Prolactin replacement fails to inhibit reactivation of gonadotropin secretion in rams treated with melatonin under long days.
This study tested the hypothesis that prolactin (PRL) inhibits gonadotropin secretion in rams maintained under long days and that treatment with melatonin (s.c. continuous-release implant; MEL-IMP) reactivates the reproductive axis by suppressing PRL secretion. Adult Soay rams were maintained under long days (16L:8D) and received 1) no further treatment (control, C); 2) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and injections of saline/vehicle for the first 8 wk (M); 3) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and exogenous PRL (s.c. 5 mg ovine PRL 3x daily) for the first 8 wk (M+P). The treatment with melatonin induced a rapid increase in the blood concentrations of FSH and testosterone, rapid growth of the testes, an increase in the frequency of LH pulses, and a decrease in the LH response to N-methyl-D,L-aspartic acid. The concomitant treatment with exogenous PRL had no effect on these reproductive responses but caused a significant delay in the timing of the sexual skin color and growth of the winter pelage. These results do not support the hypothesis and suggest that PRL at physiological long-day concentrations, while being totally ineffective as an inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion, acts in the peripheral tissues and skin to maintain summer characteristics. (+info)
Glucocorticoid receptor immunoreactivity in neurons and pituitary cells implicated in reproductive functions in rainbow trout: a double immunohistochemical study.
In order to identify the nature of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-expressing neurons and pituitary cells that potentially mediate the negative effects of stress on reproductive performance, double immunohistochemical stainings were performed in the brain and pituitary of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). To avoid possible cross-reactions during the double staining studies, combinations of primary antibodies raised in different species were used, and we report here the generation of an antibody raised in guinea pig against the rainbow trout glucocorticoid receptor (rtGR). The results obtained in vitellogenic females showed that GnRH-positive neurons in the caudal telencephalon/anterior preoptic region consistently exhibited rtGR immunoreactivity. Similarly, in the anterior ventral preoptic region, a group of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons, known for inhibiting gonadotropin (GTH)-2 secretion during vitellogenesis, was consistently shown to strongly express GR. Finally, we show that a large majority of the GTH-1 (FSH-like) and GTH-2 (LH-like) cells of the pituitary exhibit rtGR immunoreactivity. These results indicate that cortisol may affect the neuroendocrine control of the reproductive process of the rainbow trout at multiple sites. (+info)
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)
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)
The effects of a t-allele (tAE5) in the mouse on the lymphoid system and reproduction.
Mice homozygous for tAE5, a recessive allele at the complex T-locus, are characterized by their unique short-tailed phenotype as well as by runting and low fertility. Histological and histochemical studies of the lymphoid and reproductive systems disclosed structural changes in the mutant spleen resembling those found in autoimmune conditions. Involution of the mutant thymus was greatly accelerated compared to normal. Necrotic changes occurred during spermiogenesis whereas ovarian structure was normal in mutants. The possible mechanisms of the mutant effects are discussed in the framework of other similar syndromes and the mode of action of alleles at the complex T-locus. (+info)
Ultrastructure of meiosis-inducing (heterotypic) and non-inducing (homotypic) cell unions in conjugation of Blepharisma.
Cells of mating types I and II of Blepharisma japonicum interact with each other and unite in heterotypic (type I-type II) or homotypic (type I-type I, type II-type II) pairs. Heterotypic pairs undergo meiosis and other nuclear changes of conjugation, while homotypic pairs remain united for days without the nuclear changes taking place. We compared cell unions of these two kinds of pairs at the ultrastructural level. In the homotypic union, cell membranes are closely juxtaposed, separated by a distance of about 20 nm. This arrangement is interrupted in some places by vacuoles and small cytoplasmic bridges. Saccule-like structures tend to be more abundant near the united surfaces. Microtubules running at right or slightly obtuse angles with the cell surface (PACM microtubules) are characteristically present at the united region of cells. These structures are very similar to those observed in earlier stages of the heterotypic union. However, in homotypic pairs, cells unite only at the anterior half of the peristome, while in heterotypic pairs cells unite also at the posterior half of the peristome, where the cell membrane totally disappears in later stages. PACM microtubules persist for at least 18 h in homotypic unions, while they disappear within a few hours in heterotypic unions. These differences between the two kinds of cell union are discussed in relation to the initiation mechanism of meiosis and other nuclear changes of conjugation. Similarities between homotypic union and cell junctions in multicellular organisms are also discussed. (+info)
Evaluation of life-cycle herd efficiency in cow-calf systems of beef production.
A deterministic beef efficiency model (BEM) was used to evaluate life-cycle herd efficiency (LCHE) in cow-calf beef production systems using four breed groups of beef cattle. The breed groups were Beef Synthetic #1 (SY1), Beef Synthetic #2 (SY2), Dairy Synthetic (DS), and purebred Hereford (HE). The LCHE was defined over the lifetime of the herd as the ratio of total output (lean meat equivalent) to total input (feed equivalent). Breed differences in LCHE were predicted with the larger/slower maturing DS being most efficient at each age of herd disposal and reproductive rate. This was mainly because, at any average age at culling, the dams of DS breed group were less mature and so had been carrying relatively lower maintenance loads for shorter periods and positively influencing LCHE. Higher LCHE was predicted with improvement in reproductive performance if there were no associated extra costs. However, this declined markedly if there was a delay in marketing of offspring. As average age at culling increased from 4 to 6 yr, efficiency declined sharply, but it began to recover beyond this age in most breed groups. We concluded that the slower maturing DS breed group may be more efficient on a herd basis in cow-calf systems and that improvements in reproductive rate not associated with extra costs improve life-cycle efficiency. Culling cows soon after their replacements are produced seems efficient. (+info)
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone improves reproductive performance of dairy cows with slow involution of the reproductive tract.
Eighty multiparous Holstein cows were assigned randomly at calving to receive either 100 microg of GnRH or saline 13 or 14 d postpartum (PP). From 4 to 28 d PP the cows' reproductive organs were palpated weekly per rectum, and cows were subclassified within each group as undergoing slow (delayed) cervical and uterine involution (abnormal) or as normal cows. Last milk obtained after removing the milking machine was assayed for progesterone 3 times a week for 120 d PP. Fourteen of the 80 cows were removed from the experiment because of culling or various veterinary treatments of pathologic conditions that could confound analysis of the GnRH treatment effects. As expected, the treatment of normal cows with GnRH had no significant effects on the first estrus or the first estrous cycle PP, on services per conception, days open, or any other reproductive trait measured. However, in the abnormal group of cows receiving saline, first rebreeding after calving was delayed (81 vs. 67 d), fewer were pregnant by 105 d PP (23 vs. 64%), and number of days open was greater (121 vs. 87 d) compared with those receiving GnRH; all were significant (P<.05). Treated abnormal cows were equivalent to the control normal cows. Thus, GnRH given 13 to 14 d PP to cows characterized as undergoing slow involution of the reproductive system, but with no other clinical problems, seems to assist in promoting rapid normal reproductive function. Subsequent losses due to culling were greatly reduced. (+info)