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Schafer-Somi S.,Platform for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer | Kowalewski M.P.,University of Zurich | Kanca H.,Ankara University | Bozkurt M.F.,Afyon Kocatepe University | And 5 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2015

In reproductive tissues, GnRH participates in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation by direct binding to the GnRH-R, which is essential for embryo implantation. However, there is no study on the expression and cellular localization of GnRH and GnRH-R in the canine uterus and placenta. Therefore, bitches were ovariohysterectomized 10 to 12 days after mating (vaginal cytology and progesterone measurement), the uteri were flushed, and if embryos were detectable, bitches were allocated to the embryo positive group (E-pos.; preimplantation, n = 5). Other bitches were operated at later stages and, dependent on the gestational age, either allotted to the post-implantation group (Day 18-25 after mating, n = 9), or the mid-gestation group (Day 30-40 after mating, n = 3). Dogs negative in embryo flushing served as controls (E-neg.; controls, n = 5). Samples of the entire uterine wall were taken from the middle of the horn in E-neg. and E-pos. groups, and from placental and interplacental uterine sites in post-implantation and mid-gestation groups. GnRH-R expression was localized at the mRNA and protein levels by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. The expression of GnRH and GnRH-R mRNA was assessed by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction. Additionally, both GnRH and GnRH-R mRNA were expressed in all tissues examined until mid-gestation. Relative expression of GnRH was higher than that of GnRH-R (P < 0.05). During the post-implantation stage, GnRH-R expression was significantly higher in uteroplacental than in interplacental tissues. In the uterus, GnRH-R stained strongly in the surface and glandular epithelial cells, and seemed to be weaker in myometrium and stroma. Placental signals were predominantly localized in fetal trophoblast cells and to a lesser extent in maternal decidual cells. These findings suggest a local regulatory function of GnRH during early canine pregnancy. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Palme N.,Veterinary Clinic Ganserndorf | Becher A.C.,Center for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer | Merkl M.,Clinic for Obstetrics | Glosmann M.,Vetcore Facility for Research | And 2 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2014

Contents: The mammalian sperm membrane undergoes cholesterol efflux during maturation and fertilization. Although ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are known to transport cholesterol through cell membranes in other organs, their presence in canine testis, epididymis and sperm has not been proven to date. Hence, the aim of the present study was to localize the ABC transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 in canine testicular and epididymidal tissue as well as in spermatozoa membranes. To this end, semen samples from 12 dogs as well as testicles and epididymides of four young and healthy dogs were prepared for immunohistochemistry, respectively. Capacitation and acrosome reaction (AR) were induced in aliquots of the semen samples before immunostaining to assess changes in the expression of ABCA1 and ABCG1. Evaluation by confocal microscopy revealed the presence of both ABCA1 and ABCG1 in canine testicles and of ABCA1 in the epididymides. In spermatozoa, only ABCA1 immunoreactivity was detected, mainly in the region of the acrosome and midpiece. After induction of capacitation, ABCA1 signal persisted in the acrosome but disappeared after AR, indicating a loss of ABCA1 with the loss of the acrosome. We conclude that ABCA1 and ABCG1 are expressed in canine testis, whereas only ABCA1 is expressed in epididymis and spermatozoa membrane, both transporters probably contributing to the regulation of membrane cholesterol content. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Merkl M.,Clinic for Obstetrics | Ertl R.,Vetcore Facility for Research | Handschuh S.,Vetcore Facility for Research | Aurich C.,Platform for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer | Schafer-Somi S.,Platform for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer
Theriogenology | Year: 2016

In the present study, we assessed the presence of the ATP-binding-cassette (ABC) transporter molecules ABCA1 in spermatozoa of adult stallions and in testicular and epididymal tissue of prepubertal and adult stallions. For this purpose, semen samples from six fertile Shetland pony stallions aged 4 to 19 years were collected. Semen was collected from each stallion on three consecutive days. Ejaculates were analyzed immediately after collection, and only ejaculates meeting minimal requirements for fertile stallions were further evaluated. ABCA1 immunosignal was localized after staining of semen smears with different antibodies and counterstaining with Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-peanut agglutinin (PNA) and 4',6-Diamidin-2-phenylindol (DAPI). In a total of three samples, capacitation and acrosome reaction were induced by means of capacitation medium and progesterone substitution, respectively. Testicular and epididymal tissues were obtained from five prepubertal stallions aged 8 to 12 months and five adult stallions aged 4 to 9 years. For quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR), testicular and epididymal tissue of another seven adult (aged 1.5-14.5 years) and five prepupertal stallions (6-8 months) was used. For immunohistochemistry, sections from the caput, corpus, and cauda of the testes and epididymes were stained with the same specific antibodies as for immunocytochemistry. In stallion spermatozoa, strong immunosignal for ABCA1 was detected in the acrosomal area, the equatorial zone, and the principle piece of the flagellum but not in the caudal part of the head and the midpiece. In damaged or acrosome-reacted spermatozoa the FITC-PNA signal vanished together with the ABCA1 signal in most spermatozoa. In testicular tissue, strong immunostaining for ABCA1 was mainly visible in the heads and flagella of round spermatids and weaker signals in late spermatids and released spermatozoa. No staining was assessed in the Sertoli cells and spermatogonia of adult stallions, whereas strong signals in Leydig cells were present in prepubertal stallions. In prepubertal stallions, the ABCA1 messenger RNA level in testicular tissue was significantly higher than in adult stallions. We conclude that the ABCA1 transport molecule is present in adult and prepubertal stallion spermatozoa as well as testicular and epididymal tissue. ABCA1 is supposed to contribute to cholesterol transport and to support capacitation; however, this remains to be proven by functional studies. Species-specific differences concerning the localization inside the spermatozoa membrane are alike. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Hollmann M.,Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds | Miller I.,Institute of Medical Biochemistry | Hummel K.,Vetcore Facility for Research | Sabitzer S.,Vetcore Facility for Research | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Energy-rich diets can challenge metabolic and protective functions of the rumen epithelial cells, but the underlying factors are unclear. This study sought to evaluate proteomic changes of the rumen epithelium in goats fed a low, medium, or high energy diet. Expression of protein changes were compared by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis followed by protein identification with matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Of about 2,000 spots commonly detected in all gels, 64 spots were significantly regulated, which were traced back to 24 unique proteins. Interestingly, the expression profiles of several chaperone proteins with important cellular protective functions such as heat shock cognate 71 kDa protein, peroxiredoxin-6, serpin H1, protein disulfide-isomerase, and selenium-binding protein were collectively downregulated in response to high dietary energy supply. Similar regulation patterns were obtained for some other proteins involved in transport or metabolic functions. In contrast, metabolic enzymes like retinal dehydrogenase 1 and ATP synthase subunit beta, mitochondrial precursor were upregulated in response to high energy diet. Lower expressions of chaperone proteins in the rumen epithelial cells in response to high energy supply may suggest that these cells were less protected against the potentially harmful rumen toxic compounds, which might have consequences for rumen and systemic health. Our findings also suggest that energy-rich diets and the resulting acidotic insult may render rumen epithelial cells more vulnerable to cellular damage by attenuating their cell defense system, hence facilitating the impairment of rumen barrier function, typically observed in energy-rich fed ruminants. © 2013 Hollmann et al.

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