Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Animal Reproduction]]> vol. 17 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Increased quality of <em>in natura</em> and cryopreserved semen of water buffaloes supplemented with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids from the palm oil industry]]> Abstract Ruminant energy supplementation with vegetable oils or fats has been standing out worldwide and oil palm processing has been receiving growing interest. This study assessed the effect of supplementation with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids from the palm oil industry on the lipid profile of seminal plasma and of the sperm membrane, as well as on the morphological and functional characteristics of raw and cryopreserved buffalo semen. Twelve purebred Murrah bulls (Bubalus bubalis) were assigned to the experimental groups and fed diets for 120 days with no added lipids (CONT, four bulls), or with an extra amount of 3% lipids from crude palm oil (PALM, four bulls), or from palm oil deodorizer distillate (PODD, four bulls). Semen was collected and cryopreserved every 15 days. The lipid composition of membranes and semen quality were determined after collections. Lipid supplementation did not impact feed intake (P&gt;0.05). Diet enrichment with PALM increased the linoleic acid (C18:2,ω6) in seminal plasma. Lipid supplementation did not increase the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the sperm membrane composition, but significantly increased the lignoceric acid (C24:0). Cryopreserved semen of the supplemented bulls presented higher progressive motility (60.2 vs. 67.9 vs. 65.2%; P&lt;0.05) and sperm viability detected by eosin-nigrosin staining (61.1 vs. 69.4 vs. 67.8%; P&lt;0.05). Palm oil reduced major sperm defects in both raw (12.2 vs. 9.3 vs. 13.2%; P&lt;0.0001) and cryopreserved semen (12.4 vs. 9.4 vs. 11.2%; P&lt;0.0001). The lipids added to the diet did not impact the population of spermatozoa with intact plasma and acrosomal membranes (PI-/PSA-), but significantly increased the percentage of spermatozoa with high mitochondrial potential (25.6 vs. 31.5 vs. 32.0%; P=0.008). The results suggest that lipid supplementation based on crude palm oil or palm oil deodorizer distillate can be safely used to feed buffalo bulls and may increase sperm attributes related to male fertility. <![CDATA[Colony aging affects the reproductive performance of Swiss Webster females used as recipients for embryo transfer]]> Abstract The objective was to evaluate the influence of colony aging in a Swiss Webster (SW) outbred stock used as recipients for embryo transfer. In the first study, a retrospective analysis was performed throughout several generations during a 38-month period in 2,398 embryos transferred to 108 SW recipients. A decrease in the percentage of live pups from transferred embryos was found at the end of the period. Impairment occurred due to the incidence of maternal cannibalism that increased from 0% to 67-100% (P&lt;0.05), while pregnancy rate (pregnant/transferred recipients) and number of pups per delivered female were not affected throughout the period (P=NS). A following study was carried out to compare the reproductive performance of SW stock vs. B6D2F1 hybrid females in a 5-year interval. The study was conducted on a total of 893 embryos transferred to 40 females (20 SW and 20 B6D2F1) in Year #1, and 514 embryos transferred to 30 females (15 SW and 15 B6D2F1) in Year #5. No cases of maternal cannibalism were found on Year #1 in any of the strains (0/10 and 0/10). However, an incidence of 44,4% (4/9) was seen on Year #5 for SW, while for B6D2F1 the incidence was 0% (0/12) (P&lt;0.05). Further examination of the uterus showed endometrial cysts and abnormal implantation sites in SW on Year #5 but not in B6D2F1 females. In conclusion, this study reports an impairment of the reproductive performance of an early aged SW outbred stock colony mainly due to the occurrence of maternal cannibalism. This finding has important implications for embryo transfer programs conducted in mouse facilities. <![CDATA[Impact of <em>in vitro</em> fertilization by refrigerated versus frozen buffalo semen on developmental competence of buffalo embryos]]> Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the fertility of buffalo semen for in vitro embryo production (IVEP) by comparing the effectiveness of refrigerated versus frozen semen. Three OPU sessions were held at 30-day intervals. For oocyte fertilization three buffalo bulls were used, one per session. At each OPU-IVEP session, one ejaculate was collected and divided into two equal aliquots. Each aliquot was either refrigerated at 5ºC/24 hours or frozen. A TRIS extender containing 10% low density lipoproteins, 0.5% lecithin and 10 mM acetylcysteine was used adding 7% glycerol for freezing. Sperm motility/kinetic was evaluated by CASA and sperm membrane integrity by the hypoosmotic swelling test. The evaluations were performed at 0 h (post final dilution at 37ºC), at 4 and 24 hs post-incubation at 5ºC and post-thaw. At 24 hs incubation and immediately post thaw sperm cells were used for in vitro fertilization of buffalo oocytes equally distributed between both groups. Cleavage rates and embryo development were followed. The embryo/matured and embryo/cultured rates were 25.4 x 14.0% and 29.4 x 18.5% (P&lt;0.05), for chilled and frozen semen, respectively. It is concluded that cooled semen can be used for in vitro embryo production in buffalo and that a better efficiency may be expected for cooled compared to frozen semen. <![CDATA[Characterization of porcine oocytes stained with Lissamine Green B and their developmental potential <em>in vitro</em>]]> Abstract Traditional methods for the evaluation of oocyte quality are based on morphological classification of the follicle, cumulus-oocyte complex, polar body and meiotic spindle. This study is focused on the differences between the morphological assessment of oocyte quality, the assessment based on Lissamine Green B (LB) staining and the analysis of oocytes using a proteomic approach. We evaluated the effectiveness of electrochemical and chemical parthenogenetic activation under our laboratory conditions and evaluated the applicability of Lissamine Green B staining of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) as a non-invasive method for predicting the maturational and developmental competence of porcine oocytes cultured in vitro. We determined that chemical parthenogenetic activation using ionomycin and 6-dimethylaminopurine was slightly more effective than electrochemical activation. After oocyte selection according to LB staining, we found significant differences (P&lt;0.05) between the LB- group and LB+ group and the control group in their maturation, cleavage rate and rate of blastocysts. Proteomic analyses identified a selection of proteins that were differentially expressed in each group of analysed oocytes. Oocytes of the LB- group exhibited an increased variability of proteins involved in transcription regulation, proteosynthesis and the protein folding crucial for oocyte maturation and further embryonic development. These results found a better competence of LB- oocytes in maturation, cleavage and ability to reach the blastocyst stage. <![CDATA[Uterine infusion of conceptus fragments changes the protein profile from cyclic mares]]> Abstract This experiment aimed to compare at day seven after ovulation, the protein profile of uterine fluid in cyclic mares with mares infused two days before with Day 13 conceptus fragments. Experimental animals were ten healthy cyclic mares, examined daily to detect ovulation (Day 0) as soon as estrus was confirmed. On day seven, after ovulation, uterine fluid was collected, constituting the Cyclic group (n = 10). The same mares were examined in the second cycle until ovulation was detected. On day five, after ovulation, fragments from a previously collected concepti were infused into each mare's uterus. Two days after infusion, uterine fluid was collected, constituting the Fragment group (n = 10). Two-dimensional electrophoresis technique processed uterine fluid samples. A total of 373 spots were detected. MALDI-TOF/TOF and NanoUHPLC-QTOF mass spectrometry identified twenty spots with differences in abundance between the Cyclic and Fragment group. Thirteen proteins were identified, with different abundance between groups. Identified proteins may be related to embryo-maternal communication, which involves adhesion, nutrition, endothelial cell proliferation, transport, and immunological tolerance. In conclusion, conceptus fragments signalized changes in the protein profile of uterine fluid seven days after ovulation in comparison to the observed at Day 7 in the same cyclic mares. <![CDATA[Subdose of human chorionic gonadotropin applied at the <em>Hou Hai</em> acupoint on follicular dynamics and luteal development in donkeys]]> Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an hCG subdose applied at the Hou Hai acupoint as an ovulation inducer in donkeys. Eleven donkeys were distributed in randomized blocks in T1 = application of 1,500 IU of hCG intravenous (IV); T2 = 450 IU of hCG applied at the false acupoint (IV), and T3 = 450 IU of hCG applied at the Hou Hai acupoint. There was no difference (P &gt; 0.05) between the treatments regarding the mean diameter of the pre-ovulatory follicle (34.5 ± 1.3 mm), the ovulation rate (96.97%), the interval between induction and ovulation (58.07 ± 16.82 h), the mean diameter of the CL (D0 = 23.0 ± 0.6; D2 = 27.7 ± 1.9 and D8 = 28.2 ± 0.8mm), and serum P4 concentrations (10.50 ± 2.99 ng.mL-1). The application of 450 IU of hCG at the Hou Hai acupoint increased ovulation rate (72.73%) more than 48 h after induction (P = 0.03) and a larger diameter of the CL on D4 (30.7 ± 5.1 mm) (P = 0.04). The vascularization area of the CL on D8, obtained by minimum number of colored pixel (NCP), was greater (P &lt; 0.05) in the donkeys that received 1,500 IU of IV hCG (T1, 41.91 ± 1.17), and we found a positive correlation (P &lt; 0.05) between mean NCP and P4 concentration in the donkeys that received 450 IU of hCG IV at the false acupoint (T2) or at the Hou Hai acupoint (T3). The application of 450 IU of hCG by IV route at the false acupoint or the Hou Hai acupoint was sufficient to induce ovulation in donkeys, demonstrating that the average dosage commonly used for this species is too high. <![CDATA[Low invasive estrous synchronization protocol for wild animals: an example with melengestrol acetate in brown brocket deer <em>(Mazama gouazoubira)</em>]]> Abstract Deer are sensitive to stressful stimuli by handling and their reproductive physiology could be altered by these procedures, making it necessary to develop less invasive protocols for ART. Melengestrol acetate (MGA), a synthetic progestin administered orally, appears as an alternative for estrous synchronization protocols (ESP), such as reported in cattle. Firstly, we compared two MGA doses (0.5 and 1.0 mg/day/animal), which would have suppression effect in estrous behavior (EB). Eight females were randomly and equally distributed in Group 1 (G1) and Group 2 (G2), which received 0.5 and 1.0 mg/day/animal respectively for 15 days (D1 to D15). Two cloprostenol (CP) applications were performed on D0 and D11. Estrus detection (ED) was performed every day. All females from G1 displayed estrus during treatment period, whereas all females from G2 displayed estrus after treatment, suggesting a suppressive effect of 1.0 mg in the EB. Once the suppressive MGA dose (1.0 mg) was defined, we used this dose for assessing ESP. The same eight females received 1.0 mg/animal for eight days (D-8 to D-1), followed by 0.25 mg of estradiol benzoate on D-8 and 265 μg of CP on D0. Feces for fecal progesterone metabolites (FPM) measurement were collected from D0 until seven days after the last day of estrus. Seven females displayed estrus between 12 and 72 h after CP application, which was followed by a significant increase in FPM levels (except female MG6), suggesting the formation of corpus luteum. After ED, females were placed with a fertile male to assess the fertility of the protocol. Pregnancy was confirmed by ultrasound 30 days after mating in 3/6 individuals. Although the low effectiveness of MGA protocol, it should be considered as a promising alternative in deer ESP since this protocol has less stressful effect on the animal during reproductive management when compared to other ESP. <![CDATA[Dimethylacetamide alone or in combination with glycerol can be used for cryopreservation of ovine semen]]> Abstract Dimethylacetamide has been included in different extenders for the cryopreservation of semen from species with promising results. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of dimethylacetamide (DMA) in different concentrations, associated or not with glycerol (GLY), for the cryopreservation of ovine semen, and its effects on in vitro sperm parameters and post-thaw in vivo fertility. Five semen samples of five adult Santa Ines sheep (n=25) were used. The collected ejaculates were divided among the seven treatments for subsequent cryopreservation. The treatments presented different concentrations of DMA and GLY, being divided as G1: GLY 6%; G2: DMA 3%; G3: GLY 5% + DMA 1%; G4: GLY 4% + DMA 2%; G5: GLY 3% + DMA 3%; G6: GLY 2% + DMA 4%; G7: GLY 1% + DMA 5%. %. Post-thawing of the straws, aliquots were evaluated for computerized sperm kinetics (CASA) and plasma membrane integrity, using fluorescent probes and flow cytometry. After the in vitro evaluation of the sperm parameters, in vivo testing was performed by laparoscopic artificial insemination of 72 females. The post-thaw total motility (%) evaluated by CASA were 51.4, 51.4, 50.1, 53.6, 52.3, 52.8 and 46.9, respectively, for the seven groups. And the plasma membrane integrity (%) were 19.7, 28.4, 22.3, 29.4, 24.3, 17.9 and 16.9, respectively. There were no differences (P&gt; 0.05) between the treatments for the parameters of spermatic kinetics and membrane integrity. For females inseminated with semen from the control group (G1, GLY6%), the percentage of pregnant females was 36.1%, a result similar to that obtained with G3 treatment (GLY5% + DMA1%). In conclusion, dimethylacetamide, either alone or in combination with glycerol, can be used for cryopreservation of ovine semen. <![CDATA[<em>Septin14</em>, a gene specifically expressed in the testis and seminal vesicle of the Banna mini-pig inbred line (BMI)]]> Abstract Septin14 is an important spermatogenesis related gene involved in the pathogenesis of male infertility that has not been well studied. Here, full-length Septin14 cDNA of the Banna mini-pig inbred line (BMI) was cloned using the RACE method and expressed in pig kidney epithelial cells (PK15) and E. coli Rosetta (DE3) cells. Septin14 expression was identified in somatic tissues and testis in different developmental stages. The pig Septin14 CDS is 1,299 bp long, and encodes a peptide (or protein) of 432 amino acids (MW=50.4 kDa). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that pig Septin14 was highly evolutionarily conserved. Subcellular localization of GFP-tagged Septin14 fusion protein revealed that Septin14 was distributed throughout the testicular cells. Among 34 pig tissues, Septin14 mRNA was found specifically in testis and seminal vesicle. In six different postnatal developmental stages, the testicular level of Septin14 mRNA was barely detectable on day 2, while the highest level occurred on day 75. The spatiotemporal expression profile of Septin14, reported herein for the first time in pig, indicated that Septin14 might be involved in the division, development and apoptosis of germ cells. Furthermore, using a pET prokaryotic expression system, we expressed and isolated recombinant 67.9 kDa Septin14 protein. <![CDATA[Impact of an acute heat shock during <em>in vitro</em> maturation on interleukin 6 and its associated receptor component transcripts in bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes]]> Abstract An acute heat stress event after the LH surge increased interleukin 6 (IL6) levels in the follicular fluid of the ovulatory follicle in hyperthermic cows. To examine direct consequences of a physiologically-relevant elevated temperature (41.0°C) on the cumulus-oocyte complex (COC), IL6 transcript abundance and related receptor components were evaluated throughout in vitro maturation. Heat-induced increases in IL6 were first noted at 4 hours of in vitro maturation (hIVM); peak levels occurred at 4.67 versus 6.44 hIVM for 41.0 and 38.5°C COCs, respectively (SEM = 0.23; P &lt; 0.001). Peak IL6ST levels occurred at 6.95 versus 8.29 hIVM for 41.0 and 38.5°C, respectively (SEM = 0.23; P &lt; 0.01). Transcript for LIF differed over time (P &lt; 0.0001) but was not affected by 41.0°C exposure. Blastocyst development after performing IVF was not affected by 41.0°C exposure for 4 or 6 h. When limiting analysis to when IL6 was temporally produced, progesterone levels were only impacted by time and temperature (no interaction). Heat-induced shift in the temporal production of IL6 and IL6ST along with its impact on progesterone likely cooperate in heat-induced hastening of meiotic progression described by others. <![CDATA[Genetic material from buffalo and cattle: crucial importance in the formalization of bilateral trade between India and Brazil]]> Abstract The trade in live animals between India and Brazil dates from the late nineteenth century when European travellers traded animals of Indian origin for display in zoos. Considering the origin of coffee and sugar cane, as well as the expertise related to mineral evaluation, we need to consider that India was involved in important economic cycles of Brazil, even indirectly. This virtuous flow of trade has been maintained and intensified throughout modern history, especially after these two nations gained political independence from their colonisers, thereby becoming independent in mercantile affairs. This paper addresses the main points related to the use of animals of Indian origin in Brazil. We revisit some of the historical aspects of the process of colonisation of Brazil, as well as the importation of animals from India. The restrictions imposed on this process due to the occurrence of diseases in cattle and buffalo in India will be examined. At the end of the text, emphasis will be given to the risks of introducing exotic diseases into Brazil. <![CDATA[Cryptorchidism in free-living jaguar (<em>Panthera onca</em>): first case report]]> Abstract Cryptorchidism is a genital alteration wherein one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum and has multifactorial causes. A free-range adult male was captured twice in the Pantanal of Nhecolândia to put a GPS collar and semen collection. Pharmacological semen collection, andrological examination and semen analysis were performed. At the first capture and during the andrological examination only the left testis was found, and the male qualified as cryptorchid. The penis had no penile spines at either procedure. The semen volume obtained at first and second capture was 435 and 160 μL, respectively, with a concentration of 618 and 100 x 106 sperm/mL, progressive motility of ~ 5% and ~ 1% and total morphological sperm abnormalities of 74% and 86%. The male was monitored by a GPS collar, but the signal was lost, making it difficult to re-captures and perform new seminal and ultrasound evaluations to discard monorchidism – exceedingly rare in felids. Genetic studies to assess the individual's homozygosity are necessary to verify whether cryptorchidism in this individual has a genetic factor. <![CDATA[A rare case of heteropaternal twin calves after natural mating in Brazil]]> Abstract Twin birth is a complex condition observed in most livestock animals, when the female gives birth to two or more offspring, generally out of the same mating. In cattle, it is a rare condition (3 to 5%) and depends on the genetic background and environmental factors. Twin birth is a result of multiple ovulations, being more common in dairy rather than in beef cattle. Calves could be monozygous or dizygous, with the same or of different sexes. When twins are born with different sexes, a sexual condition called Freemartinism occurs in between 90 to 97% of pregnancies, causing infertility in the female calf. Knowing that the twin rate is rare in commercial beef cattle, here we present an even rarer case of twin birth from two different sires after natural mating, also called heteropaternal superfecundation.