The object of this study was to develop a prefixation protein A gold labelling technique for Ureaplasma diversum and to apply this to bovine embryos. Sixteen hour cultures of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 were incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum, followed by exposure to protein A gold and negative staining. The ureaplasmas which were incubated with specific antiserum were labelled with gold particles while those ureaplasmas which were incubated with nonimmune serum were not labelled. Twenty-three unhatched, day 7 bovine embryos were then incubated in either embryo culture medium (ECM) alone, ECM with sterile ureaplasma broth added or ECM with 1.7 X 10(6) colony forming units of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 per embryo. After 16 hours, the embryos were washed twice and incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum. The embryos were then incubated with medium containing protein A gold and examined by electron microscopy. No ureaplasmas were identified on the zona pellucida of the control embryos. Ureaplasmas were identified on the outer surface of the zona pellucida of 13 of the 17 embryos which had been exposed to the organism. Of these, the embryos which were incubated with specific antiserum had labelled ureaplasmas while the embryos which were incubated with nonimmune serum had unlabelled ureaplasmas on the zona pellucida. It was concluded that the protein A gold method was a suitable technique for the identification of ureaplasmas in EM preparations. The presence of ureaplasmas on the outer surface of the bovine zona pellucida following in vitro exposure to the organism was confirmed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Calmodulin (CAM) acts as an intracellular regulator of calcium, an important mediator of many cell processes. We used the CAM assay and electron microscopy to investigate the effects of Ureaplasma diversum on bovine oviductal explants obtained aseptically from slaughtered cows. A stock suspension of U. diversum (treated specimens) and sterile broth (controls) was added to replicates of cultured explants and incubated at 38 degrees C in an atmosphere of 5.5% CO2 for 48 hours. Explants were examined for ciliary activity, extracellular CAM loss, and for histological and ultrastructural changes. Explants and their culture media were examined for changes in CAM concentration. All experiments were replicated three times. In addition, U. diversum, medium and broth were assayed for CAM content. The concentrations of CAM in explants and media changed significantly (p < 0.05) in samples which were inoculated with U. diversum when compared to controls. The controls and infected specimens did not differ histologically or ultrastructurally, but U. diversum was seen to be closely associated with infected explant tissue. In view of this close affinity it is assumed the loss of CAM from the oviductal cells was causally related, but this was not proven. The failure to show cell membrane injury on light and electron microscopic examination was probably related to the short duration of the experiment and may only point out the sensitivity of the CAM assay in detecting early cell membrane injury. Compromise in characteristics of the medium to support both, the viability of oviductal cells and U. diversum limited the experimental time to 48 hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
We report herein a survey in which cultures of bovine reproductive tracts for Ureaplasma diversum and mycoplasmas were carried out in order to better understand the role of these organisms in granular vulvitis (GV). Samples cultured were vulvar swabs from clinically normal cows or ones with GV, preputial swabs or raw semen from bulls, and abomasal contents of aborted fetuses.
Ureaplasma diversum was isolated from 104 (43.3%) of 240 dairy cows, 32 (27.1%) of 118 beef cows, 43 (47.2%) of 91 beef heifers, 23 (67.6%) of 34 beef bulls, and three (60%) of five dairy bulls. Mycoplasmas were isolated from 18 (7.5%) dairy cows, two (1.6%) beef cows, three (8.8%) beef bulls, and one dairy bull. No isolation was made from 97 aborted fetuses. For 65 dairy cows and 30 beef heifers with vulvar lesions, the isolation rates for ureaplasmas of 62.5% and 69.7%, respectively, were significantly higher (X2) than those for normal animals (37.5% and 30.3%). On immunofluorescent serotyping of 137 of the 205 isolates, there were 66 in serogroup C (strain T44), 18 in serogroup B (strain D48), eight in serogroup A (strain A417 or strain 2312), 14 cross-reacting, and 31 that were not identified. It was concluded that U. diversum is commonly present in the lower reproductive tract of beef/dairy cattle in Saskatchewan and is associated with granular vulvitis.
Bovine epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium were inoculated with Ureaplasma diversum, pathogenic strain 2312, at 10(6) or 10(3) color-changing units (ccu)/ml in the presence of 1% fetal bovine serum (depleted of steroids by dextran-charcoal treatment) to assess the effect of infection on prostaglandin biosynthesis. When the inoculum of U. diversum was 10(6) ccu/ml, the concentration of U. diversum in the culture medium decreased with time. U. diversum was found on the epithelial and stromal cell monolayers, increasing in titer 100-fold, indicating that attachment and eventually growth occurred. When the inoculum was 10(3) ccu/ml, the titer of U. diversum remained the same or increased in the supernatant and increased on epithelial and stromal cells. The effect of infection was evaluated by measurement of the primary prostaglandin produced by each cell type, prostaglandin F2a for epithelial cells and prostaglandin E2 for stromal cells. Infection with U. diversum significantly decreased prostaglandin F2a accumulation, by 44.7% +/- 6.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005) and 15.8% +/- 5.3% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.05) in epithelial cells. Prostaglandin E2 accumulation by stromal cells was decreased by 34.0% +/- 4.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.001) and by 13.5% +/- 2.7% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005). Infection with 10(6) ccu/ml did not alter endometrial cell viability, as shown by protein measurement, trypan blue dye exclusion, and cell plating efficiency tests. Thus, alterations in prostaglandin production were not due to cell deterioration. These observations suggest that U. diversum can alter prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2a patterns in primary cultures of bovine endometrial cells without affecting cell viability.
Studies were performed to characterize the effects of ureaplasmas in HeLa, 3T6, and CV-1 cell cultures. The ureaplasmas studied were human Ureaplasma urealyticum T960 (serotype VIII), bovine U. diversum T95, simian strain T167-2, ovine strain 1202, canine strain D1M-C, and feline strains 382 and FT2-B. FT2-B was the only ureaplasma to grow in the cell free culture medium, Dulbecco modified Eagle-Earle medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum. The growth pattern of the ureaplasmas varied in the different cell cultures, but each strain grew in at least two of the cell cultures, suggesting a requirement for a product of the cell culture and for low concentrations of urea. When growth occurred, organisms grew to concentrations that approached, but did not equal, those observed in 10B broth. Most, but not all, ureaplasmas grew quickly, reaching peak titers 2 days after infection. Canine strain D1M-C did not grow in 3T6, but showed rapid growth in HeLa and CV-1 cells, killing both cultures, In some systems, e.g., U. urealyticum T960 and simian strain T167-2, the infection persisted, and ureaplasmas could be recovered from cell cultures four passages after infection, when studies were terminated. The cell culture ureaplasmas grew on T agar, but not on mycoplasma agar medium.
To determine the influence of Ureaplasma diversum on bovine fertility 11 uninfected virgin heifers with normal ovarian cyclic activity were randomly allocated to test or control groups. At a synchronized estrus, five test heifers were given an intrauterine broth inoculum containing 1.09 x 10(8) to 1.4 x 10(9) colony forming units of U. diversum and six control animals were infused with sterile ureaplasma broth medium. All animals were artificially inseminated within one hour of infusion. Pregnancy was diagnosed in one of five test heifers and all of six controls by serum progesterone concentrations measured to 25 days postinsemination. The difference in pregnancy rates between the two groups was statistically significant (p = 0.0152). It was concluded that under the conditions of this experiment U. diversum is capable of causing infertility in cattle.
Twenty beef heifers were randomly assigned to five equal groups and vaccinated: Group 1--in vaginal submucosa (VM) with Ureaplasma diversum ultrasonicated whole cells (WC) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA); Group 2--in VM with U. diversum cell membranes (CM) in CFA; Group 3--subcutaneously (SC) with CM in CFA; Group 4--in VM with CM alone; and Group 5--in VM with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) in CFA. A second vaccination with the same antigens in incomplete Freund's adjuvant was given after four weeks, and three weeks later, all heifers were challenged intravaginally with 3.6 x 10(7) colony-forming units (CFU) of U. diversum strain 2312. Immunoglobulins that reacted with U. diversum were measured in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) by an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay. In groups 1 and 2, vaccination by the VM route with WC or CM antigens, stimulated high levels of U. diversum-reactive IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies in serum as well as CVM, but a low IgA response only in CVM. In group 4, VM vaccination with CM (no adjuvant) elicited a minimal IgG1 and IgG2 response in serum and CVM. In group 3, SC vaccination with CM antigen stimulated high IgG1 and IgG2 reactivity in both serum and CVM, but no IgA reactivity. Very little IgM reactivity was detected in the four vaccinated groups. Intravaginal challenge resulted in characteristic granular vulvitis in all vaccinated and control heifers, with all animals remaining culture-positive for the 35 day observation period. The infection stimulated a marked increase in the specific IgA response in CVM of the three groups vaccinated with either, adjuvanted antigen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Ureaplasma diversum is a pathogen in the bovine reproductive tract. The objective of the research was to study interactions with macrophages and lymphocytes which might elucidate aspects of pathogenetic mechanisms of this organism. We studied the activation of murine macrophages of C3H/HeN (LPS-responder) and C3H/HeJ (LPS-low-responder) genotype for TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1 and nitric oxide production and blastogenic response of C3H/HeJ splenocytes after Ureaplasma diversum stimulation. Live and heat-killed U. diversum induced TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 in peritoneal macrophage cultures of both C3H/HeN and C3H/HeJ mice in a dose dependent manner. Interferon-gamma modulated the cytokine production, by increasing the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and nitric oxide, but IL-1 secretion was only enhanced in C3H/HeJ macrophages stimulated by live ureaplasmas. Supernatant of U. diversum sonicate was mitogenic for murine spleen lymphocytes. The blastogenic response was dose dependent, and stimulation with both U. diversum and Concanavalin A seemed to have an additive effect. These results suggest that U. diversum, similar to other mycoplasmas, activates murine macrophages and lymphoid cells. The studies should be repeated with bovine cells in order to elucidate pathogenetic aspects of inflammation in cattle caused by U. diversum.
Two field isolates of Ureaplasma diversum spp. were used to infect heifers at the time of insemination in a preliminary study to observe the effect of infection on early pregnancy. M84-14c-1 was a field isolate from a bull's prepuce typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-44 (Group C). M84-477c-4 was a field isolate from bovine semen typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-288 (Group A). All three heifers infected with M84-477c-4 had a mild granular vulvitis at some time during the trial. None was pregnant when slaughtered 27 days after infection. The result of infection with M84-14c-1, a preputial isolate, was not consistent. One heifer had no infection and a normal pregnancy, one heifer was infected with an abnormal pregnancy, and one heifer was open but ureaplasmas were not detected until day 17 of the trial.
Ureaplasma diversum has been associated with infertility in cows. In bulls, this mollicute colonizes the prepuce and distal portion of the urethra and may infect sperm cells. The aim of this study is to analyze in vitro interaction of U. diversum isolates and ATCC strains with bovine spermatozoids. The interactions were observed by confocal microscopy and the gentamycin internalization assay.
U. diversum were able to adhere to and invade spermatozoids after 30 min of infection. The gentamicin resistance assay confirmed the intracellularity and survival of U. diversum in bovine spermatozoids.
The intracellular nature of bovine ureaplasma identifies a new difficulty to control the reproductive of these animals.
Ureaplasma diversum; bovine spermatozoid; invasion; confocal microscopy
The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of various strains of Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum, which are prevalent causes of pneumonia in calves, to 16 antimicrobial agents in vitro. The MICs of the antimicrobial agents were determined by a serial broth dilution method for 16 field strains and the type strain of M. bovis, for 19 field strains and the type strain of M. dispar, and for 17 field strains of U. diversum. Final MICs for M. bovis and M. dispar were read after 7 days and final MICs for U. diversum after 1 to 2 days. All strains tested were susceptible to tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin but were resistant to nifuroquine and streptomycin. Most strains of U. diversum were intermediately susceptible to oxytetracycline but fully susceptible to chlortetracycline; most strains of M. bovis and M. dispar, however, were resistant to both agents. Strains of M. dispar and U. diversum were susceptible to doxycycline and minocycline, but strains of M. bovis were only intermediately susceptible. Susceptibility or resistance to chloramphenicol, spiramycin, spectinomycin, lincomycin, or enrofloxacin depended on the species but was not equal for the three species. The type strains of M. bovis and M. dispar were more susceptible to various antimicrobial agents, including tetracyclines, than the field strains. This finding might indicate that M. bovis and M. dispar strains are becoming resistant to these agents. Antimicrobial agents that are effective in vitro against all three mycoplasma species can be considered for treating mycoplasma infections in pneumonic calves. Therefore, tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin may be preferred over oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline.
Three species of mycoplasma have been established as being of importance as causes of pneumonia in housed calves, based on pathogenicity studies and frequency of association with the disease. These three species are Mycoplasma bovis, M. dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum. M. bovis is the most pathogenic of these species but the disease outbreaks with which it is associated are sporadic. M. dispar is regularly isolated from pneumonic calves but is also found causing mild superficial and asymptomatic infections of the respiratory mucosa. The bovine ureaplasmas are serologically complex. They are distinct from ureaplasmas isolated from other non-ruminants by PAGE analysis, G + C content of DNA, and serology. A second species within the genus ureaplasma has been proposed to accommodate the bovine ureaplasmas, U. diversum. Control of mycoplasma respiratory infections of cattle based on immunization might be possible. Calves have been immunized against M. bovis and immunity has been related to antibody in the lung. M. dispar appears less immunogenic in calves than M. bovis and this may contribute to its pathogenicity.
Background: Progress achieved in culture media formulations have resulted led to an improvement in maintaining the mammalian embryo in culture throughout the preimplantation and pre-attachment period.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of various concentrations of myo-inositol during in vitro fertilization of bovine oocytes on subsequent embryo development.
Materials and Methods: Bovine cumulus oocytes complexes (COCs) were matured in vitro at 39oC, in humidified 5% CO2 atmosphere for 22-24 h. The COCs were co-incubated with epididymal spermatozoa of post mortem bulls in modified TALP medium for 22-24hr. The fertilization medium used was: 1) TALP medium without myo-inositol (control); 2) control+0.02 g/l myo-inositol; 3) control+0.03 g/l myo-inositol; 4) control+0.04 g/l myo-inositol. Zygotes were cultured in vitro for 8 days when the ratios of in vitro embryo development of the hatched blastocysts were assessed and compared with the control group (p<0.05).
Results: The presence of 0.04 g/l myo-inpsitol significantly improved overall morula and blastocyst rates (46.94%) compared to control (32.19%), but there was no difference in the percentage of embryos successfully developed to the morula and blastocyst stage when different levels of myo-inositol were used (46.94, 36.36 and 37.33% respectively). The mean percentage of cleavage rate was not significantly affected by treatments.
Conclusion: These results suggest that, addition of 0.04 g/l myo-inositol in TALP medium is more beneficial for subsequent bovine embryonic development.
Bovine; Myo-inositol; Fertilization; Embryo development
The aim of this study was to compare the development and metabolic activity of cultured murine and bovine embryos in 2 standard media (HAM F-10 and RPMI) in the presence or absence of bovine uterine flushings. Murine morulae (n = 653) and day 7 bovine embryos (n = 273) were cultured for 18 h or 36 h in either HAM F-10 or RPMI in the presence or absence of bovine uterine flushings. After culture, the development, quality, and metabolic activity (glucose utilization or methionine uptake and incorporation) of embryos was assessed. It was found that HAM F-10 (without uterine flushings) was a more suitable medium than RPMI for optimal development and metabolism of murine and bovine embryos. Poor quality and development, as well as decreased metabolism, were evident after culture of murine embryos in RPMI; in contrast, this medium had no adverse effects on bovine embryos in culture. Supplementation of HAM F-10 with bovine uterine flushings improved the growth of murine embryos and the protein synthesis (as measured by an increased methionine incorporation) for both murine and bovine embryos. However, supplementation with bovine uterine flushings could not overcome deficiencies of an inappropriate medium (RPMI) for murine embryos. Supplementation of a well-defined culture medium with uterine flushings increased metabolism of embryos in culture, and thus might help to increase pregnancy rates after transfer of such embryos to recipient cows.
Twenty-three virgin Holstein heifers received uterine inoculations with ureaplasma and were necropsied one to thirteen days later. Three heifers inoculated intracervically were necropsied on days 3, 5 and 11.
Granular vulvitis was produced on average by 3.6 days in fourteen of sixteen uterine inoculated heifers monitored for four or more days. Two cervically inoculated heifers monitored for over four days also developed granular vulvitis by the fourth day.
At necropsy, ureaplasma was recovered from 94% of uterine horn cultures for the first four days postinoculation and 50% during days 5 to 7. Thereafter all uterine cultures were negative. The percentage of positive ureaplasma recoveries from uterine tube flushings was lower than for uterine horns but remained positive for a longer period. By day 7, three of four uterine tube flushings were still positive. No bacterial pathogens were isolated from the uterine horns or uterine tube flushings.
On histopathology 50% of uterine inoculated heifers had endometritis up to six days postinoculation and a slightly higher percentage (58%) had salpingitis. Endometritis was not found in any heifers after day 6. Residual salpingitis was present in one heifer on day 7. Endometritis was present in cervically inoculated heifers necropsied on days 3 and 5 but not on day 11. Salpingitis was not found in any of the three cervically inoculated animals.
The study concluded that some strains of ureaplasma are pathogenic for the upper reproductive tract of the cow and should be considered significant when isolated from cases of granular vulvitis, endometritis or salpingitis.
Understanding mollicutes is challenging due to their variety and relationship with host cells. Invasion has explained issues related to their opportunistic role. Few studies have been done on the Ureaplasma diversum mollicute, which is detected in healthy or diseased bovine. The invasion in Hep-2 cells of four clinical isolates and two reference strains of their ureaplasma was studied by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and gentamicin invasion assay.
The isolates and strains used were detected inside the cells after infection of one minute without difference in the arrangement for adhesion and invasion. The adhesion was scattered throughout the cells, and after three hours, the invasion of the ureaplasmas surrounded the nuclear region but were not observed inside the nuclei. The gentamicin invasion assay detected that 1% of the ATCC strains were inside the infected Hep-2 cells in contrast to 10% to the clinical isolates. A high level of phospholipase C activity was also detected in all studied ureaplasma.
The results presented herein will help better understand U. diversum infections, aswell as cellular attachment and virulence.
The indirect immunoperoxidase test using small, square filter paper was used for rapid identification of mycoplasmas. Colonies of type strains of 22 mycoplasma species, 3 acholeplasma species, and three Ureaplasma diversum serogroups were stained by this test with high sensitivity and specificity. All of 49 isolates from bovine materials and cell cultures were easily identified by this test, and the results agreed with those obtained by growth inhibition test. Use of filter paper made it possible to add different kinds of antisera or conjugates to the same agar plate simultaneously and also to save antiserum and conjugate. This test proved to be a simple and useful technique for rapid identification of many mycoplasma species grown on agar medium.
Excellent fertility and prolificacy have been reported after non-surgical deep uterine transfers of fresh in vivo-derived porcine embryos. Unfortunately, when this technology is used with vitrified embryos, the reproductive performance of recipients is low. For this reason and because the embryos must be stored until they are transferred to the recipient farms, we evaluated the potential application of non-surgical deep uterine transfers with in vivo-derived morulae cultured for 24 h in liquid stage. In Experiment 1, two temperatures (25°C and 37°C) and two media (one fully defined and one semi-defined) were assessed. Morulae cultured in culture medium supplemented with bovine serum albumin and fetal calf serum at 38.5°C in 5% CO2 in air were used as controls. Irrespective of medium, the embryo viability after 24 h of culture was negatively affected (P<0.05) at 25°C but not at 37°C compared with the controls. Embryo development was delayed in all experimental groups compared with the control group (P<0.001). Most of the embryos (95.7%) cultured at 37°C achieved the full or expanded blastocyst stage, and unlike the controls, none of them hatched at the end of culture. In Experiment 2, 785 morulae were cultured in the defined medium at 37°C for 24 h, and the resulting blastocysts were transferred to the recipients (n = 24). Uncultured embryos collected at the blastocyst stage (n = 750) were directly transferred to the recipients and used as controls (n = 25). No differences in farrowing rates (91.7% and 92.0%) or litter sizes (9.0±0.6 and 9.4±0.8) were observed between the groups. This study demonstrated, for the first time, that high reproductive performance can be achieved after non-surgical deep uterine transfers with short-term cultured morulae in a defined medium, which opens new possibilities for the sanitary, safe national and international trade of porcine embryos and the commercial use of embryo transfer in pigs.
We measured antibody levels in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) of four heifers vaccinated with two inoculations of killed Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) two weeks apart, and six heifers given a placebo. Two weeks later, the vaccinates and four placebo heifers, were challenged by intravaginal inoculation with 6.4 x 10(8) colony-forming units of the homologous U. diversum strain. The remaining two placebo heifers served as unvaccinated, unchallenged controls. Antibody levels in serum and CVM of all heifers were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Vaccination stimulated specific IgG1 and IgG2 responses in serum and CVM but only a slight IgM and no IgA response. In both vaccinate and placebo heifers, subsequent intravaginal challenge resulted in a granular vulvitis (GV) with a predominant IgA response in the CVM. The GV gradually subsided during the 35 day observation period but ureaplasmas were consistently demonstrated by culture. We concluded that subcutaneous vaccination stimulated a specific, albeit nonprotective, IgG response in serum and CVM. In contrast, vaginal infection primarily induced a mucosal IgA response.
To determine the pattern of expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and its receptor, parathyroid hormone receptor 1 (PTHR1), in mouse embryos in different stages of preimplantation development.
Embryos were cultured from the pronuclear zygote stage and harvested as 2-cell, 4-cell and 8-cell embryos, morulae and blastocysts. RT-PCR was carried out on mRNAs of these and of trophoblast outgrowths for detection of PTHrP and PTHR1. Whole mounted embryos intact or stripped of zonae pellucidae were immunofluorescently stained for PTHrP and PTH receptor and observed with confocal microscopy.
PTHrP mRNA was present in the pronuclear zygote, not present in 2-cell, 4-cell and uncompacted 8-cell embryos, present in the 8-cell compacting embryo, and not detected in 16-cell morulae or blastocysts. The mRNA was present in trophoblasts growing on fibronectin beds. mRNA for PTHR1 was detected in the pronuclear zygote, then undetected until the compacted 8-cell stage and thereafter. PTH receptor protein was observed in 2-cell embryos, morulae and in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm of blastocysts. PTHrP was observed dispersed in the cytoplasm of 2-cell, 4-cell and uncompacted 8-cell embryos, and in distinct foci near the nuclei of morulae. In blastocysts, PTHrP appeared on the apical surface of only trophoblast cells which had extruded from the zona pellucida. Fully hatched blastocysts expressed the protein on the apical side of all trophoblasts. When morulae were prematurely stripped of their zonae, PTHrP was observed on the embryos’ outer surface.
PTHrP protein is expressed throughout early embryo development, and its receptor PTHR1 is expressed from the morula stage. Embryo hatching is associated with translocation of PTHrP to the apical plasma membrane of trophoblasts. PTHrP may thus have autocrine effects on the developing blastocyst.
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP); Parathyroid hormone receptor (PTH receptor, PTHR1); Preimplantation embryo; Blastocyst hatching
Sex affects function of the developing mammalian embryo as early as the preimplantation period. There were two goals of the current objective. The first was to determine the degree and nature of differences in gene expression between female and male embryos in the cow at the morula stage of development. The second objective was to determine whether DKK1, a molecule known to alter differentiation of the blastocyst, would affect gene expression differently for female and male morulae. In Experiment 1, female and male embryos were treated with DKK1 at Day 5 after insemination. Morulae were harvested 24 h after treatment, pooled in groups of 20 for microarray analysis and RNA subjected to analysis of gene expression by microarray hybridization. There were 662 differentially expressed genes between females and males and 128 of these genes had a fold change ≥ 1.5 between the two sexes. Of the genes upregulated in females, 49.5% were located in the X chromosome. Functional analysis predicted that cell survival was greater in female embryos. Experiment 2 involved a similar design except that transcripts for 12 genes previously reported to be affected by sex, DKK1 or the interaction were quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Expression of all genes tested that were affected by sex in experiment 1 was affected in a similar manner in Experiment 2. In contrast, effects of DKK1 on gene expression were largely not repeatable in Experiment 2. The exception was for the Hippo signaling gene AMOT, which was inhibited by DKK1. In Experiment 3, embryos produced by fertilization with unsorted sperm were treated with DKK1 at Day 5 and abundance of transcripts for CDX2, GATA6, and NANOG determined at Days 5, 6 and 7 after insemination. There was no effect of DKK1 on expression of any of the three genes. In conclusion, female and male bovine embryos have a different pattern of gene expression as early as the morula stage, and this is due to a large extent to expression of genes in the X chromosomes in females. Differential gene expression between female and male embryos is likely the basis for increased resistance to cell death signals in female embryos and disparity in responses of female and male embryos to changes in the maternal environment.
Arresting at a certain stage of development like the two-cell stage could be one of
the causes of infertility. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of ethanol and strontium on
growth and development of mice embryos arrested at the two-cell stage.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, female mice were coupled with a male
following superovulation. Positive vaginal plug mice were sacrificed 48 hours after human chorionic
gonadotropin (hCG) injection. Two-cell embryos were transferred to M16 medium and divided to four
groups. The first control group was incubated without any exposure to low temperatures. Groups 2, 3
and 4 were exposed to 4°C for 24 hours. The second control group was incubated immediately, while
the third and fourth groups were exposed to 10 mM strontium for five minutes and 0.1% ethanol for
a further five minutes. Growth rate and developmental parameters of embryos were analyzed by one-
way ANOVA. The significant difference between the groups was determined by Post Hoc.
The data shows that developmental rate is decreased significantly by 4°C exposure. The mean
percentage of degenerated embryo was significantly different between groups but the mean cleavage
rate was not significantly different. The mean percent of morula, blastocyst and hatched blastocyst
formation were significantly different between groups during a 120 hours study post hCG injection.
The effect of strontium and ethanol on arrested two-cell embryos had no significant
effect on the mean percentage of morula, but ethanol treatment significantly increased the percentage
of blastocyst and hatched blastocyst formation compared to strontium.
Strontium; Ethanol; Arresting; Cleavage; Development
PreImplantation Factor (PIF), a novel peptide secreted by viable embryos is essential for pregnancy: PIF modulates local immunity, promotes decidual pro-adhesion molecules and enhances trophoblast invasion. To determine the role of PIF in post-fertilization embryo development, we measured the peptide's concentration in the culture medium and tested endogenous PIF's potential trophic effects and direct interaction with the embryo.
Determine PIF levels in culture medium of multiple mouse and single bovine embryos cultured up to the blastocyst stage using PIF-ELISA. Examine the inhibitory effects of anti-PIF-monoclonal antibody (mAb) added to medium on cultured mouse embryos development. Test FITC-PIF uptake by cultured bovine blastocysts using fluorescent microscopy.
PIF levels in mouse embryo culture medium significantly increased from the morula to the blastocyst stage (ANOVA, P = 0.01). In contrast, atretic embryos medium was similar to the medium only control. Detectable - though low - PIF levels were secreted already by 2-cell stage mouse embryos. In single bovine IVF-derived embryos, PIF levels in medium at day 3 of culture were higher than non-cleaving embryos (control) (P = 0.01) and at day 7 were higher than day 3 (P = 0.03). In non-cleaving embryos culture medium was similar to medium alone (control). Anti-PIF-mAb added to mouse embryo cultures lowered blastocyst formation rate 3-fold in a dose-dependent manner (2-way contingency table, multiple groups, X2; P = 0.01) as compared with non-specific mouse mAb, and medium alone, control. FITC-PIF was taken-up by cultured bovine blastocysts, but not by scrambled FITC-PIF (control).
PIF is an early embryo viability marker that has a direct supportive role on embryo development in culture. PIF-ELISA use to assess IVF embryo quality prior to transfer is warranted. Overall, our data supports PIF's endogenous self sustaining role in embryo development and the utility of PIF- ELISA to detect viable embryos in a non-invasive manner.
The association of Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar hardjo type hardjobovis with bovine embryos produced by in vitro fertilization was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Morula stage embryos with an intact zona pellucida (ZP) were exposed to this spirochete for 24 h in culture medium, washed by the standard washing procedure as recommended by the International Embryo Transfer Society, and then examined. SEM showed typical helicoid leptospires on the surface and in the pores of the ZP. TEM showed cross and longitudinal sections of leptospires in the matrix and channels of the ZP, in the perivitelline and intercellular spaces, on the vitellus and in the embryonic cells. Some of the embryos that were penetrated showed damage to the membranes and the cytoplasm. The ineffectiveness of the washing procedure, for the removal of hardjobovis from exposed embryos may be of importance to the industry.
Purpose: To investigate whether sterile filtered light paraffin oil (SPO) overlaying is superior to washed light mineral oil (WMO) in supporting the in vitro developmental competence of bovine follicular oocytes. In addition, the effects of the two types of oil overlaying were compared with oil overlaying plus co-culture (CC) on bovine embryo development in vitro.
Methods: Bovine follicular oocytes retrieved from abattoir-derived ovary were in vitro matured, fertilized and cultured in 50 μL drops overlayed with WMO or SPO and were subsequently evaluated for development rates. In second experiment, day 2 embryos grown under WMO overlaying were further cultured for 6 days in the presence (WMO+CC and SPO+CC) or absence of adult ear skin fibroblast-based co-culture system overlaid with WMO or SPO. Blastocysts from each group were evaluated for total nuclei number or were further cultured for 48 h to evaluate post-hatching development.
Results: SPO overlaying resulted in significant higher (p < 0.05) development rate to morula (44.8% versus 30.6%) and blastocyst (32.8% versus 21.7%) than WMO. Also, treatment of the day 2 embryo cultures with SPO overlaying or oil plus CC (WMO+CC or SPO+CC groups) reached significantly higher development rates from the morula stage compared to embryo cultures treated with the WMO overlaying (p < 0.05). However, the development rates of the SPO treatment group (morula: 72.7%; blastocyst: 53.1%) were slightly high compared to development of the culture treated with WMO+CC (69.6 and 50.4%, respectively). This similar developmental competence pattern was also observed in cell number and embryo hatching rate.
Conclusion: SPO overlaying is superior to WMO and WMO+CC in supporting in vitro development of bovine embryos. The development rates are further enhanced when embryos are cultured in co-culture system overlaid with SPO. Thus, this data suggest that overlaying oil can significantly influence the pre-implantation embryo development in vitro.
Bovine IVM/IVF/IVC embryo; developmental competence; sterile filtered light paraffin oil; washed light mineral oil.