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Gioacchini G.,Marche Polytechnic University | Giorgini E.,University of Plymouth | Merrifield D.L.,University of California at San Diego | Hardiman G.,University of California at San Diego | And 4 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2012

In the present study, the effects of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501 on the acquisition of oocyte maturational competence was examined in zebrafish (Danio rerio). L. rhamnosus administration induced the responsiveness of incompetent follicles (stage IIIa) to 17,20-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one and their in vitro maturation. Acquisition of competence by the stage IIIa follicles was further validated by changes of lhr, mprb, inhbaa (activin betaA1), tgfb1, and gdf9 gene expression, which have recently emerged as key regulators of oocyte acquisition of maturational competence, and pou5f1 gene expression, which in other models has been shown to govern the establishment of developmental competence of oocytes. In addition, a DNA microarray experiment was conducted using the same follicles, and with relative gene ontology (GO) data analysis, the molecular effects of probiotic administration emerged. Molecular analysis using PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) approach, providing information about only the most abundant bacterial members of the microbial community, revealed that the probiotic was able to populate the gastrointestinal tract and modulate the microbial communities, causing a clear shift in them and specifically enhancing the presence of the lactic acid bacteria Streptococcus thermophilus. At the same time, PCR-DGGE analysis revealed that the probiotic was not directly associated with the ovaries. Finally, the effects of probiotic treatment on zebrafish follicle development were also analyzed by FPA (focal plane array) Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) imaging, a technique that provides the overall biochemical composition of samples. Changes were found above all in stage IIIa follicles from probiotic-exposed females; the modifications, observed in protein secondary structures as well as in hydration and in bands related to phosphate moieties, allowed us to hypothesize that probiotics act at this follicle stage, affecting the maturation phase. © 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc. Source


Prata N.,University of California at Berkeley | Bell S.,University of California at Berkeley | Quaiyum M.A.,Center for Reproductive Health
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2014

Background: Bangladesh is one of the few countries that may actually achieve the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in time, despite skilled birth attendance remaining low. The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential role misoprostol can play in the decline of maternal deaths attributed to postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in Bangladesh.Methods: Using data from a misoprostol and blood loss measurement tool feasibility study in Bangladesh, observed cause specific maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) were estimated and contrasted with expected ratios using estimates from the Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey (BMMS) data. Using Crystal Ball 7 we employ Monte Carlo simulation techniques to estimate maternal deaths in four scenarios, each with different levels of misoprostol coverage. These scenarios include project level misoprostol coverage (69%), no (0%), low (40%), and high (80%) misoprostol coverage. Data on receipt of clean delivery kit, use of misoprostol, experience of PPH, and cause of death were used in model assumptions.Results: Using project level misoprostol coverage (69%), the mean number of PPH deaths expected was 40 (standard deviation = 8.01) per 100,000 live births. Assuming no misoprostol coverage (0%), the mean number of PPH deaths expected was 51 (standard deviation = 9.30) per 100,000 live births. For low misoprostol coverage (40%), the mean number of PPH deaths expected was 45 (standard deviation = 8.26) per 100,000 live births, and for high misoprostol coverage (80%), the mean number of PPH deaths expected was 38 (standard deviation = 7.04) per 100,000 live births.Conclusion: This theoretical exercise hypothesizes that prophylactic use of misoprostol at home births may contribute to a reduction in the risk of death due to PPH, in addition to reducing the incidence of PPH. If findings from this modeling exercise are accurate and uterotonics can prevent maternal death, misoprostol could be the tool countries need to further reduce maternal mortality at home births. © 2014 Prata et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Lin W.T.,Center for Reproductive Health | Lin W.T.,Harvard University | Beattie M.,University of California at San Francisco | Chen L.-M.,Center for Reproductive Health | And 5 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) are related to an increased lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Although risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy reduces the risk of both cancers, loss of fertility is a major concern. A recent study suggested an association between BRCA1 mutation and occult primary ovarian insufficiency. The objective of the current study was to determine whether BRCA1/2 mutation carriers have an earlier onset of natural menopause compared with unaffected women. METHODS: White carriers of the BRCA1/2 gene (n = 382) were identified within the Breast Cancer Risk Program Registry at the University of California at San Francisco and compared with non-clinic-based white women in northern California (n = 765). The 2 groups were compared with regard to median age at the time of natural menopause before and after adjustment for known risk factors, and the role of smoking within each group was examined using the Kaplan-Meier approach for unadjusted analyses and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses for adjusted analyses. RESULTS: The median age at the time of natural menopause in the BRCA1/2 carriers was significantly younger than among the unaffected sample (50 years vs 53 years; P <.001). The unadjusted hazard ratio for natural menopause when comparing BRCA1/2 carriers with unaffected women was 4.06 (95% confidence interval, 3.03-5.45) and was 3.98 (95% confidence interval, 2.87-5.53) after adjusting for smoking, parity, and oral contraceptive use. For BRCA1/2 carriers who were current heavy smokers (smoking ≥ 20 cigarettes/day), the median age at natural menopause was 46 years versus 49 years for nonsmokers (P =.027). CONCLUSIONS: The BRCA1/2 mutation was associated with a significantly earlier age at natural menopause, and heavy smoking compounded this risk. Because the relationship between menopause and the end of natural fertility is considered to be fixed, these findings suggest the risk of earlier infertility among BRCA1/2 carriers. Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society. Source


Coticchio G.,Center for Reproductive Health | Sciajno R.,Center for Reproductive Health | Hutt K.,University of Minnesota | Bromfield J.,University of Kansas Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2010

Objective: To determine whether Polscope analysis can predict different spindle and chromosome configurations of the oocyte metaphase II (MII) spindle. Design: Comparison of Polscope and confocal microscopy analysis of the MII spindle. Setting: Private IVF unit. Patient(s): Women undergoing IVF treatment for male or unexplained infertility. Intervention(s): Fresh and frozen-thawed mature oocytes were analyzed through the Polscope and, immediately afterward, fixed for confocal microscopy assessment. Main Outcome Measure(s): Comparison of retardance values, derived from Polscope analysis, between spindles with different microtubule and chromosome configurations, defined by confocal microscopy evaluation. Measurements of spindle longitudinal axis through the Polscope and confocal microscopy. Result(s): The mean retardance values of different categories of spindle configuration were not statistically significant in almost all cases, allowing only the identification of spindles with highly disorganized microtubules and chromosomes in frozen-thawed oocytes. In spindles with bipolar organization, the Polscope produced measurements of the spindle main axis which were in all cases statistically smaller compared with confocal microscopy evaluation. Conclusion(s): Retardance measurements have limited predictive value of the degree of spindle fiber order and chromosome position in routine clinical settings. Also, under the conditions tested, morphometric evaluation of the spindle through the Polscope is not consistent with confocal analysis. This suggests that the Polscope may still be a rather inefficient method for assessing the metaphase II spindle and, as a result, for noninvasive oocyte selection. © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Source


Borini A.,Center for Reproductive Health | Suriano R.,Center for Reproductive Health | Barberi M.,Center for Reproductive Health | Dal Prato L.,Center for Reproductive Health | Bulletti C.,University of Bologna
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2011

Oocyte donation is now a useful option for women who cannot start a spontaneous pregnancy for reasons related to advanced age, iatrogenic factors, early depletion of ovarian reserve, or genetic disorders. Embryo implantation rates, pregnancy rates, and pregnancy outcomes among women included in oocyte donation programs were shown to be comparable to those of spontaneous or in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies. With oocyte freezing and cryobanks, recipients may have a successful response to oocyte donation, with no need to be on waiting lists, access to a larger number of oocytes from the same donor, and a lesser risk of infectious disease transmission. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences. Source

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