Abstract in English:Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the effect of synchronization with prostaglandin F2α in Baixadeiro mares during the rainy and dry seasons. Fourteen mares were synchronized by administering two doses of 1 mL prostaglandin PGF 2α and monitored by rectal palpation and ultrasound for the assessment of follicular development and uterine echotexture. Of this total, nine mares allowed the collection of blood, in which the blood was collected by venipuncture of the jugular vein to determine progesterone (P4) by ELISA. Mares showed no differences (P > 0.05) in weight, body score condition (BSC), tone, uterine edema, frequency of ovulation, synchronization interval, estrus, and the total number of follicles between periods. However, there was a difference in large increased follicle diameter (P < 0.05) during the dry season. The average concentrations of P4 in mares differed (P < 0.05) between the pre- and post-ovulatory phases for both seasons and after ovulation, with higher concentrations in the rainy season. Furthermore, statistical differences in daily light (P < 0.05) were observed between the dry and rainy periods. Thus, we conclude that mares from the genetic grouping Baixadeiro showed no reproductive seasonality, though there was a difference in luminosity between the rainy and dry seasons. The treatment with two doses of PGF 2α was effective in synchronizing the mares, promoting the return of estrus in the dry and rainy periods. The mares remaining cyclically active throughout the year provided there were appropriate forage availability and quality levels to allow for normal values of body weight and condition.
Abstract in English:Abstract Semen motility is the most widely recognized semen quality parameter used by Artificial Insemination (AI) centers. With the increasing worldwide export of semen between AI centers there is an increasing need for standardized motility assessment methods. Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) technology is thought to provide an objective motility evaluation; however, results can still vary between laboratories. The aim of present study was to verify the impact of different setting values of the CASA IVOS II on motility, concentration, and morphology of bovine semen samples frozen in an extender with or without egg yolk and then decide on optimal settings for a further validation step across AI centers. Semen straws from 30 different bulls were analyzed using IVOS II with twelve modified settings. No significant changes were observed in semen concentration, percentage of motile sperm or kinetic results for either extender type. However, increasing settings for both STR and VAP progressive (%) from Low, Medium, and High cut-off values significantly (p<0.05) reduced the percentage of detected progressive spermatozoa, in egg yolk extender from 49.5±15.2, 37.2±11.9 to 11.9±5.3%, and in clear extender from 51.9±9.1, 35.8±7.3 to 10.0±2.4%, respectively. In clear extender only, the modification of droplet proximal head length significantly affected the detection of normal sperm percentages (88.0± 4.7 to 95.0±0.6 and 96.0±0.6%) and of the percentage of detected proximal droplets (12.2±4.7, 2.5±2.7 to 0.6±0.2%) for Low, Medium and High values respectively (p<0.05). The identification of sensitivity within the CASA system to changes in set parameters then led to the determination of an optimal IVOS II setting. The existing variability among centers for these phenotypes was reduced when the standardized settings were applied across different CASA units. The results clearly show the importance of applied settings for the final CASA results and emphasize the need for standardized settings to obtain comparable data.
Abstract in English:Abstract The action of substances with non-permeable cryoprotectant potential, besides glucose, has not yet been studied for the species Prochilodus brevis. The objective of this work was to evaluate the action of four non-permeable cryoprotectants on this species sperm cryopreservation. Five pools were cryopreserved in a solution of 5% glucose and 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO) associated or not (control) with cryoprotectants egg yolk (5, 10 or 12%), soy lecithin (2.5, 7.5 or 10%), sucrose (5, 10 or 20%) and lactose (5, 8 or 15%). After thawing, samples were evaluated for sperm kinetics (total motility, motility duration, velocities, and wobble - WOB), morphology and membrane and DNA integrity. The treatments containing egg yolk improved significantly (P<0.05) results when compared the control for the membrane integrity parameter. When compared to other treatments, egg yolk, at any concentration, presented higher results (P<0.05) for membrane integrity, total motility, curvilinear velocity (VCL) and average path velocity (VAP) parameters. Egg yolk also showed the best results for WOB, but it did not differ from 5% and 8% lactose and 5% and 20% sucrose. Soy lecithin had the lowest percentages of morphologically normal sperm (P<0.05), while the other treatments did not differ from each other. There was no difference regarding DNA integrity data. Thus, 5% egg yolk is indicated as a non-permeable cryoprotectant for P. brevis, in association with 5% glucose and 10% Me2SO.
Abstract in English:Abstract Neuroendocrine substances play essential roles in regulating the normal physiological functions of testicles. The purpose of this study is to explore the localization and effects of four neuroendocrine markers (NSE, SP, NFH and DβH) in normal and cryptorchid testes of Bactrian camels using western blotting, transmission electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence methods. The results showed that cryptorchidism caused a reduction in layers of spermatogenic epithelium and decreased glycogen positivity in the basement membrane. The ultrastructure revealed that macrophages were always found around the Leydig cells, crowded with swelling mitochondria in cryptorchidism. Expression of NSE in the Leydig cells of cryptorchidism was significantly weakened compared to that in the normal group(p<0.01). We found that SP was always distributed along the nerve fibers in normal testes and was expressed in the Leydig cells of cryptorchidism. However, expression of NFH in the cryptorchidic tissue was strongly positive in the spermatogenic epithelium, with limited expression in Leydig cells and no expression in peritubular myoid cells. Therefore, the expression of DβH in the Sertoli cells was comparatively strong in both the normal and cryptorchidism groups. NFH and DβH expression was significantly increased in the cryptorchidism group compared with the normal group (p<0.01). These findings indicated that the underdeveloped seminiferous epithelium and pathological changes in cryptorchid tissue in Bactrian camels were potentially related to a disorder in glycoprotein metabolism. Our results suggest that NSE and SP could help judge the pathological changes of cryptorchidism. The present study provides the first evidence at the protein level for the existence of NFH and DβH in Sertoli and Leydig cells in Bactrian camel cryptorchidism and provides a more in-depth understanding of neuroendocrine regulation is crucial for animal cryptorchidism.
Abstract in English:Abstract The use of dogs in military work environments has always aroused great interest in the general population and determining the stress levels they go through is extremely important to maintain their welfare. The aim of this research was to evaluate if the work shifts in military working dogs leads to stress conditions and if this working influences on the reproductive performance and life quality. The study was conducted at the Military Police Kennel located at Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Eight male dogs of four different breeds (German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois Shepherd, Doberman, and Rottweiler) were evaluated during two different shifts: Working Shifts: animals working 12 hours a day with 2 hour-interval; and Control Shifts: animals that were on their day off (36 hours). Saliva samples were collected for cortisol analysis at the control and working shifts. The study was carried out over 60 days and analyzed behavior, physiology, and reproduction quality. Saliva samples, behavior observation of stereotyping, resting and moving activities and semen analysis were collected by digital stimulation (for combined second and third fractions). The salivary cortisol levels during the control and working shifts were between 0.361–0.438 and 0.312–0.592 µg/dL, respectively; the highest values were found at the end of working shifts. The animals were resting during most of the observation period, but few showed stereotypic behaviors. The testicular consistency was firm and semen parameters were within the normal values in German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois Shepherd, and Doberman dogs. However, Rottweiler dogs had a higher rate of sperm abnormalities, higher salivary cortisol levels, and more stereotypic behaviors. Nevertheless this work highlights the importance of further research relating reproduction and cortisol levels in military dogs.
Abstract in English:Abstract Although cryopreservation is an efficient method for maintaining the biological and genetic resources of sperm, the sperm damage during the cryopreservation process cannot be ignored. It should be possible to obtain the most effective cryopreservation performance by accurately grasping the effects of various factors on the cryopreservation of sperm. The previous study demonstrated that a suitable standard protocol for cryopreservation of Korean native brindled cattle (Chikso) does not exist, based on the methods for semen cryopreservation of Chikso differ in each research center. The most obvious difference between most of protocols is the addition of glycerol before and after cooling during the Chikso cryopreserved semen process. Therefore we focused on the effects of glycerol addition time on the quality of cryopreserved Chikso sperm. In the present study, 27 individual Chikso samples were collected by transrectal massage and divided into two parts: the “cryopreservation method A” group (adding glycerol before cooling) and the “cryopreservation method B” group (adding glycerol after cooling). Meanwhile, the values of various sperm parameters were derived from each group, including sperm motility, kinematics, capacitation status, cell viability, and intracellular ATP levels, which we used to compare and evaluate sperm function. The results of this study indicated that during the semen cryopreservation process of the Chikso, the addition of glycerol after cooling yielded superior results in a variety of sperm parameters, such as sperm motility, progressive motility, rapid motility, VCL, VSL, VAP, ALH, capacitation status, viability, and intracellular ATP level after freezing and thawing. Our study is suggested that the glycerol addition time during the cryopreservation process for Chikso should be considered. In addition, our results may be provided reference to develop suitable the cryopreservation procedure of the Chikso sperm.
Abstract in English:Abstract In bridging the knowledge gap on stress physiology of Nigerian indigenous chickens, this study investigated the effect of exogenous corticosterone (eCORT) as stress inducing agent on the testicular function and mating behavior of Nigerian indigenous cocks. Twenty-four (24) cocks and one hundred and forty four (144) hens (mating ratio of 1 cock: 6 hens) were grouped into four and assigned to each of the four eCORT treatments (0, 2, 4 and 6 mgeCORT/KgBW) daily for 14 days. Semen samples were collected on days 0, 7 and 14 and analyzed for semen volume (SV), progressive sperm motility (PSM), membrane integrity (MI) and sperm abnormality (SA). Mating behaviors were monitored on days 3, 5 and 8. Blood samples, for hormonal (Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Testosterone (TEST) and stress analysis (heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, H/L) were collected from brachial vein on days 7 and 14. On day 15, cocks were euthanized and testes harvested for histomorphometry. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis, one–way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests all in SPSS 23. Administration of 4 mgeCORT/KgBW declined (P<0.05) PSM while 4 mgeCORT/KgBW and 6 mgeCORT/KgBW cocks had reduced (P<0.05) SV and MI with increased SA. Compared to baseline values, progressive sperm motility of cocks administered 6 mgeCORT for 7 and 14 days decreased (P<0.05) by 57.5% and 52.4%, respectively. Exogenous CORT had no significant (P>0.05) influence on the mating behaviors, H/L ratio, FSH and TEST. However, 2 mgeCORT/KgBW enhanced LH levels. Administration of eCORT did not affect the testicular epithelial height and seminiferous tubular diameter. In conclusion, optimal stress induced by eCORT impaired semen quality but with less impact on reproductive hormones, H/L and mating behaviors of intensively raised Nigerian indigenous cocks.
Abstract in English:Abstract Heterologous in vitro fertilization (IVF) is an important tool for assessing fertility of endangered mammals such as the jaguar, considering difficult access to females for artificial insemination and to obtain homologous oocytes. We aimed to evaluate the fertility of jaguar sperm cryopreserved with different extenders, using domestic cat oocytes to assess the development of hybrid embryos. Semen from four captive jaguars was obtained by electroejaculation. Samples were cryopreserved in powdered coconut water (ACP-117c) or Tris extender containing 20% egg yolk and 6% glycerol. Thawed spermatozoa were resuspended (2.0 × 106 spermatozoa/mL) in IVF medium and co-incubated with cat oocytes matured in vitro for 18 h. Presumptive zygotes were cultured for 7 days. After 48 h, cleavage rate was evaluated, and non-cleaved structures were stained for IVF evaluation. On days 5 and 7, the rate of morula and blastocyst formation was assessed. Data were analyzed using the Fisher exact test (p < 0.05). No difference was observed between ACP-117c and Tris extenders, respectively, for oocytes with 2nd polar body (2/51, 3.9 ± 2.9% vs. 2/56, 3.6 ± 3.1%), pronuclear structures (5/51, 9.8 ± 4.7% vs. 8/56, 14.3 ± 8.0%), and total IVF rates (7/36, 19.4 ± 5.0% vs. 10/37, 27.0 ± 13.8%). All the samples fertilized the oocytes, with 22.9 ± 3.2% (16/70) and 16.7 ± 3.6% (12/72) cleavage of mature oocytes for ACP-117c and Tris extenders, respectively. Morula rates of 4.3 ± 2.3% (3/70) and 5.6 ± 2.2% (4/72) were observed for ACP-117c and Tris, respectively. Only the Tris extender demonstrated blastocyst production (2/12, 16.7 ± 1.5% blastocyst/cleavage). We demonstrated that jaguar ejaculates cryopreserved using ACP-117c and Tris were suitable for IVF techniques, with blastocyst production by ejaculates cryopreserved in Tris. This is a first report of embryos produced in vitro using jaguar sperm and domestic cat oocytes through IVF.
Abstract in English:Abstract The assessment of morphology and digital image opacity may provide valuable information on the present embryo quality. Time-lapse imaging has been employed in research to establish a means of monitoring the dynamic nature of preimplantation embryo development. The aim of present study was to use time-lapse imaging for assessing various prospective morphometric and phototextural markers of the developmental potential of in vitro-derived ovine embryos. Oocytes were obtained by scarification of ovaries from nine Polish Longwool ewes. After in vitro maturation (IVM) and fertilization (IVF) of oocytes with fresh ram semen, the development of embryos to the blastocyst stage was monitored and evaluated using Primo Vision time-lapse imaging technology. Commercially available Image-Pro® Plus software was used to measure zona pellucida thickness, embryo diameter, total area of the perivitelline space, cellular grey-scale pixel intensity and cellular pixel heterogeneity. Statistical assessment of all attributes was done at various time points during embryo development (i.e., presumptive zygote stage: t(0); first cleavage detected at t(2) or t(3); and second cleavage detected at t(4) or t(6)). Out of thirty-seven zygotes analyzed in this study, five did not divide, 26 arrested before and six developed to the blastocyst stage. Our present results indicate that most parameters analyzed did not differ among embryos varying in their developmental fate except for the perivitelline space area that was greater (P<0.05) for non-dividing zygotes than future blastocysts at the presumptive zygote stage (4040±1850 vs. 857±262 µm2, respectively; means±SEM). Consequently, the measurement of perivitelline space at t(0) can potentially be used to prognosticate developmental potential of in vitro-produced ovine embryos albeit further confirmational studies are needed.
Abstract in English:Abstract The controversial data about antral follicle count (AFC) may be partially explained by the different criteria used to determine what is high, intermediate and low AFC. This study evaluated different classification methods for AFC groups, relating them to the conception rate, dominant follicle size and body condition score (BCS) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI). Nelore cows (Bos indicus; n = 935), received a reproductive program consisting of TAI and natural breeding. Conception rate, BCS and dominant follicle size during TAI were evaluated by three AFC methodologies: i) mean and standard deviation: low (≤ 15 follicles); intermediate (≥ 16 to ≤ 44 follicles) or high (≥ 45 follicles); ii) quartiles: low (≤ 15 follicles); intermediate (≥ 16 to ≤ 39 follicles), or high (≥ 40 follicles); and iii) AFC score: I (low; ≤ 15 follicles); II (intermediate; ≥ 16 to ≤ 30 follicles); III (high; ≥ 31 to ≤ 44 follicles) or IV (very high; ≥ 45 follicles). Data were analyzed by a GLIMMIX and Tukey test or binary logistic regression model (P ≤ 0.05). The conception rate to TAI was influenced (P < 0.05) by AFC in the three methods classification, being the highest conception rate observed in the low AFC group regardless of method utilized: Mean (low 61.73%a, intermediate 54.02%ab and high 49.48%b), Quartiles (low 61.73%a, intermediate 53.59%ab and 51.46%b) and Score (I 61.73%a, II 54.80%ab, III 53.23%ab and IV 49.48%b). There were variations (P < 0.05) in the conception rate within the 2.50 to 2.75 BCS range for all AFC classification methods, with the low AFC females presenting the best results, regardless of the method used. Also, females with low AFC showed larger (P < 0.05) diameters of dominant follicles at the TAI regardless of method. The different methodologies used (Mean, Quartile and Score) to AFC classification showed a consistency between the main findings, and we believe that this standardization will facilitate the interpretation of data involving AFC.
Abstract in English:Abstract Lab animals, such as Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus), are crucial for scientific development, as they play an important role in the development and quality control chain of vaccines and drugs distributed by the Brazilian public health system. Investigating their biological and physiological parameters is fundamental to raise and keep these animals, so the handling of the facilities that hold them can be updated whenever new information comes up, with the well-being of the animals and alignment with the 3 Rs in mind. In the search for understanding reproductive aspects of Guinea pigs, the present study had the main goal of studying puberty by means of estrous cycle analysis in short-haired Guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have a vaginal occlusive membrane that covers the vaginal orifice. Its rupture takes place gradually and naturally, moments before labor and during estrus. The present study followed 42 females as for the presentation of the vaginal occlusive membrane. Once the membranes ruptured spontaneously, a swab was collected to study vaginal cytology. Membrane rupture was observed in 39 females; six females showed membrane rupture with less than 21 days of age (17 to 21 days). Twenty-three females were characterized as being in estrus due to cytology showing a prevalence of anucleated superficial cells. One of these females was younger than 21 days old. The opening of the vaginal occlusive membrane took place most frequently in intervals between 17 and 18 days, and the membrane remained open between one and three consecutive days. It was possible to follow three cycles of membrane opening on six females. The present study showed the need to adapt handling guidelines for C. porcellus kept in research animal facilities. The early age of puberty imposes the need of separate the female daughters from their fathers at 16 days old.
Abstract in English:Abstract SexedULTRA-4M™ is made using an improved method of sex-sorting sperm in a less damaging environment for better retaining sperm integrity throughout the sorting process. The objective of this research was to compare conventional (CONV) and SexedULTRA-4M™ (ULTRA-4M) semen for bovine IVP using four Angus bulls. Matured slaughterhouse oocytes (n = 4000) were divided into the CONV group and the ULTRA-4M group (2000 COCs for each semen type). The IVF process was implemented with CONV and ULTRA-4M semen from the same bull. The cleavage rates, eight cell embryos and blastocysts on day 7 of culture were evaluated for each semen type and each bull. The statistical analysis was carried out with the ANOVA procedure SAS software. The results were 54.45% ± 1.03 and 58.10% ± 1.07; 35% ± 1.57 and 39.15% ± 1.62; 22.8% ± 1.09 and 27.15% ± 1.12 for CONV and ULTRA-4M, respectively, for cleavage rate, eight cell embryos and blastocysts on day 7 for the average of all bulls, comparing only the semen type. Concerning only the semen type, ULTRA-4M was significantly superior to CONV for cleavage rates (P = 0.01) and blastocysts on day 7 (P = 0.009). There were no significant differences between the CONV and ULTRA-4M groups (P>0.05) for all variables analyzed for Bull 1 and Bull 4, however, for Bull 2 ULTRA-4M was significantly superior to CONV for cleavage rates and blastocysts on day 7 (P< 0.05). In Bull 3, ULTRA-4M was significantly higher (P< 0.05) for blastocysts on day 7 compared to CONV. In conclusion, under the conditions of this research the ULTRA-4M and CONV semen produced similar bovine IVP results overall.
Abstract in English:Abstract The oviduct is an important reproductive structure that connects the ovary to the uterus and takes place to important events such as oocyte final maturation, fertilization and early embryonic development. Thus, gametes and embryo can be directly influenced by the oviductal microenvironment composed by epithelial cells such secretory and ciliated cells and oviductal fluid. The oviduct composition is anatomically dynamic and is under ovarian hormones control. The oviductal fluid provides protection, nourishment and transport to gametes and embryo and allows interaction to oviductal epithelial cells. All these functions together allows the oviduct to provides the ideal environment to the early reproductive events. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are biological nanoparticles that mediates cell communication and are present at oviductal fluid and plays an important role in gametes/embryo - oviductal cells communication. This review will present the ability of the oviducts based on its dynamic and systemic changes during reproductive events, as well as the contribution of EVs in this process.
Abstract in English:Abstract This review is intended to draw attention to the importance of the culture media composition on the health of the embryos, fetuses, newborns, and adults derived from assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Although current research and industry trends are to use chemically defined media because of their suitability for manufacturing, commercialization, and regulatory purposes, compelling evidence indicates that those media fail to adequately account for the biological demands of early embryogenesis. Here, we list the main undesirable consequences of the ART described in the literature and results we and others have obtained over the past decade exploring an alternative and more natural way to support embryo growth in vitro: inclusion of endogenous reproductive fluids as additives in the ART culture media for pigs, cows, and humans. This review systematically assesses the pros and cons of using reproductive fluid additives, as well as the requirements to implement this approach in the future.
Abstract in English:Abstract Rodent models in rats, mice, and guinea pigs have been extremely helpful to gain insight into pregnancy physiology and pathologies-related. Moreover, they have allowed understanding the mechanism that links an adverse intrauterine environment with the origin of adult disease. In this regard, the effects of diverse maternal conditions, such as undernutrition, obesity, hypoxia, and hyperandrogenism on placental function and its long-term consequences for the offspring, have been widely analyzed through rodents models involving dietary manipulations, modifications in environmental oxygen, surgical and pharmacological procedures that reduce uteroplacental blood flow and administrations of exogenous testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) mimicking maternal androgen excess. Both in human and in rodent models, these interventions induce modifications of placental morphology, transport of glucose, amino acid, and fatty acids, steroid synthesis, and signaling pathways control placental function. These changes are associated with the increase of pro-inflammatory and oxidative stress markers. For its part, offspring exhibit alterations in organs involved in metabolic control such as the hypothalamus, adipose tissue, liver, skeletal muscle, and pancreas altering the intake and preferences for certain foods, the metabolism of glucose and lipid, and hormonal function leading to fat accumulation, insulin resistance, fatty liver, dyslipidemia, and elevated glucose levels. Therefore, the present review discusses the evidence emerging from rodent models that relate maternal nutrition, hypoxia, and androgen exposure to the maternal mechanisms that lead to fetal programming and their metabolic consequences in postnatal life.
Abstract in English:Abstract Prediction of bull fertility is critical for the sustainability of both dairy and beef cattle production. Even though bulls produce ample amounts of sperm with normal parameters, some bulls may still suffer from subpar fertility. This causes major economic losses in the cattle industry because using artificial insemination, semen from one single bull can be used to inseminate hundreds of thousands of cows. Although there are several traditional methods to estimate bull fertility, such methods are not sufficient to explain and accurately predict the subfertility of individual bulls. Since fertility is a complex trait influenced by a number of factors including genetics, epigenetics, and environment, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive methodological approach to clarify uncertainty in male subfertility. The present review focuses on molecular and functional signatures of bull sperm associated with fertility. Potential roles of functional genomics (proteome, small noncoding RNAs, lipidome, metabolome) on determining male fertility and its potential as a fertility biomarker are discussed. This review provides a better understanding of the molecular signatures of viable and fertile sperm cells and their potential to be used as fertility biomarkers. This information will help uncover the underlying reasons for idiopathic subfertility.