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See detailProfiling lgals9 splice variant expression at the fetal-maternal interface: implications in normal and pathological pregnancy
Heusschen, Roy ULg; Freitag, Nancy; Tirado-Gonzalez, Irene et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2013)

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See detailFunctional and Evolutionary Analysis of Flatfish Gonadotropin Receptors Reveals Cladal- and Lineage-Level Divergence of the Teleost Glycoprotein Receptor Family
Chauvigné, Francois; Tingaud-Sequeira, Angele; Agulleiro, Maria J et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2010), 82

Pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) act via their cognate glycoprotein hormone receptors (GpHRs), FSH receptor (FSHR), and LH/ choriogonadotropin ... [more ▼]

Pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) act via their cognate glycoprotein hormone receptors (GpHRs), FSH receptor (FSHR), and LH/ choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) to regulate gonad physiology. Here, we show that the flatfish Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) expresses functional isoforms of fshr and lhcgr, but the genomic origin, ligand activation, and tissue distribution of the receptor transcripts are more complex than expected. By integrating the molecular phylogeny of GpHRs with the syntenic loci of vertebrate orthologs, and by subsequently characterizing the physical maps with the phylogeny of flanking genes, we found that vertebrate GpHRs have undergone a divergent evolution. In Teleostei, fshr genes have a common descent and can be classified as fshra, whereas lhcgrb genes exist as alternatively coded genes even in closely related species. Structural analyses of the receptors revealed that Fshra has an elongated ligand-binding domain, containing an extra leucinerich repeat that specifically arose in the Acanthomorpha because of exon duplication. Ectopic expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes demonstrated that sole Fshra responded to piscine Fsh and Lh, whereas Lhcgrba was preferentially activated by its cognate hormone. The expression pattern of sole fshra and lhcgrba in gonads during the reproductive cycle was consistent with earlier observations wherein Fshra regulates ovarian growth and spermatogenesis and Lhcgrb triggers gamete maturation, respectively. However, contrary to observations in other teleosts, fshra was localized exclusively in Sertoli cells of the testis, whereas lhcgrba was expressed in Leydig cells as well as in spermatids. These results demonstrate the presence of alternatively coded lhcgr isoforms (lhcgrba and lhcgrbb) in teleosts and suggest a role of the lhcgrba receptor in the differentiation of spermatids into spermatozoa in Senegalese sole. [less ▲]

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See detailAnti-mullerian hormone is an endocrine marker of ovarian gonadotropin-responsive follicles and can help to predict superovulatory responses in the cow.
Rico, Charlene; Fabre, Stephane; Medigue, Claire et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2009), 80(1), 50-59

The major limitation to the development of embryo production in cattle is the strong between-animal variability in ovulatory response to FSH-induced superovulation, mainly due to differences in ovarian ... [more ▼]

The major limitation to the development of embryo production in cattle is the strong between-animal variability in ovulatory response to FSH-induced superovulation, mainly due to differences in ovarian activity at the time of treatment. This study aimed to establish whether anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) was an endocrine marker of follicular populations in the cow, as in human, and a possible predictor of the ovarian response to superovulation. Anti-Mullerian hormone concentrations in plasma varied 10-fold between cows before treatment and were found to be highly correlated with the numbers of 3- to 7-mm antral follicles detected by ovarian ultrasonography before treatment (r=0.79, P<0.001) and the numbers of ovulations after treatment (r=0.64, P<0.01). Between-animal differences in AMH concentrations were found to be unchanged after a 3-mo delay (r=0.87, P<0.01), indicating that AMH endocrine levels were characteristic of each animal on a long-term period. The population of healthy 3- to 7-mm follicles was the main target of superovulatory treatments, contained the highest AMH concentrations and AMH mRNA levels compared with larger follicles, and contributed importantly to AMH endocrine levels. In conclusion, AMH was found to be a reliable endocrine marker of the population of small antral gonadotropin-responsive follicles in the cow. Moreover, AMH concentrations in the plasma of individuals were indicative of their ability to respond to superovulatory treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly maturation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion and sexual precocity after exposure of infant female rats to estradiol or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
Rasier, Gregory; Parent, Anne-Simone ULg; Gerard, Arlette ULg et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2007), 77(4), 734-742

An increase in the frequency of pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in vitro and a reduction in LH response to GnRH in vivo characterize hypothalamic-pituitary maturation before ... [more ▼]

An increase in the frequency of pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in vitro and a reduction in LH response to GnRH in vivo characterize hypothalamic-pituitary maturation before puberty in the female rat. In girls migrating for international adoption, sexual precocity is frequent and could implicate former exposure to the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), since a long-lasting DDT derivative has been detected in the serum of such children. We aimed at studying the effects of early transient exposure to estradiol (E 2) or DDT in vitro and in vivo in the infantile female rat. Using a static incubation system of hypothalamic explants from 15-day-old female rats, a concentration- and time-dependent reduction in GnRH interpulse interval (IPI) was seen during incubation with E 2 and DDT isomers. These effects were prevented by antagonists of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4 propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors and estrogen receptor. Also, o,p '-DDT effects were prevented by an antagonist of the aryl hydrocarbon orphan dioxin receptor (AHR). After subcutaneous injections of E, or o,p '-DDT between Postnatal Days (PNDs) 6 and 10, a decreased GnRH IPI was observed on PND 15 as an ex vivo effect. After DDT administration, serum LH levels in response to GnRH were not different from controls on PIND 15, whereas they tended to be lower on PND 22. Subsequently, early vaginal opening (VO) and first estrus were observed together with a premature age-related decrease in LH response to GnRH. After prolonged exposure to E 2 between PNDs 6 and 40, VO occurred at an earlier age, but first estrus was delayed. We conclude that a transient exposure to E 2 or o,p '-DDT in early postnatal life is followed by early maturation of pulsatile GnRH secretion and, subsequently, early developmental reduction of LH response to GnRH that are possible mechanisms of the subsequent sexual precocity. The early maturation of pulsatile GnRH secretion could involve effects mediated through estrogen receptor and/or AHR as well as AMPA/kainate subtype of glutamate receptors. [less ▲]

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See detailFactors accounting for perinatal occurrence of pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion in vitro in rats
Parent, Anne-Simone ULg; Lebrethon, M. C.; Gerard, Arlette ULg et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2005), 72(1), 143-149

Our aim was to study the inhibitory and facilitatory factors possibly accounting for the undetectable activity of the GnRH pulse generator in late fetal life in vitro and its awakening in early postnatal ... [more ▼]

Our aim was to study the inhibitory and facilitatory factors possibly accounting for the undetectable activity of the GnRH pulse generator in late fetal life in vitro and its awakening in early postnatal life. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptor antagonism using SR 95 531 did not cause any secretory pulse in fetal explants, whereas a significant stimulation of GnRH pulse frequency was obtained at 5 and 15 days. GnRH secretory response to repeated N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) stimulation showed progressive disappearance, indicating that the inhibitory autofeedback was operating. GnRH release caused by glutamine was respectively 9% and 20% of that evoked by glutamate in fetal and 5-day-old rats whereas both amino acids were equally active at 15 days. Explants obtained after cesarean section performed at onset of labor did not show any secretory pulse, while pulses could be observed with explants obtained 2 h after vaginal delivery. Incubation of fetal explants with oxytocin (10(-8) M) or prostaglandin E-2 (PGE(2)) (10(-6) M) resulted in occurrence of GnRH secretory pulses. A facilitatory effect of the oxytocin was shown to persist on Days 1, 5, and 15 and inhibitory effects of an oxytocin receptor antagonist provided some evidence of endogenous oxytocin involvement. We conclude that, in the fetal rat hypothalamus, GnRH inhibitory autofeedback and GABAergic inputs do not account for the absence of pulsatile GnRH secretion in vitro. A low rate of glutamate biosynthesis from glutamine is a possibly limiting factor. Oxytocin and PGE(2) can play a facilitatory role in the postpartal occurrence of pulsatile GnRH secretion. [less ▲]

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See detailPoly(A) RNA is reduced by half during bovine oocyte maturation but increases when meiotic arrest is maintained with CDK inhibitors.
Lequarré, Anne-Sophie ULg; Traverso, Juan M; Marchandise, Joelle et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2004), 71(2), 425-31

Variations in the amount of different RNA species were investigated during in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes. Total RNA content was estimated to be 2 ng before meiosis, and after meiosis resumption ... [more ▼]

Variations in the amount of different RNA species were investigated during in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes. Total RNA content was estimated to be 2 ng before meiosis, and after meiosis resumption, no decrease was observed. Ribosomal RNA did not appear to be degraded either, whereas poly(A) RNA was reduced by half after meiosis resumption, from 53 pg to 25 pg per oocyte. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed on growth and differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9), on cyclin B1, and on two genes implicated in the resistance to oxidative stress, glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) and peroxiredoxin-6 (PRDX6). When these transcripts were reverse-transcribed with hexamers, the amplification results were not different before or after in vitro maturation. But when reverse transcription was performed with oligo(dT), amplification was dramatically reduced after maturation, except for cyclin B1 mRNA, implying deadenylation without degradation of three transcripts. Although calf oocytes have a lower developmental competence, their poly(A) RNA contents were not different from that of cow oocytes, nor were they differently affected during maturation. When bovine oocytes were maintained in vitro under meiotic arrest with CDK inhibitors, their poly(A) RNA amount increased, but this rise did not change the poly(A) RNA level once maturation was achieved. The increase could not be observed under transcription inhibition and, when impeding transcription and adenylation, the poly(A) RNA decreased to a level normally observed after maturation, in spite of the maintenance of meiotic arrest. These results demonstrate the importance of adenylation and deadenylation processes during in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression pattern of metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of matrix-metalloproteinases in cycling human endometrium
Goffin, Frédéric ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg; Frankenne, Francis et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2003), 69(3), 976-984

The cyclic growth, differentiation, and cell death of endometrium represents the most dynamic example of steroid-driven tissue turnover in human adults. Key effectors in these processes-matrix ... [more ▼]

The cyclic growth, differentiation, and cell death of endometrium represents the most dynamic example of steroid-driven tissue turnover in human adults. Key effectors in these processes-matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their specific inhibitors (TIMPs)-are regulated by ovarian steroids and, locally, by cytokines. We used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression of both transcriptionally regulated molecules such as estrogen receptor-alpha, progesterone receptor, and prolactin and a large array of MMPs and TIMPs (MMP-1, -2, -3, -7, -8, -9, -11, -12, -19, -26, MT1-MMP, MT2-MMP, MT3-MMP, TIMP-1, -2, -3). Altogether, three distinct patterns of MMP and two patterns of TIMP expression were detected in cycling endometrium: 1). MMPs restricted to the menstrual period (MMPs-1, -3, -8, -9, -12); 2). MMPs and TIMPs expressed throughout the cycle (MMP-2, MT1-MMP, MT2-MMP, MMP-19, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2); 3). MMPs predominantly expressed during the proliferative phase (MMP-7, MMP-11, MMP-26, and MT3-MMP); and 4). TIMP-3, which, contrary to the other TIMPs, shows significant modulations, with maximum expression during the late secretory and menstrual phases. These specific patterns of MMP expression associated with each phase of the cycle may point to specific roles in the processes of menstruation, housekeeping activities, angiogenesis, tissue growth, and extracellular matrix remodeling. [less ▲]

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See detailCell cycle duration at the time of maternal zygotic transition for in vitro produced bovine embryos: effect of oxygen tension and transcription inhibition.
Lequarré, Anne-Sophie ULg; Marchandise, J.; Massip, A. et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2003), 69(5), 1707-13

Early embryonic cleavages are mostly regulated by maternal components then control of development progressively depends on newly synthesized zygotic products. The timing of the first cleavages is a way to ... [more ▼]

Early embryonic cleavages are mostly regulated by maternal components then control of development progressively depends on newly synthesized zygotic products. The timing of the first cleavages is a way to assess embryo quality. The goal of this study was to evaluate the duration of the fourth cell cycle, at the time of maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) in in vitro-produced bovine embryos by means of cinematographic analysis. We found that 75% of the embryos displayed a long fourth cycle (43.5 +/- 5.4 h) whereas the remaining embryos had a very short fourth cell cycle (8.9 +/- 2.9 h). Both groups did not differ in cleavage rhythm up to the eight-cell stage and timing of cavitation and blastocyst expansion was identical. However, embryos with a short fourth cell cycle had a better blastocyst rate than embryos with a long cycle (59% versus 38%, P < 0.01). Total cell number, inner cell mass (ICM):total cell ratio, and hatching rate were identical for blastocysts produced from embryos with either a long or a short fourth cell cycle. In a second experiment, we showed that increasing the oxygen tension, from 5% to 20%, decreased the percentage of embryos with a short fourth cell cycle, from 25% to 11% (P < 0.01), indicating that suboptimal culture conditions can influence the length of this cycle. Finally, we investigated whether fourth cell cycle duration could be influenced by transcription inhibition. With alpha-amanitin added at 18 h postinsemination (HPI), cleavage was reduced (66% versus 79%) and, at 70 HPI, the 9- to 16-cell rate increased (50% versus 25%) concomitantly with a 5- to 8-cell rate decrease (16% versus 47%). A similar pattern was observed when the drug was added at 6 HPI or 42 HPI but not at 0 HPI. Cinematographic analysis revealed that alpha-amanitin increased the first cell cycle duration whereas the second and third cell cycles were not affected. With the drug, one third of the embryos could develop up to the 9- to 16-cell stage and they all had a short fourth cell cycle (11.2 +/- 3.7 h) with a good synchrony of cleavage between blastomeres. These results suggest that duration of the fourth cell cycle of bovine embryo, during the MZT, is under a zygotic transcriptional control that can be affected by oxidative conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of matrigel on human extravillous trophoblasts differentiation: Modulation of protease pattern gene expression
Tarrade, A.; Goffin, Frédéric ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2002), 67(5), 1628-1637

The human placenta is characterized by extensive trophoblast invasion of the uterus. Indeed, extravillous cytotrophoblast cells invade the. decidua and the upper third of uterine spiral arteries in the ... [more ▼]

The human placenta is characterized by extensive trophoblast invasion of the uterus. Indeed, extravillous cytotrophoblast cells invade the. decidua and the upper third of uterine spiral arteries in the myometrium. This invasion is reflected in situ by the expression of specific markers. In order to study this invasion process, we have established an in vitro culture model of human extravillous trophoblast isolated from first trimester chorionic villi. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a composite matrix, the Matrigel required for the culture of this homogenous population of extravillous trophoblasts (EVCT), on their in vitro differentiation. The effect of Matrigel was studied on different markers characterized by immunocytochemistry and by real-time polymerase chain reaction assay of transcripts. In addition, the expression of 12 different matrix metalloproteases and their inhibitors were investigated. We show that human extravillous cytotrophoblasts acquire an invasive phenotype on Matrigel associated with a specific pattern of protease gene expression. This in vitro model will be of interest to study the cellular mechanisms involved in abnormal trophoblast invasion observed in poor placentation and preeclampsia. [less ▲]

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See detailMating Induces Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuronal Activation in Anosmic Female Ferrets
Bakker, Julie ULg; Kelliher, K. R.; Baum, M. J.

in Biology of Reproduction (2001), 64(4), 1100-5

In females of both spontaneously and induced ovulating species, pheromones from male conspecifics can directly stimulate GnRH neuronal activity, thereby inducing pituitary LH secretion and stimulating the ... [more ▼]

In females of both spontaneously and induced ovulating species, pheromones from male conspecifics can directly stimulate GnRH neuronal activity, thereby inducing pituitary LH secretion and stimulating the onset of estrus. However, whether pheromones contribute to the steroid- or mating-induced preovulatory activation of GnRH neurons is less clear. Previous studies in the ferret, an induced ovulator, raised the possibility that olfactory cues contribute to the ability of genital-somatosensory stimulation to activate GnRH neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). In the present study the percentage of GnRH neurons colabeled with Fos-immunoreactivity (IR), used as a marker for neuronal activation, was investigated in the MBH of mated gonadectomized, estradiol-treated female ferrets in which both nares were occluded. In addition, the percentage of GnRH neurons colabeled with Fos-IR was examined in the MBH of gonadectomized, estradiol-treated female ferrets exposed to male bedding. Bilateral nares occlusion successfully blocked mating or odor-induced increments in Fos-IR in central olfactory regions, including the cortical and medial amygdala. By contrast, the percentage of GnRH neurons expressing Fos-IR did not differ between mated nares- and sham-occluded females. Exposure to male bedding alone failed to induce Fos-IR in MBH GnRH neurons. Thus, the mating-induced preovulatory activation of GnRH neurons in the female ferret's MBH appears to rely solely on genital-somatosensory as opposed to olfactory inputs. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of conventional controlled-rate freezing and vitrification on quality of bovine blasotcysts produced in vitro
Kaidi, Safia; Bernard, S.; Lambert, Philippe ULg et al

in Biology of Reproduction (2001), 65

This study compares the effects of conventional controlled-rate freezing and vitrification on the morphology and metabolism of in vitro-produced bovine blastocysts. Day 7 expanded blastocysts cultured in ... [more ▼]

This study compares the effects of conventional controlled-rate freezing and vitrification on the morphology and metabolism of in vitro-produced bovine blastocysts. Day 7 expanded blastocysts cultured in synthetic oviduct fluid with 5% fetal calf serum were frozen in 1.36 M glycerol, 0.25 M sucrose or vitrified in 25% glycerol, 25% ethylene glycol. Cell alterations and in vitro development were evaluated immediately after thawing or after 72 h. The effect of cryopreservation on inner cell mass and trophectoderm (TE) cell number as well as glucose, pyruvate, and oxygen uptakes, and lactate release by blastocysts were evaluated. Immediately after thawing, blastocysts showed equivalent cell membrane permeabilization after both cryopreservation procedures, while alterations in nuclear staining were more frequent in vitrified embryos. After culture, similar survival and hatching rates were observed. Both procedures decreased cell number immediately after thawing and after 72 h. However, the number of TE cells was lower in frozen embryos than in vitrified ones. In relation to this, frozen blastocysts showed a decrease in glucose, pyruvate, and oxygen uptake, although those parameters were not altered in vitrified embryos. An increased glycolytic activity was also observed in frozen embryos, indicating a stress response to this procedure. [less ▲]

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See detailIsolation and Partial Characterization of a Pregnancy-Associated Glycoprotein Family from the Goat Placenta
Garbayo, Juana Maria; Remy, Benoit; Alabart, José Luis et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1998), 58(1), 109-115

Antigen(s) immunologically related to pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) have previously been detected in the serum of pregnant goats. In this work, we describe a partial characterization of a ... [more ▼]

Antigen(s) immunologically related to pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) have previously been detected in the serum of pregnant goats. In this work, we describe a partial characterization of a family of PAGs isolated from the placenta of the goat. The procedure, monitored by RIA, included extraction of proteins at neutral pH, acidic, and ammonium sulfate precipitations; and gel filtration and ion exchange chromatographies. Immunoreactivity, initially located in the acidic supernatant and in the 40-80% ammonium sulfate fractions, was equally apportioned between the 0.04 and 0.08 M NaCl DEAE fractions. After further purification of both DEAE fractions, the preparations were subjected to one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis, and individual polypeptides were analyzed by amino acid sequencing. Three PAGs, which differed in amino acid sequence and apparent molecular masses (62, 59, and 55 kDa), were detected, each containing several isoforms with different pls: caprine (c) PAG62 (pl: 5.1, 4.8), cPAG59 (pl: 6.2, 5.9, 5.6), and cPAG55 (pl: 5.3, 5.1, 4.9). These proteins had high sequence identities to each other and to PAGs purified from other species. Each had two putative N-glycosylation sites within the 27 amino terminal residues sequenced. This work demonstrates that PAGs are present in goat placenta and that multiple forms are expressed. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiple pregnancy-associated glycoproteins are secreted by day 100 sheep placenta
Xie, Sancai; Green, Jonathan; Bao, Bagna et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1997), 57(6), 1384-1393

Pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG)-1 (PAG1) and pregnancy-specific protein B are either identical or closely related antigens released by trophoblast binucleate cells of placentas of cattle. Sheep ... [more ▼]

Pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG)-1 (PAG1) and pregnancy-specific protein B are either identical or closely related antigens released by trophoblast binucleate cells of placentas of cattle. Sheep and other ruminants produce similar products. There is evidence, however, that these antigens, which are related structurally to the pepsinogens and other aspartic proteinases, are not single gene products but members of an extensive family. Here, the sequential use of ammonium sulfate precipitation and Sepharose blue, anion-exchange, and cation-exchange chromatographies, as well as isoelectric elution from a Mono P column, has allowed several PAG1-related molecules to be purified from the medium after culture of explants from Day 100 sheep placentas. Each of these PAGs cross-reacted to a varying extent with a panel of three different anti-PAG1 antisera. Four of them, all of which were major secretory products of the placenta, were subjected to amino-terminal microsequencing. Although each was related to ovine (ov) PAG1, none was identical. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was then used to amplify PAG1-related cDNA from Day 100 placental RNA. Seven novel full-length cDNA, all distinct from ovPAG1, were identified from 25 cDNA selected for sequencing. Only two of these (ovPAG3 and ovPAG7) encoded polypeptides identical in sequence at their inferred amino termini to one of the PAGs (ovPAG65) purified from explant cultures. Even so, they were only 84% identical in overall sequence. The remaining five cDNA were unique. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that expression of ovPAG3 and ovPAG7, like that of ovPAG1, is confined to trophoblast binucleate cells. The data confirm that at Day 100 of pregnancy the ovine placenta produces many different PAGs, which differ considerably in sequence and immunological cross-reactivity. [less ▲]

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See detailTrophoblast-specific processing and phosphorylaton of pregnancy-associated glycoprotein-1 in day 15 to 25 sheep placenta
Xie, S.; Nagel, R. J.; Green, J. et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1996), 54(1), 122-129

Bovine and ovine pregnancy-associated glycoproteins-1 (PAG-1) are products of binucleate trophoblast cells and belong to the aspartic proteinase gene family. Estimates of their relative molecular masses ... [more ▼]

Bovine and ovine pregnancy-associated glycoproteins-1 (PAG-1) are products of binucleate trophoblast cells and belong to the aspartic proteinase gene family. Estimates of their relative molecular masses have varied considerably, from 47 to 90 kDa, even though the mature polypeptide has been inferred to be no more than 330 amino acids in length and that the glycosylated recombinant form synthesized in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) or COS-1 cells had an apparent mass of 46 kDa. To establish the relationships among the various molecular forms, metabolic labeling, immunoprecipitation, and electrophoretic analysis were used to follow the biosynthesis of ovine PAG-1 (ovPAG-1) in placental explants. In time-course studies, ovPAG-1 could first be detected within 10 min as a 70-kDa form within the tissue. With time, forms of intermediate (53-61 kDa) and low (47 kDa) molecular mass began to accumulate. The latter predominated in medium after 6 h labeling. Pulse chase studies established that the 70-kDa forms were the precursors of the smaller species. Inhibition of glycosylation with tunicamycin or treatment with N-glycosidase F confirmed that ovPAG-1 contained N-linked oligosaccharide chains, but that this carbohydrate accounted for only a relatively small fraction (8-10 kDa) of the apparent mass. Consecutive treatment with neuraminidase and O-glycanase also reduced the apparent molecular mass of the precursor by approximately 11 kDa. OvPAG-1 incorporated 32P from [32P]orthophosphate into phosphoserine and phosphothreonine, but there was no incorporation of 35S from [35S]sulfate. The basis of the differences in molecular mass between the precursor and the final products remains to be elucidated, but the differences seem likely to be due to some unusual form of posttranslational modification introduced in the binucleate cell. The results of the study appear to explain the disparate size values that have been reported for these placenta-derived proteins. [less ▲]

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See detailIn situ demonstration of germinal cell apoptosis during diethylstilbestrol-induced testis regression in adult male syrian hamsters
Nonclercq, D.; Reverse, D.; Toubeau, G. et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1996), 55(6), 1368-1376

Testis regression was induced in male Syrian hamsters by chronic exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), an estradiol-1713 agonist. Experimental groups (n = 4-5) were killed at increasing time intervals ... [more ▼]

Testis regression was induced in male Syrian hamsters by chronic exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), an estradiol-1713 agonist. Experimental groups (n = 4-5) were killed at increasing time intervals over a period of 6 mo after initiation of treatment. Apoptosis in testes was demonstrated by in situ analysis of DNA fragmentation. Cell proliferation was monitored by immunostaining nuclei of S-phase cells after pulse labeling with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine. Levels of FSH and testosterone, measured by RIA, fell rapidly in DES-treated hamsters. In parallel, testis weight and seminiferous tubule area underwent an 80% decrease during the first 2 wk of DES administration. The composition of seminiferous epithelium was also drastically affected by DES, since it became progressively confined to Sertoli cells, spermatogonia, and spermatocytes. Testis regression was associated with an important increase of apoptosis, which started 3 days after the beginning of DES administration. Apoptosis was still 10- to 50-fold higher than in control testes by the end of treatment; it affected primarily spermatocytes and, to a much lesser extent, spermatogonia. Cell proliferation was not inhibited by chronic DES administration. In conclusion, these data indicate that apoptosis can by itself account for estrogen-induced testis regression. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel glycoprotein of the aspartic proteinase gene family expressed in bovine placental trophectoderm
Xie, Sancai; Low, Boon G.; Nagel, Robert J. et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1994), 51(6), 1145-1153

The pregnancy associated glycoproteins (PAG 1) that appear in the maternal serum of cattle and sheep soon after implantation are apparently inactive members of the aspartic proteinase family. Here we ... [more ▼]

The pregnancy associated glycoproteins (PAG 1) that appear in the maternal serum of cattle and sheep soon after implantation are apparently inactive members of the aspartic proteinase family. Here we describe the isolation of a highly abundant cDNA (PAG 2 cDNA) that represents a second member of this gene family which is structurally related to bovine PAG 1, ovine PAG 1, and pepsin (58%, 58%, and 51% amino acid sequence identity, respectively). The bovine PAG 2 cDNA was identified in two ways. First, the bovine placental library was screened under relatively nonstringent conditions with an ovine PAG 1 cDNA. The second fortuitous approach employed immunoscreening with an antiserum raised against a partially purified factor that competed with bovine LH for binding to the LH receptor on the CL of the ovary. The full-length cDNA (1258 bp) codes for a polypeptide of 376 amino acids. Bovine PAG 2, unlike bovine PAG 1, has a catalytic center with a consensus sequence of amino acids. Its mRNA is expressed in fetal placenta but not in other fetal organs, and is localized to both the mononucleate and binucleate cells of the trophectoderm, whereas PAG 1 is expressed only in binucleate cells. PAG 2 is synthesized by placental explants as a 70-kDa glycoprotein that is processed to several smaller molecules. Western blot analysis of culture media developed with epitope-selected antibodies to PAG 2 reveals several bands ranging in apparent M(r) from 31,000-70,000, which correspond in size to the polypeptides present in the preparation used for immunization [less ▲]

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See detailImmunocytochemical localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the bovine ovary
Hulshof, S. C. J.; Dijkstra, G.; Van der Beek, E. M. et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1994), 50(3), 553-560

The distribution of the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) was studied immunocytochemically in bovine ovaries from 3 mo of gestation up to and including puberty ... [more ▼]

The distribution of the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) was studied immunocytochemically in bovine ovaries from 3 mo of gestation up to and including puberty, and from adult cows at three stages of the estrous cycle. The appearance of VIP and NPY immunoreactivity of 4.5-6 mo of gestation coincided with the onset of follicular development. In contrast to NPY, VIP was first found in the cortex. Both VIP and NPY immunoreactivity increased with age. From 9 mo of gestation onwards, VIP and NPY were found around blood vessels and non-vascular smooth muscle cells, in the stroma near preantral follicles, and in the theca externa of antral follicles. In addition, VIP-positive cells were observed exclusively in the granulosa layer of the preovulatory follicle at the time of the LH surge. The distribution of VIP- and NPY-immunoreactive fibers in the ovary may point to an effect of these neuropeptides on various physiological processes, including follicle development and ovarian blood flow. In addition, the presence of VIP-positive cells in the granulosa layer of the preovulatory follicle is indicative of a role for VIP in ovulation. [less ▲]

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See detailRadioimmunoassay of a Bovine Pregnancy-Associated Glycoprotein in Serum: Its Application for Pregnancy Diagnosis
Zoli, André Pagnah; Guilbault, Louis A; Delahaut, Philippe et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1992), 46(1), 83-92

A sensitive and specific double-antibody RIA for a bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) is described. The limit of detection was 0.2 ng/ml. The assay was specific for bPAG in that pituitary and ... [more ▼]

A sensitive and specific double-antibody RIA for a bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) is described. The limit of detection was 0.2 ng/ml. The assay was specific for bPAG in that pituitary and placental gonadotropic hormones and other placental or serum proteins assayed in serial dilutions did not cross-react. The RIA allowed measurement of bPAG in placental extracts, fetal serum, fetal fluids, and serum or plasma of pregnant cows. About 20% of unbred heifers and nonpregnant cows had detectable levels ranging from 0.30 +/- 0.09 to 0.50 +/- 0.17 ng/ml (mean +/- SD), and 15% of bull sera showed higher concentrations (3.01 +/- 1.73 ng/ml) of bPAG or bPAG-like protein. Variations among animals was observed in fetal serum bPAG concentrations. Bovine PAG was detected in maternal peripheral blood at Day 22 of pregnancy (mean +/- SD, 0.38 +/- 0.13 ng/ml) in some animals and at Day 30 in all pregnant cows. Peripheral serum bPAG levels increased progressively to 3.60 +/- 1.73 ng/ml (mean +/- SD) at Day 30 of pregnancy, to 24.53 +/- 8.81 ng/ml at Day 120, and to 1551.91 +/- 589.68 ng/ml at Day 270. Peak concentration of bPAG was 2462.42 +/- 1017.88 ng/ml and it occurred 1-5 days prior to parturition. After delivery, bPAG concentrations decreased steadily to 499.63 +/- 267.20 ng/ml at Day 14 postpartum (pp), 10.12 +/- 7.84 ng/ml at Day 60 pp, and 1.44 +/- 1.08 ng/ml at Day 90 pp. The undetectable concentration (less than 0.20 ng/ml) was reached by Day 100 +/- 20 pp. An investigation undertaken in Holstein heifers, Holstein cows, and Hereford cows used as recipients for purebred Holstein embryos supplied evidence of the influence of breed of recipient and sex of fetuses on peripheral concentrations of bPAG. A herd of 430 Holstein-Friesian heifers that had received transferred embryos were bled at Day 35 postestrus (pe) for measurement of bPAG. The bPAG was detected in 287 of 430 serum samples analyzed. By rectal palpation performed at Day 45 pe, 267 heifers with detectable levels of bPAG at Day 35 pe were confirmed to be pregnant as were 3 of 143 heifers previously diagnosed as not pregnant by RIA. These results suggest that detection of this placental-specific antigen in the serum could be used as a specific serological method for early pregnancy diagnosis in cattle from 28 days after breeding. [less ▲]

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See detailLight and electron microscopic immunolocalization of bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein in the bovine placentome.
Zoli, A.; Demez, Pierre ULg; Beckers, Jean-François ULg et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1992), 46(4), 623-9

A bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) of 67 kDa has previously been isolated from bovine fetal cotyledons. The objective of this study was to determine the cytological localization of that ... [more ▼]

A bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) of 67 kDa has previously been isolated from bovine fetal cotyledons. The objective of this study was to determine the cytological localization of that protein in the placentomes and possibly the cells responsible for its production. Highly specific antisera raised against pure bPAG were used to demonstrate the cellular localization of the protein in bovine placentomes by light and electron microscopic techniques. Strong immunostaining was observed exclusively in the cytoplasm of large binucleate cells present predominantly in fetal cotyledonary tissue (villi). Some smaller weakly immunostained cells were also present in caruncular epithelium. By ultrastructural immunogold procedures, the protein was detected only within amorphous cytoplasmic granules. Granules of identical size, but weakly labeled, were found on the maternal side. All cells containing labeled granules were binucleate. These results suggest that bPAG is probably synthesized by trophoblast binucleate cells and stored in granules prior to delivery into the maternal circulation after cell migration. [less ▲]

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See detailPurification and characterization of a bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein
Zoli, André Pagnah; Beckers, Jean-François ULg; Wouters-Ballman, Patricia et al

in Biology of Reproduction (1991), 45(1), 1-10

A 67000 Mr bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) has been isolated from fetal cotyledons and purified to homogeneity by HPLC. The purification was monitored by a double immunodiffusion test and ... [more ▼]

A 67000 Mr bovine pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (bPAG) has been isolated from fetal cotyledons and purified to homogeneity by HPLC. The purification was monitored by a double immunodiffusion test and by RIA in conjunction with an antiserum raised against a crude fraction of placenta-specific antigens. The molecular weight of bPAG was estimated to be 67000 by SDS-PAGE. The isoelectric points (pI) of the four isoforms, determined by high-resolution analytical electrofocusing in polyacrylamide gel, were 4.4, 4.6, 5.2, and 5.4. The carbohydrate content of the bPAG consisted of approximately 10.02 +/- 1.09% neutral sugar and variant amounts of sialic acid (from 0.29 +/- 0.06% in the most basic isoform to 2.1 +/- 0.31% in the most acidic isoform). A specific antiserum was raised against the purified bPAG. A specific RIA showed that the bPAG was antigenically unrelated to BSA, alphafetoprotein (AFP), and human schwangerschafts-spezifischen (pregnancy-specific) beta 1 glycoprotein (SP1). According to some characteristics (e.g. the molecular weight), the purified bPAG may correspond to a form of the pregnancy-specific protein B previously described by Sasser and colleagues (Biol Reprod 1986; 35:936-942). [less ▲]

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