(1/2710) Prolonged mating in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) increases likelihood of ovulation and embryo number.

Prairie voles are induced ovulators that mate frequently in brief bouts over a period of approximately 24 h. We examined 1) impact of mating duration on ovulation and embryo number, 2) incidence of fertilization, 3) temporal pattern of embryo development, 4) embryo progression through the reproductive tract over time, and 5) embryo development in culture. Mating was videotaped to determine first copulation, and the ovaries were examined and the reproductive tracts flushed at 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, and 24 h and 2, 3, and 4 days after first copulation. The number of mature follicles and fresh corpora lutea and the number and developmental stage of embryos were quantified. One, two-, and four-cell embryos were cultured in Whitten's medium. Mature follicles were present at the earliest time examined (6 h). Thirty-eight percent of females that had been paired for < 12 h after the first copulation ovulated, whereas all females paired >/= 12 h after the first copulation ovulated. Virtually all (> 99%) oocytes recovered from females paired for >/= 12 h after first copulation were fertilized. Pairing time after first copulation and mean copulation-bout duration were significant (p < 0.05) determinants of embryo number. Embryos entered the uterine horns and implanted on Days 3 and 4, respectively, after first copulation (Day 0). Embryos cultured in vitro underwent approximately one cell division per day, a rate similar to that in vivo. We conclude that prairie voles ovulate reliably after pairing for >/= 12 h, although some females showed exceptional sensitivity not predicted by the variables quantified. Prolonged mating for longer than 12 h increased the total embryos produced. This mechanism likely has adaptive significance for increasing offspring number.  (+info)

(2/2710) Precocious estrus and reproductive ability induced by PG 600 in prepuberal gilts.

A total of 29 SPF Large White prepuberal gilts (mean age 152 days at treatment) were examined for estrous and ovulatory responses after PG 600 treatment. After treatment, 85.2% of the gilts showed standing estrus within 6 days. Whereas the treatment-to-estrus interval and duration were 3.7 and 1.9 days respectively. As ovulation occurred on Day 5 to 6, appropriate timing of artificial insemination would be about 4 days after treatment. Fertility of gilts revealed to be excellent, giving rise to a high percentage of normal embryos, 85.3%. Meanwhile, development and growth of fetuses were mostly normal. Other reproductive performances recorded were: mean litter size 6.8; mean birth weight 1.26 kg; weaning-to-return estrus interval 5 to 8 days. In conclusion, PG 600 was found to be useful in inducing fertile estrus in prepuberal gilts, a result which will be of interest for commercial pig farms.  (+info)

(3/2710) No association between the -308 polymorphism in the tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) promoter region and polycystic ovaries.

The tumour necrosis factor (TNF)2 allele appears to be linked with increased insulin resistance and obesity, conditions often found in overweight patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The significance of TNFalpha polymorphism in relation to the clinical and biochemical parameters associated with PCOS was investigated in 122 well-characterized patients with polycystic ovaries (PCO). Of these, 84 had an abnormal menstrual cycle and were classified as having PCOS, while the remaining 38 had a normal menstrual cycle and were classified as having PCO. There were a further 28 individuals without PCO (non-PCO) and 108 individuals whose PCO status was undetermined (reference population). The promoter region of the TNFalpha gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the presence or absence of the polymorphism at -308 was determined by single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The less common TNF allele (TNF2) was found as TNF1/2 or TNF2/2 in 11/38 (29%) of PCO subjects, 25/84 (30%) of PCOS subjects, 7/28 (25%) of non-PCO subjects, and 45/108 (42%) of the reference population. There was no significant difference in the incidence of the TNF2 allele between the groups. The relationship of TNF genotype to clinical and biochemical parameters was examined. In both the PCO group and the PCOS group, the presence of the TNF2 allele was significantly associated with lower glucose values obtained from the glucose tolerance testing (P<0.05). The TNF genotype was not significantly associated with any clinical or biochemical parameter measured in the PCO, PCOS or non-PCOS groups. Thus, the TNFalpha -308 polymorphism does not appear to strongly influence genetic susceptibility to polycystic ovaries.  (+info)

(4/2710) Intraperitoneal insemination of the guinea pig with synchronized estrus induced by progesterone implant.

Female guinea pigs with synchronized ovulation by means of implantation of progesterone-filled tubing (P-tube) followed by a progesterone injection, were inseminated by intraperitoneal injection with sperm suspension. First, to obtain the optimum conditions for insemination, the females were inseminated singly over the range of 1-10 x 10(7) spermatozoa before and after the synchronized ovulation. The incidence of conception and implantation was 100% in the females given more than 5 x 10(7)/animal at 9:00 h on the 5th day after removal of the P-tube. Second, the reproductive ability of the inseminated females under this optimal condition was observed throughout the pregnancy to delivery. Inseminated females had a mean +/- S.D. gestation period of 68.7 +/- 0.5 days, a litter size of 2.8 +/- 0.6 pups and body weight of 110 +/- 14 g. These data were comparable to those of naturally-mated females. Our findings suggest that the artificial insemination by intraperitoneal injection in combination with the synchronized estrus technique is very useful for production control in a small colony of guinea pigs.  (+info)

(5/2710) Caffeine consumption and menstrual function.

The relation between caffeine intake and menstrual function was examined in 403 healthy premenopausal women who belonged to Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in 1990-1991. A telephone interview collected information about caffeinated beverage intake as well as other lifestyle, demographic, occupational, and environmental factors. Subjects collected daily urine samples and completed a daily diary for an average of five menstrual cycles. Metabolites of estrogen and progesterone were measured in the urine, each cycle was characterized as anovulatory or ovulatory, and a probable day of ovulation was selected when appropriate. Logistic regression and repeated measures analyses were performed on menstrual parameters. Women whose caffeine consumption was heavy (>300 mg of caffeine per day) had less than a third of the risk for long menses (> or =8 days) compared with women who did not consume caffeine (adjusted odds ratio = 0.30, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.66). Those whose caffeine consumption was heavy also had a doubled risk for short cycle length (< or =24 days) (adjusted odds ratio = 2.00, 95% confidence interval 0.98-4.06); this association was also evident in those whose caffeine consumption was heavy who did not smoke (adjusted odds ratio = 2.11, 95% confidence interval 1.03-4.33). Caffeine intake was not strongly related to an increased risk for anovulation, short luteal phase (< or =10 days), long follicular phase (> or =24 days), long cycle (> or =36 days), or measures of within-woman cycle variability.  (+info)

(6/2710) Comparative expression of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone receptors in ovarian follicles from high and low prolific sheep breeds.

Expression of gonadotropin receptors and granulosa cell sensitivity to gonadotropin hormones by small (1-3 mm) and large (3.5-7 mm) follicles were compared in Romanov (ROM, ovulation rate = 3) and Ile-de-France (IF, ovulation rate = 1) ewes in the early and late follicular phase. In healthy follicles, LH receptor levels in granulosa cells increased with increasing follicular size (p < 0. 001) while FSH receptor levels decreased (p < 0.05). In granulosa cells of large follicles, LH receptor (LHR) mRNA levels were greater in the late than in the early follicular phase (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, for ROM and IF, respectively). In the early follicular phase, LHR levels in granulosa (p < 0.001) and theca cells (p < 0.05) of small follicles were greater in ROM than in IF ewes. FSH receptor mRNA levels in granulosa cells of small and large ROM follicles were greater than in the corresponding IF follicles (p < 0.05). Finally, a greater responsiveness (increase in cAMP secretion) to both FSH and hCG was observed by granulosa cells collected during the early follicular phase from ROM vs. IF ewes. Data provide evidence that the greater ovulation rate in the ROM as compared to the IF breed is associated with a greater gonadotropin responsiveness during the early follicular phase.  (+info)

(7/2710) Effect of pelvic endometrial implants on overall reproductive functions of female rats.

The effects of pelvic endometrial implants on the overall reproductive potential of female rats were investigated. After homologous transplantation in the peritoneum, the ectopic endometrium developed into highly vascularized nodes that gradually increased in mass until the 9th week postsurgery and then plateaued. In the presence of these implants, overall reproductive function was adversely affected. The effect was of greatest magnitude during 50-70 days posttransplantation. As compared with values in corresponding controls, ovulation was reduced by 43% (6 of 14) (p < 0.05), mating rate was reduced by 44% (12 of 27) (p < 0.025), and premature termination of pregnancy occurred in 34% (5 of 15) of rats. Wastage of pregnancy, which included complete termination or reduction of fetal number, occurred during the postimplantation course of gestation. Furthermore, 100% of the rats with transplants failed to respond to the copulomimetic stimulation for the induction of pseudopregnancy (p < 0.01, compared with corresponding controls). However, on exposure to vasectomized males, 46% (6 of 13) of these rats exhibited development of pseudopregnancy (p < 0.05, compared with corresponding group receiving copulomimetic stimulation). Increased rate of mating failure and differential pseudopregnancy rates after copulomimetic and natural cervical stimulation suggest that the rats with endometrial explants possibly had an absence or a short appearance of behavioral estrus. Hormonal assessment during the preovulatory phase showed a tendency toward lower mean levels of preovulatory estradiol and significantly lower LH (p < 0.01) and progesterone (p < 0.01) concentrations. The adversely affected reproductive functions may be a secondary consequence of these altered endocrine milieus.  (+info)

(8/2710) Volume-regulated anion and organic osmolyte channels in mouse zygotes.

Whole-cell currents in mouse zygotes were measured using the patch-clamp technique in whole-cell mode. Upon exposure to hypotonic medium, patch-clamped zygotes increased in volume and developed a large swelling-activated current. The swelling-activated current was blocked by Cl- channel blockers, and the magnitude of the current and reversal potential were dependent on the Cl- gradient. Thus, the swelling-activated current had the properties of a current mediated by anion channels. However, in addition to being permeable to Cl- and I- (with I- having the greater permeability), there was also a significant swelling-activated conductance to aspartate and taurine, indicating that the swelling-activated channels in zygotes conduct not only inorganic anions but organic osmolytes as well. This swelling-activated anion and organic osmolyte pathway likely underlies the ability of zygotes to recover from an increase in volume, and it may function to regulate intracellular amino acid concentrations.  (+info)