Special Issue "The Animal–Human Interfaces in Physiology of Reproduction: The Research to Improve Performance, as well as Animal and Human Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Laura Menchetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: animal physiology; biostatistics; animal production; rabbit; behavior; nutritional and metabolic diseases; animal models.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Giulio Curone
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, Via dell'Università 6-26900 Lodi, Italy
Interests: livestock biodiversity; lactation and mammary gland physiology, animal physiology
Prof. Gabriele Brecchia
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, Via dell'Università 6-26900 Lodi, Italy
Interests: physiology of reproduction; physiology of nutrition and digestive system; rabbit; animal models of inflammation; nutraceuticals
Dr. Olimpia Barbato
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: animal physiology; physiology of reproduction; animal endocrinology; ruminant reproduction; follow-up of pregnancy and trophoblast well-being; buffalo.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The physiology of animal reproduction is one of the oldest and most recognized fields in scientific research, but it is always evolving. The curiosity of researchers in animal reproduction science is ancestral and modern at the same time, as it responds to different needs that intertwine and overlap seamlessly. Advances in reproductive physiology can improve animal welfare, increase production and livestock sustainability, affect the quality of foods of animal origin such as milk and colostrum, and help wildlife conservation and management. Finally, several species, ranging from lower vertebrates to large animals, represent appropriate models to study human reproductive disorders such as infertility and pregnancy-related disorders. The research in this field therefore has ethical and welfare implications for the animal as well as socio-economic and health implications for the human being. Thus, your research in animal physiology reproduction could be placed in one of these animal–human interfaces.

We invite reviews and original research papers that address the basic and applied research in the physiology of animal reproduction. This field could extend to the reproductive management of companion and farm animals; the influence of nutrition on reproduction; the relationships between reproduction, breast function, and newborn development; the quality of the animal product; the welfare of the livestock or wild species; the conservation of biodiversity; and human reproductive disorders. However, it probably will be linked to both animal and human health.

Dr. Laura Menchetti
Dr. Giulio Curone
Prof. Gabriele Brecchia
Dr. Olimpia Barbato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physiology of reproduction
  • pathophysiology of reproduction
  • animal models
  • endocrinology of reproduction
  • physiology of milk and colostrum production
  • nutrition and reproduction
  • comparative research
  • reproductive management
  • food animal products
  • biodiversity conservation and expansion

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
Analyses of Molecular Characteristics and Enzymatic Activities of Ovine HSD17B3
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2876; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102876 - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 (HSD17B3) converts androstenedione (A4) into testosterone (T), which regulates sex steroid production. Because various mutations of the HSD17B3 gene cause disorder of sex differentiation (DSD) in multiple mammalian species, it is very important to reveal the molecular characteristics of [...] Read more.
17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 (HSD17B3) converts androstenedione (A4) into testosterone (T), which regulates sex steroid production. Because various mutations of the HSD17B3 gene cause disorder of sex differentiation (DSD) in multiple mammalian species, it is very important to reveal the molecular characteristics of this gene in various species. Here, we revealed the open reading frame of the ovine HSD17B3 gene. Enzymatic activities of ovine HSD17B3 and HSD17B1 for converting A4 to T were detected using ovine androgen receptor-mediated transactivation in reporter assays. Although HSD17B3 also converted estrone to estradiol, this activity was much weaker than those of HSD17B1. Although ovine HSD17B3 has an amino acid sequence that is conserved compared with other mammalian species, it possesses two amino acid substitutions that are consistent with the reported variants of human HSD17B3. Substitutions of these amino acids in ovine HSD17B3 for those in human did not affect the enzymatic activities. However, enzymatic activities declined upon missense mutations of the HSD17B3 gene associated with 46,XY DSD, affecting amino acids that are conserved between these two species. The present study provides basic information and tools to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind DSD not only in ovine, but also in various mammalian species. Full article
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Article
Immunization against Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone in Female Beef Calves to Avoid Pregnancy at Time of Slaughter
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2071; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072071 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Precocious puberty in beef heifers can result in unwanted pregnancies due to accidental breeding by farm bulls. Inbreeding, premature calving followed by dystocia and a high stillbirth rate or slaughtering of pregnant heifers are the consequences of this behaviour. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Precocious puberty in beef heifers can result in unwanted pregnancies due to accidental breeding by farm bulls. Inbreeding, premature calving followed by dystocia and a high stillbirth rate or slaughtering of pregnant heifers are the consequences of this behaviour. The aim of the study was to postpone puberty by using Improvac®, an anti-GnRH vaccine. Therefore, n = 25 calves were twice vaccinated, once at the age of 5 and then at 6.5 months. n = 24 calves served as unvaccinated case controls. The onset of puberty was assigned if progesterone analysis in the blood exceeded 1 ng/mL. Progesterone values were excluded if the corresponding serum cortisol levels were ≥60 nmol/L. Our target was met, as in the vaccinated group none of the calves exceeded a progesterone value >1 ng/mL until the scheduled age of slaughter at 11 months and only 12.5% of the animals exceeded a progesterone value of 1 ng/mL over the whole measuring period (>400 days) compared with 56.5% of the calves in the control group. In conclusion, the favourable results from our study using the vaccine Improvac® represent an animal-friendly, non-invasive and reliable way to avoid early pregnancy in heifers as well as the slaughter of pregnant cattle. Full article
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Article
Use of Corn Silk Meal in Broiler Diet: Effect on Growth Performance, Blood Biochemistry, Immunological Responses, and Growth-Related Gene Expression
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041170 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of diets supplemented with corn silk meal (CSM) and non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) enzyme on growth performance, blood biochemistry, immunological response, and growth-related gene expression in broiler chickens. A total of 270 broiler chickens [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of diets supplemented with corn silk meal (CSM) and non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) enzyme on growth performance, blood biochemistry, immunological response, and growth-related gene expression in broiler chickens. A total of 270 broiler chickens were divided into six experimental groups: (1) basal diets (BD) as control; (2) BD supplemented with 0.5 g/kg feed NSP enzyme; the other four groups are CSM diets as following; (3) and (4) fed diet contain 40 and 80 kg/ton of CSM; (5) and (6) fed diet contain 40 and 80 kg/ton CSM and supplemented with 0.5 g/kg NSP enzyme. Body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), protein retention and fiber digestibility were synergistically improved (p < 0.05) when fed CSM supplemented with NSP enzyme. Moreover, a synergistic decrease (p < 0.05) in the serum glucose and total cholesterol were found. Immune organ weights and Newcastle disease virus titers were increased with CSM diets. Interestingly, the relative mRNAs of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) and insulin growth factor (IGF) were increased (p < 0.05) with the CSM and NSP enzyme: the relative mRNA expressions of cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin were decreased by feeding CSM diets with the NSP enzyme. It could be concluded that the dietary inclusion of CSM with the NSP enzyme might improve growth performance, modify plasma lipids, and enhance immune response in broilers. Full article
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Article
Gonadectomy in Raccoons: Anesthetic and Cardiorespiratory Effects of Two Ketamine-Based Pre-Anesthetic Protocols before Sevoflurane-Sufentanil
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112110 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 749
Abstract
Nineteen raccoons were enrolled in this study. The aim was to evaluate and compare the quality of anesthesia and the cardiorespiratory effects following treatment with a ketamine-based combination with either dexmedetomidine (KD group) or midazolam (KM group) in raccoons undergoing ovariohysterectomy/orchiectomy. General anesthesia [...] Read more.
Nineteen raccoons were enrolled in this study. The aim was to evaluate and compare the quality of anesthesia and the cardiorespiratory effects following treatment with a ketamine-based combination with either dexmedetomidine (KD group) or midazolam (KM group) in raccoons undergoing ovariohysterectomy/orchiectomy. General anesthesia was maintained with sevoflurane in oxygen and sufentanil infusion. The time required to approach the animals was similar among groups resulting in a median of 5 min after IM injection. Animals in group KD were scored with greater myorelaxation (p < 0.01) and easier intubation (p < 0.05). Moreover 70% of them did not require other drugs for tracheal intubation unlike animals in group KM, which required propofol in 100% of cases. After intubation and connection to the breathing circuit, physiological parameters were monitored continuously and recorded every 5 min. Sevoflurane requirements were lower in group KD than KM (p = 0.005). Blood pressure was maintained within physiological ranges in both groups but with higher values in group KM (p < 0.05). Mild respiratory depression occurred during surgery and animals in group KM showed greater respiratory acidosis (p < 0.05). Recovery was smooth and uneventful in all animals. Both anesthetic protocols can be recommended for safe anesthesia in wild raccoons. Full article
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Article
Inflammatory Correlated Response in Two Lines of Rabbit Selected Divergently for Litter Size Environmental Variability
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091540 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
A divergent selection experiment for environmental variance of litter size variance was carried out in rabbits over thirteen generations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inflammatory response in the two lines of the experiment, in order to analyse the effect [...] Read more.
A divergent selection experiment for environmental variance of litter size variance was carried out in rabbits over thirteen generations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inflammatory response in the two lines of the experiment, in order to analyse the effect of selection on susceptibility to diseases after challenging to stressful situations, such as 24 h after the first delivery. A total of 78 females were used in this study, 39 from each line. The line selected for litter size heterogeneity (the high line) showed lower white blood leukocyte count (WBC; −0.87 × 103/µL), lower percentage of basophils (−0.11%), higher concentration of TNF-α (+13.8 pg/mL), and greater concentration of CRP (+38.1 µg/mL) than the line selected for litter size homogeneity (the low line). The high line had also higher concentrations of bilirubin, cholesterol, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) compared to the low line (difference between lines were +0.08 µmol/L, +0.14 µmol/L, +0.35 U/L and +2.4 U/L, respectively). The high line showed higher inflammatory response than the low line, in accordance with a larger susceptibility to infectious disorders. In conclusion, the line selected to increase litter size environmental variability seems to have poor capacity coping with environmental stressors. Therefore, selection for litter size environmental variability can be a useful way to improve animal welfare. Full article
Article
A Comparative Study of Intramuscular Alfaxalone- or Ketamine-Based Anesthetic Mixtures in Gray Squirrels Undergoing Gonadectomy: Clinical and Physiologic Findings
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081402 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
The gray squirrel is one of the most common invasive species in Europe, whose presence is dangerous for the survival of the European red squirrel. To cope with this biological invasion and to safeguard biodiversity, the LIFE+U-SAVEREDS project aims to protect the red [...] Read more.
The gray squirrel is one of the most common invasive species in Europe, whose presence is dangerous for the survival of the European red squirrel. To cope with this biological invasion and to safeguard biodiversity, the LIFE+U-SAVEREDS project aims to protect the red squirrel, by limiting the growth of the current population of gray squirrels and simultaneously promoting their eradication with surgical sterilization. This study compares two different anesthetic protocols, including dexmedetomidine (40 µg/kg) and midazolam (0.3 mg/kg) associated with ketamine (15 mg/kg; n = 25 squirrels) or alfaxalone (5 mg/kg; n = 22 squirrels). A blinded investigator evaluated the quality and onset of sedation, intraoperative anesthesia, and recovery, as well as the physiologic parameters for each animal. Alfaxalone provided a good quality of anesthesia with limited cardiovascular effects (p < 0.05) and good intraoperative myorelaxation. Ketamine induced complete relaxation in a shorter time (p < 0.05) and a rapid (p < 0.001) and excellent (p < 0.05) recovery. Despite the overall superiority of ketamine, alfaxalone appeared to be an adequate alternative anesthetic drug that can be administered without requiring intravascular access. It should be rapidly metabolized and excreted; however, it requires the combination of longer acting sedatives/myorelaxants to prevent a poor recovery quality. Full article
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Article
Hand-Rearing of Three Lesser Flamingo Chicks (Phoeniconaias minor)
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081251 - 23 Jul 2020
Viewed by 920
Abstract
There are few published studies regarding lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) reproduction, crop milk composition, and hand-rearing under human care. Between the end of June and the beginning of August of 2017, three eggs were laid in a group of 29 lesser [...] Read more.
There are few published studies regarding lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) reproduction, crop milk composition, and hand-rearing under human care. Between the end of June and the beginning of August of 2017, three eggs were laid in a group of 29 lesser flamingos kept under human care. Two eggs and one chick were abandoned by the parents, and three chicks were hand-reared. This report describes diet composition, dietary intake, feeding protocols, and growth index, from the first day to 60 days after hatching, for three lesser flamingo chicks. Full article
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Article
RNAi-Mediated Silencing of Catalase Gene Promotes Apoptosis and Impairs Proliferation of Bovine Granulosa Cells under Heat Stress
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061060 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Heat stress in dairy cattle is recognized to compromise fertility by altering the functions of ovarian follicle-enclosed cells, e.g., oocyte and granulosa cells (GCs). Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme that plays a significant role in cellular protection against oxidative damage by the degradation [...] Read more.
Heat stress in dairy cattle is recognized to compromise fertility by altering the functions of ovarian follicle-enclosed cells, e.g., oocyte and granulosa cells (GCs). Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme that plays a significant role in cellular protection against oxidative damage by the degradation of hydrogen peroxide to oxygen and water. In this study, the role and mechanism of CAT on the heat stress (HS)-induced apoptosis and altered proliferation of bovine GCs were studied. The catalase gene was knocked-down successfully in bovine GCs at both the transcriptional and translational levels. After a successful knockdown using siRNA, GCs were divided into HS (40 °C + NC and 40 °C + CAT siRNA) and 38 °C + NC (NC) groups. The GCs were then examined for ROS, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), cell cycle, and biosynthesis of progesterone (P4) and estrogen (E2) hormones. The results indicated that CAT silencing promoted ROS production and apoptosis by up-regulating the Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX) and Caspase-3 genes both at the transcriptional and translational levels. Furthermore, the knockdown of CAT markedly disrupted the MMP, impaired the production of P4 and E2, altered the progression of the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and decreased the number of cells in the S phase. This was further verified by the down-regulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), CyclinB1, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR), and cytochrome P450 family 11 subfamily A member 1 (Cyp11A1) genes. Our study presented a novel strategy to characterize how CAT can regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis in GCs under HS. We concluded that CAT is a broad regulatory marker in GCs by regulating apoptosis, cellular progression, and simultaneously by vital fluctuations in hormonal signaling. Our findings infer a crucial evidence of how to boost the fertility of heat-stressed cows. Full article
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Article
Pregnancy and Fetal Development: Cephalic Presentation and Other Descriptive Ultrasonographic Findings from Clinically Healthy Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) under Human Care
Animals 2020, 10(5), 908; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050908 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Ultrasonography is widely used in veterinary medicine for the diagnosis of pregnancy, and can also be used to monitor abnormal pregnancies, embryonic resorption, or fetal abortion. Ultrasonography plays an important role in modern-day cetacean preventative medicine because it is a non-invasive technique, it [...] Read more.
Ultrasonography is widely used in veterinary medicine for the diagnosis of pregnancy, and can also be used to monitor abnormal pregnancies, embryonic resorption, or fetal abortion. Ultrasonography plays an important role in modern-day cetacean preventative medicine because it is a non-invasive technique, it is safe for both patient and operator, and it can be performed routinely using trained responses that enable medical procedures. Reproductive success is an important aspect of dolphin population health, as it is an indicator of the future trajectory of the population. The aim of this study is to provide additional relevant data on feto-maternal ultrasonographic monitoring in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) species, for both the clinicians and for in situ population studies. From 2009 to 2019, serial ultrasonographic exams of 11 healthy bottlenose dolphin females kept under human care were evaluated over the course of 16 pregnancies. A total of 192 ultrasound exams were included in the study. For the first time, the sonographic findings of the bottlenose dolphin organogenesis and their correlation with the stage of pregnancy are described. Furthermore, this is the first report that forecasts the cephalic presentation of the calf at birth, according to its position within the uterus. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Anandamide on the Anterior Pituitary Hormone Secretion in Ewes—Ex Vivo Study
Animals 2020, 10(4), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040706 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Cannabinoids (CBs) are involved in the neuroendocrine control of reproductive processes by affecting GnRH and gonadotropins secretion. The presence of cannabinoid receptors (CBR) in the pituitary raises a presumption that anandamide (AEA), the endogenous cannabinoid, may act on gonadotrophic hormones secretion directly at [...] Read more.
Cannabinoids (CBs) are involved in the neuroendocrine control of reproductive processes by affecting GnRH and gonadotropins secretion. The presence of cannabinoid receptors (CBR) in the pituitary raises a presumption that anandamide (AEA), the endogenous cannabinoid, may act on gonadotrophic hormones secretion directly at the level of the anterior pituitary (AP). Thus, the aim of the study was to investigate the influence of AEA on gonadotropins secretions from AP explants taken from anestrous ewes. It was demonstrated that AEA inhibited GnRH stimulated luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion from the AP explants. Anandamide influences both LH and FSH gene expressions as well as their release. AEA also affected gonadoliberin receptor (GnRHR) synthesis and expression. The presence of CB1R transcript in AP explants were also demonstrated. It could be suggested that some known negative effects of cannabinoids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis activity may be caused by the direct action of these compounds at the pituitary level. Full article
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Article
Can the Presence of Ovarian Corpus Luteum Modify the Hormonal Composition of Follicular Fluid in Mares?
Animals 2020, 10(4), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040646 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The hypothesis of this study was to investigate if the presence of corpus luteum (CL) in one ovary could modify the hormonal content of follicular fluid (FF) in the follicles. Sixty ovaries were taken after the slaughter of 30 clinically healthy mares. In [...] Read more.
The hypothesis of this study was to investigate if the presence of corpus luteum (CL) in one ovary could modify the hormonal content of follicular fluid (FF) in the follicles. Sixty ovaries were taken after the slaughter of 30 clinically healthy mares. In relation to the sizes, the follicles were classified into three different categories, as small (20–30 mm), medium (31–40 mm) and large (≥41 mm). Blood samples were collected from the jugular vein of mares before their slaughter, and then the FF samplings were extracted from each single follicle. The ovaries that were collected were classified into two groups, according to the presence (CL-bearing) or absence (non-CL-bearing) of CL. The serum and FF samples were analysed for progesterone (P4), oestradiol-17β (E2), testosterone (T), androstenedione (A4) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Intrafollicular P4 concentrations in large follicles of CL-bearing groups were lower than for non-CL-bearing ones. Intrafollicular E2 concentrations increased with the increase of the follicle diameter in both groups, CL-bearing and non-CL-bearing. However, in the FF with a large and medium follicle size, E2 concentrations were significantly higher in non-CL-bearing groups than in CL-bearing groups. T and A4 significantly increased in the large and medium follicle sizes when compared to the small follicle sizes in both groups, but higher concentrations in the non-CL-bearing group were obtained. Intrafollicular DHEA significantly decreased with the increase of the follicular diameter in both groups. Steroid hormones in FF dynamically changed, according to the presence or not of CL in the ovary. This study brings new knowledge on the role of the CL in the follicular hormonal composition in mares. Full article
Article
Effects of Inhibin A on Apoptosis and Proliferation of Bovine Granulosa Cells
Animals 2020, 10(2), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020367 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
Inhibin A is well known for its inhibitory properties against follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), released through a pituitary–gonadal negative feedback loop to regulate follicular development. Ovarian folliculogenesis, hormonal biosynthesis, and gametogenesis are dependent on inhibins, playing vital roles in promoting or inhibiting cell proliferation. [...] Read more.
Inhibin A is well known for its inhibitory properties against follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), released through a pituitary–gonadal negative feedback loop to regulate follicular development. Ovarian folliculogenesis, hormonal biosynthesis, and gametogenesis are dependent on inhibins, playing vital roles in promoting or inhibiting cell proliferation. The present study explored the physiological and molecular response of bovine granulosa cells (GCs) to different concentrations of inhibin A in vitro. We treated the primary GCs isolated from ovarian follicles (3–6 mm) with different levels of inhibin A (20, 50, and 100 ng/mL) along with the control (0 ng/mL) for 24 h. To evaluate the impact of inhibin A on GCs, several in vitro cellular parameters, including cell apoptosis, viability, cell cycle, and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were detected. Besides, the transcriptional regulation of pro-apoptotic (BAX, Caspase-3) and cell proliferation (PCNA, CyclinB1) genes were also quantified. The results indicated a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the cell viability in a dose-dependent manner of inhibin A. Likewise, MMP was significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced when GCs were treated with high doses (50, 100 ng/mL) of inhibin A. Furthermore, inhibin A dose (100 ng/mL) markedly improved the progression of the G1 phase of the cell cycle and increased the cell number in the S phase, which was supported by the up-regulation of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen PCNA (20, 50, and 100ng/mL) and CyclinB (100 ng/mL) genes. In addition, higher doses of inhibin A (50 and 100 ng/mL) significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the apoptotic rate in GCs, which was manifested by down regulating BAX and Caspase-3 genes. Conclusively, our study presented a worthy strategy for the first time to characterize the cellular adaptation of bovine GCs under different concentrations of inhibin A. Our results conclude that inhibin A is a broad regulatory marker in GCs by regulating apoptosis and cellular progression. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Inflammatory correlated response in two lines of rabbit selected divergently for litter size environmental variability

Maria Jose Argente Carrascosa

Simple Summary: Animal welfare is a priority objective for livestock industry. Litter size environmental variability has been related to environmental sensitivity. A divergent selection experiment for environmental variance of litter size variance was carried out successfully in rabbits during thirteen generations. The low line showed a lower inflammatory response and susceptibility to infectious disorders than the high line. In conclusion, the decrease of environmental sensitivity seems to increase the adaptation of animal to the environment, thus its welfare.

Abstract: A divergent selection experiment for environmental variance of litter size variance was carried out in rabbits during thirteen generations. The aim of this study was to evaluate haematological and the inflammatory biomarkers levels, as well as, biochemical parameters in the two lines of the experiment, in order to analyse the effect of selection on susceptibility to diseases. A total of 78 females were used in this study, 39 from each line. The line selected for litter size heterogeneity (the high line) showed lower white blood leukocyte count (WBC) (-0.87 x103/µl), lower percentage of basophils (-0.11%), higher concentration of TNF-α (+13.8 pg/ml) and greater concentration of CRP (+38.1µg/ml) than the line selected for litter size homogeneity (the low line). The high line had also higher concentrations of bilirubin, cholesterol, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) compared to the low line (difference between lines +0.08 µmol/L, +0.08 µmol/L, +0.14 µmol/L, +2.4 U/L and +0.35 U/L, respectively). The high line showed higher inflammatory response and susceptibility to infectious disorders. In conclusion, the line selected to increase litter size environmental variability seems to have a poor capacity to cope with environmental stressors.

 

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