Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala

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Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala

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Mattsson A.,Uppsala University | Mattsson A.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Brunstrom B.,Uppsala University | Brunstrom B.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Excess estrogen exposure of avian embryos perturbs reproductive organ development in both sexes and demasculinizes the reproductive behaviors of adult males. We have previously shown that these characteristic effects on the reproductive organs also can be induced by exposure of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) embryos to selective agonists of estrogen receptor alpha (ERa). In contrast, the male copulatory behavior is only weakly affected by developmental exposure to an ERa agonist. To further elucidate the respective roles of ERa and ERß in estrogen-induced disruption of sexual differentiation, we exposed Japanese quail embryos in ovo to the selective ERa agonist 16a-lactone-estradiol (16aLE2), the selective ERß agonist WAY-200070, or both substances in combination. The ERa agonist feminized the testes in male embryos and reduced cloacal gland size in adult males. Furthermore, anomalous retention and malformations of the Müllerian ducts/oviducts were seen in embryos and juveniles of both sexes. The ERß agonist did not induce any of these effects and did not influence the action of the ERa agonist. Male copulatory behavior was not affected by embryonic exposure to either the ERa- or the ERß-selective agonist but was slightly suppressed by treatment with the two compounds combined. Our results suggest that the reproductive organs become sexually differentiated consequent to activation of ERa by endogenous estrogens; excessive activation of ERa, but not ERß, during embryonic development may disrupt this process. Our results also suggest that the demasculinizing effect of estrogens on male copulatory behavior is only partly mediated by ERa and ERß, and may rather involve other estrogen-responsive pathways. © 2017 Mattsson, Brunström. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Holst B.S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Holst B.S.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Hagberg M.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Lilliehook I.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Johannisson A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology | Year: 2011

Expression of four leukocyte adhesion factors on canine leukocytes was studied by flow cytometry using a no-lyse, no-wash method. The effect of fixation and storage for up to 14 days in 1% paraformaldehyde on labelled samples and within assay variation was evaluated. Monoclonal antibodies directed to monocyte marker CD14, and to adhesion molecules CD11a, CD18, CD32 and CD49d were used. Cell surface marker, cell population, time, and the interactions between time and cell marker significantly affected expression of cell adhesion factors. For CD18, there was a significant difference in mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) between fresh and stored samples (P< 0.001), but no significant difference between stored samples. The MFIs of CD11a and CD49d were not significantly affected by fixation and storage. The CVs differed significantly depending on cell marker (P< 0.001) and cell population (P= 0.005). Fixation and storage did not significantly affect the CV. In conclusion, a no-lyse, no-wash method can be applied to canine leukocytes. The effect of fixation and storage on the resulting MFI differs between monoclonal antibodies, and should be evaluated for each antibody before use. The coefficient of variation was generally acceptable, and high CVs were related to a low MFIs or low numbers of analysed cells. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Laskowski D.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Laskowski D.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Bage R.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Bage R.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | And 7 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2017

Insulin is a key metabolic hormone that controls energy homeostasis in the body, including playing a specific role in regulating reproductive functions. Conditions associated with hyperinsulinemia can lower developmental rates in bovine in vitro embryo production and are linked to decreased fertility in humans, as in cases of obesity or type 2 diabetes. Embryo quality is important for fertility outcome and it can be assessed by choosing scoring standards for various characteristics, such as developmental stage, quality grade, cell number, mitochondrial pattern or actin cytoskeleton structure. Changes in the embryo's gene expression can reflect environmental impacts during maturation and may explain morphological differences. Together with morphological evaluation, this could enable better assessment and possibly prediction of the developmental potential of the embryo. The aim of this study was to use a bovine model to identify potential gene signatures of insulin-induced changes in the embryo by combining gene expression data and confocal microscopy evaluation. Bovine embryos were derived from oocytes matured in two different insulin concentrations (10 µg mL− 1 and 0.1 µg mL− 1), then stained to distinguish f-Actin, DNA and active mitochondria. The total cell number of the embryo, quality of the actin cytoskeleton and mitochondrial distribution were assessed and compared to an insulin-free control group. A microarray-based transcriptome analysis was used to investigate key genes involved in cell structure, mitochondrial function and cell division. Our results indicate that insulin supplementation during oocyte maturation leads to lower blastocyst rates and a different phenotype, characterised by an increased cell number and different actin and mitochondrial distribution patterns. These changes were reflected by an up-regulation of genes involved in cell division (MAP2K2; DHCR7), cell structure (LMNA; VIM; TUBB2B; TUBB3; TUBB4B) and mitochondrial activation (ATP5D; CYP11A1; NDUFB7; NDUFB10; NDUFS8). Taken together, we hypothesise that the increased proliferation in the insulin-treated groups might impair the developmental potential of the embryos by inducing metabolic stress on the molecular level, which could be detrimental for the survival of the embryo. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Scholz B.,Uppsala University | Scholz B.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Alm H.,Uppsala University | Mattsson A.,Uppsala University | And 13 more authors.
BMC Developmental Biology | Year: 2010

Background: Endogenous peptides such as neuropeptides are involved in numerous biological processes in the fully developed brain but very little is known about their role in brain development. Japanese quail is a commonly used bird model for studying sexual dimorphic brain development, especially adult male copulatory behavior in relation to manipulations of the embryonic endocrine system. This study uses a label-free liquid chromatography mass spectrometry approach to analyze the influence of age (embryonic days 12 vs 17), sex and embryonic day 3 ethinylestradiol exposure on the expression of multiple endogenous peptides in the developing diencephalon. Results. We identified a total of 65 peptides whereof 38 were sufficiently present in all groups for statistical analysis. Age was the most defining variable in the data and sex had the least impact. Most identified peptides were more highly expressed in embryonic day 17. The top candidates for EE 2exposure and sex effects were neuropeptide K (downregulated by EE 2in males and females), gastrin-releasing peptide (more highly expressed in control and EE 2exposed males) and gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone related protein 2 (more highly expressed in control males and displaying interaction effects between age and sex). We also report a new potential secretogranin-2 derived neuropeptide and previously unknown phosphorylations in the C-terminal flanking protachykinin 1 neuropeptide. Conclusions. This study is the first larger study on endogenous peptides in the developing brain and implies a previously unknown role for a number of neuropeptides in middle to late avian embryogenesis. It demonstrates the power of label-free liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to analyze the expression of multiple endogenous peptides and the potential to detect new putative peptide candidates in a developmental model. © 2010 Scholz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Mattsson A.,Uppsala University | Olsson J.A.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Brunstrom B.,Uppsala University
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Gonadal estrogen plays an important role in the differentiation of a female phenotype in birds. Exogenous compounds that interfere with estrogen signaling, for instance by binding to the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ERα and ERβ), are therefore potential disruptors of sexual differentiation in birds. The ERα agonist propyl-pyrazole-triol (PPT), the ERα antagonist methyl piperidino pyrazole (MPP) and the ERβ agonist diarylproprionitrile (DPN) were used in the present study to explore the roles of the ERs in normal and disrupted sex differentiation in the chicken embryo. Activation of ERα by PPT caused disturbed differentiation of the reproductive organs in both sexes. In male embryos, PPT caused left-side ovotestis formation and retention of the Müllerian ducts. In female embryos, PPT caused retention of the right Müllerian duct (which normally regresses) and malformation of both Müllerian ducts. PPT also induced hepatic expression of mRNA for the estrogen-regulated egg yolk protein apoVLDL II. Notably, none of these effects were observed following treatment with DPN. ERα-inactivation by MPP counteracted the action of PPT but had little effect by its own. Our results indicate that ERα plays an important role in sex differentiation of the reproductive tract in female chicken embryos and show that ERα can mediate xenoestrogen-induced disturbances of sex differentiation. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Rhenman A.,Uppsala University | Berglund L.,Uppsala Clinical Research Center | Brodin T.,Carl von Linne Clinic | Olovsson M.,Uppsala University | And 4 more authors.
Human Reproduction | Year: 2015

STUDY QUESTION Which embryo score variables are most powerful for predicting live birth after single embryo transfer (SET) at the early cleavage stage? SUMMARY ANSWER This large prospective study of visual embryo scoring variables shows that blastomere number (BL), the proportion of mononucleated blastomeres (NU) and the degree of fragmentation (FR) have independent prognostic power to predict live birth. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Other studies suggest prognostic power, at least univariately and for implantation potential, for all five variables. A previous study from the same centre on double embryo transfers with implantation as the end-point resulted in the integrated morphology cleavage (IMC) score, which incorporates BL, NU and EQ. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE AND DURATION A prospective cohort study of IVF/ICSI SET on Day 2 (n = 6252) during a 6-year period (2006-2012). The five variables (BL NU, FR, EQ and symmetry of cleavage (SY)) were scored in 3- to 5-step scales and subsequently related to clinical pregnancy and LBR. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS A total of 4304 women undergoing IVF/ICSI in a university-affiliated private fertility clinic were included. Generalized estimating equation models evaluated live birth (yes/no) as primary outcome using the embryo variables as predictors. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals and P-values were presented for each predictor. The C statistic (i.e. area under receiver operating characteristic curve) was calculated for each model. Model calibration was assessed with the Hosmer-Lemeshow test. A shrinkage method was applied to remove bias in c statistics due to over-fitting. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE LBR was 27.1% (1693/6252). BL, NU, FR and EQ were univariately highly significantly associated with LBR. In a multivariate model, BL, NU and FR were independently significant, with c statistic 0.579 (age-adjusted c statistic 0.637). EQ did not retain significance in the multivariate model. Prediction model calibration was good for both pregnancy and live birth. We present a ranking tree with combinations of values of the BL, NU and FR embryo variables for optimal selection of the embryo/s to transfer, providing a revised IMC score. The five embryo variables had similar effects over all age groups. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Limitations of the present study are those inherent for real-time visual scoring, including risks of inter-observer variation and the hazards of fixed time-point scoring procedures in a dynamic process. The study is restricted to Day-2 transfers. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS To our knowledge this is the largest prospective, SET study performed with the explicit aim of constructing an evidence-based embryo score for the ranking and selection of early cleavage stage embryos. In line with previous research, our data suggest that the symmetry of cleavage variable may be omitted when scoring embryos in the early cleavage stage. We suggest that, following validation in other populations, the revised IMC score may be used when international standards for embryo scoring are discussed. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST Carl von Linné Clinic, Uppsala and the Department of Women's and Children's Health and the Family Planning Fund in Uppsala, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden financed this study. There are no competing interests to declare. © 2014 © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.


Brodin T.,Uppsala University | Hadziosmanovic N.,Uppsala Clinical Research Center | Berglund L.,Uppsala Clinical Research Center | Olovsson M.,Uppsala University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Context: Previous studies have suggested that antimüllerian hormone (AMH) levels are positively associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcome through their relationship with oocyte yield and not by reflecting oocyte or embryo quality. Objective: The aim was to investigate whether AMH levels are associated with pregnancy and live-birth rates and whether the results may also reflect qualitative aspects of oocytes and embryos. Design: The study was a prospective cohort study between April 2008 and June 2011. Setting: The study was done at a university-affiliated private infertility center. Patients: The study cohort consisted of 892 consecutive women undergoing 1230 IVF-intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. Intervention(s): AMH levels, analyzed using the DSL ELISA kit, were statistically adjusted for repeated treatments and age and analyzed for associations with treatment outcome. Main Outcome Measures: Pregnancy rates, live-birth rates, and stimulation outcome parameters were measured. Results: AMH was log-normally distributed with a mean (SD) of 2.3 (2.5) ng/mL. Live-birth rates per started cycle (mean [95% confidence interval]) increased log-linearly from 10.7% [7.2-14.1] for AMH < 0.84 ng/mL (25th percentile) to 30.8% [25.7-36.0] for AMH > 2.94 ng/mL (75th percentile), Ptrend < .0001, being superior in women with polycystic ovaries. These findings were significant also after adjustments were made for age and oocyte yield. AMH was also associated with ovarian response variables and embryo scores. Conclusions: AMH is strongly associated with live-birth rates after IVF-intracytoplasmic sperm injection. AMH may therefore serve as aprognostic factor for the chance of a pregnancy and live birth. Treatment outcome was superior in patients with polycystic ovaries. The findings also indicate that AMH may partially comprise information about oocyte quality. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.


Brodin T.,Uppsala University | Hadziosmanovic N.,Uppsala Clinical Research Center | Berglund L.,Uppsala Clinical Research Center | Olovsson M.,Uppsala University | And 2 more authors.
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica | Year: 2015

Introduction. We compared the ability of four different ovarian reserve tests (ORTs) to predict live births per started in vitro fertilization-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI) cycle, and poor and excessive response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Material and methods. This was a cohort study in a private infertility center in collaboration with Uppsala University, comprising 1230 IVF-ICSI cycles in 892 consecutive women between April 2008 and June 2011. Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels, antral follicle counts (AFC), combinations of basal levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, and menstrual cycle lengths were analyzed for correlation and treatment outcome prediction in age-adjusted statistical models. Stepwise multivariable generalized estimating equation analyses were carried out in a sub-group with complete data on all four ORTs (620 cycles in 443 women). Odds ratios and c-statistics were calculated in the largest available set of data for each significant variable. Primary outcomes were live birth rate per started cycle and poor and excessive ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyper-stimulation (defined by the ovarian sensitivity index). Results. All ORTs correlated significantly with each other, with the strongest correlation between AFC and AMH (r = 0.71, p < 0.0001). Univariately, AMH and age equivalently predicted live birth (c-statistic 0.61), and together they provided a significantly better model (c-statistic 0.64). For prediction of poor and excessive response the best model included AMH, AFC and age (c-statistic 0.89). Conclusions. AMH improves the ability to estimate live birth rates after assisted reproduction compared with female age alone. AMH, AFC and age together constituted the best model for prediction of ovarian response. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Mattsson A.,Uppsala University | Mattsson A.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Brunstrm B.,Uppsala University | Brunstrm B.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala
Reproduction, Fertility and Development | Year: 2010

Exposure of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) embryos to oestrogenic substances disrupts sexual differentiation of the reproductive tract of both sexes and impairs the copulatory behaviour of the adult male. To examine whether these effects can be induced by selective activation of oestrogen receptorα (ERα), Japanese quail eggs were injected with various doses of the selective ER agonist 16α-lactone-oestradiol (16α-LE 2). The natural oestrogen 17β-oestradiol (E 2) was used as a positive control. Both 16-LE 2 and E 2 induced formation of an ovary-like cortex in the left testis (ovotestis) and reduced the size of the right testis in male embryos. The asymmetry in testis size remained in sexually mature males. Both substances induced retention and malformation of the Müllerian ducts in embryos of both sexes and malformed oviducts in juveniles. Male copulatory behaviour was suppressed by embryonic exposure to E 2 and the highest dose of 16α-LE 2. However, the lower dose of 16α-LE 2, which markedly affected development of the reproductive organs, was without effects on behaviour. It can therefore not be excluded that the behavioural demasculinisation at the 100-fold higher dose involved cross-activation of oestrogen receptor β (ERβ). In conclusion, our results suggest that oestrogen-induced disruption of reproductive organ development in Japanese quail can be mediated via ER, whereas the role of ER in demasculinisation of copulatory behaviour remains to be clarified. © CSIRO 2010.


Strom Holst B.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Strom Holst B.,National Veterinary Institute | Strom Holst B.,Center for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala | Hagberg Gustavsson M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2012

Contents: Canine herpesvirus (CHV) is a widespread infection among dogs that typically get latently infected after exposure and can reactivate the infection after stress. The aim of the present study was to study the effects of latent CHV infection during pregnancy on pregnancy outcome, and to study if there are signs of genital viral reactivation during pregnancy or during non-pregnant luteal phase. Twelve mated bitches and eight control bitches were followed and sampled regularly during pregnancy or non-pregnant luteal phase. Blood samples were taken for antibody analysis and vaginal swabs for real-time PCR analysis. Three of the pregnant bitches were vaccinated against CHV during pregnancy. All bitches had antibodies to CHV. Two pregnant bitches that were not vaccinated had a twofold or larger increase in CHV titre, with no negative effects detected on pregnancy. Higher titres were not associated with smaller litters or with vaccination. There was no consistent variation in antibody titres due to pregnancy or non-pregnant luteal phase. Vaginal excretion of CHV was not detected from any of the bitches. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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