Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Reproduction".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 29408

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Farm Animal Reproduction & Animal Breeding, Division of Animal Science, Department of Agriculture, International Hellenic University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: semen preservation and artificial insemination; andrology-spermatology; neuroendocrinology of farm animal reproduction; effect of mycotoxins on semen characteristics; acrosome reaction; membrane and chromatin integrity and fertilization capacity
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Applied reproduction in farm animals is a very important objective when renewing generations for a given production purpose, mainly milk, meat or wool, according to species or breeds, and, in particular cases, the production of animals of high individual economic importance, as in horse racing. Several techniques have been developed for the effective control of reproduction in farm animals. For the male, semen, through the technology of artificial insemination, is now available for all farm animals and there is the possibility of delivering a small number of spermatozoa from the best pedigree sires to the maximum number of females with the best chance of fertilization. Appropriate control of the environment has provided the chance to produce semen in seasonal breeders, such as sheep and goats, and to keep them permanently at the top of their potential sperm production. For the female, as oestrus and ovulation can now efficiently be controlled, reproduction may be managed in different species of farm animal at any chosen period of the year. Different methods of reproductive technology (embryo manipulation, sexing and cloning of embryos, gene transfer) can further improve further the rate of genetic gain. Additionally, reproductive biotechnologies have helped increase understanding of many of the physiological events that occur in the reproduction of both males and females. Finally, genetic, anatomical, environmental, nutritional, metabolic, hormonal, immunological, pathological factors are resulting in reproductive failure.

The aim of this Special Issue is to stimulate and share information on applied reproduction in farm animals, concentrating on the following topics: reproductive processes; artificial insemination; management for improved reproduction; causes of reproductive failure.

Dr. Aristotelis G. Lymberopoulos
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • mating behavior
  • gestation
  • lactation
  • semen
  • artificial insemination
  • estrus synchronization
  • superovulation
  • embryo transfer
  • reproductive biotechnology
  • reproductive management
  • pregnancy diagnosis
  • environmental management
  • nutritional management
  • reproductive failure

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2206 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) Semen Quality and Semen Cryopreservation
by Violeta Igna, Ada Telea, Tiana Florea, Roxana Popp and Adrian Grozea
Animals 2022, 12(16), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162153 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2172
Abstract
The alarming decline in sturgeon populations doubled by growing demands for sturgeon products, urge us to prevent the loss of these species. Fish stocking in natural habitats and developing fish farms are viable solutions, which can be successfully implemented with the help of [...] Read more.
The alarming decline in sturgeon populations doubled by growing demands for sturgeon products, urge us to prevent the loss of these species. Fish stocking in natural habitats and developing fish farms are viable solutions, which can be successfully implemented with the help of reproductive biotechnologies. Despite the fact that semen cryopreservation is admittedly an important step for saving the Russian sturgeon, a reproducible standard method with good results has yet to be identified. Sperm quality assessment is essential for quantifying the impact of cryopreservation on spermatozoa. The purpose of our study was to provide additional information regarding semen cryopreservation and semen quality evaluation for the Russian sturgeon. Our study method is based on the use of two yolk-free extenders (with different cryoprotectants: DMSO and methanol) for freezing semen, using a simple freezing protocol. Parameters such as volume, concentration, motility, morphology and membrane integrity were evaluated. In conclusion, cryopreservation of Russian sturgeon spermatozoa using an extender containing methanol as cryoprotectant led to high egg fertilization percentages (72.67 ± 5.4%) even if the total motility values recorded for thawed semen were quite low (18–25%). Additionally, we identified two optimal stains for morphological studies and morphometry (Spermac stain kit and Trypan Blue Solution). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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11 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Expression of Hormones, Cytokines, and Antioxidants in Heat-Stressed Subfertile Female Dromedaries
by Moustafa M. Zeitoun, Derar R. Derar, Ahmed Ali and Yousef M. Alharbi
Animals 2022, 12(16), 2125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162125 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
The prevailing hot climate imposes heavy burdens on the productivity of the camel, goat, and sheep herds raised in the Gulf desert. Due to the lack of a reliable indicator for the various subfertility statuses in camel females, this study aimed to investigate [...] Read more.
The prevailing hot climate imposes heavy burdens on the productivity of the camel, goat, and sheep herds raised in the Gulf desert. Due to the lack of a reliable indicator for the various subfertility statuses in camel females, this study aimed to investigate the expression of inhibin, TGFά, ILß, FSH, sex and metabolic hormones, and antioxidants for the fertility status in camel females. Eighty-two subfertile and five fertile females were admitted to the university clinic with the complaint of repeat breeding with failed conception. The animal’s genital tracts were examined for reproductive soundness. Blood samples were withdrawn for hormonal, cytokines, and antioxidants determinations. Subfertile females were categorized into six groups; endometritis (EN, 28), inactive ovaries (IO, 20), ovarian hydrobursitis (BU, 19), vaginal adhesions (VA, 7), salpingitis (SA, 4), and cervicitis (CE, 4). Results revealed a significant increase in inhibin in all groups compared to control (68.2, 66.4, 61.8. 58.8, 58.3, 55.8, and 36 pg/mL, in CE, VA, IO, BU, EN, SA, and CON, respectively). TGFά, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and progesterone were not different among groups, whereas IL-ß differed among groups. FSH, estradiol, nitrous oxide, and glutathione were higher in CON compared with other groups. In conclusion, reproductive failures in camel females are reflected in the imbalances of endocrine, cytokines, and antioxidants bio-indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
14 pages, 2432 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of a Numerical, Real-Time Ultrasound Imaging Model for the Prediction of Litter Size in Pregnant Sows, with Machine Learning
by Konstantinos Kousenidis, Georgios Kirtsanis, Efstathia Karageorgiou and Dimitrios Tsiokos
Animals 2022, 12(15), 1948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151948 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2591
Abstract
The present study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of a numerical model, quantifying real-time ultrasonographic (RTU) images of pregnant sows, to predict litter size. The time of the test with the least error was also considered. A number of 4165 pregnancies in Farm [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of a numerical model, quantifying real-time ultrasonographic (RTU) images of pregnant sows, to predict litter size. The time of the test with the least error was also considered. A number of 4165 pregnancies in Farm 1 and 438 in Farm 2 were diagnosed twice, with the quality of the RTU images translated into rated-scale values (RSV1 and RSV2). When a deep neural network (DNN) was trained, the evaluation of the method showed that the prediction of litter size can be performed with little error. Root square mean error (RMSE) for training, validation with data from Farm 1, and testing on the data from Farm 2 were 0.91, 0.97, and 1.05, respectively. Corresponding mean absolute errors (MAE) were 2.27, 2.41, and 2.58. Time appeared to be a critical factor for the accuracy of the model. The smallest MAE was achieved when the RTU was performed at days 20–22. It is concluded that a numerical, RTU imaging model is a prominent predictor of litter size, when a DNN is used. Therefore, early routinely evaluated RTU images of pregnant sows can predict litter size, with machine learning, in an automated manner and provide a useful tool for the efficient management of pregnant sows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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9 pages, 374 KiB  
Article
Physical Traits and Reproductive Measurements Associated with Early Conception in Beef Replacement Heifers
by Megan S. Hindman, Brian Huedepohl, Grant A. Dewell, Troy A. Brick, Gustavo S. Silva and Terry J. Engelken
Animals 2022, 12(15), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151910 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
Developing and raising replacement heifers requires a large capital investment for producers. Therefore, it is imperative to discover traits and management practices to eliminate subfertile heifers prior to breeding and pregnancy determination. In this study, four years of data was analyzed from a [...] Read more.
Developing and raising replacement heifers requires a large capital investment for producers. Therefore, it is imperative to discover traits and management practices to eliminate subfertile heifers prior to breeding and pregnancy determination. In this study, four years of data was analyzed from a centralized beef heifer development yard in the Midwest of the United States. The objective of this study was to analyze various heifer physical characteristics and management practices in order to quantify their impact on pregnancy and date of conception. Logistic regression models were built to investigate risk factors associated with conception to artificial insemination (AI), pregnancy by natural service after AI exposure, and pregnancy in the first 21-days of the breeding season. Age at entry, average daily gain from entry to breeding, pelvic width, and year were associated with AI pregnancy (p < 0.05). On the second model, average daily gain from entry to yearling weight, weight at breeding, weight at pregnancy diagnosis, and age at AI were significantly associated with pregnancy. There were no associations with reproductive tract score with any of the response variables analyzed. These results indicate there are physical measurements that can be used to improve the ability to select and develop heifers for improved reproductive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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15 pages, 16054 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Ghrelin on the Maturation of Sheep Oocytes and Early Embryonic Development In Vitro
by Daqing Wang, Yanyan Yang, Yongli Song, Shaoyin Fu, Xiaolong He, Biao Wang, Liwei Wang, Xin Chen, Xihe Li, Yongbin Liu and Guifang Cao
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091158 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
In vitro maturation (IVM) of sheep oocytes and early embryonic development are of great scientific importance for the study of reproductive development in sheep. Ghrelin is an important hormone that regulates the secretion of the growth hormone (GH). In this study, different gradients [...] Read more.
In vitro maturation (IVM) of sheep oocytes and early embryonic development are of great scientific importance for the study of reproductive development in sheep. Ghrelin is an important hormone that regulates the secretion of the growth hormone (GH). In this study, different gradients of ghrelin (0, 100, 200, and 300 ng/mL) were added to the IVM system of sheep oocytes to observe their cell morphology, and Hosesth 33342 staining was used to determine the time taken for oocytes to reach different developmental stages. We found 200 ng/mL ghrelin to be the optimal concentration. The RNA-seq analysis showed that many signaling pathways were significantly altered by ghrelin. Cell cycle, Wnt, and oxidative phosphorylation were activated; the P53 was inhibited. These pathways together regulate the maturation of oocytes and early embryonic development in vitro. The effects of the addition of ghrelin were verified by the expression of GLUT1 in early embryonic development. The results suggest that adding ghrelin shortens the duration of the IVM of sheep oocytes and hinders early embryonic development. This study provides new insights into the effects of exogenous ghrelin on sheep oocyte maturation and early embryonic development in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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11 pages, 1101 KiB  
Article
In Vivo Follicular and Uterine Arterial Indices as an Indicator of Successful Hormonal Stimulation for Inactive Ovaries in Repeat-Breeder Crossbred Dairy Cows Using a Short-Term Progesterone-Based Programme
by Punnawut Yama, Chayanon Yadmak, Molarat Sangkate, Jakree Jitjumnong, Warittha U-krit, Nalinthip Promsao, Napatsorn Montha, Paiwan Sudwan, Raktham Mektrirat, Julakorn Panatuk, Wilasinee Inyawilert, Korawan Sringarm, Chompunut Lumsangkul, Wanaporn Tapingkae, Hien Van Doan, Pin-Chi Tang and Tossapol Moonmanee
Animals 2022, 12(3), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030292 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2848
Abstract
An investigation of vascularity of ovarian and uterine arteries after hormonal treatment for inactive ovaries using the short-term progesterone-based programme had not yet been explored in repeat-breeder crossbred dairy cows. To investigate the in vivo follicular and uterine arterial indices as an indicator [...] Read more.
An investigation of vascularity of ovarian and uterine arteries after hormonal treatment for inactive ovaries using the short-term progesterone-based programme had not yet been explored in repeat-breeder crossbred dairy cows. To investigate the in vivo follicular and uterine arterial indices as an indicator of successful hormonal stimulation for inactive ovaries in repeat-breeder crossbred dairy cattle, 59 cows with inactive ovaries were induced with a 5-day progesterone-based protocol. At the completion of hormonal synchronisation, cows were divided into two groups according to the size of the largest follicle (LF) on their ovary: small (≤10.0 mm) and large (>10.0 mm) LFs. Vascularities of LF and uterine artery (UtA) were evaluated using a colour Doppler tool. Cows that presented with large LF had greater follicular and UtA vascular indices (p < 0.001) and pregnancy rate (p < 0.01) than cows bearing small LF on their ovary. There was a positive correlation (p < 0.001) between follicular size and LF and UtA vascular indices. Our findings highlighted that in vivo LF and UtA vascular indices at the completion of hormonal stimulation might be a promising indicator for predicting success in ovarian response to hormonal stimulation for inactive ovaries of infertile crossbred dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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21 pages, 1177 KiB  
Article
Effects of Extra-Long-Acting Recombinant Bovine FSH (bscrFSH) on Cattle Superovulation
by Miguel A. Gutiérrez-Reinoso, Constanza J. Aguilera, Felipe Navarrete, Joel Cabezas, Fidel O. Castro, Ignacio Cabezas, Oliberto Sánchez, Manuel García-Herreros and Lleretny Rodríguez-Alvarez
Animals 2022, 12(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020153 - 9 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4045
Abstract
Over the last few years, several commercial FSH products have been developed for cattle superovulation (SOV) purposes in Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) programs. The SOV response is highly variable among individuals and remains one of the main limiting factors in obtaining [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, several commercial FSH products have been developed for cattle superovulation (SOV) purposes in Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) programs. The SOV response is highly variable among individuals and remains one of the main limiting factors in obtaining a profitable number of transferable embryos. In this study, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from different origins was included in two SOV protocols, (a) FSH from purified pig pituitary extract (NIH-FSH-p; two doses/day, 12 h apart, four consecutive days); and (b) extra-long-acting bovine recombinant FSH (bscrFSH; a single dose/day, four consecutive days), to test the effects of bscrFSH on the ovarian response, hormone profile levels, in vivo embryo production and the pluripotency gene expression of the obtained embryos. A total of 68 healthy primiparous red Angus cows (Bos taurus) were randomly distributed into two experimental groups (n = 34 each). Blood sample collection for progesterone (P4) and cortisol (C) level determination was performed together with ultrasonographic assessment for ovarian size, follicles (FL) and corpora lutea (CL) quantification in each SOV protocol (Day 0, 4, 8, and 15). Moreover, FSH profiles were monitorised throughout both protocols (Day 0, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 15). In vivo embryo quantity and quality (total structures, morulae, blastocysts, viable, degenerated and blocked embryos) were recorded in each SOV protocol. Finally, embryo quality in both protocols was assessed by the analysis of the expression level of crucial genes for early embryo development (OCT4, IFNt, CDX2, BCL2, and BAX). P4 and cortisol concentration peaks in both SOV protocols were obtained on Day 15 and Day 8, respectively, which were statistically different compared to the other time-points (p < 0.05). Ovarian dimensions increased from Day 0 to Day 15 irrespective of the SOV protocol considered (p < 0.05). Significant changes in CL number were observed over time till Day 15 irrespective of the SOV protocol applied (p < 0.05), being non- significantly different between SOV protocols within each time-point (p > 0.05). The number of CL was higher on Day 15 in the bscrFSH group compared to the NIH-FSH-p group (p < 0.05). The number of embryonic structures recovered was higher in the bscrFSH group (p = 0.025), probably as a result of a tendency towards a greater number of follicles developed compared to the NIH-FSH-p group. IFNt and BAX were overexpressed in embryos from the bscrFSH group (p < 0.05), with a fold change of 16 and 1.3, respectively. However, no statistical differences were detected regarding the OCT4, CDX2, BCL2, and BCL2/BAX expression ratio (p > 0.05). In conclusion, including bscrFSH in SOV protocols could be an important alternative by reducing the number of applications and offering an improved ovarian response together with better embryo quality and superior performance in embryo production compared to NIH-FSH-p SOV protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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14 pages, 1067 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Heat Shock Protein 70 Addition in the Culture Medium on the Development and Quality of In Vitro Produced Heat Shocked Bovine Embryos
by Konstantina Stamperna, Themistoklis Giannoulis, Eleni Dovolou, Maria Kalemkeridou, Ioannis Nanas, Katerina Dadouli, Katerina Moutou, Zissis Mamuris and Georgios S. Amiridis
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123347 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2031
Abstract
The aims of the present study were to examine the effects of HSP70 addition in the in vitro culture medium of day 3 embryos on their developmental competence and quality. Bovine oocytes (n = 1442) were in vitro matured, inseminated and cultured [...] Read more.
The aims of the present study were to examine the effects of HSP70 addition in the in vitro culture medium of day 3 embryos on their developmental competence and quality. Bovine oocytes (n = 1442) were in vitro matured, inseminated and cultured for the first two days according to standardized methods. The presumptive zygotes were randomly allocated in three experimental groups: Control, C (embryos cultured at 39 °C throughout the culture period), group C41 (temperature was raised to 41 °C from the 48th to 72nd h post insemination (p.i.) and then it returned at 39 °C for the remaining culture period), and group H41 (the temperature modification was the same as in C41 and during heat exposure, HSP70 was added in the culture medium). Cleavage and embryo yield were assessed 48 h p.i. and on days 7, 8, 9, respectively and gene expression in day 7 blastocysts was assessed by RT-PCR. Blastocyst yield was the highest in group C39; and higher in group H41 compared to group C41. From the gene expression analyses, altered expression of 11 genes was detected among groups. The analysis of the orchestrated patterns of gene expression differed between groups. The results of this study confirm the devastating effects of heat stress on embryo development and provide evidence that HSP70 addition at the critical stages can partly counterbalance, without neutralizing, the negative effects of the heat insult on embryos, acting mainly through mechanisms related to energy deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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9 pages, 822 KiB  
Article
Comparison of 5 Versus 7-Day Ovsynch + Progesterone Releasing Intravaginal Device Protocols (PRID) and a Modified G7G with an Option of Heat Detection Protocol for 1st Service in Lactating Dairy Cows
by Christos Brozos, Evangelos Kiossis, Savvas Hatzieffraimidis, Anastasia Praxitelous, Ioannis Gouvias, Vasileios Kanoulas and Georgios Tsousis
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102955 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two timed-AI (TAI) protocols (Group G5D, GnRH and PRID -5d- PGF2a -1d- PGF2a -1d- GnRH, n = 105 and Group G7D, GnRH and PRID-7d- PGF2a -1d- PGF2a -1d- GnRH, n = 98) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two timed-AI (TAI) protocols (Group G5D, GnRH and PRID -5d- PGF2a -1d- PGF2a -1d- GnRH, n = 105 and Group G7D, GnRH and PRID-7d- PGF2a -1d- PGF2a -1d- GnRH, n = 98) and a modified G7G protocol combining heat detection (HD) and AI or TAI if HD failed (Group HD, GnRH and PRID -7d- PGF2a -1d- PGF2a -5d- HD or 5d TAI if no HD, n = 92). Pregnancy per AI (P/AI) did not differ between G5D and G7D protocol (G5D: 33.8% vs. G7D: 35.2%, P = 0.85). Cows assigned to G5D and G7D group were pooled as TAI group (GTAI) and further compared to GHD. Within the GHD, more primiparous cows exhibited estrous signs compared to multiparous cows (70.4% vs. 46.2%, P = 0.03). Furthermore, 49 cows (53.3%) were served after HD, whereas 43 cows (46.7%) were served after TAI. There was no difference in P/AI between cows served after HD (51.6%) or after TAI (43.0%, P = 0.49). GHD showed higher P/AI at 1st service compared to GTAI (49.1% vs. 36.4%, P = 0.04), whilst, median days to pregnancy did not differ between the two groups. Overall, P/AI of primiparous cows tended to be better in comparison with multiparous cows (48.3% vs. 37.2%, P = 0.06). In conclusion, there was no significant difference regarding the efficacy of 5- and 7-day Ovsynch + PRID protocols. Moreover, a modified G7G protocol, with intermediate heat detection, resulted in overall better P/AI compared to TAI protocols and appears as a promising strategy to optimize estrus detection for 1st AI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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12 pages, 2279 KiB  
Article
ISGylation Inhibits an LPS-Induced Inflammatory Response via the TLR4/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Goat Endometrial Epithelial Cells
by Jinbang Xiao, Shanshan Li, Ruixue Zhang, Zongjie Wang, Xinyan Zhang, Aihua Wang, Yaping Jin and Pengfei Lin
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2593; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092593 - 3 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2591
Abstract
Endometritis is a common and important reproductive disease of domestic animals. The principal factors responsible for the disease are infection with Gram-negative bacteria, the release of Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and activation of the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway. However, we do not fully understand the interaction [...] Read more.
Endometritis is a common and important reproductive disease of domestic animals. The principal factors responsible for the disease are infection with Gram-negative bacteria, the release of Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and activation of the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway. However, we do not fully understand the interaction between endometrial immunity and bacterial infection in the disease etiology. The ubiquitin-like protein ISG15 can regulate the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway via the ISGylation modification system, modulating the inflammatory response. In the present study, we found that ISG15 protein was expressed mainly in the cytoplasm of goat endometrial epithelial cells (gEECs) and that the expression of key genes and proteins of ISGylation increased in LPS-induced gEECs. Overexpression and silencing of the ISG15 gene demonstrated that ISGylation inhibited an LPS-induced inflammatory response via the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway in gEECs. Here, we provide the experimental basis for further exploration of the role of the ISGylation modification system in the inflammatory response of endometrium and a potential method for the treatment of endometritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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14 pages, 851 KiB  
Article
Effect of Boar Sperm Proteins and Quality Changes on Field Fertility
by Ilias Michos, Maria Tsantarliotou, Constantin M. Boscos, Georgios Tsousis, Athina Basioura, Eleni D. Tzika, Panagiotis D. Tassis, Aristotelis G. Lymberopoulos and Ioannis A. Tsakmakidis
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061813 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2655
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate boar sperm characteristics and proteins, in relation to their importance regarding in vivo fertility. Sixty-five ejaculates were used and 468 sows (parity ≥ 2) were inseminated. Sperm CASA kinetics, morphology, viability, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane potential, sperm membrane [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate boar sperm characteristics and proteins, in relation to their importance regarding in vivo fertility. Sixty-five ejaculates were used and 468 sows (parity ≥ 2) were inseminated. Sperm CASA kinetics, morphology, viability, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane potential, sperm membrane biochemical activity (HOST) and sperm proteins (Heat Shock Protein 90-HSP90, glutathione peroxidase-5-GPX5, Osteopontin 70-OPN70) were assessed and related to field fertility (number of live-born piglets—NLBP, litter size ≥ 12 piglets—LS, farrowing rate—FR). Statistical analysis was conducted with simple and multiple regression models. Simple regression analysis showed that immotile sperm (IM) significantly affected the NLBP and LS, explaining 6.7% and 6.5% of their variation, respectively. The HOST positive spermatozoa significantly affected the NLBP and LS, explaining 24.5% and 7.8% of their variation, respectively. Similarly, sperm with activated mitochondria significantly affected the NLBP, explaining 13.5% of its variation. Moreover, the OPN70 affected LS and FR, explaining 7.5% and 10.8% of their variation, respectively. Sperm GPX5 protein affected FR, explaining 6.7% of its variation. Multiple regression analysis showed that the combination of IM and/OPN70 explains 13.0% of the variation regarding LS, and the combination of GPX5 and OPN70 explains 13.6% of the variation regarding FR. In conclusion, the estimation of parameters IM, membrane biochemical activity, mitochondrial membrane potential, OPN and GPX5 can provide useful information regarding semen doses for field fertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Reproduction in Farm Animals)
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