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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 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. ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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 ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field.

  15. [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.

  16. [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

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

    PubMed

    Nystrand, M; Dowling, D K

    2014-11-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. Long-term pyrene exposure of grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, affects molting and reproduction of exposed males and offspring of exposed females.

    PubMed Central

    Oberdörster, E; Brouwer, M; Hoexum-Brouwer, T; Manning, S; McLachlan, J A

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of long-term pyrene exposure on molting and reproduction in the model estuarine invertebrate, the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). Grass shrimp were exposed to measured concentrations of 5.1, 15.0, and 63. 4 ppb (microg/L) pyrene for 6 weeks, during which time we determined molting and survivorship. At the end of the exposure, we immediately sacrificed some of the shrimp for biomarker (CYP1A and vitellin) analyses. The remaining shrimp were used to analyze fecundity and embryo survivorship during an additional 6 weeks after termination of pyrene exposure. Male shrimp at the highest pyrene dose (63 ppb) experienced a significant delay in molting and in time until reproduction, and showed elevated ethoxycoumarin o-deethylase (ECOD) activity immediately after the 6-week exposure period. In contrast, 63 ppb pyrene did not affect these parameters in female shrimp. Females produced the same number of eggs per body weight, with high egg viability (98-100%) at all exposure levels, but with decreased survival for the offspring of the 63-ppb pyrene-exposed females. In addition, vitellin levels were elevated only in females at 63 ppb pyrene after the 6-week exposure. We hypothesize that the elevated vitellin binds pyrene and keeps it biologically unavailable to adult females, resulting in maternal transfer of pyrene to the embryos. This would account for the lack of effect of pyrene exposure on ECOD activity, molting, and reproduction in the adult females, and for reduced survival of their offspring. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10903618

  8. Diabetes and the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Poretsky, Leonid

    2013-12-01

    The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathways and glucose metabolism act as mediators of human ovarian function and female fertility. In normal insulin action, insulin binds to its own receptors in the ovary to mediate steroidogenesis and act as a co-gonadotropin. Insulin with other factors may influence ovarian growth and cyst formation. The IGF pathway also seems to influence normal ovarian function. Insulin signaling affects reproductive function. Dysregulation of this pathway leads to altered puberty, ovulation, and fertility. Better understanding of the normal physiology and pathophysiology of insulin, IGF, and glucose effects on the human reproductive system will allow for better outcomes.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [Smoking and female reproductive health].

    PubMed

    Sajdak, Stefan; Witczak, Kamila; Sroka, Lukasz; Samulak, Dariusz

    2005-01-01

    Epidemiological data shows that 9 millions of Poles are in smokers group, 43% of them are women. Smoking has significant negative impact on different fields of female sexual and reproductive life, like menstrual cycle, fertility, gynecological cancers and early menopause. Smoking during pregnancy is an important cause of ill health for both mother and foetus-it increases risk of placental complications, pregnancy induced hypertension, reduced fetal growth and perinatal death. Many of adverse effects of smoking is at least partially reversible after stopping smoking, so large public information campaigns can be useful for increasing women awareness of smoking hazards. Gynecologist, as a first contact specialist, has a responsibility to provide accurate information on the risks smoking poses both to the health of the smoker and to give clear, firm advice to stop smoking and offer suitable support.

  13. Ghrelin in female and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Joëlle; Maillard, Virginie; Coyral-Castel, Stéphanie; Ramé, Christelle; Froment, Pascal

    2010-01-01

    Ghrelin and one of its functional receptors, GHS-R1a (Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor 1a), were firstly studied about 15 years. Ghrelin is a multifunctional peptide hormone that affects several biological functions including food intake, glucose release, cell proliferation... Ghrelin and GHS-R1a are expressed in key cells of both male and female reproductive organs in several species including fishes, birds, and mammals suggesting a well-conserved signal through the evolution and a role in the control of fertility. Ghrelin could be a component of the complex series of nutrient sensors such as adipokines, and nuclear receptors, which regulate reproduction in function of the energy stores. The objective of this paper was to report the available information about the ghrelin system and its role at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in both sexes.

  14. 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

  15. Normal development of the female reproductive system

    EPA Science Inventory

    The embryonic development of the female reproductive system involves a progression of events that is conserved across vertebrate species. The early gonad progresses from a form that is undifferentiated in both genotypic males and females. Rudimentary male (Wolffian) and female (M...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Hormonal regulation of female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Christensen, A; Bentley, G E; Cabrera, R; Ortega, H H; Perfito, N; Wu, T J; Micevych, P

    2012-07-01

    Reproduction is an event that requires the coordination of peripheral organs with the nervous system to ensure that the internal and external environments are optimal for successful procreation of the species. This is accomplished by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis that coordinates reproductive behavior with ovulation. The primary signal from the central nervous system is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which modulates the activity of anterior pituitary gonadotropes regulating follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) release. As ovarian follicles develop they release estradiol, which negatively regulates further release of GnRH and FSH. As estradiol concentrations peak they trigger the surge release of GnRH, which leads to LH release inducing ovulation. Release of GnRH within the central nervous system helps modulate reproductive behaviors providing a node at which control of reproduction is regulated. To address these issues, this review focuses on several critical questions. How is the HPG axis regulated in species with different reproductive strategies? What internal and external conditions modulate the synthesis and release of GnRH? How does GnRH modulate reproductive behavior within the hypothalamus? How does disease shift the activity of the HPG axis?

  2. Immune Cells in the Female Reproductive Tract

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chul Jung; Kim, Dong-Jae; Kang, Jee-hyun

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Reproductive toxicity: male and female reproductive systems as targets for chemical injury.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Rethinking progesterone regulation of female reproductive cyclicity

    PubMed Central

    Kubota, Kaiyu; Cui, Wei; Dhakal, Pramod; Wolfe, Michael W.; Rumi, M. A. Karim; Vivian, Jay L.; Roby, Katherine F.; Soares, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    The progesterone receptor (PGR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor with key roles in the regulation of female fertility. Much has been learned of the actions of PGR signaling through the use of pharmacologic inhibitors and genetic manipulation, using mouse mutagenesis. Characterization of rats with a null mutation at the Pgr locus has forced a reexamination of the role of progesterone in the regulation of the female reproductive cycle. We generated two Pgr mutant rat models, using genome editing. In both cases, deletions yielded a null mutation resulting from a nonsense frame-shift and the emergence of a stop codon. Similar to Pgr null mice, Pgr null rats were infertile because of deficits in sexual behavior, ovulation, and uterine endometrial differentiation. However, in contrast to the reported phenotype of female mice with disruptions in Pgr signaling, Pgr null female rats exhibit robust estrous cycles. Cyclic changes in vaginal cytology, uterine histology, serum hormone levels, and wheel running activity were evident in Pgr null female rats, similar to wild-type controls. Furthermore, exogenous progesterone treatment inhibited estrous cycles in wild-type female rats but not in Pgr-null female rats. As previously reported, pharmacologic antagonism supports a role for PGR signaling in the regulation of the ovulatory gonadotropin surge, a result at variance with experimentation using genetic ablation of PGR signaling. To conclude, our findings in the Pgr null rat challenge current assumptions and prompt a reevaluation of the hormonal control of reproductive cyclicity. PMID:27035990

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Central circadian control of female reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Miller, Brooke H; Takahashi, Joseph S

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, it has become clear just how much of our physiology is under the control of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the cell-intrinsic molecular clock that ticks with a periodicity of approximately 24 h. The SCN prepares our digestive system for meals, our adrenal axis for the stress of waking up in the morning, and the genes expressed in our muscles when we prepare to exercise. Long before molecular studies of genes such as Clock, Bmal1, and the Per homologs were possible, it was obvious that female reproductive function was under strict circadian control at every level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and in the establishment and successful maintenance of pregnancy. This review highlights our current understanding of the role that the SCN plays in regulating female reproductive physiology, with a special emphasis on the advances made possible through the use of circadian mutant mice.

  19. Central Circadian Control of Female Reproductive Function

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Brooke H.; Takahashi, Joseph S.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past two decades, it has become clear just how much of our physiology is under the control of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the cell-intrinsic molecular clock that ticks with a periodicity of approximately 24 h. The SCN prepares our digestive system for meals, our adrenal axis for the stress of waking up in the morning, and the genes expressed in our muscles when we prepare to exercise. Long before molecular studies of genes such as Clock, Bmal1, and the Per homologs were possible, it was obvious that female reproductive function was under strict circadian control at every level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and in the establishment and successful maintenance of pregnancy. This review highlights our current understanding of the role that the SCN plays in regulating female reproductive physiology, with a special emphasis on the advances made possible through the use of circadian mutant mice. PMID:24478756

  20. Adipokines and the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Reverchon, Maxime; Ramé, Christelle; Bertoldo, Michael; Dupont, Joëlle

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that adipose tissue can influence puberty, sexual maturation, and fertility in different species. Adipose tissue secretes molecules called adipokines which most likely have an endocrine effect on reproductive function. It has been revealed over the last few years that adipokines are functionally implicated at all levels of the reproductive axis including the gonad and hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Many studies have shown the presence and the role of the adipokines and their receptors in the female reproductive tract of different species. These adipokines regulate ovarian steroidogenesis, oocyte maturation, and embryo development. They are also present in the uterus and placenta where they could create a favorable environment for embryonic implantation and play a key role in maternal-fetal metabolism communication and gestation. Reproductive functions are strongly dependent on energy balance, and thereby metabolic abnormalities can lead to the development of some pathophysiologies such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Adipokines could be a link between reproduction and energy metabolism and could partly explain some infertility related to obesity or PCOS. PMID:24695544

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. [Infectious burdens of reproduction of female dogs].

    PubMed

    Wendt, K; Stellmacher, H

    1996-02-01

    The results of gynecological investigations in 142 bitches were evaluated and the complexity of infectious affections is discussed. High proportions of infectious cases were found in cases of limitation of fertility (67.5%), in vaginal discharge in the estrus (60.8%), in cases of mastitis/pseudopregnancy (61.5%) and in mortality of newborn puppies. St. aureus and E. coli were often isolated. There is a high etiological correlation in epidemiology of diseases of the reproductive tract in the single bitch and especially in kennel bitches.

  6. The song of the old mother: reproductive senescence in female drosophila.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Reproductive aspects in female rats exposed prenatally to hydrocortisone.

    PubMed

    Piffer, R C; Pereira, O C M

    2004-10-01

    We investigated the effects of hydrocortisone during the prenatal period and its later repercussion on reproductive aspects of female rats. Pregnant rats were treated (s.c.) with hydrocortisone acetate, at 1.5 mg/day on the 17th, 18th, and 19th days of pregnancy. Although the present study was not intended to identify mechanisms of toxicity, the treatment with hydrocortisone in the last period of pregnancy presented no signs of toxicity. The efficacy of the hydrocortisone in reducing the adrenal wet mass and plasma corticosterone levels immediately after delivery in both the treated mothers and in respective pups at birth may indicate impairment of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. In addition, the treatment with hydrocortisone did not interfere in the development of the female descendants until puberty. However, it affected the estrous cycle and fertility. Probably, the prenatal exposure to corticosteroids had altered at least partially the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, resulting in the damages observed in adult life. These results indicate that the use of the hydrocortisone at a dose that apparently does not endanger the neonate led to undesirable effects in the adult reproductive phase, resulting in later deleterious alteration of the reproductive physiology in female rats.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Congenital uterine anomalies affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reichman, David E; Laufer, Marc R

    2010-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Experimental manipulation of female reproduction demonstrates its fitness costs in kangaroos.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    When resources are scarce, female mammals should face a trade-off between lactation and other life-history traits such as growth, survival and subsequent reproduction. Kangaroos are ideal to test predictions about reproductive costs because they may simultaneously lactate and carry a young, and have indeterminate growth and a long breeding season. An earlier study in three of our five study populations prevented female eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) from reproducing during one reproductive season by either inserting contraceptive implants or removing very small pouch young. We explored how individual and environmental variables affect the costs of reproduction over time, combining this experimental reduction of reproductive effort with multi-year monitoring of 270 marked females. Experimental manipulation should control for individual heterogeneity, revealing the costs of reproduction and their likely sources. We also examined the fitness consequences of reproductive effort and offspring sex among unmanipulated individuals to test whether sex allocation strategies affected trade-offs. Costs of reproduction included longer inter-birth intervals and lower probability of producing a young that survived to 7 months in the subsequent reproductive event. Weaning success, however, did not differ significantly between manipulated and control females. By reducing reproductive effort, manipulation appeared to increase individual condition and subsequent reproductive success. Effects of offspring sex upon subsequent reproductive success varied according to year and study population. Mothers of sons were generally more likely to have a young that survived to 7 months, compared to mothers of daughters. The fitness costs of reproduction arise from constraints in both acquisition and allocation of resources. To meet these costs, females delay subsequent parturition and may manipulate offspring sex. Reproductive tactics thus vary according to the amount of resource

  16. 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

  17. Reproductive toxicity in acrylamide-treated female mice.

    PubMed

    Wei, Quanwei; Li, Jian; Li, Xingmei; Zhang, Lei; Shi, Fangxiong

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the reproductive toxicity of acrylamide in female mice. The results from immunohistochemistry provided evidence that nitric oxide synthase (NOS) signaling was involved in the process of follicular development and atresia. Oral administration of acrylamide to female mice led to significantly reduced body weights, organ weights and the number of corpora lutea (P<0.05). Serum progesterone concentrations were significantly reduced (P<0.05) concomitant with the increasing doses of acrylamide; however, 17β-estradiol (E2) concentrations were unchanged with treatment. Measurement of NOS activities indicated that total NOS (TNOS), iNOS and eNOS activities were significantly increased (P<0.05) with increasing doses of acrylamide. The results from in vitro study indicated that acrylamide reduced the viability of mouse granulosa cells in a dose-dependent manner. In summary, acrylamide affected bodily growth and development, as well as reproductive organs, the number of corpora lutea and progesterone production in female mice, possibly acting through the NOS signaling pathway.

  18. Costly reproductive competition between females in a monogamous cooperatively breeding bird

    PubMed Central

    Nelson-Flower, Martha J.; Hockey, Philip A. R.; O'Ryan, Colleen; English, Sinead; Thompson, Alex M.; Bradley, Katharine; Rose, Rebecca; Ridley, Amanda R.

    2013-01-01

    In many cooperatively breeding societies, only a few socially dominant individuals in a group breed, reproductive skew is high, and reproductive conflict is common. Surprisingly, the effects of this conflict on dominant reproductive success in vertebrate societies have rarely been investigated, especially in high-skew societies. We examine how subordinate female competition for breeding opportunities affects the reproductive success of dominant females in a monogamous cooperatively breeding bird, the Southern pied babbler (Turdoides bicolor). In this species, successful subordinate reproduction is very rare, despite the fact that groups commonly contain sexually mature female subordinates that could mate with unrelated group males. However, we show that subordinate females compete with dominant females to breed, and do so far more often than expected, based on the infrequency of their success. Attempts by subordinates to obtain a share of breeding impose significant costs on dominant females: chicks fledge from fewer nests, more nests are abandoned before incubation begins, and more eggs are lost. Dominant females appear to attempt to reduce these costs by aggressively suppressing potentially competitive subordinate females. This empirical evidence provides rare insight into the nature of the conflicts between females and the resultant costs to reproductive success in cooperatively breeding societies. PMID:23677348

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Reproductive efficiency and metabolism of female broiler breeders as affected by genotype, feed allocation, and age at photostimulation. 1. Pullet growth and development.

    PubMed

    Robinson, F E; Zuidhof, M J; Renema, R A

    2007-10-01

    A 3 x 4 x 2 factorial design was carried out to determine the effect of 3 broiler breeder strains, 4 target BW profiles, and 2 photostimulation ages on pullet growth and development. A total of 560 pullets from each strain (Hubbard Hi-Y, Ross 508, and Ross 708) were reared on BW profiles that separated at 4 wk and converged at 32 wk of age as follows: standard (mean target BW profile of the 3 strains used), low (12-wk BW target = 25% lower than standard followed by rapid gain to 32 wk), moderate (12-wk BW target = 150% of standard followed by lower rate of gain to 32 wk), and high (12-wk BW target = 200% of standard followed by minimal growth to 32 wk). Birds were photostimulated at 18 (18WK) or 22 wk (22WK). During the prephotostimulation phase (2 to 18 wk of age), 4 birds were killed for each of the 12 interactions at 14-d intervals to characterize changes in carcass traits. After 18 wk (wk 20, 22, and 24), 4 birds from each of the 24 interactions were killed and dissected (n = 768). Growth rate restricted frame size (e.g., 18-wk shank length: low = 101.8; standard = 105.6; moderate = 109.5; and high = 112.3 mm). At 24 wk of age, the 22WK birds had similar amounts of breast muscle compared with 18WK birds, whereas the later photostimulated hens had heavier abdominal fat pads. Early photo-stimulation resulted in increased 24-wk liver weights in all strains, but the difference was greatest in Ross 708 birds. The 22-wk ovary weight was influenced by age at photostimulation in high (18WK = 17.3; 22WK = 1.6 g) and moderate (18WK = 14.1; 22WK = 1.1 g) birds. The more extensive feed restriction of LOW birds before 12 wk of age appeared to limit breast muscle and fat pad growth and slow reproductive tract development following photostimulation. Pullets on heavier BW profiles respond to early PS by developing the reproductive system at the expense of breast muscle and fat pad growth. Genetic strain modulates some of the effect of very different target BW profiles.

  2. 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

  3. Early-life nutritional effects on the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Chan, K A; Tsoulis, M W; Sloboda, D M

    2015-02-01

    There is now considerable epidemiological and experimental evidence indicating that early-life environmental conditions, including nutrition, affect subsequent development in later life. These conditions induce highly integrated responses in endocrine-related homeostasis, resulting in persistent changes in the developmental trajectory producing an altered adult phenotype. Early-life events trigger processes that prepare the individual for particular circumstances that are anticipated in the postnatal environment. However, where the intrauterine and postnatal environments differ markedly, such modifications to the developmental trajectory may prove maladaptive in later life. Reproductive maturation and function are similarly influenced by early-life events. This should not be surprising, because the primordial follicle pool is established early in life and is thus vulnerable to early-life events. Results of clinical and experimental studies have indicated that early-life adversity is associated with a decline in ovarian follicular reserve, changes in ovulation rates, and altered age at onset of puberty. However, the underlying mechanisms regulating the relationship between the early-life developmental environment and postnatal reproductive development and function are unclear. This review examines the evidence linking early-life nutrition and effects on the female reproductive system, bringing together clinical observations in humans and experimental data from targeted animal models.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of environmental temperature on growth- and reproduction-related hormones gene expression in the female blue gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus).

    PubMed

    Levy, Gal; David, Dalia; Degani, Gad

    2011-11-01

    Fish are ectothermic vertebrates, and their gonadal development and spawning are affected by changes in environmental temperature. Recent global temperature changes have increased the importance of studying the effect of temperature on reproduction. The aim of this paper was to study the effect of temperature on oogenesis and hormone gene expression related to reproduction and growth in the blue gourami female maintained under non-reproductive and reproductive conditions. In females under non-reproductive conditions, vitellogenic oocytes, gonadotropin-releasing hormone 3 (GnRH3), β luteinizing hormone (βLH) and growth hormone (GH) mRNA levels were affected by temperature changes. In females maintained under reproductive conditions with non-reproductively active males, a percentage of females in the final oocyte maturation (FOM) stage, pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP and PRP-PACAP), gonadotropins and GH mRNA levels were affected due to temperature changes. In females maintained under reproductive conditions with reproductively active males, also GnRH3 and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were affected by temperature changes. In conclusion, in blue gourami females, changes in environmental temperature affect oogenesis through changes in brain and pituitary hormone mRNA levels.

  9. A Multi-Oscillatory Circadian System Times Female Reproduction.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Collection of field reproductive data from carcasses of the female Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Axnér, E; Payan-Carreira, R; Setterlind, P; Åsbrink, J; Söderberg, A

    2013-11-01

    Information about reproductive physiology in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) would generate knowledge that could be useful in the management of the Swedish lynx population based on the knowledge about their reproductive potential and population development. Age-related differences in ovulation and implantation rates would affect the reproductive output and the development of the population. The aims of this study were to evaluate a protocol for collection of reproductive data from carcasses by comparisons with published field data and to generate data about reproduction in the Swedish lynx. Reproductive organs from 120 females that were harvested between March 1 and April 9 from 2009 to 2011 were collected and evaluated macroscopically for placental scars. Females had their first estrus as yearlings but did not have their first litter until the next season. Pregnancy rates were lower in 2-year-old females than in females aged 3 to 7 years but did not differ significantly from females aged 8 to 13 years (54.5%, 95.6%, and 75.0%, respectively). CL from the present season were morphologically distinctly different from luteal bodies from previous cycles (LBPC). All females ≥3 years had macroscopically visible LBPC, whereas only 67% of 22 to 23 months old females had one to three LBPC and no females <1 year of age had LBPC. Females aged 34 to 35 months had up to eight LPBC, whereas the highest number of LBPC counted in females ≥3 years of age was 11. These data would be in agreement with only one estrus per season and LBPC from at least three previous reproductive seasons in older females. The number of LBPC was significantly correlated with the weight of the ovaries rs = 0.648, P < 0.001) and the age of the animals (rs = 0.572, P < 0.001). Uterine weight differed significantly with the stage of the reproductive cycle and was highest for mature females in the luteal phase of the cycle. The estrous period, defined as occurrence of ovarian follicles lasted from March 5

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Transcriptional Analysis of a Unique Set of Genes Involved in Schistosoma mansoni Female Reproductive Biology

    PubMed Central

    Cogswell, Alexis A.; Kommer, Valerie P.; Williams, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Schistosomiasis affects more than 200 million people globally. The pathology of schistosome infections is due to chronic tissue inflammation and damage from immune generated granulomas surrounding parasite eggs trapped in host tissues. Schistosoma species are unique among trematode parasites because they are dioecious; females require paring with male parasites in order to attain reproductive maturity and produce viable eggs. Ex vivo cultured females lose the ability to produce viable eggs due to an involution of the vitellarium and loss of mature oocytes. In order to better understand schistosome reproductive biology we used data generated by serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to identify uncharacterized genes which have different transcript abundance in mature females, those that have been paired with males, and immature females obtained from unisexual infections. To characterize these genes we used bioinformatics, transcript localization, and transcriptional analysis during the regression of in vitro cultured females. Genes transcribed exclusively in mature females localize primarily in the vitellocytes and/or the ovary. Genes transcribed exclusively in females from single sex infections localize to vitellocytes and subtegumental cells. As female reproductive tissues regress, eggshell precursor proteins and genes involved in eggshell synthesis largely have decreased transcript abundance. However, some genes with elevated transcript abundance in mature adults have increased gene expression following regression indicating that the genes in this study function both in eggshell biology as well as vitellogenesis and maintenance of female reproductive tissues. In addition, we found that genes enriched in females from single sex infections have increased expression during regression in ex vivo females. By using these transcriptional analyses we can direct research to examine the areas of female biology that are both relevant to understanding the overall process

  18. Seasonal reproduction of female round stingrays (Urobatis halleri): steroid hormone profiles and assessing reproductive state.

    PubMed

    Mull, Christopher G; Lowe, Christopher G; Young, Kelly A

    2010-04-01

    This study characterizes the seasonal reproductive cycle of female round stingrays (Urobatis halleri) in an open coastal site at Seal Beach, CA and a protected estuary at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge (SBNWR). Female round stingrays were sampled from August 2004 to July 2006, and assessed for reproductive parameters (GSI, maximum ova diameter, pregnancy status) and sex steroid (estradiol (E(2)), progesterone (P(4)) and testosterone (T)) concentrations. E(2) and P(4) increased at the time of ovulation (June and July) and remained elevated until parturition (October and November); recently partruded females were observed until November. Mature females were absent from Seal Beach in August and September, the same time period that abundance of mature females peaked in the SBNWR. This aggregation of predominantly mature females in the upper reaches of the SBNWR was seasonal, and was observed from April to September. To better understand the aggregation behavior, sex steroid hormones were assayed in SBNWR females. In July and August, E(2) and P(4) concentrations in females at the SBNWR were 1.5-fold and 2-fold higher, respectively, than concentrations in mature females at Seal Beach, and correlated with elevated water temperature in the estuary. Pregnancy was confirmed in aggregating females by increased levels of E(2) and P(4) and the presence of developing embryos. Our data suggest that coastal estuaries may play a crucial role in round stingray reproduction, perhaps by providing a thermal refuge for pregnant females during gestation. PMID:20015450

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Female reproductive competition in Eulemur rufifrons: eviction and reproductive restraint in a plurally breeding Malagasy primate.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2012-02-01

    In mammals with female philopatry, co-resident females inevitably compete with each other for resources or reproductive opportunities, thereby reducing the kin-selected benefits of altruism towards relatives. These counteracting forces of cooperation and competition among kin should be particularly pronounced in plurally breeding species with limited alternative breeding opportunities outside the natal group. However, little is still known about the costs of reproductive competition on females' fitness and the victims' potential counter-strategies. Here we summarize long-term behavioural, demographic and genetic data collected on a plurally breeding primate from Madagascar to illuminate mechanisms and effects of female reproductive competition, focusing on forcible eviction and potential reproductive restraint. The main results of our study indicate that females in groups of redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) above a critical size suffer from competition from their close relatives: females in larger groups face an increased probability of not giving birth as well as a higher probability of being evicted, especially during the annual mating and birth seasons. Eviction is not predicted by the number of adult females, the number of close female relatives, female age or inter-annual variation in rainfall but only by total group size. Thus, eviction in this species is clearly linked with reproductive competition, it cannot be forestalled by reproductive restraint or having many relatives in the group, and it occurs in the absence of a clear dominance hierarchy. Our study therefore also underscores the notion that potential inclusive fitness benefits from living with relatives may have been generally over-rated and should not be taken for granted.

  6. Unethical female stereotyping in reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca J; Cusack, Simone; Dickens, Bernard M

    2010-06-01

    Stereotypes are generalized preconceptions defining individuals by group categories into which they are placed. Women have become stereotyped as homemakers and mothers, with the negative effect of precluding them from other roles and functions. Legislation and judicial constructions show a history, and often a continuing practice, of confining women to these stereotypical functions. In access to reproductive and sexual health care, for instance, women's requests have been professionally subject to approval of their husbands, fathers or comparable males. Choice of abortion is particularly significant, because it embeds moral values. Women's capacity to act as responsible moral agents is denied by stereotypical attitudes shown by legislators, judges, heads of religious denominations, and healthcare providers who consider women incapable of exercising responsible moral choice. These attitudes violate ethical requirements of treating patients with respect and equal justice. They can also result in violations of human rights laws that prohibit discrimination against women.

  7. Determinants of lifetime reproduction in female brown bears: early body mass, longevity, and hunting regulations.

    PubMed

    Zedrosser, Andreas; Pelletier, Fanie; Bischof, Richard; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Swenson, Jon E

    2013-01-01

    In iteroparous mammals, conditions experienced early in life may have long-lasting effects on lifetime reproductive success. Human-induced mortality is also an important demographic factor in many populations of large mammals and may influence lifetime reproductive success. Here, we explore the effects of early development, population density, and human hunting on survival and lifetime reproductive success in brown bear (Ursus arctos) females, using a 25-year database of individually marked bears in two populations in Sweden. Survival of yearlings to 2 years was not affected by population density or body mass. Yearlings that remained with their mother had higher survival than independent yearlings, partly because regulations prohibit the harvest of bears in family groups. Although mass as a yearling did not affect juvenile survival, it was positively associated with measures of lifetime reproductive success and individual fitness. The majority of adult female brown bear mortality (72%) in our study was due to human causes, mainly hunting, and many females were killed before they reproduced. Therefore, factors allowing females to survive several hunting seasons had a strong positive effect on lifetime reproductive success. We suggest that, in many hunted populations of large mammals, sport harvest is an important influence on both population dynamics and life histories. PMID:23600257

  8. 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 ...

  9. Anatomy of female puberty: The clinical relevance of developmental changes in the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Colvin, Caroline Wingo; Abdullatif, Hussein

    2013-01-01

    Puberty is the period of biologic transition from childhood to adulthood. The changes that occur at this time are related to the increasing concentrations of sex steroid hormones. In females, most pubertal changes are caused by estrogen stimulation that results from the onset of central puberty. Significant development occurs in the organs of the female reproductive system and results in anatomic changes that characterize reproductive maturity. Adrenal and ovarian androgens also increase during puberty, affecting change that includes the promotion of certain secondary sex characteristics. The ability to recognize normal pubertal anatomy and distinguish between estrogen and androgen effects is important in the ability to diagnose and treat disorders of sex development, precocious puberty, pubertal delay, and menstrual irregularities in children and adolescents. An understanding of this developmental process can also help clinicians identify and treat reproductive pathology in adults and across all female life stages.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Reproductive morphology of female Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis).

    PubMed

    Becegato, Estella Z; Andrade, Janaina P; Guimarães, Juliana P; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angelica; Silva, Fernanda M de Oliveira e

    2015-09-01

    The reproductive morphology of cetaceans is poorly studied and, despite the large number of strandings, reports on this subject are scarce due to access to carcasses mostly in an advanced state of decomposition. The present study aimed to describe histological characteristics of the female genital tract of Sotalia guianensis, in order to assist in future studies on the reproductive biology of these animals. Females of different ages, from stranding events on beaches in northeastern Brazil, were used. Fragments of all organs were collected and processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Histological analyses showed that these structures were similar to those found in terrestrial mammals, with some peculiarities, such as the presence of differentiated cells in the vulvar subepidermal layer, not described in the literature on cetaceans. Reproductive studies with a morphological description of the female genital organs are extremely important, since they would enable a better understanding of the species reproductive physiology and assist in the development of new strategies for the species conservation.

  17. Sperm storage in the female reproductive tract in birds.

    PubMed

    Sasanami, Tomohiro; Matsuzaki, Mei; Mizushima, Shusei; Hiyama, Gen

    2013-01-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Reproductive maturation and senescence in the female brown bear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Keating, Kim A.; Reynolds III, Harry V.; Barnes, Victor G.; Sellers, Richard A.; Swenson, J.E.; Miller, Sterling D.; McLellan, B.N.; Keay, Jeffrey A.; McCann, Robert; Gibeau, Michael; Wakkinen, Wayne F.; Mace, Richard D.; Kasworm, Wayne; Smith, Rodger; Herrero, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Changes in age-specific reproductive rates can have important implications for managing populations, but the number of female brown (grizzly) bears (Ursus arctos) observed in any one study is usually inadequate to quantify such patterns, especially for older females and in hunted areas. We examined patterns of reproductive maturation and senescence in female brown bears by combining data from 20 study areas from Sweden, Alaska, Canada, and the continental United States. We assessed reproductive performance based on 4,726 radiocollared years for free-ranging female brown bears (age 3); 482 of these were for bears 20 years of age. We modeled age-specific probability of litter production using extreme value distributions to describe probabilities for young- and old-age classes, and a power distribution function to describe probabilities for prime-aged animals. We then fit 4 models to pooled observations from our 20 study areas. We used Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) to select the best model. Inflection points suggest that major shifts in litter production occur at 4–5 and 28–29 years of age. The estimated model asymptote (0.332, 95% CI ¼ 0.319–0.344) was consistent with the expected reproductive cycle of a cub litter every 3 years (0.333). We discuss assumptions and biases in data collection relative to the shape of the model curve. Our results conform to senescence theory and suggest that female age structure in contemporary brown bear populations is considerably younger than would be expected in the absence of modern man. This implies that selective pressures today differ from those that influenced brown bear evolution.

  1. 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

  2. Polychlorinated biphenyls and reproductive hormones in female polar bears at Svalbard.

    PubMed Central

    Haave, Marte; Ropstad, Erik; Derocher, Andrew E; Lie, Elisabeth; Dahl, Ellen; Wiig, Øystein; Skaare, Janneche U; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2003-01-01

    High concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in polar bears from Svalbard have increased concern for that population's reproductive health. We examined whether there were associations between the plasma concentrations of PCBs and reproductive hormones [progesterone (P4)] and 17 beta-estradiol (E2)] in free-living female polar bears from Svalbard. Concentrations of P4 depended on reproductive status, and concentrations were lowest in females with offspring--females with cubs and females with yearlings. In these females, the P4 concentrations were positively correlated with plasma sigma PCBs (sum of all analyzed polychlorinated biphenyl congeners) concentrations. The sigma PCBs concentrations explained 27% of the variation in the P4 concentrations. There were no correlations between sigma PCBs and E2 and cortisol in any of the groups of polar bears, or between sigma PCBs and P4 in single polar bears. Although the sigma PCBs-P4 relationship in female polar bears with offspring is not evidence per se of a direct cause-effect association, the results indicate that PCBs may affect levels of P4 in polar bear females. There is a clear need to further assess the hormone balance and population health of polar bears at Svalbard. PMID:12676595

  3. Measuring Stress Responses in Female Geoffroy's Spider Monkeys: Validation and the Influence of Reproductive State

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Michelle A.; Wittwer, Dan; Kitchen, Dawn M.

    2015-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites are increasingly used to investigate physiological stress. However, it is crucial for researchers to simultaneously investigate the effects of reproductive state because estradiol and placental hormones can affect circulating glucocorticoid concentrations. Reports on the relationships between glucocorticoids and reproductive state are inconsistent among females. Unlike several primate species that have heightened glucocorticoid activity during lactation, humans experience reduced glucocorticoid activity during lactation. Rather than a taxonomic difference, we hypothesize that this is a result of different environmental stressors, particularly the threat of infanticide. Here, we expand the number of wild primate species tested by validating a glucocorticoid assay for female Geoffroy's spider monkeys. We investigate the effects of reproductive state on their glucocorticoid concentrations. Utilizing a routine veterinary exam on a captive population, we determined that fecal glucocorticoid metabolites increase in response to a stressor (anesthesia), and this rise is detected approximately 24 hours later. Additionally, we found that extracted hormone patterns in a wild population reflected basic reproductive biology – estradiol concentrations were higher in cycling than lactating females, and in lactating females with older offspring who were presumably resuming their cycle. However, we found that estradiol and glucocorticoid concentrations were significantly correlated in lactating but not cycling females. Similarly, we found that reproductive state and estradiol concentration, but not stage of lactation, predicted glucocorticoid concentrations. Unlike patterns in several other primate species that face a relatively strong threat of infanticide, lactating spider monkeys experience reduced glucocorticoid activity, possibly due to attenuating effects of oxytocin and lower male-initiated aggression than directed at cycling females. More

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

    PubMed

    McDaneld, T G; Kuehn, L A; Thomas, M G; Snelling, W M; Sonstegard, T S; Matukumalli, L K; Smith, T P L; Pollak, E J; Keele, J W

    2012-07-01

    Reproductive efficiency is of economic importance in commercial beef cattle production, since 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 inefficiencies associated with sub-fertile cows. To identify regions of the genome harboring variation affecting reproductive success, we applied a genome-wide association approach based on the >700,000 SNP marker assay. To include the largest number of individuals possible under the available budget, cows from several populations were assigned to extremes for reproductive efficiency, and DNA was pooled within population and phenotype before genotyping. Surprisingly, pools prepared from DNA of low reproductive cattle returned fluorescence intensity data intermediate between fertile females and males for SNP mapped to the Y chromosome (i.e., male sex chromosome). The presence of Y-associated material in low reproductive heifers or cows was confirmed by Y-directed PCR, which revealed that 21 to 29% of females in the low reproductive category were positive by a Y chromosome PCR test normally used to sex embryos. The presence of the Y chromosome anomaly was further confirmed with application of additional Y-specific PCR amplicons, indicating the likelihood of the presence of some portion of male sex chromosome in female cattle in various beef cattle herds across the U.S. Discovery of this Y anomaly in low reproductive females may make an important contribution to management of reproductive failures in beef cattle operations.

  5. Is female attractiveness related to final reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Pawlowski, Boguslaw; Boothroyd, Lynda G; Perrett, David I; Kluska, Sylwia

    2008-06-01

    In order to test the assumption that female attractiveness relates to reproductive success, photographs of 47 rural Polish women taken in their youth were rated for attractiveness, and BMI at age 18 was recorded; these measures of attractiveness were then compared with their subsequent life histories. Facial attractiveness did not relate to number of children or grandchildren. It also did not relate to age of marriage or husband's education. It did relate to number of marriages and husband's height. BMI at age 18 did not relate significantly to any of the outcome variables. These results suggest that although more attractive women may have married higher quality (taller) husbands and may in ancestral population have achieved greater reproductive success this way, there is no evidence in a modern, European Catholic society for their having greater reproductive success.

  6. PPARs and Female Reproduction: Evidence from Genetically Manipulated Mice

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jichun; Chen, Lihong; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Yunfeng; Zhang, Dongjuan; Huo, Ming; Guan, Youfei

    2008-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated nuclear receptors controlling many important physiological processes, including lipid and glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis, inflammation, as well as cell proliferation and differentiation. In the past decade, intensive study of PPARs has shed novel insight into prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Recently, a large body of research revealed that PPARs are also functionally expressed in reproductive organs and various parts of placenta during pregnancy, which strongly suggests that PPARs might play a critical role in reproduction and development, in addition to their central actions in energy homeostasis. In this review, we summarize recent findings elucidating the role of PPARs in female reproduction, with particular focus on evidence from gene knockout and transgenic animal model study. PMID:18401459

  7. Reproductive switching analysis of Daphnia similoides between sexual female and parthenogenetic female by transcriptome comparison

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhu, Xiu-Yun; Wang, Wen-Ping; Wang, Yi; Wang, Lu; Xu, Xiao-Xue; Zhang, Kun; Deng, Dao-Gui

    2016-01-01

    The water flea Daphnia are planktonic crustaceans commonly found in freshwater environment that can switch their reproduction mode from parthenogenesis to sexual reproduction to adapt to the external environment. As such, Daphnia are great model organisms to study the mechanism of reproductive switching, the underlying mechanism of reproduction and development in cladocerans and other animals. However, little is known about the Daphnia’s reproductive behaviour at a molecular level. We constructed a genetic database of the genes expressed in a sexual female (SF) and a parthenogenetic female (PF) of D. similoides using Illumina HiSeq 2500. A total of 1,763 differentially expressed genes (865 up- and 898 down-regulated) were detected in SF. Of the top 30 up-regulated SF unigenes, the top 4 unigenes belonged to the Chitin_bind_4 family. In contrast, of the top down-regulated SF unigenes, the top 3 unigenes belonged to the Vitellogenin_N family. This is the first study to indicate genes that may have a crucial role in reproductive switching of D. similoides, which could be used as candidate genes for further functional studies. Thus, this study provides a rich resource for investigation and elucidation of reproductive switching in D. similoides. PMID:27671106

  8. Hormonal evaluation of female infertility and reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Scott, M G; Ladenson, J H; Green, E D; Gast, M J

    1989-04-01

    Performance of the male and female reproductive systems reflects the orderly operation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Aberrant operation of this axis can result in many different reproductive disorders, including various forms of infertility. Proper evaluation of these disorders involves a multifaceted diagnostic approach, which includes a critical contribution from the clinical laboratory. This adjunctive testing, involving the measurements of peptide and sex-steroid hormone concentrations, allows the clinician to biochemically "dissect" the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and ascertain the presence as well as location of the specific defect. In practice, the specific tests utilized during the evaluation of a patient depend upon the underlying disorder. Typically, in evaluating the reproductive disorders discussed in this review, a primary battery of tests is obtained that reflects the initial clinical presentation and physical examination. The results of these initial studies then dictate any secondary testing required to complete the evaluation. Such an approach, in use at our institution, is provided in Table 5. Although this discussion has concentrated on the laboratory assessment of the female reproductive system, it is important to remember the special case of infertility, where couples, in general, are evaluated together by the clinician. The cause of infertility can reside with the female, the male, or, in the cases of immunological "incompatibilities," a combination of the male and the female. As such, rigorous schemes for evaluating male reproductive disorders (1, 3, 89-94) and immunological incompatibilities (95-98) have been developed, and the information derived from such testing represents a critical contribution to establishing the etiology of a couple's infertility. Although the laboratory assessment of peptide and sex-steroid hormone concentrations clearly plays a pivotal role in the evaluation of reproductive disorders, these

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. Identity and transfer of male reproductive gland proteins of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti: potential tools for control of female feeding and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sirot, Laura K; Poulson, Rebecca L; McKenna, M Caitlin; Girnary, Hussein; Wolfner, Mariana F; Harrington, Laura C

    2008-02-01

    Male reproductive gland proteins (mRGPs) impact the physiology and/or behavior of mated females in a broad range of organisms. We sought to identify mRGPs of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses. Earlier studies with Ae. aegypti demonstrated that "matrone" (a partially purified male reproductive accessory gland substance) or male accessory gland fluid injected into virgin female Ae. aegypti affect female sexual refractoriness, blood feeding and digestion, flight, ovarian development, and oviposition. Using bioinformatic comparisons to Drosophila melanogaster accessory gland proteins and mass spectrometry of proteins from Ae. aegypti male accessory glands and ejaculatory ducts (AG/ED) and female reproductive tracts, we identified 63 new putative Ae. aegypti mRGPs. Twenty-one of these proteins were found in the reproductive tract of mated females but not of virgin females suggesting that they are transferred from males to females during mating. Most of the putative mRGPs fall into the same protein classes as mRGPs in other organisms, although some appear to be evolving rapidly and lack identifiable homologs in Culex pipiens, Anopheles gambiae, and D. melanogaster. Our results identify candidate male-derived molecules that may have an important influence on behavior, survival, and reproduction of female mosquitoes.

  13. Reproductive compensation in broad-nosed pipefish females

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. Ghrelin: new insights into female reproductive system-associated disorders and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Angelidis, George; Dafopoulos, Konstantinos; Messini, Christina I; Valotassiou, Varvara; Georgoulias, Panagiotis; Messinis, Ioannis E

    2012-09-01

    Ghrelin is considered the endogenous ligand of growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a, and its modulatory actions have been demonstrated in a large array of endocrine and nonendocrine functions. According to recent studies, ghrelin seems to act at different levels of the reproductive system, exerting predominantly inhibitory effects on mammalian reproduction. It has been shown to influence the reproductive system by regulating hormone secretion from the brain and by acting directly on the gonads to affect tissue development and steroidogenesis. Thus, the endocrine network, which integrates energy balance and fertility, might involve ghrelin. Furthermore, ghrelin levels and actions have been assessed in various female reproductive system disorders. The findings could lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of these disorders and, possibly, to more beneficial therapeutic strategies.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The role of the brain in female reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Downs, Jodi L; Wise, Phyllis M

    2009-02-01

    In middle-aged women, follicular depletion is a critical factor mediating the menopausal transition; however, all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis contribute to the age-related decline in reproductive function. To help elucidate the complex interactions between the ovary and brain during middle-age that lead to the onset of the menopause, we utilize animal models which share striking similarities in reproductive physiology. Our results show that during middle-age, prior to any overt irregularities in estrous cyclicity, the ability of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) to modulate the cascade of neurochemical events required for preovulatory gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release and a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge is diminished. Middle-aged female rats experience a delay in and an attenuation of LH release in response to E(2). Additionally, although we do not observe a decrease in GnRH neuron number until a very advanced age, E(2)-mediated GnRH neuronal activation declines during the earliest stages of age-related reproductive decline. Numerous hypothalamic neuropeptides and neurochemical stimulatory inputs (i.e., glutamate, norepinephrine (NE), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)) that drive the E(2)-mediated GnRH/LH surge appear to dampen with age or lack the precise temporal coordination required for a specific pattern of GnRH secretion, while inhibitory signals such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and opioid peptides remain unchanged or elevated during the afternoon of proestrus. These changes, occurring at the level of the hypothalamus, lead to irregular estrous cycles and, ultimately, the cessation of reproductive function. Taken together, our studies indicate that the hypothalamus is an important contributor to age-related female reproductive decline.

  20. Scientific and regulatory policy committee (SRPC) paper: assessment of circulating hormones in nonclinical toxicity studies III. female reproductive hormones.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Håkan; Rehm, Sabine; Stanislaus, Dinesh; Wood, Charles E

    2013-08-01

    Hormonally mediated effects on the female reproductive system may manifest as pathologic changes of endocrine-responsive organs and altered reproductive function. Identification of these effects requires proper assessment, which may include investigative studies to profile female reproductive hormones. Here, we briefly describe normal hormonal patterns across the estrous or menstrual cycle and provide general guidance on measuring female reproductive hormones and characterizing hormonal disturbances in nonclinical toxicity studies. Although species used in standard toxicity studies share basic features of reproductive endocrinology, there are important species differences that affect both study design and interpretation of results. Diagnosing female reproductive hormone disturbances can be complicated by many factors, including estrous/menstrual cyclicity, diurnal variation, and age- and stress-related factors. Thus, female reproductive hormonal measurements should not generally be included in first-tier toxicity studies of standard design with groups of unsynchronized intact female animals. Rather, appropriately designed and statistically powered investigative studies are recommended in order to properly identify ovarian and/or pituitary hormone changes and bridge these effects to mechanistic evaluations and safety assessments. This article is intended to provide general considerations and approaches for these types of targeted studies.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Intraspecific variation in body size and the rate of reproduction in female insects - adaptive allometry or biophysical constraint?

    PubMed

    Berger, David; Olofsson, Martin; Friberg, Magne; Karlsson, Bengt; Wiklund, Christer; Gotthard, Karl; Gilburn, Andre

    2012-11-01

    1. A high rate of reproduction may be costly if ecological factors limit immediate reproductive output as a fast metabolism compromises own future survival. Individuals with more reserves need more time and opportunity to realize their reproductive potential. Theory therefore predicts that the reproductive rate, defined as the investment in early reproduction in proportion to total potential, should decrease with body size within species. 2. However, metabolic constraints on body size- and temperature-dependent biological rates may impede biophysical adaptation. Furthermore, the sequential manner resources that are allocated to somatic vs. reproductive tissue during ontogeny may, when juveniles develop in unpredictable environments, further contribute to non-adaptive variation in adult reproductive rates. 3. With a model on female egg laying in insects, we demonstrate how variation in body reserves is predicted to affect reproductive rate under different ecological scenarios. Small females always have higher reproductive rates but shorter lifespans. However, incorporation of female host selectivity leads to more similar reproductive rates among female size classes, and oviposition behaviour is predicted to co-evolve with reproductive rate, resulting in small females being more selective in their choice and gaining relatively more from it. 4. We fed simulations with data on the butterfly Pararge aegeria to compare model predictions with reproductive rates of wild butterflies. However, simulated reproductive allometry was a poor predictor of that observed. Instead, reproductive rates were better explained as a product of metabolic constraints on rates of egg maturation, and an empirically derived positive allometry between reproductive potential and size. However, fitness is insensitive to moderate deviations in reproductive rate when oviposition behaviour is allowed to co-evolve in the simulations, suggesting that behavioural compensation may mitigate putative

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

    PubMed Central

    Lasley, B L; Overstreet, J W

    1998-01-01

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

  5. Evaluating the male and female reproductive toxicity of high-boiling petroleum substances.

    PubMed

    Murray, F Jay; Gray, Thomas M; Roberts, Linda G; Roth, Randy N; Nicolich, Mark J; Simpson, Barry J

    2013-11-01

    To meet the EPA HPV Chemical Challenge Program requirement for reproductive toxicity data on sponsored high-boiling petroleum substances (HBPS), an analysis was conducted using the results of 39 repeat-dose and 59 developmental rat dermal toxicity studies on HBPS samples spanning the boiling range of the sponsored substances, and the results of three one-generation reproductive toxicity studies on two samples spanning the concentration range of polycyclic aromatic compounds of sponsored substances. The analysis found little evidence of male or female reproductive tract toxicity based on histopathology, reproductive organ weight, and sperm parameters, and no evidence of effects on fertility, while significant developmental toxicity and/or systemic repeat-dose toxicity were frequently observed. Among 14 samples of HBPS tested in both repeat-dose toxicity and developmental toxicity studies, there were no studies in which an adverse reproductive tract finding occurred at a dose lower than that producing developmental toxicity or other adverse effects in repeat-dose toxicity studies. The current analysis supports the hypothesis that effects in developmental and/or repeat-dose toxicity studies of HBPS occur at doses lower than those that might affect fertility in rat one-generation reproductive studies. When adequate developmental and repeat-dose toxicity studies are available, a reproductive toxicity study of HBPS appears unnecessary.

  6. [Correlations of reproductive parameters of water vole females (Arvicola amphibius) with morphometric and hormonal characteristics].

    PubMed

    Yuzhik, E I; Proskurnyak, L P; Nazarova, G G

    2015-01-01

    Fluctuations in water vole population size depend on abiotic and intra-population factors affecting the physiological condition of females. The relationship between variability in reproductive success and morpho-physiological characteristics of female during pregnancy is studied quite poorly. In standard vivarium conditions, the morphometric and hormonal characteristics of female were assessed at different stages of pregnancy (first trimester--days 4-7, second trimester--days 8-14, third semester--days 15-20), and their relationship with potential and actual fecundity and the level of embryonic lethality was elucidated. The general regression model was used in the data analysis. Positive correlations were found between potential fecundity and the female body mass at mating, body mass index and blood testosterone level. The reproductive parameters under study were independent of the blood thyroxin level. A positive correlation was established between the level of embryonic loss and the indices of liver and lung functions. Liver and spleen are essential for the maintenance of the female body mass homeostasis during the reproductive period. PMID:26027386

  7. Neonatal injections of methoxychlor decrease adult rat female reproductive behavior.

    PubMed

    Bertolasio, Jennifer; Fyfe, Susanne; Snyder, Ben W; Davis, Aline M

    2011-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC), a commonly used pesticide, has been labeled as an endocrine disruptor. To evaluate the impact of neonatal exposure to MXC on female reproduction, female Sprague-Dawley rats were given subcutaneous injections on postnatal days 1, 3, and 5. The injections contained 1.0mg MXC, 2.0mg MXC, 10 μg 17β-estradiol benzoate (positive control), or sesame oil (vehicle). The injections of MXC had no effect on anogenital distance or day of vaginal opening. Treatment with either 2.0mg MXC or estradiol significantly increased the total number of days with vaginal keratinization. Treatment with MXC had no effect on ability to exhibit a mating response as an adult female, although the high dose MXC (2.0) and the positive control (estradiol) animals demonstrated a decrease in degree of receptivity, a decrease in proceptive behavior and an increase in rejection behavior. These data suggest that higher doses of MXC given directly to pups during the neonatal period can act as an estrogen and alter aspects of the nervous system, impacting adult reproductive characteristics.

  8. 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

  9. Macroscopic anatomy of the reproductive tract of the reproductively quiescent female emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).

    PubMed

    Reed, Robert B; Cope, Lee A; Blackford, James T

    2011-04-01

    Three reproductively quiescent female emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) were embalmed with 10% formalin solution. The reproductive tract was dissected and described. The reproductive tract consists of an ovary and oviduct situated on the left side of the abdominal cavity. The left ovary is dark brown to black in colour with follicles covering the ventral surface. The ovary is located medial to the spleen and closely associated with the ventral surface of the cranial and middle lobes of the left kidney. The oviduct is a relatively straight tube that extends from the level of the cranial extent of the left ilium to the caudal border of the left pubic bone. The oviduct is grossly divided into the infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, uterus and vagina using variations in the mucosal fold pattern.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Female reproductive parameters in the Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch).

    PubMed

    Hodgkiss, Sarah; Thetford, Ernie; Waitt, C D; Nijman, Vincent

    2010-01-01

    Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) are one of the most endangered gibbon species in the world. Data on the reproductive biology of the species are almost nonexistent, and a general understanding of the female reproductive biology of this species is important for both ex situ and in situ conservation. Using 18 years of data from 11 captive individuals, we provide new information on the reproductive biology of Javan gibbons based on sexual swelling and menstrual bleeding, including reproductive development, interbirth intervals, and ovarian cycle lengths. Menarche and the onset of sexual swelling occurred at 6.2 and 6.5 years respectively, followed by a period of adolescent sterility of about 1.5 years. Average age at first birth was 8.8 years, and interbirth intervals were about 2.3 years, decreasing to 1.0 year during cases of infant mortality at or shortly after birth. Ovarian cyclicity was measured through periods between menstrual bleeding and sexual swelling. Menstrual bleeding indicates the start of a new ovarian cycle, while sexual swelling normally occurs near the time of ovulation. Menstrual bleeding intervals gave a cycle length of 25.6 days, while sexual swelling intervals gave a cycle length of 27.3 days. These both correspond closely to cycle lengths in other gibbon species, as well as hormonal studies in Javan gibbons. In particular, observing the presence/absence of swellings was found to be a useful and easy method to monitor female ovarian cycles, and could be a practical noninvasive technique for caretakers and researchers.

  13. Analysis of male pheromones that accelerate female reproductive organ development.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Kelly A; Webb, William; Stowers, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    Male odors can influence a female's reproductive physiology. In the mouse, the odor of male urine results in an early onset of female puberty. Several volatile and protein pheromones have previously been reported to each account for this bioactivity. Here we bioassay inbred BALB/cJ females to study pheromone-accelerated uterine growth, a developmental hallmark of puberty. We evaluate the response of wild-type and mutant mice lacking a specialized sensory transduction channel, TrpC2, and find TrpC2 function to be necessary for pheromone-mediated uterine growth. We analyze the relative effectiveness of pheromones previously identified to accelerate puberty through direct bioassay and find none to significantly accelerate uterine growth in BALB/cJ females. Complementary to this analysis, we have devised a strategy of partial purification of the uterine growth bioactivity from male urine and applied it to purify bioactivity from three different laboratory strains. The biochemical characteristics of the active fraction of all three strains are inconsistent with that of previously known pheromones. When directly analyzed, we are unable to detect previously known pheromones in urine fractions that generate uterine growth. Our analysis indicates that pheromones emitted by males to advance female puberty remain to be identified.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-30

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

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

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

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Kölliker, Mathias

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Reproductive toxicity of chronic lead exposure in male and female mice.

    PubMed

    Pinon-Lataillade, G; Thoreux-Manlay, A; Coffigny, H; Masse, R; Soufir, J C

    1995-11-01

    The reproductive toxicity of lead was investigated in NMRI mice exposed to 0.5% lead acetate in drinking water from day 1 of intra-uterine life until 60 days after birth. Compared with control mice, the weights of lead-exposed fetuses and subsequently of the lead-exposed weaned pups, male and female, diminished by 11 and 13% respectively. The lead-exposed male and female offspring of lead-exposed dams were mated with unexposed females and males, to examine the effect of lead exposure on reproductive function. Male fertility was not affected but reduced female fertility was observed: litters were smaller and a smaller number of implantation sites was found in lead-exposed females. In lead-exposed males, the weights of the body, testes and epididymes diminished by about 13%, and seminal vesicle and ventral prostate weights, by about 29%. Testicular histology and the number and morphology of epididymal spermatozoa were normal. The levels of plasma FSH, LH and testosterone, and of testicular testosterone, were not modified. These results suggest that the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis is not adversely affected by the above lead exposure, and that therefore the decreased seminal vesicle and ventral prostate weights might not be the consequence of reduced testosterone levels. The hypothesis that lead has a direct effect on these organs as well as a secondary effect resulting from possibly reduced food consumption by lead-exposed mice cannot be excluded. Consequently, in male NMRI mice, exposure to lead might affect reproductive function by acting directly and/or indirectly on accessory sex organs.

  1. A pair of mouse KRAB zinc finger proteins modulates multiple indicators of female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Krebs, Christopher J; Robins, Diane M

    2010-04-01

    Krüppel-associated box-zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZFPs) are the largest class of transcriptional regulators in mammals, yet few have been assigned biological roles. Cloning the genes underlying the regulator of sex-limitation (rsl) phenotype, in which the normally male-specific sex-limited protein (SLP) is expressed in female mice, identified two KRAB-ZFPs, Rsl1 and Rsl2, as influencing sexually dimorphic liver gene expression. Combined absence of both repressors in rsl mice leads to increased expression in female liver of major urinary proteins (MUPs) and certain enzymes of steroid metabolism, as well as SLP. We hypothesized that this altered gene expression might affect reproductive physiology in rsl females. Urinary MUP (uMUP) concentration varied with the estrous cycle in both wt and rsl females but was consistently higher in rsl urine. A behavioral odor test revealed that wild-type (wt) males preferred rsl to wt females, possibly due to elevated uMUPs providing greater pheromone presentation. To ascribe activity to Rsl1, Rsl2, or both, the genes were individually expressed as liver-specific transgenes. RSL2 overexpression accentuated uMUP fluctuations across the estrous cycle, whereas RSL1 overexpression did not. In addition, puberty onset, as indicated by vaginal opening (VO), occurred 2 days earlier in rsl females, and excess RSL2, but not RSL1, restored VO timing to wt. Hence, transcriptional repression by RSL in liver modifies female mouse reproduction via targets that likely impact both hormonal and pheromonal cues. The large and rapidly diversifying KRAB-ZFP family may modulate biological processes, including reproduction, to confer individual differences that may isolate populations and ultimately lead to speciation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Effects of adult-derived carbohydrates, amino acids and micronutrients on female reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus

    2005-05-01

    It is generally believed that butterflies (and other holometabolous insects) rely primarily on reserves accumulated during the larval stage for reproduction, whereas the carbohydrate-rich adult diet is thought to mainly cover energy requirements. In at least some species though, realization of the full reproductive potential is extensively affected by post-eclosion nutrition. While the importance of carbohydrates is fairly well understood, the role of adult-derived amino acids and micronutrients is controversial and largely unknown, respectively. We here focus on the effects of different adult diets on female reproduction in the tropical, fruit-feeding butterfly Bicyclus anynana (Nymphalidae). Carbohydrates were the most important adult-derived nutrients affecting reproduction. Adding amino acids, vitamins or minerals to sucrose-based solutions did not yield a reproductive output equivalent to that of fruit-fed females, which showed the highest performance throughout. This suggests that either not yet identified compounds of fruit substantially contribute to reproduction, or that resource congruence (the use of nutrient types in a specified ratio) rather than any specific nutrient component is of key importance. Apart from adult income, realized fecundity depended on egg size and longevity, with the former dominating when dietary quality was low, but the latter when quality was high. Thus, the egg size-number trade-off seems to be affected by female nutrition.

  5. Endocannabinoid signaling in female reproductive events: a potential therapeutic target?

    PubMed

    Maccarrone, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Nearly 30 years after the discovery in 1964 of the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis (Cannabis sativa), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, its endogenous counterparts were discovered and collectively termed endocannabinoids (eCBs): N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) in 1992 and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in 1995. Since then, intense research has identified additional eCBs and an ensemble of proteins that bind, synthesize and degrade them, the so-called eCB system. Altogether, these new compounds have been recognized as key mediators of several aspects of human pathophysiology, and in particular of female fertility. Here, the main features of the eCB system are presented, in order to put in a better perspective the relevance of eCB signaling in virtually all steps of human reproduction and to highlight emerging hopes that elements of this system might indeed become novel targets to combat fertility problems. PMID:26126134

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Color Doppler analysis of female reproductive vasculature in Behçet's disease.

    PubMed

    Tezcan, M E; Temizkan, O; Ozderya, A; Melikoglu, M; Aydin, K; Sargin, M; Temizkan, S

    2015-12-30

    Behçet's disease (BD) may affect female reproductive vasculature. We aimed to evaluate Doppler sonographic characteristics of female reproductive vasculature and also ovarian volume, endometrial thickness (EMT) and antral follicle count of BD patients in comparison with a healthy control group. Seventeen premenopausal women aged between 18-45 years with BD, and a control group of 31 age- and body mass index-matched healthy women was included in the study. Uterine, spiral and intraovarian artery blood flow were examined by Doppler sonography in the late follicular phase. Resistance index, pulsatility index and systolic/diastolic ratio were recorded together with ovarian volume, EMT and antral follicle count. In particular this is a pilot study including the evaluation of the spiral and uterine arteries in BD. Doppler sonographic parameters, ovarian volume, EMT and antral follicle count of BD patients and healthy controls were not found to be statistically different. As a result of our analysis, we found similar Doppler sonographic features of both BD patients and the control group. Further studies conducted on a larger sample population with more aggressive BD symptoms may reveal the actual effect of BD on the female reproductive system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Survival of female Lesser Scaup: Effects of body size, age, and reproductive effort

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rotella, J.J.; Clark, R.G.; Afton, A.D.

    2003-01-01

    In birds, larger females generally have greater breeding propensity, reproductive investment, and success than do smaller females. However, optimal female body size also depends on how natural selection acts during other parts of the life cycle. Larger female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) produce larger eggs than do smaller females, and ducklings from larger eggs survive better than those hatching from smaller eggs. Accordingly, we examined patterns of apparent annual survival for female scaup and tested whether natural selection on female body size primarily was stabilizing, a frequent assumption in studies of sexually dimorphic species in which males are the larger sex, or was directional, counter-acting reproductive advantages of large size. We estimated survival using mark-recapture methods for individually marked females from two study sites in Canada (Erickson, Manitoba; St. Denis, Saskatchewan). Structurally larger (adults) and heavier (ducklings) females had lower survival than did smaller individuals in Manitoba; no relationship was detected in adults from Saskatchewan. Survival of adult females declined with indices of increasing reproductive effort at both sites; consequently, the cost of reproduction could explain age-related patterns of breeding propensity in scaup. Furthermore, if larger females are more likely to breed than are smaller females, then cost of reproduction also may help explain why survival was lower for larger females. Overall, we found that advantages of large body size of female scaup during breeding or as young ducklings apparently were counteracted by natural selection favoring lightweight juveniles and structurally smaller adult females through higher annual survival.

  13. Relationships between hepatic trace element concentrations, reproductive status, and body condition of female greater scaup

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Badzinski, S.S.; Flint, P.L.; Gorman, K.B.; Petrie, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    We collected female greater scaup (Aythya marila) on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska during two breeding seasons to determine if concentrations of 18 trace elements in livers and eggs were elevated and if hepatic concentrations correlated with body condition or affected reproductive status. Fifty-six percent, 5%, and 42% of females, respectively, had elevated hepatic cadmium (Cd: >3 ??g g-1 dry weight [dw]), mercury (Hg: >3 ??g g-1 dw), and selenium (Se: >10 ??g g-1 dw). Somatic protein and lipid reserves were not correlated with hepatic Cd or Hg, but there was a weak negative correlation between protein and Se. Hepatic Cd, Hg, and Se were similar in females that had and had not initiated egg production. In a sample of six eggs, 33% and 100%, respectively, contained Se and Hg, but concentrations were below embryotoxicity thresholds. We conclude that trace element concentrations documented likely were not adversely impacting this study population. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Mammalian sperm interactions with the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Susan S

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian female reproductive tract interacts with sperm in various ways in order to facilitate sperm migration to the egg while impeding migrations of pathogens into the tract, to keep sperm alive during the time between mating and ovulation, and to select the fittest sperm for fertilization. The two main types of interactions are physical and molecular. Physical interactions include the swimming responses of sperm to the microarchitecture of walls, to fluid flows, and to fluid viscoelasticity. When sperm encounter walls, they have a strong tendency to remain swimming along them. Sperm will also orient their swimming into gentle fluid flows. The female tract seems to use these tendencies of sperm to guide them to the site of fertilization. When sperm hyperactivate, they are better able to penetrate highly viscoelastic media, such as the cumulus matrix surrounding eggs. Molecular interactions include communications of sperm surface molecules with receptors on the epithelial lining of the tract. There is evidence that specific sperm surface molecules are required to enable sperm to pass through the uterotubal junction into the oviduct. When sperm reach the oviduct, most bind to the oviductal epithelium. This interaction holds sperm in a storage reservoir until ovulation and serves to maintain the fertilization competence of stored sperm. When sperm are released from the reservoir, they detach from and re-attach to the epithelium repeatedly while ascending to the site of fertilization. We are only beginning to understand the communications that may pass between sperm and epithelium during these interactions.

  15. Juvenile hormone regulation of female reproduction in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius

    PubMed Central

    Gujar, Hemant; Palli, Subba Reddy

    2016-01-01

    To begin studies on reproduction in common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, we identified three genes coding for vitellogenin (Vg, a protein required for the reproductive success of insects) and studied their hormonal regulation. RNA interference studied showed that expression of Vg3 gene in the adult females is a prerequisite for successful completion of embryogenesis in the eggs laid by them. Juvenile hormone (JH) receptor, Methoprene-tolerant (Met), steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) and GATAa but not ecdysone receptor (EcR) or its partner, ultraspiracle (USP) are required for expression of Vg genes. Feeding and mating working through Vg, Met, SRC, EcR, and GATAa regulate oocyte development. Knockdown of the expression of Met, SRC, EcR, USP, BR-C (Broad-Complex), TOR (target of rapamycin), and GATAa in female adults resulted in a reduction in the number eggs laid by them. Interestingly, Kruppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) knockdown in the adult females did not reduce their fecundity but affected the development of embryos in the eggs laid by females injected with Kr-h1 double-stranded RNA. These data suggest that JH functioning through Met and SRC regulate both vitellogenesis and oogenesis in C. lectularius. However, JH does not work through Kr-h1 but may work through transcription factors not yet identified. PMID:27762340

  16. Isolation and Molecular Identification of Mycoplasma Hominis in Infertile Female and Male Reproductive System

    PubMed Central

    Jamalizadeh Bahaabadi, Samaneh; Mohseni Moghadam, Naeime; Kheirkhah, Babak; Farsinejad, Alireza; Habibzadeh, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Background: Infection of urogenital system with Mycoplasma potentially affect reproductive system and increases infants mortalities. Therefore, detection of these organisms is an important issue that should be considered and appropriate diagnostic methods should be used to identify these microorganisms. In the female reproductive system, infection can affect different parts of the cervix, endometrium, and fallopian tube. The extent of this infection in different diseases and its pathogenesis might be related to anatomic site of involvement. Some infections can lead to infertility in both males and females. Genital infection with Mycoplasmas have devastating effects on reproductive organs and cause fertility disorders and mortality in infants. In recent years, many studies have been conducted to isolate these pathogens; however, the isolates have not been identified so far. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the molecular identity of Mycoplasma hominis isolated from infertile female and male reproductive system in the Infertility Center of Kerman. Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was performed purposefully on 100 infertile females and 100 infertile males who were referred to the Infertility Center of Kerman during a six-month period. The collected samples of semen and vaginal swabs were examined for the presence of M. hominis by PCR. The samples with positive results in PCR were selected for molecular identification. Alignment of samples sequence was performed using MEGA 5 software through Neighbor-joining method. Results: Among 100 samples from infertile males, the presence of genus Mycoplasma was confirmed in 45 cases of which 15 cases were infected with M. hominis. Among 100 samples from infertile female, the presence of genus Mycoplasma was confirmed in 43 cases of which 18 case were infected with M. hominis. The positive samples were sequenced and the phylogenetic tree was plotted. Conclusions: The results showed that 37.5% of

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. [The mechanism of miRNA-mediated PGR signaling pathway in regulating female reproduction].

    PubMed

    Chen, Long; Zhang, Baoyun; Feng, Guangde; Xiang, Wei; Ma, Yunxia; Chen, Hang; Chu, Mingxing; Wang, Pingqing

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in several physiological processes as important post-transcriptional regulators. Progesterone (P4), an important steroid hormone, produces physiological effect through binding specific receptor progesterone receptors (PGR) which regulates functions of both reproductive and non-reproductive tissues as a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. P4/PGR and miRNAs could regulate female reproduction independently, however, it is still unclear how miRNAs and P4/PGR interaction regulates female reproductive activities such as ovulation in female reproduction. In this review, we summarize the possible ways in which miRNAs regulate P4 production and PGR gene expression as well as P4/PGR regulate miRNAs expression, which provide a theoretical basis for further studying the role of miRNAs and P4/PGR in female reproduction.

  20. Acute stress differentially affects aromatase activity in specific brain nuclei of adult male and female quail.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    The rapid and temporary suppression of reproductive behavior is often assumed to be an important feature of the adaptive acute stress response. However, how this suppression operates at the mechanistic level is poorly understood. The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone to estradiol in the brain to activate reproductive behavior in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). The discovery of rapid and reversible modification of aromatase activity (AA) provides a potential mechanism for fast, stress-induced changes in behavior. We investigated the effects of acute stress on AA in both sexes by measuring enzyme activity in all aromatase-expressing brain nuclei before, during, and after 30 min of acute restraint stress. We show here that acute stress rapidly alters AA in the male and female brain and that these changes are specific to the brain nuclei and sex of the individual. Specifically, acute stress rapidly (5 min) increased AA in the male medial preoptic nucleus, a region controlling male reproductive behavior; in females, a similar increase was also observed, but it appeared delayed (15 min) and had smaller amplitude. In the ventromedial and tuberal hypothalamus, regions associated with female reproductive behavior, stress induced a quick and sustained decrease in AA in females, but in males, only a slight increase (ventromedial) or no change (tuberal) in AA was observed. Effects of acute stress on brain estrogen production, therefore, represent one potential way through which stress affects reproduction.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Reproductive Female Feeding Strategies in Spiny Forest-Dwelling Lemur catta in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar: How Do Females Meet the Challenges of Reproduction in this Harsh Habitat?

    PubMed

    Gould, Lisa; Kelley, Elizabeth A; LaFleur, Marni

    2015-01-01

    The spiny forest ecoregion of southern and southwestern Madagascar is characterized by low annual rainfall, high temperatures, short-stature xeric vegetation and lack of canopy. Lemur catta is often the only diurnal primate persisting in this habitat. For reproductive females living in spiny forests, gestation and early-to-mid lactation periods occur during the dry season when food resources are limited. We conducted a between-site comparison of variables important to the feeding ecology of reproductive female L. catta inhabiting spiny forest at 3 sites: Berenty spiny forest (BSF), Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM) and Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP). We hypothesize that the ability for pregnant and lactating females to adequately obtain plant foods high in protein, low in fiber and with a high water content is crucial to their survival and successful reproduction in spiny habitat. We found favorable or relatively equal protein-to-fiber ratios in plant foods most frequently consumed by reproductive females, and preferred foods contained high water content. Some overlap in preferred plant species at the 3 sites suggests important plant foods for reproductive females inhabiting spiny forests. We suggest that choosing foods high in protein, relatively low in fiber and with high water content are behavioral adaptations allowing female L. catta to reproduce and survive in this habitat.

  5. Interactions of spermatozoa with the female reproductive tract: inspiration for assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Suarez, S S

    2007-01-01

    Artificial insemination with sexed semen, in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection have been used to reproduce animals, but often not as successfully as natural mating. Learning more about how spermatozoa normally interact with the female tract can provide inspiration for developing improvements in assisted reproduction. The present review focuses on Bos taurus, because more is known about this species than others. At coitus, bull spermatozoa are deposited into the anterior vagina, where they rapidly enter the cervix. Cervical mucus quickly filters out seminal plasma from spermatozoa, unlike most assisted reproduction protocols. Spermatozoa that reach the uterus may require certain cell surface proteins to swim through the uterotubal junction. Shortly after passing through the junction, most spermatozoa are trapped in a storage reservoir by binding to oviducal epithelium, in the case of cattle via bovine seminal plasma (BSP) proteins coating the sperm head. As ovulation approaches, spermatozoa capacitate and shed BSP proteins. This reduces sperm binding to the epithelium and releases them from storage. Motility hyperactivation assists spermatozoa in leaving the storage reservoir, swimming through oviducal mucus and the cumulus oophorus, and penetrating the oocyte zona pellucida. Chemotactically regulated switching between asymmetrical (i.e. hyperactivated) and symmetrical flagellar beating may also guide spermatozoa to the oocyte. PMID:17389139

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

    PubMed

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Reproductive performance is improved during seasonal anoestrus when female and male Murciano-Granadina goats receive melatonin implants and in Payoya goats when females are thus treated.

    PubMed

    Zarazaga, L A; Gatica, M C; Celi, I; Guzmán, J L

    2012-06-01

    This work investigates whether the reproductive performance of Mediterranean goats achieved using melatonin implants at around the spring equinox is affected by the protocol followed, i.e. implanting females only, males only, both sexes or neither sex. In a first experiment, Murciano-Granadina females (n = 419, 510 and 631 for three consecutive years) were divided into four groups: treated with melatonin (FM) and not treated with melatonin (FC), mounted by males treated with melatonin (MM) or not (MC). In a second experiment, performed during 2009, the same protocols were used with 635 Payoya females and the results compared with those obtained for the same year for the Murciano-Granadina breed. Fertility (percentage of goats kidding), litter size (number of kids born per female kidded) and productivity (number of kids per female in each mating group) were calculated. In the first experiment, better reproductive performances were obtained when females (overall fertility: 71.1% vs 57.0% for the FM and FC animals; productivity 1.37 ± 0.04 kids per female vs 1.12 ± 0.03 kids per female for the FM and FC animals; p < 0.01) or males (overall fertility: 65.9% vs 58.4 for the MM and MC animals; productivity 1.28 ± 0.03 kids per female vs 1.13 ± 0.04 kids per female for MM and MC groups, respectively; p < 0.01) were implanted with melatonin. Moreover, the interaction sex × melatonin treatment had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on productivity. In the second experiment, for the Murciano-Granadina breed, the greatest increase in the number of kids born per female was obtained when the females were treated with melatonin, in either the FM/MC or FM/MM protocols (0.54 extra kids and 0.53 extra kids per female, respectively) (p < 0.01). In the Payoya breed, the greatest increase was obtained using the FM/MC protocol (0.19 extra kids per female). Thus, improved reproductive performances are obtained when female Murciano-Granadina and Payoya goats are implanted with

  8. Reproductive performance is improved during seasonal anoestrus when female and male Murciano-Granadina goats receive melatonin implants and in Payoya goats when females are thus treated.

    PubMed

    Zarazaga, L A; Gatica, M C; Celi, I; Guzmán, J L

    2012-06-01

    This work investigates whether the reproductive performance of Mediterranean goats achieved using melatonin implants at around the spring equinox is affected by the protocol followed, i.e. implanting females only, males only, both sexes or neither sex. In a first experiment, Murciano-Granadina females (n = 419, 510 and 631 for three consecutive years) were divided into four groups: treated with melatonin (FM) and not treated with melatonin (FC), mounted by males treated with melatonin (MM) or not (MC). In a second experiment, performed during 2009, the same protocols were used with 635 Payoya females and the results compared with those obtained for the same year for the Murciano-Granadina breed. Fertility (percentage of goats kidding), litter size (number of kids born per female kidded) and productivity (number of kids per female in each mating group) were calculated. In the first experiment, better reproductive performances were obtained when females (overall fertility: 71.1% vs 57.0% for the FM and FC animals; productivity 1.37 ± 0.04 kids per female vs 1.12 ± 0.03 kids per female for the FM and FC animals; p < 0.01) or males (overall fertility: 65.9% vs 58.4 for the MM and MC animals; productivity 1.28 ± 0.03 kids per female vs 1.13 ± 0.04 kids per female for MM and MC groups, respectively; p < 0.01) were implanted with melatonin. Moreover, the interaction sex × melatonin treatment had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on productivity. In the second experiment, for the Murciano-Granadina breed, the greatest increase in the number of kids born per female was obtained when the females were treated with melatonin, in either the FM/MC or FM/MM protocols (0.54 extra kids and 0.53 extra kids per female, respectively) (p < 0.01). In the Payoya breed, the greatest increase was obtained using the FM/MC protocol (0.19 extra kids per female). Thus, improved reproductive performances are obtained when female Murciano-Granadina and Payoya goats are implanted with

  9. The effect of insulin signaling on female reproductive function independent of adiposity and hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Wang, Xiangyuan; Accili, Domenico; Wolgemuth, Debra J

    2010-04-01

    Physiological states of insulin resistance such as obesity and diabetes have been linked to abnormalities in female reproductive function. However, it is difficult to distinguish the direct effects of impaired insulin signaling from those of adiposity or hyperglycemia because these conditions often coexist in human syndromes and animal models of insulin resistance. In this study, we used lean, normoglycemic mouse lines with differing degrees of hyperinsulinemia and insulin receptor (Insr) expression to dissect the effects of altered insulin signaling on female reproduction. All three mouse lines [Ttr-Insr(-/-), Insr(+/-), and Insr(+/+) (wild type)] are able to maintain fertility. However, the insulin-resistant and hyperinsulinemic mice demonstrate altered duration of estrous cycles as well as aberrant distribution and morphology of ovarian follicles. These effects appear to be independent of hyperandrogenism in the mice. Pregnancy studies indicate decreased success in early progression of gestation. In successful pregnancies, decreased embryo weights and increased placental calcification also implicate altered insulin signaling in later gestational effects. Thus, abnormal insulin signaling, independent of adipose tissue mass, adipokine expression levels, and hyperglycemia, can affect parameters of the female hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and pregnancy outcomes.

  10. Paracrine Interactions of Thyroid Hormones and Thyroid Stimulation Hormone in the Female Reproductive Tract have an Impact on Female Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Stavreus Evers, Anneli

    2012-01-01

    Thyroid disease often causes menstrual disturbances and infertility problems. Thyroid hormone (TH) acts through its receptors, transcription factors present in most cell types in the body. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates TH synthesis in the thyroid gland, but seems to have other functions as well in the female reproductive tract. The receptors of both TH and TSH increase in the receptive endometrium, suggesting that they are important for implantation, possible by influencing inflammatory mediators such as leukemia inhibitory factor. The roles of these receptors in the ovary need further studies. However, it is likely that the thyroid system is important for both follicular and embryo development. The association between thyroid disease and infertility indicate that TH and TSH affect the endometrium and ovary on the paracrine level. PMID:22649421

  11. Social rank and reproductive performance of pampas deer females (Ozotoceros bezoarticus, Linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Morales-Piñeyrúa, Jéssica Tatiana; Ciappesoni, Gabriel; Ungerfeld, Rodolfo

    2014-06-01

    Our objectives were to determine if success index of pampas deer females is related with females' age and if social rank makes any influence on reproductive performance. Female social rank was determined in 18 groups of animals composed of 1 male: 5-9 females (total=98 females). Date of parturition for each female and sex and birth weight of fawns were recorded for each birth. The females were categorized in three hierarchical ranks: low (<0.33) (group LR), medium (0.33-0.66) (group MR), and high (>0.66) (group HR). The success index increased with age in pampas deer females (P<0.001). Social rank had no effect on calving success, relative calving dates, sex ratio or body weight at birth. In this study, the success index was related with females' age, and the reproductive performance did not differ between females of different social ranks.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Female reproductive disorders: the roles of endocrine-disrupting compounds and developmental timing

    PubMed Central

    Crain, D. Andrew; Janssen, Sarah J.; Edwards, Thea M.; Heindel, Jerrold; Ho, Shuk-mei; Hunt, Patricia; Iguchi, Taisen; Juul, Anders; McLachlan, John A.; Schwartz, Jackie; Skakkebaek, Niels; Soto, Ana M.; Swan, Shanna; Walker, Cheryl; Woodruff, Teresa K.; Woodruff, Tracey J.; Giudice, Linda C.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on female reproductive health. Design Publications related to the contribution of EDCs to disorders of the ovary (aneuploidy, polycystic ovary syndrome, and altered cyclicity), uterus (endometriosis, uterine fibroids, fetal growth restriction, and pregnancy loss), breast (breast cancer, reduced duration of lactation), and pubertal timing were identified, reviewed, and summarized at a workshop. Conclusion(s) The data reviewed illustrate that EDCs contribute to numerous human female reproductive disorders and emphasize the sensitivity of early life-stage exposures. Many research gaps are identified that limit full understanding of the contribution of EDCs to female reproductive problems. Moreover, there is an urgent need to reduce the incidence of these reproductive disorders, which can be addressed by correlative studies on early life exposure and adult reproductive dysfunction together with tools to assess the specific exposures and methods to block their effects. This review of the EDC literature as it relates to female health provides an important platform on which women’s health can be improved. PMID:18929049

  17. Scientific and regulatory policy committee (SRPC) paper: Assessment of Circulating Hormones in Nonclinical Toxicity Studies. III Female Reproductive Hormones

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hormonally mediated effects on the female reproductive system may manifest in pathologic changes of endocrine-responsive organs and altered reproductive function. Identification of these effects requires proper assessment, which may include investigative studies of female reprod...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  19. Social and Environmental Factors Affecting Fecal Glucocorticoids in Wild, Female White-Faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus)

    PubMed Central

    CARNEGIE, SARAH D.; FEDIGAN, LINDA M.; ZIEGLER, TONI E.

    2016-01-01

    Assessing glucocorticoid levels in free-ranging nonhuman primates provides a means to determine the social and environmental stress load for individuals. We investigated the effect of four proximate variables—reproductive state, season, male rank stability, and dominance rank—on the level of fecal glucocorticoids (cortisol metabolites) in eight adult female white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Reproductive state, season, and male rank stability significantly affected fecal glucocorticoids while female dominance rank did not. Cortisol levels were significantly higher in pregnant females as compared with lactating or other reproductive states. Cortisol levels were higher among females during the dry season compared with the wet season, suggesting a metabolic adaptation to maintain homeostasis in drier, hotter conditions. Although unfamiliar males present a greater infanticidal threat than do familiar ones, we found that females experienced higher glucocorticoid levels during male rank instability events, regardless of whether the alpha male role was taken over by a familiar or an unfamiliar male. Our findings provide important benchmark and comparative data for future studies on the variables that affect glucocorticoid levels in this species and other mammals. PMID:21506140

  20. 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

  1. Hypothalamic molecular changes underlying natural reproductive senescence in the female rat.

    PubMed

    Kermath, Bailey A; Riha, Penny D; Woller, Michael J; Wolfe, Andrew; Gore, Andrea C

    2014-09-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Orphanin FQ-ORL-1 regulation of reproduction and reproductive behavior in the female.

    PubMed

    Sinchak, Kevin; Dalhousay, Lauren; Sanathara, Nayna

    2015-01-01

    Orphanin FQ (OFQ/N) and its receptor, opioid receptor-like receptor-1 (ORL-1), are expressed throughout steroid-responsive limbic and hypothalamic circuits that regulate female ovarian hormone feedback and reproductive behavior circuits. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) is a brain region that expresses OFQ/N and ORL-1 important for both sexual behavior and modulating estradiol feedback loops. Within the ARH, the activation of the OFQ/N-ORL-1 system facilitates sexual receptivity (lordosis) through the inhibition of β-endorphin neuronal activity. Estradiol initially activates ARH β-endorphin neurons to inhibit lordosis. Simultaneously, estradiol upregulates coexpression of OFQ/N and progesterone receptors and ORL-1 in ARH β-endorphin neurons. Ovarian hormones regulate pre- and postsynaptic coupling of ORL-1 to its G protein-coupled signaling pathways. When the steroid-primed rat is nonreceptive, estradiol acts pre- and postsynaptically to decrease the ability of the OFQ/N-ORL-1 system to inhibit ARH β-endorphin neurotransmission. Conversely, when sexually receptive, ORL-1 signaling is restored to inhibit β-endorphin neurotransmission. Although steroid signaling that facilitates lordosis converges to deactivate ARH β-endorphin neurons, estradiol-only facilitation of lordosis requires the activation of ORL-1, but estradiol+progesterone does not, indicating that multiple circuits mediate ovarian hormone signaling to deactivate ARH β-endorphin neurons. Research on the role of OFQ/N-ORL-1 in ovarian hormone feedback loops is just beginning. In the rat, OFQ/N may act to terminate gonadotropin-releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone release under positive and negative feedbacks. In the ewe, it appears to directly inhibit gonadotropin-releasing hormone release to mediate progesterone-negative feedback. As a whole, the localization and actions of OFQ/N-ORL-1 system indicate that it may mediate the actions of estradiol and progesterone to synchronize

  7. Exceptional longevity in female Rottweiler dogs is not encumbered by investment in reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kengeri, S S; Maras, A H; Suckow, C L; Chiang, E C; Waters, D J

    2013-12-01

    To better understand the potential trade-off between female reproductive investment and longevity in an emerging model of human healthspan, we studied pet dogs to determine whether intensity of reproduction (total number of offspring) encumbered the likelihood of exceptional longevity. This hypothesis was tested by collecting and analyzing lifetime medical histories, including complete reproductive histories, for a cohort of canine "centenarians"--exceptionally long-lived Rottweiler dogs that lived more than 30% longer than the breed's average life expectancy. Reproductive intensity (number of litters, total number of pups) and tempo of reproductive effort (age at first reproduction, mean interbirth interval, age at last reproduction) in 78 exceptionally long-lived female Rottweilers (>13 years old) were compared to a cohort of 97 female Rottweilers that had usual longevity (age at death 8.0-10.75 years). We found no evidence that a mother's physiological investment in offspring was associated with disadvantaged longevity. Instead, similar to some studies in women, our data showed an inverted U-shaped trend, suggesting that moderate investment in reproduction may promote longevity. Late reproductive success, a much-studied surrogate of maternal fitness in women, was not a strong predictor of longevity in this canine cohort. Instead, independent of reproductive investment, the duration of lifetime ovary exposure was significantly associated with highly successful aging. Our results from exceptionally long-lived pet dogs provide rationale for further investigative efforts to understand the ovary-sensitive biological factors that promote healthy longevity in women and pet dogs.

  8. Effect of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) Exposure on the Reproductive Organs of Immature Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Da Kyung; Lee, Sung-Ho

    2016-06-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin, elicits strong immune responses in mammals. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that LPS challenge profoundly affects female reproductive function. For example, LPS exposure affects steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis, resulting in delayed puberty onset. The present study was conducted to clarify the mechanism underlying the adverse effect of LPS on the delayed puberty in female rats. LPS was daily injected for 5 days (50 μg/kg, PND 25-29) to treated animals and the date at VO was evaluated through daily visual examination. At PND 39, animals were sacrificed, and the tissues were immediately removed and weighed. Among the reproductive organs, the weights of the ovaries and oviduct from LPS-treated animals were significantly lower than those of control animals. There were no changes in the weights of uterus and vagina between the LPS-treated and their control animals. Immunological challenge by LPS delayed VO. Multiple corpora lutea were found in the control ovaries, indicating ovulations were occurred. However, none of corpus luteum was present in the LPS-treated ovary. The transcription level of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), CYP11A1, CYP17A1 and CYP19 were significantly increased by LPS treatment. On the other hand, the levels of 3β- HSD, 17β-HSD and LH receptor were not changed by LPS challenge. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the repeated LPS exposure during the prepubertal period could induce multiple alterations in the steroidogenic machinery in ovary, and in turn, delayed puberty onset. The prepubertal LPS challenge model used in our study is useful to understand the reciprocal regulation of immune (stress) - reproductive function in early life. PMID:27660826

  9. Effect of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) Exposure on the Reproductive Organs of Immature Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Da Kyung; Lee, Sung-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin, elicits strong immune responses in mammals. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that LPS challenge profoundly affects female reproductive function. For example, LPS exposure affects steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis, resulting in delayed puberty onset. The present study was conducted to clarify the mechanism underlying the adverse effect of LPS on the delayed puberty in female rats. LPS was daily injected for 5 days (50 μg/kg, PND 25-29) to treated animals and the date at VO was evaluated through daily visual examination. At PND 39, animals were sacrificed, and the tissues were immediately removed and weighed. Among the reproductive organs, the weights of the ovaries and oviduct from LPS-treated animals were significantly lower than those of control animals. There were no changes in the weights of uterus and vagina between the LPS-treated and their control animals. Immunological challenge by LPS delayed VO. Multiple corpora lutea were found in the control ovaries, indicating ovulations were occurred. However, none of corpus luteum was present in the LPS-treated ovary. The transcription level of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), CYP11A1, CYP17A1 and CYP19 were significantly increased by LPS treatment. On the other hand, the levels of 3β- HSD, 17β-HSD and LH receptor were not changed by LPS challenge. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the repeated LPS exposure during the prepubertal period could induce multiple alterations in the steroidogenic machinery in ovary, and in turn, delayed puberty onset. The prepubertal LPS challenge model used in our study is useful to understand the reciprocal regulation of immune (stress) - reproductive function in early life. PMID:27660826

  10. Effect of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) Exposure on the Reproductive Organs of Immature Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Da Kyung; Lee, Sung-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin, elicits strong immune responses in mammals. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that LPS challenge profoundly affects female reproductive function. For example, LPS exposure affects steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis, resulting in delayed puberty onset. The present study was conducted to clarify the mechanism underlying the adverse effect of LPS on the delayed puberty in female rats. LPS was daily injected for 5 days (50 μg/kg, PND 25-29) to treated animals and the date at VO was evaluated through daily visual examination. At PND 39, animals were sacrificed, and the tissues were immediately removed and weighed. Among the reproductive organs, the weights of the ovaries and oviduct from LPS-treated animals were significantly lower than those of control animals. There were no changes in the weights of uterus and vagina between the LPS-treated and their control animals. Immunological challenge by LPS delayed VO. Multiple corpora lutea were found in the control ovaries, indicating ovulations were occurred. However, none of corpus luteum was present in the LPS-treated ovary. The transcription level of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), CYP11A1, CYP17A1 and CYP19 were significantly increased by LPS treatment. On the other hand, the levels of 3β- HSD, 17β-HSD and LH receptor were not changed by LPS challenge. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the repeated LPS exposure during the prepubertal period could induce multiple alterations in the steroidogenic machinery in ovary, and in turn, delayed puberty onset. The prepubertal LPS challenge model used in our study is useful to understand the reciprocal regulation of immune (stress) - reproductive function in early life.

  11. Costs of reproduction in a long-lived female primate: injury risk and wound healing

    PubMed Central

    Archie, Elizabeth A.; Altmann, Jeanne; Alberts, Susan C.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Reproduction is a notoriously costly phase of life, exposing individuals to injury, infectious disease, and energetic tradeoffs. The strength of these costs should be influenced by life history strategies, and in long-lived species, females may be selected to mitigate costs of reproduction because life span is such an important component of their reproductive success. Here we report evidence for two costs of reproduction that may influence survival in wild female baboons—injury risk and delayed wound healing. Based on 29 years of observations in the Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya, we found that wild female baboons experienced the highest risk of injury on days when they were most likely to be ovulating. In addition, lactating females healed from wounds more slowly than pregnant or cycling females, indicating a possible tradeoff between lactation and immune function. We also found variation in injury risk and wound healing with dominance rank and age: older and low-status females were more likely to be injured than younger or high-status females, and older females exhibited slower healing than younger females. Our results support the idea that wild non-human primates experience energetic and immune costs of reproduction, and they help illuminate life history tradeoffs in long-lived species. PMID:25045201

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Liang, Hong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2006-03-30

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

  14. Early life stress shapes female reproductive strategy through eggshell pigmentation in Japanese quail.

    PubMed

    Duval, Camille; Zimmer, Cédric; Mikšík, Ivan; Cassey, Phillip; Spencer, Karen A

    2014-11-01

    Physiological constraints on colouration have been widely reported; especially in birds, which trade-off antioxidant responses against colourful costly signals. One female extended phenotypic trait, which might also highlight important physiological trade-offs, is the pigmentation of their eggshells. In ground-nesting species, producing eggs that are visually undetectable by predators is the best camouflage strategy. However, the condition-dependence of eggshell pigmentation, and the pigments role in oxidative stress, may constrain females to trade-off between their antioxidant capacity and maximising the camouflage of their eggs when they deposit eggshell pigments. Developmental stress is one factor that influences female antioxidant capacity, and could lead to variations in eggshell pigmentation that might have crucial consequences on individual fitness if egg crypsis is compromised especially under stressful conditions. We investigated the interaction between developmental and breeding conditions with respect to eggshell pigmentation in Japanese quail. We studied 30 females that bred under both control and stressful conditions, and were exposed to pre- and/or post-natal stress, or neither. Pre- and post-natal stress independently influenced eggshell pigmentation strategies under stressful breeding conditions. Under stressful reproduction, eggshell protoporphyrin concentration and maculation were affected by pre-natal stress, whereas eggshell reflectance and biliverdin concentration were influenced by post-natal stress. These changes may reflect potential adaptive strategies shaped by developmental stress, but additional data on the benefit of egg crypsis in quail, combined with studies on the role of both pigments on chick survival, will help to clarify whether early life stress can enhance fitness through eggshell pigmentation when developmental and reproductive environments match.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Perceptual adaptation affects attractiveness of female bodies.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Christopher; Rhodes, Gillian

    2005-05-01

    We investigated whether short durations (5 minutes) of exposure to distorted bodies can change subsequent perceptions of attractiveness and normality. Participants rated 110 female bodies, varying in width, on either their attractiveness or normality before and after exposure to either extremely narrow (-50% of original width in Experiments 1 and 2) or extremely wide bodies (+50% of original width in Experiment 1, and +70% of original width in Experiment 2). In both experiments, the most attractive and most normal looking bodies became significantly and substantially narrower after exposure to narrow bodies. The most normal looking body changed significantly after exposure to wide bodies, but the most attractive body did not. These results show that perceptions of body attractiveness can be influenced by experience, but that there is an asymmetry between the effects of exposure to narrow and wide bodies. We consider a possible mechanism for this unexpected asymmetry, as well as possible implications for the effects of media exposure on body-image. The most attractive body shape was consistently narrower than the most normal looking body shape. Substantial changes in what looked normal were accompanied by congruent changes in what looked attractive, suggesting that a normal or average body shape may function as a reference point against which body attractiveness is judged. PMID:15969827

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Relationship of plasma sex steroid concentrations in female fathead minnows to reproductive success and population status.

    PubMed

    Ankley, Gerald T; Miller, David H; Jensen, Kathleen M; Villeneuve, Daniel L; Martinović, Dalma

    2008-06-01

    Concentration and/or production of sex steroids such as 17beta-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in fish have commonly been measured in field studies concerned with endocrine-active chemicals. There is a reasonable mechanistic basis for using E2 or T as biomarkers, as chemicals can alter steroid production through both direct and indirect effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. There is uncertainty, however, as to what changes in steroid status may mean relative to apical endpoints, such as reproduction, that directly affect population status. In this study, we analyzed data from fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction studies in which decreases in fecundity were associated with depressed steroid production as a result of chemical exposure. Although the chemicals acted on the HPG axis through different mechanisms, reproductive effects appeared to be expressed through a common pathway, depression of vitellogenin production in females. Plasma concentrations of E2 or T in the females were significantly, positively correlated with fecundity. Linear regression models describing the relationship between E2 or T concentrations and relative fecundity were linked to a population model to predict population trajectories of fathead minnows exposed to chemicals that inhibit steroid production. For example, a population existing at carrying capacity and exposed to a chemical stressor(s) that causes a 50% decrease in E2 production was predicted to exhibit a 92% decrease in population size over a 5-year period. Results of our analysis illustrate a conceptual framework whereby a commonly measured biomarker, sex steroid status, could be linked to individual- and population-level effects in fish.

  5. 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.

  6. Energy intake, energy expenditure, and reproductive costs of female wild golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia).

    PubMed

    Miller, Kimran E; Bales, Karen L; Ramos, Jadir H; Dietz, James M

    2006-11-01

    Callitrichid females are often described as energetically constrained. We examined the energy budgets of 10 female wild golden lion tamarins (GLTs, Leontopithecus rosalia) in an effort to understand how energy intake and expenditure might influence physical condition and therefore reproductive performance. We used focal animal sampling to record behavioral data and conducted energy analyses of foods consumed by GLTs to estimate intake and expenditure. We used two-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to compare intake in the reproductive vs. nonreproductive period and expenditure in the reproductive vs. nonreproductive period. Energy intake decreased during the reproductive period compared to the nonreproductive period. While total expenditure did not vary significantly across the two periods, females spent more time and therefore expended significantly more energy engaged in energetically inexpensive behaviors (i.e., sleeping or being stationary) during the reproductive period compared to the nonreproductive period. We suggest that reproductive female GLTs may adopt a reproductive strategy that includes high intake prior to pregnancy and lactation, and energy conservation during pregnancy and lactation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The female millipede reproductive system and its dynamical changes, with a partial review.

    PubMed

    Warburg, M R

    2012-08-01

    The structure of the millipede female reproductive system is described, discussed and reviewed. The different reproductive systems of female millipedes are illustrated, some of them for the first time. The various families appear to have developed several different structures of this organ. Nevertheless, more detailed studies on the female reproductive systems, especially the changes taking place during the oogenetic cycle, are needed in all millipede orders. Only this way can it be ascertained, whether ovarian structures observed are not only a transitional phase. This was done in two millipedes, Archispirostreptus tumuliporus judaicus (Attems 1927) and Catamicrophyllum caifanum (Verhoeff 1900), where these changes were followed for a longer period of time and on a large number of specimens. The evolutionary meaning of this diversity in reproductive systems cannot be clarified at the present time, nor its significance for the survival of the such diversified forms in the Class Diplopoda.

  12. Effects of Carthamus tinctorius L. on the ovarian histomorphology and the female reproductive hormones in mice

    PubMed Central

    Louei Monfared, Ali; Salati, Amir Parviz

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Carthamus tinctorius L. (Safflower) is a member of the asteraceae family which had been classified as a fertility regulator in the traditional medicine. The purpose of this study was to investigate its possible effects on the ovarian histomorphology and the levels of female reproductive hormones in the mice. Materials and Methods: Sixty adult female Balb/C mice were selected and randomly divided into one control and three experimental groups (n= 15). The control group received only distilled water, while experimental groups were administered intraperitoneally C. tinctorius extract at doses of 0.7, 1.4, and 2.8 mg/kg/day for 49 consecutive days. In the end of experiments, blood samples were collected and the sera were analyzed for the levels of FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone. Ovarian tissue samples were also taken and histomorphological changes of the ovaries were examined using optical microscope. The quantitative results were statistically analyzed by one-way ANOVA test. Results: The present findings showed that treatment with different concentrations of C. tinctorius extract reduced the number of ovarian follicles but number of atretic follicles showed an increase. The number and size of the corpora lutea were not affected by extract administration. In addition, in the treated mice with C. tinctorius extract, the thickness of the tunica albuginea was increased but the relative and absolute weights of the ovaries decreased significantly. Furthermore, the blood levels of the FSH and estrogen were decreased in the three experimental groups compared with those of the control animals. Conclusion: The present findings indicated that treatment with C. tinctorius extract has detrimental effects on the ovarian histomorphology and female reproductive hormones therefore popular consumption of this plant should be reconsidered. PMID:25050271

  13. Effects of pyperonyl butoxide on the female reproductive tract in rats.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Seigo; Taketa, Yoshikazu; Inoue, Kaoru; Takahashi, Miwa; Matsuo, Saori; Irie, Kaoru; Watanabe, Gen; Yoshida, Midori

    2013-01-01

    This study was investigated the effects of piperonyl butoxide (PBO) on the female reproductive tract. Female Crj:Donryu rats were fed a basal diet containing 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 ppm PBO for 28 days, and compared with food-restricted rats of comparable body weights to those in the PBO 10,000 or 20,000 ppm groups. Although treatment with 20,000 ppm PBO for 28 days depressed body weight gain, the abnormal estrous cyclicity, mainly prolonged diestrus, was also induced by the PBO treatment which was not correlated with body weight change. 20,000 ppm PBO treatment markedly decreased uterine weights and slightly decreased ovarian weights. 10,000 and 20,000 ppm PBO treatment increased liver weights. These cycle and organ weight changes were linked to atrophic uterus and increased atretic follicles in the ovary. In hormone assays, PBO at both doses reduced serum E2 levels, but did not affect corticosterone levels. An anti-uterotrophic assay showed a slight but significant decrease in absolute uterine weight and a reduction of endometrial epithelium height in the 20,000 ppm group. PBO was positive in an ER α antagonist reporter gene assay, although the activity was much weaker than that of 4-hydroxytamoxifen. These results indicate that high-dose PBO treatment directly induces atrophic changes in the female reproductive tract in rats, and these effects are likely the result of a hypoestrogenic state and the anti-estrogenic activity of PBO. PMID:24213009

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. [Assisted Reproductive Technology in Female Transplant Recipients: Experience of a Reproductive Medicine Unit and Literature Review].

    PubMed

    Vale-Fernandes, Emídio; Póvoa, Ana Margarida; Soares, Sandra; Calejo, Lucinda; Xavier, Pedro; Sousa, Sónia; Beires, Jorge; Montenegro, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    Diseases in end stage typically occur with hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis disorders, with consequent anovulation and infertility. The solid organ transplantation increased survival of patients with end-stage organs disease and the vast majority of women improve their reproductive capacity after transplantation. Although adoption can always be a possibility, the transplanted infertile woman has the right to self-reproductive determination using assisted reproductive techniques. While it is known that pregnancies in transplantedwomen are at high risk, there is no evidence of differences in pregnancy outcome in pregnant transplanted subject to technical, compared with spontaneous pregnancies. The use of assisted reproductive techniques in transplanted women is a medical, ethical and psychosocial challenge, whose approach must be multidisciplinary, to ensure reproductive success without compromising the function of the transplanted organ or maternal health, allowing the birth of a healthy child. The literature remains scarce. Three clinical cases are presented.

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

    PubMed

    Alfonso-Parra, Catalina; Ahmed-Braimah, Yasir H; Degner, Ethan C; Avila, Frank W; Villarreal, Susan M; Pleiss, Jeffrey A; Wolfner, Mariana F; Harrington, Laura C

    2016-02-01

    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 0 hpm 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 0 hpm was confirmed by measurement of eGFP mRNA in females mated to eGFP-expressing males. In addition, 150 transcripts were up-regulated at 6 hpm and 24 hpm, while 130 transcripts were down-regulated at 6 hpm and 24 hpm. 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 24 hpm. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Loh, D H; Kuljis, D A; Azuma, L; Wu, Y; Truong, D; Wang, H B; Colwell, C S

    2014-10-01

    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 produce 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; that is, ovulation occurs less frequently and results in the release of fewer oocytes compared with controls. Circadian rhythms of wheel-running activity are disrupted in the female mutant mice, as is the spontaneous electrical activity of dorsal SCN neurons. On a molecular level, the VIP-deficient SCN tissue exhibits 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.

  4. Duplication, selection and gene conversion in a Drosophila mojavensis female reproductive protein family.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Erin S; Markow, Therese A

    2009-04-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. The role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-15

    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.

  7. 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

  8. MicroRNA in the ovary and female reproductive tract1

    PubMed Central

    Carletti, M. Z.; Christenson, L.K.

    2011-01-01

    Post-transcriptional gene regulation plays a vital role in male and female germ cell function, but our understanding of this regulatory process in somatic cells and its impact on reproductive tissue development and function is not understood. In mammalian cells, microRNA (miRNA) are key post-transcriptional regulators and function by modulating translation or degradation of their target mRNA. Mature miRNA are synthesized through a multi-step process that concludes with the cleavage of stem-loop pre-miRNA by the RNase III enzyme Dicer1. To determine the extent of miRNA regulation and establish a baseline, miRNA profiling has indicated the presence of large numbers of miRNA within reproductive tissues and cells. Moreover, several studies have indicated that miRNA expression in reproductive tissues varies in response to pituitary and gonadal hormones. To understand the role miRNA mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation plays in female reproduction, a global Dicer1 hypomorph mouse and several tissue specific Dicer1 knockout mice have been studied. Interestingly, when Dicer1 expression is reduced in reproductive tissues or cells, the females are infertile. This review discusses all the work regarding miRNA regulation within the mammalian female reproductive system published to date. PMID:18791135

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Van Drunen, Wendy E; Dorken, Marcel E

    2012-10-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Costs of Reproduction and Terminal Investment by Females in a Semelparous Marsupial

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Diana O.; Blomberg, Simon P.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary explanations for life history diversity are based on the idea of costs of reproduction, particularly on the concept of a trade-off between age-specific reproduction and parental survival, and between expenditure on current and future offspring. Such trade-offs are often difficult to detect in population studies of wild mammals. Terminal investment theory predicts that reproductive effort by older parents should increase, because individual offspring become more valuable to parents as the conflict between current versus potential future offspring declines with age. In order to demonstrate this phenomenon in females, there must be an increase in maternal expenditure on offspring with age, imposing a fitness cost on the mother. Clear evidence of both the expenditure and fitness cost components has rarely been found. In this study, we quantify costs of reproduction throughout the lifespan of female antechinuses. Antechinuses are nocturnal, insectivorous, forest-dwelling small (20–40 g) marsupials, which nest in tree hollows. They have a single synchronized mating season of around three weeks, which occurs on predictable dates each year in a population. Females produce only one litter per year. Unlike almost all other mammals, all males, and in the smaller species, most females are semelparous. We show that increased allocation to current reproduction reduces maternal survival, and that offspring growth and survival in the first breeding season is traded-off with performance of the second litter in iteroparous females. In iteroparous females, increased allocation to second litters is associated with severe weight loss in late lactation and post-lactation death of mothers, but increased offspring growth in late lactation and survival to weaning. These findings are consistent with terminal investment. Iteroparity did not increase lifetime reproductive success, indicating that terminal investment in the first breeding season at the expense of maternal

  15. Characterization of reproductive, metabolic, and endocrine features of polycystic ovary syndrome in female hyperandrogenic mouse models.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, A S L; Middleton, L J; Jimenez, M; Desai, R; McMahon, A C; Allan, C M; Handelsman, D J; Walters, K A

    2014-08-01

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age, causing a range of reproductive, metabolic and endocrine defects including anovulation, infertility, hyperandrogenism, obesity, hyperinsulinism, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hyperandrogenism is the most consistent feature of PCOS, but its etiology remains unknown, and ethical and logistic constraints limit definitive experimentation in humans to determine mechanisms involved. In this study, we provide the first comprehensive characterization of reproductive, endocrine, and metabolic PCOS traits in 4 distinct murine models of hyperandrogenism, comprising prenatal dihydrotestosterone (DHT, potent nonaromatizable androgen) treatment during days 16-18 of gestation, or long-term treatment (90 days from 21 days of age) with DHT, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), or letrozole (aromatase inhibitor). Prenatal DHT-treated mature mice exhibited irregular estrous cycles, oligo-ovulation, reduced preantral follicle health, hepatic steatosis, and adipocyte hypertrophy, but lacked overall changes in body-fat composition. Long-term DHT treatment induced polycystic ovaries displaying unhealthy antral follicles (degenerate oocyte and/or > 10% pyknotic granulosa cells), as well as anovulation and acyclicity in mature (16-week-old) females. Long-term DHT also increased body and fat pad weights and induced adipocyte hypertrophy and hypercholesterolemia. Long-term letrozole-treated mice exhibited absent or irregular cycles, oligo-ovulation, polycystic ovaries containing hemorrhagic cysts atypical of PCOS, and displayed no metabolic features of PCOS. Long-term dehydroepiandrosterone treatment produced no PCOS features in mature mice. Our findings reveal that long-term DHT treatment replicated a breadth of ovarian, endocrine, and metabolic features of human PCOS and provides the best mouse model for experimental studies of PCOS pathogenesis.

  16. 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

  17. Females increase current reproductive effort when future access to males is uncertain.

    PubMed

    Heubel, Katja U; Lindström, Kai; Kokko, Hanna

    2008-04-23

    Trade-offs between current and future reproduction shape life histories of organisms, e.g. increased mortality selects for earlier reproductive effort, and mate limitation has been shown to shape male life histories. Here, we show that female life histories respond adaptively to mate limitation. Female common gobies (Pomatoschistus microps) respond to a female-biased operational sex ratio by strongly increasing the size of their first clutch. The plastic response is predicted by a model that assumes that females use the current competitive situation to predict future difficulties of securing a mating. Because female clutch size decisions are much more closely linked to population dynamics than male life-history traits, plastic responses to mate-finding limitations may be an underappreciated force in population dynamics.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Postmating transcriptional changes in reproductive tracts of con- and heterospecifically mated Drosophila mojavensis females.

    PubMed

    Bono, Jeremy M; Matzkin, Luciano M; Kelleher, Erin S; Markow, Therese A

    2011-05-10

    In internally fertilizing organisms, mating involves a series of highly coordinated molecular interactions between the sexes that occur within the female reproductive tract. In species where females mate multiply, traits involved in postcopulatory interactions are expected to evolve rapidly, potentially leading to postmating-prezygotic (PMPZ) reproductive isolation between diverging populations. Here, we investigate the postmating transcriptional response of the lower reproductive tract of Drosophila mojavensis females following copulation with either conspecific or heterospecific (Drosophila arizonae) males at three time points postmating. Relatively few genes (15 total) were differentially regulated in the female lower reproductive tract in response to conspecific mating. Heterospecifically mated females exhibited significant perturbations in the expression of the majority of these genes, and also down-regulated transcription of a number of others, including several involved in mitochondrial function. These striking regulatory differences indicate failed postcopulatory molecular interactions between the sexes consistent with the strong PMPZ isolation observed for this cross. We also report the transfer of male accessory-gland protein (Acp) transcripts from males to females during copulation, a finding with potentially broad implications for understanding postcopulatory molecular interactions between the sexes.

  1. The adolescent female: Breast and reproductive embryology and anatomy.

    PubMed

    Lemaine, Valerie; Simmons, Patricia S

    2013-01-01

    Congenital breast and genital tract anomalies are seen frequently in the care of children and adolescents. Breast and internal gynecologic anomalies more often present in adolescence than in early childhood. Management is best delivered through a multidisciplinary team approach. Carefully timed surgical intervention is of importance to optimize psychological, aesthetic and functional outcomes. An understanding of the female breast and genital tract embryology and anatomy is important for a meticulous clinical examination and appropriate surgical treatment. This article will review the normal embryology and anatomy of the adolescent female breast and genital tract.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Prenatal exposure to low levels of androgen accelerates female puberty onset and reproductive senescence in mice.

    PubMed

    Witham, Emily A; Meadows, Jason D; Shojaei, Shadi; Kauffman, Alexander S; Mellon, Pamela L

    2012-09-01

    Sex steroid hormone production and feedback mechanisms are critical components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and regulate fetal development, puberty, fertility, and menopause. In female mammals, developmental exposure to excess androgens alters the development of the HPG axis and has pathophysiological effects on adult reproductive function. This study presents an in-depth reproductive analysis of a murine model of prenatal androgenization (PNA) in which females are exposed to a low dose of dihydrotestosterone during late prenatal development on embryonic d 16.5-18.5. We determined that PNA females had advanced pubertal onset and a delay in the time to first litter, compared with vehicle-treated controls. The PNA mice also had elevated testosterone, irregular estrous cyclicity, and advanced reproductive senescence. To assess the importance of the window of androgen exposure, dihydrotestosterone was administered to a separate cohort of female mice on postnatal d 21-23 [prepubertal androgenization (PPA)]. PPA significantly advanced the timing of pubertal onset, as observed by age of the vaginal opening, yet had no effects on testosterone or estrous cycling in adulthood. The absence of kisspeptin receptor in Kiss1r-null mice did not change the acceleration of puberty by the PNA and PPA paradigms, indicating that kisspeptin signaling is not required for androgens to advance puberty. Thus, prenatal, but not prepubertal, exposure to low levels of androgens disrupts normal reproductive function throughout life from puberty to reproductive senescence.

  11. 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

  12. Gender hierarchy and adolescent sexuality: the control of female reproduction in an Australian aboriginal community.

    PubMed

    Burbank, V K

    1995-03-01

    Women can bear children; men cannot. The author explores why women fail to realize more power from their ability to procreate. An instance is considered in which the practice and resistance of female Australian Aboriginal adolescents created circumstances in which their sexuality and reproduction were largely uncontrolled. The products of women's reproductive ability, children, are socially appropriated, but not women's reproductive abilities. The author views gender as a system of power relations both generated and changed in the quotidian interactions between human males and females. Adolescent sexuality and reproduction in Mangrove, and culture, power, and reproduction are discussed. The author finds women's sexual and reproductive freedom, as it is currently experienced by adolescent girls in Mangrove, to be supported by the confluence of the following factors: the diminished force of ideologies which may circumscribe women's behavior, the control of male violence, and the appreciation of motherhood and of any child simply by virtue of its being a child. It is unclear how long this arrangement will persist. Changes which may presage diminished freedom for women can already be discerned. Women's sexual and reproductive freedom are clearly human possibilities, but they are possibilities which can easily be denied.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Using Histopathologic Evidence to Differentiate Reproductive Senescence from Xenobiotic Effects in Middle-aged Female Sprague-Dawley Rats.

    PubMed

    Shirai, Norimitsu; Houle, Christopher; Mirsky, Michael L

    2015-12-01

    The female reproductive cycle is orchestrated by cyclical and coordinated hormonal changes under the direction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Any disruption of the HPG axis may lead to functional and structural alterations in the female reproductive system. Test article-related disturbances in the estrous cycle can be recognized in nonclinical toxicity studies by staging the cycle based on microscopic evaluation of female reproductive organs. In chronic rat toxicity studies, an additional complication is the development of reproductive senescence, which is associated with natural alterations in the reproductive cycle leading to changes in the female reproductive system that can potentially be confused with test article effects. The current article describes the features of persistent estrus, one stage of reproductive senescence, in middle-aged Sprague-Dawley rats and discusses elements to help differentiate senescence from induced effects.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Tilapia male urinary pheromone stimulates female reproductive axis.

    PubMed

    Huertas, Mar; Almeida, Olinda G; Canário, Adelino V M; Hubbard, Peter C

    2014-01-15

    Mozambique tilapia males congregate in leks where they establish dominance hierarchies and attract females to spawn in sandy pits. Dominant males store more urine than subordinates and the pattern of urination and the high sensitivity of females to male urine suggest chemical signalling via the urine. Here we show that pre-ovulated and post-spawn females when exposed to dominant male urine increased significantly, in less than 1h, the release rate of the maturation-inducing steroid 17,20β-dihydroxypregn-4-en-3-one which is maintained elevated for at least 6h. This indicates a pheromonal role for male urine in the synchronisation of spawning. Furthermore, we show that the lack of affinity of 17,20βP to sex steroid binding globulin explains, at least partly, its rapid release and lack of detection in the blood. Thus tilapia urine involvement in several communication processes confirms that cichlids have evolved a sophisticated chemical signalling system together with their complex visual, acoustic and behavioural displays.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Reproduction-related behaviors of Swiss-Webster female mice living in a cold environment.

    PubMed

    Chan, J; Ogawa, S; Pfaff, D W

    2001-01-16

    Based on a molecular neuroendocrine theory about cold environments, thyroid hormone levels, and liganded thyroid hormone receptor interference with estrogen receptor function, experiments were designed to test female mouse reproductive behaviors in the cold. Because natural seasonal temperature declines would usually be associated with decreased photoperiods and reduced food supplies, we combined cold temperatures with short days and metabolic challenge. The simplest hypothesis was that lordosis quotients would be significantly reduced as a result of cold temperatures. That hypothesis was denied. Instead, female approaches to the stud male declined. Because cold temperatures also led to significant reductions of activity in locomotor wheels, a straightforward reduction of activity could explain the female's behavior during mating tests. We suggest that cold temperatures accompanied by reduced photoperiod and reduced metabolic fuel can reduce overall activity in female mice, thus indirectly blocking untimely reproductive behaviors.

  11. Teasing apart socially-induced infertility in non-reproductive female Damaraland mole-rats, Fukomys damarensis (Rodentia: Bathyergidae).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Nigel C

    2011-12-01

    The Damaraland mole-rat is a subterranean mammal exhibiting extreme reproductive skew with a single reproductive female in each colony responsible for procreation. Non-reproductive female colony members are physiologically suppressed while in the colony, exhibiting reduced concentrations of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) and a decreased response of the pituitary, as measured by the release of bioactive LH, to an exogenous dose of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH). Removal of the reproductive female from the colony results in an elevation of LH and an enhanced response of the pituitary to a GnRH challenge in non-reproductive females comparable to reproductive females, implying control of reproduction in these individuals by the reproductive female. The Damaraland mole-rat is an ideal model for investigating the physiological and behavioral mechanisms that regulate the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. In contrast, we know less about the control of reproduction at the level of the hypothalamus. The immunohistochemistry of the GnRH system of both reproductive and non-reproductive female Damaraland mole-rats has revealed no significant differences with respect to morphology, distribution or numbers of immunoreactive GnRH perikarya. We examined whether the endogenous opioid peptide beta-endorphin was responsible for the inhibition of the release of the GnRH from the neurons indirectly by measuring LH concentrations in these non-reproductive females following single, hourly and 8 hourly injections of the opioid antagonist naloxone. The results imply that the endogenous opioid peptide, beta-endorphin, is not responsible for the inhibition of GnRH release from the perikarya in non-reproductive females. Preliminary data examining the circulating levels of cortisol also do not support a role for circulating glucocorticoids. The possible role of kisspeptin is discussed.

  12. Comparison of digital radiography, ultrasonography, and positive contrast vaginourethrography for determining reproductive status of female cats.

    PubMed

    Woodland, Meghan; Pack, LeeAnn; Rist, Paul; Crane, Bronwyn

    2014-01-01

    It is not always possible to identify female cats that have undergone previous ovariohysterectomy based on physical examination alone. An easy, cost-effective method for screening female cats for reproductive status would be helpful for avoiding unnecessary exploratory laparotomies. The purpose of this prospective study was to compare diagnostic sensitivities of digital radiography, ultrasonography, and positive contrast vaginourethrography for determining reproductive status in female cats. Sixty-seven recently euthanized female cats of unknown medical history and reproductive status were randomly selected and included in the study. Digital abdominal radiography, digital abdominal radiography with compression, abdominal ultrasonography, and positive contrast vaginourethrography were performed in sequence by a board-certified veterinary radiologist and a second-year radiology resident. Immediately following diagnostic imaging procedures, necropsy was performed. Ultrasonography of the uterus had the highest sensitivity (86%) for determining reproductive status of all the imaging modalities tested. The specificity was 88%, and the positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 96% and 68%, respectively. The calculated sensitivities and specificities of other modalities were as follows: digital radiographs (28%, 100%), digital compression radiographs (58%, 100%), and vaginourethrography (32%, 100%). Based on McNemar's test statistic, there was a significant difference in the sensitivity of ultrasound compared to digital radiographs (P ≤ 0.05), compression radiographs (P ≤ 0.05), and vaginourethrogram (P ≤ 0.05). Findings from the current study indicated that ultrasonography is a sensitive diagnostic test for determining reproductive status in female cats. Although more readily available in private practice and shelters, digital radiography and vaginourethrography are not reliable predictors of reproductive status.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Influence of inflorescence size on sexual expression and female reproductive success in a monoecious species.

    PubMed

    Torices, R; Méndez, M

    2011-01-01

    Sex allocation theory forecasts that larger plant size may modify the balance in fitness gain in both genders, leading to uneven optimal male and female allocation. This reasoning can be applied to flowers and inflorescences, because the increase in flower or inflorescence size can differentially benefit different gender functions, and thus favour preferential allocation to specific floral structures. We investigated how inflorescence size influenced sexual expression and female reproductive success in the monoecious Tussilago farfara, by measuring patterns of biomass, and N and P allocation. Inflorescences of T. farfara showed broad variation in sex expression and, according to expectations, allocation to different sexual structures showed an allometric pattern. Unexpectedly, two studied populations had a contrasting pattern of sex allocation with an increase in inflorescence size. In a shaded site, larger inflorescences were female-biased and had disproportionately more allocation to attraction structures; while in an open site, larger inflorescences were male-biased. Female reproductive success was higher in larger, showier inflorescences. Surprisingly, male flowers positively influenced female reproductive success. These allometric patterns were not easily interpretable as a result of pollen limitation when naïvely assuming an unequivocal relationship between structure and function for the inflorescence structures. In this and other Asteraceae, where inflorescences are the pollination unit, both male and female flowers can play a role in pollinator attraction.

  17. 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

  18. Genetic relationships among traits related to reproduction and growth of Nelore females.

    PubMed

    Eler, J P; Bignardi, A B; Ferraz, J B S; Santana, M L

    2014-09-15

    The objective of the study presented here was to analyze the genetic relationships among heifer pregnancy (HP), age at first calving (AFC), stayability (STAY), average annual productivity of the cow, in kilograms of weaned calf per cow per year (PRODAM), postweaning weight gain (PWG), and hip height (HH) of Nelore females from 12 Brazilian herds. (Co)variance components were obtained by six-trait animal model using Gibbs sampling. The posterior mean of the heritability estimates were 0.37, 0.18, 0.19, 0.16, 0.21, and 0.37 for HP, AFC, STAY, PRODAM, PWG, and HH, respectively. In general, the genetic correlations were strong between traits related to reproduction, for example, -0.85 between HP and AFC, and 0.94 between STAY and PRODAM. Weak genetic correlations were obtained between reproductive and growth traits (absolute values ranging from 0.02 to 0.30). Although weak, the genetic correlations between PWG and reproductive traits were favorable, whereas the genetic correlations between HH and reproductive traits were close to zero and slightly unfavorable for HP, AFC, and STAY. An increase of HH is therefore expected to have little or no negative effect on the reproductive performance of females. The posterior mean of genetic correlation between PWG and HH was moderate (0.50). On the basis of the heritability, genetic correlation estimates, and time to obtain data, HP and PRODAM seems to show the best potential as selection criteria to improve the productive and reproductive performance of Nelore females. In principle, it is possible to select for increased PWG without compromising the reproduction of Nelore females. However, selection for PWG may result in an increase of female HH as a correlated response, a fact that could increase management costs in advanced generations of selection. In the light of the results, all traits studied here can be used as selection criteria and there is no strong evidence of genetic antagonism among traits related to reproduction

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  5. Quantitative trait loci affecting reproductive phenology in peach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1987-11-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Two girls for every boy: The effects of group size and composition on the reproductive success of male and female white-faced capuchins.

    PubMed

    Fedigan, Linda Marie; Jack, Katharine M

    2011-02-01

    Many factors have been hypothesized to affect the size and adult sex ratios of primate groups and these, in turn, have been argued to influence birth rates. Using park-wide census data collected on a population of capuchins over a 25-year period, we examined whether group size and adult sex ratio affect the per capita reproductive success of male and female white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. We found that the reproductive success of females (measured as the observed minus the expected ratio of immatures to adult females in the group) decreased with increasing group size, whereas that of males was independent of group size. The proportion of adult males residing in groups had significant, yet contrasting effects on males and females. Male reproductive success was negatively associated with the proportion of males residing in groups whereas female reproductive success increased with the proportion of males. The latter finding supports the intersexual conflict hypothesis, which suggests that a conflict of interest occurs between males and females over adult sex ratios. The effects of group size and composition on the reproductive success of capuchins, a male-dispersed omnivorous species, are similar to those reported for howlers, a bisexually-dispersed folivorous species. One common factor between these taxa is that groups with low ratios of males to females are at greater risk of takeovers and resultant infanticide. Our results suggest that regardless of dietary preference and dispersal pattern, the threat of infanticide can constrain primate group size and composition.

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

    PubMed

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Steroid receptor coactivators as therapeutic targets in the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Szwarc, Maria M; Lydon, John P; O'Malley, Bert W

    2015-11-01

    The steroid receptor coactivators (SRCs/p160/NCOA) are a family of three transcriptional coregulators initially discovered to transactivate the transcriptional potency of steroid hormone receptors. Even though SRCs were also found to modulate the activity of multiple other transcription factors, their function is still strongly associated with regulation of steroid hormone action and many studies have found that they are critical for the regulation of reproductive biology. In the case of the female reproductive tract, SRCs have been found to play crucial roles in its physiology, ranging from ovulation, implantation, to parturition. Not surprisingly, SRCs' action has been linked to numerous abnormalities and debilitating disorders of female reproductive tissues, including infertility, cancer, and endometriosis. Many of these pathologies are still in critical need of therapeutic intervention and "proof-of-principle" studies have found that SRCs are excellent targets in pathological states. Therefore, small molecule modulators of SRCs' activity could be applied in the future in the treatment of many diseases of the female reproductive system.

  1. 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

  2. Results of the third reproductive assessment survey of North American Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) female elephants.

    PubMed

    Dow, T L; Holásková, I; Brown, J L

    2011-01-01

    A written survey assessed reproductive status of female Asian and African elephants in AZA/SSP facilities in 2008, and data were compared to surveys conducted in 2002 and 2005. Results showed that ovarian acyclicity rates across the surveys remained unchanged for Asian (13.3, 10.9 and 11.1%) and African (22.1, 31.2 and 30.5%) elephants, respectively (P > 0.05), but were higher overall for African compared to Asian elephants (P < 0.05). In 2008, the percentages of Asian and African elephants with irregular cycles (14.3 and 15.8%) and irregular + no cycles (25.4 and 46.4%) was similar to 2005 (7.6 and 11.8%; 18.5 and 43.0%), but were increased compared to 2002 (2.6 and 5.2%; 16.0 and 27.3%), respectively (P < 0.05). For both species, ovarian acyclicity increased with age (P < 0.05). Reproductive tract pathologies did not account for the majority of acyclicity, although rates were higher in noncycling females (P < 0.05). Bull presence was associated with increased cyclicity rates (P < 0.05) for Asian (92.5 vs. 58.3%) and African (64.9 vs. 57.8%) elephants compared to females at facilities with no male, respectively. Cyclicity rates were higher for Asian (86.8 vs. 65.2%) and African (67.9 vs. 56.7%) elephants managed in free compared to protected contact programs (P < 0.05), respectively. Geographical facility location had no effect on cyclicity (P > 0.05). In summary, incidence of ovarian cycle problems continues to predominantly affect African elephants. Although percentages of acyclicity did not increase between 2005 and 2008, 42.2% Asian and 30.2% African females were no longer being hormonally monitored; thus, reproductive cycle abnormalities could be worse than current data suggest.

  3. [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

  4. The genetic basis of female reproductive disorders: Etiology and clinical testing ☆

    PubMed Central

    Layman, Lawrence C.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of improved molecular biology techniques, the genetic basis of an increasing number of reproductive disorders has been elucidated. Mutations in at least 20 genes cause hypogonadotropic hypogonadism including Kallmann syndrome in about 35–40% of patients. The two most commonly involved genes are FGFR1 and CHD7. When combined pituitary hormone deficiency includes hypogonadotropic hypogonadism as a feature, PROP1 mutations are the most common of the six genes involved. For hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, mutations in 14 genes cause gonadal failure in 15% of affected females, most commonly in FMR1. In eugonadal disorders, activating FSHR mutations have been identified for spontaneous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome; and WNT4 mutations have been described in mullerian aplasia. For other eugonadal disorders, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and leiomyomata, specific germline gene mutations have not been identified, but some chromosomal regions are associated with the corresponding phenotype. Practical genetic testing is possible to perform in both hypogonadotropic and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism and spontaneous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. However, clinical testing for endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and leiomyomata is not currently practical for the clinician. PMID:23499866

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of adult nutrition on female reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly: the role of fruit decay and dietary lipids.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus; Hartstein, Steffi; Janowitz, Susann; Martin-Creuzburg, Dominik

    2007-09-01

    It was generally believed that butterflies and other holometabolous insects rely primarily on reserves accumulated during the larval stage for reproduction. Recent studies, however, highlight the often fundamental importance of adult nutrition to realize the full reproductive potential. While the importance of carbohydrates is fairly well understood, the role of most other adult-derived substances is only partially resolved. We here focus on the effects of dietary lipids (cholesterol, polyunsaturated fatty acids) and fruit decay (dietary yeast, ethanol) on female reproduction in the tropical, fruit-feeding butterfly Bicyclus anynana (Nymphalidae). We found that banana-fed control females outperformed all other groups fed on sucrose-based diets. Lipids, yeast or ethanol added to a sugar solution did not yield a similarly high reproductive output compared to fruit-fed females. Groups fed fresh or decaying banana showed no differences in reproductive performance. As we could not identify a single pivotal substance, we conclude that resource congruence (the use of nutrient types in a specified ratio) rather than any specific nutrient component is of key importance for maximum reproductive output. Further, dietary quality may affect egg hatching success in spite of no obvious effects on egg size and number. Thus, any implications about potential fitness effects of different diets need to consider egg (and hatchling) viability in addition to fecundity.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Timing games in the reproductive phenology of female pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.).

    PubMed

    Morbey, Yolanda E; Ydenberg, Ronald C

    2003-02-01

    We use a game-theoretic framework to investigate the reproductive phenology of female kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka). As in the other semelparous species of Pacific salmon, females construct nests in gravel, spawn with males, bury their fertilized eggs, and defend their nest sites until they die several days later. Later-breeding females may reuse previous nest sites, and their digging behavior is thought to subject previously buried eggs to mortality. Using game-theoretic models, we show that females can reduce this risk by allocating resources to longevity (the period between arrival and death) as opposed to eggs. Waiting before territory settlement is also expected if it allows females to conserve energy and delay senescence. The models demonstrate how these costs and benefits interact to select for a seasonal decline in longevity, a well-known phenomenon in the salmonid literature, and a seasonal decline in wait duration. Both of these predictions were supported in a field study of kokanee. Female state of reproductive maturity was the most important proximate factor causing variation in longevity and wait duration. With more than 30% of territories being reused, dig-up is likely an important selective force in this population.

  14. 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

  15. The reproductive hormone cycle of adult female American alligators from a barrier island population.

    PubMed

    Hamlin, Heather J; Lowers, Russell H; Kohno, Satomi; Mitsui-Watanabe, Naoko; Amano, Haruna; Hara, Akihiko; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2014-06-01

    Comparatively, little data are available detailing the geographic variation that exists in the reproductive endocrinology of adult alligators, especially those living in barrier islands. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MI) is a unique barrier island environment and home to the Kennedy Space Center (FL, USA). Seasonal patterns of sex steroids were assessed in adult female American alligators from MI monthly from 2008 to 2009, with additional samples collected at more random intervals in 2006, 2007, and 2010. Plasma 17β-estradiol and vitellogenin concentrations peaked in April, coincident with courtship and mating, and showed patterns similar to those observed in adult female alligators in other regions. Plasma concentrations of progesterone, however, showed patterns distinctly different than those reported for alligator populations in other regions and remained relatively constant throughout the year. Plasma DHEA peaked in July around the time of oviposition, decreased in August, and then remained constant for the remaining months, except for a moderate increase in October. Circulating concentrations of DHEA have not been previously assessed in a female crocodilian, and plasma concentrations coincident with reproductive activity suggest a reproductive and/or behavioral role. Interestingly, plasma testosterone concentrations peaked in May of 2008, as has been shown in female alligator populations in other regions, but showed no peak in 2009, demonstrating dramatic variability from year to year. Surveys showed 2009 to be particularly depauperate of alligator nests in MI, and it is possible that testosterone could serve as a strong indicator of breeding success.

  16. 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

  17. Establishment of assisted reproduction technologies in female and male African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus).

    PubMed

    Hermes, R; Göritz, F; Maltzan, J; Blottner, S; Proudfoot, J; Fritsch, G; Fassbender, M; Quest, M; Hildebrandt, T B

    2001-01-01

    Transrectal ultrasonography, electroejaculation and cryopreservation of spermatozoa were applied to the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) to establish non-invasive protocols for assessing the reproductive health of one of the most endangered African canids. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed on immobilized male (n = 2) and female (n = 5) captive wild dogs. The testes and epididymides of the male dogs were imaged transcutaneously, followed by electrostimulation and cryopreservation of spermatozoa. The sonomorphology of the female and male urogenital tracts was characterized. In females, the vagina, cervix, non-pregnant uterus and ovary were imaged and the reproductive health of each female was evaluated. The sonographic assessment helped to identify one pyometra and extensive abdominal fat deposits in two other individuals in which pyometra had been suspected. Images of the adrenal glands showed differences in size among individuals of the same breeding group. Whether these differences were related to the dominance hierarchy remains to be determined. In males, visualization of the prostate gland, testis and epididymis indicated sexual maturity. Three ejaculatory fractions (1.0, 1.5 and 0.5 ml, with 50, 95 and 95% motility, respectively; 1.125 x 10(8) spermatozoa per ejaculate) were collected from one male. The motility of each of these fractions after thawing was 0, 30 and 40%, respectively. Electrostimulation of the second male, in which a cystic structure in a testis had been identified by sonography, resulted in an aspermic ejaculate (0.5 and 1.0 ml). These technologies provided basic data on reproduction in female and male African wild dogs and were an efficient way to evaluate reproductive health.

  18. The emerging roles of adiponectin in female reproductive system-associated disorders and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Angelidis, George; Dafopoulos, Konstantinos; Messini, Christina I; Valotassiou, Varvara; Tsikouras, Panagiotis; Vrachnis, Nikolaos; Psimadas, Dimitrios; Georgoulias, Panagiotis; Messinis, Ioannis E

    2013-08-01

    Adiponectin, the most abundant adipose-released cytokine, has an important role in metabolism, primarily through reducing insulin resistance. Reproductive functions are known to be influenced by energy balance and adiponectin may be involved in the underlying mechanisms connecting reproduction and metabolism. Interestingly, adiponectin has been shown to exert actions in the female reproductive system, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and the endometrium. The peripheral effects of this adipocytokine are mediated mainly via 2 receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. The expression of these receptors has been reported in the brain, ovaries, endometrium, and the placenta. Thus, adiponectin may influence fertility and pregnancy. Furthermore, adiponectin concentrations and effects have been assessed in some pregnancy-associated disorders and gynecological conditions. The findings may lead to the use of adiponectin or its receptors as therapeutic targets in novel treatment strategies of these disorders.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. A case of reproductive character displacement in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus).

    PubMed

    Johanet, Aurélie; Secondi, Jean; Pays, Olivier; Pagano, Alain; Lodé, Thierry; Lemaire, Christophe

    2009-06-01

    Reproductive character displacement is commonly described as larger phenotypic differences between species living in sympatry rather than in allopatry. We investigated this phenomenon on two amphibians found in their contact zone where syntopic and allotopic sites alternate. To test the effect of syntopy with Lissotriton vulgaris on the Lissotriton helveticus phenotype, we studied the morphology of adult males and females while controlling for environmental factors (i.e. land use and flood risk). Using linear mixed-effects models, we found that females of L. helveticus expressed a deeper tail when in the presence of the other species, a pattern consistent with reproductive character displacement. This pattern has been rarely observed in Amphibians. It suggests that male newts incur large mating costs when selecting heterospecific partners. Our study also emphasizes that the evolution of mate recognition systems could occur at a microgeographical scale within a sympatric area.

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

    PubMed

    Du, Hongling; Taylor, Hugh S

    2015-11-09

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

  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. 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

  8. The ameliorative effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on testosterone-induced reproductive disorders in female rats.

    PubMed

    Abdulghani, Mahfoudh; Hussin, Abas Hj; Sulaiman, Siti Amrah; Chan, Kit Lam

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this research was to study the ameliorative effects of a standardized quassinoid-rich extract (TAF 273) of Eurycoma longifolia root on some reproductive disorders in female rats. An irregular estrous cycle and ovarian cystic follicles were induced in 21-day-old females by the daily administration of testosterone (10 mg/kg, sc) for three weeks. The hormone-treated rats exhibited persistent diestrous as well as ovaries containing cystic follicles. Upon treatment with TAF 273, fewer animals showed irregular estrous cycles and there was less follicular morphological damage. The reversal effect may be derived from the anti-estrogenic properties of the plant quassinoids.

  9. Inhibition of the reproductive system by deslorelin in male and female pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Cowan, Melinda Lee; Martin, Graeme Bruce; Monks, Deborah Jane; Johnston, Stephen Douglas; Doneley, Robert James Tyson; Blackberry, Margaret Anne

    2014-06-01

    Veterinary practitioners frequently encounter disorders of the reproductive system in avian patients. Management of these disorders relies on manipulating reproduction by modifying the environment, diet, and social interactions, and by the use of pharmacologic agents and surgery, with varying levels of success and side effects. An alternative is to use the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin to suppress the pituitary-gonadal axis. To determine the efficacy of deslorelin in domestic pigeons (Columba livia), male (n = 10) and female (n = 10) birds each were implanted intramuscularly with a single long-acting implant containing 4.7 mg deslorelin. Untreated males (n = 11) and females (n = 10) were used as controls. The baseline serum concentration of luteinizing hormone (LH) was assayed at 7, 28, 56, and 84 days after treatment, and egg production was recorded weekly. In females, deslorelin administration significantly reduced serum LH concentrations compared to pretreatment levels at 7, 28, 56, and 84 days (P < .05). In males, deslorelin significantly reduced LH concentrations at 7, 28, and 56 days (P < .05). Female birds treated with deslorelin laid significantly fewer eggs over the course of the study (mean = 1.46, SEM = 0.84) compared with controls (mean = 5.54, SEM = 0.88). Deslorelin treatment had no discernible effect on body weight. Deslorelin is effective for controlling egg laying in female pigeons for at least 49 days, but further research is required to determine the effects on male fertility and the duration of action in both sexes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The putative roles of nuclear and membrane-bound progesterone receptors in the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Kowalik, Magdalena K; Rekawiecki, Robert; Kotwica, Jan

    2013-12-01

    Progesterone produced by the corpus luteum (CL) is a key regulator of normal cyclical reproductive functions in the females of mammalian species. The physiological effects of progesterone are mediated by the canonical genomic pathway after binding of progesterone to its specific nuclear progesterone receptor (PGR), which acts as a ligand-activated transcription factor and has two main isoforms, PGRA and PGRB. These PGR isoforms play different roles in the cell; PGRB acts as an activator of progesterone-responsive genes, while PGRA can inhibit the activity of PGRB. The ratio of these isoforms changes during the estrous cycle and pregnancy, and it corresponds to the different levels of progesterone signaling occurring in the reproductive tract. Progesterone exerts its effects on cells also by a non-genomic mechanism by the interaction with the progesterone-binding membrane proteins including the progesterone membrane component (PGRMC) 1 and 2, and the membrane progestin receptors (mPRs). These receptors rapidly activate the appropriate intracellular signal transduction pathways, and subsequently they can initiate specific cell responses or modulate genomic cell responses. The diversity of progesterone receptors and their cellular actions enhances the role of progesterone as a factor regulating the function of the reproductive system and other organs. This paper deals with the possible involvement of nuclear and membrane-bound progesterone receptors in the function of target cells within the female reproductive tract.

  14. Reproductive biology in Anophelinae mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae): Fine structure of the female accessory gland.

    PubMed

    Laghezza Masci, Valentina; Di Luca, Marco; Gambellini, Gabriella; Taddei, Anna Rita; Belardinelli, Maria Cristina; Guerra, Laura; Mazzini, Massimo; Fausto, Anna Maria

    2015-07-01

    The morphology and ultrastructure of female accessory reproductive glands of Anopheles maculipennis s.s., Anopheles labranchiae and Anopheles stephensi were investigated by light and electron microscopy. The reproductive system in these species is characterized by two ovaries, two lateral oviducts, a single spermatheca and a single accessory gland. The gland is globular and has a thin duct which empties into the vagina, near the opening of the spermathecal duct. Significant growth of the accessory reproductive gland is observed immediately after blood meal, but not at subsequent digestion steps. At ultrastructural level, the gland consists of functional glandular units belonging to type 3 ectodermal glands. The secretory cells are elongated and goblet shaped, with most of their cytoplasm and large nucleus in the basal part, close to the basement lamella. Finely fibrous electron-transparent material occupies the secretory cavity that is in contact with the end of a short efferent duct (ductule) emerging from the gland duct. The present study is the first detailed description of female accessory gland ultrastructure in Anophelinae and provides insights into the gland's functional role in the reproductive biology of these insects.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Pesticide exposure: the hormonal function of the female reproductive system disrupted?

    PubMed Central

    Bretveld, Reini W; Thomas, Chris MG; Scheepers, Paul TJ; Zielhuis, Gerhard A; Roeleveld, Nel

    2006-01-01

    Some pesticides may interfere with the female hormonal function, which may lead to negative effects on the reproductive system through disruption of the hormonal balance necessary for proper functioning. Previous studies primarily focused on interference with the estrogen and/or androgen receptor, but the hormonal function may be disrupted in many more ways through pesticide exposure. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the various ways in which pesticides may disrupt the hormonal function of the female reproductive system and in particular the ovarian cycle. Disruption can occur in all stages of hormonal regulation: 1. hormone synthesis; 2. hormone release and storage; 3. hormone transport and clearance; 4. hormone receptor recognition and binding; 5. hormone postreceptor activation; 6. the thyroid function; and 7. the central nervous system. These mechanisms are described for effects of pesticide exposure in vitro and on experimental animals in vivo. For the latter, potential effects of endocrine disrupting pesticides on the female reproductive system, i.e. modulation of hormone concentrations, ovarian cycle irregularities, and impaired fertility, are also reviewed. In epidemiological studies, exposure to pesticides has been associated with menstrual cycle disturbances, reduced fertility, prolonged time-to-pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, and developmental defects, which may or may not be due to disruption of the female hormonal function. Because pesticides comprise a large number of distinct substances with dissimilar structures and diverse toxicity, it is most likely that several of the above-mentioned mechanisms are involved in the pathophysiological pathways explaining the role of pesticide exposure in ovarian cycle disturbances, ultimately leading to fertility problems and other reproductive effects. In future research, information on the ways in which pesticides may disrupt the hormonal function as described in this review, can be

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-10-22

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. MicroRNAs Influence Reproductive Responses by Females to Male Sex Peptide in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Fricke, Claudia; Green, Darrell; Smith, Damian; Dalmay, Tamas; Chapman, Tracey

    2014-01-01

    Across taxa, female behavior and physiology change significantly following the receipt of ejaculate molecules during mating. For example, receipt of sex peptide (SP) in female Drosophila melanogaster significantly alters female receptivity, egg production, lifespan, hormone levels, immunity, sleep, and feeding patterns. These changes are underpinned by distinct tissue- and time-specific changes in diverse sets of mRNAs. However, little is yet known about the regulation of these gene expression changes, and hence the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs), in female postmating responses. A preliminary screen of genomic responses in females to receipt of SP suggested that there were changes in the expression of several miRNAs. Here we tested directly whether females lacking four of the candidate miRNAs highlighted (miR-279, miR-317, miR-278, and miR-184) showed altered fecundity, receptivity, and lifespan responses to receipt of SP, when mated once or continually to SP null or control males. The results showed that miRNA-lacking females mated to SP null males exhibited altered receptivity, but not reproductive output, in comparison to controls. However, these effects interacted significantly with the genetic background of the miRNA-lacking females. No significant survival effects were observed in miRNA-lacking females housed continually with SP null or control males. However, continual exposure to control males that transferred SP resulted in significantly higher variation in miRNA-lacking female lifespan than did continual exposure to SP null males. The results provide the first insight into the effects and importance of miRNAs in regulating postmating responses in females. PMID:25245794

  9. The relationship of dominance, reproductive state and stress in female horses (Equus caballus).

    PubMed

    York, Carly A; Schulte, Bruce A

    2014-09-01

    Maintaining a dominant position in a hierarchy requires energetically expensive aggressive displays and physical exertion. Lab based winner-loser studies, often conducted with individuals from non-social species, have shown that subordinates have higher stress hormone levels than dominant individuals. However, in wild studies on cooperative breeders, displays of aggression used to maintain dominance status are associated with elevated stress hormone levels. The effect of reproductive state on dominance and stress has not been addressed within either of these situations. The purpose of this study was to examine physiological stress levels in relation to dominance rank and reproductive state in a non-cooperative breeder and herbivore, the domestic horse. The social interactions and measured faecal glucocorticoids were recorded in pastured, female horses that were either lactating or non-lactating. While faecal glucocorticoid metabolite level did not differ between reproductive state and rank, activity behaviour demonstrated significant differences between reproductive states. Higher energetic requirements of lactation were reflected in significantly longer bouts of eating and significantly less time spent alert and socializing. As non-cooperative breeders, the social nature of horses does not limit their reproduction or resource acquisition based upon rank, and therefore does not fit with the dominance-stress hypothesis or subordinate-stress hypothesis and instead supports a rank-independent stress hypothesis. PMID:25058621

  10. Voice and Handgrip Strength Predict Reproductive Success in a Group of Indigenous African Females

    PubMed Central

    Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Sorokowski, Piotr; Mberira, Mara; Bartels, Astrid; Gallup, Gordon G.

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of Darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of Darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis. PMID:22870251

  11. The relationship of dominance, reproductive state and stress in female horses (Equus caballus).

    PubMed

    York, Carly A; Schulte, Bruce A

    2014-09-01

    Maintaining a dominant position in a hierarchy requires energetically expensive aggressive displays and physical exertion. Lab based winner-loser studies, often conducted with individuals from non-social species, have shown that subordinates have higher stress hormone levels than dominant individuals. However, in wild studies on cooperative breeders, displays of aggression used to maintain dominance status are associated with elevated stress hormone levels. The effect of reproductive state on dominance and stress has not been addressed within either of these situations. The purpose of this study was to examine physiological stress levels in relation to dominance rank and reproductive state in a non-cooperative breeder and herbivore, the domestic horse. The social interactions and measured faecal glucocorticoids were recorded in pastured, female horses that were either lactating or non-lactating. While faecal glucocorticoid metabolite level did not differ between reproductive state and rank, activity behaviour demonstrated significant differences between reproductive states. Higher energetic requirements of lactation were reflected in significantly longer bouts of eating and significantly less time spent alert and socializing. As non-cooperative breeders, the social nature of horses does not limit their reproduction or resource acquisition based upon rank, and therefore does not fit with the dominance-stress hypothesis or subordinate-stress hypothesis and instead supports a rank-independent stress hypothesis.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The pattern of reproduction in female Columbian black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D C; Cowan, I M

    1975-08-01

    Ovarian cycles and the pattern of reproduction in female black-tailed deer in British Columbia were ascertained largely through examination of the ovaries from 444 females. Cyclic development and degeneration of single follicles of ovulatory size occurred several weeks before first ovulation. As the breeding season approached, a second or third large follicle developed in each cycle but in 48% of adult females the follicles were at different stages of maturation. Those failing to rupture at first ovulation luteinized 1 to 2 days thereafter. The first ovulation of the season, in November, never resulted in a lasting pregnancy even though some ova were penetrated by spermatozoa and began to cleave. First ovulation was apparently 'silent' in five of seven females for their ova lacked spermatozoa. Of sixty-one pregnant females, fifty-nine conceived at second ovulation; the other two conceived at subsequent ovulations more widely spaced than the 8- to 9-day interval between first and second ovulations. The synchrony of ovulatory cycles among adult females was such that half of them ovulated for the second time in a span of 7 or 8 days. Primary CL that formed after first ovulation grew to an average maximum volume of only about 45 mm3, whereas those originating at second ovulation grew to twice that size within 5 to 8 days. First generation CL shrank from 35 mm3 to 10 mm3 within 2 days. They disappeared within 18 months but corpora albicantia persisted for the life of the female. The possible ecological significance of the reproductive pattern is discussed.

  20. The correlated evolution of three-dimensional reproductive structures between male and female damselflies.

    PubMed

    McPeek, Mark A; Shen, Li; Farid, Hany

    2009-01-01

    For many taxa, species are defined by the morphologies of reproductive structures. In many odonates, these structures are the cerci of males (used to hold females during mating) and the thoracic plates of females where the male cerci contact the females' bodies. A previous study showed that the shapes of cerci of Enallagma males (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae) are best explained by an evolutionary model of punctuated change at the time of speciation, with a homogeneous rate of change across the entire phylogeny of the genus. In the present study, we examine the evolution of shape change in the corresponding female plates. We found that, like male cerci, the shapes of Enallagma female thoracic plates could best be explained by an evolutionary model of punctuated change at the time of speciation, with a homogeneous rate of change across the clade. Moreover, the evolutionary contrasts quantifying the rates of change in male cerci and female thoracic plates were positively related across the history of the clade, demonstrating that these male and female structures evolve in a correlated fashion. This pattern of evolution suggests that these structures are primary signals of species identity during mating.

  1. Postmating transcriptional changes in the female reproductive tract of the European corn borer moth.

    PubMed

    Al-Wathiqui, N; Dopman, E B; Lewis, S M

    2016-10-01

    Mating triggers a cascade of physiological and behavioural responses in females that persist after copulation. In insects, seminal fluid proteins contained within male ejaculates are known to initiate some responses, but our understanding of how females mediate these reactions remains limited. Few studies have examined postmating transcriptional changes within ejaculate-receiving organs within females or how these changes might depend on the identity of the male. Furthermore, whereas males of many insects transfer packaged ejaculates, transcriptional dynamics have mainly been examined in dipterans, in which males transfer a free ejaculate. To identify genes that may be important in mediating female physiological responses in a spermatophore-producing species, we sequenced the transcriptomes of the ejaculate-receiving organs and examined postmating gene expression within and between pheromone strains of the European corn borer (ECB) moth, Ostrinia nubilalis. After within-strain mating, significant differential expression of 978 transcripts occurred in the female bursa or its associated bursal gland, including peptidases, transmembrane transporters, and hormone processing genes; such genes may potentially play a role in postmating male-female interactions. We also identified 14 transcripts from the bursal gland that were differentially expressed after females mated with cross-strain males, representing candidates for previously observed postmating reproductive isolation between ECB strains. PMID:27329655

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; 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.

  3. Diversity-enhancing selection acts on a female reproductive protease family in four subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Erin S; Clark, Nathaniel L; Markow, Therese A

    2011-03-01

    Protein components of the Drosophila male ejaculate are critical modulators of reproductive success, several of which are known to evolve rapidly. Recent evidence of adaptive evolution in female reproductive tract proteins suggests this pattern may reflect sexual selection at the molecular level. Here we explore the evolutionary dynamics of a five-paralog gene family of female reproductive proteases within geographically isolated subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis. Remarkably, four of five paralogs show exceptionally low differentiation between subspecies and unusually structured haplotypes that suggest the retention of old polymorphisms. These gene genealogies are accompanied by deviations from neutrality consistent with diversifying selection. While diversifying selection has been observed among the reproductive molecules of mammals and marine invertebrates, our study provides the first evidence of this selective regime in any Drosophila reproductive protein, male or female.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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 I (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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Trade-off between age of first reproduction and survival in a female primate.

    PubMed

    Blomquist, Gregory E

    2009-06-23

    Trade-offs are central to life-history theory but difficult to document. Patterns of phenotypic and genetic correlations in rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta-a long-lived, slow-reproducing primate-are used to test for a trade-off between female age of first reproduction and adult survival. A strong positive genetic correlation indicates that female macaques suffer reduced adult survival when they mature relatively early and implies primate senescence can be explained, in part, by antagonistic pleiotropy. Contrasts with a similar human study implicate the extension of parental effects to later ages as a potential mechanism for circumventing female life-history trade-offs in human evolution.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Longitudinal study of reproductive performance of female cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Polejaeva, Irina A; Broek, Diane M; Walker, Shawn C; Zhou, Wenli; Walton, Mark; Benninghoff, Abby D; Faber, David C

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reproductive performance in cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is significantly different from that of their genetic donors. To address this question, we directed two longitudinal studies using different embryo production procedures: (1) superovulation followed by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo collection and (2) ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF). Collectively, these two studies represent the largest data set available for any species on the reproductive performance of female clones and their genetic donors as measured by their embryo production outcomes in commercial embryo production program. The large-scale study described herein was conducted over a six-year period of time and provides a unique comparison of 96 clones to the 40 corresponding genetic donors. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study on the reproductive performance of cattle clones using OPU-IVF. With nearly 2,000 reproductive procedures performed and more than 9,200 transferable embryos produced, our observations show that the reproductive performance of cattle produced by SCNT is not different compared to their genetic donors for the production of transferable embryos after either AI followed by embryo collection (P = 0.77) or OPU-IVF (P = 0.97). These data are in agreement with previous reports showing that the reproductive capabilities of cloned cattle are equal to that of conventionally produced cattle. In conclusion, results of this longitudinal study once again demonstrate that cloning technology, in combination with superovulation, AI and embryo collection or OPU-IVF, provides a valuable tool for faster dissemination of superior maternal genetics.

  18. Longitudinal Study of Reproductive Performance of Female Cattle Produced by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Polejaeva, Irina A.; Broek, Diane M.; Walker, Shawn C.; Zhou, Wenli; Walton, Mark; Benninghoff, Abby D.; Faber, David C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reproductive performance in cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is significantly different from that of their genetic donors. To address this question, we directed two longitudinal studies using different embryo production procedures: (1) superovulation followed by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo collection and (2) ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF). Collectively, these two studies represent the largest data set available for any species on the reproductive performance of female clones and their genetic donors as measured by their embryo production outcomes in commercial embryo production program. The large-scale study described herein was conducted over a six-year period of time and provides a unique comparison of 96 clones to the 40 corresponding genetic donors. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study on the reproductive performance of cattle clones using OPU-IVF. With nearly 2,000 reproductive procedures performed and more than 9,200 transferable embryos produced, our observations show that the reproductive performance of cattle produced by SCNT is not different compared to their genetic donors for the production of transferable embryos after either AI followed by embryo collection (P = 0.77) or OPU-IVF (P = 0.97). These data are in agreement with previous reports showing that the reproductive capabilities of cloned cattle are equal to that of conventionally produced cattle. In conclusion, results of this longitudinal study once again demonstrate that cloning technology, in combination with superovulation, AI and embryo collection or OPU-IVF, provides a valuable tool for faster dissemination of superior maternal genetics. PMID:24391930

  19. Genetic variation in male effects on female reproduction and the genetic covariance between the sexes.

    PubMed

    Czesak, Mary Ellen; Fox, Charles W

    2003-06-01

    Males of many insect species increase the fecundity and/or egg size of their mates through the amount or composition of their nuptial gifts or ejaculate. The genetic bases of such male effects on fecundity or egg size are generally unknown, and thus their ability to evolve remains speculative. Likewise, the genetic relationship between male and female investment into reproduction in dioecious species, which is expected to be positive if effects on fecundity are controlled by at least some of the same genes in males and females, is also unknown. Males of the seed beetle Stator limbatus contribute large ejaculates to females during mating, and the amount of donated ejaculate is positively correlated with male body mass. Females mated to large males lay more eggs in their lifetime than females mated to small males. We describe an experiment in which we quantify genetic variation in the number of eggs sired by males (mated to a single female) and found that a significant proportion of the phenotypic variance in the number of eggs sired by males was explained by their genotype. Additionally, the number of eggs sired by a male was highly positively genetically correlated with his body mass. The between-sex genetic correlation, that is, the genetic correlation between the number of eggs sired by males and the number of eggs laid by females, was highly positive when eggs were laid on Acacia greggii seeds. This indicates that males that sire many eggs have sisters that lay many eggs. Thus, some of the genes that control male ejaculate size (or some other fecundity-enhancing factor) when expressed in males appear to control fecundity when expressed in females. We found no significant interaction between male and female genotype on fecundity.

  20. Polyandrous females benefit by producing sons that achieve high reproductive success in a competitive environment.

    PubMed

    Firman, Renée C

    2011-09-22

    Females of many taxa often copulate with multiple males and incite sperm competition. On the premise that males of high genetic quality are more successful in sperm competition, it has been suggested that females may benefit from polyandry by accruing 'good genes' for their offspring. Laboratory studies have shown that multiple mating can increase female fitness through enhanced embryo viability, and have exposed how polyandry influences the evolution of the ejaculate. However, such studies often do not allow for both female mate choice and male-male competition to operate simultaneously. Here, I took house mice (Mus domesticus) from selection lines that had been evolving with (polygamous) and without (monogamous) sperm competition for 16 generations and, by placing them in free-ranging enclosures for 11 weeks, forced them to compete for access to resources and mates. Parentage analyses revealed that female reproductive success was not influenced by selection history, but there was a significant paternity bias towards males from the polygamous selection lines. Therefore, I show that female house mice benefit from polyandry by producing sons that achieve increased fitness in a semi-natural environment.

  1. 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.

  2. The quantitative genetics and coevolution of male and female reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Snook, Rhonda R; Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Moore, Allen J

    2010-07-01

    Studies of experimental sexual selection have tested the effect of variation in the intensity of sexual selection on male investment in reproduction, particularly sperm. However, in several species, including Drosophila pseudoobscura, no sperm response to experimental evolution has occurred. Here, we take a quantitative genetics approach to examine whether genetic constraints explain the limited evolutionary response. We quantified direct and indirect genetic variation, and genetic correlations within and between the sexes, in experimental populations of D. pseudoobscura. We found that sperm number may be limited by low heritability and evolvability whereas sperm quality (length) has moderate V(A) and CV(A) but does not evolve. Likewise, the female reproductive tract, suggested to drive the evolution of sperm, did not respond to experimental sexual selection even though there was sufficient genetic variation. The lack of genetic correlations between the sexes supports the opportunity for sexual conflict over investment in sperm by males and their storage by females. Our results suggest no absolute constraint arising from a lack of direct or indirect genetic variation or patterns of genetic covariation. These patterns show why responses to experimental evolution are hard to predict, and why research on genetic variation underlying interacting reproductive traits is needed.

  3. 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

  4. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Magiakou, M A; Mastorakos, G; Webster, E; Chrousos, G P

    1997-06-17

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the female reproductive system are intertwined and exhibit a complex relationship. Thus, the HPA axis exerts profound, mostly inhibitory effects, on the reproductive axis, with corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and CRH-induced propiomelanocortin peptides inhibiting hypothalamic GnRH secretion, and with glucocorticoids inhibiting pituitary LH and ovarian estrogen and progesterone secretion and rendering estrogen-target tissues, such as the endometrium, resistant to the gonadal steroid. These effects of the HPA axis are responsible for the "hypothalamic" amenorrhea of stress, depression and eating disorders, and the hypogonadism of Cushing's syndrome. Conversely, estrogen directly stimulates the CRH gene, which may explain the slight hypercortisolism of females and the preponderance of depressive, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as Cushing's disease in women. Interestingly, several components of the HPA axis and their receptors are present in reproductive tissues, as autocoid regulators of their various functions. These include ovarian and endometrial CRH, which may participate in the inflammatory processes of the ovary, that is, ovulation and luteolysis, and of the endometrium, that is, implantation and menstruation. Finally, the hypercortisolism of the latter half of pregnancy can be explained by high levels of placenta CRH in plasma. This hypercortisolism causes a transient adrenal suppression in the postpartum period, which may explain the postpartum blues/depression and autoimmune phenomena of this period.

  5. Female reproductive tract of the lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla, myrmecophagidae, Xenarthra). Anatomy and histology.

    PubMed

    Rossi, L F; Luaces, J P; Marcos, H J Aldana; Cetica, P D; Gachen, G; Jimeno, G Pérez; Merani, M S

    2011-11-01

    The morphological and histological features of the unusual reproductive tract of the female lesser anteater, Tamandua tetradactyla (Myrmecophagidae, Xenarthra), are described for the first time. The present study aimed to establish the main similarities and differences between this species and other xenarthrans. The populations of this species are declining rapidly for a number of reasons and our study is relevant to diverse programs related to its conservation. Studies were carried out on five female genital tracts of adult specimens. Ovaries were ovoid, presenting a medulla completely surrounded by the cortex, differently from that described in other xenarthans. Like in Dasypus but different from all other armadillos studied, single oocyte follicles were observed and a simple the uterus. The uterovaginal canal connects the uterus with the urogenital sinus. The simple columnar epithelium of the uterovaginal canal ends abruptly at a septum which resembles a hymen, where the transitional epithelium of the urogenital sinus appears. This ancestral feature is shared with that of other armadillos, except Tolypeutes matacus, which has a true vagina. Characteristics of the reproductive tract and sperm morphology of other Xenarthra are comparatively discussed. These observations suggest that important reproductive features are shared between the family Myrmecophagidae and the genus Dasypus, a basal group in the phylogeny of Xenarthra.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Senescence and age-specific trade-offs between reproduction and survival in female Asian elephants.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Matthew R; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-03-01

    Although studies on laboratory species and natural populations of vertebrates have shown reproduction to impair later performance, little is known of the age-specific associations between reproduction and survival, and how such findings apply to the ageing of large, long-lived species. Herein we develop a framework to examine population-level patterns of reproduction and survival across lifespan in long-lived organisms, and decompose those changes into individual-level effects, and the effects of age-specific trade-offs between fitness components. We apply this to an extensive longitudinal dataset on female semi-captive Asian timber elephants (Elephas maximus) and report the first evidence of age-specific fitness declines that are driven by age-specific associations between fitness components in a long-lived mammal. Associations between reproduction and survival are positive in early life, but negative in later life with up to 71% of later-life survival declines associated with investing in the production of offspring within this population of this critically endangered species.

  9. The manifold actions of endocannabinoids on female and male reproductive events.

    PubMed

    Bari, Monica; Battista, Natalia; Pirazzi, Valentina; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2011-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have highlighted the ever growing use of illegal drugs among teenagers. The negative effects of marijuana (a Cannabis sativa extract) on reproductive health are poorly known among young people, although chronic exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, impairs human reproductive potential by disrupting menstrual cycle, suppressing oogenesis and impairing embryo implantation and development, in women, and by increasing ejaculation problems, reducing sperm count and motility, and generating loss of libido and impotence, in men. Endocannabinoids, their metabolic enzymes and target receptors form the so called "endocannabinoid system" and they have been demonstrated to respond to fertility signals. In addition, they interfere with hormones, cytokines and other signalling molecules in both female and male reproductive events. In this review, we shall summarize the current knowledge on the endocannabinoid system, and on the multifaceted roles played by endocannabinoids in reproduction along the evolutionary axis from invertebrates to mammals. Furthermore, we shall discuss the potential use of distinct elements of the endocannabinoid system for the diagnosis and/or treatment of human infertility.

  10. Fat is sexy for females but not males: the influence of body reserves on reproduction in snakes (Vipera aspis).

    PubMed

    Aubret, Fabien; Bonnet, Xavier; Shine, Richard; Lourdais, Olivier

    2002-09-01

    Reproduction is energetically expensive for both sexes, but the magnitude of expenditure and its relationship to reproductive success differ fundamentally between males and females. Males allocate relatively little to gamete production and, thus, can reproduce successfully with only minor energy investment. In contrast, females of many species experience high fecundity-independent costs of reproduction (such as migration to nesting sites), so they need to amass substantial energy reserves before initiating reproductive activity. Thus, we expect that the relationship between energy reserves and the intensity of reproductive behavior involves a threshold effect in females, but a gradual (or no) effect in males. We tested this prediction using captive vipers (Vipera aspis), dividing both males and females into groups of high versus low body condition. Snakes from each group were placed together and observed for reproductive behavior; sex-steroid levels were also measured. As predicted, females in below-average body condition had very low estradiol levels and did not show sexual receptivity, whereas males of all body condition indices had significant testosterone levels and displayed active courtship. Testosterone levels and courtship intensity increased gradually (i.e., no step function) with body condition in males, but high estradiol levels and sexual receptivity were seen only in females with body reserves above a critical threshold.

  11. 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

  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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  15. Growth hormone production and role in the reproductive system of female chicken.

    PubMed

    Hrabia, Anna

    2015-09-01

    The expression and role of growth hormone (GH) in the reproductive system of mammals is rather well established. In birds the limited information thus far available suggests that GH is an endocrine or paracrine/autocrine regulator of ovarian and oviductal functions too. GH and its receptors are expressed in all compartments of the ovary and oviduct and change accordingly to physiological state. The intra-ovarian role of GH likely includes the regulation of steroidogenesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, the modulation of LH action and the synthesis of IGFs (insulin-like growth factors). In the oviduct, GH is also involved in the regulation of oviduct-specific protein expression. The present study provides a review of current knowledge on the presence and action of GH in the female reproduction, in which it is likely that act in endocrine, autocrine or paracrine mechanisms.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The hormonal basis of reproductive defects in athymic mice: diminished gonadotropin concentrations in prepubertal females.

    PubMed

    Rebar, R W; Morandini, I C; Erickson, G F; Petze, J E

    1981-01-01

    Congenitally nude athymic female mice are known to have severe deficiencies in reproductive function, including reduced ovarian weight, increased follicular atresia, decreased fertility, and premature ovarian failure, in comparison to their phenotypically normal heterozygous littermates. To determine the hormonal basis for these reproductive defects, pituitary and circulating concentrations of gonadotropins and circulating levels of gonadal steroids were quantitated in 132 congenitally athymic mice and 126 of their normal heterozygous littermates, ranging in age from 1-120 days. Although prepubertal increases in both circulating LH and FSH, which were maximal at 10 days of age, were observed in both athymic and heterozygous females, the concentrations were reduced significantly in the athymic animals (P less than 0.01). Dramatic increases in the pituitary concentrations of both LH and FSH followed at 20 days, with the concentrations in heterozygotes being 3-fold greater than those in the athymic mice (P less than 0.01 for LH; P less than 0.001 for FSH). These abnormalities in pituitary gonadotropin concentrations in the athymic mice were followed by a 2- to 3-fold reduction in the secretion of estrone but not estradiol in athymic females 30 days and older. Serum androgen levels were also reduced. From these data we infer that the reduced gonadotropin concentrations observed in the athymic animals are responsible for their increased follicular atresia and premature ovarian failure and that the thymus gland appears to be essential for normal development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2016-04-18

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Diabetes-induced alterations of reproductive and adrenal function in the female rat.

    PubMed

    Valdes, C T; Elkind-Hirsch, K E; Rogers, D G

    1990-04-01

    Diabetes interferes with reproductive function in laboratory animals. Previous studies in female diabetic rats have not resolved if the reproductive abnormalities observed are at the hypothalamic, pituitary and/or ovarian level. The interaction of the gonadal and adrenal axes has not been studied in the diabetic female rat. The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to determine the level of dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis caused by diabetes in the adult female rat controlling for stage of the estrous cycle, and, second, to evaluate basal corticosterone secretion in female diabetic rats. Sixty cycling 40-day-old female rats were randomly assigned to 3 groups; control (n = 32), diabetic (n = 14), and diabetic insulin-replaced animals (n = 14). The level of hyperglycemia in each group was documented by glycosylated hemoglobin levels and biweekly blood glucoses. Three weeks after induction of diabetes, pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) responsiveness following an i.v. injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was assessed in representative diestrous rats from each group. All animals were sacrificed in either diestrus or proestrus for determination of GnRH concentration in the hypothalamus, LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) content in pituitary and LH, FSH, estradiol and corticosterone in serum. Uterine weight to body weight ratios (a bioassay for estrogen) were also calculated. Hypothalamic GnRH concentration was significantly lower in diabetic versus control diestrous rats. Basal pituitary and serum gonadotropin levels were not different between any groups. GnRH-stimulated serum LH levels were higher in diabetic vs. control and diabetic insulin-treated animals. LH surges occurred in the control and diabetic insulin-replaced but not the diabetic group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. When females produce sperm: genetics of C. elegans hermaphrodite reproductive choice.

    PubMed

    Bahrami, Adam K; Zhang, Yun

    2013-10-01

    Reproductive behaviors have manifold consequences on evolutionary processes. Here, we explore mechanisms underlying female reproductive choice in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a species in which females have evolved the ability to produce their own self-fertilizing sperm, thereby allowing these "hermaphrodites" the strategic choice to self-reproduce or outcross with males. We report that hermaphrodites of the wild-type laboratory reference strain N2 favor self-reproduction, whereas a wild isolate CB4856 (HW) favors outcrossing. To characterize underlying neural mechanisms, we show that N2 hermaphrodites deficient in mechanosensation or chemosensation (e.g., mec-3 and osm-6 mutants) exhibit high mating frequency, implicating hermaphrodite perception of males as a requirement for low mating frequency. Within chemosensory networks, we find opposing roles for different sets of neurons that express the cyclic GMP-gated nucleotide channel, suggesting both positive and negative sensory-mediated regulation of hermaphrodite mating frequency. We also show that the ability to self-reproduce negatively regulates hermaphrodite mating. To map genetic variation, we created recombinant inbred lines and identified two QTL that explain a large portion of N2 × HW variation in hermaphrodite mating frequency. Intriguingly, we further show that ∼40 wild isolates representing C. elegans global diversity exhibit extensive and continuous variation in hermaphrodite reproductive outcome. Together, our findings demonstrate that C. elegans hermaphrodites actively regulate the choice between selfing and crossing, highlight the existence of natural variation in hermaphrodite choice, and lay the groundwork for molecular dissection of this evolutionarily important trait. PMID:23979940

  9. Prostaglandins and corticosterone in the oviparous female lizard, Podarcis sicula sicula, during reproduction.

    PubMed

    Gobbetti, A; Zerani, M; Bellini-Cardellini, L; Bolelli, G F

    1995-03-01

    The in vitro effects of prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on corticosterone release by ovarian follicles, corpora lutea (CL), and interrenals were studied in the female lizard, Podarcis sicula sicula, during reproduction. Follicles and CL studied in the female lizard, Podarcis sicula sicula, during reproduction. Follicles and CL were divided according to their different developmental stages; follicles: previtellogenic, early-vitellogenic, mid-vitellogenic and fully-grown; CL: CL1 (unshelled eggs in the oviducts), CL2 (shelled eggs in the oviducts), CL3 (eggs laid 6 h previously) and CL4 (eggs laid 48 h previously). Interrenals were divided according to the reproductive stages: pre-vitellogenesis, vitellogenesis, ovulation, post-ovulation, and post-deposition. PGF2 alpha release was highest in fully-grown follicles and PGE2 in early-vitellogenic follicles, corticosterone was highest in pre-vitellogenic and lowest in early-vitellogenic follicles. PGE2 decreased corticosterone in pre-vitellogenic, mid-vitellogenic and fully-grown follicles. PGF2 alpha release was highest in CL4, and PGE2 in CL1 and CL2, corticosterone was highest in CL4. PGF2 alpha increased corticosterone in CL1, CL2 and CL3. In interrenals, PGF2 alpha release was highest and PGE2 lowest during ovulation, corticosterone was highest during ovulation. PGF2 alpha increased and PGE2 decreased interrenal corticosterone during vitellogenesis, ovulation, and post-ovulation. In the plasma, PGF2 alpha levels were highest and PGE2 lowest during ovulation, corticosterone was highest during ovulation. These results suggest that corticosterone, modulated by PGF2 alpha and PGE2, is implied in the reproductive processes with different roles. In fact this steroid could favour ovulatory and luteolytic processes. In addition the hypothesis of an anti-vitellogenic role of corticosterone is discussed. PMID:7625183

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Consequences of acute stress and cortisol manipulation on the physiology, behavior, and reproductive outcome of female Pacific salmon on spawning grounds.

    PubMed

    McConnachie, Sarah H; Cook, Katrina V; Patterson, David A; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Hinch, Scott G; Farrell, Anthony P; Cooke, Steven J

    2012-06-01

    Life-history theory predicts that stress responses should be muted to maximize reproductive fitness. Yet, the relationship between stress and reproduction for semelparous salmon is unusual because successfully spawning individuals have elevated plasma cortisol levels. To tease apart the effects of high baseline cortisol levels and stress-induced elevation of cortisol titers, we determined how varying degrees of cortisol elevation (i.e., acute and chronic) affected behavior, reproductive physiology, and reproductive success of adult female pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) relative to different states of ovulation (i.e., ripe and unripe). Exhaustive exercise and air exposure were applied as acute stressors to manipulate plasma cortisol in salmon either confined to a behavioral arena or free-swimming in a spawning channel. Cortisol (eliciting a cortisol elevation to levels similar to those in post-spawn female salmon) and metyrapone (a corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor) implants were also used to chemically manipulate plasma cortisol. Cortisol implants elevated plasma cortisol, and impaired reproductive success; cortisol-treated fish released fewer eggs and died sooner than fish in other treatment groups. In contrast, acute stressors elevated plasma cortisol and the metyrapone implant suppressed plasma cortisol, but neither treatment significantly altered reproductive success, behavior, or physiology. Our results suggest that acute stressors do not influence behavior or reproductive outcome when experienced upon arrival at spawning grounds. Thus, certain critical aspects of salmonid reproduction can become refractory to various stressful conditions on spawning grounds. However, there is a limit to the ability of these fish to tolerate elevated cortisol levels as revealed by experimental elevation of cortisol.

  13. 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.

  14. Reconstructive microsurgery of the female reproductive tract utilizing the carbon dioxide laser.

    PubMed

    Bellina, J H

    1982-01-01

    The use of the CO2 laser as an adjunct to microsurgery for restoration of the female reproductive tract was studied in 82 patients from March 1980-March 1981. No accidents or operative complications were experienced. The details of the surgical procedures using the CO2 laser beam to incise, excise, and vaporize tissue are presented. 21 conceptions occurred in 20 patients after limited exposure to pregnancy. This represents 48% of 42 patients at risk of conception. Follow-up is continuing in the patient population. Based upon experience to date, more conceptions are expected as exposure to pregnancy lengthens and more patients become at risk. (author's modified)

  15. 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

  16. 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.