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Gainesville, FL, United States

Bonilla L.,University of Florida | Bonilla L.,Minitube Of America | Block J.,University of Florida | Block J.,Ovatech LLC | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science

No reports exist on consequences of in vitro production (IVP) of embryos for the postnatal development of the calf or on postparturient function of the dam of the calf. Three hypotheses were evaluated: calves born as a result of transfer of an IVP embryo have reduced neonatal survival and altered postnatal growth, fertility, and milk yield compared with artificial insemination (AI) calves; cows giving birth to IVP calves have lower milk yield and fertility and higher incidence of postparturient disease than cows giving birth to AI calves; and the medium used for IVP affects the incidence of developmental abnormalities. In the first experiment, calves were produced by AI using conventional semen or by embryo transfer (ET) using a fresh or vitrified embryo produced in vitro with X-sorted semen. Gestation length was longer for cows receiving a vitrified embryo than for cows receiving a fresh embryo or AI. The percentage of dams experiencing calving difficulty was higher for ET than AI. We observed a tendency for incidence of retained placenta to be higher for ET than AI but found no significant effect of treatment on incidence of prolapse or metritis, pregnancy rate at first service, services per conception, or any measured characteristic of milk production in the subsequent lactation. Among Holstein heifers produced by AI or ET, treatment had no effect on birth weight but the variance tended to be greater in the ET groups. More Holstein heifer calves tended to be born dead, died, or were euthanized within the first 20. d of life for the ET groups than for AI. Similarly, the proportion of Holstein heifer calves that either died or were culled for poor health after 20. d of age was greater for the ET groups than for AI. We observed no effect of ET compared with AI on age at first service or on the percentage of heifers pregnant at first service, calf growth, or milk yield or composition in the first 120. d in milk of the first lactation. In a second experiment, embryos were produced using 1 of 2 culture media: synthetic oviductal fluid-bovine embryo 1 (SOF-BE1) or Block-Bonilla-Hansen 7 (BBH7). We detected no difference between cows receiving an SOF-BE1 or BBH7 embryo in gestation length, the percentage of cows in which parturition was induced, or the percentage of cows that experienced calving difficulty, retained placenta, prolapse, or metritis. Among Holstein heifers, birth weight was higher for BBH7 calves than for SOF-BE1 calves. Treatment had no significant effect on calf death. Results indicate that calves born as a result of IVP-ET are more likely to experience alterations in birth weight and increased death in early life but that there were few consequences to the dam of carrying a fetus derived by IVP-ET. © 2014 American Dairy Science Association. Source

You J.,Kangwon National University | Lee E.,Kangwon National University | Bonilla L.,University of Florida | Francis J.,University of Florida | And 7 more authors.

Maturation of the oocyte involves nuclear and cytoplasmic changes that include post-translational processing of proteins. The objective was to investigate whether inhibition of proteasomes during maturation would alter competence of the bovine oocyte for fertilization and subsequent development. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in the presence or absence of the proteasomal inhibitor MG132 from either 0-6 h or 16-22 h after initiation of maturation. Treatment with MG132 early in maturation prevented progression to meiosis II and reduced fertilization rate and the proportion of oocytes and cleaved embryos that became blastocysts. Conversely, treatment with MG132 late in maturation improved the percentage of oocytes and cleaved embryos that became blastocysts without affecting nuclear maturation or fertilization rate. Optimal results with MG132 were achieved at a concentration of 10 μM - effects were generally not observed at lower or higher concentrations. Using proteomic analysis, it was found that MG132 at the end of maturation increased relative expression of 6 proteins and decreased relative expression of 23. Among those increased by MG132 that are potentially important for oocyte competence are GAPDH, involved in glycolysis, TUBA1C, needed for organellar movement, and two proteins involved in protein folding (P4HB and HYOU1). MG132 decreased amounts of several proteins that exert anti-apoptotic actions including ASNS, HSP90B1, PDIA3 and VCP. Another protein decreased by MG132, CDK5, can lead to apoptosis if aberrantly activated and one protein increased by MG132, P4HB, is anti-apoptotic. Finally, the pregnancy rate of cows receiving embryos produced from oocytes treated with MG132 from 16-22 h of maturation was similar to that for control embryos, suggesting that use of MG132 for production of embryos in vitro does not cause a substantial decrease in embryo quality. © 2012 You et al. Source

Loureiro B.,University of Florida | Block J.,University of Florida | Block J.,Ovatech LLC | Favoreto M.G.,University of Florida | And 4 more authors.

Exposure of bovine conceptuses to colony-stimulating factor 2 (CSF2) from days 5 to 7 of development can increase the percentage of transferred conceptuses that develop to term. The purpose of this experiment was to understand the mechanism by which CSF2 increases embryonic and fetal survival. Conceptuses were produced in vitro in the presence or absence of 10 ng/ml CSF2 from days 5 to 7 after insemination, transferred into cows, and flushed from the uterus at day 15 of pregnancy. There was a tendency (P=0.07) for the proportion of cows with a recovered conceptus to be greater for those receiving a CSF2-treated conceptus (35% for control versus 66% for CSF2). Antiviral activity in uterine flushings, a measure of the amount of interferon-τ (IFNT2) secreted by the conceptus, tended to be greater for cows receiving CSF2-treated conceptuses than for cows receiving control conceptuses. This difference approached significance when only cows with detectable antiviral activity were considered (P=0.07). In addition, CSF2 increased mRNA for IFNT2 (P=0.08) and keratin 18 (P<0.05) in extraembryonic membranes. Among a subset of filamentous conceptuses that were analyzed by microarray hybridization, there was no effect of CSF2 on gene expression in the embryonic disc or extraembryonic membranes. Results suggest that the increase in calving rate caused by CSF2 treatment involves, in part, more extensive development of extraembryonic membranes and capacity of the conceptus to secrete IFNT2 at day 15 of pregnancy. © 2011 Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Source

Block J.,University of Florida | Block J.,Ovatech LLC | Bonilla L.,University of Florida | Hansen P.J.,University of Florida
Journal of Dairy Science

Objectives were to determine whether pregnancy success could be improved in lactating cows with timed embryo transfer when embryos were produced in vitro using a medium designed to enhance embryo development and survival after cryopreservation. In experiment 1, embryos (n = 569 to 922) were cultured in either modified synthetic oviduct fluid or a serum-free medium, Block-Bonilla-Hansen-7 (BBH7). Development to the blastocyst stage was recorded at d 7, and selected blastocysts (n = 79 to 114) were vitrified using open pulled straws. Culture of embryos in BBH7 increased development to the blastocyst stage (41.9 ± 2.0 vs. 14.7 ± 2.0%) and advanced blastocyst stages (expanded, hatching, hatched; 31.1 ± 1.3 vs. 6.4 ± 1.3%) at d 7 and resulted in higher hatching rates at 24. h postwarming compared with embryos cultured in modified synthetic oviduct fluid (59.0 ± 0.5 vs. 26.7 ± 0.5%). In experiment 2, embryos were produced using X-sorted semen and cultured in BBH7. At d 7 after insemination, embryos were transferred fresh or following vitrification. Lactating Holstein cows were either subjected to timed artificial insemination (TAI) on the day of presumptive ovulation or used as embryo recipients 7 d later. Embryo recipients received an embryo if a corpus luteum was present. The percentage of cows pregnant at d 32, 46, and 76 of gestation was higher among cows that received fresh embryos compared with TAI cows or cows that received vitrified embryos. At d 76, for example, the proportion and percentage pregnant was 47/150 (31.3%) for cows subjected to TAI, 48/95 (50.5%) for cows receiving fresh embryos, and 39/141 (27.7%) for cows receiving a vitrified embryo. No difference was observed in the percentage of cows pregnant among TAI cows and those that received vitrified embryos. There was a service or transfer number × treatment interaction because differences in pregnancy rate between embryo transfer recipients and cows bred by TAI were greater for cows with more than 3 services or transfers. Pregnancy success in lactating cows can be improved by transferring fresh embryos produced in BBH7 compared with TAI. Moreover, no decline in fertility was observed when cryopreserved embryos were transferred compared with TAI. Embryo transfer is particularly efficacious for infertile cows that have previously experienced several failed breeding attempts. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association. Source

Dobbs K.B.,University of Florida | Gagne D.,Laval University | Fournier E.,Laval University | Dufort I.,Laval University | And 9 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction

Physiology of the adult can be modified by alterations in prenatal development driven by the maternal environment. Developmental programming, which can be established before the embryo implants in the uterus, can affect females differently than males. The mechanism by which sex-specific developmental programming is established is not known. Here we present evidence that maternal regulatory signals change female embryos differently than male embryos. In particular, actions of the maternally derived cytokine CSF2 from Day 5 to Day 7 of development affected characteristics of the embryo at Day 15 differently for females than males. CSF2 decreased length and IFNT secretion of female embryos but increased length and IFNT secretion of male embryos. Analysis of a limited number of samples indicated that changes in the transcriptome and methylome caused by CSF2 also differed between female and males. Thus, sex-specific programming by the maternal environment could occur when changes in secretion of maternally derived regulatory molecules alter development of female embryos differently than male embryos. © 2014 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc. Source

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