiology and external environmental conditions are suitable for parent and offspring survival. To appropriately coordinate reproductive activity, internal and external standing is communicated to the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis via a coordinated balance of stimulatory and inhibitory neurochemical systems. The cumulative balance of these mediators ultimately drives the pattern of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion, a neurohormone that stimulates pituitary gonadotropin secretion. Until 2000, a complementary inhibitor of pituitary gonadotropin secretion had not been identified. At this time, Tsutsui and colleagues uncovered a novel, avian hypothalamic peptide capable of inhibiting gonadotropin secretion in cultured quail pituitary cells. We later examined the presence and functional role for the mammalian ortholog of GnIH, RFamide-related peptide (RFRP-3), in mammals, and confirmed a conserved role for this peptide across several rodent species. To date, a similar distribution and functional role for RFRP-3 have been observed across all mammals investigated, including humans. This overview summarizes the role that RFRP-3 plays in mammals and considers the implications and opportunities for further study by those interested in reproductive physiology and the neural control of sexual behavior and motivation. PMID:20646173

  17. Effect of Antimicrobial Peptide, Nisin, on the Reproductive Functions of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, K. V. R; Gupta, S. M.; Aranha, C. C.

    2011-01-01

    Our previous studies have demonstrated that naturally occurring peptide, Nisin possess antibacterial activity and did not interfere with rabbit vaginal mucosa. In this study, the reproductive toxicity of the Nisin in male rats was evaluated. Rats were fed orally with Nisin (10, 25, and 50 mg/kg/day) for 13 weeks. No treatment related mortality was observed. The body weight gain, food consumption and serum biochemical parameters were at par with the control group. Histomorphology of the selected reproductive (testis, epididymis, ventral prostate, and seminal vesicle) and nonreproductive (liver and kidney) tissues was observed to be normal. There was no treatment-related increase or decrease in the expression of testis-specific genes (c-Kit, GATA-1, and HILS-1) and the activity levels of epididymal α-glucosidase, ventral prostate alkaline phosphatase (AlP), liver alanine aminotransferase (AlAT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AAT). Fructose and lactic acid levels in the seminal vesicles also remained unchanged. These studies suggest that Nisin did not affect the normal physiology of these organs. In addition, no adverse effects were observed on the reproductive performance of Nisin-treated male rats and their offspring. In conclusion, the current studies support our earlier studies, which demonstrated suitability of Nisin as a safe and effective microbicide. PMID:23738116

  18. Serotonin and Dopamine: Unifying Affective, Activational, and Decision Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cools, Roshan; Nakamura, Kae; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin, like dopamine (DA), has long been implicated in adaptive behavior, including decision making and reinforcement learning. However, although the two neuromodulators are tightly related and have a similar degree of functional importance, compared with DA, we have a much less specific understanding about the mechanisms by which serotonin affects behavior. Here, we draw on recent work on computational models of dopaminergic function to suggest a framework by which many of the seemingly diverse functions associated with both DA and serotonin—comprising both affective and activational ones, as well as a number of other functions not overtly related to either—can be seen as consequences of a single root mechanism. PMID:20736991

  19. 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.

  20. Positive selection neighboring functionally essential sites and disease-implicated regions of mammalian reproductive proteins

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Reproductive proteins are central to the continuation of all mammalian species. The evolution of these proteins has been greatly influenced by environmental pressures induced by pathogens, rival sperm, sexual selection and sexual conflict. Positive selection has been demonstrated in many of these proteins with particular focus on primate lineages. However, the mammalia are a diverse group in terms of mating habits, population sizes and germ line generation times. We have examined the selective pressures at work on a number of novel reproductive proteins across a wide variety of mammalia. Results We show that selective pressures on reproductive proteins are highly varied. Of the 10 genes analyzed in detail, all contain signatures of positive selection either across specific sites or in specific lineages or a combination of both. Our analysis of SP56 and Col1a1 are entirely novel and the results show positively selected sites present in each gene. Our findings for the Col1a1 gene are suggestive of a link between positive selection and severe disease type. We find evidence in our dataset to suggest that interacting proteins are evolving in symphony: most likely to maintain interacting functionality. Conclusion Our in silico analyses show positively selected sites are occurring near catalytically important regions suggesting selective pressure to maximize efficient fertilization. In those cases where a mechanism of protein function is not fully understood, the sites presented here represent ideal candidates for mutational study. This work has highlighted the widespread rate heterogeneity in mutational rates across the mammalia and specifically has shown that the evolution of reproductive proteins is highly varied depending on the species and interacting partners. We have shown that positive selection and disease are closely linked in the Col1a1 gene. PMID:20149245

  1. Developmental bisphenol A exposure impairs sperm function and reproduction in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiangfei; Saili, Katerine S; Liu, Yueqin; Li, Lelin; Zhao, Yuxin; Jia, Yinhang; Bai, Chenglian; Tanguay, Robert L; Dong, Qiaoxiang; Huang, Changjiang

    2017-02-01

    The developmental and reproductive toxicity of bisphenol A (BPA) has been demonstrated in a variety of model systems. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were waterborne-exposed to BPA during three different developmental stages: embryonic period:6 h post fertilization (hpf) to 5 months post fertilization (mpf); larval period: 6 days post fertilization (dpf) to 5 mpf; and sexually mature period: 3 mpf to 5 mpf. Evaluations included F0 adult growth, reproduction parameters, and F1 offspring development. BPA exposure did not affect zebrafish growth in any of exposure groups. Testis weight was decreased only following the 6 hpf to 5 mpf 0.001 μM BPA exposure. The lowest effect level indicated by a reduction in sperm volume, density, motility, and velocity across a range of exposure durations was 0.001 μM, with all but sperm density significant for the longest exposure duration, which was also the only significant endpoint for the lowest exposure concentration in the 3-5 mpf exposure group. Nonmonotonic concentration-response curves were noted for all F0 reproductive endpoints for at least one of the two longest exposure durations. For the F1 offspring of fish exposed from 6 hpf to 5 mpf, malformations and mortality were increased following 0.001 μM BPA exposure, while egg production and fertilization were reduced in higher concentration treatment groups. Overall, BPA exposure during three different developmental periods impaired zebrafish reproductive development, with most significance changes found in the lowest concentration treatment groups. Genetic impacts on gamete development may underlie the secondary effects of reduced fertilization rate, embryonic mortality, and malformations.

  2. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ETHINYLESTRADIOL-MEDIATED CHANGES IN ENDOCRINE FUNCTION AND REPRODUCTION IMPAIRMENT IN JAPANESE MEDAKA (ORYZIAS LATIPES)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many biochemical endpoints currently are used to describe endocrine function in fish; however, the sensitivity of these parameters as biomarkers of impaired reproduction or sexual development is not well understood. In the present study, adult Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) we...

  3. Functional analysis of a reproductive organ predominant expressing promoter in cotton plants.

    PubMed

    Ren, Maozhi; Chen, Quanjia; Li, Li; Zhang, Rui; Guo, Sandui

    2005-10-01

    Transgenic Bt insect-resistant cotton plants have high insect resistance in the early stage of development, but relatively low resistance in the late stage. Substituting a reproductive organ-specific promoter for the CaMV35S promoter presently being used could be an ideal solution. For the first time, the promoter sequence of ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (arf1) gene was isolated from Gossypium hirsutumY18 by means of inverse PCR. The sequencing result discovered the unique structure of the arf1 promoter, including four promoter-specific elements, the initiator, TATA box, CAAT box and GC box, and also an intron in 5'-untranslation region. Four plant expression vectors were constructed for functional analysis of the promoter. Based on the pBl121 plant expression vector, four truncated arf1 promoters took the place of the CaMV35S promoter. These vectors were different only in their promoter regions. They were introduced into cotton plants via pollen tube pathway. Histochemical GUS staining and fluorescence quantitative analyses were performed to examine the expression patterns of the GUS gene driven by the 4 arf1 truncated promoters in transgenic cotton plants respectively. The results showed that the arf1 promoter was a typical reproductive organ-specific promoter. Hopefully, the arf1 promoter can be a regulatory element for designing cotton reproductive organs with desired characteristics.

  4. Group management influences reproductive function of the male cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

    PubMed

    Koester, Diana C; Freeman, Elizabeth W; Wildt, David E; Terrell, Kimberly A; Franklin, Ashley D; Meeks, Karen; Crosier, Adrienne E

    2015-09-21

    Although the free-ranging cheetah is generally socially solitary, as many as 60% of males live in same-sex (usually sibling) coalitions. Under ex situ conditions, the cheetah experiences low reproductive success with only ~18% of males having ever produced young. Most male cheetahs (85%) are managed in captivity in coalitions, but with no data on the influence of social grouping on reproductive parameters. We examined the influence of singleton versus coalition management on various male cheetah physiological traits, including ejaculate quality and gonadal and adrenal hormone metabolite concentrations. We also assessed behaviour within coalitions for evidence of social hierarchy through initiation of interactions with group mates and relatedness to physiological traits. Ejaculate quality (including total motile and structurally normal spermatozoa per ejaculate) and androgen concentration profiles were higher (P < 0.05) in coalition compared with singleton males. These results support the conclusion that testis function in the cheetah, specifically related to the development of normal, motile spermatozoa and androgen production, is influenced by management with same-sex conspecifics. The findings have implications for ex situ conservation breeding programs by suggesting that reproductive quality can be enhanced through group maintenance of cheetah males.

  5. Ovarian function and reproductive senescence in the rat: role of ovarian sympathetic innervation.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Gonzalo; Fernandois, Daniela; Paredes, Alfonso H

    2017-02-01

    Successful reproduction is the result of a myriad interactions in which the ovary and the ovarian follicular reserve play a fundamental role. At present, women who delay maternity until after 30 years of age have a decreased fertility rate due to various causes, including damaged follicles and a reduction in the reserve pool of follicles. Therefore, the period just prior to menopause, also known as the subfertile period, is important. The possibility of modulating the follicular pool and the health of follicles during this period to improve fertility is worth exploring. We have developed an animal model to study the ovarian ageing process during this subfertile period to understand the mechanisms responsible for reproductive senescence. In the rat model, we have shown that the sympathetic nervous system participates in regulating the follicular development during ovarian ageing. This article reviews the existing evidence on the presence and functional role of sympathetic nerve activity in regulating the follicular development during ovarian ageing, with a focus on the subfertile period.Free Spanish abstract: A Spanish translation of this abstract is freely available at http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/153/2/R61/suppl/DC1.

  6. 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.

  7. Influence of royal jelly on the reproductive function of puberty male rats.

    PubMed

    Yang, Anshu; Zhou, Ming; Zhang, Li; Xie, Guoxiu; Chen, Hongbing; Liu, Zhiyong; Ma, Wei

    2012-06-01

    The adverse effects of royal jelly on the reproductive system of puberty male rats were investigated. Royal jelly was daily administered by gavage to Sprague-Dawley rats at doses 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg for 4 weeks. The body weight and organ coefficients were determined. Sperm count, spermatozoa abnormality, and testicular histopathology were examined through light microscopy. Radioimmunoassay was used to detect serum hormones. The dietary exposure to royal jelly did not affect body weight, but the organ coefficients for the pituitary and testis in the high-dose group were decreased significantly compared with the control group, and significant changes in the microstructure of the testis were observed. No significant differences in sperm count were observed among all groups, however, the sperm deformity rate in the high-dose group increased significantly. Serum hormones in the high-dose group were significantly different from the control group. After royal jelly was stopped for 14 days, the adverse changes were partially reversed and returned to levels close to those in the control group. In conclusion, high-dose royal jelly oral administration for 4 weeks adversely affected the reproductive system of pubescent male rats, but the unfavorable effects are alleviated to some extent by cessation of administration.

  8. Anchoring Ethinylestradiol Induced Gene Expression Changes with Testicular Morphology and Reproductive Function in the Medaka

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Hilary D.; Clark, Bryan W.; Hinton, David E.; Whitehead, Andrew; Martin, Stan; Kwok, Kevin W.; Kullman, Seth W.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental estrogens are ubiquitous in the environment and can cause detrimental effects on male reproduction. In fish, a multitude of effects from environmental estrogens have been observed including altered courting behavior and fertility, sex reversal, and gonadal histopathology. However, few studies in fish assess the impacts of estrogenic exposure on a physiological endpoint, such as reproduction, as well as the associated morphologic response and underlying global gene expression changes. This study assessed the implications of a 14 day sub-chronic exposure of ethinylestradiol (EE2; 1.0 or 10.0 µg/L EE2) on male medaka fertility, testicular histology and testicular gene expression. The findings demonstrate that a 14 day exposure to EE2 induced impaired male reproductive capacity and time- and dose-dependent alterations in testicular morphology and gene expression. The average fertilization rate/day following the exposure for control, 1.0 and 10.0 µg/L EE2 was 91.3% (±4.4), 62.8% (±8.3) and 28.8% (±5.8), respectively. The testicular morphologic alterations included increased germ cell apoptosis, decreased germinal epithelium and thickening of the interstitium. These changes were highly associated with testicular gene expression changes using a medaka-specific microarray. A pathway analysis of the differentially expressed genes emphasized genes and pathways associated with apoptosis, cell cycle and proliferation, collagen production/extracellular matrix organization, hormone signaling, male reproduction and protein ubiquitination among others. These findings highlight the importance of anchoring global gonadal gene expression changes with morphology and ultimately with tissue/organ function. PMID:23300682

  9. A role for tachykinins in female mouse and rat reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Pintado, C Oscar; Pinto, Francisco M; Pennefather, Jocelyn N; Hidalgo, Agustin; Baamonde, Ana; Sanchez, Teresa; Candenas, M Luz

    2003-09-01

    Tachykinins may be involved in reproduction. A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay was used to analyze the expression of tachykinins and tachykinin receptors in different types of reproductive cells from mice. The preprotachykinin (PPT) genes, PPT-A, PPT-B and PPT-C, that encode substance P/neurokinin A, neurokinin B, and hemokinin-1, respectively, and the genes that encode the tachykinin NK1, NK2, and NK3 receptors were all expressed, at different levels, in the uterus of superovulated, unfertilized mice. The mRNA of neprilysin (NEP), the main enzyme involved in tachykinin metabolism, was also expressed in the uterus. Isolated cumulus granulosa cells expressed PPT-A, PPT-B, PPT-C, and NEP and low levels of the tachykinin NK1 and NK2 receptors. Mouse oocytes expressed PPT-A and -B mRNA transcripts. A low expression of the three tachykinin receptors was observed but PPT-C and NEP were undetectable. Two- and 8- to 16-cell mouse embryos expressed only a low-abundance transcript corresponding to the NK1 receptor. However, the mRNAs of PPT-B, PPT-C and NEP appeared in blastocyst-stage embryos. A low-abundance transcript corresponding to the NK2 receptor was the only target gene detected in mice sperm. Female mice or rats treated neonatally with capsaicin showed a reduced fertility. A reduction in litter size was observed in female rats treated in vivo with the tachykinin NK3 receptor antagonist SR 142801. These data show that tachykinins of both neuronal and nonneuronal origin are differentially expressed in various types of reproductive cells and may play a role in female reproductive function.

  10. Sexual reproduction is the default mode in apomictic Hieracium subgenus Pilosella, in which two dominant loci function to enable apomixis.

    PubMed

    Koltunow, Anna M G; Johnson, Susan D; Rodrigues, Julio C M; Okada, Takashi; Hu, Yingkao; Tsuchiya, Tohru; Wilson, Saira; Fletcher, Pam; Ito, Kanae; Suzuki, Go; Mukai, Yasuhiko; Fehrer, Judith; Bicknell, Ross A

    2011-06-01

    Asexual seed formation, or apomixis, in the Hieracium subgenus Pilosella is controlled by two dominant independent genetic loci, LOSS OF APOMEIOSIS (LOA) and LOSS OF PARTHENOGENESIS (LOP). We examined apomixis mutants that had lost function in one or both loci to establish their developmental roles during seed formation. In apomicts, sexual reproduction is initiated first. Somatic aposporous initial (AI) cells differentiate near meiotic cells, and the sexual pathway is terminated as AI cells undergo mitotic embryo sac formation. Seed initiation is fertilization-independent. Using a partially penetrant cytotoxic reporter to inhibit meioisis, we showed that developmental events leading to the completion of meiotic tetrad formation are required for AI cell formation. Sexual initiation may therefore stimulate activity of the LOA locus, which was found to be required for AI cell formation and subsequent suppression of the sexual pathway. AI cells undergo nuclear division to form embryo sacs, in which LOP functions gametophytically to stimulate fertilization-independent embryo and endosperm formation. Loss of function in either locus results in partial reversion to sexual reproduction, and loss of function in both loci results in total reversion to sexual reproduction. Therefore, in these apomicts, sexual reproduction is the default reproductive mode upon which apomixis is superimposed. These loci are unlikely to encode genes essential for sexual reproduction, but may function to recruit the sexual machinery at specific time points to enable apomixis.

  11. Appropriate timing of uterine cavity length measurement positively affects assisted reproduction cycle outcome.

    PubMed

    Madani, Tahereh; Ashrafi, Mahnaz; Abadi, Akram Bahman; Kiani, Kiandokht

    2009-11-01

    An appropriate and easy embryo transfer has a direct impact on pregnancy rates. Proper evaluation of the uterocervical axis and uterine depth are necessary for suitable embryo transfer. The aim of this study was to assess the appropriate time for cervical axis evaluation and uterine measurement. A total of 124 patients undergoing IVF treatment were included in the study. They were divided equally into two groups. In group I (62 women), uterine cavity depth was measured and the uterocervical axis was determined on day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, and in group II (62 women) at the time of oocyte retrieval. There was a statistically significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between the two groups (P = 0.006). Thirty-four women became pregnant in group I (64.2%) versus 19 women in group II (35.8%). In conclusion, uterine cavity measurement is necessary for suitable embryo transfer. It seems that the time of measurement significantly affects clinical pregnancy rate in IVF cycles. The best time for uterine measurement is on day 2 or 3 of menstruation.

  12. [Functional morphology of recently discovered telocytes inside the female reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Božíková, S; Urban, L; Kajanová, M; Béder, I; Pohlodek, K; Varga, I

    2016-01-01

    Discovery of telocytes has become an important and key challenge in past few years. These cells are interstitial cells extending very long cytoplasmic processes named telopodes, by which they create functional networks in the interstitium of different organs. Telocytes are considered to be connective tissue elements that create contacts among each other, but they also function as intercellular structures, functionally connected with cells of the immune system, neurons and smooth muscle cells. Telocytes can be found also in the different parts of female reproductive system with functions and purpose, which is summarized in our overview. Telocytes regulate for example peristaltic movements in fallopian tubes. The decrease of their number (due to inflammatory disease or endometriosis) causes impairment in transport through fallopian tubes which may result in sterility or tubal gravidity. In uterus they regulate contraction of myometrial smooth muscle (blood expulsion in menstrual phase, childbirth) as well as they contribute in immunological care during embryo implantation. Telocytes probably control also the involution of uterus after delivery. Their function in vagina has not been yet clearly defined; they probably take part in slow muscle contraction movement during sexual intercourse. In mammary glands some scientists suppose their function in control of cell proliferation and apoptosis, that is why, they may play a role in carcinogenesis. In placenta they probably monitor and regulate flow of blood in vessels of chorionic villi and they may be responsible also for etiopathogenesis of pre-eclampsy. All these mentioned functions of telocytes are only in the level of hypothesis and have been published recently. New research and studies will try to answer the questions whether telocytes play a key role in these processes. Our review we completed with some original microphotographs of telocytes in different organs of female reproductive system.

  13. 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.

  14. ER type I signal peptidase subunit (LmSPC1) is essential for the survival of Locusta migratoria manilensis and affects moulting, feeding, reproduction and embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Xia, Y

    2014-06-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum type I signal peptidase complex (ER SPC) is a conserved enzyme that cleaves the signal peptides of secretory or membrane preproteins. The deletion of this enzyme leads to the accumulation of uncleaved proteins in biomembranes and cell death. However, the physiological functions of ER SPC in insects are not fully understood. Here, a catalytic subunit gene of ER SPC, LmSPC1, was cloned from Locusta migratoria manilensis and its physiological functions were analysed by RNA interference (RNAi). The LmSPC1 open reading frame encoded a protein of 178 amino acids with all five conserved regions of signal peptidases. RNAi-mediated knockdown of LmSPC1 resulted in high mortality. Sixty-nine per cent of dead nymphs died of abnormal moulting, corresponding to decreased activity of moulting fluid protease. Moreover, insects in the RNAi group experienced a decline in food intake, and a decrease in the secretion of total protein and digestive enzymes from midgut tissues to the midgut lumen. Furthermore, the females produced fewer eggs and eggs with disrupted embryogenesis. These results indicate that LmSPC1 is required for the secretion of secretory proteins, affects physiological functions, including moulting, feeding, reproduction and embryonic development, and is essential for survival. Therefore, LmSPC1 may be a potential target for locust control.

  15. Body composition and reproductive function exert unique influences on indices of bone health in exercising women.

    PubMed

    Mallinson, Rebecca J; Williams, Nancy I; Hill, Brenna R; De Souza, Mary Jane

    2013-09-01

    Reproductive function, metabolic hormones, and lean mass have been observed to influence bone metabolism and bone mass. It is unclear, however, if reproductive, metabolic and body composition factors play unique roles in the clinical measures of areal bone mineral density (aBMD) and bone geometry in exercising women. This study compares lumbar spine bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) and estimates of femoral neck cross-sectional moment of inertia (CSMI) and cross-sectional area (CSA) between exercising ovulatory (Ov) and amenorrheic (Amen) women. It also explores the respective roles of reproductive function, metabolic status, and body composition on aBMD, lumbar spine BMAD and femoral neck CSMI and CSA, which are surrogate measures of bone strength. Among exercising women aged 18-30 years, body composition, aBMD, and estimates of femoral neck CSMI and CSA were assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Lumbar spine BMAD was calculated from bone mineral content and area. Estrone-1-glucuronide (E1G) and pregnanediol glucuronide were measured in daily urine samples collected for one cycle or monitoring period. Fasting blood samples were collected for measurement of leptin and total triiodothyronine. Ov (n = 37) and Amen (n = 45) women aged 22.3 ± 0.5 years did not differ in body mass, body mass index, and lean mass; however, Ov women had significantly higher percent body fat than Amen women. Lumbar spine aBMD and BMAD were significantly lower in Amen women compared to Ov women (p < 0.001); however, femoral neck CSA and CSMI were not different between groups. E1G cycle mean and age of menarche were the strongest predictors of lumbar spine aBMD and BMAD, together explaining 25.5% and 22.7% of the variance, respectively. Lean mass was the strongest predictor of total hip and femoral neck aBMD as well as femoral neck CSMI and CSA, explaining 8.5-34.8% of the variance. Upon consideration of several potential osteogenic stimuli, reproductive function appears to play

  16. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High Functioning Autism

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We investigated perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody, but atypical lexical prosody production. Method 16 children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers participated in three experiments: 1. Perception of affective prosody, 2. Lexical stress perception, 3. Lexical stress production. In Experiment 1, participants labeled sad, happy, and neutral spoken sentences that were low-pass filtered, to eliminate verbal content. In Experiment 2 participants disambiguated word meanings based on lexical stress (HOTdog, vs. hotDOG). In Experiment 3 participants produced these words in a sentence completion task. Productions were analyzed using acoustic measures. Results Accuracy levels showed no group differences. Participants with HFA could determine affect from filtered sentences and disambiguate words based on lexical stress. They produced appropriately differentiated lexical stress patterns but demonstrated atypically long productions indicating reduced ability in natural prosody production. Conclusions Children with HFA were as capable as their TD peers in receptive tasks of lexical stress and affective prosody. Prosody productions were atypically long, despite accurate differentiation of lexical stress patterns. Future research should use larger samples and spontaneous vs. elicited productions. PMID:20530388

  17. Factors affecting effective communication about sexual and reproductive health issues between parents and adolescents in zandspruit informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Motsomi, Kegaugetswe; Makanjee, Chandra; Basera, Tariro; Nyasulu, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Communication between parents and adolescents regarding sexuality is an important reproductive health topic. Due to complexities associated with adolescent's physiological development, sexuality should be dealt with holistically. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting effective communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Methods An exploratory qualitative study using the focus group discussions method was done to explore amongst other things; social, cultural and religious barriers to communication. Thematic content analysis was done. Results Factors identified included: embarrassment when discussing sexual topics; adolescent misperceptions that guardians want to engage in sexual activities with them; strong belief amongst guardians that reproductive health discussions with adolescents encourages sexual experimentation; belief that adolescents were too young to understand; non-conducive environment for open discussions of sexual and reproductive health matters; cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion In view of these findings, there are still barriers in terms of parent-adolescent engagement on issues related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices among adolescents. Therefore, there is a need to encourage engagement by creating neutral platforms facilitated by community healthcare providers and/ or social workers. This will help create awareness and bridge the communication and interaction gap by emphasising the importance of effective engagement among adolescents and their parents on matters related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices. Post implantation intervention studies are needed to inform on the outcomes of the intervention. PMID:28292083

  18. The Arabidopsis DSO/ABCG11 transporter affects cutin metabolism in reproductive organs and suberin in roots.

    PubMed

    Panikashvili, David; Shi, Jian Xin; Bocobza, Samuel; Franke, Rochus Benni; Schreiber, Lukas; Aharoni, Asaph

    2010-05-01

    Apart from its significance in the protection against stress conditions, the cuticular cover is essential for proper development of the diverse surface structures formed on aerial plant organs. This layer mainly consists of a cutin matrix, embedded and overlaid with cuticular waxes. Following their biosynthesis in epidermal cells, cutin and waxes were suggested to be exported across the plasma membrane by ABCG-type transporters such as DSO/ABCG11 to the cell wall and further to extracellular matrix. Here, additional aspects of DSO/ABCG11 function were investigated, predominantly in reproductive organs, which were not revealed in the previous reports. This was facilitated by the generation of a transgenic DSO/ABCG11 silenced line (dso-4) that displayed relatively subtle morphological and chemical phenotypes. These included altered petal and silique morphology, fusion of seeds, and changes in levels of cutin monomers in flowers and siliques. The dso-4 phenotypes corresponded to the strong DSO/ABCG11 gene expression in the embryo epidermis as well as in the endosperm tissues of the developing seeds. Moreover, the DSO/ABCG11 protein displayed polar localization in the embryo protoderm. Transcriptome analysis of the dso-4 mutant leaves and stems showed that reduced DSO/ABCG11 activity suppressed the expression of a large number of cuticle-associated genes, implying that export of cuticular lipids from the plasma membrane is a rate-limiting step in cuticle metabolism. Surprisingly, root suberin composition of dso-4 was altered, as well as root expression of two suberin biosynthetic genes. Taken together, this study provides new insights into cutin and suberin metabolism and their role in reproductive organs and roots development.

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

    PubMed

    Harwood, James F; Chen, Kehui; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Morice, Amy E; Carey, James R

    2015-03-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Neurokinin B and reproductive functions: "KNDy neuron" model in mammals and the emerging story in fish.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guangfu; Lin, Chengyuan; He, Mulan; Wong, Anderson O L

    2014-11-01

    In mammals, neurokinin B (NKB), the gene product of the tachykinin family member TAC3, is known to be a key regulator for episodic release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Its regulatory actions are mediated by a subpopulation of kisspeptin neurons within the arcuate nucleus with co-expression of NKB and dynorphin A (commonly called the "KNDy neurons"). By forming an "autosynaptic feedback loop" within the hypothalamus, the KNDy neurons can modulate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility and subsequent LH release in the pituitary. NKB regulation of LH secretion has been recently demonstrated in zebrafish, suggesting that the reproductive functions of NKB may be conserved from fish to mammals. Interestingly, the TAC3 genes in fish not only encode the mature peptide of NKB but also a novel tachykinin-like peptide, namely NKB-related peptide (or neurokinin F). Recent studies in zebrafish also reveal that the neuroanatomy of TAC3/kisspeptin system within the fish brain is quite different from that of mammals. In this article, the current ideas of "KNDy neuron" model for GnRH regulation and steroid feedback, other reproductive functions of NKB including its local actions in the gonad and placenta, the revised model of tachykinin evolution from invertebrates to vertebrates, as well as the emerging story of the two TAC3 gene products in fish, NKB and NKB-related peptide, will be reviewed with stress on the areas with interesting questions for future investigations.

  3. Functional characterization of an apple apomixis-related MhFIE gene in reproduction development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dan-Dan; Dong, Qing-Long; Sun, Chao; Wang, Qing-Lian; You, Chun-Xiang; Yao, Yu-Xin; Hao, Yu-Jin

    2012-04-01

    The products of the FIS genes play important regulatory roles in diverse developmental processes, especially in seed formation after fertilization. In this study, a FIS-class gene MhFIE was isolated from apple. It encoded a predicted protein highly similar to polycomb group (PcG) protein FERTILIZATION-INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM (FIE). MhFIE functioned as an Arabidopsis FIE homologue, as indicated by functional complementation experiment using Arabidopsis fie mutant. In addition, BiFC assay showed that MhFIE protein interacted with AtCLF. Furthermore, transgenic Arabidopsis ectopically expressing MhFIE produced less APETALA3 (AtAP3) and AGAMOUS (AtAG) transcripts than WT control, and therefore exhibited abnormal flower, seed development. These results suggested that polycomb complex including FIE and CLF proteins played an important role in reproductive development by regulating the expression of its downstream genes. In addition, it was found that MhFIE constitutively expressed in various tissues tested. Its expression levels were lower in apomictic apple species than the sexual reproductive species, suggested it was possibly involved into apomixis in apple. Furthermore, the hybrids of tea crabapple generated MhFIE transcripts at different levels. The parthenogenesis capacity was negatively correlated with MhFIE expression level in these hybrids. These results suggested that MhFIE was involved into the regulation of flower development and apomixis in apple.

  4. In vivo effects of Aspalathus linearis (rooibos) on male rat reproductive functions.

    PubMed

    Opuwari, C S; Monsees, T K

    2014-10-01

    Aspalathus linearis (rooibos tea) may improve sperm function owing to its antioxidant properties. To test this hypothesis, male rats were given 2% or 5% rooibos tea for 52 days. No significant alterations were observed in body and reproductive organs weight, serum antioxidant capacity and testosterone level. Seminiferous tubules displayed complete spermatogenesis. However, a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in tubule diameter and germinal epithelial height was observed. Epithelial height of caput epididymides showed a significant increase. Unfermented rooibos significantly enhanced sperm concentration, viability and motility. Fermented rooibos also significantly improved sperm vitality (P < 0.01), but caused a significant increase in spontaneous acrosome reaction (P < 0.05), whereas unfermented did not. Creatinine was significantly enhanced in all treated rats, consistent with significant higher kidney weights. Rooibos significantly reduced alanine transaminase level, while 2% fermented rooibos significantly decreased aspartate transaminase level (P < 0.01). In conclusion, treatment with rooibos improved sperm concentration, viability and motility, which might be attributed to its high level of antioxidants. However, prolonged exposure of rooibos might result in subtle structural changes in the male reproductive system and may induce acrosome reaction, which can impair fertility. Intake of large amounts of rooibos may also harm liver and kidney function.

  5. Adverse effects of the anabolic steroid, boldenone undecylenate, on reproductive functions of male rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Oda, Samah S; El-Ashmawy, Ibrahim M

    2012-01-01

    Summary This study was conducted to evaluate the adverse effects of the anabolic steroid, boldenone undecylenate (BOL) on reproductive functions of male rabbits. Thirty white New Zealand mature male rabbits were divided into three groups (10 rabbits each). Group A rabbits served as a control group. Group B rabbits received 4.4 mg/kg body weight (bwt) BOL 5% oily solution. Group C rabbits received 8.8 mg/kg bwt BOL. Rabbits were injected intramuscularly twice weekly for two months. BOL had no significant effect on the bwt and bwt gain. Testes and epididymis weights were decreased significantly in the BOL-treated groups. BOL caused significant reduction in serum testosterone level, seminal volume, sperm motility, and sperm count. No abnormalities were detected in the sperm morphology of the BOL-treated groups. Histopathological alterations in the testes and epididymis were marked in the group C rabbits. These results indicate that administration of BOL exerts a significant harmful effect on the reproductive functions of male rabbits. PMID:22583130

  6. Effect of uremia on semen quality and reproductive function in humans.

    PubMed

    Xu, Longgen; Xu, Huiming; Zhu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Junrong; Ma, Meili; Shi, Xiaomin

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we sought to evaluate the effect of uremia on semen quality and reproductive function in humans. For this purpose, 53 end-stage uremic patients were randomly selected. The semen samples were produced by masturbation. Fertility index (FI) was calculated according to the following formula: sperm density (×10(6)/ml) × sperm motility (%) × normal sperm morphology rate (% per 10,000). The semen samples of uremic patients were compared with those of fertile and infertile males. The results show that three patients failed to produce semen. There were no sperm found in four semen samples. The sperm motility, survival rate, sperm density, and normal sperm morphology rate of the remaining 46 patients were found to be significantly lower than those of controls. The uremic patients had the FI of 0.68(2.08) which was obviously lower than that of fertile 7.7(13.51) and infertile 4.13(5.77) males. It was, therefore, concluded that uremia caused a significant decline in sperm quality and reproductive function which resulted in consequential infertility in humans.

  7. Optical properties of functional composite silver nanoparticles and their potential use in reproductive medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syrvatka, Vasyl J.; Slyvchuk, Yurij I.; Rozgoni, Ivan I.; Gevkan, Ivan I.; Bilyy, Oleksandr I.

    2013-06-01

    Silver nanoparticles are promising product of nanotechnology with attractive physicochemical and biological properties. The main aim of the study was to investigate optical properties of functional silver nanoparticles with different composite agents: polyvinylpyrrolidone, bovine serum albumin, hyaluronan and to explore their potential using in reproductive medicine. The date obtained in the study showed that surface modification of nanoparticles leads to change of their optical, physicochemical and biological properties. The optical properties of silver nanoparticles display, that AgNPs with PVP and BSA is most stable in PBS than AgNPs with HA. However the absorption curves after 120 hours of storage show, that AgNPs-HA were the most stable in ethanol. Results show, that silver nanoparticles did not effect on sperm viability and motility, but cause a changes of some biochemical parameters of conditioned medium, particular increase the concentration of triglycerides, activity of alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase and decrease the activity of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase after 3 h of in vitro cultivation at 37°C. According to our latest data AgNPs with HA have a less toxic effect on biological processes in rabbits sperm compared with AgNPs with PVP and BSA. Nevertheless all functional composites of silver nanoparticles at the concentration of 0.1 μg/mL have no toxic effect on spermatozoa and can be successfully applied in reproductive medicine at low concentrations as signal enhancers, optical sensors, and biomarkers.

  8. Effect of growth rate from 6 to 16 months of age on sexual development and reproductive function in beef bulls.

    PubMed

    Brito, L F C; Barth, A D; Wilde, R E; Kastelic, J P

    2012-04-15

    Sexual development and reproductive function were studied in 22 Angus × Charolais and 17 Angus bulls from 6 to 16 mo of age. Associations of average daily gain (ADG) and body weight with ages at puberty and at maturity (satisfactory semen quality), scrotal circumference, paired-testes volume and weight, testicular vascular cone diameter and fat thickness, scrotal temperature, sperm production and morphology, and testicular histology, were determined. There were no significant correlations between cumulative average daily gain and any of the end points investigated. Body weight at various ages was negatively correlated with ages at puberty and maturity in Angus × Charolais bulls, positively correlated with paired-testes weight in Angus × Charolais and Angus bulls, and positively correlated with seminiferous tubule volume in Angus bulls (P < 0.05). Semen quality improved gradually with age and the interval between puberty and maturity (mean ± SD; 309.4 ± 29.7 and 357 ± 42 days of age) was approximately 50 days. Age, weight, scrotal circumference, and paired-testes volume were all good predictors of pubertal and mature status, with moderate to high sensitivity and specificity (71.6% to 92.4%). In summary, growth rate between 6 and 16 mo of age did not affect sexual development and reproductive function in beef bulls. However, greater body weight at various ages was associated with reduced age at puberty and maturity, and with larger testes at 16 mo of age, indicating that improved nutrition might be beneficial, but only when offered before 6 mo of age. Average daily gains of approximately 1 to 1.6 kg/day did not result in excessive fat accumulation in the scrotum, increased scrotal temperature, or reduction in sperm production and semen quality, and could be considered "safe" targets for growing beef bulls.

  9. Functional significance of preserved affect recognition in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fiszdon, Joanna M.; Johannesen, Jason K.

    2009-01-01

    Affect recognition (AR) is a core component of social information processing, thus may be critical to understanding social behavior and functioning in broader aspects of daily living. Deficits in AR are well documented in schizophrenia, however, there is also evidence that many individuals with schizophrenia perform AR tasks at near-normal levels. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the functional significance of AR deficits in schizophrenia by comparing subgroups with normal-range and impaired AR performance on proxy and interviewer-rated measures of real-world functioning. Schizophrenia outpatients were classified as normal-range (N=17) and impaired (N=31) based on a logistic cut point in the sample distribution of BLERT scores, referenced to a normative sample of healthy control subjects (N=56). The derived schizophrenia subgroups were then compared on proxy (UCSD, UPSA, SSPA, MMAA) and interviewer-rated (QLS, ILSS) measures of functioning, as well as battery of neurocognitive tests. Initial analyses indicated superior MMAA and QLS performance in the near-normal AR subgroup. Covariate analyses indicated that group differences in neurocognition fully mediated the observed associations between AR and MMAA and attenuated the observed relationships between AR classification and QLS. These results support three main conclusions. First, AR, like many other domains of psychopathology studied in schizophrenia, is preserved in select subgroups. Second, there is a positive relationship between AR performance and functional outcome measures. Third, neurocognition appears to mediate the relationship between AR and measures of functioning. PMID:20202689

  10. Factors affecting reproductive performance of white-tailed deer subjected to fixed-time artificial insemination or natural mating.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Orta, Claudia G; Lozano, Eloy A; García, Jose E; Veliz, Francisco G; de Santiago, Angeles

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of several factors affecting fawning rate, litter size, litter weight and neonatal fawn mortality in white-tailed deer inseminated either transcervically or by means of laparoscopy. Oestrus synchronisation with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-based protocol and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) was conducted in 130 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) during three reproductive seasons (2007-2009; 271 services) in a game-hunting ranch in a hot-arid environment (26°4' N, 101°25' W). Ninety additional non-treated does were exposed to bucks for natural mating. Fawning rate did not differ between AI methods (40.0 vs 45.0% for transcervical and laparoscopic AI, respectively). Overall fawning rate (proportion of all does fawning after FTAI and a subsequent period of buck exposure) did not differ between transcervical (89.5%), laparoscopic (80.3%) or natural (88.9%) insemination. Litter size per fawning doe was higher (P<0.05) in naturally-served does (1.65±0.48) than in transcervically-inseminated does (1.40±0.51) or in laparoscopically-inseminated does (1.48±0.50). The main conclusion was that no enhancement of fawning rate or litter size occurred as a result of intrauterine deposition of semen by laparoscopy compared with the transcervical insemination technique.

  11. Grape variety affects larval performance and also female reproductive performance of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Moreau, J; Benrey, B; Thiéry, D

    2006-04-01

    For insect herbivores, the quality of the larval host plant is a key determinant of fitness. Therefore, insect populations are supposed to be positively correlated with the nutritional quality of their host plant. This study aimed to determine if and how different varieties of grapes (including the wild grape Lambrusque) affect both larval and adult performance of the polyphagous European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller). Significant differences were found in larval development time, but not in pupal mass, adult emergence rate, or sex ratio. Although the fecundity of females is not different among varieties, females fed on some varieties produced eggs of different sizes which are correlated to their fertility. Thus, females adapt resource allocation to eggs depending on their diet as larvae. Using a fitness index, the average reproductive output was found to be highest for females reared on cv. Chardonnay. Females reared on wild grape produced a fitness index identical to the cultivated grapes. However, Lambrusque and Gewurztraminer separate themselves from the cultivated varieties according to our discriminant analyses. It is emphasized, through this study, that cultivars fed on by larvae should be considered in the population dynamics of L. botrana and that egg number is insufficient to determine host plant quality.

  12. 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.

  13. Active immunization against leptin fails to affect reproduction and exerts only marginal effects on glucose metabolism in young female goats.

    PubMed

    Sauerwein, H; Heintges, U; Bruhns, S C; Hennies, M; Gertler, A

    2006-08-01

    Approximately 150 days before expected breeding time, 12 female goats (3 months of age) were actively immunized against ovine leptin. Booster injections were given throughout the following year. Control animals (n = 6) were sham-immunized. After the first observed oestrus, a buck was introduced and goats were mated. Blood samples were collected twice weekly and frequent blood sampling series were performed on days -15, 76, 153 and 286 relative to the first immunization. Nine of the immunized goats developed titres within 3 months and had elevated serum concentrations of leptin compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Hematological parameters and blood chemistry were not affected by the immunization. No differences were detectable in all reproductive parameters recorded. Serum insulin was higher in immunized goats during the frequent blood sampling series of day 287 after the first immunization. Glucose metabolism was investigated during pregnancy using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic clamps. None of the parameters derived from the clamp studies was different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. During the hyperglycaemic clamp there was a trend (p < 0.15) towards increased insulin concentrations in immunized animals whereas glucose infusion rates were not different between the groups. This indicates decreased insulin sensitivity in immunized goats. Our study describes the ontogenesis of serum concentrations of leptin during growth, puberty and first pregnancy and parturition for the caprine species. The effects of the immunization were not detectable or only marginal and the approach aimed at therefore not effective to investigate leptin action in detail.

  14. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

  15. Anticancer treatment and fertility: Effect of therapeutic modalities on reproductive system and functions.

    PubMed

    Vassilakopoulou, Maria; Boostandoost, Erfaneh; Papaxoinis, George; de La Motte Rouge, Thibault; Khayat, David; Psyrri, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    The significant improvement of cancer treatments entailed a longer life in cancer survivors and raised expectations for higher quality of life with minimized long-term toxicity. Infertility and gonadal dysfunction are adverse effects of anticancer therapy or may be related to specific tumors. In female cancer survivors, premature ovarian failure is common after antineoplastic treatments resulting in infertility and other morbidities related to oestrogen deficiency such as osteoporosis. In male cancer survivors, infertility and persistent a zoospermia is a more common long-term adverse effect than hypogonadism because germ cells are more sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy than leydig cells. Gonadal toxicity and compromise of reproductive functions will be more efficiently prevented and treated if addressed before treatment initiation. This review focuses on these issues in young cancer survivors of childbearing age, where methods of protecting or restoring endocrine function and fertility need to be considered.

  16. Ultrastructure and functional morphology of the female reproductive organs in Protodrilus (Polychaeta, Annelida)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Nordheim, Henning

    1991-12-01

    The morphology and function of the female reproductive organs in 6 Protodrilus species are investigated by light- and transmission electron microscopy. Possible ways in which spermatozoa may enter the female coelom after leaving the spermatophore are discussed for species with and without special female reception organs. Only female P. rubropharyngeus and P. flavocapitatus have “dorsal organs” for spermatophore reception. The structure and function of these organs are described, as well as those of the oviduct found in 3 of the species investigated. The possible phylogenetic origin of gonoducts and different modes of oviposition within the genus are discussed. Finally, the high taxonomic significance of female traits such as dorsal organs, oviducts, cocoon glands and lateral ciliary rows in this genus is stressed.

  17. Signaling Crossroads: The function of Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein in Cancer, the Central Nervous System and Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Klysik, Jan; Theroux, Steven J.; Sedivy, John M.; Moffit, Jeffrey S.; Boekelheide, Kim

    2008-01-01

    The Raf kinase inhibitory protein 1 (RKIP-1) and its orthologs are conserved throughout evolution and widely expressed in eukaryotic organisms. In its non-phosphorylated form RKIP-1 negatively regulates the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway by interfering with the activity of Raf-1. In its phosphorylated state, RKIP-1 dissociates from Raf-1 and inhibits GRK-2, a negative regulator of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Available data indicate that the phosphorylation of RKIP-1 by PKC can stimulate both the Raf/MEK/ERK and GPCR pathways. RKIP-1 has also been implicated as a negative regulator of the NF-κB pathway. Recent studies have shown that phosphorylated RKIP-1 binds to the centrosomal and kinetochore regions of metaphase chromosomes, where it may be involved in regulating the partitioning of chromosomes and the progression through mitosis. The collective evidence indicates that RKIP-1 regulates the activity and mediates the crosstalk between several important cellular signaling pathways. A variety of ablative interventions suggest that reduced RKIP-1 function may influence metastasis, angiogenesis, resistance to apoptosis, and genome integrity. Attenuation of RKIP-1 may also affect cardiac and neurological functions, spermatogenesis, sperm decapactiation, and reproductive behavior. In this review, the role of RKIP-1 in cellular signaling, and especially its functions revealed using a mouse knockout model, are discussed. PMID:17706925

  18. Semen quality and reproductive endocrine function with regard to blood cadmium in Croatian male subjects.

    PubMed

    Jurasović, Jasna; Cvitković, Petar; Pizent, Alica; Colak, Bozo; Telisman, Spomenka

    2004-12-01

    In 123 Croatian men with no occupational exposure to metals, the influence of cadmium on reproductive parameters was examined after adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol, and biomarkers of lead, copper, zinc, and selenium. The following variables were measured: blood cadmium (BCd), blood lead (BPb), activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), erythrocyte protoporphyrin, serum copper (SCu), serum zinc (SZn), serum selenium (SSe), activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in blood, testis size, semen quality (including sperm concentration, motility, viability, and morphology), indicators in seminal fluid (the lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme LDH-C4, fructose, zinc, acid phosphatase, and citric acid), and hormones in serum (follicle-stimulating hormone--FSH, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, testosterone, and estradiol). The median and range BCd values were 2.94 (0.49-11.93) microg/L in 61 smokers and 0.59 (0.20-3.71) microg/L in 62 nonsmokers (p < 0.0001). Smoking habits (cigarettes/day) highly significantly correlated with BCd (p < 0.0001). After adjusting for potential confounding variables by multiple regression, BCd was significantly associated with a decrease in testis size (p < 0.03) and an increase in serum estradiol (p < 0.005), FSH (p < 0.03), and testosterone (p < 0.04). Smoking was significantly associated with a decrease in serum prolactin (p < 0.006) and LDH-C4 in seminal fluid (p < 0.03). Several reproductive parameters were significantly associated with BPb and ALAD, biomarkers of lead, and/or with SCu, SZn, SSe, and GPx. The necessity of controlling for various metals, and other potential confounders when assessing the influence of a particular metal on reproductive function in men, is emphasized.

  19. Kinetics of Bartonella birtlesii Infection in Experimentally Infected Mice and Pathogenic Effect on Reproductive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Boulouis, Henri J.; Barrat, Francine; Bermond, Delphine; Bernex, Florence; Thibault, Danièle; Heller, Rémy; Fontaine, Jean-Jacques; Piémont, Yves; Chomel, Bruno B.

    2001-01-01

    The kinetics of infection and the pathogenic effects on the reproductive function of laboratory mice infected with Bartonella birtlesii recovered from an Apodemus species are described. B. birtlesii infection, as determined by bacteremia, occurred in BALB/c mice inoculated intravenously. Inoculation with a low-dose inoculum (1.5 × 103 CFU) induced bacteremia in only 75% of the mice compared to all of the mice inoculated with higher doses (≥1.5 × 104). Mice became bacteremic for at least 5 weeks (range, 5 to 8 weeks) with a peak ranging from 2 × 103 to 105 CFU/ml of blood. The bacteremia level was significantly higher in virgin females than in males but the duration of bacteremia was similar. In mice infected before pregnancy (n = 20), fetal loss was evaluated by enumerating resorption and fetal death on day 18 of gestation. The fetal death and resorption percentage of infected mice was 36.3% versus 14.5% for controls (P < 0.0001). Fetal suffering was evaluated by weighing viable fetuses. The weight of viable fetuses was significantly lower for infected mice than for uninfected mice (P < 0.0002). Transplacental transmission of Bartonella was demonstrated since 76% of the fetal resorptions tested was culture positive for B. birtlesii. The histopathological analysis of the placentas of infected mice showed vascular lesions in the maternal placenta, which could explain the reproductive disorders observed. BALB/c mice appeared to be a useful model for studying Bartonella infection. This study provides the first evidence of reproductive disorders in mice experimentally infected with a Bartonella strain originating from a wild rodent. PMID:11500400

  20. Factors affecting the incidence of postpartum oestrus, ovarian activity and reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares bred at foal heat under Indian subtropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sumeet; Davies Morel, M C G; Dhaliwal, G S

    2010-07-01

    Decreased reproductive performance due to summer stress is a well known phenomenon in farm livestock. Whether this occurs in the mare and specifically how this might affect postpartum reproductive activity and performance, especially at Foal Heat (FH), is unknown. This study, therefore, aims to investigate this and the factors that might affect postpartum reproductive activity. Reproductive records of 228 Thoroughbred mares (694 mare years) bred in subtropical north-western India were retrospectively analysed. Overt oestrous activity occurred within 21 d postpartum in 92.94% (645/694) of mares. Significantly (p<0.001) more April foaling mares (97.37%, 185/190) expressed postpartum oestrous activity than those foaling in January (83.61%; 51/61) and February (88.49; 123/139). Similarly significantly (p<0.01) fewer multiparous mares failed to demonstrate oestrous activity than primiparous mares (6.12% vs.15.07%; 38/621 vs. 11/73, respectively). 190 of these 694 mares were additionally monitored to confirm ovulation; in these mares onset of FH (oestrus plus confirmed ovulation) occurred 8.42+/-0.17 d and first ovulation 13.64+/-0.20 d postpartum. Month, stud farm, year, and parity did not affect interval from parturition to FH onset or to first ovulation; or FH onset to ovulation. In FH bred mares Day 16 pregnancy rate and overall foaling rate were 53.76% (100/186) and 46.24% (86/186) respectively and were similar to those of mares bred later postpartum. FH pregnancy rates were not affected by stud, season, month, year, number of matings, or day of ovulation but were significantly (p<0.008) lowered by increasing mare age. Significantly (p<0.01) lower Day 16 pregnancy rates were observed in uterine treated mares compared to untreated mares (31.09% vs. 57.96%; 9/29 vs. 91/157, respectively), this difference was not evident during the rest of pregnancy. In conclusion, postpartum reproductive and ovarian activity appears to be affected by environment, i.e., delayed in

  1. The effects of perinatal tebuconazole exposure on adult neurological, immunological, and reproductive function in rats.

    PubMed

    Moser, V C; Barone, S; Smialowicz, R J; Harris, M W; Davis, B J; Overstreet, D; Mauney, M; Chapin, R E

    2001-08-01

    Studies are under way to address concerns of potential persistent immunotoxic, reproductive, and neurotoxic effects of perinatal exposure to several pesticides. Tebuconazole, a triazole fungicide, was evaluated as part of this project. Sprague-Dawley dams were administered tebuconazole (0, 6, 20, or 60 mg/kg) by oral gavage daily from gestational day 14 to postnatal day (PND)7; the pups were then dosed daily at the same levels from PND7-42. Separate groups of rats were used for testing of immunological parameters, neurobehavioral testing using a screening battery of functional tests, and cognitive evaluations. Other groups of rats were evaluated for reproductive development and function, while yet others were sacrificed at the end of the dosing period for histological analyses of major organs systems, including neuropathological assessments. Pup viability and body weight were decreased in the highest dose group. There were no differences in the fertility indices in the exposed rats mated as adults. In the sheep RBC-immunized high-dose rats, spleen weights and cellularity were increased, and the ratio of cell types was altered compared to controls. There were, however, no biologically significant changes in the immune function of these rats. At necropsy on PND46 or 152, kidney, liver, and spleen weights were altered by tebuconazole treatment, but a dose-response relationship was not clear for most organs; only decreased kidney and increased liver weights were consistent in both sexes. Histological analyses were generally unremarkable outside of the brain. One month after the end of dosing, acquisition of learning the platform location in a water tank (i.e., Morris water maze) was impaired in the high-dose group; there were no differences in neuromuscular ability, motor activity, or swim speed to account for this finding. Furthermore, there was no effect on recall of the position during a free-swim trial. Neuropathological evaluations revealed pyknotic cells across

  2. Abnormal GABAergic function and negative affect in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Stephan F; Demeter, Elise; Phan, K Luan; Tso, Ivy F; Welsh, Robert C

    2014-03-01

    Deficits in the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system have been reported in postmortem studies of schizophrenia, and therapeutic interventions in schizophrenia often involve potentiation of GABA receptors (GABAR) to augment antipsychotic therapy and treat negative affect such as anxiety. To map GABAergic mechanisms associated with processing affect, we used a benzodiazepine challenge while subjects viewed salient visual stimuli. Fourteen stable, medicated schizophrenia/schizoaffective patients and 13 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) technique while they viewed salient emotional images. Subjects received intravenous lorazepam (LRZ; 0.01 mg/kg) or saline in a single-blinded, cross-over design (two sessions separated by 1-3 weeks). A predicted group by drug interaction was noted in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as well as right superior frontal gyrus and left and right occipital regions, such that psychosis patients showed an increased BOLD signal to LRZ challenge, rather than the decreased signal exhibited by the comparison group. A main effect of reduced BOLD signal in bilateral occipital areas was noted across groups. Consistent with the role of the dmPFC in processing emotion, state negative affect positively correlated with the response to the LRZ challenge in the dmPFC for the patients and comparison subjects. The altered response to LRZ challenge is consistent with altered inhibition predicted by postmortem findings of altered GABAR in schizophrenia. These results also suggest that negative affect in schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder is associated-directly or indirectly-with GABAergic function on a continuum with normal behavior.

  3. Single pollinator species losses reduce floral fidelity and plant reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Brosi, Berry J; Briggs, Heather M

    2013-08-06

    Understanding the functional impacts of pollinator species losses on plant populations is critical given ongoing pollinator declines. Simulation models of pollination networks suggest that plant communities will be resilient to losing many or even most of the pollinator species in an ecosystem. These predictions, however, have not been tested empirically and implicitly assume that pollination efficacy is unaffected by interactions with interspecific competitors. By contrast, ecological theory and data from a wide range of ecosystems show that interspecific competition can drive variation in ecological specialization over short timescales via behavioral or morphological plasticity, although the potential implications of such changes in specialization for ecosystem functioning remain unexplored. We conducted manipulative field experiments in which we temporarily removed single pollinator species from study plots in subalpine meadows, to test the hypothesis that interactions between pollinator species can shape individual species' functional roles via changes in foraging specialization. We show that loss of a single pollinator species reduces floral fidelity (short-term specialization) in the remaining pollinators, with significant implications for ecosystem functioning in terms of reduced plant reproduction, even when potentially effective pollinators remained in the system. Our results suggest that ongoing pollinator declines may have more serious negative implications for plant communities than is currently assumed. More broadly, we show that the individual functional contributions of species can be dynamic and shaped by the community of interspecific competitors, thereby documenting a distinct mechanism for how biodiversity can drive ecosystem functioning, with potential relevance to a wide range of taxa and systems.

  4. Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins affect lifespan and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua adults.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Ma, Yan; Wan, Pin-Jun; Mu, Li-Li; Li, Guo-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Being delivered as sprays or expressed in plant, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline proteins (Cry toxins) display insecticidal activities against numerous Lepidopteran, Dipteran, and Coleopteran larvae. Comparative study of toxicities of Bt Cry toxins between larvae and adults may afford important new insights into the interactions of the toxins with receptor proteins in host insect, and represent intriguing targets for the control of insect pests. However, the effectiveness of Bt Cry toxins in insect adults has paid less attention. In the present article, the effectiveness of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca on lifespans and reproductive performance of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) adults were evaluated by in vivo experiments. Considering transgenic plants express modified, truncated versions of cry genes yielding active toxin fragment, we used activated Bt toxins at the concentration of 500, 100, and 20 microg/ml in a 10% sucrose aquous solution. At the highest concentration, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca shortened 48.1 and 48.9% of H. armigera female lifespan, and 43.5 and 38.5% of S. exigua female lifespan, and they reduced 37.8 and 40.3%, and 50.5 and 47.4% of H. armigera and S. exigua male lifespans respectively. Bt toxins negatively affected copulation. Exposure to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca greatly reduced 50.0 and 46.8%, and 58.7 and 57.3% spermatophore acceptance by H. armigera and S. exigua females, respectively. Similarly, Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca exposure decreased 40.0 and 50.3%, and 61.3 and 60.0% of spermatophore transfer by H. armigera and S. exigua males, respectively. Moreover, exposure females rather than males to 500 microg/ml of Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca significantly dropped 57.5 and 57.5% of the number of eggs laid by H. armigera, and 35.4 and 45.8% of the number of egg masses deposited by S. exigua. In contrast, both Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca did not negatively influence the egg hatchability. At the middle and the lowest concentrations, however

  5. The regulation of reproductive neuroendocrine function by insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)

    PubMed Central

    Wolfe, Andrew; Divall, Sara; Wu, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian reproductive hormone axis regulates gonadal steroid hormone levels and gonadal function essential for reproduction. The neuroendocrine control of the axis integrates signals from a wide array of inputs. The regulatory pathways important for mediating these inputs have been the subject of numerous studies. One class of proteins that have been shown to mediate metabolic and growth signals to the CNS includes Insulin and IGF-1. These proteins are structurally related and can exert endocrine and growth factor like action via related receptor tyrosine kinases. The role that insulin and IGF-1 play in controlling the hypothalamus and pituitary and their role in regulating puberty and nutritional control of reproduction has been studied extensively. This review summarizes the in vitro and in vivo models that have been used to study these neuroendocrine structures and the influence of these growth factors on neuroendocrine control of reproduction. PMID:24929098

  6. Does alcohol have any effect on male reproductive function? A review of literature.

    PubMed

    La Vignera, Sandro; Condorelli, Rosita A; Balercia, Giancarlo; Vicari, Enzo; Calogero, Aldo E

    2013-03-01

    Although alcohol is widely used, its impact on the male reproductive function is still controversial. Over the years, many studies have investigated the effects of alcohol consumption on sperm parameters and male infertility. This article reviews the main preclinical and clinical evidences. Studies conducted on the experimental animal have shown that a diet enriched with ethanol causes sperm parameter abnormalities, a number of alterations involving the reproductive tract inhibition, and reduced mouse oocyte in vitro fertilization rate. These effects were partly reversible upon discontinuation of alcohol consumption. Most of the studies evaluating the effects of alcohol in men have shown a negative impact on the sperm parameters. This has been reported to be associated with hypotestosteronemia and low-normal or elevated gonadotropin levels suggesting a combined central and testicular detrimental effect of alcohol. Nevertheless, alcohol consumption does not seem to have much effect on fertility either in in vitro fertilization programs or population-based studies. Finally, the genetic background and other concomitant, alcohol consumption-related conditions influence the degree of the testicular damage. In conclusion, alcohol consumption is associated with a deterioration of sperm parameters which may be partially reversible upon alcohol consumption discontinuation.

  7. Sperm conjugation in mammal reproductive function: Different names for the same phenomenon?

    PubMed

    Monclus, Maria Angeles; Fornes, Miguel Walter

    2016-10-01

    In many mammalian and non-mammalian species, mature sperm interact within the female reproductive tract or inside the epididymal lumen using cohesive forces. This phenomenon, known as "sperm conjugation," is sometimes confused with sperm agglutination, which is the result of the interaction of epididymal or ejaculate spermatozoa upon release into culture medium. In addition to "agglutination," the terms "association," "rouleaux," or "rosettes" are employed interchangeably to describe the conjugation phenomenon, which inevitably causes confusion due to the non-unifying nomenclature. This variety of descriptions is likely due to a poor understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in such conspicuous cell-cell interaction as well as the different morphologies that result from such interactions among species. Here, we summarize the published data regarding mammalian sperm conjugation, considering the organisms in which sperm interaction was observed; the particular terminology employed; findings regarding the components that enable sperm to adhere; sperm behavior when deposited in the female reproductive tract; and hypotheses formulated to clarify the biological function and, when known, the mechanisms for sperm interaction. We also propose a new classification system for this phenomenon that might clearly unify the criteria used to describe this behavior. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 884-896, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Does alcohol have any effect on male reproductive function? A review of literature

    PubMed Central

    La Vignera, Sandro; Condorelli, Rosita A; Balercia, Giancarlo; Vicari, Enzo; Calogero, Aldo E

    2013-01-01

    Although alcohol is widely used, its impact on the male reproductive function is still controversial. Over the years, many studies have investigated the effects of alcohol consumption on sperm parameters and male infertility. This article reviews the main preclinical and clinical evidences. Studies conducted on the experimental animal have shown that a diet enriched with ethanol causes sperm parameter abnormalities, a number of alterations involving the reproductive tract inhibition, and reduced mouse oocyte in vitro fertilization rate. These effects were partly reversible upon discontinuation of alcohol consumption. Most of the studies evaluating the effects of alcohol in men have shown a negative impact on the sperm parameters. This has been reported to be associated with hypotestosteronemia and low–normal or elevated gonadotropin levels suggesting a combined central and testicular detrimental effect of alcohol. Nevertheless, alcohol consumption does not seem to have much effect on fertility either in in vitro fertilization programs or population-based studies. Finally, the genetic background and other concomitant, alcohol consumption-related conditions influence the degree of the testicular damage. In conclusion, alcohol consumption is associated with a deterioration of sperm parameters which may be partially reversible upon alcohol consumption discontinuation. PMID:23274392

  9. Doping with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS): Adverse effects on non-reproductive organs and functions.

    PubMed

    Nieschlag, Eberhard; Vorona, Elena

    2015-09-01

    Since the 1970s anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) have been abused at ever increasing rates in competitive athletics, in recreational sports and in bodybuilding. Exceedingly high doses are often consumed over long periods, in particular by bodybuilders, causing acute or chronic adverse side effects frequently complicated by additional polypharmacy. This review summarizes side effects on non-reproductive organs and functions; effects on male and female reproduction have been recently reviewed in a parallel paper. Among the most striking AAS side effects are increases in haematocrit and coagulation causing thromboembolism, intracardiac thrombosis and stroke as well as other cardiac disturbances including arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies and possibly sudden death. 17α-alkylated AAS are liver toxic leading to cholestasis, peliosis, adenomas and carcinomas. Hyperbilirubinaemia can cause cholemic nephrosis and kidney failure. AAS abuse may induce exaggerated self-confidence, reckless behavior, aggressiveness and psychotic symptoms. AAS withdrawal may be accompanied by depression and suicidal intentions. Since AAS abuse is not or only reluctantly admitted physicians should be aware of the multitude of serious side effects when confronted with unclear symptoms.

  10. Effects of immunization against LHRH and treatment with trenbolone acetate on reproductive function of beef bulls and steers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the ability of trenbolone acetate (TBA) administered in tandem with LHRH immunization to suppress reproductive function in beef bulls and (2) to examine the effects of LHRH and androgen (TBA) signaling on pituitary function. In order to address thes...

  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. Can the hydrophilicity of functional monomers affect chemical interaction?

    PubMed

    Feitosa, V P; Ogliari, F A; Van Meerbeek, B; Watson, T F; Yoshihara, K; Ogliari, A O; Sinhoreti, M A; Correr, A B; Cama, G; Sauro, S

    2014-02-01

    The number of carbon atoms and/or ester/polyether groups in spacer chains may influence the interaction of functional monomers with calcium and dentin. The present study assessed the chemical interaction and bond strength of 5 standard-synthesized phosphoric-acid ester functional monomers with different spacer chain characteristics, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), ATR-FTIR, thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and microtensile bond strength (μTBS). The tested functional monomers were 2-MEP (two-carbon spacer chain), 10-MDP (10-carbon), 12-MDDP (12-carbon), MTEP (more hydrophilic polyether spacer chain), and CAP-P (intermediate hydrophilicity ester spacer). The intensity of monomer-calcium salt formation measured by AAS differed in the order of 12-MDDP=10-MDP>CAP-P>MTEP>2-MEP. FTIR and SEM analyses of monomer-treated dentin surfaces showed resistance to rinsing for all monomer-dentin bonds, except with 2-MEP. TF-XRD confirmed the weaker interaction of 2-MEP. Highest µTBS was observed for 12-MDDP and 10-MDP. A shorter spacer chain (2-MEP) of phosphate functional monomers induced formation of unstable monomer-calcium salts, and lower chemical interaction and dentin bond strength. The presence of ester or ether groups within longer spacer carbon chains (CAP-P and MTEP) may affect the hydrophilicity, μTBS, and also the formation of monomer-calcium salts.

  13. How does temperature affect the function of tissue macrophages?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Repasky, Elizabeth A.

    2011-03-01

    Macrophages create a major danger signal following injury or infection and upon activation release pro-inflammatory cytokines, which in turn help to generate febrile conditions. Thus, like other cells of the body, tissue macrophages are often exposed to naturally occurring elevations in tissue temperature during inflammation and fever. However, whether macrophages sense and respond to temperature changes in a specific manner which modulates their function is still not clear. In this brief review, we highlight recent studies which have analyzed the effects of temperatures on macrophage function, and summarize the possible underlying molecular mechanisms which have been identified. Mild, physiological range hyperthermia has been shown to have both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles in regulating macrophage inflammatory cytokine production and at the meeting presentation, we will show new data demonstrating that hyperthermia can indeed exert both positive and negative signals to macrophages. While some thermal effects are correlated with the induction of heat shock factors/heat shock proteins, overall it is not clear how mild hyperthermia can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. We also summarize data which shows that hyperthermia can affect other macrophage effector functions, including the anti-tumor cytotoxicity. Overall, these studies may help us to better understand the immunological role of tissue temperature and may provide important information needed to maximize the application of heat in the treatment of various diseases including cancer.

  14. Melatonin and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunjin; Zhou, Xu

    2015-06-15

    Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland whose concentrations in the body are regulated by both the dark-light and seasonal cycles. The reproductive function of seasonal breeding animals is clearly influenced by the circadian variation in melatonin levels. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that melatonin has important effects in the reproduction of some non-seasonal breeding animals. In males, melatonin affects reproductive regulation in three main ways. First, it regulates the secretion of two key neurohormones, GnRH and LH. Second, it regulates testosterone synthesis and testicular maturation. Third, as a potent free radical scavenger that is both lipophilic and hydrophilic, it prevents testicular damage caused by environmental toxins or inflammation. This review summarizes the existing data on the possible biological roles of melatonin in male reproduction. Overall, the literature data indicate that melatonin affects the secretion of both gonadotropins and testosterone while also improving sperm quality. This implies that it has important effects on the regulation of testicular development and male reproduction.

  15. Impact of low molecular weight phthalates in inducing reproductive malfunctions in male mice: Special emphasis on Sertoli cell functions.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Narender; Srivastava, Swati; Roy, Partha

    2015-05-01

    Phthalates are commonly used as plasticizers in a variety of products. Since they have been identified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), effect of phthalates on human health is a major concern. In this study, we evaluated individual as well as combined mixture effects of three low molecular weight phthalates on the reproductive system of male mice, specifically on the Sertoli cell structure and function. In order to analyze the blood testes barrier (BTB) dynamics, primary culture of Sertoli cells from 3-weeks old male mice was used for mimicking typical tight junction structures. Male mice were exposed to long-term (45 days) and combined mixture of three phthalates, diethyl phthalate (DEP), diphenyl phthalate (DPP), and dimethyl isophthalate (DMIP) between pre-pubertal to adult stage. Our data showed significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the rates of transcription of certain prominent Sertoli cell specific genes like transferrin, testin and occludin. Moreover, we also observed significant decreases in the expression of proteins like 3β-HSD, connexin-43 and occludin in testicular lysates of treated animals (p < 0.05). The transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that the test compounds significantly altered the structural integrity of Sertoli cells. The significant changes of Sertoli cell tight junction structure by test compounds were associated with phosphorylation of ERK. Taken together, our study suggests that low molecular weight phthalates may affect male fertility by altering both structural and functional integrity of Sertoli cells in testes.

  16. Dibromochloropropane (DBCP): an 8-year reevaluation of testicular function and reproductive performance

    SciTech Connect

    Potashnik, G.; Yanai-Inbar, I.

    1987-02-01

    The current study summarizes an 8-year reassessment of testicular function and reproductive performance in 15 workers with dibromochloropropane (DBCP)-induced azoospermia and oligozoospermia. Recovery of spermatogenesis was observed in four oligozoospermic and three azoospermic men whose plasma follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentration was normal during the whole period. A marked increase in FSH and luteinizing hormone concentrations above the upper limit of normal was found in the azoospermic workers who did not recover. No significant changes in FSH concentrations were detected in both recovered and nonrecovered oligozoospermic men. Testosterone levels of all patients were normal at all times. Paternal exposure to DBCP was not associated with increased risk of fetal malformations or spontaneous abortion.

  17. Successful Reproduction Requires the Function of Arabidopsis YELLOW STRIPE-LIKE1 and YELLOW STRIPE-LIKE3 Metal-Nicotianamine Transporters in Both Vegetative and Reproductive Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, H.; Chiecko, J; Punshon, T; Lanzirotti, A; Lahner, B; Salt, D; Walker, E

    2010-01-01

    Several members of the Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) family of proteins are transporters of metals that are bound to the metal chelator nicotianamine or the related set of mugineic acid family chelators known as phytosiderophores. Here, we examine the physiological functions of three closely related Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) YSL family members, AtYSL1, AtYSL2, and AtYSL3, to elucidate their role(s) in the allocation of metals into various organs of Arabidopsis. We show that AtYSL3 and AtYSL1 are localized to the plasma membrane and function as iron transporters in yeast functional complementation assays. By using inflorescence grafting, we show that AtYSL1 and AtYSL3 have dual roles in reproduction: their activity in the leaves is required for normal fertility and normal seed development, while activity in the inflorescences themselves is required for proper loading of metals into the seeds. We further demonstrate that the AtYSL1 and AtYSL2 proteins, when expressed from the AtYSL3 promoter, can only partially rescue the phenotypes of a ysl1ysl3 double mutant, suggesting that although these three YSL transporters are closely related and have similar patterns of expression, they have distinct activities in planta. In particular, neither AtYSL1 nor AtYSL2 is able to functionally complement the reproductive defects exhibited by ysl1ysl3 double mutant plants.

  18. Control of reproductive floral organ identity specification in Arabidopsis by the C function regulator AGAMOUS.

    PubMed

    ÓMaoiléidigh, Diarmuid S; Wuest, Samuel E; Rae, Liina; Raganelli, Andrea; Ryan, Patrick T; Kwasniewska, Kamila; Das, Pradeep; Lohan, Amanda J; Loftus, Brendan; Graciet, Emmanuelle; Wellmer, Frank

    2013-07-01

    The floral organ identity factor AGAMOUS (AG) is a key regulator of Arabidopsis thaliana flower development, where it is involved in the formation of the reproductive floral organs as well as in the control of meristem determinacy. To obtain insights into how AG specifies organ fate, we determined the genes and processes acting downstream of this C function regulator during early flower development and distinguished between direct and indirect effects. To this end, we combined genome-wide localization studies, gene perturbation experiments, and computational analyses. Our results demonstrate that AG controls flower development to a large extent by controlling the expression of other genes with regulatory functions, which are involved in mediating a plethora of different developmental processes. One aspect of this function is the suppression of the leaf development program in emerging floral primordia. Using trichome initiation as an example, we demonstrate that AG inhibits an important aspect of leaf development through the direct control of key regulatory genes. A comparison of the gene expression programs controlled by AG and the B function regulators APETALA3 and PISTILLATA, respectively, showed that while they control many developmental processes in conjunction, they also have marked antagonistic, as well as independent activities.

  19. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Clifton, Mark E; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G

    2014-05-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as "activating" egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: (1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? (2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? (3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female's resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle's likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the "activating" effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes.

  20. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Mark E.; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as “activating” egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: 1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? 2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? 3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female’s resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle’s likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the “activating” effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes. PMID:24657670

  1. MicroRNAs affect dendritic cell function and phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Lesley A; Boardman, Dominic A; Tung, Sim L; Lechler, Robert; Lombardi, Giovanna

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that have been linked with immunity through regulating/modulating gene expression. A role for these molecules in T-cell and B-cell development and function has been well established. An increasing body of literature now highlights the importance of specific miRNA in dendritic cell (DC) development as well as their maturation process, antigen presentation capacity and cytokine release. Given the unique role of DC within the immune system, linking the innate and adaptive immune responses, understanding how specific miRNA affect DC function is of importance for understanding disease. In this review we summarize recent developments in miRNA and DC research, highlighting the requirement of miRNA in DC lineage commitment from bone marrow progenitors and for the development of subsets such as plasmacytoid DC and conventional DC. In addition, we discuss how infections and tumours modulate miRNA expression and consequently DC function. PMID:25244106

  2. Can lifestyle modification affect men’s erectile function?

    PubMed Central

    Hehemann, Marah C.

    2016-01-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition affecting millions of men worldwide. The pathophysiology and epidemiologic links between ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well-established. Lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary modification, physical activity, and psychological stress reduction have been increasingly recognized as foundational to the prevention and treatment of ED. The aim of this review is to outline behavioral choices which may increase ones risk of developing ED, to present relevant studies addressing lifestyle factors correlated with ED, and to highlight proposed mechanisms for intervention aimed at improving erectile function in men with ED. These recommendations can provide a framework for counseling patients with ED about lifestyle modification. PMID:27141445

  3. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  4. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  5. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.

  6. The European study of assisted reproduction families: a comparison of family functioning and child development between Eastern and Western Europe.

    PubMed

    Cook, R; Vatev, I; Michova, Z; Golombok, S

    1997-09-01

    Developments in reproductive technology over the past 20 years have given infertile couples new opportunities to have children. Although assisted reproduction does not appear to lead to negative consequences with respect to parent-child relationships or the socioemotional development of the child, the outcome for children and their parents may well differ according to the social and cultural environment. The aim of the present study was to compare family functioning and the social and emotional development of children in families created as a result of assisted reproductive techniques in Western Europe with assisted reproduction families in an Eastern European country (Bulgaria) where there is a history of specific pronatalist interventions. The findings indicate greater difficulties in parental adjustment and child behavior in assisted conception families in Eastern Europe. In addition, Eastern European parents were more uncertain than Western European parents about whether they would tell the child, and Eastern European parents were much more secretive with respect to telling others. Thus the outcomes of assisted reproduction for family functioning and child development appear to be independent, to some extent at least, on the social context in which these techniques are carried out.

  7. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    PubMed

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  8. Does Ramadan Fasting Adversely Affect Cognitive Function in Young Females?

    PubMed Central

    Ghayour Najafabadi, Mahboubeh; Rahbar Nikoukar, Laya; Memari, Amir; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Beygi, Sara

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting (n = 9) and nonfasting (n = 8) groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (p < 0.05). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (p < 0.05). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (p < 0.05). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (p < 0.05). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. PMID:26697263

  9. Functional Roles Affect Diversity-Succession Relationships for Boreal Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350

  10. Does Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy Affect Cognitive Function?

    PubMed Central

    Wadsworth, P.; Blackburne, H.; Dixon, L.; Dobbs, B.; Eglinton, T.; Ing, A.; Mulder, R.; Porter, R.J.; Wakeman, C.; Frizelle, F.A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Colonoscopy is a common procedure used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of bowel disorders. Prior preparation involving potent laxatives is a necessary stage to ensure adequate visualization of the bowel wall. It is known that the sedatives given to most patients during the colonoscopy cause a temporary impairment in cognitive function; however, the potential for bowel preparation to affect cognitive function has not previously been investigated. To assess the effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on cognitive function. This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study of cognitive function in patients who had bowel preparation for colonoscopy compared with those having gastroscopy and therefore no bowel preparation. Cognitive function was assessed using the Modified Mini Mental State Examination (MMMSE) and selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Individual test scores and changes between initial and subsequent tests were compared between the groups. Age, gender, and weight were also compared. Forty-three colonoscopy and 25 gastroscopy patients were recruited. The 2 groups were similar for age and gender; however, patients having gastroscopy were heavier. MMMSE scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 28.6 and 29.5 (P = 0.24) at baseline, 28.7 and 29.8 (P = 0.32) at test 2, 28.1 and 28.5 (P = 0.76) at test 3. Motor screening scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 349.3 and 354.1 (P = 0.97) at baseline, 307.5 and 199.7 (P = 0.06) at test 2, 212.0 and 183.2 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Spatial working memory scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 14.4 and 6.7 (P = 0.29) at baseline, 9.7 and 4.3 (P = 0.27) at test 2, 10 and 4.5 (P = 0.33) at test 3. Digit Symbol Substitution Test scores for colonoscopy and gastroscopy groups, respectively, were 36.3 and 37.8 (P = 0.84) at baseline, 36.4 and

  11. In vivo effects of environmental concentrations of produced water on the reproductive function of polar cod (Boreogadus saida).

    PubMed

    Geraudie, P; Nahrgang, J; Forget-Leray, J; Minier, C; Camus, L

    2014-01-01

    Offshore oil and gas drilling processes generate operational discharges such as produced water (PW), a complex mixture of seawater with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and alkylphenols (AP). Some of these compounds may interact with the endocrine system of marine organisms and alter reproductive functions. In this study, polar cod were exposed for up to 28 d to a mixture of PAH, alkylated PAH, and AP simulating the composition of North Sea PW, at low and high concentrations (1:2000 and 1:1000 dilution of the original concentrate, respectively). Potential adverse effects of PW on polar cod physiology were investigated through biomarkers of biotransformation (hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase [EROD] activity and bile PAH metabolites), endocrine disruption (plasma vitellogenin [VTG] levels and sex steroid concentrations), and gonad histology. Plasma sexual steroid levels in fish were not markedly affected by PW exposure, while higher plasma VTG concentrations were measured in females exposed to the high PW treatment for 7 and 28 d. In males exposed to the higher PW concentration, inhibition of spermatogenesis was observed after 28 d in addition to increase of melano-macrophage occurrence in testis. Females exposed to the high PW treatment for 21 d showed a significant increase of atresia incidence. Finally, a significant decrease in oocyte number was observed in high PW exposed female ovaries after 28 d of exposure.

  12. Histopathology of Growth Anomaly Affecting the Coral, Montipora capitata: Implications on Biological Functions and Population Viability

    PubMed Central

    Burns, John H. R.; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) affect the coral, Montipora capitata, at Wai'ōpae, southeast Hawai'i Island. Our histopathological analysis of this disease revealed that the GA tissue undergoes changes which compromise anatomical machinery for biological functions such as defense, feeding, digestion, and reproduction. GA tissue exhibited significant reductions in density of ova (66.1–93.7%), symbiotic dinoflagellates (38.8–67.5%), mesenterial filaments (11.2–29.0%), and nematocytes (28.8–46.0%). Hyperplasia of the basal body wall but no abnormal levels of necrosis and algal or fungal invasion was found in GA tissue. Skeletal density along the basal body wall was significantly reduced in GAs compared to healthy or unaffected sections. The reductions in density of the above histological features in GA tissue were collated with disease severity data to quantify the impact of this disease at the colony and population level. Resulting calculations showed this disease reduces the fecundity of M. capitata colonies at Wai'ōpae by 0.7–49.6%, depending on GA severity, and the overall population fecundity by 2.41±0.29%. In sum, GA in this M. capitata population reduces the coral's critical biological functions and increases susceptibility to erosion, clearly defining itself as a disease and an ecological threat. PMID:22205976

  13. Structure and function of the tentpole in the reproductive process of Ginkgo biloba L.

    PubMed

    Jin, Biao; Wang, Di; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Min; Wang, Li

    2012-10-01

    The tentpole is a unique structure of the female gametophyte in Ginkgo biloba; however, its exact functions in the reproductive process are unclear. In the present study, we used semi-thin sectioning and electron microscopy to study the structure and function of the tentpole during fertilization in G. biloba. The tentpole was always initiated between two or more deeply immersed archegonia. Before fertilization, the tentpole had developed into a column-like structure, protruding toward the archegonial chamber; cells at the periphery of tentpole were loosely ranged, and abundant lipid droplets and starch grains were accumulated in the tentpole cells. After fertilization, the tentpole degenerated, and some membranous debris was overlaid on its surface. In addition, there were significant decreases in the lipids and starch grains. These results suggested that the tentpole led to the degeneration of the megaspore membrane and then supported the pliable apex of the nucellar tissues. Importantly, the tentpole also contributed to supplying nutrition for fertilization and embryo development.

  14. Transgenic mouse models in the study of reproduction: insights into GATA protein function.

    PubMed

    Tevosian, Sergei G

    2014-07-01

    For the past 2 decades, transgenic technology in mice has allowed for an unprecedented insight into the transcriptional control of reproductive development and function. The key factor among the mouse genetic tools that made this rapid advance possible is a conditional transgenic approach, a particularly versatile method of creating gene deletions and substitutions in the mouse genome. A centerpiece of this strategy is an enzyme, Cre recombinase, which is expressed from defined DNA regulatory elements that are active in the tissue of choice. The regulatory DNA element (either genetically engineered or natural) assures Cre expression only in predetermined cell types, leading to the guided deletion of genetically modified (flanked by loxP or 'floxed' by loxP) gene loci. This review summarizes and compares the studies in which genes encoding GATA family transcription factors were targeted either globally or by Cre recombinases active in the somatic cells of ovaries and testes. The conditional gene loss experiments require detailed knowledge of the spatial and temporal expression of Cre activity, and the challenges in interpreting the outcomes are highlighted. These studies also expose the complexity of GATA-dependent regulation of gonadal gene expression and suggest that gene function is highly context dependent.

  15. Gonadal status and reproductive function following treatment for Hodgkin's disease in childhood: The Stanford experience

    SciTech Connect

    Ortin, T.T.; Shostak, C.A.; Donaldson, S.S. )

    1990-10-01

    To ascertain the impact of therapy on gonadal function and reproductive outcome among children treated for Hodgkin's disease, we reviewed the experience at Stanford University Medical Center during the years 1965-1986. There were 240 children 15 years of age or younger, 92 girls and 148 boys; with median follow-up of 9 years, maximum follow-up was 26 years. Of this cohort, data on gonadal function were available on 20 boys, 5 of whom were considered prepubescent; they had no clinical evidence of sexual maturation and were less than 13 years of age. Evaluation of the boys included testicular biopsy, semen analyses and the ability to procreate. Serum gonadotropin hormone levels (FSH, LH) were studied in 11 boys who also had semen analyses. Sexual maturation was attained in all boys without the need for androgen replacement. Among the eight boys treated with radiation alone, four were able to father a child (3 following 40-45 Gy pelvic radiation dose, 1 without pelvic radiation) from 3-19 years following treatment. Three others who received 30-44 Gy pelvic radiation were oligospermic when tested at 10 to 15 years post-treatment. Semen analyses in 10 of 12 (83%) boys who had been treated with six cycles of MOPP with or without pelvic radiation revealed absolute azoospermia with no evidence of recovery as along as 11 years of follow-up. Following prolonged azoospermia, 2 of the 12 boys (17%) had recovery of fertility, with normalization of sperm count and/or ability to procreate at 12 and 15 years following treatment. There was no correlation with serum gonadotropin levels and sterility. Data on menstrual history, pregnancy and offspring were available in 86 (92%) of the girls. Seventy-five of the 86 girls (87%) have normal menstrual function. However, none of the females who underwent pelvic radiation without prior oophoropexy has maintained ovarian function.

  16. Relationships between intrauterine infusion of N-acetylcysteine, equine endometrial pathology, neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Gores-Lindholm, Alicia R; LeBlanc, Michelle M; Causey, Robert; Hitchborn, Anna; Fayrer-Hosken, Richard A; Kruger, Marius; Vandenplas, Michel L; Flores, Paty; Ahlschwede, Scott

    2013-08-01

    Persistent endometritis in the mare is associated with hypersecretion of mucus by endometrial epithelium and migration of neutrophils into the uterine lumen. This study examines the relationships between N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a mucolytic agent with anti-inflammatory properties, and endometrial architecture, serum neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance of NAC-treated mares in a clinical setting. In study 1, endometrial biopsies from mares receiving intrauterine saline (fertile-control, n = 6) or 3.3% NAC (fertile-treatment, n = 6; barren-treatment, n = 10) were evaluated by histology and image analysis. In study 2, phagocytic activity of serum-derived neutrophils was measured after adding 0.5% or 3% NAC. In study 3, pregnancy rates of repeat breeders (n = 44) receiving an intrauterine infusion of 3.3% NAC 24-36 hours before mating (group 1) was recorded, as was first cycle of the season pregnancy rates of reproductively normal mares (group 2, n = 85), and mares treated for bacterial endometritis the cycle before mating (group 3, n = 25). Intrauterine NAC did not adversely affect endometrial histology. Extracellular mucus thickness and staining intensity were reduced in fertile-treatment mares (P < 0.03). Neutrophil function was inhibited by 3% NAC solution, but not by 0.5% NAC (P < 0.05). In study 3, for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, the first-cycle pregnancy rates were 77%, 74%, and 56%, and early embryonic death rates were 15%, 13%, and 7%. In group 2 mares treated with uterine lavage and oxytocin post-mating, the pregnancy rate was 89% (39/44), whereas in mares treated with uterine lavage and 1 g ceftiofur, it was 60% (24/40). Of the oxytocin-treated mares, 18% (8/44) had ≥ 1 cm of intrauterine fluid or marked uterine edema, whereas 80% (32/40) of the antibiotic-treated mares did. In conclusion, intrauterine infusion of a 3.3% solution of NAC was not irritating and inhibited the oxidative burst of neutrophils. Repeat

  17. Reproductive toxicity: Male and female reproductive systems as targets for chemical injury

    SciTech Connect

    Mattison, D.R.; Plowchalk, D.R.; Meadows, M.J.; Al-Juburi, A.Z.; Gandy, J.; Malek, A. )

    1990-03-01

    On the basis of current knowledge of reproductive biology and toxicology, it is apparent that chemicals affecting reproduction may elicit their effects at a number of sites in both the male and the female reproductive system. This multiplicity of targets is attributable to the dynamic nature of the reproductive system, in which the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is controlled by precise positive and negative feedback mechanisms among its components. Interference by a xenobiotic at any level in either the male or the female reproductive system may ultimately impair hypothalamic or pituitary function. Normal gonadal processes such as spermatogenesis or oogenesis, ejaculation or ovulation, hormone production by Leydig or granulosa cells, and the structure or function of the accessory reproductive structures (e.g., epididymis, fallopian tube) also appear vulnerable to xenobiotics. The reproductive system is a complex one that requires local and circulating hormones for control. This brief review illustrates a system for characterizing the mechanism of action of reproductive toxicants, as well as for defining the sites available for disruption of reproduction. Unfortunately, at present, data addressing the actual vulnerability of reproduction are sorely lacking. However, when experiments have been conducted and combined with epidemiologic data or clinical observation, it has been possible to demonstrate impairment of reproductive processes by xenobiotics. The role of environmental exposure to xenobiotics in the increase in infertility that has been observed remains to be defined. 87 references.

  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 source ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Maternal metabolic stress may affect oviduct gatekeeper function.

    PubMed

    Jordaens, Lies; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Maillo, Veronica; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Marei, Waleed Fawzy A; Vlaeminck, Bruno; Thys, Sofie; Sturmey, Roger G S; Bols, Peter; Leroy, Jo

    2017-03-03

    We hypothesized that elevated non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) modify in vitro bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) metabolism and barrier function. Hereto, BOECs were studied in a polarized system with 24h-treatments at day 9: 1) CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0%EtOH), 2) SOLVENT CONTROL (0µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH), 3) BASAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the basal compartment), 4) APICAL NEFA (720µM NEFA + 0.45%EtOH in the apical compartment). FITC-albumin was used for monolayer permeability assessment, and related to Transepithelial Electric Resistance (TER). Fatty acid (FA), glucose, lactate and pyruvate concentrations were measured in spent medium. Intracellular lipid droplets (LD) and FA-uptake were studied using Bodipy 493/503 and immunolabelling of FA-transporters (FAT/CD36, FABP3 and caveolin1). BOEC-mRNA was retrieved for qRT-PCR. Results revealed that APICAL NEFA reduced relative TER-increase (46.85%) during treatment, and increased FITC-albumin flux (27.59%) compared to other treatments. In BASAL NEFA, FAs were transferred to the apical compartment as free FAs: mostly palmitic and oleic acid increased, respectively 56.0 % and 33.5% of initial FA-concentrations. APICAL NEFA allowed no FA-transfer, but induced LD-accumulation and upregulated FA-transporter expression (↑CD36, ↑FABP3, ↑CAV1-protein-expression). Gene expression in APICAL NEFA indicated increased anti-apoptotic (↑BCL2) and anti-oxidative (↑SOD1) capacity, upregulated lipid metabolism (↑CPT1, ↑ACSL1 and ↓ACACA), and FA-uptake (↑CAV1). All treatments had similar carbohydrate metabolism and oviduct function specific gene expression (=OVGP1, ESR1, FOXJ1). Overall, elevated NEFAs affected BOEC-metabolism and barrier function differently depending on NEFA-exposure side. Data substantiate the concept of the oviduct as a gatekeeper that may actively alter early embryonic developmental conditions.

  2. Application of endocrine disruptor screening program fish short-term reproduction assay: Reproduction and endocrine function in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) exposed to Bermuda pond sediment.

    PubMed

    Fort, Douglas J; Mathis, Michael; Fort, Chelsea E; Fort, Hayley M; Bacon, Jamie P

    2015-06-01

    A modified tier 1 Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) 21-d fish short-term reproduction assay (FSTRA) was used to evaluate the effects of sediment exposure from freshwater and brackish ponds in Bermuda on reproductive fecundity and endocrine function in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Reproductively active male and female fish were exposed to control sediment and sediment from 2 freshwater ponds (fathead minnow) and 2 marine ponds (killifish) contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons and metals via flow-through exposure for 21 d. Reproductive fecundity was monitored daily. At termination, the status of the reproductive endocrine system was assessed by the gonadosomatic index, gonadal histology, plasma steroids (estrogen [E2], testosterone [T], and 11-ketotestosterone [11-KT]), steroidogenic enzymes (aromatase and combined 3β/17β -hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase [3β/17β-HSD]), and plasma vitellogenin (VTG). Decreased reproductive fecundity, lower male body weight, and altered endocrinological measures of reproductive status were observed in both species. Higher plasma T levels in female minnows and 11-KT levels in both male and female minnows and female killifish exposed to freshwater and brackish sediments, respectively. Decreased female E2 and VTG levels and gonadal cytochrome P19 (aromatase) activity were also found in sediment exposed females from both species. No effect on female 3β/17β-HSD activity was found in either species. The FSTRA provided a robust model capable of modification to evaluate reproductive effects of sediment exposure in fish.

  3. Disorders of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Anne; del Junco, Deborah

    2011-01-01

    This chapter focuses on biomarkers of reproductive health and disease that have been developed in the past 15 years. Due to the gender- and age-dependency of most of the advances in measuring reproductive health status and outcomes, these biomarkers have been categorized with respect to the unique member of the reproductive triad of interest (i.e. mother, father, conceptus). Biomarkers of female and male puberty, female reproductive function, fetal and infant development, and male reproductive function are discussed. The strengths and limitations of developing and implementing biomarkers in reproductive health studies over the past decade are explored.

  4. Strategies for Functional Validation of Genes Involved in Reproductive Stages of Orchids1

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hsiang-Chia; Chen, Hong-Hwa; Tsai, Wen-Chieh; Chen, Wen-Huei; Su, Hong-Ji; Chang, Doris Chi-Ning; Yeh, Hsin-Hung

    2007-01-01

    Plants in the largest family of angiosperms, Orchidaceae, are diverse in both specialized pollination and ecological strategies and provide a rich source for investigating evolutionary relationships and developmental biology. However, studies in orchids have been hindered by several challenges that include low transformation efficiency and long regeneration time. To overcome such obstacles, we selected a symptomless cymbidium mosaic virus (CymMV) isolate for constructing virus-induced gene-silencing vectors. The feasibility of the virus vectors was first assessed with use of an orchid phytoene desaturase gene. The vector was able to induce gene silencing in orchids; however, because of the slow growth of orchids, the commonly used phytoene desaturase gene was not a good visual marker in orchids. We inserted a 150-nucleotide unique region of a B-class MADS-box family gene, PeMADS6, into pCymMV-pro60. The transcription level of PeMADS6 in inoculated Phalaenopsis plants was reduced by up to 73%, but no effect was observed for other MADS-box family genes. In contrast, in Phalaenopsis plants inoculated with CymMV transcripts containing 500 nucleotides of PeMADS6, a conserved region among MADS-box genes, the transcription level of PeMADS6 and the B- and C-class MADS-box genes was reduced by up to 97.8% as compared with plants inoculated with the vector alone. Flower morphology was affected in the MADS-box family gene-silenced plants as well. This in vivo experiment demonstrates an efficient way to study genes involved in the reproductive stage of plants with a long life cycle. PMID:17189336

  5. Short term hypothyroidism affects ovarian function in the cycling rat

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Rats made hypothyroid with propilthyouracil start showing abnormal cycling on the second cycle after the start of the treatment, with a high proportion of spontaneous pseudopregnancies and reduced fertility. Methods To investigate some of the mechanisms involved in these reproductive abnormalities, hypothyroidism was induced in virgin rats by propilthyouracil (0.1 g/L in the drinking water) and we determined circulating hormones by radioimmunoassay and whole ovary expression of ovarian hormone receptors, growth factors and steroidogenic enzymes using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The study was performed on days 6 to 9 of treatment, corresponding to diestrus I (at 20.00-22.00 h), diestrus II (at 20.00-22.00 h), proestrus and estrus (both at 8.00-10.00 h and 20.00-22.00 h) of the second estrous cycle after beginning propilthyouracil treatment. Another group of rats was mated on day 8 and the treatment continued through the entire pregnancy to evaluate reproductive performance. Results Hypothyroidism increased circulating prolactin and estradiol on estrus 5 to 7-fold and 1.2 to 1.4-fold respectively. Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 diminished 60 and 20% respectively on proestrus morning. Hypothyroidism doubled the ovarian mRNA contents of estrogen receptor-beta on proestrus and estrus evenings, cyp19A1 aromatase mRNA on estrus evening and of growth hormone receptor on proestrus evening. Hypothyroidism did not influence ovulation rate or the number of corpora lutea at term, but a diminished number of implantation sites and pups per litter were observed (Hypothyroid: 11.7 +/- 0.8 vs. Control: 13.9 +/- 0.7). Conclusions Short term hypothyroidism alters normal hormone profile in the cycling rat increasing the expression of estrogen receptor-beta and cyp19A1 aromatase on estrus, which in turn may stimulate estradiol and prolactin secretion, favouring corpus luteum survival and the subsequent instauration of pseudopregnancy. PMID:20149258

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Factors affecting reproduction in rehabilitant female orangutans: young age at first birth and short inter-birth interval.

    PubMed

    Kuze, Noko; Dellatore, David; Banes, Graham L; Pratje, Peter; Tajima, Tomoyuki; Russon, Anne E

    2012-04-01

    This study investigated the reproductive parameters of free-ranging rehabilitant female orangutans. We aimed to assess the factors that influence these parameters and provide information that could assist with the management of orangutan reintroduction programs. We analyzed the birth records of free-ranging female rehabilitants at Bukit Lawang, Bukit Tigapuluh, Sepilok, Camp Leakey, Kaja Island, Sungai Wain, and Meratus and compared them with reproductive parameters reported in wild and zoo populations. Females' ages at first birth were 10.6-14.7 years, significantly earlier than those of wild and zoo orangutans. Computed inter-birth intervals (IBIs) calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method were 65.1-90.1 months; the values for Camp Leakey and Bukit Lawang rehabilitants were significantly shorter than those reported for wild Sumatran orangutans. Infant mortality rates were 18-61%; the values for Bukit Lawang and Sepilok were significantly higher than those reported for wild Sumatran and zoo orangutans. In rehabilitants, young ages at first birth and shorter IBIs may result from the high energy intake enabled by provisioning, although the possibility exists that they reflect underestimations of age on arrival at rehabilitation centers. The observed high infant mortality rate may reflect poor mothering skills due to human rearing and/or increased disease transmission. This study demonstrates that accelerated reproductive rates (younger age at first birth and shorter IBI) are common in provisioned rehabilitant females on both Sumatra and Borneo.

  9. Genetic variants affecting meat and milk production traits appear to have effects on reproduction traits in cattle.

    PubMed

    Collis, E; Fortes, M R S; Zhang, Y; Tier, B; Schutt, K; Barendse, W; Hawken, R

    2012-08-01

    Polymorphisms located in the genes ABCG2, DGAT1, LEP, PRLR, RORC, CAPN1 and CAST previously have been associated with milk or meat production traits. In this study, these polymorphisms were examined for significant effects on reproductive traits [age at puberty (AGECL), post-partum anoestrus interval (PPAI) and the ability ovulate prior to weaning (PW)] and on a panel of correlated traits such as weight, growth and serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor I. The effects of the polymorphisms were examined in two samples of tropically adapted beef cattle: Brahman (N = 932) and Tropical Composites (N = 1097). A polymorphism in the gene DGAT1 was associated with age at puberty in the combined sample (P = 0.042), and two polymorphisms in CAPN1 were associated with PPAI (P = 0.033) and with the ability ovulate PW (P = 0.017). The favourable allele for reproductive traits was not always the favourable allele associated with production traits. The effects of these polymorphisms on reproductive traits were small compared to their effects on the traits for which they were originally discovered.

  10. 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.

  11. Functional neuroimaging of human vocalizations and affective speech.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Sander, David; Grandjean, Didier

    2014-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have verified the important integrative role of the basal ganglia during affective vocalizations. They, however, also point to additional regions supporting vocal monitoring, auditory-motor feedback processing, and online adjustments of vocal motor responses. For the case of affective vocalizations, we suggest partly extending the model to fully consider the link between primate-general and human-specific neural components.

  12. Effect of feeding a high-fat diet independently of caloric intake on reproductive function in diet-induced obese female rats

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Mona A.; Abogresha, Noha M.; Tamany, Dalia A.; Lotfy, Mariam

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Globally, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing, predisposing females to health hazards including compromised reproductive capacity. Our objective was to investigate the effect of ad libitum, isocalorically and hypocalorically restricted high-fat diet (HFD) feeding on reproductive function in diet-induced obese female rats. Material and methods Twenty female albino Sprague Dawley rats were used; 5 rats were kept on a standard pellet animal diet to serve as a control group (A) and 15 rats were fed a HFD for 9 weeks to induce obesity. The HFD fed animals were equally divided into three groups: an ad libitum HFD group (B), an isocalorically restricted HFD group (C), and a hypocalorically restricted HFD group (D). Estrous cyclicity, hormonal levels, ovarian histopathology and caspase-3 immunoreactivity were evaluated. Results The HFD-fed rats in groups B, C and D had significant irregularity in estrous cyclicity Vs group A (p = 0.001, 0.003 and 0.034 respectively). Groups C and D had significant reduction in serum progesterone level (p = 0.006 and 0.018 Vs A). Isocaloric restriction of HFD feeding significantly increased serum LH. Groups B and C had a significant increase in caspase-3 expression in the ovary (p < 0.001). Conclusions Ad libitum HFD interfered with the normal estrous cycle and enhanced apoptosis of luteal cells in obese female rats. The HFD restriction interfered with the normal estrous cycle and caused functional insufficiency of the corpus luteum in obese female rats. These results suggest that HFD feeding determinately affects female reproductive function independently of caloric intake. PMID:27478474

  13. Novel concepts about normal sexual differentiation of reproductive neuroendocrine function and the developmental origins of female reproductive dysfunction: the sheep model.

    PubMed

    Foster, D L; Jackson, L M; Padmanabhan, V

    2007-01-01

    The neuroendocrine regulation of GnRH secretion plays a central role in timing gamete release in both sexes. This regulation is more complex in the female because the discontinuous release of ova is more complex than the continuous release of spermatozoa. This review provides an evolving understanding of the sex differences in reproductive neuroendocrine controls and how these differences arise. The rules for sexual differentiation of steroid feedback control of GnRH secretion conceptually parallel the well-established principles that underlie the sexual differentiation of the internal and external genitalia. In the context of the neuroendocrine regulation of the ovarian cycle, and using the sheep as a model, four steroid feedback controls for GnRH secretion are inherent (default). They require no ovarian developmental input to function appropriately during adulthood. Two steroid feedback controls regulate the preovulatory surge mode of GnRH secretion, and two regulate the pulsatile mode. If the individual is a male, three steroid feedback controls of GnRH secretion become unnecessary or irrelevant, and these are abolished or become functionally inoperative through programmed reductions in hypothalamic sensitivity. This central programming occurs through exposure of presynaptic GnRH neurons in the developing male brain to the androgenic and estrogenic actions of testicular steroids. In precocial species such as ruminants, this programming begins well before birth. Understanding how GnRH secretion normally becomes sexually differentiated is of practical importance to determining how inappropriate hormonal environments during development can variously malprogram the neuroendocrine system to produce a variety of reproductive dysfunctions relating to patterning of gonadotropin secretion.

  14. 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

  15. Frozen Soil Characteristics That Affect Land Mine Functioning.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-04-01

    ii Introduction .............................................. 1 Backgroun ...Table 3 also presents the results of the mine functioning perform- ance . The M12 mine requires between 1739 and 3287 N to function, as indicated by the

  16. Breeding resource distribution affects selection gradients on male phenotypic traits: experimental study on lifetime reproductive success in the bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus).

    PubMed

    Reichard, Martin; Ondracková, Markéta; Bryjová, Anna; Smith, Carl; Bryja, Josef

    2009-02-01

    The spatial distribution of breeding resources can have pronounced demographic and evolutionary consequences. We used 20 experimental groups of the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), an annual fish with a promiscuous, resource-based mating system, and extended breeding season to investigate how the spatial distribution (clumped or regular) of bitterling oviposition sites (live freshwater mussels) affected offspring production, variation in reproductive success, and directional selection on phenotypic traits over their entire reproductive lifetime. We did not detect any effect of resource distribution on offspring production or variation in reproductive success among individual fish, although variation between replicates was higher with a clumped distribution. This finding is discussed with regard to the incidence of alternative mating behaviors (sneaking) within the limitations imposed by our experimental design. Breeding resource distribution had a significant effect on selection on male phenotypic traits. Stronger directional selection on traits associated with intrasexual competition for fertilizations, gonad mass (an indicator of sperm competition), and the extent of red, carotenoid-based pigment in the iris (an index of dominance status), was detected with a clumped resource distribution. With a regular resource distribution, a stronger positive selection on male body size was detected. We discuss the implications of our results for natural populations.

  17. Functional morphology of venous structures associated with the male and female reproductive systems in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, S A; Pabst, D A; McLellan, W A

    2001-12-01

    The reproductive organs of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are surrounded by thermogenic locomotory muscles and insulating fat. Manatees are reported to maintain core body temperatures of 35.6 degrees -36.4 degrees C, temperatures known to interfere with production and maturation of viable sperm in terrestrial mammals. We describe two novel venous plexuses associated with the manatee epididymis. Each epididymis is located in a hypogastric fossa at the caudolateral extremity of the abdominal cavity. Each hypogastric fossa is lined by an inguinal venous plexus that receives cooled blood from a superficial thoracocaudal plexus. We conclude that male manatees may prevent hyperthermic insult to their reproductive tissues by feeding cooled superficial blood to venous plexuses deep within their bodies. Female manatees also possess hypogastric fossae and venous structures similar to those found in male manatees. The ovaries, uterine tubes, and distal tips of the uterine horns are located in the hypogastric fossae. We suggest that the thermovascular structures we describe also prevent hypothermic insult to female manatee reproductive tissues. The venous structures in manatees are functionally similar to structures associated with reproductive thermoregulation in cetaceans and phocid seals. Thus, these thermovascular structures appear to be convergent morphological adaptations that occur in three clades of diving mammals with independent evolutionary histories.

  18. Immunization of dogs with recombinant GnRH-1 suppresses the development of reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya; Tian, Yuan; Zhao, Xijie; Jiang, Shudong; Li, Fubao; Zhang, Yunhai; Zhang, Xiaorong; Li, Yunsheng; Zhou, Jie; Fang, Fugui

    2015-02-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the effect of active immunization using recombinant GnRH-I protein on reproductive function in dogs. Six male and six female dogs were randomly assigned to either a control group or an immunization group (n = 3 males or 3 females/group). Dogs (aged 16 weeks) were immunized against GnRH-I with a maltose-binding protein-gonadotropin-releasing hormone I hexamer generated by recombinant DNA technology. Blood samples were taken at 4-week intervals after immunization. The serum concentrations of testosterone and estradiol and anti-GnRH-I antibodies were determined by RIA and ELISA, respectively. The results showed that active immunization with recombinant GnRH-I increased the serum levels of anti-GnRH antibodies (P < 0.05) and reduced the serum concentrations of testosterone (P < 0.05) and estradiol (P < 0.05) as compared with the controls. At 28 weeks of age, testes and ovaries were taken surgically for morphologic evaluation. Histologic studies performed on testicular and ovarian tissues revealed clear signs of atrophy in the recombinant GnRH-I-immunized dogs and a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the weights and sizes of paired testes and ovaries in the treated dogs. Microscopically, spermatogonia were visible, but no spermatids and spermatozoa were detected in the seminiferous tubules. Neither early antral nor antral follicles were found in the immunized group. These results demonstrate that recombinant GnRH-I is an effective immunogen in dogs.

  19. [The participation of the milk prolactin of lactating rats in the formation of the monoaminergic mechanism regulating the reproductive functions of their progeny].

    PubMed

    Ragimova, Sh A

    1991-10-01

    Puberty was found to be delayed in female rats who had not obtained necessary amount of prolactin with the mother's milk. These rats developed hyperprolactinemia in reproductive age associated with a decrease in the hypothalamus' dopaminergic tonus as well as a decrease of the sexual steroids level. These rats develop most often disorders of estrous cycle and reproductive function.

  20. How Does Religious Affiliation Affect Women’s Attitudes Toward Reproductive Health Policy? Implications for the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Patton, Elizabeth W.; Hall, Kelli Stidham; Dalton, Vanessa K.

    2015-01-01

    Structured Abstract Background Supreme Court cases challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate for employer-provided reproductive health care have focused on religiously based opposition to coverage. Little is known about women’s perspectives on such reproductive health policies. Study Design Data were drawn from the Women’s Health Care Experiences and Preferences survey, a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1078 US women age 18–55. We examined associations between religious affiliation and attitudes toward employer-provided insurance coverage of contraception and abortion services, and the exclusion of religious institutions from this coverage. We used chi-square and multivariable logistic regression for analysis. Results Respondents self-identified as Baptist (18%), Protestant (Other Mainline, 17%), Catholic (17%), Other Christian (20%), Religious, Non-Christian (7%) or no affiliation (21%). Religious affiliation was associated with proportions of agreement for contraception (p = 0.03), abortion (p <0.01), and religious exclusion (p <0.01) policies. In multivariable models, differences in the odds of agreement varied across religious affiliations and frequency of service attendance. For example, compared to non-affiliated women, Baptists and Other Nondenominational Christians (but not Catholics) had lower odds of agreement with employer coverage of contraception (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.4-0.1 and OR 0.57, CI 0.4–0.9, respectively); women who attended services weekly or more than weekly had lower odds of agreement (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.8 and OR 0.33, CI 0.2–0.6, respectively), compared to less frequent attenders. Conclusions Recent religiously motivated legal challenges to employer-provided reproductive health care coverage may not represent the attitudes of many religious women. PMID:25727764

  1. Oxidative stress during courtship affects male and female reproductive effort differentially in a wild bird with biparental care.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Bibiana; Valverde, Mahara; Rojas, Emilio; Torres, Roxana

    2016-12-15

    Oxidative stress has been suggested as one of the physiological mechanisms modulating reproductive effort, including investment in mate choice. Here, we evaluated whether oxidative stress influences breeding decisions by acting as a cost of or constraint on reproduction in the brown booby (Sula leucogaster), a long-lived seabird with prolonged biparental care. We found that during courtship, levels of lipid peroxidation (LP) of males and females were positively associated with gular skin color, a trait presumably used in mate choice, while levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were higher as laying approached and in early breeding pairs. Evidence of a constraining effect of oxidative stress for females was suggested by the fact that females with higher ROS during courtship laid smaller first eggs and had chicks with lower rates of body mass gain, and higher female LP was associated with lower offspring attendance time. No evidence of an oxidative cost of parental effort was found; from courtship to parental care, levels of ROS in males and females decreased, and changes in LP levels were non-significant. Finally, using a cross-fostering experiment we found that offspring ROS was unrelated to rearing and genetic parents' ROS. Interestingly, offspring LP was positively associated with the LP during courtship of both the rearing parents and the genetic father, suggesting that offspring LP might have both a genetic and an environmental component. Hence, in the brown booby, oxidative stress may be a cost of investment in reproductive traits before egg laying and constrain females' investment in eggs and parental care.

  2. Early social instability affects plasma testosterone during adolescence but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

    PubMed

    Siegeler, Katja; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Sachser, Norbert; Kaiser, Sylvia

    2013-08-15

    The social environment plays an important role in modulating processes of the hormonal and behavioural profile of an animal in a variety of group-living species. In wild cavies for instance, unstable social environmental conditions during pregnancy and lactation lead to an infantilised biobehavioural profile of the male offspring. In the present study, the influence of the social environment during pregnancy and lactation on the male wild cavy offsprings' plasma testosterone development, reproductive capacity and stress system activity was investigated. To this purpose, 12 sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation were compared with 12 sons whose mothers had lived in a stable social environment during the same time. Plasma testosterone (T) and plasma cortisol (C) concentrations were determined from days 20 to 107 of age. Adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity and different parameters of reproductive capacity (weights of testes, epididymides and accessory sex glands, cellular composition of the testes, DNA fragmentation indices and sperm motility parameters) were analysed at day 107 of age. TH activity and plasma C were unaffected by different social environmental conditions early in life. The developmental time course of T concentrations, however, was significantly different: Sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation showed a delayed increase in T concentrations around adolescence compared to controls. In contrast, no reproduction-related parameters measured within this study differed significantly between the two groups. Thus, early social instability affects plasma testosterone development during adolescence in a significant way but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

  3. Effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone immunization on reproductive function and behavior in captive female Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni).

    PubMed

    Powers, Jenny G; Baker, Dan L; Davis, Tracy L; Conner, Mary M; Lothridge, Anneke H; Nett, Terry M

    2011-12-01

    Fertility control is a potential method for managing overabundant wildlife populations; however, current technology is limited by duration of treatment efficacy and unacceptable side effects. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of a single immunization with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine to suppress reproductive function in pregnant female elk and to evaluate potential behavioral and pathological side effects of treatment. Eighteen captive adult female elk were randomly allocated to one of two experimental groups. Ten females were administered a conjugated and adjuvanted GnRH vaccine intramuscularly, and eight elk received an adjuvant sham vaccine without conjugated GnRH. We compared success of existing pregnancy, neonatal survival, subsequent fertility, reproductive behavior rates, and side effects of treatment between January 2006 and January 2010. The GnRH vaccination did not affect existing pregnancy or calf survival during the year that it was applied; however, it reduced the proportion of pregnant females for 3 yr. Male precopulatory behavior rates exhibited toward GnRH-vaccinated females tended to be greater than those directed at sham-vaccinated females during the second half of the breeding season, when GnRH vaccinates continued to be proceptive. Strong immune and inflammatory responses, including robust GnRH antibody concentrations in GnRH vaccinates, and sterile pyogranulomatous injection site abscesses in both groups, were consistent with vaccination. In conclusion, this GnRH vaccine resulted in prolonged, albeit reversible, impairment of fertility, and is associated with extended reproductive behaviors and partial suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in captive female elk.

  4. Digestive Organ in the Female Reproductive Tract Borrows Genes from Multiple Organ Systems to Adopt Critical Functions

    PubMed Central

    Meslin, Camille; Plakke, Melissa S.; Deutsch, Aaron B.; Small, Brandon S.; Morehouse, Nathan I.; Clark, Nathan L.

    2015-01-01

    Persistent adaptive challenges are often met with the evolution of novel physiological traits. Although there are specific examples of single genes providing new physiological functions, studies on the origin of complex organ functions are lacking. One such derived set of complex functions is found in the Lepidopteran bursa copulatrix, an organ within the female reproductive tract that digests nutrients from the male ejaculate or spermatophore. Here, we characterized bursa physiology and the evolutionary mechanisms by which it was equipped with digestive and absorptive functionality. By studying the transcriptome of the bursa and eight other tissues, we revealed a suite of highly expressed and secreted gene products providing the bursa with a combination of stomach-like traits for mechanical and enzymatic digestion of the male spermatophore. By subsequently placing these bursa genes in an evolutionary framework, we found that the vast majority of their novel digestive functions were co-opted by borrowing genes that continue to be expressed in nonreproductive tissues. However, a number of bursa-specific genes have also arisen, some of which represent unique gene families restricted to Lepidoptera and may provide novel bursa-specific functions. This pattern of promiscuous gene borrowing and relatively infrequent evolution of tissue-specific duplicates stands in contrast to studies of the evolution of novelty via single gene co-option. Our results suggest that the evolution of complex organ-level phenotypes may often be enabled (and subsequently constrained) by changes in tissue specificity that allow expression of existing genes in novel contexts, such as reproduction. The extent to which the selective pressures encountered in these novel roles require resolution via duplication and sub/neofunctionalization is likely to be determined by the need for specialized reproductive functionality. Thus, complex physiological phenotypes such as that found in the bursa offer

  5. Are introspective reaction times affected by the method of time estimation? A comparison of visual analogue scales and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bryce, Donna; Bratzke, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we investigated whether the method of time estimation plays a role in the apparent limits of introspection in dual-task processing. Previous studies showed that when participants reported introspective reaction times after each trial of a dual task by clicking on a visual analogue scale, they appeared to be unaware of the dual-task costs in their performance. However, visual analogue scales have seldom been used in interval estimation, and they may be inappropriate. In the present study, after each dual-task trial, participants reported their introspective reaction times either via a visual analogue scale or via the method of reproduction. The results replicated the previous findings, irrespective of method. That is, even though responses to the second task slowed down with increasing task overlap, this slowing was only very weakly reflected in the introspective reaction times. Thus, the participants' failure to report the objective dual-task costs in their reaction times is a rather robust finding that cannot be attributed to the method employed. However, introspective reaction times reported via visual analogue scales were more closely related to the objective reaction times, suggesting that visual analogue scales are preferable to reproduction. We conclude that introspective reaction times represent the same information regardless of method, but whether that information is temporal in nature is as yet unsettled.

  6. Effect of DDT and MCPA (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid) on reproduction of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L

    SciTech Connect

    Woin, P.; Broenmark, C. )

    1992-01-01

    Reproduction is the single most important function in the life cycle of an organism. Successful reproduction determines fitness of organisms. The inability of an organism to complete any one stage of the reproductive process severely reduces its lifetime reproductive success. Disruptions in the reproduction will ultimately affect the abundance and distribution of the species. Therefore, laboratory tests of long-term impact of sublethal pollutant concentrations on organisms preferably is done on the reproductive success. Pollutants of diverse structure may affect the reproductive system which is sensitive to toxic agents. Certain pollutants, notably the organochlorine compounds, have been shown to affect the male and female reproductive systems. The authors have studied the effect of sublethal concentrations of DDT and the herbicide 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) on the reproductive output of the pulmonate snail Lymnaea stagnalis under a 2-mon exposure period.

  7. Comparative reproductive function in cervids: implications for management of farm and zoo populations.

    PubMed

    Asher, G W; Monfort, S L; Wemmer, C

    1999-01-01

    The cervids represent a complex assemblage of taxa characterized by extreme diversity in morphology, physiology, ecology and geographical distribution. Farmed species (for example red deer and fallow deer) are usually the common larger-bodied, gregarious and monotocous species that express marked reproductive seasonality in their temperate environment. Their commercial importance has facilitated considerable research into reproductive physiology and the development of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). In contrast, the remaining species, including many of tropical origin, show wide diversity in reproductive patterns, have generally received little scientific scrutiny, and include a number of endangered taxa that are reliant on ex situ conservation efforts (such as captive breeding) to ensure their survival. Domestication and ex situ management programmes have been associated with widespread translocation of various cervid species around the world, often placing the animals in environments that are not compatible with their evolved reproductive patterns. For example, the summer calving/lactation pattern of red deer, attuned to northern continental climatic patterns, is frequently misaligned with seasonal changes in feed availability in the Australasian pastoral environment. Similarly, seasonal or aseasonal calving patterns of tropical species translocated to temperate regions are usually associated with increased perinatal mortality of calves born in cool seasons. Conversely, temperate species in tropical zones may exhibit aberrant reproductive patterns in the absence of biologically significant photoperiod fluctuations. ARTs, which presently include artificial insemination, embryo transfer and in vitro embryo production, have potential application to the genetic management and population growth of various cervid species. Although application to some farmed cervid species is widespread, these technologies are rarely directly transferable from farmed to

  8. Concomitant gastroparesis negatively affects children with functional gallbladder disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis and biliary dyskinesia (BD) occur in children, and if so, to determine whether concomitant gastroparesis affects clinical outcome in children with BD. We conducted a retrospective chart review of children with BD (ejecti...

  9. Comparison of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    Risco, C A; Hernandez, J

    2003-06-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the effect of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate (ECP) administration for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes (RFMs). After parturition, 97 dairy cows affected with RFM from a single dairy herd were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Cows in-group 1 (n=31) were treated daily for 5 days with ceftiofur hydrochloride (2.2mg/kg, i.m.); cows in group 2 (n=33) were treated once with ECP (4 mg, i.m.); and cows in group 3 (n=33) were not treated. The proportion of cows with metritis, uterine involution patterns and the calving-to-conception interval were compared between groups. The proportion of cows that developed metritis was significantly different (P<0.05) in cows treated with ceftiofur hydrochloride (13%), compared with cows treated with ECP (42%) or cows that received no treatment (42%). Uterine involution patterns (i.e. median time to complete retraction of the uterus and mean diameter measure of cervix and uterine horns) were not significantly different between groups. Cows treated with ECP were 0.40 times as likely to conceive as control cows (P=0.05); median time to conception in cows treated with ECP (192 days) was longer, compared to control cows (124 days). We conclude that systemic administration of ceftioufur hydrochloride is beneficial for prevention of metritis, but its effect on reproductive performance was not significantly different to that of ECP or no treatment. In addition, administration of ECP did not have beneficial effects on metritis prevention and reproductive performance.

  10. 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.

  11. Time within reproductive season, but not age or inbreeding coefficient, affects seminal and sperm quality in the whooping crane (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, M E; Converse, S J; Chandler, J N; Crosier, A L; Lynch, W; Wildt, D E; Keefer, C L; Songsasen, N

    2015-08-11

    All living whooping cranes (Grus americana) are descended from 16 or fewer birds that remained alive in the early 1940s, a bottleneck that puts the species at potential risk for inbreeding depression. Although AI is commonly used in the management of the captive population of this species, little is known about seminal traits or factors affecting sperm quality in the whooping crane. In the present study, semen samples were collected from 29 adult males (age 3-27 years) during the early (March), mid (April) and late (May) breeding season over 2 consecutive years. The effects of donor age, time within reproductive season and level of inbreeding on seminal characteristics were analysed using regression and information-theoretic model selection. Only time within reproductive season significantly affected seminal traits, with total numbers of spermatozoa and proportions of pleiomorphisms increasing across the season. We conclude that, even with a highly restricted number of founders, there is no discernible influence of inbreeding (at the levels described) on sperm output or quality. Furthermore, although there is variance in seminal quality, the whooping crane produces significant numbers of motile spermatozoa throughout the breeding season, similar to values reported for the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida).

  12. The Effects of Pyridaben Pesticide on the Histomorphometric, Hormonal Alternations and Reproductive Functions of BALB/c Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ebadi Manas, Ghodrat; Hasanzadeh, Shapour; Parivar, Kazem

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): The adverse effects of pyridaben on reproductive system in male animals are not well established. This study was designed to elucidate how pyridaben can effects the histomorphometric, hormonal alternations and reproductive functions of BALB/c mice. Materials and Methods: For this study, 80 adult and apparently healthy male BALB/c mice were divided into three groups Viz, control, test group 1 and test group 2. Test groups 1 and 2 were received the toxin at doses of 53 mg/kg. BW, and 212 mg/kg. BW, respectively. The experiment period for both groups was 10, 25 and 45 days. Results: The levels of FSH, LH and testosterone were significantly (P<0.05) decreased on the dose and time dependant means. The levels of the ROS and NOS were significantly (P<0.05) increased in all test groups. The percent body weight gains significantly (P<0.05) reduced, whereas weights significantly (P<0.05) increased in test groups in a dose and time dependant manner. The histomorphometric and stereologic findings, including diameters of somniferous tubules, thickness of somniferous tubules epithelium, the leydig's cell distribution, TDI, SI, RI revealed that, all these parameters are also significantly (P<0.05) reduces in test groups in a dose and time dependant manner. Conclusion: Pyridaben causes histomorphometric and stereologic changes in testis, as well as hormonal and reproductive functional alternations in BALB/c mice. PMID:24379962

  13. The Long Term Effect of Elective Colpoperineoplasty on Sexual Function in the Reproductive Aged Women in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Jamali, Safieh; Abedi, Parvin; Rasekh, Athar; Mohammadjafari, Razieh

    2014-01-01

    Objective. Many women are suffering from sexual dysfunction followed by vaginal laxity in their reproductive age. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long term effect of colpoperineoplasty on sexual function in Iranian reproductive aged women. Methods. This was a prospective observational study in which 79 women with vaginal laxity who were candidate for selective colpoperineoplasty in Jahrom, Iran, were recruited. Data on sexual function was collected via the Female Sexual Function (FSFI) questionnaire preoperatively, six months and 18 months after colpoperineoplasty. The paired t-test, Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, and Repeated Measure test were utilized for statistical purposes. Results. Seventy-six women completed the study by 18 months. The mean FSFI score changed from 24.19 ± 3.09 in baseline to 26.92 ± 3.41 after six months (P < 0.001); however dyspareunia and vaginal dryness were increased significantly. After 18 months all areas of sexual function including pain and lubrication improved significantly compared to the 6th month (P < 0.001). Sexual satisfaction was increased significantly six and 18 months after surgery (P < 0.001), and the total score of sexual function increased to 32.61 ± 1.32 after 18 months (P < 0.001). Conclusion. The long term effect of colpoperineoplasty in women who suffer from vaginal laxity is promising. It seems that patient's dissatisfaction of sexual function can be a basis for colpoperineoplasty. PMID:27437508

  14. Neuropeptides linking the control of appetite with reproductive function in domestic animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The occurrence of puberty and maintenance of normal reproductive cycles are regulated by secretion of gonadotropin hormones from the pituitary gland, which is dependent upon the pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. It is well established that secretion of...

  15. 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

  16. Neonatally induced mild diabetes: influence on development, behavior and reproductive function of female Wistar rats

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Neonatal STZ treatment induces a state of mild hyperglycemia in adult rats that disrupts metabolism and maternal/fetal interactions. The aim of this study was investigate the effect of neonatal STZ treatment on the physical development, behavior, and reproductive function of female Wistar rats from infancy to adulthood. Methods At birth, litters were assigned either to a Control (subcutaneous (s.c.) citrate buffer, n = 10) or STZ group, (streptozotocin (STZ) - 100 mg/kg-sc, n = 6). Blood glucose levels were measured on postnatal days (PND) 35, 84 and 120. In Experiment 1 body weight, length and the appearance of developmental milestones such as eye and vaginal opening were monitored. To assess the relative contribution of the initial and long term effects of STZ treatment this group was subdivided based on blood glucose levels recorded on PND 120: STZ hyperglycemic (between 120 and 300 mg/dl) and STZ normoglycemic (under 120 mg/dl). Behavioral activity was assessed in an open field on PND 21 and 75. In Experiment 2 estrous cyclicity, sexual behavior and circulating gonadotropin, ovarian steroid, and insulin levels were compared between control and STZ-hyperglycemic rats. In all measures the litter was the experimental unit. Parametric data were analyzed using one-way or, where appropriate, two-way ANOVA and significant effects were investigated using Tukey’s post hoc test. Fisher’s exact test was employed when data did not satisfy the assumption of normality e.g. presence of urine and fecal boli on the open field between groups. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 for all data. Results As expected neonatal STZ treatment caused hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia in adulthood. STZ-treated pups also showed a temporary reduction in growth rate that probably reflected the early loss of circulating insulin. Hyperglycemic rats also exhibited a reduction in locomotor and exploratory behavior in the open field. Mild hyperglycemia did

  17. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation affects brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dan Cao; Yingjie Li; Ling Wei; Yingying Tang

    2016-08-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the emotional processing as well as in the functional brain network. Hyperactivity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would be found in anxious participants. However, it is still unclear what the role of PFC played in a resting functional network. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) is an effective tool to create virtual lesions on brain regions. In this paper, we applied cTBS over right prefrontal area, and investigated the effects of cTBS on the brain activity for functional connectivity by the method of graph theory. We recorded 64-channels EEG on thirteen healthy participants in the resting condition and emotional tasks before and after 40 s of cTBS. This work focused on the effect of cTBS on cortical activities in the resting condition by calculating the coherence between EEG channels and building functional networks before and after cTBS in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Results revealed that 1) The functional connectivity after cTBS was significantly increased compared with that before cTBS in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands in the resting condition; 2) The efficiency-cost reached the maximum before and after cTBS both with the cost about 0.3 in the bands above, which meant that the information transmission of functional brain network with this cost was highly efficient; 3) the clustering coefficient and path length after cTBS was significantly increased in delta, theta and beta bands. In conclusion, cTBS over PFC indeed enhanced the functional connectivity in the resting condition. In addition, the information transmission in the resting brain network was highly efficient with the cost about 0.3.

  18. [The neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms of mammalian seasonal reproduction].

    PubMed

    Lai, Ping; Wang, Ping-Qing; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Chu, Ming-Xing; Liu, Chong-Xu; Tan, Ying; Fan, Qi

    2012-03-01

    The seasonal reproduction of mammal means the reproduction experiences an annual period from quiescence to renaissance. Studies have shown that kisspeptin and RFRP play an important role in the reproductive seasonality. The non-breeding season is characterized by an increase in the negative feedback effect of estrogen on GnRH, and this effect is transmitted by kisspeptin neurons, which may be an important factor affecting the reproduction activities. The expression of RFRP depends on melatonin secretion, and shows an apparent inhibition on reproduction in non-breeding season. In addition, thyroid hormones influence termination of the breeding season. Dopaminergic neuron A14/A15 also contributes to the seasonal changes in estrogen negative feedback. These neural systems may synergistically modulate the seasonal changes of reproductive function with the photoperiod. This review makes a systematic expatiation on the relationship between seasonal reproduction and these neural systems.

  19. Factors affecting the development of lung function in Tunisian children.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Y; Pariès, J; Harrabi, I; Zbidi, A; Tabka, Z; Richalet, J P; Buvry, A

    2008-01-01

    We undertook to evaluate the impacts of morphology at birth, physical activity, anthropometric, socioeconomic and environmental factors on lung function in healthy Tunisian children. Pulmonary function parameters were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in a randomized population of 756 healthy children (388 males and 368 females) aged between 6 and 16. The morphology at birth, the gestational age, the physical activity, the socioeconomic status, the type of habitation, and the environmental factors were all assessed by a standard questionnaire. Using univariate analysis, we found that: (1) morphometric parameters (height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory perimeter), as well as sex were highly associated with pulmonary function parameters; (2) Height at birth showed strong significant relations with FVC, FEV(1), and FEV(1)/FVC; (3) lung function parameters were influenced by physical training of our children, socioeconomic status, indoor pollution, and passive smoking; and (4) we did not observe any association between the gestational age and the weight at their birth and lung function parameters. Using a general linear model analysis, morphometric parameters, age, sex, type of heating, and maximal inspiratory and expiratory perimeters had significant relation with respiratory parameters. In our population of healthy Tunisian children, the main predictive factors of the pulmonary development were the morphological factors such as height, weight, maximal inspiratory, and expiratory thoracic perimeter, sex and age, and the environmental conditions such as type of heating but not morphology at birth, physical activity, or socioeconomic status.

  20. Reproductive state, but not testosterone, reduces immune function in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Greenman, Chris G; Martin, Lynn B; Hau, Michaela

    2005-01-01

    The immune system requires energetic and nutritional resources to optimally defend organisms against pathogens and parasites. Because resources are typically limited, immune function may require a trade-off with other physiologically demanding activities. Here, we examined whether photoperiodically induced seasonal states (breeding, molting, or nonbreeding) affected the cutaneous immune response of captive male house sparrows (Passer domesticus). To assess immune function in these birds, we injected the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) into the patagium and measured the resulting wing web swelling. Molting and nonbreeding birds had similar immune responses to PHA injection. However, males in a breeding state showed lower immune responses than both molting and nonbreeding birds even though they did not actually breed. We tested whether this decrease in the PHA swelling response in birds in a breeding state was due to elevated plasma concentrations of testosterone (T) by administering T to birds in a nonbreeding state. Contrary to some evidence in the literature, T did not suppress the response to PHA in house sparrows. Our data show that passerine birds show seasonal modulation in immune function, even in benign environmental conditions. However, even though T is often cited as a strong immunosuppressant, it is not fully responsible for this seasonal modulation.

  1. Comparative intrauterine development and placental function of ART concepti: implications for human reproductive medicine and animal breeding

    PubMed Central

    Bloise, Enrrico; Feuer, Sky K.; Rinaudo, Paolo F.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND The number of children conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has reached >5 million worldwide and continues to increase. Although the great majority of ART children are healthy, many reports suggest a forthcoming risk of metabolic complications, which is further supported by the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis of suboptimal embryo/fetal conditions predisposing adult cardiometabolic pathologies. Accumulating evidence suggests that fetal and placental growth kinetics are important features predicting post-natal health, but the relationship between ART and intrauterine growth has not been systematically reviewed. METHODS Relevant studies describing fetoplacental intrauterine phenotypes of concepti generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in the mouse, bovine and human were comprehensively researched using PubMed and Google Scholar. Intrauterine growth plots were created from tabular formatted data available in selected reports. RESULTS ART pregnancies display minor but noticeable alterations in fetal and placental growth curves across mammalian species. In all species, there is evidence of fetal growth restriction in the earlier stages of pregnancy, followed by significant increases in placental size and accelerated fetal growth toward the end of gestation. However, there is a species-specific effect of ART on birthweights, that additionally vary in a culture condition-, strain-, and/or stage at transfer-specific manner. We discuss the potential mechanisms that underlie these changes, and how they are affected by specific components of ART procedures. CONCLUSIONS ART may promote measurable alterations to intrauterine growth trajectory and placental function. Key findings include evidence that birthweight is not a reliable marker of fetal stress, and that increases in embryo manipulation result in more deviant fetal growth curves

  2. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

    Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent

    2015-11-20

    Probiotic formulations are widely used and are proposed to have a variety of beneficial effects, depending on the probiotic strains present in the product. The impact of drying processes on the viability of probiotics is well documented. However, the impact of these processes on probiotics functionality remains unclear. In this work, we investigated variations in seven different bacterial markers after various desiccation processes. Markers were composed of four different viability evaluation (combining two growth abilities and two cytometric measurements) and in three in vitro functionalities: stimulation of IL-10 and IL-12 production by PBMCs (immunomodulation) and bacterial adhesion to hexadecane. We measured the impact of three drying processes (air-drying, freeze-drying and spray-drying), without the use of protective agents, on three types of probiotic bacteria: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus zeae. Our results show that the bacteria respond differently to the three different drying processes, in terms of viability and functionality. Drying methods produce important variations in bacterial immunomodulation and hydrophobicity, which are correlated. We also show that adherence can be stimulated (air-drying) or inhibited (spray-drying) by drying processes. Results of a multivariate analysis show no direct correlation between bacterial survival and functionality, but do show a correlation between probiotic responses to desiccation-rewetting and the process used to dry the bacteria.

  3. Can Particulate Pollution Affect Lung Function in Healthy Adults?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accompanying editorial to paper from Harvard by Rice et al. entitled "Long-Term Exposure to Traffic Emissions and Fine Particulate Matter and Lung Function Decline in the Framingham Heart StudyBy almost any measure the Clean Air Act and its amendments has to be considered as one...

  4. Chemical Modifications that Affect Nutritional and Functional Properties of Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, T.; Kester, J. J.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses chemical alterations of selected amino acids resulting from environmental effects (photooxidations, pH extremes, thermally induced effects). Also dicusses use of intentional chemical derivatizations of various functional groups in amino acid residue side chains and how recombinant DNA techniques might be useful in structure/function…

  5. Semen quality and reproductive endocrine function in relation to biomarkers of lead, cadmium, zinc, and copper in men.

    PubMed Central

    Telisman, S; Cvitković, P; Jurasović, J; Pizent, A; Gavella, M; Rocić, B

    2000-01-01

    Blood lead (BPb), activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP), blood cadmium (BCd), serum zinc (SZn), seminal fluid zinc (SfZn), serum copper (SCu), and parameters of semen quality and of reproductive endocrine function were measured in 149 healthy male industrial workers 20-43 years of age. The group contained 98 subjects with slight to moderate occupational exposure to Pb and 51 reference subjects. All of the subjects lived in Zagreb, Croatia. Significant (p < 0.05) correlations of BPb, ALAD, and/or EP with reproductive parameters indicated a Pb-related decrease in sperm density, in counts of total, motile, and viable sperm, in the percentage and count of progressively motile sperm, in parameters of prostate secretory function (SfZn, acid phosphatase, and citric acid in seminal fluid), and an increase in abnormal sperm head morphology, serum testosterone, and estradiol. These associations were confirmed by results of multiple regression, which also showed significant (p < 0. 05) influence of BCd, SZn, SCu, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, or age on certain reproductive parameters. These effects were mainly of lower rank and intensity as compared to Pb-related reproductive effects, whereas BCd contributed to a decrease in sperm motility and an increase in abnormal sperm morphology and serum testosterone. No significant Pb- or Cd-related influence was found on levels of the lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme LDH-C(4) and fructose in seminal fluid or on follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin in serum. The seminal fluid concentrations of Pb (SfPb) and Cd (SfCd) were measured in 118 of the 149 subjects, and a highly significant (p < 0.0001) correlation was found between BPb and SfPb levels (r = 0.571) and between BCd and SfCd levels (r = 0.490). The overall study results indicate that even moderate exposures to Pb (BPb < 400 microg/L) and Cd (BCd < 10 microg/L) can significantly reduce human

  6. Adverse effects of thiram-treated seed ingestion on the reproductive performance and the offspring immune function of the red-legged partridge.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Antia, Ana; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; García-de Blas, Esther; Camarero, Pablo R; Mougeot, Francois; Mateo, Rafael

    2015-06-01

    Pesticide research traditionally has focused on compounds with high acute toxicity or persistence, but the adverse sublethal effects of pesticides with different properties also may have important consequences on exposed wildlife. The authors studied the effects of thiram, a fungicide used for seed coating with known effects as endocrine disruptor. Red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa; n = 15 pairs per treatment group) were fed wheat treated with 0%, 20%, or 100% of the thiram application rate used in autumn (25 d) and late winter (10 d) to mimic cereal sowing periods. The authors studied the effects on reproductive performance, carotenoid-based ornamentation and cellular immune responsiveness of adult partridges, and their relationship with changes in oxidative stress biomarkers and plasma biochemistry. The authors also studied the effect of parental exposure on egg antioxidant content and on the survival, growth, and cellular immune response of offspring. Exposure to thiram-coated seeds delayed egg laying, reduced clutch size, and affected egg size and eggshell thickness. Partridges exposed to the 20% thiram dose exhibited reduced egg fertility and brood size (55% and 28% of controls, respectively). Chick survival was unaffected by parental exposure to treated seeds, but adverse effects on their growth rate and cellular immune response were apparent. These effects on reproduction and immune function may have important demographic consequences on farmland bird populations.

  7. Arabidopsis RPG1 is important for primexine deposition and functions redundantly with RPG2 for plant fertility at the late reproductive stage.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ming-Xi; Huang, Xue-Yong; Yang, Jun; Guan, Yue-Feng; Yang, Zhong-Nan

    2013-06-01

    Arabidopsis Ruptured Pollen Grain-1 (RPG1/Sweet8) is a member of the MtN3/saliva protein family that functions as a sugar transporter. The rpg1 mutant shows defective exine pattern formation. In this study, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations showed that much less primexine was deposited in rpg1 tetrads. Furthermore, microspore membrane undulation was abnormal, and sporopollenin accumulation was also defective. This suggests that a reduced primexine deposition in rpg1 leads to abnormal membrane undulation that affects exine pattern formation. Chemical staining revealed thinning of the callose wall of rpg1, as well as significantly reduced expression of Callose synthase-5 (CalS5) in rpg1. The fertility of the rpg1 mutant could be partly restored at late reproductive stages, potentially complemented in part by RPG2, another member of the MtN3/saliva family, which is expressed in the anther during microsporogenesis. The double mutant, rpg1rpg2, was almost sterile and was not restored during late reproduction. These results suggest that RPG1 and RPG2 are involved in primexine deposition and therefore pollen wall pattern formation.

  8. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

  9. Alginate Overproduction Affects Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Hentzer, Morten; Teitzel, Gail M.; Balzer, Grant J.; Heydorn, Arne; Molin, Søren; Givskov, Michael; Parsek, Matthew R.

    2001-01-01

    During the course of chronic cystic fibrosis (CF) infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes a conversion to a mucoid phenotype, which is characterized by overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Chronic P. aeruginosa infections involve surface-attached, highly antibiotic-resistant communities of microorganisms organized in biofilms. Although biofilm formation and the conversion to mucoidy are both important aspects of CF pathogenesis, the relationship between them is at the present unclear. In this study, we report that the overproduction of alginate affects biofilm development on an abiotic surface. Biofilms formed by an alginate-overproducing strain exhibit a highly structured architecture and are significantly more resistant to the antibiotic tobramycin than a biofilm formed by an isogenic nonmucoid strain. These results suggest that an important consequence of the conversion to mucoidy is an altered biofilm architecture that shows increasing resistance to antimicrobial treatments. PMID:11514525

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro.

    PubMed

    Adams, B M; Coates, Miranda N; Jackson, S RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S; Davis, Tara L

    2015-07-15

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that bind to prolines and can catalyse cis/trans isomerization of proline residues. There are 17 annotated members of the cyclophilin family in humans, ubiquitously expressed and localized variously to the cytoplasm, nucleus or mitochondria. Surprisingly, all eight of the nuclear localized cyclophilins are found associated with spliceosomal complexes. However, their particular functions within this context are unknown. We have therefore adapted three established assays for in vitro pre-mRNA splicing to probe the functional roles of nuclear cyclophilins in the context of the human spliceosome. We find that four of the eight spliceosom-associated cyclophilins exert strong effects on splicing in vitro. These effects are dose-dependent and, remarkably, uniquely characteristic of each cyclophilin. Using both qualitative and quantitative means, we show that at least half of the nuclear cyclophilins can act as regulatory factors of spliceosome function in vitro. The present work provides the first quantifiable evidence that nuclear cyclophilins are splicing factors and provides a novel approach for future work into small molecule-based modulation of pre-mRNA splicing.

  15. Prenatal Drug Exposure Affects Neonatal Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Salzwedel, Andrew P.; Vachet, Clement; Gerig, Guido; Lin, Weili

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal drug exposure, particularly prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE), incurs great public and scientific interest because of its associated neurodevelopmental consequences. However, the neural underpinnings of PCE remain essentially uncharted, and existing studies in school-aged children and adolescents are confounded greatly by postnatal environmental factors. In this study, leveraging a large neonate sample (N = 152) and non-invasive resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared human infants with PCE comorbid with other drugs (such as nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and antidepressant) with infants with similar non-cocaine poly drug exposure and drug-free controls. We aimed to characterize the neural correlates of PCE based on functional connectivity measurements of the amygdala and insula at the earliest stage of development. Our results revealed common drug exposure-related connectivity disruptions within the amygdala–frontal, insula–frontal, and insula–sensorimotor circuits. Moreover, a cocaine-specific effect was detected within a subregion of the amygdala–frontal network. This pathway is thought to play an important role in arousal regulation, which has been shown to be irregular in PCE infants and adolescents. These novel results provide the earliest human-based functional delineations of the neural-developmental consequences of prenatal drug exposure and thus open a new window for the advancement of effective strategies aimed at early risk identification and intervention. PMID:25855194

  16. How optimization of potential functions affects protein folding.

    PubMed Central

    Hao, M H; Scheraga, H A

    1996-01-01

    The relationship between the optimization of the potential function and the foldability of theoretical protein models is studied based on investigations of a 27-mer cubic-lattice protein model and a more realistic lattice model for the protein crambin. In both the simple and the more complicated systems, optimization of the energy parameters achieves significant improvements in the statistical-mechanical characteristics of the systems and leads to foldable protein models in simulation experiments. The foldability of the protein models is characterized by their statistical-mechanical properties--e.g., by the density of states and by Monte Carlo folding simulations of the models. With optimized energy parameters, a high level of consistency exists among different interactions in the native structures of the protein models, as revealed by a correlation function between the optimized energy parameters and the native structure of the model proteins. The results of this work are relevant to the design of a general potential function for folding proteins by theoretical simulations. PMID:8643516

  17. Does caregiving stress affect cognitive function in older women?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sunmin; Kawachi, Ichiro; Grodstein, Francine

    2004-01-01

    Increasing numbers of women provide care to their ill spouses; however, no studies have examined possible effects of caregiving stress on cognitive function. We administered 6 tests of cognitive function to 13740 Nurses' Health Study participants aged 70-79 years. We collected information on caregiving and numerous potential confounding variables via biennial mailed questionnaires. After adjustment for potential confounders (age, education, mental health index, vitality index, use of antidepressants, and history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease), we found modest but significantly increased risks of low cognitive function on three of the cognitive tests among women who provided care to a disabled or ill spouse compared with women who did not provide any care. For example, on the TICS, a test of general cognition, the risk of a low score was 31% higher in women who provided care compared with women who did not (RR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.10, 1.56). We found a moderately increased risk of poor performance on several cognitive tests among women who provided care to their disabled or ill husbands.

  18. Microplastics Affect the Ecological Functioning of an Important Biogenic Habitat.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; O'Connor, Nessa E; Thompson, Richard

    2017-01-03

    Biological effects of microplastics on the health of bivalves have been demonstrated elsewhere, but ecological impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of bivalve-dominated habitats are unknown. Thus, we exposed intact sediment cores containing European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) or blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in seawater to two different densities (2.5 or 25 μg L(-1)) of biodegradable or conventional microplastics in outdoor mesocosms. We hypothesized that filtration rates of the bivalves, inorganic nitrogen cycling, primary productivity of sediment dwelling microphytobenthos, and the structure of invertebrate benthic assemblages would be influenced by microplastics. After 50 days, filtration by M. edulis was significantly less when exposed to 25 μg L(-1) of either type of microplastics, but there were no effects on ecosystem functioning or the associated invertebrate assemblages. Contrastingly, filtration by O. edulis significantly increased when exposed to 2.5 or 25 μg L(-1) of microplastics, and porewater ammonium and biomass of benthic cyanobacteria decreased. Additionally the associated infaunal invertebrate assemblages differed, with significantly less polychaetes and more oligochaetes in treatments exposed to microplastics. These findings highlight the potential of microplastics to impact the functioning and structure of sedimentary habitats and show that such effects may depend on the dominant bivalve present.

  19. Nuclear cyclophilins affect spliceosome assembly and function in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Adams, B.M.; Coates, Miranda N.; Jackson, S. RaElle; Jurica, Melissa S.; Davis, Tara L.

    2015-01-01

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that bind to prolines and can catalyse cis/trans isomerization of proline residues. There are 17 annotated members of the cyclophilin family in humans, ubiquitously expressed and localized variously to the cytoplasm, nucleus or mitochondria. Surprisingly, all eight of the nuclear localized cyclophilins are found associated with spliceosomal complexes. However, their particular functions within this context are unknown. We have therefore adapted three established assays for in vitro pre-mRNA splicing to probe the functional roles of nuclear cyclophilins in the context of the human spliceosome. We find that four of the eight spliceosom-associated cyclophilins exert strong effects on splicing in vitro. These effects are dose-dependent and, remarkably, uniquely characteristic of each cyclophilin. Using both qualitative and quantitative means, we show that at least half of the nuclear cyclophilins can act as regulatory factors of spliceosome function in vitro. The present work provides the first quantifiable evidence that nuclear cyclophilins are splicing factors and provides a novel approach for future work into small molecule-based modulation of pre-mRNA splicing. PMID:25967372

  20. A widely employed germ cell marker is an ancient disordered protein with reproductive functions in diverse eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Carmell, Michelle A; Dokshin, Gregoriy A; Skaletsky, Helen; Hu, Yueh-Chiang; van Wolfswinkel, Josien C; Igarashi, Kyomi J; Bellott, Daniel W; Nefedov, Michael; Reddien, Peter W; Enders, George C; Uversky, Vladimir N; Mello, Craig C; Page, David C

    2016-01-01

    The advent of sexual reproduction and the evolution of a dedicated germline in multicellular organisms are critical landmarks in eukaryotic evolution. We report an ancient family of GCNA (germ cell nuclear antigen) proteins that arose in the earliest eukaryotes, and feature a rapidly evolving intrinsically disordered region (IDR). Phylogenetic analysis reveals that GCNA proteins emerged before the major eukaryotic lineages diverged; GCNA predates the origin of a dedicated germline by a billion years. Gcna gene expression is enriched in reproductive cells across eukarya – either just prior to or during meiosis in single-celled eukaryotes, and in stem cells and germ cells of diverse multicellular animals. Studies of Gcna-mutant C. elegans and mice indicate that GCNA has functioned in reproduction for at least 600 million years. Homology to IDR-containing proteins implicated in DNA damage repair suggests that GCNA proteins may protect the genomic integrity of cells carrying a heritable genome. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19993.001 PMID:27718356

  1. Diabetes and the impairment of reproductive function: possible role of mitochondria and reactive oxygen species.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Sandra; Oliveira, Paulo J; Ramalho-Santos, João

    2008-02-01

    Diabetes Mellitus (DM), a state of chronic hyperglycemia, is a major cause of serious micro and macrovascular diseases, affecting, therefore, nearly every system in the body. Growing evidence indicates that oxidative stress is increased in diabetes due to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased efficiency of antioxidant defences, a process that starts very early and worsens over the course of the disease. During the development of diabetes, oxidation of lipids, proteins and DNA increase with time. Mitochondrial DNA mutations have also been reported in diabetic tissues, suggesting oxidative stress-related mitochondrial damage. Diabetes-related oxidative stress may also be the trigger for many alterations on sexual function, which can also include decreased testicular mitochondrial function. Although sexual disorders have been extensively studied in diabetic men, possible changes in the sexual function of diabetic women have only recently received attention. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction in diabetic men approaches 50%, whereas in diabetic women it seems to be slightly lower. Testicular dysfunction, impotence, decreased fertility potential and retrograde ejaculations are conditions that have been described in diabetic males. Diabetes is also the most common cause of erectile dysfunction in men. Poor semen quality has also been reported in diabetic men, including decreased sperm motility and concentration, abnormal morphology and increased seminal plasma abnormalities. In addition, diabetic men may have decreased serum testosterone due to impaired Leydig cell function. Among diabetic women neuropathy, vascular impairment and psychological complaints have been implicated in the pathogenesis of decreased libido, low arousability, decreased vaginal lubrication, orgasmic dysfunction, and dyspareunia. An association between the production of excess radical oxygen species and disturbed embryogenesis in diabetic pregnancies has also been suggested

  2. The Role of Hox Genes in Female Reproductive Tract Development, Adult Function, and Fertility.

    PubMed

    Du, Hongling; Taylor, Hugh S

    2015-11-09

    HOX genes convey positional identity that leads to the proper partitioning and adult identity of the female reproductive track. Abnormalities in reproductive tract development can be caused by HOX gene mutations or altered HOX gene expression. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and other endocrine disruptors cause Müllerian defects by changing HOX gene expression. HOX genes are also essential regulators of adult endometrial development. Regulated HOXA10 and HOXA11 expression is necessary for endometrial receptivity; decreased HOXA10 or HOXA11 expression leads to decreased implantation rates. Alternation of HOXA10 and HOXA11 expression has been identified as a mechanism of the decreased implantation associated with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, leiomyoma, polyps, adenomyosis, and hydrosalpinx. Alteration of HOX gene expression causes both uterine developmental abnormalities and impaired adult endometrial development that prevent implantation and lead to female infertility.

  3. Always follow your nose: the functional significance of social chemosignals in human reproduction and survival.

    PubMed

    Lübke, Katrin T; Pause, Bettina M

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction" Across phyla, chemosensory communication is crucial for mediating a variety of social behaviors, which form the basis for ontogenetic and phylogenetic survival. In the present paper, evidence on chemosensory communication in humans, with special reference to reproduction and survival, will be presented. First, the impact of chemosignals on human reproduction will be reviewed. Work will be presented, showing how chemosensory signals are involved in mate choice and partnership formation by communicating attractiveness and facilitating a partner selection, which is of evolutionary advantage, and furthermore providing information about the level of sexual hormones. In addition to direct effects on phylogenetic survival, chemosignals indirectly aid reproductive success by fostering harm protection. Results will be presented, showing that chemosensory communication aids the emotional bond between mother and child, which in turn motivates parental caretaking and protection, leading to infant survival. Moreover, the likelihood of group survival can be increased through the use of stress-related chemosignals. Stress-related chemosignals induce a stress-related physiology in the perceiver, thereby priming a fight-flight-response, which is necessary for an optimum adaption to environmental harm. Finally, effects of sexual orientation on chemosensory communication will be discussed in terms of their putative role in stabilizing social groups, which might indirectly provide harm protection and foster survival. An integrative model of the presented data will be introduced. In conclusion, an outlook, focusing on the involvement of chemosensory communication in human social behavior and illustrating a novel approach to the significance of chemosensory signals in human survival, will be given.

  4. Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Meir, Assaf; Burstein, Eliezer; Borrego-Alvarez, Aluet; Chong, Jasmine; Wong, Ellen; Yavorska, Tetyana; Naranian, Taline; Chi, Maggie; Wang, Ying; Bentov, Yaakov; Alexis, Jennifer; Meriano, James; Sung, Hoon-Ki; Gasser, David L; Moley, Kelle H; Hekimi, Siegfried; Casper, Robert F; Jurisicova, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Female reproductive capacity declines dramatically in the fourth decade of life as a result of an age-related decrease in oocyte quality and quantity. The primary causes of reproductive aging and the molecular factors responsible for decreased oocyte quality remain elusive. Here, we show that aging of the female germ line is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction associated with decreased oxidative phosphorylation and reduced Adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) level. Diminished expression of the enzymes responsible for CoQ production, Pdss2 and Coq6, was observed in oocytes of older females in both mouse and human. The age-related decline in oocyte quality and quantity could be reversed by the administration of CoQ10. Oocyte-specific disruption of Pdss2 recapitulated many of the mitochondrial and reproductive phenotypes observed in the old females including reduced ATP production and increased meiotic spindle abnormalities, resulting in infertility. Ovarian reserve in the oocyte-specific Pdss2-deficient animals was diminished, leading to premature ovarian failure which could be prevented by maternal dietary administration of CoQ10. We conclude that impaired mitochondrial performance created by suboptimal CoQ10 availability can drive age-associated oocyte deficits causing infertility. PMID:26111777

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Visual function affects prosocial behaviors in older adults.

    PubMed

    Teoli, Dac A; Smith, Merideth D; Leys, Monique J; Jain, Priyanka; Odom, J Vernon

    2016-02-01

    Eye-related pathological conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration commonly lead to decreased peripheral/central field, decreased visual acuity, and increased functional disability. We sought to answer if relationships exist between measures of visual function and reported prosocial behaviors in an older adult population with eye-related diagnoses. The sample consisted of adults, aged ≥ 60 years old, at an academic hospital's eye institute. Vision ranged from normal to severe impairment. Medical charts determined the visual acuities, ocular disease, duration of disease (DD), and visual fields (VF). Measures of giving help were via validated questionnaires on giving formal support (GFS) and giving informal support; measures of help received were perceived support (PS) and informal support received (ISR). ISR had subscales: tangible support (ISR-T), emotional support (ISR-E), and composite (ISR-C). Visual acuities of the better and worse seeing eyes were converted to LogMAR values. VF information converted to a 4-point rating scale of binocular field loss severity. DD was in years. Among 96 participants (mean age 73.28; range 60-94), stepwise regression indicated a relationship of visual variables to GFS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1679 with acuity-better eye, VF rating, and DD), PS (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.2254 with acuity-better eye), ISR-C (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.041 with acuity-better eye), and ISR-T (p < 0.05; Multiple R (2) = 0.1421 with acuity-better eye). The findings suggest eye-related conditions can impact levels and perceptions of support exchanges. Our data reinforces the importance of visual function as an influence on prosocial behavior in older adults.

  10. 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.

  11. Affected functional networks associated with sentence production in classic galactosemia.

    PubMed

    Timmers, Inge; van den Hurk, Job; Hofman, Paul Am; Zimmermann, Luc Ji; Uludağ, Kâmil; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela

    2015-08-07

    Patients with the inherited metabolic disorder classic galactosemia have language production impairments in several planning stages. Here, we assessed potential deviations in recruitment and connectivity across brain areas responsible for language production that may explain these deficits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study neural activity and connectivity while participants carried out a language production task. This study included 13 adolescent patients and 13 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants passively watched or actively described an animated visual scene using two conditions, varying in syntactic complexity (single words versus a sentence). Results showed that patients recruited additional and more extensive brain regions during sentence production. Both groups showed modulations with syntactic complexity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), a region associated with syntactic planning, and in right insula. In addition, patients showed a modulation with syntax in left superior temporal gyrus (STG), whereas the controls did not. Further, patients showed increased activity in right STG and right supplementary motor area (SMA). The functional connectivity data showed similar patterns, with more extensive connectivity with frontal and motor regions, and restricted and weaker connectivity with superior temporal regions. Patients also showed higher baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF) in right IFG and trends towards higher CBF in bilateral STG, SMA and the insula. Taken together, the data demonstrate that language abnormalities in classic galactosemia are associated with specific changes within the language network. These changes point towards impairments related to both syntactic planning and speech motor planning in these patients.

  12. Modeled Microgravity Affects Fibroblast Functions Related to Wound Healing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica

    2017-02-01

    Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.

  13. Modeled Microgravity Affects Fibroblast Functions Related to Wound Healing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cialdai, Francesca; Vignali, Leonardo; Morbidelli, Lucia; Colciago, Alessandra; Celotti, Fabio; Santi, Alice; Caselli, Anna; Cirri, Paolo; Monici, Monica

    2017-01-01

    Wound healing is crucial for the survival of an organism. Therefore, in the perspective of space exploration missions, it is important to understand if and how microgravity conditions affect the behavior of the cell populations involved in wound healing and the evolution of the process. Since fibroblasts are the major players in tissue repair, this study was focused on the behavior of fibroblasts in microgravity conditions, modeled by a RCCS. Cell cytoskeleton was studied by immunofluorescence microscopy, the ability to migrate was assessed by microchemotaxis and scratch assay, and the expression of markers of fibroblast activation, angiogenesis, and inflammation was assessed by western blot. Results revealed that after cell exposure to modeled microgravity conditions, a thorough rearrangement of microtubules occurred and α-SMA bundles were replaced by a tight network of faulty and disorganized filaments. Exposure to modeled microgravity induced a decrease in α-SMA and E-CAD expressions. Also, the expression of the pro-angiogenic protein VEGF decreased, while that of the inflammatory signal COX-2 increased. Fibroblast ability to adhere, migrate, and respond to chemoattractants (PRP), closely related to cytoskeleton integrity and membrane junctions, was significantly impaired. Nevertheless, PRP was able to partially restore fibroblast migration.

  14. Low level methylmercury exposure affects neuropsychological function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Yokoo, Edna M; Valente, Joaquim G; Grattan, Lynn; Schmidt, Sérgio Luís; Platt, Illeane; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2003-01-01

    -dependent effect. Conclusions This study suggests that adults exposed to MeHg may be at risk for deficits in neurocognitive function. The functions disrupted in adults, namely attention, fine-motor function and verbal memory, are similar to some of those previously reported in children with prenatal exposures. PMID:12844364

  15. Can Cholesterol Metabolism Modulation Affect Brain Function and Behavior?

    PubMed

    Cartocci, Veronica; Servadio, Michela; Trezza, Viviana; Pallottini, Valentina

    2017-02-01

    Cholesterol is an important component for cell physiology. It regulates the fluidity of cell membranes and determines the physical and biochemical properties of proteins. In the central nervous system, cholesterol controls synapse formation and function and supports the saltatory conduction of action potential. In recent years, the role of cholesterol in the brain has caught the attention of several research groups since a breakdown of cholesterol metabolism has been associated with different neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and interestingly also with psychiatric conditions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the connection between cholesterol dysregulation and various neurologic and psychiatric disorders based on clinical and preclinical studies. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 281-286, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function?

    PubMed

    Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens

    2014-09-19

    Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mice and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies.

  17. 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.

  18. Enhanced serotonin transporter function during depression in seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Willeit, Matthäus; Sitte, Harald H; Thierry, Nikolaus; Michalek, Klaus; Praschak-Rieder, Nicole; Zill, Peter; Winkler, Dietmar; Brannath, Werner; Fischer, Michael B; Bondy, Brigitta; Kasper, Siegfried; Singer, Ernst A

    2008-06-01

    Decreased synaptic serotonin during depressive episodes is a central element of the monoamine hypothesis of depression. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT, SERT) is a key molecule for the control of synaptic serotonin levels. Here we aimed to detect state-related alterations in the efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward and outward transport in platelets of drug-free depressed patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 5-HTT turnover rate, a measure for the number of inward transport events per minute, and tyramine-induced, 5-HTT-mediated outward transport were assessed at baseline, after 4 weeks of bright light therapy, and in summer using a case-control design in a consecutive sample of 73 drug-free depressed patients with SAD and 70 nonseasonal healthy controls. Patients were drug-naive or medication-free for at least 6 months prior to study inclusion, females patients were studied in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. All participants were genotyped for a 5-HTT-promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) to assess the influence of this polymorphism on 5-HTT parameters. Efficiency of 5-HTT-mediated inward (p=0.014) and outward (p=0.003) transport was enhanced in depressed patients. Both measures normalized toward control levels after therapy and in natural summer remission. Changes in outward transport showed a clear correlation with treatment response (rho=0.421, p=0.001). Changes in inward transport were mediated by changes in 5-HTT transport efficiency rather than affinity or density. 5-HTTLPR was not associated with any of the 5-HTT parameters. In sum, we conclude that the 5-HTT is in a hyperfunctional state during depression in SAD and normalizes after light therapy and in natural summer remission.

  19. The nuclear hormone receptor coactivator NRC is a pleiotropic modulator affecting growth, development, apoptosis, reproduction, and wound repair.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Muktar A; Das, Sharmistha; Zhu, Hong; Tomic-Canic, Marjana; Samuels, Herbert H

    2004-06-01

    Nuclear hormone receptor coregulator (NRC) is a 2,063-amino-acid coregulator of nuclear hormone receptors and other transcription factors (e.g., c-Fos, c-Jun, and NF-kappaB). We and others have generated C57BL/6-129S6 hybrid (C57/129) NRC(+/-) mice that appear outwardly normal and grow and reproduce. In contrast, homozygous deletion of the NRC gene is embryonic lethal. NRC(-/-) embryos are always smaller than NRC(+/+) embryos, and NRC(-/-) embryos die between 8.5 and 12.5 days postcoitus (dpc), suggesting that NRC has a pleotrophic effect on growth. To study this, we derived mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from 12.5-dpc embryos, which revealed that NRC(-/-) MEFs exhibit a high rate of apoptosis. Furthermore, a small interfering RNA that targets mouse NRC leads to enhanced apoptosis of wild-type MEFs. The finding that C57/129 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit no apparent phenotype prompted us to develop 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice, since the phenotype(s) of certain gene deletions may be strain dependent. In contrast with C57/129 NRC(+/-) females, 20% of 129S6 NRC(+/-) females are infertile while 80% are hypofertile. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) males produce offspring when crossed with wild-type 129S6 females, although fertility is reduced. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice tend to be stunted in their growth compared with their wild-type littermates and exhibit increased postnatal mortality. Lastly, both C57/129 NRC(+/-) and 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit a spontaneous wound healing defect, indicating that NRC plays an important role in that process. Our findings reveal that NRC is a coregulator that controls many cellular and physiologic processes ranging from growth and development to reproduction and wound repair.

  20. Congo red dye affects survival and reproduction in the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia. Effects of direct and dietary exposure.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zamora, Miriam; Martínez-Jerónimo, Fernando; Cristiani-Urbina, Eliseo; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2016-12-01

    Nearly 7 00000 tons of dyes are produced annually throughout the world. Azo dyes are widely used in the textile and paper industries due to their low cost and ease of application. Their extensive use results in large volumes of wastewater being discharged into aquatic ecosystems. Large volume discharges constitute a health risk since many of these dyes, such as Congo Red, are elaborated with benzidine, a known carcinogenic compound. Information regarding dye toxicity in aquatic ecosystems is limited. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Congo Red on survival and reproduction of Ceriodaphnia dubia. We determined the 48 h median lethal concentration (LC50) and evaluated the effects of sublethal concentrations in subchronic exposures by using as food either fresh algae or algae previously exposed to the dye. LC50 was 13.58 mg L(-1). In subchronic assays, survival was reduced to 80 and 55 %, and fertility to 40 and 70 %, as compared to the control, in C. dubia fed with intoxicated cells or with the mix of intoxicated + fresh algae, respectively, so the quantity and type of food had a significant effect. We determined that Congo Red is highly toxic to C. dubia since it inhibits survival and fertility in concentrations exceeding 3 mg L(-1). Our results show that this dye produces negative effects at very low concentrations. Furthermore, our findings warn of the risk associated with discharging dyes into aquatic environments. Lastly, the results emphasize the need to regulate the discharge of effluents containing azo dyes.

  1. Synchronization of ovulation in cyclic gilts with porcine luteinizing hormone (pLH) and its effects on reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Degenstein, K L; O'Donoghue, R; Patterson, J L; Beltranena, E; Ambrose, D J; Foxcroft, G R; Dyck, M K

    2008-10-15

    The overall objective was to evaluate the use of porcine luteinizing hormone (pLH) for synchronization of ovulation in cyclic gilts and its effect on reproductive function. In an initial study, four littermate pairs of cyclic gilts were given altrenogest (15 mg/d for 14 d). Gilts received 500 microg cloprostenol (Day 15), 600 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) (Day 16) and either 5mg pLH or saline (Control) 80 h after eCG. Blood samples were collected every 4h, from 8h before pLH/saline treatment to the end of estrus. Following estrus detection, transcutaneous real-time ultrasonography and AI, all gilts were slaughtered 6d after the estimated time of ovulation. Peak plasma pLH concentrations (during the LH surge), as well as the amplitude of the LH surge, were greater in pLH-treated gilts than in the control (P=0.01). However, there were no significant differences between treatments in the timing and duration of estrus, or the timing of ovulation within the estrous period. In a second study, 45 cyclic gilts received altrenogest for 14-18d, 600 IU eCG (24h after last altrenogest), and 5mg pLH, 750 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or saline, 80 h after eCG. For gilts given pLH or hCG, the diameter of the largest follicle before the onset of ovulation (mean+/-S.E.M.; 8.1+/-0.2 and 8.1+/-0.2mm, respectively) was smaller than in control gilts (8.6+/-0.2mm, P=0.05). The pLH and hCG groups ovulated sooner after treatment compared to the saline-treated group (43.2+/-2.5, 47.6+/-2.5 and 59.5+/-2.5h, respectively; P<0.01), with the most synchronous ovulation (P<0.01) in pLH-treated gilts. Embryo quality (total cell counts and embryo diameter) was not significantly different among groups. In conclusion, pLH reliably synchronized ovulation in cyclic gilts without significantly affecting embryo quality.

  2. Reproductive physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.; Russman, S.E.; Ellis, David H.; Gee, George F.; Mirande, Claire M.

    1996-01-01

    Conclusions: Although the general pattern of avian physiology applies to cranes, we have identified many physiological mechanisms (e.g., effects of disturbance) that need further study. Studies with cranes are expensive compared to those done with domestic fowl because of the crane's larger size, low reproductive rate, and delayed sexual maturity. To summarize, the crane reproductive system is composed of physiological and anatomical elements whose function is controlled by an integrated neural-endocrine system. Males generally produce semen at a younger age than when females lay eggs. Eggs are laid in clutches of two (1 to 3), and females will lay additional clutches if the preceding clutches are removed. Both sexes build nests and incubate the eggs. Molt begins during incubation and body molt may be completed annually in breeding pairs. However, remiges are replaced sequentially over 2 to 3 years, or abruptly every 2 to 3 years in other species. Most immature birds replace their juvenal remiges over a 2 to 3 year period. Stress interferes with reproduction in cranes by reducing egg production or terminating the reproductive effort. In other birds, stress elevates corticosterone levels and decreases LHRH release. We know little about the physiological response of cranes to stress.

  3. Neurology of Affective Prosody and Its Functional-Anatomic Organization in Right Hemisphere

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Elliott D.; Monnot, Marilee

    2008-01-01

    Unlike the aphasic syndromes, the organization of affective prosody in brain has remained controversial because affective-prosodic deficits may occur after left or right brain damage. However, different patterns of deficits are observed following left and right brain damage that suggest affective prosody is a dominant and lateralized function of…

  4. Functional Analysis of the Arlequin Mutant Corroborates the Essential Role of the ARLEQUIN/TAGL1 Gene during Reproductive Development of Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Capel, Juan; Antón, María Teresa; Atarés, Alejandro; Pérez-Martín, Fernando; García-Sogo, Begoña; Angosto, Trinidad; Moreno, Vicente; Lozano, Rafael

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive development of higher plants comprises successive events of organ differentiation and growth which finally lead to the formation of a mature fruit. However, most of the genetic and molecular mechanisms which coordinate such developmental events are yet to be identified and characterized. Arlequin (Alq), a semi-dominant T-DNA tomato mutant showed developmental changes affecting flower and fruit ripening. Sepals were converted into fleshy organs which ripened as normal fruit organs and fruits displayed altered ripening features. Molecular characterization of the tagged gene demonstrated that it corresponded to the previously reported TOMATO AGAMOUS-LIKE 1 (TAGL1) gene, the tomato ortholog of SHATTERPROOF MADS-box genes of Arabidopsis thaliana, and that the Alq mutation promoted a gain-of-function phenotype caused by the ectopic expression of TAGL1. Ectopic overexpression of TAGL1 resulted in homeotic alterations affecting floral organ identity that were similar to but stronger than those observed in Alq mutant plants. Interestingly, TAGL1 RNAi plants yielded tomato fruits which were unable to ripen. They displayed a yellow-orange color and stiffness appearance which are in accordance with reduced lycopene and ethylene levels, respectively. Moreover, pericarp cells of TAGL1 RNAi fruits showed altered cellular and structural properties which correlated to both decreased expression of genes regulating cell division and lignin biosynthesis. Over-expression of TAGL1 is able to rescue the non-ripening phenotype of rin and nor mutants, which is mediated by the transcriptional activation of several ripening genes. Our results demonstrated that TAGL1 participates in the genetic control of flower and fruit development of tomato plants. Furthermore, gene silencing and over-expression experiments demonstrated that the fruit ripening process requires the regulatory activity of TAGL1. Therefore, TAGL1 could act as a linking factor connecting successive stages of

  5. 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.

  6. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  7. Nuclear progesterone receptor isoforms and their functions in the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Rekawiecki, R; Kowalik, M K; Kotwica, J

    2011-01-01

    Progesterone (P4), which is produced by the corpus luteum (CL), creates proper conditions for the embryo implantation, its development, and ensures proper conditions for the duration of pregnancy. Besides the non-genomic activity of P4 on target cells, its main physiological effect is caused through genomic action by the progesterone nuclear receptor (PGR). This nuclear progesterone receptor occurs in two specific isoforms, PGRA and PGRB. PGRA isoform acts as an inhibitor of transcriptional action of PGRB. The inactive receptor is connected with chaperone proteins and attachment of P4 causes disconnection of chaperones and unveiling of DNA binding domain (DBD). After receptor dimerization in the cells' nucleus and interaction with hormone response element (HRE), the receptor coactivators are connected and transcription is initiated. The ratio of these isoforms changes during the estrous cycle and reflects the different levels of P4 effect on the reproductive system. Both isoforms, PGRA and PGRB, also show a different response to the P4 receptor antagonist activity. Connection of the antagonist to PGRA can block PGRB, but acting through the PGRB isoform, P4 receptor antagonist may undergo conversion to a strongly receptor agonist. A third isoform, PGRC, has also been revealed. This isoform is the shortest and does not have transcriptional activity. Alternative splicing and insertion of additional exons may lead to the formation of different PGR isoforms. This paper summarizes the available data on the progesterone receptor isoforms and its regulatory action within the female reproductive system.

  8. Gonadal function, fertility, and reproductive medicine in childhood and adolescent cancer patients: a national survey of Japanese pediatric endocrinologists

    PubMed Central

    Miyoshi, Yoko; Yorifuji, Tohru; Horikawa, Reiko; Takahashi, Ikuko; Nagasaki, Keisuke; Ishiguro, Hiroyuki; Fujiwara, Ikuma; Ito, Junko; Oba, Mari; Kawamoto, Hiroshi; Fujisaki, Hiroyuki; Kato, Masashi; Shimizu, Chikako; Kato, Tomoyasu; Matsumoto, Kimikazu; Sago, Haruhiko; Takimoto, Tetsuya; Okada, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Nao; Yokoya, Susumu; Ogata, Tsutomu; Ozono, Keiichi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract. An increasing number of pediatric cancer patients survive, and treatment-related infertility represents one of the most important issues for these patients. While official guidelines in Japan recommend long-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors (CCSs), their gonadal function and fertility have not been clarified. To address this issue, we organized a working panel to compile evidence from long-term survivors who received treatments for cancer during childhood or adolescence. In collaboration with members of the CCS Committee of the Japanese Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (JSPE), we conducted a questionnaire survey regarding reproductive function in pediatric cancer patients. A cross-sectional survey was sent to 178 JSPE-certified councilors who were asked to self-evaluate the medical examinations they had performed. A total of 151 responses were obtained, revealing that 143 endocrinologists were involved in the care of CCSs. A quarter of the respondents reported having experienced issues during gonadal or reproductive examinations. Several survivors did not remember or fully understand the explanation regarding gonadal damage, and faced physical and psychological distress when discussing the risk of becoming infertile. Pediatric endocrinologists had anxieties regarding their patients’ infertility and the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and delivery problems. Only a limited number of endocrinologists had experience with managing childbirth and fertility preservation. Many councilors mentioned the necessity for inter-disciplinary communication among healthcare providers. Both endocrinologists and oncologists should set and follow a uniform clinical guideline that includes management of fertility of CCSs. PMID:27212796

  9. 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 morphology of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HPC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), three major areas that were shown to be affected by prenatal stress in our previous studies. We administered 10-mg/kg/day of the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide (4'nitro-3'-trifluoromethylsobutyranilide) or vehicle injections to pregnant rats from days 15-21 of gestation. The antiandrogenic effects of flutamide were confirmed by the analysis of androgen-dependent developmental markers: flutamide-exposed rats showed reduced anogenital distance, delay in the completion of testis descent, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and atrophied seminal vesicles. Brain morphological studies revealed that prenatal flutamide decreased the number of MAP2 (a microtubule-associated protein type 2, present almost exclusively in dendrites) immunoreactive neuronal processes in all evaluated brain areas, both in prepubertal and adult offspring, suggesting that prenatal androgen disruption induces long-term reductions of the dendritic arborization of several brain structures, affecting the normal connectivity between areas. Moreover, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunopositive neurons in the VTA of prepubertal offspring was reduced in flutamide rats but reach normal values at adulthood. Our results demonstrate that the effects of prenatal flutamide on the offspring brain morphology resemble several prenatal stress effects suggesting that the mechanism of action of prenatal stress might be related to the impairment of the organizational role of androgens on brain

  10. [Consequences for posterity of two generations of an irradiation pregnant from females rats Wistar in small doses during a bookmark of reproduction system of fetuses development of posterity of the second generation and it reproduction function].

    PubMed

    Palyga, G F; Chibisova, O F

    2006-01-01

    With the purpose of study of consequences for development and reproduction functions of posterity of the second generation from females rats Wistar of a total unitary gamma-irradiation in dozes 0.25; 0.5 and 1 Gy (capacity of a doze 0.03 sGy/s) on 10th day of pregnancy (the period of the onset of fetuses reproduction system development) is investigated more than 630 females, 1400 with the age of 19th days, and about 3200 young rats. The revealed deviations(rejections) in development of posterity of two generations parents, antenatal irradiated in not sterilizing dozes, in he period of a beginning of formation of reproduction system, them a variety at different dozes of radiating influence, shown as at posterity of the irradiated mothers, and fathers, testify about instability genoms in a line of generations requiring the account and acceptance of necessary measures for preservation normal genofund.

  11. Gestational Exposure to Bisphenol A Affects the Function and Proteome Profile of F1 Spermatozoa in Adult Mice

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Md Saidur; Kwon, Woo-Sung; Karmakar, Polash Chandra; Yoon, Sung-Jae; Ryu, Buom-Yong; Pang, Myung-Geol

    2016-01-01

    Background: Maternal exposure to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to offspring reproductive abnormalities. However, exactly how BPA affects offspring fertility remains poorly understood. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of gestational BPA exposure on sperm function, fertility, and proteome profile of F1 spermatozoa in adult mice. Methods: Pregnant CD-1 mice (F0) were gavaged with BPA at three different doses (50 μg/kg bw/day, 5 mg/kg bw/day, and 50 mg/kg bw/day) on embryonic days 7 to 14. We investigated the function, fertility, and related processes of F1 spermatozoa at postnatal day 120. We also evaluated protein profiles of F1 spermatozoa to monitor their functional affiliation to disease. Results: BPA inhibited sperm count, motility parameters, and intracellular ATP levels in a dose-dependent manner. These effects appeared to be caused by reduced numbers of stage VIII seminiferous epithelial cells in testis and decreased protein kinase A (PKA) activity and tyrosine phosphorylation in spermatozoa. We also found that BPA compromised average litter size. Proteins differentially expressed in spermatozoa from BPA treatment groups are known to play a critical role in ATP generation, oxidative stress response, fertility, and in the pathogenesis of several diseases. Conclusions: Our study provides mechanistic support for the hypothesis that gestational exposure to BPA alters sperm function and fertility via down-regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation through a PKA-dependent mechanism. In addition, we anticipate that the BPA-induced changes in the sperm proteome might be partly responsible for the observed effects in spermatozoa. Citation: Rahman MS, Kwon WS, Karmakar PC, Yoon SJ, Ryu BY, Pang MG. 2017. Gestational exposure to bisphenol-A affects the function and proteome profile of F1 spermatozoa in adult mice. Environ Health Perspect 125:238–245; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP378 PMID:27384531

  12. The influence of latent toxoplasmosis on women's reproductive function: four cross-sectional studies.

    PubMed

    Kankova, Sarka; Flegr, Jaroslav; Calda, Pavel

    2015-07-28

    Several studies have investigated the association between infection with Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908), pregnancy and fertility, but the results of studies focused on the fertility are rather ambiguous. Here we report results of four new cross-sectional studies. The studies were performed in the General University Hospital, Prague (study A with n = 1 165, and study C with n = 317), in private clinics of the Centre of Reproductive Medicine, Prague (study B with n = 1 016), and in a population of Czech and Slovak volunteers from the Facebook page 'Guinea Pigs' willing to participate in various basic science studies (study D with n = 524). In studies A and B, the clinical records were used to assess the fertility problems, whereas in studies C and D, the women were asked to rate their fertility problems using a six-point scale. Pregnant T. gondii-infected women were older than T. gondii-free women (study A: 33.1 vs 31.2, P < 0.001; study B: 30.6 vs 29.6, P = 0.012) and more often used assisted reproductive technology to conceive (study A: 17.2% vs 12.4%, P = 0.041; study B: 13.4% vs 9.2%, P = 0.317). Pregnant T. gondii-infected primiparous women were older than T. gondii-free primiparas (study A: 31.1 vs 29.5, P < 0.001; study B: 29.7 vs 28.9, P = 0.064) and more often used assisted reproductive technology to conceive (study A: 24.7% vs 14.4%, P = 0.010; study B: 15.9% vs 15.5%, P = 0.888). T. gondii-infected women reported to take a longer time to conceive than T. gondii-free women (P = 0.015). They also claimed to have more fertility problems than T. gondii-free women (P < 0.0001). Our results suggest that 'asymptomatic' latent toxoplasmosis could be a more serious source of fertility problems and health-associated burden than more severe but far rarer congenital toxoplasmosis.

  13. Administration of thyroxine affects the morphometric parameters and VEGF expression in the uterus and placenta and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

    PubMed

    Souza, C A; Ocarino, N M; Silva, J F; Boeloni, J N; Nascimento, E F; Silva, I J; Castro, R D; Moreira, L P; Almeida, F R C L; Chiarini-Garcia, H; Serakides, R

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of thyroxine administration on morphometric parameters, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and vascularization in the uterus and placenta and reproductive parameters in gilts at 70 days of gestation. At 150 days of age, i.e., before first heat, 20 gilts were randomly divided into two experimental groups: treated (n=10) and control (n=10). The treated group received a daily dose of 400 μg of L-thyroxine (T(4)) in their diet until slaughter and the control group received only typical meals. Before artificial insemination, blood was collected to determine plasma total T(4). The gilts were inseminated in the second oestrus and slaughtered at 70 days of gestation. The foetal thyroid follicular epithelium height, number, size and weight of foetuses; foetal myogenesis, corpora lutea number, embryonic mortality rate, uterine weight, placental weight and placental fluid volume were measured. Histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis of uterus and placenta were determined. The averages of all variables were compared by the Student's t-test. The gilts treated with thyroxine showed significant increase of plasma total T(4). At 70 days of gestation, the heights of the trophoblastic epithelium, endometrial epithelium and endometrial gland epithelium were significantly higher in the group treated with T(4). The expression of cytoplasmatic and nuclear VEGF in trophoblastic cells and the number of blood vessels per field in endometrial stroma were significantly higher in the gilts treated with T(4). No other significant differences between groups were obtained with respect to other parameters (p>0.05). We conclude that oral administration of T(4) up to 70 days of pregnancy in gilts affects the morphometric parameters, the expression of placental VEGF and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

  14. Updates on the relation of weight excess and reproductive function in men: sleep apnea as a new area of interest

    PubMed Central

    Hammoud, Ahmad O; Carrell, Douglas T; Gibson, Mark; Matthew Peterson, C; Wayne Meikle, A

    2012-01-01

    Obesity has a negative effect on male reproductive function. It is associated with low testosterone levels and alteration in gonadotropin secretion. Male obesity has been linked to reduced male fertility. Data regarding the relation of obesity to sperm parameters are conflicting in terms of the nature and magnitude of the effect. New areas of interest are emerging that can help explain the variation in study results, such as genetic polymorphism and sleep apnea. Sleep disorders have been linked to altered testosterone production and hypogonadism in men. It was also correlated to erectile dysfunction. The relation of sleep disorders to male fertility and sperm parameters remains to be investigated. Men with hypogonadism and infertility should be screened for sleep apnea. Treatment of obesity and sleep apnea improves testosterone levels and erectile function. PMID:22138900

  15. How selection for reproduction or foundation for longevity could have affected blood lymphocyte populations of rabbit does under conventional and heat stress conditions.

    PubMed

    Ferrian, Selena; Guerrero, Irene; Blas, Enrique; García-Diego, Fernando J; Viana, David; Pascual, Juan J; Corpa, Juan M

    2012-11-15

    The present work characterises how selection for reproduction (by comparing two generations - 16th and 36th - of the V line selected for litter size at weaning) or foundation for reproductive longevity (the LP line) can affect the blood lymphocytes populations of reproductive rabbit does under normal [conventional housing, average daily minimum and maximum temperatures of 14°C and 20°C, respectively] and heat stress conditions [climatic chamber, 25°C and 36°C] from the first to the second parturition. Housing under heat stress conditions significantly reduced the B lymphocytes counts in female rabbits (-34 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05). The highest lymphocytes population value in blood (total, T CD5(+), CD4(+) and CD8(+)) was noted at the first parturition, while the B lymphocytes count was significantly lower at the second parturition (-61 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05). Selection for litter size at weaning (V females) reduced the average counts of total and B lymphocytes in blood (-502 and -60 × 10(6)/L, respectively; P<0.01), mainly because these populations in V36 females continuously lowered from the first to the second parturition under normal housing conditions. Thus, more selected females (V36) at the second parturition showed significantly lower counts in blood for total, T CD5(+) and CD25(+) lymphocytes (-1303, -446 and -33 × 10(6)/L, respectively; P<0.05). The main differences in blood counts between V36 and V16 females disappeared when housed under heat stress conditions, except for T CD5(+) and CD25(+), which significantly increased (T CD5(+): +428 × 10(6)/L; CD25(+): +41 × 10(6)/L; P<0.01) in the V16 vs. V36 females on day 10 post-partum. Under normal conditions, no differences between LP and V36 females were found for most lymphocyte populations; only higher counts were noted in CD25(+) (+20 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05) for LP females. However, the lymphocytes counts [especially total (+1327 × 10(6)/L; P<0.01) and T CD5(+) (+376 × 10(6)/L; P<0.10)] of LP females

  16. Effects of prolonged exposure to perchlorate on thyroid and reproductive function in zebrafish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mukhi, S.; Patino, R.

    2007-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of prolonged exposure to perchlorate on (1) thyroid status and reproductive performance of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) and (2) F1 embryo survival and early larval development. Using a static-renewal procedure, mixed sex populations of adult zebrafish were exposed to 0, 10, and 100 mg/l nominal concentrations of waterborne perchlorate for 10 weeks. Thyroid histology was qualitatively assessed, and females and males were separated and further exposed to their respective treatments for six additional weeks. Eight females in each tank replicate (n = 3) were paired weekly with four males from the same respective treatment, and packed-egg (spawn) volume (PEV) was measured each of the last five weeks. At least once during weeks 14-16 of exposure, other end points measured included fertilization rate, fertilized egg diameter, hatching rate, standard length, and craniofacial development of 4-day-postfertilization larvae and thyroid hormone content of 3.5-h embryos and of exposed mothers. At 10 weeks of exposure, perchlorate at both concentrations caused thyroidal hypertrophy and colloid depletion. A marked reduction in PEV was observed toward the end of the 6-week spawning period, but fertilization and embryo hatching rates were unaffected. Fertilized egg diameter and larval length were increased by parental exposure to perchlorate. Larval head depth was unaffected but the forward protrusion of the lower jaw-associated cartilage complexes, Meckel's and ceratohyal, was decreased. Exposure to both concentrations of perchlorate inhibited whole-body thyroxine content in mothers and embryos, but triiodothyronine content was unchanged. In conclusion, prolonged exposure of adult zebrafish to perchlorate not only disrupts their thyroid endocrine system but also impairs reproduction and influences early F1 development. ?? 2007 Oxford University Press.

  17. The affective (re)production of refugee representations through educational policies and practices: Reconceptualising the role of emotion for peace education in a divided country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zembylas, Michalinos

    2012-08-01

    Drawing into a discussion of the politicisation of emotion, this paper develops a framework to analyse some of the processes and strategies by which educational policies and pedagogical practices "emotionalise" the representation of refugees in conflict-ridden societies such as Cyprus and explores the implications for peace education. In particular, this paper aims to refine our understanding of how emotions affect the ways in which educational policies and practices reproduce self-other dichotomies through certain representations of the refugee experience. It is argued that these dichotomies are relevant to the emotional reactions against peace education initiatives. Second, this paper examines alternative possibilities of promoting peaceful coexistence, while taking into consideration the affective (re)production of refugee representations yet without undermining the refugee experience. Better understanding of how emotion is involved will help educational policymakers and teachers in divided societies to take into account the hitherto poorly developed aspects of the ways in which emotions, the refugee experience and peace education are inextricably intertwined.

  18. Monitoring male southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) reproductive function and seasonality in a captive population.

    PubMed

    Hogan, L A; Phillips, C J C; Horsup, A B; Keeley, T; Nicolson, V; Janssen, T; Lisle, A; Johnston, S D

    2010-04-01

    This study reports on the development and application of techniques used to assess the reproductive status of captive male southern hairy-nosed wombats (n=4) at Rockhampton Zoo. Initially, a GnRH agonist was used to establish a method for determining a reliable index of plasma and faecal testosterone secretion. Intra-muscular injection of buserelin (4 microg) resulted in an increase (P<0.05) in plasma and faecal testosterone concentration 90 min and 3 days after administration, respectively. Seasonal changes in faecal androgen, sperm production (spermatorrhoea) and testicular, prostatic and bulbourethral gland size were examined over a 18-month period, with prostate and bulbourethral gland cross-sectional areas being assessed by ultrasonography. Plasma testosterone secretion increased from early late winter and then decreased in spring (P<0.001); no seasonal variation (P=0.22) in faecal testosterone metabolite concentrations was apparent. Testicular volume showed no significant variation (P=0.29) over the sampling period. While there was no seasonal change (P=0.197, n=54) in prostate size, bulbourethral gland size increased in late-autumn, peaked in mid-winter and declined in early summer (P= or <0.001, n=55). Spermatozoa were found in the urine throughout the year. While, the captive population of SHN wombats at Rockhampton Zoo demonstrated significant changes in reproductive function, the extent of seasonality was less pronounced than that previously reported for wild populations in Southern Australia.

  19. Physiological Roles of Group X-secreted Phospholipase A2 in Reproduction, Gastrointestinal Phospholipid Digestion, and Neuronal Function*

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Hiroyasu; Isogai, Yuki; Masuda, Seiko; Taketomi, Yoshitaka; Miki, Yoshimi; Kamei, Daisuke; Hara, Shuntaro; Kobayashi, Tetsuyuki; Ishikawa, Yukio; Ishii, Toshiharu; Ikeda, Kazutaka; Taguchi, Ryo; Ishimoto, Yoshikazu; Suzuki, Noriko; Yokota, Yasunori; Hanasaki, Kohji; Suzuki-Yamamoto, Toshiko; Yamamoto, Kei; Murakami, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    Although the secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) family has been generally thought to participate in pathologic events such as inflammation and atherosclerosis, relatively high and constitutive expression of group X sPLA2 (sPLA2-X) in restricted sites such as reproductive organs, the gastrointestinal tract, and peripheral neurons raises a question as to the roles played by this enzyme in the physiology of reproduction, digestion, and the nervous system. Herein we used mice with gene disruption or transgenic overexpression of sPLA2-X to clarify the homeostatic functions of this enzyme at these locations. Our results suggest that sPLA2-X regulates 1) the fertility of spermatozoa, not oocytes, beyond the step of flagellar motility, 2) gastrointestinal phospholipid digestion, perturbation of which is eventually linked to delayed onset of a lean phenotype with reduced adiposity, decreased plasma leptin, and improved muscle insulin tolerance, and 3) neuritogenesis of dorsal root ganglia and the duration of peripheral pain nociception. Thus, besides its inflammatory action proposed previously, sPLA2-X participates in physiologic processes including male fertility, gastrointestinal phospholipid digestion linked to adiposity, and neuronal outgrowth and sensing. PMID:21266581

  20. Physiological roles of group X-secreted phospholipase A2 in reproduction, gastrointestinal phospholipid digestion, and neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroyasu; Isogai, Yuki; Masuda, Seiko; Taketomi, Yoshitaka; Miki, Yoshimi; Kamei, Daisuke; Hara, Shuntaro; Kobayashi, Tetsuyuki; Ishikawa, Yukio; Ishii, Toshiharu; Ikeda, Kazutaka; Taguchi, Ryo; Ishimoto, Yoshikazu; Suzuki, Noriko; Yokota, Yasunori; Hanasaki, Kohji; Suzuki-Yamamoto, Toshiko; Yamamoto, Kei; Murakami, Makoto

    2011-04-01

    Although the secreted phospholipase A(2) (sPLA(2)) family has been generally thought to participate in pathologic events such as inflammation and atherosclerosis, relatively high and constitutive expression of group X sPLA(2) (sPLA(2)-X) in restricted sites such as reproductive organs, the gastrointestinal tract, and peripheral neurons raises a question as to the roles played by this enzyme in the physiology of reproduction, digestion, and the nervous system. Herein we used mice with gene disruption or transgenic overexpression of sPLA(2)-X to clarify the homeostatic functions of this enzyme at these locations. Our results suggest that sPLA(2)-X regulates 1) the fertility of spermatozoa, not oocytes, beyond the step of flagellar motility, 2) gastrointestinal phospholipid digestion, perturbation of which is eventually linked to delayed onset of a lean phenotype with reduced adiposity, decreased plasma leptin, and improved muscle insulin tolerance, and 3) neuritogenesis of dorsal root ganglia and the duration of peripheral pain nociception. Thus, besides its inflammatory action proposed previously, sPLA(2)-X participates in physiologic processes including male fertility, gastrointestinal phospholipid digestion linked to adiposity, and neuronal outgrowth and sensing.

  1. Reproductive functional anatomy and oestrous cycle pattern of the female brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus, Gray 1842) from Gabon.

    PubMed

    Mayor, P; López-Béjar, M; Jori, F; Fenech, M; López-Gatius, F

    2003-07-15

    In the present study, we examined certain features of the functional anatomy of the female genital tract of the wild brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) to obtain data on the reproductive biology of this African forest rodent. Two consecutive experiments were performed. The aim of the first was to establish macroscopic and microscopic features of the genital organs, and to explore correlations between predominant ovarian structures and vaginal contents in 20 wild, mature females. In the second experiment, we inspected the external genitalia and vaginal smears of a further 10 females in captivity on a daily basis for 90 days. The uterus of the brush-tailed porcupine is bicornuate and composed of two separated uterine horns, a uterine body and cervix. The genital tract does not present a vaginal vestibule. Thus, there is no portion common to genital and urinary tracts. Females in the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle showed increased cornification of the vaginal epithelium and a high density of eosinophilic cells in vaginal smears. The vulva and vaginal opening were open, reddish and tumefacted. In luteal phase or in pregnancy, epithelial cornification and eosinophilic features were notably reduced and the vagina presented a pale, non-tumefacted vulva and a vaginal closure membrane. Females in captivity showed spontaneous cycles, a polyoestrous reproduction pattern and, based on features of the external genitalia and vaginal smears, their oestrous cycle length was 27.1+/-6.4 days (n=12).

  2. Morphology and function of the reproductive tract of the spider crab Libinia spinosa (Crustacea, Brachyura, Majoidea): pattern of sperm storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sal Moyano, M. P.; Gavio, M. A.; Cuartas, E. I.

    2010-09-01

    Morphology and function of the male reproductive tract, female spermatheca and patterns of sperm storage were assessed in the crab Libinia spinosa using histological methods. Testes are characterized by the presence of peripheral spermatogonia and different sequences of sperm maturity. Spermatophores begin to be packed in the last portion. The vas deferens consists of three sections: anterior, with undeveloped spermatophores and free sperm; median, with well-developed spermatophores; and posterior with granular secretions. Female spermathecae are of the ventral type, with a velum separating dorsal and ventral chambers. Live individuals were kept in the laboratory and arranged in pairs. An experiment was conducted toward the end of the reproductive season, in which males with the right gonopod excised were placed with receptive females. After mating, females were killed and the spermathecae dissected for histological study and observation of the pattern of sperm storage. Spermatozoa were found forming discrete sperm packages. New ejaculates can fill the entire spermatheca or be restricted to the ventral chamber; sperm are rounded, with a distinguishable acrosomal core. Old ejaculates are restricted to the dorsal chamber and are of irregular shape and larger size; an acrosomal core was not distinguishable. The secretions produced by the glandular epithelium of the dorsal chamber of the spermathecae are likely to have a role in the removal of dead sperm.

  3. Functional analysis of all AGAMOUS subfamily members in rice reveals their roles in reproductive organ identity determination and meristem determinacy.

    PubMed

    Dreni, Ludovico; Pilatone, Alessandro; Yun, Dapeng; Erreni, Stefano; Pajoro, Alice; Caporali, Elisabetta; Zhang, Dabing; Kater, Martin M

    2011-08-01

    Reproductive organ development is one of the most important steps in the life cycle of plants. Studies using core eudicot species like thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) have shown that MADS domain transcription factors belonging to the AGAMOUS (AG) subfamily regulate the identity of stamens, carpels, and ovules and that they are important for floral meristem determinacy. Here, we investigate the genetic interactions between the four rice (Oryza sativa) AG subfamily members, MADS3, MADS13, MADS21, and MADS58. Our data show that, in contrast with previous reports, MADS3 and MADS58 determine stamen and carpel identity and, together with MADS13, are important for floral meristem determinacy. In the mads3 mads58 double mutant, we observed a complete loss of reproductive organ identity and massive accumulation of lodicules in the third and fourth floral whorls. MADS21 is an AGL11 lineage gene whose expression is not restricted to ovules. Instead, its expression profile is similar to those of class C genes. However, our genetic analysis shows that MADS21 has no function in stamen, carpel, or ovule identity determination.

  4. Predicting the accuracy of facial affect recognition: the interaction of child maltreatment and intellectual functioning.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Chad E; Putnam, Frank W; Noll, Jennie G

    2013-02-01

    Previous research demonstrates that both child maltreatment and intellectual performance contribute uniquely to the accurate identification of facial affect by children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to extend this research by examining whether child maltreatment affects the accuracy of facial recognition differently at varying levels of intellectual functioning. A sample of maltreated (n=50) and nonmaltreated (n=56) adolescent females, 14 to 19 years of age, was recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed demographic and study-related questionnaires and interviews to control for potential psychological and psychiatric confounds such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, and difficulties in emotion regulation. Participants also completed an experimental paradigm that recorded responses to facial affect displays starting in a neutral expression and changing into a full expression of one of six emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, or surprise. Hierarchical multiple regression assessed the incremental advantage of evaluating the interaction between child maltreatment and intellectual functioning. Results indicated that the interaction term accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in the accurate identification of facial affect after controlling for relevant covariates and main effects. Specifically, maltreated females with lower levels of intellectual functioning were least accurate in identifying facial affect displays, whereas those with higher levels of intellectual functioning performed as well as nonmaltreated females. These results suggest that maltreatment and intellectual functioning interact to predict the recognition of facial affect, with potential long-term consequences for the interpersonal functioning of maltreated females.

  5. We Made Your Bed, Why Won't You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs.

    PubMed

    Klop-Toker, Kaya; Valdez, Jose; Stockwell, Michelle; Fardell, Loren; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mitigation to offset the impacts of land development is becoming increasingly common, with reintroductions and created habitat programs used as key actions. However, numerous reviews cite high rates of poor success from these programs, and a need for improved monitoring and scientific testing to evaluate outcomes and improve management actions. We conducted extensive monitoring of a released population of endangered green and golden bell frogs, Litoria aurea, within a created habitat, as well as complementary surveys of a surrounding wild population. We then compared differences between the created habitat and natural ponds where extant frogs either bred or didn't breed in order to determine factors that contributed to the breeding failure within the created habitat. We evaluated differences of L. aurea abundance, abundance of other fauna, vegetation, water quality, habitat structure, invasive fish, and disease between the three pond types (created habitat, breeding ponds, non-breeding ponds). We discovered that vegetation and invertebrate diversity were low within the created habitat, potentially reducing energy and nutritional resources required for breeding. Also, a greater proportion of frogs in the created habitat were carrying the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, compared to the wild populations. In addition to causing the potentially fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, this pathogen has been shown to reduce reproductive functioning in male L. aurea, and subsequently may have reduced reproductive activities in the created habitat. Conspecific attraction, pond hydrology, and aquatic vegetation may also have had some influence on breeding behaviours, whilst the presence of the invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and heterospecific tadpoles were unlikely to have deterred L. aurea from breeding within the created habitat. Through the use of scientific testing and monitoring, this study is able to make recommendations for future

  6. We Made Your Bed, Why Won’t You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Valdez, Jose; Stockwell, Michelle; Fardell, Loren; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mitigation to offset the impacts of land development is becoming increasingly common, with reintroductions and created habitat programs used as key actions. However, numerous reviews cite high rates of poor success from these programs, and a need for improved monitoring and scientific testing to evaluate outcomes and improve management actions. We conducted extensive monitoring of a released population of endangered green and golden bell frogs, Litoria aurea, within a created habitat, as well as complementary surveys of a surrounding wild population. We then compared differences between the created habitat and natural ponds where extant frogs either bred or didn’t breed in order to determine factors that contributed to the breeding failure within the created habitat. We evaluated differences of L. aurea abundance, abundance of other fauna, vegetation, water quality, habitat structure, invasive fish, and disease between the three pond types (created habitat, breeding ponds, non-breeding ponds). We discovered that vegetation and invertebrate diversity were low within the created habitat, potentially reducing energy and nutritional resources required for breeding. Also, a greater proportion of frogs in the created habitat were carrying the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, compared to the wild populations. In addition to causing the potentially fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, this pathogen has been shown to reduce reproductive functioning in male L. aurea, and subsequently may have reduced reproductive activities in the created habitat. Conspecific attraction, pond hydrology, and aquatic vegetation may also have had some influence on breeding behaviours, whilst the presence of the invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and heterospecific tadpoles were unlikely to have deterred L. aurea from breeding within the created habitat. Through the use of scientific testing and monitoring, this study is able to make recommendations for future

  7. Thyroid function and reproductive success in rodents exposed to perchlorate via food and water.

    PubMed

    Smith, Philip N; Severt, Scott A; Jackson, J W Andrew; Anderson, Todd A

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine if exposure to perchlorate via food items would have effects on mammals similar to those caused by exposure through drinking water at approximately equivalent doses. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were used to assess the potential toxicity of perchlorate-contaminated food items. Voles and mice were divided randomly into three treatment groups--perchlorate-contaminated food (PCF), perchlorate-contaminated water (PCW), and control groups--such that each treatment group contained equal numbers of males and females. Rodents in PCF treatment groups were fed chow formulated with soybean plant matter that had been grown with perchlorate-contaminated irrigation water. Individuals in the control and PCF groups were provided distilled/deionized drinking water, whereas the PCW group received drinking water containing sodium perchlorate. Only slight differences among treatment groups were observed in a variety of endpoints, including reproductive success, tissue perchlorate concentrations, thyroid hormone concentrations, and thyroid histology. However, trends observed in the present study suggest that perchlorate exposure via water may result in slightly greater effects than exposure to perchlorate via food. These data and recent reports of perchlorate in a wide variety of food items indicate that exposure via food intake is an important consideration when examining cumulative risk among humans, livestock, and wildlife.

  8. Effects of apelin on reproductive functions: relationship with feeding behavior and energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Tekin, Suat; Erden, Yavuz; Sandal, Suleyman; Etem Onalan, Ebru; Ozyalin, Fatma; Ozen, Hasan; Yilmaz, Bayram

    2017-02-01

    Apelin is an adipose tissue derived peptidergic hormone. In this study, 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats were used (four groups; n = 10). Apelin-13 at three different dosages (1, 5 and 50 μg/kg) was given intraperitoneally while the control group received vehicle the same route for a period of 14 days. In results, apelin-13 caused significant decreases in serum testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels (p < 0.05). Administration of apelin-13 significantly increased body weights, food intake, serum low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels (p < 0.05), but caused significant decreases in high-density lipoprotein levels (p < 0.05). Serum glucose and triglyceride levels were not significantly altered by apelin-13 administration. Significant decreases in both uncoupling protein (UCP)-1 levels in the white and brown adipose tissues and UCP-3 levels in the biceps muscle (p < 0.05) were noted. The findings of the study suggest that apelin-13 may not only lead to obesity by increasing body weight but also cause infertility by suppressing reproductive hormones.

  9. Citrus limon extract: possible inhibitory mechanisms affecting testicular functions and fertility in male mice.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nidhi; Singh, Shio Kumar

    2016-01-01

    The effect of oral administration of 50% ethanolic leaf extract of Citrus limon (500 and 1,000 mg/kg body weight/day) for 35 days on fertility and various male reproductive endpoints was evaluated in Parkes strain of mice. Testicular indices such as histology, 3β- and 17β-HSD enzymes activity, immunoblot expression of StAR and P450scc, and germ cell apoptosis by TUNEL and CASP- 3 expression were assessed. Motility, viability, and number of spermatozoa in the cauda epididymidis, level of serum testosterone, fertility indices, and toxicological parameters were also evaluated. Histologically, testes in extract-treated mice showed nonuniform degenerative changes in the seminiferous tubules. Treatment had adverse effects on steroidogenic markers in the testis and induced germ cell apoptosis. Significant reductions were noted in epididymal sperm parameters and serum level of testosterone in Citrus-treated mice compared to controls. Fertility of the extract-treated males was also suppressed, but libido remained unaffected. By 56 days of treatment withdrawal, alterations induced in the above parameters returned to control levels suggesting that Citrus treatment causes reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility in Parkes mice. Suppression of spermatogenesis may result from germ cell apoptosis because of decreased production of testosterone. The present work indicated that Citrus leaves can affect male reproduction.

  10. Lexical and Affective Prosody in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Bemis, Rhyannon H.; Skwerer, Daniela Plesa; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the perception and production of lexical stress and processing of affective prosody in adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA). We hypothesized preserved processing of lexical and affective prosody but atypical lexical prosody production. Method: Sixteen children with HFA and 15 typically developing (TD) peers…

  11. Reproductive partitioning and the assumptions of reproductive skew models in the cooperatively breeding American crow

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Andrea K.; Clark, Anne B.; McGowan, Kevin J.; Lovette, Irby J.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the benefits of cooperative breeding for group members of different social and demographic classes requires knowledge of their reproductive partitioning and genetic relatedness. From 2004-2007, we examined parentage as a function of relatedness and social interactions among members of 21 American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) family groups. Paired female breeders monopolized maternity of all offspring in their broods, whereas paired male breeders sired 82.7% of offspring, within-group auxiliary males sired 6.9% of offspring, and extragroup males sired 10.4% of offspring. Although adult females had fewer opportunities for direct reproduction as auxiliaries than males, they appeared to have earlier opportunities for independent breeding. These different opportunities for direct reproduction probably contributed to the male biased adult auxiliary sex ratio. Patterns of reproductive partitioning and conflict among males were most consistent with a synthetic reproductive skew model, in which auxiliaries struggled with breeders for a limited reproductive share, beyond which breeders could evict them. Counter to a frequent assumption of reproductive skew models, female breeders appeared to influence paternity, although their interests might have agreed with the interests of their paired males. Unusual among cooperative breeders, close inbreeding and incest occurred in this population. Incest avoidance between potential breeders did not significantly affect reproductive skew. PMID:20126287

  12. Triorganotin as a compound with potential reproductive toxicity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Delgado Filho, V S; Lopes, P F I; Podratz, P L; Graceli, J B

    2011-09-01

    Organotin compounds are typical environmental contaminants and suspected endocrine-disrupting substances, which cause irreversible sexual abnormality in female mollusks, called "imposex". However, little is known about the capability of triorganotin compounds, such as tributyltin and triphenyltin, to cause disorders in the sexual development and reproductive functions of mammals, including humans and rodents. Moreover, these compounds can act as potential competitive inhibitors of aromatase enzyme and other steroidogenic enzymes, affecting the reproductive capacity of male and female mammals. In this review, we discuss the cellular, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms by which triorganotin compounds induce adverse effects in the mammalian reproductive function.

  13. Circadian alterations of reproductive functional markers in male rats exposed to 1800 MHz radiofrequency field.

    PubMed

    Qin, Fenju; Zhang, Jie; Cao, Honglong; Guo, Weiqiang; Chen, Lili; Shen, Ouxi; Sun, Jinpeng; Yi, Cao; Li, Jianxiang; Wang, Jiajun; Tong, Jian

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we explored the circadian effects of daily radiofrequency field (RF) exposure on reproductive functional markers in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals in circadian rhythm (as indicated by melatonin measurements), were divided into several groups and exposed to 1800 MHz RF at 205 μw/cm(2) power density (specific absorption rate 0.0405 W/kg) for 2 h/day for 32 days at different zeitgeber time (ZT) points, namely, ZT0, ZT4, ZT8, ZT12, ZT16 and ZT20. Sham-exposed animals were used as controls in the study. From each rat, testicular and epididymis tissues were collected and assessed for testosterone levels, daily sperm production and sperm motility, testis marker enzymes γ-GT and ACP, cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (p450cc) mRNA expression, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) mRNA expression. Via these measurements, we confirmed the existence of circadian rhythms in sham-exposed animals. However, rats exposed to RF exhibited a disruption of circadian rhythms, decreased testosterone levels, lower daily sperm production and sperm motility, down-regulated activity of γ-GT and ACP, as well as altered mRNA expression of cytochrome P450 and StAR. All of these observations were more pronounced when rats were exposed to RF at ZT0. Thus, our findings indicate potential adverse effects of RF exposure on male reproductive functional markers, in terms of both the daily overall levels as well as the circadian rhythmicity.

  14. Effects of nickel exposure on testicular function, oxidative stress, and male reproductive dysfunction in Spodoptera litura Fabricius.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hongxia; Wu, Wenjing; Guo, Jixing; Xiao, Rong; Jiang, Fengze; Zheng, Lingyan; Zhang, Guren

    2016-04-01

    Nickel is an environmental pollutant that adversely affects the male reproductive system. In the present study, the effects of nickel exposure on Spodoptera litura Fabricius were investigated by feeding larvae artificial diets containing different doses of nickel for three generations. Damage to testes and effects on male reproduction were examined. The amount of nickel that accumulated in the testes of newly emerged males increased as the nickel dose in the diet increased during a single generation. Nickel exposure increased the amount of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and decreased the amount of glutathione in treatment groups compared with the control. The activity levels of the antioxidant response indices superoxide dismutases, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in the testes showed variable dose-dependent relationships with nickel doses and duration of exposure. Nickel doses also disrupted the development of the testes by decreasing the weight and volume of testes and the number of eupyrene and apyrene sperm bundles in treatment groups compared with the control. When the nickel-treated males mated with normal females, fecundity was inhibited by the higher nickel doses in all three generations, but fecundity significantly increased during the second generation, which received 5 mg kg(-1) nickel. Hatching rates in all treatments significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner in the three successive generations. The effects of nickel on these parameters correlated with the duration of nickel exposure. Results indicate assays of testes may be a novel and efficient means of evaluating the effects of heavy metals on phytophagous insects in an agricultural environment.

  15. The Effect of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Gene on Reproductive Performance and Immune Function in Dairy Cattle

    PubMed Central

    KAWASAKI, Yurie; AOKI, Yuka; MAGATA, Fumie; MIYAMOTO, Akio; KAWASHIMA, Chiho; HOJO, Takuo; OKUDA, Kiyoshi; SHIRASUNA, Koumei; SHIMIZU, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed to assess the effect of polymorphisms in the tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) promoter (A/A, A/G and G/G) and exons (T/T, T/C and C/C) on immune function and reproductive performance in dairy cows. The occurrence of the first postpartum ovulation within 3 weeks in the cows with the TNF-α promoter A/G and G/G genotypes was higher than in the A/A group. Among the different TNF-α exon genotypes, the occurrence of early first postpartum ovulation was higher in the T/C and C/C genotype groups than in the T/T group. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TNF-α gene did not affect the rate of artificial insemination (AI) or duration from parturition to next conception (days open). The apoptosis rate of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) did not differ among the TNF-α promoter genotypes, but the PMN transmigration rate was significantly higher for the A/A and A/G genotypes than for the G/G genotype. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) mRNA expression in PMNs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before culture was significantly higher for the A/A genotype compared with the G/G genotype. There were no significant differences between the genotypes in the mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in PMNs and PBMCs before and 4 h after culture. IL-8 and IL-1β production by PBMCs cultured for 4 h was significantly higher for the animals with the A/A genotype than for those with the G/G genotype. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed in IL-8 and IL-1β production by PMNs among different TNF-α genotypes. Taken together, these results suggest that SNP in the TNF-α gene affects immune function and reproductive performance in dairy cows. PMID:24562592

  16. Serum levels of 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) in relation to markers of reproductive function in young males from the general Swedish population.

    PubMed

    Richthoff, Jonas; Rylander, Lars; Jönsson, Bo A G; Akesson, Heléne; Hagmar, Lars; Nilsson-Ehle, Peter; Stridsberg, Mats; Giwercman, Aleksander

    2003-04-01

    A time-related deterioration in male reproductive function caused by exposure to endocrine disrupters, including persistent organochlorines (POCs), has been hypothesized. In animal studies, POCs were found to have adverse effects on male reproductive function. However, little is known about the impact of POC exposure on reproductive parameters in men. In a study of 305 young Swedish men 18-21 years old from the general population, we correlated lipid-adjusted serum levels of 2,2',4,4',5,5' -hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153)--an index substance for POC exposure--to markers of male reproductive function: testis size assessed by ultrasound, sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility assessed manually and with a computer-aided sperm analyzer (CASA), and serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, inhibin B, testosterone, sexual hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), luteinizing hormone, and estradiol. We found weak but statistically significant, negative correlations between CB-153 levels and both the testosterone:SHBG ratio (r = -0.25, p < 0.001)--a measure of the biologically active free testosterone fraction--and CASA sperm motility (r = -0.13, p = 0.02). No statistically significant association with other seminal, hormonal, or clinical markers of male reproductive function was found. In previous studies of more highly POC-exposed groups of adult men, the correlation between POC exposure, including CB-153, and free testosterone levels was not statistically significant. The present study gives some tentative support for weak negative effects of CB-153 exposure on sperm motility and free testosterone levels in young men, but further semen studies on more highly exposed groups may give more firm conclusions on the hazard for male reproductive function from dietary POC exposure.

  17. Mollusc gonadotropin-releasing hormone directly regulates gonadal functions: a primitive endocrine system controlling reproduction.

    PubMed

    Treen, Nicholas; Itoh, Naoki; Miura, Hanae; Kikuchi, Ippei; Ueda, Takenori; Takahashi, Keisuke G; Ubuka, Takayoshi; Yamamoto, Kazutoshi; Sharp, Peter J; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Osada, Makoto

    2012-04-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is central to the control of vertebrate reproductive cycles and since GnRH orthologs are also present in invertebrates, it is likely that the common ancestor of bilateral animals possessed a GnRH-like peptide. In order to understand the evolutionary and comparative biology of GnRH peptides we cloned the cDNA transcripts of prepro GnRH-like peptides from two species of bivalve molluscs, the Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis and the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. We compared their deduced uncleaved and mature amino acid sequences with those from other invertebrates and vertebrates, and determined their sites of expression and biological activity. The two molluscan GnRH sequences increased the number of known protostome GnRHs to six different forms, indicating the current classification of protostome GnRHs requires further revision. In both molluscs, RT-PCR analysis showed that the genes were highly expressed in nervous tissue with lower levels present in peripheral tissues including the gonads, while immunocytochemistry, using anti-octopus GnRH-like peptide, demonstrated the presence of GnRH-like peptide in neural tissue. Putative scallop GnRH-like peptide stimulated spermatogonial cell division in cultured scallop testis, but the scallop GnRH-like peptide did not stimulate LH release from cultured quail pituitary cells. This is the first report of the cloning of bivalve GnRH-like peptide genes and of molluscan GnRH-like peptides that are biologically active in molluscs, but not in a vertebrate.

  18. Development, survival, and reproduction of the psocid Liposcelis paeta (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae) as a function of temperature.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jin-Jun; Ren, Yi; Wei, Xue-Qing; Dou, Wei

    2009-08-01

    The development, survival, and reproduction of Liposcelis paeta Pearman (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae), an important insect pest of stored products, were evaluated at nine constant temperatures (20-40 degrees C). Few insects could complete the development or reproduce at 20 or 40 degrees C. Between 22.5 and 37.5 degrees C, the developmental period from egg to adult varied from 45.4 d at 22.5 degrees C to 11.5 d at 37.5 degrees C. The lower temperature developmental thresholds were estimated at 18.1-21.9 degrees C, and the upper temperature thresholds were 40.4-42.0 degrees C. The percentage of survival from egg to adult was 52.79% at 32.5 degrees C and 18.79% at 22.5 degrees C. After emergence, the adult had a short preoviposition period that ranged from 6.3 d at 22.5 degrees C to 0.8 d at 37.5 degrees C. L. paeta produced the most eggs at 27.5 degrees C and the fewest at 37.5 degrees C. The population reared at 32.5 degrees C had the highest intrinsic rate of increase compared with the other temperatures. Based on our data, the optimal range of temperature for L. paeta population growth was 30-35 degrees C. These data give us better understanding of L. paeta population dynamics, and they can be used to develop effective management strategies for this psocid.

  19. The effects of intracerebroventricular infusion of apelin-13 on reproductive function in male rats.

    PubMed

    Sandal, Suleyman; Tekin, Suat; Seker, Fatma Burcu; Beytur, Ali; Vardi, Nigar; Colak, Cemil; Tapan, Tuba; Yildiz, Sedat; Yilmaz, Bayram

    2015-08-18

    Apelin is a novel bioactive peptide as the endogenous ligand for APJ. Apelin and APJ have also been identified in the testis, hypothalamic nuclei such as arcuate, supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, implicating roles in the control of reproduction. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic central infusion of apelin-13 on LH, FSH and testosterone levels and testis morphology. 21 Wistar-Albino male rats received continuous intracerebroventricular infusion via Alzet osmotic mini pumps filled artificial cerebrospinal fluid (vehicle) or apelin-13 at concentrations of 1 or 10 nmol (10 μl/h) for seven days. At the last 90 min of the infusion period, the blood samples were collected at 15 min intervals (0-90 min) for LH and FSH analyses. At the last sampling point, the blood samples were analyzed for testosterone levels. Infusion of high dose apelin-13 significantly suppressed LH release compared with the vehicle values at 30, 60 and 75 min (p<0.05). However, FSH levels did not significantly differ among the groups. Serum testosterone levels in high dose apelin-13 group were statistically lower than the control group (p<0.05). In addition, histological examination showed that infusion of high dose apelin-13 significantly decreased the number of Leydig cells compared with the control and lower dose apelin-13 groups (p<0.05, p<0.01). Our results suggest that apelin-13 may play a role in the central regulation and decreases testosterone release by suppressing LH secretion. Thus, antagonists of the apelin receptor may, therefore, be useful for pharmaceuticals in the treatment of infertility.

  20. Evaluating the potential of effluent extracts from pulp and paper mills in Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand to affect fish reproduction: Estrogenic effects in fish.

    PubMed

    Orrego, Rodrigo; Milestone, Craig B; Hewitt, L Mark; Guchardi, John; Heid-Furley, Tatiana; Slade, Alison; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Holdway, Douglas

    2016-11-03

    The authors examined the potential of pulp mill effluent from pulp-producing countries (Canada, Brazil, New Zealand) to affect fish reproduction. Specifically, the estrogenic effects in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) pulse-exposed to 11 different mill effluent extracts (intraperitoneal injections of solid-phase extraction-dichloromethane nonpolar fraction). The results indicated that effluent extracts were estrogenic in juvenile trout irrespective of the gender, as reflected by increasing level of plasma vitellogenin (VTG; Brazil > New Zealand > Canada). Despite the high variability observed among mills, differences in VTG levels were related to the type of mill process (kraft > elementary chlorine-free kraft > thermomechanical pulping). Moreover, effluent treatments did not appear to significantly decrease VTG induction. A consistent estrogenic effect was observed in those mills that process a combination of feedstocks (softwood and hardwood), with the highest increase in VTG related to eucalyptus feedstock. The results demonstrate significant estrogenic effects of pulp mill effluents on chronically exposed juvenile trout, suggesting that in vivo metabolic activation of precursors is necessary to cause the observed increases in VTG levels. This molecular estrogenic response provides a useful starting point for predicting population-level impacts through the adverse outcome pathway methodology. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-9. © 2016 SETAC.

  1. Overexpression of the kiwifruit SVP3 gene affects reproductive development and suppresses anthocyanin biosynthesis in petals, but has no effect on vegetative growth, dormancy, or flowering time.

    PubMed

    Wu, Rongmei; Wang, Tianchi; McGie, Tony; Voogd, Charlotte; Allan, Andrew C; Hellens, Roger P; Varkonyi-Gasic, Erika

    2014-09-01

    SVP-like MADS domain transcription factors have been shown to regulate flowering time and both inflorescence and flower development in annual plants, while having effects on growth cessation and terminal bud formation in perennial species. Previously, four SVP genes were described in woody perennial vine kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.), with possible distinct roles in bud dormancy and flowering. Kiwifruit SVP3 transcript was confined to vegetative tissues and acted as a repressor of flowering as it was able to rescue the Arabidopsis svp41 mutant. To characterize kiwifruit SVP3 further, ectopic expression in kiwifruit species was performed. Ectopic expression of SVP3 in A. deliciosa did not affect general plant growth or the duration of endodormancy. Ectopic expression of SVP3 in A. eriantha also resulted in plants with normal vegetative growth, bud break, and flowering time. However, significantly prolonged and abnormal flower, fruit, and seed development were observed, arising from SVP3 interactions with kiwifruit floral homeotic MADS-domain proteins. Petal pigmentation was reduced as a result of SVP3-mediated interference with transcription of the kiwifruit flower tissue-specific R2R3 MYB regulator, MYB110a, and the gene encoding the key anthocyanin biosynthetic step, F3GT1. Constitutive expression of SVP3 had a similar impact on reproductive development in transgenic tobacco. The flowering time was not affected in day-neutral and photoperiod-responsive Nicotiana tabacum cultivars, but anthesis and seed germination were significantly delayed. The accumulation of anthocyanin in petals was reduced and the same underlying mechanism of R2R3 MYB NtAN2 transcript reduction was demonstrated.

  2. Negative affect predicts social functioning across schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Findings from an integrated data analysis.

    PubMed

    Grove, Tyler B; Tso, Ivy F; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Ellingrod, Vicki L; McInnis, Melvin G; Deldin, Patricia J

    2016-09-30

    Most people with a serious mental illness experience significant functional impairment despite ongoing pharmacological treatment. Thus, in order to improve outcomes, a better understanding of functional predictors is needed. This study examined negative affect, a construct comprised of negative emotional experience, as a predictor of social functioning across serious mental illnesses. One hundred twenty-seven participants with schizophrenia, 113 with schizoaffective disorder, 22 with psychosis not otherwise specified, 58 with bipolar disorder, and 84 healthy controls (N=404) completed self-report negative affect measures. Elevated levels of negative affect were observed in clinical participants compared with healthy controls. For both clinical and healthy control participants, negative affect measures were significantly correlated with social functioning, and consistently explained significant amounts of variance in functioning. For clinical participants, this relationship persisted even after accounting for cognition and positive/negative symptoms. The findings suggest that negative affect is a strong predictor of outcome across these populations and treatment of serious mental illnesses should target elevated negative affect in addition to cognition and positive/negative symptoms.

  3. Positive Affect in the Midst of Distress: Implications for Role Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie; Shmueli-Blumberg, Dikla; Acree, Michael; Folkman, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Stress has been shown to deplete the self-regulation resources hypothesized to facilitate effective role functioning. However, recent research suggests that positive affect may help to replenish these vital self-regulation resources. Based on revised Stress and Coping theory and the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotion, three studies provide evidence of the potential adaptive function of positive affect in the performance of roles for participants experiencing stress. Participants were students (Study 1), caregivers of ill children (Study 2), and individuals recently diagnosed with HIV (Study 3). In cross sectional analyses, using role functioning as an indicator of self-regulation performance, we found that positive affect was significantly correlated with better self regulation performance, independent of the effects of negative affect. The effects were not as strong longitudinally, however, and there was little evidence of a reciprocal association between increases in positive affect and improvements in role functioning over time. The results provide some modest support for hypotheses stemming from the Broaden and Build model of positive emotion and revised Stress and Coping theory, both of which argue for unique adaptive functions of positive affect under stressful conditions. PMID:23175617

  4. Who or What? Self-Replication and Function-Reproduction in the Origin of Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    New, Michael H.; Stassinopoulos, Dimitris; Monaco, Regina; Pohorille, Andrew; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    In this presentation, we will present results on the fundamental properties of two classes of replicating systems: autocatalytic replicators that reproduce exact copies of a template molecule, and function reproducers that maintain a set of essential functions without replicating the identities of the functional moieties. We will describe the stability and behavior in-the-large of autocatalytic replicators. Most importantly, we have found no sharp distinction between an autocatalytic and a non-autocatalytic domain. We will also present a new derivation of von Kiedrowski's square-root rate law. Function - reproducers are proposed as an important component of protocells and we will present theoretical results on a simple model system that incorporates known peptide biophysics. For a wide range of parameters, we have shown that this type of system can improve its overall performance, even in the absence of any method for information storage. This type of system improvement is defined to be non-genomic evolution.

  5. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  6. Antioxidant effects of cultured wild ginseng root extracts on the male reproductive function of boars and guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Yun, Suk Jun; Bae, Gui-Seck; Park, Jae Hawn; Song, Tae Ho; Choi, Ahreum; Ryu, Buom-Yong; Pang, Myung-Geol; Kim, Eun Joong; Yoon, Minjung; Chang, Moon Baek

    2016-07-01

    The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of cultured wild ginseng root extracts (cWGRE) on the sperm of boars and the reproductive system of guinea pigs. Firstly, semen collected from boars (n=10) were incubated in 38°C for 1h with xanthine and xanthine oxidase to generate ROS. The cWGRE was added to the sperm culture system to test its antioxidant effect on the boar sperm. The amount of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) was measured by a chemiluminescence assay using luminol. The results indicated that the addition of cWGRE to boar sperm culture inhibited xanthine and xanthine oxidase-induced ROS concentrations. Treatment with cWGRE also had a positive effect on maintaining sperm motility. Effects of cWGRE administration on vitamin C-deficient guinea pigs were further investigated. Hartley guinea pigs (n=25) at 8 weeks of age were randomly divided into five groups. With the exception of the positive control group, each group was fed vitamin C-deficient feed for 21days (d). Respective groups were also orally administered cWGRE, ginseng extract, or mixed ginsenosides for 21 days. In comparison to the control group, oral administration of cWGRE reduced (P<0.05) amount of lipid peroxidation and increased (P<0.05) both glutathione peroxidase concentrations and the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity. In addition, administration of cWGRE induced increases (P<0.05) in body weight, testosterone concentrations, and spermatid populations. The results of the present study support our hypothesis that cWGRE has positive effects on male reproductive functions via suppression of ROS production.

  7. The Functional Significance of Affect Recognition, Neurocognition, and Clinical Symptoms in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Sigmund

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The complex relationship and exact extent of the contribution of plausible indictors to social functional outcome in schizophrenia remain unclear. The present study aimed to explore the functional significance of clinical symptoms, neurocognition, and affect recognition simultaneously in schizophrenia. Methods The clinical symptoms, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and social functioning of 154 subjects, including 74 with schizophrenia and 80 nonclinical comparisons, were assessed. Results We observed that various subdomains of social functioning were extensively related to general intelligence, basic neurocognition, facial emotion recognition, and clinical symptoms, with different association patterns. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that years of education, age, sustained attention, working memory, and facial emotion recognition were significantly associated with global social functioning in schizophrenia. Conclusion Our findings suggest that affect recognition combined with nonsocial neurocognition demonstrated a crucial role in predicting global social function in schizophrenia. PMID:28099444

  8. From reproductive choice to reproductive justice.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca J; Dickens, Bernard M

    2009-08-01

    Since the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development, the human rights movement has embraced the concept of reproductive rights. These are often pursued, however, by means to which objection is taken. Some conservative political and religious forces continue to resist implementation of several means of protecting and advancing reproductive rights. Individuals' rights to grant and to deny consent to medical procedures affecting their reproductive health and confidentiality have been progressively advanced. However, access to contraceptive services, while not necessarily opposed, is unjustifiably obstructed in some settings. Rights to lawful abortion have been considerably liberalized by legislative and judicial decisions, although resistance remains. Courts are increasingly requiring that lawful services be accommodated under transparent conditions of access and of legal protection. The conflict between rights of resort to lawful reproductive health services and to conscientious objection to participation is resolved by legal duties to refer patients to non-objecting providers.

  9. EFFECT OF GESTATIONAL EXPOSURE TO ETHANE DIMETHANESULFONATE (EDS), BROMOCHLOROACETIC ACID (BCA) AND MOLINATE ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN CD-1 MALE MICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EFFECT OF GESTATIONAL EXPOSURE TO ETHANE DIMETHANESULFONATE (EDS), BROMOCHLOROACETIC ACID (BCA) AND MOLINATE ON REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION IN CD-1 MALE MICE. D.K. Tarka1,2 , G.R. Klinefelter2, J.C. Rockett2, J.D. Suarez2, N.L. Roberts2 and J.M. Rogers1,2. 1 University of North Carol...

  10. Experimentally decoupling reproductive investment from energy storage to test the functional basis of a life-history trade-off.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robert M; Lovern, Matthew B; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2014-07-01

    The ubiquitous life-history trade-off between reproduction and survival has long been hypothesized to reflect underlying energy-allocation trade-offs between reproductive investment and processes related to self-maintenance. Although recent work has questioned whether energy-allocation models provide sufficient explanations for the survival cost of reproduction, direct tests of this hypothesis are rare, especially in wild populations. This hypothesis was tested in a wild population of brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) using a two-step experiment. First, stepwise variation in reproductive investment was created using unilateral and bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) along with intact (SHAM) control. Next, this manipulation was decoupled from its downstream effects on energy storage by surgically ablating the abdominal fat stores from half of the females in each reproductive treatment. As predicted, unilateral OVX (intermediate reproductive investment) induced levels of growth, body condition, fat storage and breeding-season survival that were intermediate between the high levels of bilateral OVX (no reproductive investment) and the low levels of SHAM (full reproductive investment). Ablation of abdominal fat bodies had a strong and persistent effect on energy stores, but it did not influence post-breeding survival in any of the three reproductive treatments. This suggests that the energetic savings of reduced reproductive investment do not directly enhance post-breeding survival, with the caveat that only one aspect of energy storage was manipulated and OVX itself had no overall effect on post-breeding survival. This study supports the emerging view that simple energy-allocation models may often be insufficient as explanations for the life-history trade-off between reproduction and survival.

  11. Sexual Function Across Aging.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Anita H; Harsh, Veronica

    2016-03-01

    Women experience multiple changes in social and reproductive statuses across the life span which can affect sexual functioning. Various phases of the sexual response cycle may be impacted and can lead to sexual dysfunction. Screening for sexual problems and consideration of contributing factors such as neurobiology, reproductive life events, medical problems, medication use, and depression can help guide appropriate treatment and thereby improve the sexual functioning and quality of life of affected women. Treatment options include psychotropic medications, hormone therapy, and psychotherapy.

  12. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of Gonazon implants in the treatment of reproductive pathologies, behavioral problems, and suppression of reproductive function in the male dog.

    PubMed

    Goericke-Pesch, S; Wilhelm, E; Ludwig, C; Desmoulins, P O; Driancourt, M A; Hoffmann, B

    2010-04-15

    Efficacy of a slow-release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-agonist implant (Gonazon) was assessed in 53 male dogs presented with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), hypersexuality, aggressive behavior (either alone or in combination), excessive micturition, or to suppress fertility. Changes in testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) concentrations and size of testes and prostate were monitored on Weeks 0, +8, and +26 after implantation. Additional measurements during and after this period were performed in 35 dogs. Clinical signs were assessed by the owners. All implants except one were retained throughout the study. Full downregulation of testicular function (T<0.35 nmol/L) was achieved in 46 dogs, five dogs showed partial downregulation (T = 0.36 to 0.47 nmol/L), one dog did not respond, and another one displayed a transient downregulation on Week +18. On Week +8, mean T and E2 levels were reduced by 96% and 62%, respectively, and did not further decrease. Full downregulation (T<0.35 nmol/L) lasted between 6 to >22 mo in most dogs except two. Compared with pretreatment values, mean testicular and prostatic size was reduced (P<0.00001) by 54% and 52%, respectively, on Week +8 and by 68% and 64%, respectively, on Week +26. Relative reduction of prostatic size was more marked in dogs with BPH than in healthy ones on Week +8 (P<0.05) and Week +26 (P<0.02), and clinical signs of BPH disappeared rapidly after implantation. Dogs affected with BPH were significantly older (P<0.001) than nonaffected ones (9.7 vs. 2.5 yr). Hypersexuality was more common in dogs<3 yr of age, and treatment clearly improved clinical signs. Age significantly affected the response to treatment in aggressive dogs; 75% of the cases responded with an improvement. The only minor and possibly treatment-related events observed were a short-lasting exacerbation of clinical signs of BPH (two dogs), increased weight gain (three dogs), and anxiety (three dogs) with one of these dogs developing a blunt

  13. Reproductive biology and functional response of Dineulophus phtorimaeae, a natural enemy of the tomato moth, Tuta absoluta.

    PubMed

    Savino, Vivina; Coviella, Carlos E; Luna, María G

    2012-01-01

    The tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a major pest in South America and is at present an important invasive species in the Mediterranean Basin. The larval stadium mines leaves, stems, and fruits, and chemical control is the most used control method in both its original range and the invaded distribution regions. Since current T. absoluta control strategies seem limited, biological control is a prominent tool to be applied abroad. The naturally occurring larval ectoparasitoid in Argentina and Chile Dineulophus phtorimaeae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) has been reported to have potential biocontrol efficiency. In this study, the ovigeny strategy of D. phtorimaeae was analyzed throughout the adult female lifetime, and the functional response of females offered a range of 2-15 T. absoluta larvae was measured over a 48-hour period. Mean D. phtorimaeae egg load was 4.15 eggs, and egg production resulted in extremely synovigenic behavior. Meanwhile, a decreasing number of eggs, due to resorption, was found. Proportions of attacked (host-fed and/or parasitized) and only host-fed hosts by the ectoparasitoid were density independent for the tested host range, exhibiting a type I functional response to T. absoluta, with an attack rate of 0.20 host larvae. Meanings of this reproductive strategy in evolutionary time as well as the consequences for augmentative biological control programs are discussed.

  14. The ``gunshot'' sound produced by male North Atlantic right whales and its potential function in reproductive advertisement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parks, Susan E.; Hamilton, Philip; Kraus, Scott D.; Tyack, Peter L.

    2004-05-01

    North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) commonly use sound to mediate social interactions between individuals. Surface active groups (SAGs) are the most commonly observed social interaction on the summer feeding grounds. These groups are typically composed of an adult female with two or more males engaged in social behavior at the surface. Several distinct types of sounds have been recorded from these groups. One sound commonly recorded from these groups is a brief broadband sound, referred to as a gunshot sound because it sounds like a rifle being fired. This sound has been recorded in the Bay of Fundy, Canada from both lone whales (N=9) and social SAGs (N=49). Those lone whales producing gunshot sounds whose sex could be determined (N=9) were all mature males. In surface active groups, the rate of production of gunshot sounds was weakly correlated with the total number of males present in the group. Given the behavioral contexts of gunshot sound production by male whales, gunshots probably function in a reproductive context as an agonistic signal directed toward other males, an advertisement signal to attract females, or a combination of the two functions.

  15. Reproductive Biology and Functional Response of Dineulophus phtorimaeae, a Natural Enemy of the Tomato Moth, Tuta absoluta

    PubMed Central

    Savino, Vivina; Coviella, Carlos E.; Luna, María G.

    2012-01-01

    The tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a major pest in South America and is at present an important invasive species in the Mediterranean Basin. The larval stadium mines leaves, stems, and fruits, and chemical control is the most used control method in both its original range and the invaded distribution regions. Since current T. absoluta control strategies seem limited, biological control is a prominent tool to be applied abroad. The naturally occurring larval ectoparasitoid in Argentina and Chile Dineulophus phtorimaeae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) has been reported to have potential biocontrol efficiency. In this study, the ovigeny strategy of D. phtorimaeae was analyzed throughout the adult female lifetime, and the functional response of females offered a range of 2–15 T. absoluta larvae was measured over a 48-hour period. Mean D. phtorimaeae egg load was 4.15 eggs, and egg production resulted in extremely synovigenic behavior. Meanwhile, a decreasing number of eggs, due to resorption, was found. Proportions of attacked (host-fed and/or parasitized) and only host-fed hosts by the ectoparasitoid were density independent for the tested host range, exhibiting a type I functional response to T. absoluta, with an attack rate of 0.20 host larvae. Meanings of this reproductive strategy in evolutionary time as well as the consequences for augmentative biological control programs are discussed. PMID:23464576

  16. Loss of LORELEI function in the pistil delays initiation but does not affect embryo development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Tsukamoto, Tatsuya; Palanivelu, Ravishankar

    2010-11-01

    Double fertilization, uniquely observed in plants, requires successful sperm cell delivery by the pollen tube to the female gametophyte, followed by migration, recognition and fusion of the two sperm cells with two female gametic cells. The female gametophyte not only regulates these steps but also controls the subsequent initiation of seed development. Previously, we reported that loss of LORELEI, which encodes a putative glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, in the female reproductive tissues causes a delay in initiation of seed development. From these studies, however, it was unclear if embryos derived from fertilization of lre-5 gametophytes continued to lag behind wild type during seed development. Additionally, it was not determined if the delay in initiation of seed development had any lingering effects during seed germination. Finally, it was not known if loss of LORELEI function affects seedling development given that LORELEI is expressed in eight-day-old seedlings. Here, we showed that despite a delay in initiation, lre-5/lre-5 embryos recover, becoming equivalent to the developing wild-type embryos beginning at 72 hours after pollination. Additionally, lre-5/lre-5 seed germination, and seedling and root development are indistinguishable from wild type indicating that loss of LORELEI is tolerated, at least under standard growth conditions, in vegetative tissues.

  17. Loss of LORELEI function in the pistil delays initiation but does not affect embryo development in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Tsukamoto, Tatsuya

    2010-01-01

    Double fertilization, uniquely observed in plants, requires successful sperm cell delivery by the pollen tube to the female gametophyte, followed by migration, recognition and fusion of the two sperm cells with two female gametic cells. The female gametophyte not only regulates these steps but also controls the subsequent initiation of seed development. Previously, we reported that loss of LORELEI, which encodes a putative glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, in the female reproductive tissues causes a delay in initiation of seed development. From these studies, however, it was unclear if embryos derived from fertilization of lre-5 gametophytes continued to lag behind wild-type during seed development. Additionally, it was not determined if the delay in initiation of seed development had any lingering effects during seed germination. Finally, it was not known if loss of LORELEI function affects seedling development given that LORELEI is expressed in eight-day-old seedlings. Here, we showed that despite a delay in initiation, lre-5/lre-5 embryos recover, becoming equivalent to the developing wild-type embryos beginning at 72 hours after pollination. Additionally, lre-5/lre-5 seed germination, and seedling and root development are indistinguishable from wild-type indicating that loss of LORELEI is tolerated, at least under standard growth conditions, in vegetative tissues. PMID:21051955

  18. Complementary Critical Functions of Zfy1 and Zfy2 in Mouse Spermatogenesis and Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Nakasuji, Takashi; Ogonuki, Narumi; Chiba, Tomoki; Kato, Tomomi; Shiozawa, Kumiko; Yamatoya, Kenji; Tanaka, Hiromitsu; Kondo, Tadashi; Miyado, Kenji; Miyasaka, Naoyuki; Kubota, Toshiro; Ogura, Atsuo

    2017-01-01

    The mammalian Y chromosome plays a critical role in spermatogenesis. However, the exact functions of each gene in the Y chromosome have not been completely elucidated, partly owing to difficulties in gene targeting analysis of the Y chromosome. Zfy was first proposed to be a sex determination factor, but its function in spermatogenesis has been recently elucidated. Nevertheless, Zfy gene targeting analysis has not been performed thus far. Here, we adopted the highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate individual Zfy1 or Zfy2 knockout (KO) mice and Zfy1 and Zfy2 double knockout (Zfy1/2-DKO) mice. While individual Zfy1 or Zfy2-KO mice did not show any significant phenotypic alterations in fertility, Zfy1/2-DKO mice were infertile and displayed abnormal sperm morphology, fertilization failure, and early embryonic development failure. Mass spectrometric screening, followed by confirmation with western blot analysis, showed that PLCZ1, PLCD4, PRSS21, and HTT protein expression were significantly deceased in spermatozoa of Zfy1/2-DKO mice compared with those of wild-type mice. These results are consistent with the phenotypic changes seen in the double-mutant mice. Collectively, our strategy and findings revealed that Zfy1 and Zfy2 have redundant functions in spermatogenesis, facilitating a better understanding of fertilization failure and early embryonic development failure. PMID:28114340

  19. Effects of the anti-microbial, triclocarban, on the reproductive function and ovarian transcriptome of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Triclocarban (TCC) is a widely used antimicrobial agent that is routinely detected in surface waters. The present study was designed to examine TCC’s efficacy and mode of action as a reproductive toxicant in fish. Reproductively mature Pimephales promelas were continuously ...

  20. Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-01

    AD______________ AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0301 TITLE: Identifying Molecular Regulators of Neuronal Functions Affected in the Movement Disorder...Affected in the Movement Disorder Dystonia 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0301 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The movement disorder dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions in the limbs, hands, feet or neck. The aim

  1. Role of affective self-regulatory efficacy in diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning.

    PubMed

    Bandura, Albert; Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Barbaranelli, Claudio; Gerbino, Maria; Pastorelli, Concetta

    2003-01-01

    This prospective study with 464 older adolescents (14 to 19 years at Time 1; 16 to 21 years at Time 2) tested the structural paths of influence through which perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation operates in concert with perceived behavioral efficacy in governing diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning. Self-efficacy to regulate positive and negative affect is accompanied by high efficacy to manage one's academic development, to resist social pressures for antisocial activities, and to engage oneself with empathy in others' emotional experiences. Perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation essentially operated mediationally through the latter behavioral forms of self-efficacy rather than directly on prosocial behavior, delinquent conduct, and depression. Perceived empathic self-efficacy functioned as a generalized contributor to psychosocial functioning. It was accompanied by prosocial behavior and low involvement in delinquency but increased vulnerability to depression in adolescent females.

  2. Short-term dietary concentrate supplementation during estrus synchronization treatment in beef cows increased IGF-I serum concentration but did not affect the reproductive response.

    PubMed

    Rosales-Torres, A M; López-Cedillo, Z B; Hernández-Coronado, C G; Rosete-Fernández, J V; Mendoza, G D; Guzmán, A

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate if short-term dietary concentrate supplementation increased IGF-I serum concentration and resulted in a reproductive response during estrus synchronization treatment in non-lactating beef cows. Thirty non-lactating beef cows (Bos indicus × Bos taurus) were allocated to the same pastureland and fed native tropical grasses as a basal diet. Cows were synchronized using a 7-day CO-Synch plus controlled internal drug release (CIDR) protocol and received fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI). Cows were divided into two groups; the control group (n = 16) received 0.5 kg of concentrate/cow/day, whereas the supplemented group (n = 14) received 4.0 kg of concentrate/cow/day. The period of supplementation was 10 days from the day of CIDR insert to FTAI. The concentration of IGF-I increased (P < 0.05) in the supplemented group, while no significant changes were observed in the control group. Moreover, at the time of insemination, IGF-I serum concentrations were higher in supplemented cows compared with control cows (P < 0.05). Notably, metabolite and insulin concentrations did not differ (P > 0.05) between treatment groups or sampling day. The response to estrus induction, measured as estrus presentation, ovulation rate, and pregnancy rate, was similar between experimental groups (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results indicated that supplementation with dietary concentrate for 10 days in non-lactating beef cows changed the endocrine milieu, specifically increasing IGF-I serum concentration. However, these endocrine changes did not affect response to estrous induction treatment.

  3. Follicular fluid levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and early corpus luteum function during assisted reproductive technology cycles

    PubMed Central

    Coppola, F; Ferrari, B; Barusi, L; Caccavari, V; Salvarani, MC; Piantelli, G

    2005-01-01

    Background The relation between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and early luteal function has rarely been proven in humans. The purpose of this study was to define the relation between follicular fluid concentrations of VEGF (FF VEGF) and early luteal function at the preimplantation stage during assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. Methods 71 women were divided into two groups, based on reproductive outcome: women who became pregnant after embryo transfer (ET) (n = 18, Group A) and non-pregnant women (n = 53, Group B). Serum progesterone (Se P) and inhibin A on ET day, and FF VEGF levels were measured in all women. Data were expressed as mean ± standard deviation. Statistical analysis was performed using Excel Office 98 for Student's t-test, linear regression test and chi-square test. A p value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results The groups were comparable for age, ovarian reserve, number and quality of the oocytes retrieved and of the embryos obtained and transferred. FF VEGF levels were increased (4235 ± 1433 vs 3432 ± 1231 pg/ml), while Se P and inhibin A levels were significantly reduced (83.1 ± 34.1 vs 112.0 ± 58.8 ng/ml and 397.4 ± 223 vs 533.5 ± 283 pg/ml, respectively) in the non-pregnant group and were negatively correlated with FF VEGF (r = -0.482, p < 0.05; r = -0.468, p < 0.05) only in pregnant women. Conclusion Much has to be learned about the regulation and role of VEGF during the early luteal phase. We advance the hypothesis that the existence of a negative correlation between FF VEGF/Se P and FF VEGF/inhibin A in pregnant women might indicate the existence of a normal VEGF-mediated paracrine response when Se P and inhibin A levels are decreased. Excess production of FF VEGF and the absence of a correlation between FF VEGF/Se P and FF VEGF/inhibin A in non-pregnant women may be a paracrine reaction to immature luteal vasculature, resulting in luteal dysfunction. PMID:16197554

  4. Observing functional actions affects semantic processing of tools: evidence of a motor-to-semantic priming.

    PubMed

    De Bellis, Francesco; Ferrara, Antonia; Errico, Domenico; Panico, Francesco; Sagliano, Laura; Conson, Massimiliano; Trojano, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence shows that activation of motor information can favor identification of related tools, thus suggesting a strict link between motor and conceptual knowledge in cognitive representation of tools. However, the involvement of motor information in further semantic processing has not been elucidated. In three experiments, we aimed to ascertain whether motor information provided by observation of actions could affect processing of conceptual knowledge about tools. In Experiment 1, healthy participants judged whether pairs of tools evoking different functional handgrips had the same function. In Experiment 2 participants judged whether tools were paired with appropriate recipients. Finally, in Experiment 3 we again required functional judgments as in Experiment 1, but also included in the set of stimuli pairs of objects having different function and similar functional handgrips. In all experiments, pictures displaying either functional grasping (aimed to use tools) or structural grasping (just aimed to move tools independently from their use) were presented before each stimulus pair. The results demonstrated that, in comparison with structural grasping, observing functional grasping facilitates judgments about tools' function when objects did not imply the same functional manipulation (Experiment 1), whereas worsened such judgments when objects shared functional grasp (Experiment 3). Instead, action observation did not affect judgments concerning tool-recipient associations (Experiment 2). Our findings support a task-dependent influence of motor information on high-order conceptual tasks and provide further insights into how motor and conceptual processing about tools can interact.

  5. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  6. Melanocortins Mimic the Effects of Leptin to Restore Reproductive Function in Lean Hypogonadotropic Ewes

    PubMed Central

    Backholer, Kathryn; Bowden, Marissa; Gamber, Kevin; Bjørbæk, Christian; Iqbal, Javed; Clarke, Iain J.

    2010-01-01

    Background/Aims Leptin restores gonadotropic function in lean hypogonadotropic animals by an unknown mechanism. We aimed to test the hypothesis that restoration of gonadotropic function is a result of an upregulation of central acetylated melanocortin production. Methods and Results Lean ovariectomised (OVX) ewes received intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusions of leptin (or vehicle) for 3 days, which upregulated proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA and restored pulsatile luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion. A melanocortin agonist (MTII), but not naloxone treatment, reinstated pulsatile LH secretion in lean OVX ewes. We treated (i.c.v.) lean OVX ewes with leptin (or vehicle) and measured peptide levels and post-translational modification in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Levels of β-endorphin (β-END) were lower in lean animals, with no effect of leptin treatment. Desacetyl-α-MSH was the predominant form of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in the ARC and levels were similar in all groups. In another group of lean and normal-weight OVX ewes, we measured the different forms of α-MSH in ARC, hypothalamus (ARC-removed) and the preoptic area (POA). Acetylated α-MSH levels were lower in lean animals in the terminal beds of the hypothalamus and POA but not the ARC. Conclusions Leptin corrects the hypogonadotropic state in the lean condition by upregulation of POMC gene expression, and may increase transport and acetylation of melanocortins to target cells in the brain. Melanocortin treatment restores LH secretion in lean animals. PMID:19923792

  7. Effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on reproductive neuroendocrine function in the female: animal studies.

    PubMed

    Tyrey, L; Murphy, L L

    1984-01-01

    The rat experimental model has been utilized to demonstrate pronounced suppressive effects of THC on the secretion of both LH and PRL, a point of considerable interest since the tonic secretions of these two hormones are regulated in opposite fashions, that of LH requiring active stimulation, and that of PRL, continued inhibition. Moreover, both the tonic and surge modes of secretion of both hormones are inhibited or completely blocked by THC action even though these different secretory modes are presumed to be governed by different CNS regulatory mechanisms. The most direct explanation for this broad inhibitory capability of THC would be direct inhibitory action on the pituitary cells secreting LH and PRL. However, experimental evidence drawn from the rat model, consistent with that from other species, provides no support for the possibility of direct pituitary inhibition of significant consequence. Instead, the evidence strongly favors the hypothesis that THC exerts its neuroendocrine action centrally and thereby influences pituitary function through alterations in the release of hypothalamic hormones into the hypophysial portal circulation. With the evidence favoring a central neuroendocrine mechanism for THC action, the rat model becomes particularly valuable because of the enormous body of information already available regarding neuroendocrine function in that species. Initial experiments with the rat have failed to provide evidence supporting the possibility of direct THC action on the hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons terminating in the median eminence.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. 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

  9. Centrosome structure and function is altered by chloral hydrate and diazepam during the first reproductive cell cycles in sea urchin eggs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, H.; Chakrabarti, A.

    1998-01-01

    This paper explores the mode of action of the tranquillizers chloral hydrate and diazepam during fertilization and mitosis of the first reproductive cell cycles in sea urchin eggs. Most striking effects of these drugs are the alteration of centrosomal material and the abnormal microtubule configurations during exposure and after recovery from the drugs. This finding is utilized to study the mechanisms of centrosome compaction and decompaction and the dynamic configurational changes of centrosomal material and its interactions with microtubules. When 0.1% chloral hydrate or 350-750 microM diazepam is applied at specific phases during the first cell cycle of sea urchin eggs, expanded centrosomal material compacts at distinct regions and super-compacts into dense spheres while microtubules disassemble. When eggs are treated before pronuclear fusion, centrosomal material aggregates around each of the two pronuclei while microtubules disappear. Upon recovery, atypical asters oftentimes with multiple foci are formed from centrosomal material surrounding the pronuclei which indicates that the drugs have affected centrosomal material and prevent it from functioning normally. Electron microscopy and immunofluorescence studies with antibodies that routinely stain centrosomes in sea urchin eggs (4D2; and Ah-6) depict centrosomal material that is altered when compared to control cells. This centrosomal material is not able to reform normal microtubule patterns upon recovery but will form multiple asters around the two pronuclei. When cells are treated with 0.1% chloral hydrate or 350-750 microM diazepam during mitosis, the bipolar centrosomal material becomes compacted and aggregates into multiple dense spheres while spindle and polar microtubules disassemble. With increased incubation time, the smaller dense centrosome particles aggregate into bigger and fewer spheres. Upon recovery, unusual irregular microtubule configurations are formed from centrosomes that have lost their

  10. Function of G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor-1 in Reproductive System Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hongyan; Xuan, Jingxiu; Liu, Yuan; Shi, Guixiu

    2016-01-01

    The G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1 (GPER-1), also known as GPR30, is a novel estrogen receptor mediating estrogen receptor signaling in multiple cell types. The progress of estrogen-related cancer is promoted by GPER-1 activation through mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and phospholipase C (PLC) signaling pathways. However, this promoting effect of GPER-1 is nonclassic estrogen receptor (ER) dependent manner. In addition, clinical evidences revealed that GPER-1 is associated with estrogen resistance in estrogen-related cancer patients. These give a hint that GPER-1 may be a novel therapeutic target for the estrogen-related cancers. However, preclinical studies also found that GPER-1 activation of its special agonist G-1 inhibits cancer cell proliferation. This review aims to summarize the characteristics and complex functions of GPER-1 in cancers. PMID:27314054

  11. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health.

  12. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2015-01-01

    Flowering plants possess an unrivaled diversity of mechanisms for achieving sexual and asexual reproduction, often simultaneously. The commonest type of asexual reproduction is clonal growth (vegetative propagation) in which parental genotypes (genets) produce vegetative modules (ramets) that are capable of independent growth, reproduction, and often dispersal. Clonal growth leads to an expansion in the size of genets and increased fitness because large floral displays increase fertility and opportunities for outcrossing. Moreover, the clonal dispersal of vegetative propagules can assist “mate finding,” particularly in aquatic plants. However, there are ecological circumstances in which functional antagonism between sexual and asexual reproductive modes can negatively affect the fitness of clonal plants. Populations of heterostylous and dioecious species have a small number of mating groups (two or three), which should occur at equal frequency in equilibrium populations. Extensive clonal growth and vegetative dispersal can disrupt the functioning of these sexual polymorphisms, resulting in biased morph ratios and populations with a single mating group, with consequences for fertility and mating. In populations in which clonal propagation predominates, mutations reducing fertility may lead to sexual dysfunction and even the loss of sex. Recent evidence suggests that somatic mutations can play a significant role in influencing fitness in clonal plants and may also help explain the occurrence of genetic diversity in sterile clonal populations. Highly polymorphic genetic markers offer outstanding opportunities for gaining novel insights into functional interactions between sexual and clonal reproduction in flowering plants. PMID:26195747

  13. Long-Term Moderate Oxidative Stress Decreased Ovarian Reproductive Function by Reducing Follicle Quality and Progesterone Production

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Zhiwen; Tian, Yong; Fang, Li; Wu, Meng; Xiong, Jiaqiang; Qin, Xian; Luo, Aiyue; Wang, Shixuan

    2016-01-01

    decreased female reproductive function caused by long-term moderate oxidative damage may be due to a decrease in follicle quality and progesterone production. PMID:27676390

  14. Neuropeptidergic regulation of reproduction in insects.

    PubMed

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2013-07-01

    Successful animal reproduction depends on multiple physiological and behavioral processes that take place in a timely and orderly manner in both mating partners. It is not only necessary that all relevant processes are well coordinated, they also need to be adjusted to external factors of abiotic and biotic nature (e.g. population density, mating partner availability). Therefore, it is not surprising that several hormonal factors play a crucial role in the regulation of animal reproductive physiology. In insects (the largest class of animals on planet Earth), lipophilic hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones, as well as several neuropeptides take part in this complex regulation. While some peptides can affect reproduction via an indirect action (e.g. by influencing secretion of juvenile hormone), others exert their regulatory activity by directly targeting the reproductive system. In addition to insect peptides with proven activities, several others were suggested to also play a role in the regulation of reproductive physiology. Because of the long evolutionary history of many insect orders, it is not always clear to what extent functional data obtained in a given species can be extrapolated to other insect taxa. In this paper, we will review the current knowledge concerning the neuropeptidergic regulation of insect reproduction and situate it in a more general physiological context.

  15. Menstrual cycle influence on cognitive function and emotion processing—from a reproductive perspective

    PubMed Central

    Sundström Poromaa, Inger; Gingnell, Malin

    2014-01-01

    The menstrual cycle has attracted research interest ever since the 1930s. For many researchers the menstrual cycle is an excellent model of ovarian steroid influence on emotion, behavior, and cognition. Over the past years methodological improvements in menstrual cycle studies have been noted, and this review summarizes the findings of methodologically sound menstrual cycle studies in healthy women. Whereas the predominant hypotheses of the cognitive field state that sexually dimorphic cognitive skills that favor men are improved during menstrual cycle phases with low estrogen and that cognitive skills that favor women are improved during cycle phases with increased estrogen and/or progesterone, this review has not found sufficient evidence to support any of these hypotheses. Mental rotation has gained specific interest in this aspect, but a meta-analysis yielded a standardized mean difference in error rate of 1.61 (95% CI −0.35 to 3.57), suggesting, at present, no favor of an early follicular phase improvement in mental rotation performance. Besides the sexually dimorphic cognitive skills, studies exploring menstrual cycle effects on tasks that probe prefrontal cortex function, for instance verbal or spatial working memory, have also been reviewed. While studies thus far are few, results at hand suggest improved performance at times of high estradiol levels. Menstrual cycle studies on emotional processing, on the other hand, tap into the emotional disorders of the luteal phase, and may be of relevance for women with premenstrual disorders. Although evidence at present is limited, it is suggested that emotion recognition, consolidation of emotional memories, and fear extinction is modulated by the menstrual cycle in women. With the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, several studies report changes in brain reactivity across the menstrual cycle, most notably increased amygdala reactivity in the luteal phase. Thus, to the extent that behavioral changes

  16. The impact of reproduction on the stress axis of free-living male northern red backed voles (Myodes rutilus).

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Quinn E; Dantzer, Ben; Boonstra, Rudy

    2015-12-01

    Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis culminates in the release of glucocorticoids (henceforth CORT), which have wide-reaching physiological effects. Three hypotheses potentially explain seasonal variation in CORT. The enabling hypothesis predicts that reproductive season CORT exceeds post-reproductive season CORT because CORT enables reproductive investment. The inhibitory hypothesis predicts the opposite because CORT can negatively affect reproductive function. The costs of reproduction hypothesis predicts that HPA axis condition declines over and following the reproductive season. We tested these hypotheses in wild male red-backed voles (Myodes rutilus) during the reproductive and post-reproductive seasons. We quantified CORT levels in response to restraint stress tests consisting of three blood samples (initial, stress-induced, and recovery). Mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptor mRNA levels in the brain were also quantified over the reproductive season. Total CORT (tCORT) in the initial and stress-induced samples were greater in the post-reproductive than in the reproductive season, which supported the inhibitory hypothesis. Conversely, free CORT (fCORT) did not differ between the reproductive and post-reproductive seasons, which was counter to both the enabling and inhibitory hypotheses. Evidence for HPA axis condition decline in CORT as well as GR and MR mRNA over the reproductive season (i.e. costs of reproduction hypothesis) was mixed. Moreover, all of the parameters that showed signs of declining condition over the reproductive season did not also show signs of declining condition over the post-reproductive season suggesting that the costs resulting from reproductive investment had subsided. In conclusion, our results suggest that different aspects of the HPA axis respond differently to seasonal changes and reproductive investment.

  17. Relative Importance of the Arcuate and Anteroventral Periventricular Kisspeptin Neurons in Control of Puberty and Reproductive Function in Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Hu, M. H.; Li, X. F.; McCausland, B.; Li, S. Y.; Gresham, R.; Kinsey-Jones, J. S.; Gardiner, J. V.; Sam, A. H.; Bloom, S. R.; Poston, L.; Lightman, S. L.; Murphy, K. G.

    2015-01-01

    Kisspeptin plays a critical role in pubertal timing and reproductive function. In rodents, kisspeptin perikarya within the hypothalamic arcuate (ARC) and anteroventral periventricular (AVPV) nuclei are thought to be involved in LH pulse and surge generation, respectively. Using bilateral microinjections of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding kisspeptin antisense into the ARC or AVPV of female rats at postnatal day 10, we investigated the relative importance of these two kisspeptin populations in the control of pubertal timing, estrous cyclicity, and LH surge and pulse generation. A 37% knockdown of kisspeptin in the AVPV resulted in a significant delay in vaginal opening and first vaginal estrous, abnormal estrous cyclicity, and reduction in the occurrence of spontaneous LH surges, although these retained normal amplitude. This AVPV knockdown had no effect on LH pulse frequency, measured after ovariectomy. A 32% reduction of kisspeptin in the ARC had no effect on the onset of puberty but resulted in abnormal estrous cyclicity and decreased LH pulse frequency. Additionally, the knockdown of kisspeptin in the ARC decreased the amplitude but not the incidence of LH surges. These results might suggest that the role of AVPV kisspeptin in the control of pubertal timing is particularly sensitive to perturbation. In accordance with our previous studies, ARC kisspeptin signaling was critical for normal pulsatile LH secretion in female rats. Despite the widely reported role of AVPV kisspeptin neurons in LH surge generation, this study suggests that both AVPV and ARC populations are essential for normal LH surges and estrous cyclicity. PMID:25875299

  18. Specific LED-based red light photo-stimulation procedures improve overall sperm function and reproductive performance of boar ejaculates

    PubMed Central

    Yeste, Marc; Codony, Francesc; Estrada, Efrén; Lleonart, Miquel; Balasch, Sam; Peña, Alejandro; Bonet, Sergi; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E.

    2016-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of exposing liquid-stored boar semen to different red light LED regimens on sperm quality and reproductive performance. Of all of the tested photo-stimulation procedures, the best pattern consisted of 10 min light, 10 min rest and 10 min of further light (10-10-10 pattern). This pattern induced an intense and transient increase in the majority of motility parameters, without modifying sperm viability and acrosome integrity. While incubating non-photo-stimulated sperm at 37 °C for 90 min decreased all sperm quality parameters, this reduction was prevented when the previously-described light procedure was applied. This effect was concomitant with an increase in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential. When sperm were subjected to ‘in vitro’ capacitation, photo-stimulation also increased the percentage of sperm with capacitation-like changes in membrane structure. On the other hand, treating commercial semen doses intended for artificial insemination with the 10-10-10 photo-stimulation pattern significantly increased farrowing rates and the number of both total and live-born piglets for parturition. Therefore, our results indicate that a precise photo-stimulation procedure is able to increase the fertilising ability of boar sperm via a mechanism that could be related to mitochondrial function. PMID:26931070

  19. Specific LED-based red light photo-stimulation procedures improve overall sperm function and reproductive performance of boar ejaculates.

    PubMed

    Yeste, Marc; Codony, Francesc; Estrada, Efrén; Lleonart, Miquel; Balasch, Sam; Peña, Alejandro; Bonet, Sergi; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E

    2016-03-02

    The present study evaluated the effects of exposing liquid-stored boar semen to different red light LED regimens on sperm quality and reproductive performance. Of all of the tested photo-stimulation procedures, the best pattern consisted of 10 min light, 10 min rest and 10 min of further light (10-10-10 pattern). This pattern induced an intense and transient increase in the majority of motility parameters, without modifying sperm viability and acrosome integrity. While incubating non-photo-stimulated sperm at 37 °C for 90 min decreased all sperm quality parameters, this reduction was prevented when the previously-described light procedure was applied. This effect was concomitant with an increase in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential. When sperm were subjected to 'in vitro' capacitation, photo-stimulation also increased the percentage of sperm with capacitation-like changes in membrane structure. On the other hand, treating commercial semen doses intended for artificial insemination with the 10-10-10 photo-stimulation pattern significantly increased farrowing rates and the number of both total and live-born piglets for parturition. Therefore, our results indicate that a precise photo-stimulation procedure is able to increase the fertilising ability of boar sperm via a mechanism that could be related to mitochondrial function.

  20. Relative Importance of the Arcuate and Anteroventral Periventricular Kisspeptin Neurons in Control of Puberty and Reproductive Function in Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Hu, M H; Li, X F; McCausland, B; Li, S Y; Gresham, R; Kinsey-Jones, J S; Gardiner, J V; Sam, A H; Bloom, S R; Poston, L; Lightman, S L; Murphy, K G; O'Byrne, K T

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin plays a critical role in pubertal timing and reproductive function. In rodents, kisspeptin perikarya within the hypothalamic arcuate (ARC) and anteroventral periventricular (AVPV) nuclei are thought to be involved in LH pulse and surge generation, respectively. Using bilateral microinjections of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding kisspeptin antisense into the ARC or AVPV of female rats at postnatal day 10, we investigated the relative importance of these two kisspeptin populations in the control of pubertal timing, estrous cyclicity, and LH surge and pulse generation. A 37% knockdown of kisspeptin in the AVPV resulted in a significant delay in vaginal opening and first vaginal estrous, abnormal estrous cyclicity, and reduction in the occurrence of spontaneous LH surges, although these retained normal amplitude. This AVPV knockdown had no effect on LH pulse frequency, measured after ovariectomy. A 32% reduction of kisspeptin in the ARC had no effect on the onset of puberty but resulted in abnormal estrous cyclicity and decreased LH pulse frequency. Additionally, the knockdown of kisspeptin in the ARC decreased the amplitude but not the incidence of LH surges. These results might suggest that the role of AVPV kisspeptin in the control of pubertal timing is particularly sensitive to perturbation. In accordance with our previous studies, ARC kisspeptin signaling was critical for normal pulsatile LH secretion in female rats. Despite the widely reported role of AVPV kisspeptin neurons in LH surge generation, this study suggests that both AVPV and ARC populations are essential for normal LH surges and estrous cyclicity.