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Carvalho J.O.,University of Sao Paulo | Sartori R.,University of Sao Paulo | Dode M.A.N.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction
Animal Reproduction | Year: 2014

Over the years, many techniques for in vitro evaluation of sperm have been developed. Those assessments allow to perform structural, functional and molecular evaluations of the sperm cell. A combination of laboratory tests used simultaneously can provide more accurate information on sperm function and quality because sperm have multiple compartments with different functions. Many of those analyses have been used to assess the effect of sexing by flow cytometry on sperm cellular and molecular levels such as DNA methylation pattern, sperm shape, sperm morphology and capacity to remain viable after thawing. Considering that sexed sperm are submitted to a variety of adverse conditions during sorting, evaluation and identification of the possible damages caused by the sexing process are needed. It is expected that those information will help to develop procedures to improve results when sexed sperm is used. This review is focused on the recent results using structural, functional and molecular tests to evaluate sperm viability after sexing by flow cytometry.


Carvalho J.O.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Carvalho J.O.,University of Brasilia | Sartori R.,University of Sao Paulo | Machado G.M.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | And 4 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2010

The objective was to evaluate the structural and functional quality of bull sperm after sexing by flow cytometry. Frozen non-sexed (NS), sexed for X (SX) and sexed for Y (SY) sperm from four bulls was used. Frozen-thawed sperm was analyzed for motility, sperm head agglutination, morphology, capacitation, and integrity of the plasma membrane, acrosome, and chromatin. After Percoll centrifugation (45:60% gradients), the pellet was used for sperm analysis or IVF. Data were analyzed using generalized linear models (P < 0.05) and were reported as least squares means ± standard error (SEM). Based on sperm evaluations, NS sperm had better (P < 0.05) quality than sexed sperm, including higher motility and greater percentages of cells with an intact membrane and acrosome (58.0 ± 3.0, 58.2 ± 3.0, and 60.9 ± 3.3) than SX (29.6 ± 1.3, 36.0 ± 2.9, and 37.1 ± 3.3), and SY (26.2 ± 2.1, 36.4 ± 2.9, and 37.5 ± 3.3). There were no differences (P > 0.05) among groups for fertilization and cleavage rates. Similarly, blastocyst rate on Day 8 (Day 0 = day of insemination) did not differ among groups (22.2 ± 3.2, 18.1 ± 3.3, and 14.8 ± 2.9 for NS, SX, and SY, respectively). Regarding embryo development kinetics, all groups had similar developmental stages from Days 6 to 9. Although the sex-sorting procedure affected sperm characteristics, it did not significantly affect fertilization or embryo development. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Carvalho J.O.,University of Sao Paulo | Silva L.P.,Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry | Sartori R.,University of Sao Paulo | Dode M.A.N.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Dode M.A.N.,University of Brasilia
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Sperm dimensions and the question of whether X and Y chromosome-bearing sperm differ in size or shape has been of great interest, especially for the development of alternative methods to sort or classify sperm cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate possible differences in the shape and size of the sperm head between X and Y chromosome-bearing sperm by atomic force microscopy (AFM). One ejaculate per bull (n = 4) was used. Each ejaculate was separated into four fractions: non-sexed (NS), sexed for X-sperm (SX), sexed for Y-sperm (SY) and a pooling of SX and SY samples (SXY). Using AFM, 400 sperm heads per group were measured. Twenty three structural features were assessed including one-, two- and three-dimensional parameters and shape descriptors. These measurements determine the micro- to nanoscale features of X- and Y-bearing chromosomes in sperm cells. No differences were observed for any individual variables between SX and SY groups. Next, a simultaneous evaluation of all features using statistical discriminant analysis was performed to determine if it was possible to distinguish to which group belong each individual cells. This analysis clearly showed, a distinct separation of NS, SXY, SX and SY groups. The recognition of this structural possibility to distinguish between X and Y sperm cell might improve the understanding of sperm cells biology. These results indicated that the associations of several structural measurements of the sperm cell head are promising candidates for development of a new method of sperm sexing. © 2013 Carvalho et al.


PubMed | Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Rondônia, State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, State University Londrina and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2016

The production rates of viable embryos using sexed semen through the conventional methodologies of multiple ovulation and embryo transfer are generally not satisfactory. However, the cryopreservation of these embryos is considered efficient. Knowledge of epigenetics can provide new tools or allow for adapting new protocols that could enhance the efficiency of reproductive biotechnologies. The aim of this study was to characterize the pattern of trimethylation of histone 3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) in bovine embryos produced invivo with sexed semen that were submitted to cryopreservation. Bos taurusBos indicus cows (n=5) were superovulated and inseminated with sexed (two sessions) or conventional (two sessions) semen. A portion of the embryos collected on Day 7 was immediately stored in paraformaldehyde (3%) and another portion was stored in paraformaldehyde after cryopreservation/thawing. All embryos from the four groups (fresh, conventional semen; fresh, sexed semen; cryopreserved, conventional semen; and cryopreserved, sexed semen; 15 embryos per group) were evaluated by immunofluorescence under confocal microscopy to identify and quantify the H3K4me3 status. In total, 190 embryos were recovered, 100 of which were produced with conventional semen and 90 with sexed semen. The use of conventional semen after superovulation yielded 72% (72 of 100) viable embryos, which were mostly (81%; 59 of 72) in advanced stages of development (blastocysts and expanded blastocysts). Embryos produced with sexed semen had a lower viability rate (36.7%; 33 of 90), and most of them were collected at earlier stages of development (morulae and early blastocysts; P<0.05). The H3K4me3 signal was similar among groups; however, there was a difference between morulae and blastocysts. A high intensity of H3K4me3 was observed in bovine embryos produced invivo, and this pattern did not vary using sexed semen and the slow cryopreservation process. The lower viability of bovine embryos produced with sexed semen could be not explained by differences in H3K4me. Cryopreservation did not alter the pattern of H3K4me3; in this sense, we suggest that it is a process that exerts minimal damage to the embryos.


Campos J.T.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Marinho L.S.R.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Lunardelli P.A.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Morotti F.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | Seneda M.M.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction
Theriogenology | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to compare four methods of estrus resynchronization performed 23 days after timed artificial insemination (TAI) plus estrus observation in Bos indicus cows. Eight hundred fourteen lactating Nelore cows were submitted to TAI and then randomly assigned to one of the five following treatments: R23 (resynchronization without eCG), R23/200 (resynchronization with 200 IU of eCG), R23/300 (resynchronization with 300 IU of eCG), R23/TCR (resynchronization with temporary calf removal [TCR]), and a control group, with estrus observation followed by AI (with no resynchronization). Treatment consisted of a progesterone device plus administration of estradiol benzoate on Day 0; on Day 8, the device was removed and cloprostenol was applied, together with estradiol cypionate. Also on Day 8, either eCG was administered or TCR was performed in the resynchronized groups, except for R23. The females were inseminated 48 hours after device removal or TCR (33 days after the first TAI). The control group was kept under estrus observation from 18 to 23 days after the first TAI and was inseminated 12 hours after detection of estrus. The first pregnancy evaluation was performed using ultrasound examination 31 days after the first TAI. After 30 days of the resynchronization, a second pregnancy evaluation was performed and the animals in the R23/300 and R23/TCR groups achieved the highest conception rates, 76.6% and 74.0%, respectively (P < 0.05). There were no differences between the conception rates of the animals in the R23/200 (63.3%), R23 (61.3%), and control (54.3%) groups (P > 0.05). These results suggest that estrus resynchronization at 23 days after TAI can effectively improve the conception rate of lactating Bos indicus cows in a short time period. Furthermore, resynchronization with 300 IU of eCG or with TCR provided the best results. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Bessa I.R.,University of Brasilia | Nishimura R.C.,University of Brasilia | Franco M.M.,University of Brasilia | Franco M.M.,Laboratory of Animal Reproduction | And 2 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2013

Contents: The aim of this study was to investigate the expression profile of candidate genes involved in competence during oocyte growth. The candidate genes (BMP15, OOSP1, H1FOO, H2A, H3A, H4, SLBP, DNMT1, DNMT3B, HAT1, HDAC2 and SUV39H1) were selected because of their possible involvement in determining oocyte developmental competence. Pre-antral and antral follicles were isolated from the ovaries of Zebu (Bos indicus) cows, measured and classified into the following categories according to their diameter: (i) oocytes from primordial follicles: diameter <20 μm, (ii) oocytes from primary follicles: 25-35 μm, (iii) oocytes from small secondary follicles: 40-60 μm, (iv) oocytes from large secondary follicles: 65-85 μm, (v) oocytes from small antral follicles: 100-120 μm, and (vi) oocytes from large antral follicles: >128 μm. Total RNA was extracted from four pools of 25 oocytes for each category of follicles, and the genes were quantified by qPCR. Target gene expression was normalized using the gene PPIA. The results suggest that stocks of the studied transcript genes accumulate before the final phase of folliculogenesis. The HDAC2 gene was the only gene in which a differential expression was observed at stage associated with competence acquisition. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


PubMed | Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, São Paulo State University, Animal Reproduction Inc. and University of Brasilia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cryobiology | Year: 2014

This study aimed to investigate the functional, morphological and molecular patterns of bovine oocytes vitrified at different times during in vitro maturation (IVM). Four groups of oocytes were used: non-vitrified control oocytes (CG), oocytes vitrified at 0 h (V0), oocytes vitrified after 8 h of IVM (V8) and oocytes vitrified after 22 h of IVM (V22). After vitrification, the oocytes were warmed and then returned to the incubator to complete a total of 24h of IVM. To evaluate the effect of vitrification, the nuclear maturation and fertilization rates were assessed by lacmoid staining and ultrastructural electron microscopy. The cleavage and blastocyst rates were evaluated at D2, D7 and D8. The expression levels of CASP3, TP53, HDAC2, SUV39H1 and DNMT1 were investigated by RT-qPCR. The nuclear maturation, oocyte fertilization, cleavage and blastocyst rates were higher (P < 0.05) in the CG group (80%; 81.3%; 88.5%; and 35.8%) than in the V0 (44%; 44.6%; 22.7%; and 2.6%), V8 (50%; 63%; 21.5%; and 2.2%) and V22 (55.5%; 66.9%; 24.1%; and 4.6%) groups. Ultrastructural analysis revealed significant damage within the cytoplasm of all vitrified groups, but more severe degeneration was observed in the V22 group. The gene expression profiles were not affected by vitrification (P > 0.05). In conclusion, cytoplasm degeneration seems to be the most severe form of damage caused by vitrification. The use of the Cryotop method for vitrification severely reduces bovine oocyte viability regardless of whether it is performed at GV, GVBD or MII stage.


PubMed | Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Laval University and University of Brasilia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2016

The present study analyzed the changes in gene expression induced by the Cryotop vitrification technique in bovine blastocyst-stage embryos, using Agilent EmbryoGENE microarray slides. Bovine in vitro-produced embryos were vitrified and compared with nonvitrified (control) embryos. After vitrification, embryos were warmed and cultured for an additional 4 hours. Survived embryos were used for microarray analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) quantification. Survival rates were higher (P < 0.05) in the control embryos (100%) than in the vitrified embryos (87%). Global gene expression analysis revealed that only 43 out of 21,139 genes exhibited significantly altered expression in the vitrified embryos compared to the control embryos, with a very limited fold change (P < 0.05). A total of 10 genes were assessed by qPCR. Only the FOS-like antigen 1 (FOSL1) gene presented differential expression (P < 0.05) according to both the array and qPCR methods, and it was overexpressed in vitrified embryos. Although, the major consequence of vitrification seems to be the activation of the apoptosis pathway in some cells. Indeed, FOSL1 is part of the activating protein 1 transcription factor complex and is implicated in a variety of cellular processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Therefore, our results suggest that a limited increase in the rate of apoptosis was the only detectable response of the embryos to vitrification stress.


PubMed | Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Autonomous University of Barcelona and University of Brasilia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different maturation systems on oocyte resistance after vitrification and on the phospholipid profile of the oocyte plasma membrane (PM). Four different maturation systems were tested: 1) in vitro maturation using immature oocytes aspirated from slaughterhouse ovaries (CONT; n = 136); 2) in vitro maturation using immature oocytes obtained by ovum pick-up (OPU) from unstimulated heifers (IMA; n = 433); 3) in vitro maturation using immature oocytes obtained by OPU from stimulated heifers (FSH; n = 444); and 4) in vivo maturation using oocytes obtained from heifers stimulated 24 hours prior by an injection of GnRH (MII; n = 658). A sample of matured oocytes from each fresh group was analyzed by matrix associated laser desorption-ionization (MALDI-TOF) to determine their PM composition. Then, half of the matured oocytes from each group were vitrified/warmed (CONT VIT, IMA VIT, FSH VIT and MII VIT), while the other half were used as fresh controls. Afterwards, the eight groups underwent IVF and IVC, and blastocyst development was assessed at D2, D7 and D8. A chi-square test was used to compare embryo development between the groups. Corresponding phospholipid ion intensity was expressed in arbitrary units, and following principal components analyses (PCA) the data were distributed on a 3D graph. Oocytes obtained from superstimulated animals showed a greater rate of developmental (P<0.05) at D7 (MII = 62.417.5% and FSH = 58.816.1%) compared to those obtained from unstimulated animals (CONT = 37.98.5% and IMA = 50.614.4%). However, the maturation system did not affect the resistance of oocytes to vitrification because the blastocyst rate at D7 was similar (P>0.05) for all groups (CONT VIT = 2.83.5%, IMA VIT = 2.94.0%, FSH VIT = 4.37.2% and MII VIT = 3.67.2%). MALDI-TOF revealed that oocytes from all maturation groups had similar phospholipid contents, except for 760.6 ([PC (34:1) + H]+), which was more highly expressed in MII compared to FSH (P<0.05). The results suggest that although maturation systems improve embryonic development, they do not change the PM composition nor the resistance of bovine oocytes to vitrification.


PubMed | Laboratory of Animal Reproduction and University of Brasilia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2016

Embryo production by intrafollicular oocyte transfer (IFOT) represents an alternative for production of a large number of embryos without requiring any hormones and only basic laboratory handling. We aimed to (1) evaluate the efficiency of IFOT using immature oocytes (IFIOT) and (2) compare embryo development after IFIOT using fresh or vitrified immature oocytes. First, six IFIOTs were performed using immature oocytes obtained by ovum pickup. After insemination and uterine flush for embryo recovery, 21.3% of total transferred structures were recovered excluding the recipients own oocyte or embryo, and of those, 26% (5.5% of transferred cumulus-oocyte complexes [COCs]) were morula or blastocyst. In the second study, we compared fresh and vitrified-warmed immature COCs. Four groups were used: (1) fresh immature COCs (Fresh-Vitro); (2) vitrified immature COCs (Vit-Vitro), with both groups 1 and 2 being matured, fertilized, and cultured invitro; (3)fresh immature COCs submitted to IFIOT (Fresh-IFIOT); and (4) vitrified immature COCs submitted to IFIOT (Vit-IFIOT). Cumulus-oocyte complexes (n = 25) from Fresh-IFIOT or Vit-IFIOT groups were injected into dominant follicles (>10mm) of synchronized heifers. After excluding one structure or blastocyst, the recovery rates per transferred oocyte were higher (P<0.05) for Fresh-IFIOT (47.6%) than for Vit-IFIOT (12.0%). Blastocyst yield per initial oocyte was higher (P<0.05) for Fresh-Vitro (42.1%) than for Fresh-IFIOT (12.9%). Vit-Vitro presented higher (P<0.05) embryo development (6.3%), compared to Vit-IFIOT, which did not result in any extra embryo. Although IFOT did not improve developmental competence of vitrified oocytes, we achieved viable blastocysts and pregnancies produced after IFIOT of fresh bovine immature oocytes. Further work on this technique is warranted as an option both for research studies and for clinical bovine embryo production in the absence of laboratory facilities for IVF.

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