Effect of sex difference on the in vitro and in vivo metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by the rat.
Hepatic microsome-catalyzed metabolism of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) to aflatoxin M1 and aflatoxin Q1 and the "metabolic activation" of AFB1 to DNA-alylating metabolite(s) were studied in normal male and female Sprague-Dawley rats, in gonadectomized animals, and in castrated males and normal females treated with testosterone. Microsomes from male animals formed 2 to 5 times more aflatoxin M1, aflatoxin Q1, and DNA-alkylating metabolite(s) than those from females. Castration reduced the metabolism of AFB1 by the microsomes from males by about 50%, whereas ovariectomy had no significant effect on AFB1 metabolism by the microsomes from females. Testosterone treatment (4 mg/rat, 3 times/week for about 6 weeks) of castrated immature males and immature females enhanced the metabolism of AFB1 by their microsomes. A sex difference in the metabolism of AFB1 by liver microsomes was also seen in other strains of rats tested: Wistar, Long-Evans, and Fischer. The activity of kidney microsomes for metabolic activation was 1 to 4% that of the liver activity and was generally lower in microsomes from male rats as compared to those from female rats of Sprague-Dawley, Wistar, and Long-Evans strains. The in vitro results obtained with hepatic microsomes correlated well with the in vivo metabolism of AFB1, in that more AFB1 became bound in vivo to hepatic DNA isolated from male rats and from a female rat treated with testosterone than that isolated from control female rats. These data suggest that the differences in hepatic AFB1 metabolism may be the underlying cause of the sex difference in toxicity and carcinogenicity of AFB1 observed in rats. (+info)
Apontic binds the translational repressor Bruno and is implicated in regulation of oskar mRNA translation.
The product of the oskar gene directs posterior patterning in the Drosophila oocyte, where it must be deployed specifically at the posterior pole. Proper expression relies on the coordinated localization and translational control of the oskar mRNA. Translational repression prior to localization of the transcript is mediated, in part, by the Bruno protein, which binds to discrete sites in the 3' untranslated region of the oskar mRNA. To begin to understand how Bruno acts in translational repression, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Bruno-interacting proteins. One interactor, described here, is the product of the apontic gene. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments lend biochemical support to the idea that Bruno and Apontic proteins physically interact in Drosophila. Genetic experiments using mutants defective in apontic and bruno reveal a functional interaction between these genes. Given this interaction, Apontic is likely to act together with Bruno in translational repression of oskar mRNA. Interestingly, Apontic, like Bruno, is an RNA-binding protein and specifically binds certain regions of the oskar mRNA 3' untranslated region. (+info)
Utero-ovarian interaction in the regulation of reproductive function.
The physiological regulation of fertile reproductive cycle in mammals depends on interactions between hypothalamus-pituitary, ovarian and uterine stimuli. Over the past 20 years, much has been learned about the interrelation between the affluent and effluent lymph and vascular drainage in and around both ovarian and uterine tissues. An essential feature in the regulation of the fertile cycle is the functional status of the ovary, particularly the corpus luteum. During the time of implantation and the early pregnancy, an active corpus luteum is essential. As human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is important in the maintenance of the corpus luteum, we investigated if it was produced by the cyclic endometrium. Immunohistochemical and in-situ hybridization reactions were performed but neither identified the presence of HCG during the proliferative phase. Positive staining and beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-HCG) mRNA were observed during the secretory phase in the glandular cells of the endometrium. The results were confirmed by Western blotting of secretory phase endometrium extracts and assessment of the functional secretory capacity of primary endometrial cultures. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) investigations showed a positive result in the secretory phase. We postulate that, based on the very close morphological interrelation between the uterus and the ovary, the beta-HCG of the endometrium is the primary factor for the maintenance of the corpus luteum and early pregnancy. (+info)
Uterine peristalsis during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: effects of oestrogen, antioestrogen and oxytocin.
Uterine peristalsis, directing sustained and rapid sperm transport from the external cervical os or the cervical crypts to the isthmic part of the tube ipsilateral to the dominant follicle, changes in direction and frequency during the menstrual cycle, with lowest activity during menstruation and highest activity at mid cycle. It was therefore suggested that uterine peristalsis is under the control of the dominant follicle with the additional involvement of oxytocin. To test this hypothesis, vaginal sonography of uterine peristalsis was performed in the early, mid and late proliferative phases, respectively, of cycles of women treated with oestradiol valerate and with human menopausal gonadotrophin following pituitary downregulation, with clomiphene citrate and with intravenous oxytocin, respectively. Administration of oestradiol valerate resulted in oestradiol serum concentrations comparable with the normal cycle with a simulation of the normal frequency of peristaltic contractions. Elevated oestradiol concentrations and bolus injections of oxytocin resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of peristaltic contractions in the early and mid follicular phases, respectively. Chlomiphene tended, though insignificantly so, to suppress the frequency of peristaltic waves in the presence of elevated oestradiol concentrations. In the late follicular phase of the cycle extremely elevated oestradiol concentrations as well as the injection of oxytocin resulted only in an insignificant further increase of peristaltic frequency. In the normal cycles, as well as during extremely elevated oestradiol concentrations and following oxytocin administration, the peristaltic contractions were always confined to the subendometrial layer of the muscular wall. The results and the review of literature indicate that uterine peristalsis during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle is controlled by oestradiol released from the dominant follicle with the probable involvement of oxytocin, which is presumably stimulated together with its receptor within the endometrial-subendometrial unit and therefore acting in an autocrine/paracrine fashion. Since unphysiological stimulation with oestradiol and oxytocin did not significantly increase the frequency of uterine peristalsis in the late follicular phase of the cycle it is assumed that normal preovulatory frequency of uterine peristalsis is at a level which cannot be significantly surpassed due to phenomena of refractoriness of the system. (+info)
Sonographic evidence for the involvement of the utero-ovarian counter-current system in the ovarian control of directed uterine sperm transport.
Sperm transport from the cervix into the tube is an important uterine function within the process of reproduction. This function is exerted by uterine peristalsis and is controlled by the dominant ovarian structure via a cascade of endocrine events. The uterine peristaltic activity involves only the stratum subvasculare of the myometrium, which exhibits a predominantly circular arrangement of muscular fibres that separate at the fundal level into the fibres of the cornua and continue into the circular muscles of the respective tubes. Since spermatozoa are transported preferentially into the tube ipsilateral to the dominant follicle, this asymmetric uterine function may be controlled by the ovary via direct effects utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system, in addition to the systemic circulation. To test this possibility the sonographic characteristics of the uterine vascular bed were studied during different phases of the menstrual cycle. Vaginal sonography with the measurement of Doppler flow characteristics of both uterine arteries and of the arterial anastomoses of the uterine and ovarian arteries (junctional vessels) in the cornual region of both sides of the uterus during the menstrual phase of regular-cycling women demonstrated significant lower resistance indices of the junctional vessels ipsilateral to the side of the dominant ovarian structure as compared with the corresponding arteries contralaterally. By the use of the perfusion mode technique, it could be observed that vascular perfusion of the fundal myometrium was significantly increased ipsilateral to the dominant follicle during the late follicular phase of the cycle. These results show that the endocrine control of the dominant ovarian structure over uterine function is not only exerted via the systemic circulation but also directly, most probably utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system. (+info)
Endometriotic disease: the role of peritoneal fluid.
Peritoneal fluid and the intraovarian milieu are a specific microenvironment. Peritoneal fluid originates mainly as an ovarian exudation product caused by increased vascular permeability, with cyclic variation in volume and steroid hormones which are always higher than in plasma. It contains large amounts of macrophages and their secretion products, and has a large exchange area with plasma through the peritoneum, which is highly permeable for small molecules. Diffusion becomes virtually zero for molecules with a molecular weight of >100000 Da. In women with the luteinized unruptured follicle (LUF) syndrome, concentrations of oestrogens and progesterone are much lower in the luteal phase. Endometriosis is associated with sterile low-grade inflammation, increased concentrations of activated macrophages and many of their secretions, such as cytokines, growth factors and angiogenic factors. Concentrations of CA-125 and of glycodelins are also increased, secreted locally by the endometrial cells. Natural killer (NK) cell function declines, possibly mediated by glycodelins or local intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) -1 shedding. The ovary is also a specific microenvironment, with steroid hormone concentrations 1000-fold higher in follicles than in plasma. Endometrial and superficially implanted cells are influenced by peritoneal fluid concentrations so that local environment, rather than inherent cellular differences could explain differences between superficial endometriosis and eutopic endometrium. Differences between superficial implants and endometriotic disease, deep infiltrating or cystic ovarian endometriosis, may thus arise via different endocrine environments. Superficial endometrial implants are regulated by peritoneal fluid factors, whereas deep endometriosis and cystic ovarian endometriosis are influenced by blood or ovarian factors. The endometriotic disease theory considers superficial endometriotic implants and their remodelling as a physiological process in most women, and concentrates on the causes of severe endometriosis such as differences in the eutopic endometrium from women with and without endometriosis (which may indicate hereditary differences), the invasiveness of some endometriotic cells in vitro, focal 'shielding' of endometriotic foci by adhesions, and inhibition of NK activity by ICAM-1 and glycodelins. Endometriotic disease is thus seen as a benign tumour. The type of cellular lesion, hereditary and immunological environments and local hormone concentrations in the ovary and in peritoneal fluid, will decide expression as cystic ovarian endometriosis, deep endometriosis or adenomyosis externa, and whether the latter is associated with adhesions. (+info)
Leptin and reproduction.
In the few years since leptin was identified as a satiety factor in rodents, it has been implicated in the regulation of various physiological processes. Leptin has been shown to promote sexual maturation in rodent species and a role in reproduction has been investigated at various sites within the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. This review considers the evidence that leptin (or alteration in amount of body fat) can affect reproduction. There is evidence that leptin plays a permissive role in the onset of puberty, probably through action on the hypothalamus, where leptin receptors are found in cells that express appetite-regulating peptides. There is little evidence that leptin has a positive effect on the pituitary gonadotrophs and the gonads. There is also very little indication that leptin acts in an acute manner to regulate reproduction in the short term. It seems more likely that leptin is a 'barometer' of body condition that sends signals to the brain. Studies in vitro have shown negative effects on ovarian steroid production and there are no reports of effects on testicular function. Leptin concentrations in plasma increase in women during pregnancy, owing to production by the placenta but the functional significance of this is unknown. A number of factors that affect the production and action of leptin have yet to be studied in detail. (+info)
Effect of shellfish calcium on the apparent absorption of calcium and bone metabolism in ovariectomized rats.
Fossil shellfish powder (FS) and Ezo giant scallop shell powder (EG) were rendered soluble with lactate and citrate under decompression (FSEx and EGEx, respectively) and we examined the effects of lactate-citrate solubilization of FS and EG on mineral absorption, tissue mineral contents, serum biochemical indices and bone mineral density (BMD) in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. The apparent absorption ratios of minerals tended to be high in the rats fed with the solubilized mineral sources, those in the FSEx group being significantly higher than in the FS group. There was no significant difference in the tibia mineral content among the OVX groups. BMD at the distal femoral diaphysis was significantly increased by FSEx and EGEx feeding. It is suggested that solubilization with lactate and citrate under decompression increased the solubility and bioavailability of calcium from such natural sources of shellfish calcium as FS and EG. (+info)