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  1. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Teens > Female Reproductive System Print A ... and female reproductive systems. continue What Is the Female Reproductive System? Most species have two sexes: male and female. ...

  2. How female education affects reproductive behavior in urban Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Sathar, Z A; Mason, K O

    1993-01-01

    Although Pakistan remains in a pretransitional stage (contraceptive prevalence of only 11.9% among married women in 1992), urban women with post-primary levels of education are spearheading the gradual move toward fertility transition. Data collected in the city of Karachi in 1987 were used to determine whether the inverse association between fertility and female education is attributable to child supply variables, demand factors, or fertility regulation costs. Karachi, with its high concentration of women with secondary educations employed in professional occupations, has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 31%. Among women married for less than 20 years, a 10-year increment in education predicts that a woman will average two-fifths of a child less than other women in the previous 5 years. Regression analysis identified 4 significant intervening variables in the education-fertility relationship: marriage duration, net family income, formal sector employment, and age at first marriage. Education appears to affect fertility because it promotes a later age at marriage and thus reduces life-time exposure to the risk of childbearing, induces women to marry men with higher incomes (a phenomenon that either reduces the cost of fertility regulation or the demand for children), leads women to become employed in the formal sector (leading to a reduction in the demand for children), and has other unspecified effects on women's values or opportunities that are captured by their birth cohort. When these intervening variables are held constant, women's attitude toward family planning loses its impact on fertility, as do women's domestic autonomy and their expectations of self-support in old age. These findings lend support to increased investments in female education in urban Pakistan as a means of limiting the childbearing of married women. Although it is not clear if investment in female education would have the same effect in rural Pakistan, such action is important from a

  3. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

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

  4. Normal Female Reproductive Anatomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... hyphen, e.g. -historical Searches are case-insensitive Reproductive System, Female, Anatomy Add to My Pictures View /Download : Small: ... Reproductive System, Female, Anatomy Description: Anatomy of the female reproductive system; drawing shows the uterus, myometrium (muscular outer layer ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring. PMID:25253454

  10. Female Reproductive System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, N. J.

    This autoinstructional lesson can be used with health education and/or biology classes in a high school curriculum. It deals with the study of human development with emphasis on the female reproductive organs and cycles. The behavioral objectives are given, and the materials and equipment needed to gain these objectives are itemized. Fifteen…

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Oral administration of leaf extracts of Momordica charantia affect reproductive hormones of adult female Wistar rats

    PubMed Central

    Adewale, Osonuga Odusoga; Oduyemi, Osonuga Ifabunmi; Ayokunle, Osonuga

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine the effect of graded doses of aqueous leaf extracts of Momordica charantia on fertility hormones of female albino rats. Methods Twenty adult, healthy, female Wistar rats were divided into four groups: low dose (LD), moderate dose (MD) and high dose (HD) groups which received 12.5 g, 25.0 g, 50.0 g of the leaf extract respectively and control group that was given with water ad libatum. Result Estrogen levels reduced by 6.40 nmol/L, 10.80 nmol/L and 28.00 nmol/L in the LD, MD and HD groups respectively while plasma progesterone of rats in the LD, MD and HD groups reduced by 24.20 nmol/L, 40.8 nmol/L and 59.20 nmol/L respectively. Conclusion Our study has shown that the antifertility effect of Momordica charantia is achieved in a dose dependent manner. Hence, cautious use of such medication should be advocated especially when managing couples for infertility. PMID:25183143

  17. Metals and female reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, P; Banerjee, R; Nath, S; Das, S; Banerjee, S

    2015-07-01

    Research into occupational exposure of metals and consequences of reproductive systems has made imperative scientific offerings in the preceding few decades. Early research works focused on possible effects on the reproductive functions rather than the complete reproductive health of the woman. Later, it was realized that metals, as reproductive toxins, may also induce hormonal changes affecting other facets of reproductive health such as the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and fertility. Concern is now shifting from considerations for the pregnant woman to the entire spectrum of occupational health threats and thus reproductive health among women. PMID:25425549

  18. 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. PMID:24657670

  19. 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

  20. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... may be fertilized by sperm, provide a favorable environment for the developing fetus , move the fetus to the outside at the end of the development period, and produce the female sex hormones. The ...

  1. Chapter 22: Female Reproductive Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    The female reproductive system provides multiple targets for environmental toxicants with the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Moreover, the functional impact of a chemical can differ, depending on the species involved and the parameters of exposure. While cross-species compa...

  2. Neonatal exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol affects ovarian gene expression and disrupts reproductive cycles in female rats.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Kaori; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Zhang, Haolin; Usuda, Kento; Okazaki, Sachiko; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Yoshida, Midori; Watanabe, Gen

    2014-07-01

    Neonatal exposure to synthetic estrogen causes delayed reproductive dysfunction in female rats. Exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol (EE, low: 20 and high: 2000 μg/kg) induced an abnormal estrous cycle during PND171-190 in low-dose and PND126-145 in high-dose group. At PND90 within normal estrous cycle, high-dose animals showed lack of LH surge and low of ovarian hormones in serum level. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that level of mRNA encoding luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) was higher in EE-treated ovaries than in control ovaries, and LHCGR protein colocalized with apoptosis-related proteins in the interstitial area of the ovary. At PND1, ovarian LHCGR mRNA levels were higher in EE-treated rats than in control rats, and direct induction of LHCGR expression by EE was observed in vitro. Our results indicate that neonatal exposure to EE induces irregular LHCGR expression in the immature ovary, which may influence the occurrence of delayed reproductive dysfunction in adult animals. PMID:24632129

  3. Aging changes in the female reproductive system

    MedlinePlus

    ... ency/article/004016.htm Aging changes in the female reproductive system To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Aging changes in the female reproductive system result mainly from changing hormone levels . One clear ...

  4. Female reproductive cycles of wild female felids.

    PubMed

    Brown, Janine L

    2011-04-01

    Many felid species are endangered because of destructive human activities. As a result, zoos are being tasked with sustaining genetically healthy populations in case of catastrophic extinctions. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few species, most felids do not reproduce well in captivity. The ability to track reproductive activity via hormones is key to developing successful ex situ breeding programs. Through the development of noninvasive fecal hormone monitoring techniques, a high degree of variability in estrous cycle characteristics has been found to exist across the taxon, including the type of ovulation. For example, although all felids have induced ovulations, the occurrence of spontaneous ovulations varies across species, and even between individuals within a species. Clouded leopards, fishing cats and margays frequently have spontaneous ovulations, whereas these are rarely observed in the cheetah, tigrina and ocelot. There are marked species differences in the impact of season on reproductive function, with some being exquisitely sensitive to photoperiod (e.g., Pallas' cat), some moderately affected (tiger, clouded leopard, snow leopard), and others that are not influenced at all (e.g., ocelot, tigrina, margay, lion, leopard, fishing cat). One of the greatest challenges remaining is overcoming the problems associated with highly variable ovarian responses to ovulation induction therapies used with assisted reproductive procedures, like artificial insemination (AI). Success is relatively high in the cheetah and ocelot, but few pregnancies have resulted after AI in clouded leopard, fishing cat and tiger. Current knowledge of the reproductive physiology of nondomestic felids, including aspects of the anatomy, behavior and ovarian cycles will be presented, and how the rapidly growing endocrine database is aiding ex situ management efforts. PMID:20888156

  5. Female Reproductive System and Bone

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Bart L.; Khosla, Sundeep

    2010-01-01

    The female reproductive system plays a major role in regulating the acquisition and loss of bone by the skeleton from menarche through senescence. Onset of gonadal sex steroid secretion at puberty is the major factor responsible for skeletal longitudinal and radial growth, as well as significant gain in bone density, until peak bone density is achieved in third decade of life. Gonadal sex steroids then help maintain peak bone density until menopause, including during the transient changes in skeletal mineral content associated with pregnancy and lactation. At menopause, decreased gonadal sex steroid production normally leads to rapid bone loss. The most rapid bone loss associated with decreased estrogen levels occurs in the first 8–10 years after menopause, with slower age-related bone loss occurring during later life. Age-related bone loss in women after the early menopausal phase of bone loss is caused by ongoing gonadal sex steroid deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, and secondary hyperparathyroidism. Other factors also contribute to age-related bone loss, including intrinsic defects in osteoblast function, impairment of the GH/IGF axis, reduced peak bone mass, age-associated sarcopenia, and various sporadic secondary causes. Further understanding of the relative contributions of the female reproductive system and each of the other factors to development and maintenance of the female skeleton, bone loss, and fracture risk will lead to improved approaches for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:20637179

  6. Growth performance and reproductive traits at first parity of New Zealand white female rabbits as affected by heat stress and its alleviation under Egyptian conditions.

    PubMed

    Marai, I F; Ayyat, M S; Abd el-Monem, U M

    2001-12-01

    Exposing growing and adult New Zealand White (NZW) female rabbits to severe heat stress (temperature-humidity index = 28.9) during summer adversely affected their growth and reproductive traits. The traits that declined significantly (p < 0.01) were the live body weight, daily weight gain and feed intake of growing rabbits, and the litter size and litter weight at weaning (p < 0.05) and the pre-weaning weight gain of pups (p < 0.01) for adult females. The conception rate declined considerably with heat stress. The declines in the values of the digestibility coefficients due to heat stress were 7.9% (p < 0.05) for dry matter (DM), 8.1% (p < 0.05) for crude protein (CP) and 1.0% for crude fibre (CF). The traits that increased significantly (p < 0.01) due to heat stress were water intake, water/feed ratio and rectal temperature in growing rabbits and pre-weaning mortality for adult females. Alleviation of heat stress in the growing and adult female NZW rabbits was more efficient with drinking cool water (10-15 degrees C; between 10:00 and 17:00) than with supplementation with palm oil (as a source of energy) or natural clay (as a natural enhancer to growth and milk production). Supplying the animals with cool drinking water gave the highest body weight and weight gain, conception rate, litter size and weight and digestibility coefficients for DM and CP and the lowest rectal temperature, respiration rate and pre-weaning mortality. The loss in rabbit production pertaining to heat stress estimated from the percentages of decline in conception rate x pre-weaning mortality x litter weight at weaning was 73.0%. The provision of cool water restored 11/12 of heat loss. PMID:11770200

  7. Individual variation in reproductive costs of reproduction: high-quality females always do better.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2009-01-01

    1. Although life-history theory predicts substantial costs of reproduction, individuals often show positive correlations among life-history traits, rather than trade-offs. The apparent absence of reproductive costs may result from heterogeneity in individual quality. 2. Using detailed longitudinal data from three contrasted ungulate populations (mountain goats, Oreamnos americanus; bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis; and roe deer, Capreolus capreolus), we assessed how individual quality affects the probability of detecting a cost of current reproduction on future reproduction for females. We used a composite measure of individual quality based on variations in longevity (all species), success in the last breeding opportunity before death (goats and sheep), adult mass (all species), and social rank (goats only). 3. In all species, high-quality females consistently had a higher probability of reproduction, irrespective of previous reproductive status. In mountain goats, we detected a cost of reproduction only after accounting for differences in individual quality. Only low-quality female goats were less likely to reproduce following years of breeding than of nonbreeding. Offspring survival was lower in bighorn ewes following years of successful breeding than after years when no lamb was produced, but only for low-quality females, suggesting that a cost of reproduction only occurred for low-quality females. 4. Because costs of reproduction differ among females, studies of life-history evolution must account for heterogeneity in individual quality. PMID:18700872

  8. Quantitative genomics of female reproduction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous quantitative trait loci (QTL) for reproductive traits in domestic livestock have been described in the literature. In this chapter, the components needed for detection of reproductive trait QTL are described, including collection of phenotypes, genotypes, and the appropriate statistical ana...

  9. Peri-pubertal administration of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) affects reproductive organ development in male but not female Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Lent, Emily May; Crouse, Lee C B; Wallace, Shannon M; Carroll, Erica E

    2015-11-01

    Nitrotriazolone (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one; NTO) is an insensitive munition that has demonstrated effects on reproductive organs in adult male rats. NTO was administered to male (0, 250, and 500milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg-day)) and female (0, 500, and 1000mg/kg-day) Sprague-Dawley rats (15/sex/group) via oral gavage from weaning through post-natal day 53/54 and 42/43, respectively. Age and body mass at vaginal opening (VO) and preputial separation (PPS), as well as all measures of estrous cyclicity were not affected by treatment with NTO. Males treated with NTO exhibited reductions in testis mass associated with tubular degeneration/atrophy. Less pronounced reductions in accessory sex organ masses were also observed in the 500mg/kg-day group. Treatment with NTO did not affect thyroid hormone or testosterone levels. These findings suggest that NTO is not acting as an estrogen or thyroid active compound, but may indicate effects on steroidogenesis and/or direct testicular toxicity. PMID:25962730

  10. Female reproductive issues in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    McCombe, Pamela A; Greer, Judith M

    2013-04-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is more common in females than males and frequently affects women during their reproductive years. Thus, issues surrounding pregnancy and reproduction are of concern to women with MS. This review documents studies that shed light on reproductive issues in women with MS. The available literature was searched for papers relating to pregnancy and MS. Pregnancy is protective in MS in the short term, perhaps due to modulation of the immune system in pregnancy. It also possible that changes in the brain in pregnancy could protect against the effects of inflammation. The long-term effects of pregnancy also seem to be beneficial to MS, perhaps due to long-term epigenetic changes or possibly due to the effects of fetal microchimerism. Obstetric outcomes in women with MS are similar to those in the general population. In addition, there have been no reports of severe fetal abnormalities in babies exposed to first-line MS therapies. There is no good evidence that breast-feeding is protective in MS. There is no evidence that oral contraceptive pill use predisposes to MS, nor influences the clinical course of MS. After menopause, there is possible deterioration of MS, but it's difficult to disentangle this from the effects of aging and the natural progressive history of MS. The strong biological effect of pregnancy on MS deserves further study, so that these mechanisms can possibly be replicated as therapies for MS. PMID:22733837

  11. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Brents, Lisa K.

    2016-01-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system. PMID:27354844

  12. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.

    PubMed

    Brents, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system. PMID:27354844

  13. Immune cells in the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sung Ki; Kim, Chul Jung; Kim, Dong-Jae; Kang, Jee-Hyun

    2015-02-01

    The female reproductive tract has two main functions: protection against microbial challenge and maintenance of pregnancy to term. The upper reproductive tract comprises the fallopian tubes and the uterus, including the endocervix, and the lower tract consists of the ectocervix and the vagina. Immune cells residing in the reproductive tract play contradictory roles: they maintain immunity against vaginal pathogens in the lower tract and establish immune tolerance for sperm and an embryo/fetus in the upper tract. The immune system is significantly influenced by sex steroid hormones, although leukocytes in the reproductive tract lack receptors for estrogen and progesterone. The leukocytes in the reproductive tract are distributed in either an aggregated or a dispersed form in the epithelial layer, lamina propria, and stroma. Even though immune cells are differentially distributed in each organ of the reproductive tract, the predominant immune cells are T cells, macrophages/dendritic cells, natural killer (NK) cells, neutrophils, and mast cells. B cells are rare in the female reproductive tract. NK cells in the endometrium significantly expand in the late secretory phase and further increase their number during early pregnancy. It is evident that NK cells and regulatory T (Treg) cells are extremely important in decidual angiogenesis, trophoblast migration, and immune tolerance during pregnancy. Dysregulation of endometrial/decidual immune cells is strongly related to infertility, miscarriage, and other obstetric complications. Understanding the immune system of the female reproductive tract will significantly contribute to women's health and to success in pregnancy. PMID:25713505

  14. Photoperiod and reproduction in female deer mice

    SciTech Connect

    Whitsett, J.M.; Miller, L.L.

    1982-03-01

    Female deer mice were exposed to a short day photoperiod beginning during 1 of 3 stages of life. In the first experiment, exposure to SD during adulthood resulted in a minimal disruption of reproductive condition; many females bore 2 litters after the onset of this treatment. In the second experiment, females reared on SD from weaning matured normally, as measured by vaginal introitus; however, vaginal closure occurred in approximately one-half of these females by 9 weeks of age. In the third experiment, females were born of mothers housed on either an SD or a long day photoperiod, and were continued on the maternal photoperiod until 6 weeks of postnatal age. The SD photoperiod markedly inhibited reproductive maturation as measured by vaginal patency, ovarian weight, and uterine weight. A comparison of reproductive organ weights and vaginal condition provided evidence for the validity of the latter measure as an index of reproductive state. As assayed by the present testing procedure, the sensitivity of the reproductive system to photoperiod decreases as a function of age in female deer mice.

  15. Thyroid diseases and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Mintziori, G; Anagnostis, P; Toulis, K A; Goulis, D G

    2012-02-01

    Thyroid diseases are very common in women of reproductive age. The aim of this study was to review the current evidence on physiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of women with thyroid disorders that are currently seeking fertility, undergoing assisted reproduction technologies (ART) or being pregnant. Normal thyroid function is essential for normal function of the gonadal axis, thus important in maintaining normal reproductive capacity. On the contrary, any type of thyroid dysfunction may reduce the likelihood of pregnancy; the latter can be restored to normal after appropriate treatment. Over eight million children have been born as a result of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) since 1978. As these procedures are becoming more common in clinical practice, the exact impact of thyroid status on reproductive outcomes as well as that of drugs used in ART on thyroid function has to be fully elucidated. Maternal thyroid function is crucial, especially during the first weeks of gestation, for offspring's wellness and brain development. On the other hand, normal physiological mechanisms during gestation can have a major impact on maternal thyroid function. As human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)-like effect, high hCG concentrations are associated with thyroid stimulation, both functionally (lower serum TSH concentrations) and anatomically (increased thyroid volume). Although the association between maternal hypothyroidism and increased perinatal morbidity has been described for over a century, more recently, even the presence of anti-thyroid antibodies has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as recurrent abortions and placental abruption. This is of major clinical significance, as anti-thyroid antibodies are surprisingly prevalent in pregnancy, especially during the first two trimesters. PMID:22278068

  16. 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.

  17. Ultrasonographic Doppler Use for Female Reproduction Management.

    PubMed

    Bollwein, Heinrich; Heppelmann, Maike; Lüttgenau, Johannes

    2016-03-01

    Transrectal color Doppler ultrasonography is a useful technique to get new information about physiologic and pathophysiologic alterations of the uterus and ovaries in female cattle. During all reproductive stages characteristic changes in uterine blood flow are observed. Cows with puerperal disturbances show delayed decrease in uterine blood flow in the first few weeks postparturition compared with healthy cows. Measurement of follicular blood flow is used to identify normally developing follicles and predict superovulatory response. Determination of luteal blood is more reliable than B-mode sonography to distinguish between functional and nonfunctional corpora lutea. Color Doppler ultrasonography is a promising tool to improve reproductive management in female cattle. PMID:26922117

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  19. Role of vitamin D in female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Shahrokhi, Seyedeh Zahra; Ghaffari, Firouzeh; Kazerouni, Faranak

    2016-04-01

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that belongs to the family of steroid hormones. The biological actions of vitamin D are exerted through a soluble protein, the vitamin D receptor (VDR). VDR is a transcription factor located in the nuclei of target cells that mediates the genomic action of the active form of vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3). This transcription factor is distributed in various tissues, including the reproductive system. The presence of VDR in female reproductive tissue suggests that vitamin D is involved in female reproduction. The present article reviews the impact of vitamin D on anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), as an ovarian reserve marker, and ovarian steroidogenesis. This article also discusses the impact of vitamin D as a factor that influences infertility and the outcome of in vitro fertilization (IVF), insulin resistance (IR), hyperandrogenism, endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PMID:26747961

  20. Complex Chemosensory Control of Female Reproductive Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Eleanor J.; Shah, Nirao M.

    2014-01-01

    Olfaction exerts a profound influence on reproductive physiology and behavior in many animals, including rodents. Odors are recognized by sensory neurons residing in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in mice and many other vertebrates. The relative contributions of the MOE and VNO in the display of female behaviors are not well understood. Mice null for Cnga2 or Trpc2 essentially lack odor-evoked activity in the MOE and VNO, respectively. Using females mutant for one or both of Cnga2 and Trpc2, we find that maternal care is differentially regulated by the MOE and VNO: retrieval of wandering pups requires the MOE and is regulated redundantly by the VNO whereas maternal aggression requires both sensory epithelia to be functional. Female sexual receptivity appears to be regulated by both the MOE and VNO. Trpc2 null females have previously been shown to display male-type mounting towards other males. Remarkably, we find that females double mutant for Cnga2 and Trpc2 continue to mount other males, indicating that the disinhibition of male-type sexual displays observed in Trpc2 null females does not require chemosensory input from a functional MOE. Taken together, our findings reveal a previously unappreciated complexity in the chemosensory control of reproductive behaviors in the female mouse. PMID:24587340

  1. Complex chemosensory control of female reproductive behaviors.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Eleanor J; Shah, Nirao M

    2014-01-01

    Olfaction exerts a profound influence on reproductive physiology and behavior in many animals, including rodents. Odors are recognized by sensory neurons residing in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in mice and many other vertebrates. The relative contributions of the MOE and VNO in the display of female behaviors are not well understood. Mice null for Cnga2 or Trpc2 essentially lack odor-evoked activity in the MOE and VNO, respectively. Using females mutant for one or both of Cnga2 and Trpc2, we find that maternal care is differentially regulated by the MOE and VNO: retrieval of wandering pups requires the MOE and is regulated redundantly by the VNO whereas maternal aggression requires both sensory epithelia to be functional. Female sexual receptivity appears to be regulated by both the MOE and VNO. Trpc2 null females have previously been shown to display male-type mounting towards other males. Remarkably, we find that females double mutant for Cnga2 and Trpc2 continue to mount other males, indicating that the disinhibition of male-type sexual displays observed in Trpc2 null females does not require chemosensory input from a functional MOE. Taken together, our findings reveal a previously unappreciated complexity in the chemosensory control of reproductive behaviors in the female mouse. PMID:24587340

  2. Reproductive performance of female Alaskan caribou

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, L.G.; Dale, B.W.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the reproductive performance of female caribou (Rangjfer tarandus granti) in relation to age, physical condition, and reproductive experience for 9 consecutive years (1987-95) at Denali National Park, Alaska, during a period of wide variation in winter snowfall. Caribou in Denali differed from other cervid populations where reproductive performance has been investigated, because they occur at low densities (less than or equal to 0.3/km(2)) and experience high losses of young to predation. Females first gave birth at 2-6 years old; 56% of these females were 3 years old. Average annual natality rates increased from 27% for 2-year-olds to 100% for 7-year-olds, remained high for 7-13-year-olds (98%), and then declined for females greater than or equal to 14 years old. Females greater than or equal to 2 years old that failed to reproduce were primarily sexually immature (76%). Reproductive pauses of sexually mature females occurred predominantly in young (3-6 yr old) and old (greater than or equal to 14 yr old) females. Natality increased with body mass for 10-month-old females weighed 6 months prior to the autumn breeding season (P = 0.007), and for females >1 year old and weighed during autumn (late Sep-early Nov; P = 0.003). Natality for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-year-olds declined with increasing late-winter snowfall (Feb-May; P less than or equal to 0.039) during the winter prior to breeding. In most years, a high percentage of sexually mature females reproduced, and lactation status at die time of breeding did not influence productivity the following year. However, following particularly high snowfall during February-September 1992, productivity was reduced in 1993 for cows successfully rearing calves to autumn the precious year. High losses of calves to predators in 1992 may have increased productivity in 1993. Losses of young-of-the year to predation prior to the annual breeding season can be an important influence on subsequent productivity for ungulate

  3. Malignant Tumors of the Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Labrèche, France

    2012-01-01

    This review summarizes the epidemiology of cancer of the female reproductive system and associated lifestyle factors. It also assesses the available evidence for occupational factors associated with these cancers. Cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers are relatively common, and cause significant cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide, whereas vulvar, vaginal, fallopian tube cancers, and choriocarcinomas are very rare. As several lifestyle factors are known to play a major role in the etiology of these cancers, very few published studies have investigated possible relationships with occupational factors. Some occupational exposures have been associated with increased risks of these cancers, but apart from the available evidence on the relationships between asbestos fibers and ovarian cancer, and tetrachloroethylene and cervical cancer, the data is rather scarce. Given the multifactorial nature of cancers of the female reproductive system, it is of the utmost importance to conduct occupational studies that will gather detailed data on potential individual confounding factors, in particular reproductive history and other factors that influence the body's hormonal environment, together with information on socio-economic status and lifestyle factors, including physical activity from multiple sources. Studies on the mechanisms of carcinogenesis in the female reproductive organs are also needed in order to elucidate the possible role of chemical exposures in the development of these cancers. PMID:23019529

  4. Role of leptin in female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Pérez, Antonio; Sánchez-Jiménez, Flora; Maymó, Julieta; Dueñas, José L; Varone, Cecilia; Sánchez-Margalet, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive function is dependent on energy resources. The role of weight, body composition, fat distribution and the effect of diet have been largely investigated in experimental female animals as well as in women. Any alteration in diet and/or weight may induce abnormalities in timing of sexual maturation and fertility. However, the cellular mechanisms involved in the fine coordination of energy balance and reproduction are largely unknown. The brain and hypothalamic structures receive endocrine and/or metabolic signals providing information on the nutritional status and the degree of fat stores. Adipose tissue acts both as a store of energy and as an active endocrine organ, secreting a large number of biologically important molecules termed adipokines. Adipokines have been shown to be involved in regulation of the reproductive functions. The first adipokine described was leptin. Extensive research over the last 10 years has shown that leptin is not only an adipose tissue-derived messenger of the amount of energy stores to the brain, but also a crucial hormone/cytokine for a number of diverse physiological processes, such as inflammation, angiogenesis, hematopoiesis, immune function, and most importantly, reproduction. Leptin plays an integral role in the normal physiology of the reproductive system with complex interactions at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis. In addition, leptin is also produced by placenta, where it plays an important autocrine function. Observational studies have demonstrated that states of leptin excess, deficiency, or resistance can be associated with abnormal reproductive function. This review focuses on the leptin action in female reproduction. PMID:25014521

  5. Determinants of reproductive success in dominant female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Sarah J; Manica, A; Flower, T P; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2008-01-01

    1. In cooperative societies with high reproductive skew, selection on females is likely to operate principally through variation in the probability of acquiring dominant status and variation in reproductive success while dominant. Despite this, few studies of cooperative societies have investigated the factors that influence which females become dominant, and/or their reproductive output while in the dominant position. 2. Here we use long-term data from a wild meerkats population to describe variation in the breeding success of dominant female meerkats Suricata suricatta and investigate its causes. 3. Female meerkats compete intensely for breeding positions, and the probability of acquiring the breeding role depends upon a female's age in relation to competitors and her weight, both at the time of dominance acquisition and early in life. 4. Once dominant, individual differences in breeding success depend principally on the duration of dominance tenure. Females remain for longer in the dominant position if they are heavier than their competitors at the start of dominance, and if the number of adult female competitors at the start is low. 5. Female breeding success is also affected by variation in fecundity and pup survival, both of which increase with group size. After controlling for these effects, female body weight has a positive influence on breeding rate and litter size, while the number of adult female competitors reduces litter survival. 6. These findings suggest that selection for body weight and competitive ability will be high in female meerkats, which may moderate their investment in cooperative activities. We suggest that similar consequences of competition may occur among females in other cooperative societies where the benefits of attaining dominance status are high. PMID:18031526

  6. Reproductive hacking. A male seminal protein acts through intact reproductive pathways in female Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Rubinstein, C Dustin; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through "hacking" a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  7. Effects of physical exercise on the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Orio, F; Muscogiuri, G; Ascione, A; Marciano, F; Volpe, A; La Sala, G; Savastano, S; Colao, A; Palomba, S

    2013-09-01

    The excess in physical activity could be closely linked to considerable negative consequences on the whole body. These dysfunctions called as "female athlete triad"' by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) include amenorrhea, osteoporosis and disorder eating. The female athlete triad poses serious health risks, both on the short and on the long term, to the overall well-being of affected individuals. Sustained low energy availability can impair health, causing many medical complications within skeletal, endocrine, cardiovascular, reproductive and central nervous system. On the contrary, several studies have shown, that physical activity improves cardiovascular risk factors, hormonal profile and reproductive function. These improvements include a decrease in abdominal fat, blood glucose, blood lipids and insulin resistance, as well as improvements in menstrual cyclicity, ovulation and fertility, decreases in testosterone levels and Free Androgen Index (FAI) and increases in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Other studies reported that physical activity improved self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Thus, the aim of this review is to elucidate the effect of physical exercise on female reproductive system and viceversa the impact of hormonal status on physical activity and metabolism. In addition this review supports the idea that physical exercise is a helpful tool for the management of obesity, prevention of cardiovascular, metabolic diseases and female reproductive organs related diseases (e.g. breast cancer). When the excess in physical activity leads up to the female athlete triad, it is imperative to treat each component of the triad by employing both pharmacological and non pharmacological treatments. PMID:24126551

  8. The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress (OS), a state characterized by an imbalance between pro-oxidant molecules including reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and antioxidant defenses, has been identified to play a key role in the pathogenesis of subfertility in both males and females. The adverse effects of OS on sperm quality and functions have been well documented. In females, on the other hand, the impact of OS on oocytes and reproductive functions remains unclear. This imbalance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants can lead to a number of reproductive diseases such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and unexplained infertility. Pregnancy complications such as spontaneous abortion, recurrent pregnancy loss, and preeclampsia, can also develop in response to OS. Studies have shown that extremes of body weight and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and recreational drug use can promote excess free radical production, which could affect fertility. Exposures to environmental pollutants are of increasing concern, as they too have been found to trigger oxidative states, possibly contributing to female infertility. This article will review the currently available literature on the roles of reactive species and OS in both normal and abnormal reproductive physiological processes. Antioxidant supplementation may be effective in controlling the production of ROS and continues to be explored as a potential strategy to overcome reproductive disorders associated with infertility. However, investigations conducted to date have been through animal or in vitro studies, which have produced largely conflicting results. The impact of OS on assisted reproductive techniques (ART) will be addressed, in addition to the possible benefits of antioxidant supplementation of ART culture media to increase the likelihood for ART success. Future randomized controlled clinical trials on humans are necessary to elucidate the precise mechanisms through which OS affects female

  9. Fat supplementation and reproduction in beef females.

    PubMed

    Funston, R N

    2004-01-01

    Inadequate dietary energy intake and poor body condition can negatively affect reproductive function. Supplemental lipids have been used to increase energy density of the diet and may also have direct positive effects on reproduction in beef cattle. Several fatty acid sources have been studied as they relate to reproductive function. Common sources include sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, rice bran, soybeans, fishmeal, animal tallow, and calcium salts of fatty acids. Fats have been fed before and after calving, during the breeding season, and during heifer development. Response to fat has been investigated through measuring body weight and body condition score, age at puberty, postpartum interval, first-service conception rates, pregnancy rates, calving interval, calving difficulty, and calf birth and weaning weight. Animal response seems to depend on body condition score, age (parity), nutrients available in the diet, and type of fat supplemented. To elucidate potential mechanisms of action, scientists have investigated changes in follicular and uterine development, hormonal profiles, brain function, and embryonic development. Feeding supplemental fat has resulted in varied and inconsistent effects on reproductive function. Elucidating how supplemental fat can influence reproductive function has been a difficult process. The complexity of the reproductive system and makeup of fat supplements are often confounded by management conditions and forage quality both in research and commercial feeding situations. PMID:15471795

  10. Role of free radicals in female reproductive diseases and assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ashok; Allamaneni, Shyam S R

    2004-09-01

    Infertility is a common problem experienced by many couples. Numerous treatments are available for female infertility. However, in some cases, the treatment is empirical in nature because the aetiology of infertility is not fully understood. Recently, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to have an important role in the normal functioning of reproductive system and in the pathogenesis of infertility in females. Reactive oxygen species may also play a role in other reproductive organ diseases of women such as endometriosis. Oxidative stress develops when there is an imbalance between the generation of ROS and the scavenging capacity of antioxidants in the reproductive tract. It affects both natural and assisted fertility. Because assisted reproductive techniques are used extensively in the treatment of infertility, it is critical to understand the in-vitro conditions that affect fertilization and embryo development. Treatments that reduce oxidative stress may help infertile women with diseases that are caused by this imbalance. Such strategies include identifying the source of excessive generation of ROS, treating the primary cause, and in-vitro and in-vivo supplementation of antioxidants. Research is in progress to identify the mechanisms that are involved in the aetiology of female reproductive diseases caused by ROS, and to create effective strategies that can counteract oxidative stress. PMID:15353087

  11. Age-specific reproductive success and cost in female Alpine ibex.

    PubMed

    Rughetti, Marco; Dematteis, Andrea; Meneguz, Pier Giuseppe; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-05-01

    In female mammals, reproduction requires high energy expenditure because of gestation and lactation, possibly leading to a fitness cost. Several studies, however, failed to find the expected negative correlation between current and future reproductive success, likely because of individual heterogeneity in reproductive potential. We compared reproductive performance and costs of reproduction for 40 female Alpine ibex in one established population with 29 females translocated from the same population to a new colony. We investigate factors affecting pregnancy, fecundity and overwinter survival of juveniles, after accounting for individual heterogeneity. In both populations, prime-aged females experienced a strong reproductive cost. Senescent females, however, showed no evidence of reproductive costs. The colonizing population showed lower reproductive cost and better age-specific reproductive performance than the established population. We found a general pattern of low age-specific fecundity and reproductive success that was affected by environmental constraints. Age-specific reproductive success was unrelated to longevity. Although about 84% of adult females appeared to conceive, independently of environmental constraints, energy was allocated to reproduction in a highly conservative manner, leading to low age-specific fecundity (only 36 and 21% of prime-aged and senescent females were seen with a kid) but high kid survival (100% to weaning and 92% to 1 year). Our results suggest that females embarked on lactation only if they had a very high probability of raising their offspring. Our study highlights how reproductive performance and costs in this species vary with age and environment, and are the result of a highly conservative reproductive tactic. PMID:25543851

  12. Chapter 11.18 - Neuroendocrine Control of Female Reproduction.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The hypothalamus and pituitary are known to play roles in reproductive function. A growing body of evidence indicates that environmental toxicants can alter female reproductive function by disrupting hypothalamic control of the pituitary and subsequently the endocrine control of ...

  13. Blockage of the Neonatal Leptin Surge Affects the Gene Expression of Growth Factors, Glial Proteins, and Neuropeptides Involved in the Control of Metabolism and Reproduction in Peripubertal Male and Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Mela, Virginia; Díaz, Francisca; Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana Belen; Vázquez, María Jesús; Gertler, Arieh; Argente, Jesús; Tena-Sempere, Manuel; Viveros, María-Paz; Chowen, Julie A

    2015-07-01

    Leptin (Lep) is important in the development of neuroendocrine circuits involved in metabolic control. Because both Lep and metabolism influence pubertal development, we hypothesized that early changes in Lep signaling could also modulate hypothalamic (HT) systems involved in reproduction. We previously demonstrated that a single injection of a Lep antagonist (Antag) on postnatal day (PND)9, coincident with the neonatal Lep peak, induced sexually dimorphic modifications in trophic factors and markers of cell turnover and neuronal maturation in the HT on PND13. Here, our aim was to investigate whether the alterations induced by Lep antagonism persist into puberty. Accordingly, male and female rats were treated with a pegylated super Lep Antag from PND5 to PND9 and killed just before the normal appearance of external signs of puberty (PND33 in females and PND43 in males). There was no effect on body weight, but in males food intake increased, subcutaneous adipose tissue decreased and HT neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related peptide mRNA levels were reduced, with no effect in females. In both sexes, the Antag increased HT mRNA levels of the kisspeptin receptor, G protein-coupled recepter 54 (Gpr54). Expression of the Lep receptor, trophic factors, and glial markers were differently affected in the HT of peripubertal males and females. Lep production in adipose tissue was decreased in Antag-treated rats of both sexes, with production of other cytokines being differentially regulated between sexes. In conclusion, in addition to the long-term effects on metabolism, changes in neonatal Lep levels modifies factors involved in reproduction that could possibly affect sexual maturation. PMID:25856428

  14. Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Trathan, Phil N; Fox, Derren S; Dawson, Alistair; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Williams, Tony D

    2012-04-01

    Physiological mechanisms mediating carryover effects, wherein events or activities occurring in one season, habitat, or life-history stage affect important processes in subsequent life-history stages, are largely unknown. The mechanism most commonly invoked to explain carryover effects from migration centres on the acquisition and utilization of resources (e.g. body mass, or individual 'condition'). However, other mechanisms are plausible, e.g. trade-offs reflecting conflict or incompatibility between physiological regulatory systems required for different activities or life-history stages (migration vs. reproduction). Here we show that in female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) the decision to reproduce or to defer reproduction, made prior to their arrival at breeding colonies after long-distance migration, is associated with condition-related (body mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations) and hormonal (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen-dependent yolk precursors) traits. In contrast, reproductive success showed little association with condition but showed significant associations with the steroidogenic processes underlying follicle development. Specifically, success was determined by reproductive readiness via differences in steroid hormones and hormone-dependent traits. Successful albatrosses were characterized by high progesterone and high estradiol-dependent yolk precursor levels, whereas failed albatrosses had high testosterone and low yolk precursor levels. Results are discussed with reference to migratory carryover effects and how these can differentially affect the physiologies influencing reproductive decisions and reproductive success. PMID:22285395

  15. Female Reproductive Health After Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers: Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Female Reproductive Complications

    PubMed Central

    Metzger, Monika L.; Meacham, Lillian R.; Patterson, Briana; Casillas, Jacqueline S.; Constine, Louis S.; Hijiya, Nobuko; Kenney, Lisa B.; Leonard, Marcia; Lockart, Barbara A.; Likes, Wendy; Green, Daniel M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose As more young female patients with cancer survive their primary disease, concerns about reproductive health related to primary therapy gain relevance. Cancer therapy can often affect reproductive organs, leading to impaired pubertal development, hormonal regulation, fertility, and sexual function, affecting quality of life. Methods The Children's Oncology Group Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancer (COG-LTFU Guidelines) are evidence-based recommendations for screening and management of late effects of therapeutic exposures. The guidelines are updated every 2 years by a multidisciplinary panel based on current literature review and expert consensus. Results This review summarizes the current task force recommendations for the assessment and management of female reproductive complications after treatment for childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers. Experimental pretreatment as well as post-treatment fertility preservation strategies, including barriers and ethical considerations, which are not included in the COG-LTFU Guidelines, are also discussed. Conclusion Ongoing research will continue to inform COG-LTFU Guideline recommendations for follow-up care of female survivors of childhood cancer to improve their health and quality of life. PMID:23382474

  16. The song of the old mother: Reproductive senescence in female drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Paige B; Obrik-Uloho, Oghenemine T; Phan, Mai H; Medrano, Christian L; Renier, Joseph S; Thayer, Joseph L; Wiessner, Gregory; Bloch Qazi, Margaret C

    2014-01-01

    Among animals with multiple reproductive episodes, changes in adult condition over time can have profound effects on lifetime reproductive fitness and offspring performance. The changes in condition associated with senescence can be particularly acute for females who support reproductive processes from oogenesis through fertilization. The pomace fly Drosophila melanogaster is a well-established model system for exploring the physiology of reproduction and senescence. In this review, we describe how increasing maternal age in Drosophila affects reproductive fitness and offspring performance as well as the genetic foundation of these effects. Describing the processes underlying female reproductive senescence helps us understand diverse phenomena including population demographics, condition-dependent selection, sexual conflict, and transgenerational effects of maternal condition on offspring fitness. Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive senescence clarifies the nature of life-history trade-offs as well as potential ways to augment and/or limit female fertility in a variety of organisms. PMID:25523082

  17. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors in Female Reproduction and Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Carta, Gaspare; Artini, Paolo Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive functions may be altered by the exposure to a multitude of endogenous and exogenous agents, drug or environmental pollutants, which are known to affect gene transcription through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) activation. PPARs act as ligand activated transcription factors and regulate metabolic processes such as lipid and glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis, inflammation, and cell proliferation and differentiation. All PPARs isotypes are expressed along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and are strictly involved in reproductive functions. Since female fertility and energy metabolism are tightly interconnected, the research on female infertility points towards the exploration of potential PPARs activating/antagonizing compounds, mainly belonging to the class of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and fibrates, as useful agents for the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis in women with ovarian dysfunctions. In the present review, we discuss the recent evidence about PPARs expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and their involvement in female reproduction. Finally, the therapeutic potential of their manipulation through several drugs is also discussed. PMID:27559343

  18. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors in Female Reproduction and Fertility.

    PubMed

    Vitti, Maurizio; Di Emidio, Giovanna; Di Carlo, Michela; Carta, Gaspare; Antonosante, Andrea; Artini, Paolo Giovanni; Cimini, Annamaria; Tatone, Carla; Benedetti, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive functions may be altered by the exposure to a multitude of endogenous and exogenous agents, drug or environmental pollutants, which are known to affect gene transcription through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) activation. PPARs act as ligand activated transcription factors and regulate metabolic processes such as lipid and glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis, inflammation, and cell proliferation and differentiation. All PPARs isotypes are expressed along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and are strictly involved in reproductive functions. Since female fertility and energy metabolism are tightly interconnected, the research on female infertility points towards the exploration of potential PPARs activating/antagonizing compounds, mainly belonging to the class of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and fibrates, as useful agents for the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis in women with ovarian dysfunctions. In the present review, we discuss the recent evidence about PPARs expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and their involvement in female reproduction. Finally, the therapeutic potential of their manipulation through several drugs is also discussed. PMID:27559343

  19. Adverse reproductive outcomes among female veterinarians

    SciTech Connect

    Schenker, M.B.; Samuels, S.J.; Green, R.S.; Wiggins, P. )

    1990-07-01

    Because female veterinarians are exposed to several known reproductive hazards, the authors conducted a reproductive survey of all female graduates of a US veterinary school (n = 537) and law school (comparison group, n = 794). Analysis was confined to pregnancies completed after the second year of professional school and from 1966 to 1986. Based on one randomly chosen eligible pregnancy per woman (veterinarians, n = 176; lawyers, n = 229), spontaneous abortion rates, adjusted for elective abortions, were 13.3% for the veterinarians and 15.1% for the lawyers; these did not differ significantly. A Cox life table regression model controlling for age, smoking, alcohol use, and prior spontaneous abortion also showed no significant difference in spontaneous abortion rates between the two populations. Using all pregnancies, veterinarians who reported performing five or more radiographic examinations per week had a marginally elevated risk of spontaneous abortion, but the statistical significance disappeared when analysis was limited to one random pregnancy per woman. For one random eligible birth per woman, the mean birth weight did not differ significantly between the veterinarians and lawyers, even after controlling for possible confounders in regression analyses. A higher rate of reportable birth defects was observed among the veterinarians than among the lawyers (relative risk = 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.2-15.1), but this unexpected result must be considered hypothesis-generating. The authors did not find an overall increased risk for spontaneous abortion or low birth weight infants among veterinarians compared with lawyers, but veterinarians who reported performing five or more radiographic examinations per week may have been at increased risk for spontaneous abortion.

  20. Differences in female reproductive success between female and hermaphrodite individuals in the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica (Theaceae).

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Matsushita, M; Tomaru, N; Nakagawa, M

    2015-01-01

    Subdioecy is thought to occupy a transitional position in the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, explaining one of the evolutionary routes from hermaphroditism to dioecy. Quantifying any female reproductive advantage of females versus hermaphrodites is fundamental to examining the spectrum between subdioecy and dioecy; however, this is challenging, as multiple interacting factors, such as pollen limitation and resource availability, affect plant reproduction. We compared the female reproductive success of females and hermaphrodites via a field experiment in which we hand-pollinated individuals of the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica of similar size growing under similar light conditions. Effects of pollen limitation and seed quality were also evaluated through comparing the results of hand- and natural-pollination treatments and performing additional laboratory and greenhouse experiments. Overall, females had higher fruit set and produced heavier fruit and more seeds than hermaphrodites, and these results were more pronounced for hand-pollinated than for natural-pollinated plants of both sexes. We also found that seeds naturally produced by females had a higher mean germination rate. These results indicate that females had a pronounced advantage in female reproductive success under conditions of no pollen limitation. The sexual difference in the degree of pollen limitation suggests a pollinator-mediated interaction, whereas the higher female reproductive success of females even under natural conditions implies that E. japonica is a good model species for elucidating the later stages of the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway. PMID:24841823

  1. Lifetime number of mates interacts with female age to determine reproductive success in female guppies.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jonathan P

    2012-01-01

    In many species, mating with multiple males confers benefits to females, but these benefits may be offset by the direct and indirect costs associated with elevated mating frequency. Although mating frequency (number of mating events) is often positively associated with the degree of multiple mating (actual number of males mated), most studies have experimentally separated these effects when exploring their implications for female fitness. In this paper I describe an alternative approach using the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a livebearing freshwater fish in which females benefit directly and indirectly from mating with multiple males via consensual matings but incur direct and indirect costs of mating as a consequence of male sexual harassment. In the present study, females were experimentally assigned different numbers of mates throughout their lives in order to explore how elevated mating frequency and multiple mating combine to influence lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and survival (i.e. direct components of female fitness). Under this mating design, survival and LRS were not significantly affected by mating treatment, but there was a significant interaction between brood size and reproductive cycle (a correlate of female age) because females assigned to the high mating treatment produced significantly fewer offspring later in life compared to their low-mating counterparts. This negative effect of mating treatment later in life may be important in these relatively long-lived fishes, and this effect may be further exacerbated by the known cross-generational fitness costs of sexual harassment in guppies. PMID:23071816

  2. Female reproductive competition within families in rural Gambia.

    PubMed

    Mace, Ruth; Alvergne, Alexandra

    2012-06-01

    Many studies show that the extended human family can be helpful in raising offspring, with maternal grandmothers, in particular, improving offspring survival. However, less attention has been given to competition between female kin and co-residents. It has been argued that reproductive conflict between generations explains the evolution of menopause in cooperatively breeding species where females disperse, and that older females are related to the offspring of younger females through their sons, whereas younger, incoming females are unrelated to older females. This means the pattern of help will be asymmetric, so older females lose in reproductive conflict and become 'sterile helpers'. Here, we seek evidence for female reproductive competition using longitudinal demographic data from a rural Gambian population, and examine when women are helping or harming each other's reproductive success. We find that older women benefit and younger women suffer costs of reproductive competition with women in their compound. But the opposite is found for mothers and daughters; if mother and daughter's reproductive spans overlap, the older woman reduces her reproduction if the younger woman (daughter) reproduces, whereas daughters' fertility is unaffected by their mothers' reproduction. Married daughters are not generally co-resident with their mothers, so we find not only competition effects with co-resident females, but also with daughters who have dispersed. Dispersal varies across human societies, but our results suggest reproductive conflict could be influencing reproductive scheduling whatever the dispersal pattern. A cultural norm of late male marriage reduces paternal grandmother/daughter-in-law reproductive overlap almost to zero in this population. We argue that cultural norms surrounding residence and marriage are themselves cultural adaptations to reduce reproductive conflict between generations in human families. PMID:22258635

  3. Female reproductive competition within families in rural Gambia

    PubMed Central

    Mace, Ruth; Alvergne, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    Many studies show that the extended human family can be helpful in raising offspring, with maternal grandmothers, in particular, improving offspring survival. However, less attention has been given to competition between female kin and co-residents. It has been argued that reproductive conflict between generations explains the evolution of menopause in cooperatively breeding species where females disperse, and that older females are related to the offspring of younger females through their sons, whereas younger, incoming females are unrelated to older females. This means the pattern of help will be asymmetric, so older females lose in reproductive conflict and become ‘sterile helpers'. Here, we seek evidence for female reproductive competition using longitudinal demographic data from a rural Gambian population, and examine when women are helping or harming each other's reproductive success. We find that older women benefit and younger women suffer costs of reproductive competition with women in their compound. But the opposite is found for mothers and daughters; if mother and daughter's reproductive spans overlap, the older woman reduces her reproduction if the younger woman (daughter) reproduces, whereas daughters' fertility is unaffected by their mothers' reproduction. Married daughters are not generally co-resident with their mothers, so we find not only competition effects with co-resident females, but also with daughters who have dispersed. Dispersal varies across human societies, but our results suggest reproductive conflict could be influencing reproductive scheduling whatever the dispersal pattern. A cultural norm of late male marriage reduces paternal grandmother/daughter-in-law reproductive overlap almost to zero in this population. We argue that cultural norms surrounding residence and marriage are themselves cultural adaptations to reduce reproductive conflict between generations in human families. PMID:22258635

  4. Bateman revisited: the reproductive tactics of female primates.

    PubMed

    Drea, Christine M

    2005-11-01

    The breeding system of an animal population is thought to depend on the ability of one sex (usually the male) to acquire mates, either directly through association with females or indirectly through defense of the resources desired by females. The sex that contributes most to infant care (usually the female) is constrained by parental involvement and thereby limits reproduction of the opposite sex. Accordingly, males, but not females, enhance their reproductive success by acquiring additional mates. This classical view has emphasized the role of male-male competition in sexual selection, at the expense of fully exploring the potential for female choice. A more recent shift in focus has revealed substantial variation in female reproductive success and increasingly accentuates the importance of female intrasexual competition and male mate choice. A comparative review of primate reproduction, therefore, challenges expectations of male control and female compliance, and calls for a comprehensive treatment of costs and benefits that extends beyond conventional mention of heavy female investment versus male negligence or absenteeism. For individuals that manipulate their social environment or reproductive output, consideration of more subtle, even cryptic, aspects of female behavior and physiology (e.g., social strategizing, sexual solicitation or rejection, sexual advertisement or concealed ovulation, multiple mating, and reproductive failure) raises the question of whether females can be effectively 'monopolized.' Widespread patterns that counter Bateman's paradigm call for a reexamination of the predictions generated by dichotomizing gametes into 'expensive eggs' and 'cheap sperm,' and encourage continued mechanistic research focused on conception quality rather than quantity. PMID:21676842

  5. Increase in male reproductive success and female reproductive investment in invasive populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

    PubMed

    Laugier, Guillaume J M; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Tayeh, Ashraf; Loiseau, Anne; Osawa, Naoya; Estoup, Arnaud; Facon, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive strategy affects population dynamics and genetic parameters that can, in turn, affect evolutionary processes during the course of biological invasion. Life-history traits associated with reproductive strategy are therefore potentially good candidates for rapid evolutionary shifts during invasions. In a series of mating trials, we examined mixed groups of four males from invasive and native populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis mating freely during 48 hours with one female of either type. We recorded the identity of the first male to copulate and after the 48 h-period, we examined female fecundity and share of paternity, using molecular markers. We found that invasive populations have a different profile of male and female reproductive output. Males from invasive populations are more likely to mate first and gain a higher proportion of offspring with both invasive and native females. Females from invasive populations reproduce sooner, lay more eggs, and have offspring sired by a larger number of fathers than females from native populations. We found no evidence of direct inbreeding avoidance behaviour in both invasive and native females. This study highlights the importance of investigating evolutionary changes in reproductive strategy and associated traits during biological invasions. PMID:24204741

  6. Reproductive competition promotes the evolution of female weaponry

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Nicola L.; Simmons, Leigh W.

    2010-01-01

    Secondary sexual traits in females are a relatively rare phenomenon. Empirical studies have focused on the role of male mate choice in their evolution; however, recently it has been suggested that secondary sexual traits in females are more likely to be under selection via reproductive competition. We investigated female competition and the influence of female phenotype on fitness in Onthophagus sagittarius, a species of dung beetle that exhibits female-specific horns. We compared reproductive fitness when females were breeding in competition versus breeding alone and found that competition for breeding resources reduced fitness for all females, but that smaller individuals suffered a greater fitness reduction than larger individuals. When females were matched for body size, those with the longest horns gained higher reproductive fitness. The fitness function was positive and linear, favouring increased horn expression. Thus, we present evidence that female body size and horn size in O. sagittarius are under directional selection via competition for reproductive resources. Our study is a rare example of female contest competition selecting for female weaponry. PMID:20200030

  7. Manipulating reproductive effort leads to changes in female reproductive scheduling but not oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Aloise King, Edith D; Garratt, Michael; Brooks, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The trade-off between reproductive investment and lifespan is the single most important concept in life-history theory. A variety of sources of evidence support the existence of this trade-off, but the physiological costs of reproduction that underlie this relationship remain poorly understood. The Free Radical Theory of Ageing suggests that oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of damaging Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and protective antioxidants, may be an important mediator of this trade-off. We sought to test this theory by manipulating the reproductive investment of female mice (Mus musculus domesticus) and measuring the effects on a number of life history and oxidative stress variables. Females with a greater reproductive load showed no consistent increase in oxidative damage above females who had a smaller reproductive load. The groups differed, however, in their food consumption, reproductive scheduling and mean offspring mass. Of particular note, females with a very high reproductive load delayed blastocyst implantation of their second litter, potentially mitigating the costs of energetically costly reproductive periods. Our results highlight that females use strategies to offset particularly costly periods of reproduction and illustrate the absence of a simple relationship between oxidative stress and reproduction. PMID:24324867

  8. The reproductive pattern and efficiency of female buffaloes.

    PubMed

    Singh, J; Nanda, A S; Adams, G P

    2000-07-01

    Buffaloes play a prominent role in rural livestock production, particularly in Asia. Reproductive efficiency is the primary factor affecting productivity and is hampered in female buffalo by (i) inherent late maturity, (ii) poor estrus expression in summer, (iii) distinct seasonal reproductive patterns, and (iv) prolonged intercalving intervals. Ovarian function is central to these issues; hence, the focal point of this review is ovarian function in Bubalus bubalis, particularly, in relation to seasonal changes. Ovarian anatomy, follicular and luteal development development, and hormonal profiles during the estrous cycle are discussed. Review of the literature revealed a paucity of critically derived information on follicular and ovulatory patterns in buffalo, particularly, in relation to seasonal estrus/birthing. Efforts may be directed at understanding the process (recruitment, development, atresia) and temporal pattern (follicle selection, dominance, subordinate follicle suppression, follicle numbers, and, preovulatory changes) of follicular dynamics using techniques which permit serial assessment of changes occurring over time. Emphasis may be directed towards investigating follicular "waves" as a functional unit, rather than the estrous cycle, in the context of whole animal endocrinology. The data obtained from such basic studies may then be used to develop and test models for enhancing reproductive efficiency. PMID:10844227

  9. Infertility in reproductive-age female cancer survivors.

    PubMed

    Levine, Jennifer M; Kelvin, Joanne Frankel; Quinn, Gwendolyn P; Gracia, Clarisa R

    2015-05-15

    Improved survival rates among reproductive-age females diagnosed with cancer have increased the focus on long-term quality of life, including maintenance of the ability to conceive biological children. Cancer-directed therapies such as high-dose alkylating agents and radiation to the pelvis, which deplete ovarian reserve, radiation to the brain, which affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and surgical resection of reproductive structures can decrease the likelihood of having biological children. Standard fertility preservation strategies such as embryo and oocyte cryopreservation before the onset of therapy offer the opportunity to conserve fertility, but they may not be feasible because of the urgency to start cancer therapy, financial limitations, and a lack of access to reproductive endocrinologists. Ovarian tissue freezing is considered experimental, with limited data related to pregnancies, but it minimizes treatment delay. Studies evaluating gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues have had mixed results, although a recent randomized, prospective study in women with breast cancer demonstrated a protective effect. Fertility preservation programs are increasingly being developed within cancer programs. In this article, we describe risks to infertility and options for preservation, raise psychosocial and ethical issues, and propose elements for establishing an effective fertility preservation program. PMID:25649243

  10. Reproductive and developmental effects of phthalate diesters in females

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Vanessa R.; Chambers, Christina

    2013-01-01

    Phthalate diesters, widely used in flexible plastics and consumer products, have become prevalent contaminants in the environment. Human exposure is ubiquitous and higher phthalate metabolite concentrations documented in patients using medications with phthalate-containing slow release capsules raises concerns for potential health effects. Furthermore, animal studies suggest that phthalate exposure can modulate circulating hormone concentrations and thus may be able to adversely affect reproductive physiology and the development of estrogen sensitive target tissues. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review of the epidemiological and experimental animal literature examining the relationship between phthalate exposure and adverse female reproductive health outcomes. The epidemiological literature is sparse for most outcomes studied and plagued by small sample size, methodological weaknesses, and thus fails to support a conclusion of an adverse effect of phthalate exposure. Despite a paucity of experimental animal studies for several phthalates, we conclude that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that phthalates are reproductive toxicants. However, we note that the concentrations needed to induce adverse health effects are high compared to the concentrations measured in contemporary human biomonitoring studies. We propose that the current patchwork of studies, potential for additive effects and evidence of adverse effects of phthalate exposure in subsequent generations and at lower concentrations than in the parental generation support the need for further study. PMID:23405971

  11. Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Female Reproductive Tract: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Yi Kyeong

    2015-01-01

    Neuroendocrine tumors of the female reproductive tract are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that display various histologic findings and biologic behaviors. In this review, the classification and clinicopathologic characteristics of neuroendocrine tumors of the female reproductive tract are described. Differential diagnoses are discussed, especially for non-neuroendocrine tumors showing high-grade nuclei with neuroendocrine differentiation. This review also discusses recent advances in our pathogenetic understanding of these disorders. PMID:26459408

  12. Circadian Regulation of Kisspeptin in Female Reproductive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Female reproductive functioning requires the precise temporal organization of numerous neuroendocrine events by a master circadian brain clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Across species, including humans, disruptions to circadian timing result in pronounced deficits in ovulation and fecundity. The present chapter provides an overview of the circadian control of female reproduction, underscoring the significance of kisspeptin as a key locus of integration for circadian and steroidal signaling necessary for the initiation of ovulation. PMID:23550016

  13. Hot and not-so-hot females: reproductive state and thermal preferences of female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus).

    PubMed

    Webber, M M; Gibbs, A G; Rodríguez-Robles, J A

    2015-02-01

    For ectotherms, environmental temperatures influence numerous life history characteristics, and the body temperatures (Tb ) selected by individuals can affect offspring fitness and parental survival. Reproductive trade-offs may therefore ensue for gravid females, because temperatures conducive to embryonic development may compromise females' body condition. We tested whether reproduction influenced thermoregulation in female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus). We predicted that gravid females select higher Tb and thermoregulate more precisely than nonreproductive females. Gravid C. sculpturatus gain body mass throughout gestation, which exposes larger portions of their pleural membrane, possibly increasing their rates of transcuticular water loss in arid environments. Accordingly, we tested whether gravid C. sculpturatus lose water faster than nonreproductive females. We determined the preferred Tb of female scorpions in a thermal gradient and measured water loss rates using flow-through respirometry. Gravid females preferred significantly higher Tb than nonreproductive females, suggesting that gravid C. sculpturatus alter their thermoregulatory behaviour to promote offspring fitness. However, all scorpions thermoregulated with equal precision, perhaps because arid conditions create selective pressure on all females to thermoregulate effectively. Gravid females lost water faster than nonreproductive animals, indicating that greater exposure of the pleural membrane during gestation enhances the desiccation risk of reproductive females. Our findings suggest that gravid C. sculpturatus experience a trade-off, whereby selection of higher Tb and increased mass during gestation increase females' susceptibility to water loss, and thus their mortality risk. Elucidating the mechanisms that influence thermal preferences may reveal how reproductive trade-offs shape the life history of ectotherms in arid environments. PMID:25495081

  14. Effects of Age on Female Reproductive Success in Drosophila bipectinata

    PubMed Central

    Somashekar, K; Krishna, Ms; Hegde, Sn; Jayaramu, SC

    2011-01-01

    Female age influence on mating success, courtship activities, mating latency, copulation duration, fecundity, ovarioles number, and wing length has been studied using isofemale lines of Drosophila bipectinata collected at three different localities. It was observed that in all localities, middle-aged D. bipectinata females had significantly greater mating success, showed less rejection responses to courting male, mated faster, copulated longer, and had greater fecundity and ovariole number than young and old-aged females. Further, old-aged females had comparatively less fitness traits than young age females. This research suggests the occurrence of age specific female reproductive success as follows: middle-aged > young > old-aged. PMID:22235980

  15. A Multi-Oscillatory Circadian System Times Female Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Simonneaux, Valérie; Bahougne, Thibault

    2015-01-01

    Rhythms in female reproduction are critical to insure that timing of ovulation coincides with oocyte maturation and optimal sexual arousal. This fine tuning of female reproduction involves both the estradiol feedback as an indicator of oocyte maturation, and the master circadian clock of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) as an indicator of the time of the day. Herein, we are providing an overview of the state of knowledge regarding the differential inhibitory and stimulatory effects of estradiol at different stages of the reproductive axis, and the mechanisms through which the two main neurotransmitters of the SCN, arginine vasopressin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide, convey daily time cues to the reproductive axis. In addition, we will report the most recent findings on the putative functions of peripheral clocks located throughout the reproductive axis [kisspeptin (Kp) neurons, gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons, gonadotropic cells, the ovary, and the uterus]. This review will point to the critical position of the Kp neurons of the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, which integrate both the stimulatory estradiol signal, and the daily arginine vasopressinergic signal, while displaying a circadian clock. Finally, given the critical role of the light/dark cycle in the synchronization of female reproduction, we will discuss the impact of circadian disruptions observed during shift-work conditions on female reproductive performance and fertility in both animal model and humans. PMID:26539161

  16. Female reproductive synchrony predicts skewed paternity across primates

    PubMed Central

    Nunn, Charles L.; Schülke, Oliver

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have uncovered remarkable variation in paternity within primate groups. To date, however, we lack a general understanding of the factors that drive variation in paternity skew among primate groups and across species. Our study focused on hypotheses from reproductive skew theory involving limited control and the use of paternity “concessions” by investigating how paternity covaries with the number of males, female estrous synchrony, and rates of extragroup paternity. In multivariate and phylogenetically controlled analyses of data from 27 studies on 19 species, we found strong support for a limited control skew model, with reproductive skew within groups declining as female reproductive synchrony and the number of males per group increase. Of these 2 variables, female reproductive synchrony explained more of the variation in paternity distributions. To test whether dominant males provide incentives to subordinates to resist matings by extragroup males, that is, whether dominants make concessions of paternity, we derived a novel prediction that skew is lower within groups when threat from outside the group exists. This prediction was not supported as a primary factor underlying patterns of reproductive skew among primate species. However, our approach revealed that if concessions occur in primates, they are most likely when female synchrony is low, as these conditions provide alpha male control of paternity that is assumed by concessions models. Collectively, our analyses demonstrate that aspects of male reproductive competition are the primary drivers of reproductive skew in primates. PMID:19018288

  17. Reproductive senescence, fertility and reproductive tumour profile in ageing female Han Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Mitchard, Terri L; Klein, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    A study using vehicle administration in 104 female rats investigated reproductive aging in Han Wistar rats as a useful tool to interprete carcinogenicity studies where hormonal patterns are perturbated. From 16 weeks of age oestrous cycles were monitored every 6 weeks to investigate reproductive ageing. A subset of 20 females was used to assess fertility at 21 months of age. The animals were necropsied after 106-107 weeks on study and female reproductive organs, mammary glands and pituitary glands were examined for hyperplasias and/or tumours. The majority of rats had regular oestrous cycles up to 6 months of age. After this age, there was a rapid decline in the number of rats with regular oestrous cycles and an increase in irregular cycles and cycles in persistent di-oestrus with an occasional pro-oestrus. By the end of the study, the majority of animals were acyclic and the few remaining cyclic animals had irregular cycles. In the fertility assessment, 19/20 animals mated but only four animals became pregnant. These pregnant animals had normal numbers of corpora lutea of pregnancy but had high pre-implantation losses and could not sustain a viable pregnancy. 65 animals (62.5%) showed adenomas and/or pituitary hyperplasia in the pituitary gland at necropsy. The pituitary tumours were likely to be prolactin secreting that give rise to pseudopregnancy and mammary tumours, demonstrated by the fact that 43/65 (66%) of the affected animals had histopathological signs of these conditions. Multiple corpora lutea were found in 61% of all animals at time of termination. Only one uterine tumour was seen in this study probably due to lack of persistent oestrus seen in these animals. PMID:26655996

  18. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  19. The Neuroendocrine physiology of female reproductive aging: an update

    PubMed Central

    Neal-Perry, Genevieve; Nejat, Edward; Dicken, Cary

    2010-01-01

    The transition into menopause is a complex process that affects fertility and increases the risk for a number of health problems in aging women that include, but are not limited to osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes mellitus and cognitive dysfunction. Improved nutrition and enhanced access to medical care have increased the average lifespan for women in developed countries, and many will spend more than one third of their life in a post-menopausal state. Epidemiological studies indicate that a delayed natural menopause confers longevity and decelerates the appearance of much age-related morbidity, suggesting that developing treatments to delay menopause would significantly improve quality of life for women. Although menopause is ultimately defined by ovarian follicular exhaustion, several lines of scientific evidence in humans and animals now suggest that dysregulation of estradiol feedback mechanisms and hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction contributes to the onset and progression of reproductive senescence, independent of ovarian failure. This article provides a brief update on our current understanding of the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in the onset of and transition into female reproductive senescence. PMID:20570066

  20. Nutritional effects on reproductive performance of captive adult female coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Gese, Eric M; Roberts, Beth M; Knowlton, Frederick F

    2016-02-01

    Interactions between animals and their environment are fundamental to ecological research. Field studies of coyote (Canis latrans) reproductive performance suggest mean litter size changes in response to prey abundance. However, this relationship has been assessed primarily by using carcasses collected from trappers. The objective of this study was to assess whether nutritional manipulation prior to mating affected reproduction in adult female coyotes. We examined the effects of caloric restriction during the 7 months prior to estrus on the reproductive rates of 11 captive female coyotes and the subsequent initial survival of pups through two reproductive cycles. This was a 2-year study with a cross-over design so each female was monitored for reproductive performance on each of the two diet treatments. We assessed the number of implantation scars, number of pups born, sex ratios of pups, average pup weight at birth and 2- and 6-weeks of age, and the survival rates between implantation and 2-weeks of age for two diet treatments. We found the mean number of implantation sites and pups whelped during a reproductive cycle was influenced by food-intake prior to conception. Additionally, we found evidence suggesting the effects of nutritional stress may persist for additional breeding cycles. We also provided evidence suggesting well-fed females tended to have more male pups. Understanding how environmental factors influence reproductive output may improve model predictions of coyote population dynamics. PMID:26763531

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Early growth, dominance acquisition and lifetime reproductive success in male and female cooperative meerkats.

    PubMed

    English, Sinead; Huchard, Elise; Nielsen, Johanna F; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2013-11-01

    In polygynous species, variance in reproductive success is higher in males than females. There is consequently stronger selection for competitive traits in males and early growth can have a greater influence on later fitness in males than in females. As yet, little is known about sex differences in the effect of early growth on subsequent breeding success in species where variance in reproductive success is higher in females than males, and competitive traits are under stronger selection in females. Greater variance in reproductive success has been documented in several singular cooperative breeders. Here, we investigated consequences of early growth for later reproductive success in wild meerkats. We found that, despite the absence of dimorphism, females who exhibited faster growth until nutritional independence were more likely to become dominant, whereas early growth did not affect dominance acquisition in males. Among those individuals who attained dominance, there was no further influence of early growth on dominance tenure or lifetime reproductive success in males or females. These findings suggest that early growth effects on competitive abilities and fitness may reflect the intensity of intrasexual competition even in sexually monomorphic species. PMID:24340181

  3. Recreating the female reproductive tract in vitro using iPSC technology in a linked microfluidics environment

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The female reproductive tract produces hormones for reproductive function and cardiovascular, bone and sexual health; the tract supplies a finite number of gametes, and it supports fetal development. Diseases that affect each of the female reproductive tract organs, along with treatments that have direct, deleterious effects on the reproductive tract (for example, chemotherapeutics), are understudied due to the lack of model systems that phenocopy in vivo function. This review describes a path toward developing female reproductive tract mimics. The models use isolated primary support cells cultured onto a biological scaffold and within a microfluidic system to create a niche and support the desired differentiation of epithelia, germ and somatic cells from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. Improving our fund of knowledge about reproductive tract biology and creating reproductive organs for patients who have lost gonadal, uterine or vaginal/ cervical function is a major step forward in women's health and an important advancement in personalized medicine. PMID:24565375

  4. Chronic Exposure to Diquat Causes Reproductive Toxicity in Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jia-Qing; Gao, Bin-Wen; Wang, Jing; Wang, Xian-Wei; Ren, Qiao-Ling; Chen, Jun-Feng; Ma, Qiang; Xing, Bao-song

    2016-01-01

    Diquat is a bipyridyl herbicide that has been widely used as a model chemical for in vivo studies of oxidative stress due to its generation of superoxide anions, and cytotoxic effects. There is little information regarding the toxic effects of diquat on the female reproductive system, particularly ovarian function. Thus, we investigated the reproductive toxic effects of diquat on female mice. Chronic exposure to diquat reduced ovary weights, induced ovarian oxidative stress, resulted in granulosa cell apoptosis, and disrupted oocyte developmental competence, as shown by reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, decreased polar body extrusion rates and increased apoptosis-related genes expression. Additionally, after diquat treatment, the numbers of fetal mice and litter sizes were significantly reduced compared to those of control mice. Thus, our results indicated that chronic exposure to diquat induced reproductive toxicity in female mice by promoting the ROS production of gruanousa cells and ooctyes, impairing follicle development, inducing apoptosis, and reducing oocyte quality. In conclusion, our findings indicate that diquat can be used as a potent and efficient chemical for in vivo studies of female reproductive toxicity induced by oxidative stress. Moreover, the findings from this study will further enlarge imitative research investigating the effect of ovarian damage induced by oxidative stress on reproductive performance and possible mechanisms of action in large domestic animals. PMID:26785375

  5. Chronic Exposure to Diquat Causes Reproductive Toxicity in Female Mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-Qing; Gao, Bin-Wen; Wang, Jing; Wang, Xian-Wei; Ren, Qiao-Ling; Chen, Jun-Feng; Ma, Qiang; Xing, Bao-Song

    2016-01-01

    Diquat is a bipyridyl herbicide that has been widely used as a model chemical for in vivo studies of oxidative stress due to its generation of superoxide anions, and cytotoxic effects. There is little information regarding the toxic effects of diquat on the female reproductive system, particularly ovarian function. Thus, we investigated the reproductive toxic effects of diquat on female mice. Chronic exposure to diquat reduced ovary weights, induced ovarian oxidative stress, resulted in granulosa cell apoptosis, and disrupted oocyte developmental competence, as shown by reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, decreased polar body extrusion rates and increased apoptosis-related genes expression. Additionally, after diquat treatment, the numbers of fetal mice and litter sizes were significantly reduced compared to those of control mice. Thus, our results indicated that chronic exposure to diquat induced reproductive toxicity in female mice by promoting the ROS production of gruanousa cells and ooctyes, impairing follicle development, inducing apoptosis, and reducing oocyte quality. In conclusion, our findings indicate that diquat can be used as a potent and efficient chemical for in vivo studies of female reproductive toxicity induced by oxidative stress. Moreover, the findings from this study will further enlarge imitative research investigating the effect of ovarian damage induced by oxidative stress on reproductive performance and possible mechanisms of action in large domestic animals. PMID:26785375

  6. Minireview: Metabolism of Female Reproduction: Regulatory Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Babayev, Elnur; Collins, Stephen C.; Nemeth, Gabor; Horvath, Tamas L.

    2014-01-01

    Female fertility is highly dependent on successful regulation of energy metabolism. Central processes in the hypothalamus monitor the metabolic state of the organism and, together with metabolic hormones, drive the peripheral availability of energy for cellular functions. In the ovary, the oocyte and neighboring somatic cells of the follicle work in unison to achieve successful metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. Metabolic disturbances such as anorexia nervosa, obesity, and diabetes mellitus have clinically important consequences on human reproduction. In this article, we review the metabolic determinants of female reproduction and their role in infertility. PMID:24678733

  7. Lactocrine programming of female reproductive tract development: environmental connections to the reproductive continuum.

    PubMed

    Bartol, Frank F; Bagnell, Carol A

    2012-05-01

    For eutherian mammals a continuum of maternal support insures that development of progeny follows an optimal program. Beginning in utero, such support extends into the early neonatal period when bioactive factors are communicated from mother to offspring in colostrum/milk. Defined as lactocrine signaling, communication of milk-borne bioactive factors from mother to offspring as a consequence of nursing is important for development of somatic tissues, including the female reproductive tract (FRT). Data for the domestic pig indicate that lactocrine signaling contributes to the maternal continuum of factors that define the developmental program and determine the developmental trajectory of FRT tissues during early neonatal life. Both naturally occurring and manmade factors of environmental origin can be communicated to neonates in milk and affect development with lasting consequences. Here, evidence for lactocrine programming of FRT development and the potential for environmental endocrine disruption of this process are reviewed. PMID:22033320

  8. Exaggerated male genitalia intensify interspecific reproductive interference by damaging heterospecific female genitalia.

    PubMed

    Kyogoku, D; Sota, T

    2015-06-01

    Male-male competition over fertilization can select for harmful male genital structures that reduce the fitness of their mates, if the structures increase the male's fertilization success. During secondary contact between two allopatrically formed, closely related species, harmful male genitalia may also reduce the fitness of heterospecific females given interspecific copulation. We performed a laboratory experiment to determine whether the extent of genital spine exaggeration in Callosobruchus chinensis males affects the fitness of C. maculatus females by injuring their reproductive organs. We found that males with more exaggerated genital spines were more likely to injure the females via interspecific copulation and that the genital injury translated into fecundity loss. Thus, as predicted, reproductive interference by C. chinensis males on C. maculatus females is mediated by exaggeration of the genital spine, which is the evolutionary consequence of intraspecific male-male competition. Harmful male traits, such as genital spines, might generally affect the extent of interaction between closely related species. PMID:25882439

  9. The influence of distinct pollinators on female and male reproductive success in the Rocky Mountain columbine.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Johanne; Holmquist, Karsten G A

    2009-09-01

    Although there are many reasons to expect distinct pollinator types to differentially affect a plant's reproductive success, few studies have directly examined this question. Here, we contrast the impact of two kinds of pollinators on reproductive success via male and female functions in the Rocky Mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea. We set up pollinator exclusion treatments in each of three patches where Aquilegia plants were visited by either day pollinators (majority bumble bees), by evening pollinators (hawkmoths), or by both (control). Day pollinators collected pollen and groomed, whereas evening pollinators collected nectar but did not groom. Maternal parents, potential fathers and progeny arrays were genotyped at five microsatellite loci. We estimated female outcrossing rate and counted seeds to measure female reproductive success and used paternity analysis to determine male reproductive success. Our results document that bumble bees frequently moved pollen among patches of plants and that, unlike hawkmoths, pollen moved by bumble bees sired more outcrossed seeds when it remained within a patch as opposed to moving between patches. Pollinator type differentially affected the outcrossing rate but not seed set, the number of outcrossed seeds or overall male reproductive success. Multiple visits to a plant and more frequent visits by bumble bees could help to explain the lack of impact of pollinator type on overall reproductive success. The increase in selfing rate with hawkmoths likely resulted from the abundant pollen available in experimental flowers. Our findings highlighted a new type of pollinator interactions that can benefit a plant species. PMID:19674307

  10. Temperature gradients in female reproductive tissues.

    PubMed

    Hunter, R H F

    2012-04-01

    Deep body temperature in mammals is generally but incorrectly regarded as uniform. Alterations of temperature in oviducts and preovulatory Graafian follicles may play a vital role in gamete maturation, fertilization and early embryonic development. At a molecular level, the conformation of regulatory proteins is susceptible to changes in temperature. Deviation from physiological temperature during IVF procedures could thereby exert a profound influence on patterns of gene expression as the embryonic genome unfolds during early cleavage stages and act to generate specific anomalies. Systematic studies are urgently required. The temperature of internal body organs in mammals such as rabbits and humans is widely regarded as uniform, but this is not correct. Temperatures in reproductive tissues such as ovaries and oviducts vary according to the stage of a menstrual or oestrous cycle. Such changes in temperature are thought to be critically involved in the maturation of eggs and spermatozoa and thus in events shortly before and after fertilization. Proteins in the cytoplasm and nuclei of eggs and very young embryos respond to small shifts in temperature by changing their three-dimensional shape. Conformational modifications in regulatory proteins in the nucleus would influence patterns of gene expression in developing embryos and may, when perturbed, alter the sexual phenotype of an individual. In the practical context of IVF, studies are needed of the influence of culturing gametes and embryos at different temperatures and ranges of temperature on the patterns of gene expression in preimplantation embryos. PMID:22369989

  11. AGING AND RESPONSES TO TOXINS IN FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Female reproductive functions improve after puberty to reach a maximum within the first quarter of the lifespan of most mammals. hereafter, there are progressive declines with age leading in most mammalian species to a loss of fertility by midlife. The changes are complex and the...

  12. EFFECTS OF ORAL EXPOSURE TO TRICHLOROETHYLENE ON FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE FUNCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the present study, the distribution, metabolism and reproductive toxicity of trichloroethylene (TCE) administered by the oral route to female rats were examined. The distribution study with 14C-TCE indicated that relatively high levels of radioactivity accumulated in the ovary...

  13. General Dissection of Female Ant Reproductive System and Brain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dissection of the reproductive system of ant workers and queens can be useful for answering many questions. Observations of ovarian status in both female castes can be used to identify relationships between other factors and the ovaries, determine whether an individual has laid eggs, and, with more ...

  14. Estradiol Membrane-Initiated Signaling and Female Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Micevych, Paul E; Wong, Angela May; Mittelman-Smith, Melinda Anne

    2016-01-01

    The discoveries of rapid, membrane-initiated steroid actions and central nervous system steroidogenesis have changed our understanding of the neuroendocrinology of reproduction. Classical nuclear actions of estradiol and progesterone steroids affecting transcription are essential. However, with the discoveries of membrane-associated steroid receptors, it is becoming clear that estradiol and progesterone have neurotransmitter-like actions activating intracellular events. Ultimately, membrane-initiated actions can influence transcription. Estradiol membrane-initiated signaling (EMS) modulates female sexual receptivity and estrogen feedback regulating the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. In the arcuate nucleus, EMS activates a lordosis-regulating circuit that extends to the medial preoptic nucleus and subsequently to the ventromedial nucleus (VMH)—the output from the limbic and hypothalamic regions. Here, we discuss how EMS leads to an active inhibition of lordosis behavior. To stimulate ovulation, EMS facilitates astrocyte synthesis of progesterone (neuroP) in the hypothalamus. Regulation of GnRH release driving the LH surge is dependent on estradiol-sensitive kisspeptin (Kiss1) expression in the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V). NeuroP activation of the LH surge depends on Kiss1, but the specifics of signaling have not been well elucidated. RP3V Kiss1 neurons appear to integrate estradiol and progesterone information which feeds back onto GnRH neurons to stimulate the LH surge. In a second population of Kiss1 neurons, estradiol suppresses the surge but maintains tonic LH release, another critical component of the estrous cycle. Together, evidence suggests that regulation of reproduction involves membrane action of steroids, some of which are synthesized in the brain. PMID:26140715

  15. Social isolation during puberty affects female sexual behavior in mice

    PubMed Central

    Kercmar, Jasmina; Tobet, Stuart A.; Majdic, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to stress during puberty can lead to long-term behavioral alterations in adult rodents coincident with sex steroid hormone-dependent brain remodeling and reorganization. Social isolation is a stress for social animals like mice, but little is known about the effects of such stress during adolescence on later reproductive behaviors. The present study examined sexual behavior of ovariectomized, estradiol and progesterone primed female mice that were individually housed from 25 days of age until testing at approximately 95 days, or individually housed from day 25 until day 60 (during puberty), followed by housing in social groups. Mice in these isolated groups were compared to females that were group housed throughout the experiment. Receptive sexual behaviors of females and behaviors of stimulus males were recorded. Females housed in social groups displayed greater levels of receptive behaviors in comparison to both socially isolated groups. Namely, social females had higher lordosis quotients (LQs) and more often displayed stronger lordosis postures in comparison to isolated females. No differences between female groups were observed in stimulus male sexual behavior suggesting that female “attractiveness” was not affected by their social isolation. Females housed in social groups had fewer cells containing immunoreactive estrogen receptor (ER) α in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) than both isolated groups. These results suggest that isolation during adolescence affects female sexual behavior and re-socialization for 1 month in adulthood is insufficient to rescue lordosis behavior from the effects of social isolation during the pubertal period. PMID:25324747

  16. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females.

    PubMed

    Newcomer, S D; Zeh, J A; Zeh, D W

    1999-08-31

    Although it is generally accepted that females can gain material benefits by mating with more than one male, the proposal that polyandry provides genetic benefits remains controversial, largely because direct experimental support is lacking. Here, we report the results of a study testing for genetic benefits to polyandry in the pseudoscorpion Cordylochernes scorpioides. In an experiment that controlled for male mating experience and the number of spermatophores accepted by a female, twice-mated females received either one sperm-packet from each of two different males (the "DM" treatment) or two sperm-packets from a single male (the same male or "SM" treatment). Over their lifetime, DM females gave birth to 32% more offspring than did SM females, primarily because of a significantly reduced rate of spontaneous abortion. This result could not be attributed to male infertility nor to lack of sexual receptivity in males paired with previous mates. Spermatophore and sperm numbers did not differ between males presented with a previous mate and males paired with a new female. Because SM and DM females received the same quantity of ejaculate, it was possible to eliminate material benefits as a contributor to the enhanced reproductive success of DM females. The reduction in embryo failure rate achieved by DM females is most consistent with the genetic incompatibility avoidance hypothesis, i.e., that polyandry enables females to exploit postcopulatory mechanisms for reducing the risk and/or cost of fertilization by genetically incompatible sperm. This study, which rigorously controlled for material benefits and excluded inbreeding effects, demonstrates that polyandry provides genetic benefits that significantly enhance female lifetime reproductive success. PMID:10468592

  17. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females

    PubMed Central

    Newcomer, Scott D.; Zeh, Jeanne A.; Zeh, David W.

    1999-01-01

    Although it is generally accepted that females can gain material benefits by mating with more than one male, the proposal that polyandry provides genetic benefits remains controversial, largely because direct experimental support is lacking. Here, we report the results of a study testing for genetic benefits to polyandry in the pseudoscorpion Cordylochernes scorpioides. In an experiment that controlled for male mating experience and the number of spermatophores accepted by a female, twice-mated females received either one sperm-packet from each of two different males (the “DM” treatment) or two sperm-packets from a single male (the same male or “SM” treatment). Over their lifetime, DM females gave birth to 32% more offspring than did SM females, primarily because of a significantly reduced rate of spontaneous abortion. This result could not be attributed to male infertility nor to lack of sexual receptivity in males paired with previous mates. Spermatophore and sperm numbers did not differ between males presented with a previous mate and males paired with a new female. Because SM and DM females received the same quantity of ejaculate, it was possible to eliminate material benefits as a contributor to the enhanced reproductive success of DM females. The reduction in embryo failure rate achieved by DM females is most consistent with the genetic incompatibility avoidance hypothesis, i.e., that polyandry enables females to exploit postcopulatory mechanisms for reducing the risk and/or cost of fertilization by genetically incompatible sperm. This study, which rigorously controlled for material benefits and excluded inbreeding effects, demonstrates that polyandry provides genetic benefits that significantly enhance female lifetime reproductive success. PMID:10468592

  18. Effect of hypothyroidism on female reproductive hormones

    PubMed Central

    Saran, Sanjay; Gupta, Bharti Sona; Philip, Rajeev; Singh, Kumar Sanjeev; Bende, Sureshrao Anoop; Agroiya, Puspalata; Agrawal, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Objective was to evaluate reproductive hormones levels in hypothyroid women and impact of treatment on their levels. Materials and Methods: A total of 59 women with untreated primary hypothyroidism were included in this prospective study. Venous blood was taken at baseline and after euthyroidism was achieved for measuring serum free thyroxine, free triiodothyronine (FT3), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin (PRL), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), and thyroid peroxidase antibody. Thirty-nine healthy women with regular menstrual cycles without any hormonal disturbances served as controls. The statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 20 ([SPSS] IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA). P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: On an average at diagnosis cases have more serum TSH (mean [M] = 77.85; standard error [SE] = 11.72), PRL (M = 39.65; SE = 4.13) and less serum E2 (M = 50.00; SE = 2.25) and T (M = 35.40; SE = 2.31) than after achieving euthyroidism (M = 1.74; SE = 0.73), (M = 16.04; SE = 0.84), (M = 76.25; SE = 2.60), and (M = 40.29; SE = 2.27), respectively. This difference was statistically significant t (58) = 6.48, P <0.05; t (58) = 6.49, P < 0.05; t (58) = 12.47; P < 0.05; and t (58) = 2.04, P < 0.05; respectively. Although average serum FSH (M = 12.14; SE = 0.40) and LH (M = 5.89; SE = 0.27) were lower in cases at diagnosis than after achieving euthyroidism (M = 12.70; SE = 0.40), (M = 6.22; SE = 0.25), respectively, but these differences were statistically insignificant t (58) = 1.61, P = 0.11; t (58) = 1.11, P = 0.27, respectively. Conclusion: The study has demonstrated low E2 and T levels in hypothyroid women which were increased after achieving euthyroidism. Although average serum FSH and LH were increased in hypothyroid women after achieving euthyroidism but this difference was statistically

  19. Early reproductive investment, senescence and lifetime reproductive success in female Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, A D; Mar, K U; Lahdenperä, M; Lummaa, V

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary theory of senescence posits that as the probability of extrinsic mortality increases with age, selection should favour early-life over late-life reproduction. Studies on natural vertebrate populations show early reproduction may impair later-life performance, but the consequences for lifetime fitness have rarely been determined, and little is known of whether similar patterns apply to mammals which typically live for several decades. We used a longitudinal dataset on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to investigate associations between early-life reproduction and female age-specific survival, fecundity and offspring survival to independence, as well as lifetime breeding success (lifetime number of calves produced). Females showed low fecundity following sexual maturity, followed by a rapid increase to a peak at age 19 and a subsequent decline. High early life reproductive output (before the peak of performance) was positively associated with subsequent age-specific fecundity and offspring survival, but significantly impaired a female's own later-life survival. Despite the negative effects of early reproduction on late-life survival, early reproduction is under positive selection through a positive association with lifetime breeding success. Our results suggest a trade-off between early reproduction and later survival which is maintained by strong selection for high early fecundity, and thus support the prediction from life history theory that high investment in reproductive success in early life is favoured by selection through lifetime fitness despite costs to later-life survival. That maternal survival in elephants depends on previous reproductive investment also has implications for the success of (semi-)captive breeding programmes of this endangered species. PMID:24580655

  20. Sperm Storage in the Female Reproductive Tract in Birds

    PubMed Central

    SASANAMI, Tomohiro; MATSUZAKI, Mei; MIZUSHIMA, Shusei; HIYAMA, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The ability to store sperm in the female genital tract is frequently observed in vertebrates as well as in invertebrates. Because of the presence of a system that maintains the ejaculated sperm alive in the female reproductive tract in a variety of animals, this strategy appears to be advantageous for animal reproduction. Although the occurrence and physiological reasons for sperm storage have been reported extensively in many species, the mechanism of sperm storage in the female reproductive tract has been poorly understood until recently. In avian species, the specialized simple tubular invaginations referred to as sperm storage tubules (SSTs) are found in the oviduct as a sperm storage organ. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the mechanism of sperm uptake into the SSTs, maintenance within it, and controlled release of the sperm from the SSTs. Since sperm storage in avian species occurs at high body temperatures (i.e., 41 C), elucidation of the mechanism for sperm storage may lead to the development of new strategies for sperm preservation at ambient temperatures, and these could be used in a myriad of applications in the field of reproduction. PMID:23965601

  1. Circadian Control of Neuroendocrine Circuits Regulating Female Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Wilbur P.; Kriegsfeld, Lance J.

    2012-01-01

    Female reproduction requires the precise temporal organization of interacting, estradiol-sensitive neural circuits that converge to optimally drive hypothalamo-pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis functioning. In mammals, the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus coordinates reproductively relevant neuroendocrine events necessary to maximize reproductive success. Likewise, in species where periods of fertility are brief, circadian oversight of reproductive function ensures that estradiol-dependent increases in sexual motivation coincide with ovulation. Across species, including humans, disruptions to circadian timing (e.g., through rotating shift work, night shift work, poor sleep hygiene) lead to pronounced deficits in ovulation and fecundity. Despite the well-established roles for the circadian system in female reproductive functioning, the specific neural circuits and neurochemical mediators underlying these interactions are not fully understood. Most work to date has focused on the direct and indirect communication from the SCN to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) system in control of the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. However, the same clock genes underlying circadian rhythms at the cellular level in SCN cells are also common to target cell populations of the SCN, including the GnRH neuronal network. Exploring the means by which the master clock synergizes with subordinate clocks in GnRH cells and its upstream modulatory systems represents an exciting opportunity to further understand the role of endogenous timing systems in female reproduction. Herein we provide an overview of the state of knowledge regarding interactions between the circadian timing system and estradiol-sensitive neural circuits driving GnRH secretion and the preovulatory LH surge. PMID:22661968

  2. Water Quality Influences Reproduction in Female Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) from Eight Florida Springs

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Thea M.; Miller, Hilary D.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination of freshwater ecosystems with nitrate is a growing global concern. Although nitrate pollution is recognized as a cause of aquatic eutrophication, few studies have examined the possible physiological impacts of nitrate exposure. In this study, we surveyed several reproductive variables of viviparous female Gambusia holbrooki (Poeciliidae) captured from eight springs in Florida. The eight springs represent a gradient of nitrate contamination (1–5 mg/L nitrate–nitrogen). We had two objectives in this study: to describe reproductive biology of female mosquitofish in the springs and to understand reproductive variation in the context of water quality, particularly the nitrate concentration. Our data show a significant negative association between nitrate and both dry weight of developing embryos and rate of reproductive activity among mature females. In addition, variation in Gambusia condition index and embryo number and dry weight was related to temperature variation, and hepatic weight was negatively related to dissolved oxygen concentration. Finally, we observed that many of the measured reproductive variables were interrelated and changeable, depending on gestational stage. Specifically, we provide evidence that maternal support of the embryo occurs at least during the first two thirds of gestation and that female fecundity is affected by an apparent tradeoff between embryo size and embryo number. PMID:16818249

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

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Gary F.; Schust, Danny J.

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Leptin: a possible metabolic signal affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Spicer, L J

    2001-11-01

    Since its discovery in 1994, leptin, a protein hormone synthesized and secreted by adipose tissue, has been shown to regulate feed intake in several species including sheep and pigs. Although a nimiety of information exists regarding the physiological role of leptin in rodents and humans, the regulation and action of leptin in domestic animals is less certain. Emerging evidence in several species indicates that leptin may also affect the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Leptin receptor mRNA is present in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus of several species, including sheep. In rats, effects of leptin on GnRH, LH and FSH secretion have been inconsistent, with leptin exhibiting both stimulatory and inhibitory action in vivo and in vitro. Evidence to support direct action of leptin at the level of the gonad indicates that the leptin receptor and its mRNA are present in ovarian tissue of several species, including cattle. These leptin receptors are functional, since leptin inhibits insulin-induced steroidogenesis of both granulosa and thecal cells of cattle in vitro. Leptin receptor mRNA is also found in the testes of rodents. As with the ovary, these receptors are functional, at least in rats, since leptin inhibits hCG-induced testosterone secretion by Leydig cells in vitro. During pregnancy, placental production of leptin may be a major contributor to the increase in maternal leptin in primates but not rodents. However, in both primates and rodents, leptin receptors exist in placental tissues and may regulate metabolism of the fetal-placental unit. As specific leptin immunoassays are developed for domestic animals, in vivo associations may then be made among leptin, body energy stores, dietary energy intake and reproductive function. This may lead to a more definitive role of leptin in domestic animal reproduction. PMID:11872320

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  6. Late injury of cancer therapy on the female reproductive tract

    SciTech Connect

    Grigsby, P.W.; Russell, A.; Bruner, D.

    1995-03-30

    The purpose of this article is to review the late effects of cancer therapy on the female reproductive tract. The anatomic sites detailed are the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The available pathophysiology is discussed. Clinical syndromes are presented. Tolerance doses of irradiation for late effects are rarely presented in the literature and are reviewed where available. Management strategies for surgical, radiotherapeutic, and chemotherapeutic late effects are discussed. Endpoints for evaluation of therapeutic late effects have been formulated utilizing the symptons, objective, management, and analytic (SOMA) format. Late effects on the female reproductive tract from cancer therapy should be recognized and managed appropriately. A grading system for these effects is presented. Endpoints for late effects and tolls for the evaluation need to be further developed. 61 refs., 9 figs., 13 tabs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Disparities in access to reproductive health options for female adolescents.

    PubMed

    Ely, Gretchen E; Dulmus, Catherine N

    2010-05-01

    Fifty percent of female adolescents in the United States have intercourse by age 17, yet they do not have the autonomy under the law to access reproductive healthcare services that can address and prevent the negative consequences often associated with adolescent involvement in sexual activity. This article discusses disparities in access to reproductive health services for adolescents in three areas: abortion, over-the-counter emergency contraception, and the provision of the human papillomavirus vaccine. Suggestions for advocacy efforts necessary to eliminate such health disparities are also presented in an effort to elevate female adolescents to a status where they have the same access to health services that are available to adult women. PMID:20446180

  9. Recent female mouse models displaying advanced reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Danilovich, Natalia; Ram Sairam, M

    2006-02-01

    Reproductive senescence occurs in all female mammals with resultant changes in numerous body functional systems and several important features may be species-specific. Those features that appear to parallel human menopause and aging include general similarity of hormone profiles across the menopausal transition, progression to cycle termination through irregular cycles, declining fertility with age, disturbances in thermogenesis, age-related gains in body weight, fat distribution and disposition towards metabolic syndrome. Structural and hormonal changes in the brain and ovary play a critical role in determining the onset of reproductive senescence. The short life span of rodents such as mice (compared to humans) and the ability to generate specific and timed gene deletions, provide powerful experimental paradigms to understand the molecular and functional changes that precede and follow the loss of reproductive capacity. In theory, any manipulation that compromises ovarian function either partly or totally would impact reproductive events at various levels followed by other dysfunctions. In this article, we provide an overview of three mouse models for the study of female reproductive aging. They are derived from different strategies and their age related phenotypes have been characterized to varying degrees. The follitropin receptor knockout (FORKO) mouse, in its null and haploinsufficient state as well as the dioxin/aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) knockout mouse, serve as two examples of single gene deletions. A third model, using administration of a chemical toxicant such as 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) in the adult state, produces ovarian deficiencies accompanied by aging changes. These will serve as useful alternatives to previously used radical ovariectomy in young adults. It is anticipated that these new models and more that will be forthcoming will extend opportunities to understand reproductive aging and resolve controversies that abound on issues

  10. Parasite Removal Improves Reproductive Success of Female North American Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Jesse E. H.; Neuhaus, Peter; Kutz, Susan J.; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.

    2013-01-01

    In order to evaluate potential reproductive costs associated with parasitism, we experimentally removed ectoparasites from reproductive female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Body mass and overwinter survival of mothers, days to juvenile emergence, juvenile survival from birth to emergence, and body mass of juveniles at emergence were all compared to those of untreated (control) animals. Ectoparasite removal did not affect the body mass of mothers throughout the lactation period and overwinter survival of mothers did not differ between treatments and controls. Likewise, there was no effect of treatment on the number of days to juvenile emergence. However, treated mothers raised offspring that were significantly heavier (11%) than controls at emergence. Juveniles from treated mothers were also 24% more likely to survive from birth to emergence. Our results indicate that ectoparasites impose costs on the reproductive success of female red squirrels and that ectoparasites have the potential to influence red squirrel life-histories and population dynamics. PMID:23409041

  11. Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery on Female Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Dodson, William C.; Gnatuk, Carol L.; Estes, Stephanie J.; Kunselman, Allen R.; Meadows, Juliana W.; Kesner, James S.; Krieg, Edward F.; Rogers, Ann M.; Haluck, Randy S.; Cooney, Robert N.

    2012-01-01

    Context: Reproductive function may improve after bariatric surgery, although the mechanisms and time-related changes are unclear. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether ovulation frequency/quality as well as associated reproductive parameters improve after Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery. Design: This was a prospective cohort study that enrolled female subjects from 2005 to 2008 with study visits at baseline and then 1, 3, 6, 12, and up to 24 months after surgery. Setting: The study was conducted at an academic health center. Patients: Twenty-nine obese, reproductive-aged women not using confounding medications participated in the study. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was integrated levels of urinary progestin (pregnanediol 3-glururonide) from daily urinary collections at 12 months postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were changes in vaginal bleeding, other biometric, hormonal, ultrasound, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry measures, and Female Sexual Function Index. Results: Ninety percent of patients with morbid obesity had ovulatory cycles at baseline, and the ovulatory frequency and luteal phase quality (based on integrated pregnanediol 3-glururonide levels) were not modified by bariatric surgery. The follicular phase was shorter postoperatively [6.5 d shorter at 3 months and 7.9–8.9 d shorter at 6–24 months (P < 0.01)]. Biochemical hyperandrogenism improved, largely due to an immediate postoperative increase in serum SHBG levels(P < 0.01), with no change in clinical hyperandrogenism (sebum production, acne, hirsutism). Bone density was preserved, contrasting with a significant loss of lean muscle mass and fat (P < 0.001), reflecting preferential abdominal fat loss (P < 0.001). Female sexual function improved 28% (P = 0.02) by 12 months. Conclusions: Ovulation persists despite morbid obesity and the changes from bypass surgery. Reproductive function after surgery is characterized by a shortened follicular phase and improved

  12. Progression of female reproductive stages associated with bipolar illness exacerbation

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Wendy K.; Ketter, Terence A.; Crawford, Sybil L.; Johnson, Julia V.; Kroll-Desrosiers, Aimee; Rothschild, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Late perimenopause and early postmenopause confer an increased risk of depression in the population, yet bipolar disorder mood course during these times remains unclear. Methods Clinic visits in 519 premenopausal, 116 perimenopausal including 13 women transitioning from perimenopause to postmenopause, and 133 postmenopausal women with bipolar disorder who received naturalistic treatment in the multisite STEP-BD study over 19.8±15.5 months were analyzed for mood state. History of postpartum and perimenstrual mood exacerbation and current hormone therapy were evaluated as potential mood predictors. Results A progression in female reproductive stage (premenopause, perimenopause, and postmenopausae) was significantly associated with percent of visits decreasing in euthymia (29.3%, 27.0%, 25.0%, respectively, p<0.05) decreasing in syndromal mood elevation (5.3%, 4.1%, and 3.0%, respectively, p<0.001), and increasing in subsyndromal symptoms (47.3%, 50.7%, and 52.7%, respectively, p = 0.05). Thirteen women transitioning from peri- to postmenopause had a significantly greater proportion of visits in syndromal depression (24.4%, p<0.0005) compared to premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, while depression in the latter three groups (18.1%, 18.1%, and 19.3%, respectively) did not differ. Perimenstrual and/or postpartum mood exacerbation, or hormone therapy did not significantly alter depression during perimenopause. Conclusions A progression in female reproductive stages was associated with bipolar illness exacerbation. A small number of women transitioning from perimenopause to postmenopause had significantly greater depression than other female reproductive groups. Euthymia and mood elevation decreased with progressing female reproductive stage. Menstrual cycle or postpartum mood exacerbation, or current hormone therapy use, was not associated with perimenopausal depression. Future studies, which include hormonal assessments, are needed to

  13. Reproductive compensation in broad-nosed pipefish females.

    PubMed

    Goncalves, Ines Braga; Mobley, Kenyon B; Ahnesjö, Ingrid; Sagebakken, Gry; Jones, Adam G; Kvarnemo, Charlotta

    2010-05-22

    The differential allocation hypothesis assumes that animals should weigh costs and benefits of investing into reproduction with a current mate against the expected quality of future mates, and predicts that they should invest more into reproduction when pairing with a high-quality mate. In the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle), males care for the embryos in a brood pouch and females compete for access to male mating partners. Both sexes prefer mating with large partners. In the present study, we show that the same female provides both large and small mating partners with eggs of similar size, weight and lipid content when mated to two males in succession. Importantly, however, eggs provided to small males (less preferred) had higher egg protein content (11% more) than those provided to large males (preferred). Thus, contrary to the differential allocation hypothesis, eggs did not contain more resources when females mated with a larger male. Instead, the pattern observed in our results is consistent with a compensatory reproductive strategy. PMID:20106851

  14. DEHP Impairs Zebrafish Reproduction by Affecting Critical Factors in Oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Carnevali, Oliana; Tosti, Luca; Speciale, Claudia; Peng, Chun; Zhu, Yong; Maradonna, Francesca

    2010-01-01

    Public concerns on phthalates distributions in the environment have been increasing since they can cause liver cancer, structural abnormalities and reduce sperm counts in male reproductive system. However, few data are actually available on the effects of Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) in female reproductive system. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of DEHP on zebrafish oogenesis and embryo production. Female Danio rerio were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of DEHP and a significant decrease in ovulation and embryo production was observed. The effects of DEHP on several key regulators of oocyte maturation and ovulation including bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP15), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 (ptgs2) were determined by real time PCR. The expressions of BMP15 and mPR proteins were further determined by Western analyses to strengthen molecular findings. Moreover, plasma vitellogenin (vtg) titers were assayed by an ELISA procedure to determine the estrogenic effects of DEHP and its effects on oocyte growth. A significant reduction of fecundity in fish exposed to DEHP was observed. The reduced reproductive capacity was associated with an increase in ovarian BMP15 levels. This rise, in turn, was concomitant with a significant reduction in LHR and mPRβ levels. Finally, ptgs2 expression, the final trigger of ovulation, was also decreased by DEHP. By an in vitro maturation assay, the inhibitory effect of DEHP on germinal vesicle breakdown was further confirmed. In conclusion, DEHP affecting signals involved in oocyte growth (vtg), maturation (BMP15, LHR, mPRs,) and ovulation (ptgs2), deeply impairs ovarian functions with serious consequences on embryo production. Since there is a significant genetic similarity between D.rerio and humans, the harmful effects observed at oocyte level may be relevant for further molecular studies on humans. PMID:20419165

  15. Female alternative reproductive behaviors: the effect of female group size on mate assessment and copying.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Bernard J; Flaxman, Samuel M; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2008-08-01

    Extensive theoretical and empirical research has focused on male alternative reproductive tactics. In comparison, female alternative tactics have attracted little attention, and further theoretical and empirical research are needed. Using a game theoretical model, we examine female choice alternatives (1) by considering assessment errors in a novel and more realistic manner than done previously, and (2) for the first time, by highlighting the formation of groups of females as an important consequence of copying behavior. We consider two alternatives: direct assessment of male quality by females and female copying of the choice of other females. Assessment and copying are predicted to coexist under a wide variety of circumstances and copying is favored when females make assessment errors, when high-quality males are either common or very rare, and when female fitness declines with the number of other females choosing the same male. We also find that the frequency of copying at equilibrium is predicted to decrease when the presence of other females mating with the same male has a positive effect on female fitness (e.g. through increased male parental effort, decreased predation risk or cooperation among females). Female alternative choice tactics also influence the potential for sexual selection. In our model, when the frequency of copying females is low, the potential for sexual selection can be higher than in the absence of female copying. However, contrary to previous theory, we find that as copying females become more common than assessing females, the potential for sexual selection will be low as more females copy the mate choice of other copiers without assessment. PMID:18511084

  16. Testosterone and cortisol concentrations vary with reproductive status in wild female red deer.

    PubMed

    Pavitt, Alyson T; Pemberton, Josephine M; Kruuk, Loeske E B; Walling, Craig A

    2016-02-01

    Although hormones are key regulators of many fitness and life history traits, the causes of individual level variation in hormones, particularly in wild systems, remain understudied. Whilst we know that androgen and glucocorticoid levels vary within and among individuals in mammalian populations, how this relates to key reproductive processes such as gestation and lactation, and their effects on a female's measurable hormone levels are poorly understood in wild systems. Using fecal samples collected from females in a wild red deer population between 2001 and 2013, we explore how fecal androgen (FAM) and cortisol (FCM) metabolite concentrations change with age and season, and how individual differences relate to variation in reproductive state. Both FAM and FCM levels increase toward parturition, although this only affects FCM levels in older females. FCM levels are also higher when females suckle a male rather than a female calf, possibly due to the higher energetic costs of raising a son. This illustrates the importance of accounting for a female's life history and current reproductive status, as well as temporal variation, when examining individual differences in hormone levels. We discuss these findings in relation to other studies of mammalian systems and in particular to the relatively scarce information on variation in natural levels of hormones in wild populations. PMID:26941946

  17. A shortage of males causes female reproductive failure in yellow ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Vasilieva, Nina; Tchabovsky, Andrey

    2015-10-01

    Sexual conflict theory suggests that female breeding success is strongly influenced by individual life history and environmental conditions and is much less affected by mate availability. Female mating failure due to a shortage of males remains poorly studied and understood. We present data on the effects of male availability on female breeding success in a wild colony of yellow ground squirrels (Spermophilus fulvus). A female's probability of breeding increased with the local density of males and was higher with higher male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) but was independent of local female density, female age, and body condition, which are factors commonly assumed to influence female reproduction. The positive effect of male availability (as measured by OSR) on female breeding success was consistent across the years, and we conclude that male limitation contributes to female mating failure. This pattern, which is not commonly recorded in species with conventional sex roles, can be explained by a combination of sociodemographic and life history traits (sex differences in age of maturation, female-skewed adult sex ratio and seasonally varying OSR, solitary living at low population density, and low mobility of females combined with mate-searching tactics of males) that are not confined to S. fulvus. Our findings indicate that the role of female mating failure (due to a shortage of males) in shaping mammalian life history may be underestimated. PMID:26601284

  18. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J.; Chandler, Jane N.; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  19. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J; Chandler, Jane N; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-05-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production. PMID:27080552

  20. Does genetic introgression improve female reproductive performance? A test on the endangered Florida panther.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Jeffrey A; Onorato, David P; Bolker, Benjamin M; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jansen, Deborah; Oli, Madan K

    2012-01-01

    Genetic introgression has been suggested as a management tool for mitigating detrimental effects of inbreeding depression, but the role of introgression in species conservation has been controversial, partly because population-level impacts of genetic introgressions are not well understood. Concerns about potential inbreeding depression in the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) led to the release of eight female Texas pumas (P. c. stanleyana) into the Florida panther population in 1995. We used long-term reproductive data (1995-2008) collected from 61 female Florida panthers to estimate and model reproduction probability (probability of producing a litter) and litter size, and to investigate the influence of intentional genetic introgression on these parameters. Overall, 6-month probability of reproduction (±1SE) was 0.232 ± 0.021 and average litter size was 2.60 ± 0.09. Although F(1) admixed females had a lower reproduction probability than females with other ancestries, this was most likely because kittens born to F(1) females survive better; consequently, these females are unavailable for breeding until kittens are independent. There was no evidence for the effect of ancestry on litter size or of heterozygosity on probability of reproduction or litter size. In contrast, earlier studies have shown that genetic introgression positively affected Florida panther survival. Our results, along with those of earlier studies, clearly suggest that genetic introgression can have differential effects on components of fitness and highlight the importance of examining multiple demographic parameters when evaluating the effects of management actions. PMID:21805300

  1. A shortage of males causes female reproductive failure in yellow ground squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Vasilieva, Nina; Tchabovsky, Andrey

    2015-01-01

    Sexual conflict theory suggests that female breeding success is strongly influenced by individual life history and environmental conditions and is much less affected by mate availability. Female mating failure due to a shortage of males remains poorly studied and understood. We present data on the effects of male availability on female breeding success in a wild colony of yellow ground squirrels (Spermophilus fulvus). A female’s probability of breeding increased with the local density of males and was higher with higher male-biased operational sex ratio (OSR) but was independent of local female density, female age, and body condition, which are factors commonly assumed to influence female reproduction. The positive effect of male availability (as measured by OSR) on female breeding success was consistent across the years, and we conclude that male limitation contributes to female mating failure. This pattern, which is not commonly recorded in species with conventional sex roles, can be explained by a combination of sociodemographic and life history traits (sex differences in age of maturation, female-skewed adult sex ratio and seasonally varying OSR, solitary living at low population density, and low mobility of females combined with mate-searching tactics of males) that are not confined to S. fulvus. Our findings indicate that the role of female mating failure (due to a shortage of males) in shaping mammalian life history may be underestimated. PMID:26601284

  2. Male reproductive traits and their relationship to reproductive traits in their female progeny: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Burns, B M; Gazzola, C; Holroyd, R G; Crisp, J; McGowan, M R

    2011-06-01

    The overall objective of one of the major research programs in the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Beef Genetic Technologies is to 'Improve female reproductive performance' in tropical, northern Australian beef cattle herds. To address this overall objective, a quantitative genetics project focused on investigation of male reproductive traits was designed and linked to three female reproduction-focussed projects, (i) discovery of genes associated with post-partum re-conception and age at puberty; (ii) expression of genes associated with post-partum re-conception; and (iii) early predictors of lifetime female reproductive performance. During the initial planning of this male reproductive traits project, the CRC Scientific Review Committee recommended that the research team investigate and evaluate potentially new, early-life (i.e able to be measured before 2 years of age) predictors of both male and female reproductive performance. To address this recommendation, the following was carried out: (i) criteria for selection of traditional and candidate traits were established; (ii) methodology for tabulation of potential traits/phenotypes that define male and female reproductive function was developed; and (iii) a systematic scientific review of early-life predictors of male and female fertility was prepared. This review concluded that although factors that might be useful in predicting male reproductive performance have been studied for many years, there was relatively little useful information available to meet the objectives of this review. It was also concluded that the direction of future research should be guided not only by previous research which was scarce, but also by speculative hypotheses arising from an understanding of the physiological, endocrinological and genetic processes active in reproduction. A small number of new traits were recommended in addition to traditional sperm morphology, sexual behaviour, anatomical structure and growth traits

  3. Pregnancy Incidence in Female Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Survivors of Reproductive Age

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Bo-Ching; Yen, Ruoh-Fang; Lin, Cheng-Li; Liang, Ji-An; Lin, Ming-Chia; Kao, Chia-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This study evaluated the pregnancy incidence in female nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) survivors of reproductive age. In a nationwide cohort, 2816 female patients 15 to 50 years of age from 1998 to 2010 were identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research database. Comorbidities, complications during pregnancy, and delivery status were recorded. All patients were followed up until a diagnosis of pregnancy, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance system, or December 31, 2011. Overall, 155 patients (incidence rate [IR] = 9.50) were pregnant in the NPC group, whereas 251 patients (IR = 12.80) were pregnant in the non-NPC group. The cumulative incidence of pregnancy in the NPC group was lower than that in the non-NPC group (incidence rate ratio = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.61–0.91). The adjusted hazard ratio of pregnancy in the NPC group was 0.79 with 95% CI = 0.61–0.96, compared with the non-NPC group. The incidence of pregnancy is significantly lower among female NPC survivors of reproductive age than among those without NPC. PMID:27196495

  4. Reproductive alterations in hyperinsulinemic but normoandrogenic MSG obese female rats.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Renato Simões; Benevides, Renata Ohana Alves; Fontelles, João Lucas de Lima; Vale, Caroline Castro; França, Lucas Martins; Barros, Paulo de Tarso Silva; Paes, Antonio Marcus de Andrade

    2016-05-01

    Obesity and metabolic syndrome are the common causes of reproductive and fertility disorders in women. In particular, polycystic ovary syndrome, which is clinically characterized by hyperandrogenism, oligo/anovulation, and polycystic ovarian morphology, has been increasingly associated with metabolic disorders. However, given the broad interplay between metabolic and reproductive functions, this remains a field of intense research. In this study, we investigated the effect of monosodium l-glutamate (MSG)-induced obesity on reproductive biology of female rats. Newborn female rats were subcutaneously injected with MSG (4g/kg/day) or equiosmolar saline (CTR) each 2 days up to postnatal day (pnd) 10. On pnd 60, estrous cycle was evaluated using vaginal smears twice a day for 15 days, which showed MSG rats to be oligocyclic. Thereafter, animals were killed on estrous phase for blood and tissue collection. MSG rats had increased body mass, accumulation of retroperitoneal and visceral fat pads, and visceral adipocyte hypertrophy compared with CTR rats. MSG rats were also dyslipidemic and hyperinsulinemic but were normoglycemic and normoandrogenic. Ovarian morphology analysis showed that MSG rats had a two-fold decrease in oocyte count but a six-fold increase on ovarian follicular cysts, along with a higher number of total primordial and atretic follicles. Moreover, MSG rats had a four-fold increase in anti-Müllerian hormone immunohistochemical staining on antral follicles. Taken together, data presented here characterize MSG obesity as a unique model to study the metabolic pathways underlying reproductive disorders in the absence of overactivated hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. PMID:26952035

  5. Genetic Syndromes and Genes Involved in the Development of the Female Reproductive Tract: A Possible Role for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Connell, MT; Owen, CM; Segars, JH

    2014-01-01

    Müllerian and vaginal anomalies are congenital malformations of the female reproductive tract resulting from alterations in the normal developmental pathway of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and vagina. The most common of the Müllerian anomalies affect the uterus and may adversely impact reproductive outcomes highlighting the importance of gaining understanding of the genetic mechanisms that govern normal and abnormal development of the female reproductive tract. Modern molecular genetics with study of knock out animal models as well as several genetic syndromes featuring abnormalities of the female reproductive tract have identified candidate genes significant to this developmental pathway. Further emphasizing the importance of understanding female reproductive tract development, recent evidence has demonstrated expression of embryologically significant genes in the endometrium of adult mice and humans. This recent work suggests that these genes not only play a role in the proper structural development of the female reproductive tract but also may persist in adults to regulate proper function of the endometrium of the uterus. As endometrial function is critical for successful implantation and pregnancy maintenance, these recent data suggest a target for gene therapy. Future research will be needed to determine if gene therapy may improve reproductive outcomes for patients with demonstrated deficient endometrial expression related to abnormal gene expression. PMID:25506511

  6. Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Programs Reproductive Dysfunction in Female Mice Offspring Through Adverse Effects on the Neuroendocrine Axis.

    PubMed

    Nicholas, Cari; Davis, Joseph; Fisher, Thomas; Segal, Thalia; Petti, Marilena; Sun, Yan; Wolfe, Andrew; Neal-Perry, Genevieve

    2016-04-01

    Vitamin D (VitD) deficiency affects more than 1 billion people worldwide with a higher prevalence in reproductive-aged women and children. The physiological effects of maternal VitD deficiency on the reproductive health of the offspring has not been studied. To determine whether maternal VitD deficiency affects reproductive physiology in female offspring, we monitored the reproductive physiology of C57BL/6J female offspring exposed to diet-induced maternal VitD deficiency at three specific developmental stages: 1) in utero, 2) preweaning, or 3) in utero and preweaning. We hypothesized that exposure to maternal VitD deficiency disrupts reproductive function in exposed female offspring. To test this hypothesis, we assessed vaginal opening and cytology and ovary and pituitary function as well as gonadotropin and gonadal steroid levels in female offspring. The in utero, preweaning, and in utero and preweaning VitD deficiency did not affect puberty. However, all female mice exposed to maternal VitD deficiency developed prolonged and irregular estrous cycles characterized by oligoovulation and extended periods of diestrus. Despite similar gonadal steroid levels and GnRH neuron density, females exposed to maternal VitD deficiency released less LH on the evening of proestrus. When compared with control female offspring, there was no significant difference in the ability of females exposed to maternal VitD deficiency to respond robustly to exogenous GnRH peptide or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. These findings suggest that maternal VitD deficiency programs reproductive dysfunction in adult female offspring through adverse effects on hypothalamic function. PMID:26741195

  7. Role of the innate immunity in female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Amjadi, Fatemehsadat; Salehi, Ensieh; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi; Aflatoonian, Reza

    2014-01-01

    The mucosal immune system in the female reproductive tract (FRT) is well equipped to meet the sexually transmitted pathogens, allogeneic sperm, and the immunologically distinct fetus. Analysis of the FRT indicates that epithelial cells provide a physical barrier against pathogens and microbial infections as well as secretions containing anti-microbial peptides, cytokines, and chemokines which recruit and activate immune cells. Epithelial and immune cells confer protection in part through Toll-like receptors. The aim of this literature is to review the diverse components of the innate immune system, contributing to an exclusive protection system throughout the FRT. PMID:24592358

  8. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. Reproduction reduces photosynthetic capacity in females of the subdioecious Honckenya peploides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Vilas, Julia; Retuerto, Rubén

    2011-03-01

    As a consequence of the different reproductive functions performed by the sexes, sexually dimorphic/polymorphic plants may exhibit gender-related variations in the energy and resources allocated to reproduction, and in the physiological processes that underlie these differences. This study investigated whether the sexes of the subdioecious plant Honckenya peploides differ in ecophysiological traits related to photosynthetic capacity and whether possible differences depend on reproductive status and on the plant's position (edge or centre) in the population. We registered in three sites in NW Spain, the sex and density of shoots of two segregated clumps of plants. These clumps represent an extreme case of sex-ratio variation across space, with separated single-sex clumps of plants. In two of these sites we measured photosynthetic efficiencies, chlorophyll content, and specific leaf areas. In females, reproduction reduced photochemical efficiency, chlorophyll content and increased the specific leaf area, which is a key leaf trait related to photosynthetic capacity. In males, no differences due to reproduction were detected. The position within the clump affected the specific leaf area of the shoots, with shoots growing at the edge having the lowest values, regardless of the sex. Finally, the effects of position in photosynthetic efficiency and chlorophyll content where highly variable among clumps. We conclude that the differential effects of reproduction on sexes may entail different costs that could be crucial in the outcome of interactions between them, contributing to their spatial segregation.

  10. Dicer1 Is Essential for Female Fertility and Normal Development of the Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Xiaoman; Luense, Lacey J.; McGinnis, Lynda K.; Nothnick, Warren B.; Christenson, Lane K.

    2008-01-01

    The ribonuclease III endonuclease, Dicer1 (also known as Dicer), is essential for the synthesis of the 19–25 nucleotide noncoding RNAs known as micro-RNAs (miRNAs). These miRNAs associate with the RNA-induced silencing complex to regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally by base pairing with 3′untranslated regions of complementary mRNA targets. Although it is established that miRNAs are expressed in the reproductive tract, their functional role and effect on reproductive disease remain unknown. The studies herein establish for the first time the reproductive phenotype of mice with loxP insertions in the Dicer1 gene (Dicer1fl/fl) when crossed with mice expressing Cre-recombinase driven by the anti-müllerian hormone receptor 2 promoter (Amhr2Cre/+). Adult female Dicer1fl/fl;Amhr2Cre/+ mice displayed normal mating behavior but failed to produce offspring when exposed to fertile males during a 5-month breeding trial. Morphological and histological assessments of the reproductive tracts of immature and adult mice indicated that the uterus and oviduct were hypotrophic, and the oviduct was highly disorganized. Natural mating of Dicer1fl/fl;Amhr2Cre/+ females resulted in successful fertilization as evidenced by the recovery of fertilized oocytes on d 1 pregnancy, which developed normally to blastocysts in culture. Developmentally delayed embryos were collected from Dicer1fl/fl; Amhr2Cre/+ mice on d 3 pregnancy when compared with controls. Oviductal transport was disrupted in the Dicer1fl/fl;Amhr2Cre/+ mouse as evidenced by the failure of embryos to enter the uterus on d 4 pregnancy. These studies implicate Dicer1/miRNA mediated posttranscriptional gene regulation in reproductive somatic tissues as critical for the normal development and function of these tissues and for female fertility. PMID:18703631

  11. Male reproductive skew, paternal relatedness, and female social relationships.

    PubMed

    Schülke, Oliver; Ostner, Julia

    2008-07-01

    Female social relationships among primates are thought to be shaped by socio-ecological factors and phylogenetic constraints. We suggest that patterns of paternal relatedness among females influence measures of social tolerance that have been used to classify species into different social relationship categories. As kin support and kin preference have only been measured for matrilineal kin and related individuals exchange less aggression and have a higher conciliatory tendency, the observed low nepotism levels and high tolerance levels may be an artifact of hidden paternal relatedness among the nonkin category. Using comparative data on macaques, we investigate this hypothesis using male reproductive skew as a proxy for paternal relatedness. Within the limitations of the study we show that populations classified as being less nepotistic, and more tolerant exhibit higher levels of reproductive skew. This first result and the reasoning behind may motivate future students of social relationships to take paternal relatedness into consideration. Potential implications of this finding if repeated with larger samples include that variation in aspects of macaque social relationships may be explained without considering phylogeny or the strength of between-group contest competition for food. PMID:18421769

  12. Neurobiology of Stress-Induced Reproductive Dysfunction In Female Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Bethea, Cynthia L.; Centeno, Maria Luisa; Cameron, Judy L.

    2012-01-01

    It is now well accepted that stress can precipitate mental and physical illness. However, it is becoming clear that given the same stress, some individuals are very vulnerable and will succumb to illness while others are more resilient and cope effectively, rather than becoming ill. This difference between individuals is called stress sensitivity. Stress-sensitivity of an individual appears to be influenced by genetically inherited factors, early life (even prenatal) stress, and by the presence or absence of factors that provide protection from stress. In comparison to other stress-related diseases, the concept of sensitivity versus resilience to stress-induced reproductive dysfunction has received relatively little attention. The studies presented herein were undertaken to begin to identify stable characteristics and the neural underpinnings of individuals with sensitivity to stress-induced reproductive dysfunction. Female cynomolgus macaques with normal menstrual cycles either stop ovulating (Stress Sensitive) or to continue to ovulate (Stress Resilient) upon exposure to a combined metabolic and psychosocial stress. However, even in the absence of stress, the stress sensitive animals have lower secretion of the ovarian steroids, estrogen and progesterone, have higher heart rates, have lower serotonin function, have fewer serotonin neurons and lower expression of pivotal serotonin-related genes, have lower expression of 5HT2A and 2C genes in the hypothalamus, have higher gene expression of GAD67 and CRH in the hypothalamus and have reduced GnRH transport to the anterior pituitary. Altogether, the results suggest that the neurobiology of reproductive circuits in stress sensitive individuals is compromised. We speculate that with the application of stress, the dysfunction of these neural systems becomes exacerbated and reproductive function ceases. PMID:18931961

  13. Reproductive and resource benefits to large female body size in a mammal with female-biased sexual size dimorphism

    SciTech Connect

    Fokidis, H.B., T.S. Risch and T.C. Glenn

    2007-01-01

    Factors underlying the evolution of female-biased sexual size dimorphism in mammals are poorly understood. In an effort to better understand these factors we tested whether larger female southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, gained reproductive advantages (larger litters or more male mates) and direct resource benefits, such as larger home ranges or access to more food (i.e. mast-producing trees). As dimorphism can vary with age in precocial breeding species, we compared females during their first reproduction and during a subsequent breeding attempt. Females were not significantly larger or heavier than males at first reproduction, but became about 7% heavier and 22% larger than males at subsequent breeding. Larger females produced larger litters and had home ranges containing a greater proportion of upland hardwood trees. Female body size was not associated with either multiple male mating or home range size, but females with larger home ranges had higher indexes of body condition. Females in precocial breeding flying squirrels initiate reproduction before sexual size dimorphism is evident, and thus, may be allocating resources to both reproduction and growth simultaneously, or delaying growth entirely. Larger females produce more pups and have access to more food resources. Thus, selection for increased female size may partly explain how female-biased sexual size dimorphism is maintained in this species.

  14. Adiponectin and the control of female reproductive functions.

    PubMed

    Palin, Marie-France; Bordignon, V Vilceu; Murphy, Bruce D

    2012-01-01

    adiponectin may also act on the release of gonadotropins. Adipose tissue is now recognized as an important factor in the complex equation by which the nutritional status regulates female reproductive functions. For example, underweight women have delayed puberty and higher risk of premature delivery, whereas overweight and obese women have early puberty and are prone to develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and preeclampsia. Because hypoadiponectinemia is often associated with the abovementioned disorders, it has been suggested that this adipokine might play a role in the development of these pregnancy-related complications. Moreover, as these reproductive disorders often come with metabolic complications such as insulin and glucose resistance, the insulin-sensitizing effects of adiponectin may explain the observed association of this adipokine with PCOS, GDM, and preeclampsia. This review summarizes current knowledge on the role of adiponectin in female reproductive tissues and highlights mechanisms where information is available. We also discuss about the known and potential roles of adiponectin in the development of reproductive disorders. PMID:23017719

  15. Cell Death and Reproductive Regression in Female Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Galanti, Sarah E.; Huang, Stanley Ching-Cheng; Pearce, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    The vitellarium is a highly proliferative organ, producing cells which are incorporated along with a fertilized ovum into the schistosome egg. Vitellarial growth fails to occur in virgin female schistosomes in single sex (female-only) infections, and involution of this tissue, which is accompanied by physical shrinkage of the entire worm, occurs when mature females sexually regress upon removal from their male partners. We have found that upon removal from their hosts into tissue culture, female parasites regress whether they are mated or not, but that cessation of egg production and a decline in expression of the vitelline gene p14 is delayed by mating. We used BrdU labeling to investigate whether there was a loss of proliferation in the vittelarium that might account for regression and found that the proliferation rate declined equally in paired and singled females once placed into culture. However, TUNEL staining and Caspase 3 activity measurements indicate that the loss of vitrellarial cellularity associated with regression is associated with profound apoptotic vitelline cell death, which is not apparent in the vitellaria of paired females immediately ex vivo, and which develops in vitro regardless of whether males are present or not. Furthermore, primordial vitellaria in virgin females have a high frequency of apoptotic cells but are characterized by a proliferation rate that is indistinguishable from that in fully developed vitellaria in mature paired females. Taken together, our data suggest that the vitelline proliferation rate is independent of pairing status. In contrast, the survival of vitelline cells, and therefore the development of the vitellarium, is highly male-dependent. Both processes are negatively affected by removal from the host regardless of whether male worms are present or not, and are unsustainable using standard tissue culture approaches. PMID:22363825

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. An Androgenic Agricultural Contaminant Impairs Female Reproductive Behaviour in a Freshwater Fish

    PubMed Central

    Saaristo, Minna; Tomkins, Patrick; Allinson, Mayumi; Allinson, Graeme; Wong, Bob B. M.

    2013-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a large group of environmental pollutants that can interfere with the endocrine system function of organisms at very low levels. One compound of great concern is trenbolone, which is widely used as a growth promoter in the cattle industry in many parts of the world. The aim of this study was to test how short-term (21-day) exposure to an environmentally relevant concentration of 17β-trenbolone (measured concentration 6 ng/L) affects reproductive behaviour and fin morphology in the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). The mosquitofish is a sexually dimorphic livebearer with males inseminating females using their modified anal fin, the gonopodium, as an intromittent organ. Although the species has a coercive mating system, females are able to exert some control over the success of male mating attempts by selectively associating with, or avoiding, certain males over others. We found that females exposed to trenbolone approached males less and spent more time swimming away from males than non-exposed (control) females. By contrast, we found no difference in the behaviour of exposed and non-exposed males. Furthermore, exposure did not affect the anal fin morphology of males or females. This is the first study to demonstrate that exposure to an androgenic EDC can impair female (but not male) behaviour. Our study illustrates how anthropogenic contaminants can have sex-specific effects, and highlights the need to examine the behavioural responses of environmental contaminants in both sexes. PMID:23671634

  19. Reproductive consequences of female size in haematophagous ectoparasites.

    PubMed

    Kiefer, Daniel; Warburton, Elizabeth M; Khokhlova, Irina S; Krasnov, Boris R

    2016-08-01

    To test relationships between maternal size, egg size and size of new offspring, we studied (a) the effect of maternal size on egg size and number, and maternal survival after oviposition and (b) the effect of egg size on the duration of development and new imago size in three flea species (Xenopsylla ramesis, Synosternus cleopatrae, Parapulex chephrenis) with varying host and habitat specificity. In general, the number and size of eggs as well as total egg volume appeared to be independent of maternal body size. There was no trade-off between egg number and size. However, female body size was related to post-oviposition survival, with larger females surviving longer after oviposition than smaller females. In addition, females that produced more eggs died faster after oviposition in X. ramesis but not in the two other species. There were no significant size differences between eggs that developed into new imagoes and eggs that did not survive. Survivorship of male and female eggs did not differ; however, new adult females were significantly larger than new adult males. Female, but not male, new imagoes exhibited a significant positive relationship between egg size and duration of preimaginal development in all three species, with larger eggs developing faster than smaller eggs. In X. ramesis and S. cleopatrae, faster developing eggs also developed into larger new imagoes. We conclude that these patterns were largely consistent among the three flea species, suggesting that they result from the same mechanisms and are weakly affected by the ecological specialization of a given species. PMID:27229473

  20. Self-reported stress and reproductive health of female lawyers.

    PubMed

    Schenker, M B; Eaton, M; Green, R; Samuels, S

    1997-06-01

    We studied the prevalence and relationship of stress and working conditions with adverse reproductive outcomes in a cohort of female US law-school alumnae. A total of 584 female lawyers (74% response), aged 25 to 63, responded to a mailed questionnaire. Job hours per week was a strong predictor of job stress. In a logistic regression analysis, women working > 45 hours/week were five times as likely to report high stress as those working < 35 hours/week. Marriage and length of time on the job showed a small inverse association with stress. Women who worked more than 45 hours/week during their first trimester of pregnancy were more likely to report high stress at work during pregnancy. After being adjusted for confounding factors, weekly job hours during the first trimester of pregnancy showed a strong independent association with spontaneous abortion risk (odds ratio [OR], 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 6.6). Seven or more alcohol drinks/week was also independently associated with spontaneous abortion risk (OR, 4.8; 95% CI, 1.5 to 18.1). Self-reported stress during pregnancy was positively but not statistically significantly associated with spontaneous abortion (OR, 1.4; 95% CI 0.8 to 2.3). PMID:9211214

  1. Familiarity affects the assessment of female facial signals of fertility by free-ranging male rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Higham, James P.; Hughes, Kelly D.; Brent, Lauren J. N.; Dubuc, Constance; Engelhardt, Antje; Heistermann, Michael; Maestriperi, Dario; Santos, Laurie R.; Stevens, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Animals signal their reproductive status in a range of sensory modalities. Highly social animals, such as primates, have access not only to such signals, but also to prior experience of other group members. Whether this experience affects how animals interpret reproductive signals is unknown. Here, we explore whether familiarity with a specific female affects a male's ability to assess that female's reproductive signals. We used a preferential looking procedure to assess signal discrimination in free-ranging rhesus macaques, a species in which female facial luminance covaries with reproductive status. We collected images of female faces throughout the reproductive cycle, and using faecal hormone analysis to determine ovulation, categorized images as coming from a female's pre-fertile, ovulating, or post-fertile period. We printed colour-calibrated stimuli of these faces, reproducing stimuli perceptually the same in colour and luminance to the original appearance of females. These images were presented to males who were either unfamiliar or familiar with stimuli females. Overall, males distinguished ovulatory from pre-ovulatory faces. However, a significant proportion of males did so only among males familiar with stimuli females. These experiments demonstrate that familiarity may increase a receiver's ability to use a social partner's signals to discern their reproductive status. PMID:21471112

  2. Effective gene dispersal and female reproductive success in Mediterranean maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton).

    PubMed

    González-Martínez, Santiago C; Burczyk, Jaroslaw; Nathan, Ran; Nanos, Nikos; Gil, Luis; Alía, Ricardo

    2006-12-01

    Understanding population-scale processes that affect allele frequency changes across generations is a long-standing interest in genetic, ecological and evolutionary research. In particular, individual differences in female reproductive success and the spatial scale of gene flow considerably affect evolutionary change and patterns of local selection. In this study, a recently developed maximum-likelihood (ML) method based on established offspring, the Seedling Neighbourhood Model, was applied and exponentially shaped dispersal kernels were fitted to both genetic and ecological data in a widespread Mediterranean pine, Pinus pinaster Aiton. The distribution of female reproductive success in P. pinaster was very skewed (about 10% of trees mothered 50% of offspring) and significant positive female selection gradients for diameter (gamma = 0.7293) and cone crop (gamma = 0.4524) were found. The selective advantage of offspring mothered by bigger trees could be due to better-quality seeds. These seeds may show more resilience to severe summer droughts and microsite variation related to water and nutrient availability. Both approaches, ecological and of parentage, consistently showed a long-distance dispersal component in saplings that was not found in dispersal kernels based on seed shadows, highlighting the importance of Janzen-Connell effects and microenvironmental variation for survival at early stages of establishment in this Mediterranean key forest tree. PMID:17107484

  3. Reproductive tradeoff limits the predatory efficiency of female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Life history tradeoffs may result from temporal and physiological constraints intrinsic to an organism. When faced with limited time and energy, compromises occur and these resources are allocated among essential activities, such as body growth, maintenance, foraging, mating, and offspring care. We investigated potential tradeoffs that may occur between reproductive activities and feeding performance in female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus) by comparing the time taken to capture prey between non-reproductive and reproductive females (gravid females and females exhibiting maternal care, i.e. carrying offspring on their backs). Results Gravid females were as efficient at catching prey as non-gravid females. To control for variation in the duration of the maternal care period, we removed all offspring from all post-parturient females after 5 days. Brooding females and females 24 hours following offspring removal (FOR) did not successfully capture prey within the 900-second trial period. Twenty-eight days FOR, females caught prey faster than females displaying maternal care and females 24 hours FOR, but were not as efficient at catching prey as non-gravid and gravid females. When pursuing prey, C. sculpturatus exhibiting maternal care used an active foraging strategy more frequently than non-gravid, gravid, and females 28 days FOR. In contrast, non-gravid, gravid, and females 28 days FOR used active and ambush foraging with similar frequency. Conclusions Our data suggest that reproduction does not significantly reduce the predatory efficiency of gravid C. sculpturatus, and that these females can cope with increasing body mass and the physiological costs of gestation. However, the observation that brooding females and females 24 hours FOR did not catch prey within the trial period indicates that maternal care significantly reduces predatory efficiency in these scorpions. Females 28 days FOR were still not as efficient at catching

  4. The role of sex hormones in immune protection of the female reproductive tract

    PubMed Central

    Wira, Charles R.; Rodriguez-Garcia, Marta; Patel, Mickey V.

    2016-01-01

    Within the human female reproductive tract (FRT), the challenge of protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is coupled with the need to enable successful reproduction. Oestradiol and progesterone, which are secreted during the menstrual cycle, affect epithelial cells, fibroblasts and immune cells in the FRT to modify their functions and hence the individual’s susceptibility to STIs in ways that are unique to specific sites in the FRT. The innate and adaptive immune systems are under hormonal control, and immune protection in the FRT varies with the phase of the menstrual cycle. Immune protection is dampened during the secretory phase of the cycle to optimize conditions for fertilization and pregnancy, which creates a ‘window of vulnerability’ during which potential pathogens can enter and infect the FRT. PMID:25743222

  5. Condition dependence of male and female reproductive success: insights from a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

    PubMed

    Janicke, Tim; Chapuis, Elodie

    2016-02-01

    Sexually selected traits are predicted to show condition dependence by capturing the genetic quality of its bearer. In separate-sexed organisms, this will ultimately translate into condition dependence of reproductive success of the sex that experiences sexual selection, which is typically the male. Such condition dependence of reproductive success is predicted to be higher in males than females under conditions promoting intense sexual selection. For simultaneous hermaphrodites, however, sex allocation theory predicts that individuals in poor condition channel relatively more resources into the male sex function at the expense of the female function. Thus, male reproductive success is expected to be less condition dependent than female reproductive success. We subjected individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Physa acuta to two feeding treatments to test for condition dependence of male and female reproductive success under varying levels of male-male competition. Condition dependence was found for female, but not for male, reproductive success, meaning that selection on condition is relatively stronger through the female sex function. This effect was consistent over both male-male competition treatments. Decomposition of male and female reproductive performance revealed that individuals in poor condition copulated more in their male role, indicating an increased male allocation to mate acquisition. These findings suggest that sex-specific condition dependence of reproductive success is at least partially driven by condition-dependent sex allocation. We discuss the implications of condition-dependent sex allocation for the evolution of sexually selected traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites. PMID:26865970

  6. Cascading costs of reproduction in female house wrens induced to lay larger clutches

    PubMed Central

    HODGES, C. J.; BOWERS, E. K.; THOMPSON, C. F.; SAKALUK, S. K.

    2015-01-01

    In many species, females produce fewer offspring than they are capable of rearing, possibly because increases in current reproductive effort come at the expense of a female’s own survival and future reproduction. To test this, we induced female house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) to lay more eggs than they normally would and assessed the potential costs of increasing cumulative investment in the three main components of the avian breeding cycle – egg laying, incubation, and nestling provisioning. Females with increased clutch sizes reared more offspring in the first brood than controls, but fledged a lower proportion of nestlings. Moreover, nestlings of experimental females were lighter than those of control females as brood size and pre-fledging mass were negatively correlated. In second broods of the season, when females were not manipulated, experimental females laid the same number of eggs as controls, but experienced an intra-seasonal cost through reduced hatchling survival and a lower number of young fledged. Offspring of control and experimental females were equally likely to recruit to the breeding population, although control females produced more recruits per egg laid. The reproductive success of recruits from broods of experimental and control females did not differ. The manipulation also induced inter-seasonal costs to future reproduction, as experimental females had lower fecundity than controls when breeding at least two years after having their reproductive effort experimentally increased. Finally, females producing the modal clutch size of seven eggs in their first broods had the highest lifetime number of fledglings. PMID:26012556

  7. The effects of water-soluble fractions of oil on reproduction in the female Atlantic croaker

    SciTech Connect

    Budiantara, L.; Thomas, P.

    1994-12-31

    Female Atlantic croaker were exposed to 2.5% and 5% water-soluble fractions (WSFs) of diesel fuel during gonadal recrudescence. Dosing with freshly prepared WSFs was repeated every two days. Exposure was terminated after 5 or 1 0 weeks when control fish were either at early or late gonadal recrudescence. Chronic oil exposure did not affect the condition factor; however, reproductive function was clearly impaired. Puberty was delayed or prevented with oil exposure. ovarian growth as indicated by gonadosomatic index was also decreased. Incubation of endocrine tissue in vitro revealed decreases in the secretion of gonadotropin and ovarian steroids, which were associated with decreases in plasma steroid and vitellogenin levels. In addition, there was a decrease in the ability of the fully grown oocytes from exposed fish to undergo final oocyte maturation (FOM). Exposure to a WSF with low concentration of aromatics impaired reproduction to a lesser degree. These results demonstrate that oil exposure causes impairment of reproduction in croaker at various stages of the reproductive life history cycle which is at least partially mediated by effects on the endocrine system.

  8. The reproductive response of female ostriches to dietary protein.

    PubMed

    Brand, T S; Olivier, T R; Gous, R M

    2015-04-01

    A study was conducted with breeding ostriches over two consecutive breeding seasons to determine their response to different concentrations of a well-balanced dietary protein. Five concentrations of protein were fed to both females and males at an intake of 2.5 kg/bird d. The respective diets contained 75, 91, 108, 123 and 140 g protein/kg feed with energy held constant at 9.2 MJ metabolisable energy/kg feed. Egg production (mean ± SE, 39.1 ± 3.6 eggs/female/season) was unaffected by dietary protein concentration. Similarly, no significant trends were found for the number of unfertilised eggs (9.1 ± 1.8), dead-in-shell chicks (8.2 ± 1.3), the number of chicks hatched (19.5 ± 2.5) and change in the mass of females (-16.3 ± 10.2 kg). Egg weight decreased linearly as dietary protein content increased. Age of the ostrich female had a highly significant effect on the number of eggs laid, the number of chicks hatched, the number of dead-in-shell and infertile eggs produced per hen, as well as the mass change of female breeding birds, but did not affect the response of any of these variables to dietary protein content. It was concluded that ostriches do not benefit from dietary protein contents greater than about 75 g/kg when this is fed at a daily total feed intake rate of 2.5 kg/bird during the breeding season. PMID:25677946

  9. FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY: OVERVIEW AND CURRENT APPROACHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current approaches in Reproductive Toxicology encompass a broad spectrum. This review article summarizes several of these approaches, based on presentations at the Symposium on Reproductive ToxicologY in Michigan. here are multiple targets for toxicological injury in the developi...

  10. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

    PubMed

    Yagound, Boris; Blacher, Pierre; Chameron, Stéphane; Châline, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation of worker

  11. Gene Duplication and Adaptive Evolution of Digestive Proteases in Drosophila arizonae Female Reproductive Tracts

    PubMed Central

    Kelleher, Erin S; Swanson, Willie J; Markow, Therese A

    2007-01-01

    It frequently has been postulated that intersexual coevolution between the male ejaculate and the female reproductive tract is a driving force in the rapid evolution of reproductive proteins. The dearth of research on female tracts, however, presents a major obstacle to empirical tests of this hypothesis. Here, we employ a comparative EST approach to identify 241 candidate female reproductive proteins in Drosophila arizonae, a repleta group species in which physiological ejaculate–female coevolution has been documented. Thirty-one of these proteins exhibit elevated amino acid substitution rates, making them candidates for molecular coevolution with the male ejaculate. Strikingly, we also discovered 12 unique digestive proteases whose expression is specific to the D. arizonae lower female reproductive tract. These enzymes belong to classes most commonly found in the gastrointestinal tracts of a diverse array of organisms. We show that these proteases are associated with recent, lineage-specific gene duplications in the Drosophila repleta species group, and exhibit strong signatures of positive selection. Observation of adaptive evolution in several female reproductive tract proteins indicates they are active players in the evolution of reproductive tract interactions. Additionally, pervasive gene duplication, adaptive evolution, and rapid acquisition of a novel digestive function by the female reproductive tract points to a novel coevolutionary mechanism of ejaculate–female interaction. PMID:17784792

  12. Reproductive skew in female common marmosets: what can proximate mechanisms tell us about ultimate causes?

    PubMed Central

    Saltzman, Wendy; Digby, Leslie J.; Abbott, David H.

    2008-01-01

    Common marmosets are cooperatively breeding monkeys that exhibit high reproductive skew: most subordinate females fail to reproduce, while others attempt to breed but produce very few surviving infants. An extensive dataset on the mechanisms limiting reproduction in laboratory-housed and free-living subordinate females provides unique insights into the causes of reproductive skew. Non-breeding adult females undergo suppression of ovulation and inhibition of sexual behaviour; however, they receive little or no aggression or mating interference by dominants and do not exhibit behavioural or physiological signs of stress. Breeding subordinate females receive comparable amounts of aggression to non-breeding females but are able to conceive, gestate and lactate normally. In groups containing two breeding females, however, both dominant and subordinate breeders kill one another's infants. These findings suggest that preconception reproductive suppression is not imposed on subordinate females by dominants, at a proximate level, but is instead self-imposed by most subordinates, consistent with restraint models of reproductive skew. In contrast to restraint models, however, this self-suppression probably evolved not in response to the threat of eviction by dominant females but in response to the threat of infanticide. Thus, reproductive skew in this species appears to be generated predominantly by subordinate self-restraint, in a proximate sense, but ultimately by dominant control over subordinates' reproductive attempts. PMID:18945663

  13. Reproductive system of female scorpion: a partial review.

    PubMed

    Warburg, M R

    2010-10-01

    The female scorpion ovariuterus was examined in 10 scorpion species belonging to five families: Buthidae, Vaejovidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. Two main patterns of development are known in scorpions: (1) The apoikogenic type with an ovariuterus containing yolk-rich eggs housed in follicles. This type is found in many scorpion taxa (largely buthids). A peculiar case of apoikogenic ovariuterus is a "beaded" ovariuterus where most of the ova's embryogenesis takes place inside the ovariuterus rather than on pedicels situated on the external wall of the ovariuterus as in most buthids. This type is found in a few scorpion species. (2) The katoikogenic type with an ovariuterus where the embryo develops in a diverticulum composed of four parts: a stalk (pedicel), a thickened collar, a conical portion containing the ovum, and an appendix containing the oral feeding apparatus where the embryos' chelicerae grip a "teat"-like structure, described in four families: Hemiscorpiidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. There are three kinds of diverticulae: small rudimentary finger-like diverticulae, embryonic (ED) large projections, and postpartum diverticulae (PPD) empty diverticulae, which are remnants after parturition. The subject is reviewed and its bearing on reproduction in scorpions are discussed. PMID:20687160

  14. Normal and Abnormal Epithelial Differentiation in the Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Kurita, Takeshi

    2011-01-01

    In mammals, the female reproductive tract (FRT) develops from a pair of paramesonephric or Müllerian ducts (MDs), which arise from coelomic epithelial cells of mesodermal origin. During development, the MDs undergo a dynamic morphogenetic transformation from simple tubes consisting of homogeneous epithelium and surrounding mesenchyme into several distinct organs namely the oviduct, uterus, cervix and vagina. Following the formation of anatomically distinctive organs, the uniform MD epithelium (MDE) differentiates into diverse epithelial cell types with unique morphology and functions in each organ. Classic tissue recombination studies, in which the epithelium and mesenchyme isolated from the newborn mouse FRT were recombined, have established that the organ specific epithelial cell fate of MDE is dictated by the underlying mesenchyme. The tissue recombination studies have also demonstrated that there is a narrow developmental window for the epithelial cell fate determination in MD-derived organs. Accordingly, the developmental plasticity of epithelial cells is mostly lost in mature FRT. If the signaling that controls epithelial differentiation is disrupted at the critical developmental stage, the cell fate of MD-derived epithelial tissues will be permanently altered and can result in epithelial lesions in adult life. A disruption of signaling that maintains epithelial cell fate can also cause epithelial lesions in the FRT. In this review, the pathogenesis of cervical/vaginal adenoses and uterine squamous metaplasia is discussed as examples of such incidences. PMID:21612855

  15. Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, J L; Nichols, H J; Marshall, H H; Vitikainen, E I K; Thompson, F J; Walker, S L; Cant, M A; Young, A J

    2015-10-01

    Dominant females in social species have been hypothesized to reduce the reproductive success of their subordinates by inducing elevated circulating glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations. However, this 'stress-related suppression' hypothesis has received little support in cooperatively breeding species, despite evident reproductive skews among females. We tested this hypothesis in the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), a cooperative mammal in which multiple females conceive and carry to term in each communal breeding attempt. As predicted, lower ranked females had lower reproductive success, even among females that carried to term. While there were no rank-related differences in faecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations prior to gestation or in the first trimester, lower ranked females had significantly higher fGC concentrations than higher ranked females in the second and third trimesters. Finally, females with higher fGC concentrations during the third trimester lost a greater proportion of their gestated young prior to their emergence from the burrow. Together, our results are consistent with a role for rank-related maternal stress in generating reproductive skew among females in this cooperative breeder. While studies of reproductive skew frequently consider the possibility that rank-related stress reduces the conception rates of subordinates, our findings highlight the possibility of detrimental effects on reproductive outcomes even after pregnancies have become established. PMID:26510673

  16. Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, J. L.; Nichols, H. J.; Marshall, H. H.; Vitikainen, E. I. K.; Thompson, F. J.; Walker, S. L.; Cant, M. A.; Young, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Dominant females in social species have been hypothesized to reduce the reproductive success of their subordinates by inducing elevated circulating glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations. However, this ‘stress-related suppression' hypothesis has received little support in cooperatively breeding species, despite evident reproductive skews among females. We tested this hypothesis in the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), a cooperative mammal in which multiple females conceive and carry to term in each communal breeding attempt. As predicted, lower ranked females had lower reproductive success, even among females that carried to term. While there were no rank-related differences in faecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations prior to gestation or in the first trimester, lower ranked females had significantly higher fGC concentrations than higher ranked females in the second and third trimesters. Finally, females with higher fGC concentrations during the third trimester lost a greater proportion of their gestated young prior to their emergence from the burrow. Together, our results are consistent with a role for rank-related maternal stress in generating reproductive skew among females in this cooperative breeder. While studies of reproductive skew frequently consider the possibility that rank-related stress reduces the conception rates of subordinates, our findings highlight the possibility of detrimental effects on reproductive outcomes even after pregnancies have become established. PMID:26510673

  17. Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from south-central Alaska: analysis of reproductive tracts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, J.; Mulcahy, D.; Lensink, C.

    1993-01-01

    We estimated age at sexual maturity and age-specific reproductive rates by examining carcasses and reproductive tracts from 177 female sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Carcasses were recovered from south-central Alaska, Primarily from western Prince William Sound, as a result of the T/V Exxon Valdez oit spill in 1989. We found 65% of our sample to be sexually mature. Sexual maturity was first attained at age 2. The proportion of sexually mature animals increased from 30% at age 2 to 100% at age 5. Annual reproductive rates increased from 22% at age 2 to 78% at age 5 and remained relatively stable (75-88%) through to age 15. the sex ratio (female:male) of 49 fetal sea otters was 18:37 and differed significantly from parity. Females younger than 8 tended to produce more female fetuses, while older mothers did not. Our estimates of the reproductive characteristics of female sea otters obtained by examination of reproductive tracts wre similiar to those reported in the literature based on in situ observations of marked individuals.

  18. 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.

  19. Changing patterns of daily rhythmicity across reproductive states in diurnal female Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus)

    PubMed Central

    Schradera, Jessica A.; Walaszczykb, Erin J.; Smalea, Laura

    2009-01-01

    SCHRADER, J.A., E. J. WALASZCZYK, AND L. SMALE. Changing patterns of daily rhythmicity across reproductive states in diurnal female Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus). PHYSIOL BEHAV XX(X) XXX-XXX, XXXX. -- A suite of changes in circadian rhythms have been described in nocturnal rodents as females go through pregnancy and lactation, but there is no information on such patterns in diurnal species. As the challenges faced by these two groups of animals are somewhat different, we characterized changes in activity and core body temperature (Tb) in female diurnal Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus) as they went through a series of reproductive states: virgin, pregnant, pregnant and lactating, lactating only, and post-weaning. The phase of neither rhythm varied, but the amplitude did. Females increased their overall levels of daily activity from early to late pregnancy, regardless of whether they were also lactating. The pattern of activity was less rhythmic during early than mid-lactation, in both non-pregnant and pregnant females, as a consequence of a decrease in daytime relative to nighttime activity. The Tb rhythm amplitude dropped from mid-pregnancy through mid-lactation, and there were rises in Tb troughs during the mid-light and mid-dark phases of the day, though pregnancy and lactation affected Tb at these times in somewhat different ways. This study demonstrates that rhythms in diurnal grass rats change during pregnancy and lactation in different ways than those of nocturnal species that have been studied to date and that the effects of pregnancy and lactation are not additive in any simple way. PMID:19744504

  20. Hypothalamic Molecular Changes Underlying Natural Reproductive Senescence in the Female Rat

    PubMed Central

    Kermath, Bailey A.; Riha, Penny D.; Woller, Michael J.; Wolfe, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The role of the hypothalamus in female reproductive senescence is unclear. Here we identified novel molecular neuroendocrine changes during the natural progression from regular reproductive cycles to acyclicity in middle-aged female rats, comparable with the perimenopausal progression in women. Expression of 48 neuroendocrine genes was quantified within three hypothalamic regions: the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, the site of steroid positive feedback onto GnRH neurons; the arcuate nucleus (ARC), the site of negative feedback and pulsatile GnRH release; and the median eminence (ME), the site of GnRH secretion. Surprisingly, the majority of changes occurred in the ARC and ME, with few effects in anteroventral periventricular nucleus. The overall pattern was increased mRNA levels with chronological age and decreases with reproductive cycle status in middle-aged rats. Affected genes included transcription factors (Stat5b, Arnt, Ahr), sex steroid hormone receptors (Esr1, Esr2, Pgr, Ar), steroidogenic enzymes (Sts, Hsd17b8), growth factors (Igf1, Tgfa), and neuropeptides (Kiss1, Tac2, Gnrh1). Bionetwork analysis revealed region-specific correlations between genes and hormones. Immunohistochemical analyses of kisspeptin and estrogen receptor-α in the ARC demonstrated age-related decreases in kisspeptin cell numbers as well as kisspeptin-estrogen receptor-α dual-labeled cells. Taken together, these results identify unexpectedly strong roles for the ME and ARC during reproductive decline and highlight fundamental differences between middle-aged rats with regular cycles and all other groups. Our data provide evidence of decreased excitatory stimulation and altered hormone feedback with aging and suggest novel neuroendocrine pathways that warrant future study. Furthermore, these changes may impact other neuroendocrine systems that undergo functional declines with age. PMID:24914937

  1. Seminal Fluid Signalling in the Female Reproductive Tract: Implications for Reproductive Success and Offspring Health.

    PubMed

    Schjenken, John E; Robertson, Sarah A

    2015-01-01

    Carriage of sperm is not the only function of seminal fluid in mammals. Studies in mice show that at conception, seminal fluid interacts with the female reproductive tract to induce responses which influence whether or not pregnancy will occur, and to set in train effects that help shape subsequent fetal development. In particular, seminal fluid initiates female immune adaptation processes required to tolerate male transplantation antigens present in seminal fluid and inherited by the conceptus. A tolerogenic immune environment to facilitate pregnancy depends on regulatory T cells (Treg cells), which recognise male antigens and function to suppress inflammation and immune rejection responses. The female response to seminal fluid stimulates the generation of Treg cells that protect the conceptus from inflammatory damage, to support implantation and placental development. Seminal fluid also elicits molecular and cellular changes in the oviduct and endometrium that directly promote embryo development and implantation competence. The plasma fraction of seminal fluid plays a key role in this process with soluble factors, including TGFB, prostaglandin-E, and TLR4 ligands, demonstrated to contribute to the peri-conception immune environment. Recent studies show that conception in the absence of seminal plasma in mice impairs embryo development and alters fetal development to impact the phenotype of offspring, with adverse effects on adult metabolic function particularly in males. This review summarises our current understanding of the molecular responses to seminal fluid and how this contributes to the establishment of pregnancy, generation of an immune-regulatory environment and programming long-term offspring health. PMID:26178848

  2. Mating-responsive genes in reproductive tissues of female Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Paul D.; Kapelnikov, Anat; Heifetz, Yael; Bender, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Male-derived accessory gland proteins that are transferred to females during mating have profound effects on female reproductive physiology including increased ovulation, mating inhibition, and effects on sperm utilization and storage. The extreme rates of evolution seen in accessory gland proteins may be driven by sperm competition and sexual conflict, processes that may ultimately drive complex interactions between female- and male-derived molecules and sperm. However, little is known of how gene expression in female reproductive tissues changes in response to the presence of male molecules and sperm. To characterize this response, we conducted parallel genomic and proteomic analyses of gene expression in the reproductive tract of 3-day-old unmated and mated female Drosophila melanogaster. Using DNA microarrays, we identified 539 transcripts that are differentially expressed in unmated vs. mated females and revealed a striking peak in differential expression at 6 h postmating and a marked shift from primarily down-regulated to primarily up-regulated transcripts within 3 h after mating. Combining two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry analyses, we identified 84 differentially expressed proteins at 3 h postmating, including proteins that appeared to undergo posttranslational modification. Together, our observations define transcriptional and translational response to mating within the female reproductive tract and suggest a bimodal model of postmating gene expression initially correlated with mating and the final stages of female reproductive tract maturation and later with the declining presence of male reproductive molecules and with sperm maintenance and utilization. PMID:16798875

  3. The role of in-depth reproductive health counseling in addressing reproductive health concerns in female survivors of nongynecologic cancers.

    PubMed

    Shah, M S; Letourneau, J M; Niemasik, E E; Bleil, M; McCulloch, Charles E; Rosen, M P

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize reproductive concerns among female cancer survivors and determine the role of targeted counseling in improving overall reproductive quality of life (QOL). A survey was administered to women from the California Cancer Registry, ages 18-40, with nongynecologic cancers diagnosed from 1993 to 2007, who received fertility-compromising treatments. In total, 356 women completed the survey, which included questions regarding their reproductive health counseling history and the reproductive concerns scale (RCS), a validated reproductive QOL tool. Factors independently associated with higher RCS scores included a desire for children at the time of diagnosis, posttreatment infertility, treatment with chemoradiation or bone marrow transplant, and income less than $100,000 per year at diagnosis. Among the highest reported reproductive concerns were those related to loss of control over one's reproductive future and concerns about the effect of illness on one's future fertility. Across our population and independent of age, in-depth reproductive health counseling prior to cancer treatment was associated with significantly lower RCS scores. Our findings highlight the importance of early counseling and targeting high-risk groups for additional counseling after completion of cancer treatment. This approach may be an effective strategy for optimizing long-term reproductive QOL in this vulnerable population. PMID:27144587

  4. Estimates of heritability for reproductive traits in captive rhesus macaque females

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardi, Christine; Falkenstein, Kathrine P.; Franke, Donald E.; Kubisch, H. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Records from a colony of captive Indian rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were used to estimate heritability for a number of reproductive traits. Records were based on a total of 7,816 births by 1,901 females from 1979 to 2007. Heritability was estimated with a linear animal model using a multiple trait derivative free REML set of programs. Because no male parents were identified, the numerator relationship matrix contained female kinships established over six generations. Reproductive traits included female age at the birth of the first, second and last infant, age at death, inter-birth intervals, number of infants born per female and infant survival. Heritability for each trait was estimated as the ratio of the additive genetic variance to phenotypic variance adjusted for significant fixed effects. Estimates of heritability for early reproduction ranged from 0.000 ± 0.072 for birth interval following the first reproduction to 0.171 ± 0.062 for age of female at the first infant. Higher estimates of heritability were found for female longevity [0.325 ± 0.143] and for productivity of deceased females born before 1991 [0.221 ± 0.138]. Heritability for infant survival ranged from 0.061 ± 0.018 for survival from 30d to 1yr to 0.290 ± 0.050 for survival from birth to 30d when adjusted to an underlying normal distribution. Eight of the 13 estimates of heritability for reproductive traits in this study were different from zero [P < 0.05]. Generally, heritability estimates reported here for reproductive traits of captive rhesus macaque females are similar to those reported in the literature for free ranging rhesus macaque females and for similar reproductive traits of other species. These estimates of heritability for reproductive traits appear to be among the first for a relatively large colony of captive rhesus macaque females. PMID:20653007

  5. Mechanisms of phthalate ester toxicity in the female reproductive system.

    PubMed Central

    Lovekamp-Swan, Tara; Davis, Barbara J

    2003-01-01

    Phthalates are high-production-volume synthetic chemicals with ubiquitous human exposures because of their use in plastics and other common consumer products. Recent epidemiologic evidence suggests that women have a unique exposure profile to phthalates, which raises concern about the potential health hazards posed by such exposures. Research in our laboratory examines how phthalates interact with the female reproductive system in animal models to provide insights into the potential health effects of these chemicals in women. Here we review our work and the work of others studying these mechanisms and propose a model for the ovarian action of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). In vivo, DEHP (2 g/kg) causes decreased serum estradiol levels, prolonged estrous cycles, and no ovulations in adult, cycling rats. In vitro, monoethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP; the active metabolite of DEHP) decreases granulosa cell aromatase RNA message and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. MEHP is unique among the phthalates in its suppression of aromatase and in its ability to activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). We hypothesize that MEHP activates the PPARs to suppress aromatase in the granulosa cell. MEHP-, PPAR alpha-, and PPAR gamma-specific ligands all similarly decreased estradiol production and RNA message levels of aromatase in vitro. Our model shows that MEHP acts on the granulosa cell by decreasing cAMP stimulated by follicle stimulating hormone and by activating the PPARs, which leads to decreased aromatase transcription. Thus, the environmental contaminant DEHP, through its metabolite MEHP, acts through a receptor-mediated signaling pathway to suppress estradiol production in the ovary, leading to anovulation. PMID:12573895

  6. Female Fertility Affects Men's Linguistic Choices

    PubMed Central

    Coyle, Jacqueline M.; Kaschak, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the influence of female fertility on the likelihood of male participants aligning their choice of syntactic construction with those of female confederates. Men interacted with women throughout their menstrual cycle. On critical trials during the interaction, the confederate described a picture to the participant using particular syntactic constructions. Immediately thereafter, the participant described to the confederate a picture that could be described using either the same construction that was used by the confederate or an alternative form of the construction. Our data show that the likelihood of men choosing the same syntactic structure as the women was inversely related to the women's level of fertility: higher levels of fertility were associated with lower levels of linguistic matching. A follow-up study revealed that female participants do not show this same change in linguistic behavior as a function of changes in their conversation partner's fertility. We interpret these findings in the context of recent data suggesting that non-conforming behavior may be a means of men displaying their fitness as a mate to women. PMID:22347361

  7. Reduced negative affect response in female psychopaths

    PubMed Central

    Eisenbarth, Hedwig; Angrilli, Alessandro; Calogero, Antonio; Harper, Jeremy; Olson, Lacy A.; Bernat, Edward

    2013-01-01

    Studies that investigate the differences between high and low psychopathic persons in brain activity during emotional facial expression processing are rare and commonly focus on males. The current study assessed whether previously reported behavioral differences would be reflected in differential brain activity in a sample of female offenders. The participants included 23 female forensic inpatients with high and low scores on the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R). ERPs were recorded during presentation of emotional facial expressions (i.e., fear, angry, and happy). Results revealed no differences in N170, P3 and late positive potential components between groups, but a significant difference in N2 only for angry and fear facial expressions, with high psychopathic participants showing lower reactivity. This N2 effect was found to be related to Factor 2 but not Factor 1 of the PCL-R. In time frequency analysis, theta activity underlying N2 best reflected these differences. Findings in this female sample are consistent with a cortical deficit in processing facial expression of negative emotions in psychopathic men. In addition, differences in processing seem to appear relatively early. PMID:23896396

  8. The Effect of Diet Quality and Wing Morph on Male and Female Reproductive Investment in a Nuptial Feeding Ground Cricket

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Matthew D.; Bussière, Luc F.; Brooks, Robert

    2008-01-01

    A common approach in the study of life-history trade-off evolution is to manipulate the nutrient content of diets during the life of an individual in order observe how the acquisition of resources influences the relationship between reproduction, lifespan and other life-history parameters such as dispersal. Here, we manipulate the quality of diet that replicate laboratory populations received as a thorough test of how diet quality influences the life-history trade-offs associated with reproductive investment in a nuptial feeding Australian ground cricket (Pteronemobius sp.). In this species, both males and females make significant contributions to the production of offspring, as males provide a nuptial gift by allowing females to chew on a modified tibial spur during copulation and feed directing on their haemolymph. Individuals also have two distinct wing morphs, a short-winged flightless morph and a long-winged morph that has the ability to disperse. By manipulating the quality of diet over seven generations, we found that the reproductive investment of males and females were affected differently by the diet quality treatment and wing morph of the individual. We discuss the broader implications of these findings including the differences in how males and females balance current and future reproductive effort in nuptial feeding insects, the changing nature of sexual selection when diets vary, and how the life-history trade-offs associated with the ability to disperse are expected to differ among populations. PMID:18927614

  9. Home Range Size Variation in Female Arctic Grizzly Bears Relative to Reproductive Status and Resource Availability

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Mark A.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Nagy, John A.

    2013-01-01

    The area traversed in pursuit of resources defines the size of an animal’s home range. For females, the home range is presumed to be a function of forage availability. However, the presence of offspring may also influence home range size due to reduced mobility, increased nutritional need, and behavioral adaptations of mothers to increase offspring survival. Here, we examine the relationship between resource use and variation in home range size for female barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Mackenzie Delta region in Arctic Canada. We develop methods to test hypotheses of home range size that address selection of cover where cover heterogeneity is low, using generalized linear mixed-effects models and an information-theoretic approach. We found that the reproductive status of female grizzlies affected home range size but individually-based spatial availability of highly selected cover in spring and early summer was a stronger correlate. If these preferred covers in spring and early summer, a period of low resource availability for grizzly bears following den-emergence, were patchy and highly dispersed, females travelled farther regardless of the presence or absence of offspring. Increased movement to preferred covers, however, may result in greater risk to the individual or family. PMID:23844162

  10. Home range size variation in female arctic grizzly bears relative to reproductive status and resource availability.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E; Nagy, John A

    2013-01-01

    The area traversed in pursuit of resources defines the size of an animal's home range. For females, the home range is presumed to be a function of forage availability. However, the presence of offspring may also influence home range size due to reduced mobility, increased nutritional need, and behavioral adaptations of mothers to increase offspring survival. Here, we examine the relationship between resource use and variation in home range size for female barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Mackenzie Delta region in Arctic Canada. We develop methods to test hypotheses of home range size that address selection of cover where cover heterogeneity is low, using generalized linear mixed-effects models and an information-theoretic approach. We found that the reproductive status of female grizzlies affected home range size but individually-based spatial availability of highly selected cover in spring and early summer was a stronger correlate. If these preferred covers in spring and early summer, a period of low resource availability for grizzly bears following den-emergence, were patchy and highly dispersed, females travelled farther regardless of the presence or absence of offspring. Increased movement to preferred covers, however, may result in greater risk to the individual or family. PMID:23844162

  11. Disruption of the developing female reproductive system by phytoestrogens: genistein as an example.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Wendy N; Padilla-Banks, Elizabeth; Newbold, Retha R

    2007-07-01

    Studies in our laboratory have shown that exposure to genistein causes deleterious effects on the developing female reproductive system. Mice treated neonatally on days 1-5 by subcutaneous injection of genistein (0.5-50 mg/kg) exhibited altered ovarian differentiation leading to multioocyte follicles (MOFs) at 2 months of age. Ovarian function and estrous cyclicity were also disrupted by neonatal exposure to genistein with increasing severity observed over time. Reduced fertility was observed in mice treated with genistein (0.5, 5, or 25 mg/kg) and infertility was observed at 50 mg/kg. Mammary gland and behavioral endpoints were also affected by neonatal genistein treatment. Further, transgenerational effects were observed; female offspring obtained from breeding genistein treated females (25 mg/kg) to control males had increased MOFs. Thus, neonatal treatment with genistein at environmentally relevant doses caused adverse consequences on female development which is manifested in adulthood. Whether adverse effects occur in human infants exposed to soy-based products such as soy infant formulas is unknown but the neonatal murine model may help address some of the current uncertainties since we have shown that many effects obtained from feeding genistin, the glycosolated form of genistein found in soy formula, are similar to those obtained from injecting genistein. PMID:17604387

  12. Courtship attention in sagebrush lizards varies with male identity and female reproductive state

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Erica; Martins, Emília P.

    2008-01-01

    Previous experiments suggest that males spend more time with the more receptive of 2 novel females or the one with the higher fitness potential. However, males often court individual females repeatedly over a season; for example, male lizards sequentially visit familiar females as they patrol territorial boundaries. It may benefit males to vary display intensity as they move between multiple females. In this study, we explored the factors influencing amount of male courtship to familiar females in the sagebrush lizard, Sceloporus graciosus. We tested whether males vary the amount of courtship exhibited due to individual differences among males, female reproductive state, or female fitness potential. Each male was allowed to interact separately, but repeatedly, with 2 females until both females laid eggs. Male courtship behavior with each of the 2 females was assayed at an intermediate point, after 3 weeks of interaction. We found that individual differences among males were considerable. The number of male courtship displays was also positively correlated with female latency to lay eggs, with males displaying more often toward females with eggs that had not yet been fertilized. Courtship behavior was not well predicted by the number of eggs laid or by female width, both measures of female quality. Thus, male S. graciosus appear to alter courtship intensity more in response to signals of female reproductive state than in response to variation in potential female fitness. PMID:19458780

  13. Repeated Superovulation via PMSG/hCG Administration Induces 2-Cys Peroxiredoxins Expression and Overoxidation in the Reproductive Tracts of Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sun-Ji; Kim, Tae-Shin; Kim, Jin-Man; Chang, Kyu-Tae; Lee, Hyun-Shik; Lee, Dong-Seok

    2015-01-01

    Superovulation induced by exogenous gonadotropin treatment (PMSG/hCG) increases the number of available oocytes in humans and animals. However, Superovulatory PMSG/hCG treatment is known to affect maternal environment, and these effects may result from PMSG/hCG treatment-induced oxidative stress. 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (2-Cys Prxs) act as antioxidant enzymes that protect cells from oxidative stress induced by various exogenous stimuli. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that repeated PMSG/hCG treatment induces 2-Cys Prx expression and overoxidation in the reproductive tracts of female mice. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting analyses further demonstrated that, after PMSG/hCG treatment, the protein expression levels of 2-Cys Prxs increased most significantly in the ovaries, while that of Prx1 was most affected by PMSG/hCG stimulation in all tissues of the female reproductive tract. Repeated PMSG/hCG treatment eventually leads to 2-Cys Prxs overoxidation in all reproductive organs of female mice, and the abundance of the 2-Cys Prxs-SO2/3 proteins reported here supports the hypothesis that repeated superovulation induces strong oxidative stress and damage to the female reproductive tract. Our data suggest that excessive oxidative stress caused by repeated PMSG/hCG stimulation increases 2-Cys Prxs expression and overoxidation in the female reproductive organs. Intracellular 2-Cys Prx therefore plays an important role in maintaining the reproductive organ environment of female mice upon exogenous gonadotropin treatment. PMID:26486164

  14. The effect of piroctone olamine on reproduction of male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Allgood, G S; Miller, J M; Schardein, J L

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of piroctone olamine, an antidandruff active, on reproductive performance, fertility, parturition, and neonatal viability and growth. Piroctone olamine was administered orally by gavage to three groups of 35 male Sprague-Dawley rats each beginning 64 days prior to mating and continuing until euthanized and to three groups of 35 female Sprague-Dawley rats each beginning 14 days prior to mating and continuing until euthanized. Animals in the treated groups received piroctone olamine in a combination of 1.0% methylcellulose and polyethylene glycol 400 as a single daily dose at levels of 0, 10, 100, and 250 mg/kg/day, at a volume of 2.5 ml/kg. The control group received the vehicle only. Ten randomly selected females/group were mated and underwent a uterine examination on Gestation Day 13; the remaining females were allowed to deliver. Because earlier studies reported hematological effects, blood samples were collected from all parental animals during acclimation and prior to euthanasia for hematological and blood chemistry (Gestation Day 13 females) characterization. The parental animals were necropsied and tissues were grossly examined. Systemic effects induced by the test article were seen at the mid- and high-dose levels but only among the male rats. These effects were reduced body weight and decreased liver weights. Hematological findings representative of anemia occurred at the high-dose level, as did rales in several animals. Offspring growth was inhibited for the high-dose group as evidenced by significantly reduced mean weight values throughout lactation. The remaining parameters assessed, including mating ability and reproductive performance, were not affected by treatment at any dosage level tested. In summary, the no observable effect level of piroctone olamine with respect to systemic toxicity was considered to be 10 mg/kg/day. Neonatal growth was not affected at 100 mg/kg/day or less, and the no

  15. How multiple mating by females affects sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Shuster, Stephen M.; Briggs, William R.; Dennis, Patricia A.

    2013-01-01

    Multiple mating by females is widely thought to encourage post-mating sexual selection and enhance female fitness. We show that whether polyandrous mating has these effects depends on two conditions. Condition 1 is the pattern of sperm utilization by females; specifically, whether, among females, male mating number, m (i.e. the number of times a male mates with one or more females) covaries with male offspring number, o. Polyandrous mating enhances sexual selection only when males who are successful at multiple mating also sire most or all of each of their mates' offspring, i.e. only when Cov♂(m,o), is positive. Condition 2 is the pattern of female reproductive life-history; specifically, whether female mating number, m, covaries with female offspring number, o. Only semelparity does not erode sexual selection, whereas iteroparity (i.e. when Cov♀(m,o), is positive) always increases the variance in offspring numbers among females, which always decreases the intensity of sexual selection on males. To document the covariance between mating number and offspring number for each sex, it is necessary to assign progeny to all parents, as well as identify mating and non-mating individuals. To document significant fitness gains by females through iteroparity, it is necessary to determine the relative magnitudes of male as well as female contributions to the total variance in relative fitness. We show how such data can be collected, how often they are collected, and we explain the circumstances in which selection favouring multiple mating by females can be strong or weak. PMID:23339237

  16. Deficits in reproductive behaviour in septally lesioned female rats.

    PubMed

    Gogate, M G; Brid, S V; Wingkar, K C

    1991-12-01

    Estrous cycle and sexual behaviour were studied in septally lesioned female albino Wistar rats. In lesioned rats the vaginal smears showed continuous diestrus and the females failed to exhibit sexual receptivity during the postoperative period. Ovarian and uterine weights in lesioned rats were also significantly decreased. The results suggest that the septal nuclei exert a modulatory influence on female sexual behaviour. PMID:1816101

  17. Reproductive toxicity associated with acrylamide treatment in male and female rats

    SciTech Connect

    Zenick, H.; Hope, E.; Smith, M.K.

    1986-01-01

    The present study was designed to evaluate the influence of acrylamide (ACR) on male and female reproductive function. Male rats received ACR in drinking water (50, 100, or 200 ppm) for up to 10 wk. Copulatory behavior, semen, and (for controls and 100 ppm only) fertility and fetal outcomes were evaluated. Females received ACR (25, 50, 100 ppm) for 2 wk prior to initiation of breeding and then throughout gestation and lactation. Hindlimb splaying was apparent in the 200-ppm males by wk 4; less severe splaying appeared in the 100-ppm group at wk 8. Disruptions in copulatory behavior preceded the appearance of this ataxia. These disruptions in mating performance interfered with ejaculatory processes and subsequent transport of sperm, since semen was found in the uterus of only 1 of the 15 females mated with the 100-ppm males at wk 9. Moreover, only 33% of the females mated with the 100-ppm males were pregnant. Postimplantation loss was also significantly increased in this group. Hindlimb splaying appeared in the females receiving 100 ppm ACR during wk 1-2 of pregnancy. Body weight and fluid intake were also depressed. Dams in the 50-ppm group showed depression in these parameters during the last 2 wk of lactation. ACR did not significantly affect mating performance of the females, pregnancy rates, litter size, or survival. However, ACR did significantly depress pup body weight at birth (100-ppm group) and weight gain during lactation through postweaning, d 42 (50- and 100-ppm groups). Vaginal patency was delayed in the 100-ppm group only.

  18. Reproductive state and rank influence patterns of meat consumption in wild female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii).

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Robert C; Stanton, Margaret A; Gilby, Ian C; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Pusey, Anne; Markham, A Catherine; Murray, Carson M

    2016-01-01

    An increase in faunivory is a consistent component of human evolutionary models. Animal matter is energy- and nutrient-dense and can provide macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are limited or absent in plant foods. For female humans and other omnivorous primates, faunivory may be of particular importance during the costly periods of pregnancy and early lactation. Yet, because animal prey is often monopolizable, access to fauna among group-living primates may be mediated by social factors such as rank. Wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) across Africa habitually consume insects and/or vertebrates. However, no published studies have examined patterns of female chimpanzee faunivory during pregnancy and early lactation relative to non-reproductive periods, or by females of different rank. In this study, we assessed the influence of reproductive state and dominance rank on the consumption of fauna (meat and insects) by female chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Using observational data collected over 38 years, we tested (a) whether faunivory varied by reproductive state, and (b) if high-ranking females spent more time consuming fauna than lower-ranking females. In single-factor models, pregnant females consumed more meat than lactating and baseline (meaning not pregnant and not in early lactation) females, and high-ranking females consumed more meat than lower-ranking females. A two-factor analysis of a subset of well-sampled females identified an interaction between rank and reproductive state: lower-ranking females consumed more meat during pregnancy than lower-ranking lactating and baseline females did. High-ranking females did not significantly differ in meat consumption between reproductive states. We found no relationships between rank or reproductive state with insectivory. We conclude that, unlike insectivory, meat consumption by female chimpanzees is mediated by both reproductive state and social rank. We outline possible mechanisms for these

  19. The roles of endoplasmic reticulum stress response in female mammalian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yanzhou; Pei, Xiuying; Jin, Yaping; Wang, Yanrong; Zhang, Cheng

    2016-03-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) activates a protective pathway, called the unfold protein response, for maintaining cellular homeostasis, but cellular apoptosis is triggered by excessive or persistent ERS. Several recent studies imply that the ERS response might have broader physiological roles in the various reproductive processes of female mammals, including embryo implantation, decidualization, preimplantation embryonic development, follicle atresia, and the development of the placenta. This review summarizes the existing data concerning the molecular and biological roles of the ERS response. The study of the functions of the ERS response in mammalian reproduction might provide novel insights into and an understanding of reproductive cell survival and apoptosis under physiological and pathological conditions. The ERS response is a novel signaling pathway for reproductive cell survival and apoptosis. Infertility might be a result of disturbing the ERS response during the process of female reproduction. PMID:26022337

  20. Total reproductive values for females and for males in sexual diploids are not equal.

    PubMed

    Grafen, Alan

    2014-10-21

    A very simple mathematical exposition of reproductive value in an age- and sex-structured sexual diploid population employs reproductive value as the probability that a random gene in a distant generation traces its ancestry to a given individual or set of individuals today. Although the total reproductive values of all females and that of all males are not in general equal, but instead proportional to the average age of a new mother and a new father, respectively, Fisher׳s equal-investment conclusion for the sex ratio remains valid because the total reproductive value of age-zero females equals the total reproductive value of age-zero males. However, the conclusion is seen to require an extra assumption, namely stability of the age-distribution. PMID:24859413

  1. Metabolic fuel and clinical implications for female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Mircea, Carmen N; Lujan, Marla E; Pierson, Roger A

    2007-11-01

    Reproduction is a physiologically costly process that consumes significant amounts of energy. The physiological mechanisms controlling energy balance are closely linked to fertility. This close relationship ensures that pregnancy and lactation occur only in favourable conditions with respect to energy. The primary metabolic cue that modulates reproduction is the availability of oxidizable fuel. An organism's metabolic status is transmitted to the brain through metabolic fuel detectors. There are many of these detectors at both the peripheral (e.g., leptin, insulin, ghrelin) and central (e.g., neuropeptide Y, melanocortin, orexins) levels. When oxidizable fuel is scarce, the detectors function to inhibit the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone, thereby altering steroidogenesis, reproductive cyclicity, and sexual behaviour. Infertility can also result when resources are abundant but food intake fails to compensate for increased energy demands. Examples of these conditions in women include anorexia nervosa and exercise-induced amenorrhea. Infertility associated with obesity appears to be less related to an effect of oxidizable fuel on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Impaired insulin sensitivity may play a role in the etiology of these conditions, but their specific etiology remains unresolved. Research into the metabolic regulation of reproductive function has implications for elucidating mechanisms of impaired pubertal development, nutritional amenorrhea, and obesity-related infertility. A better understanding of these etiologies has far-reaching implications for the prevention and management of reproductive dysfunction and its associated comorbidities. PMID:17977492

  2. Role of Seminal Plasma in Human Female Reproductive Failure: Immunomodulation, Inflammation, and Infections.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Deborah J; Politch, Joseph A

    2015-01-01

    Human seminal plasma contains factors that can regulate the female immune system and potentially promote reproductive fitness. Adverse effects on fertility and pregnancy may occur when seminal plasma provides insufficient, excessive, or altered signals or when the female partner is incapable of receiving these signals. PMID:26178849

  3. Female reproductive tract form drives the evolution of complex sperm morphology.

    PubMed

    Higginson, Dawn M; Miller, Kelly B; Segraves, Kari A; Pitnick, Scott

    2012-03-20

    The coevolution of female mate preferences and exaggerated male traits is a fundamental prediction of many sexual selection models, but has largely defied testing due to the challenges of quantifying the sensory and cognitive bases of female preferences. We overcome this difficulty by focusing on postcopulatory sexual selection, where readily quantifiable female reproductive tract structures are capable of biasing paternity in favor of preferred sperm morphologies and thus represent a proximate mechanism of female mate choice when ejaculates from multiple males overlap within the tract. Here, we use phylogenetically controlled generalized least squares and logistic regression to test whether the evolution of female reproductive tract design might have driven the evolution of complex, multivariate sperm form in a family of aquatic beetles. The results indicate that female reproductive tracts have undergone extensive diversification in diving beetles, with remodeling of size and shape of several organs and structures being significantly associated with changes in sperm size, head shape, gains/losses of conjugation and conjugate size. Further, results of Bayesian analyses suggest that the loss of sperm conjugation is driven by elongation of the female reproductive tract. Behavioral and ultrastructural examination of sperm conjugates stored in the female tract indicates that conjugates anchor in optimal positions for fertilization. The results underscore the importance of postcopulatory sexual selection as an agent of diversification. PMID:22323584

  4. Understanding of Parents and Adults on the Down Syndrome Female Sexual Reproductive Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhagan, Madhya

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the understanding of reproductive health among parents and female adolescents with Down syndrome. This cross-sectional study involved 22 parents and 22 female adolescents with Down syndrome in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The parents were required to fill up the socio-demographic information in questionnaire…

  5. Importance of multiple mating to female reproductive output in Diaphorina citri

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluate the importance of multiple mating to female reproductive output in Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) by grouping individual females with one or three males for 24 h (short duration) or two weeks (long duration) and examining oviposition over 18-19 days. For the short durat...

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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

  8. Nectar alkaloids decrease pollination and female reproduction in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lynn S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2012-04-01

    The evolution of floral traits may be shaped by a community of floral visitors that affect plant fitness, including pollinators and floral antagonists. The role of nectar in attracting pollinators has been extensively studied, but its effects on floral antagonists are less understood. Furthermore, the composition of non-sugar nectar components, such as secondary compounds, may affect plant reproduction via changes in both pollinator and floral antagonist behavior. We manipulated the nectar alkaloid gelsemine in wild plants of the native perennial vine Gelsemium sempervirens. We crossed nectar gelsemine manipulations with a hand-pollination treatment, allowing us to determine the effect of both the trait and the interaction on plant female reproduction. We measured pollen deposition, pollen removal, and nectar robbing to assess whether gelsemine altered the behavior of mutualists and antagonists. High nectar gelsemine reduced conspecific pollen receipt by nearly half and also reduced the proportion of conspecific pollen grains received, but had no effect on nectar robbing. Although high nectar gelsemine reduced pollen removal, an estimate of male reproduction, by one-third, this effect was not statistically significant. Fruit set was limited by pollen receipt. However, this effect varied across sites such that the sites that were most pollen-limited were also the sites where nectar alkaloids had the least effect on pollen receipt, resulting in no significant effect of nectar alkaloids on fruit set. Finally, high nectar gelsemine significantly reduced seed weight; however, this effect was mediated by a mechanism other than pollen limitation. Taken together, our work suggests that nectar alkaloids are more costly than beneficial in our system, and that relatively small-scale spatial variation in trait effects and interactions could determine the selective impacts of traits such as nectar composition. PMID:22011842

  9. Negative frequency-dependent selection or alternative reproductive tactics: maintenance of female polymorphism in natural populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sex-limited polymorphisms have long intrigued evolutionary biologists and have been the subject of long-standing debates. The coexistence of multiple male and/or female morphs is widely believed to be maintained through negative frequency-dependent selection imposed by social interactions. However, remarkably few empirical studies have evaluated how social interactions, morph frequencies and fitness parameters relate to one another under natural conditions. Here, we test two hypotheses proposed to explain the maintenance of a female polymorphism in a species with extreme geographical variation in morph frequencies. We first elucidate how fecundity traits of the morphs vary in relation to the frequencies and densities of males and female morphs in multiple sites over multiple years. Second, we evaluate whether the two female morphs differ in resource allocation among fecundity traits, indicating alternative tactics to maximize reproductive output. Results We present some of the first empirical evidence collected under natural conditions that egg number and clutch mass was higher in the rarer female morph. This morph-specific fecundity advantage gradually switched with the population morph frequency. Our results further indicate that all investigated fecundity traits are negatively affected by relative male density (i.e. operational sex ratio), which confirms male harassment as selective agent. Finally, we show a clear trade-off between qualitative (egg mass) and quantitative (egg number) fecundity traits. This trade-off, however, is not morph-specific. Conclusion Our reported frequency- and density-dependent fecundity patterns are consistent with the hypothesis that the polymorphism is driven by a conflict between sexes over optimal mating rate, with costly male sexual harassment driving negative frequency-dependent selection on morph fecundity. PMID:23822745

  10. Female Adolescents' Educational Choices about Reproductive Health Modules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Melanie A.; Chiappetta, Laurel; Young, Amanda J.; Zuckoff, Allan; DiClemente, Carlo C.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To assess girls' reproductive educational choices, satisfaction with choice, and relationship between demographics, module choice, and satisfaction. Methods: We recruited 286 girls, aged 13 to 21 years, from a hospital-based adolescent clinic, from advertisements, and by word of mouth. At enrollment, participants completed a 60-minute…

  11. Mating-Induced Transcriptome Changes in the Reproductive Tract of Female Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    Degner, Ethan C.; Avila, Frank W.; Villarreal, Susan M.; Pleiss, Jeffrey A.; Wolfner, Mariana F.; Harrington, Laura C.

    2016-01-01

    The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a significant public health threat, as it is the main vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses. Disease control efforts could be enhanced through reproductive manipulation of these vectors. Previous work has revealed a relationship between male seminal fluid proteins transferred to females during mating and female post-mating physiology and behavior. To better understand this interplay, we used short-read RNA sequencing to identify gene expression changes in the lower reproductive tract of females in response to mating. We characterized mRNA expression in virgin and mated females at 0, 6 and 24 hours post-mating (hpm) and identified 364 differentially abundant transcripts between mating status groups. Surprisingly, 60 transcripts were more abundant at 0hpm compared to virgin females, suggesting transfer from males. Twenty of these encode known Ae. aegypti seminal fluid proteins. Transfer and detection of male accessory gland-derived mRNA in females at 0hpm was confirmed by measurement of eGFP mRNA in females mated to eGFP-expressing males. In addition, 150 transcripts were up-regulated at 6hpm and 24hpm, while 130 transcripts were down-regulated at 6hpm and 24hpm. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that proteases, a protein class broadly known to play important roles in reproduction, were among the most enriched protein classes. RNAs associated with immune system and antimicrobial function were also up-regulated at 24hpm. Collectively, our results suggest that copulation initiates broad transcriptome changes across the mosquito female reproductive tract, “priming” her for important subsequent processes of blood feeding, egg development and immune defense. Our transcriptome analysis provides a vital foundation for future studies of the consequences of mating on female biology and will aid studies seeking to identify specific gene families, molecules and pathways that support key reproductive processes in the female

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Disrupted reproduction, estrous cycle, and circadian rhythms in female vasoactive intestinal peptide deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Dawn Hsiao-Wei; Kuljis, Dika Ana; Azuma, Lauren; Wu, Yingfei; Truong, Danny; Wang, Huei-Bin; Colwell, Christopher Scott

    2015-01-01

    The female reproductive cycle is gated by the circadian timing system and may be vulnerable to disruptions in the circadian system. Prior work suggests that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) expressing neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are one pathway by which the circadian clock can influence the estrous cycle but the impact of the loss of this peptide on reproduction has not been assessed. In the present study, we first examine the impact of the genetic loss of the neuropeptide VIP on the reproductive success of female mice. Significantly, mutant females produced about half the offspring of their wild type sisters even when mated to the same males. We also find that VIP-deficient females exhibit a disrupted estrous cycle i.e. ovulation occurs less frequently and results in the release of fewer oocytes compared to controls. Circadian rhythms of wheel running activity are disrupted in the female mutant mice as are the spontaneous electrical activity of dorsal SCN neurons. On a molecular level, the VIP-deficient SCN tissue exhibit lower amplitude oscillations with altered phase relationships between the SCN and peripheral oscillators as measured by PER2-driven bioluminescence. The simplest explanation of our data is that the loss of VIP results in a weakened SCN oscillator which reduces the synchronization of the female circadian system. These results clarify one of the mechanisms by which disruption of the circadian system reduces female reproductive success. PMID:25252712

  15. Duplication, Selection and Gene Conversion in a Drosophila mojavensis Female Reproductive Protein Family

    PubMed Central

    Kelleher, Erin S.; Markow, Therese A.

    2009-01-01

    Protein components of the Drosophila male ejaculate, several of which evolve rapidly, are critical modulators of reproductive success. Recent studies of female reproductive tract proteins indicate they also are extremely divergent between species, suggesting that reproductive molecules may coevolve between the sexes. Our current understanding of intersexual coevolution, however, is severely limited by the paucity of genetic and evolutionary studies on the female molecules involved. Physiological evidence of ejaculate–female coadaptation, paired with a promiscuous mating system, makes Drosophila mojavensis an exciting model system in which to study the evolution of reproductive proteins. Here we explore the evolutionary dynamics of a five-paralog gene family of female reproductive proteases within populations of D. mojavensis and throughout the repleta species group. We show that the proteins have experienced ongoing gene duplication and adaptive evolution and further exhibit dynamic patterns of pseudogenation, copy number variation, gene conversion, and selection within geographically isolated populations of D. mojavensis. The integration of these patterns in a single gene family has never before been documented in a reproductive protein. PMID:19204376

  16. The Role of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in the Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Ochoa, Isabel; Karman, Bethany N.; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, many studies have emphasized how changes in aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)-mediated gene expression result in biological effects, raising interest in this receptor as a regulator of normal biological function. This review focuses on what is known about the role of the AHR in the female reproductive system, which includes the ovaries, fallopian tubes or oviduct, uterus and vagina. This review also focuses on the role of the AHR in reproductive outcomes such as cyclicity, senescence, and fertility. Specifically, studies using potent AHR ligands, as well as transgenic mice lacking the AHR signaling pathway are discussed from a viewpoint of understanding the endogenous role of this ligand-activated transcription factor in the female reproductive lifespan. Based on findings highlighted in this paper, it is proposed that the AHR has a role in physiological functions including ovarian function, establishment of an optimum environment for fertilization, nourishing the embryo and maintaining pregnancy, as well as in regulating reproductive lifespan and fertility. The mechanisms by which the AHR regulates female reproduction are poorly understood, but it is anticipated that new models and the ability to generate specific gene deletions will provide powerful experimental tools for better understanding how alterations in AHR pathways result in functional changes in the female reproductive system. PMID:18977336

  17. Female reproductive tract anatomy of the endangered Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in Jordan.

    PubMed

    Eljarah, Abdulhakeem H; Al-Zghoul, Mohd B; Jawasreh, Khaleel; Ismail, Zuhair A Bani; Ababneh, Mustafa M; Elhalah, Ashraf N; Alsumadi, Maen M

    2012-01-01

    Female reproductive anatomy of the Arabian oryx is unknown. In this study, reproductive tracts of seven female Arabian oryx (aged 2 to 7 years) were examined to characterize their reproductive anatomy. Observations and measurements were obtained in situ from dead animals during necropsy. Animals were allocated into two groups: cycling (n = 3; follicles or corpora lutea present) and not-cycling (n = 4; follicles or corpora lutea absent). Different reproductive tract segments for each animal in both groups were measured using a digital caliper. The mean, SD and range for each reproductive tract segment were generated and compared between groups. Female oryx reproductive anatomy share some anatomical characteristics with that of domestic ruminants except that the oryx uterus has no distinct uterine body and the cervix has two internal openings for each respective uterine horn. In addition, there were more than 8 rows of caruncles within each uterine horn. There were significant differences in the length and width (P < 0.05), but not in height, of both the right and left ovaries between cycling and not-cycling animals (P > 0.05). Posterior and anterior vaginal lengths varied between cycling and not-cycling groups (P < 0.05). Length of right and left oviducts, left and right uterine horns, cervix and vulva did not vary between cycling and not-cycling groups (P > 0.05). Defining this unique morphology of female Arabian oryx reproductive anatomy will help in the development of appropriate reproductive techniques in order to propagate this endangered species and control its reproduction. PMID:23420946

  18. Reproductive competition between females in the matrilineal Mosuo of southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Ting; Wu, Jia-Jia; He, Qiao-Qiao; Xu, Jing-Jing; Mace, Ruth; Tao, Yi

    2013-01-01

    The matrilineal Mosuo of southwestern China live in communal households where brothers and sisters of three generations live together (duolocal residence), and men visit their wives, who reside elsewhere, only at night in ‘visiting’ marriages. Here we show that these communally breeding sisters are in reproductive conflict, in the sense that they share the resources needed to reproduce. We analyse determinants of reproductive success in females and males, and show that co-resident female kin are in competition; the more female kin reside in the household, the more reproductive success is reduced. Male reproductive success, however, is not determined by the kin in his natal household; duolocal males are not in reproductive conflict with their siblings. Competition with female cousins can be worse than that between sisters. We also find that female work on the farm (which is the main communal resource) is not equal. We use a ‘tug-of-war’ model of reproductive skew generated by incomplete control, to model the patterns of effort put into competition between sisters and cousins. The model predicts that more dominant (older) sisters will put less effort into reproductive conflict than will less dominant (younger) sisters; but younger sisters will also have lower reproductive success because they are less efficient at gaining access to the shared resource. Both predictions are consistent with our data. Younger sisters work less in the fields than do older sisters, which may represent a form of conflict or may be because their average relatedness to the household is lower than that of their more fertile older sisters. PMID:24167311

  19. Sensory Cues Involved in Social Facilitation of Reproduction in Blattella germanica Females

    PubMed Central

    Uzsák, Adrienn; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    Cockroaches, like many other animal species, form aggregations in which social stimuli from conspecifics can alter the physiology, morphology, or behavior of individuals. In adult females of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, social isolation slows oocyte development, sexual maturation, and sexual receptivity, whereas social interactions as minimal as between just two females accelerate reproduction; however, the sensory modalities and pathways that mediate these physiological and behavioral changes are poorly understood. We explored the roles of visual, olfactory, and tactile cues in the reproductive physiology of German cockroach females, and whether their effects are species-specific and related to circadian time. Our results show that tactile cues are the primary sensory input associated with social conditions—with no evidence for involvement of the visual and olfactory systems—and that the antennae play an important role in the reception of these tactile cues. This conclusion is supported by the observation that interactions with other insect species of similar or larger size and with similar antennal morphology also stimulate oocyte development in B. germanica. Social facilitation of reproduction is expected to be influenced by the circadian timing system, as females engage in more social contact during the day when they shelter in aggregations with conspecifics. Surprisingly, however, the female's reproductive rate was unresponsive to social interactions during the photophase, whereas social interactions as short as two hours during the scotophase were sufficient to induce faster reproduction. We discuss the adaptive significance of these sensory-neuroendocrine responses in the German cockroach. PMID:23405195

  20. Sensory cues involved in social facilitation of reproduction in Blattella germanica females.

    PubMed

    Uzsák, Adrienn; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    Cockroaches, like many other animal species, form aggregations in which social stimuli from conspecifics can alter the physiology, morphology, or behavior of individuals. In adult females of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, social isolation slows oocyte development, sexual maturation, and sexual receptivity, whereas social interactions as minimal as between just two females accelerate reproduction; however, the sensory modalities and pathways that mediate these physiological and behavioral changes are poorly understood. We explored the roles of visual, olfactory, and tactile cues in the reproductive physiology of German cockroach females, and whether their effects are species-specific and related to circadian time. Our results show that tactile cues are the primary sensory input associated with social conditions--with no evidence for involvement of the visual and olfactory systems--and that the antennae play an important role in the reception of these tactile cues. This conclusion is supported by the observation that interactions with other insect species of similar or larger size and with similar antennal morphology also stimulate oocyte development in B. germanica. Social facilitation of reproduction is expected to be influenced by the circadian timing system, as females engage in more social contact during the day when they shelter in aggregations with conspecifics. Surprisingly, however, the female's reproductive rate was unresponsive to social interactions during the photophase, whereas social interactions as short as two hours during the scotophase were sufficient to induce faster reproduction.We discuss the adaptive significance of these sensory-neuroendocrine responses in the German cockroach. PMID:23405195

  1. Estrogen and female reproductive tract innervation: cellular and molecular mechanisms of autonomic neuroplasticity

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, M. Mónica; Smith, Peter G.

    2014-01-01

    The female reproductive tract undergoes remarkable functional and structural changes associated with cycling, conception and pregnancy, and it is likely advantageous to both individual and species to alter relationships between reproductive tissues and innervation. For several decades, it has been appreciated that the mammalian uterus undergoes massive sympathetic axon depletion in late pregnancy, possibly representing an adaptation to promote smooth muscle quiescence and sustained blood flow. Innervation to other structures such as cervix and vagina also undergo pregnancy-related changes in innervation that may facilitate parturition. These tissues provide highly tractable models for examining cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying peripheral nervous system plasticity. Studies show that estrogen elicits rapid degeneration of sympathetic terminal axons in myometrium, which regenerate under low-estrogen conditions. Degeneration is mediated by the target tissue: under estrogen's influence, the myometrium produces proteins repulsive to sympathetic axons including BDNF, neurotrimin, semaphorins, and pro-NGF, and extracellular matrix components are remodeled. Interestingly, nerve depletion does not involve diminished levels of classical sympathetic neurotrophins that promote axon growth. Estrogen also affects sympathetic neuron neurotrophin receptor expression in ways that appear to favor pro-degenerative effects of the target tissue. In contrast to the uterus, estrogen depletes vaginal autonomic and nociceptive axons, with the latter driven in part by estrogen-induced suppression BMP4 synthesis. These findings illustrate that hormonally mediated physiological plasticity is a highly complex phenomenon involving multiple, predominantly repulsive target-derived factors acting in concert to achieve rapid and selective reductions in innervation. PMID:25530517

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. REPRODUCTIVE NEOPLASMS IN WILD AND LONG-TERM CAPTIVE FEMALE FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren N; Rotstein, David S; Ball, Ray L; Gerlach, Trevor J; Kinsel, Michael; Rodriguez, Maya; de Wit, Martine

    2015-12-01

    Few reports of neoplastic diseases in manatees exist in the veterinary literature. This case series presents reproductive neoplasia noted in eight wild and long-term captive female Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) obtained through carcass recovery and animal rehabilitation programs between April 2009 and May 2014. All cases were evaluated histologically, and diagnoses of uterine carcinoma (n = 1), granulosa cell tumor (n = 2), ovarian adnexal tumor (n = 1), and leiomyoma (n = 5) were made. The underlying cause of tumor development and effects on reproductive success is currently unknown, but possible asymmetric reproductive aging and/or a correlation between obesity and reproductive disorder in long-term nonreproductive female manatees are of interest and warrant further investigation. PMID:26667547

  4. The distribution of male and female reproductive success in a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Levitan, Don R

    2005-11-01

    Many studies have addressed sexual selection in animals, but few data are available on animals that release eggs and sperm into the environment for external fertilization. Although this reproductive mode represents the ancestral condition and is still a very common reproductive strategy, it is underrepresented in empirical studies and theoretical treatments. Here I present data on the pattern of reproductive success in male and female sea urchins. The results suggest that the strength of sexual selection and the differences between the sexes in the intensity of sexual selection depend on mate density. In general, despite the high degree of multiple paternity, the variance in reproductive success appears to be lower in males and higher in females than it is in polygamous species with internal fertilization. These results may provide insight into the patterns of effective population size in marine invertebrates and also more generally the evolutionary transition from sexual monomorphism to polymorphism in adult traits. PMID:21676836

  5. Effects crude protein levels on female Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) reproductive performance parameters.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Marinez Moraes; Ribeiro, Tainá; Orlando, Tamira Maria; de Oliveira, Dênio Garcia Silva; Drumond, Mariana Martins; de Freitas, Rilke Tadeu Fonseca; Rosa, Priscila Vieira

    2014-11-10

    The goal of the present work was to study the reproductive performance of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) female broodstock fed diets containing different levels of crude protein (CP). Two hundred and forty Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) were used at an average age of 30 months, with 180 females and 60 males. The broodstock were lodged separately in masonry tanks with continuous water flow. The females were stocked in thirty tanks with dimensions of 8 m(3) in a completely randomized design consisting of five treatments and six replications. The treatments consisted of five diets with different levels of CP (32, 34, 36, 38 and 40%) and with digestible energy per gram of protein of 9.5 kg of feed. The crude protein (CP) levels positively influenced (p<0.05) reproductive parameters (female relative and absolute fecundity, egg diameter, fasting larvae survival capacity), the somatic indexes (gonadosomatic (GSI), hepatosomatic (HIS), viscerosomatic (VSI)), total plasma protein, albumin and triglycerides. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) observed with regard to spawning weight and female weight. The reproductive parameters studied in the present research indicate that diets formulated with 38% CP with digestible energy per gram of CP of 9.5 were the best diets for tilapia females during the reproductive period. PMID:25201770

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Reproductive efficiency of captive Chinese- and Indian-origin rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) females

    PubMed Central

    Kubisch, H. Michael; Falkenstein, Kathrine P.; Deroche, Chelsea B.; Franke, Donald E.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive and survival records (n = 2,913) from 313 Chinese-origin and 365 Indian-derived rhesus macaques at the Tulane National Primate Research Center spanning 3 generations were studied. Least-squares analysis of variance procedures were used to compare reproductive and infant survival traits while proportional hazards regression procedures were used to study female age at death, number of infants born per female and time from last birth to death. Chinese females were older at first parturition than Indian-females because they were older when placed with males, but the two subspecies had similar first and lifetime post-partum birth intervals. Females that gave birth to stillborn infants had shorter first post-partum birth intervals than females giving birth to live infants. Post-partum birth intervals decreased in females from 3 to 12 years of age but then increased again with advancing age. Chinese infants had a greater survival rate than Indian infants at 30 d, 6 mo and 1yr of age. Five hundred and forty-three females (80.01 %) had uncensored, or true records for age at death, number of infants born per female, and time from the birth until death whereas 135 females (19.91 %) had censored records for these traits. Low and high uncensored observations for age at death were 3 and 26 years of age for Chinese and 3 and 23 years of age for Indian females. Uncensored number of infants born per female ranged from 1 to 15 for Chinese females and 1 to 18 for Indian females. Each of these traits was significantly influenced by the origin × generation interaction in the proportional hazards regression analyses, indicating that probabilities associated with age at death, number of infants born per female and time from last birth to death for Chinese and Indian females did not rank the same across generations. PMID:22512021

  8. The effect of female quality on male ejaculatory expenditure and reproductive success in a praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L

    2015-01-01

    Strategic ejaculation is a behavioural strategy shown by many animals as a response to sperm competition and/or as a potential mechanism of cryptic male choice. Males invest more mating resources when the risk of sperm competition increases or they invest more in high quality females to maximize their reproductive output. We tested this hypothesis in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata, where females are capable of multiply mating and body condition is an indicator of potential reproductive fitness. We predicted male mantids would ejaculate strategically by allocating more sperm to high quality females. To determine if and how males alter their ejaculate in response to mate quality, we manipulated female food quantity so that females were either in good condition with many eggs (i.e. high quality) or poor condition with few eggs (i.e. low quality). Half of the females from each treatment were used in mating trials in which transferred sperm was counted before fertilisation occurred and the other half of females were used in mating trials where fertilisation occurred and ootheca mass and total eggs in the ootheca were recorded. Opposed to our predictions, the total number of sperm and the proportion of viable sperm transferred did not vary significantly between female treatments. Male reproductive success was entirely dependent on female quality/fecundity, rather than on the number of sperm transferred. These results suggest that female quality is not a major factor influencing postcopulatory male mating strategies in P. albofimbriata, and that sperm number has little effect on male reproductive success in a single mating scenario. PMID:25970459

  9. The Effect of Female Quality on Male Ejaculatory Expenditure and Reproductive Success in a Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Strategic ejaculation is a behavioural strategy shown by many animals as a response to sperm competition and/or as a potential mechanism of cryptic male choice. Males invest more mating resources when the risk of sperm competition increases or they invest more in high quality females to maximize their reproductive output. We tested this hypothesis in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata, where females are capable of multiply mating and body condition is an indicator of potential reproductive fitness. We predicted male mantids would ejaculate strategically by allocating more sperm to high quality females. To determine if and how males alter their ejaculate in response to mate quality, we manipulated female food quantity so that females were either in good condition with many eggs (i.e. high quality) or poor condition with few eggs (i.e. low quality). Half of the females from each treatment were used in mating trials in which transferred sperm was counted before fertilisation occurred and the other half of females were used in mating trials where fertilisation occurred and ootheca mass and total eggs in the ootheca were recorded. Opposed to our predictions, the total number of sperm and the proportion of viable sperm transferred did not vary significantly between female treatments. Male reproductive success was entirely dependent on female quality/fecundity, rather than on the number of sperm transferred. These results suggest that female quality is not a major factor influencing postcopulatory male mating strategies in P. albofimbriata, and that sperm number has little effect on male reproductive success in a single mating scenario. PMID:25970459

  10. Dynamic digestive physiology of a female reproductive organ in a polyandrous butterfly

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Reproductive traits experience high levels of selection because of their direct ties to fitness, often resulting in rapid adaptive evolution. Much of the work in this area has focused on male reproductive traits. However, a more comprehensive understanding of female reproductive adaptations and their relationship to male characters is crucial to uncover the relative roles of sexual cooperation and conflict in driving co-evolutionary dynamics between the sexes. We focus on the physiology of a complex female reproductive adaptation in butterflies and moths: a stomach-like organ in the female reproductive tract called the bursa copulatrix that digests the male ejaculate (spermatophore). Little is known about how the bursa digests the spermatophore. We characterized bursa proteolytic capacity in relation to female state in the polyandrous butterfly Pieris rapae. We found that the virgin bursa exhibits extremely high levels of proteolytic activity. Furthermore, in virgin females, bursal proteolytic capacity increases with time since eclosion and ambient temperature, but is not sensitive to the pre-mating social environment. Post copulation, bursal proteolytic activity decreases rapidly before rebounding toward the end of a mating cycle, suggesting active female regulation of proteolysis and/or potential quenching of proteolysis by male ejaculate constituents. Using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches, we report identities for nine proteases actively transcribed by bursal tissue and/or expressed in the bursal lumen that may contribute to observed bursal proteolysis. We discuss how these dynamic physiological characteristics may function as female adaptations resulting from sexual conflict over female remating rate in this polyandrous butterfly. PMID:25994634

  11. Dynamic digestive physiology of a female reproductive organ in a polyandrous butterfly.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

    Reproductive traits experience high levels of selection because of their direct ties to fitness, often resulting in rapid adaptive evolution. Much of the work in this area has focused on male reproductive traits. However, a more comprehensive understanding of female reproductive adaptations and their relationship to male characters is crucial to uncover the relative roles of sexual cooperation and conflict in driving co-evolutionary dynamics between the sexes. We focus on the physiology of a complex female reproductive adaptation in butterflies and moths: a stomach-like organ in the female reproductive tract called the bursa copulatrix that digests the male ejaculate (spermatophore). Little is known about how the bursa digests the spermatophore. We characterized bursa proteolytic capacity in relation to female state in the polyandrous butterfly Pieris rapae. We found that the virgin bursa exhibits extremely high levels of proteolytic activity. Furthermore, in virgin females, bursal proteolytic capacity increases with time since eclosion and ambient temperature, but is not sensitive to the pre-mating social environment. Post copulation, bursal proteolytic activity decreases rapidly before rebounding toward the end of a mating cycle, suggesting active female regulation of proteolysis and/or potential quenching of proteolysis by male ejaculate constituents. Using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches, we report identities for nine proteases actively transcribed by bursal tissue and/or expressed in the bursal lumen that may contribute to observed bursal proteolysis. We discuss how these dynamic physiological characteristics may function as female adaptations resulting from sexual conflict over female remating rate in this polyandrous butterfly. PMID:25994634

  12. Activation of Progestin Receptors in Female Reproductive Behavior: Interactions with Neurotransmitters

    PubMed Central

    Mani, Shaila; Portillo, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    The steroid hormone, progesterone (P), modulates neuroendocrine functions in the central nervous system resulting in alterations in physiology and reproductive behavior in female mammals. A wide body of evidence indicates that these neural effects of P are predominantly mediated via their intracellular progestin receptors (PRs) functioning as “ligand-dependent” transcription factors in the steroid-sensitive neurons regulating genes and genomic networks. In addition to P, intracellular PRs can be activated by neurotransmitters, growth factors and cyclic nucleotides in a ligand-independent manner via crosstalk and convergence of pathways. Furthermore, recent studies indicate that rapid signaling events associated with membrane PRs and/or extra-nuclear, cytoplasmic PRs converge with classical PR activated pathways in neuroendocrine regulation of female reproductive behavior. The molecular mechanisms, by which multiple signaling pathways converge on PRs to modulate PR-dependent female reproductive behavior, are discussed in this review. PMID:20116396

  13. Epigenetic effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on female reproduction: An ovarian perspective

    PubMed Central

    Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2010-01-01

    The link between in utero and neonatal exposure to environmental toxicants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and adult female reproductive disorders is well established in both epidemiological and animal studies. Recent studies examining the epigenetic mechanisms involved in mediating the effects of EDCs on female reproduction are gathering momentum. In this review, we describe the developmental processes that are susceptible to EDC exposures in female reproductive system, with a special emphasis on the ovary. We discuss studies with select EDCs that have been shown to have physiological and correlated epigenetic effects in the ovary, neuroendocrine system, and uterus. Importantly, EDCs that can directly target the ovary can alter epigenetic mechanisms in the oocyte, leading to transgenerational epigenetic effects. The potential mechanisms involved in such effects are also discussed. PMID:20609371

  14. Contraceptive Practices Among Female Cancer Survivors of Reproductive Age

    PubMed Central

    Dominick, Sally A.; McLean, Mamie R.; Whitcomb, Brian W.; Gorman, Jessica R.; Mersereau, Jennifer E.; Bouknight, Janet M.; Su, H. Irene

    2015-01-01

    Objective To compare rates of contraception between reproductive-aged cancer survivors and women in the general U.S. population. Among survivors, the study examined factors associated with use of contraception and emergency contraception. Methods This study analyzed enrollment data from an ongoing national prospective cohort study on reproductive health after cancer entitled the Fertility Information Research Study. We compared current contraceptive use in survivors with that of the general population ascertained by the 2006–2010 National Survey for Family Growth. Log-binomial regression models estimated relative risks for characteristics associated with use of contraception, World Health Organization tiers I–II (sterilization and hormonal) contraceptive methods, and emergency contraception in survivors. Results Data from 295 survivors (mean age 31.6 ± 5.7 years, range 20–44 years) enrolled in this prospective study (85% response rate) were examined. Age-adjusted rates of using tiers I–II contraceptive methods were lower in survivors than the general population (34% [28.8–40.0] compared with 53% [51.5–54.5], P<.01). Only 56% of survivors reported receiving family planning services (counseling, prescription or procedure related to birth control) since cancer diagnosis. In adjusted analysis, receipt of family planning services was associated with both increased use of tiers I–II contraceptive methods (relative risk 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–1.5) and accessing emergency contraception (relative risk 5.0, 95% CI 1.6–16.3) in survivors. Conclusion Lower rates of using Tiers I–II contraceptive methods were found in reproductive-aged cancer survivors compared to the general population of U.S. women. Exposure to family planning services across the cancer care continuum may improve contraception utilization among these women. Clinical Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01843140. PMID:26181090

  15. Reproductive versatility and the epigenetic control of female gametogenesis.

    PubMed

    Vielle-Calzada, J-P; Hernández-Lagana, E; Rodríguez-Leal, D; Rodríguez-Arévalo, I; León-Martínez, G; Abad-Vivero, U; Demesa-Arévalo, E; Armenta-Medina, A; Alvarez-Mejía, C

    2012-01-01

    Each year, plants and animals perform the task of repopulating the planet through patterns of courtship and mating that have a unifying and compelling logic: the production of offspring. Although life of nearly all organisms is organized around sex and breeding, Darwinian thinking focused more on the struggle for existence than on evolutionary significance of this frantic race to reproduce. In Darwin's own words, "We do not know the final cause of sexuality; why new beings should be produced by the union of the two sexual elements. The whole subject is hidden in darkness…" (Darwin 1862). In plants, a major consequence of this search for survival is the evolution of a multitude of reproductive alternatives that have intrigued botanists, geneticists, and evolutionary biologists for more than 100 years. Because sexually derived genetic diversity is interpreted as essential for adaptation, it is often thought that sex is necessary for the perpetuation of a species; however, many organisms--including several hundred families of flowering plants--are going efficiently about propagating their kind without bothering with meiosis and mating. Whereas many plants can undergo vegetative propagation, through the production of stolons, bulbs, or rhizomes, for example, many others have developed methods to produce an embryo from a single cell whose nucleus is not formed by the fusion of two gametes, offering a direct developmental and evolutionary challenge to sexual reproduction. Recent evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms that control transcriptional silencing of DNA repetitive elements and heterochromatin are crucial for the acquisition of cell identity in the ovule, opening the possibility that the developmental distinction between sexual development and apomixis might have evolved as an adaptive response to evolutionary forces that modulate structural variation and reproductive versatility in flowering plants. PMID:23250990

  16. Accumulation of organotins in seafood leads to reproductive tract abnormalities in female rats.

    PubMed

    Podratz, Priscila L; Merlo, Eduardo; Sena, Gabriela C; Morozesk, Mariana; Bonomo, Marina M; Matsumoto, Silvia T; da Costa, Mércia B; Zamprogno, Gabriela C; Brandão, Poliane A A; Carneiro, Maria T W D; Miguel, Emilio de C; Miranda-Alves, Leandro; Silva, Ian V; Graceli, Jones B

    2015-11-01

    Organotins (OTs) are environmental contaminants used as biocides in antifouling paints that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters. However, studies evaluating the effects of OTs accumulated in seafood (LNI) on reproductive health are particularly sparse. This study demonstrates that LNI leads to impairment in the reproductive tract of female rats, as the estrous cycle development, as well as for ovary and uterus morphology. Rats were treated with LNI, and their reproductive morphophysiology was assessed. Morphophysiological abnormalities, such as irregular estrous cycles, abnormal ovarian follicular development and ovarian collagen deposition, were observed in LNI rats. An increase in luminal epithelia and ERα expression was observed in the LNI uteri. Together, these data provide in vivo evidence that LNI are toxic for reproductive morphophysiology, which may be associated with risks to reproductive function. PMID:26050607

  17. 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. PMID:26968745

  18. 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

  19. Experiencing reproductive concerns as a female cancer survivor is associated with depression

    PubMed Central

    Gorman, Jessica R.; Su, H. Irene; Roberts, Samantha C.; Dominick, Sally A.; Malcarne, Vanessa L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Young adult female cancer survivors have unmet reproductive concerns and informational needs that are associated with poorer quality of life. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between current reproductive concerns and moderate to severe depression among young survivors. Methods This cross-sectional study includes 200 female cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 35 years who completed a web-based survey measuring reproductive history, parenthood desires, reproductive concerns after cancer, and quality of life indicators. Results The mean age of participants was 28 years (SD = 4.4) and almost two-thirds were diagnosed within 5 years of completing the survey. Multivariable logistic regression analysis controlling for education, duration of survivorship, and social support revealed an association between experiencing reproductive concerns and moderate to severe depression (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.06–1.60 for each 5 unit increase in RCAC score). Of those with moderate to severe depression, 23% had high RCAC scores as compared to 6% of those with minimal to mild depression (p < 0.001). Conclusion A higher level of reproductive concerns was associated with greater odds of experiencing moderate to severe depression. Almost a quarter of survivors in this sample reported moderate to severe depression, and addressing reproductive concerns represents one potential area of intervention to improve the psychosocial health of young survivors. PMID:25377593

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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 (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. PMID:26964900

  1. Meeting the Reproductive Needs of Female Adolescents With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.

    PubMed

    Fouquier, Katherine Ferrell; Camune, Barbara D

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of caring for female adolescents with neurodisabilities often overshadows normal biological changes. These young women may require additional or individualized support as they adapt to normal puberty and sexual maturation. Many choices are available to assist in managing menstrual problems, hygiene issues, and contraception. Special considerations regarding contraceptive methods, sexual education, and improving service accessibility are explored for clinicians. PMID:26016680

  2. Plant Reproduction: AMOR Enables Males to Respond to Female Signals.

    PubMed

    Dresselhaus, Thomas; Coimbra, Silvia

    2016-04-25

    The pollen tube of flowering plants undertakes a long journey to transport two sperm cells for double fertilization. New work on pollen tube guidance has identified an arabinogalactan-derived ovular factor that primes tubes to respond to female gametophyte-secreted attraction signals. PMID:27115687

  3. Intake of Erythrocytes Required for Reproductive Development of Female Schistosoma japonicum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jipeng; Wang, Shuqi; Liu, Xiufeng; Xu, Bin; Chai, Riyi; Zhou, Pan; Ju, Chuan; Sun, Jun; Brindley, Paul J; Hu, Wei

    2015-01-01

    The reproductive development and maturation of female schistosomes are crucial since their released eggs are responsible for the host immunopathology and transmission of schistosomiasis. However, little is known about the nutrients required by female Schistosoma japonicum during its sexual maturation. We evaluated the promoting effect of several nutrients (calf serum, red blood cells (RBCs), ATP and hypoxanthine) on the reproductive development of pre-adult females at 18 days post infection (dpi) from mixed infections and at 50 dpi from unisexual infections of laboratory mice in basic medium RPMI-1640. We found RBCs, rather than other nutrients, promoted the female sexual maturation and egg production with significant morphological changes. In 27% of females (18 dpi) from mixed infections that paired with males in vitro on day 14, vitelline glands could be positively stained by Fast Blue B; and in 35% of females (50 dpi) from unisexual infections on day 21, mature vitelline cells were observed. Infertile eggs were detected among both groups. To analyze which component of mouse RBCs possesses the stimulating effect, RBCs were fractionated and included in media. However, the RBC fractions failed to stimulate development of the female reproductive organs. In addition, bovine hemoglobin hydrolysate, digested by neutral protease, was found to exhibit the promoting activity instead of untreated bovine hemoglobin. The other protein hydrolysate, lactalbumin hydrolysate, exhibited a similar effect with bovine hemoglobin hydrolysate. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we found the expression levels of four reproduction-related genes were significantly stimulated by RBCs. These data indicate that RBCs provide essential nutrients for the sexual maturation of female S. japonicum and that the protein component of RBCs appeared to constitute the key nutrient. These findings would improve laboratory culture of pre-adult schistosomes to adult worms in medium with well-defined components

  4. Neither male gonadal androgens nor female reproductive costs drive development of sexual size dimorphism in lizards.

    PubMed

    Starostová, Zuzana; Kubička, Lukáš; Golinski, Alison; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2013-05-15

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is an extensively studied phenomenon in animals, including reptiles, but the proximate mechanism of its development is poorly understood. The most pervasive candidates are: (1) androgen-mediated control of growth, i.e. a positive effect of gonadal androgens (testosterone) on male growth in male-larger species, and a negative effect in female-larger species; and (2) sex-specific differences in energy allocation to growth, e.g. sex with larger reproductive costs should result in smaller body size. We tested these hypotheses in adults of the male-larger lizard Paroedura picta by conducting castrations with and without testosterone implants in males and manipulating reproductive status in females. Castration or testosterone replacement had no significant effect on final body length in males. High investment to reproduction had no significant effect on final body length in intact females. Interestingly, ovariectomized females and females with testosterone implants grew to larger body size than intact females. We did not find support for either of the above hypotheses and suggest that previously reported effects of gonadal androgens on growth in male lizards could be a consequence of altered behaviour or social status in manipulated individuals. Exogenous testosterone in females led to decreased size of ovaries; its effect on body size may be caused by interference with normal ovarian function. We suggest that ovarian factors, perhaps estrogens, not reproductive costs, can modify growth in female lizards and may thus contribute to the development of SSD. This hypothesis is largely supported by published results on the effect of testosterone treatment or ovariectomy on body size in female squamates. PMID:23393279

  5. Intake of Erythrocytes Required for Reproductive Development of Female Schistosoma japonicum

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jipeng; Wang, Shuqi; Liu, Xiufeng; Xu, Bin; Chai, Riyi; Zhou, Pan; Ju, Chuan; Sun, Jun; Brindley, Paul J.; Hu, Wei

    2015-01-01

    The reproductive development and maturation of female schistosomes are crucial since their released eggs are responsible for the host immunopathology and transmission of schistosomiasis. However, little is known about the nutrients required by female Schistosoma japonicum during its sexual maturation. We evaluated the promoting effect of several nutrients (calf serum, red blood cells (RBCs), ATP and hypoxanthine) on the reproductive development of pre-adult females at 18 days post infection (dpi) from mixed infections and at 50 dpi from unisexual infections of laboratory mice in basic medium RPMI-1640. We found RBCs, rather than other nutrients, promoted the female sexual maturation and egg production with significant morphological changes. In 27% of females (18 dpi) from mixed infections that paired with males in vitro on day 14, vitelline glands could be positively stained by Fast Blue B; and in 35% of females (50 dpi) from unisexual infections on day 21, mature vitelline cells were observed. Infertile eggs were detected among both groups. To analyze which component of mouse RBCs possesses the stimulating effect, RBCs were fractionated and included in media. However, the RBC fractions failed to stimulate development of the female reproductive organs. In addition, bovine hemoglobin hydrolysate, digested by neutral protease, was found to exhibit the promoting activity instead of untreated bovine hemoglobin. The other protein hydrolysate, lactalbumin hydrolysate, exhibited a similar effect with bovine hemoglobin hydrolysate. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we found the expression levels of four reproduction-related genes were significantly stimulated by RBCs. These data indicate that RBCs provide essential nutrients for the sexual maturation of female S. japonicum and that the protein component of RBCs appeared to constitute the key nutrient. These findings would improve laboratory culture of pre-adult schistosomes to adult worms in medium with well-defined components

  6. Paternal effects correlate with female reproductive stimulation in the polyandrous ladybird Cheilomenes sexmaculata.

    PubMed

    Mirhosseini, M A; Michaud, J P; Jalali, M A; Ziaaddini, M

    2014-08-01

    Components of male seminal fluids are known to stimulate fecundity and fertility in females of numerous insect species and paternal effects on offspring phenotype are also known, but no studies have yet demonstrated links between male effects on female reproduction and those on progeny phenotype. In separate laboratory experiments employing 10-day-old virgin females of Cheilomenes sexmaculata (F.), we varied male age and mating history to manipulate levels of male allomones and found that the magnitude of paternal effects on progeny phenotype was correlated with stimulation of female reproduction. Older virgin males remained in copula longer than younger ones, induced higher levels of female fecundity, and sired progeny that developed faster to yield heavier adults. When male age was held constant (13 days), egg fertility declined as a function of previous male copulations, progeny developmental times increased, and the adult weight of daughters declined. These results suggest that male epigenetic effects on progeny phenotype act in concert with female reproductive stimulation; both categories of effects increased as a consequence of male celibacy (factor accumulation), and diminished as a function of previous matings (factor depletion). Male factors that influence female reproduction are implicated in sexual conflict and parental effects may extend this conflict to offspring phenotype. Whereas mothers control the timing of oviposition events and can use maternal effects to tailor progeny phenotypes to prevailing or anticipated conditions, fathers cannot. Since females remate and dilute paternity in polyandrous systems, paternal fitness will be increased by linking paternal effects to female fecundity stimulation, so that more benefits accrue to the male's own progeny. PMID:24661646

  7. Dietary choice for a balanced nutrient intake increases the mean and reduces the variance in the reproductive performance of male and female cockroaches.

    PubMed

    Bunning, Harriet; Bassett, Lee; Clowser, Christina; Rapkin, James; Jensen, Kim; House, Clarissa M; Archer, Catharine R; Hunt, John

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection may cause dietary requirements for reproduction to diverge across the sexes and promote the evolution of different foraging strategies in males and females. However, our understanding of how the sexes regulate their nutrition and the effects that this has on sex-specific fitness is limited. We quantified how protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intakes affect reproductive traits in male (pheromone expression) and female (clutch size and gestation time) cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea). We then determined how the sexes regulate their intake of nutrients when restricted to a single diet and when given dietary choice and how this affected expression of these important reproductive traits. Pheromone levels that improve male attractiveness, female clutch size and gestation time all peaked at a high daily intake of P:C in a 1:8 ratio. This is surprising because female insects typically require more P than males to maximize reproduction. The relatively low P requirement of females may reflect the action of cockroach endosymbionts that help recycle stored nitrogen for protein synthesis. When constrained to a single diet, both sexes prioritized regulating their daily intake of P over C, although this prioritization was stronger in females than males. When given the choice between diets, both sexes actively regulated their intake of nutrients at a 1:4.8 P:C ratio. The P:C ratio did not overlap exactly with the intake of nutrients that optimized reproductive trait expression. Despite this, cockroaches of both sexes that were given dietary choice generally improved the mean and reduced the variance in all reproductive traits we measured relative to animals fed a single diet from the diet choice pair. This pattern was not as strong when compared to the single best diet in our geometric array, suggesting that the relationship between nutrient balancing and reproduction is complex in this species. PMID:27547307

  8. Male-female genotype interactions maintain variation in traits important for sexual interactions and reproductive isolation.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Dean M; Delph, Lynda F

    2016-07-01

    Prezygotic reproductive isolation can evolve quickly when sexual selection drives divergence in traits important for sexual interactions between populations. It has been hypothesized that standing variation for male/female traits and preferences facilitates this rapid evolution and that variation in these traits is maintained by male-female genotype interactions in which specific female genotypes prefer specific male traits. This hypothesis can also explain patterns of speciation when ecological divergence is lacking, but this remains untested because it requires information about sexual interactions in ancestral lineages. Using a set of ancestral genotypes that previously had been identified as evolving reproductive isolation, we specifically asked whether there is segregating variation in female preference and whether segregating variation in sexual interactions is a product of male-female genotype interactions. Our results provide evidence for segregating variation in female preference and further that male-female genotype interactions are important for maintaining variation that selection can act on and that can lead to reproductive isolation. PMID:27271732

  9. Sexual dysfunction among female patients of reproductive age in a hospital setting in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Fajewonyomi, Benjamin A; Orji, Ernest O; Adeyemo, Adenike O

    2007-03-01

    Although sexual dysfunction is an important public-health problem in Nigeria, little research has been conducted on this topic in Nigeria. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and their correlates among female patients of reproductive age using a questionnaire. Respondents were recruited from the out-patients clinics of a teaching hospital setting in Ile-Ife/ Ijesa administrative health zone, Osun State, Nigeria. Of 384 female patients interviewed, 242 (63%) were sexually dysfunctional. Types of sexual dysfunction included disorder of desire (n=20; 8.3%), disorder of arousal (n=l 3; 5.4%), disorder of orgasm (n=154; 63.6%), and painful coitus (dyspareunia) (n=55; 22.7%). The peak age of sexual dysfunction was observed among the age-group of 26-30 years. Women with higher educational status were mostly affected. The reasons for unsatisfactory sexual life mainly included psychosexual factors and medical illnesses, among which included uncaring partners, present illness, excessive domestic duties, lack of adequate foreplay, present medication, competition among wives in a polygamous family setting, previous sexual abuse, and guilt-feeling of previous pregnancy termination among infertile women. The culture of male dominance in the local environment which makes women afraid of rejection and threats of divorce if they ever complain about sexually-related matters might perpetrate sexual dysfunction among the affected individuals. Sexual dysfunction is a real social and psychological problem in the local environment demanding urgent attention. It is imperative to carry out further research in society at large so that the health and lifestyles of affected women and their partners could be improved. PMID:17615910

  10. Mating behavior of Daphnia: impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females.

    PubMed

    La, Geung-Hwan; Choi, Jong-Yun; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Jang, Min-Ho; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo

    2014-01-01

    High predation risk and food depletion lead to sexual reproduction in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia. Mating, the core of sexual reproduction, also occurs under these conditions. Assessment of the environmental conditions and alteration of mating efforts may aid in determining the success of sexual reproduction. Here, we evaluated the impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females on the mating behavior of Daphnia obtusa males including contact frequency and duration using video analysis. Mating-related behavior involved male-female contact (mating) as well as male-male contact (fighting). Mating frequency increased while unnecessary fighting decreased in the presence of predation risk. In addition, low food concentration reduced fighting between males. Males attempted to attach to sexual females more than asexual females, and fighting occurred more frequently in the presence of sexual females. Duration of mating was relatively long; however, males separated shortly after contact in terms of fighting behavior. Thus, assessment of environmental factors and primary sexing of mates were performed before actual contact, possibly mechanically, and precise sex discrimination was conducted after contact. These results suggest that mating in Daphnia is not a random process but rather a balance between predation risk and energetic cost that results in changes in mating and fighting strategies. PMID:25111600

  11. Mating Behavior of Daphnia: Impacts of Predation Risk, Food Quantity, and Reproductive Phase of Females

    PubMed Central

    La, Geung-Hwan; Choi, Jong-Yun; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Jang, Min-Ho; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo

    2014-01-01

    High predation risk and food depletion lead to sexual reproduction in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia. Mating, the core of sexual reproduction, also occurs under these conditions. Assessment of the environmental conditions and alteration of mating efforts may aid in determining the success of sexual reproduction. Here, we evaluated the impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females on the mating behavior of Daphnia obtusa males including contact frequency and duration using video analysis. Mating–related behavior involved male–female contact (mating) as well as male–male contact (fighting). Mating frequency increased while unnecessary fighting decreased in the presence of predation risk. In addition, low food concentration reduced fighting between males. Males attempted to attach to sexual females more than asexual females, and fighting occurred more frequently in the presence of sexual females. Duration of mating was relatively long; however, males separated shortly after contact in terms of fighting behavior. Thus, assessment of environmental factors and primary sexing of mates were performed before actual contact, possibly mechanically, and precise sex discrimination was conducted after contact. These results suggest that mating in Daphnia is not a random process but rather a balance between predation risk and energetic cost that results in changes in mating and fighting strategies. PMID:25111600

  12. Role of microRNAs in cancers of the female reproductive tract: insights from recent clinical and experimental discovery studies.

    PubMed

    Logan, Monica; Hawkins, Shannon M

    2015-02-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that represent the top of the pyramid of many tumorigenesis cascade pathways as they have the ability to affect multiple, intricate, and still undiscovered downstream targets. Understanding how miRNA molecules serve as master regulators in these important networks involved in cancer initiation and progression open up significant innovative areas for therapy and diagnosis that have been sadly lacking for deadly female reproductive tract cancers. This review will highlight the recent advances in the field of miRNAs in epithelial ovarian cancer, endometrioid endometrial cancer and squamous-cell cervical carcinoma focusing on studies associated with actual clinical information in humans. Importantly, recent miRNA profiling studies have included well-characterized clinical specimens of female reproductive tract cancers, allowing for studies correlating miRNA expression with clinical outcomes. This review will summarize the current thoughts on the role of miRNA processing in unique miRNA species present in these cancers. In addition, this review will focus on current data regarding miRNA molecules as unique biomarkers associated with clinically significant outcomes such as overall survival and chemotherapy resistance. We will also discuss why specific miRNA molecules are not recapitulated across multiple studies of the same cancer type. Although the mechanistic contributions of miRNA molecules to these clinical phenomena have been confirmed using in vitro and pre-clinical mouse model systems, these studies are truly only the beginning of our understanding of the roles miRNAs play in cancers of the female reproductive tract. This review will also highlight useful areas for future research regarding miRNAs as therapeutic targets in cancers of the female reproductive tract. PMID:25294164

  13. Neuroendocrine modulation and repercussions of female reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Wise, Phyllis M; Smith, Matthew J; Dubal, Dena B; Wilson, Melinda E; Rau, Shane W; Cashion, Adrienne B; Böttner, Martina; Rosewell, Katherine L

    2002-01-01

    The menopause marks the end of a woman's reproductive life. During the postmenopausal period, plasma estrogen concentrations decrease dramatically and remain low for the rest of her life, unless she chooses to take hormone replacement therapy. During the past 20 years, we have learned that changes in the central nervous system are associated with and may influence the timing of the menopause in women. Recently, it has become clear that estrogens act on more than just the hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, and other reproductive organs. In fact, they play roles in a wide variety of nonreproductive functions. With the increasing life span of humans from approximately 50 to 80 years and the relatively fixed age of the menopause, a larger number of women will spend over one third of their lives in the postmenopausal state. It is not surprising that interest has increased in factors that govern the timing of the menopause and the repercussions of the lack of estrogen on multiple aspects of women's health. We have used animal models to better understand the complex interactions between the ovary and the brain that lead to the menopause and the repercussions of the hypoestrogenic state. Our results show that when rats reach middle age, the patterns and synchrony of multiple neurochemical events that are critical to the preovulatory gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) surge undergo subtle changes. The precision of rhythmic pattern of neurotransmitter dynamics depends on the presence of estradiol. Responsiveness to this hormone decreases in middle-aged rats. The lack of precision in the coordination in the output of neural signals leads to a delay and attenuation of the luteinizing hormone surge, which lead to irregular estrous cyclicity and, ultimately, to the cessation of reproductive cycles. We also have examined the impact of the lack of estrogen on the vulnerability of the brain to injury. Our work establishes that the absence of estradiol increases the extent of cell

  14. Female reproductive potential after treatment for Hodgkin's disease

    SciTech Connect

    Horning, S.J.; Hoppe, R.T.; Kaplan, H.S.; Rosenberg, S.A.

    1981-06-01

    The probability of maintaining ovarian function, becoming pregnant, and delivering a normal child is important to young women anticipating successful therapy for Hodgkin's disease. In this study, reproductive function was retrospectively examined in 103 women 40 years old or younger who had undergone treatment for Hodgkin's disease with total-lymphoid irradiation (TLI) alone, combination chemotherapy, or combined TLI and chemotherapy. Infertility was directly related to gonadal exposure to therapy and to age at treatment. Twenty women became pregnant after receiving total-nodal irradiation or combination chemotherapy or both. No fetal wastage occurred, and no birth defects were seen in the 24 infants born to these women. Even after intensive treatment programs, women successfully treated for Hodgkin's disease have become pregnant and delivered phenotypically normal children.

  15. Facial, olfactory, and vocal cues to female reproductive value.

    PubMed

    Röder, Susanne; Fink, Bernhard; Jones, Benedict C

    2013-01-01

    Facial, olfactory, and vocal cues may advertise women's fertility. However, most of the evidence for this proposal has come from studies of changes in young adult women's attractiveness over the menstrual cycle. By contrast with this emphasis on changes in attractiveness over the menstrual cycle, possible changes in women's attractiveness over their lifespan have received little attention. The present study investigated men's ratings of young girls' (11-15 years old), adult women's (19-30 years old) and circum-menopausal women's (50-65 years old) facial, body odor, and vocal attractiveness and femininity. Faces and voices, but not body odors, of young girls and adult women were perceived to be significantly more attractive and feminine than those of circum-menopausal women. These data suggest that facial and vocal cues may be cues to women's reproductive value, but that body odor cues do not necessarily advertise this information. PMID:23728193

  16. The adaptive value of morphological, behavioural and life-history traits in reproductive female wolves.

    PubMed

    Stahler, Daniel R; MacNulty, Daniel R; Wayne, Robert K; vonHoldt, Bridgett; Smith, Douglas W

    2013-01-01

    Reproduction in social organisms is shaped by numerous morphological, behavioural and life-history traits such as body size, cooperative breeding and age of reproduction, respectively. Little is known, however, about the relative influence of these different types of traits on reproduction, particularly in the context of environmental conditions that determine their adaptive value. Here, we use 14 years of data from a long-term study of wolves (Canis lupus) in Yellowstone National Park, USA, to evaluate the relative effects of different traits and ecological factors on the reproductive performance (litter size and survival) of breeding females. At the individual level, litter size and survival improved with body mass and declined with age (c. 4-5 years). Grey-coloured females had more surviving pups than black females, which likely contributed to the maintenance of coat colour polymorphism in this system. The effect of pack size on reproductive performance was nonlinear as litter size peaked at eight wolves and then declined, and litter survival increased rapidly up to three wolves, beyond which it increased more gradually. At the population level, litter size and survival decreased with increasing wolf population size and canine distemper outbreaks. The relative influence of these different-level factors on wolf reproductive success followed individual > group > population. Body mass was the primary determinant of litter size, followed by pack size and population size. Body mass was also the main driver of litter survival, followed by pack size and disease. Reproductive gains because of larger body size and cooperative breeding may mitigate reproductive losses because of negative density dependence and disease. These findings highlight the adaptive value of large body size and sociality in promoting individual fitness in stochastic and competitive environments. PMID:23043440

  17. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Duquette, Jared F; Belant, Jerrold L; Svoboda, Nathan J; Beyer, Dean E; Lederle, Patrick E

    2015-01-01

    Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our

  18. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Duquette, Jared F.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Svoboda, Nathan J.; Beyer, Dean E.; Lederle, Patrick E.

    2015-01-01

    Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our

  19. Loss of the histone chaperone ASF1B reduces female reproductive capacity in mice.

    PubMed

    Messiaen, S; Guiard, J; Aigueperse, C; Fliniaux, I; Tourpin, S; Barroca, V; Allemand, I; Fouchet, P; Livera, G; Vernet, M

    2016-05-01

    Anti-silencing function 1 (ASF1) is an evolutionarily conserved histone H3-H4 chaperone involved in the assembly/disassembly of nucleosome and histone modification. Two paralogous genes, Asf1a and Asf1b, exist in the mouse genome. Asf1a is ubiquitously expressed and its loss causes embryonic lethality. Conversely, Asf1b expression is more restricted and has been less studied. To determine the in vivo function of Asf1b, we generated a Asf1b-deficient mouse line (Asf1b(GT(ROSA-βgeo)437)) in which expression of the lacZ reporter gene is driven by the Asf1b promoter. Analysis of β-galactosidase activity at early embryonic stages indicated a correlation between Asf1b expression and cell differentiation potential. In the gonads of both male and female, Asf1b expression was specifically detected in the germ cell lineage with a peak expression correlated with meiosis. The viability of Asf1b-null mice suggests that Asf1b is dispensable for mouse development. However, these mice showed reduced reproductive capacity compared with wild-type controls. We present evidence that the timing of meiotic entry and the subsequent gonad development are affected more severely in Asf1b-null female mice than in male mice. In female mice, in addition to subfertility related to altered gamete formation, variable defects compromising the development and/or survival of their offspring were also observed. Altogether, our data indicate the importance of Asf1b expression at the time of meiotic entry, suggesting that chromatin modifications may play a central role in this process. PMID:26850882

  20. Quaternary ammonium disinfectants cause subfertility in mice by targeting both male and female reproductive processes.

    PubMed

    Melin, Vanessa E; Melin, Travis E; Dessify, Brian J; Nguyen, Christina T; Shea, Caroline S; Hrubec, Terry C

    2016-01-01

    Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) are common ingredients in household bathroom and kitchen cleaning sprays. ADBAC+DDAC cause reproductive toxicity in mice. The aim of the present study was to investigate gender-specific reproductive effects from ADBAC+DDAC. Female reproduction was assessed through ovulation, oocyte implantation, and estrus cycling. Male reproductive function was assessed by sperm concentration, motility, and viability. Numbers of corpora lutea were not different after 2 weeks, but decreased after 8 weeks of ADBAC+DDAC exposure. Dams exposed for 5 weeks to ADBAC+DDAC spent significantly less time in estrus. ADBAC+DDAC exposed males exhibited declines in both sperm concentration and motility, but not sperm viability. Subfertility in mice from ADBAC+DDAC exposure is, therefore, mediated through reproductive disturbances in both females and males. While the effect of ADBAC+DDAC exposure on human health is unclear, widespread exposure necessitates further consideration of their potential reproductive toxicity. PMID:26582257

  1. Pollen flow and effects of population structure on selfing rates and female and male reproductive success in fragmented Magnolia stellata populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Fragmentation of plant populations may affect mating patterns and female and male reproductive success. To improve understanding of fragmentation effects on plant reproduction, we investigated the pollen flow patterns in six adjacent local populations of Magnolia stellata, an insect-pollinated, threatened tree species in Japan, and assessed effects of maternal plant (genet) size, local genet density, population size and neighboring population size on female reproductive success (seed production rates), and effects of mating distance, paternal genet size, population size and separation of populations on male reproductive success. Results The seed production rate, i.e. the proportion of ovules that successfully turned into seeds, varied between 1.0 and 6.5%, and increased with increasing population size and neighboring population size, and with decreasing maternal genet size and local genet density. The selfing rate varied between 3.6 and 28.9%, and increased with increasing maternal genet size and with declining local genet density. Male reproductive success increased with increasing paternal genet size, and decreased with increasing mating distance and separation of population. Pollen flow between the populations was low (6.1%) and highly leptocurtic. Conclusions Our results indicate that habitat fragmentation, separation and reduced size of populations, affected mating patterns and reproductive success of M. stellata. Local competition for pollinators and plant display size were likely to alter the reproductive success. PMID:23517612

  2. The role of oxytocin in male and female reproductive behavior.

    PubMed

    Veening, J G; de Jong, T R; Waldinger, M D; Korte, S M; Olivier, B

    2015-04-15

    Oxytocin (OT) is a nonapeptide with an impressive variety of physiological functions. Among them, the 'prosocial' effects have been discussed in several recent reviews, but the direct effects on male and female sexual behavior did receive much less attention so far. As our contribution to honor the lifelong interest of Berend Olivier in the control mechanisms of sexual behavior, we decided to explore the role of OT in the present review. In the successive sections, some physiological mechanisms and the 'pair-bonding' effects of OT will be discussed, followed by sections about desire, female appetitive and copulatory behavior, including lordosis and orgasm. At the male side, the effects on erection and ejaculation are reviewed, followed by a section about 'premature ejaculation' and a possible role of OT in its treatment. In addition to OT, serotonin receives some attention as one of the main mechanisms controlling the effects of OT. In the succeeding sections, the importance of OT for 'the fruits of labor' is discussed, as it plays an important role in both maternal and paternal behavior. Finally, we pay attention to an intriguing brain area, the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMHvl), apparently functioning in both sexual and aggressive behavior, which are at first view completely opposite behavioral systems. PMID:25088178

  3. Consequences of prenatal androgen exposure for the reproductive performance of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus)

    PubMed Central

    Rubolini, Diego; Martinelli, Roberta; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Romano, Maria; Groothuis, Ton G.G; Fasola, Mauro; Saino, Nicola

    2006-01-01

    Maternal hormones in vertebrate eggs can mediate important forms of maternal effects. However, the function of hormone transfer to the eggs is still debated, especially because long-term fitness consequences have been little studied. We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to physiologically elevated yolk testosterone (T) levels on reproduction of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in captivity. We found that females hatching from T-injected eggs (T-females) had a lower egg-laying rate than controls, and their eggs were more frequently infertile than those laid by control females. There were no effects of prenatal maternal treatment on egg size and yolk T concentration, but eggs carrying a female embryo laid by T-females had smaller yolks than eggs with a male embryo, while there was no sex difference in yolk size among the eggs laid by control females. Progeny sex ratio was unaffected by maternal treatment. These findings suggest that the transfer of high androgen levels to the eggs by the mother is constrained by complex trade-offs between direct effects on her daughters’ reproduction and by trans-generational differential consequences on male and female descendants. PMID:17018428

  4. Consequences of prenatal androgen exposure for the reproductive performance of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

    PubMed

    Rubolini, Diego; Martinelli, Roberta; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Romano, Maria; Groothuis, Ton G G; Fasola, Mauro; Saino, Nicola

    2007-01-01

    Maternal hormones in vertebrate eggs can mediate important forms of maternal effects. However, the function of hormone transfer to the eggs is still debated, especially because long-term fitness consequences have been little studied. We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to physiologically elevated yolk testosterone (T) levels on reproduction of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in captivity. We found that females hatching from T-injected eggs (T-females) had a lower egg-laying rate than controls, and their eggs were more frequently infertile than those laid by control females. There were no effects of prenatal maternal treatment on egg size and yolk T concentration, but eggs carrying a female embryo laid by T-females had smaller yolks than eggs with a male embryo, while there was no sex difference in yolk size among the eggs laid by control females. Progeny sex ratio was unaffected by maternal treatment. These findings suggest that the transfer of high androgen levels to the eggs by the mother is constrained by complex trade-offs between direct effects on her daughters' reproduction and by trans-generational differential consequences on male and female descendants. PMID:17018428

  5. Effects of Prior Contest Experience and Contest Outcome on Female Reproductive Decisions and Offspring Fitness.

    PubMed

    Pilakouta, Natalie; Halford, Cerian; Rácz, Rita; Smiseth, Per T

    2016-09-01

    Winning or losing a prior contest can influence the outcome of future contests, but it might also alter subsequent reproductive decisions. For example, losers may increase their investment in the current breeding attempt if losing a contest indicates limited prospects for future breeding. Using the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides, we tested whether females adjust their prehatching and posthatching reproductive effort after winning or losing a contest with a same-sex conspecific. Burying beetles breed on carcasses of small vertebrates for which there is fierce intrasexual competition. We found no evidence that winning or losing a contest influenced reproductive investment decisions in this species. Instead, we show that a female's prior contest experience (regardless of its outcome) influenced the amount of posthatching care provided, with downstream consequences for the female's reproductive output; both winners and losers spent more time provisioning food to their offspring and produced larger broods than females with no contest experience. We discuss the wider implications of our findings and present a conceptual model linking contest-mediated adjustments in parental investment to population-level processes. We propose that the frequency of intraspecific contests could both influence and be influenced by population dynamics in species where contest experience influences the size and/or number of offspring produced. PMID:27501089

  6. REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY ASSOCIATED WITH ACRYLAMIDE TREATMENT IN MALE AND FEMALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The present study was designed to evaluate the influence of acrylamide (ACR) on male and female reproductive function. Male rats received ACR in drinking water (50, 100, or 200 ppm) for up to 10 wk. Copulatory behavior, semen, and (for controls and 100 ppm only) fertility and fet...

  7. Lymph Region in the Female Internal Reproductive Organs during the Early Postpartum Period after Normal Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Dergacheva, T I; Borodin, Yu I; Gorchakov, V N; Konenkov, V I

    2015-11-01

    The structural and functional changes in the lymph region of the female internal reproductive organs in rats were studied during the early postpartum period after normal pregnancy. The results indicated that the main role of the lymph region in pregnancy consisted in supporting sufficient lymph production and drainage in the hypertrophic uterus. PMID:26601833

  8. Female Employment and the Social Reproduction of the Puerto Rican Working Class.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Safa, Helen I.

    1984-01-01

    Assesses the contribution women make to the social reproduction of working class families in Puerto Rico. Analyzes the role of women in the industrialization of Puerto Rico (especially since 1940) and the impact of women's earnings on the household economy. Suggests that increased female migration may result from the continuing export-led…

  9. Ensuring Rights: Improving Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for Female International Students in Australia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poljski, Carolyn; Quiazon, Regina; Tran, Chau

    2014-01-01

    Drawing on the research and advocacy work being conducted by the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health (MCWH), a national community-based organization in Victoria, Australia, the paper analyzes female international students' experiences with accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services. Accessibility of sexual and…

  10. EFFECT OF CONAZOLE FUNGICIDES ON REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT IN THE FEMALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three triazole fungicides were evaluated for effects on female rat reproductive development. Rats were exposed via feed to propiconazole (P) (100, 500, or 2500 ppm), myclobutanil (M) (100, 500, or 2000 ppm), or triadimefon (T) (100, 500, or 1800 ppm) from gestation day 6 to postn...

  11. Maybe she's NOT the boss: male-female crosstalk during sexual plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Vogler, Hannes; Martinez-Bernardini, Andrea; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-01-01

    New insights into the molecular dialogue between male and female during sexual plant reproduction show that even plant sex does not work without clear communication.Please see related Research article: http://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-016-0928-x. PMID:27159978

  12. Female reproductive activity and its endocrine correlates in the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi.

    PubMed

    Scheun, Juan; Nowack, Julia; Bennett, Nigel C; Ganswindt, Andre

    2016-02-01

    Steroid hormones play an important role in female reproductive physiology and behaviour and are often used to monitor important female reproductive events. However, such studies are often attempted on captive populations alone, delivering limited data. One such example is the African lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi, for which contradicting observational data exist between captive and free-ranging populations, while hormonal analyses have only been obtained from a single captive population. To extend and rectify the limited information, we monitored faecal progestagen and oestrogen metabolite levels across various important life history stages of both captive and free-ranging G. moholi. We additionally recorded changes in vaginal state as well as the occurrence of reproductive and aggressive behaviour throughout the study. Data from our captive population revealed an ovarian cycle length of 33.44 ± 0.59 days (mean ± SD), with follicular and luteal phases of 14.2 ± 1.0 and 19.1 ± 1.5 days, respectively, and an average pregnancy length of 128 ± 3.3 days. The initiation of female reproductive activity was closely linked to an oestrus-related increase in faecal oestrogen metabolite levels. Four of the seven captive females monitored in our study conceived during the May mating period, with one additional female fertilised in September, supporting the idea that the September mating period functions as a back-up for female G. moholi. Identified benchmark faecal progestagen metabolite levels (non-pregnant: >1 µg/g dry weight (DW), pregnant: >9 µg/g DW) should help researchers to determine pregnancy status of randomly wild-caught females in even a cross-sectional study setup. PMID:26649553

  13. Female and Male Moths Display Different Reproductive Behavior when Facing New versus Previous Mates

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qin; Xu, Jin; Ye, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Multiple mating allows females to obtain material (more sperm and nutrient) and/or genetic benefits. The genetic benefit models require sperm from different males to fertilize eggs competitively or the offspring be fathered by multiple males. To maximize genetic benefits from multiple mating, females have evolved strategies to prefer novel versus previous mates in their subsequent matings. However, the reproductive behavior during mate encounter, mate choice and egg laying in relation to discrimination and preference between sexes has been largely neglected. In the present study, we used novel and previous mate treatments and studied male and female behavior and reproductive output in Spodoptera litura. The results of this study do not support the sperm and nutrient replenishment hypotheses because neither the number of mates nor the number of copulations achieved by females significantly increased female fecundity, fertility and longevity. However, females showed different oviposition patterns when facing new versus previous mates by slowing down oviposition, which allows the last male has opportunities to fertilize her eggs and the female to promote offspring diversity. Moreover, females that have novel males present called earlier and more than females that have their previous mates present, whereas no significant differences were found on male courtship between treatments. These results suggest that S. litura females can distinguish novel from previous mates and prefer the former, whereas males generally remate regardless of whether the female is a previous mate or not. In S. litura, eggs are laid in large clusters and offspring competition, inbreeding and disease transfer risks are thus increased. Therefore, offspring diversity should be valuable for S. litura, and genetic benefits should be the main force behind the evolution of female behavioral strategies found in the present study. PMID:25290195

  14. Female and male moths display different reproductive behavior when facing new versus previous mates.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan-Ying; Yu, Jin-Feng; Lu, Qin; Xu, Jin; Ye, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Multiple mating allows females to obtain material (more sperm and nutrient) and/or genetic benefits. The genetic benefit models require sperm from different males to fertilize eggs competitively or the offspring be fathered by multiple males. To maximize genetic benefits from multiple mating, females have evolved strategies to prefer novel versus previous mates in their subsequent matings. However, the reproductive behavior during mate encounter, mate choice and egg laying in relation to discrimination and preference between sexes has been largely neglected. In the present study, we used novel and previous mate treatments and studied male and female behavior and reproductive output in Spodoptera litura. The results of this study do not support the sperm and nutrient replenishment hypotheses because neither the number of mates nor the number of copulations achieved by females significantly increased female fecundity, fertility and longevity. However, females showed different oviposition patterns when facing new versus previous mates by slowing down oviposition, which allows the last male has opportunities to fertilize her eggs and the female to promote offspring diversity. Moreover, females that have novel males present called earlier and more than females that have their previous mates present, whereas no significant differences were found on male courtship between treatments. These results suggest that S. litura females can distinguish novel from previous mates and prefer the former, whereas males generally remate regardless of whether the female is a previous mate or not. In S. litura, eggs are laid in large clusters and offspring competition, inbreeding and disease transfer risks are thus increased. Therefore, offspring diversity should be valuable for S. litura, and genetic benefits should be the main force behind the evolution of female behavioral strategies found in the present study. PMID:25290195

  15. Effects of subcutaneous transmitters on reproduction, incubation behavior, and annual return rates of female wood ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hepp, G.R.; Folk, T.H.; Hartke, K.M.

    2002-01-01

    Radiotransmitters attached externally to breeding waterfowl can have a variety of negative effects. Implanted transmitters can reduce potential deleterious effects; abdominal implants are used most commonly in waterfowl. Methods also have been developed to implant transmitters subcutaneously, but effects of subcutaneous implants on adult ducks have not been evaluated. In this study, we subcutaneously implanted radiotransmitters in pre-laying female wood ducks (Aix sponsa, n = 62) and compared nest initiation date, incubation behavior, body mass, and annual return rates of radiomarked females to a group of females that were not radiomarked. Ninety-six percent (50 of 52) of radiomarked females that were monitored for the entire breeding season initiated nests. Nesting date of radiomarked adult females did not differ from that of adult females without radios, but radiomarked yearling females nested earlier than yearlings not receiving transmitters. We found no differences in early- and late-incubation body mass, incubation constancy, recess frequency, and incubation period between radiomarked females and those without radios. Annual return rates of females that initiated nests did not differ between radiomarked females and those not receiving radios. Data suggest that implanting radiotransmitters subcutaneously in pre-laying female wood ducks did not negatively impact subsequent reproduction, incubation behavior, and survival.

  16. Vitellogenin knockdown strongly affects cotton boll weevil egg viability but not the number of eggs laid by females.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Roberta R; de Souza Júnior, José Dijair Antonino; Firmino, Alexandre A P; de Macedo, Leonardo L P; Fonseca, Fernando C A; Terra, Walter R; Engler, Gilbert; de Almeida Engler, Janice; da Silva, Maria Cristina M; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria Fatima

    2016-09-01

    Vitellogenin (Vg), a yolk protein precursor, is the primary egg nutrient source involved in insect reproduction and embryo development. The Cotton Boll weevil (CBW) Anthonomus grandis Boheman, the most important cotton pest in Americas, accumulates large amounts of Vg during reproduction. However, the precise role of this protein during embryo development in this insect remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the effects of vitellogenin (AgraVg) knockdown on the egg-laying and egg viability in A. grandis females, and also characterized morphologically the unviable eggs. AgraVg transcripts were found during all developmental stages of A. grandis, with highest abundance in females. Silencing of AgraVg culminated in a significant reduction in transcript amount, around 90%. Despite this transcriptional reduction, egg-laying was not affected in dsRNA-treated females but almost 100% of the eggs lost their viability. Eggs from dsRNA-treated females showed aberrant embryos phenotype suggesting interference at different stages of embryonic development. Unlike for other insects, the AgraVg knockdown did not affect the egg-laying ability of A. grandis, but hampered A. grandis reproduction by perturbing embryo development. We concluded that the Vg protein is essential for A. grandis reproduction and a good candidate to bio-engineer the resistance against this devastating cotton pest. PMID:27419079

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Signaling for food and sex? Begging by reproductive female white-throated magpie-jays

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Jesse M. S.; Langen, Tom A.; Berg, Elena C.

    2012-01-01

    Food begging is common in nutritionally dependent young of many animals, but structurally homologous calls recur in adult signal repertoires of many species. We propose eight functional hypotheses for begging in adults; these stem from observations in birds but apply broadly to other taxa in which begging occurs. Adult cooperatively-breeding white-throated magpie-jays (Calocitta formosa) use loud begging vocalizations, particularly near the nest site during reproduction. We analysed the social context and behavioural phenology of loud calling and allofeeding in this species and compared these with predictions from each functional hypothesis. We found that reproductive females are the primary producers of beg calls, and their begging peaks during the fertile period when reproductive conflict among males and females was highest. Loud begging rates correlated positively with provisioning rates, but females called more in the pre-incubation fertile period than after they initiated incubation. Based on the context, phenology and active space of the signal, we conclude that female loud begging vocalizations function to signal nutritional need to group members, but also have been evolutionarily co-opted to advertise fertility to potential extra-pair partners. The location of calling is likely a consequence of nest guarding by breeding females to prevent intraspecific brood parasitism. PMID:23293376

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Second-Hand Eating? Maternal perception of the food environment affects reproductive investment in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Tonia S.; Gainer, Renee; Dohm, Erik D.; Johnson, Maria S.; Wyss, J. Michael; Allison, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Little information exists on how perception of the food (or ‘energetic’) environment affects body composition and reproductive investment. We test the hypothesis that female mice, who are themselves consuming standard chow diets, but who are exposed to conspecifics eating a rich “cafeteria diet”, will exhibit altered weight gain and reproductive investment. Design and Methods Female C57BL/6 mice were raised on a cafeteria diet. At maturity, subjects were switched to a standard chow diet and their cage-mate was assigned to consume either a cafeteria diet (treatment, n=20), or standard chow (control, n=20). Subjects were mated, and pups raised to weaning. Subjects and pups were analyzed for body composition. Results Treatment had no discernable effect on dam body weight or composition, but caused pups to have lower body weight (p=0.036), and less fat mass (p=0.041). We found a nearly significant treatment effect on ‘time to successful reproduction’ (avg. 55 vs. 44 days) likely due to increased failed first pregnancies (14/19 versus 8/19, p=0.099). Conclusions These data indicate that perceived food environment (independent of the diet actually consumed) can produce small pups with less body fat, and possibly induce difficulties in pregnancy for dams. Replication and mechanistic studies should follow. PMID:25864567

  2. Hypoxia Treatment of Callosobruchus maculatus Females and Its Effects on Reproductive Output and Development of Progeny Following Exposure.

    PubMed

    Yan, Yan; Williams, Scott B; Baributsa, Dieudonne; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Modified atmospheres present a residue-free alternative to fumigants for controlling postharvest pests of grain during storage. How sub-lethal applications of this method affects the reproductive fitness of target pests, however, is still not fully understood. We examined how low levels of ambient oxygen influence the reproduction of the female cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus), a pest of cowpea. We used three low-oxygen atmospheres-2%, 5% and 10% (v/v) oxygen-and observed their effects on: (1) the number of eggs laid by bruchids compared to insects held in normoxic (~20% oxygen) conditions; (2) the total number of eggs laid; and (3) the number of progeny that reached maturity. Low oxygen did not significantly affect the number of eggs laid during 48 or 72 h of exposure, but 2% and 5% oxygen did negatively affected total egg production. Increasing the exposure time from 48 to 72 h further depressed lifetime reproductive output. Maternal and egg exposure to hypoxia reduced the number of progeny that reached adulthood. Lower adult emergence was observed from eggs laid under low oxygen and longer exposure times. These data demonstrate that hermetic conditions depress the egg-laying behavior of cowpea bruchids and the successful development of their progeny. PMID:27322332

  3. Hypoxia Treatment of Callosobruchus maculatus Females and Its Effects on Reproductive Output and Development of Progeny Following Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Yan; Williams, Scott B.; Baributsa, Dieudonne; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Modified atmospheres present a residue-free alternative to fumigants for controlling postharvest pests of grain during storage. How sub-lethal applications of this method affects the reproductive fitness of target pests, however, is still not fully understood. We examined how low levels of ambient oxygen influence the reproduction of the female cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus), a pest of cowpea. We used three low-oxygen atmospheres—2%, 5% and 10% (v/v) oxygen—and observed their effects on: (1) the number of eggs laid by bruchids compared to insects held in normoxic (~20% oxygen) conditions; (2) the total number of eggs laid; and (3) the number of progeny that reached maturity. Low oxygen did not significantly affect the number of eggs laid during 48 or 72 h of exposure, but 2% and 5% oxygen did negatively affected total egg production. Increasing the exposure time from 48 to 72 h further depressed lifetime reproductive output. Maternal and egg exposure to hypoxia reduced the number of progeny that reached adulthood. Lower adult emergence was observed from eggs laid under low oxygen and longer exposure times. These data demonstrate that hermetic conditions depress the egg-laying behavior of cowpea bruchids and the successful development of their progeny. PMID:27322332

  4. 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. PMID:26515141

  5. Distinct Biological Epochs in the Reproductive Life of Female Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Rogina, Blanka; Wolverton, Tom; Bross, Tyson G.; Chen, Kun; Müller, Hans-Georg; Carey, James R.

    2008-01-01

    Mating alters the physiology and behavior of female Drosophila melanogaster resulting in a surge of egg laying, a decrease in receptivity to other males, and a decrease in life span. Here, we show striking differences in patterns of Drosophila egg laying and mortality rate dependent upon mating history. Our data reveal previously unreported epochs in the reproductive life of females: optimal, vulnerable and declining-terminal. During the optimal period, mating induces females to respond with a surge in egg laying and has a reversible effect on mortality rate. In contrast, during the vulnerable period, mating does not induce females to respond with a surge in egg laying and causes an irreversible increase in mortality rate. The terminal period was always observed several days before death, irrespective of the chronological age, and is marked by sharp reductions in egg laying. The presence of these distinctive biological epochs may reflect increased female sensitivity to mating due to age-related decline. PMID:17681363

  6. 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.

  7. [Trematode distribution in Littorina saxatilis populations can support the reproductive potential of the host: "toilers" and "idlers" among female periwinkles].

    PubMed

    Granovich, A I; Iagunova, E B; Sokolova, I M

    2012-01-01

    Co-evolution between parasites and their hosts can involve adaptations on the individual and population levels likely to be especially prominent in the systems where parasites have a direct strong impact on the hosts fitness, as is the case with castrating trematodes and their gastropod hosts. We studied populations of the rough periwinkles Littorina saxatilis in the White Sea infested by castrating trematodes to determine whether spatial and temporal variations in the trematode prevalence affect the demographic structure of the host population. Sex, age, reproductive status and infestation of L. saxatilis from 19 populations with different trematode burdens (from < 1 % to 30-50%); in two of these 19 populations (RI and KLN) a long-term monitoring over the period of 15-20 years was also performed. These analyses showed that (1) the average age of gravid females did not correlate with the trematode prevalence of the population, (2) the ratio was skewed towards females, (3) the trematode prevalence in females tended to be higher than in males, (4) the proportion of the non-infested gravid females of the younger ages classes (2-4 years) did not correlate with trematode prevalence of the population. The proportion of young non-infested females that were not reproducing ("idlers") decreased significantly with increasing infestation prevalence when compared among different populations of L. saxatilis, but remained relatively stable within two heavily infested populations RI and KLN despite the year-to-year fluctuations of the infestation prevalence. Thus, a demographic mechanism to compensate for the parasite pressure in L. saxatilis populations may involve the maintenance of a relatively constant proportion of uninfected gravid female ("toilers") at the expense of uninfected, but not reproducing females of fertile age ("idlers"); the latter can be viewed a reproductive reserve of the population tapped into under the conditions of high infestation prevalence. This

  8. Effects of supplement type on performance, reproductive, and physiological responses of Brahman-crossbred females.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Arthington, J D; Staples, C R; Thatcher, W W; Lamb, G C

    2007-10-01

    Two experiments were conducted to compare the performance and physiological responses of forage-fed beef females supplemented with either a molasses-based (ML) or a citrus pulp-based (CT) supplement. In Exp. 1, BW gain, reproductive performance, and concentrations of blood urea N (BUN), plasma glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and progesterone (P4) were assessed in 60 Brahman x Angus heifers supplemented 3 times weekly with either ML or CT. Supplement intakes were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Reproductive performance was not affected by treatments, but mean BW gain was greater (P < 0.01) for heifers fed CT than for those fed ML (0.40 vs. 0.30 kg/d). Mean plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, and IGF-I were greater (P < 0.05) for heifers fed CT, whereas BUN was greater (P < 0.05) for heifers fed ML. Mean plasma P4 concentration did not differ between treatments, but both groups had lower plasma P4 concentrations during days that supplements were offered (P < 0.01). In Exp. 2, forage DMI and concentrations of BUN, plasma glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and P4 were assessed in 24 Brahman x British mature cows supplemented with the same treatments described in Exp. 1. Overall forage DMI did not differ between treatments, but a day effect and a treatment x day interaction were detected (P < 0.05). Both groups consumed less forage during the days on which the supplements were offered (P < 0.01), and forage DMI for cows fed CT was less (P < 0.05) than for cows fed ML during those days. No differences were detected in any blood or plasma measurement. In addition, no differences in concentrations of P4 were detected between CT- and ML-fed cows. We concluded that CT-supplemented heifers had greater BW gain compared with ML-supplemented heifers, but no differences in reproductive performance were observed. We also observed that CT-supplemented cows had a greater variability in forage DMI compared with ML-supplemented cows. PMID:17526669

  9. Friend or Foe: Innate Sensing of HIV in the Female Reproductive Tract.

    PubMed

    Roan, Nadia R; Jakobsen, Martin R

    2016-02-01

    The female reproductive tract (FRT) is a major site for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. There currently exists a poor understanding of how the innate immune system is activated upon HIV transmission and how this activation may affect systemic spread of HIV from the FRT. However, multiple mechanisms for how HIV is sensed have been deciphered using model systems with cell lines and peripheral blood-derived cells. The aim of this review is to summarize recent progress in the field of HIV innate immune sensing and place this in the context of the FRT. Because HIV is somewhat unique as an STD that thrives under inflammatory conditions, the response of cells upon sensing HIV gene products can either promote or limit HIV infection depending on the context. Future studies should include investigations into how FRT-derived primary cells sense and respond to HIV to confirm conclusions drawn from non-mucosal cells. Understanding how cells of the FRT participate in and effect innate immune sensing of HIV will provide a clearer picture of what parameters during the early stages of HIV exposure determine transmission success. Such knowledge could pave the way for novel approaches for preventing HIV acquisition in women. PMID:26879654

  10. Long-term effects on reproductive parameters in female rats after translactational exposure to PCBs

    SciTech Connect

    Sager, D.B.; Girard, D.M. )

    1994-07-01

    In an integrated series of experiments, we assessed effects of translactational exposure to Aroclor 1254 at three different ages: As young adults (2-4.5 months), as mature adults (5-8 months), and as older adults (8.5-13 months). Developing female rats were exposed postnatally to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) via oral treatment of the dams on Days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of lactation at the following doses: 8 [mu]g/g (PCBI), 32 [mu]g/g (PCBII), and 64 [mu]g/g (PCBIII) in peanut oil. Puberty, both vaginal opening and first estrus, was delayed in PCBII and PCBIII offspring. PCB exposure at all doses had a pronounced and consistent effect on uterine response. In mature PCBII and PCBIII adults, uterine wet weights were reduced at all stages of the estrous cycle and in light-induced persistent vaginal estrus (PVE). PCBI offspring exhibited a decreased uterine weight in proestrus and in light-induced PVE. Analysis of estrous cycles for 40 days at all ages indicated increases in diestrus. Fertility in young adults and mature adults was affected, with PCBIII young adults exhibiting less success with preimplantation stages, and PCBII and PCBIII mature adults showing an effect at pre- and/or postimplantation stages. As determined by patterns in estrous cycling and rate of development of PVE in 64 days of constant light, exposure to PCBs did not hasten reproductive aging at any of the ages examined. Instead, PCBIII young adults and PCBII and PCBIII older adults exhibited a delay in onset of light-induced PVE. This study demonstrates that translactational exposure to a PCB mixture that has little notable effect on the dams, not only delays puberty in the female offspring, but also several months later results in decreased uterine response, impairment of fertility, and irregular cycle patterns. Reproductive aging, however, is not hastened, and even may be delayed. Many of these effects could be explained, in part, by interference with estrogen. 67 refs., 10 figs., 7 tabs.

  11. Deletion of Tuberous Sclerosis 1 in Somatic Cells of the Murine Reproductive Tract Causes Female Infertility

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Park, Joo Hyun; Tanwar, Pradeep S.; Kaneko-Tarui, Tomoko; Mittal, Shilpi; Lee, Ho-Joon

    2012-01-01

    Tumors develop with dysregulated activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), the kinase activity of which is kept in an inactive state by a tumor suppressor dimer containing tuberous sclerosis 1 (TSC1) and TSC2. We examined whether conditional deletion of TSC1 by a knock-in allele of the anti-Müllerian hormone type 2 receptor (Amhr2) driving Cre expression and subsequent activation of mTOR in granulosa cells and in oviductal and uterine stromal cells affects fertility in female mice. Increased phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6, a downstream target of activated mTOR, was observed in all AMHR2-expressing tissues examined, indicating loss of TSC1 activity. TSC1 deletion in granulosa cells led to the detection of significantly fewer primordial follicles in mutant mice at 12 wk, suggesting premature ovarian insufficiency, which might be related to the significantly increased time mutant mice spent in estrus. Although the number of good-quality ovulated oocytes was not significantly different compared with controls, there was a significantly higher number of degenerated oocytes after normal and superovulation, suggesting compromised oocyte quality, as well. Natural mating also showed severalfold higher numbers of degenerate bodies in the mutants that collected in bilateral swellings resembling hydrosalpinges that formed in all mice examined because of occlusion of the proximal oviduct. Attempts to transfer control embryos into mutant uteri also failed, indicating that implantation was compromised. Endometrial epithelial cells continued to proliferate, and quantitative RT-PCR showed that mucin 1 expression persisted during the window of implantation in mutant uteri, without any changes in progesterone receptor mRNA expression, suggesting a mechanism that does not involve disrupted estradiol-regulated progesterone receptor expression. Homozygous deletion of TSC1 in reproductive tract somatic tissues of mice rendered females completely infertile, which is

  12. Spermatozoa capacitation in female Varroa destructor and its influence on the timing and success of female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Häußermann, Claudia Katharina; Ziegelmann, Bettina; Rosenkranz, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Mating of Varroa destructor takes place inside the sealed honey bee brood cell. During copulation, male mites transfer the spermatozoa into the genital openings of the females. Before the fertilization of female germ cells, the transferred spermatozoa have to pass through a final maturation process inside the genital tract of the female, the so-called capacitation. We here describe for the first time the morphological changes and chronological sequence of spermatozoa capacitation within female V. destructor. We have defined seven distinct stages of spermatozoa during the process of capacitation and have shown that it takes about 5 days from mating to the occurrence of spermatozoa ready for fertilization. This might explain the results of an additional experiment where we could show that freshly mated daughter mites need a phoretic phase on bees before their first reproduction cycle. The transfer of non-capacitated spermatozoa from male V. destructor and the resulting long capacitation period within the female mites seems to be a consequence of an adaptive pressure for the male mites to inseminate several daughter mites within the short time span inside the sealed honey bee brood cell. PMID:27209572

  13. Alternative reproductive tactics in female striped mice: Solitary breeders have lower corticosterone levels than communal breeders.

    PubMed

    Hill, Davina L; Pillay, Neville; Schradin, Carsten

    2015-05-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs), where members of the same sex and population show distinct reproductive phenotypes governed by decision-rules, have been well-documented in males of many species, but are less well understood in females. The relative plasticity hypothesis (RPH) predicts that switches between plastic ARTs are mediated by changes in steroid hormones. This has received much support in males, but little is known about the endocrine control of female ARTs. Here, using a free-living population of African striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio) over five breeding seasons, we tested whether females following different tactics differed in corticosterone and testosterone levels, as reported for male striped mice using ARTs, and in progesterone and oestrogen, which are important in female reproduction. Female striped mice employ three ARTs: communal breeders give birth in a shared nest and provide alloparental care, returners leave the group temporarily to give birth, and solitary breeders leave to give birth and do not return. We expected communal breeders and returners to have higher corticosterone, owing to the social stress of group-living, and lower testosterone than solitary breeders, which must defend territories alone. Solitary breeders had lower corticosterone than returners and communal breeders, as predicted, but testosterone and progesterone did not differ between ARTs. Oestrogen levels were higher in returners (measured before leaving the group) than in communal and solitary breeders, consistent with a modulatory role. Our study demonstrates hormonal differences between females following (or about to follow) different tactics, and provides the first support for the RPH in females. PMID:25828632

  14. A potential mate influences reproductive development in female, but not male, pine siskins.

    PubMed

    Watts, Heather E; Edley, Bruce; Hahn, Thomas P

    2016-04-01

    The role of photoperiod in avian reproductive timing has been well studied, and we are increasingly recognizing the roles of other environmental cues such as social cues. However, few studies have evaluated the extent to which males and females of the same species respond similarly to the same type of cue. Moreover, previous studies have rarely examined how variation in the quality or nature of a given social cue might modulate its effect. Here, we examine the sensitivity of male and female pine siskins (Spinus pinus) to a potential mate as a stimulatory cue for gonadal recrudescence, and we investigate whether variation in the relationship between a bird and its potential mate modulates the effect of that potential mate. Birds were initially housed without opposite sex birds on a 12L:12D photoperiod with ad libitum food. After gonadal recrudescence had begun males and females were randomly paired with an opposite sex bird or housed alone. An additional group of males was paired with estradiol-implanted females. In males, these social treatments had no effect on testis length, cloacal protuberance length, luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, or testosterone levels. In females, presence of a potential mate had a significant and positive effect on ovary score, defeathering of the brood patch, and LH levels. Among paired birds, the degree of affiliation within a pair corresponded to the extent of reproductive development in females, but not males. Thus, reproductive timing in females appears to be sensitive to both the presence of a potential mate and her relationship with him. PMID:26836771

  15. Costs and benefits of competitive traits in females: aggression, maternal care and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Cain, Kristal E; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression. PMID:24204980

  16. Costs and Benefits of Competitive Traits in Females: Aggression, Maternal Care and Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Cain, Kristal E.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression. PMID:24204980

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. Safety evaluation of aqueous extracts from Aegle marmelos and Stevia rebaudiana on reproduction of female rats.

    PubMed

    Saenphet, Kanokporn; Aritajat, Salika; Saenphet, Supap; Manosroi, Jeeradej; Manosroi, Aranya

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety of a Thai medicinal plant, Aegle marmelos, and a non-caloric sweetener, Stevia rebaudiana, on the reproduction of female rats. Female rats were treated orally with aqueous extract of A. marmelos (6%) and S. rebaudiana at various concentrations (0, 0.2, 1, or 10%) for 60 days (1 ml/day) before mating. The control rats received only distilled water. At the end of the treatment period, treated females were mated with untreated males and the effects on reproduction were examined at day 14 of pregnancy. No notable abnormalities were observed in any of the pregnant rats. The number of corpus lutea, implanted and dead fetuses, as well as the sizes of the fetuses in the treated rats were not significantly different from those of the controls. Based on these results, it may be concluded that aqueous extracts of A. marmelos and S. rebaudiana at the concentrations used in this study do not alter the reproduction of female rats. PMID:17547081

  20. Natural Variation in Epigenetic Pathways Affects the Specification of Female Gamete Precursors in Arabidopsis[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Leal, Daniel; León-Martínez, Gloria; Abad-Vivero, Ursula; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    In angiosperms, the transition to the female gametophytic phase relies on the specification of premeiotic gamete precursors from sporophytic cells in the ovule. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a single diploid cell is specified as the premeiotic female gamete precursor. Here, we show that ecotypes of Arabidopsis exhibit differences in megasporogenesis leading to phenotypes reminiscent of defects in dominant mutations that epigenetically affect the specification of female gamete precursors. Intraspecific hybridization and polyploidy exacerbate these defects, which segregate quantitatively in F2 populations derived from ecotypic hybrids, suggesting that multiple loci control cell specification at the onset of female meiosis. This variation in cell differentiation is influenced by the activity of ARGONAUTE9 (AGO9) and RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE6 (RDR6), two genes involved in epigenetic silencing that control the specification of female gamete precursors. The pattern of transcriptional regulation and localization of AGO9 varies among ecotypes, and abnormal gamete precursors in ovules defective for RDR6 share identity with ectopic gamete precursors found in selected ecotypes. Our results indicate that differences in the epigenetic control of cell specification lead to natural phenotypic variation during megasporogenesis. We propose that this mechanism could be implicated in the emergence and evolution of the reproductive alternatives that prevail in flowering plants. PMID:25829442

  1. Natural variation in epigenetic pathways affects the specification of female gamete precursors in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Leal, Daniel; León-Martínez, Gloria; Abad-Vivero, Ursula; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe

    2015-04-01

    In angiosperms, the transition to the female gametophytic phase relies on the specification of premeiotic gamete precursors from sporophytic cells in the ovule. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a single diploid cell is specified as the premeiotic female gamete precursor. Here, we show that ecotypes of Arabidopsis exhibit differences in megasporogenesis leading to phenotypes reminiscent of defects in dominant mutations that epigenetically affect the specification of female gamete precursors. Intraspecific hybridization and polyploidy exacerbate these defects, which segregate quantitatively in F2 populations derived from ecotypic hybrids, suggesting that multiple loci control cell specification at the onset of female meiosis. This variation in cell differentiation is influenced by the activity of ARGONAUTE9 (AGO9) and RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE6 (RDR6), two genes involved in epigenetic silencing that control the specification of female gamete precursors. The pattern of transcriptional regulation and localization of AGO9 varies among ecotypes, and abnormal gamete precursors in ovules defective for RDR6 share identity with ectopic gamete precursors found in selected ecotypes. Our results indicate that differences in the epigenetic control of cell specification lead to natural phenotypic variation during megasporogenesis. We propose that this mechanism could be implicated in the emergence and evolution of the reproductive alternatives that prevail in flowering plants. PMID:25829442

  2. A novel hormone is required for the development of reproductive phenotypes in adult female crabs.

    PubMed

    Zmora, Nilli; Chung, J Sook

    2014-01-01

    The crustacean male-specific androgenic hormone is widely accepted as a key factor in sexual differentiation and in the development of secondary sex characteristics. However, the mechanism by which the plethora of different reproductive strategies are controlled and executed in crustaceans is not known. We discovered in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, a hitherto unknown neurohormone, named crustacean female sex hormone (CFSH), in distinct neurosecretory cells in the eyestalk ganglia. CFSH is highly expressed in females but weakly in males, and its crucial role in developing adult female phenotypes has now been established. CFSH cDNA encodes a 225-amino acid (aa) novel protein composed of a 23-aa predicted signal peptide, 33-aa precursor-related peptide and 167-aa mature protein that did not match any other sequence in GenBank. CFSH RNA interference knockdown by multiple administrations of double-stranded RNA at the prepubertal stage causes abnormal development of brooding and mating systems upon puberty. These systems include a pair of gonopores and an egg attachment system for brooding, comprised of an enlarged semicircular abdomen and ovigerous setae. The ovigerous setae in CFSH knocked-down females were fewer and 50% shorter and the gonopores were either significantly smaller than those of controls, misplaced, or absent. We also identified CFSH in the green crab, Carcinus maenas, a species that shares a similar reproductive strategy with C. sapidus. Together, our data provide the first evidence for the presence of a female hormone in crustaceans and its importance in positively controlling anatomic features associated with brooding and mating systems. From an evolutionary standpoint, the endocrine control supporting a female-specific reproductive strategy, as previously described for many vertebrate species, has now been demonstrated for the first time in crustaceans. PMID:24280057

  3. Growth and reproductive development of male piglets are more vulnerable to midgestation maternal stress than that of female piglets.

    PubMed

    Mack, L A; Lay, D C; Eicher, S D; Johnson, A K; Richert, B T; Pajor, E A

    2014-02-01

    In many mammalian species, prenatal stress masculinizes female and feminizes male offspring impairing their reproductive capacity. Regrouping gestating sows is a common, stressful production practice, but its impact on the developing pigs of the sow is not fully known. This study examined the effects of regrouping gestating sows and the administration of exogenous glucocorticoids on the growth and external reproductive morphology of pigs. At 37.2 ± 0.26 d of gestation, 6 cohorts of 18 sows (N = 108) were placed in 1 of 3 treatments: socially stable (Stable), hydrocortisone acetate (HCA), or mixed (Mixed). The HCA sows were administered 70 mg HCA, a synthetic glucocorticoid, twice daily during the 21 d experimental period. Each Mixed sow was penned with 2 companion sows (Companion) and regrouped on d 7 and 14 with 2 different Companion sows in a new pen. Stable and HCA sows were penned in treatment groups of 3 sows. Sow social rank was assessed weekly during feeding. After the 21 d experimental period, all sows were housed in gestation stalls for the duration of pregnancy. During the 21 d, Companion sows gained more weight than HCA and Mixed sows (P < 0.05) with Stable sows intermediate. High ranked sows gained more weight than middle and low ranked sows (P < 0.05). Mixed sows had greater head lesion scores than Stable and HCA sows (P < 0.05) with Companion sows intermediate. Head lesions increased with lower social rank (P < 0.001). Sow treatment did not affect farrowing rate, litter size, or sex ratio (P > 0.10). Social rank also had no effect on farrowing rate (P > 0.10), but affected total litter size (P = 0.03). High ranked sows bore and weaned more live females than low ranked sows (P < 0.05), in part due to differential preweaning mortality among female pigs (P = 0.01). Only male pigs were affected by sow treatment. Preweaning mortality was higher among male pigs from HCA than from Mixed sows (P = 0.04) with other treatments intermediate. Despite no weight

  4. Reproductive state modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Fortune, Eric S.; Ball, Gregory F.

    2015-01-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exhibit seasonal changes in singing and in the volumes of the neural substrate. Increases in song nuclei volume are mediated at least in part by increases in day length, which is also associated with increases in plasma testosterone (T), reproductive activity, and singing behavior in males. The correlations between photoperiod (i.e. daylength), T, reproductive state and singing hamper our ability to disentangle causal relationships. We investigated how photoperiodic-induced variation in reproductive state modulates the effects of T on singing behavior and song nuclei volumes in adult female starlings. Female Starlings do not naturally produce measureable levels of circulating T but nevertheless respond to exogenous T, which induces male-like singing. We manipulated photoperiod by placing birds in a photosensitive or photorefractory state and then treated them with T-filled or empty silastic implants. We recorded morning singing behavior for three weeks, after which we assessed reproductive condition and measured song nuclei volumes. We found that T-treated photosensitive birds sang significantly more than all other groups including T-treated photorefractory birds. All T-treated birds had larger song nuclei volumes than with blank-treated birds (despite photorefractory T-treated birds not increasing song-rate). There was no effect of photoperiod on the song nuclei volumes of T-treated birds. These data show that the behavioral effects of exogenous T can be modulated by reproductive state in adult female songbirds. Furthermore, these data are consistent with other observations that increases in singing rate in response to T are not necessarily due to the direct effects of T on song nuclei volume. PMID:25989596

  5. Reproductive state modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Rouse, Melvin L; Stevenson, Tyler J; Fortune, Eric S; Ball, Gregory F

    2015-06-01

    European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exhibit seasonal changes in singing and in the volumes of the neural substrate. Increases in song nuclei volume are mediated at least in part by increases in day length, which is also associated with increases in plasma testosterone (T), reproductive activity, and singing behavior in males. The correlations between photoperiod (i.e. daylength), T, reproductive state and singing hamper our ability to disentangle causal relationships. We investigated how photoperiodic-induced variation in reproductive state modulates the effects of T on singing behavior and song nuclei volumes in adult female starlings. Female starlings do not naturally produce measureable levels of circulating T but nevertheless respond to exogenous T, which induces male-like singing. We manipulated photoperiod by placing birds in a photosensitive or photorefractory state and then treated them with T-filled or empty silastic implants. We recorded morning singing behavior for 3 weeks, after which we assessed reproductive condition and measured song nuclei volumes. We found that T-treated photosensitive birds sang significantly more than all other groups including T-treated photorefractory birds. All T-treated birds had larger song nuclei volumes than with blank-treated birds (despite photorefractory T-treated birds not increasing song-rate). There was no effect of photoperiod on the song nuclei volumes of T-treated birds. These data show that the behavioral effects of exogenous T can be modulated by reproductive state in adult female songbirds. Furthermore, these data are consistent with other observations that increases in singing rate in response to T are not necessarily due to the direct effects of T on song nuclei volume. PMID:25989596

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

    PubMed

    Du, Hongling; Taylor, Hugh S

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26552702

  7. Family effects on early survival and variance in long-term reproductive success of female cheetahs.

    PubMed

    Pettorelli, Nathalie; Durant, Sarah M

    2007-09-01

    1. While it is generally accepted that the survival of offspring within families may be correlated, the extent of correlation has been largely untested. Furthermore, the impact of such correlation on the estimated variance in females' reproductive success has rarely been quantified. 2. Here we use an exceptional data set from a long-term study of individually recognized cheetahs from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to formally quantify family effects in carnivores. 3. We show (i) that cubs from the same litter exhibit more similar fates than unrelated cubs when it comes to first-year survival; and (ii) that the observed variance of the long-term reproductive success of females is twice the variance expected under the assumption of complete independence of fates between cubs. 4. We suggest that family effects are likely to be widespread in vertebrates with average litter sizes > 1, and could have important consequences for population dynamics and population viability analyses. PMID:17714269

  8. Evidence that elevated water temperature affects the reproductive physiology of the European bullhead Cottus gobio.

    PubMed

    Dorts, Jennifer; Grenouillet, Gaël; Douxfils, Jessica; Mandiki, Syaghalirwa N M; Milla, Sylvain; Silvestre, Frédéric; Kestemont, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the average water temperature and alter the ecology and physiology of several organisms including fish species. To examine the effects of increased water temperature on freshwater fish reproduction, adult European bullhead Cottus gobio of both genders were maintained under three temperature regimes (T1: 6-10, T2: 10-14 and T3: 14-18°C) and assessed for gonad development (gonadosomatic index-GSI and gonad histology), sex steroids (testosterone-T, 17β-estradiol-E2 and 11-ketotestosterone-11-KT) and vitellogenin (alkali-labile phosphoprotein phosphorus-ALP) dynamics in December, January, February and March. The results indicate that a 8°C rise in water temperature (T3) deeply disrupted the gonadal maturation in both genders. This observation was associated with the absence of GSI peak from January to March, and low levels of plasma sex steroids compared with T1-exposed fish. Nevertheless, exposure to an increasing temperature of 4°C (T2) appeared to accelerate oogenesis with an early peak value in GSI and level of plasma T recorded in January relative to T1-exposed females. In males, the low GSI, reduced level of plasma 11-KT and the absence of GSI increase from January to March support the deleterious effects of increasing water temperature on spermatogenesis. The findings of the present study suggest that exposure to elevated temperatures within the context of climate warming might affect the reproductive success of C. gobio. Specifically, a 4°C rise in water temperature affects gametogenesis by advancing the spawning, and a complete reproductive failure is observed at an elevated temperature of 8°C. PMID:21638008

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Chromatin dynamics during cellular differentiation in the female reproductive lineage of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Baroux, Célia; Autran, Daphné

    2015-07-01

    Sexual reproduction in flowering plants offers a number of remarkable aspects to developmental biologists. First, the spore mother cells - precursors of the plant reproductive lineage - are specified late in development, as opposed to precocious germline isolation during embryogenesis in most animals. Second, unlike in most animals where meiosis directly produces gametes, plant meiosis entails the differentiation of a multicellular, haploid gametophyte, within which gametic as well as non-gametic accessory cells are formed. These observations raise the question of the factors inducing and modus operandi of cell fate transitions that originate in floral tissues and gametophytes, respectively. Cell fate transitions in the reproductive lineage imply cellular reprogramming operating at the physiological, cytological and transcriptome level, but also at the chromatin level. A number of observations point to large-scale chromatin reorganization events associated with cellular differentiation of the female spore mother cells and of the female gametes. These include a reorganization of the heterochromatin compartment, the genome-wide alteration of the histone modification landscape, and the remodeling of nucleosome composition. The dynamic expression of DNA methyltransferases and actors of small RNA pathways also suggest additional, global epigenetic alterations that remain to be characterized. Are these events a cause or a consequence of cellular differentiation, and how do they contribute to cell fate transition? Does chromatin dynamics induce competence for immediate cellular functions (meiosis, fertilization), or does it also contribute long-term effects in cellular identity and developmental competence of the reproductive lineage? This review attempts to review these fascinating questions. PMID:26031902

  11. Age-specific cost of first reproduction in female southern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Desprez, Marine; Harcourt, Robert; Hindell, Mark A; Cubaynes, Sarah; Gimenez, Olivier; McMahon, Clive R

    2014-05-01

    When to commence breeding is a crucial life-history decision that may be the most important determinant of an individual's lifetime reproductive output and can have major consequences on population dynamics. The age at which individuals first reproduce is an important factor influencing the intensity of potential costs (e.g. reduced survival) involved in the first breeding event. However, quantifying age-related variation in the cost of first reproduction in wild animals remains challenging because of the difficulty in reliably recording the first breeding event. Here, using a multi-event capture-recapture model that accounts for both imperfect detection and uncertainty in the breeding status on an 18-year dataset involving 6637 individuals, we estimated age and state-specific survival of female elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in the declining Macquarie Island population. We detected a clear cost of first reproduction on survival. This cost was higher for both younger first-time breeders and older first-time breeders compared with females recruiting at age four, the overall mean age at first reproduction. Neither earlier primiparity nor delaying primiparity appear to confer any evolutionary advantage, rather the optimal strategy seems to be to start breeding at a single age, 4 years. PMID:24872464

  12. Innate immunity and inflammation of the bovine female reproductive tract in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Sheldon, I Martin; Cronin, James G; Healey, Gareth D; Gabler, Christoph; Heuwieser, Wolfgang; Streyl, Dominik; Bromfield, John J; Miyamoto, Akio; Fergani, Chrys; Dobson, Hilary

    2014-09-01

    Mammalian reproductive physiology and the development of viviparity co-evolved with inflammation and immunity over millennia. Many inflammatory mediators contribute to paracrine and endocrine signalling, and the maintenance of tissue homeostasis in the female reproductive tract. However, inflammation is also a feature of microbial infections of the reproductive tract. Bacteria and viruses commonly cause endometritis, perturb ovarian follicle development and suppress the endocrine activity of the hypothalamus and pituitary in cattle. Innate immunity is an evolutionary ancient system that orchestrates host cell inflammatory responses aimed at eliminating pathogens and repairing damaged tissue. Pattern recognition receptors on host cells bind pathogen-associated molecular patterns and damage-associated molecular patterns, leading to the activation of intracellular MAPK and NFκB signalling pathways and the release of inflammatory mediators. Inflammatory mediators typically include the interleukin cytokines IL1β and IL6, chemokines such as IL8, interferons and prostaglandins. This review outlines the mechanisms of inflammation and innate immunity in the bovine female reproductive tract during health and disease condition. PMID:24890752

  13. Variation in Female Reproductive Tract Morphology of the Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Orbach, Dara N; Marshall, Christopher D; Würsig, Bernd; Mesnick, Sarah L

    2016-04-01

    Cetaceans exhibit vaginal folds, unusual protrusions of the vaginal wall into the vaginal lumen. Inconsistent terminology and a lack of anatomical landmarks in the literature have hindered comparative studies of the form and function of vaginal folds. Our objectives are to: (1) develop a standardized measurement protocol for the reproductive tracts of female cetaceans, (2) assess variation in morphometrics within the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and (3) determine if vaginal muscle is skeletal, and therefore of somatic origin in this species. We selected 15 measurements to characterize female reproductive tracts and evaluated variability using fresh or frozen-thawed specimens from southeastern USA representing a range of sexual maturity states and reproductive states (n = 18 specimens). Presence of skeletal muscle and variation in the density of muscle banding were assessed using 90 histological samples (n = 5 specimens). Analyses of the gross morphological data revealed that the dolphins generally had one large vaginal fold that bisected the vaginal lumen. Vaginal morphology was similar for sexually mature and immature specimens and across reproductive states. The histological data revealed that the vaginal musculature consisted of smooth muscle, consistent with other mammals, leading us to conclude that vaginal contractions are likely under autonomic rather than somatic control. No differences were found in the density of smooth muscle banding among vaginal regions or sexual maturity states. Our systematic protocol lays the foundation for evaluating the function (e.g., sexual selection, natural selection) and evolution of vaginal folds. PMID:26788790

  14. BPA-Induced Deregulation Of Epigenetic Patterns: Effects On Female Zebrafish Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Santangeli, Stefania; Maradonna, Francesca; Gioacchini, Giorgia; Cobellis, Gilda; Piccinetti, Chiara Carla; Dalla Valle, Luisa; Carnevali, Oliana

    2016-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the commonest Endocrine Disruptor Compounds worldwide. It interferes with vertebrate reproduction, possibly by inducing deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms. To determine its effects on female reproductive physiology and investigate whether changes in the expression levels of genes related to reproduction are caused by histone modifications, BPA concentrations consistent with environmental exposure were administered to zebrafish for three weeks. Effects on oocyte growth and maturation, autophagy and apoptosis processes, histone modifications, and DNA methylation were assessed by Real-Time PCR (qPCR), histology, and chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with qPCR analysis (ChIP-qPCR). The results showed that 5 μg/L BPA down-regulated oocyte maturation-promoting signals, likely through changes in the chromatin structure mediated by histone modifications, and promoted apoptosis in mature follicles. These data indicate that the negative effects of BPA on the female reproductive system may be due to its upstream ability to deregulate epigenetic mechanism. PMID:26911650

  15. BPA-Induced Deregulation Of Epigenetic Patterns: Effects On Female Zebrafish Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Santangeli, Stefania; Maradonna, Francesca; Gioacchini, Giorgia; Cobellis, Gilda; Piccinetti, Chiara Carla; Dalla Valle, Luisa; Carnevali, Oliana

    2016-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the commonest Endocrine Disruptor Compounds worldwide. It interferes with vertebrate reproduction, possibly by inducing deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms. To determine its effects on female reproductive physiology and investigate whether changes in the expression levels of genes related to reproduction are caused by histone modifications, BPA concentrations consistent with environmental exposure were administered to zebrafish for three weeks. Effects on oocyte growth and maturation, autophagy and apoptosis processes, histone modifications, and DNA methylation were assessed by Real-Time PCR (qPCR), histology, and chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with qPCR analysis (ChIP-qPCR). The results showed that 5 μg/L BPA down-regulated oocyte maturation-promoting signals, likely through changes in the chromatin structure mediated by histone modifications, and promoted apoptosis in mature follicles. These data indicate that the negative effects of BPA on the female reproductive system may be due to its upstream ability to deregulate epigenetic mechanism. PMID:26911650

  16. 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. PMID:26065733

  17. Effects of Pyriproxyfen on Female Reproduction in the Common Cutworm, Spodoptera litura (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qi; Tang, Bin; Zou, Qi; Zheng, Huizhen; Liu, Xiaojun; Wang, Shigui

    2015-01-01

    The common cutworm, Spodoptera litura, is a rapidly reproducing pest of numerous agricultural ecosystems worldwide. The use of pesticides remains the primary means for controlling S. litura, despite their negative ecological impact and potential threat to human health. The use of exogenous hormone analogs may represent an alternative to insecticides. Juvenile hormones (JHs) play an important role in the reproductive systems of female insects, but the effects of pyriproxyfen, a JH analog, on reproduction in S. litura were poorly understood. In this paper, we topically treated the newly emerged females with 20, 60, or 100 μg of pyriproxyfen to determine its effects on reproduction. Then, we examined the expression of vitellogenin (Vg) and three hormone receptors, USP, HR3, and EcR, using quantitative reverse transcription and real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and found that pyriproxyfen up-regulated the expression of Vg, USP, and HR3, whereas the expression of EcR was unaffected. An analysis of fecundity showed that the peak oviposition day, lifespan, and oviposition period were progressively shortened as the pyriproxyfen dosage increased. We also found that pyriproxyfen decreased egg laying amount, whereas the number of mature eggs that remained in the ovarioles of dead females increased as the pyriproxyfen dosage increased. We examined oocytes using transmission electron microscopy and found that treatment with 100 μg of pyriproxyfen increased the metabolism by increasing the amount of rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria in the primary oocytes. Our results suggest that the topical application of pyriproxyfen on newly emerged females can efficiently reduce reproduction in S. litura and may represent an alternative to the use of insecticides for controlling the agricultural pest. PMID:26444432

  18. 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

  19. Associations between Bisphenol A Exposure and Reproductive Hormones among Female Workers.

    PubMed

    Miao, Maohua; Yuan, Wei; Yang, Fen; Liang, Hong; Zhou, Zhijun; Li, Runsheng; Gao, Ersheng; Li, De-Kun

    2015-10-01

    The associations between Bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure and reproductive hormone levels among women are unclear. A cross-sectional study was conducted among female workers from BPA-exposed and unexposed factories in China. Women's blood samples were collected for assay of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), 17β-Estradiol (E2), prolactin (PRL), and progesterone (PROG). Their urine samples were collected for BPA measurement. In the exposed group, time weighted average exposure to BPA for an 8-h shift (TWA8), a measure incorporating historic exposure level, was generated based on personal air sampling. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine linear associations between urine BPA concentration and reproductive hormones after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 106 exposed and 250 unexposed female workers were included in this study. A significant positive association between increased urine BPA concentration and higher PRL and PROG levels were observed. Similar associations were observed after the analysis was carried out separately among the exposed and unexposed workers. In addition, a positive association between urine BPA and E2 was observed among exposed workers with borderline significance, while a statistically significant inverse association between urine BPA and FSH was observed among unexposed group. The results suggest that BPA exposure may lead to alterations in female reproductive hormone levels. PMID:26506366

  20. Associations between Bisphenol A Exposure and Reproductive Hormones among Female Workers

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Maohua; Yuan, Wei; Yang, Fen; Liang, Hong; Zhou, Zhijun; Li, Runsheng; Gao, Ersheng; Li, De-Kun

    2015-01-01

    The associations between Bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure and reproductive hormone levels among women are unclear. A cross-sectional study was conducted among female workers from BPA-exposed and unexposed factories in China. Women’s blood samples were collected for assay of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), 17β-Estradiol (E2), prolactin (PRL), and progesterone (PROG). Their urine samples were collected for BPA measurement. In the exposed group, time weighted average exposure to BPA for an 8-h shift (TWA8), a measure incorporating historic exposure level, was generated based on personal air sampling. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine linear associations between urine BPA concentration and reproductive hormones after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 106 exposed and 250 unexposed female workers were included in this study. A significant positive association between increased urine BPA concentration and higher PRL and PROG levels were observed. Similar associations were observed after the analysis was carried out separately among the exposed and unexposed workers. In addition, a positive association between urine BPA and E2 was observed among exposed workers with borderline significance, while a statistically significant inverse association between urine BPA and FSH was observed among unexposed group. The results suggest that BPA exposure may lead to alterations in female reproductive hormone levels. PMID:26506366

  1. Fecal hormone patterns during non-ovulatory reproductive cycles in female veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus).

    PubMed

    Kummrow, Maya S; Mastromonaco, Gabriela F; Crawshaw, Graham; Smith, Dale A

    2010-09-15

    Reproductive failure, in particular preovulatory stasis, is a common problem in captive female reptiles. For a better understanding of its pathogenesis, the patterns of fecal estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), progesterone (P) and their metabolites of 21 anovulatory female veiled chameleons, Chamaeleo calyptratus, were compared with those of 25 animals which ovulated during at least one cycle over the study period. Regular, cyclical hormone patterns, consisting of E2 peaks followed by simultaneous T and P peaks, were observed in all animals, regardless of whether oviposition occurred, indicating continuous ovarian activity. P concentrations were; however, significantly lower in animals undergoing anovulatory cycles. The average time period between the E2 and the T peak was 24.8 days, between the E2 and the P peak 26.5 days, and between the T and P peak 2.6 days. The mean length of reproductive cycles between two sequential ovulatory complexes (oviposition to oviposition) was 132.5 days (range 112-156 days). The results provide evidence that reproductive "failure" occurs more frequently than suspected with some females alternating between ovulatory and anovulatory cycles without any outward evidence of the variation in ovarian cycles. It is proposed that this may be related to physiological adaptation to adverse environmental conditions for breeding and that husbandry factors in captivity are primarily responsible for the progression from a physiological to pathological process. PMID:20603125

  2. A histological investigation of the occurrence of non-reproductive female bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Zupa, R; Corriero, A; Deflorio, M; Santamaria, N; Spedicato, D; Marano, C; Losurdo, M; Bridges, C R; De Metrio, G

    2009-10-01

    The presence of non-reproductive Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus females in the Mediterranean Sea was investigated through histological analysis of the gonads. Three hundred and twenty-six ovary samples were collected from adults captured at different locations in the Mediterranean Sea during the reproductive seasons between 1998 and 2008. Only three specimens were considered to be in a non-reproductive state: two of them were in a reabsorbing state showing ovaries with early vitellogenic oocytes and extensive alpha and beta atresia of vitellogenic follicles; the third showed gonads with perinucleolar oocytes and was considered to be in a resting state. The low occurrence of non-reproductive individuals found in this study makes it unlikely that non-reproductive individuals aggregate with reproductive ones during their migration towards spawning grounds. Further research is suggested in order to investigate the potential presence of non-reproductive individuals on non-spawning grounds during the reproductive season. PMID:20738610

  3. Long-term data on reproductive output and longevity in captive female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus).

    PubMed

    Ash, Hayley; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M

    2014-11-01

    The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is widely used in biomedical research, with many housed for breeding purposes world-wide. Significant variation in reproductive output among females has been found compared to other anthropoid primates. The present study explores this reproductive variation, focusing on potential predictors of dam longevity and litter size, as well as changes over time. Back-record analysis was conducted, yielding litter information and reproductive summaries of 360 dams housed at three UK marmoset colonies over four decades (1970s-2000s). Results revealed differences among the colonies, as well as within colonies over decades, suggesting environment may play an important role. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses revealed significant effects of mean litter size and yearly production on dam longevity. Decade, mean inter-birth interval and mean dam weight were found to be significant factors explaining dam longevity when looking at colonies individually. The most commonly recorded cause of death was "poor condition." Linear regression models found that no reproductive variable was useful in explaining mean litter size, except dam weight at conception, data which was only consistently recorded at one colony. While triplets were common at all three colonies, these larger litters were consistently associated with higher infant mortality, despite human intervention to improve survival. This study increases our understanding of marmoset reproduction, and possible improvements to practical aspects of colony management to enhance survival and welfare are discussed. PMID:24809989

  4. Florivory affects pollinator visitation and female fitness in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2008-04-01

    While herbivory has traditionally been studied as damage to leaves, florivory - herbivory to flowers prior to seed set - can also have large effects on plant fitness. Florivory can decrease fitness directly, either through the destruction of gametes or through alterations to plant physiology during fruit set, and can also change the appearance of a flower, deterring pollinators and reducing seed set. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, it is necessary to both damage flowers and add pollen in excess to study the effects of damage on pollen limitation. Very few studies have used this technique over the lifetime of a plant. Here I describe a series of experiments showing the effects of natural and artificial damage on reproductive success in the annual plant Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, sensu lato). I show that natural and artificial petal damage decreased radial symmetry relative to controls and that both types of damage deterred pollinator activity. Both naturally damaged flowers and artificially damaged flowers in the field set fewer fruit or seed relative to undamaged control flowers. Finally, in an experiment crossing artificial petal damage with pollen addition, petal damage alone over the lifetime of this plant decreased female fitness, but only after a threshold of damage was reached. The fitness effect appeared to be direct because there was no detectable effect of pollen addition on the relationship between florivory and fitness. This result implies that both damaged and undamaged plants show similar amounts of pollen limitation and suggests that pollinator-mediated effects contributed little to the negative effects of florivory on female fitness. Florivores may thus be an under-appreciated agent of selection in certain plants, although more experimental manipulation of florivory is needed to determine if it is important over a range of taxa. PMID:18188605

  5. Reproductive traits and number of matings in males and females of Cerambyx welensii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) an emergent pest of oaks.

    PubMed

    Torres-Vila, L M; Mendiola-Diaz, F J; Conejo-Rodríguez, Y; Sánchez-González, Á

    2016-06-01

    The longhorn beetle Cerambyx welensii is an emerging pest involved in oak decline episodes, whose damage is increasingly reported in dehesa open woodlands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of C. welensii is a crucial goal due to its new pest status. In this study, we assess the reproductive traits of both sexes in the laboratory (25°C and 60% relative humidity ). In females, body length was 44.9 ± 0.9 mm (mean ± SE), fecundity 132 ± 12 eggs, fertility 70 ± 1 %, longevity 70 ± 3 days, preoviposition period 2 ± 0.2 days, oviposition period 44 ± 3 days and postoviposition period 19 ± 3 days. Fecundity was positively correlated with female size, longevity and oviposition period. Daily fecundity was 3.0 ± 0.2 eggs/day and showed a fluctuating synovigenic pattern with a slight decreasing trend over time. Egg length was 4.24 ± 0.01 mm and egg volume 8.14 ± 0.04 mm3. Egg size was correlated with female size but the relative size of eggs was larger in smaller females. Incubation time was 13.9 ± 0.1 days and hatching did not depend on egg size. Neonate size was positively correlated with egg length. Females were polyandrous (more than 20 lifetime matings) but multiple mating did not increase fecundity, fertility or longevity. In males, body length was 43.7 ± 0.6 mm and longevity 52 ± 3 days. Unlike with females, longevity was positively correlated with male size. Males were polygynous (up to 30 lifetime matings) but mating history did not affect male longevity. Rather to the contrary, long-lived males mated more times because they had more mating chances. Lastly, C. welensii reproductive traits were compared with those other Cerambycidae species and discussed from an adaptive perspective. Our data will be useful to improve management of C. welensii in order to prevent or mitigate its impact in dehesa woodlands and other oak forests. PMID:26490198

  6. Reproductive biology of female bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus in the western Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Sun, C L; Yeh, S Z; Chang, Y J; Chang, H Y; Chu, S L

    2013-08-01

    The reproductive biology of female bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus was assessed by examining 888 fish (ranging from 84·9 to 174·4 cm fork length, LF ) caught by Taiwanese offshore longliners in the western Pacific Ocean from November 1997 to November 1998 and November to December 1999 and 258 gonad samples from these fish. The overall sex ratio of the catch during the sampling differed significantly from 0·5, but males were predominant in sizes >140 cm LF . Reproductive activity (assessed by histology), a gonado-somatic index, and the size-frequency distributions of whole oocytes indicated that spawning occurred throughout the year and the major spawning season appeared to be from February to September. The estimated sizes at 50% maturity (LF50 ) of females was 102·85 cm (95% c.i.: 90·79-110·21 cm) and the smallest mature female was 99·7 cm LF . They are multiple spawners and oocytes develop asynchronously. The proportion of mature (0·63) and reproductively active (0·70) females with ovaries containing postovulatory follicles indicated that they spawn almost daily. Batch fecundity for 15 females with the most advanced oocytes (>730 µm) ranged from 0·84 to 8·56 million eggs (mean ± s.d. = 3·06 ± 2·09). The relationships between batch fecundity (FB , in millions of eggs) and LF (cm) and round mass (MR , kg) were FB=9·91×10-14LF6·38 (r(2)  = 0·84) and FB=8·89×10-4MR2·05 (r(2)  = 0·80), respectively. The parameters estimated in this study are key information for stock assessments of T. obesus in the western Pacific Ocean and will contribute to the conservation and sustainable yield of this species. PMID:23902305

  7. Diminished Resistance to Hyperoxia in Brains of Reproductively Senescent Female CBA/H Mice

    PubMed Central

    Šarić, Ana; Sobočanec, Sandra; Šafranko, Željka Mačak; Hadžija, Marijana Popović; Bagarić, Robert; Farkaš, Vladimir; Švarc, Alfred; Marotti, Tatjana; Balog, Tihomir

    2015-01-01

    Background We have explored sex differences in ability to maintain redox balance during acute oxidative stress in brains of mice. We aimed to determine if there were differences in oxidative/antioxidative status upon hyperoxia in brains of reproductively senescent CBA/H mice in order to elucidate some of the possible mechanisms of lifespan regulation. Material/Methods The brains of 12-month-old male and female CBA/H mice (n=9 per sex and treatment) subjected to 18-h hyperoxia were evaluated for lipid peroxidation (LPO), antioxidative enzyme expression and activity - superoxide dismutase 1 and 2 (Sod-1, Sod-2), catalase (Cat), glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx-1), heme-oxygenase 1 (Ho-1), nad NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), and for 2-deoxy-2-[18F] fluoro-D-glucose (18FDG) uptake. Results No increase in LPO was observed after hyperoxia, regardless of sex. Expression of Nrf-2 showed significant downregulation in hyperoxia-treated males (p=0.001), and upregulation in hyperoxia-treated females (p=0.023). Also, in females hyperoxia upregulated Sod-1 (p=0.046), and Ho-1 (p=0.014) genes. SOD1 protein was upregulated in both sexes after hyperoxia (p=0.009 for males and p=0.011 for females). SOD2 protein was upregulated only in females (p=0.008) while CAT (p=0.026) and HO-1 (p=0.042) proteins were increased after hyperoxia only in males. Uptake of 18FDG was decreased after hyperoxia in the back brain of females. Conclusions We found that females at their reproductive senescence are more susceptible to hyperoxia, compared to males. We propose this model of hyperoxia as a useful tool to assess sex differences in adaptive response to acute stress conditions, which may be partially responsible for observed sex differences in longevity of CBA/H mice. PMID:26373431

  8. The cost of reproduction: differential resource specialization in female and male California sea otters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott Smith, Emma A.; Newsome, Seth D.; Estes, James A.; Tinker, M. Tim

    2015-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in behavior and diet can have important consequences for population and ecosystem dynamics. Here, we examine how differences in reproductive investment and spatial ecology influence individual diet specialization in male and female southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis). We hypothesize that greater reproductive constraints and smaller home ranges of females lead to more pronounced intraspecific competition and increased specialization. We integrate stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analysis of sea otter vibrissae with long-term observational studies of five subpopulations in California. We define individual diet specialization as low ratios of within-individual variation (WIC) to total population niche width (TNW). We compare isotopic and observational based metrics of WIC/TNW for males and females to data on population densities, and movement patterns using both general linear and linear mixed-effects models. Consistent with our hypothesis, increasing population density is associated with increased individual diet specialization by females but not by males. Additionally, we find the amount of coastline in a sea otter’s home range positively related with individual dietary variability, with increased range span resulting in weaker specialization for both males and females. We attribute our results to sex-based differences in movement, with females needing to specialize in their small ranges to maximize energy gain, and posit that the paradigm of individual prey specialization in sea otters with increased intraspecific competition may be a pattern driven largely by females. Our work highlights a potentially broader role of sex in the mechanistic pressures promoting and maintaining diet specialization.

  9. The cost of reproduction: differential resource specialization in female and male California sea otters.

    PubMed

    Smith, Emma A Elliott; Newsome, Seth D; Estes, James A; Tinker, M Tim

    2015-05-01

    Intraspecific variation in behavior and diet can have important consequences for population and ecosystem dynamics. Here, we examine how differences in reproductive investment and spatial ecology influence individual diet specialization in male and female southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis). We hypothesize that greater reproductive constraints and smaller home ranges of females lead to more pronounced intraspecific competition and increased specialization. We integrate stable carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) isotope analysis of sea otter vibrissae with long-term observational studies of five subpopulations in California. We define individual diet specialization as low ratios of within-individual variation (WIC) to total population niche width (TNW). We compare isotopic and observational based metrics of WIC/TNW for males and females to data on population densities, and movement patterns using both general linear and linear mixed-effects models. Consistent with our hypothesis, increasing population density is associated with increased individual diet specialization by females but not by males. Additionally, we find the amount of coastline in a sea otter's home range positively related with individual dietary variability, with increased range span resulting in weaker specialization for both males and females. We attribute our results to sex-based differences in movement, with females needing to specialize in their small ranges to maximize energy gain, and posit that the paradigm of individual prey specialization in sea otters with increased intraspecific competition may be a pattern driven largely by females. Our work highlights a potentially broader role of sex in the mechanistic pressures promoting and maintaining diet specialization. PMID:25669450

  10. Female reproductive dynamics in a Maryland population of ringneck snakes (Diadophis punctatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R., Jr.; Bunck, C.M.; Hall, R.J.

    1997-01-01

    Adult female ringneck snakes (Diadophis punctatus) collected from a Maryland population during five successive summers laid a total of 50 clutches in which all eggs hatched successfully under laboratory conditions. Mean hatchling mass was not significantly related to female mass or clutch size when each was evaluated in separate analyses, but was significantly related to these factors when they were evaluated in a joint analysis. Mean hatchling masses of 0.6-1 g appear most adaptive; when females are large enough to produce 1-g eggs, the tendency is to produce a larger number of relatively smaller eggs. The relationship of clutch mass to female mass was unaffected by clutch size. Reproductive effort, measured as relative clutch mass (RCM, clutch mass/female mass), increased with age, as indicated by snout-vent length (SVL); also, the relationship of clutch mass to female mass indicated that clutches equaled a larger percentage as female mass increased. Clutch size averaged 3.55 eggs and ranged from 2 to 6. Clutches were laid from 17 June through 21 July (35 d), median 2 July. Clutches hatched during the 20-d interval 8-27 August (median August 18). Larger clutches were laid earlier in the season on average than smaller clutches. Incubation periods for clutches averaged 47 (range 42-51) d. Clutches laid later in the season averaged shorter incubation periods than clutches laid earlier.

  11. Spring phenology does not affect timing of reproduction in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Schaper, Sonja V; Rueda, Carolina; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    Many seasonal breeders adjust the timing of reproduction in response to year-to-year variations in supplementary environmental cues, amongst which ambient temperature is thought to be most influential. However, it is possible that for species such as the great tit (Parus major L.), phenological cues from sprouting vegetation and the consequent abundance of invertebrate prey, although dependent on temperature, may provide supplementary environmental cues per se. This hypothesis was investigated in breeding pairs of great tits kept in outdoor aviaries. In spring, experimental pairs were provided with access to leafing birch branches and caterpillars as a visual food cue, while control pairs were provided with non-leafing branches. Observations were made on the onset of laying and on concentrations of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) at regular intervals to monitor changes in reproductive function. The onset of egg laying was not advanced by the presence of leafing branches and caterpillars. LH concentrations increased during the course of the study, but phenological cues did not affect plasma LH levels in females and males. Early spring vegetation, such as the leafing of birch branches, and the appearance of caterpillar prey do not appear to play a significant role in fine-tuning the onset of egg laying in great tits. PMID:21993796

  12. Bill Redness Is Positively Associated with Reproduction and Survival in Male and Female Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Koetsier, Egbert; Folkertsma, Remco; Wubs, Matthias D.; Dijkstra, Cor; Verhulst, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings. PMID:22808243

  13. The effects of prenatal PCBs on adult female paced mating reproductive behaviors in rats

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Rebecca M.; Juenger, Thomas E.; Gore, Andrea C.

    2009-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of toxicants that persist in measurable quantities in human and wildlife tissues, despite their ban in production in 1977. Some PCB mixtures can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by mimicking or antagonizing the actions of hormones in the brain and periphery. When exposure to hormonally active substances such as PCBs occurs during vulnerable developmental periods, particularly prenatally or in early postnatal life, they can disrupt sex-specific patterning of the brain, inducing permanent changes that can later be manifested as improper sexual behaviors. Here, we investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to the PCB mixture Aroclor (A) 1221 on adult female reproductive behaviors in a dose-response model in the Sprague-Dawley rat. Using a paced mating paradigm that permits the female to set the timing of mating and control contact with the male during copulation, we were able to uncover significant differences in female-typical sexual activities in A1221-exposed females. Specifically, A1221 causes significant effects on mating trial pacing, vocalizations, ambulation and the female’s likelihood to mate. The results further demonstrate that the intermediate treatment group has the greatest number of disrupted endpoints, suggestive of non-linear dose responses to A1221. These data demonstrate that the behavioral phenotype in adulthood is disrupted by low, ecologically relevant exposures to PCBs, and the results have implications for reproductive success and health in wildlife and women. PMID:17274994

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

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Effects of photoperiod and food restriction on the reproductive physiology of female California mice

    PubMed Central

    Steinman, Michael Q.; Knight, Jennifer A.; Trainor, Brian C.

    2012-01-01

    Many temperate-zone animals use changes in photoperiod to time breeding. Shorter term cues, like food availability, are integrated with photoperiod to adjust reproductive timing under unexpected conditions. Many mice of the genus Peromyscus breed in the summer. California mice (Peromyscus californicus), however, can breed year round, but tend to begin breeding in the winter. Glial cells may be involved in transduction of environmental signals that regulate gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) activity. We examined the effects of diet and photoperiod on reproduction in female California mice. Mice placed on either short days (8L:16D) or long days (16L:8D) were food restricted (80% of normal intake) or fed ad libitum. Short day-food restricted mice showed significant regression of the reproductive system. GnRH-immunoreactivity was increased in the tuberal hypothalamus of long day-food restricted mice. This may be associated with the sparing effect long days have when mice are food restricted. The number of GFAP-immunoreactive fibers in proximity to GnRH nerve terminals correlated negatively with uterine size in ad libitum but not food restricted mice, suggesting diet may alter glial regulation of the reproductive axis. There was a trend towards food restriction increasing uterine expression of c-fos mRNA, an estrogen dependent gene. Similar to other seasonally breeding rodents, short days render the reproductive system of female California mice more susceptible to effects of food restriction. This may be vestigial, or it may have evolved to mitigate consequences of unexpectedly poor winter food supplies. PMID:22245263

  16. The adverse effects of high fat induced obesity on female reproductive cycle and hormones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donthireddy, Laxminarasimha Reddy

    The prevalence of obesity, an established risk and progression factor for abnormal reproductive cycle and tissue damage in female mice. It leads to earlier puberty, menarche in young females and infertility. There are extensive range of consequences of obesity which includes type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. Obesity is the interaction between dietary intake, genes, life style and environment. The interplay of hormones estrogen, insulin, and leptin is well known on energy homeostasis and reproduction. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of high fat induced obesity on reproductive cycles and its hormonal abnormalities on mice model. Two week, 3 month and 8 month long normal (WT) and very high fat diet (VHFD) diet course is followed. When mice are fed with very high fat diet, there is a drastic increase in weight within the first week later. There was a significant (p<0.001) increase in leptin levels in 6 month VHFD treated animals. 2 week, 3 month and 6 month time interval pap smear test results showed number of cells, length of estrous cycle and phases of the estrous cycle changes with VHFD mice(n=30) compared to normal diet mice(n=10). These results also indicate that the changes in the reproductive cycles in VHFD treated female mice could be due to the changes in hormones. Histo-pathological analyses of kidney, ovary, liver, pancreas, heart and lungs showed remarkable changes in some tissue on exposure to very high fat. Highly deposited fat packets observed surrounding the hepatocytes and nerve cells.

  17. Peripheral and Central Mechanisms Involved in the Hormonal Control of Male and Female Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Rudolph, L M; Bentley, G E; Calandra, R S; Paredes, A H; Tesone, M; Wu, T J; Micevych, P E

    2016-07-01

    Reproduction involves the integration of hormonal signals acting across multiple systems to generate a synchronised physiological output. A critical component of reproduction is the luteinising hormone (LH) surge, which is mediated by oestradiol (E2 ) and neuroprogesterone interacting to stimulate kisspeptin release in the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle in rats. Recent evidence indicates the involvement of both classical and membrane E2 and progesterone signalling in this pathway. A metabolite of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), GnRH-(1-5), has been shown to stimulate GnRH expression and secretion, and has a role in the regulation of lordosis. Additionally, gonadotrophin release-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) projects to and influences the activity of GnRH neurones in birds. Stress-induced changes in GnIH have been shown to alter breeding behaviour in birds, demonstrating another mechanism for the molecular control of reproduction. Peripherally, paracrine and autocrine actions within the gonad have been suggested as therapeutic targets for infertility in both males and females. Dysfunction of testicular prostaglandin synthesis is a possible cause of idiopathic male infertility. Indeed, local production of melatonin and corticotrophin-releasing hormone could influence spermatogenesis via immune pathways in the gonad. In females, vascular endothelial growth factor A has been implicated in an angiogenic process that mediates development of the corpus luteum and thus fertility via the Notch signalling pathway. Age-induced decreases in fertility involve ovarian kisspeptin and its regulation of ovarian sympathetic innervation. Finally, morphological changes in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus influence female sexual receptivity in rats. The processes mediating these morphological changes have been shown to involve the rapid effects of E2 controlling synaptogenesis in this hypothalamic nucleus. In summary, this review highlights new

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Estradiol regulation of nucleotidases in female reproductive tract epithelial cells and fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Shen, Zheng; Fahey, John V; Bodwell, Jack E; Rodriguez-Garcia, Marta; Rossoll, Richard M; Crist, Sarah G; Patel, Mickey V; Wira, Charles R

    2013-01-01

    The use of topical and oral adenosine derivatives in HIV prevention that need to be maintained in tissues and cells at effective levels to prevent transmission prompted us to ask whether estradiol could influence the regulation of catabolic nucleotidase enzymes in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the upper and lower female reproductive tract (FRT) as these might affect cellular TFV-DP levels. Epithelial cells and fibroblasts were isolated from endometrium (EM), endocervix (CX) and ectocervix (ECX) tissues from hysterectomy patients, grown to confluence and treated with or without estradiol prior to RNA isolation. The expression of nucleotidase (NT) genes was measurable by RT-PCR in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from all FRT tissues. To determine if sex hormones have the potential to regulate NT, we evaluated NT gene expression and NT biological activity in FRT cells following hormone treatment. Estradiol increased expression of Cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase after 2 or 4 h in endometrial epithelial cells but not epithelial cells or fibroblasts from other sites. In studies using a modified 5'-Nucleotidase biological assay for nucleotidases, estradiol increased NT activity in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the EM, CX and ECX at 24 and 48 h. In related studies, HUVEC primary cells and a HUVEC cell line were unresponsive to estradiol in terms of nucleotidase expression or biological activity. Our findings of an increase in nucleotidase expression and biological activity induced by estradiol do not directly assess changes in microbicide metabolism. However, they do suggest that when estradiol levels are elevated during the menstrual cycle, FRT epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the EM, CX and ECX have the potential to influence microbicide levels that could enhance protection of HIV-target cells (CD4+T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells) throughout the FRT. PMID:23936114

  20. Effect of Malathion on Reproductive Parameters of Engorged Female Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Ticks of Punjab Districts, India

    PubMed Central

    Jyoti; Singh, N. K.; Singh, Harkirat; Rath, S. S.

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at evaluating effects of malathion on the various reproductive parameters, namely, egg mass weight (EMW), reproductive index (RI), percentage inhibition of oviposition (%IO), and hatchability percentage of eggs of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini 1887) females from 19 districts of Punjab, India. The effect on various parameters was found to be dose dependent and more discernible upon exposure to higher concentrations. Complete cessation of egg laying was recorded in tick isolates on exposure to 5000 ppm and above. The values of %IO ranged in 4.4–68.6, 25.2–76.2, 35.6–100.0, 45.7–100.0, and 71.4–100.0 in groups treated with 1250, 2500, 5000, 10000, and 20000 ppm of malathion, respectively. A low hatching % was recorded in eggs of all treated female ticks in comparison to control treated with distilled water and complete inhibition of hatching was recorded at 10000 ppm and above. However, the survival of the hatched larvae was not affected and was similar to control group. The results of the current study can be of immense help in formulation and implementation of effective tick control measures. PMID:26550485

  1. Effect of Malathion on Reproductive Parameters of Engorged Female Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Ticks of Punjab Districts, India.

    PubMed

    Jyoti; Singh, N K; Singh, Harkirat; Rath, S S

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at evaluating effects of malathion on the various reproductive parameters, namely, egg mass weight (EMW), reproductive index (RI), percentage inhibition of oviposition (%IO), and hatchability percentage of eggs of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini 1887) females from 19 districts of Punjab, India. The effect on various parameters was found to be dose dependent and more discernible upon exposure to higher concentrations. Complete cessation of egg laying was recorded in tick isolates on exposure to 5000 ppm and above. The values of %IO ranged in 4.4-68.6, 25.2-76.2, 35.6-100.0, 45.7-100.0, and 71.4-100.0 in groups treated with 1250, 2500, 5000, 10000, and 20000 ppm of malathion, respectively. A low hatching % was recorded in eggs of all treated female ticks in comparison to control treated with distilled water and complete inhibition of hatching was recorded at 10000 ppm and above. However, the survival of the hatched larvae was not affected and was similar to control group. The results of the current study can be of immense help in formulation and implementation of effective tick control measures. PMID:26550485

  2. Effects of experimentally sustained elevated testosterone on incubation behaviour and reproductive success in female great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    de Jong, Berber; Lens, Luc; Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; van Oers, Kees; Darras, Veerle M; Eens, Marcel; Pinxten, Rianne; Komdeur, Jan; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2016-05-01

    In many seasonally breeding birds, female and male testosterone (T) levels peak at the start of the breeding season, coinciding with pair bonding and nesting activities. Shortly after the onset of egg laying, T levels slowly decline to baseline levels in both sexes, but more rapidly so in females. During this period, T in males may still function to facilitate territorial behaviour, mate guarding and extra pair copulations, either via short lasting peaks or elevated basal levels of the hormone. In some species, however, males become insensitive to increased T after the onset of egg laying. It has been postulated that in these species bi-parental care is essential for offspring survival, as T is known to inhibit paternal care. However, only very few studies have analysed this for females. As females are heavily involved in parental care, they too might become insensitive to T after egg laying. Alternatively, because territorial defence, mate guarding and extra pair copulations are expected to be less important for females than for males, they may not have had the need to evolve a mechanism to become insensitive to T during the period of maternal care, because their natural T levels are never elevated during this part of the breeding season anyway. We tested these alternative hypotheses in female great tits (Parus major). Male great tits have previously been shown to be insensitive to T after egg laying with regard to nestling feeding behaviour (but not song rate). When females had started nest building, we experimentally elevated their T levels up to the nestling feeding phase, and measured incubation behaviour (only females incubate) and reproductive success. T did not significantly affect nest building or egg laying behaviour, although egg laying tended to be delayed in T females. Females with experimentally enhanced T maintained lower temperature during incubation but did not spend less time incubating. This might explain the reduced hatching success of their

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity. PMID:25125082

  4. Y are you not pregnant: identification of Y chromosome segments in female cattle with decreased reproductive efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive efficiency is of economic importance in commercial beef cattle production, as failure to achieve pregnancy reduces the number of calves marketed. Identification of genetic markers with predictive merit for reproductive success would facilitate early selection of females and avoid ineff...

  5. Evaluation of Female Youth Educational Needs about Reproductive Health in Non-Medical Students in the City of Qom

    PubMed Central

    Bazarganipour, Fatemeh; Foroozanfard, Fatemeh; Taghavi, Seyed Abdolvahab; Hekmatzadeh, Fatemeh; Sarviye, Malihe

    2013-01-01

    Objective To evaluate reproductive health education which is essential to the prevention of sexual risk behavior and its associated adverse outcomes of unwanted pregnancy, AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease in adolescents. Little is known about youth educational needs about reproductive health in Iran. The aim of this study is evaluation of female youth educational needs about reproductive health in non-medical universities in the city of Qom, north central of Iran. Materials and methods The study was descriptive-analytical type conducted in nine non-medical universities (400 students). A questionnaire was constructed to meet the purpose of the study based on similar studies of knowledge and attitude in different countries, yet it was modified according to Iranian culture and social norms. Results The findings showed that a majority of participants have moderate knowledge about all components of reproductive health. Approximately, one - third of the participants reported difficulties to discuss about sexual health with mothers. The most of the participants believed insufficient female youth reproductive health services and low knowledge about reproductive health were the main barriers for female youth reproductive health aims. Conclusion The participants in this study are representatives of an important subgroup in Iran in order to evaluate female youth reproductive health educational needs. The study identified many misconception and negative attitude that need to be addressed. A health education program through parents, peers, mass media campaign and more comprehensive family planning curriculum in universities are recommended to overcome misconception and spread awareness. PMID:24971106

  6. A Neural Basis for Control of Cichlid Female Reproductive Behavior by Prostaglandin F2α.

    PubMed

    Juntti, Scott A; Hilliard, Austin T; Kent, Kai R; Kumar, Anusha; Nguyen, Andrew; Jimenez, Mariana A; Loveland, Jasmine L; Mourrain, Philippe; Fernald, Russell D

    2016-04-01

    In most species, females time reproduction to coincide with fertility. Thus, identifying factors that signal fertility to the brain can provide access to neural circuits that control sexual behaviors. In vertebrates, levels of key signaling molecules rise at the time of fertility to prime the brain for reproductive behavior [1-11], but how and where they regulate neural circuits is not known [12, 13]. Specifically, 17α,20β-dihydroxyprogesterone (DHP) and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) levels rise in teleost fish around the time of ovulation [10, 14, 15]. In an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, fertile females select a mate and perform a stereotyped spawning routine, offering quantifiable behavioral outputs of neural circuits. We show that, within minutes, PGF2α injection activates a naturalistic pattern of sexual behavior in female A. burtoni. We also identify cells in the brain that transduce the prostaglandin signal to mate and show that the gonadal steroid DHP modulates mRNA levels of the putative receptor for PGF2α (Ptgfr). We use CRISPR/Cas9 to generate the first targeted gene mutation in A. burtoni and show that Ptgfr is necessary for the initiation of sexual behavior, uncoupling sexual behavior from reproductive status. Our findings are consistent with a model in which PGF2α communicates fertility status via Ptgfr to circuits in the brain that drive female sexual behavior. Our targeted genome modification in a cichlid fish shows that dissection of gene function can reveal basic control mechanisms for behaviors in this large family of species with diverse and fascinating social systems [16, 17]. PMID:26996507

  7. Social Brains in Context: Lesions Targeted to the Song Control System in Female Cowbirds Affect Their Social Network

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Sarah E.; Schmidt, Marc F.; White, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Social experiences can organize physiological, neural, and reproductive function, but there are few experimental preparations that allow one to study the effect individuals have in structuring their social environment. We examined the connections between mechanisms underlying individual behavior and social dynamics in flocks of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). We conducted targeted inactivations of the neural song control system in female subjects. Playback tests revealed that the lesions affected females' song preferences: lesioned females were no longer selective for high quality conspecific song. Instead, they reacted to all cowbird songs vigorously. When lesioned females were introduced into mixed-sex captive flocks, they were less likely to form strong pair-bonds, and they no longer showed preferences for dominant males. This in turn created a cascade of effects through the groups. Social network analyses showed that the introduction of the lesioned females created instabilities in the social structure: males in the groups changed their dominance status and their courtship patterns, and even the competitive behavior of other female group-mates was affected. These results reveal that inactivation of the song control system in female cowbirds not only affects individual behavior, but also exerts widespread effects on the stability of the entire social system. PMID:23650558

  8. Intrauterine Exposure to Paracetamol and Aniline Impairs Female Reproductive Development by Reducing Follicle Reserves and Fertility.

    PubMed

    Holm, Jacob Bak; Mazaud-Guittot, Severine; Danneskiold-Samsøe, Niels Banhos; Chalmey, Clementine; Jensen, Benjamin; Nørregård, Mette Marie; Hansen, Cecilie Hurup; Styrishave, Bjarne; Svingen, Terje; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Koch, Holger Martin; Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter; Jégou, Bernard; Kristiansen, Karsten; Kristensen, David Møbjerg

    2016-03-01

    Studies report that fetal exposure to paracetamol/acetaminophen by maternal consumption can interfere with male reproductive development. Moreover, recent biomonitoring data report widespread presence of paracetamol in German and Danish populations, suggesting exposure via secondary (nonpharmaceutical) sources, such as metabolic conversion from the ubiquitous industrial compound aniline. In this study, we investigated the extent to which paracetamol and aniline can interfere with female reproductive development. Intrauterine exposure to paracetamol by gavage of pregnant dams resulted in shortening of the anogenital distance in adult offspring, suggesting that fetal hormone signaling had been disturbed. Female offspring of paracetamol-exposed mothers had ovaries with diminished follicle reserve and reduced fertility. Fetal gonads of exposed animals had also reduced gonocyte numbers, suggesting that the reduced follicle count in adults could be due to early disruption of germ cell development. However, ex vivo cultures of ovaries from 12.5 days post coitum fetuses showed no decrease in proliferation or expression following exposure to paracetamol. This suggests that the effect of paracetamol occurs prior to this developmental stage. Accordingly, using embryonic stem cells as a proxy for primordial germ cells we show that paracetamol is an inhibitor of cellular proliferation, but without cytotoxic effects. Collectively, our data show that intrauterine exposure to paracetamol at levels commonly observed in pregnant women, as well as its precursor aniline, may block primordial germ cell proliferation, ultimately leading to reduced follicle reserves and compromised reproductive capacity later in life. PMID:26732887

  9. Ovulation in Drosophila is controlled by secretory cells of the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Spradling, Allan C

    2013-01-01

    How oocytes are transferred into an oviduct with a receptive environment remains poorly known. We found that glands of the Drosophila female reproductive tract, spermathecae and/or parovaria, are required for ovulation and to promote sperm storage. Reducing total secretory cell number by interferring with Notch signaling during development blocked ovulation. Knocking down expression after adult eclosion of the nuclear hormone receptor Hr39, a master regulator of gland development, slowed ovulation and blocked sperm storage. However, ovulation (but not sperm storage) continued when only canonical protein secretion was compromised in adult glands. Our results imply that proteins secreted during adulthood by the canonical secretory pathway from female reproductive glands are needed to store sperm, while a non-canonical glandular secretion stimulates ovulation. Our results suggest that the reproductive tract signals to the ovary using glandular secretions, and that this pathway has been conserved during evolution. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00415.001. PMID:23599892

  10. Neural mechanisms of reproduction in females as a predisposing factor for drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Hedges, Valerie L; Staffend, Nancy A; Meisel, Robert L

    2010-04-01

    There is an increasing awareness that adolescent females differ from males in their response to drugs of abuse and consequently in their vulnerability to addiction. One possible component of this vulnerability to drug addiction is the neurobiological impact that reproductive physiology and behaviors have on the mesolimbic dopamine system, a key neural pathway mediating drug addiction. In this review, we examine animal models that address the impact of ovarian cyclicity, sexual affiliation, sexual behavior, and maternal care on the long-term plasticity of the mesolimbic dopamine system. The thesis is that this plasticity in synaptic neurotransmission stemming from an individual's normal life history contributes to the pathological impact of drugs of abuse on the neurobiology of this system. Hormones released during reproductive cycles have only transient effects on these dopamine systems, whereas reproductive behaviors produce a persistent sensitization of dopamine release and post-synaptic neuronal responsiveness. Puberty itself may not represent a neurobiological risk factor for drug abuse, but attendant behavioral experiences may have a negative impact on females engaging in drug use. PMID:20176045

  11. Neural Mechanisms of Reproduction in Females as a Predisposing Factor for Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, Valerie L.; Staffend, Nancy A.; Meisel, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing awareness that adolescent females differ from males in their response to drugs of abuse and consequently in their vulnerability to addiction. One possible component of this vulnerability to drug addiction is the neurobiological impact that reproductive physiology and behaviors have on the mesolimbic dopamine system, a key neural pathway mediating drug addiction. In this review, we examine animal models that address the impact of ovarian cyclicity, sexual affiliation, sexual behavior, and maternal care on the long-term plasticity of the mesolimbic dopamine system. The thesis is that this plasticity in synaptic neurotransmission stemming from an individual’s normal life history contributes to the pathological impact of drugs of abuse on the neurobiology of this system. Hormones released during reproductive cycles have only transient effects on these dopamine systems, whereas reproductive behaviors produce a persistent sensitization of dopamine release and postsynaptic neuronal responsiveness. Puberty itself may not represent a neurobiological risk factor for drug abuse, but attendant behavioral experiences may have a negative impact on females engaging in drug use. PMID:20176045

  12. Effects of different spray formulations on the reproductive parameters of engorged Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus females detached from experimentally infested cattle.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Breno Cayeiro; Buzzulini, Carolina; Lopes, Welber Daniel Zanetti; Maciel, Willian Giquelin; Bichuette, Murilo Abud; Felippelli, Gustavo; Teixeira, Weslen Fabricio Pires; Soares, Vando Edésio; Gomes, Lucas Vinicius Costa; Prando, Luciana; Campos, Gabriel Pimentel; da Costa, Alvimar José

    2015-11-01

    This present study aimed to evaluate the deleterious effects of some commercially available spray formulations (15% Cypermethrin+25% Chlorpyriphos+1% Citronellal and 8% Cypermethrin+60% Ethion) on the reproductive parameters of engorged Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus females that detached from experimentally infested cattle. The following reproductive parameters of engorged female ticks were analyzed: female weight, egg mass weight, percentage of hatchability, percentage of reduction in oviposition, percentage of reduction in hatchability, reproductive efficiency and percent control/efficacy of formulations for reproductive parameters. Our findings showed that although the strain R. (B.) microplus used in both experiments was thought to be sensitive to the test compounds because of the acaricidal efficacy observed throughout these trials, it was not possible to observe overall deleterious effects on the reproductive parameters of this tick species with both spray formulations. However, the 8% Cypermethrin+60% Ethion showed short-term significant effects on the weight of female ticks between the 14th and 16th days post-treatment and the weight of female and the egg mass weight between the 20th and 22nd days post-treatment. New studies should be conducted to show if these results regarding the reproductive parameters of fully engorged R. (B.) microplus females, combined with the acaricidal efficacy can be sufficient to reduce the number of chemical treatments administered to cattle. PMID:26427633

  13. Physiological and biochemical changes of females of Piracanjuba, subjected to induced reproduction.

    PubMed

    Zanoni, M A; Costa, F G; de Carvalho, S; Seiva, F R F

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this experiment was to compare the level of fish female stress during induced reproduction with pituitary extract by two different methods, natural and semiextruded. The reproductive efficiency was 62.5% in the seminatural treatment and 100% in the extruded. Obtained egg volume was 5200 ml and 4000 ml, for seminatural and extruded treatments respectively. The mean number of eggs was 46.7 for the seminatural and 52.0 and for the extruded treatment. The percentage of viable eggs was, respectively, 87.2% and 8.17% for the natural treatment and extruded semimethods. Blood samples were collected to quantify cortisol and glucose levels, as well as red cell series and lymphocyte count. Fishes submitted to induction procedures showed elevated cortisol and glucose levels, compared to the control animals. The results for haematocrit, haemoglobin concentration and red blood cell count showed no significant differences among groups. Significant differences found in the number of lymphocytes and monocytes suggest the general adaptation syndrome. Our results suggest the reproductive induction process with extrusion of gametes as a more stressful method than seminatural reproduction process. PMID:26719107

  14. Sexual and Reproductive Health Problems of Female University Students in Iran: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    Yari, Fatemeh; Moghadam, Zahra B.; Parvizi, Soror; Nayeri, Nahid D.; Rezaei, Elham

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Youth is defined as the time of transition into adulthood and an important period in a person’s life. During this period new behavior is learned easier than adulthood. Therefore, special attention has to be necessarily paid to this period in order to promote the health. Addressing adolescent reproductive health issues is also a critical factor Methods: This research was a qualitative study conducted from January 2014 to July 2014. Data from focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with 25 female students and 10 key members of the university (including university authorities, consultants, reproductive health professionals and university officials) was collected and all interviews were recorded, formulated and classified. Results: The mean age of participants was 22.43 years. A total of 8 students majored in geology, 5 majored in chemistry, 3 in statistics, 3 in mathematics, and 6 in biology. 17 had a bachelor’s degree, 3 master’s degree and 5 doctorate degree. Majority of students (82.4%) were never married and 23 of them lived in dormitories. The following three main themes were extracted from the interviews: Reproduction thought as pregnancy; the taboo of sex; and inappropriate relation between parents and children. Conclusion: Most participants stressed the need to provide reproductive health services for young girls. PMID:25946946

  15. Knowledge of Repetitions Range Affects Force Production in Trained Females

    PubMed Central

    Halperin, Israel; Aboodarda, Saied J.; Basset, Fabien A.; Behm, David G.

    2014-01-01

    Most studies have examined pacing strategies with cyclical activities (running and cycling). It has been demonstrated that males employ different pacing strategies during repeated maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) dependent upon a known endpoint. Since different fatiguing mechanisms have been identified between the genders, it is not known if females use comparable pacing strategies. The purpose of this study was to examine if informing female subjects regarding the number of MVCs to perform would affect force and electromyography (EMG). Twenty well-trained females completed 3 fatiguing protocols in a randomized order. In the control condition participants were informed they would perform twelve MVCs and then actually completed twelve. In the unknown condition they were not told how many MVCs to perform but were stopped after twelve. In the deception condition they were initially informed to perform 6 MVCs, but after the 6th MVC they were asked to perform a few more MVCs and were stopped after twelve. During the first 6 MVCs, forces in the deception condition were greater compared to the unknown (p = 0.021, ES = 0.65, 5%) and control (p = 0.022, ES = 0.42, 3%) conditions. No differences were found between conditions in the last 6 MVCs. A main effect for repetitions showed force deficits during the first 6 MVCs (p = 0.000, ES = 1.81, 13%) and last 6 MVCs (p = 0.05, ES = 0.34, 3%). No differences were found between conditions in biceps and triceps EMG. However, EMG decreased during the first 6 MVCs for biceps (p = 0.001, ES = 1.0, 14%) and triceps (p = 0.001, ES = 0.76, 14%) across conditions. No differences were found in the last 6 MVCs. The anticipation of performing fewer MVCs led to increased force, whereas no endpoint led to decreased force production. Key points Pacing strategies occur during repeated (fatiguing) MVCs as a function of end point expectations. Females use similar pacing strategies as previously published results with males. Without a known

  16. The female reproductive cycle of the neotropical snake Atractus pantostictus (Fernandes and Puorto, 1993) from south-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Resende, F C; Nascimento, L B

    2015-06-01

    Data on reproductive activity of fossorial species are limited because the specimens are difficult to be observed and captured. Here in, we present the reproductive cycle of female Atractus pantostictus, a fossorial neotropical species, and the sexual maturity of males and females in south-eastern Brazil. The female reproductive cycle of A. pantostictus is seasonal, with vitellogenic follicles being found from September to April and eggs in November, February, March and April with the number varying between two and four. Spermatozoa were found in the lumen of the glandular and non-glandular uterus in females collected during the rainy season. Sperm storage tubules were found in the posterior infundibulum of the females, where the storage of sperm occurs for a short time. The storage may occur because mating and ovulation are dissociated. PMID:25041410

  17. Endocrine Control of Mucosal Immunity in the Female Reproductive Tract: Impact of Environmental Disruptors

    PubMed Central

    Dunbar, B.; Patel, M.; Fahey, J.; Wira, C.

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of the human female reproductive tract (FRT) with its multiple levels of hormonally controlled immune protection has only begun to be understood. Dissecting the functions and roles of the immune system in the FRT is complicated by the differential hormonal regulation of its distinct anatomical structures that vary throughout the menstrual cycle. Although many fundamental mechanisms of steroid regulation of reproductive tract immune function have been determined, the effects of exogenous synthetic steroids or endocrine disruptors on immune function and disease susceptibility in the FRT have yet to be evaluated in detail. There is increasing evidence that environmental or synthetic molecules can alter normal immune function. This review provides an overview of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the current status of immune function in the FRT and the potential risks of environmental or pharmacological molecules that may perturb this system. PMID:22289638

  18. A Mouse Model to Dissect Progesterone Signaling in the Female Reproductive Tract and Mammary Gland

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Valdivia, Rodrigo; Jeong, Jaewook; Mukherjee, Atish; Soyal, Selma M.; Li, Jie; Ying, Yan; DeMayo, Francesco J.; Lydon, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Considering the regulatory complexities of PR action throughout the female reproductive axis and mammary gland, we generated a mouse model that enables conditional ablation of PR function in a spatiotemporal specific manner. Exon 2 of the murine PR gene was floxed to generate a conditional PR allele (PRflox) in mice. Crossing the PRflox/flox mouse with the ZP3-cre transgenic demonstrated that the PRflox allele recombines to a PR null allele (PRd). Mice homozygous for the recombined null PR allele (PRd/d) exhibit uterine, ovarian, and mammary gland defects that phenocopy those of our previously described PR Knockout (PRKO) model. Therefore this conditional mouse model for PR ablation represents an invaluable resource with which to further define in a developmental and/or reproductive stage-specific manner the individual and integrative roles of distinct PR populations resident in multiple progesterone-responsive target sites. PMID:20029965

  19. The Krüppel-Like Factors in Female Reproductive System Pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Simmen, Rosalia C.M.; Heard, Melissa E.; Simmen, Angela M.; Montales, Maria Theresa M.; Marji, Meera; Scanlon, Samantha; Pabona, John Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    Female reproductive tract pathologies arise largely from dysregulation of estrogen and progesterone receptor signaling leading to aberrant cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. The signaling pathways orchestrated by these nuclear receptors are complex, require the participation of many nuclear proteins serving as key binding partners or targets and involve a range of paracrine and autocrine regulatory circuits. Members of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors are ubiquitously expressed in reproductive tissues and have been increasingly implicated as critical co-regulators and integrators of steroid hormone actions. Here we explore the involvement of KLF family members in uterine pathology, describe their currently known molecular mechanisms and discuss their potential as targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25654975

  20. Androgens in a female primate: Relationships with reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and secondary sexual color.

    PubMed

    Setchell, Joanna M; Smith, Tessa E; Knapp, Leslie A

    2015-08-01

    A comprehensive understanding of the role of androgens in reproduction, behavior and morphology requires the examination of female, as well as male, hormone profiles. However, we know far less about the biological significance of androgens in females than in males. We investigated the relationships between fecal androgen (immunoreactive testosterone) levels and reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and a secondary sexual trait (facial color) in semi-free-ranging female mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), using samples collected from 19 reproductively mature females over 13months. Fecal androgens varied with reproductive status, being highest during gestation. Fecal androgens began to increase at 3months of gestation, and peaked at 5months. This pattern is more similar to that found in a platyrrhine than in other cercopithecine species, suggesting that such patterns are not necessarily phylogenetically constrained. Fecal androgens did not vary systematically with rank, in contrast to the relationship we have reported for male mandrills, and in line with sex differences in how rank is acquired and maintained. Offspring sex was unrelated to fecal androgens, either prior to conception or during gestation, contrasting with studies of other primate species. Mean facial color was positively related to mean fecal androgens across females, reflecting the same relationship in male mandrills. However, the relationship between color and androgens was negative within females. Future studies of the relationship between female androgens and social behavior, reproduction and secondary sexual traits will help to elucidate the factors underlying the similarities and differences found between the sexes and among studies. PMID:25936819

  1. Genetic evidence that lower circulating FSH levels lengthen menstrual cycle, increase age at menopause and impact female reproductive health

    PubMed Central

    Ruth, Katherine S.; Beaumont, Robin N.; Tyrrell, Jessica; Jones, Samuel E.; Tuke, Marcus A.; Yaghootkar, Hanieh; Wood, Andrew R.; Freathy, Rachel M.; Weedon, Michael N.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Murray, Anna

    2016-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION How does a genetic variant in the FSHB promoter, known to alter FSH levels, impact female reproductive health? SUMMARY ANSWER The T allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; c.-211G>T) results in longer menstrual cycles and later menopause and, while having detrimental effects on fertility, is protective against endometriosis. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY The FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; c.-211G>T) affects levels of FSHB transcription and, as a result, circulating levels of FSH. FSH is required for normal fertility and genetic variants at the FSHB locus are associated with age at menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION We used cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank to look at associations between the FSHB promoter polymorphism and reproductive traits, and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for length of menstrual cycle. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS We included white British individuals aged 40–69 years in 2006–2010, in the May 2015 release of genetic data from UK Biobank. We tested the FSH-lowering T allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; c.-211G>T) for associations with 29, mainly female, reproductive phenotypes in up to 63 350 women and 56 608 men. We conducted a GWAS in 9534 individuals to identify genetic variants associated with length of menstrual cycle. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE The FSH-lowering T allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; MAF 0.16) was associated with longer menstrual cycles [0.16 SD (c. 1 day) per minor allele; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.12–0.20; P = 6 × 10−16], later age at menopause (0.13 years per minor allele; 95% CI 0.04–0.22; P = 5.7 × 10−3), greater female nulliparity [odds ratio (OR) = 1.06; 95% CI 1.02–1.11; P = 4.8 × 10−3] and lower risk of endometriosis (OR = 0.79; 95% CI 0.69–0.90; P = 4.1 × 10−4). The FSH-lowering T allele was not associated with other female

  2. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans.

    PubMed

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R; Hanson, Heidi A; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-01-01

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution. PMID:27087670

  3. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans

    PubMed Central

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R.; Hanson, Heidi A.; Maklakov, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution. PMID:27087670

  4. Correlates and Determinants of Reproductive Behavior among Female University Students in Tehran

    PubMed Central

    Farahani, Farideh Khalaj Abadi; Cleland, John; Mehryar, Amir Hooshang

    2012-01-01

    Background This paper aims to examine the reproductive health and behaviors which might expose young people at risks of STIs/HIV and potential correlates of such behaviors among female college students in Tehran. Methods This paper focuses on the study conducted on a sample of 1743 female undergraduate students in four multidisciplinary universities in Tehran during 2005− 2006 using a two-stage stratified cluster sampling. The main focus was to determine the predictors of premarital heterosexual reproductive behavior among female students. Results The mean age of the unmarried students was 21.4 years. Low self-efficacy (OR=7.87, p <0.001), perceived peers’ liberal attitude on virginity (OR= 4.33), perception of parents’ liberal attitude towards relationship with the opposite sex and poor family atmosphere (OR=3.04 and 2.20, p <0.001, respectively) were predictors of ever having any type of sexual experience after controlling for other factors. The only predictors of penetrative sex remained in the logistic model were older age (OR=5.95), low self-efficacy (OR=10.86), poor family atmosphere (OR= 2.96), liberal parental attitude (OR=4.29) and liberal peer norms on virginity (OR= 4.90). Conclusion Interventional programs need to be designed at various levels such as enhancing self-efficacy, informing families of the protective role of a balanced control and monitoring over adolescents’ behavior and choices of peer network against premarital sexual activity. PMID:23926523

  5. Noninvasive monitoring of female reproductive hormone metabolites in the endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola).

    PubMed

    Nagl, Astrid; Kneidinger, Nadja; Kiik, Kairi; Lindeberg, Heli; Maran, Tiit; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the reproductive physiology of female European mink (Mustela lutreola) to augment the available information on estrus, ovulation, and pregnancy with the long-term goal of supporting ex situ breeding management of this highly endangered species. Fecal reproductive hormone metabolites were measured using EIAs for estrogen and 20-oxo-pregnane metabolites. Seasonal hormone profiles were established. A comparison of hormone fluctuations in pregnant and nonpregnant females showed that both estrogen and 20-oxo-pregnane metabolites were significantly elevated during gestation, which is 42 days in length. Delayed implantation or embryonic diapause does not occur in this species. Litter size was correlated with 20-oxo-pregnane levels but not with estrogen concentrations. During lactation, 20-oxo-pregnane metabolite levels remained higher than in nonpregnant females. The breeding season was characterized by peaks in vaginal cornified cells and fecal estrogen metabolite levels. Up to four peaks in estrogen levels were identified and confirmed that European mink are seasonally polyestrous. The results of 20-oxo-pregnane measurements indicated that hCG can be applied to induce ovulation. With the establishment of this noninvasive method, we present a new tool to support population management of this species. PMID:26324114

  6. Pregnancy Incidence in Female Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Survivors of Reproductive Age: A Population-Based Study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bo-Ching; Yen, Ruoh-Fang; Lin, Cheng-Li; Liang, Ji-An; Lin, Ming-Chia; Kao, Chia-Hung

    2016-05-01

    This study evaluated the pregnancy incidence in female nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) survivors of reproductive age.In a nationwide cohort, 2816 female patients 15 to 50 years of age from 1998 to 2010 were identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research database. Comorbidities, complications during pregnancy, and delivery status were recorded. All patients were followed up until a diagnosis of pregnancy, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance system, or December 31, 2011.Overall, 155 patients (incidence rate [IR] = 9.50) were pregnant in the NPC group, whereas 251 patients (IR = 12.80) were pregnant in the non-NPC group. The cumulative incidence of pregnancy in the NPC group was lower than that in the non-NPC group (incidence rate ratio = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.61-0.91). The adjusted hazard ratio of pregnancy in the NPC group was 0.79 with 95% CI = 0.61-0.96, compared with the non-NPC group.The incidence of pregnancy is significantly lower among female NPC survivors of reproductive age than among those without NPC. PMID:27196495

  7. Longitudinal fecal hormone analysis for monitoring reproductive activity in the female polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Stoops, M A; MacKinnon, K M; Roth, T L

    2012-12-01

    The objective was to identify suitable enzyme immunoassays to monitor gonadal and placental function in the female polar bear. Immunoreactive progesterone, progesterone metabolite (PdG), estrogen, and androgen metabolite (T) concentrations were measured in fecal samples collected over 24 mo from captive female bears (N = 20). Whereas fecal extracts produced displacement curves parallel to the standard curve for each respective steroid, T and PdG more accurately reflected reproductive events. Concentrations of fecal T increased (P < 0.05) during the breeding season, and brief spikes were associated with estrus and mating. A postovulatory increase in PdG was not always detected, but sustained baseline T after mating appeared consistent with ovulation. Parturient bears excreted higher PdG concentrations (P < 0.05) during expected time of embryo implantation in Fall, and a late gestational rise in fecal T occurred 30 days prepartum. Many nonparturient bears also had a PdG rise in the Fall, suggesting they experienced either pregnancy loss or a pseudopregnancy. Differentiating pregnant and pseudopregnant states was not achieved using fecal PdG alone, but when combined with fecal T, comprehensive diagnoses could be made. Nonparturient bears demonstrated elevated (P < 0.05) fecal T during summer months, whereas parturient bears did not. In summary, noninvasive hormone monitoring techniques were established for the female polar bear. Although this study was directed at facilitating management and breeding efforts of captive polar bears, the methods could be applied to studies of reproductive function in wild populations. PMID:23040062

  8. Female Genital Mutilation Is a Violation of Reproductive Rights of Women: Implications for Health Workers.

    PubMed

    Jungari, Suresh Banayya

    2016-02-01

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. This coercive practice is still prevalent in many parts of the world, in both developed and developing countries. However, FGM is more prevalent in African countries and some Asian countries. In this study, an attempt has been made to understand the prevalence and practice of FGM worldwide and its adverse effects on women's reproductive health. To fulfill the study objectives, the author collected evidence from various studies conducted by international agencies. Many studies found that FGM has no health benefits; is mostly carried out on girls before they reach the age of 15 years; can cause severe bleeding, infections, psychological illness, and infertility; and, most important, can have serious consequences during childbirth. The practice is mainly governed by the traditions and cultures of the communities without having any scientific or medical benefit. In conclusion, FGM is a practice that violates the human and reproductive rights of women. PMID:26946883

  9. Androgen uptake in the female reproductive system of a nonhuman primate

    SciTech Connect

    Weaker, F.J.; Sheridan, P.J.

    1981-07-15

    The nuclear uptake and retention of /sup 3/H-dehydrotestosterone (/sup 3/H-DHT) were studied in the reproductive organs of the female rhesus monkey by autoradiography. Ovariectomized and adrenalectomized adult female monkeys were injected with 1 microgram of /sup 3/H-DHT (107 Ci/mmole) and were exsanguinated 1 hour later. The uterus, cervix, vagina, and fimbriae of the fallopian tubes were removed and processed for autoradiography. Localization of the androgen was observed in the nuclei of fibroblasts, but not in the nuclei of smooth muscle and tissues of the blood vessels, of all four organs. The uptake of androgen by the epithelium varied for each organ. The simple columnar epithelium of the fallopian tube demonstrated nuclear labeling, but the epithelium of the uterus did not. The cells of the germinative layer of the stratified squamous epithelium of both the cervix and vagina exhibited nuclear concentration of label; however, the simple columnar epithelium of the cervix contiguous with the uterus was free of label. The results suggest that androgens may have a physiologic role in the female reproductive organs, and that the therapeutic effect of drugs such as danazol may be mediated via an androgen receptor.

  10. Bisphenol a and the female reproductive tract: an overview of recent laboratory evidence and epidemiological studies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high production volume monomer used for making a wide variety of polycarbonate plastics and resins. A large body of evidence links BPA to endocrine disruption in laboratory animals, and a growing number of epidemiological studies support a link with health disorders in humans. The aim of this review is to summarize the recent experimental studies describing the effects and mechanisms of BPA on the female genital tract and to compare them to the current knowledge regarding the impact of BPA impact on female reproductive health. In particular, BPA has been correlated with alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary hormonal production, reduced oocyte quality due to perinatal and adulthood exposure, defective uterine receptivity and the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome. Researchers have reported conflicting results regarding the effect of BPA on premature puberty and endometriosis development. Experimental studies suggest that BPA’s mechanism of action is related to life stage and that its effect on the female reproductive system may involve agonism with estrogen nuclear receptors as well as other mechanisms (steroid biosynthesis inhibition). Notwithstanding uncertainties and knowledge gaps, the available evidence should be seen as a sufficient grounds to take precautionary actions against excess exposure to BPA. PMID:24886252

  11. Chromatin dynamics during cellular differentiation in the female reproductive lineage of flowering plants

    PubMed Central

    Baroux, Célia; Autran, Daphné

    2015-01-01

    Sexual reproduction in flowering plants offers a number of remarkable aspects to developmental biologists. First, the spore mother cells – precursors of the plant reproductive lineage – are specified late in development, as opposed to precocious germline isolation during embryogenesis in most animals. Second, unlike in most animals where meiosis directly produces gametes, plant meiosis entails the differentiation of a multicellular, haploid gametophyte, within which gametic as well as non-gametic accessory cells are formed. These observations raise the question of the factors inducing and modus operandi of cell fate transitions that originate in floral tissues and gametophytes, respectively. Cell fate transitions in the reproductive lineage imply cellular reprogramming operating at the physiological, cytological and transcriptome level, but also at the chromatin level. A number of observations point to large-scale chromatin reorganization events associated with cellular differentiation of the female spore mother cells and of the female gametes. These include a reorganization of the heterochromatin compartment, the genome-wide alteration of the histone modification landscape, and the remodeling of nucleosome composition. The dynamic expression of DNA methyltransferases and actors of small RNA pathways also suggest additional, global epigenetic alterations that remain to be characterized. Are these events a cause or a consequence of cellular differentiation, and how do they contribute to cell fate transition? Does chromatin dynamics induce competence for immediate cellular functions (meiosis, fertilization), or does it also contribute long-term effects in cellular identity and developmental competence of the reproductive lineage? This review attempts to review these fascinating questions. PMID:26031902

  12. 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

  13. Reproductive character displacement of female mate preferences for male cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila subquinaria.

    PubMed

    Rundle, Howard D; Dyer, Kelly A

    2015-10-01

    Several lines of evidence implicate sexual isolation in both initiating and completing the speciation process. Although its existence is straightforward to demonstrate, understanding the evolution of sexual isolation requires identifying the underlying phenotypes responsible so that we can determine how these have diverged. Here, we study geographic variation in female mate preferences for male sexual displays in the fly Drosophila subquinaria. Female D. subquinaria that are sympatric with its sister species D. recens discriminate strongly against both D. recens and allopatric conspecific males, whereas females from allopatric populations do not. Furthermore, female mate preferences target at least in part a suite of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) in males and geographic variation in CHCs mirrors the pattern of mate discrimination. In this study, we quantify female mate preferences for male CHCs from populations that span the geographic range of D. subquinaria. We find that the direction of linear sexual selection varies significantly between populations that are sympatric versus allopatric with D. recens in a pattern of reproductive character displacement. Differences in preference partially align with existing differences in CHCs and patterns of sexual isolation, although discrepancies remain that suggest the involvement of additional traits and/or more complex, nonlinear preference functions. PMID:26299584

  14. Disruption of insulin signalling affects the neuroendocrine stress reaction in Drosophila females.

    PubMed

    Rauschenbach, Inga Y; Karpova, Evgenia K; Adonyeva, Natalya V; Andreenkova, Olga V; Faddeeva, Natalya V; Burdina, Elena V; Alekseev, Alexander A; Menshanov, Petr N; Gruntenko, Nataly E

    2014-10-15

    Juvenile hormone (JH) and dopamine are involved in the stress response in insects. The insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling pathway has also recently been found to be involved in the regulation of various processes, including stress tolerance. However, the relationships between the JH, dopamine and insulin signalling pathways remain unclear. Here, we study the role of insulin signalling in the regulation of JH and dopamine metabolism under normal and heat stress conditions in Drosophila melanogaster females. We show that suppression of the insulin-like receptor (InR) in the corpus allatum, a specialised endocrine gland that synthesises JH, causes an increase in dopamine level and JH-hydrolysing activity and alters the activities of enzymes that produce as well as those that degrade dopamine [alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-dependent arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (DAT)]. We also found that InR suppression in the corpus allatum modulates dopamine, ALP, TH and JH-hydrolysing activity in response to heat stress and that it decreases the fecundity of the flies. JH application restores dopamine metabolism and fecundity in females with decreased InR expression in the corpus allatum. Our data provide evidence that the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling pathway regulates dopamine metabolism in females of D. melanogaster via the system of JH metabolism and that it affects the development of the neuroendocrine stress reaction and interacts with JH in the control of reproduction in this species. PMID:25214494

  15. Variability in temporary emigration rates of individually marked female Weddell seals prior to first reproduction.

    PubMed

    Stauffer, Glenn E; Rotella, Jay J; Garrott, Robert A

    2013-05-01

    In many species, temporary emigration (TE) is a phenomenon, often indicative of life-history characteristics such as dormancy, skipped reproduction, or partial migration, whereby certain individuals in a population are temporarily unobservable at a particular site. TE may be a flexible condition-dependent strategy that allows individuals to mitigate effects of adverse conditions. Consequently, TE rates ought to be highly variable, but sources of variations are poorly understood for most species. We used data from known-aged female Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) tagged in Erebus Bay, Antarctica, to investigate sources of variation in TE rates prior to reproduction and to evaluate possible implications for age-specific probability of first reproduction. TE rates were near 1 the year after birth, decreased to an average of 0.15 (SE = 0.01) by age 8, and were similar thereafter. TE rates varied substantially from year-to-year and were lower for seals that attended reproductive colonies the previous year than for seals that did not attend (e.g., ψ(i,age 8)(UU) - ψ(i, age 8)(PU) = 0.22). Recruitment rates were marginally greater for seals that did attend than for seals that did not attend colonies the previous year. For Weddell seals specifically, our results suggest that (1) motivation to attend colonies varied temporally, (2) as seals grew older they had increased motivation to attend even before reproductive maturity, and (3) seals appear to follow various attendance strategies. More broadly, our results support the idea of TE as a variable, condition-dependent strategy, and highlight the utility of TE models for providing population and life-history insights for diverse taxa. PMID:23053233

  16. Sex steroid correlates of female-specific colouration, behaviour and reproductive state in Lake Eyre dragon lizards, Ctenophorus maculosus.

    PubMed

    Jessop, Tim S; Chan, Rita; Stuart-Fox, Devi

    2009-07-01

    In some species, females develop bright colouration to signal reproductive status and exhibit behavioural repertoires to incite male courtship and/or reduce male harassment and forced copulation. Sex steroids, including progesterone and testosterone, potentially mediate female reproductive colouration and reproductive behaviour. We measured associations among plasma profiles of testosterone and progesterone with variation in colour expression and reproductive behaviour, including unique courtship rejection behaviours, in female Lake Eyre dragon lizards, (Ctenophorus maculosus). At onset of breeding, progesterone and testosterone increased with vitellogenesis, coincident with colour intensification and sexual receptivity, indicated by acceptance of copulations. As steroid levels peaked around the inferred ovulation time, maximal colour development occurred and sexual receptivity declined. When females were gravid and exhibited maximal mate rejection behaviours, progesterone levels remained consistently high, while testosterone exhibited a discrete second peak. At oviposition, significant declines in plasma steroid levels, fading of colouration and a dramatic decrease in male rejection behaviours co-occurred. Our results indicate a generally concordant association among steroid levels, colouration, behaviour and reproductive events. However, the prolonged elevation in progesterone and a second peak of testosterone was unrelated to reproductive state or further colour change, possibly suggesting selection on females to retain high steroid levels for inducing rejection behaviours. PMID:19363614

  17. Demography, female life history, and reproductive profiles among the chimpanzees of Mahale.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Toshisada; Corp, Nadia; Hamai, Miya; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Mariko; Hosaka, Kazuhiko; Hunt, Kevin D; Itoh, Noriko; Kawanaka, Kenji; Matsumoto-Oda, Akiko; Mitani, John C; Nakamura, Michio; Norikoshi, Koshi; Sakamaki, Tetsuya; Turner, Linda; Uehara, Shigeo; Zamma, Koichiro

    2003-03-01

    Demography provides critical data to increase our understanding of the evolution, ecology, and conservation of primate populations. The chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, have been studied for more than 34 yr on the basis of individual identification and standardized attendance records. From this long-term study, we derived the following demographic data: The major cause of death was disease (48%), followed by senescence (24%) and within-species aggression (16%). Fifty percent of Mahale chimpanzees died before weaning. The median ages of female life history variables were: first maximal swelling, 10.0 yr (n = 5); emigration, 11.0 yr (n = 11); and first birth, 13.1 yr (n = 5). The median period of adolescent infertility was 2.8 yr (n = 4) when calculated from the age at immigration to that at first birth. Female fecundity was highest between 20 and 35 yr of age, with an annual birth rate of 0.2. Twenty-six females that were observed from a young age (10-13 yr) to death at various ages (15-40 yr) gave birth to an average of 3.9 and weaned an average of 1.4 offspring. Twenty-five females that were observed from middle age (18-33 yr) to death in older age (31-48) gave birth to an average of 2.7 and weaned an average of 2.0 offspring. The post-reproductive lifespan for female chimpanzees was defined as the number of years that passed from the year when the last offspring was born to the year when the female died, minus 5. Twenty-five percent of old females had a post-reproductive lifespan. The interbirth interval after the birth of a son (x = 72 mo) tended to be longer than that after the birth of a daughter (x = 66 mo). The extent of female transfer, which is a rule in chimpanzees, is influenced by the size and composition of the unit group and size of the overall local community. PMID:12619045

  18. Protection of the female reproductive system from natural and artificial insults

    DOEpatents

    Tilly, Jonathan L.; Kolesnick, Richard N.

    2010-12-14

    Described are methods for protecting the female reproductive system against natural and artificial insults by administering to women a composition comprising an agent that antagonizes one or more acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) gene products. Specifically, methods disclosed herein serve to protect women's germline from damage resulting from cancer therapy regimens including chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In one aspect, the method preserves, enhances, or revives ovarian function in women, by administering to women a composition containing sphingosine-1-phosphate, or an analog thereof. Also disclosed are methods to prevent or ameliorate menopausal syndromes and to improve in vitro fertilization techniques.

  19. Cluster Headache: Special Considerations for Treatment of Female Patients of Reproductive Age and Pediatric Patients.

    PubMed

    VanderPluym, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Cluster headache is a rare disorder that is more common in adult male patients. It has a unique phenotype of unilateral, severe, to very severe headaches lasting 15 to 180 min with ipsilateral autonomic symptoms. Time to correct diagnosis can be protracted. A number of treatment options exist for the standard cluster headache patient, but special considerations must be made for female patients of reproductive age and pediatric patients. The objective of this article is to explore the current literature pertaining to special considerations in cluster headache management, including treatment of pregnant or breastfeeding patients and pediatric patients. PMID:26711274

  20. Daidzein: bioavailability, potential for reproductive toxicity, and breast cancer chemoprevention in female rats.

    PubMed

    Lamartiniere, Coral A; Wang, Jun; Smith-Johnson, Michelle; Eltoum, Isam-Eldin

    2002-02-01

    Soy products containing phytoestrogens have received much attention as dietary components to promote better health. Daidzein, an isoflavone and phytoestrogen component of soy, was investigated for its potential to alter fertility and cause developmental toxicity to the reproductive tract in female rats, for chemoprevention to the mammary gland, and to study its bioavailability. Diets containing 0 mg, 250 mg (low dose), and 1000 mg (high dose) daidzein/kg feed were fed to virgin female rats, starting 2 weeks prior to breeding and continued until the offspring were 50 days postpartum. The serum daidzein concentrations in adult female rats fed the low and high daidzein-containing diets were determined to be 6- and 13-fold higher than serum daidzein concentrations of Asians eating a traditional diet high in soy. Both daidzein doses had no significant effect on fertility, numbers of male and female offspring, and anogenital distances. The high, but not the low, daidzein dose resulted in reduced body weight, a fact that may be explained by reduced feed consumption. Circulating progesterone, but not estrogen, levels were statistically reduced with the high, but not low daidzein-containing diet. Both daidzein doses resulted in slight, but not significant, decreases in ovarian and uterine weights, and mammary gland size. Histomorphological analysis of the reproductive tracts of female offspring 50 days of age exposed perinatally to daidzein did not reveal any pathology in the vaginal, uterine, ovarian, and mammary tissues. Perinatal exposure of female offspring to 250 mg daidzein/kg diet did not alter mammary gland development or ontogeny of chemically induced mammary tumors in rats treated with dimethylbenz(a)anthracene on day 50. With the low dietary daidzein dose, total equol (major metabolite) and daidzein concentrations in the blood of pregnant females, 7-day-old, 21-day-old, and 50-day-old female offspring were 529 and 303 nM, 163 and 982 nM, 1188 and 1359 nM, and

  1. Effect of anosmia on reproduction in male and female wolves (Canis lupus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Asa, C.S.; Seal, U.S.; Plotka, E.D.; Letellier, M.A.; Mech, L.D.

    1986-01-01

    Anosmia was produced in two female and three male wolves by transection of the olfactory peduncle and was confirmed by their inability to detect meat, urine, feces, anal-gland secretions, and fish emulsion. All operated animals continued to investigate the environment with their noses, to interact normally with other pack members, and to feed at levels which maintained presurgical body weights. No effect was found on reproductive physiology (females: estradiol or progesterone concentrations, ovulation, pregnancy or parturition; males: testosterone, testicular recrudescence or sperm numbers, motility or maturation). One anosmic female became dominant and although she urine-marked with a flexed leg, the rate was lower than typical for dominant females and perhaps contributed to her failure to pair-bond with the dominant male. One anosmic male raised-leg-urinated while competing for pack dominance and when kenneled away from other males. Precopulatory, copulatory, and maternal behavior were observed for one anosmic female and appeared normal. However, neither male that was sexually naive before surgery showed interest in proestrous or estrous females. The possibility that secondary degeneration of brain regions mediating sexual behavior was responsible for the failure of these males to respond was not supported. Not only was the lack of male sexual response the only serious deficit following transection, but the male which was sexually experienced prior to surgery did copulate successfully during his second postoperative breeding season despite continued anosmia. Chemosensory priming from female urine during the protracted proestrous phase, as well as urinary and vaginal odors during estrus, appear to be critical for induction of full sexual potency in sexually naive males. The importance of urine and vaginal secretions in the sexual response of experienced males is uncertain.

  2. Macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) female tubular reproductive organs in relation to ovarian structures.

    PubMed

    Axnér, E; Holm, D; Gavier-Widén, D; Söderberg, A; Bergqvist, A S

    2015-09-15

    Although monitoring wild animals in the field is essential for estimations of population size and development, there are pitfalls associated with field monitoring. In addition, some detailed data about reproductive physiology can be difficult to obtain in wild live animals. Studying reproductive organs from the Eurasian lynx killed at hunting or found dead could be used as a valuable addition to other field data. We evaluated reproductive organs from 39 Eurasian lynx females (Lynx lynx) killed in Sweden during the hunting seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2011. According to notes on ovarian structures, the animals were categorized as being in one of four different reproductive stages: juvenile (n = 10), follicular stage (n = 8), luteal stage (n = 11), and anestrus (n = 10). Corpora lutea were classified as fresh CL from the present season or as luteal bodies from previous cycles. Microscopic evaluations were blindly coded while the outer measurements of the vagina and uterus were taken at the time of organ retrieval. The width of the endometrium, myometrium, outer width of the uterine horns, and the diameter of the vagina differed significantly with the reproductive stage (P < 0.001) and were largest in the follicular and luteal phases. The number of endometrial glands evaluated blindly coded on a subjective scale was significantly associated with the reproductive stage (P < 0.0001) and was significantly higher in the luteal phase than that in any other reproductive stages (P < 0.05). Cornification of the vaginal epithelium was only observed in females in the follicular stage or in females with signs of a recent ovulation. In conclusion, both macroscopic and histologic measurements are useful for a correct classification of the reproductive stage when evaluating reproductive organs in the Eurasian lynx killed during the hunting season. Routine evaluation of reproductive organs has a potential to be a useful additional tool to field studies of live lynx to monitor their

  3. Reproductive potential of overwintering, F1, and F2 female boll weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, S M; Sappington, T W; Setamou, M; Armstrong, J S; Coleman, R J; Liu, T-X

    2007-04-01

    The feeding and oviposition activity of overwintering boll weevils, Anthonomus grandis grandis (Boheman), and seasonal fluctuations in development, survival, and reproduction of progeny of overwintering and first- and second-generation boll weevil females were determined in the laboratory at 27 degrees C, 65% RH, and a photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h. During the cotton-free period in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, female boll weevils without access to cotton resorb their unlaid eggs and enter reproductive diapause. However, when they were provided daily with greenhouse-grown cotton squares, commencement of oviposition began after 7, 15, or 20 d, depending on when they were captured. Females captured later in the winter fed longer before laying eggs than those captured in the early fall, suggesting that it may take females longer to terminate diapause the longer they have been dormant. The rate of feeding by females was significantly less during the winter months, and this may have affected the rate of diet-mediated termination of dormancy. Females of the first and second generations after the overwintering generation produced a significantly higher percentage of progeny surviving to adulthood and a higher proportion of these progeny were females. Offspring development time from overwintering female parents was significantly longer than that from first and second generations under the same laboratory conditions. The total number of lifetime eggs produced by females of the second generation during the cotton-growing season were approximately 9.9-fold higher than for overwintering females and 1.5-fold higher than for first-generation females. Life table calculations indicated that the population of second-generation boll weevils increased an average of 1.5-fold higher each generation than for females of the first generation and 22.6-fold higher than for overwintering females. Our data showed variation in boll weevil survival, development, and reproductive potential among

  4. [Geographic variation in female reproductive characteristics and egg incubation of Eumeces chinensis].

    PubMed

    Ji, Xiang; Huang, Hongying; Hu, Xiaozhong; Du, Weiguo

    2002-06-01

    Geographic variation in female reproductive characteristics and egg incubation of Chinese skink (Eumeces chinensis) was studied by using two populations from eastern (Lishui, Zhejiang) and southern (Shaoguan, Guangdong) China, respectively. The results showed that female adults of the two populations both laid a single clutch per breeding season, and the clutch size, clutch mass, and egg mass had a positive correlation with female SVL. There was obvious geographic variation in head shape of females, reproductive characteristics, timing date of oviposition, and thermal dependence of egg incubation between two populations. Skinks from Shaoguan began to lay eggs in mid-May, approximately two weeks earlier than the timing date of skinks from Lishui. Skinks from Shaoguan produced more but smaller eggs. The size-specific (SVL) clutch size of skinks from Shaoguan outnumbered that of skinks from Lishui by 2.8 eggs. It implied there was a trade-off between the number and the size of offspring between populations, because there was no difference in size-specific clutch mass among skinks from both populations, and skinks within a population could produce larger clutches without a concomitant reduction in egg mass. Overall, compared to eggs incubated under 32 degrees C, eggs incubated under 24 degrees C could produce larger (SVL) and well-developed hatchlings with less unutilized yolks. Compared to eggs from Lishui incubated under the same temperature of 24 degrees C and 32 degrees C, eggs from Shaoguan produced hatchlings with smaller body wet mass and carcass dry mass. Accordingly, there was geographic variation in suitable range of incubation temperatures, and eggs laid by skinks from Lishui could successfully incubate in a wider range of temperatures. PMID:12216392

  5. FEMALE AND MALE GENETIC EFFECTS ON OFFSPRING PATERNITY: ADDITIVE GENETIC (CO)VARIANCES IN FEMALE EXTRA-PAIR REPRODUCTION AND MALE PATERNITY SUCCESS IN SONG SPARROWS (MELOSPIZA MELODIA)

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Losdat, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing evolution of polyandry, and consequent extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous systems, is hypothesized to be facilitated by indirect selection stemming from cross-sex genetic covariances with components of male fitness. Specifically, polyandry is hypothesized to create positive genetic covariance with male paternity success due to inevitable assortative reproduction, driving ongoing coevolution. However, it remains unclear whether such covariances could or do emerge within complex polyandrous systems. First, we illustrate that genetic covariances between female extra-pair reproduction and male within-pair paternity success might be constrained in socially monogamous systems where female and male additive genetic effects can have opposing impacts on the paternity of jointly reared offspring. Second, we demonstrate nonzero additive genetic variance in female liability for extra-pair reproduction and male liability for within-pair paternity success, modeled as direct and associative genetic effects on offspring paternity, respectively, in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). The posterior mean additive genetic covariance between these liabilities was slightly positive, but the credible interval was wide and overlapped zero. Therefore, although substantial total additive genetic variance exists, the hypothesis that ongoing evolution of female extra-pair reproduction is facilitated by genetic covariance with male within-pair paternity success cannot yet be definitively supported or rejected either conceptually or empirically. PMID:24724612

  6. Critical roles of the guanylyl cyclase B receptor in endochondral ossification and development of female reproductive organs

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Naohisa; Doolittle, Lynda K.; Hammer, Robert E.; Shelton, John M.; Richardson, James A.; Garbers, David L.

    2004-01-01

    Guanylyl cyclase B is the receptor for a small peptide (C-type natriuretic peptide) produced locally in many different tissues. To unravel the functions of the receptor, we generated mice lacking guanylyl cyclase B through gene targeting. Expression of the receptor mRNA in tissues such as bone and female reproductive organs was evident, and significant phenotypes associated with each of these tissues were apparent in null mice. A dramatic impairment of endochondral ossification and an attenuation of longitudinal vertebra or limb-bone growth were seen in null animals. C-type natriuretic peptide-dependent increases of guanylyl cyclase B activity, but not basal enzyme activity, appeared to be required for the progression of endochondral ossification. Female mice were infertile, but male mice were not. This result was due to the failure of the female reproductive tract to develop. Thus, the guanylyl cyclase B receptor is critical for the development of both bone and female reproductive organs. PMID:15572448

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics

    PubMed 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

  9. Effects of in Utero Exposure to Arsenic during the Second Half of Gestation on Reproductive End Points and Metabolic Parameters in Female CD-1 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Karina F.; Ungewitter, Erica K.; Crespo-Mejias, Yasmin; Liu, Chang; Nicol, Barbara; Kissling, Grace E.; Yao, Humphrey Hung-Chang

    2015-01-01

    Background Mice exposed to high levels of arsenic in utero have increased susceptibility to tumors such as hepatic and pulmonary carcinomas when they reach adulthood. However, the effects of in utero arsenic exposure on general physiological functions such as reproduction and metabolism remain unclear. Objectives We evaluated the effects of in utero exposure to inorganic arsenic at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standard (10 ppb) and at tumor-inducing levels (42.5 ppm) on reproductive end points and metabolic parameters when the exposed females reached adulthood. Methods Pregnant CD-1 mice were exposed to sodium arsenite [none (control), 10 ppb, or 42.5 ppm] in drinking water from gestational day 10 to birth, the window of organ formation. At birth, exposed offspring were fostered to unexposed dams. We examined reproductive end points (age at vaginal opening, reproductive hormone levels, estrous cyclicity, and fertility) and metabolic parameters (body weight changes, hormone levels, body fat content, and glucose tolerance) in the exposed females when they reached adulthood. Results Arsenic-exposed females (10 ppb and 42.5 ppm) exhibited early onset of vaginal opening. Fertility was not affected when females were exposed to the 10-ppb dose. However, the number of litters per female was decreased in females exposed to 42.5 ppm of arsenic in utero. In both 10-ppb and 42.5-ppm groups, arsenic-exposed females had significantly greater body weight gain, body fat content, and glucose intolerance. Conclusion Our findings revealed unexpected effects of in utero exposure to arsenic: exposure to both a human-relevant low dose and a tumor-inducing level led to early onset of vaginal opening and to obesity in female CD-1 mice. Citation Rodriguez KF, Ungewitter EK, Crespo-Mejias Y, Liu C, Nicol B, Kissling GE, Yao HH. 2016. Effects of in utero exposure to arsenic during the second half of gestation on reproductive end points and metabolic

  10. Long-term impacts of poaching on relatedness, stress physiology, and reproductive output of adult female african elephants.

    PubMed

    Gobush, K S; Mutayoba, B M; Wasser, S K

    2008-12-01

    Widespread poaching prior to the 1989 ivory ban greatly altered the demographic structure of matrilineal African elephant (Loxodonta africana) family groups in many populations by decreasing the number of old, adult females. We assessed the long-term impacts of poaching by investigating genetic, physiological, and reproductive correlates of a disturbed social structure resulting from heavy poaching of an African elephant population in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, prior to 1989. We examined fecal glucocorticoid levels and reproductive output among 218 adult female elephants from 109 groups differing in size, age structure, and average genetic relatedness over 25 months from 2003 to 2005. The distribution in group size has changed little since 1989, but the number of families with tusked old matriarchs has increased by 14.2%. Females from groups that lacked an old matriarch, first-order adult relatives, and strong social bonds had significantly higher fecal glucocorticoid values than those from groups with these features (all females R(2)= 0.31; females in multiadult groups R(2)= 0.46). Females that frequented isolated areas with historically high poaching risk had higher fecal glucocorticoid values than those in low poaching risk areas. Females with weak bonds and low group relatedness had significantly lower reproductive output (R(2)[U]=0.21). Females from disrupted groups, defined as having observed average group relatedness 1 SD below the expected mean for a simulated unpoached family, had significantly lower reproductive output than females from intact groups, despite many being in their reproductive prime. These results suggest that long-term negative impacts from poaching of old, related matriarchs have persisted among adult female elephants 1.5 decades after the 1989 ivory ban was implemented. PMID:18759771

  11. Male takeovers are reproductively costly to females in hamadryas baboons: a test of the sexual coercion hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Polo, Pablo; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Colmenares, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    During male takeovers, in addition to fighting off the female's current mating partner, males may exhibit intense aggressive mate guarding of the newly acquired females. Recent studies indicate that coercive sexual aggression by males is an important strategy through which sexual conflict is expressed. Previous tests of the sexual coercion hypothesis in primates have focused on assessing if female mate choice is effectively reduced by male aggression, however, only one recent study has tested a critical prediction of this hypothesis, namely, that male coercion is reproductively costly to victim females. The present study uses 15 years of data on inter-birth intervals from a large multilevel colony of baboons, mostly Papio h. hamadryas, with a mating system based on harem-defence polygyny to examine if male takeovers impact the length of the abducted females' inter-birth intervals. Our analysis of 121 inter-birth intervals from 45 adult females indicates that male takeovers are reproductively costly to abducted females as they are associated with an increase in the time they take to conceive and a lengthening of the inter-birth intervals. We discuss how several factors may contribute to this reproductive cost, including male-female sexual conflict, male-male competition, and female-female competition. Our findings suggest that the male's aggressive herding is the main contributor to the abducted females' immediate reproductive cost. We argue that although some of the male's aggressive herding may be driven by male-male competition, nonetheless, it serves a coercive function as it both constrains the female's mate choice options and hampers her immediate breeding performance. This conclusion is backed up by results obtained in the only other study that has tested the same prediction and which has been carried out in a wild population of hamadryas baboons. PMID:24621865

  12. Metabolic Influences on Reproduction: Adiponectin Attenuates GnRH Neuronal Activity in Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Klenke, Ulrike; Taylor-Burds, Carol

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic dysfunctions are often linked to reproductive abnormalities. Adiponectin (ADP), a peripheral hormone secreted by white adipose tissue, is important in energy homeostasis and appetite regulation. GnRH neurons are integral components of the reproductive axis, controlling synthesis, and release of gonadotropins. This report examined whether ADP can directly act on GnRH neurons. Double-label immunofluorescence on brain sections from adult female revealed that a subpopulation of GnRH neurons express ADP receptor (AdipoR)2. GnRH/AdipoR2+ cells were distributed throughout the forebrain. To determine the influence of ADP on GnRH neuronal activity and the signal transduction pathway of AdipoR2, GnRH neurons maintained in explants were assayed using whole-cell patch clamping and calcium imaging. This mouse model system circumvents the dispersed distribution of GnRH neurons within the forebrain, making analysis of large numbers of GnRH cells possible. Single-cell PCR analysis and immunocytochemistry confirmed the presence of AdipoR2 in GnRH neurons in explants. Functional analysis revealed 20% of the total GnRH population responded to ADP, exhibiting hyperpolarization or decreased calcium oscillations. Perturbation studies revealed that ADP activates AMP kinase via the protein kinase Cζ/liver kinase B1 pathway. The modulation of GnRH neuronal activity by ADP demonstrated in this report directly links energy balance to neurons controlling reproduction. PMID:24564393

  13. [Progress of non-genomic action of estrogen and its impact on female reproduction].

    PubMed

    Yu, Lin-Lin; Yuan, Dong-Zhi; Zhang, Shi-Mao; Yue, Li-Min

    2016-08-25

    Estrogen is one of the steroid hormones. Besides the genomic action mediated by its intracellular receptor on target cells, there is now increasing body of evidence indicating that estrogen also has non-genomic action. For the non-genomic action, estrogen binds to its receptor on cell membrane, subsequently rapidly activates various intracellular signaling pathways, such as PLC/Ca(2+), ERK/MAPK, cAMP-PKA, PI3K-AKT-NOS, and finally induces biological effects. The non-genomic effects of estrogen on physiologic and pathologic processes have been found in many tissues within the reproductive, nervous and cardiovascular systems and bone etc. In reproductive system, it has been demonstrated that estrogen plays important roles in follicle development, fertilization and embryo implantation, and it is involved in the genesis and development of genital tract tumors and breast cancer. In this review, we focus on the general characteristics of non-genomic action of estrogen, its main nonnuclear signaling pathways and physiological and pathological significance, especially its influences in female reproductive functions. PMID:27546514

  14. Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (`enhydra lutris`) from southcentral Alaska: Analysis of reproductive tracts. Marine mammal study 6-4. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bodkin, J.L.; Mulcahy, D.M.; Lensink, C.J.

    1996-06-01

    We estimated age of sexual maturity and age-specific reproductive rates by examining carcasses and reproductive tracts from 177 female sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Carcasses were recovered from southcentral Alaska, primarily western Prince William Sound, following the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Our estimates of the reproductive characteristics of female sea otters obtained by examination of reproductive tracts were similar to those in the literature based on in situ observations of marked individuals.

  15. Socioeconomic and Demographic Disparities in Knowledge of Reproductive Healthcare among Female University Students in Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Islam Mondal, Md. Nazrul; Nasir Ullah, Md. Monzur Morshad; Khan, Md. Nuruzzaman; Islam, Mohammad Zamirul; Islam, Md. Nurul; Moni, Sabiha Yasmin; Hoque, Md. Nazrul; Rahman, Md. Mashiur

    2015-01-01

    Background: Reproductive health (RH) is a critical component of women’s health and overall well-being around the world, especially in developing countries. We examine the factors that determine knowledge of RH care among female university students in Bangladesh. Methods: Data on 300 female students were collected from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh through a structured questionnaire using purposive sampling technique. The data were used for univariate analysis, to carry out the description of the variables; bivariate analysis was used to examine the associations between the variables; and finally, multivariate analysis (binary logistic regression model) was used to examine and fit the model and interpret the parameter estimates, especially in terms of odds ratios. Results: The results revealed that more than one-third (34.3%) respondents do not have sufficient knowledge of RH care. The χ2-test identified the significant (p < 0.05) associations between respondents’ knowledge of RH care with respondents’ age, education, family type, watching television; and knowledge about pregnancy, family planning, and contraceptive use. Finally, the binary logistic regression model identified respondents’ age, education, family type; and knowledge about family planning, and contraceptive use as the significant (p < 0.05) predictors of RH care. Conclusions and Global Health Implications: Knowledge of RH care among female university students was found unsatisfactory. Government and concerned organizations should promote and strengthen various health education programs to focus on RH care especially for the female university students in Bangladesh.

  16. The Physiological Role of Arcuate Kisspeptin Neurons in the Control of Reproductive Function in Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Beale, K.E.; Kinsey-Jones, J.S.; Gardiner, J.V.; Harrison, E.K.; Thompson, E.L.; Hu, M.H.; Sleeth, M.L.; Sam, A.H.; Greenwood, H.C.; McGavigan, A.K.; Dhillo, W.S.; Mora, J.M.; Li, X.F.; Franks, S.; Bloom, S.R.; O'Byrne, K.T.

    2014-01-01

    Kisspeptin plays a pivotal role in pubertal onset and reproductive function. In rodents, kisspeptin perikarya are located in 2 major populations: the anteroventral periventricular nucleus and the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). These nuclei are believed to play functionally distinct roles in the control of reproduction. The anteroventral periventricular nucleus population is thought to be critical in the generation of the LH surge. However, the physiological role played by the ARC kisspeptin neurons remains to be fully elucidated. We used bilateral stereotactic injection of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding kisspeptin antisense into the ARC of adult female rats to investigate the physiological role of kisspeptin neurons in this nucleus. Female rats with kisspeptin knockdown in the ARC displayed a significantly reduced number of both regular and complete oestrous cycles and significantly longer cycles over the 100-day period of the study. Further, kisspeptin knockdown in the ARC resulted in a decrease in LH pulse frequency. These data suggest that maintenance of ARC-kisspeptin levels is essential for normal pulsatile LH release and oestrous cyclicity. PMID:24424033

  17. [Oxidation and female reproduction: the good, the bad and what's between].

    PubMed

    Wiener-Megnazi, Zofnat; Reznick, Abraham Z; Lahav-Baratz, Shirly; Shiloh, Hanna; Koifman, Mara; Grach, Bronislava; Arnon, Tamar; Avraham, Limor; Auslander, Ron; Dirnfeld, Martha

    2011-03-01

    Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species constitute an inseparable part of aerobic life on earth. They have been known to science for about 90 years, but only during the last 50 years research in this field has expanded. Initially, scientists focused on the free radicals-induced damage to biological systems. Since the eighties, a new concept has emerged, namely, that alongside the oxidative stress-induced deleterious effect and its association with a variety of diseases, a certain threshold level of oxidation is essential to intracellular signaL transduction. Recently, some data has accumulated regarding the involvement of oxidative processes in various aspects of female reproduction, including ovarian function, fertilization, early development of the embryo and implantation. Nevertheless, there is still a long way before comprehensive and thorough understanding of their role, both at the molecular level and the expression in the clinical setup of fertility patients can be achieved. In this article, we shall address some molecular biochemical processes involved in the activity of free radicals, and review the present knowledge regarding their role in female fertility, including ovarian physiology, follicular and oocyte maturation, development of the early embryo and implantation, as well as their association with reproductive pathologies such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary disease and recurrent pregnancy loss. PMID:21574360

  18. Seminal Fluid-Mediated Inflammation in Physiology and Pathology of the Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Adeola, Henry A.; Sales, Kurt J.; Katz, Arieh A.

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation is a multifaceted process involving a host of resident and recruited immune cells that eliminate the insult or injury and initiate tissue repair. In the female reproductive tract (FMRT), inflammation-mediated alterations in epithelial, vascular, and immune functions are important components of complex physiological processes and many local and systemic pathologies. It is well established that intracoital and postcoital function of seminal fluid (SF) goes beyond nutritive support for the spermatozoa cells. SF, in particular, the inflammatory bioactive lipids, and prostaglandins present in vast quantities in SF, have a role in localized immune modulation and regulation of pathways that can exacerbate inflammation in the FMRT. In sexually active women SF-mediated inflammation has been implicated in physiologic processes such as ovulation, implantation, and parturition while also enhancing tumorigenesis and susceptibility to infection. This review highlights the molecular mechanism by which SF regulates inflammatory pathways in the FMRT and how alterations in these pathways contribute to physiology and pathology of the female reproductive function. In addition, based on findings from TaqMan® 96-Well Plate Arrays, on neoplastic cervical cells treated with SF, we discuss new findings on the role of SF as a potent driver of inflammatory and tumorigenic pathways in the cervix. PMID:27446968

  19. Nonproliferative and Proliferative Lesions of the Rat and Mouse Female Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Dixon, Darlene; Alison, Roger; Bach, Ute; Colman, Karyn; Foley, George L.; Harleman, Johannes H.; Haworth, Richard; Herbert, Ronald; Heuser, Anke; Long, Gerald; Mirsky, Michael; Regan, Karen; Van Esch, Eric; Westwood, F. Russell; Vidal, Justin; Yoshida, Midori

    2014-01-01

    The INHAND (International Harmonization of Nomenclature and Diagnostic Criteria for Lesions in Rats and Mice) Project (www.toxpath.org/inhand.asp) is a joint initiative of the Societies of Toxicological Pathology from Europe (ESTP), Great Britain (BSTP), Japan (JSTP) and North America (STP) to develop an internationally accepted nomenclature for proliferative and nonproliferative lesions in laboratory animals. The purpose of this publication is to provide a standardized nomenclature for classifying microscopic lesions observed in the female reproductive tract of laboratory rats and mice, with color photomicrographs illustrating examples of some lesions. The standardized nomenclature presented in this document is also available electronically on the internet (http://www.goreni.org/). Sources of material included histopathology databases from government, academia, and industrial laboratories throughout the world. Content includes spontaneous and aging lesions as well as lesions induced by exposure to test materials. There is also a section on normal cyclical changes observed in the ovary, uterus, cervix and vagina to compare normal physiological changes with pathological lesions. A widely accepted and utilized international harmonization of nomenclature for female reproductive tract lesions in laboratory animals will decrease confusion among regulatory and scientific research organizations in different countries and provide a common language to increase and enrich international exchanges of information among toxicologists and pathologists. PMID:25516636

  20. Nonproliferative and proliferative lesions of the rat and mouse female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Darlene; Alison, Roger; Bach, Ute; Colman, Karyn; Foley, George L; Harleman, Johannes H; Haworth, Richard; Herbert, Ronald; Heuser, Anke; Long, Gerald; Mirsky, Michael; Regan, Karen; Van Esch, Eric; Westwood, F Russell; Vidal, Justin; Yoshida, Midori

    2014-01-01

    The INHAND (International Harmonization of Nomenclature and Diagnostic Criteria for Lesions in Rats and Mice) Project (www.toxpath.org/inhand.asp) is a joint initiative of the Societies of Toxicological Pathology from Europe (ESTP), Great Britain (BSTP), Japan (JSTP) and North America (STP) to develop an internationally accepted nomenclature for proliferative and nonproliferative lesions in laboratory animals. The purpose of this publication is to provide a standardized nomenclature for classifying microscopic lesions observed in the female reproductive tract of laboratory rats and mice, with color photomicrographs illustrating examples of some lesions. The standardized nomenclature presented in this document is also available electronically on the internet (http://www.goreni.org/). Sources of material included histopathology databases from government, academia, and industrial laboratories throughout the world. Content includes spontaneous and aging lesions as well as lesions induced by exposure to test materials. There is also a section on normal cyclical changes observed in the ovary, uterus, cervix and vagina to compare normal physiological changes with pathological lesions. A widely accepted and utilized international harmonization of nomenclature for female reproductive tract lesions in laboratory animals will decrease confusion among regulatory and scientific research organizations in different countries and provide a common language to increase and enrich international exchanges of information among toxicologists and pathologists. PMID:25516636

  1. Changes in gene expression associated with reproductive maturation in wild female baboons.

    PubMed

    Babbitt, Courtney C; Tung, Jenny; Wray, Gregory A; Alberts, Susan C

    2012-01-01

    Changes in gene expression during development play an important role in shaping morphological and behavioral differences, including between humans and nonhuman primates. Although many of the most striking developmental changes occur during early development, reproductive maturation represents another critical window in primate life history. However, this process is difficult to study at the molecular level in natural primate populations. Here, we took advantage of ovarian samples made available through an unusual episode of human-wildlife conflict to identify genes that are important in this process. Specifically, we used RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to compare genome-wide gene expression patterns in the ovarian tissue of juvenile and adult female baboons from Amboseli National Park, Kenya. We combined this information with prior evidence of selection occurring on two primate lineages (human and chimpanzee). We found that in cases in which genes were both differentially expressed over the course of ovarian maturation and also linked to lineage-specific selection this selective signature was much more likely to occur in regulatory regions than in coding regions. These results suggest that adaptive change in the development of the primate ovary may be largely driven at the mechanistic level by selection on gene regulation, potentially in relationship to the physiology or timing of female reproductive maturation. PMID:22155733

  2. Possible Involvement of Photoperiodic Regulation in Reproductive Endocrine System of Female Olive Flounder Paralichthys olivaceus

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun Chul; Lee, Chi Hoon; Hur, Sung Pyu; Kim, Byeong Hoon; Park, Jun Young; Lee, Young Don

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of female olive flounder. To investigate the influence on brain-pituitary axis in endocrine system by regulating photoperiod, compared expression level of Kisspeptin and sbGnRH mRNA in brain and FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA in pituitary before and after spawning. Photoperiod was treated natural photoperiod and long photoperiod (15L:9D) conditions from Aug. 2013 to Jun. 2014. Continuous long photoperiod treatment from Aug. (post-spawning phase) was inhibited gonadal development of female olive flounder. In natural photoperiod group, the Kiss2 expression level a significant declined in Mar. (spawning period). And also, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels were increasing at this period. However, in long photoperiod group, hypothalamic Kiss2, FSH-β, LH-β and GH mRNA expression levels did not show any significant fluctuation. These results suggest that expression of hypothalamic Kiss2, GtH and GH in the pituitary would change in response to photoperiod and their possible involvement of photoperiodic regulation in reproductive endocrine system of the BPG axis. PMID:25949205

  3. Effects of Diet-Induced Obesity on Metabolic Parameters and Reproductive Function in Female Ossabaw Minipigs

    PubMed Central

    Newell-Fugate, Annie E; Taibl, Jessica N; Clark, Sherrie G; Alloosh, Mouhamad; Sturek, Michael; Krisher, Rebecca L

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the effect of an excess-calorie, high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-fructose diet on metabolic parameters and reproductive function in female Ossabaw minipigs. Cycling sows were fed a hypercaloric, high-fat, high-cholesterol, and high-fructose diet (obese, n = 4) or a control diet (control, n = 5) for 13 mo. During the final 4 mo, ovarian ultrasonography was done, blood was collected, and weights and measures were taken. Pigs then underwent ovarian stimulation. Cycle length and androstenedione, total testosterone, progesterone, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, insulin, fructosamine, lipid, and glucose levels were measured. In addition, adipose tissue aromatase gene expression was assessed. As compared with control pigs, obese pigs were hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic; had elevated total cholesterol, triglyceride, and leptin levels, and demonstrated abdominal adiposity. Visceral adipose tissue of obese pigs, as compared with control pigs, showed increased aromatase gene expression. Obese pigs had longer estrous cycles, higher serum androstenedione, and higher luteal phase serum luteinizing hormone, compared with control pigs. During the luteal phase, obese pigs had more medium, ovulatory, and cystic ovarian follicles, whereas control pigs had more small ovarian follicles. When fed an excess-calorie, high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-fructose diet, female Ossabaw minipigs develop obesity, metabolic syndrome, and abnormal reproductive function. This animal model may be applicable to studies of the effects of obesity on fertility in women. PMID:24512960

  4. Constitutive Notch Signaling Causes Abnormal Development of the Oviducts, Abnormal Angiogenesis, and Cyst Formation in Mouse Female Reproductive Tract.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Lydia; Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Manresa, Carmen; Barbara, Agustin M; Poppiti, Robert J; Tan, Yingchun; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2016-03-01

    The Notch signaling pathway is critical for the differentiation of many tissues and organs in the embryo. To study the consequences of Notch1 gain-of-function signaling on female reproductive tract development, we used a cre-loxP strategy andAmhr2-cretransgene to generate mice with conditionally activated Notch1 (Rosa(Notch1)). TheAmhr2-cretransgene is expressed in the mesenchyme of developing female reproductive tract and in granulosa cells in the ovary. Double transgenicAmhr2-cre, Rosa(Notch1)females were infertile, whereas controlRosa(Notch1)mice had normal fertility. All female reproductive organs in mutants showed hemorrhaging of blood vessels progressing with age. The mutant oviducts did not develop coiling, and were instead looped around the ovary. There were multiple blockages in the lumen along the oviduct length, creating a barrier for sperm or oocyte passage. Mutant females demonstrated inflamed uteri with increased vascularization and an influx of inflammatory cells. Additionally, older females developed ovarian, oviductal, and uterine cysts. The significant change in gene expression was detected in the mutant oviduct expression ofWnt4, essential for female reproductive tract development. Similar oviductal phenotypes have been detected previously in mice with activatedSmoand inbeta-catenin,Wnt4,Wnt7a, andDicerconditional knockouts, indicating a common regulatory pathway disrupted by these genetic abnormalities. PMID:26843448

  5. Innate and adaptive immune responses in male and female reproductive tracts in homeostasis and following HIV infection

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Philip V; Kafka, Jessica K; Ferreira, Victor H; Roth, Kristy; Kaushic, Charu

    2014-01-01

    The male and female reproductive tracts are complex microenvironments that have diverse functional demands. The immune system in the reproductive tract has the demanding task of providing a protective environment for a fetal allograft while simultaneously conferring protection against potential pathogens. As such, it has evolved a unique set of adaptations, primarily under the influence of sex hormones, which make it distinct from other mucosal sites. Here, we discuss the various components of the immune system that are present in both the male and female reproductive tracts, including innate soluble factors and cells and humoral and cell-mediated adaptive immunity under homeostatic conditions. We review the evidence showing unique phenotypic and functional characteristics of immune cells and responses in the male and female reproductive tracts that exhibit compartmentalization from systemic immunity and discuss how these features are influenced by sex hormones. We also examine the interactions among the reproductive tract, sex hormones and immune responses following HIV-1 infection. An improved understanding of the unique characteristics of the male and female reproductive tracts will provide insights into improving clinical treatments of the immunological causes of infertility and the design of prophylactic interventions for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. PMID:24976268

  6. SEMINAL PROTEINS BUT NOT SPERM INDUCE MORPHOLOGICAL CHANGES IN THE DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT DURING SPERM STORAGE

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Erika M.; Wolfner, Mariana F.

    2007-01-01

    In most insects, sperm transferred by the male to the female during mating are stored within the female reproductive tract for subsequent use in fertilization. In Drosophila melanogaster, male accessory gland proteins (Acps) within the seminal fluid are required for efficient transfer and subsequent accumulation of sperm in the female's sperm storage organs. To determine the events within the female reproductive tract that occur during sperm storage, and the role that Acps and sperm play in these events, we identified morphological changes that take place during sperm storage in females mated to wild-type, Acp-deficient or sperm-deficient males. A reproducible set of morphological changes occurs in a wild-type mating. These were categorized into 10 stereotypic stages. Sperm are not needed for progression through these stages in females, but receipt of Acps is essential for progression beyond the first few stages of morphological changes. Furthermore, females that received small quantities of Acps reached slightly later stages than females that received no Acps. Our results suggest that timely morphological changes in the female reproductive tract, possibly muscular in nature, may be needed for successful sperm storage, and that Acps from the male are needed in order for these changes to occur. PMID:17276455

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  9. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Ryan P.; Arnold, Paige M.; Michaels, Helen J.

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  10. Histological and ultrastructural investigation of the female reproductive system of Argulus bengalensis Ramakrishna, 1951 (Crustacea: Branchiura).

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Anirban; Saha, Samar Kumar

    2016-06-01

    In order to understand branchiuran reproductive biology, it is imperative to know the sites of oogenesis and oocyte maturation, locate the accessory reproductive glands, and identify the fertilization site with the present knowledge of the sperm transfer mechanism of the genus Argulus. With these objectives, we attempted to describe the female reproductive system of Argulus bengalensis using serial histological sections through the ovaries and associated ducts in the transverse, longitudinal, and sagittal planes. The reproductive organs include a median ovary, one pair of ovarian lumina, a median oviduct, and a pair of collateral accessory glands. A duct from each of the collateral accessory glands leads into the proximal part of the median oviduct, which opens to the exterior through a genital opening at the distal end. The glandular secretion presumably contributes to the jelly coat of the egg. The ovary is bound with a tunica propria which extends further diametrically inside the ovary forming the paired lumina. The lumina are confluent into the median oviduct. Two distinct areas, the germarium and differentiating zones, are clearly distinguishable within the ovary. The tunica propria itself houses the oogonia within a matrix, serving as the germarium. Transmission electron micrograph reveals that the matrix is made of collagen. The collagen matrix confers elasticity to the tunica propria to accommodate the postvitellogenic oocytes within the ovarian lumen. The differentiating zone is situated in between the germarium: dorsally it is covered with a chromatophore layer. The ovary is ensheathed by a circum ovarian striated muscle. The presence of spermatophores in the ovarian lumen indicates the fertilization site. J. Morphol. 277:707-716, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991011

  11. In vivo exposure of female rats to toxicants may affect oocyte quality.

    PubMed

    Berger, Trish; Horner, Catherine M

    2003-01-01

    A potential endpoint for female reproductive toxicants is fertilizability of the oocytes. This endpoint has not been adequately examined for mammalian females. The objective of these studies was to evaluate fertilizability of rat oocytes following in vivo exposure to known male reproductive toxicants that exert effects via pathways that do not include endocrine disruption and to 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide, known to interfere with early follicular development. Oocytes were obtained from females following exposure and quality assessed by in vitro fertilization rate. One study evaluated fertilizability following 2 weeks exposure of females to inhaled tetrachloroethylene (2h/day, 5 days/week). The remaining studies evaluated fertilizability immediately following 2 weeks exposure via drinking water to tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, the fuel oxidants methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE), tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME), and a metabolite of the first two ethers 2-methyl-1,2-propanediol (2M2P), and to 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide. The percentage of oocytes fertilized was reduced following inhalation exposure to tetrachloroethylene, or consumption of trichloroethylene or TAME. Fertilizability was not altered by exposures to the other reproductive toxicants or to the other fuel oxidants. Consistent with the reduced oocyte fertilizability following exposure to trichloroethylene, oocytes from exposed females had a reduced ability to bind sperm plasma membrane proteins. Female reproductive capability assessed by the endpoint, oocyte fertilizability, was reduced by exposure to trichloroethylene and inhaled tetrachloroethylene. PMID:12759095

  12. 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. PMID:23124333

  13. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through “hacking” a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  14. Use of reproductive and sexual health services among female family planning clinic clients exposed to partner violence and reproductive coercion.

    PubMed

    Kazmerski, Traci; McCauley, Heather L; Jones, Kelley; Borrero, Sonya; Silverman, Jay G; Decker, Michele R; Tancredi, Daniel; Miller, Elizabeth

    2015-07-01

    To examine the associations of recent intimate partner violence (IPV) and reproductive coercion (RC) with frequency of use of reproductive and sexual health services, a cross-sectional survey was administered to 16-29 year old women seeking care in five family planning clinics (n = 1,262). We evaluated associations of recent experiences of IPV, RC, or both IPV and RC with recent care seeking for pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and sexually transmitted infection testing using multinomial logistic regression. Sixteen percent of respondents reported IPV and 13.5 % reported RC in the past 3 months. Four percent of all respondents reported both IPV and RC. Recent RC without IPV was associated with increased odds of seeking one (AOR = 2.0, 95 % CI 1.3-2.9) or multiple pregnancy tests (AOR = 2.3, 95 % CI 1.2-4.5), multiple STI tests (AOR = 2.5, 95 % CI 1.5-4.1), or using emergency contraception once (AOR = 2.6, 95 % CI 1.2-5.8) or multiple times (AOR = 2.2, 95 % CI 1.7-2.7). Recent IPV without RC was associated with increased odds of seeking one (AOR = 1.4, 95 % CI 1.1-1.7) or multiple pregnancy tests (AOR = 2.2, 95 % CI 1.4-3.2) and using emergency contraception once (AOR = 1.6, 95 % CI 1.3-2.0). The combined effect of recent IPV and RC increased the odds of seeking multiple pregnancy tests (AOR = 3.6, 95 % CI 3.3-3.8), using emergency contraception multiple times (AOR = 2.4, 95 % CI 1.5-4.1) and seeking STI testing once (AOR = 2.5, 95 % CI 1.6-3.9) or multiple times (AOR = 2.9, 95 % CI 1.02-8.5). Frequent requests for pregnancy and STI testing and emergency contraception among young females seeking care may be an indicator of greater risk for recent RC, alone and in combination with IPV. PMID:25416386

  15. Socio-Economic Affects of Floods on Female Teachers in Jampur (Pakistan)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buzdar, Muhammad Ayub; Ali, Akhtar

    2011-01-01

    Women are major affected segment of society in any disaster in under developed countries. Floods of 2010, in Pakistan, affected more than 17 million people. Ultimately, it created several social, psychological and financial problems for affected females. The current paper aimed to study the socio-economic affects of floods on female teachers of…

  16. Accounting for female reproductive cycles in a superpopulation capture-recapture framework.

    PubMed

    Carroll, E L; Childerhouse, S J; Fewster, R M; Patenaude, N J; Steel, D; Dunshea, G; Boren, L; Baker, C S

    2013-10-01

    Superpopulation capture-recapture models are useful for estimating the abundance of long-lived, migratory species because they are able to account for the fluid nature of annual residency at migratory destinations. Here we extend the superpopulation POPAN model to explicitly account for heterogeneity in capture probability linked to reproductive cycles (POPAN-tau). This extension has potential application to a range of species that have temporally variable life stages (e.g., non-annual breeders such as albatrosses and baleen whales) and results in a significant reduction in bias over the standard POPAN model. We demonstrate the utility of this model in simultaneously estimating abundance and annual population growth rate (lamda) in the New Zealand (NZ) southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) from 1995 to 2009. DNA profiles were constructed for the individual identification of more than 700 whales, sampled during two sets of winter expeditions in 1995-1998 and 2006-2009. Due to differences in recapture rates between sexes, only sex-specific models were considered. The POPAN-tau models, which explicitly account for a decrease in capture probability in non-calving years, fit the female data set significantly better than do standard superpopulation models (deltaAIC > 25). The best POPAN-tau model (AIC) gave a super-population estimate of 1162 females for 1995-2009 (95% CL 921, 1467) and an estimated annual increase of 5% (95% CL--2%, 13%). The best model (AIC) gave a superpopulation estimate of 1007 males (95% CL 794, 1276) and an estimated annual increase of 7% (95% CL 5%, 9%) for 1995-2009. Combined, the total superpopulation estimate for 1995-2009 was 2169 whales (95% CL 1836, 2563). Simulations suggest that failure to account for the effect of reproductive status on the capture probability would result in a substantial positive bias (+19%) in female abundance estimates. PMID:24261048

  17. Vulnerability and Knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Female Traders of Reproductive Age in Enugu, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Ikeako, LC; Ekwueme, OC; Ezegwui, HU; Okeke, TOC

    2014-01-01

    Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) constitute major public health concern and enigma. A comprehensive knowledge of the modes of transmission is necessary to evolve an effective preventive strategy. Aim: The aim of the study is to assess the vulnerability, knowledge and prevention of STIs among female traders of reproductive age in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out on female traders aged 15-49 years at Ogbete Main Market, Enugu, Southeast Nigeria. Data was analyzed using Epi-Info 2000 version 3.3.1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta USA) was used to analyze the data and results were presented in tabular form. Results: A total of 200 female traders of reproductive age participated in the study. The mean (standard deviation) age was 26 (7.4) years. 16% (32/200) were adolescents. Knowledge of specific STIs was highest for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome 90% (130/200). Parents were poor sources of information as only 28.5% (57/200) respondents heard about STIs from their parents compared with 46% (92/200) from friends and peers. Risk factors identified were multiple sexual partners 75.5% (151/200), non-use of condoms 62% (124/200) and early debut 58% (116/200). Majority 67.5% (135/200) were aware that STIs could be treated by a visit to the doctor while 21.5% (43/200) preferred traditional/herbal healers. Conclusion: The inclusion of health education in schools’ curricula to ensure that adolescents are adequately aware of STIs, their modes of transmission, prevention and treatment before embarking on any vocation out-of-school is advocated. PMID:24669343

  18. Ovarian function and reproductive outcomes of female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and the strategies to preserve their fertility.

    PubMed

    Oktem, Ozgur; Guzel, Yılmaz; Aksoy, Senai; Aydin, Elvin; Urman, Bulent

    2015-03-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune systemic disease that mainly affects women of reproductive age. Emerging data from recent molecular studies show us that estrogen hormone plays a central role in the development of this disease. By acting via its cognate receptors ERα and ERβ expressed on immune cells, estrogen can modulate immune function in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Interestingly, estrogen may also evoke autoimmune responses after binding to B lymphocytes leading to the generation of high-affinity autoantibodies and proinflammatory cytokines (so-called estrogen-induced autoimmunity). Unfortunately, reproductive function of young female patients with this disease is commonly compromised by different pathophysiologic processes. First, ovarian reserve is diminished even in the presence of mild disease suggesting a direct impact of the disease itself on ovarian function possibly due to ovarian involvement in the form of autoimmune oophoritis. Second, SLE patients with severe manifestations of the disease are treated with alkylating chemotherapy agent cyclophosphamide. Cyclophosphamide and other drugs of alkylating category have the highest gonadotoxicity. Therefore, SLE patients exposed to cyclophosphamide have a much higher risk of developing infertility and premature ovarian failure than do the counterparts who are treated with other less toxic treatments. Third, the functions of the hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis are perturbed by chronic inflammatory state. And finally adverse pregnancy outcomes are more commonly observed in SLE patients such as fetal loss, preterm birth, intrauterine fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia-eclampsia, and fetal congenital heart block. We aimed in this review article to provide the readers an update on how estrogen hormone closely interacts with and induces lupus-prone changes in the immune system. We also discuss ovarian function and other reproductive outcomes in SLE patients

  19. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Some Actions of POPs on Female Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Gregoraszczuk, Ewa L.; Ptak, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated ethers (PBDEs), chloronaftalens (PCNs), and bisphenol A (BPA), are stable, lipophilic pollutants that affect fertility and cause serious reproductive problems, including ovotoxic action, lack of ovulation, premature ovarian failure (POF), or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Most of the representatives of POPs influence the activation of transcription factors, not only activation of aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), but also the steroid hormone receptors. This minireview will focus on a variety of PAH activities in oocyte, ovary, placenta, and mammary gland. The complexity and diversity of factors belonging to POPs and disorders of the reproductive function of women indicate that the impact of environmental pollution as an important determinant factor in fertility should not be minimize. PMID:23762054

  20. The Reproduction of Family Life: Perspectives of Male and Female Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaskell, Jane

    1983-01-01

    Capitalist, patriarchal, and sexist social structures and values affect how working class adolescents plan to allocate responsibility for domestic labor. Interviews with 83 Canadian male and female high school students revealed that they anticipate choosing patterns of domestic labor which perpetuate women's subordinate roles at home and work. (AM)

  1. Within-species reproductive costs affect the asymmetry of satyrization in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yassin, A; David, J R

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how species interactions influence their distribution and evolution is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Theory suggests that asymmetric reproductive interference, in which one species induces higher reproductive costs on another species, may be more important in delimiting species boundaries than interspecific competition over resources. However, the underlying mechanisms of such asymmetry remain unclear. Here, we test whether differences in within-species reproductive costs determine the between-species asymmetry of costs using three allopatric Drosophila species belonging to the melanogaster subgroup. Our results support this hypothesis, especially in a pair of insular species. Males of one species that induce costs to their conspecific females led to a 5-fold increase of heterospecific females mortality with dead flies bearing spectacular large melanized wounds on their genitalia. Males of the other species were harmful neither to their conspecific nor heterospecific females. Comparative studies of within-species reproductive costs may therefore be a valuable tool for predicting between-species interactions and community structures. PMID:26538290

  2. Development of a microfluidics model for studying migration of sperm in the female reproductive tract

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tung, Chih-Kuan; Ardón, Florencia; Wu, Mingming; Suárez, Susan

    2013-03-01

    Infertility is a significant issue, both for humans and dairy cattle. In order for fertilization to happen, sperm must migrate through the female reproductive tract to reach the egg in the oviduct (fallopian tube). There is strong evidence that sperm interact with the female tract via both chemical and physical mechanisms. In this work, we focus on how the physical environment of the female tract influences the migration of bull sperm, which also serve as models for human sperm. In order for bull and human sperm to pass from the vagina into the uterus, they must swim through the cervical canal, which is lined by microchannels. Then, sperm must swim through the uterotubal junction, which also contains microchannels, in order to reach the oviduct. In both passageways, sperm must swim against a fluid flow, which would be less in the microchannels than in the central passageways. We have developed a microfluidic model for studying the sperm migration effects of the geometry of the cervix and uterotubal junction and the fluid flow within. Supported by NIH grant 1R01HD070038.

  3. Localization of /sup 3/H-estradiol in the reproductive organs of male and female baboons

    SciTech Connect

    Weaker, F.J.; Sheridan, P.J.

    1982-05-01

    The uptake and retention of radiolabeled estradiol by both the male and female reproductive organs were examined in the baboon. Two male and two female baboons were injected intracardially with 1 microgram/kg body weight of /sup 3/H-estradiol and two animals, one male and one female, were injected with both labeled and 100 micrograms/kg body weight of unlabeled estradiol. One and a half hours after the injections, the animals were sacrificed and the uterus, cervix, vagina, oviduct, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland were removed and processed for autoradiography. The stratified squamous epithelia of the cervix and vagina demonstrated a light uptake of the label in the germinative, but not in the superficial cell layers. The columnar cells lining the oviduct and uterine glands were labeled, whereas the luminal epithelium of the uterus and the glandular epithelia of the seminal vesicles and prostate gland did not sequester the tritiated steroid. The interstitial cells of all the organs studied demonstrated a moderate to heavy uptake of the radioactivity, whereas the smooth muscle cells were lightly labeled except in the vagina, in which these cells displayed a moderate number of silver grains.

  4. Activity of corpora allata, endocrine balance and reproduction in female Labidura riparia (Dermaptera).

    PubMed

    Baehr, J C; Cassier, P; Caussanel, C; Porcheron, P

    1982-01-01

    The reproductive activity of Labidura riparia females involves, after a 5-day maturation stage, a regular alternation of ovarian cycles and egg-care stages averaging 10 days each. Vitellogenesis is characterized by an increase in the size of the corpora allata (CA) where structured SER bodies appear, and by a rise of juvenile hormone (JH III) content in the hemolymph which is followed by an increase in the level of ecdysteroids. During the egg-care periods, the CA are inactive; structured bodies generate autophagic vacuoles, the titer of JHs and later that of ecdysteroids in the hemolymph decreases and remains stationary. Ovariectomy causes hypertrophy and hyperactivity of the CA for about two months. Subsequently, the titer of JH decreases and old females may display parental behaviour; the level of ecdysteroids falls and remains unchanged. After cauterization of the pars intercerebralis (PI) of the protocerebrum, the ovarian activity stops, the ovary shrinks, the JHs rapidly disappear but ecdysteroids remain at the same or even higher levels than those of normal females of the same age. On the basis of these data, we postulate the existence of a center located in the PI, inhibiting the production of ecdysteroids, and of a stimulating center located outside this area. The PI also exhibits an allatotropic function. PMID:7105149

  5. 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., Jr.; 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

  6. Behavioural differences between male and female carpenter bees in nectar robbing and its effect on reproductive success in Glechoma longituba (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y-W; Zhao, J-M; Yang, C-F; Gituru, W R

    2011-01-01

    Male and female nectar robbers may show significantly different behaviour on host plants and thus have different impacts on reproductive fitness of the plants. A 4-year study in natural populations of Glechoma longituba has shown that male carpenter bees (Xylocopa sinensis) are responsible for most of the nectar robbing from these flowers, while female bees account for little nectar robbing, demonstrating distinct behavioural differentiation between male and female bees in visiting flowers. The smaller male bee spends less time visiting a single flower than the larger female bee, consequently, the male bee is capable of visiting more flowers per unit time and has a higher foraging efficiency. Moreover, the robbing behaviour of female carpenter bees is more destructive and affects flower structures (ovules and nectaries) and floral life-span more than that of the male bee. According to the energy trade-off hypothesis, the net energy gain for male bees during nectar robbing greatly surpasses energy payout (17.72 versus 2.43 J), while the female bee net energy gain is barely adequate to meet energy payout per unit time (3.78 versus 2.39 J). The differences in net energy gain for male and female bees per unit time in nectar robbing are the likely cause of observed behavioural differences between the sexes. The differences in food resource preference between male and female bees constitute an optimal resource allocation pattern that enables the visitors to utilise floral resources more efficiently. PMID:21134084

  7. How Culture Affects Female Inequality across Countries: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Hoi Yan; Chan, Alex W. H.

    2007-01-01

    Many studies have commented that culture has an influence on gender inequality. However, few studies have provided data that could be used to investigate how culture actually influences female inequality. One of the aims of this study is to investigate whether Hofstede's cultural dimensions have an impact on female inequality in education in terms…

  8. Factors Affecting Drug Abuse in Adolescent Females in Rural Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Renes, Susan L.; Strange, Anthony T.

    2009-01-01

    This article explores factors influencing adolescent female substance use in rural communities. Self-reported data gathered from females 12 to 15 years of age in two northwestern communities in the United States showed an association among gender identity, peer and parental relationships, and substance use. Aggressive masculinity had the strongest…

  9. Associations between female reproductive traits and polychlorinated biphenyl sediment concentrations in wild populations of brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus).

    PubMed

    Farwell, Michelle; Drouillard, Ken G; Heath, Daniel D; Pitcher, Trevor E

    2013-11-01

    Aquatic contaminants, specifically polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a class of persistent organic contaminants, have been associated with sublethal effects on reproduction in fishes. Female brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) were used to assess variation in reproductive traits across eight populations differing in sediment sum PCB concentrations in the Lower Great Lakes region. Differences in maternal carotenoid allocation patterns among these populations were also examined. No significant associations were found between sediment sum PCB concentrations corrected for organic content (OC) and reproductive traits. However, egg diameter was negatively correlated with sediment PCB concentrations not corrected for OC, suggesting that observed relationships between sediment sum PCB concentrations and reproductive traits are driven by classes of environmental contaminants whose bioavailability are not predicted by OC, such as metals. An unexpected positive relationship was also found between egg carotenoid concentrations and sediment PCB concentrations. This positive relationship was explained by the maternal allocation of carotenoids based on a negative correlation between female muscle and egg carotenoid concentrations, where females from less contaminated locations had lower egg and greater muscle carotenoid concentrations than those from more contaminated locations. The results of this study identify sublethal effects of environmental contaminants on reproductive life-history traits in female brown bullhead, and investigations of adaptive mechanisms underlying this variation are warranted. PMID:23887386

  10. 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

  11. Pigment-based skin colour in the blue-footed booby: an honest signal of current condition used by females to adjust reproductive investment.

    PubMed

    Velando, Alberto; Beamonte-Barrientos, René; Torres, Roxana

    2006-09-01

    In monogamous species, the value of present reproduction is affected by the current condition of the mate, and females may use male ornaments to evaluate his condition and adjust their level of investment according. Many animals display colour in fleshy structures which may be accurate indicators of quality due to their potentially rapid response to changes in condition. Here we show that in the blue-footed booby, Sula nebouxii, male foot colour is structurally (collagen arrays) and pigment based. In 48 h foot colour became duller when males were food deprived and brighter when they were re-fed with fresh fish. Variation of dietary carotenoids induced comparable changes in cell-mediated immune function and foot colour, suggesting that carotenoid-pigmentation reveals the immunological state of individuals. These results suggest that pigment-based foot colour is a rapid honest signal of current condition. In a second experiment, we found that rapid variation in male foot colour caused parallel variation in female reproductive investment. One day after the first egg was laid we captured the males and modified the foot colour of experimental males with a non-toxic and water resistant duller blue intensive make-up, mimicking males in low condition. Females decreased the size of their second eggs, relative to the second egg of control females, when the feet of their mates were experimentally duller. Since brood reduction in this species is related to size differences between brood mates at hatching, by laying lighter second eggs females are facilitating brood reduction. Our data indicate that blue-footed booby females are continuously evaluating their mates and can perform rapid adjustments of reproductive investment by using dynamic sexual traits. We suggest that this fine-tuned adjustment may be widespread in socially monogamous animals. PMID:16821015

  12. 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

  13. Maternal Undernutrition Induces Premature Reproductive Senescence in Adult Female Rat Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Khorram, Omid; Keen-Rinehart, Erin; Chuang, Tsai-Der; Ross, Michael G.; Desai, Mina

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine the effects of maternal undernutrition (MUN) on the reproductive axis of aging offspring. Design Animal (rat) study. Setting Research Laboratory. Animals Female Sprague-Dawley rats. Intervention(s) Food restriction during the second half of pregnancy in rats. Main Outcome Measures Circulating gonadotropins, Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), ovarian morphology, estrous cyclicity and gene expression studies in the hypothalamus and ovary in 1 day old (P1) and aging adult offspring. Results Offspring of MUN dams had low birth weight (LBW) and by adult age developed obesity. 80% of adult LBW offspring had disruption of estrous cycle by 8 months of age with the majority of animals in persistent estrous. Ovarian morphology was consistent with acyclicity with ovaries exhibiting large cystic structures and reduced corpora lutea. There was an elevation in circulating testosterone (T), increased ovarian expression of enzymes involved in androgen synthesis, an increase in plasma Leuteinizing (LH/)/Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, reduced estradiol (E2) levels and no changes in AMH in adult LBW offspring compared to control offspring. Hypothalamic expression of leptin receptor (OBRb), estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) and Gonadotropin Releasing hormone (GnRH) protein were altered in an age-dependent manner with increased ObRb, ER-α expression in P1 LBW hypothalami and a reversal of this expression pattern in adult LBW hypothalami. Conclusion Our data indicates that the maternal nutritional environment programs reproductive potential of the offspring through alteration of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The premature reproductive senescence in LBW offspring could be secondary to development of obesity and hyperleptinemia in these animals in adult life. PMID:25439841

  14. Reproductive factors and risk of lung cancer in female textile workers in Shanghai, China

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Lisa G.; Rosenblatt, Karin A.; Ray, Roberta M.; Li, Wenjin; Gao, Dao L.; Applebaum, Katie M.; Checkoway, Harvey; Thomas, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Hormonal factors may play a role in the development of lung cancer in women. This study examined the relationship between lung cancer and reproductive factors in a large cohort of women, most of whom never smoked (97%). Methods A cohort of 267,400 female textile workers in Shanghai, China, enrolled in a trial of breast self-examination provided information on reproductive history, demographic factors and cigarette smoking at enrollment in 1989–91. The cohort was followed until July of 2000 for incidence of lung cancer; 824 cases were identified. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with selected reproductive factors were calculated using Cox proportional hazards modeling, adjusting for smoking, age, and also parity when relevant. Results Nulliparous women were at increased risk compared to parous women (HR= 1.33, 95% CI 1.00–1.77). Women who had gone through menopause at baseline were at increased risk compared to women of the same age who were still menstruating. Risk was higher in women with a surgical menopause (HR=1.64, 95%CI 0.96–2.79) than in those with a natural menopause (HR=1.35, 95% CI 0.84–2.18), and risk was highest in those postmenopausal women with a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy at baseline (HR=1.39, 95% CI 0.96–2.00), although the risk estimates were not statistically significant. Conclusions These results support experimental data that demonstrate a biological role for hormones in lung carcinogenesis. PMID:23584535

  15. Characterization of fecal hormone patterns associated with the reproductive cycle in female veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus).

    PubMed

    Kummrow, Maya S; Smith, Dale A; Crawshaw, Graham; Mastromonaco, Gabriela F

    2010-09-15

    Reptiles have gained popularity in the North American and European pet trade. Large numbers of captive-born veiled chameleons, Chamaeleo calyptratus, are produced annually but knowledge of their reproductive cycle has been limited to anecdotal observations. This study describes the hormonal changes associated with reproductive cycling in female veiled chameleons using non-invasive fecal evaluation of metabolites of the three principal ovarian steroids, estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), progesterone (P), and their metabolites, by enzyme immunoassays. The hormone patterns were compared with follicular development and ovulation as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Three main cycle stages were identified on MRI: the previtellogenic stage (PV) with the absence of visible follicular structures, vitellogenic stage (V) with the presence of round follicular structures >2mm diameter, and the gravid stage with the presence of oval egg structures. Although the absolute values of the baselines and peaks for each hormone varied among animals, approximately 24-fold increases over mean P baseline values and 7.5-fold increases over mean E2 and T baseline values were associated with biological events. E2 rose during vitellogenesis, peaked in late vitellogenesis and fell shortly thereafter. P rose during the late vitellogenic stage, peaked in mid-gravidity and fell to baseline values at oviposition. Ovulation occurred with the decreasing E2:P ratio. T levels varied during the pre- and vitellogenic stages then mirrored P with a distinct peak during the time of ovulation and gravidity. These data provides us with the necessary background for future studies on the reproductive biology of this species. PMID:20471385

  16. Total reproductive value of juvenile females is twice that of juvenile males under X-linkage and haplodiploidy.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy

    2014-10-21

    Grafen (2014) has shown that, although the total reproductive value of females is not generally equal to that of males in an age-structured population under diploidy and autosomal inheritance, the total reproductive value of juvenile females is equal to that of juvenile males, provided there is a stable class distribution. It is the latter equality that is key to R.A. Fisher׳s famous explanation for equal investment into daughters and sons. Here, I simplify the derivation of Grafen׳s key result and extend the analysis to consider X-linkage and haplodiploid inheritance, i.e. scenarios in which a female receives one set of genes from her mother and one set from her father but where males receive genes only from their mother. I find that, although the total reproductive value of females need not be twice that of males, as is commonly supposed, the total reproductive value of juvenile females is twice that of juvenile males. This recovers the principle of equal maternal investment into daughters and sons in panmictic populations. PMID:25017725

  17. Selected Background Findings and Interpretation of Common Lesions in the Female Reproductive System in Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Cline, J. Mark; Wood, Charles E; Vidal, Justin D.; Tarara, Ross P.; Buse, Eberhard; Weinbauer, Gerhard F.; de Rijk, Eveline P. C. T.; van Esch, Eric

    2009-01-01

    The authors describe a selection of normal findings and common naturally occurring lesions in the reproductive system of female macaques, including changes in the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and mammary glands. Normal features of immature ovaries, uteri, and mammary glands are described. Common non-neoplastic lesions in the ovaries include cortical mineralization, polyovular follicles, cysts, ovarian surface epithelial hyperplasia, and ectopic ovarian tissue. Ovarian neoplasms include granulosa cell tumors, teratomas, and ovarian surface epithelial tumors. Common non-neoplastic uterine findings include loss of features of normal cyclicity, abnormal bleeding, adenomyosis, endometriosis, epithelial plaques, and pregnancy-associated vascular remodeling. Hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions of the uterus include endometrial polyps, leiomyomas, and rarely endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial adenocarcinoma. Vaginitis is common. Cervical lesions include endocervical squamous metaplasia, polyps, and papillomavirus-associated lesions. Lesions in the mammary gland are most often proliferative and range from ductal hyperplasia to invasive carcinoma. Challenges to interpretation include the normal or pathologic absence of menstrual cyclicity and the potential misinterpretation of sporadic lesions, such as epithelial plaques or papillomavirus-associated lesions. Interpretation of normal and pathologic findings is best accomplished with knowledge of the life stage, reproductive history, and hormonal status of the animal. PMID:21475639

  18. Effect of 17β-trenbolone on male and female reproduction in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henry, Paula F.P.; Akuffo, Valorie G.; Chen, Yu; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Sprague, Daniel T.; Bakst, Murray R.

    2012-01-01

    The anabolic steroid 17β trenbolone (17β-TB), a known endocrine disrupting chemical, may influence reproductive functions in avian wildlife. We evaluated the effects of dietary exposure to 17β-TB at 5 and 20 ppm on reproductive functional endpoints in Japanese quail during and after sexual maturation. In the male, 5 and 20 ppm treatments revealed no differences in body and testes weight, testes histology, plasma testosterone concentrations, or size and weight of the foam glands. However, the onset of foam production was significantly earlier (days of age) in the 20 ppm males. In females, dietary 17β-TB at 20 ppm caused a reduction in the number of maturing yellow yolk follicles and overall egg production. Plasma testosterone concentrations were reduced compared to controls. Histology of the oviductal sperm storage tubules was normal in all treatments. The number of sperm holes, sites on the perivitelline layer (PVL) where sperm bound and hydrolyzed a path through the PVL, was significantly greater in the 10th egg laid compared to the 1st egg laid in the 20 ppm treatment. Potential effects, albeit transient, on endpoints associated with male maturation warrant further investigation into the sensitivity of these measures in the event of embryonic and/or trans-generational exposure to 17β-TB.

  19. Proteogenomic insights into the core-proteome of female reproductive tissues from crustacean amphipods.

    PubMed

    Trapp, Judith; Almunia, Christine; Gaillard, Jean-Charles; Pible, Olivier; Chaumot, Arnaud; Geffard, Olivier; Armengaud, Jean

    2016-03-01

    As a result of the poor genome sequence coverage of crustacean amphipods, characterization of their evolutionary biology relies mostly on phenotypic traits. Here, we analyzed the proteome of ovaries from five amphipods, all from the Senticaudata suborder, with the objective to obtain insights into the core-proteome of female reproductive systems. These amphipods were from either the Gammarida infraorder: Gammarus fossarum, Gammarus pulex, Gammarus roeseli, or the Talitrida infraorder: Parhyale hawaiensis and Hyalella azteca. Ovaries from animals sampled at the end of their reproductive cycle were dissected. Their whole protein contents were extracted and their proteomes were recorded by high-throughput nanoLC-MS/MS with a high-resolution mass spectrometer. We interpreted tandem mass spectrometry data with the protein sequence resource from G. fossarum and P. hawaiensis, both recently established by RNA sequencing. The large molecular biodiversity within amphipods was assessed by the ratio of MS/MS spectra assigned for each sample, which tends to diverge rapidly along the taxonomic level considered. The core-proteome was defined as the proteins conserved along all samples, thus detectable by the homology-based proteomic assignment procedure. This specific subproteome may be further enriched in the future with the analysis of new species and update of the protein sequence resource. PMID:26170043

  20. Neonatal Thymulin Gene Therapy Prevents Ovarian Dysgenesis and Attenuates Reproductive Derangements in Nude Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Reggiani, Paula C.; Barbeito, Claudio G.; Zuccolilli, Gustavo O.; Cónsole, Gloria M.; Flamini, Alicia M.; Dardenne, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Congenitally athymic (nude) female mice show severe ovarian dysgenesis after puberty, which seems to be consequential to a number of neuroendocrine derangements described in these mutants. Thus, considerable evidence suggests that thymulin, a thymic peptide, may be involved in thymus-pituitary communication. In order to clarify the relevance of thymulin for the maturation of the female reproductive system, we assessed at hypothalamic, pituitary, ovarian, and uterine level the preventive action of neonatal thymulin gene therapy (NTGT) on the changes that typically occur after puberty in congenitally athymic female mice. We injected (im) an adenoviral vector harboring a synthetic DNA sequence encoding a biologically active analog of thymulin, methionine-serum thymic factor, in newborn nude mice (which are thymulin deficient) and killed the animals at 70–71 d of age. NTGT in the athymic mice restored the serum thymulin levels. Morphometric analysis revealed that athymic nudes have reduced numbers of brain GnRH neurons and pituitary gonadotropic cells as compared with heterozygous controls. NTGT prevented these changes and also rescued the premature ovarian failure phenotype typically observed in athymic nude mice (marked reduction in the number of antral follicles and corpora lutea, increase in atretic follicles). Serum estrogen, but not progesterone, levels were low in athymic nudes, a reduction that was partially prevented by NTGT. Little to no morphological changes were observed in the endometrium of female nudes. The delay in the age of vaginal opening that occurs in athymic nudes was significantly prevented by NTGT. Our results suggest that thymulin plays a relevant physiologic role in the thymus-hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. PMID:22700775

  1. Neonatal thymulin gene therapy prevents ovarian dysgenesis and attenuates reproductive derangements in nude female mice.

    PubMed

    Reggiani, Paula C; Barbeito, Claudio G; Zuccolilli, Gustavo O; Cónsole, Gloria M; Flamini, Alicia M; Dardenne, Mireille; Goya, Rodolfo G

    2012-08-01

    Congenitally athymic (nude) female mice show severe ovarian dysgenesis after puberty, which seems to be consequential to a number of neuroendocrine derangements described in these mutants. Thus, considerable evidence suggests that thymulin, a thymic peptide, may be involved in thymus-pituitary communication. In order to clarify the relevance of thymulin for the maturation of the female reproductive system, we assessed at hypothalamic, pituitary, ovarian, and uterine level the preventive action of neonatal thymulin gene therapy (NTGT) on the changes that typically occur after puberty in congenitally athymic female mice. We injected (im) an adenoviral vector harboring a synthetic DNA sequence encoding a biologically active analog of thymulin, methionine-serum thymic factor, in newborn nude mice (which are thymulin deficient) and killed the animals at 70-71 d of age. NTGT in the athymic mice restored the serum thymulin levels. Morphometric analysis revealed that athymic nudes have reduced numbers of brain GnRH neurons and pituitary gonadotropic cells as compared with heterozygous controls. NTGT prevented these changes and also rescued the premature ovarian failure phenotype typically observed in athymic nude mice (marked reduction in the number of antral follicles and corpora lutea, increase in atretic follicles). Serum estrogen, but not progesterone, levels were low in athymic nudes, a reduction that was partially prevented by NTGT. Little to no morphological changes were observed in the endometrium of female nudes. The delay in the age of vaginal opening that occurs in athymic nudes was significantly prevented by NTGT. Our results suggest that thymulin plays a relevant physiologic role in the thymus-hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. PMID:22700775

  2. [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. PMID:26982062

  3. Normal and cancer stem cells of the human female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    López, Jacqueline; Valdez-Morales, Francisco J; Benítez-Bribiesca, Luis; Cerbón, Marco; Carrancá, Alejandro García

    2013-01-01

    The female reproductive system (FRS) has a great capacity for regeneration. The existence of somatic stem cells (SSC) that are likely to reside in distinct tissue compartments of the FRS is anticipated. Normal SSC are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny of cells that differentiate and maintain tissue architecture and functional characteristics, and respond to homeostatic controls. Among those SSC of the FRS that have been identified are: a) undifferentiated cells capable of differentiating into thecal cells and synthesizing hormones upon transplantation, b) ovarian surface epithelium stem cells, mitotically responsive to ovulation, c) uterine endometrial and myometrial cells, as clonogenic epithelial and stromal cells, and d) epithelial and mesenchymal cells with self-renewal capacity and multipotential from cervical tissues. Importantly, these cells are believed to significantly contribute to the development of different pathologies and tumors of the FRS.It is now widely accepted that cancer stem cells (CSC) are at the origin of many tumors. They are capable of regenerating themselves, produce a progeny that will differentiate aberrantly and do not respond adequately to homeostatic controls. Several cell surface antigens such as CD44, CD117, CD133 and MYD88 have been used to isolate ovarian cancer stem cells. Clonogenic epithelial and stromal endometrial and myometrial cells have been found in normal and cancer tissues, as side population, label-retaining cells, and CD146/PDGF-R beta-positive cells with stem-like features. In summary, here we describe a number of studies supporting the existence of somatic stem cells in the normal tissues and cancer stem cells in tumors of the human female reproductive system. PMID:23782518

  4. Ultrasonographic and laparoscopic evaluation of the reproductive tract in older captive female cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus).

    PubMed

    Schulman, M L; Kirberger, R M; Tordiffe, A S W; Marker, L L; Schmidt-Küntzel, A; Hartman, M J

    2015-12-01

    The study uniquely described the clinical value of transabdominal ultrasonography for monitoring features characterizing the estrous cycle in female cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). The reproductive tracts of 21 female, nulliparous, and relatively aged (median: 11 and interquartile range: 9.25-14 years) captive cheetahs resident on two sites in Namibia were assessed by transabdominal ultrasound. Subsequently, the ovarian findings on ultrasound were compared with direct visualization while performing laparoscopic sterilization. A combination of these observations supported by concurrent sampling for vaginal cytology and serum progesterone concentrations defined the estrous status of individual animals. At one site, six cheetahs had been implanted with the GnRH agonist, deslorelin as a contraceptive at least once within the preceding 11 years. On ultrasound, 31 uterine horns and 35 ovaries with discernible structures on 28 (86%) were visualized in the 21 cheetahs. The uterine body was difficult to visualize because of its intrapelvic location. Eleven of 19 uteri (58%) visualized showed endometrial edema suggestive of estrogenization. The uteri of four cheetahs (19%) showed evidence of mild cystic endometrial hyperplasia. Paraovarian cysts were seen on ultrasound (n = 21) and laparoscopy (n = 26) in 16 (76.2%) and 18 (85.7%) cheetahs, respectively. Ovarian volumes obtained from ultrasonographically determined dimensions predicted cyclic activity. Laparoscopy showed that 19 ovaries had discernible follicular structures. In the study population, 10 (47.6%) cheetahs were in proestrus or estrus; none in the luteal phase; and 11 (52.4%) in anestrus. Transabdominal ultrasound, in combination with serum progesterone concentrations and vaginal cytology, was used with acceptable accuracy to assess cyclic ovarian activity in captive cheetahs. A considerable proportion of this aged population showed ovarian activity and the prevalence of paraovarian cysts was notable. A

  5. Docosahexaenoic acid status in females of reproductive age with maple syrup urine disease.

    PubMed

    Mazer, Laura M; Yi, Sarah H L; Singh, Rani H

    2010-04-01

    Individuals with maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) have impaired metabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) valine, isoleucine, and leucine. Life-long dietary therapy is recommended to restrict BCAA intake and thus prevent poor neurological outcomes and death. To maintain adequate nutritional status, the majority of protein and nutrients are derived from synthetic BCAA-free medical foods with variable fatty acid content. Given the restrictive diet and the importance of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in neurological development, this study evaluated the dietary and fatty acid status of females of reproductive age with MSUD attending a metabolic camp. Healthy controls of similar age and sex were selected from existing normal laboratory data. Total lipid fatty acid concentration in plasma and erythrocytes was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Participants with MSUD had normal to increased concentrations of plasma and erythrocyte alpha linolenic acid (ALA) but significantly lower concentrations of plasma and erythrocyte docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as percent of total lipid fatty acids compared with controls (plasma DHA: MSUD 1.03 +/- 0.35, controls 2.87 +/- 1.08; P = 0.001; erythrocyte DHA: MSUD 2.58 +/- 0.58, controls 3.66 +/- 0.80; P = 0.011). Dietary records reflected negligible or no DHA intake over the 3-day period prior to the blood draw (range 0-2 mg). These results suggest females of reproductive age with MSUD have lower blood DHA concentrations than age-matched controls. In addition, the presence of ALA in medical foods and the background diet may not counter the lack of preformed DHA in the diet. The implications of these results warrant further investigation. PMID:20217236

  6. Along came a spider who sat down beside her: Perceived predation risk, but not female age, affects female mate choosiness.

    PubMed

    Atwell, Ashley; Wagner, William E

    2015-06-01

    Organisms often exhibit behavioral plasticity in response to changes in factors, such as predation risk, mate density, and age. Particularly, female mate choosiness (the strength of female's attraction to male traits as they deviate from preferred trait values) has repeatedly been shown to be plastic. This is due to the costs associated with searching for preferred males fluctuating with changes in such factors. Because these factors can interact naturally, it is important to understand how female mate choosiness responds to these interactions. We studied the interaction between perceived predation risk and female age on the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. Females were either exposed or not exposed to predation cues from a sympatric, cursorial, wolf spider predator, Hogna sp. We then tested the females at one of three adult ages and measured their choosiness by recording their responsiveness to a low quality male song. We found female choosiness plasticity was affected by neither age nor the interaction between age and perceived predation risk. Perceived predation risk was the only factor to significantly affect the plasticity of female mate choosiness: females were less choosy when they perceived predation risk and were more choosy when they did not. Predation may be such a strong source of selection that, regardless of differences in other factors, most individuals respond similarly. PMID:25857998

  7. Individual Consistency and Phenotypic Plasticity in Rockhopper Penguins: Female but Not Male Body Mass Links Environmental Conditions to Reproductive Investment

    PubMed Central

    Dehnhard, Nina; Eens, Marcel; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra; Poisbleau, Maud

    2015-01-01

    In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass and reproductive investment in this taxon. Using a unique dataset on individually marked female and male southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) across six years, we investigated 1) the individual consistency in body mass (measured at egg laying), body condition and reproductive investment across years, subsequently 2) identified the best-explanatory temperature-related environmental variables for female and male body mass, and 3) tested the effect of female and male body mass on reproductive investment. Body mass, body condition and reproductive investment were all highly repeatable. As body condition should control for the structural size of the birds, the similarly high repeatability estimates for body mass and body condition suggested that the consistent between-individual body mass differences were independent of structural size. This supported the use of body mass for the subsequent analyses. Body mass was higher under colder environmental conditions (positive Southern Annular Mode), but the overall phenotypic response appeared limited. Reproductive investment increased with female but not male body mass. While environmental effects on body mass in our study period were rather small, one can expect that ongoing global climate change will lead to a deterioration of food availability and we might therefore in the long-term expect a phenotypical decline in body mass and reproductive investment. PMID:26030824

  8. 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

  9. Food availability affects Osmia pumila (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) foraging, reproduction, and brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen

    2003-03-01

    Food limitation can reduce reproductive success directly, as well as indirectly, if foraging imposes a risk of predation or parasitism. The solitary bee Osmia pumila suffers brood parasitism by the cleptoparasitic wasp Sapyga centrata, which enters the host nest to oviposit while the female bee is away. I studied foraging and reproduction of O. pumila nesting within cages stocked with rich or sparse floral resources, and the presence or absence of S. centrata to test (1) the response of nesting female O. pumila to food shortages, (2) the response of nesting female O. pumila to the presence of parasites, and (3) whether brood produced under scarce resources are more likely to be parasitized by S. centrata. The rate of brood cell production was significantly lower in cages with sparse floral resources, although females in sparse cages did not produce significantly fewer brood cells overall. Sapyga centrata did not influence the rate of brood cell production, but females exposed to the cleptoparasites had marginally significantly lower reproductive output. Nests in parasite cages had significantly fewer brood cells than those in parasite free cages. The mean duration of foraging bouts made by female O. pumila in sparse cages was not significantly longer than that in rich cages. O. pumila spent less time in the nest between pollen and nectar foraging bouts in sparse cages with S. centrata than those in other cages suggesting that these individuals made more frequent food foraging trips. Despite the weak effects of parasites and bloom density on foraging behavior, O. pumila brood cells experienced a 5-fold higher probability of parasitism by S. centrata in cages with sparse bloom than in those with rich bloom [corrected]. These results support the hypothesis that indirect effects of food scarcity increase O. pumila susceptibility to brood parasitism, although the exact mechanism is not entirely clear yet. PMID:12647124

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Male Takeovers Are Reproductively Costly to Females in Hamadryas Baboons: A Test of the Sexual Coercion Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Polo, Pablo; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Colmenares, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    During male takeovers, in addition to fighting off the female’s current mating partner, males may exhibit intense aggressive mate guarding of the newly acquired females. Recent studies indicate that coercive sexual aggression by males is an important strategy through which sexual conflict is expressed. Previous tests of the sexual coercion hypothesis in primates have focused on assessing if female mate choice is effectively reduced by male aggression, however, only one recent study has tested a critical prediction of this hypothesis, namely, that male coercion is reproductively costly to victim females. The present study uses 15 years of data on inter-birth intervals from a large multilevel colony of baboons, mostly Papio h. hamadryas, with a mating system based on harem-defence polygyny to examine if male takeovers impact the length of the abducted females’ inter-birth intervals. Our analysis of 121 inter-birth intervals from 45 adult females indicates that male takeovers are reproductively costly to abducted females as they are associated with an increase in the time they take to conceive and a lengthening of the inter-birth intervals. We discuss how several factors may contribute to this reproductive cost, including male-female sexual conflict, male-male competition, and female-female competition. Our findings suggest that the male’s aggressive herding is the main contributor to the abducted females’ immediate reproductive cost. We argue that although some of the male’s aggressive herding may be driven by male-male competition, nonetheless, it serves a coercive function as it both constrains the female’s mate choice options and hampers her immediate breeding performance. This conclusion is backed up by results obtained in the only other study that has tested the same prediction and which has been carried out in a wild population of hamadryas baboons. PMID:24621865

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25014902

  14. Expression of the reproductive female-specific vitellogenin gene in endocrinologically induced male and intersex Cherax quadricarinatus crayfish.

    PubMed

    Shechter, Asaf; Aflalo, Eliahu D; Davis, Claytus; Sagi, Amir

    2005-07-01

    In oviparous females, the synthesis of the yolk precursor vitellogenin is an important step in ovarian maturation and oocyte development. In decapod Crustacea, including the red-claw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus), this reproductive process is regulated by inhibitory neurohormones secreted by the endocrine X-organ-sinus gland (XO-SG) complex. In males, the C. quadricarinatus vitellogenin gene (CqVg), although present, is not expressed under normal conditions. We show here that endocrine manipulation by removal of the XO-SG complex from male animals induced CqVg transcription. The CqVg gene was expressed differentially during the molt cycle in these induced males: no expression was seen in the intermolt stages, but expression was occasionally detected in the premolt stages and always detected in the early postmolt stages. Relative quantitation with a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction showed that expression of CqVg in induced early postmolt males was an order of magnitude lower than that in reproductive females, a finding that was consistent with RNA in situ hybridization results. The SDS-PAGE of high-density lipoproteins from the hemolymph of endocrinologically induced early postmolt males did not show the typical vitellogenin-related polypeptide profile found in reproductive females. On the other hand, removal of the XO-SG complex from intersex individuals, which are chromosomally female but functionally male and possess an arrested female reproductive system, induced the expression, translation, and release of CqVg products into the hemolymph, as was the case for vitellogenic females. The expression of CqVg in endocrinologically manipulated molting males and intersex animals provides an inducible model for the investigation and understanding of the endocrine regulation of CqVg expression and translation in Crustacea as well as the relationship between the endocrine axes regulating molt and reproduction. PMID:15744019

  15. Imaging endocervical mucus anatomy and dynamics in macaque female reproductive track using optical coherence tomography

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Siyu; Yi, Ji; Dong, Biqin; Sun, Cheng; Kiser, Patrick F.; Hope, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Endocervical mucus acts as an important barrier to block human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Disruption of the mucus layer increases the risk of infection for females. An effective method to image the mucus properties can serve as a pre-screening step to risk-stratify the susceptible population. Methods We proposed to use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to quantitatively measure the thickness of endocervical mucus. We used a home-built bench-top OCT system to monitor the dynamic change in mucus thickness of a cultivated sample. We also fabricated a prototype endoscopic OCT probe to demonstrate potential in situ applications. Results We observed a 200% increase in the endocervical mucus thickness after cultivating in 37 °C phosphate buffered saline solution for 30 minutes. During mucus hydrolysis, we found that mucus layer thickness decreased to about 60% of its original value after applying neuraminidase. Three dimensional volumetric image of intact macaque inner vaginal wall was also acquired. Conclusions We demonstrated that OCT can quantitatively measure the endocervical mucus thickness and its dynamics in ex vivo experiments. Endoscopic OCT has the potential to resolve fine structures inside macaque female reproductive track (FRT) for in vivo applications. PMID:25694952

  16. Measuring sperm movement within the female reproductive tract using Fourier analysis.

    PubMed

    Nicovich, Philip R; Macartney, Erin L; Whan, Renee M; Crean, Angela J

    2015-02-01

    The adaptive significance of variation in sperm phenotype is still largely unknown, in part due to the difficulties of observing and measuring sperm movement in its natural, selective environment (i.e., within the female reproductive tract). Computer-assisted sperm analysis systems allow objective and accurate measurement of sperm velocity, but rely on being able to track individual sperm, and are therefore unable to measure sperm movement in species where sperm move in trains or bundles. Here we describe a newly developed computational method for measuring sperm movement using Fourier analysis to estimate sperm tail beat frequency. High-speed time-lapse videos of sperm movement within the female tract of the neriid fly Telostylinus angusticollis were recorded, and a map of beat frequencies generated by converting the periodic signal of an intensity versus time trace at each pixel to the frequency domain using the Fourier transform. We were able to detect small decreases in sperm tail beat frequency over time, indicating the method is sensitive enough to identify consistent differences in sperm mov