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  • Author: Michal Jeseta x
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Cytoplasmic and nuclear maturation of oocytes in mammals – living in the shadow of cells developmental capability

Abstract

The pig is a polyestrous animal in which the ovarian cycle lasts about 21 days and results in ovulation of 10-25 oocytes. Ovum reaches 120-150 μm in diameter, with the surrounding corona radiata providing communication with the environment. The zona pellucida is composed of glycoproteins: ZP1, ZP2, ZP3. In the course of oogenesis, RNA and protein accumulation for embryonic development occurs. Maternal mRNA is the template for protein production. Nuclear, cytoplasmic and genomic maturity condition the ability of the ovum to undergo fertilization. There are several differences in protein expression profiles observed between in vitro and in vivo conditions. Oogenesis is the process of differentiating female primary sex cells into gametes. During development gonocytes migrate from the yolk sac into the primary gonads with TGF-1, fibronectin, and laminin regulating this process. Cell cycle is blocked in dictyotene. Primary oocyte maturation is resumed before each ovulation and lasts until the next block in metaphase II. At the moment of penetration of the sperm into the ovum, the metaphase block is broken. The oocytes, surrounded by a single layer of granular cells, form the ovarian follicle. The exchange of signals between the oocyte and the cumulus cells done by gap-junctions, as well as various endo and paracrine signals. The contact between the corona radiata cells provides substances necessary for growth, through the same gap junctions. Studies on follicular cells can be used to amplify the knowledge of gene expression in these cells, in order to open way for potential clinical applications.

Open access
Protein oligomerization is the biochemical process highly up-regulated in porcine oocytes before in vitro maturation (IVM)

Abstract

A wide variety of mechanisms controlling oligomerization are observed. The dynamic nature of protein oligomerization is important for bioactivity control. The oocyte must undergo a series of changes to become a mature form before it can fully participate in the processes associated with its function as a female gamete. The growth of oocytes in the follicular environment is accompanied by surrounding somatic cumulus (CCs) and granulosa cells (GCs). It has been shown that oocytes tested before and after in vitro maturation (IVM) differ significantly in the transcriptomic and proteomic profiles. The aim of this study was to determine new proteomic markers for the oligomerization of porcine oocyte proteins that are associated with cell maturation competence. The Affymetrix microarray assay was performed to examine the gene expression profile associated with protein oligomerization in oocytes before and after IVM. In total, 12258 different transcriptomes were analyzed, of which 419 genes with lower expression in oocytes after IVM. We found 9 genes: GJA1, VCP, JUP, MIF, MAP3K1, INSR, ANGPTL4, EIF2AK3, DECR1, which were significantly down-regulated in oocytes after IVM (in vitro group) compared to oocytes analyzed before IVM (in vivo group). The higher expression of genes involved in the oligomerization of the protein before IVM indicates that they can be recognized as important markers of biological activation of proteins necessary for the further growth and development of pig embryos.

Open access
Pathogenesis and pathophysiology of ovarian follicular cysts in mammals

Abstract

Ovarian cysts remain to be one of the most common and serious problems in reproduction of farm animals, as well as humans. Apart from causing the fall in reproductive potential of the ovaries, occupying the place in which folliculogenesis and oogenesis occur, they also cause hormone imbalances, by preventing corpus luteum formation, hence lowering the amount of steroid hormone production. While singular cysts rarely affect fertility, hormone fluctuations that are associated with their presence promotes their multiplication, which usually has more adverse effects. While the cysts are easily detectable in humans, possessing distinct echography while examined by ultrasound, multiple factors prevent widespread use of effective detection methods among large herds of farm animals. Because of lack of noticeable symptoms of early stages of such malignancies, they rarely get detected before the animal stops to exhibit symptoms of heat. That causes scientific research to be focused on not only methods of detection, but also the ways to negate the effects of ovarian cysts and bring the affected specimen back to reproductive potential. Despite that, high costs of diagnosis and treatment, cause them to be uncommon on commercial farms. As lack of fertility eliminates animals from breeding purposed herds, ovarian cysts persist as a cause of large losses of the animal husbandry business. Continuous research, focused on natural examples of ovarian cysts should be conducted, in order to improve methods of detection, prevention, treatment and recovery from the effects of ovarian cysts.

Open access
Analysis of expression of genes responsible for regulation of cellular proliferation and migration – microarray approach based on porcine oocyte model

Abstract

The formation of mammalian oocytes begins in the ovary during fetal development. The proper development of oocytes requires close communication with surrounding somatic cells, the substances they emit allow proper maturation of oocytes. Somatic cumulus (CC) cells and oocytes form cumulus-oocyte (COC) complexes.

In this study, the Affymetrix microarray analysis was used to investigate changes in gene expression occurring in oocytes before and after in vitro maturation (IVM). The aim of the study was to examine oocyte genes involved in two ontological groups, “regulation of cell migration” and “regulation of cell proliferation” discovered by the microarray method.

We found a reduced expression of all 28 genes tested in the ontological groups: ID2, VEGFA, BTG2, CCND2, EDNRA, TGFBR3, GJA, LAMA2, RTN4, CDK6, IHH, MAGED1, INSR, CD9, PTGES, TXNIP, ITGB1, SMAD4, MAP3K1, NOTCH2 , IGFBP7, KLF10, KIT, TPM1, PLD1, BTG3, CD47 and MITF. We chose the most regulated genes down the IVM culture, and pointed out those belonging to two ontological groups.

Increased expression of the described genes before IVM maturation may indicate the important role of these genes in the process of ovum maturation. After the maturation process, the proteins produced by them did not play such an important role. In summary, the study provides us with many genes that can serve as molecular markers of oocyte processes associated with in vitro maturation. This knowledge can be used for detailed studies on the regulation of oocyte maturation processes.

Running title: Genes regulating cellular migration and proliferation in porcine oocytes

Open access
The use of mesenchymal stem cells in veterinary medicine

Abstract

Constant advances in medicine, both human and veterinary, lead to continuous discovery of new drugs and treatments. Recently, the aspect of stem cell use in regenerative medicine has been very popular. There are still too few clinical trials on animals that could precisely estimate the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapy. However, stem cells are a source of extraordinary potential for multiplication and differentiation which, if used properly, can prove to be an effective mean of treatment of numerous diseases that are currently considered untreatable. The purpose of review is the characterization and clinical use of stem cells in mostly occurring diseases. Particular attention has been given to the issue of mesenchymal stromal cells, which so far have been most widely used in clinical practice. Current research into stem cells has allowed scientists to discover many different types of these cells, describe their characteristics and divide them into groups, with the most important being embryonic stem cells and somatic (adult) stem cells. Adult stem cells, due to their availability and lack of ethical problems, are used in veterinary practice. Different types of mesenchymal stem cells are distinguished, based on their origin. Adipose tissue derived stem cells and stromal vascular fraction find the widest clinical application. In veterinary medicine, stem cells therapies are most commonly used in the case of horse orthopedic injuries and in diseases of various origin in dogs and cats. While further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of cell therapies, they have much potential to find plenty of potential applications in future medicine.

Open access
Differential expression pattern of genes involved in oxygen metabolism in epithelial oviductal cells during primary in vitro culture

Abstract

Oxygen metabolism is crucial in establishing successful pregnancy, since excessive amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may exert deleterious effects on the developing embryo. There are several defense mechanisms against oxidative stress in the female reproductive tract, including production of antioxidant enzymes by oviductal epithelial cells (OECs). Undoubtedly, OECs play major part in female fertility and may also serve as an in vitro model of the oviduct. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the expression of genes involved in oxygen metabolism. We have isolated OECs from oviducts of crossbred gilts (n=45) and maintained their in vitro culture for 30 days, collecting their RNA at days 1, 7, 15 and 30. The gene expression was determined with the use of Affymetrix® Porcine Gene 1.1 ST Array Strip. Our results revealed 166 differentially expressed genes belonging to four ontology groups: „cellular response to oxidative stress”, “cellular response to oxygen-containing compound”, “cellular response to oxygen levels” and “cellular response to reactive oxygen species”, most of which are also involved in other major processes in the organism. However, our findings provide a valuable insight into porcine reproductive biology and may be utilized in optimization of assisted reproduction techniques.

Running title: Genes involved in oxygen metabolism in oviductal epithelial cells

Open access
Transforming growth factor (TGF) – is it a key protein in mammalian reproductive biology?

Abstract

The superfamily of transforming growth factors β (TGF-β) consists of cytokines that are crucial in regulating the organism’s biological functions and includes three isoforms of TGF-β protein, Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH), inhibin A and B, activins, 20 bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP1-20) and 9 growth factors (GDF1-9). Their signal transduction pathway involves three types of membrane receptors that exhibit a serine/threonine kinase activity, as well as the Smad proteins. After ligand binding, the Smad proteins are phosphorylated and translocated to the nucleus, where they interact with transcription factors and affect gene expression. TGF-β family members are involved in cell growth and differentiation, as well as chemo-taxis and apoptosis, and play an important role during an inflammation. Defects in TGF-β proteins or in their signalling pathway underlie many severe diseases, such as systemic lupus, systemic scleroderma, bronchial asthma, atherosclerosis, hyperthyroidism or cancer. These factors are also crucial in mammal reproductive functions, as they are involved in folliculogenesis, steroidogenesis, ovulation, maternal-embryo interaction, embryo development and uterine decidualization. Their defects result in issues with fertility. This review focuses on the relevance of TGF-β family members in a mammal reproduction with an emphasis on three TGF-β isoforms, inhibins A and B, GDF-9 and their signal transduction pathway.

Open access
The differentiation and transdifferentiation of epithelial cells in vitro – is it a new strategy in regenerative biomedicine?

Abstract

In modern medical research, stem cells are one of the main focuses, believed to be able to provide the solution to many currently unsolvable medical cases. However, their extraordinary potential for differentiation creates much obstacles in their potential application in clinical environment, without understanding the whole array of molecular mechanisms that drive the processes associated with their development and maturation. Because of that, there is a large need for studies that concern the most basic levels of those processes. Progenitor stem cells are a favorable target, as they are relatively lineage committed, making the amount of signaling required to reach the final form much lower. Their presence in the adult organism is also an advantage in their potential use, as they can be extracted without the need for storage from the moment of pre-natal development or birth. Epithelial tissues, because of their usual location or function, exhibit extraordinary level of plasticity and proliferative potential. That fact makes them one of the top candidates for use in applications such as tissue engineering, cell based therapies, regenerative and reconstructive medicine. The potential clinical application, however, need to be based on well developed methods, in order to provide an effective treatment without causing major side effects. To achieve that goal, a large amount of research, aiming to analyze the molecular basics of proliferation and differentiation of epithelial stem cells, and stem cells in general, needs to be conducted.

Open access
Analysis of fructose and mannose – regulatory peptides signaling pathway in porcine epithelial oviductal cells (OECs) primary cultured long-term in vitro

Abstract

The morphological and biochemical modification of oviductal epithelial cells (OECs) belongs to the compound process responsible for proper oocytes transport and successful fertilization. However, the main mechanisms which regulated this process are still not entirely known. Moreover, the OECs metabolism, which may be identified as the “cellular activity” marker, is poorly recognized. In this study we investigated the fructose and mannose metabolic pathway in porcine OECs primary long-term cultured in vitro.

In our study, we employ a primary long term in vitro culture (IVC) and microarray approach (the Affymetrix microarray were used for analysis of transcriptomic profile of OECs) for expression levels analysis.

We found that from the whole analyzed transcriptome, 1537 genes were upregulated and 995 were down regulated after 7 days of culture, 1471 genes were upregulated and 1061 were downregulated after 15 days of culture and 1329 genes were upregulated and 1203 were downregulated after 30 days of culture. Moreover, the differential expression of SORD, FPGT, PFKFB4, TPI1, MPI, ALDOC, HK2 and PFKFB3 at 24 hours, 7 day, 15 day and 30 day, was also observed.

We suggested that fructose and mannose metabolism may be important molecular bio-marker of porcine OECs capability in in vitro model. The metabolic profile is significantly accompanied by cells proliferation in vitro. The transcriptomic profile of SORD, FPGT, PFKFB4, TPI1, MPI, ALDOC, HK2 and PFKFB3 expression may be identified as “fingerprint” of fructose and mannose metabolism in OECs as well as involved in cellular in vitro developmental capacity in pigs.

Open access
Positive Regulation of Macromolecule Metabolic Process Belongs to the Main Mechanisms Crucial for Porcine Oocytes Maturation

Summary

The mammalian oocytes maturation is the compound process that involves morphological and molecular changes. These modifications include storage of macromolecules, which are crucial for proteins biosynthesis during periimplantation stages of embryo development. This study was aimed to investigate the genes expression profile encoding macromolecules important for regulation of proper porcine oocytes maturation.

The porcine oocytes were collected from large ovarian follicles and analyzed both before and after in vitro maturation (IVM). Additionally, to check the developmental competence status, brilliant crezyl blue test (BCB) was performed. The obtained cDNA was used for biotin labeling and fragmentation by AffymetrixGeneChip® WT Terminal Labeling and Hybridization (Affymetrix). The preliminary analysis of the scanned chips was performed using AffymetrixGeneAtlasTM Operating Software. The created CEL files were imported into downstream data analysis software.

In results, we found expression of 419 different genes, 379 genes were down-regulated and 40 genes were up-regulated in relation to the oocyte transcriptome before in vitro procedure. We observed up-regulation of all genes involved in “positive regulation of macromolecule metabolic process” before IVM as compared to transcriptional profile analyzed after IVM.

In conclusion, we suggested that genes encoding proteins involved in macromolecule metabolism are important for achieving of porcine oocytes maturational stage. Moreover, the “activity of macromolecules metabolism” is much more increased in immature oocytes.

Open access